Today's News: Our Take

Gabrielle Union Bares All!

Moviegoers who saw Gabrielle Union in Deliver Us from Eva know she can be a naughty girl. But we see a very different side of the 29-year-old actress in Cradle 2 the Grave (opening today). The Nebraskan beauty not only kicks bad guy butt in the action flick, she also shows off her own, um, assets during a sexy striptease scene.

"I was not really pleased," Union frowns. "It wasn't there when I signed on. I show up for work one day, and [the producers] are like, 'Did you get the new [script] pages?' And I'm like, 'No, hold on. Great... I'm naked.' How did this happen? How [did] I go from 7th Heaven and Bring It On to naked dancing in a strip club?"

Despite the initial shock, the happily married Union was obligated to go on with the show. read more

Ralph Fiennes Goes Mad

An Oscar-nominated thesp like Ralph Fiennes knows how to do his homework. So when it came to playing two seriously deranged characters in a row — Red Dragon and Spider (opening today) — he decided to add some rather disturbing realism to his madmen by interviewing patients in mental hospitals.

"I met people who suffered from schizophrenia, who knew I was an actor and knew I was playing this role," Fiennes tells TV Guide Online. "They talked very openly about the voices that they heard, the hallucinations that they had."

To play Spider, a schizophrenic man haunted by the murder of his mother, Fiennes chose to mimick the constant mumbling he witnessed in a couple of patients. But he was always wary of overplaying these mannerisms. "I was always asking read more

Reality Producer Goes to War

Bertram van Munster — creator and exec producer of CBS's The Amazing Race — just went on another international adventure, but this one's more dangerous than usual. Tonight, his Profiles from the Front Line (8 pm/ET on ABC) sends a camera crew to Afghanistan, looking for personal stories from the war on terror. Even with the full cooperation of the Pentagon, van Munster says he delivers a complete, unbiased story.

"We don't have any political message," he tells TV Guide Online of the six-episode series. "We don't say, 'War is good.' Actually, we show more 'War is bad' than anything else, because we have people die on the battlefield, and we have some very sad stories on the show that are not exactly 'Rah! Rah! Rah!' stories. I think we show both sides of what a war can bring to you."

Profiles depicts the everyday lives of military personnel, from a helicopter refueler to a Special Force read more

Tom Arnold Shuns Reality TV

In his post-Roseanne years, comedian Tom Arnold has salvaged his career by wisecracking on Best Damn Sports Show Period and stealing scenes in movies like True Lies and Cradle 2 the Grave (opening tomorrow). Eager to keep whatever street cred he's got, he refuses to appear on reality TV.

"If I were on one of these reality shows, I don't think they'd let me act anymore," Arnold admits. "I get asked to do them all. The reason I don't do them is because I would like to attempt to be in movies."

What sort of trashy TV gigs has he been offered? "Celebrity Mole Hawaii," he moans, adding, "I was afraid that people would have to take their shirts off. I don't do anything where I have to take my shirt off." Sound judgement, Tom.

Arno read more


Oscar-nominated Unfaithful star Diane Lane is in talks to star opposite Bruce Willis in the big-screen mystery Me Again. The Mementoesque plot revolves around a man (Willis) who wakes up in a hotel sans memory but with a dead body in his room. That happened to me once, and trust me, it's no fun. read more


Live spitfire Kelly Ripa gave birth to her third child, son Joaquin Consuelos, on Monday in New York. The former All My Children star broke the news this morning when she called into Live with Regis & Kelly. "We are the proud parents of a healthy baby boy," she told Regis. "We can't wait to bring Joaquin home to meet all of our friends and family." Ripa and hubby Mark Consuelos also have a 5-year-old son, Michael, and a 1-year-old daughter, Lola. read more

WB Hottie Rides Again as Lone Ranger

"Heigh-ho, Silver, away!" Black mask or no, that hunky, blond cowboy in The Lone Ranger — airing tonight at 8 pm/ET — looks mighty familiar. That's 'cause it's Chad Michael Murray, 21, from Gilmore Girls and Dawson's Creek! We notice he's become quite a staple on the Frog network...

"They invited me into the [WB] family," Murray tells TV Guide Online. "In 2000, I tested for a pilot called Day One, and I didn't get it, but they felt like they could develop me over at the network, so they gave me a deal."

And a sweet deal at that. Murray's latest Lone gig has him headlining an update of the classic 1950s Western. The two-hour TV movie — which could turn into a series if it lassoes good ratings — tells the tale of a myste read more

Scoop: Gellar Quits Buffy!

The Chosen One has finally made her decision: Sarah Michelle Gellar will exit Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the end of the season, TV Guide Online has learned. Although UPN and 20th Century Fox declined to comment, sources confirm that the 25-year-old actress — whose Buffy contract expires in May — is leaving the cult-classic series to pursue her film career full time.

Talk of Gellar's probable Buffy departure has been gathering steam for months. Adding fuel to the fire: the recent announcement that the Scooby-Doo star will begin shooting the feature Romantic Comedy in August, around the time she would have been returning to work on a new season of Buffy. As one Gellar confidante puts it, "You do the read more


MSNBC has pulled the plug on Phil Donahue's low-rated talk show after six months on the air. His final show runs Friday night... NBC's Ed moves to Fridays at 9 pm/ET beginning March 21. Dateline NBC will take over the show's old Wednesday, 8 pm/ET time period. read more


Here's my two cents about American Idol's latest semifinalist round last night: Juanita Barber's little on-stage meltdown in front of the judges was disgraceful. "What About the Children," she asks? I took an informal poll this morning, and they thought you stunk too. Me? I voted for Ashley. I don't care if she can't carry a tune, the 17-year-old exhibited tremendous grace under pressure after being torn to shreds by Simon. read more

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