Today's News: Our Take


CHURCH POLITICS

While in Germany last week promoting Vanilla Sky, Church of Scientology follower Tom Cruise met with U.S. ambassador Dan Coats and lobbied to improve the Church's status in that country — where it is not officially recognized. Germany believes Scientology masquerades as a religion to make money, and some Scientologists are even barred from government jobs. Incidentally, Coats later attended a screening of stink bomb Vanilla Sky — which certainly couldn't have helped Cruise's cause. read more

THE COMPETITION IS OUT THERE

Fox really needs David Duchovny now: CBS will air the two-hour finale of its upcoming Survivor: Marquesas on Sunday, May 19 — likely pitting it against Fox's series finale for The X-Files. Why move the climax from the show's traditional Thursday night slot? One theory: CBS wants to maximize its May sweeps performance by cramming in as many Survivor hours as possible. (Network execs, however, deny that was the reason.) Meanwhile, CBS will launch the second edition of The Amazing Race on Monday, March 11 at 10 pm/ET. It will then move to its regular Wednesday 9 pm timeslot. read more

Creek Creator: Gone to Glory


Although many critics think the WB should send Dawson's Creek to a watery grave, creator Kevin Williamson isn't quite so fatalistic. Of course, having long since departed the teen soap to focus on other projects, the auteur's not so gung-ho about it either.

"I haven't watched it in a couple of years," he admits to TV Guide Online. "However, I did catch the two-hour episode where Dawson's father [John Wesley Shipp] died. I loved it and I sobbed. I went in the office the next morning and wrote everybody letters to say I thought it was fabulous and wonderful."

"But no, I don't really catch it," Williamson shrugs. "Now that I have TiVo, I might watch it more."

Having left behind James read more

WRITER'S CRAMP

How's this for scary: Horror master Stephen King told the Los Angeles Times that he plans to quit writing books because he's already starting to "recycle stuff." Of course, this so-called retirement doesn't kick in until after he completes work on five more books and a limited series for ABC. In related news, the second part of Stephen King's Rose Red held up well in the ratings Monday night, attracting 18.7 million viewers. The third and final installment airs Thursday. read more

SUPER! MORE W&#038G!

NBC is super-sizing its sitcoms again. The Feb. 7 Will & Grace featuring guest star Matt Damon will run four extra minutes. Earlier that week on Tuesday, a special Scrubs will run 38 minutes. Just promise us: No super-sized Three Sisters. read more

LL Cool J: Size Matters


It's rare that a big deal is made over a movie poster, but if you've seen the one-sheets for John McTiernan's Rollerball remake (in theaters Feb. 8), then, like us, you must have asked yourself, "Is that a baseball bat in LL Cool J's pocket or is he just happy to see co-star Rebecca Romijn-Stamos?" Sheesh! You'd have to be blind not to notice that there's something larger-than-life skating behind the zipper of the actor-musician's leather pants.

So, what's the deal? Is it a missile? A zucchini? A submarine? "We took a picture and did nothing to it," an unnamed MGM exec insists to TV Guide On read more

ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE

HBO is developing a new reality series that will chronicle one person's quest to become President of the United States. Candidate 2012 is being produced by American High's R.J. Cutler — who will soon launch a nationwide search for a candidate. read more

SHORT CUTS

CBS will premiere AFP: American Fighter Pilots on Friday, March 29, where it will replace the on-hiatus Ellen Show and the axed Danny... Spike Lee will direct Edward Norton in a big-screen adaptation of David Benioff's novel The 25th Hour, about the final day of freedom for a young man before he begins serving a seven-year jail term, according to The Hollywood Reporter... Former Thieves badass Melissa George has been cast as the lead in the drama pilot Lost in Oz, the WB's new take on The Wizard of Oz. read more

THIS HAS TO HURT

For the first time ever, Fox News Channel has beaten cable news rival CNN in the ratings. During the month of January, Fox finished ahead of CNN in primetime and total-day ratings. Maybe it's time those Paula Zahn zipper ads made a comeback... read more

END QUOTE

"I'd love to have a daughter." — Meg Ryan, who has a nine-year-old son with ex-hubby Dennis Quaid, on her desire to have more kids in an interview with Reader's Digest. — Michael Ausiello read more

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