Today's News: Our Take


RINGS LORDS OVER UK AWARDS

Fantasy flick The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was honored by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts on Sunday with the best film award, reports The Associated Press. In total, Rings took home five BAFTA awards, including one for best director, Peter Jackson. A Beautiful Mind star Russell Crowe took home the trophy for best actor, and actress kudos went to Judi Dench for her role in Iris. Supporting nods went to Jennifer Connelly for A Beautiful Mind and read more

SHORT CUTS

Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, is expecting her second child with her soccer-playing husband, David, reports The Associated Press. The couple have a two-year-old son and the new baby is due in September... Outspoken Texas Ranger pitcher John Rocker will be making his motion picture debut as a homicidal maniac. The Greenskeeper was filmed in October but doesn't have an official release date yet... According to Variety, the Game Show Network will be premiering a new version of the classic game show Press Your Luck, which was known for its catchphrase "Big bucks, no whammys." Starting April 15, the cable network will air Whammy! The All New Press Your Luck, to be hosted by E! personality Todd Newton. — Angel Cohn with Daniel R. Coleridge read more

WOP BAM BYE!

Flamboyant rock legend Little Richard — who gave us classic tunes like "Tutti Frutti" and "Good Golly Miss Molly" — is retiring from showbiz. "I just thank the Lord that he's given me an opportunity to receive [an NAACP] Image Award — and especially that I'm going to be retiring after this year," the 69-year-old tells tonight's Extra. "What better way than to get an award... from your people before you retire. It's a blessing and a lesson." read more

CIRCUS OF THE STARS

In addition to celeb watching, viewers of the upcoming 74th Academy Awards will get a special live performance by the avant-garde troupe Cirque du Soleil. On March 24, members from all five of the currently running Cirque productions will join together for the salute to the music composed by Benoît Jutras, with choreography by Debra Brown. read more

WILL HE OR WON'T HE?

Will Jerry Seinfeld ever appear on former co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus's new NBC comedy, Watching Ellie? "Um, I hadn't thought of it," she coyly tells TV Guide Online. Could that be her clever way of evading the question? "I'm not sure it was really that clever," she chuckles, adding: "I don't think that's something that interests him at all right now. My concern is getting this show up on its feet as it is... We'll see what happens down the road. All those guys — Jerry, Michael [Richards], Jason [Alexander] — they're my dear friends. So the fact of the matter is, if it feels right, it feels right." read more

BOX OFFICE QUEEN

Late pop-singer Aaliyah's vampire film, Queen of the Damned, had bloodthirsty audiences flocking to the theaters, grossing $15.2 million and taking home the top spot at the box office this weekend. Last week's No. 1 flick, Denzel Washington's hostage drama John Q, slipped to No. 2 with $12.5 million. Rounding out the top five: Kevin Costner's new supernatural thriller Dragonfly (No. 3 with $10.4 million), the Peter Pan sequel Return to Never Land (No. 4 with $9 million) and Britney Spears's Crossroads (No. 5 with $7.1 million). read more

THAT'S ALL FOLKS

Animator Chuck Jones, who helped bring to life the Warner Bros. characters Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, died at his home on Friday of congestive heart failure, reports Reuters. The 89-year-old produced, wrote and directed the holiday television staple How the Grinch Stole Christmas! as well as creating the duo of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. read more

Dreyfuss's Sex Education?


CBS's decision to lighten up Max Bickford is paying off: After a bumpy start, Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss's CBS drama The Education of Max Bickford (Sundays, 8 pm/ET) is enjoying a late ratings surge. Still, Dreyfuss thinks Max's image makeover remains incomplete, and suggests his history professor could use a crash course in Hanky Panky 101.

"I personally am hoping that [he goes] through a stage [where he has] a lot of shallow sex," the Oscar winner jokes to TV Guide Online. "Then maybe he'll settle down with a character... But I wouldn't want to skip the shallow sex part."

Could the erstwhile Mr. Holland be referring to ex-lover Andrea, played by fellow Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden? Perhaps, but he insists their renewed flirtation will remain just that read more

PRODUCT PLACEMENT

The March 20 episode of ABC's My Wife and Kids will feature references to Steven Spielberg's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial — two days before the film's 20th anniversary rerelease. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal struck a deal with ABC to incorporate the film into the sitcom's plot. read more

Holmes's Time Up at Creek?


Now that Keri Russell and the gang from Felicity are packing it in at the end of the season, critics are hoping those angst-ridden teens on Dawson's Creek will take the hint and call it a day as well. But if the show's stars have it their way — Katie Holmes in particular — Dawson's upcoming 100th episode (airing April 17, 8 pm/ET) will mark the first of many milestones to come.

"As long as we continue telling good stories and keep the level we want to achieve high, I want to do as many [episodes] as possible," Holmes confides to TV Guide Online. (Although the WB has yet to officially rule on Dawson's fate, insiders say the show is a shoo-in for renewal.)

Reflecting on the previous 100 episodes, Holmes adm read more

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