Today's News: Our Take


The Sci Fi Channel is delaying the launch of Dan Aykroyd's late-night talk show because, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the show needs an overhaul. Dan Aykroyd's Out There was to have featured the funnyman as host of a roundtable discussion about the paranormal, but after several tapings, Sci Fi execs apparently didn't like what they saw. "It's not going to go as originally constructed," Sci Fi Channel president Bonnie Hammer said. "We're just trying to find out what's the right format." (Translation: One that doesn't stink.) read more


It's official: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz will reprise their roles as the ogre, the donkey and the princess in Shrek 2. According to reports, the trio could earn $5 million apiece for their voice work. The sequel is expected to hit theaters in 2004. read more


Children's writer Astrid Lindgren — best known as the creator of Pippi Longstocking — died Monday. She was 94... Robert Redford will join Sidney Poitier as a recipient of an honorary Academy Award at the March 24 Oscar ceremony... That's Life's Debi Mazar is pregnant with her first child, the New York Daily News reports. The daddy is Mazar's fiancé, Gabriel Corcos. — Michael Ausiello with Daniel R. Coleridge read more


CBS shut down production of The Ellen Show on Friday, Variety reports. Although Ellen DeGeneres's struggling comedy had received a full-season order of 22 episodes, the network opted to turn off the lights after the 18th installment was taped. The five remaining episodes will air in March and April. Despite the gloomy outlook, insiders say Ellen could still be renewed for a second season. (Translation: It's as good as cancelled.) read more


Black Hawk Down held on to the top spot at the weekend box office for the second consecutive week. The military drama grossed another $18.2 million; it has brought in $60.1 million since opening wide 10 days ago. At No. 2, Cuba Gooding Jr.'s family comedy Snow Dogs was in a virtual dead heat with Mandy Moore's critically forgotten teen weeper A Walk to Remember. Both pics grossed an estimated $13.6 million. Rounding out the top five: the new Richard Gere thriller The Mothman Prophecies (No. 4 with $11.8 million) and A Beautiful Mind ( read more


The title of the upcoming third Austin Powers pic, Austin Powers in Goldmember (due July 26), has been ruled inadmissible by the Motion Picture Association of America, following a protest by Bond producer MGM/UA. The studio claimed the title was an unauthorized parody of the 1964 007 flick Goldfinger. Until the issue is resolved, New Line will refer to the film as "the third installment of Austin Powers." read more


Jerry Seinfeld is coming out with a children's book based on one of his comedy routines. According to USA Today, Halloween (due Sept. 1) — which will feature a little Jerry character — was inspired by the comic's riff about the two C's of Halloween: candy and costumes. Although Seinfeld won't be doing the book's illustrations, he reportedly has been — and will be — very involved in the project. (Translation: He'll cash the checks.) read more


Talk show host Rosie O'Donnell comes clean about those pesky gay rumors in her upcoming memoir, Find Me (due April 23), according to the New York Daily News. "She talks about her relationships with women and having a girl breaking her heart in college and other relationships with women," a source tells the News. Adds another: "She comes out, [and] she's very matter-of-fact about it." O'Donnell's rep would only say that the tome is "a personal journey." There's talk that O'Donnell — who will quit her talk show in May — might turn Find Me into a one-woman Broadway show. read more


Philly leading lady Kim Delaney was arrested Saturday night in Malibu, Calif., on suspicion of drunk driving. The 40-year-old Emmy winner (for NYPD Blue) was confronted by police outside her home after the sheriff's department received a call from a motorist who noticed another motorist driving erratically in the Malibu area. Delaney — who refused to take a blood alcohol test — was taken to the Malibu sheriff's station and booked on suspicion of driving under the influence. She promised to appear at a March 27 court hearing in Malibu and was released at 1 am/PT on Sunday. read more

Anne Heche's "Gift of Trauma"

Post-Ellen DeGeneres — and the dazed and confused episode that followed their break-up — Anne Heche was hard at work on the film John Q (opening Feb. 15). The actress calls playing a tough hospital administrator opposite co-star Denzel Washington a relief from her woes. "Doing the movie was a real celebration for me in the transition of my life," she declares. "After you get the gift of trauma, you're able to open up to many things. I was closing a chapter of pain and crossing into joy."

Now married to cameraman Coley Laffoon, Heche expects their baby next month. Though she reportedly knows the baby's sex — and even has a name in mind — read more

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