Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

Frida, the biopic of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo starring Salma Hayek, will open the 59th Venice Film Festival on Aug. 29... Anjelica Huston will star opposite Hilary Swank in Iron Jawed Angels, an HBO original movie about legendary feminist Alice Paul... The WB has ordered six episodes of the hour-long drama The Black Sash for midseason. Russell Wong stars as a cop who opens a martial arts school. read more

WOMEN ROARS INTO THEATERS

HBO Films will release Sundance Film Festival winner Real Women Have Curves in theaters on Oct. 18. The flick tells the story of a young Mexican-American woman struggling to strike a balance between her mainstream ambitions and her cultural heritage. read more

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?

The Big Apple will help kick off the 2002 NFL season with a massive Times Square bash that is being dubbed the "world's largest tailgate party." Bon Jovi will headline the Sept. 5 event, which takes place just hours before the New York Giants take on the San Francisco 49ers across the Hudson in New Jersey. Mayor Michael Bloomberg hopes the party will provide a boost to businesses struggling since the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Admission is free, but if you're driving in, parking will cost you an arm and a leg. Consider yourself warned. read more

HEAVEN CAN'T WAIT

Moonlighting creator Glenn Gordon Caron is developing a new hour-long series for ABC titled Meant to Be. "It's a romantic comedy set in the afterlife," he tells Variety. Meanwhile, China Beach creator John Sacret Young is working on a new ABC drama titled B.O.S.S., about a group of female vice cops. Both shows are slated to premiere in fall 2003. read more

WHAT, NO TOM GREEN?

Actors Elizabeth Taylor, James Earl Jones and Chita Rivera, as well as musicians Paul McCartney and James Levine have been named recipients of the 25th annual Kennedy Center awards. They will be honored at a Dec. 8 White House gala. read more

REALITY RULES

Buoyed by repeats of CSI, Everybody Loves Raymond and Becker, CBS won the ratings race last week among total viewers. But reality programming continues to be the summer success story: NBC's Dog Eat Dog and Meet My Folks, Fox's American Idol and CBS's Big Brother 3 all finished in the top 10. In the category of viewers 18-49, Meet My Folks and American Idol tied for No. 1. read more

SNAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL

Snake Plissken, the anti-hero of Escape From New York and Escape From L.A. played by Kurt Russell, is mounting a multimedia comeback this spring in the form of a comic book series and a new animated feature film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Russell will lend his voice to the pic, which is being targeted for release in 2004. A special edition DVD of Escape from New York also is in the works. read more

CRUSHING ON DREW

Finally, a reason to start watching The Drew Carey Show again: Ex-Titus leading lady Cynthia Watros is joining the cast of the fading ABC sitcom this fall, playing an old high school crush of Drew's. read more

AS RIPA'S WORLD TURNS

Kelly Ripa is setting the record straight about rumors she's leaving All My Children. On this morning's Live with Regis and Kelly, the actress-turned-talk-show host denied that she plans to exit the soap when her contract expires later this year. Instead, she wants to work out a deal where she can appear on AMC as her busy schedule permits. read more

Michael Chiklis Vs. The Shield Boycotters


Hey, Michael Chiklis! You've just earned an Emmy nomination — as outstanding lead actor in a drama — for playing badass cop Vic Mackey on FX's The Shield. What'll you do now? Thumb your nose at advertisers who succumbed to pressure to boycott the hit show's sexy, violent content? Well, maybe just a little...

"I think [Shield's nominations] are just an affirmation and a vindication for us," Chiklis tells TV Guide Online. "This is in keeping with what we've said all along about this controversy, which is that quality is always defensible.

"I don't know if I would call it an 'f--- you,'" he adds diplomatically, "because it is a serious matter that [boycotters] are talking about, which is the effect of TV programming on children. I happen to be a parent. However, I think a lot of the read more

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