Today's News: Our Take


POLITICAL FRENZY

Jay Leno has invited all 135 candidates running for California governor — including Arnold, Gary, that blonde porn star and a number of other D-listers — to appear on NBC's Tonight Show on Sept. 22. "We have 300 seats," Leno says, "we'll let everybody in." Just to be safe, NBC may want to hire extra security that night to guard the petty cash drawer. read more

Whoa! Joey Lawrence Grows Up


Joseph Lawrence, the 27-year-old artist formerly known as Joey on Gimme a Break! and Blossom, is getting back to his sitcom roots this fall with the WB's Run of the House. He plays Kurt, the eldest of four sibs who is left in charge when mom and dad fly south for the winter. It's a character the real-life older brother to 23-year-old Matt and 15-year-old Andy can relate to.

"I always felt with Matt that I was more of a surrogate-like father/uncle type than I was an actual bro who would throw down and party with him," explains Lawrence, whose recurring role on American Dreams will come to an end this fall. "So I think that [my character], Kurt, feels that way, too, and throws the responsibility onto his shoulders. I id read more

Jamie Kennedy's Shocking New Experiment

The star of The Jamie Kennedy Experiment is a massive liar. He even says so on Page 2 of his new book, Wannabe: A Hollywood Experiment (Citadel Press), a candid account of his early, mostly humiliating days in Hollywood. Of course, things did turn around for the 33-year-old actor-comedian: His WB prankfest returns for a third season next month, the book is out on Aug. 25, and Malibu's Most Wanted, the film based on one of his outrageous characters, arrives on DVD in September. Not bad. Now, let's get to the truth.


TV Guide Online: In the book, you're pretty blunt about your sexual experiences. Have your parents read it?
Kennedy:
I don't want them to. My dad could, but my mom... she's had six kids but somehow doesn't think sex happens.

TVGO: She knows you lost your virginity at some point though, right?
Kennedy:
I don't even think she knows that.

TVGO: You wrote that when you wo read more

AN OFFER YOU CAN REFUSE

Boston radio station WBCN is offering free "I survived Gigli" T-shirts to anyone who can sit through the entire film when it's screened for the last time at a local theater Thursday. Throw in a bag of baked Doritos, an ice-cold diet raspberry Snapple and $60,000 in cash and maybe you can count me in. Maybe. read more

HINES TRIBUTE

Law & Order will rerun an episode from last season tonight at 10 pm/ET featuring guest star Gregory Hines, who died over the weekend of cancer. Hines plays a Johnnie Cochran-type defense attorney in the episode. read more

HEADING WEST

ABC is developing a one-hour military drama that follows a class of West Point cadets from enrollment to graduation, Variety reports. The potential series is based on the recently released bestseller Absolutely American. As the brother of a Naval Academy grad, I have one thing to say about this project: "Go Navy! Beat Army!" read more

TIT FOR TAT

Liberal humorist Al Franken lashed back at Fox News on Tuesday over a lawsuit it filed claiming he infringed on its "fair and balanced" trademark by using the phrase in the title of his upcoming book. In the suit, Fox said Franken has become "increasingly unfunny" and called him "shrill and unstable," among other things. Responds the former SNL star: "When I read 'intoxicated or deranged' and 'shrill and unstable' in their complaint, I thought for a moment I was a Fox commentator." read more

WHERE'S THE LOVE?

Turns out not Everybody Loves Raymond. Brad Garrett, who plays Ray's brother Robert, is refusing to show up for work unless he gets a raise. Garrett reportedly earns $4 million a year, chump change compared to Ray Romano's $45 million annual salary. Anticipating a possible walk-out by Garrett, producers wrote the actor out of the show's first episode. In a statement, reps for Garrett said their client "earns less than 10 percent of Ray's salary and is the lowest-paid member of a grossly underpaid supporting cast." Further complicating matters: Co-star Patricia Heaton, who also may be seeking a pay hike, has called in sick for the past two days — possibly delaying filming of the season premiere until next week. On the bright side, th read more

Kathy Griffin Gets Real


If anyone is more addicted to reality television than we are, or more ashamed of said obsession, it has to be Kathy Griffin, the onetime emcee of Kathy's So-Called Reality and winner of Celebrity Mole: Hawaii. "I happen to think reality television is excellent," the Suddenly Susan funny lady says. "I'm really tired of art."

As such, it should come as no surprise to fans of the raucous redhead that this fall she's returning to the genre, as host of NBC's upcoming Average Joe, a dating game that introduces a beautiful bachelorette to — get this! — a bunch of wannabe beaus whose sexiest feature is their personalities, not their biceps. Quips the actress, who is married: "I'm attracted to and repulsed by all men, so I didn't know who the hell was average and who was handsome. I made out with three of 'em!"

All kidding as read more

PUBLIC NUISANCE

Former Gilmore Girls hottie Milo Ventimiglia (Jess) has enrolled in Fox's Boston Public for a three-episode arc, Variety reports. He'll play a bad boy with a hidden agenda. I bet he likes to torture the geeks during dodgeball, too. read more

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