Today's News: Our Take


DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE

Wrestler "Stone Cold" Steve Austin surrendered to Texas police on Tuesday on a domestic violence charge. He posted $5,000 bond and was released pending future legal action. The 36-year-old is accused of beating his wife, former beauty queen Debra Williams, in June. read more

IDOL WORSHIPPED

Powered by its Monday night reality block of Dog Eat Dog, Meet My Folks and Fear Factor, NBC won the ratings race last week. Fox's American Idol, meanwhile, was once again demo king — finishing first among adults 18-34 and 18-49. read more

CROWDED HOUSE

Expect to see a lot more of Kelly Osbourne's best friend Robert in the upcoming second season of MTV's The Osbournes. According to the New York Post, Sharon and Ozzy have "adopted" the 18-year-old, whose mother died last week of colon cancer at the age of 36. "We're moving him in as part of the family," says Sharon, who's currently battling colon cancer herself. "We want to get him secure here then we're going to take our time to pick the best college for him. Robert will be a part of the show as 'Baby Osbourne' — even though he's 18." Sharon saw that Robert's mom, Regan, received round-the-clock nursing care during her final days. read more

SHORT CUTS

Showtime has renewed The Chris Isaak Show for a third season. New episodes begin airing next year... PBS commentator Bill Moyers pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of negligent driving. He was fined $750. read more

APOCALYPSE NOW

As expected, Anna Nicole Smith's audience is slipping away — but not as fast as many had hoped. The second episode of E!'s Anna Nicole Show notched a 3.0 rating — off just 25 percent from last week's strong debut. In fact, the show actually improved its performance week-to-week among young adults. Given how bad the premiere was, insiders predicted the reality disgrace would suffer a steeper second-week nosedive. read more

GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS

A Beverly Hills judge has set an Aug. 26 date for pretrial motions in Winona Ryder's shoplifting case. A trial date will be set within 30 days of that hearing. The 30-year-old actress has pleaded not guilty to stealing $6,000 in merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue last December. read more

LEO GETS POLITICAL

Leonardo DiCaprio is urging President Bush to support the environment by attending the Earth Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, later this month. "Mr. Bush, we're asking for your support, to be the president that looks towards the future," DiCaprio said Monday. The Titanic star blasted Bush's environmental record, calling the U.S. the planet's "biggest polluter." There's no word if Dubya plans to attend, or if he even knows who this Leo fella is. read more

REUNITED

Comedy vets Betty White and Tom Poston will play the parents of That '70s Show mom Debra Jo Rupp in at least two episodes of the Fox comedy this season. White and Poston co-starred in the now-defunct CBS comedy Bob and the film The Story of Us. read more

Sara Sex Change: What's in a Name?


A million times over, the old adage has been proven true: Sex sells. But despite the fact that Mandalay Entertainment's long-on-the-shelf Serving Sara (opening Aug. 23) probably needs all the help it can get, studio founder and chairman Peter Guber decided against using the world's most surefire marketing tool to turn on movie-goers to the Matthew Perry/Elizabeth Hurley flick: He signed off on a title change from the more titillating Servicing Sara.

"There was a connotation to that title that didn't play into our core audience," he explains to TV Guide Online. "In other words, this wasn't an NC-17 film about sex. Normally 'servicing' somebody has a double entendre meaning. This was about a process server."

You'd think that would be all the read more

Matthew Fox: Party Time Not-So-Excellent


It may be hard to believe, but there apparently was more angst behind the scenes of Fox's late family drama Party of Five than on camera. Series star Matthew Fox, who played patriarch-by-default Charlie Salinger, reveals in an exclusive interview with TV Guide Online that the six years he spent keeping his orphaned TV siblings in line was no party.

"I can honestly say that I was frustrated a lot of the time because I was being asked to do stories and to play a role that I had problems with," he sighs. "I just felt that the show was very soft, very emotional — everybody talking about their feelings all of the time. It wasn't visceral enough.

"To be specific," he continues, "there's a very big difference between the genders and how they deal with things, and I would have loved to have seen the [men] on the show written a little bit more guarded read more

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