Today's News: Our Take


Matt Damon has signed on to star in The Informant: A True Story for Warned Bros. The spy pic will be directed by Steven Soderbergh, reports Variety... Once and Again prodigy Evan Rachel Wood has been cast in Ron Howard's The Missing... ABC News reporter Sam Donaldson is in talks to host a prime-time talk show for MSNBC. This could spell trouble for Phil Donahue... John Ritter will host the TV Land Awards in March, recognizing shows that have withstood the test of time. read more


ABC's new late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live is headed for detox. Live, which premiered on Super Bowl Sunday, got off to a rocky start after alcohol was served to the audience and guests to loosen them up. As viewers watched George Clooney pouring drinks and rapper Snoop Dogg making obscene gestures, a drunken audience member vomited in her seat! "We were not comfortable with the systems in place for serving wine and beer," an ABC spokesman said. Daniel Kellison, the show's executive producer, didn't argue with the decision. "They just said, 'Let's chill out on it and take it away for now,' and we said, 'Fine. We have bigger fish to fry.'" For more on Kimmel's midnight madness, click here. read more


Model Christie Brinkley says she's worried for the safety of her daughter Alexa Ray, 17, following Billy Joel's weekend car crash. Alexa's pop plowed his Mercedes-Benz into a tree Saturday night while driving alone in Sag Harbor, N.Y. "The seat Alexa was sitting in only hours before this latest crash was completely destroyed," Brinkley said after she snapped photos of the wreckage. There's speculation that Brinkley will ask a court to stop Joel from driving with Alexa present. read more


David E. Kelley is fuming over ABC's decision to move Sunday-night staple The Practice to Mondays at 9 pm. "They've killed it with one fell swoop," the creator told Variety, adding that the cast felt "tremendously betrayed." The Practice, which was winning its old 10 pm timeslot, was moved to accommodate the highly anticipated Dragnet update. read more


As if Evan Marriot's underwear modeling photos weren't saucy enough, one of the Joe Millionaire hunk's three remaining ladies-in-waiting has outspiced him! It seems Sarah — who disappeared into the woods with Evan on Monday night's episode and, um, "slurped" him — has starred in kinky bondage and foot-fetish films. According to, she's appeared as "Cindy Schubert" in such movies as Dirty Soled Dolls, Novices in Knots, Hogtied, and Helpless Heroines. Yikes! This reality gal makes Survivor: Thailand winner (and ex-porn star) Brian Heidik look downright boring. read more


Bruce Springsteen, Faith Hill, Norah Jones, Nelly and Coldplay are among the first artists agreeing to perform at the Feb. 23 Grammy Awards. More names will be announced in coming weeks. read more


Time's almost up, Academy Award voters: The deadline to submit completed Oscar nomination ballots to PricewaterhouseCoopers is 5 pm today. Nominations will be announced Feb. 11. read more


ABC got mixed results from Super Bowl Sunday. Although the game itself averaged more than 88 million viewers — making it the most-watched Super Bowl in five years — only 17 million of those fans stuck around for Alias afterwards. That's one of the lowest ratings ever for a post-Super Bowl showcase. The network's spin? "Despite having the latest start in history for a post-Super Bowl entertainment program, [Alias] hit its highest ratings ever — more than doubling its average audience among young adults and increasing its total viewer delivery by over 8 million viewers." Stop, I'm dizzy! read more

Idol Host Feuding with Kathy Griffin?

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest is setting the record straight about his so-called feud with self-proclaimed D-list comedian Kathy Griffin. The rivalry was allegedly sparked at last month's American Music Awards, when Seacrest — in an unscripted bit — opened Griffin's blouse while the duo presented the Fans' Choice Award. Not missing a beat, Griffin retaliated by implying Seacrest was gay.

Although Griffin kept her composure while at the dais, the Celebrity Mole contestant apparently lost her cool later on backstage. "Ryan Seacrest physically assaulted me," she told AP Radio. "Follow me to the precinct, he's going down! Look, maybe I did walk up the freaking stairs like Shania. But Ryan Seacrest took my top off! That would never happen to Shania."

Seacrest's response? "It was an unscripted presentation of an awa read more

Queen Latifah's Next Move

For those who miss the early, funny Steve Martin, you'll get to see that "wild and crazy guy" onscreen again when Bringing Down the House hits theaters March 7. At least, that's what co-star Queen Latifah thinks. "This is Steve Martin at his best to me," she tells TV Guide Online. "It's funny and edgy. It's like The Jerk!"

In the film, Martin plays a straight-laced attorney whose workaholic ways have driven away his wife (Jean Smart) and two children. Newly single, he meets a woman over the Internet and invites her to his house for a romantic dinner. When he opens the door, however, he discovers his dream date is actually an escaped convict — played by Latifah, of course! — who wants his legal services. In return, she gives him lessons in c read more

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