Today's News: Our Take


GO WIDE!

NBC has recruited John Madden to serve as a game analyst when the network begins airing Sunday Night Football in 2006. Madden has spent the past three seasons on ABC's now-defunct Monday Night Football. read more

Question: To Be Determined By ...

Question: To Be Determined By The Powers That Be At Fox And 24. What's a Smurf? — Sander

Ausiello: You're about to find out, Sander, because there's one making its way to your mailbox as we speak. Congrats — you were the first person to correctly respond!

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WB's Beauty and Geek Defy Labels

After just two episodes of Beauty and the Geek, the ladies of TVGuide.com developed a crush on Joe Hanson, the virginal 21-year-old "geek" from Chicago. Watching Joe's partner, Erika Rumsey &#151 she's the 22-year-old "life-size Barbie model" &#151 fall for computer whiz Brad made us believe Ashton Kutcher's so-called social experiment was actually working. Alas, after Joe was stumped on the subjects of loofahs and reflexology in last week's massage-themed elimination quiz, the two blond cuties were sent packing. Before another duo is axed in tonight's episode (8 pm/ET on WB), we connect with Joe and Erika for a post-Geek debriefing.

TVGuide.com: What did you expect when you signed up for this show?
Erika Rumsey:
I thought that we were going to get hooked up with some hot guys. All of the girls were told that it was a dating thing.
Joe Hanson: I thought it was going to be a dating show. On campus at the Univer read more

FIRST AND FOREMOST

Talk about a dream team: Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep are in talks to star in Disney's big-screen comedy First Man. De Niro would play a Ted Turner-like mogul who puts his career on hold to help his wife (Streep) become the first female president of the United States. Murphy Brown's Diane English is on board to write and direct, so don't be surprised if Candice Bergen shows up as speaker of the House or something. read more

DEAR SALLY... I GOT THE PART!

Katie Holmes' worst nightmare has come true: Her mad crush will soon be spending a lot of time with the planet's most gorgeous creature, Keri Russell. That's right: After months of will-he or won't-he speculation, J.J. Abrams has cast his onetime Felicity muse in Mission: Impossible 3. According to Variety, Russell will portray an agent trainee mentored by Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt character. The role was originally pegged for Scarlett Johansson, but she dropped out when the pic was delayed. Now, let's have a moment of silence for the Tomkat. read more

Super Size Guy's Reality-TV Stunt

After gorging on McDonald's for 30 days in his Oscar-nominated documentary Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock saw how compelling people find it to watch someone change for a month. So he filmed 30 Days, a six-episode FX series — starting tonight at 10 pm/ET — that chronicles one-month journeys of various people, from a Christian man living with a Muslim family to Spurlock and his fiancée trying to live on minimum wage. The filmmaker stepped away from the camera to discuss his new show.
TV Guide: In tonight's premiere episode, you and Alex live on minimum wage. You injure your wrist and have no health insurance.
Morgan Spurlock:
When you're having to make the decision of "Where are we going to spend what little money we have?" as my arm is swelling up and starting to turn black... I was like, "This isn't good!" [Laughs]

TVG: Were there moments when you thought a segment might fall apart?
Spurlock:
The [June 29 read more

FRIEND IN NEED

Matthew Perry has reportedly split up with his girlfriend of two years, ex-fashion student Rachel Dunn. "There was no drama involved," a source tells People, "just a commitment by Matthew to stay focused on his sobriety." And a lifetime supply of Hanes undies. read more

FAIR AND BALANCED PACT?

Fox News Channel has promoted Geraldo Rivera to correspondent-at-large as part of his new four-year deal with the network. Rivera's previous title was walking-punch-line-at-large, so this is a pretty sizable bump. read more

Question: Will Hayley (Amanda ...

Question: Will Hayley (Amanda Righetti) be back next season on The O.C? — Ajayrious

Ausiello: If Reunion flops, my guess is yes.

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SPOILERS GALORE

24's new day may not dawn until January 2006, but already intel is pouring in. Check out today's fresh Ask Ausiello for the latest scoop on Season 5. Also, read about the Desperate Housewives controversy that has everyone (read: mostly me) talking, and get the first Charmed spoiler of the new fall season! (This concludes the shameless-plug portion of Entertainment News.) read more

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