Today's News: Our Take


BIG DEAL

Shock-jock Howard Stern announced today that he'll jump to Sirius Satellite Radio in January 2006 in a five-year deal worth $500 million. Stern, whose current pact with Infinity Broadcasting ends in 2005, has been threatening to bolt to satellite radio, where he won't have to answer to the FCC. "It has been my dream to have the top-rated show in radio since I was 5 years old," Stern said in statement. "Sirius — the future of radio — will take this dream to a whole new level as I bring my fans my show my way. It will be the best radio they will ever hear." Until then, you'll have to make do with the crap that's on now. read more

SANITIZED AMERICA

Matt Stone and Trey Parker's upcoming political puppet spoof Team America: World Police has received an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. Stone and Parker avoided an NC-17 rating after they agreed to trim a scene depicting simulated sex between wooden marionettes. So, let me get this straight: It's okay for North Shore to do it but not Team America? Talk about a double standard. read more

IN OTHER RATINGS NEWS...

Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart snagged its biggest audience ever — 2.4 million viewers — for last Thursday's post-debate show. That's about 500,000 more than the show's previous record. read more

WILL VOTE FOR TREATS

Republicans are accusing filmmaker/rabble-rouser Michael Moore of bribing college students into voting for John Kerry — and they want him prosecuted for it. Moore, currently on a 60-city get-out-the-vote tour, allegedly offered students at three Michigan universities such gag prizes as clean underwear, a year's supply of Tostitos and a package of Ramen noodles if they promised to vote. Throw in a case of Diet Raspberry Snapple, a tub of Peanut Butter frozen yogurt and a phone call from Keri Russell and I'm in. read more

HE'S NO DUMMY

The producing bug has bitten Matt LeBlanc. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Joey star is thisclose to selling the WB network on a drama series about the relationship between a father and son after the older son dies. read more

A NEW DAY HAS DAWNED

After years in development, Ask Ausiello — a new weekly letters column by yours truly — debuted today on TVGuide.com to glowing reviews. "Ask Ausiello has been launched successfully this morning," raved TVGO producer Karthik Radhakrishnan. Added colleague Chris Andreotti: "I'm running downstairs for a bagel — I'll be back in 10 minutes." And Monica Ronan in HR exclaimed: "You have a new column? What's it about!?" Click here to see what everyone's talking about!! read more

LAST RESPECTS

Legendary funnyman Rodney Dangerfield, whose self-deprecating humor and signature catchphrase "I don't get no respect" made him an icon of stand-up comedy, died Tuesday at UCLA Medical Center. He was 82. Dangerfield, who fell into a coma after undergoing heart valve-replacement surgery on Aug. 25, regained consciousness in the past week. "When Rodney emerged, he kissed me, squeezed my hand and smiled for his doctors," Dangerfield's wife, Joan, said in a statement. Dangerfield got his first big break on The Ed Sullivan Show before making 70 appearances alongside Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. His film roles included Caddyshack, Easy Money and Back to School. In addition to his wife, Dangerfield is survived by two children from a previous marriage. read more

SHORT CUTS

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (a parent company of TV Guide) is talking to the NFL about creating a sports cable network that would take on ESPN, Variety reports... After 38 years in Nashville, the Country Music Assoc. Awards are moving to the Big Apple in 2005. The ceremony will then return to Tennessee in 2006. read more

INNOVATION OR IMITATION?

Fox has quietly wrapped production on My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss, a reality series that sounds suspiciously like a rip-off of Andy Dick's Apprentice spoof The Assistant. Boss — which will air Sundays at 9 pm/ET beginning Nov. 7 — revolves around 12 wannabe moguls as they compete to win the approval of N. Paul Todd, the "eccentric, egomaniacal" founder and CEO of a faux company called Iocor. Weekly challenges will include begging for money on the street and serving as paintball targets for Mr. Todd, who will be played by actor William August. Variety, however, identifies the thesp behind the Donald Trump parody as August Caimi. Whaddaya say we split the difference and just call him Red Lobster Waiter. read more

PAY UP

Rap mogul Sean Combs has been ordered to pay $35,000 a month in child support for the 10-year-old son he had with fashionista Misa Brim. The judge based the monthly stipend on Combs' annual income of $50 million and the kid's rapidly expanding jewelry collec... , er, I mean toy collection. read more

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