Today's News: Our Take


BUTLER UPDATE

Ex-Witchblade star Yancy Butler was ordered Monday to enter alcohol rehab following her weekend arrest for disorderly intoxication. She's due in court on Dec. 18. read more

Question: I'm an Italian fan ...

Question: I'm an Italian fan of Dawson's Creek. I was in the U.S. last May but I came back to Italy before I could see the last episode. I read about what happened on the show's official website, but I don't know which of them dies. Thanks a lot. — Andrea, Taranto, Italy

Televisionary: OK, spoiler alert: Everyone who hasn't seen this yet and doesn't want it ruined, stop reading now. It was Jen (Michelle Williams), done in by a bum ticker. Jack (Kerr Smith) stepped up and volunteered to raise her kid.

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RECOVERING

Rocker Meat Loaf underwent heart surgery over the weekend after collapsing on a London stage last week. The 56-year-old "Bat Out Of Hell" crooner was reportedly suffering from Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a defect of the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat. read more

THE FIGHT CONTINUES

More than a dozen indie film companies are suing the Motion Picture Association of America to try to force an end to its partial screener ban. The indies claim the ban will "chill the financing of independent films" by limiting the awards they can receive. read more

Fear Factor Right at the outset...

Fear Factor
Right at the outset of tonight's special family edition, host Joe Rogan says, "The stunts you're about to see are extremely dangerous... and should not be attempted by anyone, anywhere, anytime." That said, doesn't asking your child to dip her syrup-soaked head into live, red worms — so you can then pick the bugs off — count as child abuse?
And, what's up with the Kevan/Dakota father-son pair? Kevan, the father, only gets to see his 11-year-old boy, who is clearly a problem child, four days a month. Yet he spends those precious few days subjecting the kid to nationally televised public humiliation (rude boy got spanked by a girl). That's some parenting right there.

VH1's Monday night lineup
Looks like the music network with no identity is trying to give Skinemax a run for its money. On tonight's schedule: Sexy Single Babes, Britney vs. Christina and Getting Naked: Return to Skin. read more

Question: I have a question ...

Question: I have a question that has been killing me for a long time. Every time the Nielsen ratings come up, they always display ratings for a certain show by age range. For instance, on a recent TV show, they said that it received the most viewers between the ages of 18-24. How on earth do they know how old the viewers are? How do they know if adults or teens watch their shows? While we are on the subject, how do they calculate the viewer numbers? Is our television some kinda tracking device? Basically, how do they know who is watching? — Johanna D.

Televisionary: Your TV isn't a tracking device, Johanna, but the boxes the folks at Nielsen place in sample families' homes certainly are. I've covered this before, but it's been a while, so what the heck? Others are probably wondering about this kind of thing, too. Here are the basics.

Nielsen uses a representative sample of U.S. TV households to determine who's watching what and when — for obvious reasons, tr read more

MIDSEASON SHUFFLE

Donald Trump's NBC reality gamble The Apprentice will air Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET beginning Jan. 14. Ed moves to Fridays at 9 pm/ET during January and February, where it will replace a hiatus-bound Miss Match. NBC, however, insists the Alicia Silverstone dramedy will return to the schedule in March. We'll believe it when we see it. read more

Question: Can you please tell ...

Question: Can you please tell me if the woman who played Batgirl is still alive? Did she do any other television shows or commericals after she stopped playing Batgirl? — Lori H., Flint, Mich.

Televisionary: That she is, Lori, and that she did, though Yvonne Craig's acting work has tailed off as she's gotten into and out of various other businesses (real estate, prepaid phone cards) and done some writing (her autobiography, From Ballet to Batcave and Beyond, came out a few years back). Her post-Batman TV work includes guest spots on such shows as The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, It Takes a Thief, The Mod Squad, Star Trek, Love, American Style, Mannix, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Land of the Giants, read more

OUCH!

Las Vegas hottie Josh Duhamel recently tore his Achilles tendon in what an NBC rep characterizes as a "sports-related injury." As reported in an upcoming issue of ABC Soaps In Depth magazine, Las Vegas producers are writing the actor's injury into the show. Apparently, his security whiz character gets shot in the leg. D'oh! read more

THE EYE HAS IT

That whole Reagans debacle aside, CBS enjoyed a rather sweet November. The network is poised to finish November sweeps as the No. 1 network among total viewers and, for the first time since 1980, adults 25-54. What's more, it finished just a tick behind NBC in the all-important adults 18-49 demo. "CBS is declaring a convincing, dominating and historic sweep victory," CBS's typically modest bossman Les Moonves said Monday. CBS was powered by its dominant Thursday one-two-three punch of Survivor, CSI and Without a Trace, as well as strong newcomers Two and a Half Men, Cold Case and Joan of Arcadia. read more

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