Today's News: Our Take


ROBERTS GETS TIME

Julia Roberts is attached to star in A Time to Be Born, a big screen adaptation of Dawn Powell's satirical World War II novel to be directed by Anjelica Huston, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The story is about wealthy New Yorkers who use one another for selfish means. read more

SHE'LL BE BACK

Arnold Schwarzenegger's new foe in Terminator 3 will be a woman. "She can disappear, she can mold into someone else, and she is sometimes just an energy," Schwarzenegger tells the New York Post. The role has yet to be cast. read more

SHORT CUTS

ABC has ordered 13 episodes of the half-hour reality show, Dot Comedy, which will spotlight the wackier side of the Web, says The Hollywood Reporter. It will debut on Friday, Dec. 8 in the 8:30 pm timeslot previously held by The Trouble with Normal... Author Susan Sontag won the National Book Award for fiction for her sweeping historical novel In America... That's Sir Michael Caine to you: The Oscar winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth earlier today. — Michael Ausiello read more

HEAVENLY RATINGS

Jessica Biel's final appearance as a series regular on The WB's 7th Heaven Monday night earned the show its highest ratings in two-and-a-half years. The drama attracted 10.4 million viewers and finished in first place among women age 12-34. — Michael Ausiello with Sabrina Weiss read more

IT'S A BOY FOR SNOOP DOGG

Rapper Snoop Dogg is in talks to join the cast of John Singleton's coming-of-age flick Baby Boy, according to The Hollywood Reporter. R&B singer Tyrese will make his acting debut playing the film's central character, Jody, a young father shirking his responsibilities. Omar Gooding (Cuba's younger brother) and Taraji Henson will also star. read more

Lady Aberlin's Final Bow


Emotions were very real in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe Tuesday afternoon as actress Betty Aberlin taped her final appearance as Lady Aberlin on the long-running PBS series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Fred Rogers, who is ending the genteel kid's series after three decades on the air, tapes his final segments next week (to air in 2001).

Aberlin, who joined the series in 1968, tells TV Guide Online that she was doing her best not to think of it as her swan song. "It would be too hard to bear, I think, if Lady Aberlin knew this would be the last time," she says. "I don't like to even think I won't be seeing the other neighbors — human and puppet — anymore."

Viewers shouldn't expect any big farewells in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe — home to such characters as King Friday, Queen Sara and Henrietta Pussycat. In one of the final scripts, Daniel Striped Tiger is sad because he's made an art project and is told by someone that it will n read more

Carrey Goes Extra Green Mile


Jim Carrey knew that Ron Howard was trying to empathize with his suffering on the set of The Grinch the day the director showed up wearing the same claustrophobic, confining latex-and-fur costume. But as the actor explains, Howard's well-intentioned effort fell a tad short.

"It was a cool move of solidarity, but he didn't [wear] the green contact lenses which are really what pushes you over the edge," Carrey tells TV Guide Online. "Once a little artificial snow gets in them, it's all over. Actually, I wanted to make Ron dance around for a while so he'd really understand what I was going through. It was like being buried alive on a daily basis."

Such trauma eventually took its toll on Carrey. In fact, after being encased in the Rick Baker-created Grinch outfit for hours, the Ace Ventura star would lose it. "I'd start to punch myself in the leg," he recalls. "It's like if you give yourself a little extra pain, it takes your focus off read more

RADIO PIONEER DIES

Robert Trout, the longtime CBS News radio anchor who coined the term "fireside chat" to describe President Franklin Roosevelt's national radio addresses, died Tuesday of congestive heart failure. He was 91. In 1938, Trout — whose career spanned seven decades — became the first anchor of CBS Radio's World News Tonight. Prior to his retirement four years ago, he was a commentator for NPR. read more

Nathan Lane Sees Angry People


Nathan Lane's decision to blurt out the shocking twist at the end of The Sixth Sense on the Late Show with David Letterman last year is still coming back to haunt him. The film's Oscar-nominated director, M. Night Shyamalan — whose latest effort, Unbreakable, also contains a kicker climax — admits that he was miffed that the Birdcage star played the role of spoiler.

"I got really upset about that because he did it in kind of a cruel way, trying to be [a] funny, on-the-edge comedian, and it didn't go [over well]," Shyamalan says. "The crowd moaned — everybody moaned — because he said it. It wasn't a cool thing, and I don't think he got a lot of satisfaction out of it. I know he received a lot of negative attention for it." Calls to Lane's spokesperson were not returned at press time.

Despite one actor's lapse in judgement, Shyamalan has faith that the average moviegoer — as well as members of the media — read more

LINNEY GETS SPOOKED

Laura Linney, who is generating Oscar buzz for her performance in the Sundance winner You Can Count on Me, is a signature away from co-starring with Richard Gere in The Mothman Prophecies, Variety reports. The film revolves around a reporter (Gere) who investigates a series of X-Files-type events in West Virginia. read more

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