Today's News: Our Take


WELCOME RETURN

It looks like NBC wants Frasier to go out with a bang. Two of the sitcom's most celebrated writer/producers — Christopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan — have agreed to return as exec producers this fall for the show's 11th (and likely final) season, Variety reports. read more

BACHELOR RISING

After a slow start, the latest Bachelor edition is picking up steam in the Nielsens. Wednesday's episode — featuring the surprise ouster of TV Guide Online fave Tina Fabulous — attracted 13.2 million viewers, its best rating since bowing in February. read more

TIME OUT

Legendary football announcer Pat Summerall has called his last game. After 41 years in the booth, Summerall has opted to retire after failing to reach a new deal with Fox Sports. The 72-year-old reportedly wanted to call only Dallas Cowboys games next season, while Fox wanted him to work a full 17-week schedule. read more

WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF NEXT?

Here's another reminder that it's sweeps time on TV: Next Thursday's Late Night with Conan O'Brien will be a clay animated re-creation of an October episode featuring Jackass star Johnny Knoxville, comedian Richard Lewis and musical guest David Bowie. read more

BAD BOYS, WHATCHA GONNA DO

Actor Tom Sizemore's domestic violence case is heating up. The star of CBS's defunct Robbery Homicide Division already faces charges for assaulting an ex-girlfriend and intimidating a witness in the case. Now, Celebrity Justice reports he's been arrested again, this time for threatening another potential witness — his ex-fiancée Heidi Fleiss. Sizemore allegedly left a message on the Hollywood Madam's answering machine, threatening to "knock out her teeth, kill her and harm members of her family" if she testified against him. He was released on $100,000 bail early Friday. read more

HEY, ISN'T THAT...

Former Saturday Night Live cut-up Will Ferrell makes a surprise guest appearance on Tuesday's season finale of CBS's The Guardian, the New York Post reports. In a rare dramatic role, Ferrell — who mysteriously went by the alias Phil Reston in the credits — plays a new lawyer at the show's Pittsburgh-based legal-assistance center. read more

Daily Show Newsie Gets Literary

Even a senior news analyst, such as The Daily Show's Stephen Colbert, can be confused by recent world events. Like, for instance, NBC deciding not to pick up the pilot he co-wrote with Jon Stewart for its fall schedule. "They said, 'We love it, this is exactly what we want — and we're not gonna make it,'" Colbert says. "So it was an entirely pleasurable experience... except for the part about not making it." At least his other recent collaboration, the novel Wigfield (Hyperion), had a happier ending. Co-written with his Strangers with Candy cohorts Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello, Wigfield follows a self-important, first-time author searching for a story in the book's titular town. The satirical tale unfolds through interviews with 20 inspired characters, which the trio currently brings to life in an adapted stage show on their book tour. Here, Colbert plays the quirky role of himself.

TV Guide Online: The book's "au read more

Broadway Boy Whipped Into Shape


Actor Fred Weller is comfortable with his body. In fact, he has no problem doing nude scenes eight shows a week in Broadway's Take Me Out. So what could turn this hunk into a self-conscious wreck? Hollywood, of course!

"All I know is, when I'm in Los Angeles, after three weeks, I start to feel like I should be going to the gym twice a day," he tells TV Guide Online. "No one tells me to, but I start to get the feeling that I should."

Weller currently co-stars with Friends thesp Paul Rudd and The Mummy's Rachel Weisz in The Shape of Things (opening tomorrow). The Neil LaBute film explores how p read more

HONORABLE DISCHARGE

Josh Gracin is on permanent leave from American Idol. Viewers handed the 22-year-old Marine his marching orders on last night's show, freeing up the Oceanside, Calif., native to deal with his anger issues full time. Kimberley Locke, who rounded out the bottom two, joins Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard as the three remaining finalists. Meanwhile, if you have a question for Josh, send it to me via the link at the bottom of this page. Extra consideration will be given to those folks who can correctly ID the number I'm thinking of right now. read more

SOUR NOTE

A Missouri housewife is suing John Tesh, claiming he took a Sept. 11 tribute she wrote and included it, without credit, on his "Christmas Worship" album, TheSmokingGun.com reports. Stacey Randall, 29, charges that Tesh recites her poem "Met in the Stairwell" as a spoken word cut titled "God in the Stairwell." Randall seeks unspecified monetary damages, as well as inside dirt on Mary Hart. read more

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