Today's News: Our Take


WEEKEND RATINGS

CBS's Joan of Arcadia and ABC's Hope & Faith inched closer to official hit status in their second airings Friday night, while NBC's Miss Match looked more and more like an all-out misfire. Joan and Hope dipped slightly in Week Two, but nonetheless won their respective timeslots among adults 18-49. (BTW: My friend Jill called Friday's Hope & Faith "simply atrocious," and I'm inclined to take her word for it.) Miss Match, meanwhile, dropped 29 percent from its already disappointing premiere and finished third at 8 pm. (What did Alicia Silverstone do to deserve all this bad luck? It's not right people!) read more

SHORT CUTS

Billy Joel broke his wrist last week after falling at his home in Long Island... A musical version of Alice Walker's The Color Purple will make its Broadway debut in early 2005... Felicity grad Tangi Miller has joined CBS's The District in a recurring role as a district attorney. read more

Barbra Streisand: The Way She Is

Actress. Singer. Director. Writer. Recipient of Grammys, Emmys and Oscars galore. Barbra Streisand has had a remarkable 40-plus-year career that has been plagued by stage fright and, more recently, scathing movie reviews and a perception that she'd rather bash Bush than get out there and sing. But get ready — Babs is back. Her new CD, The Movie Album, hits stores Oct. 14 — the same day she bares her soul to Oprah (check listings). And she faces down James Lipton and his little blue index cards on Inside the Actors Studio, airing on Bravo in December. As these outtakes from her TV Guide interview show, it seems the 61-year-old megastar is finally mellowing — just a little.


TV Guide: This is your 60th album. Why did you decide to make it a CD of nothing but songs from movies?
Barbra Streisand: I've thought about it for a long time. My last two albums (The Esse read more

FAREWELL

William Steig, an illustrator for The New Yorker who also authored children's books including Shrek!, died of natural causes Friday night at his home in Boston. He was 95. read more

Tarzan So those clever apes apparently...

Tarzan
So those clever apes apparently taught Tarzan (Travis Fimmel) how to crash through a thick pane of glass without getting all cut up. (And, I guess,how to get a nice, close shave in the jungle, too.) Isn't he supposed to be just a really agile, regular guy? That's it. No powers, and not from Krypton. And there was so much quick-cut editing during the acrobatic fight scenes that it could have been a shirtless Dennis Franz in a dirty-blond wig and I wouldn't have been able to tell.

Trading Spaces: 100 Grand
A hundred-thousand bucks and perky Paige Davis can't get two outfits for two days? I mean, even Marge Simpson gets to change her green dress and red necklace if she and Homer go out for the evening.

Two Plymouth, Mass., couples got 50 times the normal $1,000 budget each for this two-hour extravaganza. But that goes fast when you spend, say, $1,800 on an ugly, 19th century starburst mirror. At read more

SEX SELLS

The truth about hookers is out there, and former X-Files scribes Glen Morgan and James Wong are gonna try to find it. The producing partners are developing an hourlong drama for Showtime that delves into the world of high-end prostitution. Morgan and Wong have also pacted with NBC to pen a pilot script for a 24-like heist drama titled Den of Thieves. read more

WHEN BRIDEZILLAS ATTACK

One of Fox's Bridezillas has gotten loose and is wreaking havoc again. New Yorker Julia Swinton-Williamson, whose nuptials were featured last season on the Fox reality special, is suing the show's producers for $136 million. She claims they lied to her about the concept of the show — but not, apparently, the title. (In her defense, Bridezilla is a rather misleading title. I thought it was a show about a giant killer bride who stomps people to death.) read more

THE LATEST

Famed Las Vegas magician Roy Horn, one half of the iconic Siegfried and Roy duo, remains in critical but stable condition after getting mauled by a white tiger during a performance Friday night. "The doctors are encouraged that he will recover," says Horn's spokesman, "but it will be several days until the full extent of his injury is known." Horn, who turned 59 Friday, is on a ventilator and is responding to voice and touch. The prognosis for the Siegfried and Roy show, meanwhile, looks grim. Officially, the long-running spectacle has shut down until Christmas. Unofficially, there's talk the tragedy may force it to close for good. read more

ROCK ON

Jack Black's well-reviewed comedy School of Rock got high marks at the weekend box office, debuting at No. 1 with $20.2 million. Denzel Washington's new film noir Out of Time also opened strongly, ranking No. 2 with $17 million. Rounding out the top five: The Rundown (No. 3 with $9.8 million), Under the Tuscan Sun (No. 4 with $7.9 million) and Secondhand Lions (No. 5 with $5.4 million). Bill Murray's Oscar shoo-in Lost in Translation, meanwhile, continued to find huge audiences in limited release. Sofia Coppola's little indie that could expanded to more theaters and grossed a solid $4.3 million for seventh place. read more

Gilmore Girls Becomes a Work of Art


Art imitates art this November on Gilmore Girls when the kooky residents of Stars Hollow decide to host their own version of the popular California-based Pageant of the Masters, in which living, breathing people re-create classic and contemporary paintings.

"It's going to be our big town thing this season," says exec producer Amy Sherman-Palladino, who jokes that she's prepared to make up for any budget overruns by holding "a big Gilmore Girls car wash. Me and the staff are going to go out and wash [&#252berproducer] John Wells's car to raise money for Episode 7."

Details of the special installment are still being finalized, but this much we know: Lorelai will bring to life a Renoir painting, while Kirk (Sean Gunn) takes on the daunting task of playing God. "He's going to be Jesus in the 'Last Supper,'" laughs Sherman-Palladino, "and he takes it very much to heart, to the point where maybe he and Judas aren' read more

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