Today's News: Our Take


Mark David Chapman — who murdered ex-Beatles singer John Lennon in 1980 — has topped Blender's list of rock 'n roll "villains" in its Oct. issue. The mag's humorous rantfest also skewers Tipper Gore, Ike Turner and Muzak. read more


Kelly Ripa will reprise her role as Tom Cavanagh's love interest on three episodes of Ed to air later this fall. On today's Live with Regis and Kelly, the actress-turned-talk-show host teased that there "are more love scenes to come." Ripa added that her real-life pregnancy won't be incorporated into the show. "My character is just bloated," she joked. read more


Keiko the killer whale — who made a splash in 1993's Free Willy — is retired and seeking a home in Norway. Locals eager to land a big tourist attraction hope the 8-yard-long whale can be settled in a quiet Norwegian fjord. Still, it has yet to be decided whether he'll be sent to swim solo in deep waters or kept closer to people. After living with humans for 20 years, the celebrity animal may be a "cetacean misfit," unable to adjust to a normal whale's life. read more


The first 13-episode season of The Shield will be released on DVD Jan. 7, the same day the show's second season kicks off on FX... Oscar-nominated thesp Laurence Fishburne is producing an action drama for CBS titled Sleepwalker, a show that follows the adventures of a next-generation superhero. read more


NBC has picked up a new reality series from movie producer Joel Silver that will attempt to find the next Vin Diesel and Jennifer Garner. According to Variety, the 10-episode series — titled The Next Action Star — will follow producers as they hold a casting search to find potential male and female stars with "that indefinable 'it' factor." The winners will star in the Silver-produced NBC TV movie Hit Me. Paging American Idol spitfire Tamika... read more


Aspiring thesp Kelly Osbourne is putting her movie career on hold. The Osbournes star has dropped out of Disney's upcoming Freaky Friday remake due to personal reasons, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The flick — which stars Annette Bening and Lindsay Lohan — would have marked Osbourne's big-screen debut. Her mom, Sharon Osbourne, currently is undergoing treatment for colon cancer — but it's unclear if that was a factor in her decision. Actress Christina Vidal will replace her in the best friend role. read more


Actress Kim Hunter, who won a supporting actress Oscar in 1951 for her role as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire and played chimpanzee psychiatrist Dr. Zira in the Planet of the Apes movies, died Wednesday in New York of an apparent heart attack. She was 79. "Kim Hunter was a fine actress and a wonderful person," said Apes co-star Charlton Heston. "The world has lost a unique talent." read more


Ethan Embry (Can't Hardly Wait) has been cast as the second lead on ABC's upcoming Dragnet remake. The Dick Wolf-produced series — which stars Danny Huston — debuts in January. read more

A Happy Ending for Farscape?

Lost-in-space Farscape hero John Crichton was supposed to have had two more years to find his way home. But since the news broke Friday that he and his intergalactic gang of fellow felons will find their starship in dry dock at the conclusion of the cult hit's fourth season, executive producer David Kemper just might turn out to be the only person ever to know for sure how their journey winds up.

"We're a year ahead of what fans are seeing," he explained to TV Guide Online before being informed that the end of the road was right around the corner for the Sci Fi Channel series. "If I were told tomorrow we have six episodes [left], I'd have a hard time getting to where we would need to be."

While the charismatic former Star Trek scribe could tell Earthling Crichton how to get back to where he once belonged, giving him specific directions might be tougher than translating Delvian to English. "I know whe read more

Class Dismissed for Tucson Star?

Unlike the rest of Hollywood, actor Julio Oscar Mechoso doesn't retreat to the Hamptons when he has some downtime between gigs; he heads to his local public school. The star of the upcoming WB comedy Greetings from Tucson has for the last 14 years maintained a second career as a substitute teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

"I don't like to sit on a seat and not do anything and just wait for somebody to give me a job," he tells TV Guide Online. "I enjoy [subbing] and helping those kids out."

However, if Tucson emerges as a hit — the series premieres Friday, Sept. 20 at 9:30 pm/ET — Mechoso confesses that he'll likely ditch class. "As long as I'm under contract at the WB, I will refrain from substitute teaching," he says. "The minute I don't have a contract or another film, I will go back to subbing." read more

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular