Today's News: Our Take


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A certain boy wizard proved no match for the world's greatest super agent. Die Another Day, the 20th James Bond film, debuted atop the box office over the weekend with $47 million — the best Bond opening in history. That bumped last week's champ, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, to No. 2 with $42.4 million. Harry's 10-day total stands at $148.5 million. Rounding out the top five: Friday After Next (No. 3 with $13.1 million), The Santa Clause 2 (No. 4 with $10.3 million) and 8 Mile (No. 5 with $8.7 million). read more

Ice Cube: Image Isn't Everything


Eminem isn't the first hip-hopper to make the jump from controversial upstart to mainstream icon by doing movies. Nowadays, Ice Cube is your typical Hollywood hyphenate — you know, actor/producer/director. We barely remember when he was known only as a member of N.W.A., the gangsta rap group that caught flack from the FBI (among many others) for songs like "F--- tha Police!" His kinder, gentler roles in Barbershop and the Friday trilogy — Friday After Next opens today — are a marked change from his tough guy persona. As Cube tells TV Guide Online, this is purely a professional transition.

"I'm not worried about image," he insists. "Rap music is a different thing from acting. It's ego-driven. There's a lot read more

Seven Silly Questions for George Gray

Remember when tart-tongued quizmistress Anne Robinson was the hottest thing on TV, and everyone was going around cracking, "You are the weakest link — goodbye"? Well, those days are long gone, thankfully. But the fast-paced game show still lives on in syndication, where it airs five times a week with emcee George Gray. And while the onetime host of TLC's Junkyard Wars may not be as sassy as his flame-haired counterpart, he's just as quick with the one-liner — as he proved when we confronted him with seven rather silly questions.

TV Guide Online: What ever happened to Mrs. Robinson?
George Gray:
Actually, we broke up. She calls me now and again, but I had to put out a restraining order. It's all very painful.

TVGO: Do you resent the fact that you can't wear her black dominatrix outfits?
Gray:
Who says I don't. Oh, you mean on the show.

read more

Survivor Hunk's X-Rated Admission


Turns out, Brian Heidik didn't do such a bang-up job keeping his soft-core porn past a secret from his fellow Survivor: Thailand contestants after all. "I kind of figured it out while I was there," admits ousted tribemate Ken Stafford, who got the big blow-off on last Thursday's show. "I had a conversation with Brian, and he knew people that I also knew — and there would be no other reason why he would know these people."

Sadly, Stafford won't reveal what "friends" he and Heidik have in common — Shannon Tweed, possibly? — but the 30-year-old NYC cop does confess that he "wasn't surprised" to learn that his reality show rival starred in such cable classics as Virgins of Sherwood Forest and The Pleasure Zone. "He's an adult," adds Stafford. "He can do what he chooses to do. If he doesn't have a problem with it, nobody else should."

Actually, Stafford says it was the potential for a Survivor-style backl read more

Kevin Spacey Gets Down With Hef!


This week, Kevin Spacey hosted a swanky soiree at the Mondrian Hotel's Sky Bar on L.A.'s Sunset Strip. This was just one of a series of launch parties for Triggerstreet.com, his new website "dedicated to nurturing, development and possible discovery of filmmaking talent," said the American Beauty star. "We're doing New York, L.A., London and Miami. Ian Schrager has generously offered his hotels for each event, so we're able to have a party where Party Boy can come."

Well, Party Boy thanks Kevin for his thoughtfulness — and for inviting so many handsome celebs for me to mix with! Truth be told, few of Spacey's guests actually knew what his dot-com was for, but nobody minded the excuse to mingle with screen idols like Matt Dillon, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Luke Wilson. A potpourri of other familiar faces like Cedric the Entertainer, magician David Copperfield and Northern Ex read more

HE WON'T GO AWAY

ABC may've axed Politically Incorrect emcee Bill Maher, but he won't be unemployed for long. HBO has hired the loudmouth to host a new hourlong late night program, showcasing his wry take on current affairs. The 20-episode series — as yet untitled — debuts Feb. 21, 2003. Does anybody have a problem with that? read more

Nicole Kidman: Making a Date with Oscar?


The 2003 Oscar race gathered steam last Thursday evening when a couple hundred select New Yorkers were treated to a special advance screening of The Hours, Paramount's highly-touted big-screen adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore. The majority of the post-show buzz focused on Kidman, whose stunning transformation into homely British writer Virginia Woolf left the standing room only crowd utterly speechless — save for the words, "And the Oscar should go to... "

Believe it or not read more

IT'S ABOUT TIME!

It took the better part of a decade, but Hollywood has finally realized that acerbic funny lady Janeane Garofalo is a sitcom star waiting to be born. The comedian has signed a deal with ABC to develop and star in a comedy set at a prestigious TV newsmagazine. Slice o' Life — which will feature Garofalo as a thirtysomething New Yorker who produces the program's hokey pieces — is being co-created by ex-Murphy Brown producer Bill Diamond. read more

SNOOP THE SNITCH

Rapper-turned-actor Snoop Dogg has been offered the role of jive-talking hustler Huggy Bear in the upcoming big-screen version of the 1970s TV series Starsky and Hutch, Variety reports. The film stars Ben Stiller (Starsky) and Owen Wilson (Hutch). read more

Did Buffy Shoot the Birds?


Time to lick that heroine addiction, folks. Not only is Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar expected to hang up her wooden stakes at the end of this season, but, since the WB has grounded Birds of Prey, tonight's episode (airing at 9 ET) very well may be the comic-book drama's last. But don't chalk up the disheartening turn of events as a victory for small-screen big bads. What cooked Birds' goose was more likely the been here, done this vibe that viewers got from watching Ashley Scott — as Helena Kyle, aka the Huntress — go through the motions that once made Buffy our Chosen One. Consider the facts. — Ben Katner

THE SLAYER

Battle strategy: Trades one-liners as well as blows with Sunnydale's creatures of the night.

Subtitute parent: Leaned on her Watcher, ex-high school libraria read more

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