Today's News: Our Take


HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Hottie alert: Colby Donaldson from Survivor: The Australian Outback has landed another acting gig. Look for the Texan hunk on the Oct. 29 episode of NBC's Just Shoot Me — he plays Tad, a guest at the Blush Halloween party. Brooke Burns (Dog Eat Dog) also attends the bash as Kelly, a model with a crush on David Spade's Finch. Now that's spooky. Donaldson recently was cast in Time and Again, a PAX movie about ageism in the TV news biz. read more

FALLING PEACOCK

NBC is losing its grip on Wednesdays. The network may have won the night — on the strength of The West Wing and the season premiere of Law & Order — but it was down considerably from this time last season. ABC, meanwhile, posted solid gains from 8-10 pm with My Wife and Kids, The George Lopez Show and The Bachelor. And don't count out those angst-ridden teens on Dawson's Creek just yet: The show's two-hour season premiere — in which Dawson and Joey finally got it on — helped the WB win the night among adults 18-34. The moral of this story? Sex does indeed sell folks. read more

ONE LESS AWARDS SHOW

CBS has decided to scrap plans for a second AFI Awards after last year's inaugural ceremony — which had an embarrassing number of absentee winners — proved to be a ratings bust. So, now there will only be 174 awards shows between December and March. read more

CRIME PAYS

It's not Friends money, but it's a good start. CBS over the summer quietly doubled the salaries of CSI's two leads, William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Petersen saw his per-episode paycheck jump from $100,000 to $225,000-$250,000. Helgenberger, meanwhile, now makes $150,000 — up from $75,000 last season. read more

MORE BAD THINGS

Scandal-ridden domestic diva Martha Stewart has resigned from the New York Stock Exchange's board of directors. News of her departure came Thursday, a day after her stockbroker's assistant agreed to help prosecutors investigate Stewart's role in the ImClone mess. "I did not want the media attention currently surrounding me to distract from the important work of the NYSE and thus felt it was appropriate to resign," Stewart said in a statement. read more

THE OTHER WOMAN

Friends Emmy winner Jennifer Aniston is in talks to play Ben Stiller's mistress in an untitled Universal comedy. Will & Grace's Debra Messing co-stars as Stiller's wife. read more

ROSIE FIGHTS BACK

Hmm... who didn't see this coming: Rosie O'Donnell has filed a countersuit against Gruner+Jahr, the publisher behind her crumbling magazine Rosie. O'Donnell — who didn't disclose the dollar amount she's seeking — claims G+J breached its contract and forced her to desert her eponymous monthly. On Tuesday, G+J slapped the former talk show host with a $100 million suit. read more

GAME BOY

Quentin Tarantino is turning his upcoming feature Kill Bill into a video game. According to Variety, the Pulp Fiction auteur has signed a deal with Vivendi Universal's Black Label Games to produce an action video game based on his long-awaited film, which stars Uma Thurman and lands in theaters next October. read more

BACHELOR RAD

Okay, so don't count out ABC's The Bachelor just yet. After scoring disappointing ratings for last week's preview edition, the show's official season premiere last night finished a solid second to NBC's The West Wing. ABC, there's hope for you yet! read more

Ralph Fiennes Bares All


Never mind the frightening sights contained in the Silence of the Lambs prequel Red Dragon (opening tomorrow) — there's one scene some viewers might not want to erase from their minds so quickly: Ralph Fiennes running around the house wearing nothing but a freaky full-body tattoo. It's a pleasant surprise to find that the soft-spoken, Oscar-nominated English Patient star, who plays serial killer Francis Dolarhyde, thinks naked is natural.

"Running around with no clothes on is not particularly demanding," he tells TV Guide Online, sounding nothing like your run-of-the-mill, proper Brit. "You just have to not be shy. It's not a big deal either way. What was more important to me was the urgency of Dolarhyde at the time."

Indeed, read more

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