Today's News: Our Take


COS AND EFFECT

Bill Cosby is returning to the small screen, adapting his best-selling book Congratulations! Now What?: A Book for Graduates into a half-hour comedy series. Per Variety, the show will revolve around a new college grad who moves back in with his parents. Cosby is not expected to star in the project. In related news, Nick at Nite has renewed Cosby's animated series Fatherhood for a second season. read more

NCIS A Navy captain's wife and...

NCIS
A Navy captain's wife and his angelic, piano-playing, blind daughter are abducted for ransom. (I know. We're barely two minutes into the show and I was groaning, too.) The kidnapper — who's tormenting the captain via webcam on his office PC — demands two million bucks in a creepy, electronically altered voice. And the little blind girl is, of course, freakishly developed in her other senses and thus is able to help the NCIS investigators save her parents. That is, when she's not too busy weeping and tugging at the viewer's heartstrings like a Dickensian orphan. Ugh. It's just old-fashioned melodrama — the same ol' schmaltzy, manipulative kind of TV drama I hate, even if it does have the modern technological twist. Sorry, Mark Harmon's still a handsome silver fox (and Michael Weatherly didn't look so bad in that sweaty tank top either), but I still can't get into NCIS.

By the way, some things ser read more

STICKS AND STONERS...

Comedy Central is disputing Bill O'Reilly's assertion that The Daily Show is watched by a bunch of "stoned slackers." The Fox News pit bull made the crack earlier this month when Jon Stewart appeared on his show. Well, Comedy Central did a little digging and, according to Nielsen, Daily Show viewers are more likely to have completed four years of college than folks who watch The O'Reilly Factor. Granted, we, I mean, they were stoned most of the time, but we, I mean, they graduated nonetheless. read more

UNIVERSE ON HOLD

CBS has postponed the premiere of its Wednesday-night comedies King of Queens and Center of the Universe (thank you Lord, er, Les), originally slated to debut this week, until Oct. 20. The network will fill the 9-10 pm hour with CSI repeats and an Oct. 13 presidential debate. Why the three-week delay? I can only assume Eye execs feared Queens' loyal viewership would reject John Goodman's god-awful Universe and then no one would be left to watch CSI: NY at 10 pm. That's just a hunch. read more

SHORT CUTS

Comedy Central is expected to put a fork in Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn when production wraps in November, per The Hollywood Reporter... MTV has ordered three more seasons of Punk'd, Variety reports... NBC's Nashville affiliate has downgraded the struggling Jane Pauley Show from 3 pm to the less-desirable 11 am time slot. read more

Stacie J. to World: ''I'm Not Crazy''


Had Stacie J. consulted her now-infamous Magic 8 Ball before entering Donald Trump's boardroom on last Thursday's Apprentice, it probably would have said, "Signs Point to Unemployment." But the 35-year-old model/Subway franchisee — whose 8-Ball-fueled breakdown freaked out her teammates and led to her firing — isn't about to let a pesky little pink slip get her down. She's too busy fending off accusations that she's loony tunes to worry about that.

TV Guide Online: I thought it was really cruel how the girls all ganged up on you in the boardroom.
Stacie J:
[Sighs] It was terrible.

TVGO: That said, your Magic 8-Ball freak-out was a little spooky. What happened?
Stacie J:
I was trying to motivate my team. It was the end of the task and I was like, "Hey you guys, we won! We won! Come on, get psyched!" I was being a cheerleader for the team. It's like what I do at my store — I own a Subway sandwich s read more

TIME CHECK

Carlos Bernard has finalized a deal to return to Fox's 24 during February sweeps. (The show's new season premieres in January.) When last seen, Bernard's character — CTU chief Tony Almeida — was being carted off to prison after committing treason. The fate of Almeida's wife, played by Reiko Aylesworth, remains up in the air. read more

TEAM PLAYER

On last night's Tonight Show, Jay Leno announced his, um, "decision" to retire in 2009 and pass the torch to Conan O'Brien. In explaining his, um, "decision," he recalled the messy situation in the early '90s when NBC passed over David Letterman for the Tonight Show job in favor of Leno — prompting Letterman to bolt to CBS. "A lot of friendships were permanently damaged," he said. "Quite frankly, I don't want to see anybody go through that again." read more

EXTREME VICTORY

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition kicked off its second season Sunday with nearly 16.4 million viewers — the show's biggest audience ever. Ty and Co. helped ABC score a rare victory on the night in total viewers and in adults 18-49. read more

BB5's Cowboy Bucked


He might've been the most happy-go-lucky (if slightly dim-witted) cast member of Big Brother 5, but Michael Ellis, better known as Cowboy, is very bummed that his ex-housemates awarded the $1 million prize to cutie-pie Drew. The 23-year-old from Oklahoma doesn't begrudge his fellow "Horseman" the cash — he just wishes BB5's jury had based their votes on financial need more than gamesmanship. While this soon-to-be married gent tried hard to fit in — he even let his roomies shave racing stripes in his leg hair! — Cowboy couldn't win a Head of Household competition to save his life. Here, the downtrodden runner-up shares his regrets with TV Guide Online.

TV Guide Online: You must be happy. You won some money.
Michael Ellis:
Well, it wasn't the 500 Gs.

TVGO: Well, $50,000 isn't too shabby.
Michael:
Oh, no. I need to pay some bills.

TVGO: Did you at least have fun in the Big Brother read more

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