Today's News: Our Take

FriendsJoey finally gets to display...

Friends Joey finally gets to display the acting chops that keep him on Days of Our Lives when he hilariously talks himself out of a corner during a run-in with Chandler and Monica's adoption agent (Maria Patillo), a young woman he never called after a date. Although she is probably known for her role on Providence, I remember Patillo from the late great Partners, which starred current comeback kids Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men) and Tate Donovan (The O.C.).

Threat Matrix Something about Russian operatives, American double agents and contagion-carrying currency. Maybe it's a plug for the new $20 bills.

Old Navy Commercial Lil' Kim is their new spokesmodel? Because sometimes it's just too damn cold for only pasties and a G-string.

Survivor: Pearl Islands I still have not tired of seeing Rupert repeatedly win challenges. Too bad we all know thos read more


Madonna has inked a licensing deal with Signature Network Inc. to create a line of products based on her children's book The English Roses. Among the items headed to stores: dolls, apparel, cosmetics, stationery, room decor, whips, chains and flavored condoms. read more


The guy who sold the Paris Hilton sex tape is telling Celebrity Justice that Rick Solomon, the hotel heiress's X-rated leading man, was involved in the duplication and sale of the video. Don Thrasher claims he received a $50,000 check for the tape, then gave Solomon $25,000 in cash. Solomon's attorney denies the charges, insisting Thrasher stole the tape. Meanwhile, the New York Post reports that Hilton and Solomon may have made as many as 10 videos together. Hopefully, the lighting is better on those, because the one that's out there now is really dark. So I've heard. read more


Cheech Marin is joining the cast of CBS's Judging Amy beginning Jan. 6 as a potential love interest for Tyne Daly's Maxine. In other casting news, Danny Strong (aka Jonathan from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will appear in at least two episodes of the WB's Gilmore Girls as the editor of Rory's (Alexis Bledel) college newspaper. read more


That Farscape press conference we told you about yesterday, during which producers were going to "announce an exciting new development in the campaign to continue" the franchise, has been postponed, a rep for the Jim Henson Company confirms. But never fear, 'Scapers. Sources tell me the media event will be rescheduled for sometime next week. (And trust me, it'll be well worth the wait.) read more


Carol Burnett received a public apology Wednesday after a Carol Burnett Show tribute was left out of CBS's recent 75th anniversary special. In an open letter published Wednesday in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, producer Gil Cates expressed his regret that "during the excitement of a 'live 3 hour television event' the wonderful film piece we prepared... was not aired. Sometimes goofs happen." A skipped cue reportedly led to the glitch. Now that that's over with, who's gonna apologize to Ana Alicia and Co. for giving Falcon Crest such short shrift? Talk about rude. read more

Eloise Seeks "Bookings"

Sofia Vassilieva will go down in TV-history books as the little girl who made it big playing the beloved storybook moppet of Eloise at the Plaza and its sequel, Eloise at Christmastime (airing November 22 at 8 pm/ET on ABC). But instead of resting on her laurels, the precocious 11-year-old has come up with a novel idea of her own: She wants to bring to life other famous fictional characters.

"Even though I'm a little old for it, one of my favorite books is Lizzie Logan, Second Banana," she tells TV Guide Online, adding, for those of us who have gone through puberty, "There's two basic characters in it. I think Lizzie Logan is somewhere around 14, but the other character is 6, and I play a lot of 6-year-olds.

"I've also read Helen Keller four times," she continues. "I don't think I'd like to be Helen Keller, though. I'll play anything, but I like being in co read more


Toby Keith's latest CD, Shock'n Y'all, entered Billboard's album chart at No. 1 with 585,000 copies sold — a career best for the singer. Sarah McLachlan's Afterglow debuted at No. 2 with sales of 361,000 units. read more


Actress Dorothy Fay Ritter, the mother of late actor John Ritter, died Nov. 5 of natural causes. She was 88. Ritter starred opposite late hubby Tex Ritter in a number of B-movie Westerns, including 1939's Rollin' Westward and 1940's Rainbow Over the Range. read more


ABC has ordered six episodes of Extreme Makeover: The Home Edition, in which a group of designers and workmen renovate an entire home in seven days. In related news, the network has ordered an additional 12 episodes of Extreme Makeover, in which a group of doctors make butt-ugly people appear average looking. read more

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