Today's News: Our Take


IT'S OVER

Today cohost Katie Couric has reportedly split with her longtime beau, TV producer Tom Werner. The strain of a bicoastal relationship — he lives in Los Angeles and she in Studio 1A at Rockefeller Plaza — is being blamed for the breakup. read more

THE LOVE LINES ARE OPEN

Courtney Love has landed a steady gig that doesn't involve throwing stuff at people. The troubled rocker is set to host a two-hour weekly radio show on Los Angeles' 103.1 FM, during which she'll play favorites from her own music collection. The show will run on Fridays through the end of the month, or until she gets arrested for throwing stuff at people. read more

SHE'S SO A MOVIE STAR

Disney Channel phenom Raven is poised to headline a big-screen remake of the 1976 musical drama Sparkle, TV Guide Online has learned. The rags-to-riches pic revolves around three sisters who hit it big as a singing trio in 1950's New York. read more

SHORT CUTS

Former X-Files producer-scribe Frank Spotnitz is developing a fresh take on the '70s cult classic Kolchak: The Night Stalker for ABC, Variety reports... Comedy Central has renewed Reno 911! for a third season. New episodes will air this summer... Don't count out UPN's sublime Veronica Mars just yet: Tuesday's third episode was its highest- rated yet. In other Nielsen news, only 453,000 gay men and women caught the first episode of Bravo's vapid model romp, Manhunt. read more

FOX NEWS FLASH

A producer at Fox News Channel is accusing Bill O'Reilly of being unfair, unbalanced and kinda-sorta lewd. Andrea Mackris slapped cable's No. 1 hell-raiser with a sexual-harassment lawsuit Wednesday, claiming O'Reilly had phone sex with her against her wishes three times. O'Reilly also filed suit against Mackris, accusing her of demanding $60 million in "hush money." On his show Wednesday, O'Reilly called the whole sordid matter "the single most evil thing I have ever experienced, and I've seen a lot." Ahhh, but have you seen the Center of the Universe pilot? Didn't think so. read more

EIGHT DAYS A WEEK

The Beatles are joining forces with Cirque du Soleil to produce a major Las Vegas production that will replace Siegfried & Roy's show at The Mirage hotel-casino. Cirque will have unlimited access to the group's musical archive and, although they won't appear in the show, surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will help shape the $100-million production. read more

Lost WHOAAA!! What the...? Locke...

Lost
WHOAAA!! What the...? Locke couldn't walk before the crash? You're messing with a lot of people, Mr. J.J. Abrams, so you had better have one pants-wetter of an explanation for all these freaky island twists, OK? Obviously, this isn't heaven, since there's no way that shrew Shannon could get past the Pearlies. And Hell would never have such good scenery. So that leaves us with either the Bermuda Triangle, one of the survivor's St. Elsewhere-y hallucinations or Stefano DiMera is behind it all. Oh, wait, that's Days of our Lives' "captive island" plot. Well, then I got nuthin'. But I can promise you two things: One, Locke did not kill that boar. And two, he knows what did. Why he's keeping mum about that and his pre-accident paralysis is as shady as, well, that undertaker-looking dude Jack keeps seeing over by the trees. Which, by the way, was only a wee bit more unsettling than that look the Korean lady gave Michael when he ask read more

Question: Have you heard any ...

Question: Have you heard any scoop on what really happened to cause the producers of Monk to fire Bitty Schram? — Melissa

Ausiello: Although the company line was "creative reasons," there's talk that Schram was angling for more coin and got a pink slip instead. At a pre-Emmy party last month, I overheard one of the producers discussing this very matter. When asked why Schram was ousted, said producer simply replied, "Life is too short." Interpret as you like.

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Question: Wow. With "Ask ...

Question: Wow. With "Ask Ausiello" you now have a column that neither informs nor entertains. Congratulations! — Rick

Ausiello: Okay, folks. I get it: You like "Ask Ausiello." You really, really like "Ask Ausiello."

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Question: Loved the premiere ...

Question: Loved the premiere "Ask Ausiello" column. Random observations + random answers = entertaining reading. — Jeremy

Ausiello: Jeremy, I think we took the same math class in high school. Did you go to Roselle Park?

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