Today's News: Our Take


HEIGH-HO, SILVER!

The makers of Gladiator have struck a deal with Columbia Pictures to produce The Lone Ranger, Variety reports. Think 1998's The Mask of Zorro, but with cowboys and Indians in the Old West. Word is, Tonto — the hero's Indian scout sidekick — may even be reimagined as a fetching female! (Hmm... perhaps The Time Machine beauty Samantha Mumba would consider donning another loincloth?) read more

Oscar Dreams of Monsters


This month, Monsters, Inc. vies for an Oscar in a brand new category — best animated feature. No one's more thrilled by that than John Lasseter, head of the creative department at Pixar, the company that made Toy Story and A Bug's Life.

"I'm very excited that we have our own category," Lasseter tells TV Guide Online. "With animated features in the past, [the best] you have been able to hope for was nominations in maybe the music category, for song and score."

Sully and Mike will face tough competition on Oscar night, when they go up against Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Shrek. Lasseter looks forward to it. "I'm very proud of the fact that all of the nominees read more

THE NEXT SIX FEET UNDER?

HBO has ordered seven episodes of the drama pilot Baseball Wives. The series — which could debut as early as January 2003 — revolves around the wives of a group of Major League Baseball stars as they struggle to keep their relationships intact. Speaking of Six Feet Under, the show's second-season premiere Sunday attracted 6.2 million viewers, up from last season's average. read more

DISCHARGED?

ER's Ming-Na has been tapped to play the female lead in an as-yet-untitled interracial-couple comedy pilot for ABC, Variety reports. If the show gets picked up, the actress will exit ER. It makes you wonder: Why is everyone so anxious to leave NBC's top-rated drama? Hmm... read more

BAD NEWS PASADENA FANS

Former China Beach Emmy winner Dana Delany — last seen in the Fox sudser Pasadena (which is currently "on-hiatus") — has been cast as a pediatric doctor in the upcoming CBS drama series Presidio Med. Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live grad Cheri Oteri has joined the cast of ABC's comedy pilot With You in Spirit playing a weather girl at a small-town TV station. (In the meantime, fans can get a Cheri fix Monday when the funny lady guest stars on the premiere episode of NBC's The Colin Quinn Show.) read more

SHORT CUTS

On Tuesday's edition of MTV's Total Request Live, singer-actress-mom-to-be Brandy revealed that the baby she is expecting in July is a girl... Sean "P. Diddy" Combs signed off on a child support settlement Tuesday with model Kim Porter, the mother of his three-year-old son. — Michael Ausiello read more

WHERE WAS MELFI?

Edward James Olmos has filed for divorce from his wife, Sopranos shrink Lorraine Bracco. According to court papers, the couple — who wed in 1994 — have been separated since 1997. read more

MIXED MESSAGES

Just as ABC was denying talk that it is planning to dump This Week vets Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts as part of a radical overhaul of the Sunday morning news program, Roberts confirmed that come November, she's history. The venerable journalist, however, is not leaving the network altogether. Says Roberts: "We've started very preliminary conversations about what other role I might play at ABC." Meanwhile, Donaldson was quoted as describing the current situation at ABC News as "chaos, dark night and the abyss." read more

CRIME PAYS

Buoyed by a record audience for CSI, CBS won the ratings race for the week ending March 3. Nearly 29 million viewers watched last Thursday's CSI, more than Must-See staples Friends and ER. read more

THE STORY THAT WON'T DIE

Aussie spitfire Russell Crowe — who lost his beautiful mind when a TV producer cut his reading of a poem at last month's British Academy Film Awards — was peeved all over again when the verse was excised from the broadcast in his native Australia. According to The Sun, Crowe was assured that his acceptance speech would not be edited again. Would someone please air this thing already?!?! read more

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