Today's News: Our Take


Buffy Star Dead Again


Another setback for poor, lovelorn Willow (Alyson Hannigan) on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The recovering witchoholic's deceased love Tara (Amber Benson) will not be resurrected this season after all. According to series creator Joss Whedon, Benson — who was slated to be brought back to life as a different character — failed to reach a deal with producer 20th Century Fox.

"It was a question of negotiations, as it sometimes is," he tells TV Guide Online. "It's sad, because I love Amber. But that's between her and Fox." Adds Benson's rep: "She's very proud of her work on the show, but ultimately, we couldn't work out the right deal."

Well, Benson's read more

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Winona Ryder marked her 31st birthday Tuesday in a Beverly Hills courtroom watching a security video of the Saks Fifth Avenue shopping spree that led to her arrest. A Saks security chief supplied a running commentary during the 90-minute video, which ended with the actress leaving the store and being confronted by security guards. read more

RUNWAY WANNABES, LISTEN UP!

Wanna be the next Kate Moss? Here's your chance! UPN has ordered eight episodes of Supermodel, a midseason reality show/contest which will award one lucky lady a lucrative modeling contract. Tyra Banks will serve as exec producer and judge. read more

SIMON SAYS... QUIT!

After only five days on the job, American Idol's newest judge, hip-hop star and radio DJ Angie Martinez, has quit! According to Access Hollywood, Martinez had time commitment issues and also had trouble being honest with the auditioners. Sounds like nasty Simon wasn't being nice to the new girl. read more

GIRLS CLUBBED

Fox's girls club is no longer seeking members. The network has canceled David E. Kelley's new legal drama after just two dismally rated episodes. "While I am disappointed that the show did not succeed, I remain proud of the entire cast and crew of girls club," Kelley said in a statement. Fox will air a rerun of Boston Public next week in the show's Monday timeslot. In other scheduling news, ABC has benched its low-rated Wednesday drama MDs for the November sweeps. read more

RATINGS ROUND-UP

The just-concluded 2002 World Series may have been the lowest-rated fall classic ever, but it still did well enough to help Fox win the weekly Nielsen crown. The network averaged 16.3 million viewers, easily beating second-place CBS (12.6 million). The top five shows of the week were: World Series Game Seven (No. 1 with 30.8 million viewers), CSI (No. 2 with 25 million), Everybody Loves Raymond (No. 3 with 21.5 million), Survivor: Thailand (No. 4 with 20.9 million) and World Series Game Six (No. 5 with 19.2 million). read more

TOUGH CEL

More bad news for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: That much-talked about animated spinoff series is off the drawing board. "We just couldn't find a home for it — which will baffle me to the grave," Buffy sire, Joss Whedon, sighs to TV Guide Online. For more Buffy scoop, click here. read more

QUIT PRO QUO

Turns out, ABC News's Diane Sawyer isn't going to get that exclusive jailhouse interview with accused murderer Robert Blake after all. On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca pulled the plug on the Q&A, citing a department policy prohibiting inmates from doing TV chats during ongoing criminal cases. Ironically, Harland Braun, the lawyer who has represented Blake since his wife was killed last year, resigned as the actor's attorney Monday because he was miffed the former Baretta star agreed to talk to Sawyer. There's no word if he'll go back to work for Blake now. read more

SHORT CUTS

Halle Berry's gunning for another Oscar: The actress has signed on to play a rape victim in the big-screen drama October Squall.... Former book club guru Oprah Winfrey has been selected to receive an honorary award from the Association of American Publishers in February... Just a reminder to set your VCR: Jerry Seinfeld will perform an all-new stand-up routine on Thursday's Late Show with David Letterman... Heinous reality star Anna Nicole Smith is being sued for $25 million by her former publicist for allegedly not paying $155,000 in bills... Queen Elizabeth II bestowed actor Liam Neeson with the Order of the British Empire award on Tuesday read more

OZZY GETS BIGGER

Ozzy Osbourne is headed to a theater near you. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the MTV reality phenom is in talks with a major studio to bring his life to the big screen. However, Ozzy wouldn't be playing himself, according to wife Sharon. Instead, she wants Johnny Depp to tackle the plum part. "I don't know if he'll do it," she says. "He's a brilliant actor." Meanwhile, MTV confirms that the second season of The Osbournes will kick off Nov. 26 at 10:30 pm/ET. read more

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