Today's News: Our Take


UNGRATEFUL

That upcoming Grateful Dead reunion concert appears to be DOA. The promoters of the event — planned for Aug. 3-4 in East Troy, Wis. — have been denied a permit by a county highway committee. Roughly 200,000 fans were expected to show up at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre, but the venue only holds 35,000 people. "We only have 80-some sheriff's deputies," Walworth County Highway Committee Chairman Odell R. Gigante said. "Short of bringing in the National Guard, we just couldn't handle it." read more

LOOK OUT, LIFETIME

Oprah Winfrey is about to breathe new life into ailing cable channel Oxygen. The talk queen — who owns 25 percent of the network — will star in a prime-time companion to her daily syndicated chatfest. Oprah After the Show will tape immediately following her talk show and air weeknights on Oxygen at 7:30 pm/ET beginning Sept. 16. "We're going to kick off our shoes, take questions from the audience and see where the conversation takes us," Winfrey said. As part of the deal, Oxygen agreed to give up any rights to air reruns of The Oprah Winfrey Show — a deal it secured when Winfrey signed on as an investor. read more

Spielberg Fights the Future


Judging from Steven Spielberg's latest films — last year's A.I. and Minority Report (opening June 21) — the director finds America's future as fascinating (and foreboding) as aliens, sharks and dinosaurs. Report's vision of the year 2054 — in which psychic sentries help policeman Tom Cruise arrest murderers before they slay — may seem like far-fetched fiction. But Spielberg says the current anti-terrorism campaign gives merit to such sci-fi paranoia.

"I am a little frightened of how much The Powers That Be will be able to observe us," he says. "With new [surveillance camera] technology, you get an average of how people behave when they're crossing the street a read more

SHORT CUTS

MTV's inaugural Video Music Awards Latinoamerica will take place on Oct. 24 in Miami Beach... Warner Bros. has posted a teaser-trailer for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on its website... Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett will star in the upcoming sci-fi epic The Fountain, Variety reports... MSNBC will unveil its new, all-talk prime-time lineup featuring Phil Donahue, Chris Matthews, Jerry Nachman and Ashleigh Banfield on July 15, the fledgling network's sixth anniversary. read more

Sebastian Bach: Wilder Than Ozzy?


His VH1 show Forever Wild may have quietly gotten the ax in April, but former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach is already back on TV. This time around, the 34-year-old rocker narrates The Learning Channel's The New Sideshow (airing tonight at 10 pm/ET), a not-for-the-weak-of-heart documentary on today's more outrageous carnival acts — including human pin cushion The Impaler.

"This is what you watch if you want to take reality TV one level heavier than The Osbournes," Bach tells TV Guide Online with a laugh. "If you want to see somebody dangle a brick by their genitals, this is the show for you."

While Bach split acrimoniously with his bandmates in 1996 — and has since found success starring on Broadway in Jekyll & Hyde and The Rocky Horror Show — his life hit the skids again in read more

DOES HE HAVE A URL YET?

Internet babe Cindy Margolis gave birth to a baby boy, Nicholas Issac, in Los Angeles on Sunday. This is the first child for Margolis and husband Guy Starkman. read more

I TAUGHT I SAW GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE

Brendan Fraser has signed on to star opposite Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Taz and Tweety in the upcoming Warner Bros. flick Looney Tunes: Back in Action. The feature will blend animation and live action and is slated for release in November 2003. read more

MOESHA IN STIRRUPS

What's the next best thing to original episodes of The Osbournes? MTV is hoping it's the sight of Brandy in labor. With Ozzy and Co. in reruns, the music network is launching a new reality series that focuses on Brandy and the birth of her first child. Diary Presents: Brandy &#150 Special Delivery — which will document the actress-singer's daily life as she prepares for motherhood — debuts June 18 in The Osbournes 10:30 pm/ET timeslot. Four or five episodes are planned, but that all depends on when Moesha's water breaks. read more

BUTLER DID IT

Production on the TNT drama series Witchblade resumed Monday after series star Yancy Butler returned to work following a stint in rehab. The show — which kicks off its second season on Sunday — had been on hiatus while Butler received treatment for an alcohol problem. read more

LOOK OUT, LIFETIME

Oprah Winfrey is about to breathe new life into cable channel Oxygen. The talk queen — who owns 25 percent of the network — will star in a prime-time companion to her daily syndicated chatfest. Oprah After the Show will tape immediately following her talk show and air weeknights on Oxygen at 7:30 pm/ET beginning Sept. 16. "We're going to kick off our shoes, take questions from the audience and see where the conversation takes us," Winfrey said. As part of the deal, Oxygen agreed to give up any rights to air reruns of The Oprah Winfrey Show — a deal it secured when Winfrey signed on as an investor. read more

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular