Today's News: Our Take


ROLE REVERSAL

Tracey Ullman and Carol Burnett will headline a remake of Once Upon a Mattress for ABC this season. Ullman will play Princess Winnifred, the role Burnett made famous on Broadway. Burnett, meanwhile, will play the evil Queen Aggravain. read more

GOOD PROBLEMS

Jay-Z's "99 Problems" video nabbed a leading six nominations for the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards. Beyonce, No Doubt, and OutKast followed with five nominations apiece. MTV, meanwhile, announced that this year's show — taking place Aug. 29 at Miami's American Airlines Arena — would be host-free. Another big change: Celebs will approach the red carpet via luxury yachts. Except for Courtney Love, who will be MedEvac-ed in. read more

SHORT CUTS

Kristin Dattilo (The Chris Isaak Show) has been cast as the mom on the new WB fall comedy Commando Nanny... Former NBC Newsman Jim Avila has joined ABC's 20/20. read more

Question: Who is the woman ...

Question: Who is the woman who played Christie Love, a detective on a '70s TV show? I have a bet with my wife that she is the same woman who played Cleopatra Jones in the '70s. Please make me a winner. — Darren D., Atlanta, Ga.

Televisionary: Can't do that, Darren. The late Teresa Graves, who in 2002 died at 54 from injuries suffered from a fire in her L.A. home, played Det. Christie Love on the ABC show, which ran from September 1974 to July 1975. Tamara Dobson played Cleopatra Jones in both Cleopatra Jones and Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold.

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Question: All the hullaballo ...

Question: All the hullaballo about Fahrenheit 9/11 got me thinking. Didn't Michael Moore have some kind of show on Fox? This would be when Fox was still in its infancy (years before Fox News Channel, whose commentators lambaste Moore's ideology). And Moore was hot off his success of Roger and Me. — Kelby, Pittsfield, Mass.

Televisionary: You're thinking of Moore's TV Nation, which ran on NBC for a couple months beginning in July 1994, then jumped to Fox for a few more episodes in July of the following year. A sort of wacky, irreverent newsmagazine, it was hosted by Moore and included work from correspondents such as Merrill Markoe, Karen "Duff" Duffy, Janeane Garofalo, Jonathan Katz and Jeff Stilson.

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THAT'S HOT

Simple Life 2 stars Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie have been tapped to host the 2004 Teen Choice Awards, airing Aug. 11 on Fox. (That's hot.) Britney Spears is also slated to make a special appearance at the ceremony, which tapes Aug. 8 in Los Angeles. (That's hot, too.) read more

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The Art Cafe and Bakery in San Luis Obispo, Calif., has gotten a new lease on life thanks to Oprah Winfrey. The talk show host mailed a big, fat check to the joint's owners after learning they were planning to shut the place down for financial reasons. Apparently, she sampled the cafe's chicken-curry sandwich a few weeks back and was overwhelmed. The moral of the story? "Always do your best," says Winfrey, "because you never know who's watching." read more

BAD TEACHER

Billy Bob Thornton has signed on to star in Mr. Woodcock (tee-hee), a New Line comedy about a guy who returns home to stop his mom from marrying his evil high-school gym teacher (Thornton). read more

WHEN IT RAINS...

So, we know why George Eads and Jorja Fox were MIA from the CSI set last week. But what was William Petersen's excuse? Turns out, the actor called in sick after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. He's expected back on the set tomorrow when taping resumes. read more

Oprah After the Show Oprah Quote...

Oprah After the Show
Oprah Quote of the Night: "I forgot what it's like to be treated like a regular person." Ain't that the truth.

Trading Spouses
I wish some spoiled-butt doctor's wife would sit up in my house talking about "I need my coffee" or "Where's my lunch?" Shoot. Some of us don't believe in letting our 72-year-old mother-in-law wait on us hand and foot — as if she were the maid. That woman knows she ought to be ashamed of herself. But, of course she's not. And now that that blond Mrs. Yakamura has worked my last nerve, I've got to watch this tomorrow to find out what happens. And you know I need to watch another reality show like I need another hole in my head. Darn repeats. Why'd they have to show this tonight?

The T-Mobile Commercial
"You want some of this, monkey boy?!" Hmmm. Now how can I work that line into casual conversation?

The Casino
Alright Tim and read more

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