Today's News: Our Take


LIVE WIRES

Regis's current and former leading ladies are taking their "rivalry" to the small screen. Kathie Lee Gifford will guest star on Kelly Ripa's ABC sitcom Hope & Faith in early '04. Gifford will play a waitress who competes with Faith (Ripa) for an acting gig. read more

MR. MANNERS

American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken has topped the list of the Ten Best-Mannered People of 2003, as chosen by the National League of Junior Cotillions. Oprah Winfrey came in second, followed by Gen. Tommy Franks, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and injured surfer Bethany Hamilton. read more

HEADING NORTH

Late Night with Conan O'Brien is heading to Toronto in mid-February to shoot a week's worth of episodes. Local officials are hoping the exposure will revive tourism, which has slumped in the wake of the SARS outbreak. read more

MODEL MOM

Supermodel Heidi Klum and her Italian boyfriend Flavio Briatore are expecting their first child in the spring, reports the New York Daily News. read more

ON THE MEND

Ozzy Osbourne is once again breathing on his own, but wife Sharon tells Britain's ITV television that it would be "probably about six months" before her husband is back to his old cussing self following last week's quad bike accident. "But he will be back, he's not going anywhere," she added. "He'll be ordering everybody around, don't worry." read more

AIN'T IT GRAND?

Ben Affleck will serve as the grand marshall of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 15, which means the actor/NASCAR fan gets to utter the traditional command, "Gentlemen, start your engines... and why exactly did I agree to do this?" In related news, at a press conference today to promote his new pic Paycheck, Affleck confirmed that his HBO reality series Project Greenlight is headed to Bravo. read more

END QUOTE

"I know for a fact he likes girls. I've seen him totally make out with a girl." — Teenypopper Aaron Carter voicing support for Michael Jackson in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. read more

THE GOOD GIRL

A judge gave convicted shoplifter Winona Ryder high marks for abiding by the rules of her probation at a hearing Monday in Los Angeles. If she keeps it up, there's talk her felony convictions could be reduced to misdemeanors. Ryder's next progress report hearing is slated for May 26. read more

PAGING OSCAR...

In a surprise move, the traditionally indie-skewing New York Film Critics Circle chose a veritable blockbuster — The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King — as the top film of 2003. (The pic sneaks into 2,000 theaters at midnight tonight before officially opening tomorrow.) Bill Murray was named best actor for Lost in Translation and Hope Davis won best actress for American Splendor and The Secret Lives of Dentists. Meanwhile, the New York Film Critics Online and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle singled out Lost in Translation as the year's best movie. read more

THIS JUST IN...

Leonard A. Mueller, a senior executive of Inter-Con Security Systems, has been appointed traffic and security chief for the 76th Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 29. Can you tell it's a slow news day? read more

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