Today's News: Our Take


The producer behind Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is developing a two-hour live special for the WB in which contestants will have a shot at winning $1 billion, Variety reports. The Pepsi-sponsored contest — slated to air at the start of the new fall season in September — is being described as a real-life Willy Wonka. read more


MC Hammer's Surreal Life gamble has paid off: The WB has signed the rapper-turned-reality star to headline a family sitcom based on his life... In a sudden and surprising move, Reese Witherspoon's hubby Ryan Phillippe fired his agents and managers on Friday. No reason was given, but we suspect he finally got around to seeing his 1995 TV movie Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare. read more


Eminem plans only one U.S. concert this year, on July 12 in his native Detroit. Missy Elliott and 50 Cent will open the show. In related news, two of the rapper's favorite singers, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera, will embark on a 45-city tour together beginning June 4. More details are to come. read more


The nominations for the 2002 Razzie Awards — which single out the worst in cinema — were announced today, and Madonna and Britney Spears have reason to be ashamed. The two wannabe thesps are up for worst actress of the year for their respective roles in Swept Away and Crossroads. Those films were also nominated for worst picture, as were Eddie Murphy's $85 million misfire The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Roberto Benigni's dismal remake of Pinocchio and, last but least, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. (Madonna also got a supporting actress nod for her ca read more


Ben Curtis, the 22-year-old actor best known for pitching Dell computers, was arrested Sunday night in Manhattan on a marijuana possession charge, Court TV's reports. Curtis is currently being held in Central Booking and is scheduled to be arraigned later today. read more


Star Wars guru George Lucas broke ground Sunday on a $300 million special effects campus near San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. The compound will house the digital arts division of Lucasfilm Ltd. "I think this will begin to put a stake in the ground for San Francisco as a filmmaking community, as a creator of world cinema," he said. The 850,000-square-foot project is scheduled for completion in 2005. read more


Christopher Reeve's acting career is taking off again. In addition to his Feb. 25 guest stint on Smallville, the erstwhile Superman has signed on to play a man paralyzed in a car accident on an upcoming episode of ABC's The Practice. read more

MacGyver: Rebirth of a Legend

Most every wannabe action figure in L.A. would kill for the chance to pick up where Richard Dean Anderson left off with MacGyver, ABC's inventive late-'80s adventure series. But how many of them would be willing to die for the opportunity? The WB, which is developing a rejiggered version to focus on Mac's twentysomething nephew Clay, may be about to find out. As auditions get underway, supervising producer and writer Samuel Baum tells TV Guide Online, "We chain each actor individually to a leaky nuclear reactor, furnish them with a paper clip and a fruit cup, and see if they're able to overcome the life-threatening obstacles. Whoever lives, we're going to offer the role to." Which fearless thespians stand a chance of surviving? Here are a few names that we think belong on the short list.

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Meet 24's New Bad Girl!

Poor Laura Harris. It seems the 24 star was the last to discover that her character, spoiled rich brat Marie Warner, was actually a cold-blooded terrorist. "I found out [the week] before we shot it," she tells TV Guide Online, adding that she suspected something was up when "crew members on the set started calling me evil. I was like, 'Why are they saying that?' And then it became clear, and I was like, 'Oh, they do actually like me! It's okay.'"

Viewers learned of the shocking plot twist at the climax of Episode 11 on Jan. 15, when Harris's alter ego shot and killed her fianc&#233 Reza (Phillip Rhys). Was it just us, or did the 26-year-old look mighty comfortable clutching a firearm? "I did gun training to be able to shoot with confidence," she says. "It's really difficult to point a gun at someone's head, I have to say read more

Joe Millionaire's Unhappy Ending

Joe Millionaire butler Paul Hogan would sooner serve white wine with steak than reveal which of Evan Marriott's wannabe wives winds up wearing the noufaux riche construction worker's engagement ring. But he will disclose who didn't see any action at all during the taping of the Fox smash: him!

"Fancy being at a French chateau for [a month] with 20 women and not being slipped a single number!" he exclaims to TV Guide Online in mock humiliation. (In the interest of full disclosure, it must be noted that Hogan did attract at least one admirer. "Paul is very charming," admits Melissa Jo "MoJo" Hunter. "If he was a little bit younger, we could have had a whole other show!")

Truth be told, the distinguished major-domo wasn't terribly broken up that he didn't land a lass of his own. "It would have been nice, I suppose, but my old man always told me, 'Never get your meat where you buy your bread,'" he says, chuc read more

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