Today's News: Our Take


LIVE WITH CONDOLEEZZA

ABC, CBS and NBC will cut into regular programming Thursday beginning at 9 am/ET for live coverage of Condoleezza Rice's highly anticipated testimony before the Sept. 11 commission. Rice's appearance could last nearly three hours, so that means Regis and Kelly, the ladies of The View, Ellen DeGeneres and Bob Barker will likely have the day off. Everyone else should report to work as usual but plan on getting nothing done between 9 am and noon. read more

AXED

UPN confirmed Tuesday that The Parkers will end its five-year run on May 10 with an episode built around Nikki's wedding to Johnnie. The following night, the network will air America's Next Top Model: The Runway Ahead, an hourlong special that revisits the second season's winners (Yoanna) and losers (Shandi's crybaby boyfriend). read more

SHORT CUTS

American Idol meanie Simon Cowell will be a "special guest" on this weekend's Saturday Night Live, joining host Janet Jackson... CBS has rolled The Stones off its schedule after just three weeks... Director John Woo is developing a feature film based on Nintendo's best-selling video-game franchise Metroid. read more

END QUOTE

"Rufus went over and p----d on the TV." — My brother David on his yellow Lab's reaction to Camile Velasco's ghastly cover of Elton John's "Yellow Brick Road" on last night's American Idol. read more

Frasier Quote of the Night: "Maybe...

Frasier
Quote of the Night:
"Maybe it's just as well. I'm lactose intolerant." — Jennifer Tilly's exit line to Kelsey Grammer at the conclusion of their unsuccessful date.

I love that wacky Jen Tilly (and her silly voice) in anything she does. Especially liked her better than Laura Linney, whose character has fortunately called it quits with Frasier, too. Didn't like them together. Oscar nominee or no, I catch Linney "acting" too often, so that it feels too much like you're watching a really earnest thespian practicing her craft in a play. It doesn't feel real. Then again, I'm watching a sitcom, so what the heck do I expect?

American Idol
Random thoughts on this week's Elton John-themed AI performance episode:

1. There are two guys in Hollywood who can pull off stylish scruff well: George Michael and me. Ryan Seacrest, on the other hand, n read more

MARTHA'S SUCCESSOR?

And the winner of the Today show's Domestic Diva contest is... a dude! With more than 40,000 votes cast, Wayne Johnson, a 48-year-old web designer from Chicago, was crowned the next Martha Stewart on this morning's show. He beat out 44-year-old stay-at-home mom Teri Bennett and 27-year-old program manager Sonya Nimri. Johnson wins a regular segment on the Today show and lifetime veto power over his brokerage firm's choice of hold music. read more

JOY RIDE

A Tennessee trucker responsible for transporting crew and equipment for Britney Spears' concert tour led cops on a high-speed chase through New Hampshire Monday after he was clocked going 78 mph in a 65-mph zone. After a 10-mile pursuit, Rusty Nail, er, David Raines was pulled over, arrested and ordered to appear in court later that day for an arraignment — an order he apparently ignored. He was probably out looking for his beloved Candy Cane. read more

VH1 GETS A LIFE

The Surreal Life is moving from the WB to VH1. The music network has ordered a 10-episode third season of the D-list slumber party to air later this year. The cast is still being assembled, but you can bet it will include a Baywatch grad (Michael Bergin?), an '80s rapper/DJ (Jazzy Jeff?), a reality reject (Oma-rosa?) and a former child star (Blossom?). read more

PAGING PUNKY BREWSTER...

It's official: Bravo is tszujing a female spinoff of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Queer Eye for the Straight Girl will debut early next year and feature a new team of gay male lifestyle coaches. The NBC-owned cabler has also greenlit Pilot Season, a reality series produced by Will & Grace's Sean Hayes that chronicles the making of a sitcom. read more

Bachelor QB Off the Bench


If what he says is true, and he has only seen a handful of episodes of ABC's The Bachelor, then New York Giants quarterback Jesse Palmer is, scarily, a natural to succeed kissing bandit Bob Guiney in the reality-TV "rose bowl" (starting tomorrow at 9 pm/ET). "There are a couple of hot-tub scenes," the muscle-bound 25-year-old readily admits. "I'll probably get a couple [of phone calls about them from my mother... but] I'm not going to ask for her opinion, I'll tell you that!"

Luckily, the affable hunk, who lists a nice rump among the qualities he most admires in a woman, didn't need Mom's input on his selection of a mate. This go-round, a close friend of his is pulling a Jennifer Garner in the ladies' house. "As soon as the idea came up [to employ a spy], I jumped all over it. I thought it was a great idea," he says. "I think it really, really helped me with some of the tougher decisions."

Isn't that romant read more

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