Today's News: Our Take


In the Sept. 29 episode of The Sopranos, the show's mobsters got into a furious debate over Columbus Day observances. Now, there's a real-life dustup over whether castmates Dominic Chianese (Uncle Junior) and Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Melfi) should march in New York's Columbus Day parade. When organizers refused to let them participate — saying Italian-Americans take offense at the HBO show's Mafia stereotyping — ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani told reporters: "I'm a big Sopranos fan. The show is a terrific show, and I would urge some Italian-Americans to be less sensitive... I think we all get beyond it when we just relax more about it. It's just a show." read more


Maybe it's time Heather Locklear paid The West Wing a visit. Despite its third consecutive Emmy victory, NBC's White House saga is purging viewers faster than The Drew Carey Show. (Compared to this time last year, West Wing is off 33 percent among adults 18-49.) The latest sign that President Bartlet's approval rating is dropping: Wednesday's episode was trumped in the ratings by a program on — yikes! — ABC! Yes, among adults 18-49, ABC's match-making reality series The Bachelor beat WW by 31 percent. (WW prevailed among total viewers 15.7 million to 12.8 million, but still.) Meanwhile, TV insiders are speculating that the show's rapid decline will likely have an impact on upcoming negotiations between Warner Bros. and NBC to increas read more


The WB is on one heck of a roll this season! The network's new Batman drama Birds of Prey had a rockin' debut Wednesday, attracting 7.6 million viewers and helping the WB finish second for the night among adults 18-34. read more


Wanna have sex with a major Hollywood celebrity? Well, Irish hunk Colin Farrell appears to be taking applications. "Look, I'm into casual sex now," he tells W magazine's November issue. "I've been in love three times. That's enough for a 26-year-old. It really is. For the time being. So literally, I come into town and bang whoever I can — but I'm not mean or egotistical about it." (But he can be, if that's what you're into.) read more


In other morning show news, is reporting that Renee Syler, an anchor at the CBS-owned station in Dallas, is poised to join CBS's The Early Show as one of its hosts. She would replace Jane Clayson. read more


African-American actress Teresa Graves — who starred in ABC's funky policewoman drama Get Christie Love from 1974-75 — is dead at 54. Firefighters rescued her from a blaze in her L.A. home, but she passed away at a hospital soon after. Back in the '70s, Graves also starred on Laugh-In and did blaxploitation films like That Man Bolt and Vampira before quitting acting to focus on religion. read more

Push, Nevada's Twin Peaks Connection

Here's a good mystery for ya: Will ABC's self-consciously quirky Push, Nevada remain on the TV map long enough to award one lucky viewer the $1 million producers promised? With the show dying a slow death in the Nielsens, it certainly appears unlikely that the drama/reality contest hybrid will fulfill its 13-episode commitment. In the meantime, as the network pieces together that unfortunate puzzle, we've been busy solving an even frothier brain-teaser: Why is everyone accusing Push, Nevada of being nothing more than a poor man's Twin Peaks? Clearly, the two shows have nothing in common. Well, okay... maybe one or two things. Let's examine the evidence.

Twin Peaks
Population: 10,623
Lead investigator: FBI agent Dale Cooper — out to expose a murderer — can't resist sweet cherry pie.
Sexpot alert: Resident tease Audrey develop read more

Soul Food Star's Big Brawl

Nicole Ari Parker may play a straight-laced lawyer on the Showtime drama Soul Food, but when it comes to her career on the big screen, she's taking the mitts off. In her new film Brown Sugar (opening tomorrow), the actress gets in a heated confrontation with Sanaa Lathan over mutual crush Taye Diggs. Without giving too much away, suffice it to say that flying fists and acid tongues are the weapons of choice.

"Everyone's talking about that [fight] scene," laughs Parker. "Does it look like I hurt Sanaa? [Because] there is nothing tough about me at all.

"People don't know this," she continues, "[but] when you're in those kinds of scenes, you know what you're t read more


Forget his soapy stint on Falcon Crest! Lorenzo Lamas currently is embroiled in a real-life drama: We're talkin' divorce Hollywood-style with his wife, ex-Playboy pin-up Shauna Sand. Extra reports Lamas has filed a restraining order against her. Meanwhile, she alleges that he's lied about money matters, cut off their joint bank accounts and credit cards without her okay, and even accuses him of infidelity. With their three daughters in the mix — Lamas also has three other kids from two previous marriages — this ain't gonna be pretty, folks. read more


Some potential good news for Winona Ryder: A Los Angeles judge will decide on Tuesday whether or not to grant a motion by prosecutors to drop a felony drug charge against the actress. Ryder was in illegal possession of a painkiller when she was arrested for shoplifting in December 2001. She still faces three other felony charges in the case. read more

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