Today's News: Our Take


JACKO UPDATE

In a setback for the defense, the judge in Michael Jackson's molestation trial refused to let Larry King take the stand on Thursday, saying his testimony would not be relevant to the case. King was expected to cast doubt on the motives of the accuser's mother and urge everyone to go see the funniest movie of the century, Kicking and Screaming! The news wasn't all bad for the defense, however: The judge allowed jurors to watch a video showing cheerful and idyllic scenes of Neverland Ranch. The prosecution had previously condemned the footage as "propaganda." read more

DEAD HEAT

If Katie Couric's brow looked sweatier than usual this morning, here's the reason: According to Nielsen, just 40,000 viewers separated first-place Today and second-place Good Morning America last week. It was Today's smallest margin of victory over GMA in a decade. Translation: Someone better throw a wedding on the plaza but quick. read more

CSI Man, I love Quentin Tarantino....

CSI
Man, I love Quentin Tarantino. He can start with what is already a fantastic procedural show and take it to the next level. His odd-but-appropriate music choices and visual style are unmistakable (I'm sure he added the Dukes of Hazzard board game, too). However, I'm a little bit worried about his current obsession with stuffing people in confined spaces. He tossed Uma six feet under in Kill Bill 2, and now Nick is in the same predicament. Tarantino does do tight quarters better than anyone, though Alias and Veronica Mars have followed suit pretty convincingly this season. He really kicked it up Tarantino-style with the icky fire ants and tons of explosives. Did anyone else start itching when they showed those bugs biting into Stokes' flesh? I'm not too squeamish, but that really got to me. I'm not sure if tonight's torture was delayed payback for George read more

NO SHOW

A theater owner in Kentucky is refusing to show Jane Fonda's Monster-in-Law because of her activism during the Vietnam War. Ike Boutwell, who reportedly trained pilots during the war, changed the marquee to read, "No Jane Fonda movie in this theater." Most folks were coming to see "Gift certificates available" anyway. read more

Quentin Tarantino Takes on CSI

The question isn't why Quentin Tarantino is directing tonight's season ender of CSI (8 pm/ET on CBS). The better question is, what took him so long? The series' dark stories, nifty visuals and twisted dialogue seem a perfect match for the man behind the slick hit movies Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. But despite requests from producers, this longtime fan of the series never found time to direct an episode until he spent a day hanging out on the set in Las Vegas one weekend in January. That convinced him to sign on. TV Guide caught up with Tarantino for an exclusive sneak peek at what he promises will be a "cool end-all episode that I've wanted to see for a long time."
TV Guide: How did CSI's producers finally persuade you to do the show?
Quentin Tarantino:
They said, "Do you have an episode in mind?" So I described it. My thing was a member of the team getting kidnapped by a mastermind and being buried alive, so the team has to find him or h read more

END QUOTE

"I think talking to ghosts may skew younger than talking to God." That's CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves explaining his decision to drop Joan of Arcadia next season in favor of Jennifer Love Hewitt's Ghost Whisperer. read more

Survivor Ian's Crazy Decision

In a Survivor finale shocker on Ian Rosenberger basically gave up his shot at a million dollars just to smooth things over with his alliance-mates Tom and Katie. He and Tom went head-to-head in an endurance challenge on a buoy, and after close to 12 hours of the watery balancing act, guilt overwhelmed Ian. The 23-year-old dolphin trainer said he'd step off the platform if Tom agreed to take Katie, not him, to the final tribal council. TVGuide.com rang up Ian to ask him what the heck he was thinking, and if he's regretting throwing the cash away.

TVGuide.com: Ian, I'm still in shock.
Ian Rosenberger:
Aren't all of us? I'm still trying to decide if it was the right decision or not.

TVG: Please tell me that after almost 12 hours of standing up there, you were just delusional.
Ian:
I wasn't. Unfortunately. I had to make a choice between the morals and the money. When I looked at it from the position of, gosh, I have an example read more

These Idols Can't Lose

Last Tuesday may very well have been the most important night of the competition for Vonzell Solomon, Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice, but surprisingly, American Idol's final three looked the least nervous they've been all year. Could it be they're starting to gain the confidence of professionals? Rosanna Tavarez (a Popstars grad) and Kimberly Caldwell (of Idol Season 2), who host TV Guide Channel's Idol Chat (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET), know a thing or two about the pressure these kids are under. That doesn't mean they held back on their judgments Wednesday morning, when we woke them up to hear what they thought of each performance.

Vonzell Solomon
Rosanna Tavarez: In terms of popularity, I think Vonzell might come in third, but in terms of virtuousity, the girl's voice is exceptional. She definitely doesn't come in third because of talent. She did have a few spots where she was slightly off during "I'll Never Love This read more

A SAD DAY IN GOTHAM CITY

After a lengthy battle with lung cancer, emphysema and pneumonia, Frank Gorshin passed away Tuesday at the age of 72. The actor was an Emmy nominee for his portrayal of the quizzical Riddler on the late-'60s Batman series. In what turned out to be his final role, Gorshin makes a cameo in tonight's CSI season finale. read more

VERONICA'S CASKET

Hope y'all enjoyed Veronica Mars this season, 'cause although UPN renewed the flat-out brilliant detective dramedy, come fall, it's burying the show — that is, moving it to Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET opposite Lost. (Groan.) Other upfront revelations from the network that gets no respect: Kevin Hill is out, and two new comedies will join Eve and Cuts on Thursday nights — Everybody Hates Chris, about Chris Rock's childhood (with the jokester serving as the narrator) and Love, Inc., with Shannen Doherty as a matchmaker. (Like she'll do any better at it than Alicia Silverstone?) Denise Richards, meanwhile, will star in UPN's only new fall drama, Sex, Lies & Secrets, which sounds so much like Melrose Place, we can already smell the chlorine in the pool. Come midseason, UPN will fill the canceled soap's time slot — granted, I'm just guessing here — with South Beach, another pr read more

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