Today's News: Our Take


CHANDLER HEADS WEST

Chandler Bing is going to Washington. Friends funny guy Matthew Perry will guest star on two episodes of The West Wing to air April 23 and 30. He'll play a Republican lawyer looking for a job in the White House. read more

Malcolm Star's Baby Scoop


According to Frankie Muniz, Malcolm in the Middle will end its fourth season with a frustrating cliffhanger. "We just filmed the episode where Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) has the baby," he tells TV Guide Online. "They still haven't decided whether it's going to be a boy or a girl, but they've named it Jamie. They're going to leave you hanging until next season to find out!"

Meanwhile, Frankie fans can catch him on the big screen in Agent Cody Banks (opening today). "It's everybody's dream to be that James Bond-type character," he enthuses. "When I watched it, I'm like, 'Wow, people are going to think I'm this awesome, cool guy, and everyone's going to look up to Cody.'"

They may also do a double-take at Muniz's surprisingly buff bod. He's al read more

Will Diesel and Kidman Make Music?


Thanks to those 13 Oscar nominations for Chicago, nearly everyone in Hollywood is hawking ideas for musicals. Case in point: Vin Diesel approached Nicole Kidman about remaking Guys and Dolls on the big screen. "She's amazing," Diesel tells TV Guide Online. "We were initially talking about another project that hasn't come to pass, and we discovered through our conversation that we were both huge Guys and Dolls fans.

"And it started to make sense," he continues, "me as Sky Masterson and her as Sarah Brown. That would be the way to do it. She's done Moulin Rouge and she has that experience. It would be something really fun! Once the [legal] read more

YOO-HOO...

Michael Jackson will have to start cutting back on his plastic surgery expenses. A jury decided Thursday that the baby dangler owes a concert promoter $5.3 million for backing out of two millennium concerts on New Year's Eve 1999. The $21 million breach-of-contract trial made headlines when Jackson took to the witness stand and inadvertently revealed to the world that Bubbles had eaten his nose. read more

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO

Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker is no longer in the running to play Superman on the big screen. According to Variety, the actor bowed out on Thursday over reservations about the seven-year commitment required for the three films. That leaves just two candidates to succeed Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel: Brendan Fraser and Guiding Light hottie Matthew Bomer. (For the latest on Bomer, click here.) As previously reported, Felicity grad Keri Russell is at the top of producers' short list to play Lois Lane. read more

THE PLOT THICKENS...

A Los Angeles judge ruled Thursday that Robert Blake must stand trial on charges of murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. The judge set bail for the 69-year-old Baretta star at $1.5 million. The actor's handyman-bodyguard, Earle Caldwell, was also ordered to stand trial on a conspiracy count. read more

Sopranos Shocker: And Tony Goes to...

If James Gandolfini insists on shaking down HBO for more dough, maybe the cable network ought to just let the Sopranos star go ahead and take a powder. After all, it's not like series leads can't be replaced. (Was anyone but Valerie Harper really sorry when NBC gave Valerie's Family to Sandy Duncan? Didn't think so.) Plus, in the case of an award-winning character like Tony, there would be an impressive mob of actors ready, willing and eager to fill the mafioso's cement shoes. See for yourself — TV Guide Online has assembled a lineup of master thespians who would make fine made men.

read more

SHORT CUTS

ABC has ordered another edition of Celebrity Mole, to debut in summer or fall... TV vets Julianna Margulies and Benjamin Bratt will appear in the off-Broadway play Intrigue With Faye from May 21 to June 28. read more

BAD GIRL

ABC's new reality competition All American Girl is turning out to be a national disgrace ratings-wise. Wednesday's debut posted a 3.0 rating and 8 share among adults 18-49. To put those numbers in perspective, I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here performed better than that on Wednesdays. read more

NO SHOW

Eminem is apparently too cool to attend next week's Oscars. Show producer Gil Cates confirms to USA Today that Slim Shady — whose single "Lose Yourself" from 8 Mile is up for best song — won't be attending the March 23 ceremony. Should he win, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog has agreed to accept the golden guy on the rapper's behalf. read more

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