Today's News: Our Take


WEATHERED REPORT

After eight weeks atop Billboard's album chart, Creed's Weathered has been broadsided by Alan Jackson. The country superstar's new album, Drive, debuted at No. 1 with sales of 423,075 copies. Weathered slips to No. 2 with 128,050 units sold. read more

RUCK RECOVERING

Spin City's Alan Ruck has been in a hospital since Dec. 23 battling a strep infection that led to kidney failure. Although ABC says the 45-year-old thesp "is expected to make a full recovery," it's unlikely he will return to City this season. read more

LIPTON SCOOP

Billy Bob Thornton, Dennis Quaid, Johnny Depp, Hugh Grant, Richard Gere and Benicio Del Toro are the latest crop of thesps heading Inside the Actors Studio with host James Lipton. The "intimate" chats — in which performers dissect the craft known as acting — will tape between Jan. 28 and April 15; air dates are TBA. So, what's with the all-male lineup? Couldn't Lipton at least get Markie Post??? Responds a Bravo rep: "It just so happened that the first six actors who were available on the taping dates were men." read more

SHORT CUTS

'N Sync have joined the roster of performers at next month's Grammy Awards... Michael Douglas is in talks to guest star on Will & Grace, Entertainment Tonight reports. read more

EVEN WITHOUT OPRAH'S HELP...

Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry is developing a feature film version of Jonathan Franzen's National Book Award winner The Corrections. Daldry's latest pic, the star-studded film adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Hours, opens Oct. 4. read more

CASE CLOSED

Former Beverly Hills, 90210 actress Rebecca Gayheart, 29, has settled a wrongful-death lawsuit stemming from a car accident last summer in which she struck and killed a nine-year-old boy. Details of the settlement were not disclosed. read more

SHORT CUTS

Gina Gershon and Scott Wolf (Party of Five) will appear as themselves on the Feb. 6 episode of The Job... The episode of Spin City featuring Martin Sheen — father of series star Charlie Sheen — is slated to air March 5... U2 and Alicia Keys will perform at the Feb. 27 Grammy Awards. — Michael Ausiello read more

Michael Pitt: Bully for You!


After being cast in Larry Clark's Bully, the true story of a group of high-school burnouts who conspire to murder the title jerk, Michael Pitt eagerly set about doing his homework. The actor was determined to make the grade by getting inside his character's head, no matter how frightening a place that would be to visit.

"The guy I play didn't even know the bully," he tells TV Guide Online. "He had no motive whatsoever [to participate in the homicide], yet he was the first person to stab [the victim]."

Complicating matters for the former Dawson's Creek heartthrob was the fact that the youth in question was not available to provide any answers. So instead Pitt was forced to rely on other people's notes.

"We talked to a lot of the de read more

Disney Prince Turns Lothario!


Paolo Montalban — no relation to Fantasy Island's Ricardo — stole moviegoers' hearts with his princely performance in Disney's 1997 remake of Cinderella. But don't expect him to pull out that glass slipper in American Adobo (in limited release Jan. 25). The indie drama finds him doing a full 180 as Raul, a charming but heartless womanizer.

Summing up his character, Montalban explains: "Take every quality you find in Prince Charming, still use those things to get the girl, but then make him a completely thoughtless man once he gets what he wants." Raul's one of five friends testing their love and self-esteem (and delicious meals) over the course of a year in New York City. Adobo writer Vincent R. Nebrida's bilingual script explores such universal themes through the eyes of Filipino-Americans.

"It's an accurate port read more

QUANTUM UPDATE

Universal is "exploring" the idea of a Quantum Leap TV reunion movie, a source confirms to TV Guide Online. Earlier this month, Quantum creator, Donald P. Bellisario, confessed that the idea of taking another Leap with the show's star, Scott Bakula, has always been "in the back of my mind... but Universal, who truly owns the rights to it, has never shown an interest." Until now, that is. read more

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