Today's News: Our Take

Fallen Idol Matt Rogers

During last week's country-themed episode of American Idol, jolly giant Matt Rogers put his heart on the line, crooning the Lonestar ballad "Amazed." A day later, viewers gave him the cowboy boot right off the show. "Amazing!" you say? We agree. So TV Guide Online rang up the former University of Washington Huskies lineman to get his reaction to being sacked.

TV Guide Online: A man's man like yourself warbling a love song seemed like a surefire way to win over the female audience, yet here we are, doing your exit interview. Do you feel betrayed by the women of America?
Matt Rogers:
I feel like the women of America turned their back on me. I'm very disappointed. And the funny thing is, it seems like I have more fans now than I did when I was on the show. Where were you guys a week ago? Jeez!

TVGO: It's always seemed cruel and unusual to me that the show makes the newly eliminated contestant sing the song that got them eliminated bef read more

Julia Stiles Gets the Royal Treatment

In her new film, The Prince & Me (opening Friday), Julia Stiles plays a normal college student whose life becomes a fairy tale when she meets and falls in love with a real, honest-to-goodness Prince Charming. Given that actors are pretty much treated like royalty, the gig couldn't have been much of a stretch, right? Wrong.

"I don't think that actors are like American royalty," says the 23-year-old actress, who juggles life in the spotlight with her role as a Columbia University senior. "I really think there is a difference. Prince Charles has an equerry who knows what he is going to be doing [every] minute for the next two years of his life. For me, I made the choice to become an actor, whereas with royalty you are born into it and you have no choice."

Well, Stiles may not be a princess, but she's the closest thing Columbia has to a queen. "Whenever I had to do something movie-related or press-related while I was living in the dorm that wa read more


All's quiet on the set of Fox's The Simpsons. According to Variety, voice actors Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Hank Azaria (Moe, Apu), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Julie Kavner (Marge) and Nancy Cartwright (Bart) have not shown up for the last two script readings because of a contract dispute with Fox. The six cast members allegedly want their $125,000-per-episode salary bumped up to $360,000. That noise you hear is 600 cases of Duff Beer being wheeled into Fox's executive suite. read more


Alias mastermind J.J. Abrams has tapped Orlando Jones to star opposite Greg Grunberg in The Catch, the bounty-hunter drama he has in development at ABC. read more


Fox's 24 notched some of its best ratings of the season Tuesday — fitting considering it was one of its best episodes ever. The serial thriller, which returned from a monthlong hiatus, attracted 11.8 million viewers — well above its season average. In other Fox news, how freakin' fierce was Linda Lavin last night on The O.C.? Welcome to the Emmy race, bi.., er, Nana! read more


Fox is firing up yet another Apprentice clone. Following Wednesday's announcement that the network is developing an Apprentice-esque reality show featuring legal eagles, Fox has greenlit production of Branson's Big Adventure, an hourlong unscripted series in which colorful billionaire (and Virgin CEO) Richard Branson will search for "an extraordinary individual who has the right stuff to follow in his footsteps," says Fox reality guru Mike Darnell. What do you want to bet this "epic journey around the world" makes a pit stop at Branson's private island, which was recently featured on the Today show's annual "Where in the World Is Matt Lauer?" special? What do you say, $20? Do I hear $40? read more


Yep, Ashton Kutcher punk'd us. Four months after he swore his MTV prank-a-thon, Punk'd, was history, MTV announced today — April Fool's Day — that the show would kick off its third season on April 25. An MTV rep confirms that the closing notice Kutcher posted in December was merely a joke. Alright, the WB: It's your turn to come clean about Angel's so-called "cancellation." You got us good with that one. read more


Apparently, the whole country decided to pull an early April Fool's Day prank. How else can we possibly explain American Idol viewers' decision to oust 24-year-old Amy Adams — she of the amazing technicolor hairdo — instead of pale space-fillers Camile Velasco and John Stevens, who gave two of the worst performances in the history of mankind. Even more shocking: Neither Velasco nor Stevens even placed in the bottom three! Instead, Adams was joined by perceived frontrunner LaToya London and aspiring diva Jennifer Hudson. Can the apocalypse be far behind? read more


The famous Siegfried and Roy marquee — a Las Vegas landmark for the past 14 years — was taken down Wednesday morning. The move came six months after illusionist Roy Horn was nearly mauled to death by one of his white tigers and 10 years after my brother Dave and I saw the show for the first time during a family trip to Sin City. read more


Martha Stewart's lawyers filed a motion Wednesday seeking a new trial on the grounds that one of the jurors lied about his criminal record... CBS has axed its low-rated futuristic legal drama, Century City, after just three weeks. The Guardian reclaims its Tuesday 9 pm timeslot next week... Save the date: Next year's 77th Annual Academy Awards will once again take place on the last Sunday of February — Feb. 27 to be exact... Sarah Jessica Parker will receive a Fashion Icon award at the 2004 Council of Fashion Designers Awards on June 7 in New York... Jon Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea, welcomed their fourth child — son Romeo — on Monday. read more

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