Today's News: Our Take


Fueled by the stellar debut of its new reality series Boot Camp, Fox took top-rated honors among the all-important adult 18-49 demographic last week with the XFL-muddled NBC tied with ABC for third. Although the alphabet network reached the most number of viewers (12.74 vs. 12.73 million for Survivor-driven CBS), a less-potent Who Wants to Be a Millionaire means ABC was down compared to last year at this time. Over at UPN, with WWF Smackdown! on the upswing (8.1 million viewers), the male-oriented weblet bested the WB. The top five shows of the week were: Survivor: The Australian Outback, ER, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Tuesday) and Friends. read more


Columbia University journalism professor Al Gore has a surprise for his graduate students today: The former VP has recruited David Letterman as a guest speaker. The funnyman will address "The Use of Humor in the Media to Cover Politics and National Affairs." read more


A producer from Cops was arrested for drunk driving Monday night in Atlanta while on his way to work on the Fox reality series. Murray Jordan, 64, was en route to meet with police to set up filming for an episode when an officer stopped him for making an illegal left turn. According to The Associated Press, the officer smelled alcohol on Jordan's breath, and his blood-alcohol level was measured at .136 percent; Georgia's legal limit is .08. read more


Have Tom Green and Drew Barrymore finally tied the knot? According to Green, yes they have. The comic-actor told USA Today that he and Barrymore — who are known for their marital hoaxes — "were recently married" in a private ceremony "a couple of weeks ago." A rep for Barrymore confirmed the nuptials. read more


Talk show host Rosie O'Donnell was taken to the hospital early this morning after the stitches from her recent tendon surgery became infected. "She was in pain," her rep, Lois Smith, tells TV Guide Online. "She probably should have spent a little more time at home and not have shown the entire world her stitches." O'Donnell went under the knife last Friday, and unveiled her stitches on Tuesday's Rosie O'Donnell Show as well as Live with Regis &#038 Kelly. The View's Joy Behar served as substitute host on O'Donnell's program today, and may be called back into action tomorrow. "[Rosie] had every plan of coming out [of the hospital] tonight and being back tomorrow, but to be honest, I don't know," Smith adds. "I think it's a little early." O'Donnell injured her hand last summer while on vacation. read more


Last week's episode of Survivor featuring studmuffin Colby collecting pieces of Australia's protected Great Barrier Reef to take back to his fellow tribemates has come back to haunt producer Mark Burnett. Turns out, that's a no-no — and punishable with fines up to $55,000. "On behalf of myself, production and the survivors involved, we extend our sincerest apologies for this error," Burnett said in a statement. "Please know that this was an honest mistake which we deeply regret." Meanwhile, the family of the pig murdered by contestant Michael Skupin are still waiting for their formal apology. read more


David Copperfield survived last night's CBS special, in which the magician spent approximately 10 seconds at the center of a man-made 140 mph tornado of fire. "It was exhausting and it was scary," Copperfield later said. "I felt a burning sensation in my throat." read more


NBC has cancelled its legal drama First Years after three airings, the Los Angeles Times reports... Country singer Naomi Judd broke her ankle Monday after she stepped into a hole on her Franklin, Tenn. farm... Survivor vixen Jerri Manthey will make a return appearance on CBS's The Early Show Thursday to face a grilling from host Bryant Gumbel, who was absent last Friday when the ousted Outbacker was a guest. read more

Angels on the Outs

Joss Whedon — creator and executive producer of the WB's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel — has a bone to pick with 20th Century Fox, the studio behind Angel as well as the freshman smash Dark Angel. Fox's decision to pit Dark's sci-fi siren Jessica Alba against vampire sire David Boreanaz on Tuesday nights has resulted in a steep ratings decline for the Buffy spinoff, and Whedon's out for blood.

"The fact that they put [Dark Angel] on opposite a show that they produce, thereby hurting it, shows that they really don't care," Whedon tells TV Guide Online. "Their big picture is clearly so big that whatever I think and whatever I am doing doesn't matter, and I resent that. But I am not the 'Big Picture Guy.' I'm just making my shows."

Ma read more


Regis Philbin will serve as grand marshal of the 2002 Tournament of Roses Parade, he announced this morning on Live with Regis &#038 Kelly... Pop diva Mariah Carey has ended her long relationship with Columbia Records and reportedly inked a deal with Virgin Records that could pay her $20 million per album... Cuba Gooding Jr. and SNL cut-up Horatio Sanz are in talks to star in Boat Trip, playing two straight buddies who mistakenly book a trip on a gay cruise... Country singer Loretta Lynn was released from the hospital Saturday after nearly two weeks of treatment for pneumonia... Christian Slater and wife Ryan Haddon are expecting their second child in September, USA Today reports. — Michael Ausiello with Daniel R. Coleridge read more

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