Today's News: Our Take


HERE COMES TROUBLE

Charmed star Alyssa Milano swoops into Spin City as Meg, the slutty daughter of the mayor (Barry Bostwick), on Feb. 28. Look for the minx to set her sights on — yeah, you guessed it — the already spoken-for Charlie (Charlie Sheen). read more

GO BILLY!

Jamie Bell — the teenage star of Billy Elliot — beat out Tom Hanks, Geoffrey Rush and Russell Crowe for the best actor statue at Sunday night's British Academy Film Awards, Britain's equivalent of the Oscars. Gladiator won Best Film and Ang Lee was named best director for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Julia Roberts picked up best actress honors for Erin Brockovich, and supporting acting kudos went to Julie Walters (Billy Elliot) and Benicio Del Toro (Traffic). read more

ALL MY CHARGES

All My Children actor Michael Nader was arrested Saturday night for allegedly selling a $20 bag of cocaine to an undercover police officer in a Manhattan nightclub. Shortly after his arrest, the 56-year-old actor — who also played Joan Collins's beau on Dynasty — was taken to the hospital for an undisclosed illness. In 1997, Nader was arrested when he got into a scuffle with police after they pulled him over for alleged drunken driving. read more

RAYMOND, WING TOP TV GUIDE AWARDS

Everybody Loves Raymond — and that includes 30 million readers of TV Guide. CBS's hit sitcom was the big winner at the 2001 TV Guide Awards — held Saturday night at the Shrine Expo Center in Los Angeles — picking up trophies for Comedy Series of the Year, Actor of the Year in a Comedy Series (Ray Romano) and Supporting Actress of the Year in a Comedy Series (Doris Roberts). NBC's The West Wing, meanwhile, was chosen Drama Series of the Year, and its Commander in Chief, Martin Sheen, was named Actor of the Year in a Drama Series. The Peacock also saw its Emmy-winning sitcom Will &#038 Grace walk off with trophies for Actress of the Year in a Comedy Series (Debra Messing) and Supporting Actor of the Year in a Comedy Series (Sean Hayes). Rounding out the list of winn read more

NOT SO FUNNY BONE

Hannibal ate up the box-office competition for the third straight weekend. The sequel to The Silence of the Lambs held its grip on the No. 1 spot, grossing another $15.8 million. (Its 18-day domestic total stands at $128.5 million.) The Chris Rock comedy Down to Earth and Disney's Recess: School's Out remained at No. 2 and No. 3, with respective second-week grosses of $11.6 million and $7.3 million. Two newcomers made lackluster debuts: The Kurt Russell/Kevin Costner flick 3000 Miles to Graceland bowed at No. 4 with $7.1 million and Brendan Fraser's live-action/animated comedy Monkeybone opened at No. 11 with $2.6 million. read more

CROWE BLASTS DIRECTOR

Russell Crowe fired back at his Proof of Life director Taylor Hackford, who last week blamed the film's anemic box office on Crowe's ill-fated and highly publicized romance with leading lady Meg Ryan. "I think Taylor is being impolite, impolitic and imbecilic by saying that," Crowe said. "I think you will see that the Proof of Life box office, when it's not such a family-oriented time as Christmas, will be much higher. What we know, personally, is that we put as much effort into the process as possible and are pleased with the outcome." read more

BILL MARS BABS' BIG NIGHT

Hollywood doesn't think much of ex-president Bill Clinton nowadays, if you go by what happened at the American Film Institute's tribute to Barbra Streisand Thursday night. Ironic laughter was heard during an old clip of Babs singing her classic love song, "Evergreen," to the then-newly elected president and First Lady Hillary Clinton. Giggles and comments grew even louder when a taped congratulatory message from Clinton was played. Streisand kept her cool throughout — but no word on whether the audience's rude reactions will hit the cutting room floor before Fox airs the show sometime this spring. read more

SHORT CUTS

NBC has ordered a sitcom pilot starring the Food Network's reigning chef Emeril Lagasse, USA Today reports... According to Britain's Sun, Winona Ryder will guest star in an upcoming episode of Friends and will share a "steamy on-screen kiss" with series regular Jennifer Aniston... Jodie Foster is producing and may star in the female western One Hundred Years On, Variety reports... Loews has raised the price of an adult movie ticket in Manhattan to $10... Oscar-winner Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry) has been cast opposite Al Pacino in the psychological thriller Insomnia, according to The Hollywood Reporter... Eminem and Elton John's live Grammy duet, "Stan," will be released as a single. — Michael Ausiello with Daniel R. Coleridge read more

The Truth About Scully's New "Rival"


As if an unexpected pregnancy and the loss of her longtime partner weren't enough for Scully (Gillian Anderson) to contend with this season on The X-Files, Sunday's introduction of sexy sleuth Monica Reyes (played by Annabeth Gish) may finally push the perpetually put-upon G-woman over the edge.

"There is tension in the beginning because I am sort of the new girl on the block," Gish tells TV Guide Online. "But my character makes it very clear that I'm of no threat. I'm not coming in to try and take over [Scully's] division."

So, why is she invading Scully's heavily-trod turf? An expert in ritualistic crimes, Gish's alter ego is summoned by Agent Doggett (Robert Patrick) to help solve a case tied to the disappearance of Mulder (David Duchovny). And while the 31-year-old actress reveals that Reyes and Doggett do indeed have an existing relationship, the nature of their bond remains a ques read more

The Wizard of Garland


Tammy Blanchard's performance as a young Judy Garland in the ABC miniseries Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (airing Sunday and Monday, 9-11 pm/ET) is being hailed by critics as the star turn of the year. "Blanchard is a revelation," cheers TV Guide critic Matt Roush. Time Out New York called the actress "nothing short of amazing." And Newsweek said that Blanchard made such a convincing Garland in The Wizard of Oz scenes that it was "positively spooky."

Yet despite all the props, Blanchard is not being inundated with film and TV scripts. In fact, even the object of all the adoration is beginning to wonder what's taking the folks in La La Land so gosh darn long. "I haven't gotten any offers yet," she groans in mock anguish. "Where are they? Hopefully, I'll get some."

Still, truth be told, the 24-year-old Bayonne, N.J., native is not exactly hard up for work. In mid-April, she begins shooting St read more

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