Today's News: Our Take


Speaking of the XFL, Gov. Jesse Ventura — the league's lead analyst — responded to talk that NBC may put the struggling World Wrestling Federation offshoot out of its misery if ratings don't improve. "If they choose to cancel it, that's their call," he said Tuesday during an interview on Minnesota Public Radio. "The players gave their hearts. I gave mine and all the broadcasters, we're doing the best job we can do and that's all you can do." read more


The filmmaker who won the $2,500 high-definition TV set for delivering the shortest Oscar acceptance speech is giving the prize away. Michael Dudok de Wit — who picked up an Academy Award Sunday for best animated short (Father and Daughter) — tells TV Guide Online that he's donating the television to an unnamed children's charity in Los Angeles. "It just felt right," he admits. "I just won an Oscar for my short film — I can't be happier than that. So I'm delighted that someone can make use of the television." read more


This could just be CBS's hype machine in overdrive, but the network says that this week's episode of Survivor: The Australian Outback — back in its normal Thursday timeslot — features "a shocking twist will have people talking the next day." Also, in its weekly Survivor e-mail, CBS teases that the universally loathed Jerri will once again make waves and two tribe members will win a day of "great food and snorkeling" in a reward challenge. Meanwhile, according to The Associated Press, Australia's defense minister is demanding an inquiry into why the Royal Australian Air Force spent hundreds of thousands of dollars flying Survivor II contestants to a remote forest during the show's first episode. read more


Look out Dubya, the Brady's are coming! A third Brady Bunch movie is in the works that revolves around patriarch Mike Brady's run for president, Variety reports. However, unlike the first two Brady pics, The Brady Bunch in the White House will air as a TV movie on Fox. Gary Cole and Shelley Long are being courted to reprise their roles as Mike and Carol Brady in the film, which reportedly will have the same irreverent tone as 1995's The Brady Bunch Movie and its 1996 follow-up, A Very Brady Sequel. read more


Talk about an ironic twist: Ellen Fein, 43 — who with co-author Sherrie Schneider wrote The Rules, an infamous primer for manipulating men into marriage — is getting divorced. Worse yet, Fein's 15-year union with pharmacist Paul Feingertz, 41, is dissolving only three months before publication of The Rules III: Time-Tested Secrets for Making Your Marriage Work. Fein's publisher, AOL Time Warner, is expected to include a notation in the book's introduction mentioning the author's split. read more


With the XFL in the mix, ratings feathers remain ruffled at NBC, with the Peacock network slipping to fourth place overall last week in both total viewers and adults for the first time this season. Although ABC came out on top due to Sunday's historically low-rated Academy Awards telecast, Survivor-fueled CBS and Fox posted gains compared to this time last year. And while UPN and the WB were in a virtual dead-heat, ratings-starved UPN dipped by a considerable 961,000 viewers from last year. read more


Barbra Streisand is in negotiations with VH1 to get her husband, James Brolin, some work. According to the New York Post, the superstar is talking to the cable network about producing a weekly series in which Brolin would play a music-industry mogul modeled after Clive Davis and Walter Yetnikoff. "I'm going to be executive producer," Streisand told Added Brolin: "We're in a third and final rewrite of a pilot, and then we wait for approval." read more


In an effort to promote literacy, Michael Jackson has launched the Michael Jackson International Book Club. On Sunday, the pop star and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (author of Kosher Sex) handed out free books in Newark, N.J... Director Jonathan Mostow (Breakdown, U-571) is in talks to helm Terminator 3, Variety reports... ABC's three-hour TV version of South Pacific starring Glenn Close and Harry Connick Jr. was a ratings hit last night, helping the network to notch a rare Monday win. — Michael Ausiello with Daniel R. Coleridge read more

Who Won Oscar's Gown Derby?

This year's Oscar outfits were really "haute stuff." At what has become known as the world's biggest fashion show, celebrities didn't disappoint on the red carpet runway, but instead paraded along in dazzling dresses that recalled Hollywood glamour of past decades — the '20s, '30s and '40s — and, occasionally, impeccably represented modern sophistication.

The evening's big winners also took home top honors as the most stylish stars. Best actress Julia Roberts truly was a pretty woman in vintage Valentino. Although the $20 million thespian was courted by every American designer imaginable, she chose a graphic black-and-white gown by the Italian institution, and paired it with her most stunning accessory — her megawatt smile.

Looking like a latter-day Rita Hayworth, best supporting actress Marcia Gay Harden sizzled in her drop-dead-gorgeous red strapless Randolph Duke, matching stole, and diamond bib necklace from Ha read more

Sony's Hidden Oscar Bash

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was shut out of the top Oscar categories Sunday night, but the movie's four wins — including best foreign language film — were cause for celebration at Sony's high-flying after-party held at Crustacean in Beverly Hills.

"Every award means something different, but this is the biggest one," Crouching Tiger director Ang Lee told TV Guide Online. "The whole world's watching. I was carrying the wishful thinking from [the whole] Chinese audience."

The acclaimed helmer of Sense and Sensibility and The Ice Storm then hinted at the kind of acrobatic showdowns that audiences should expect from his in-the-works prequel to the $100-million-grossing crossover smash, saying that he will probably approach the fight sequences a little differently next time around. "I'm thinking... I can do better," he said, to the astonishment of anyone within earshot. "I was a novice the first time."

Asked about Crou read more

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