Today's News: Our Take


American Idol producers booted Donnie Williams from the competition on Wednesday in the wake of the aspiring singer's arrest for DUI. As we reported yesterday, the 20-year-old — who was slated to perform on next week's Idol as part of the last batch of semifinalists — was pulled over in Northern California on Monday after cops clocked his speed at 100 mph. Williams will be replaced in the competition by 23-year-old New Orleans crooner George Huff. Producers, meanwhile, welcomed Williams to "try out for the show again next season." In other Idol news, LaToya London and Amy Adams advanced to the final round on last night's show. Producers, meanwhile, invited Leah Labelle to get a grip. read more


Howard Stern is the latest entertainer to get nipped by Boobygate. Clear Channel Communications pulled the shock jock's syndicated show off its six stations Wednesday, saying the program did not meet the company's newly revised programming standards. Specifically, CCC cited Stern's "vulgar, offensive and insulting" interview on Tuesday with Paris Hilton's X-rated costar, Rick Solomon. The move also comes a day before Clear Channel CEO John Hogan is to appear before a House subcommittee on broadcast indecency. Execs from ABC, Fox and NBC are also expected to attend the hearing. read more


Chloe Sevigny has been tapped to play one of a polygamist's three wives in HBO's drama pilot Big Love... NYPD Blue's Garcelle Beauvais and Melrose Place grad Laura Leighton have been cast in ABC's Eyes pilot, which is set inside a high-powered risk-management corporation... Designing Women's Jean Smart will star opposite John Goodman in CBS' comedy pilot Center of the Universe. read more


Despite a 61 percent dip in sales, Norah Jones' latest disc, Feels Like Home, sold another 395,000 copies to remain atop Billboard's album chart for the second consecutive week. read more

The Bachelorette You know, there...

The Bachelorette
You know, there are some things that block out the sun when it comes to TV viewing and, for me, it's these Bachelor/Bachelorette finales. Nothing else matters, much less my integrity. Tears flow, phone calls are ignored, fists are shaken at old loves for being such monstrous disappointments. Hell, I can even look past the drawn-out visits to Meredith's family, the multiple flashbacks and the unending teasers for "the most dramatic rose ceremony ever." Because, in the end, the drama of figuring out who is about to get their heart broken becomes all-consuming. Granted, we got to see both Matthew and Ian winning over the folks, canoodling with Mer and being just so damn fantastic. This was a tough one. Unlike, say Trista, who got off easy with Ryan, since Charlie was obviously too cheesy for the on-air wedding you know she already had edited in her head. In the end, though, our girl Meredi read more


"I don't condone the behavior that I've had over the past year. I don't think there's an excuse. I just think sometimes you have wild spells, and you learn from that. But the things that I did weren't very cool." Britney Spears discussing her quickie marriage and other assorted missteps in Seventeen magazine. read more

The O.C.: Health Hazard?

Samaire Armstrong would never advocate giving up The O.C. (which, coincidentally, she does tonight at 9 ET on Fox). However, she does recommend tuning in without acting out. Although her character, bootylicious brainiac Anna, is as levelheaded as they come, not all of the prime-time sudser's pretty young things are models of the role variety.

"After the episode where Marissa OD'd on drugs, [the network ran] the whole 'If you're having suicidal thoughts, please call this number' [PSA],'" she recalls for TV Guide Online, "and we actually got a call from the head of the association saying that their calls had increased by 20 or 30 percent — which is a good and bad thing. It's like, does that mean that people who watch our show have a tendency to commit suicide, or are we really helping people?"

All kidding aside, the read more

CBS Host's Secret Revealed

Today and tomorrow on CBS' The Early Show, cohost Hannah Storm anchors a very personal story. For the first time on camera, she reveals a facial birthmark she's hidden under makeup for decades. The birthmark, known as a port wine stain, led to several painful childhood operations. These included tattooing — which left "a white splotch over red" — dermabrasion and laser surgery. Here, Storm shares her struggle with TV Guide Online.

TV Guide Online: Why are you talking about your birthmark?
Hannah Storm:
I mentioned I had a birthmark in a magazine piece, and I was contacted by the Sturge-Weber Foundation. They said they would appreciate my bringing attention to the fact there are medical conditions associated with birthmarks. I had no idea! One in 10 kids in the United States is born with a birthmark — and even pediatricians don't understand there are associated medical conditions.

TVGO: What kind of conditions?
If read more


Ashley Judd has pulled out of Broadway's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to undergo surgery on her foot. Judd tore a ligament after falling hard during a Feb. 17 performance, which begs the question: Did anyone bother to check costar Ned Beatty's alibi? read more


Actor Barry Pepper has been tapped to play the title role in ESPN's upcoming original movie, 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story. This is Pepper's second stint channeling a legendary sports figure. He starred as Yankees slugger Roger Maris in HBO's acclaimed baseball film, 61*. read more

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