Today's News: Our Take


HINES TRIBUTE

Law & Order will rerun an episode from last season tonight at 10 pm/ET featuring guest star Gregory Hines, who died over the weekend of cancer. Hines plays a Johnnie Cochran-type defense attorney in the episode. read more

HEADING WEST

ABC is developing a one-hour military drama that follows a class of West Point cadets from enrollment to graduation, Variety reports. The potential series is based on the recently released bestseller Absolutely American. As the brother of a Naval Academy grad, I have one thing to say about this project: "Go Navy! Beat Army!" read more

TIT FOR TAT

Liberal humorist Al Franken lashed back at Fox News on Tuesday over a lawsuit it filed claiming he infringed on its "fair and balanced" trademark by using the phrase in the title of his upcoming book. In the suit, Fox said Franken has become "increasingly unfunny" and called him "shrill and unstable," among other things. Responds the former SNL star: "When I read 'intoxicated or deranged' and 'shrill and unstable' in their complaint, I thought for a moment I was a Fox commentator." read more

WHERE'S THE LOVE?

Turns out not Everybody Loves Raymond. Brad Garrett, who plays Ray's brother Robert, is refusing to show up for work unless he gets a raise. Garrett reportedly earns $4 million a year, chump change compared to Ray Romano's $45 million annual salary. Anticipating a possible walk-out by Garrett, producers wrote the actor out of the show's first episode. In a statement, reps for Garrett said their client "earns less than 10 percent of Ray's salary and is the lowest-paid member of a grossly underpaid supporting cast." Further complicating matters: Co-star Patricia Heaton, who also may be seeking a pay hike, has called in sick for the past two days — possibly delaying filming of the season premiere until next week. On the bright side, th read more

Kathy Griffin Gets Real


If anyone is more addicted to reality television than we are, or more ashamed of said obsession, it has to be Kathy Griffin, the onetime emcee of Kathy's So-Called Reality and winner of Celebrity Mole: Hawaii. "I happen to think reality television is excellent," the Suddenly Susan funny lady says. "I'm really tired of art."

As such, it should come as no surprise to fans of the raucous redhead that this fall she's returning to the genre, as host of NBC's upcoming Average Joe, a dating game that introduces a beautiful bachelorette to — get this! — a bunch of wannabe beaus whose sexiest feature is their personalities, not their biceps. Quips the actress, who is married: "I'm attracted to and repulsed by all men, so I didn't know who the hell was average and who was handsome. I made out with three of 'em!"

All kidding as read more

Whoa! Joey Lawrence Grows Up


Joseph Lawrence, the 27-year-old artist formerly known as Joey on Gimme a Break! and Blossom, is getting back to his sitcom roots this fall with the WB's Run of the House. He plays Kurt, the eldest of four sibs who is left in charge when mom and dad fly south for the winter. It's a character the real-life older brother to 23-year-old Matt and 15-year-old Andy can relate to.

"I always felt with Matt that I was more of a surrogate-like father/uncle type than I was an actual bro who would throw down and party with him," explains Lawrence, whose recurring role on American Dreams will come to an end this fall. "So I think that [my character], Kurt, feels that way, too, and throws the responsibility onto his shoulders. I id read more

AN OFFER YOU CAN REFUSE

Boston radio station WBCN is offering free "I survived Gigli" T-shirts to anyone who can sit through the entire film when it's screened for the last time at a local theater Thursday. Throw in a bag of baked Doritos, an ice-cold diet raspberry Snapple and $60,000 in cash and maybe you can count me in. Maybe. read more

PUBLIC NUISANCE

Former Gilmore Girls hottie Milo Ventimiglia (Jess) has enrolled in Fox's Boston Public for a three-episode arc, Variety reports. He'll play a bad boy with a hidden agenda. I bet he likes to torture the geeks during dodgeball, too. read more

SHORT CUTS

Revolution Studios is developing a sequel to Eddie Murphy's hit comedy Daddy Day Care titled Daddy Day Camp, according to The Hollywood Reporter... NBC has given a six-episode midseason order to Come to Papa, a sitcom starring comedian Tom Papa. read more

Amazing Race Clowns Get Serious

In case you were wondering, those noises you heard on Thursday night at around 9 pm were the anguished cries of millions of Amazing Race fans as New York clowns Jon and Al were eliminated from the competish. Plane trouble and bad advice from a travel hotline did in the popular team, who scored an unprecedented 95 percent approval rating on the CBS website. But don't worry too much about the pair — they're still as high-spirited as ever. In fact, they even wore their trademark red clown noses throughout this interview.


TV Guide Online: I'm sure I speak for almost every Amazing Race fan when I say that Thursday's episode was a heartbreaker. Have others told you how hard it was to watch you guys come in last?
Jon:
Absolutely! It's hard to absorb I tell you.
Al: We want to do a retake. A lot of people have come up and said, "You don't understand! You were our team, why did you do read more

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