Today's News: Our Take


HE'S FREE

Billy Joel has checked out of rehab following a month-long stint for treatment of alcohol abuse. The 55-year-old Piano Man left the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., early Sunday morning and is now home on Long Island with wife Kate Lee. Long story short: If you live on Long Island, stay off the roads! read more

SHE'S HAVING A BABY

It's official: Britney Spears is not a girl, not yet a woman, but almost a mother. In a posting on her website, the 23-year-old pop tart confirmed the "wonderful news" that she's expecting her first child with husband Kevin Federline. She also acknowledged rumors that she was hospitalized Saturday in Florida. "There are reports that I was in the hospital this weekend, and Kevin and I just want everyone to know that all is well," she added. "Thank you for your thoughts and prayers." Doctors, meanwhile, have ordered Brit to lay off smoking, drinking and walking into gas-station bathrooms barefoot until she sees the baby's head. read more

WORKING GIRL

WB has tapped Melanie Griffith to play the mother of fraternal twin sisters (Sara Gilbert, Molly Stanton) in an as yet untitled comedy pilot, per The Hollywood Reporter. The network had been wooing Griffith for a potentially recurring gig on Gilmore Girls, but this probably puts the kibosh on that. read more

SOMERS' COMING!

ThighMaster queen Suzanne Somers will bring her one-woman show, The Blonde in the Thunderbird, to Broadway next fall. Tickets will go for $29.99 while supplies last! read more

PEE-WEE'S BACK!

Ex-Pee-wee Paul Reubens is joining Comedy Central's riotous Cops spoof Reno 911! when the show kicks off its third season in June. Reubens will play a Guardian Angel who has "basically elected himself the local crime fighter," exec producer Thomas Lennon (aka Dangle) explains in today's Ask Ausiello. Hey, speaking of AA (what a perfect segue!), this week's fresh, spoiler-packed edition also contains news on Alias, Lost, CSI: Miami, House, 24, The O.C., Deadwood, Law & Order, JAG, and According to Jim! (Just kidding about that last one.) read more

RATINGS ROUNDUP

Sports-themed events powered CBS to yet another decisive ratings victory last week. Buoyed by Monday's NCAA championship and Sunday's Masters, the Eye net won the week among total viewers and adults 18-49. ABC, paced by Desperate Housewives (the week's top show) and the best-ever results for Grey's Anatomy, finished a distant No. 2. Over on cable, Discovery's cheesy Supervolcano drew 5.1 million viewers, the channel's best showing in nearly two years. read more

SIZE MATTERS

Donald Trump has learned that bigger isn't better when it comes to reality finales. The Donald announced Tuesday that next month's Apprentice finale will be just one hour long, down from Season 2's painfully bloated three-hour climax. "At my insistence, I wanted it to be a one-hour finale," he said. "We ended up with a reunion and all of this nonsense [last time]. Nobody wants that. What they want is a finale where somebody gets fired." And humiliated. Don't forget that. read more

American Idol It's official. Paula...

American Idol
It's official. Paula Abdul needs an intervention. First off, nobody is that peppy without some serious street-grade "assistance." And second, the woman only has a career because her dancing helped us overlook those crappy songs, and now she's wobbling around that table like a high-schooler who's had eight too many Zimas at an Applebee's happy hour. Granted, maybe Simon's abuse has driven her to huffing or something, but it's getting ugly. She's interrupting her fellow judges, doing that Frankenstein-monster clap and calling people "bright lights" or whatever. Honey, that's just the swirlies. Get some rest and they'll go away, OK? Hopefully, the same can be said about a certain way-past-his-welcome wannabe who shall remain nameless. As should whoever came up with the theme of Songs from the Year You Were Born. Lame. Thankfully, at least half of the hopefuls pulled it off and gave us some good read more

Bros Find Love (and Hate) on Race

Never let it be said that Brian and Greg Smith didn't leave The Amazing Race (Tuesdays, 9pm/ET on CBS) in style. Before crossing the finish mat in Africa, the California brothers decided to doff all their clothes except for swimming trunks and winter hats, just in case this was a nonelimination leg. "It would have been great if we'd had to wear those for the rest of the race," Brian laughs. Sadly, the unlucky duo joined the rest of the season's Philiminated contestants. Here, they discuss why they weren't able to catch up with the pack — and what's going on in their post-Race lives.

TVGuide.com: Exactly how far behind were you guys? It was surprising that you weren't able to catch up, considering all the problems the other teams were having.
Greg Smith:
We started off about 10 minutes behind and thought we had a good chance of catching up. Driving away from the place where we slept, there read more

Will Jennings Lose Jeopardy! Crown?


Here's one all-star team that won't be showing up before a congressional committee anytime soon.

This week Jeopardy! brings back nine of its biggest winners for the Ultimate Tournament of Champions. Their mission: to take down Ken Jennings.

The Murray, Utah, software engineer became a national sensation last year — well, at least among America's quiz-show enthusiasts — by winning more than $2.5 million on Jeopardy! Hardly a trivial amount of money. But will the Kenster remain the show's all-time champion?

Not if this group — which includes Chuck Forrest, Frank Spangenberg, Brian Weikle, Robin Carroll, Brad Rutter, Eric Newhouse, Bob Verini, Sean Ryan and Tom Walsh — gets its way. They will spend close to six weeks competing against 45 winners from previous episodes. Out of this competition, two read more

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