Today's News: Our Take


FAMILY SQUABBLE

Actress Diane Farr (The Job) has replaced Amy Yasbeck (Wings) in the WB's new fall sitcom Like Family. She'll play a single mom who moves in with Holly Robinson Peete and clan. Coincidentally, I watched this pilot over the weekend and I remember thinking, "Amy and Holly have zero chemistry together." I then thought, "Why am I spending a sunny Sunday afternoon indoors watching TV?" At that point, I got really depressed and proceeded to eat an entire bag of pretzel nuggets. read more

ICEBERG, DEAD AHEAD!

Ireland's first reality TV show has run aground — literally. A boat carrying the cast and crew of Cabin Fever, a reality series that's sort of a Big Brother on the high seas, crashed into rocks and broke apart Friday. Everyone made it safely to shore, but producers nonetheless have reason to mourn: Sadly, the cameras weren't rolling during the catastrophe. Now that's tragic. read more

STORM BREWING

Halle Berry has filed a $2 million countersuit against the former owners of her Beverly Hills house, claiming the pad needs more than $1 million in repairs. The alleged culprits, Jonathan and Alison Roth, filed their own pre-emptive suit on June 10, insisting the 34-year-old actress bought the home "as-is" in 2001. read more

MOVE OVER JOAN RIVERS...

The red-carpet troublemaker featured on Ashton Kutcher's hit new MTV prank-a-thon Punk'd is becoming a star in his own right. Ryan Pinkston, 15, has landed a development deal with the music network to headline his very own series. read more

STICKS AND STONES...

It looks like Adam Ant has lost it again. The pop star — who in October was sentenced to year's community service and rehabilitation for threatening pub patrons with a fake pistol — was arrested Wednesday for throwing stones that broke several windows near his London home. (He also went to a local cafe and took off his pants, making for a busy afternoon.) Ant was released on bail and is due back in court in mid-July. read more

HOOKED ON CLASSICS

Now read this: Oprah Winfrey — who announced earlier this year that she was reviving her Book Club — will unveil her first pick on Wednesday's show. This time around, the chat queen will focus on classics that have stood the test of time. Somewhere, Mary Higgins Clark isn't holding her breath. read more

Fame Goes to 'N Sync Singer's Head


Were 'N Sync heartthrob Joey Fatone's career headed south, we could understand why he signed on to host NBC's Fame (Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET). But since he recently appeared in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, headlined Broadway's Rent and is about to begin work with Justin Timberlake and the boys on their band's fifth album, his emcee gig makes no sense to us. Isn't he just inviting wannabes to make him a has-been?

"Oh, I don't think they'll ever take my job," he tells TV Guide Online with a laugh. "And I think it's nice to give other people the chance to perform. There's room for everyone [in the entertainment biz]. Besides, it's kind of interesting to see these young adults bust their butts doing all the stuff that me and the guys in the group do."

Not that the 26-year-old Brooklyn native is at heart a sadist; he doesn't so read more

RELIGIOUS BACKLASH

For the first time, Mel Gibson is speaking out in defense of his controversial film The Passion, which depicts the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ. Some groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have accused the pic of being anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic. "To be certain, neither I nor my film is anti-Semitic," Gibson tells Variety. "My intention in bringing [The Passion] to the screen is to create a lasting work of art and engender serious thought among audiences of diverse faith backgrounds." And if it makes him richer, even better! read more

SEAN BLUMBERG ALERT!

Former Felicity (and current Alias) star Greg Grunberg has scored two film roles. He'll play a manic commercial director in the Coen brothers' crime caper The Ladykillers and a compulsive gambler in the indie pic Poker Night. Both films shoot this summer. read more

SHORT CUTS

Gutter magazine is suing NBC and Fox for intellectual property infringement, alleging For Love or Money and Joe Millionaire are based on a concept it pitched to the networks... Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton stops by Late Show with David Letterman Monday to plug her new memoir... Pier 1 spokeswoman Kirstie Alley will play a mother accused of using her foster kids for slave labor in the fact-based CBS movie A Matter of Family. read more

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