Today's News: Our Take


In a move that will shock absolutely no one, UPN is now confirming that Shannen Doherty has been dropped as the star of its new fall sitcom, Love, Inc. The former 90210/Charmed diva — who just last week was flown to New York and paraded before advertisers at the network's upfront presentation — was to have played a savvy matchmaker whose own love life left something to be desired. "Shannen is a terrific actress," says a UPN rep, "but we're going in a different creative direction with the show." An industry source says Doherty was a casualty of bad research, adding, "Preview audiences were not responding to her." The role will be recast. Meanwhile, Alyssa Milano, stop your snickering! read more


After a brief South African "spiritual retreat," comedian and nervous wreck Dave Chappelle is back at his part-time home in Yellow Springs, Ohio. "[I saw him] walking around with his friend," a local told the Dayton Daily News. Of course, the witness neglected to mention that the Chappelle's Show star's friend was imaginary. (It's all so very sad.) read more


Ken Jennings is human after all! The record-breaking Jeopardy! brainiac lost out to former Pennsylvania record-clerk Brad Rutter in the game show's three-day tournament of champions. Rutter walks off with a cool $2 million, while runner-up Jennings pockets a measly $500,000. Eh, there's nothing worse than being dumb and poor. So I'm told. read more


Monday's Oprah Winfrey Show, featuring a rare sit-down, stand-up, sit-down, kneel-down, stand-up interview with Tom Cruise, generated the show's highest single-day May sweeps rating in eight years. read more

American Idol 8:02 Truth? I love...

American Idol
8:02 Truth? I love 'em both, but I had to go with Bo. OK, and Carrie. She'll probably win, but he's gonna get a deal anyway. I'm a finale geek, I know. And don't worry, I'm taping Lost, so even if this thing sucks air, all won't be, er... lost.
8:05 Oh, no. The Top 10 are slaughtering "Good Vibrations." Not a good sign. And they look like Kids, Incorporated on Red Bull.
8:06 It's so nice to see Ryan in men's clothing again.
8:07 Accck!!! Mikalah's on the red carpet! Run, Kirstie Alley! Hide, Marg Helgenberger! Save yourselves!
8:11 "Your results, coming up." Um, Ryan... that's not for another 109 minutes. Stop it.
8:15 Check out Season 2's LaToya London in Bo's Alabama hometown. Awww, good times, good times. She was so robbed.
8:17 Love Bogart on "Vehicle," but we h read more


If you checked off Bo Bice's name in your American Idol office pool, it's time to pay up. In a bit of an upset, girl-next-door Carrie Underwood was crowned the winner of Idol Wednesday night, defeating Southern rocker (and fan favorite) Bice. As Idol's fourth champ, the 22-year-old Oklahoma native (and future country superstar) joins the ranks of previous winners Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aik..., er, I mean Ruben Studdard and Fantasia. "This is the best night of my life," Underwood told the Associated Press shortly after winning. "And it's going to get better." But first, it's gonna get a whole lot worse: Her first single, the cheese-drenched ballad Inside Your Heaven, drops June 14. read more


Acclaimed filmmaker Ismail Merchant, who created Merchant-Ivory Productions with partner James Ivory and produced such highbrow movies as A Room with a View and Howards End, died Wednesday at a London hospital. He was 68. read more

Question: I am dying to find ...

Question: I am dying to find out the name of the song used in the Mitsubishi Eclipse commercials. They featured different people dancing in their cars to this song and at the end it says, "Wind it up, baby." Can you tell me the artist and if I can find the song on CD? Please, please, please? — Tracey

Televisionary: Y'know, Tracey, if there's one thing I hate more than begging it's... well, not begging. So of course I can.

If we're thinking of the same ad, the song in question is The Wiseguys' "Start the Commotion," which you'll find on the album The Antidote. The Wiseguys originally consisted of two DJs, Touch&#233 and Regal, who got their start in Britain's underground hip-hop scene. After 1994's Ladies Say Ow! EP and 1996's Executive Suite album, Regal departed and Touch&#233 finished up The Antidote.

You may also have heard "Ooh La La," another popular tune from that disc, which is indeed read more


... and so is she. Oh, this'll never work. Nonetheless, after a giant statue of himself was unveiled Wednesday at the Legends in Bronze extravaganza, Garth Brooks got down on one knee, doffed his 10-gallon Stetson and proposed to Trisha Yearwood. "Aw, shucks," replied the twice-divorced female vocalist. "Why the heck not?" OK, now try it once more with feeling, sweets. read more

Question: In the '50s there ...

Question: In the '50s there was a show called Lucky Pup on CBS, I think. It was a puppet show like Kukla, Fran &#038 Ollie. It might have been on at the same time. It had a magician called Foodini the Great. What were the others in the show named?

Televisionary: The show actually ran from August 1948 to June 1951, starting off on CBS' morning schedule before jumping to evening hours. (You're correct about the timing &#151 Kukla, Fran &#038 Ollie was on NBC's schedule from 1948-52, then jumped to ABC from 1954-57.)

The setup of the series, created by puppeteers Hope and Morey Bunin, was that the titular Lucky Pup was willed $5 million by a dearly departed, wealthy circus lady. Fellow circus denizens Foodini and his dense assistant, the aptly named Pinhead, tried their darndest to relieve the pooch of his riches, but never succeeded.

Jolo the clown provided additional yuks and live narrator Doris Brown helped read more

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