Today's News: Our Take


SUNDAY The Nick Jessica Variety...

SUNDAY

The Nick & Jessica Variety Hour
What exactly happened here? It's been so long since we've had a successful variety show that it's hard to even judge this genre anymore. Was Nick and Jessica's over-the-top stage banter purposely forced or just naturally choppy? (I mean, were Sonny and Cher like this?) I also remember seeing some MTV bio thing on Jessica that gave the impression that she used to be somewhat embarrassed by her rather large breasts. Safe to say, she's gotten over that particular inhibition. I mean, d-a-m-n.

The '70s and '80s kitsch factor was sky high, with appearances by Mr. T, Kenny Rogers, KITT (the Knight Rider car), Johnny Bench and the Muppets. Toss in performances of "I've Got You Babe," "Islands in the Stream," "Take My Breath Away" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and this would have played nicely in 1983. (Yeah, I know that B read more

SHAKING THE TREES

Janet Jackson wisely spoofed her starring role in Boobygate on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. Appearing as National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice before the 9/11 panel, Ms. Damita Jo flashed a pixelated (and blurred) breast to distract the commissioners from her testimony. Jackson's hosting stint, meanwhile, propelled SNL to its highest ratings in major markets in 13 months. In related news... read more

Cuthbert Dishes 24's Ending


Elisha Cuthbert knows the question before it's even asked. "No, I didn't watch any porn films to prepare for the role," laughs the 24 starlet and frequent Maxim pinup. No, she's not referring to a Very Special Episode of 24 where her catastrophe-prone character Kim Bauer, goes undercover to infiltrate L.A.'s adult-film industry. She's talking about her part in the romantic comedy The Girl Next Door, which opens in theaters today.

Cuthbert plays Danielle, a seemingly normal girl who becomes involved with her next-door neighbor, a nerdy high-school senior named Matthew (played by Emile Hirsch). The unlikely romance goes swimmingly until Matthew receives some unwelcome news: His new girlfriend is an ex-porn star. "The script had everything I was looking for as far as character goes," says Cuthbert. "I wanted to prove that I have the skills to transform this girl from the girl next door to and adult-film star and make it all blend to read more

Idol Chatter with Amy Adams

On last week's Motown-themed episode of American Idol, there were a number of performances that were pretty, um, awful. Amy Adams's spirited rendition of "Dancing in the Street" was most definitely not one of them. Yet the 24-year-old with the hot-pink hairdo was the singer kicked to the curb by fickle (and possibly tone-deaf) viewers. Is this a sign that the apocalypse is near? Or was the audience simply watching with the volume turned off? Desperate to achieve some closure on this embarrassing chapter in the talent competition's history, TV Guide Online rang up the Gen-Y Celine Dion to trade conspiracy theories.

TV Guide Online: Let's start with the most ridiculous incident in your time on the show. Please tell me you've recovered from Simon Cowell's bizarre remark about your "resemblance" to Jay Leno.
Amy Adams:
(Laughs) You know what? It wasn't even really a recovery thing that I had to go through. It was just something that I had to read more

STERN PENALTY

Clear Channel Communications has dropped Howard Stern's radio show from its stations after the FCC fined the company $495,000 Thursday for a raunchy chat the shock jock conducted with Paris Hilton's ex-boy toy Rick Solomon in February. "It is pretty shocking that governmental interference into our rights and free speech takes place in the U.S.," Stern responded in a statement. "It's hard to reconcile this with the 'land of the free' and the 'home of the brave.'" read more

APOCALYPSE NOW

Fox's unsightly (yet uproarious) makeover saga, The Swan, is looking good in Nielsen's eyes. Wednesday's premiere attracted 15 million viewers and retained nearly 80 percent of its huge American Idol lead-in. By comparison, The O.C. and 24 have been holding on to just 50 percent of Idol's audience. ABC's latest Bachelor edition, meanwhile, got off to a so-so start with 11 million viewers. read more

IT DOESN'T ADD UP, FOLKS

It appears Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth's concussion may have led to some short-term memory loss. On Thursday's Oprah Winfrey Show, the Apprentice's Queen of Mean claimed that she fingered Ereka Vetrini as the alleged N-bomb dropper only after her reality rival went on The View and defended herself against the accusation. Up until that point, Omarosa told Winfrey, "I never said who [did it]." Not true. In one of her first post-firing interviews, Omarosa told me point blank: "Ereka used the N-word with me on the show." We immediately contacted Ereka for a comment and she vehemently denied ever using the offensive term. When Apprentice producers also told us that a check of the show's tapes found no such exchange, TV Guide Online decided at that time not to include Omarosa's uncorroborated charges in our read more

POST-AUTOPSY REPORT

The L.A. County Coroner has ruled that Murphy Brown star Robert Pastorelli died of an accidental heroin overdose, TheSmokingGun.com reports. The 49-year-old actor's assistant discovered him slumped over on the toilet at his Hollywood home on March 8. read more

HE WAS ROBBED

Despite a promise of protection from Boston Rob, Lex van den Berghe, the 40-year-old graduate of Survivor: Africa, was ousted from Survivor: All Stars last night. As always, if you have questions for Lex, send them to me via the link at the bottom of this page and I will forward them on to my colleague, Angel Cohn. read more

LITTLE WILL

Will & Grace star Debra Messing gave birth to a baby boy Wednesday morning in Los Angeles. The little guy reportedly weighed in at 5 lbs, 14 oz. This is the first child for Messing and hubby Daniel Zelman. As reported last week, the 36-year-old actress had to be written out of the final three episodes of Will & Grace after doctors ordered her to stay off her feet. read more

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