‘West Wing’ Says Goodbye
The West Wing walks and talks right off the screen, ending its seven-year run: Jimmy Smits’ character takes over the presidency, but Studio 60 gets custody of the pontificating. Also bidding adieu this year are Alias, Malcolm in the Middle, Charmed, That ’70s Show, and Will & Grace: The latter sitcom’s farewell proves a bitter disappointment for Patrick Swayze, Meg Ryan, and William ”The Refrigerator” Perry, who were sure that their numbers were finally — finally! — about to be called for guest-star duty.
Richard Hatch is sentenced to four-plus years in prison for not paying taxes on his million-dollar Survivor winnings. In July, he is sent to a West Virginia penitentiary, where he promptly has some prison-yard tension with a still-bitter convict who, back in 2000, bet all his cigarettes on Kelly Wiglesworth.
Al Gore Warms Up
Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth opens and goes on to gross $23.8 million. This makes it the third-highest-grossing non-IMAX/concert documentary ever; it’s an astonishing amount for what is essentially a 100-minute slide show. Drunk with accomplishment, Gore announces his next vanity project: a three-hour flip book on the estate tax.
Baby Brangelina Debuts
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s daughter, Shiloh Nouvel, is born; the baby is so genetically blessed that if she doesn’t have superstrength and the power of flight, it’s just an oversight. While last year the all-star couple spent most of their time denying couplehood, in 2006 the new parents go very public: They pledge not to get married until gays can, Pitt adopts Jolie’s two other kids, Maddox and Zahara, and they change the kids’ last names to Jolie-Pitt. This proves to be the most powerful surname for getting into restaurants, second only to, say, Winfrey-Christ.