Today's News: Our Take


Liv Tyler Embraces Fandom?


When The Fellowship of the Ring was released last year, Liv Tyler found herself in the midst of a scandal that had nothing to do with her famous parentage or her love life: Tolkien purists were furious that the screen adaptation made ethereal elf princess Arwen stronger and more important than she was in the books.

"I didn't really know that [controversy] was happening at all until I looked at some of the websites," says Tyler, who concedes that, "we were taking risks with Arwen." But as the actress explains, Peter Jackson and Co. — who felt Arwen needed an energy boost — didn't have to go far to find justification for the character's image enhancement. "We went straight to the bible — the book — and really focused on the app read more

SCI FINE

It's official: Ratings for Sci Fi Channel's Steven Spielberg-produced miniseries Taken were out of this world. The alien abduction saga's 10-night, 20-hour run attracted an average 5 million viewers — making it the cable network's highest-rated program in history. read more

James Franco Consorts with Tramps!


Freaks and Geeks grad James Franco rose to bad-boy fame with his Golden Globe winning turn in the TNT biopic James Dean. Then, he was Peter Parker's wicked best friend in Spider-Man. Next up, he's playing a male prostitute in Sonny (opening Dec. 27). How's that for a spicy holiday treat?

Franco always spends plenty of time doing background research for his roles. So, while in New Orleans filming Sonny, he didn't shrink away from meeting some real members of the world's oldest profession. While he stays teasingly vague about where he found prostitutes, it sounds like he dropped in on some houses of ill repute, shall we say...

"In New Orleans," he says, "I'd go [out] nightly and there were all types. I'd go 'th read more

ANOTHER BLUE DEPARTURE?

NYPD Blue hottie Esai Morales has signed a deal with ABC to headline his own hourlong drama project, Variety reports. The actor's Blue contract is up after this season. read more

PREVENTIVE MEASURE

Kathleen Turner — who recently completed her Broadway run in The Graduate — checked back into a Pennsylvania rehab facility on Dec. 3 for treatment of a drinking problem. According to USA Today, the 48-year-old actress — who has been sober for more than a year — says she wants to continue the rehab process. read more

EXTINCT

As expected, ABC has canceled Dinotopia. The show ends its five-episode run on Dec. 26. read more

NO DEAL

Eminem's former Detroit crib — which had been put up for auction on eBay — has failed to find a buyer. After weeding out phony offers as high as $12 million, the owners discovered that no one met their $120,000 opening bid. read more

LADY CRUSADER

Former Picket Fences star Lauren Holly has sealed a deal with Lifetime Television to star in and produce the hourlong drama Libby Montana. Holly would play a TV producer-reporter who comes to the aid of women victimized by corporate greed. read more

STORK REPORT

Benjamin Bratt and his wife, actress-model Talisa Bratt, became the proud parents of a baby daughter, Sophia Rosalinda Bratt, on Dec. 6. This is the first child for the couple. read more

THE SAGA CONTINUES...

Liza Minnelli and David Gest have filed a $23 million breach-of-contract suit against VH1 over the termination of their planned reality series, the New York Post reports. The music channel pulled the plug on Liza & David earlier this fall before a single episode made it to air. Producers complained that Gest was difficult to work with. read more

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