Today's News: Our Take


LOOK OUT, JESSICA

Newlyweds hottie Nick Lachey has been cast in the ABC comedy pilot Hot Mamma, which stars Gina Gershon as a free-spirited wedding planner. Lachey will play her (wink, wink) handyman. read more

Wonderfalls Daddy Sings Out


Actor William Sadler is best known for serious roles in films like The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Still, the 54-year-old has a sense of humor. After all, he did play the Grim Reaper in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey! He taps into his funny side again in the new Fox comedy Wonderfalls (Fridays at 9 pm/ET). His role is Darrin, Jayne's loving yet outspoken father — and as Sadler points out, a young lady who converses with inanimate objects needs a firm parental hand.

"[Darrin] isn't like the father on Malcolm in the Middle, who is overtly wacky. He's more curmudgeonly," he tells TV Guide Online. "He's one of those conservative types, who works hard and cares a lot. He's a man of measured mirth, except f read more

HEADING WEST

Here's some "TV News" scoop from the new issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale now): Mary McCormack, last seen in USA Network's druggie drama Traffic, is on the move. Starting April 21, Howard Stern's big-screen wife will appear in at least four episodes of The West Wing as the Prez's Deputy National Security Advisor. Which puts shock jock Stern one degree of separation away from the red button. These are scary times, folks. Scary times indeed. read more

HOW YOU DOIN'?

Sopranos mob mole Drea de Matteo has been cast as Matt LeBlanc's hairdresser sister in NBC's upcoming Friends spinoff, Joey. De Matteo's character is described as a strong woman who, like her bro, has a way with the opposite sex. According to The Hollywood Reporter, de Matteo's Joey gig will not interfere with her obligations on the sixth and final season of The Sopranos, which starts shooting next year. In other Friends-related news, Jennifer Aniston has signed on to star in Gambit, Universal's upcoming remake of the 1966 British caper starring Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. read more

BANNER DAY

Donald Trump is coming under fire for placing a giant Apprentice promotional banner emblazoned with the words "You're Fired" on the front of Trump Tower in Manhattan. The Donald's development firm apparently does not have a permit to hang the tacky 13-foot tall, 25-foot wide pennant and was asked four times by city officials to remove it. Trump could face up to $10,000 in fines if he doesn't comply. Sounds like something Carolyn can make go away. read more

WITHOUT A TRACE

Mark Burnett's plot to take over the entire TV industry continues. According to Variety, the reality mogul has completed production of Recovery, a CBS pilot that follows a team of law-enforcement vets as they attempt to find stolen children and reunite them with their parents. If the show is picked up, it could find a spot on the network's fall schedule. read more

REMEMBERED

Sir Peter Ustinov, who earned Best Supporting Actor Oscars for 1960's Spartacus and 1965's Topkapi, died of heart failure late Sunday night. He was 82. The ultimate multitasker, Ustinov also toiled as an author, playwright, director and for more than 30 years served as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. More recently, he appeared as the Walrus in NBC's big-budget Alice in Wonderland movie. read more

SHORT CUTS

Despite its recent breakup with Pixar, Disney is reportedly leaning toward making a third Toy Story flick... Karen Sisco's three remaining unaired episodes will be broadcast on USA Network beginning Wednesday at 10 pm/ET. read more

MOURNED

Surf music icon Jan Berry, one half of the popular '60s duo Jan and Dean, died Friday after suffering a seizure at his home in Los Angeles. He was 62. The group's hits included "Surf City," "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" and "Drag City." A 1966 car accident left Berry paralyzed for a year, essentially ending his career. read more

LIFE SUPPORT

ABC is moving Kingdom Hospital to ICU — also known as Thursdays at 9 pm opposite CSI and The Apprentice. Stephen King's flatlining drama will make its final Wednesday appearance this week, then move to Thursdays the following night. Extreme Makeover will take over Hospital's Wednesday 10 pm timeslot on April 14. read more

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