Today's News: Our Take


WAR MOVIE

Come November sweeps, NBC will offer up director Jon Avnet's four-hour miniseries, Uprising. Recounting the activities of Jewish rebel fighters during the Holocaust, the epic stars Leelee Sobieski, Hank Azaria, Friends's David Schwimmer and Donald Sutherland. read more

SHORT CUTS

Regis Philbin will serve as grand marshal of the 2002 Tournament of Roses Parade, he announced this morning on Live with Regis &#038 Kelly... Pop diva Mariah Carey has ended her long relationship with Columbia Records and reportedly inked a deal with Virgin Records that could pay her $20 million per album... Cuba Gooding Jr. and SNL cut-up Horatio Sanz are in talks to star in Boat Trip, playing two straight buddies who mistakenly book a trip on a gay cruise... Country singer Loretta Lynn was released from the hospital Saturday after nearly two weeks of treatment for pneumonia... Christian Slater and wife Ryan Haddon are expecting their second child in September, USA Today reports. — Michael Ausiello with Daniel R. Coleridge read more

ALLY'S BIG DEAL

As May sweeps kicks off on Fox, Sting, Saturday Night Live alum Cheri Oteri and Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman) will share a storyline on Ally McBeal's April 30 episode. Playing himself, Sting retains the legal services of Larry Paul (Robert Downey Jr.) when he's sued for splitting up an odd married couple — played by Oteri and Reubens — at one of his concerts. In that same episode, Ling (Lucy Liu) faces off with ex-Playboy poser Cindy Margolis. read more

AND BABY MAKES THREE

Two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster is pregnant with her second child, due in November, the actress confirmed to columnist Liz Smith. The 38-year-old actress — whose son, Charlie, turns three in July — is once again keeping mum about how the child was conceived. read more

Angels on the Outs


Joss Whedon — creator and executive producer of the WB's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel — has a bone to pick with 20th Century Fox, the studio behind Angel as well as the freshman smash Dark Angel. Fox's decision to pit Dark's sci-fi siren Jessica Alba against vampire sire David Boreanaz on Tuesday nights has resulted in a steep ratings decline for the Buffy spinoff, and Whedon's out for blood.

"The fact that they put [Dark Angel] on opposite a show that they produce, thereby hurting it, shows that they really don't care," Whedon tells TV Guide Online. "Their big picture is clearly so big that whatever I think and whatever I am doing doesn't matter, and I resent that. But I am not the 'Big Picture Guy.' I'm just making my shows."

Ma read more

Question: Has Jane Leeves of ...

Question: Has Jane Leeves of Frasier had her baby yet? What did she have? Thanks! — Vanessa D.

Televisionary: Why, Ms. Jane had a bouncing baby girl! Isabella Kathryn Coben was born on January 9 in Los Angeles. Mom, as you know, plays Daphne on the hit show, while father/hubby Marshall Coben is an executive with Paramount Television.

As our crack Insider team reported, the folks behind Frasier didn't want to write the actress's pregnancy into the show, but there was no way to ignore her obvious pregnancy. So they put her in a fat suit and gave her character a serious weight problem. For Leeves's take on that, see our News &#038 Gossip section.

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Question: I was recently ...

Question: I was recently listening to the song "The Mummer's Dance" by Loreena McKennit. I thought I recognized it as the theme song to a show that ran on network TV in the early '90s, probably for less than a season. I can't remember anything about it. Could you possibly help me solve this mystery? It's really frustrating not knowing where I remember this song from. Thanks. — Jen, Mass.

Televisionary: That would be the short-lived period drama Legacy, which ran on UPN from October 1998 through July of the next year, Jen. (And I certainly sympathize with that song-driving-me-nuts phenomenon, as do many of your fellow readers; music questions make up a good portion of the mail I get.)

The series revolved around the Logans, an Irish horse-raising family living in Lexington, Ky., in the 1880s. Papa Ned (Brett Cullen, of Falcon Crest and The Young Riders fame) oversaw the whole outfit, which included sons Sean (Grayson McCouch) a read more

HAIR 'DON'T

Jennifer Aniston hates her new shorter 'do. "I'm taking every horse vitamin there is to make it grow faster — blue-green algae, you name it," the Friends star says in the new issue of Vanity Fair. Aniston's hubby, Brad Pitt, doesn't seem to mind: For Valentine's Day, the hunk — using rose petals — spelled out "I love my wife" on her dressing room wall at Friends. (We hate them.) read more

J.LO NO GO

Peek-a-boo fashionista Jennifer Lopez has backed out of United Artists' planned big-screen film about Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and may instead play an FBI agent in the crime thriller Taking Lives, Variety reports. Miramax is also developing a biopic on the Mexican painter — with Salma Hayek in the title role. read more

HE'S BUSTED

Erin Brockovich remains a force to be reckoned with — just ask attorney John Reiner. The lawyer was convicted Monday of trying to extort $310,000 from Brockovich and her boss, Ed Masry, by threatening to blab that Brockovich was a bad mom and that she and Masry had an affair, The Associated Press reports. (Both have denied the allegations.) Reiner — who was found guilty of two counts of attempted extortion and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion — faces up to four years in prison. Brockovich and Masry's legal victory over Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was the basis for the film Erin Brockovich, starring Oscar winner Julia Roberts as Brockovich and Albert Finney as Masry. read more

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