Today's News: Our Take


David Letterman will test out a new sweeps stunt when he tapes next Friday's Late Show at 4 am/ET instead of in the usual late afternoon. "We thought it would be cool, just something different to try," says exec producer Rob Burnett. "We've been doing the show for so long that anytime you can come up with something new it makes it interesting for us." No celeb guests have been lined up yet. read more


Fox has signed SNL grad Molly Shannon, last seen in the network's short-lived comedy Cracking Up, to a one-year development deal, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The pact, said to be worth seven figures, calls for Fox to develop a comedy series project (ideally, a funny one) for the actress. read more


Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who called last Friday's controversial Nightline tribute to fallen U.S. troops a politically motivated ratings stunt, is launching a counteroffensive. Wallace, a former ABC staffer, says he will do a special segment on Fox News Sunday highlighting U.S. accomplishments in Iraq. So, take that Teddy! read more


The WB has made its first new series pickup for the fall, ordering 13 episodes of Jack & Bobby, a drama about two high-school-aged brothers — one of whom will grow up to become one of the greatest U.S. Presidents of all time. But a network rep insists that the project is "not about the Kennedys." Right, and Tarzan is still "on hiatus." read more


Ricky Martin's former manager has filed a $63.5-million lawsuit against the 32-year-old "Livin' La Vida Loca" crooner for breach of contract. Angelo Medina claims Martin failed to live up to terms agreed upon when they parted ways in September. read more

Joan Rivers Wants You!

Back in January, QVC launched their annual Host Search, scouring America for folks with the gift of gab. Who better to tell us all about it than jewelry and cosmetics hawker Joan Rivers, a 14-year vet of the home-shopping channel? At QVC's recent auditions in Rhode Island, Rivers sat down with TV Guide Online to dish the fine art of TV salesmanship, among other wacky things.

TV Guide Online: As a comic, how important is your sense of humor when selling something on TV?
Joan Rivers:
Everything is about humor with me. You've got to laugh at everything. It's very important. But you also have to understand that a lot of people don't know you're making a joke, so you don't make a joke about your products.

TVGO: You're an infamous fashion critic. Do you really think people should be judged by their looks?
It's all about looks. Anyone that says it's not is a liar. [But] what they want [at QVC], as opposed to, say, a movie star, is a real read more


Gilbert Lani Kauhi, best known for his role as Jack Lord's sidekick on Hawaii Five-0, died Monday in Honolulu of complications from diabetes. He was 66. read more


In related news, Survivor madwoman Susan Hawk will be virtually unrecognizable (read: kinda-sorta hot) at Sunday's All-Stars reunion show. Shortly after her run-in with Richard Hatch's genitalia, the 42-year-old truck driver underwent an extreme makeover, including a breast enlargement, eye lift, facial peel, tummy tuck and a chip reduction on her shoulder. For a preview of her Swan-like transformation, watch Extra tonight or simply click here. read more


The actress found dead in Phil Spector's home last year had gunshot residue on both of her hands and was shot with a gun inside her mouth, according to a just-released coroner's report. The findings would seem to bolster Spector's contention that Lana Clarkson killed herself. However, a rep for the prosecution tells Reuters that "Spector also had gunshot residue on him." The music producer is currently free on $1 million bail. read more


The New York Friars Club has dropped the R-bomb on Donald Trump, tapping the Apprentice star to be the sacrificial lamb at its annual roast on Oct. 15. read more

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