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American Idol Kellie Pickler ("pick...

American IdolKellie Pickler ("pick Pickler!") belted out Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone" like a champ, but her hard-luck backstory got the lion's share of attention. You've probably noticed that as soon as a contestant has his or her story told, he/she is pretty much guaranteed to move on to Hollywood. And when your father is in prison and your mother abandoned you at age 2, you are definitely making it to the next round. Kendra Winston's tale of growing up in orphanages and becoming a young mother was equally poignant, and call me a sucker, but I hope the woman Simon called a "young Whitney Houston" goes very far in this competition. I would have been annoyed if anyone other than Paris got so dramatic after read more

Smallville Even though the hype...

SmallvilleEven though the hype factor spiked to something like 25 on a scale of 1 to 10 regarding Smallville's 100th episode (you know, the one where someone close to Clark will die!), I really tried to be good and stay spoiler-free. But, of course, that didn't stop my inquiring mind from speculating. And I felt in my gut that the doomed one was going to be either Lana or Jonathan. And when Lana died, I just knew it was too easy. That first half of the show seemed like the recent Lexmas dream: It was all very fleeting and just not real. So when Clark begged his bioDad to let Lana live, I knew Mr. Kent was in trouble. After I finally accepted the inevitable — that Jonathan was gonna die — I became a tad bit weepy. Not so much for the character, but for the actor. John Schneider read more

Dancing with the Stars I think...

Dancing with the StarsI think everyone's finally starting to balance fun with hard work —everyone except a certain someone whose name starts with P and ends with Miller. Samantha — who acts like she's a hard-news journalist when she's backstage — revealed that he's only rehearsed for a total of 20 hours all season while everyone else has put in about 130. Not even Ashly was willing to make excuses for that. George and Edyta: Who else has just put Zorro, the Gay Blade on their Netflix queue? I agree with Carrie Ann that the mask kind of blocked some of his usual expressiveness. And Edyta was dancing rather frantically to make up for her partner's slower moments.Tia and Maksim: Though slow, their fox-trot was all read more

Everybody Hates Chris Could someone...

Everybody Hates ChrisCould someone please tell me why the folks at UPN, or the future CW, or whatever the hell we're calling this channel in limbo, showed a rerun of Everybody Hates Chris that I've seen not once but twice already? (Yet they're still showing new episodes of the wretched South Beach. Go figure.) This episode is one of the edgier ones, though, with Chris being tapped for the basketball team strictly because of his race. As Chris Rock says, "This is how Milli Vanilli must have felt when they were walking up to accept that Grammy." It's an amusing conceit that is actually more scary than funny. Of course, short and scrawny Chris sucks at b-ball. If only the coach at Corleone had seen Carbon Copy with Denzel Washing read more

THANK GOD!

The California couple who was trying to trademark the term "Jesus Juice" — so they could market wine under the hilariously blasphemous name made infamous during Michael Jackson's child-molestation trial — have abandoned their pursuit, according to TheSmokingGun.com. Which has to be kind of a bummer for Jacko: Given his current financial woes and career prospects, he's not likely to get any other endorsement offers. read more

Good Night, Ted
Meet the new generation of Nightline

Martin Bashir, Cynthia McFadden and Terry Moran

This week Ted Koppel signed off of ABC's Nightline for the final time. Starting Monday the torch will be passed to a new generation of anchors for the respected late-night news show: White House correspondent Terry Moran, Primetime's Cynthia McFadden, and Martin Bashir, the British TV journalist who made his name in the U.S. with his explosive 2003 documentary about troubled pop superstar Michael Jackson. So what will the new Nightline look like? The Biz asked executive producer James Goldston. TVGuide.com: In recent years, Nightline has often been taped earlier in the evening, but you're going to be live every night. Why do you feel it is necessary to go live again?Goldston: It's a nightly broadcast that makes a point of analyzing what's going on in the world in [the most] informative way possible. For me, that means doing it live. Why wouldn't a show like this be live? read more

I'm trying to decide what was...

I'm trying to decide what was crazier – the scantily clad Gabrielle seducing Adrian Pasdar just to see if he'd take the bait and then rejecting him or Susan tearfully running into the street wearing a wedding dress as Mike breaks up with her in front of all her neighbors. Desperate housewives, indeed. When Susan's mother first had the wedding dress on, I couldn't help but think of Cinderella. Lesley Ann Warren will always be Cinderella to me. It was hilarious when she thought Mike was there to pop the question to Susan. Wrong question. Of course it had to be Paul Young who told Mike that Susan gave Zach money to leave town. Loved the scene where all the neighbors were outside freaking out because Paul was back and the police were there. Best line was Edie's: "I win — I made out with him." Pretty sad that it took a $900 suit to make Lynette a better marketing exec, but I liked when she bought her hubby golf clubs with carbon-fiber shafts just so he read more

CIVIC DUTY

Four months after he was acquitted of child molestation, Michael Jackson is due back in court — this time as a juror. Jacko has reportedly received a jury summons at his Neverland Ranch, although his lawyers are expected to seek a deferment based on the fact that he now lives in Bahrain. And is nuts. read more

First of all, thanks to the cavalcade...

First of all, thanks to the cavalcade of feedback replies I received last week. Glad so many of you agree with me that John Hensley looks like the present-day Michael Jackson!  Every time I see him, I expect him to scream (à la MJ) "Da!!" Either that or "Jam-on… da!" Are you with me here? And what a coincidence that Matt was getting surgery done on his face. Hmmmm. Anyway, great episode. Only on Nip/Tuck are you going to see two frat guys whose faces are superglued to a third frat guy's naked butt.  Brilliant use of two different songs called "Stuck on You" — first by Elvis Presley, then Lionel Richie. Quick side note: Loved seeing Kyle Howard from the shouldn't-have-been-canceled WB series Grosse Pointe as a guest star. But back to naked butts: There sure were a lot of them tonight. You can totally understand the "TV-MA" rating, considering it's basic cable. Interesting how we got to see the usually kinky Christian read more

THIS 'N' THAT

Macon, Ga., Mayor Jack Ellis is asking local businesses to cough up an estimated $75,000 to pay for a concert by homegrown celeb Little Richard Saturday.... ER grump Eriq La Salle has signed a year-long development deal with CBS, Variety reports…. NBC has yanked Inconceivable for the week and, if we're lucky, forever.... Funnyman Nipsey Russell has died at the age of 80. A fixture on the game-show circuit, the cancer victim also struck gold as the Tin Man opposite Michael Jackson in The Wiz. read more

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