Today's News: Our Take


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Master illusionist David Copperfield is being sued for around $15,000 by Cathy Daly, a crew member injured during a stunt rehearsal. Daly claims that a wind machine flung her body 10 feet in the air while a man-made tornado was being stirred up for the Copperfield! Tornado of Fire special, which airs live April 3 on CBS. read more

HEART GETS BREAK AT THE BOX OFFICE

Two films that just opened came to life at the box office over the weekend, while another new release was pronounced DOA. The Sigourney Weaver/Jennifer Love Hewitt comedy Heartbreakers — featuring the actresses as a mother-daughter team of con artists — debuted at No. 1 with a respectable $12.3 million gross. The African-American relationship dramedy The Brothers took second place with $10.7 million. Rounding out the top five were the Steven Seagal/DMX action flick Exit Wounds (dropping from No. 1 to No. 3 with $9.2 million), Enemy at the Gates (No. 4 with $8.4 million) and Oscar winner Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (No. 5 with $4.7 million). At the same time, everyone associated with the dismally reviewed Chris Klein/Heather Graham incest debacle Say It Isn't So no doubt was saying exactly that when the weekend returns came in: The pic entered the chart at No. 10 with a pathetic $3.1 millio read more

BABY BOOM

Christopher Titus — star of Fox's dark, autobiographical family sitcom Titus — and wife Erin are expecting their first child on August 24. The show's female lead, Emmy winner Cynthia Watros, and husband Curt Gilliland also are in a family way. The actress is pregnant with twins. — Michael Ausiello and Daniel R. Coleridge read more

ROSIE RECANTS

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has dropped its $350,000 lawsuit against talk-show hostess Rosie O'Donnell. The animal-rights group filed a defamation suit last year after O'Donnell joked on-air that the Gap's leather pants were approved by PETA. But on Thursday's show, O'Donnell finally extracted her foot from her mouth, telling her viewers that "PETA feels no one needs to wear any leather apparel at all." read more

EARTH DAZZLES RAZZIES

Battlefield Earth was a big winner Saturday at the 21st Annual Golden Raspberry Awards — honoring the worst in film during 2000. The sci-fi bomb was given seven Razzies, including worst picture, worst lead actor (John Travolta), worst supporting actress (Travolta's wife, Kelly Preston) and worst supporting actor (Barry Pepper). Worst actress went to Madonna, who adopted a bizarre accent that not even Meryl Streep had ever tried (with good reason) in The Next Best Thing, and the worst remake or sequel prize was handed to Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. read more

OSCAR SPREADS THE WEALTH

At the 73rd Annual Academy Awards, held last night in Los Angeles, the kilt and sword epic Gladiator may have walked off with the coveted best picture Oscar (and best actor for its star, Russell Crowe), but the absence of a Titanic-sized sweep meant that several pictures could claim big-winner status. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon flew away with four trophies, including best foreign language film, cinematography, original score and art direction. Yet, in one of the evening's big surprises, that film's helmer, Ang Lee, was denied the best director statuette — despite his having been honored by the Directors Guild. Instead, double nominee Steven Soderbergh triumphed for his work on Traffic. The drug-war drama also netted three other prizes, for supporting actor Benicio Del Toro, adapted screenplay and film editing. As expected, Julia Roberts was a best actress victor for Erin Brockovich, but Almost Famous' read more

ROYAL VISIT

England's Queen Elizabeth II graced Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling with a visit at her publisher's office in London on Thursday, The Associated Press reports. "I was a voracious reader as a child," declared Her Majesty, who said of the novels: "They are certainly popular with one of my grandchildren." (She was referring to Fergie's daughter, Princess Eugenie, 11.) Just three weeks ago, Prince Charles honored Rowling by making her an OBE, or an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Cheerio! read more

Depp Doesn't Gel with Oscar


A billion people will be tuning into the 73rd annual Academy Awards Sunday night on ABC — but one of them won't be Johnny Depp. In fact, the Hollywood outsider — who plays a sexy drifter in best picture contender Chocolat — admits he doesn't even know who's nominated this year.

"When I say I don't know who got nominated, I really don't," insists the actor, whose latest film, Blow, opens April 6. Truth be told, Depp does in fact recall that his Chocolat co-stars, Juliette Binoche and Judi Dench, received nods. "And I know that Javier [Bardem] did for Before Night Falls and Benicio [Del Toro] did [for Traffic], and that's about it. I don't like the whole competitive nature of awards."

If Depp sounds a little out of the loop on all things Hollywood, well, that's because he is. For more than two years, he has been living in the South of France with actress Vanessa Para read more

FRIENDLY FAREWELL

Two beloved cartoon veterans have passed away, according to The Associated Press. Actress Norma MacMillan — best known for supplying the voices of Gumby and Casper the Friendly Ghost — has died at 79 of cardiac arrest. She is survived by her producer-husband Thor Arngrim and children Stefan and Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie. And animator William Hanna, who co-created such classics as The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Scooby Doo along with partner Joseph Barbera, has died at 90. read more

Experimenting on The Invisible Man


For couch potatoes looking to dictate a series's future, tonight's episode of the Sci Fi Channel's freshman hit The Invisible Man (returning to the 8 pm/ET slot where it originally materialized) is made to order. At the conclusion, viewers can vote on the outcome (at SciFi.com), and next week see their wish carried out. Just don't get used to the new level of remote control — if only for the sake of Vincent Ventresca, who plays Darien, the visibility-impaired title character.

"I have trouble memorizing lines in the first place," he half-jokingly tells TV Guide Online, "and all of a sudden, we had to learn two variations of some scenes. It was brutal!"

On the plus side, little of Ventresca's dialogue is that genre staple known as techno-babble. "Fortunately, there's The Keeper," he says, referring to the comely doctor who often holds Darien's fate in her hands. "She's got dialogue that would send me runnin read more

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