Today's News: Our Take


MALCOLM... THE MOVIE

Fox's smash sitcom Malcolm in the Middle is headed to the big screen. According to Variety, 20th Century Fox is moving forward on a movie version of the Emmy-winning comedy, now in its second year. Series creator Linwood Boomer will write the script along with Jill Condon and Amy Toomin (co-executive producers of ABC's The Geena Davis Show). All of the show's stars are expected to take part. read more

SHORT CUTS

NBC's Thursday night clunker, Cursed, has changed its name to The Weber Show, after its star Steven Weber... NBC has pulled the plug on its late-night talk show, Later. — Michael Ausiello read more

MADONNA TO PEN VOWS

Madonna and beau Guy Ritchie — who will marry on Dec. 22 at Scotland's Skibo Castle (not Dornoch Cathedral as previously reported) — will write their own vows for the ceremony. "Madonna and Guy are clearly very much in love," Rev. Susan Brown, who will wed the couple, told The Times of London. "They have chosen to make their own vows, and I'm quite happy with that as long as what they want is in reason." Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow reportedly is at the top of Madonna's short list to serve as maid of honor. Meanwhile, the New York Post reports that the pop diva will march down the isle to the Scottish bagpipe tune "Highland Cathedral." read more

CHEVY CHASES TV ROLE

Former Saturday Night Live regular Chevy Chase is plotting a return to TV. The funnyman is developing a comedy with former Murphy Brown producers Bill Diamond and Rob Bragin, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The untitled project — which reportedly will star Chase — is in the vein of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. read more

THE GRINCH STILL RULES

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas was the most popular movie at the box office for the fourth consecutive weekend, grossing another $18.5 million for a 24-day total of $195.5 million. The Jim Carrey comedy held off high-profile newcomers Vertical Limit (No. 2 with $16 million), Proof of Life (No. 3 with $10.4 million) and Dungeons & Dragons (No. 5 with $7 million). Insiders naturally are blaming Proof's disappointing gross on the hoopla surrounding the real-life romance of its stars, Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe. read more

UPN PLANS MANHUNT

UPN is said to be very close to signing a deal with the World Wrestling Federation for a new reality show, Manhunt, that will pit wrestler-type characters against contestants in a predator vs. prey competition. According to Broadcasting & Cable, the Manhunt predators will use laser guns to tag contestants on the Hawaii-based series. If all goes according to plan, the series will debut in the spring.

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Marlon's Gas Crisis


Despite his energetic on-screen performance in Dungeons &#038 Dragons (opening today), funnyman Marlon Wayans tells TV Guide Online he was secretly battling killer jetlag and lots of, er, intestinal gas during the making of the sci-fi pic.

"It was those damn cappuccinos," he says in defense of his flatulence on the set. "I was drinking them because I had to stay up. And, c'mon, you know how plane food is. All that flying messed up my insides."

No excuse is good enough for on-screen partner Justin Whalin, who had to spend three days tied up with Wayans as part of the movie's adventure plot. Recalls the actor: "He'd look at me and go, 'I'm feeling nervous. Dragons make me scared.' There'd be this odor — and I was tied up with him! Let me tell you, man, it smelled bad!"

Wayans, a hot property in Hollywood since Scary Movie became one of last summer's biggest hits, isn't kidding about the jetlag. The actor was already at work on t read more

CSI's Foxy Lady


Through its exploration of anal swabs and poisoned nipples, CSI: Crime Street Investigation — the CBS drama that has been described as Quincy meets Seven — has quickly become one of this season's biggest hits. A large part of the show's success can be chalked up to its stomach-churning shock value, an element that required its plucky cast — including actress Jorja Fox — to develop an extra layer of thick skin.

"I get nauseous just thinking about some of the things I've seen on the set," Fox laughingly tells TV Guide Online. "We recently did an episode in the woods where we come across a murder victim covered with bugs — real ones. Generally, I'm not very squeamish, but there were thousands of them, including the ones you don't normally see, like maggots. It was intense.

"To be honest," she adds, "in the beginning, I had to ask myself if I could handle working on this read more

District Makes Smart Move


Viewers of CBS's hit drama The District have heard Craig T. Nelson's character, Jack Mannion, tell tales of his ex-wife, Sherry. Well, on Saturday's episode, they will be able to put a familiar face with the name: Former Designing Women star Jean Smart makes her first appearance as the fiery redhead, and as she explains, sparks will fly.

"Jack was a high maintenance husband, but unfortunately, incredibly bright and charming and brave and handsome and all that stuff," Smart laughs. "So she has a hard time staying unmarried to him. But she's trying real hard. When she sees him, it's really hard to keep him at arm's length.

"It's fun because they set up my character really well," she continues. "He's still madly in love with her, he knows he's going to get her back and all of this stuff. And he refuses to believe that she actually has another life of her own."

Smart — who won an Emmy in Septe read more

AZARIA TO REPLACE DOWNEY?

Funnyman Hank Azaria's reportedly in line to replace troubled actor Robert Downey Jr. as Catherine Zeta-Jones's love interest in the upcoming big-screen comedy America's Sweethearts. Downey had signed to begin work on the movie by Jan. 11, but his recent arrest for both drug possession and being under the influence of a controlled substance appears to have put him out of the running for the pic.

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