NBC has pulled the Friends spin-off from its Thursday schedule. Did someone at NBC grow a conscience, or was the definition of cruel and unusual punishment recently expanded? [NYDN]

• Jamie Foxx will star in the Peter Berg-directed terrorism thriller The Kingdom. Foxx will lead a team of counter-terrorist agents investigating a bombing in the Middle East. Hint: Al Qaeda did it! [Coming Soon]

• Rumor has it that Guillermo del Toro will helm the big screen adaptation of Halo. Looks like someone wanted to see a Hellboy sequel even less than we did. [Dark Horizons]

• Four tracks from Paris Hilton’s forthcoming album are available on her Myspace page. Now there’s the Paris we all know and love—always willing to give it up for free. [MTV] (LH)


• The Happy Elf (Friday; NBC, 8 p.m.): Tired of working in a musical genre in which his contemporary efforts will always compare unfavorably to cherished classics, Harry Connick Jr. has decided to lend his voice to a brand-new computer-animated heartwarming Christmas special. Oops.

• Eminem: Live From New York City (Saturdary; Showtime, 9 p.m.): And by “live,” they’re referring to when it was taped back in August. Why did they wait on this? Did they think he was going to suddenly start getting more popular again? Forget it. Ever since we saw 8 Mile, we can’t hear the song “Lose Yourself” without thinking “Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go.”

• Big in ‘05 Awards (Sunday; VH1, 8 p.m.) Performing at the awards will be Def Leppard, INXS, and Beck. Yes, for their homage to what was hot in ‘05, VH1’s booked acts that were hot in ‘85 and ‘95. Please explain this to us.

• Curb Your Enthusiasm (Sunday; HBO, 10 p.m.): In the season finale, Larry David goes to wine country and comes back a budding Paul Giamatti from Sideways. Can’t you picture Larry sitting in the theatre watching the movie thinking the whole time, “Shit, I could be way more annoying about wine than that.” Oh, and, yeah, Larry: Thanks for bringing Richard Lewis back to television. Seriously. We mean that.


Today on salon.com, Camille Paglia writes loquaciously, vociferously, even ravenously about Madonna’s latest album Confessions on a Dance Floor. It is long. Suffice it say the entire piece is out there, but our favorite sentence, right there in paragraph three, is probably this:

We’re not sure what we find so terrific about this simple phrase. Perhaps it’s imagining what Camille was doing with herself during that “the-suspense-is-killing-us” em-dash.

“Confessions on a Dance Floor is a good album,” teased Camille, and we all leaned in — Lady Cristlecrop, Sir William McGillicudy, the legendary Francine, and Sage The Magician — and all of us realized as one that we’d fallen into yet another of her traps — ah, but such a rapturous trap it was! Yea, yea, tantalize us, Camille, coy little minx! And Camille — there she goes again with her salacious wink — crossed her legs ever so primly as she observed us from the divan, and slowly (so very slowly, Camille) did she lift the tea-cup from its saucer, pinky daintily upraised. Now, Camille? Please? Before we burst? “But it is not a great one,” she finished. Oh… as did we — Cristlecrop, McGillicudy, Francine, and, of course, the miraculous Sage — all of whom (and me, perhaps, the most of all) exploded into the most riotous titters before collapsing by the chaise-lounge, spent, utterly spent, each and every one. (DDK)