Today's News: Our Take


Question: You probably have ...

Question: You probably have the best job in the world. What kind of entry-level positions do you recommend for a guy like me trying to have a career in entertainment news? P.S. I really enjoy the Felicity references you throw in your column. Like you, I was obsessed with Felicity, and even moved to New York City because of the shot in the opening sequence of the cab dropping Felicity off with all of her suitcases. — Louie

Ausiello: First off, let's all observe a moment of silence in honor of J.J. Abrams' late, great masterpiece. Now, about breaking into the "biz": My best advice would be to land an internship at a publication/show/website that you really like. That's how I scored my first postcollegiate job at Entertainment Tonight. (I was eventually replaced with someone older and uglier, but that's another story for another time.)

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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

Question: Did Miss Piggy ...

Question: Did Miss Piggy offer you any Pizza Hut pizza or had she eaten it all? — Tim

Ausiello: To quote a wise, if testy, reality diva: "I can't believe you're asking me this. It's insulting, honestly. It's absolutely insulting."

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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

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

Question: Love the picture ...

Question: Love the picture [of you with Kermit and Miss Piggy]. After all the giggles you've given me to start my morning each day, I'm glad all your dreams came true on Sunday. Now, where's the picture of you and Mariska? — Brooke

Ausiello: Regrettably, in the hands of the Los Angeles District Attorney. He's using it as evidence that I violated that pesky restraining order. It's all so sad — so very, very sad.

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Tommy Hilfiger Enters Trump's Turf


Attention aspiring fashionistas! Designer Tommy Hilfiger is looking for a few good trendsetters. On his upcoming reality show The Cut, the rag-trade veteran will give some lucky rookie the chance to design a collection for his label. He's humbly dubbed himself the "mentor, host and judge" of the contest, which will debut mid-season on CBS.

Auditions for The Cut started last weekend in Los Angeles. "We're looking for all different kinds of people from all walks of life," he explains. "It's accessible to everyone — a housewife, a design student or a surfer with good ideas. And this is not just about designing clothes, it's about having a sense of style and a good sense of pop culture. They have to convince us that they could be the purveyor behind a global lifestyle brand."

Obviously, Hilfiger hasn't time to judge every applicant himself, but he will see a certain number who make it past the initial tryouts. Casting 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

Stephen Baldwin Gives Us a Scare


When we heard that Stephen Baldwin was replacing Shannen Doherty as host of Sci Fi Channel's Scare Tactics (starting with the reality hit's third-season premiere tonight at 10 pm/ET), we came down with the giggles, not the jitters.

But, as Alec, Billy and Daniel's brother tells TV Guide Online, the job doesn't call for him to be frightening, just himself. "You have to have a certain sick sense of humor to get the show. That's why [I think the producers] called me. They said, 'The show has gotten gnarlier — you'd be a perfect fit [as host]!'

"Besides," he adds with a laugh, "there are a whole bunch of people out there who think that I'm very scary!"

That said, the 38-year-old actor, whose films have ranged from the sublime (The Usual Suspects, with Kevin Spacey) to the ridiculous (Bio-Dome, with Pauley Shore), may be a more natural fit with Sci Fi than he even realizes. Alread read more

HOUSEWIVES CLEANS UP

With TV's top-rated show, CSI, sidelined for the presidential debate, ABC's Desperate Housewives ranked as the week's most-watched program with 21.6 million viewers. How huge is that for ABC? Pretty freakin' huge, considering the network hasn't seen one of its scripted shows score a first-place finish since Michael J. Fox's farewell on Spin City in May 2000. The boffo bow — as well as another strong showing from Lost — helped ABC win the week among adults 18-49. read more

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