Today's News: Our Take

Survivor: Pearl Islands The granddaddy...

Survivor: Pearl Islands
The granddaddy of reality shows goes Pirates of the Caribbean. Dispatching this season's 16 with nothing but the clothes on their backs was a neat twist, but they should have had to walk the plank. Especially those wearing Armani suits and stiletto heels for a flight to Panama. Why are they blurring out the butts when you can see Dennis Franz's sorry ass every week on NYPD Blue? After witnessing Osten's underwear problems, you just know he's gonna be the next Calvin Klein poster boy. And did anyone catch the "Morgan behind" caption during the immunity challenge? Cheap, but brilliant. After their loss, Team Morgan could only be thinking one thing: Hate the Drake.

Threat Matrix
This new series about homeland-security experts borrows elements of CSI, Alias, The Agency and 24. My advice: Return them and nobody gets hurt. Given the title, I half expected to see read more

Performing As Loved the winner;...

Performing As
Loved the winner; you know, that spooky-good Frank Sinatra impersonator. The Faith Hill wannabe was okay, too. But everyone else sounded screechy as howler monkeys. Still, I have to hand it to the faux Cher, Lisa Cash. She did "Turn Back Time," complete with guys in sailor outfits and a tamed-down-for-broadcast-TV version of Cher's black, see-through outfit from her music video. By the way, I only remember Cash's name because she sounds like a Las Vegas lounge singer. Speaking of Vegas, there's about 100 drag queens there who could do Cher way better. Of course, if Fox let crossdressers compete, they'd blow the regular Joes out of the water.

The Whoopster goes way over the top in a fit of claustrophobia. Eh, maybe this is gonna be one of those hit or miss sitcoms. Giggle-inducing one week, so-so the next.

Big Brother 4
Three housemates are left. read more


The Sopranos is the odds-on favorite to finally take home the best drama series Emmy at Sunday's ceremony, according to awards-predictions website The mob drama's two leads — James Gandolfini and Edie Falco — are also favored to score best actor and actress honors. On the comedy side, Everybody Loves Raymond has a slight edge over HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Monk's Tony Shaloub and Raymond's Patricia Heaton are the frontrunners for best lead actor and actress. All the action kicks off live at 8 pm/ET on Fox. read more


A shutterbug for the Evening Standard newspaper claims Paul McCartney pushed and swore at him when he tried to take a picture of the former Beatle visiting illusionist David Blaine's starvation shrine at Tower Bridge in London. Scotland Yard is on the case. (I love writing that.) read more


The video for R.E.M.'s new song "Bad Day" will premiere tonight at 7 pm/ET on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360... The WB is developing a one-hour drama series that revolves around an experimental program in which high school students serve as police cadets to prevent and investigate school-based crimes, Variety reports... Friends star Lisa Kudrow is producing an ABC Family original film Picking Up and Dropping Off. It stars Scott Wolf and Amanda Detmer as single parents who fall in love. read more


Bianca Jagger is suing the owners of her Manhattan apartment for $20 million, claiming her pad has been rendered uninhabitable due to toxic mold. Sounds like girlfriend just needs some Ajax and a good scrub brush. read more

UNSAFE BET, an Antigua-based gaming concern, has suspended its betting on Survivor again. According to the website's management, a "suspicious amount of new accounts" were opened from Vancouver, where everyone wagered on the same castaway to win Survivor: Pearl Islands. Figuring somebody's got inside knowledge of Pearl's outcome, they wisely decided to avoid legal trouble by ceasing the wagering before the show's 90-minute season premiere aired Thursday night. By the way, the Pearl kickoff proved a safe bet for CBS, at least, scoring 21 million viewers. read more


Diane Sawyer's ABC tribute special, John Ritter: Life of Laughter, attracted over 14 million viewers on Tuesday night. Sad pals and co-stars tearfully reminisced about the 54-year-old Three's Company alum, who suffered a fatal aortic dissection last week on the set of his latest sitcom, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. As previously reported, ABC plans to continue Rules by writing the death of Ritter's character into the show's storyline. read more

Catching Up With Xena's Callisto

We thought we'd heard everything here at TV Guide Online. But then we rang up Hudson Leick, and dang if the former Xena: Warrior Princess villainess didn't prove us wrong in nothing flat. "I quit acting for about two years," the 34-year-old knockout tells us. Why on Earth? If ever a performer was born ready for her close-up, we'd have bet that it had to be her. So, what possessed her?!

"'What possessed you?!'" she repeats dramatically, then bursts into laughter. "I just wasn't crazy about the business. When you work, you're so lucky — I mean, only [a small percentage] of the Screen Actors Guild actually makes enough money to support themselves. I just didn't think that was what I wanted to do.

"But," she adds, "I was wrong."

We could've told Leick that. Whether the veteran of Melrose Place and Touched by an Angel is throwing herself into another of what she calls the "slutty, bitchy bimbo" roles read more


Singer-songwriter-hottie John Mayer's new album Heavier Things debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's album chart with sales of 316,000 copies. Hilary Duff's Metamorphosis fell to No. 2 with 107,000 copies sold. read more

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