Today's News: Our Take


O BROTHER, RECORD SALES STINK

How bad is the music industry's current slump? Billboard's new No. 1 album — the Grammy-winning soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? — sold just 159,000 copies. R&B singer Brandy's latest CD, Full Moon, debuted at No. 2 with sales of 155,000. Last week's champ, Alanis Morissette's Under Rug Swept, fell to No. 3 with 119,600 units sold. read more

FOX OPENS UP

Michael J. Fox developed a drinking problem after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991. "I craved alcohol as a direct response to the need I felt to escape my situation," he writes in his upcoming book, Lucky Man: A Memoir. "Joyless and secretive, I drank to disassociate; drinking now was about isolation and self-medication." read more

HE'S BACK

Arnold Schwarzenegger has an actual film career again. According to Variety, the aging action hero — who recently signed on for a third Terminator flick — has committed to two more returning movie franchises: Westworld and Conan the Barbarian. In Westworld, a remake of Michael Crichton's 1973 sci-fi saga, Schwarzenegger will play the robotic Old West gunmen role originated by Yul Brynner. Conan, meanwhile, will find Maria Shriver's better half reprising the title character he played in the 1982 original. read more

EVERYONE'S A LOSER

Where was Amy Fisher when you needed her? Scandal-prone Olympic skater Tonya Harding easily beat Paula Jones during the main event of last night's lame Fox special, Celebrity Boxing. A giddy Jones — apparently afraid that her new nose was in danger of breaking off — quit in the third round. In the other match-ups, forgotten rapper Vanilla Ice was iced by Diff'rent Strokes badass Todd Bridges, and Partridge Family's Danny Bonaduce pummeled Brady Bunch alum Barry Williams. read more

DARK'S ANGEL

Titanic helmer James Cameron will direct the May 3 season finale of his struggling Fox sci-fi drama Dark Angel. "I believe in our show, and think it is one of the coolest things on network television," he tells Variety. "I have wanted to direct an episode for some time, so when our director for the season finale dropped out just as I was completing photography on another project, I seized the moment." read more

MIND MUSE SPEAKS

Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash, whose battle with schizophrenia is loosely depicted in A Beautiful Mind, will discuss the controversy surrounding the film's accuracy for the first time on Sunday's 60 Minutes. Critics have accused director Ron Howard of sugarcoating Nash's life story. read more

END QUOTE

"I am the gay parent." — Rosie O'Donnell, discussing the gay adoption debate with Diane Sawyer on tonight's Primetime (9-11 pm/ET). — Michael Ausiello read more

WHERE THERE'S WILL, THERE'S A WAY

Who says being gay doesn't pay? NBC has renewed Thursday night smash Will & Grace for three more years in a deal worth a reported $300 million. The Peacock will shell out $4 million per episode to keep the Emmy-winning sitcom on the air through May 2005. That makes W&G NBC's fourth most-expensive series, behind ER, Friends, and Frasier. read more

Kevin Pollak: "I'm a Charlatan!"


After taking a 10-year hiatus from the stand-up circuit to pursue films, celeb impersonator Kevin Pollak is back onstage. The funnyman says he finds joke material in the strangest places.

"I hear that Fox is actually going to have celebrity boxing," Pollak laughs to TV Guide Online. "It sounded like a hackneyed premise that a stand-up comedian who does impersonations would use. It inspired me. I can't wait for it to lead to Christopher Walken fighting William Shatner. That's my fantasy."

However, he is saddened that Long Island Lolita Amy Fisher backed out of her match with ex-skater Tonya Harding. "Those unyielding parole people — where are their priorities?" the 44-year-old quips. "Isn't this read more

MEG'S MUSIC MAN

Oh geez, now Russell Crowe has another reason to be grumpy: His onetime ladylove, Meg Ryan, reportedly has a new guy. According to tabloid reports, Ryan, 40, is dating Broadway actor Craig Bierko (The Music Man). Bierko, 37, can next be seen opposite Sally Field on the ABC drama The Court (debuting March 26). read more

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