Today's News: Our Take


UNMASKED

Fox will unveil the star of its upcoming Joe Millionaire sequel during the launch of its new Friday night comedy lineup on Sept. 19. Joe Deux debuts Oct. 20. In other Fox news, the network has extended a full-season order to its hit prime-time sudser The O.C., which notched its best ratings ever Tuesday night. read more

TOGETHER AGAIN

Simon & Garfunkel's 32-city reunion tour — the duo's first tour in 20 years — kicks off Oct. 18 in Auburn Hills, Mich. Tickets for some of the concerts go on sale Monday. read more

KUDOS FOR COS

Bill Cosby will receive the prestigious Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the 55th annual prime-time Emmy Awards on Sept. 21. The three-hour telecast airs live on Fox beginning at 8 pm/ET. read more

YEP, IT'S A HIT

Ellen DeGeneres's talk show got off to a promising start Monday. Based on preliminary ratings, The Ellen DeGeneres Show improved 17 percent on year-ago timeslot averages in 53 metered markets. read more

IT'S OFF!

Brace yourselves: Ben and J.Lo have called off their lavish weekend wedding. But don't go collecting on that office pool just yet; Hollywood's "It" couple haven't split. According to Extra, Bennifer decided to postpone their big day because the media frenzy surrounding the nuptials was getting out of control. (Really? Hadn't noticed.) Apparently, they'd prefer to sneak off at a later date with only their immediate family present. read more

JUST LIKE NPR?

The Federal Communications Commission ruled Tuesday that Howard Stern's randy radio show is a "bona fide news interview" program. The decision allows Stern to invite Arnold Schwarzenegger on the air without having to offer equal time to the hundreds of other candidates running for California governor. How the heck is Gary Coleman supposed to get his message out? read more

CASTING COUCH

David Spade will play Santa Claus's son in an untitled holiday-themed film for Columbia Pictures.... Pirates of the Caribbean/Bend It Like Beckham star Keira Knightley has been cast opposite Oscar winner Adrien Brody in the time-travelling love story The Jacket. read more

SHORT CUTS

Madonna visits Oprah on Tuesday to talk about her new children's book The English Roses, which hits stores Monday... ABC has ordered a drama pilot from Alias producers Alex Kurtzman-Counter and Roberto Orci about a woman balancing married life with her career in the Secret Service. read more

IN RELATED NEWS...

Monday's FLOM 2 finale paid off handsomely for NBC. The two-hour snoozefest notched the second-best ratings among adults 18-49 since May sweeps — behind only to the first FLOM climax in June. read more

Whoopi Whoopi Goldberg scolding...

Whoopi
Whoopi Goldberg scolding her TV brother for dating a white girl who acts ghettolicious: "If it's all about ass, lips and attitude, what's wrong with a real sistah?" Tell it like it is, baby! But what's up with the chain-smoking, Whoopster? I'm just wondering which will come first: An Emmy nomination or emphysema?

Performing As...
Wow! When did E! refugee Todd Newton get so heavy? And you know things are bad when hosting glorified karaoke on Fox represents a step up in your career. Okay, but I'm loving this show, I admit it. While most average Joes only get to sing like their fave pop stars in the car or the shower, these folks get to live the fantasy on TV! I'm so beyond envious of that black chick who got to be Annie Lennox. And Garth Brooks wannabe Lenny Hirsh was surprisingly good! Hey, maybe this show can be Paula Abdul's next gig. She can impersonate her '80s self, read more

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