Today's News: Our Take


THE DOCTOR'S OUT

NBC has quite an emergency on its hands. Anthony Edwards — who has played ER's Dr. Mark Greene since the show's 1994 premiere — will hang up his scrubs at the end of next season when his contract expires, The Associated Press reports. "I think that will be it," he said. "It's been eight years of my family working around my schedule. It's been a long time playing Dr. Greene." read more

DENNEHY GETS FIGHTING CHANCE

Golden Globe winner Brian Dennehy will star as the father of three grown sons in the NBC midseason replacement sitcom The Fighting Fitzgeralds. The series will debut Tuesday nights at 8 pm/ET beginning March 6, temporarily replacing 3rd Rock From the Sun. In other Peacock news, the network — which already announced plans to extend Friends to 40 minutes in February to battle Survivor: The Australian Outback — is also planning 40-minute episodes of Will & Grace and Just Shoot Me on Feb. 22. What's more, on Feb. 15, NBC will fill the 20 minutes following Friends with outtakes from the sitcom and actor interviews conducted by Conan O'Brien. read more

MORE MILLER TIME

Don't put away those dictionaries just yet. Dennis Miller will return for a second season of ABC's Monday Night Football, producer Don Ohlmeyer confirmed to Variety. "Miller ended up being the voice of the fan," Ohlmeyer said. "When [Al] Michaels said one of the players had minor groin surgery, Miller responded with, 'There's no such thing as minor groin surgery.' Miller was saying what every male viewer watching the telecast was thinking." read more

LIZ'S GLOBES GOOF

Elizabeth Taylor's publicist says Golden Globe producers did not adequately prepare his client to announce the final award of the night — best movie drama. During Sunday's ceremony, a disoriented Taylor nearly revealed the winner before listing the nominees, forcing producer Dick Clark to appear on-stage to talk her through it. "They didn't ask for a rehearsal for her," her rep, Warren Cowan, told USA Today. "They said they'd fill her in beforehand, but they really didn't in my opinion." read more

SOUP'S ON FOR NEWCOMER

E! Entertainment Television has finally found a new ham to helm Talk Soup. Actress-comedian Aisha Tyler has been named the show's permanent talking head effective Friday, Variety reports. Tyler is the first woman and first African-American to host the network's signature series. Since the exit of Queer as Folk's Hal Sparks early last year, Talk Soup has relied on guest hosts to fill the vacant chair. read more

WHAT TOOK SO LONG?

The wife of Robert Downey Jr. has filed for divorce from the problem-plagued thesp six years after they initially separated. Deborah Falconer cited irreconcilable differences as the cause of the split and is seeking custody of their 7-year-old son, Indio. Meanwhile, Downey — who is due back in court Monday to face drug charges stemming from his Thanksgiving weekend arrest — reportedly has signed on to do another 11 episodes of Ally McBeal. He picked up a Golden Globe Sunday night for his guest-starring work on the Fox dramedy. read more

SHORT CUTS

Rosie O'Donnell will once again host Nickelodeon's 14th annual Kids' Choice Awards, which air April 21 on the cable network... Bedazzled, Cast Away, The Cell, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Shadow of the Vampire are the five films competing for the best makeup Oscar... Britney Spears and Mary J. Blige will also perform at Sunday's Super Bowl half-time show... The Directors Guild of America announced its nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film for 2000, and Steven Soderbergh received nods for his work on Erin Brockovich and Traffic. He'll compete with Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous), Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Ridley Scott (Gladiator). — Michael Ausiello read more

JUST EXONERATE ME

David Spade's former personal assistant pleaded innocent Tuesday to charges of attacking the Just Shoot Me actor with a stun-gun. Still, David "Skippy" Malloy — who was allegedly trying to rob Spade's Beverly Hills pad when the Nov. 29 incident occurred — was ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from his former boss and undergo a psychiatric evaluation. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 15. read more

When Billy Elliot Met Pretty Woman


Young Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell was the main attraction at DreamWorks's post-Golden-Globe fete, held Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton's Polynesian-themed eatery Trader Vics. Gladiator hunk Russell Crowe approached the up-and-comer and, as Bell confided to TV Guide Online, the two "had a good ol' chat. He's just telling me how [the whole awards thing] works."

The advice could come in handy if Bell earns an Oscar nod, as some predict he might. Already sounding like an old pro, he jokingly discounted the hype. "We don't believe it," he laughed. "It's all a lot of hot air."

The star of the evening — Julia Roberts — made it her personal mission to hunt down Bell. "I have an almost 10-year-old niece who said 'Oh my God! He's gonna be there? Can I come?,' Roberts explained to TV Guide Online. "I'll just say hello and I'll tell her tomorrow that I shook his hand."

Well, the Golden Globe-winning Erin Brockovich a read more

Partying InStyle


As expected, the InStyle/Warner Bros. post-Golden Globe party at the Beverly Hilton was the place to be Sunday night. Of course, you didn't have to tell that to the star-studded guests, who included nominees John Cusack, Frankie Muniz and Sarah Michelle Gellar (on the arm of beau Freddie Prinze Jr.), as well as best actor in a comedy film winner George Clooney. Also spotted in the crowd: John Leguizamo, Phil Collins, Mimi Rogers, Craig Kilborn (with Ling Bai), Eriq La Salle, Keanu Reeves, Sigourney Weaver, James Woods, Hugh Grant, Chad Lowe and Hilary Swank, Camryn Manheim, David Allen Grier, Jane Seymour (with her Miss Golden Globe daughter Katie Flynn), Kirsten Dunst, Hugh Hefner (with an armful of Playmates, natch) and Brad Rowe.

While some celebs took time to chat with the press stationed outsid read more

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