Today's News: Our Take


AND THEY SAID IT WOULDN'T LAST...

Alright, now it's safe to start collecting on that office pool. Anonymous sources are telling People magazine that Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have split — although it's not clear if the break-up is permanent. People says Affleck dumped Lopez due to "second thoughts" about their impending wedding. Rumor has it Lopez's alleged request for a prenup may have contributed to Affleck's change of heart. Whatever the reason, J.Lo seems to be handling the estrangement like a woman who's been through this three times before. The New York tabs are running snapshots of the singer-actress frolicking in the Miami surf over the weekend. Affleck, meanwhile, was spotted gambling and sunning himself in Las Vegas. And me? I'm $20 richer. read more

Sunday Sex and the City Do you...

Sunday

Sex and the City
Do you know I lived in New York for 13 years and never once saw a woman walking down the street in a tutu? Not even near Lincoln Center. There... I got that off my chest. And I never want to see Carrie and crew happy, because with their pathological self-absorption and infuriating sense of entitlement they don't deserve to be. There... that, too. Except maybe Miranda. I kind of like her because she's the only likable one in the bunch, especially grading on a bell curve. But the beauty of New York City is that it's big enough to enjoy without ever having to get anywhere near women like them. The town deserves a better fate than having even one viewer think you can't. Baryshnikov deserves a more worthy gal. And we absolutely deserved a more satisfying wrap-up to the Miranda-Steve-Dr. Leeds entanglement than the five-second voice-over summation we got.

Conan O'Brien: Tenth Anniversary Special
Ho read more

RITTER TRIBUTE

TV Land and Nick at Nite will pay tribute to John Ritter with two programming specials airing Sunday and Monday. The TV Land salute — which kicks off Sunday at 9 am/ET and lasts through the evening — will showcase Ritter's work on such sitcoms as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Cosby Show, Rhoda, Starsky & Hutch, The Waltons and The Bob Newhart Show. Nick at Nite, meanwhile, will air a Three's Company marathon beginning Monday at 9 pm/ET and continuing through Tuesday at 6 am/ET. read more

Cuba on Kissing Beyoncé!


Acting rookie Beyoncé Knowles, 21, admitted she was jittery about her kissing scenes with co-star Cuba Gooding Jr. in The Fighting Temptations (opening Sept. 19). Did her 34-year-old Oscar-winning leading man do anything to help the "Bootylicious" beauty relax?

"We worked all night on it," Gooding jokes to TV Guide Online. "Sure, she was probably a little nervous before kissing me, but she's kissed guys before. I think it was more like, 'Oh no, I'm performing for the peanut gallery of crew members and everybody else.'

"She's young, she'll get over it," he laughs. "When you are married for [nine] years [like me], you look forward to that kind of thing. Lord. She was wonderful."

But in the past, the outrageous actor has shown more than just the money before doing love scenes. "That's why they call me Butt-naked," he reveals. "That was my nickname for a long time on movie sets, because when I had a love scene, I would do th read more

SAD DAY IN HOLLYWOOD

Emmy-winning TV icon John Ritter, best known for his role as endearingly awkward Jack Tripper in Three's Company and more recently the star of ABC's family comedy 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, died Thursday of a heart problem. He was 54. According to reports, Ritter had an undiagnosed defect in his aorta. In a statement, ABC said it was "shocked and heartbroken at the terrible news of John's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children at this very difficult time." There's no word on what impact Ritter's death will have on 8 Simple Rules, which was slated to kick off its second season Sept. 23. Ritter is survived by his wife, Wings actress Amy Yasbeck, as well as children Jason, Carly, Tyler and Stella. For a tribute from TV Guide critic Matt Roush, click here. read more

NO SHOW

Pop star Jewel has scrapped her North American tour after the sudden death of her bass player Terome "T-Bone" Hannon. The musician died Sept. 4 after suffering a massive stroke. He was 39. "T-Bone was a phenomenal player and we all loved him," Jewel said in a statement. "We are all just in shock and hurt." read more

WEDNESDAY RATINGS

Wednesday's third season premiere of Enterprise attracted 4.1 million Trekkies, up 8 percent over last May's season finale, but off 16 percent from the show's second season premiere last September. UPN's new drama Jake 2.0, meanwhile, retained a promising 90 percent of Enterprise's total audience. read more

FAREWELL

Country legend Johnny Cash, who became a giant in the music world with such hits as "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line," and "A Boy Named Sue," and who earned the nickname the Man in Black for always dressing in black, died Friday morning of complications from diabetes. He was 71. Cash had been released from the hospital earlier this week after a two-week stay for treatment of an unspecified stomach ailment — an illness which caused him to bow out of last month's MTV Video Music Awards. read more

Conan O'Brien Turns 10 Again!

"Do you want anything?" asks Conan O'Brien, as he opens the fridge in his cluttered office. "Canned tuna? Bottled ketchup?" Although his cupboard is pathetically bare, NBC's Late Night host has plenty on his plate. The show recently earned its ninth Emmy nomination. And on Sunday at 9:30 pm/ET, the 40-year-old O'Brien celebrates his 10th anniversary with a live, 90-minute prime-time special. It's rumored that Jim Carrey, Bill Clinton and even the Masturbating Bear will show up. But, says O'Brien, "It's prime time, so we may have to put [the bear] on a depressant to keep him from getting overly excited."


TV Guide Online: What historical event would you compare your first year on air to?
O'Brien:
Gallipoli. Just lots of troops running over the trenches and getting mowed down, with huge British losses. The first year was historically important, but not pretty.

TVGO: What would make the anniversary extra special for you?
read more

GOING BATTY

An American Psycho is taking over the role of Batman. British thesp Christian Bale — best known for his indie work in films such as Little Women, Laurel Canyon and American Psycho — has been tapped to play the Caped Crusader in Warner Bros. Pictures' upcoming Batman flick. "What I see in Christian is the ultimate embodiment of Bruce Wayne," says director Christopher Nolan (Memento). "He has exactly the balance of darkness and light that we were looking for." The film — which will follow the early career of the Dark Knight — is expected to begin production early next year. read more

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