Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

Veteran TV producer Stephen J. Cannell (The A-Team, The Rockford Files) is developing a drama series for TNT that revolves around a special FBI team that hunts dangerous serial criminals, Variety reports.... Boomtown grad Donnie Wahlberg is teaming with ER producer Jack Orman on a Warner Bros.-produced drama series about a good cop who goes undercover in a world of bad cops. read more

SPOOKY SYNERGY

NBC is celebrating Mischief Night on Saturday by airing a pair of reality shows from sister network Sci Fi Channel. In place of Apprentice and Law & Order repeats, the Peacock will run two installments of Scare Tactics at 8 pm followed by an episode of Ghost Hunters. read more

LOVE MATCH

I see a quickie annulment in Paris Hilton's future: The Simple Life star is reportedly hot for Aussie tennis hunk Mark Philippoussis. "I've got a new man and I'm head over heels in love," she told reporters Saturday. "I adore him." read more

MEAN FLU?

Lindsay Lohan has been hospitalized in Los Angeles with an "undiagnosed illness" that may or may not be meningitis. After feeling ill for several days, the 18-year-old Mean Girls actress was admitted over the weekend with a temperature of 103. The illness forced Lohan to postpone a guest spot opposite real-life boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama on Fox's That '70s Show, as well as the filming of her new movie, Herbie: Fully Loaded. Meanwhile, The Insider reports that Lohan's messed-up family has flown in from New York in an effort to make things worse. read more

The Benefactor What a fall ABC...

The Benefactor
What a fall ABC is having, huh? Thanks to Lost, Desperate Housewives and Wife Swap, the network finally appears to be back on the ratings map. Of course they're still stuck with According to Jim. And Rodney. And Complete Savages. Oh yeah, and this Apprentice knockoff that no one bothered to watch. Realizing that their bid to make Mark Cuban the next Donald Trump was failing miserably, ABC actually skipped a couple of episodes and aired the season finale last night. So now that it's over, let's analyze the reasons The Benefactor didn't work:
Reason No. 1: Mark Cuban has zero personality.
I don't care if he does own a basketball team, this Tony Robbins look-alike earns the Mischa Barton award for Most Wooden Screen Presence. I never thought I'd say this, but I missed Donald Trump's bottomless ego — and his nonstop parade of kooky ties.
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THE OH IN UH-OH

O.C. star Mischa Barton is in talks to join Parker Posey and Danny DeVito in the indie feature The OH in Ohio, per The Hollywood Reporter. Barton will play a young student wooed by DeVito. The deal apparently hinges on Barton's ability to act totally skeeved out. read more

NAKED TRUTH

Cell phone/wedding-photo hawker Catherine Zeta-Jones is suing a Nevada topless club for using her image on its website, thus creating the false impression that she "endorsed or approved of the sexually explicit content." But Kent Wallace, the marketing director for The Spice House, claims the pics of Jones were downloaded from a German website that offered royalty-free graphics. "It was an image of a beautiful woman," he said. "We had no idea it was Catherine Zeta-Jones." And let's face it, no one in their right mind would ever associate the words "royalty-free" with "Zeta-Jones." read more

ASHLEE STRIKES BACK

Lip-syncin' teenybopper Ashlee Simpson is in full-tilt damage control following her big Saturday Night Live debacle. On MTV's TRL Monday, Jessica's kid sis said she was suffering from "severe acid reflux" prior to her SNL performance, forcing her to sing with the aid of a guide track (i.e., lip-sync). But in a previous interview with Lucky magazine, Simpson said she was "totally against" lip-syncing, adding, "I'm going out to let my real talent show, not to just stand there and dance around. Personally, I'd never lip-sync. It's just not me." Well, a subsequent cortisone shot allowed Simpson to perform live (I think) and without incident at last night's Radio Music Awards. She also poked a little fun at her big goof, announcing just as her band read more

Question: I just stumbled ...

Question: I just stumbled upon Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" program. My favorite is Sealab 2021, which is just a wickedly wonderful show! Do you know any history on the show and whether they will make any new episodes? — Yolanda, Marshall, Tex.

Televisionary: When you say history, I assume you mean of the original Sealab 2020, a half-hour Hanna-Barbera production which ran on NBC's Saturday-morning schedule for a year beginning in September 1972.

On that show, Captain Mike Murphy and his kids, Bobby and Sally, were rescued from a shipwreck and came to stay in Sealab, an underwater facility run by Dr. Paul Williams, manned by Williams' "oceanauts" and populated by 250 citizens. Voices for that series included actresses Pamelyn Ferdin (Charlotte's Web) and Ann Jillian (It's a Living).

Of course, if you're watching Sealab 2021, you know the hilarious folks behind it have turn read more

Question: I watched a movie ...

Question: I watched a movie on Oxygen on Thursday, Oct. 7, with Jessica Lange and Tommy Lee Jones. It was about a serviceman whose wife had an affair, and it was discovered he knew about a cover-up of radioactive side effects. It was listed as Tuesdays with Morrie, but that was not it. Could you please find out what the movie was? — Carol E.

Televisionary: That I could, Carol. The flick was 1994's Blue Sky and you can read more about it here.

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