Today's News: Our Take


JUST DESERT

Matthew McConaughey's action flick Sahara debuted at No. 1 at the weekend box office with $18.5 million, a surprisingly strong bow considering how badly it sucked. In contrast, the Drew Barrymore-Jimmy Fallon baseball romance Fever Pitch opened at No. 3 with $13 million, a surprisingly weak debut considering how much it didn't suck. I don't get it. read more

BOSTON BUMPED

The verdict is in on the case of Grey's Anatomy vs. Boston Legal, and ABC is siding with the docs. The network announced Friday that it's keeping its new medical smash Grey's Anatomy on Sundays at 10 pm/ET through the end of the season. As a result, Boston Legal — which was slated to reclaim the time slot at the end of the month — will stay adjourned until fall. ABC president Stephen McPherson says Legal's five remaining episodes will be tacked on to next season's total, giving the network "the amazing luxury of bringing Boston Legal back with an unheard-of 27 original episodes." Unless something better comes along again. read more

LIFE ON A LIMB

Fox is expanding Wednesday's American Idol results show to one hour, preempting Life on a Stick after just two airings. Rumor has it the move was designed to blunt NBC's premiere of Revelations and test the staying power of Paula Abdul's new antidepressants. read more

BLAME CANADA

Anna Nicole Smith apparently likes her body too much to risk a run-in with seal killers. Citing safety concerns, the model-turned-TrimSpa addict has canceled a PETA-sponsored trip to Canada to protest the brutal killing of seals. According to a PETA rep, the seal hunters have begun attacking many of the protesters and PETA "felt it just wasn't safe to put her in that position." Instead, Smith plans to protest the slaughter by passing out on her bathroom floor for a week. read more

SHORT CUTS

Fran Drescher's new WB comedy Living with Fran enjoyed solid sampling in its Friday-night debut, retaining 90 percent of its Reba lead-in... Beyonce Knowles is in talks to headline DreamWorks' big-screen adaptation of Dreamgirls, per Variety. read more

THE PLANETS ARE ALIGNED

In an out-of-this-world development, UPN has renewed cult fave Veronica Mars for a second season. Check out Wednesday's Ask Ausiello for star Kristen Bell's reaction and scoop on Season 2. In the meantime, UPN is pleading with Mars fans to start sending in real $2 bills. read more

Arrested Development As the Twin...

Arrested Development
As the Twin Peaks giant once said, "It is happening again." Another edgy, odd and — of course — funny night of substance abuse, sperm theft and hints of incest with the Bluths. That's a good thing.

"Really shoddy narrating, just pure crap," says narrator Ron Howard. Now, how many shows' narrators trash other narrators? Yes, this one's. I know that; I'm trying to get you to come up with others because I — holy cow! A Sugarfoot reference! I guess if you don't remember that show or never heard of it, it's not the same, but that's something to ask the Televisionary about. (I hear he has a new column up tomorrow, and a classic one due Thursday.)

Exchange of the evening, as far as I'm concerned: "Mom's still got it!" screams Buster. "I read more

YOU'RE BUSTED!

It looks like Apprentice finalist Chris Shelton forgot to take his Ritalin over the weekend. The tantrum-prone, tobacco-chewin' 22-year-old — one of Donald Trump's six remaining tycoon wannabes — was arrested early Sunday morning for disorderly conduct following a disturbance at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, according to TheSmokingGun.com. Although the exact nature of the incident was not known, given Shelton's history of spontaneous convulsions, not to mention his corpselike mug shot (shown at right), TVGuide.com is gonna go out on a limb and assume alcohol, heavy dippin' and persistent voices played a role. read more

TWO PEAS IN A POD

Finally, some good news for poor Dan Rather. The embattled CBS newsman won a Peabody Award Thursday for his report on abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Ironically, he shares the honor with Mary Mapes, the CBS News producer who was fired earlier this year for her role in Memogate. Other Peabody winners include HBO's [expletive] brilliant Deadwood and Comedy Central's [expletive] hysterical The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. [Expletive]! read more

PEACOCK BANNED

When CBS dishes out its Martha Stewart TV-movie, possibly as early as May sweeps, it'll be missing one key ingredient: NBC. Despite the fact that the telepic, according to executive producer Tom Patricia, "begins the day [her company went] public and ends the day she is released from prison," it will not mention the very network that bankrolled the domestic diva's current comeback. That's right, nothing about her forthcoming NBC-owned talk show or Apprentice spin-off. "We don't think it's a big part of our story," says Patricia, who insists the Peacock ban was not mandated by CBS. "We're really focusing on the character and not so much the headlines." Unless, of course, the headlines look like this: "Martha Stewart Guilty of Loving Still Standing!" read more

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