Today's News: Our Take


Secrets of the Dead So, since...

Secrets of the Dead
So, since it is Holy Week and all, I figured it would probably be good for my eternally damned soul to check out this hour on the shroud of Turin. The legendary wrap, long revered as the final burial cloak of Jesus, has fascinated me since Miss McKenna told my grade-school religion class the traumatizing Bible story that's been making Mel Gibson a ton of money these days. Is it the Savior's impression resonating from that ancient linen? And who was using such a light fabric so early in the season? Of course, there are no clear-cut answers offered here. Just a bunch of British scholars blathering on and on about carbon-dating, restoration processes and other CSI tidbits that made the mystery not only murkier, but God help me, pretty damn dull. Oh well, I guess that's what faith is all about. Being able to discount the brainiacs and trusting what you believe. And believe me, this is the last time I go to PBS for read more

TRUMP'S LEFTOVERS

KFC has a message for the runner-up of NBC's The Apprentice: "You're hired." The fried-chicken giant announced Tuesday that it will offer the show's final fired contestant — Bill, Kwame, Amy or Nick — a crispy $25,000 to spend one week helping the company roll out its new oven-roasted chicken line. In related news, rumor has it the Evergreen diner over here on 47th street is about to offer Oma-rosa minimum wage to spend the foreseeable future as its lunchtime hostess. 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

Apprentice Ice Queen Chills

NBC warned TV Guide Online — and its entire audience, for that matter — never to cross Carolyn Kepcher, Donald Trump's right-hand woman on The Apprentice. But since we're as bull-headed as Sam and as ballsy as Omarosa, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to find out what really tees off the ice queen, who runs two of The Donald's golf clubs. So put on a sweater and read on — we've got chills; they're multiplyin'!

TV Guide Online: You seem like the last woman in the world who would ever stoop to the kind of name-calling nonsense that went on among the female Trump wannabes. Were you mortified by their behavior?
Carolyn Kepcher:
There was one catalyst there. All the arguments stemmed from one person. When she wasn't involved, I think the women worked well together.

TVGO: But enough about Omarosa. What was your reaction to the ladies' reliance on their sexuality to score big?
Kepcher:
Their whole premis 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

Why Contender KO'd Rocky Theme


Mark Burnett and Sylvester Stallone are recruiting yet another champ for their upcoming NBC boxing reality series, The Contender. "We're talking to Bill Conti, who wrote [the theme from Rocky], about writing our theme song," reveals Burnett, who calls "Gonna Fly Now" the "most inspiring theme I can imagine. Whenever you really, really feel like s--t and can't keep going, [that song] is a good motivator."

The reality guru, however, decided against using the song in The Contender because he believes it's "too identifiable with Rocky. This is about real life and 16 young men getting a chance."

That said, Burnett — who recently signed boxing greats Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman to climb into the ring and mentor the aspiring pugilists — is eyeing another signature Rocky tune for The Contender. "At some po read more

Rings Star's DVD Scoop!

Lord of the Rings star Billy Boyd exchanged his hobbit feet for sea legs when he climbed aboard Peter Weir's high-seas epic, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which arrives on DVD April 20. While the Scottish actor wasn't initially enamored of the ocean, by the time filming ended, he discovered that a sailor's life might just be for him.

TV Guide Online: Did you realize that between Master and Commander and The Lord of the Rings, you were up for 21 Oscars this year?
Billy Boyd:
Yeah, I like to say that I won 13 Oscars that night — I'm sure that breaks some record. (Laughs) It was a very special night, although the more awards that Return of the King won, the more I got kind of jumpy about it. I didn't want everyone else to win and then find out that Peter Jackson had been passed over. Any other year but this one and Master and Commander would have done amazingly well. I actua 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

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