Today's News: Our Take


THE SHOVED ONE?

In his exclusive interview with CBS' 60 Minutes Sunday night, Michael Jackson alleged that authorities "manhandled" him when he was arrested last month on child molestation charges, leading to a dislocated shoulder and bruised wrists (or was that smeared ketchup?). Jacko also told Ed Bradley that he was locked in a stinky restroom for 45 minutes while in custody. Santa Barbara DA Thomas Sneddon, though not denying that the department's lavatory is in dire need of a Wizard air freshener, insists the singer was treated fairly. Speaking of things that smell, remember the Jackson special that CBS abruptly yanked last month after the molestation charges surfaced? Well, the network has had a change of heart: Michael Jackson Number Ones will air this Friday at 8 pm/ET. read more

AS THE WORLD TANKS

All Fox wanted for Christmas was decent tune-in for World Idol — and man, did Santa disappoint. The two-hour performance edition attracted a paltry 6.5 million viewers in the U.S. Thursday night. The results show airs Thursday at 9 pm/ET. read more

Ben Affleck's Next Project


In Paycheck (which opened Thursday), Ben Affleck plays a genius whose bosses erase his memory after he invents a machine that sees into the future. Well, Affleck is no psychic in real life, but he can offer a glimpse of what's to come for his struggling reality series, Project Greenlight.

Greenlight, which gives aspiring writers and directors the chance to make movies, recently was dumped by HBO after two seasons. Like other orphaned TV shows, it's just been adopted by Bravo. The cable channel was "really aggressive in trying to do it," Affleck tells TV Guide Online. "We're really excited. They really get the spirit of it."

Since it's moving to the home of Queer Eye, Affleck, 31, feels obliged to give Greenlight a makeover. "We're going to make some changes to the contest this year," read more

Vanessa Williams' Boomtown Farewell

Apparently, NBC has saved the best for last. This weekend, the Peacock network will air the final four episodes of Boomtown, its critically acclaimed but prematurely cancelled cop drama. (Three episodes air on Saturday, 8-11 pm/ET; one on Sunday at 10 pm/ET). Each features Vanessa Williams, who plays Det. Katherine Pierce. We interviewed the former Miss America, before Boomtown was officially axed earlier this year, to ask all about her eclectic life.


TV Guide Online: For Detective Pierce's first episode, you had to chase a perp up two flights of stairs, down a hall and up more stairs. How hard was it to shoot that scene, take after take?
Williams:
It wasn't too bad. I'm in good shape for a 40-year-old woman, fortunately. So I didn't get too winded.

TVGO: When you say you're in shape, how many flights could you do before you pass out?
W
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Elijah Wood's Extreme Stunt


Elijah Wood returns as the diminutive hobbit Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (currently in theaters). Of course, though he's small in stature, that doesn't mean he's afraid to take some big risks. During his time in New Zealand, where the epic Rings trilogy was filmed, Wood and several castmates did extreme sports in their free time.

"I did paraponting, which is awesome," he enthuses. "It is running off a hill with a parachute and catching thermal [pockets of air]. I basically parachuted over Queenstown [New Zealand]."

In Rings, Frodo braves the terrifying depths of Mordor in an effort to rid Middle Earth of a notoriously troublesome ring. But in real life, Wood's courage only takes him up to a point! He left some of the more reckless behavior to co-star read more

60 Minutes II Wow. Now I know...

60 Minutes II
Wow. Now I know why this little franchise has been around for, like, 100 years. It's a newspaper for lazy people. And just as unsettling. That piece on the cancers afflicting employees at IBM broke my heart. So many lives could have been spared if only the bigwigs had heeded the warnings about the chemicals they used. It's sickening and I am with every one of the civil-action participants. You sue their asses off, people. It won't undo the damage — but it might stop any more from being inflicted.

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RUSH WANTS IT HUSHED

After denying Rush Limbaugh's motion to keep his medical records sealed, a Florida judge turned around and resealed them again on Wednesday. That gives the radio talker's attorneys 15 days to appeal the court's original decision to let prosecutors seize his health information. The prosecution argues that it pertains to their criminal investigation of his prescription drug abuse; Limbaugh's camp says it's a violation of his constitutional right to privacy. read more

Elijah Wood's Extreme Stunt


Elijah Wood returns as the diminutive hobbit Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (currently in theaters). Of course, though he's small in stature, that doesn't mean he's afraid to take some big risks. During his time in New Zealand, where the epic Rings trilogy was filmed, Wood and several castmates did extreme sports in their free time.

"I did paraponting, which is awesome," he enthuses. "It is running off a hill with a parachute and catching thermal [pockets of air]. I basically parachuted over Queenstown, [New Zealand]."

In Rings, Frodo braves the terrifying depths of Mordor in an effort to rid Middle Earth of a notoriously troublesome ring. But in real life, Wood's courage only takes him up to a point! He left some of the more reckl read more

DHARMA'S BACK

Actress Jenna Elfman will guest-star on two February sweeps episodes of CBS' Two and a Half Men playing a "smart, sexy, possibly crazy, but definitely mysterious woman" who comes between Charlie and Alan. read more

Ben Affleck's Next Project


In Paycheck (opening Thursday), Ben Affleck plays a genius whose bosses erase his memory after he invents a machine that sees into the future. Well, Affleck is no psychic in real life, but he can offer a glimpse of what's to come for his struggling reality series, Project Greenlight.

Greenlight, which gives aspiring writers and directors the chance to make movies, recently was dumped by HBO after two seasons. Like other orphaned TV shows, it's just been adopted by Bravo. The cable channel was "really aggressive in trying to do it," Affleck tells TV Guide Online. "We're really excited. They really get the spirit of it."

Since it's moving to the home of Queer Eye, Affleck, 31, feels obliged to give Greenlight a makeover. "We're going to make some changes to th read more

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