Today's News: Our Take


Tool Time for Joe Millionaire


Since Joe Millionaire struck ratings gold, the reality series' star, make-believe moneybags Evan Marriott, has been pondering the $64,000 question. No, not which avaricious vixen he prefers, but how he's going to cash in once his secret at last is revealed!

"I think it would be neat to have a TV show, kind of like a Bob Vila show on steroids," he tells TV Guide Online. "[I'd] get away from the house stuff and get on big job sites and big buildings. Wouldn't that be killer?

"[Forget this] Bob Vila crap!" he continues, his enthusiasm growing seemingly in direct proportion to his disdain for This Old House. "Who wants to put up crown molding? We're going to put up beams! Real men don't want to put up crown molding, they want to [operate] cranes and move beams and set up girders... stuff like that."

Of course we do. And the powers that be know it. "I don't see [Marriott] replacing Paige Davis [as host of The Learni read more

LIES, ALL LIES!

Madonna insists she is not — repeat, not — pregnant! The Material mother-of-two plans to file a formal complaint in Britain over a story in Heat magazine that said she is pregnant with her third child. "She dyed her hair brown instead of blond; that does not confirm somebody's pregnant," her rep told Reuters. "And she's been wearing baggy clothes for 20 years, so what else is new?" Um, I just got a new microwave oven, does that count? read more

MORE SEX, BUT SAFER

Sex is getting more common on television, but shows are more likely to include some references to making it safe, according to a study released Tuesday from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The report found that 26 percent of shows with sex references also included messages of abstinence or protection. That is nearly double the rate that the foundation found in 1997-98, the first year of its ongoing study. read more

FREE LOVE

Courtney Love, arrested Tuesday at London's Heathrow airport for allegedly being "verbally abusive" to the cabin crew aboard a Virgin Atlantic flight, spent nine hours in custody before being released with a warning. "I cussed at a lady named Mary," Love told reporters. "She wasn't letting my friend into first class so I said, 'Why are you being a bitch about it?'" A better question would be: Why did you let your so-called "friend" fly coach? read more

Sports Night Star Replaces Rob Lowe


For Hollywood actors, getting cast often does depend on who you know. With Rob Lowe's Sam Seaborn exiting The West Wing on Feb. 26, the show's faux White House needed a new deputy communications director. Hence, creator Aaron Sorkin tapped Joshua Malina — an alum of his old ABC comedy, Sports Night — to play Will Bailey. Talk about connections!

For Malina, it was a neat trick getting his face in WW's opening credits. "I started out with a five episode contract," the 37-year-old tells TV Guide Online. "It was 'five and we'll see' — and final read more

Gwyneth's New Role Stirs Scandal


Fresh from last year's literary romance, Possession, Gwyneth Paltrow is set to play another tortured poetess, Sylvia Plath. The BBC has budgeted $11 million for Ted and Sylvia, which will dramatize the life of Plath, best known for her affecting novel, The Bell Jar. The biopic is expected to cover her famed marriage to fellow poet Ted Hughes, as well as her 1963 suicide.

The upcoming project has Plath's daughter, Frieda Hughes, in a rage. Thus, she's penned a protest poem entitled "My Mother," to be published in the March issue of Britain's Tatler magazine. "My buried mother / Is dug up for repeat performances," Hughes vents in her verse. "Now they want read more

REALITY BITES

We said it wouldn't last, and by golly, we were right! Bachelor No. 2 Aaron Buerge and bride-to-be Helene Eksterowicz have called off their engagement. The 28-year-old banker from Springfield popped the question to Eksterowicz during the show's Nov. 20 finale. But by New Year's, the wedding was off. Not surprisingly, the split will be chronicled on a Feb. 20 ABC special. read more

Colin Farrell Denies Dating Britney


Has passion ignited between Irish movie idol Colin Farrell and American pop tart Britney Spears? As Farrell tells TV Guide Online, those romance rumors are "a load of bollocks. Oh, totally! I take it with a grain of salt."

What about the 26-year-old canoodling with Spears (who just turned 21) at The Recruit's premiere? That wasn't a sign they're dating? "No, not at all man," he says. "There was 25 of us there at that screening the other night."

And what of Spears visiting him on the set of S.W.A.T., the action film he's making with Samuel L. Jackson and Olivier Martinez read more

WELCOME BACK, MURPHY!

Murphy Brown's Candice Bergen is returning to CBS as the star of the TV movie Footsteps. In the thriller, Bergen will play a best-selling suspense novelist who finds herself caught up in a real-life crime story. read more

WHO'S THAT GIRL?

The woman that rock producer Phil Spector is accused of murdering is a B-movie actress who starred in such films as Amazon Women on the Moon and The Barbarian Queen. Police believe Spector met Lana Clarkson, 40, Sunday night at the House of Blues in Hollywood, where she had been working as a hostess. Spector, who is currently free on bail, allegedly killed Clarkson after they returned to his Los Angeles-area estate. read more

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