Today's News: Our Take


EMINEM DREAMS OF A TWISTED X-MAS

Bad boy rapper Eminem is planning to release a warped holiday song about a helpless pregnant woman killed by her psycho boyfriend at the start of the Christmas season. According to the New York Post, "Stan" — the latest single off Eminem's hit CD, The Marshall Mathers LP — will hit store shelves Nov. 27. Sample lyrics: "Some dude was drunk and drove his car over a bridge and had his girlfriend in the trunk and was pregnant with his kid." Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la. read more

Dean Cain's Ambiguously Gay Turn


Former Superman Dean Cain has advice for closeted gay actors working in Hollywood: If anyone asks, don't tell — at least if you value your career. "I think [it's] difficult for an actor who is gay to openly say that they are gay, because I think that it will absolutely hurt their career," Cain tells TV Guide Online. "It will hurt their career horribly because they won't get offered the same roles.

"Anne Heche is a great example," continues the former star of ABC's Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, who next plays a gay stud in the romantic comedy The Broken Hearts Club (opening Friday). "I think people watched Six Days Seven Nights saying, 'Oh, she's gay. I don't see the chemistry [with co-star Harrison Ford]. She's gay.' Rupert Everett... he played the [gay] guy in My Best Friend's Wedding and Christopher Marlowe [in Shakespeare in Love] — who is sexually ambiguous anyw read more

Deneuve's Ageless Beauty


French superstar Catherine Deneuve (The Hunger, The Last Metro) doesn't pull any punches when it comes to criticizing ageism in Hollywood.

"It's very difficult to grow old here in America, not only for actresses [but] for everybody," the 56-year-old thesp tells TV Guide Online. "There is no respect for experience and people who know more or say more with their face. It's very hard to think that if you're not young you don't exist any more."

Deneuve admits that she finds herself taking on more and more roles these days as "the mother" or "the best friend" but she somehow still manages to bring her trademark sexiness to her work. Last year, she played a woman who has an affair with her daughter's husband in the French comedy Belle Maman.

But despite an impressive body of work — she's appeared in about 80 films — the actress-model resists attempts by many film critics to label her as an icon. "I find it a little boring, because it's read more

Spike Lee No Friend of Girl


Spike Lee is at it again. The outspoken filmmaker recently caught an episode of the new UPN sitcom, Girlfriends, and he can't believe what he saw.

"Is that the only thing black women can talk about is getting f--ked," he tells Newsweek of the Kelsey Grammer-produced comedy, described as an urban Sex and the City. "And then the show had black men holding their johnsons and looking into the camera smiling. What white show has white men grabbing their nuts and smiling into the camera?

"And why do all the black people have to sing and dance in the opening sequence?" he continues. "The subtext is, 'Lord, we're so happy we on TV."

Lee, whose latest film, Bamboozled, satirizes the media's depiction of blacks, says that there's no longer any excuse for African-Americans to degrade themselves on national television. "My people have to wake up and realize what's going on and our responsibility in it," he says. "I mean, back in the day we read more

Is Willow's Lesbian Lover Evil?


Dr. Laura may become a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer after hearing this. During November sweeps, the big secret being kept by Willow's (Alyson Hannigan) lesbian gal pal Tara (Amber Benson) will be revealed — and, according to co-executive producer Marti Noxon, there's a "very strong possibility" she could be a demon the likes of which Sunnydale has never seen.

"There definitely is a secret and we're going to explore what that is in episode 6, which [Buffy creator] Joss Whedon is directing and writing as we speak," reveals Noxon, adding that fans of the good witch "should be" concerned.

If Tara does turn out to be playing for the other team (the bad guys, that is), it may bring an end to one of TV's sweetest — albeit most unconventional — romances. As it is, nervous WB execs have already given Noxon and her fellow producers "some strong directions" as to how much same-gender lovin' they can show.

"I think read more

Dracula Bites the Dust on Buffy


Not since Sue dug her fangs into Kelly in the middle of the South China Sea have audiences been so excited about a small-screen showdown. On tonight's fifth season premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (8 pm/ET), The Chosen One (Sarah Michelle Gellar) comes face-to-face with the granddaddy of all vamps: Dracula. But don't expect the Transylvanian count — played by Gellar's onetime All My Children leading man, Rudolf Martin — to go coffin-hunting in Sunnydale anytime soon; Buffy's ultimate foe will fly away after the first episode.

"He's just a guest star, and as of now, he is not coming back," co-executive producer Marti Noxon tells TV Guide Online. "But you never know. [Rudolf] is a wonderful presence." Noxon adds that Dracula's exit will pave the way for the arrival of two new villains in coming weeks. "They will be in the vein of "The Mayor" and "The Master" and different than any other foe Buffy's encountered so far. It's a woman read more

TODAY WINS RATINGS GOLD

NBC's Olympic coverage may be lagging in the ratings, but it certainly has boosted the already-flourishing Today show. During Matt Lauer and Katie Couric's first week broadcasting live from Sydney, Today averaged 6.7 million viewers, making that the fourth most-watched week in the show's 49-year history. Breaking it down further, more people watched Today last week than watched ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's The Early Show combined. read more

MADONNA IN CONCERT

Madonna may take to the stage for her first concert in seven years. According to London's Sun tabloid, the Material Mom will perform at the Academy in South London on Nov. 28. The venue holds 4,000 people. Madonna recently purchased a home in London to spend more time with beau Guy Ritchie, the father of her newborn son, Rocco. Her spokesperson was unavailable for comment at press time. read more

TROUBLE, OHIO?

Is there more upheaval on the set of Fox's troubled John Goodman sitcom Normal, Ohio? TV Guide Online has learned that executive producer Bob Kushell has left the show to "develop another project" with Carsey-Werner Productions. Bonnie and Terry Turner (3rd Rock from the Sun, That '70s Show) remain as executive producers. This is just the latest shake-up to rock Normal — which finds Goodman playing a gay father in small-town Ohio. The concept was retooled over the summer and the cast overhauled. Anthony LaPaglia was dropped as Goodman's straight roomie and Ellen's Joely Fisher has been added as Goodman's tough and sassy sister. But a Carsey-Werner spokesperson insists Kushell's exit should not be interpreted as an ominous sign. "It was not about creative differences," says the rep. "It was a situation basically where this was a Bonnie and Terry project and he was brought on to give his input. Bob has a de read more

Van Dien's Nudist Turn


Casper Van Dien has no illusions as to why he was cast on Aaron Spelling's latest primetime soap, Titans. And if he did, they were shattered during his first meeting with the show's costume designers.

"They've spent a lot on wardrobe for everybody except for me, because I'm pretty much naked throughout the entire show," jokes Van Dien of his role as former Navy pilot Chandler Williams on the new NBC series (debuting Oct. 4, 8 pm/ET). "I'm the nudist of the show, except for when I'm wearing a uniform — but those only stay on for a short period of time."

Van Dien, who played the title role in 1998's Tarzan and the Lost City, knows a thing or two about baring his chest for the camera. "I wore a loin cloth that was really big in the front but really short on the sides," he tells the TV Guide Channel. "So, I'm used to wearing nothing."

Titans viewers no doubt will need a scorecard to keep track of Chandler's roller coaster love life in read more

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