Today's News: Our Take


BAD DAY

Kiefer Sutherland was injured in a barroom brawl earlier this week, forcing production on his Fox series 24 to be rejiggered to accommodate his absence, a source confirms to TV Guide Online. Upon returning to work on Wednesday, the actor — who received multiple stitches on his face — apologized to the show's cast and crew for the inconvenience. Word is everyone accepted his apology except Chloe O'Brian. read more

IF THEY CAN'T MAKE IT WORK...

In a blow to anatomically incorrect couples everywhere, Mattel announced that after more than 43 years together, the storybook romance that is Barbie and Ken has come to an end. "They feel it's time to spend some quality time apart," says Mattel marketing VP Russell Arons, who adds that come spring, Barbie will sport a whole new look that reflects her life as a "carefree and independent" woman. Ken, meanwhile, will sport a whole new look that reflects his life as an out and proud homosexual. Just kidding. About the last part. The rest of it is true. Really. read more

TRUE CONFESSION

Many reality TV personalities have had their sordid pasts publicly exposed, but very few do it themselves! This week on America's Next Top Model, 21-year-old Shandi Sullivan told contest judge Janice Dickinson that she'd dabbled in drugs and committed robbery, hoping to get attention from her family. Indeed, Shandi was arrested in May 2001 for stealing $650, a fax machine, and a small safe from Mr. Bulky's candy store in her hometown of Kansas City, Mo. She later copped a plea and was sentenced to two years probation. FYI, the gawky waif's unfashionable mugshot is now on TheSmokingGun.com — which means the poor thing is gonna be needing another hug from J. Alexander right about now. read more

THIS BITES

The WB has sentenced Angel to death. The network announced late Friday that the Buffy spinoff would end its five-year run in May. Network CEO Jordan Levin said he wanted to give series creator Joss Whedon enough notice so that he could "wrap up [Angel] in a way befitting a classic television series." He also hinted that the show's legacy could live on next season in the form of "special movie events," adding that such an idea was still very much "on the table." Now for the $25,000 question: Might the series finale feature a reunion between David Boreanaz's Angel and Sarah Michelle Gellar's Buffy? As TV Guide recently reported, Gellar nixed an offer to reprise her signature role this May. Of course, it's a Slayer's prerogative to change her mind. Stay tuned... read more

AUTO PILOTS

ABC has picked up an untitled comedy pilot that finds Newlyweds babe Jessica Simpson playing a fictional version of herself. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nick's dimmer half will star as Jessica Sampson, an aspiring reporter who gets a job with a prime-time newsmagazine show. ABC has also ordered a 24-esque comedy pilot that revolves around a single guy (John Stamos) preparing for a date, with the entire first season taking place over the course of the big outing. Finally, CBS has tapped Chris O'Donnell to star in Westerbergs, a comedy pilot about two brothers who grew up thinking they were special, and must now face the reality that they're just, well, ordinary. read more

FriendsThe final six episodes...

Friends The final six episodes kick off with Phoebe and Mike's wedding. Despite the fact that I was still clinging to the false hope that David would show up and pull a Dustin Hoffman at the last minute, our darling Pheebs was a beautiful bride and it was so satisfying to see her endearing character front and center instead of acting loopy on the sidelines. And although the wedding-day complications were inevitable (Phoebe's incarcerated dad; a blizzard that prevents caterers and guests from arriving), tonight's installment is good example of what the show has been missing in these later seasons: scenes involving the entire cast. My favorite seasons are the early ones, when the gang was always assembled at Monica and Rachel's or gathered at Central Perk. I enjoyed the collective energy they created and fed off of, something that seems to have taken a backseat to the individual plotlines that cropped up and played out. But real people have jobs and families and i read more

WHAT THE $%#*!

Courtney Love broke a new record Thursday when she became the most bleeped guest ever to appear on Howard Stern's radio show. Love was bleeped 15 times as she explained why she skipped a court hearing Wednesday. "I didn't show up because I didn't have a professional bodyguard," she told Stern. Love's hearing was rescheduled for next Tuesday. read more

ELEVATOR DOWN

On Thursday night's Apprentice, Wisconsin realtor Jessie Conners became the latest powermonger pink-slipped by Donald Trump. The 21-year-old former farm girl got the boot because Trump felt she didn't stand up for herself in the face of what he called Omarosa's "repulsive" verbal assault. It also didn't help that Jessie talked to guest star Isaac Mizrahi like he was still in the womb. He's gay, sweetheart, not dumb. read more

Survivor's Rudy Admits Error


Survivor: All-Stars may actually live up to its hype as the most cutthroat edition ever. After eliminating past winner Tina Wesson, the female Saboga tribemates preyed on the elderly by taking out Survivor's oldest player ever, Rudy Boesch. The 76-year-old former Navy SEAL made it to the final three in the very first game, but here, his torch was swiftly snuffed once he injured his ankle.

"I didn't expect to go that quick," Boesch sighs to TV Guide Online. "I think it was because I was actually holding that tribe back. I would have done the same thing if I was in their shoes."

That's quite a change of tune from his final on-air remarks. He threatened the backstabbing duo of Jerri and Jenna L., issuing the warning, "If I was them... I'd stay clear of me." The curmudgeon even went so far as to suggest that read more

THE FIELD NARROWS

More than 11 million American Idol fans picked Fantasia Barrino, 19, and Diana DeGarmo, 16, as the show's first two finalists. (I hope someone's keeping a close eye on my girl Jennifer Hudson. The poor dear looked hungry for a Shards O' Glass Freeze Pop.) The next batch of eight perform on Tuesday. In other Idol news, Tuesday's performance edition ranked as the night's top program with more than 26 million viewers. UPN's America's Next Top Model, meanwhile, scored its largest audience to date — 7.13 million viewers. And ABC cheered the return of NYPD Blue after a 10-week break. The cop drama — which wisely chose not to blow up the incomparable Charlotte Ross — drew a season-high 11 million viewers. read more

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