Today's News: Our Take


YOU GO GIRL'S

UPN has picked up the Jenny McCarthy comedy The Bad Girl's Guide for midseason. The show, based on Cameron Tuttle's book The Bad Girl's Guide to Getting What You Want, revolves around McCarthy and two female pals who live life to the fullest with no excuses. read more

STORK REPORT

King of Queens star Leah Remini gave birth to a little princess, Sofia Bella, on Wednesday, Entertainment Tonight reports. This is the first child for Remini and hubby Angelo Pagan. read more

SHE HAD IT COMING

A Beverly Hills woman pleaded not guilty to charges of stalking T-Mobile pitchwoman Catherine Zeta-Jones. Dawnette Knight, who was arrested June 3, was arraigned last week on one count of stalking and 25 counts of making "terrorist threats." She's being held on $1 million bail. Zeta-Jones' rep says that the actress and her family are "greatly relieved that the suspect is in custody." read more

The Simple Life 2: Road Trip OK,...

The Simple Life 2: Road Trip
OK, I have been jonesing for Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie since last winter, so I am thrilled the tabloid twins are back. And even though we all heard about Paris's horseback mishap back when they were filming the new season, it was still a shock to see her thrown around like that. Without it being online, that is. What I didn't expect was for Nicole to be so much funnier than her size-0 sidekick. Her reaction to the pink pick-up was bleep-ably priceless, as was the tollbooth begging routine. Which is sort of ironic, seeing how Lionel's little girl has probably never had to ask for money. Except for bail. But Paris, honey, could you keep your eyes on the road? I understand that the rearview mirror can be intoxicating, but Louis Vuitton doesn't do airbags, OK?

60 Minutes II
I just got chills watching Tony Hawk pull off his first-ever 900-degree midair spin at the '99 X-Treme read more

HUSH MONEY

Michael Jackson shelled out more than $23 million to settle child-molestation charges brought against him in the mid-90s. According to Court TV, Jackson — who is currently battling similar allegations — set up a $15-million trust fund for the young boy and agreed to pay his parents $1.5 million apiece. He also paid $5 million to cover the family's legal fees. Jackson's camp says the confidential agreement was deliberately released to influence jurors in the current case. read more

STILL MIA

Sean "P. Diddy" Combs missed yet another performance of Broadway's A Raisin in the Sun Tuesday, reportedly ailing from food poisoning. He's been out of commission since Saturday. read more

Joel Silver's Reality Stunt


Unless you've been living under The Rock — er, a rock — you've seen the flashy ads for NBC's Next Action Star (Tuesdays at 8 pm/ET). In the Peacock's latest reality-TV offering, 14 aspiring Jean-Claude Van Dammes and Linda Hamiltons vie to star in an upcoming made-for-TV movie. Over the course of the series, these masochistic hopefuls are schooled in the basics of stunt work. That means daily acting and combat lessons, as well as race-car driving and wire work. Each week's episode will culminate in a "screen test," eliminating one male and one female until only one competitor of each sex remains.

If you're picturing American Idol, Commando-style, you're not entirely off base. The show's backed by prolific producer Joel Silver, the man behind such action smashes as Predator, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and The Matrix. Reality TV and this movie mogul may seem an unlikely mix, but Silver ha read more

Survivor's Jerri Speaks Out!

Survivor villainess Jerri Manthey has taken lots of heat for her witchy behavior on TV. Most recently, the live audience booed her off the stage at the All-Stars reunion. Tired of her self-styled bad-girl image, she's showing her softer side as co-host of Extreme Dodgeball (Tuesdays at 10 pm/ET). The series airs on GSN (formerly known as Game Show Network), where many ex-reality contestants — including Evan Marriott — have found gigs. Before Manthey gets too comfy watching from the sidelines, though, TV Guide Online tosses a few hardballs her way!

TVGO: Have you spoken to Jeff Probst since the All-Stars finale?
Jerri Manthey:
No, I haven't. Since the whole fiasco, I haven't spoken to anybody from the production side of Survivor. Jeff came up and gave me a hug at the end of "The Let's Give Rupert $1 Million Show." He said, "Jerri, don't hate me. I'm just doing my job." I said, "So am I."

TVGO read more

RATINGS ROUNDUP

Fox's North Shore and The Casino got off to decent starts Monday, pulling in roughly 6 million viewers and finishing third in their time slots among adults 18-49. Meanwhile, the fourth-season premiere of HBO's Six Feet Under on Sunday attracted 4.2 million viewers, down from the 5.1 million who tuned in for Season 3's debut. And without The Sopranos as a lead-in, the season finale of Deadwood drew a below-average 3.2 million viewers. read more

DRAWING POWER

Remember that big Buffy story I teased in Tuesday's column? Turns out I can't keep a freakin' secret to save my life. As reported in the new issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale tomorrow), the animated Buffy the Vampire Slayer series is back on the drawing board — with Sarah Michelle Gellar erased from the cast. According to sources, the Chosen One opted not to reprise her title role, leading creator Joss Whedon to recruit Giselle Loren — the video-game voice of Buffy — to mouth off alongside original Scoobies Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendon and Anthony Stewart Head in the pilot (which unspools for potential distributors next month). For an exclusive First Look at the Buffy toon, pick up the new issue of TV Guide read more

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