Today's News: Our Take


IT WAS A MOUTHFUL

Friends star Courteney Cox Arquette has decided to go back to being just plain ol' Courteney Cox — in some situations. But don't worry: She's not on the outs with hubby David Arquette. The actress tells InStyle that she reclaimed her maiden name out of respect to her father, Richard Cox, who died of cancer last year. read more

SHORT CUTS

CBS edged out NBC for November sweeps bragging rights among total viewers. NBC, meanwhile, was tops in adults 18-49, with ABC pulling ahead of CBS for No. 2 in the demo... Shania Twain's new Up! CD captured the top spot on the album charts last week, selling 875,000 copies... Vivica A. Fox has signed on to headline a Foxy Brown-esque cop series for USA Network... Charles Dupuis, a pioneering Belgian publisher best known for bringing the Smurfs to the U.S., died on Nov. 14 in Brussels. He was 84. read more

UNLIKELY LOVE TRIANGLE

Keanu Reeves has joined the cast of an as-yet-untitled romantic comedy starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. Reeves will play a young doctor who battles Nicholson for Keaton's heart. read more

ICE, ICE BABY

Ice Age racked up some cool cash during its first week on DVD and VHS. Since hitting stores Tuesday, the animated comedy has generated $115 million in sales. An estimated 7 million copies were sold this weekend alone. read more

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Discovery is getting with the times. According to Variety, the cable network — a joint venture between Discovery Networks and the New York Times Co. — has been rechristened Discovery Times Channel. read more

CONGRATS!

Rosie O'Donnell finally enjoyed some good news over the weekend: The former talk show host's girlfriend, Kelli Carpenter, gave birth to a baby girl Friday at an undisclosed New York hospital. The couple named the new arrival Vivienne Rose O'Donnell — Vivienne after the main character in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Rose after O'Donnell's late mother, Roseanne. read more

FOR LOVE OR MONEY

Would Helene have stuck by her Bachelor prince Aaron had she found out he was actually a pauper? That's the basic question posed on Joe Millionaire, an upcoming Fox reality show in which 20 single gals try to win the affection of a handsome millionaire — only to later discover that the guy is actually a construction worker with an annual income of $19,000. "In a way, we're ripping the mask off the people [who sign up for shows like The Bachelor]," Fox exec Mike Darnell tells Variety. "We find out whether they're really doing this for love." The show debuts Jan. 6 at 9 pm/ET following Boston Public. read more

MAGIC TRICK

Harry Potter made James Bond's No. 1 box office ranking disappear over the weekend. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets reclaimed the top spot, grossing $32.2 million to Die Another Day's $31 million from Friday to Sunday. However, 007 ruled over the full Thanksgiving holiday (Wednesday-Sunday), taking in $46.3 million to Chamber's $45.8 million. The Santa Clause 2 placed third with $12.3 million, followed by Disney's new animated sci-fi tale Treasure Planet (No. 4 with $11.9 million) and Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights (No. 5 with $10 million). Finally, George Clooney's naked butt didn't prove much of a dra read more

MUSIC KUDOS

Simon & Garfunkel, Etta James and Johnny Mathis have been selected to receive lifetime achievement awards at the Grammys on Feb. 23. Tito Puente and Glenn Miller will receive posthumous honors. read more

WACKY WEDDING

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne — who celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary on July 4 — will renew their wedding vows this New Year's Eve in a Beverly Hills ceremony. "It will be one New Year's we will never forget," she tells People. In related news, the second season premiere of MTV's The Osbournes attracted a so-so 6.64 million viewers Tuesday night. During the height of Osbournes mania earlier this year, the show was pulling in nearly 8 million viewers. Still, Tuesday's episode ranked as cable's top draw. read more

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