Today's News: Our Take


FriendsOh. My. God. I almost fell...

Friends Oh. My. God. I almost fell off the couch when Janice came down those stairs! Sure this show has had a ton of memorable bit players and they all can't come back for the finale, but I would have been so disappointed if I didn't get to hear Maggie Wheeler's grating cackle and nasally voice utter those three words — which have become one of the show's singular catchphrases, not to mention one of my personal favorite spontaneous utterances — one more time. I know it was the first thing that came to mind when I saw that ridiculous sweater-scarf-luggage-strap ensemble Rachel was wearing. For a moment I thought she was wearing a tie, only to realize that her quite cute matching sweater and scarf were connected by what I can only describe as a buckled contraption, which she kept awkwardly tugging on. I can only assume that this look is all the rage in Paris and she's gearing up for her new life in France. That or Patricia Fields was a wardrobe co read more

REMEMBERED

Harry Babbitt, the voice behind Woody Woodpecker's signature laugh, died April 9 of natural causes. He was 90. Babbitt also sang with Kay Kyser's big band ("The White Cliffs of Dover") from 1938 to about 1949. He retired from showbiz in 1964 and started a successful career in real estate. read more

FUZZY MATH

It looks like Bill Rancic has been spending too much time around Omarosa. According to TheSmokingGun.com, the Apprentice champ uttered a little white one when he claimed that his Internet operation — Cigars Around the World — was a "multimillion dollar" business. Apparently, the company only fetched $425,000 when Rancic sold it last June. read more

FACE THE MUSIC

Michael Jackson was indicted Wednesday by a Santa Barbara grand jury investigating child-molestation allegations against the Jesus Juice-lovin' pop star, clearing the way for a sensational trial later this year. Jackson, who is free on $3-million bail, stands accused of committing lewd or lascivious acts with a 13-year-old boy at his Neverland ranch in 2003. He's expected to plead not guilty in a scary getup at his April 30 arraignment. read more

BAD HAIR DAY

No doubt fearing a backlash from consumers, Herbal Essences has washed Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth right out of its hair. A spokeswoman for parent company Clairol confirms that the Apprentice diva has been clipped from its upcoming "Streaking Party" commercial. Says the rep: "After reviewing the film... a decision has been made not to use the Omarosa take." We're betting the news hit Omatrocious like a ton of CEment. read more

FORD'S WRONG TURN

Harrison Ford has signed on to star in The Wrong Element, a Warner Bros. thriller about a guy who must steal $37 million from a bank to save his family. Oooh, tough call. read more

KOOKY KUDOS

Pirates of the Caribbean nabbed a leading six nods Wednesday for MTV's annual Movie Awards, including Best Film, Best Actor for Johnny Depp and Breakthrough Female for Keira Knightley. Pirates will compete with Finding Nemo, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 50 First Dates and X2: X-Men United for Best Movie. And sticking to tradition, MTV included a sapphic smooch — Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci's Monster buss — in its Best Kiss category. The ceremony tapes June 5 and airs June 10. read more

SOLDIER'S STORY

Toby Keith was the big winner at Wednesday's CMT Flameworthy Video Music Awards, picking up three trophies, including Video of the Year for his patriotic tune "American Soldier." Kenny Chesney scored Hottest Video kudos for "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems." If only it were that simple. read more

DIVA DISMISSED

American Idol fans are demanding a recount following last night's elimination of Jennifer Hudson, who was one of the competition's (and TV Guide Online's) clear favorites. Even more shocking: Fellow frontrunners Fantasia Barrino and LaToya London joined Hudson in the bottom three! On the bright side, Idol producers have finally decided to put poor John Stevens out of his misery by making next week's show Latin-themed. read more

ANOTHER DAY

Fox has renewed 24, The O.C., Malcolm in the Middle and The Bernie Mac Show for next season. The network also picked up Mad TV for three additional seasons. (That '70s Show, King of the Hill and The Simpsons were renewed earlier this year. Arrested Development remains on the bubble.) Speaking of 24, Tuesday's thrilling hour — featuring a knockout performance by Elisha Cuthbert — attracted 11 million viewers, matching the show's best ratings of the season. Translation: 24 is back, folks. read more

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