Today's News: Our Take


HE'S THE MAN

Spider-Man mania swept the country once again over the weekend as consumers purchased 7 million copies of the film on DVD and VHS on Friday — its first day of release. That shatters the previous record set by Disney's Monsters, Inc., which sold 5 million copies during its first day in stores in September. read more

BIG DEAL

NBC has agreed to purchase the Bravo cable network from Cablevision for $1.25 billion. The Peacock Network plans to develop NBC/Bravo crossover projects, including reality shows, new series and specials. "There are a lot of people out there producing independent work that we can't put on our network right now because it doesn't fit with the programming or there's not room in the schedule," says NBC's chief executive Bob Wright. "A lot of that work could be done for Bravo. I think it's a great place to work with new talent, concepts and ideas." read more

CLOSER TO A VERDICT

The defense in the Winona Ryder shoplifting trial is expected to rest today, and the jury could begin deliberations within hours afterward. On Friday, a defense witness testified that a Saks security guard said he was making up evidence to "nail" the actress. read more

GET THE BLEEP BUTTON RECHARGED

The 2003 American Music Awards is shaping up to be one %$@#ing unpredictable event. ABC has recruited the Osbournes to host the live Jan. 13 telecast, which will take place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Sounds like a good day for the network's censors to call in sick. read more

PEACOCK STUFF

Billy Baldwin apparently isn't holding out for that Sliver sequel. The actor has been tapped to headline an hour-long ABC family drama pilot titled The Rackets, based on Thomas Kelly's novel about New York City politics. Filmmaker Sydney Pollack is among the show's producers. read more

POTTER PREMIERE

Late actor Richard Harris was remembered at Sunday's London premiere of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. "He would have liked to have been here tonight," Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) told The Associated Press. "He liked a good party. We did some very emotional scenes together. It is very hard." Harris — who died late last month of Hodgkin's disease — played Professor Albus Dumbledore. Chamber of Secrets opens stateside on Nov. 15. read more

DIVERSE GROUP

Wrestler-turned-Scorpion King The Rock, Green Mile actor Michael Clark Duncan and Josie and the Pussycats star Rosario Dawson were among the honorees at Sunday's 10th annual Diversity Awards. Lifetime was honored with the Diverse Network Programming trophy. read more

LUCKY SPICE

A plot to kidnap former Spice Girl Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham was foiled over the weekend by Scotland Yard. Nine people were arrested in connection with the scheme, which was exposed by undercover reporters working for the British tabloid News of the World. The kidnappers were planning to seek a $7.7 million ransom. "I'm in absolute and total shock," Beckham told the paper. read more

Is Buffy's Loss Angel's Gain?


Word that Buffy the Vampire Slayer may get a stake in the heart at the end of the season could turn out to be good news for sister series Angel. Joss Whedon — the creator/exec producer of both shows — tells TV Guide Online that if Buffy ends its seven-year run in the spring, it's "very possible" some of the show's MVPs could make a permanent jump to Angel.

"I think it would be cool," says Whedon. "It's sort of exciting, because you have this universe and all these people and all of their juxtapositions. It's interesting — to me anyway. But until I know what's happening with Buffyand Angel — I don't know who will go where."

The mere fact that Whedon's even looking ahead to a fifth season of Angel is rather remarkable in and of itself, consi read more

Meet 30 Seconds to Fame's Talentless Host


Those who can, do; those who can't, try out for TV talent contests; and those who really can't, well, they host TV talent contests. Just ask Craig J. Jackson, the master of ceremonies on Fox's frenetic freakfest 30 Seconds to Fame (returning tonight at 8 pm/ET). Surrounded by jugglers, contortionists, fire eaters and classically trained musicians, he's constantly reminded what few tricks he has up his sleeve.

"I give good hugs and I can do the running man backwards, but that's about it," Jackson tells TV Guide Online. "If I set myself on fire then I just might win! That's pretty much why I'm hosting the show, because I don't have any talent."

Truth be told, Jackson — who began his career with Lisa Ling, Serena Altschul and Anderson Cooper on the teen-oriented Channel One News — is a jack of one particular trade: hiding his real opinion of the third-rate comedians and ukulele players who grace 30 Secon read more

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