Today's News: Our Take


BAD DAY

The body count continues to climb on Fox's 24. On Tuesday's episode, the computer whiz played by Roseanne's Sara Gilbert flatlined following an explosion at CTU. read more

SHORT CUTS

Leonardo DiCaprio is in talks to reteam with What's Eating Gilbert Grape director Lasse Hallstrom in the A-bomb thriller Bombshell... Ethan Hawke will appear in a January episode of Alias playing an undercover CIA agent. read more

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Sick of Dick Clark? Look for American Idol's sunny Ryan Seacrest to host American Party, an alternative New Year's Eve countdown airing Dec. 31 on Fox. The special will ring in 2003 with celebrity musical acts and live coverage of the festivities on the Las Vegas Strip. read more

MIDSEASON MUST BE APPROACHING

Reality is sinking in for the WB on Thursday night. The Frog Network is benching sitcoms Family Affair and Do Over beginning Jan. 9 and replacing them with a second broadcast of its upcoming reality show High School Reunion, which will first air Sundays at 9 pm/ET starting Jan. 5. Also Thursdays, Surreal Life — the WB's Real World with F-list celebs — will premiere with a one-hour episode Jan. 9. The following week, it will air in its regular 9:30 pm/ET timeslot following Jamie Kennedy Experiment. Finally, to make room for High School Reunion on Sunday, Angel shifts to Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET in January. read more

IF YOU DO THE CRIME...

WWE wrestler "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has plead no contest to a charge of misdemeanor spousal battery. This past June, the 36-year-old grappler — who stands at 6-foot-2 and weighs 252 lbs. — allegedly struck wife Debra Williams in the head, back and legs at their San Antonio, Tex., home. Now, he'll pay a $1,000 fine and do one year of probation — this entails 80 hours of community service and a family-violence counseling course. Meanwhile, Austin says he and his ex-beauty queen wife are working on a reconciliation. read more

SYD LIVES!

Fate may be smiling on those Hansens yet again. NBC is having second thoughts about cancelling its feel-good Friday drama Providence, which is slated to end Dec. 20. Based on the show's promising Nielsens, Peacock entertainment president Jeff Zucker told the cast last week that he's thinking of ordering another 13 episodes next season. "I told them I would take another look in January," the exec tells the New York Daily News. "I did not cement the door shut." Speaking of reprieves, NBC — encouraged by high ratings for its Hunter: Return to Justice reunion pic — has reportedly ordered eight new episodes of the 1980s cop series. read more

YOU SAY TOMATO, I SAY SEQUEL

Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber are headed back to a theater near you. Artisan Entertainment is developing a follow-up to this fall's family-friendly Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie to be released in 2005. The sequel will be titled The Bob and Larry Movie. read more

FABIO REGRETS

Uh-oh, Fabio! The male model — who's also a PETA member — is embarrassed by fur-collared coats which appeared in a recent fashion showcase for his upcoming Sam's Club clothing line. A slightly exaggerated rumor had the coats — which haven't even arrived in stores yet — being yanked from Sam's shelves at Fabio's demand. "There's no flap," his manager, Eric Ashenberg, told Reuters. "Based on Fabio's feelings, the collection will have no fur." Everybody simmer down now. read more

AND THEY SAID IT WOULDN'T LAST

Nicolas Cage has filed for divorce from Lisa Marie Presley after less than four months of marriage. In a petition filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Cage cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. This was Presley's third marriage and Cage's second. read more

MODEL MARRIAGE ENDS

Hey boys, there's a newly single supermodel in town. Heidi Klum, 29 — who recently donned wings for the Victoria's Secret "Angel" campaign — is getting divorced, Access Hollywood reports. Klum and her husband, 45-year-old celebrity hairdresser Ric Pipino, say they've made a "mutual and amicable" decision to end their five-year marriage. Nah, he's just mad 'cause everyone thinks she's the pretty one. read more

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