Today's News: Our Take


LION DOWN

NBC has sent Father of the Pride back to its cage. According to Variety, the network is shelving the big-budget CGI comedy for November sweeps, replacing it with supersized editions of The Biggest Loser. But Peacock execs say the show hasn't been canceled, insisting Pride will return in December with the first of six remaining episodes. Of course, they also said Hawaii was coming back and, well, it's not. (Thank you, God.) read more

Question: I saw a two-hour ...

Question: I saw a two-hour show called McMillan instead of McMillan and Wife. I used to watch the show all the time and I don't remember anything happening to his wife (Susan Saint James). How did they explain his being on his own? Did she die or did they get divorced? — Barbara, Dallas

Televisionary: The former. And, in my continuing service to readers who missed info the first time around, you can read about it here.

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SHORT CUTS

ABC's Desperate Housewives scaled new heights Sunday, attracting a best-yet 22.3 million viewers... Comedy Central is developing a weekly sketch show starring SNL grad Norm Macdonald... Lions Gate Films is already planning a sequel to Saw, which grossed a strong $17 million over the weekend... Universal is sneaking Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason into theaters on Nov. 12, a week before its scheduled opening... Quentin Tarentino told Total Film magazine that he's planning to make a kung-fu flick with all the dialogue in Mandarin Chinese and dubbed over in out-of-sync English. I hear there's a part in it for Ashlee Simpson. read more

THE NEXT SEINFELD?

Stand-up comic Brian Regan, a regular on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Late Show with David Letterman, is developing an untitled sitcom project at NBC, per The Hollywood Reporter. Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence, who recently inked a sitcom deal with the WB, is producing. If both of these projects get picked up, it's safe to say Lawrence will have less time to focus on Scrubs. And that would make me very, very angry. read more

OFF TO WAR

Cabler FX has ordered a pilot from überproducer Steven Bochco that is set on the front lines of the conflict in Iraq, per The Hollywood Reporter. The project, titled Over There, is described as an ensemble drama that explores the lives of Army soldiers in combat as well as the families they left behind. read more

ROUGH DRAFT

Republicans are accusing MTV of pushing a pro-Democratic agenda with its Rock the Vote campaign. Specifically, they cite a September e-mailing in which 660,000 young people received a mock draft card signed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that read, "You are hereby ordered for induction into the Armed Forces of the United States, and to report to a polling place near you." An MTV rep insists the network is "not biased... in any way, shape or form." read more

MOURNED

Hawaii Five-O actress Peggy Ryan, who played Jack Lord's secretary in the '70s police drama, died Saturday of complications from two strokes. She was 80. Prior to Hawaii Five-O, Ryan made a name for herself on the big screen, starring opposite dance partner Donald O'Connor in movie musicals such as This Is the Life and When Johnny Comes Marching Home. read more

IDOL IN CRISIS

A Fox rep is denying rumors that American Idol producers are at war with Fox. On Friday, Extra reported that three of Idol's executive producers walked out on production of the show in a dispute with the network about the direction of the fourth season. While the network spokeswoman concedes that "there's always conflict — it's a TV show," she says no one stormed off the show. "I don't know where Extra got that story from." Call me crazy, but maybe they got it from Simon Cowell's girlfriend, Extra correspondent Terri Seymour. Just a thought. read more

THE DOCTOR IS OUT

CBS has performed an emergency schedulectomy on dr. vegas. Effective this Friday, Rob Lowe's troubled drama will be replaced by random repeats of CSI, Without a Trace and Cold Case. read more

"You know they can't hear you...

"You know they can't hear you through the TV, right?" If I had a dime for every time I've heard that one! So I'm guilty of talking back to the tube. (Sighing, eye-rolling and cheering every once in a while, too.) For me, watching TV is an interactive experience, one I'm now happy to share with you as a new member of the Watercooler team.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
This "Behind the Scenes" special episode promises lots of surprises but I'm yawning through the first half hour of been-there, built-that construction shots. Here's the crew knocking down rotting beams. Now they're hanging drywall. And look, there's Ty in his muscle shirt, flexing his pecs while he cuts lumber. Things start to pick up when Sal the contractor announces that his construction company has created a scholarship fund for the two boys, who were born drug-addicted and raised by a single mother in a tiny dilapidated house. The Makeover crew builds an incredible hou read more

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