Today's News: Our Take


SHAMELESS PLUG

There were some tense moments behind the scenes of last night's Law & Order: Criminal Intent finale. Brat Packer Andrew McCarthy — who was originally slated to guest-star on Sunday's season-ender — was fired and replaced after getting into a nasty argument with leading man Vincent D'Onofrio. You can read all the juicy details in the TV News column in the current issue of TV Guide magazine, on newsstands now! read more

WEDDED DISS?

Jennifer Lopez has been beset by more Wedding drama. The twice-divorced Lopez is being sued for $25 million by her Wedding Planner director, who alleges the singer-actress cut him out of a remake of Carmen that she's developing. Adam Shankman claims that he pitched J.Lo the idea of a Carmen update while they were filming Wedding Planner. read more

THE DREAM ENDS

Les Miserables ended its historic, 16-year run on Broadway Sunday night with a final VIP-only performance. I debated all weekend whether to attend, but ultimately realized I lacked two Les Miz essentials: No-Doz and an invitation. read more

FATHER KNOWS BEST

Roseanne's John Goodman is returning to the small screen as the lead voice in NBC's Shrek-like CGI-animated series Father of the Pride, which is slated to debut in fall 2004. According to Variety, Goodman will play Larry, the hard-working papa lion at the center of the show. His "wife" will be voiced by Curb Your Enthusiasm's hysterical Cheryl Hines. read more

IN A LATHER

As the World Turns, General Hospital and comedian Wayne Brady were the big winners at Friday night's Daytime Emmy awards. ATWT was named best soap, while GH picked up statues for best actor (finally, Maurice Benard), best supporting actress (Vanessa Marcil) and best writing team. Brady, who emceed the three-hour ceremony, scored a major upset by snagging the outstanding talk-show host trophy over heavily favored Dr. Phil. Brady's variety hour also won for best talk show, tying with ABC's The View. For complete coverage, click here. read more

AND THE FINAL ROSE WENT TO...

Andrew Firestone chose endearing underdog Jen over not-so-endearing frontrunner Kirsten on last night's Bachelor finale. Kirsten's ouster should serve as a lesson for reality singletons everywhere: Don't go on a dating show if you already have a boyfriend. It's not going to go over too well. read more

MATRIX MANIA

The Matrix Reloaded was big — but not as big as Spider-Man. The mega-sequel grossed $93.3 million over the weekend, about $20 million shy of Spidey's $114.7 million debut haul last year. (I blame that endless Zion dance montage.) Still, Reloaded shattered its share of records, including best opening for an R-rated film in history and best four-day tally ever ($135.8 million). Eddie Murphy's Daddy Day Care proved a viable comedy alternative, holding steady at No. 2 with $19.2 million. The new Ewan McGregor-Renée Zellweger '60s spoof Down With Love, meanwhile, had the lo read more

SENIOR MOMENT?

Cybill Shepherd committed a major faux pas on the Today show this morning. While discussing her role in tonight's Martha Stewart telepic (9-11 pm/ET on NBC), the Moonlighting grad couldn't seem to recall who authored Martha Inc. — the book on which the telepic was based! (Shepherd has said the tell-all was an invaluable resource in understanding Martha). "Is it Christopher Byron or Byron Christopher?" Katie Couric quizzed Shepherd, who replied: "I don't know." D'oh! read more

Meet This American Dreamboat


When Will Estes stood us up for our interview last week, we were ready to write him off as just another Hollywood hunk who's more concerned with his little black book than his day planner. But after finally connecting with the 24-year-old former child star — and accepting his profuse apologies — we had to do some editing on our story. Turns out, the L.A. native is perfectly cast as American Dreams's J.J. Pryor, the endearingly earnest Vietnam-era teenager at the heart of this week's season finale (airing on NBC Sunday at 8 pm/ET). Read on, and see if you don't agree.

TV Guide Online: So, Will, how much does it suck to be you? I mean, American Dreams just got renewed, but in tomorrow's episode, your character enlists in the Marines! You've got to be worried about job security 24-7!
Will Estes:
(Laughing) Exactly. [Executive producer Jonathan Prince] has a way to kill off all of us, I think. The dad could have a heart at read more

Mad TV's Stephnie: Weir and Wonderful

If there is a funnier woman on the tube than Mad TV star Stephnie Weir, we haven't seen her (and trust us — we watch everything!). In three years, the skitcom scene-stealer has built up a dazzling repertoire of freaks and geeks that can break your heart even as they make you bust a gut. So couch potatoes who don't yet know that her shtick's a treat should — no, must — make it a priority to catch the season finale Saturday at 11 pm/ET on Fox. At the very least, her dead-on Anna Nicole Smith impression will spare you the horror of checking out the merry widow's actual E! reality series. In the meantime, you can give yourself the giggles by listening in as TV Guide Online tries to interview the soft-spoken Texan without begging her to talk like harebrained towhead Dot or master thespian Dorothy Lanier.

TV Guide Online: Stephnie, you crack me the hell up. Where did you get your wacky sense of humor? Were you dropped on your hea read more

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