Today's News: Our Take


Former California governor Gray Davis is moving in on successor Arnold Schwarzenegger's territory and taking up acting. The embattled politician will play himself in the March 1 episode of CBS' Yes, Dear. The plot finds Davis getting into a fight with Greg's father (Tim Conway) on the floor of the Staples Center in Los Angeles. read more


Seinfeld vet Julia Louis-Dreyfus is joining the cast of Fox's Arrested Development for a two-episode arc later this season. She'll play a blind attorney assigned to prosecute Jeffrey Tambor's jailed patriarch. For more on this, click here. read more


Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, 63, escaped serious injury over the weekend when he fell asleep at the wheel of his pickup truck and crashed into a ditch on a rural road in Templeton, Calif. "I am very lucky and thankful that no one was badly hurt," he said. "My back hurts a little, but I plan to be in the studio this Tuesday for our regular tapings." read more


The Disney Channel has set sail on Tiger Cruise, an original TV-movie set against the backdrop of the September 11 attacks. Starring Bill Pullman, the film tells the true story of a naval carrier called into full combat alert on September 11 while children and other civilians were on board. It's slated to air in August. read more


Producer Mary-Ellis Bunim, who along with Jonathan Murray pioneered the reality genre with the creation of MTV's The Real World, died Thursday of breast cancer. She was 57. Bunim's partnership with Murray also spawned such reality staples as Road Rules, Making the Band, The Real World/Road Rules Challenge and Fox's The Simple Life. She is survived by her daughter, Juliana. read more


Barry Manilow was hospitalized over the weekend in Palm Springs, Calif., after suffering from stress-related chest pain. According to his rep, the singer was coming off of "two of the most grueling days of arbitration" in a lawsuit over rights to the musical Harmony. He's expected to remain hospitalized for a few days while doctors run more tests. read more


Fresh from his shocking Super Bowl duet with Janet, Justin Timberlake has been confirmed as a performer at Sunday's Grammy Awards. He'll be joined by Prince, Beyoncé Knowles, Celine Dion and Alicia Keys — all of whom will be lining their brassieres with Shards O' Glass Freeze Pops just in case Justin gets frisky again. read more


Fox has set a March 29 premiere date for The Swan, a makeover show in which 18 female contestants undergo plastic surgery as part of their transformation. The catch? They won't be able to see their new faces until the finale, a two-hour beauty pageant airing May 24. Meanwhile, the network has scheduled Playing It Straight for Fridays at 8 pm/ET, beginning March 12. The show revolves around a single woman who must choose a mate from a pool of single men — some of whom are gay. read more


UPN is developing a reality show that follows a group of men who are transformed into women by their wives and girlfriends and forced to live together in a house. Potential Tootsies who don't get the hang of acting like a girl will be eliminated. read more


Helen Hunt is expecting her first child this summer with boyfriend Matthew Carnahan, reports the New York Daily News. The pair have been dating for three years. read more

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