Today's News: Our Take


HOW THE GRINCH STOLE MISSION'S CROWN

It's official! Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas has surpassed Mission: Impossible 2 as the top-grossing film of 2000. As of Tuesday, Jim Carrey's Grinch has taken in $216.4 million, besting M:I-2's final $215.4 million haul. read more

BYE, BYE, BYE?

Rosie O'Donnell says she's still plans to quit her daytime talk show in 2002. On Tuesday's Good Morning America, she told Diane Sawyer that "everyone thinks it's a joke... [they're] like, 'Well, it's so much money,' but I never did anything for the money." While O'Donnell says she wants to leave her show to spend more time with her children, insiders suggest her falling ratings may also be a factor. Compared with last year, The Rosie O'Donnell Show is off 14 percent in households and 19 percent among women age 25-54. "If the numbers were better," notes Mediaweek's Marc Berman, "chances are Rosie might be singing a different tune." read more

Turturro Tackles Howard Cosell


Reviewing John Turturro's canon of film characterizations — among which are a racially charged pizzeria employee in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, a wannabe pool hustler in Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money and a geeky contestant in Robert Redford's Quiz Show — it's easy to imagine him in most any role.

Yet, picturing this curly-haired, affable actor as gravelly lawyer-turned-sportscaster Howard Cosell is, admittedly, difficult. Nonetheless, Turturro is preparing to bring the now-deceased broadcaster to life in Monday Night Mayhem, an upcoming TNT movie based on the Monday Night Football exposé co-authored by Bill Carter (The Late Shift).

"I'm very excited, because I 'grew up' with Howard," Turturro tells TV Guide Online, referring to the man who for 14 years lent his unique brand of controversy-stirring reporting to ABC's hallmark football program. "I feel like a d read more

SHORT CUTS

The trailer for The Fellowship of the Rings, the first film based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, will debut on Jan. 12 before showings of the Kevin Costner drama Thirteen Days. Rings will be released in Dec. 2001... British pop singer Kirsty MacColl was killed in a boating accident Monday while on vacation in Mexico. She was 41... Former Bob Newhart Show actress Suzanne Pleshette, 63, is engaged to marry Tom Poston, who starred in the '80s Newhart, Variety reports... Showtime has renewed Resurrection Blvd. for a second season... Steven Soderbergh was named best director by the Broadcast Film Critics Association for his work on Traffic and Erin Brockovich. Gladiator star Russell Crowe, meanwhile, won best actor and Julia Roberts picked up best actress for Erin Brockovich. — Michael Ausiello read more

ONE DOWN, ONE TO GO

In a proceeding unrelated to his recent Palm Springs arrest, troubled thesp Robert Downey Jr. was officially placed on parole Tuesday after Judge Lawrence J. Mira ruled that the Oscar-nominated Chaplin star had indeed spent enough time in jail for an earlier drug case. (Mira previously sentenced Downey to three years in prison, but an appeals court granted the actor an early release last August after a year.) Downey is due to be arraigned Dec. 27 on two felony drug counts and one misdemeanor stemming from his Palm Springs arrest last month. He faces a maximum sentence of more than four years in state prison. read more

NYPD's Newest Recruit


Jamie Foxx Show star Garcelle Beauvais — who joins NYPD Blue this season as Assistant D.A. Valerie Haywood — admits that jumping from the WB comedy to the Emmy-winning drama has been a gut-wrenching experience.

"My first day was just nerve-wracking," Beauvais tells TV Guide Online. "The show is critically acclaimed, all the actors are amazing, and my first scene was with Dennis Franz. I thought he was going to eat me alive. But he gave me a hug and was really sweet. Then, when he gets on-camera, he totally changes into [his character, Andy] Sipowicz, and you're going, 'Holy Cow!' I just sort of had to pinch myself to believe that it was happening.

"It's a challenge to prove to people that you can do something gritty like NYPD Blue in spite of how you look," the former model continues. "But now, doors are opening read more

Bullock's Big Knightmare


Sandra Bullock found herself in some compromising situations with co-stars Sir Michael Caine and Benjamin Bratt on the set of Miss Congeniality (opening Dec. 22). Bullock, who plays an FBI agent who goes undercover at a beauty pageant, panicked when she realized one scene called for Caine to put his hand down her shirt.

"I was like, 'Oh my God, Michael Caine is going to be touching my boobs!'" recalls Bullock of the recently knighted Oscar winner, who plays a pageant consultant who teaches her the fine art of bra-padding. "It was like, 'How [can] you be calm about that?'"

Caine, on the other hand, kept his cool while fondling the star of Speed and Hope Floats. "To him, it was like [being] a doctor," she says. "He was like, 'Okay... no sweat.' It didn't matter. Maybe he didn't find anything."

Bullock also found herself getting intimate with Bratt, an off-screen pal who plays her FBI partner and love interest in the big bud read more

GALECKI BAGS FOX PILOT

Former Roseanne star Johnny Galecki — who currently can be seen on the big screen in Bounce — will play a grocery store worker who dreams of becoming a concert cellist in Bagtime, a half-hour comedy pilot for Fox, Variety reports. The Drew Carey Show co-creator Bruce Helford will serve as an executive producer and Galecki will get a producer credit. read more

WEDDING OF THE YEAR

Madonna has tapped Sir Elton John to perform his instrumental tune, Song for Guy, at the reception following her Scottish wedding to filmmaker-beau Guy Ritchie. The nuptials are scheduled to take place Friday at Scotland's Skibo Castle. According to the Daily Star, security will be so tight that guards will use mirrors to look up guests' kilts in search of hidden cameras. In addition to John, pop star Sting also reportedly will belt out a tune at the reception. Meanwhile, US Weekly reports that the festivities will set the Material mom back about $3 million. read more

FORCE OF NATURE

Sandra Bullock has become the latest victim of the treacherous winter weather plaguing much of the nation. A small private plane carrying the Miss Congeniality actress and her boyfriend, Bob Schneider, skidded off a runway near the resort town of Jackson Hole, Wyo. today while trying to land during icy conditions, Reuters reports. Bullock and Schneider, as well as the two crew members, were not injured, but the aircraft reportedly was damaged. Ironically, Bullock's 1999 romantic comedy, Forces of Nature, features her and Ben Affleck falling in love after their plane skids off a runway. read more

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