The Fix

Screen Actors Guild awards bring d

By David Marchese
Published January 29, 2007 1:14PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
SAG winners: Sunday night's Screen Actors Guild awards ceremony was a virtual replay of the Golden Globes earlier this month, as Helen Mirren ("The Queen"), Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland") and Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy ("Dreamgirls") all reprised their earlier wins. "House's" Hugh Laurie and "Ugly Betty's" America Ferrara also repeated their Golden Globe victories, as did the cast of "Grey's Anatomy" -- which accepted the award minus the rehabbing Isaiah Washington. "Little Miss Sunshine" put a slight damper on the déjà vu by bringing home the night's big award, outstanding performance by a motion picture cast. "Sunshine" costar Steve Carell proved to be a lucky charm -- his show "The Office" won the television award for best comedy ensemble. Julie Andrews received the Guild's lifetime achievement award. (Hollywood Reporter)

Bollywood actress wins U.K. "Big Brother": Indian film actress Shilpa Shetty was voted the winner Sunday of the U.K. "Big Brother," beating out Jermaine Jackson with 63 percent of the public's vote. Shetty's run on the show was marked by controversy. "Big Brother" received more than 40,000 complaint letters and lost a key sponsor after other contestants referred to the actress as "Shilpa Poppadum," criticized her English skills and told to her "fuck off home." The brouhaha lead to some serious pontificating in the press on the larger social significance of her treatment and drew comment from Prime Minister Tony Blair. After winning, Shetty downplayed the racial incidents, saying, "People make mistakes and we're all human beings. We're all fallible." (BBC, New York Times)

T.R. Knight to leave "Grey's"? In today's other nugget of entertainment industry intolerance, a "Grey's Anatomy" insider says actor T.R. Knight -- the target of costar Isaiah Washington's homophobic slur -- is "so upset about the situation and so disgusted by how it was handled" that he's planning to quit the show. The source also says that Knight, who plays the doctor George O'Malley, is fed up with the show's "toxic and unhealthy" atmosphere. However, both Knight's spokeswoman and an ABC rep shot down any talk of a departure. (The Scoop)

Dietrich's sad last days: "The Grand Surprise," a collection of previously unpublished journals by late Vanity Fair editor Leo Lerman, contends that legendary screen siren Marlene Dietrich, who died in 1992, was so strapped for cash while living in Paris during the late '80s that she took money from an obsessed fan -- in return for singing to him while he "performed an act of sexual self-gratification." (Page Six)

Sacha Baron Cohen earned himself a place in the top 20 in the U.K. edition of GQ's list of the 100 most powerful men in Britain, only one spot behind Prince William (Independent) ... The genre-spoofing comedy "Epic Movie" took top spot at the box office over the weekend, earning $19.2 million. Actioner "Smokin' Aces" came in at No. 2 with $14.3 mill. (CNN) ... The first pics of Britney Spears' 4-month-old baby, Jayden James, have surfaced. (Us) ... Actress Marcheline Bertrand, Angelina Jolie's mother, passed away at 56 yesterday after a long battle with cancer. (People)

Money Quote:
Accepting the award for best actor in a comedy series at Sunday night's SAG awards, Alec Baldwin singled out someone for special praise: "Jonathan, the focus puller, who at my age misses the mark every now and then, and shaves six or eight years off my close-ups." (Hollywood Reporter)

Turn On:
Jack Bauer's dad shows up on "24" (Fox, 9 p.m. EST), late economist Milton Friedman gets the documentary treatment in "The Power of Choice: The Life and Ideas of Milton Friedman" (PBS, 10 p.m. EST), and Mario Lopez hosts the 2007 Miss America Pageant (CMT, 8 p.m. EST).

On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EST): Tyra Banks
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EST): Will Smith, Evanescence
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST): Bill Cosby, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Katharine McPhee
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EST): Brad Garrett, Sarah Silverman, Peter Bjorn & John
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EST): Dylan McDermott, Connie Nielsen, Billy Bragg
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EST): David Arquette, Joan and Melissa Rivers, Spank Rock
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EST): Bill Gates
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EST): Barry M. Lando

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David Marchese

David Marchese is associate music editor at Salon.

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