Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

Chuck Norris has signed on to headline his own syndicated action series, to debut in fall 2003... The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will produce 26 episodes of a new Davey and Goliath show... HBO has ordered a second season of the Ben Affleck-Matt Damon reality series Project Greenlight... Oscar winner Susan Sarandon will get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today. read more

Meet the Guy Behind Mrs. Garrett


Chances are, if you tuned in to the premiere episode of NBC's sitcom spoof The Rerun Show last night, it was to see actor-comedian Paul Vogt's hilariously goofy imitation of Mrs. Garrett — the character Charlotte Rae originated on Diff'rent Strokes and then spun off on The Facts of Life. Believe it or not, Rerun marked Vogt's first experience channeling TV's most lovable house mother.

"I had never done Mrs. Garrett before the audition," he tells TV Guide Online. "They gave us a bunch of [scripts] from TV shows and said, 'Go ahead and pick two characters you think you can do well.' And for some reason, Mrs. Garrett struck a note with me."

Vogt — who says prod read more

SPLITSVILLE

The wife of America's Most Wanted crusader John Walsh has filed for divorce after 31 years of marriage. Saying the union was irretrievably broken, Reve Walsh is seeking custody of their two children. In 1981, the couple's son Adam was kidnapped and murdered — leading John and Reve to co-found the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. read more

ROYAL TREATMENT

ABC is planning to air its highly-anticipated Prince William biopic on Sunday, Sept. 29, as a lead-in to the second season premiere of Alias. The pic had been slated to air during November sweeps. Meanwhile, a sneak preview of the Alias premiere will soon be playing at a theater near you: ABC has produced a 60-second theatrical trailer to run on several thousand screens nationwide. read more

SPEAKING OF THE OSBOURNES...

Ozzy Osbourne is hitting the road again. The aging rocker — who announced earlier this week that he was taking a three-week break from Ozzfest while his wife Sharon underwent treatment for colon cancer — has cut his leave of absence short. "After attending Sharon's first chemotherapy treatment, he nearly passed out and had to be taken to a recovery room," the couple's rep said. "Sharon now realizes that Ozzy is better off on the road, so she's shipped him back out to finish Ozzfest." (Let's hope MTV captured that on tape.) Osbourne will rejoin the tour in Clarkston, Mich., on Aug. 7. read more

Seven Silly Questions for William Shatner

Be afraid. Be very afraid. First, the Sci Fi Channel made a deal with cheese whiz Charles Band to broadcast a whole bunch of his company's creature features, among them Shrunken Heads and Castle Freak. Then, the cable network retained as ringmaster of the B-movie showcase one of the most shameless thespians in history: William Shatner. Now, the prospect of tuning in each week to William Shatner's Full Moon Fright Night (starting Saturday at 11 pm/ET) has given us such a terrific case of the willies that we wonder how we'll ever stop our teeth from chattering long enough to ask the erstwhile Star Trek captain seven silly questions.

TV Guide Online: A lot of people may not realize it, but you are uniqu read more

CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT

Whose Line Is It, Anyway? funnyman Wayne Brady has been named host of this year's Miss America Pageant, airing Sept. 21 on ABC. He's the first black emcee in the pageant's 81-year history. "My selection as host is a defining moment," Brady says, "as I will be able to proudly represent the African-American community for the first time in the telecast's history." ABC no doubt hopes the high-profile gig will give a boost to the comedian's new daytime variety show, The Wayne Brady Show, which debuts Sept. 2 on, yep, ABC. read more

JOLIE'S DAD SPEAKS OUT

The Osbournes are beginning to look downright normal next to Angelina Jolie and dad Jon Voight. Last night, Voight tearfully told Access Hollywood he's "brokenhearted" over their estrangement, adding Jolie needs to "get help" for "serious mental problems." He suggested her soon-to-be-ex Billy Bob Thornton also has "serious problems" and laments that he's never met Jolie's adopted Cambodian son Maddox. In a statement to Access, Jolie wouldn't reveal why she refuses to see Voight, saying only: "After all these years, I have determined that it is not healthy for me to be around my father, especially now that I am responsible for my own child." read more

IN DEFENSE OF JOSH

Attorneys for Ed actor Josh Randall insist that the actor's Wednesday night drug arrest was all a "misunderstanding." Randall — who plays Dr. Mike Burton on the NBC dramedy — was arrested for allegedly smoking crack cocaine in a Brooklyn park. Ed exec producer Rob Burnett also came to Randall's defense. "Josh is an honest, hardworking and ethical person," he said. "If you know Josh as we do, you know this is a terrible misunderstanding."v read more

DOLLAR SIGNS

Austin Powers probably had a sixth sense that this was going to happen: Director M. Night Shyamalan's creepy alien thriller Signs topped the box office with $60.3 million — knocking Austin Powers in Goldmember into second. Signs — which stars Mel Gibson as a retired reverend who sees green people — marked the best opening for both Gibson and Shyamalan. In its second weekend of release, Goldmember grossed $32.4 million, for a shagedelic 10-day total of $143 million. Dana Carvey's critically-panned comeback The Master of Disguise debuted in third place with a not-so-disgraceful $13 million, followed by read more

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