Today's News: Our Take


GAY FOR PAY

Here's some "TV News" scoop from next week's issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale Monday): Will & Grace producers have retained ex-Practice star Dylan McDermott to play a romantic interest for Will (Eric McCormack) in an episode to air Oct. 30. As of now it's just a one-shot deal, but it could develop into a recurring gig. Why the hesitation? "It scares people," says McCormack of a full-blown love story for Will. "It scares middle America. So we have to be careful. And I think to do it with the right person — somebody they already know, an actor they're already comfortable with — might help. This is maybe one that makes them comfortable." read more

STAIN REMOVED

Miramax has delayed the release of its upcoming Nicole Kidman-Anthony Hopkins drama The Human Stain from Sept. 26 to Oct. 31, TV Guide Online has learned. Rumor has it the studio postponed the the highly anticipated film just to annoy me. read more

MUSIC KUDOS

American Music Awards nominations are out! In the male pop-rock artist category, American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is competing with the big boys — Kid Rock, John Mayer and Justin Timberlake. Meanwhile, Celine Dion snagged two nods: The one for favorite adult contemporary artist puts her up against Cher and Norah Jones. The other, for fave female pop-rock artist, has her vying with Avril Lavigne and J.Lo. Eminem got nods for favorite male rapper and the 8 Mile soundtrack, while Sean Paul and Missy Elliott also are up for hip-hop honors. read more

SEX SELLS

A whopping 7.7 million viewers watched Sunday's mini-season finale of Sex and the City, during which Mikhail Baryshnikov was introduced as Carrie's (Sarah Jessica Parker) latest beau. (Note to Big: You've got nothing to worry about, dude.) That was the comedy's second most-watched episode ever. The show returns with eight final episodes in January. Meanwhile, Sex's impressive climax helped boost the debut of Carnivale, which drew 5.3 million viewers — HBO's best series bow to date. read more

FAREWELL

Actor-singer Sheb Wooley, best known for his work in Westerns like High Noon and for recording the No. 1 hit "Purple People Eater," died Tuesday of leukemia. He was 82. Wooley also appeared in some 50 TV shows, including The Lone Ranger, Rawhide, The Mod Squad and Murder, She Wrote. read more

WE WANT PROOF

Do you believe in life after tour? Cher apparently does, because the diva is finally ending her oft-extended Living Proof farewell tour on Halloween night in Toronto. That's the same city where the tour began, like, 14 years ago. read more

CONTROL FREAK

Andy Richter is heading back to NBC. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Conan's onetime sidekick has signed a deal with the network to develop a sitcom for fall 2004. Richter's first stab at post-Late Night success — the critically acclaimed Fox comedy Andy Richter Controls the Universe — failed to connect with viewers for some unknown reason. read more

SHORT CUTS

Comedy Central has ordered a second season of Reno 911!... Arnold Schwarzenegger's appearance on Monday's Oprah earned the chatfest its best season-premiere numbers in five years. read more

THE SHOW WILL GO ON

After much "introspection and discussion," ABC has decided to continue production of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter despite the sudden death of its star John Ritter. Instead of recasting Ritter's role, producers will write his death into the show. At a press conference Tuesday, ABC chairman Lloyd Braun announced that the network would air the three episodes that Ritter completed sequentially beginning with next Tuesday's season premiere. The show will then take a brief production hiatus and "future episodes, once we come back onto the air, will take viewers into the Hennessy household as they experience the loss of a father and construct a new life together." read more

COME TO PAPA, YOU LITTLE %$#*!

Foul-mouthed thesp Colin Farrell and his galpal, model Kim Bordenave, became the proud parents of a baby boy, born Friday in Los Angeles. Farrell was not present for the birth because he was in Morocco shooting Oliver Stone's upcoming Alexander the Great epic. The little guy will be named when his pa returns home. read more

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