Today's News: Our Take


Matt Damon's espionage thriller The Bourne Identity was the top DVD/VHS rental of 2003. Catch Me If You Can ranked second, followed by Signs, Sweet Home Alabama, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and The Ring. read more


The talk show biz has suffered another casualty. The Wayne Brady Show has been canceled after two low-rated seasons. The Disney-owned gabfest — which picked up two Daytime Emmy Awards last year — will remain in production through May. Adding insult to injury, Brady will likely be replaced next fall by The Tony Danza Show. That's gotta sting. read more


Buffy alum Michelle Trachtenberg is so headed to HBO's Six Feet Under for a four-episode arc. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress is in talks to play a pop singer protected by Keith (Michael St. Patrick). In related news, Trachtenberg has signed on to play a figure skater the Disney comedy Ice Princess. read more


The cancer doctor being sued by ex-Beatle George Harrison's family is so out of work. According to reports, Dr. Gilbert Lederman has been replaced as head of the radiation oncology unit at Staten Island University Hospital. But an attorney for the physician insists the move had "absolutely nothing to do with George Harrison or any issues concerning patient care." The suit accuses Lederman of forcing an ailing Harrison to autograph a guitar. read more


Ashton Kutcher is so not finished doing business with MTV. Just weeks after dumping Punk'd, Demi's studmuffin is developing a new hidden-camera comedy for the network titled My New Best Friend. Contestants on the show must convince friends and family that a person they've never met before is their new best friend. The twist? The new chum is actually an improv actor who gets paid to act like a major jackass. read more

Emmy Buries Six Feet

Don't look for Six Feet Under to kill the competition when nominations for the 56th annual Prime-time Emmys are announced in July. The HBO drama, which led last year's Emmy derby with 16 nods, kicks off its fourth season in June — which is outside the Academy's eligibility period for 2004 honors. HBO's been in this situation before: Emmy also declared The Sopranos ineligible when its fourth season was delayed until Sept. 2002.

While waiting two years for another Emmy fix may seem like a fate worse than death, SFU creator Alan Ball doesn't see it that way. "I don't really think about those things that much," he says. "I'm very fortunate in that the show has been so honored, so it becomes less important. It's always nice [to be recognized], but it's not the point... it's not the reason. [Besides], we'll be eligible next year."

In the meantime, Ball is hard at work on the show's new season. Although tight-lipped about specifics, he d read more


If you find yourself sounding more and more like the gang from Friends, you're not losing your marbles. A University of Toronto study suggests that the long-running NBC comedy has left a lasting imprint on contemporary English. Specifically, researchers believe that Monica, Phoebe and Rachel's frequent use of the word "so" — as in "so cool" — has helped make the expression a favorite in mainstream culture. Sorry, but I don't know anyone who talks like that. read more


More than 19 million viewers watched 27-year-old Internet exec Sam Solovey self-destruct on Thursday's premiere of Donald Trump's NBC reality show The Apprentice. CBS' unstoppable CSI remained the night's top draw with roughly 27 million viewers. read more


Joey Pants is about to lose his shirt — or at the very least his CBS series The Handler. The network has trimmed the show's episode order from 22 to 15, fueling talk that the freshman drama is a goner. read more


Embattled Broadway producer Rosie O'Donnell is organizing what she calls "the first gay cruise with family values." The weeklong boat trip — which will depart from New York for the Bahamas on July 11 — will feature discussion groups on adoption, artificial insemination and surrogacy and other topics of particular interest to gay parents or gay parents-to-be. Artificial insemination? Sign me up! read more

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