Today's News: Our Take


BOBBY EWING RETURNS!

Former Dallas star Patrick Duffy has been cast in two episodes of Reba, TV Guide Online has learned. He'll play a marriage counselor who falls for Reba. He debuts on Oct. 22. In other casting news, Shannen Doherty has agreed to do another three episodes of Fox's struggling sudser North Shore, upping her commitment to six episodes. read more

MORE LEGAL PAINS

Growing Pains alum Tracey Gold, 35, has been formally charged with three felony counts after rolling her SUV — carrying her husband and their three young sons — down a California freeway embankment this month. The charges are DUI, causing injury while driving with a blood-alcohol level in excess of 0.08 and felony child endangerment. Gold will be arraigned in court Oct. 19 and plans to plead not guilty. read more

EYE SPY A NEW ERA

That noise you heard last night was NBC officially passing the Must-See TV torch to rival CBS. For the first time opposite an all-original NBC lineup, the Eye network — paced by the season premieres of CSI and Without a Trace — won Thursday night in the Peacock's cherished adults 18-49 demo. At 8 pm, Survivor: Vanuatu (farewell, Dolly) scored a decisive victory over NBC's Joey/Will & Grace combo, while CSI crushed The Apprentice (buh-bye, Stacie J.) at 9 pm — 30 million viewers to 15.6 million viewers. But the big story was at 10 pm, where Without a Trace edged out the 11th-season premiere of ER among total viewers — another first. Now, that's what I call an emergency. read more

I WASN'T DREAMING!

On a final note, I thought I'd share with you all one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. It took place at Sunday's Emmy Awards as I was making my way down the red carpet. Just as I was about to, um, well, click here to see for yourself! read more

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST?

Actress-singer Vanessa Williams has inked a deal with NBC to headline her own daytime talk show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. read more

Joey Oh, Joey. I've been there....

Joey
Oh, Joey. I've been there. New town. New job. And you're having a hard time making new friends. I could have told you the party thing wouldn't work out. Ditto on the cool "my friends call me Jaybird" nickname. Nice try, though.

Will & Grace
So Janet "Ms. Jackson if You're Nasty" says, "You know, I feel this connection between Jackson and five. I don't know what that it is." Honey, that's called a lame joke. Just like this entire lame episode. Jack was in a crazy dance-off to be Damita Jo's backup dancer and still I laughed not once. W&G writers, what's wrong with you people? Seriously. It's almost like you're not even trying here.

The Elmo Commercial
You know Elmo's black, right? Not that I feel the need to claim a puppet or anything. I'm just saying that the man behind the little red guy (or is Elmo a girl?) is a brotha.

Back to Will & Grace
OK, off-your-game writ read more

SHORT CUTS

Acting vet James Garner has been tapped to receive the Screen Actors Guild's lifetime-achievement award on Feb. 5.... Billy Bob Thornton's girlfriend, Connie Angland, has given birth to a baby girl named Bella. This is the fourth child for Thornton and the first for Angland.... Charmed star Nick Lachey has signed on to play an accountant in the indie heist flick The Hard Easy, according to The Hollywood Reporter... For the first time in, like, forever, Nickelodeon will air fresh episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants — 20 to be exact — next year. read more

Ray Romano Talks About Sex

As the truth sinks in, we have to accept that, yes, our favorite TV family really is calling it quits. But not just yet. The Barones have come back for 16 more episodes of CBS's smash hitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond, which ends its run in May. Here, Ray Romano ponders his farewell season — and life after Raymond.

TV Guide Online: Why did you decide to come back for one final season?
Ray Romano:
It was the stories. The whole thing wasn't the money, as much as it is [$1.8 million an episode] — and I apologize for that to everybody out there. It was all about, "Are we running it into the ground?" We just didn't want to compromise the quality of it.

TVGO: What's up for Raymond this year?
Romano:
I [co-wrote] one of the first three [episodes]. The ones I write usually involve sex, so it's a lack-of-sex themed show. I believe I'll get lucky one evening, then the wife ends up having a big fight with the mother, which I read more

Survivor's Sweethearts Sound Off

Since getting engaged on live TV in May, life's been a whirlwind for Survivor: All-Stars runner-up Rob Mariano (aka Boston Rob) and $1 million winner Amber Brkich. Together, they've traveled the nation doing public appearances to cash in on their 15 minutes of fame. They're now happily promoting Survivor: All-Stars — The Complete Season DVD set (currently available in stores). Here, TV Guide Online catches up with the couple to dish their upcoming nuptials, their future reality-TV ambitions and other silliness.

TV Guide Online: Have you adjusted back to real life?
Amber:
We are so not living real life yet. We're having fun with this and we want it to last as long as it possibly can. But I know that once we do have a house and a normal life again, we'll love that, too.
Rob: Since the show ended on May 9, we've been together almost every single day, 24/7. Between the time on the island and our time off, we've already don read more

Tina Fey Gets Lean and Mean

Tina Fey is our favorite TV anchorwoman. OK, we know she's on Saturday Night Live and isn't an honest-to-goodness anchor, but how many real news gals are as bright, funny and easy on the eyes as Fey? The "Weekend Update" funny girl also proved teen comedies don't have to be dumb by writing and starring in Mean Girls, which arrives on DVD this week. Here, Fey takes a break from her SNL preseason prep work for some Girls talk.

TV Guide Online: Were you a mean girl?
Tina Fey:
I was a little bit of a mean girl. I was kind of a mean nerd. I was mean to the girls I was jealous of — girls that were better looking or going out with boys that I liked. I could be really mean behind their backs, and just talk endlessly about them, which is what we call in the movie "word vomit."

TVGO: How was working with Lindsay Lohan?
Fey:
She's a really good actress and a lovely young woman. She was perfect for the part because s read more

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