Today's News: Our Take


METEORIC OPENING

Linkin Park's latest CD Meteora debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's album chart with sales of 810,000 copies. Celine Dion's One Heart bowed at No. 2 with 432,000 copies sold. read more

Idol Diva Julia DeMato Sounds Off!

Let's face it, Julia DeMato endeared herself to no one during the first few weeks of American Idol 2. Crying fits? Check. On-stage outbursts? Check. Petty feuds? Check. But a funny thing happened to the 24-year-old prima donna once the competition entered its final phase: She extracted that nasty chip from her shoulder. Of course, three consecutive weeks in the bottom three would humble the most diehard of divas. Still, DeMato's classy, graceful reaction upon getting voted off last week offered proof that the wannabe pop star had indeed turned a corner in the personality department. Six days later, DeMato was still on her best behavior when she phoned TV Guide Online to answer some rather tough questions posed by our readers.
TV Guide Online: First off, do you have any comment on Corey Clark's ejection?
Julia DeMato:
I really don't know what's going on, so I can't comment on it.

TVGO: Fair enough. We received a lot of questions from readers wo read more

CORPORATE JUNGLE

Donald Trump is partnering with Survivor producer Mark Burnett on The Apprentice, a new NBC reality series in which 20 wannabe execs compete for a six-figure job at the Trump Organization. Contestants will be handed a series of assignments, and one under-performing worker will get fired each week by Trump. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that all of the contestants will be young, blonde and female. read more

HEALTHY NUMBERS

David Letterman's return to CBS's Late Show Monday after a month-long medical leave was just what the Nielsen doctor ordered. Dave notched his second-best ratings this season and his biggest victory over NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno in three years. ABC, meanwhile, is urging Jimmy Kimmel to go get shingles. read more

THIS MAKES US SAD

Alias badass Jennifer Garner and her actor-hubby Scott Foley (A.U.S.A.) have "mutually decided to separate," a rep for the couple confirms. The duo — who met on the Felicity set in 1998 — tied the knot in October 2000. Well, this explains why Garner was escorted to the Oscars last month by best friend Katie Gage and not Foley. At the time, their flak insisted "everything was fine" with the lovebirds. In the publicist's defense, I'm sure she feels really bad about lying to us. Or not. read more

Freddy vs. Jason Victim Spills Her Guts


For years now, the prospect of a monster mash between the psychotic cut-ups from A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th has had horror buffs seeing red — or at least hoping to. Unfortunately, despite the sharp eye of Ronny Yu, the director who cleverly resurrected the Child's Play series with Bride of Chucky, word from the Freddy vs. Jason set is that the franchises' merger (due in theaters June 13) is a gory but, figuratively speaking, bloodless affair.

"I hate to say it, but I was really expecting a little bit more," admits nubile victim Katharine Isabelle, a veteran of the read more

SHORT CUTS

Miramax is developing a romantic comedy set in the world of competitive Scrabble titled Your Word Against Mine... The WB has ordered six episodes of Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, a reality contest in which real people invent original superhero personas. read more

FAREWELL

Actor Leslie Cheung, who played a Chinese opera singer who kills himself in the Oscar-nominated film Farewell My Concubine, committed suicide in Hong Kong on Tuesday. He was 46. Cheung jumped from the 24th floor of a hotel. read more

STARS AND STRIPES

The American Idol finalists are releasing cover versions of Lee Greenwood's "I'm Proud To Be an American" and "God Bless the U.S.A." Proceeds from sales of the singles — in stores April 15 — will benefit the Corey Clark Legal Fund. I mean charity. Meanwhile, on last night's disco-themed Idol, Joshua Gracin and Rickey Smith reportedly bombed. I say reportedly because I didn't actually watch the show. I went to see Urban Cowboy on Broadway instead — a decision I will live to regret. It's bad, folks. How bad, you ask? Imagine a musical version of Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones. read more

THIS IS [BLEEPIN'] GREAT!

Sharon Osbourne appears to be cancer free! A family rep tells Reuters that Ozzy's more-coherent half "has completed her treatment and has no signs of cancer." Sharon was diagnosed with colon cancer last year. In related news, Paramount Pictures and MTV Films are negotiating to produce a feature film on Ozzy's life. God, I hope it's subtitled. read more

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