Today's News: Our Take


SHII DEVIL DROPPED

Mogo Mogo's last member standing, Shii Ann Huang, got the boot on Thursday's Survivor: All-Stars. But before going, the 30-year-old Thailand alum really "shook things up" when she fingered Amber as the player most likely to go home with the $1 million. (What a bombshell!!) If you've got questions for the Shii Devil, send them to me now! Where, you ask? If you don't know by now, well, that's just plain sad. read more

AFTERSHOCKS

The scientific community is blasting NBC's earthquake miniseries 10.5 (debuting Sunday) as a complete fantasy. "There is nothing in it that's connected to reality," argues Dr. Lucy Jones, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, in an interview with Reuters. "It's very clear that no scientists were consulted in the making of the movie." That's not exactly true. After seeing the film, I think it's safe to say producers got some tips from Dr. Clifford Cliché and his partner, Dr. Harvey Hackjob. read more

Alyssa Milano's Charmed Future

Playing the same TV character for six years can get a little boring. Unless you're Alyssa Milano. As Phoebe Halliwell on the WB's Charmed, Milano's gone through more than enough costume and personality changes to keep the magic alive for her. "When you're a little girl and you're in this business, which I was at 7 years old, that's what it's all about — playing dress-up," Milano says. The witchy woman — who has turned into a mermaid, a mummy and the Queen of the Underworld, just to name a few — really spices things up on Sunday, when she goes undercover as a dominatrix assassin. TV Guide Online asked Milano to borrow Phoebe's premonitory powers to foretell the future of Charmed.

TV Guide Online: Charmed was recently renewed for its seventh season. Will that be the last one?
Alyssa Milano:
We're all contracted for eight years. But I think we all feel like we want to go out on top. So if our ratings are as strong as th read more

EXECUTIVE DECISION

Newly installed ABC president Steve McPherson is altering the way the network chooses its fall schedule. In a bid to make the process less exclusionary, the former Touchstone suit will allow employees at all levels of the company to screen the pilots and give feedback. So if their shows suck next season, blame Betty in payroll. read more

WINGING IT

Former West Wing execs Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme are teaming up on The Farnsworth Invention, a New Line feature about how Philo Farnsworth invented TV technology and was robbed of the glory by broadcast pioneer David Sarnoff, Variety reports. In other movie news, Billy Bob Thornton has signed on to star in a remake of The Bad News Bears for Paramount. read more

Titanic Star: 50 Is Fabulous


In Laws of Attraction (opening Friday), Frances Fisher plays Julianne Moore's hot mama, Sara Miller, who's addicted to plastic surgery, younger men and rock 'n' roll. The 51-year-old actress — so memorable as Kate Winslet's gold-digging mother in Titanic — hopes her vivacious character will have a life beyond Laws.

"I want to do a spinoff of Sara Miller with [Attraction's helmer] Peter Howitt directing," Fisher says excitedly. "That's what we were all talking about when we were on the set. I feel that Sara could be sort of a new way to look at what 50 years old actually is. [It is] not our mothers' 50."

If her dream movie were made, however, she'd tweak Sara's over-the-top character traits to jive with her own personal outlook. "To tell you the truth, I wouldn't advocate plastic surgery and lip parties," she admits. "That was all a big joke. I'd probably want to tame that down a little bit.

read more

Joan "Mystery" Solved!


When you're master and commander of your own hit series, you can do anything you like: make a cameo appearance, name a character after yourself, give a job to your daughter, Tori... The sky's the limit! Joan of Arcadia creator Barbara Hall knows this very well. So, she tells TV Guide Online, she refused to play God with the songs she writes and records with partner Michael Guidry as the Enablers.

"A lot of different people pick the music for the show, and what I do is make [our material] available to them, because, for me, it doesn't count unless they choose it," Hall explains. "Otherwise," she adds with a laugh, "it's just me putting my music on my own show, which is not hard to do!"

Finally, after almost a full year, Hall's team of taste-makers has selected one of her tunes, the perkily ponderous "Mystery," for use in Friday's season finale (8 pm/ET on CBS). We can't accuse the staff of kissing up to the boss lady, eithe read more

WAR OF WORDS

The Sinclair Broadcast Group is barring its seven ABC-affiliated stations from airing tonight's Nightline tribute to fallen U.S. troops because it says the special "appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq." ABC defends the broadcast as "an expression of respect which simply seeks to honor those who have laid down their lives for this country." read more

STRIPPED

Christina Aguilera has canceled her 29-date summer tour on the advice of her doctors. The "Dirrty" diva is apparently suffering from strained vocal chords. "I am extremely disappointed to have to cancel this tour," she said in a statement. "I was looking forward to being on the road again and spending time with my fans." Aguilera will now focus on honing her Samantha Jones impersonation for a possible one-woman show. read more

WONDER TWINS POWER, ACTIVATE!

The Olsen Twi..., oops, I'm sorry — Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsenreceived a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Thursday. The 17-year-old self-made billionaires — who will host Saturday Night Live's season finale on May 15 — thanked family, friends, fans and "every cast member we've worked with through the years." I'm sorry, but Candace Cameron at the very least deserved to be mentioned by name. read more

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