Today's News: Our Take


THE AUTEUR IS OUT THERE

Former X-Files alien hunter David Duchovny will make his feature writing/directing debut with House of D, which is described as a fable about New York and the sweeping power of friendship. Duchovny will co-star in the pic alongside wife Tea Leoni and Robin Williams. Meanwhile, Duchovny's X-Files leading lady Gillian Anderson has nabbed the lead in the big-screen thriller My Scorpion Soul, co-starring Peter O' Toole. read more

OPRAH GOES EAST

Oprah Winfrey relaunched her Book Club Wednesday by selecting John Steinbeck's "juicy" 1952 classic East of Eden. It's already risen to No. 2 on Amazon's bestseller list, right behind the new Harry Potter book. For you movie buffs, James Dean starred in the 1955 movie version of Eden, about two rival brothers in love with the same girl. Oh yeah, and their long-lost mama is a saloon tramp! read more

POOR JESS

The WB's troubled Gilmore Girls spinoff centered around Milo Ventimiglia's brooding character, Jess, has been killed by the network. The drama was slated to debut at midseason, but Variety reports that the show — set entirely on location in Venice, Calif. — would have been too costly to produce. But as faithful readers of my TV News column in TV Guide magazine know, there may be more to this story. Stay tuned... read more

EX-VEEP DOES TV

The media world is buzzing with talk of former Vice President Al Gore's plans to start a liberal cable news channel. Apparently hoping to help Democrats counter conservative voices in TV and radio, he's been meeting with possible financial backers, according to Time.com. No word on what role Gore — who's opted against running for president in 2004 — would play in such a venture. read more

POTTER SUIT

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is sending a strong message to the world: Don't mess with her boy wizard. Rowling and publishing giant Scholastic have slapped the New York Daily News with a $100 million lawsuit for prematurely publishing excerpts from her latest Potter book Order of the Phoenix. In related news, Rowling tells NBC's Katie Couric that she sobbed uncontrollably when she made the decision to kill off a major character in the hotly-anticipated fifth novel, which arrives in stores midnight Friday. "It was awful to write," she says. "It was absolutely awful." But then she checked her savings account balance online and felt a whole lot better. read more

SHORT CUTS

Bravo is close to ordering six episodes of Significant Others, an improv comedy series featuring actors posing as couples in therapy, according to The Hollywood Reporter... Former Presidio Med doc Sasha Alexander has been cast opposite Mark Harmon in CBS's upcoming JAG spinoff Navy CIS. read more

LEGAL BRIEF

Apparently, David E. Kelley's basic instincts were telling him to introduce some major starpower onto The Practice next season. Sharon Stone is reportedly in talks to join ABC's retooled legal drama in the fall for three or four episodes, with the possibility for more. Stone's casting — as well as James Spader's earlier this month — represent the first steps at restaffing the long-running series. Last month, seven regulars, including Dylan McDermott, were axed for creative and economic reasons. So, either Stone is working for scale, or Kelley greatly exaggerated The Practice's budget woes. Either way, Lara Flynn Boyle is probably livid read more

Soul Kudos for James Brown

Everybody knows the Godfather of Soul. Since the 1950s, he has released more than 80 albums, had 17 No. 1 R&#038B hits and been honored more times than Gandhi. At the 3rd Annual BET Awards (airing June 24 at 9 pm/ET), he'll add another feather to his cap: BET's Lifetime Achievement award. So what's James Brown, now 70, doing talking to a misguided reporter who just loves him for singing "Living in America" in Rocky IV? We're still trying to figure that one out.


TV Guide Online: Mr. Brown, if you're the Godfather of Soul, who are your godchildren?
Brown:
(Laughs) Well, first I've got to name Hammer. I'm sorry he quit. I wish he'd come back. And you gotta get a word from Prince and read more

SILENT NO MORE

Simon and Garfunkel may reunite this fall for a national arena tour, Billboard reports. The duo — who gave a rare performance at the Grammys in February — last toured together in 1994. read more

Harrison Ford: King of Comedy?


"Hilarious" is probably not the first adjective that springs to mind when one thinks of Harrison Ford. "Heroic," yes, "cool," almost definitely, but "hilarious"? A look back at his past credits, though, reveals that this action icon is no stranger to comedy — a fact he's more than happy to emphasize.

"I have done comedies from the very beginning of my career," Ford says. "I've always considered the Indiana Jones movies to be comedies. In Star Wars, I had a comedic role to play. And then I've done a lot of romantic comedies, like Sabrina and Six Days, Seven Nights, which by their nature are somewhat less funny than this movie is."

"This movie" is read more

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