Today's News: Our Take


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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

Meet The Hunted's Real-Life Hero


When watching an action film about a mentally disturbed killer on the loose, it usually helps to remind yourself, "This is only a movie. It won't happen to you. Remain calm." Well, though survivalist teacher Tom Brown Jr. says there's definitely some Hollywood-style exaggeration in The Hunted (opening Friday), he did his part to make the pic as chillingly true to life as possible.

"Basically, the storyline of The Hunted is fabricated to a degree, but parts of it happened in my life," says Brown, who trained the actors in his primitive survival techniques and is the model for Tommy Lee Jones's character. In the movie, Jones must find his former student (Benicio Del Toro), a Special Forces soldier-turned-psychopathic killer.

"I had a guy I trained that went bad, read more

Why Travolta Rejected Gere's Chicago Role


John Travolta doesn't seem the type to stew in past regrets, torturing himself with what-ifs. Of course, that's what we at TV Guide Online are here for! Turns out, the ex-disco king could have razzle-dazzled in Richard Gere's spats in the blockbuster hit, Chicago! Too bad he rejected the juicy role of shady lawyer Billy Flynn three times.

"I would have never thought Chicago could have worked, when I saw it on stage," Travolta confesses. "It was never pitched to me; I never met with anyone. They just offered it, and offered it again. My research was to go see the show, and each time I saw the show, I thought, 'Well, how are they going to do this?' I couldn't figure it out.

"That's where I needed a director's vision, to say, 'No, no, no read more

WHAT'S OLD IS NEW AGAIN

John Travolta is in talks to star in a remake of the 1950 Jimmy Stewart film Harvey. Meanwhile, Jim Carrey is expected to headline a remake of the 1947 Danny Kaye pic The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Steven Spielberg directing. read more

MAC ATTACK

There's trouble behind the scenes at The Bernie Mac Show. Fox has fired Larry Wilmore, the show's Emmy and Peabody Award-winning creator and executive producer. According to Variety, Wilmore — who is expected to end up with an overall deal at NBC — was let go because execs felt the comedy wasn't reaching its potential under his leadership. I'm glad someone took the fall for last month's painfully lame — and uncharacteristically sappy — India.Arie cameo. read more

SHORT CUTS

Mark Harmon has nabbed the lead role on CBS's upcoming JAG spinoff... Jerry Seinfeld will perform two shows at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on May 2 and 3... Survivor: The Amazon was the most-watched show on TV last week with 23.2 million viewers... UPN has renewed WWE Smackdown! for an additional two years. (Please, contain your excitement.)... Steve Martin has signed on star in a remake of the 1937 ghost comedy Topper. He'll play the role originated by Cary Grant... Will & Grace's Megan Mullally read more

AND THEN THERE'S THIS...

Just prior to last month's Grammys, Jimmy Fallon estimated that the price of his CD The Bathroom Wall would be slashed to $8 if it didn't win for best comedy album. Well, it lost, and the Saturday Night Live hottie was almost right. Over the weekend, a co-worker here at the office bought it for $5.99 — or roughly the cost of two Super Smurfs back in the '80s. Not that I would know anything about those. read more

IDOL CHATTER

Here's my two cents on last night's American Idol: Julia DeMato's attitude problem is out of control; Joshua Gracin does something funny with his bottom lip when he sings; Ryan Seacrest needs to stop showing such blatant favoritism toward Ruben Studdard; and how cool is it that Vanessa Olivarez has a pet pig named Bacon Bits? Cool enough for me to vote for her. read more

O, BEHAVE

A judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by the publisher of fetish magazine O that claimed Oprah Winfrey's similarly titled magazine is tarnishing his trademark. U.S. District Judge John Koeltl said there's no way readers could confuse a publication featuring "whip-bearing naked women" with Winfrey's mag. Am I the only one getting a disturbing mental picture? read more

SHUT UP!

Kelly Osbourne is running away from home! According to the New York Post, the 18-year-old wannabe rocker is thisclose to purchasing a multi-million dollar crib right down the street from her parents' Beverly Hills mansion. Throw in a handful of C-listers, some camera equipment and you've got the makings of Surreal Life 2. read more

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