Today's News: Our Take

Ally Falls for X-Men Mutant

Further proof that movie stars in search of quality roles are turning to TV in increasing numbers: James Marsden — who played visor-wearing mutant Cyclops in the box-office smash X-Men — joins the cast of Fox's Ally McBeal on Oct. 29 when the show kicks off its fifth season.

For his part, Marsden sees little difference between the two mediums. "I've always been a big fan of good work, and I don't think it needs to be separated by television and film," he tells TV Guide Online. "And [Ally creator] David E. Kelley was [someone] that I've always really wanted to work with, because as an actor, you want good dialogue... it helps you shine.

"I still have every intention of maintaining a film career as well," adds the 28- read more

Drew Barrymore: A Real Trooper

Drew Barrymore can't seem to catch a break when it comes to promoting her latest film, the Penny Marshall-directed dramedy Riding in Cars with Boys (opening tomorrow). First, she had to face the media at the film's Oct. 7 press junket mere minutes after news broke that American-led military action had commenced in Afghanistan. And days later, in the midst of rehearsals for Saturday Night Live at NBC's Rockefeller Center headquarters, the actress learned that anthrax had been detected in the building. (The assistant to the network's top newsman, Tom Brokaw, tested positive for the skin form of the disease.)

The 26-year-old Charlie's Angels star joked about her run of bad luck d read more

Voyage Maiden: "What a Jerk I Am!"

Following the events of Sept. 11, the last thing that any American wanted from TV was more reality. So God bless Fox: In Toni Ferrari, the volatile vixen of its "see-worthy" dating game, Love Cruise: The Maiden Voyage, the network gave us anything but. Why, the S.S. Mandalay scarcely had left the dock before the 27-year-old fitness trainer revealed a personality that seemed as artificially enhanced as her figure. She turned on the waterworks each time a contestant — even her archenemies — got banished to Loser Island, and erupted into tirades against her fellow phonies with such abandon that her eyes bulged. And although she herself failed to rock the boat and sail away with the prize in Tuesday's season finale, she'll always be a winner in our book. Her outsized histrionics made us laugh at a time when that was exactly what we needed.
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Baywatch Reunion Goes Belly-Up

David Hasselhoff's planned Baywatch reunion movie is in desperate need of CPR. Scheduled to begin filming this week in Hawaii, the Fox TV pic — tentatively titled Baywatch Blast — has been pushed back to spring, if it happens at all, TV Guide Online has learned. The reason? Well, that all depends on who you ask.

A Fox spokesperson says the events of Sept. 11 caused the delay. "The special deals the production company had with the airlines and the hotels couldn't be fulfilled because of what happened," the rep explains. "And [some] castmembers felt uneasy being out of the continental United States at this time."

However, a source tells TV Guide Online that many actors refused to sign on the dotted line after they learned that Hasselhoff — the franchise's executive producer and star — offered "favored nations" contracts to some of Baywatch's more popular alums. "There were three payment read more

Ladies' Night on Ed

This summer, when Justin Long reported back to work as Warren Cheswick, the adorably awkward everyteen of NBC's quirky sophomore sleeper, Ed, he had no idea what to expect. However, he knew exactly what he wanted from the new season (now underway Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET): girls, girls and more girls!

"I would like for Warren to get a girlfriend," the 23-year-old insists to TV Guide Online, "but it's so much fun toying with that very adolescent trait of just sheer indecisiveness and confusion. Were he to settle down, I think it would really just screw around with his dynamic.

"So," he concludes, "maybe even more girls should enter the picture."

Unfortunately, by the time Ed wound up its first season, Warren's dance card was already pretty full. Though he had gotten over his crush on teacher Carol, he had bungled his romance w read more

Smallville's Lex: Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

Before Michael Rosenbaum was handed the role of a twentysomething Lex Luthor on the WB's new Superman saga Smallville (premiering tonight at 9 pm/ET), producers issued him a stern ultimatum. "They pretty much said, 'If you want to be Lex, you've got to shave your head,'" the chrome-domed actor tells TV Guide Online. "I tried on a bald cap, but I looked like a conehead. So I said, 'Alright. Let's be a man about it. Let's shave it.'"

Truth be told, Rosenbaum — who previously worked for the WB as a star of the short-lived comedy Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane — would have gotten his bikini line waxed if the plum part called for it. "It took about a week for it to settle in," recalls the 29-year-old New York native of his first days playing one of pop culture's most famous bad guys. "I was on the s read more

Soap Star Sighting on Mulholland Drive

Up until now, Laura Elena Harring was best known for her short-lived role as policewoman Paula on NBC's defunct soap opera Sunset Beach. But this lady's luck is starting to change, thanks to director David Lynch.

The onetime Miss U.S.A. 1985 — who is of Mexican, German and Austrian descent — says her beauty queen cred and slight accent made it tough to land acting gigs until Lynch cast her in Mulholland Drive opposite Naomi Watts and Justin Theroux. "When I started in Hollywood," she admits, "I couldn't get any appointments... Nobody thought that I would be able to act because I wore this crown."

While waiting for her big break, Harring was forced to "open up and read more

Question: What other TV shows ...

Question: What other TV shows did Gene Roddenberry create before Star Trek? Thanks. — Dennis, Pine Bush, NY

Televisionary: Before launching the phenomenon that is Star Trek, Roddenberry created only one network series, The Lieutenant, which ran on NBC for a year beginning in September 1963. The show was set at Camp Pendleton and it focused on a wet-behind-the-ears Marine Corps officer, Bill Rice (Gary Lockwood), his commanding officer (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s Robert Vaughn), an array of other military types and the many women in Bill's swingin' civilian life.

Before that, Roddenberry racked up an impressive r&#233sum&#233 writing for such shows as Highway Patrol; read more

Depp: To Hell and Back

What was the first thing Johnny Depp thought about after the Sept. 11 tragedy? His year-old daughter, Lily-Rose Melody. "You turn away from the TV set and look at your child and imagine what the families of the victims must be feeling, the loss they're dealing with," the actor tells TV Guide Online. "I think about the future of my baby and all our children. What's growing up going to be like for them? What kind of life will they have facing a war with such an uncertain end? The entire world has changed and it will never be the same again."

Depp admits his own universe was drastically altered in May 1999, when Lily-Rose was born. "When I look at my daughter, it's like having a fog lifted from in front of my eyes that was there for 35 years," he says of his only child with French actress Vanessa Paradis. "For the first time, y read more

Question: Who was the girl ...

Question: Who was the girl who played Ms. Parker on The Pretender? Thanks. — Pete

Televisionary: That's an actress named, appropriately enough, Andrea Parker playing Centre operative Ms. Parker, Pete. And if you believe the show's press materials, the character was named before she was cast. Before you caught her on The Pretender, you might also have seen her both in bit parts and recurring roles on such shows as ER, JAG, Seinfeld, Coach, Married... with Children or Ellen.

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