Today's News: Our Take


SMART GUY

Steven Spielberg sidestepped the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's box office smash The Passion of the Christ, declaring himself "too smart to answer a question like that." At a press conference Wednesday to promote the DVD release of Schindler's List, the Oscar-winning filmmaker said he had yet to see the film, which has been accused of promoting anti-Semitism. "When I do see [it]," he added, "the first person who will hear from me will be Mel Gibson and no one else." read more

M-I-C, K-E-Y, F-I-R-E-D

Michael Eisner was stripped of his title as chairman of Walt Disney Co. on Wednesday after 43 percent of the company's shareholders voted against him. Eisner will, however, retain his post as CEO. read more

HOME ALONE AT TOP

Norah Jones' Feels Like Home sold another 281,000 copies to hold on to the top spot on Billboard's album chart for the third consecutive week. To date, Home has moved 1.7 million units. read more

EMMY WHICH WAY

Yep, she's back: Ellen DeGeneres' self-titled gabfest received a leading 12 Daytime Emmy nominations, including best talk show and talk show host. The comedian's competition includes Dr. Phil, Live with Regis and Kelly, The View and The Wayne Brady Show. On the soap front, The Young and the Restless led all sudsers with 16 nods, followed by All My Children and As the World Turns with 14 each and General Hospital and Guiding Light with 12. Also of note: GH's Tamara Braun received a long-overdue first lead actress nod. The 31st annual Daytime Emmy Awards airs live from Radio City Music Hall on May 21. read more

SACKED

Johnny Sack is the Sopranos character most likely to get whacked this season, according to online bookmaker BetWWTS.com. The company issued 3-to-1 odds that Tony's rival mob boss would be the first to make an untimely exit. Sack's associate, Little Carmine, is listed at 7-to-2 and Christopher's blabbermouth wife, Adriana, is at 4-to-1. Last season, BetWWTS.com correctly predicted that Ralphie would meet his maker. read more

My Wife and Kids Hmmm. An hour-long...

My Wife and Kids
Hmmm. An hour-long clip show, built around the kids being out of the house. OK, I'll buy that. It's a good enough gimmick to send Michael and Jay down memory lane... which apparently only stretches as far back as the show's been on. But what's even weirder is that some of their recollections involved scenes neither of them were in! So, if these two are so psychic that they can remember moments in their kids' lives that they actually missed, how come they couldn't foresee that an additional 30 minutes would only serve to remind us that, sadly, the episode-ending bloopers are usually the funniest thing about this show.

60 Minutes II
I tuned in for the Isaac Mizrahi interview and ended up hooked on a report about the steroid-induced suicide of a 17-year-old. This is not new, really. We've heard of these things for years. Still, that ceased being an excuse as his heartbroken parents wept over their lost so read more

COVER-UP

The Walt Disney Co. has quietly removed a life-size statue of Mickey Mouse costumed as Janet Jackson from a display at Walt Disney World in Orlando. The statue was one of 75 celebrity-inspired pieces unveiled at Walt Disney World last fall to celebrate Mickey's 75th birthday. "Considering all the controversy it drew, we talked it over for a couple of days and decided it would be best to replace hers with a new one," a Disney rep told the Orlando Sentinel. read more

MAC Stars Take Manhattan


New York's Fashion Week is the perfect time to ditch everyday wear and break out the couture — especially if you can snag invites to those glitzy after-parties that cap off the runway shows. Debutantes, divas and drag queens alike were at the West Village's Ace Gallery to sample the fifth incarnation of Viva Glam. That's MAC's high-shine cosmetic offering, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the MAC AIDS Fund.

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's social butterfly, Jai Rodriguez, practiced what he preaches as he worked the room. TV Guide Online spotted him trading hugs and quips with another NBC reality boy, The Apprentice's Kwame Jackson. FYI, the Fab Five has just put out the Queer Eye soundtrack, but Rodriguez plans to do a solo act on his in-the-works debut CD. "It's pop-rock, kind of Anastacia meets Justin Timberlake," h read more

Uh-Oh! Mya Gets Dirty


Like many pop starlets, Mya — best known for "My Love Is Like... Wo" — wants to be a movie star. She sang "Lady Marmalade" in the musical spectacle Moulin Rouge! and had a brief cameo as a merry murderess in Chicago. Currently, the sultry singer croons in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, in which she appears as a nightclub performer.

"This is actually the first time I'm appearing in the movie and on the soundtrack," Mya tells TV Guide Online. "[My song] is a significant moment in the movie."

Despite her brief — blink and you missed it! — screen appearance, she was still thrilled to do it. No doubt part of her joy was shooting in Havana's lush location. "I got to go to Puerto Rico and have fun," the 24-year-old says. "It was a little bit of work and vacation."

read more

Ereka Exits The Apprentice

Last week on The Apprentice, Ereka Vetrini was sacked after Versacorp failed to sell more of The Donald's designer bottled water than Protege. Here, the 27-year-old native New Yorker sounds off on back-stabber Bill, catty Carolyn and, of course, that hoity-toity H2O.

TV Guide Online: How did Trump Ice taste? Ereka Vetrini: It's good water. I'm not sure I loved the packaging, though.

TVGO: If you owned a restaurant or club, would you serve it to your patrons? Ereka: Based on taste, yes. Based on packaging, not so much. We really didn't have control over which customers we sold to, nor were we allowed to have a marketing campaign.

TVGO: Why was Nick so difficult to work with? Ereka: I don't know if he felt threatened. [Maybe] he thought that if it wasn't going to be me [getting fired], it was going to be him. Overall, I just wasn't impressed with Nick or his sales techniques.

TVGO: read more

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