Today's News: Our Take


INTERNAL POLITICS

Former Ally McBeal actor Gil Bellows is checking out of CBS's The Agency. Bellows's field officer character — who was shot in the season finale — was reportedly a casualty of the show's shift in focus from the CIA's field operations to the politics between the agency and Washington. Meanwhile, USA Today reports that co-star Gloria Reuben (ER) may be next on the chopping block. read more

SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN

A suicidal gunman stormed into CBS's Los Angeles headquarters late Tuesday, keeping police at bay for more than four hours before shooting himself in the chest. The unidentified 31-year-old man reportedly drove his pickup truck through a barrier at the complex — home to such shows as The Price Is Right and The Young and the Restless. He remains hospitalized in critical condition. No one else was hurt. read more

SHORT CUTS

Mildred Wirt Benson, the original author of the Nancy Drew mystery series, died Tuesday at the age of 96... FX is developing a two-hour movie about the life of American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh... Former NYPD Blue star and CNN Headline News anchor Andrea Thompson is returning to television as host of Court TV's retooled Saturday-night block dubbed Follow Your Intuition, Broadcasting & Cable reports. read more

THE PLAY'S THE THING

Actor couple Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins have agreed to star in an Irish production of The Guys, a play based on the Sept. 11 attacks, at Dublin's Peacock Theater in late August. The drama — currently playing in New York — is being made into a feature film starring Sigourney Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia. read more

BASS, RUSSIA NOT 'N SYNC

Despite a report that 'N Sync's Lance Bass qualified as physically fit for a seat aboard a Russian rocket flight to the International Space Station, a rep for the Russian Aerospace Agency insists that it has had "no contacts whatsoever with Mr. Bass. We have received no requests from either him or his representatives." What's more, the agency claims that no other wannabe cosmonaut has landed a seat yet on the spacecraft, which is set to blast off in October. read more

Emmy Whacks The Sopranos


The absence of The Sopranos from this year's Emmy derby extends to members of the voting Academy an offer they can't refuse: Look harder to find new nominees... or else!

Since Emmy rules state that only programs airing between June 2001 and May 2002 are eligible, HBO's mob hit — which saw its fourth season delayed until September — is out of the running. And if you go by the show's 2001 haul, a whopping 22 drama slots suddenly are up for grabs. (Ballots are mailed the week of June 3; nominations are announced July 18.)

"It'll force the Academy to cast a wider net," offers Cynthia Littleton of The Hollywood Reporter. Adds John Wells, producer of NBC's ER, The West Wing and Third Watch read more

SHORT CUTS

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer married British film producer Matthew Vaughn Saturday in England... Steven Spielberg received an honorary doctorate degree from Yale University on Monday. read more

EARLIER SHOW

Eminem fans got a major *#@%&#@ surprise over the weekend. The controversial rapper's new, widely bootlegged CD, The Eminem Show — scheduled to be released today — arrived in stores on Sunday instead. "We saw no reason to have fans waiting until Tuesday in this particular case," said a rep for record label Interscope. In related news, more than two dozen people suffered mostly minor injuries in a mosh pit stampede Saturday night while the real Slim Shady performed at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. read more

NOT SO WILD ABOUT HARRY

Filmmaker Chris Columbus will not direct Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third film in the franchise. Columbus — who helmed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and the upcoming Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets — reportedly is tired of living in England, where the films are shot. According to Variety, Warner Bros. is eyeing Alfonso Cuarón, the director of the sexually-charged indie hit Y Tu Mamá También, to replace him. If you've seen Mamá, you know what an odd choice that is. read more

Beam Me Up, "Parker Lewis"!


Looks like Parker Lewis still can't lose. First, Corin Nemec, who played the title wisenheimer on Fox's colorful 1990-93 kidcom, was made a regular on Stargate SG-1 just in time for the space-travel series's June 7 sixth-season premiere (and Sci Fi Channel debut). Then, earlier this month, he also went and got hitched to his high school sweetheart, Jami, with whom he has an eight-year-old daughter.

"[My bride] probably wouldn't want me to say how we met," he tells TV Guide Online, then spills the beans anyway. "She came with a friend of mine to a party for my ex-girlfriend [when we were teenagers]. I was actually there to get back together with my ex-girlfriend until she walked in.

"I'm so glad," he adds needlessly, "that it worked out the way it did."

Even before the wedding (which capped the couple's second engagement to one another), the boyishly handsome 30-y read more

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