Today's News: Our Take


RECOVERING

Red carpet fashionista Steven Cojocaru underwent a successful kidney transplant on Friday. A friend donated the organ to Cojocaru, who suffers from polycystic kidney disease. read more

EXTREME SURGERY

Just call it Extreme Makeover: Appendix Edition. Ty Pennington underwent surgery Saturday in his hometown of Atlanta for acute appendicitis. Mr. Fix-It, who was in the middle of shooting an episode of Home Edition when he became ill, will continue to call the shots from his hospital bed. "Thanks to phones and e-mails," he says, "I will be able to maintain my part by giving input to the other designers and discussing our plans for the house." Get the tissues ready! read more

American Idol Oh, Sugar Honey...

American Idol
Oh, Sugar Honey Iced Tea. Since this is my Watercooler night, I'm blessed and cursed with a fourth season of AI. Blessed because it's my job to watch TV. Cursed because it's my job to watch TV — specifically, this festival of really bad singing and mental illness. Oh, who am I kidding? Like y'all, I get a guilty high watching Simon, Paula, Randy — and Sugar Ray frontman turned Extra host Mark McGrath — preside over this train wreck. My fave highlights:

1. Oh, Jesse. He choked so tragically. Ya know that nightmare we've all had where you turn up at school for a big exam and suddenly can't remember anything you studied and you're gonna fail and be absolutely ruined? He actually lived it, poor bastard.
2. Was that poor, crazy queen Derek Braxton really Toni's cousin? If so, he's an even more embarrassing relation than her envi read more

EVERYBODY LOVES FINALES

CBS won't be super-sizing Everybody Loves Raymond's series finale. The network announced at the TCA winter press tour Tuesday that the sitcom would end its nine-year run on May 16 with a standard 30-minute episode. Meanwhile, CBS chief Les Moonves told reporters that a possible spin-off centered around Brad Garrett's character is "still in the discussion stage" — although that seems to be news to Garrett. "I have not been approached," he says. "I love the character and I'm open to it, [but] it's very, very vague at this point." read more

OF LATE

Does Jay Leno know? CBS senior veep Peter Lassally revealed yesterday at the TCA press tour that some of the jokes David Letterman tells during his Late Show monologues are written by none other than Leno's Tonight Show predecessor, Johnny Carson. "He gets a big kick out of [hearing Letterman pull his punch lines]," Lassally said. Jay, dude, that's gotta hurt. read more

IN RELATED NEWS...

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane confirms plans for a direct-to-DVD movie that "revolves around Stewie finding his real father." It could hit stores as early as this summer. In the meantime, original Family Guy episodes will begin airing on Fox on Sunday, May 1, at 9 pm/ET. read more

STAR-CROSSED

Speed demons Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves are reteaming for Il Mare, a bizarre romance about pen pals separated by two years' time and one really, really bad Jason Patric sequel.... In other casting news, joining everyone who's anyone in the line-up for the new live-action Charlotte's Web feature are Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey and John Cleese. The erstwhile Pretty Woman will voice the eight-legged heroine; the talk-show queen, Gussy the Goose; and Cleese, Samuel the Sheep. read more

LOOK OUT, SANDY

Once and Again's Billy Campbell has been cast on The O.C. as Carter, a guy who comes to Newport Beach to work with Kirsten on a new, um, "business venture." (So that's what they're calling it now.) He'll appear in several episodes beginning March 3. read more

THE NUPTIALS ARE OUT THERE

Former X-Files skeptic Gillian Anderson is a believer — in the institution of marriage, that is. Spooky's onetime partner married longtime boyfriend Julian Ozanne on Dec. 29 on Lamu's Shella island, off Kenya's Indian Ocean coast. This is the second trip down the aisle for the 36-year-old actress. read more

FINALLY...

Don't forget to check out this week's Ask Ausiello, featuring scoop on 24, Lost, The X-Files, Charmed and yes, Stuffed Ca-Ca. There's something for everyone! read more

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