Today's News: Our Take


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 "we 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

EXTREME RENEWAL

ABC has renewed Sunday night tear-jerker Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for a third season. So far this season, the show has averaged nearly 16 million viewers and emerged as TV's top show among emasculated men age 18-49. read more

SCHOOL'S IN

VH1 is signing up for Rock School, a six-episode reality series inspired by the hit film School of Rock, per Variety. Kiss' Gene Simmons will assume the Jack Black role and teach a bunch of classically trained British students the ways of rock. read more

THEY'RE CURSED

The Osbournes are grappling with yet another crisis. Aimee Osbourne, Ozzy and Sharon's camera-shy daughter, underwent surgery this week to remove a lump in her breast. "The operation went very well," Sharon said, "but there have been a few minor complications and she will be having more treatment and lots of rest over the next few weeks." read more

EXTREME RENEWAL

ABC has renewed Sunday night tear-jerker Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for a third season. So far this season, the show has averaged nearly 16 million viewers and emerged as TV's top show among emasculated men age 18-49. read more

GOSSIP IS THE PITTS

Brad Pitt's publicist is denying an US Weekly cover story that claims to have "proof" that Jennifer Aniston's soon-to-be-ex is romancing Angelina Jolie. In the article, Us quotes employees of a California hotel who claim they saw the pair — costars in the upcoming film Mr. and Mrs. Smith — being affectionate. "This particular story," Pitt's rep says, "is completely untrue." Pitt's rep is also denying reports that the Earth is round and those white puffy things in the sky are clouds. read more

JACKO WATCH

Let me preface this Michael Jackson trial update by saying that Thursday's testimony was so lurid that the singer's mother and brother Tito walked out in the middle of it. A former Neverland security guard described in graphic detail how he once saw Jacko kiss, fondle and perform oral sex on a 10-year-old boy, who later received a multimillion-dollar settlement from the singer. During cross examination, the defense accused the witness of making the whole thing up to get even. Also on Thursday, a former Neverland maid testified that she saw the pop star kiss Macaulay Culkin on the cheek while his hand was on the child star's bum. Guess he thought they were home alone. ("Oh, no you didn't," "Oh, yes I did.") read more

MOURNED

Cartoonist Dale Messick, the creator of the seminal Brenda Starr, Reporter comic strip, died Tuesday at age 98. 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

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

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