Never underestimate the power of the Golden Globe Awards.
Just ask Robert Downey Jr., who walked off with a renewal stint on "Ally McBeal" merely two days after winning the best supporting actor Globe for the Fox series.
The embattled actor has been entangled in criminal charges stemming from his drug arrest late last year, throwing the future of his career in much speculation. But The Hollywood Reporter is saying today that the actor has sealed a deal with the Fox legal-eagle show to reprise his role for as many as 11 additional episodes, beyond the 10 shows he had already completed this season.
According to the report, the actor could head back to the set as early as next week when production of "Ally McBeal" begins.
The actor is currently free on $50,000 bail and will go back to court on Monday for a scheduled hearing.
TAKE A BITE OUTTA THIS! The fate of "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" could lie in the hands of series star Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Word has been rampant that the show might defect from its WB home to go to other networks, but series star Gellar is not about to have any of that, E! Online says.
"I will stay on 'Buffy' if, and only if, 'Buffy' stays on the WB," Gellar tells E! Online TV columnist Wanda. "And you know what? Print that. My bosses are going to kill me, but print that. I want them to know."
GOLDEN RATINGS: The Golden Globes telecast generated huge ratings for NBC on Sunday night, easily winning the numbers war for the night for the Peacock Network, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings.
The three-hour broadcast averaged 22.5 million viewers and a 10.0 rating and nabbed a 22 share in the key ages 18 to 49 demographic.
In other words, the NBC broadcast whooped everyone else that night.
TALKING THE 'TALK': After a long and arduous search, E! Entertainment's "Talk Soup" has finally found a new host in actress-comedienne Aisha Tyler, Daily Variety says.
Tyler, who also host the syndicated show "The Fifth Wheel," will assume her anchoring duties beginning Friday. The up-and-comer is the first woman and the first black person to sit in the spot.
Past "Talk Soup" talkers include Greg Kinnear and Hal Sparks.
'FIGHTING' REBEL: See, what did we tell you about the power of the Golden Globes earlier?!
Brian Dennehy -- who took a Globe home on Sunday night for best actor in a miniseries or TV movie -- has already got a new gig lined up at NBC. According to Variety, the network has greenlit a sitcom starring the actor for a March debut.
In "The Fighting Fitzgeralds," Dennehy will play an Irish dad whose three grown sons still live with him. The pilot will bow March 6 after "3rd Rock From the Sun."
White House scandal, suburban weirdness, murder. ...
Nope, this isn't a rundown of the hourly news. It's some of the more juicy, ratings-grabbing tidbits the networks have masterminded for the famed (or infamous) February sweeps.
For the next 28 days -- from today until March 1 -- our TV nation will be bombarded with special programs concocted to induce ratings, the better to spike ad rates for the upcoming season.
From cameo appearances to splashy adventures to tabloid melodrama, the networks have pulled out all their stops to keep viewers complacently glued to the tube. Needless to say, the revolution will not be televised during the sweeps period.
Here are some of the sweeps hopefuls that caught our eyes:
"Sally Hemings: An American Scandal" (Feb. 13 and 16, CBS) -- The four-hour "setting-the-record-straight" historical dramatization chronicles the "love story" between President Thomas Jefferson (Sam Neill) and his slave Sally Hemings (Carmen Ejogo).
"Perfect Murder, Perfect Town" (Feb. 27 and Mar. 1, CBS) -- The four-hour mini-serialization of the disturbing murder mystery of kiddie beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey in a moneyed Colorado town. Marg Helgenberger and Ronny Cox co-star.
"Mary and Rhoda" (Feb. 7, ABC) -- Comeback kids Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper reprise their 1970s sitcom selves as Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern in this TV movie about two older women starting over in the Big Apple.
"The 10th Kingdom" (Feb 27-28, Mar. 1 and Mar. 5-6, NBC) -- A mishmash of fairy tales, this 10-hour uber-fantasy finds a NYC waitress (Kimberly Williams) and her deadbeat father (John Laroquette) stumbling into an alternate dimension. There, they battle a wicked queen (Dianne Wiest), save a deposed prince (Daniel Lapaine) and tread through other similarly identifiable fairy tale scenarios.
"Flowers for Algernon" (Feb. 20, CBS) -- In the adaptation of Daniel Keyes classic tale, Matthew Modine plays the mentally challenged lead character who becomes super intelligent as the result of a scientific experiment.
"Friends" (Feb. 3, NBC) Golden Globe nominee Reese Witherspoon ("Election") becomes an honorary "Friend," beginning a guest stint on the hit sitcom as Jennifer Aniston's little sister.
"Law & Order" (Feb. 9, NBC) -- Michael C. Williams, aka the guy who played Mike in "The Blair Witch Project," is slated for a guest appearance on the popular legal drama as the father of a dead baby in the episode titled "Mother's Milk."
"The Simpsons" (Feb. 13, Fox) -- Marge Flanders, compulsively perky wife of the compulsively perky Ned Flanders, will reportedly be killed off for (what else?) higher ratings.
"Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2000" (Feb. 26, TNT) -- In the vein of "Baywatch" minus the attempt at a narrative, this one-hour special promises to provide behind-the-scenes coverage of the sports mag's annual swimsuit issue. Damon Wayans and a surprise guest will host.