Today's News: Our Take


DOINK DOINK

Law & Order has tapped acting vet Dennis Farina (Midnight Run, Get Shorty) to replace Jerry Orbach next season. As previously reported, Orbach is transferring to spinoff No. 3, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, which debuts on NBC at midseason. Although Farina's character is still being fleshed out, exec producer Dick Wolf tells TV Guide Online that the 60-year-old Crime Story star will be playing an "Italian cop who's an iconoclast... and a confirmed bachelor." Adds Farina: "He's going to be a little out of the ordinary." read more

SIGNING OFF

Weekend Update anchor Jimmy Fallon broke some real news on this weekend's season finale of Saturday Night Live. The 29-year-old comic announced at the end of his Update segment that "This is my last show." read more

REMEMBERED

Veteran actress Anna Lee, best known to modern-day audiences as Quartermaine matriarch Lila on ABC's General Hospital, died Friday of pneumonia. She was 91. Lee, who was paralyzed in a car accident more than two decades ago, appeared in more than 60 films, including The Sound of Music, Fort Apache and King Solomon's Mines. She was slated to receive a lifetime-achievement award at Friday's Daytime Emmy telecast. read more

The Swan's Tooth Lady Speaks!

We'll be the first to admit that, while we can't seem to tear ourselves away from it, we don't feel good about watching The Swan (airing Mondays at 9 pm/ET on Fox). Week after week, plain Janes undergo hours and hours of plastic surgery, only to come out the other end looking like members of a Pamela Anderson cult. But now that we've gotten a look at the gnarly choppers on recent also-ran Dawn, we're going to shut our mouths. By allowing this 33-year-old mother of five to smile without embarrassing herself or frightening anyone, the show actually has performed a public service. If only by ringing up the Indiana resident for a post-op interrogation we could say we were doing the same.

TV Guide Online: Since anger was one of your big issues, I feel obliged to ask — for the sake of my own well-being — um, are you in a good mood today?
Dawn:
[Reassuringly] Oh, it's not like that at all. I'm wonderful. Better than I've ever been!

read more

STORK REPORT

Gwyneth Paltrow gave birth to a baby girl, daughter Apple Blythe Alison Martin, Friday in London. This is the first child for the Oscar winner and her husband, Coldplay's Chris Martin. There's no word why the couple named their kid after a piece of fruit, although reports say Paltrow endured a "long labor" and, therefore, might have been out of her freakin' mind. read more

DON'T TELL MAMA

NBC has lost its appetite for The Restaurant — at least for now. The network has pulled the low-rated reality soap from its Monday lineup for the remainder of May sweeps. Crossing Jordan repeats will likely air in its place. Rocco will return later this month, when ratings no longer matter. read more

MORE UPFRONT NEWS

ABC doesn't unveil its fall sked until Tuesday, but Variety says that the network will not be renewing bubble shows Life with Bonnie, I'm with Her, Married to the Kellys and — thankfully — It's All Relative. Meanwhile, Variety also hints that CBS — which has its Upfront on Wednesday — may not pick up Monday-night staple Yes, Dear. That noise you hear is Atheists everywhere proclaiming, "There is a God after all!" read more

WHOA!

How's Matt LeBlanc doin'? We're betting pretty good after the enthusiastic reception his Friends spinoff Joey received at NBC's fall schedule presentation to advertisers (and me!) Monday in New York. Confident that they have a hit on their hands, Peacock execs screened the sitcom's entire pilot episode for the packed crowd. The consensus? It was warm, clever and, most importantly, funny. The network was stingier when it came to previewing its other new offerings, showing just clips of the 'toon series Father of the Pride (could be fun), crime dramas Medical Investigation and Hawaii (yawn... ), and Heather Locklear's airport-set saga LAX (my advice to NBC: abort takeoff). The highlight of the nearly three-hour dog and pony show — which included appearances by Donald Trump, Conan O'Brien and Tom Brokaw — came when NBC chief Jeff Zucker announced that Scrubs had been r read more

Rupert's Big Booty Call!

Survivor: All-Stars fans rooted hard for their beloved, bearded pirate Rupert Boneham. So it's no surprise fans cast 38 million votes to award him the $1-million prize on last Thursday's Survivor: America's Tribal Council special. Additionally, viewers named Rupert's shoe-stealing escapade in Pearl Islands as the top Survivor moment of all time. His showdown with best villain Johnny Fairplay was also picked as the reality show's best fight. Here, TV Guide Online reconnects with Rupe, who's reveling in his popularity and making big plans for his windfall.

TVGO: Congrats! You were a shoo-in to win.
Rupert Boneham:
I know, but I couldn't let myself believe it. In the back of my head, I kind of knew, but I was not going to let myself hope. I didn't want to walk out disappointed. It almost seemed greedy to even want more.

TVGO: Did you worry about your chances after learning which other players made the fans' final four? read more

EVERYBODY LOVES GOOD TIMING

It's official: Everybody Loves Raymond will return next fall for a shortened ninth and final season, CBS announced on Sunday — the day before NBC's big fall presentation to advertisers in New York. (That noise you hear is CBS thunder-stealer Les Moonves going, "Mwhahahahahaha!") Taking a page from Friends' book, Raymond will air just 16 original episodes next season as opposed to the traditional 22. "The decision about coming back was always about maintaining the quality, and not feeling like we've overstayed our welcome," says star-producer Ray Romano. "I look forward to being a hapless, sexless husband once again in year nine." (As Summer from The O.C. would say: "Um, overshare!") read more

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