If you're the sort of person who plans to go all out for the holidays, in terms of decorating and baking, tonight offers you "Divine Design: Christmas" (8 p.m. ET, HGTV) and "12 Days of Cookies" (9 p.m. ET, Food Channel). Otherwise, you might as well just tune in to "The Apprentice," where it's down to the last five candidates -- and heating up.
Oscar's on the way: Hard to believe but true, awards season is nigh upon us, and the early results -- often seen as predictors of the upcoming biggies -- are already rolling in.Yesterday, the National Board of Review -- a group of film professionals, educators, students and historians -- announced the winners of its 2004 awards. And some of the winners are ... "Finding Neverland" (best film), Jamie Foxx (best actor, for "Ray"), Annette Bening (best actress, for "Being Julia"), Michael Mann (best director, for "Collateral") and "The Incredibles" (best animated feature). Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" and Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" were cited for "special recognition of films that reflect the freedom of expression." Next awards to look forward to: the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, to be announced Dec. 13, the same day the Hollywood Foreign Press Association reveals the nominations for its Golden Globe Awards. (Reuters)
Bit of a stretch: Wall Street Journal writer Peggy Noonan, who once worked for Dan Rather but who clearly sees the world a bit differently from her old boss, is sharing her thoughts on him -- and comparing him to, of all people, Richard Nixon. Of Rather's upcoming departure in the wake of his mistaking forged documents for real ones, she writes, "I am not saying timing is everything, although it can be rather a lot. I'm thinking of . . . well, Richard Nixon. Nixon had one of the great gutsy careers in American political history, and on the greatest issue of his lifetime -- the ugliness and destructiveness of communism here and abroad -- he was right, and put his career on the line. He did much good. But his headline is Watergate." Nixon, she says, "handed his enemies a sword. One of those who picked it up and used it against him was Dan Rather. There is an amazing and unseen circularity to life." At least she won't have Dan to kick around anymore ... (Wall Street Journal)
Lohan behold: Lindsay Lohan's dad, Michael, is back in the clink, this time for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs and for violating an order of protection barring him from getting anywhere near his estranged wife, Lindsay's mother. He's being held on $1 million bond or $500,000 cash bail, and while his lawyer says that reaching out to his movie star daughter is "a possibility," a source close to the 18-year-old actress says she has no plans to get involved in her father's legal troubles. In related news, young Lohan has also managed to just squeak out of trouble in this collection of photos taken of her partying with her friends on Thanksgiving and currently burning up the blogs. Some of her friends are shown toking up and boozing it up, but Lohan herself is not. According to her rep, "Lindsay doesn't smoke pot, she smokes cigarettes. [The pictures] are fun. Those are her friends." (N.Y. Daily News, Rush and Molloy, Defamer)
Also: Drew Barrymore arranged for a meeting between her mother, Jaid, and her father, John D. Barrymore, two weeks before his death on Monday. The former couple hadn't seen each other in more than 20 years, but during the reunion, all three members of the troubled family held hands. "It was very emotional," said a source (Rush and Molloy) ... Infighting is overtaking "The View" knockoff "Life & Style": Word is that Jules Asner and Kimora Lee Simmons can't stand each other. "They are both vying for top slots on the show," says a source. (Page Six)
Words of journalistic wisdom from Tom Brokaw as he vacated his NBC anchor chair last night: "The enduring lessons through the decades are these: It's not the questions that get us in trouble, it's the answers." (NBC News via N.Y. Daily News)
Correction of the day, courtesy of Page Six: "We blew it yesterday when we reported that Herman Melville worked at the front desk of the Riverview Hotel on West Street in 1907, an impossibility since the 'Moby Dick' author died in 1891, as many of our more learned readers pointed out."
-- Amy Reiter