Today's News: Our Take


CULTURE CLASH

UPN has quietly wrapped production on its controversial reality series Amish in the City, Variety reports. Debuting July 28 at 8 pm/ET, this is the true story of five Amish youths picked to live in an ultramodern Hollywood Hills home with six "urban" kids to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start using electricity. read more

BACK IN TRAINING

Hey, Steve Guttenberg — call your agent. Warner Bros. is looking to jumpstart its Police Academy franchise by ordering an eighth installment, according to The Hollywood Reporter. read more

ANGEL'S SINFUL PAST

Move over, Paris Hilton. Actress Cameron Diaz is facing her very own Internet-porn scandal. The Caribbean-based Scandal-Inc.com is offering a pay-per-view peek at a racy S&M video Diaz shot as a 19-year-old model. It depicts the Charlie's Angels star topless, wearing fishnets and walking a leashed man like a dog. The video was shot by shutterbug John Rutter, who's been in a legal tussle with Diaz since she pressed extortion charges against him last year. Diaz's lawyers have reportedly sent a cease and desist letter to the website. Not that it'll be much help at this point... read more

IT'S GARRY SHANDLING!

Garry Shandling has signed on to host the 56th annual Emmy Awards, airing Sept. 19 on ABC. The last time Shandling emceed the kudocast — back in 2000 — the show nabbed its best ratings in 14 years. (No pressure, though.) Nominations will be announced July 15 and the word Scrubs better be mentioned. A lot. read more

Next Action Star Seriously, this...

Next Action Star
Seriously, this one gives my inner casting agent the vapors. We've got screen tests, screaming matches, egos the size of a Joel Silver budget. And for what? A two-hour TV movie deal. Big whoop. Like any of the mansion-dweller dramaramas need to worry about doing The Revenge of 10.5. I say, give the winners a series. Law & Order: Process Servers Unbound. Or maybe a comedy-action hybrid. Third Watch from the Sun. It could work. As for the hopefuls, well, some of them probably won't work. Herewith, my take on our vexed Action Stars:

Sean — The soaps called. They want their broad shoulders and narrow emotional range back, OK?

Melisande — Like Victoria Burroughs said, it's like turning a model into an actress. Or a human. It ain't gonna happen.

Jeanne — Just lovely. But lovely isn't tough.

MaeThis is tough. And s read more

GRIM DISCOVERY

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a triple homicide that took place at ABC newsman Sam Donaldson's New Mexico ranch over the weekend. Cody Posey was charged with killing his father, stepmother and stepsister — all of whom worked at Donaldson's ranch. He discovered the bodies Tuesday night. read more

FYI, FOLKS

For the next two weeks, I'll be handing the "Entertainment News" reins over to several of my very capable TV Guide Online colleagues (ready Missy?) as I head to Los Angeles to cover the Television Critics Assoc. press tour. The good news is you can still get your daily Michael Ausiello fix courtesy of my Press Tour Diary, which debuts this Sunday in the Insider section (Up first: NBC). The bad news is I can never find a fresh bottle of Diet Raspberry Snapple in L.A. so I'm probably going to be even crankier than usual. (I can't be sure, but I think there will be a case of fresh Diet Raspberry Snapple waiting for me in my hotel room when I arrive tonight.) read more

WILL HE BEAT IT?

Michael Jackson's lawyers filed a motion Tuesday to have his grand-jury indictment on molestation charges tossed out. They claim prosecutors bullied witnesses and "ran the proceedings as if they employed the grand jurors." read more

AMAZING NUMBERS

The return of Big Brother and The Amazing Race helped CBS win Tuesday night in total viewers and key demos. And with more than 10 million viewers, the Emmy-winning Race earned its best ratings since its third-season finale in 2002. read more

Will Ferrell Bares All


Will Ferrell will do anything for a laugh — and that includes posing nude on the cover of TV Guide magazine (on sale tomorrow). But in his latest film, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, the former Saturday Night Live cut-up says he attempted to peel back the emotional layers to reveal the heartache hidden beneath his title character's pompous exterior. Seriously.

"Ron enjoys the mantle of being San Diego's No. 1 news guy," Ferrell says. "But he's a little sad when he gets home, opens that refrigerator door and there are just two beers and an empty Chinese-food carton — and [only] his dog waiting for him. He's slightly pathetic but he doesn't want anyone to know."

If it sounds like Ferrell has a good handle on Burgundy, it's probably because he co-wrote Anchorman with director Adam McKay. "This whole idea kind of came about when I was watching a documentary about news people in the '70s," the read more

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