Today's News: Our Take


SOUL SINGER DIES

Motown star Edwin Starr, best known for his 1970 hit "War," died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack at his home in England. He was 61. read more

JANE DOUGH

Jim Carrey's ex-wife claims their daughter cannot get by on $10,000 a month, and has asked a judge to award her more child support. According to court papers obtained by TheSmokingGun.com, Melissa Carrey says her 15-year-old daughter Jane wants to pursue a career in showbiz, and therefore needs the extra cash to pay for things like, um, her own bodyguard (natch), a personal trainer (but of course) and fitness equipment (goes without saying). Groans the the ex-Mrs. Carrey: "Jane enjoys Pilates and takes classes at the local Pilates studio but does not have her own personal trainer or her own Pilates equipment." In other words, Mom wants a new car. read more

MORE IDOL

Where do ex-American Idol stars go to die? The mall. Behind-the-Scenes with American Idol, a 14-city, 21-mall tour starring such Idol alums as Ejay Day and Vanessa Olivarez, kicks off Saturday at the Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island. For more information, go to simon.com. Meanwhile, USA Today reports that Codemasters is releasing an American Idol video game this fall that will feature computer-generated likenesses of judges Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. Abdul's CGI alter ego will be programmed to utter just three words: "You were amazing!" read more

RETURNING FAVORITES

Tom Green is returning to MTV as the star of his own late-night reality show. The series — in which viewers will be invited into Green's personal life (we assume at their own risk) — debuts June 16 at midnight. MTV has also picked up reality shows centered around Jackass cast member Bam Margera and newly-wedded pop stars Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. On the latter show, Lachey and Simpson will allow MTV's cameras to capture the trials and tribulations of their first year of marriage. Like the time they fought over whose zit was bigger. read more

American Dreams Style Secrets

Ashanti needs no psychic friends to channel Dionne Warwick. Nor is LeAnn Rimes the reincarnation of Connie Francis. NBC's American Dreams (Sundays, 8 pm/ET) uses Hollywood magic to transform today's chart toppers into yesteryear's musical acts who performed on American Bandstand. "It's a fabulous process!" enthuses costume designer Chrisi Karvonides, who gives '60s makeovers to contemporary pop idols everyday. Sometimes with only 24 hours notice — stunt-casting coups often happen very last minute — Karvonides must surf the Web, cull vintage fashion mags and watch old American Bandstand footage to recreate authentic star looks.

"Connie Francis was the perfect lady on stage. She had a lot of influence on me," says Rim read more

Martial Arts School for WB Cuties


Ever since The Karate Kid, we've enjoyed tales of sensitive senseis who teach pupils to kick ass, while also healing their wounded inner children. Don't forget: "Karate come from heart, Daniel-san." In that tradition, the Frog network gives us Black Sash — airing Sunday at 9 pm/ET — starring Russell Wong as a martial arts instructor for young WB hotties.

Who the hell is Russell Wong, you ask? "I had a TV show called Vanishing Sun eight years ago," he reminds TV Guide Online. "I was also in Romeo Must Die with Jet Li and The Joy Luck Club." This fall, he'll appear as a homicide cop in Ashley Jud read more

Eddie Griffin: Tap Dancing Action Hero?


In Eddie Griffin's concert film Dysfunktional Family (opening Friday), he recalls how an unconventional upbringing in Kansas City, Mo., inspired his career in comedy. As for the rest of his development as an entertainer, this Undercover Brother credits the black men who paved the way before him. That's why he was eager to fill Sammy Davis Jr.'s shoes for the upcoming biopic Yes I Can.

"The reason the story of Sammy Davis Jr. has to be told is that he was the cat who knocked down the doors," Griffin says, mimicking the Rat Packer's suave tone. "If there wasn't a Sammy, there would be no Michael Jackson. There would be no read more

MORE SHOCK AND AWE

The cable news wars are heating up. On Wednesday, Fox News aired a promo that took a shot at MSNBC for its connection to embattled war correspondent Peter Arnett. The clip showed Arnett's controversial interview on Iraqi TV, with the following narration: "He spoke out against America's armed forces. He said America's war against terrorism has failed. He even vilified America's leadership and worked for MSNBC. Ask yourself: Is this 'America's news channel?'" Fox reportedly ran the spot after MSNBC refused to correct information on its crawl about Fox's own scandal-ridden correspondent, Geraldo Rivera — who left Iraq after drawing a map in the sand indicating troop movement and location. My take? The world was a much nicer place when CNN was the only game in town. read more

ROCK ON

Lord of the Rings actress Liv Tyler, daughter of Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, married Spacehog frontman Royston Langdon on March 25 in a private ceremony in the Caribbean. This is the first marriage for both. read more

D'OH, DUPED AGAIN!

After that whole Joe Millionaire faux finale debacle, we should have expected this much from Fox. On last night's American Idol results show, viewers spent an entire hour waiting to see which contestant would be the next to get the hook, only to discover at the very last minute that no one was getting voted off. (I missed the first half-hour of The Bachelor for nothing!) Due to the unexpected elimination of Corey Clark earlier this week, host Ryan Seacrest — who will likely get a slap on the wrist for his in-very-poor-taste Manhole crack — announced that "a decision has been made" not to eliminate anyone. That was good news for Trenyce and Carmen Rasmusen, who were the bottom two vote-getters. But they enter next week's show at a disadvantage: The votes received this week will be added to next Tuesday night's tally. read more

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