Today's News: Our Take


Bob Newhart's career is about to take a serious turn. The comedy legend has nabbed a recurring role on ER, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He'll play an architect suffering from macular degeneration who develops an attachment to Dr. Susan Lewis (Sherry Stringfield). His three-episode arc begins Oct. 30. read more


Here's some "TV News" scoop from next week's issue of TV Guide magazine: It's not the Seinfeld reunion we were hoping for, but it'll do. Jerry Seinfeld is set to guest-star on Curb Your Enthusiasm, the HBO series starring Seinfeld cocreator Larry David. Jerry will play himself in the fourth-season finale (to air in 2004), which features Larry making his Broadway debut. "[Seinfeld] stopped by the set to visit," says an HBO spokeswoman, "and they decided to put him in the audience." Wise move indeed. read more


William H. Macy and Tom Selleck have signed on to headline a four-hour CBS miniseries based on Scott Turow's best-selling legal thriller Reversible Errors. Production is slated to begin in October in Canada. read more


The Parents Television Council — a TV watchdog group which frowns on sex and violence — is lambasting CSI for its racy plotlines about cannibalism, sex clubs and snuff films. PTC's new list of TV's 10 worst shows also includes CBS's Big Brother 3 and NBC's Friends and Will &#038 Grace. So what shows do they like? CBS's recently axed Touched by an Angel tops that list. read more


Charlie's Angels and Ally McBeal diva Lucy Liu has joined the cast of Game Over, a CGI-animated midseason comedy on UPN. She'll do the voice of Raquel Smashenburn, a secret agent and mother of two. The show's other celebrity voices currently include SNL's Rachel Dratch and Seinfeld's Patrick Warburton. read more


The two ex-honchos of Robert Redford's production company, Crystal Film Works, are suing the 66-year-old actor. Former employees Jeff Kleeman and Eric Greenfeld say Redford is very late in making installment payments on an agreed-upon $750,000 legal settlement. Their lawsuit asks a judge to make Redford honor his debt, plus pay them interest, legal fees and unspecified relief. read more

Jake Robo-Nerd Suffers for His Part

Tackling the lead in UPN's Jake 2.0 (airing Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET beginning Sept. 10) would make most actors wish they possessed the title character's technologically enhanced super-brains and brawn. But former Popular pushover Christopher Gorham needs only his own adrenaline to keep up with the physically demanding role of a government drone who, through a freak accident, is transformed into a top-secret agent.

"I really thrive in this environment," the wannabe action hero says happily. "I don't feel like there's a lot of pressure on me [to carry the series], because I have this great team behind me that's creating this show, [so] I just kind of have to show up and do my job."

Gorham sure makes it sound easy. But in fact, despite his status as an almost-famous Hollywood climber, he was hesitant to accept the steady gig. The hold-up? The makers of Jake initially wanted to shoot in Toronto, where their chosen one had jus read more


Talk show vet Ricki Lake and hubby Rob Sussman have filed for legal separation. Married for nine years, the couple has two kids aged 2 and 6. Just this year, the family moved from New York to L.A., where they purchased Courteney Cox and David Arquette's old pad for about $6.5 million. read more


It's official! American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken's debut album will hit stores Oct. 14 — nearly a month before the Nov. 11 drop date of AI winner Ruben Studdard's CD. "It just don't make no sense for Clay to have his album chillin' when he could just do his thing," Studdard told The Associated Press, explaining that promotional duties have cut into his own time in the recording studio. "I just want to be able to do the best possible project I possibly can. I don't want to just come out with an American Idol souvenir album, you know what I'm saying?" read more

Veronica's Closet Stud Back on TV

In the upcoming UPN sitcom Rock Me Baby (airing Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET beginning Sept. 16), MTV mainstay Dan Cortese plays, in essence, the king of all media. But sshh! Don't tell him that he's been crowned the new Fartman. "I'm not modeling my [shock-jock character] on anybody," he insists. "I mean, I'm up at 5:30 in the morning with my [2-year-old] son, but we're not listening to Howard Stern!

"I've listened to Kevin and Bean quite a bit here on KROQ in Los Angeles," he continues, "so obviously I've heard these types of [radio personalities], but I don't really want to pattern myself after anyone. I want to make this guy my own."

Whatever. If the Veronica's Closet alum believes it, who are we to tell him that he's kidding himself? Besides, aside from that little case of life-swapping, the part of a young-at-heart dad seems tailor-made for the handsome lug, who clearly prefers hip-hop to An Evening at the Pops read more

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