Today's News: Our Take


BIG FAT RATINGS

Monday's debut of My Big Fat Greek Life averaged 22.9 million viewers for CBS, making it the highest-rated launch of a comedy on any network since NBC's Jesse in 1998. The show moves to its regular Sunday, 8 pm, time slot this weekend. Is it just me, or was My Big Fat Greek Wedding the most overrated movie ever?! read more

OH, NO YOU DIDN'T

Here's my two cents about American Idol's latest semifinalist round last night: Juanita Barber's little on-stage meltdown in front of the judges was disgraceful. "What About the Children," she asks? I took an informal poll this morning, and they thought you stunk too. Me? I voted for Ashley. I don't care if she can't carry a tune, the 17-year-old exhibited tremendous grace under pressure after being torn to shreds by Simon. read more

ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET... RENEW!

In what ABC is calling an "unprecedented move," the network has jumped the gun on the new fall season and renewed seven of its current series for another year. The returning shows include: 8 Simple Rules... , According to Jim, Alias, George Lopez, Less Than Perfect, Life with Bonnie and My Wife and Kids. NYPD Blue already received a pick-up last year. read more

FAREWELL, BUFFY

Vampire pun alert! This sucks, folks: Sarah Michelle Gellar will exit Buffy the Vampire Slayer in May to pursue her film career full time, TV Guide Online has learned. UPN and 20th Century Fox declined to comment, but sources confirm that the 25-year-old actress has informed series creator Joss Whedon that she will not be renewing her contract beyond this season. For the complete story, click here.. read more

HICK HUNT?

Sen. Zell Miller is accusing CBS of peddling "bigotry for big bucks" for developing a reality show based on The Beverly Hillbillies. In a fiery speech on the Senate floor Tuesday, the Georgia Democrat called on the network to scrap the idea, which would transplant a rural family to Beverly Hills and then show them acting like fools. Sounds a lot like Beverly Hills, 90210 to me. read more

THEY CALL YOU MR. PERSONALITY BECAUSE...

Fox may have found its next Joe Millionaire. The network is planning a new reality show that poses the question: Is love more than skin deep? The seven-episode series, titled Mr. Personality, will involve a woman choosing a mate from a group of men, all of whom have their faces disguised. As the program progresses, the single gal ultimately narrows her choice to one man. At that point, she finally unmasks the dude — and prays to God he doesn't look like Marilyn Manson. Mr. Personality will debut later this season. read more

IF THEY CAN'T MAKE IT WORK...

The fairytale is over, folks. Joe Millionaire's winning bachelorette Zora confirms to TV Guide Online that she and Evan have broken up. "We're just friends," the 29-year-old wannabe nurse reveals. "I realized almost immediately after the taping of the final episode [last November]... that it wasn't meant to be." Well, then why did the famous couple give the impression on Monday's Aftermath special that they were forging ahead with a relationship? "I think we were just overwhelmed by the situation," she offers. "I think it was really nice being reunited; we were both genuinely happy to see each other. But there was also some editing done that gave the viewer more hope than there was." Damn you, Fox. Damn you! read more

SHORT CUTS

MSNBC has pulled the plug on Phil Donahue's low-rated talk show after six months on the air. His final show runs Friday night... NBC's Ed moves to Fridays at 9 pm/ET beginning March 21. Dateline NBC will take over the show's old Wednesday, 8 pm/ET time period. read more

ALL HER CHILDREN

Live spitfire Kelly Ripa gave birth to her third child, son Joaquin Consuelos, on Monday in New York. The former All My Children star broke the news this morning when she called into Live with Regis & Kelly. "We are the proud parents of a healthy baby boy," she told Regis. "We can't wait to bring Joaquin home to meet all of our friends and family." Ripa and hubby Mark Consuelos also have a 5-year-old son, Michael, and a 1-year-old daughter, Lola. read more

BADA BLING

Sopranos stars Michael Imperioli, Tony Sirico, Drea de Matteo, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Robert Iler have secured substantial pay raises for the show's upcoming fifth season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actors will now make around $60,000 an episode — with Imperioli earning closer to $80,000. They had been pulling in $15,000-$25,000 an episode. read more

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