Today's News: Our Take


FOOL THEM ONCE...

In an effort to avoid a repeat of Boobygate, ABC plans to institute a 10-second delay for Thursday's hourlong NFL Opening Kickoff show, which will feature performances by Destiny's Child, Mary J. Blige, Elton John, Lenny Kravitz and Toby Keith. Of course, wardrobe malfunctions will be the least of ABC's problems. The show (and game) will go head-to-head with NBC's debut of Joey and the return of The Apprentice. read more

The Next Great Champ Somewhere,...

The Next Great Champ
Somewhere, Sylvester Stallone is punching holes in a wall. Not only did Fox survive the lawsuit from Mark Burnett and Stallone to get their boxing reality show on the air first, but they stole that inverted sit-up routine from Rocky IV and used it as a $10,000 challenge. But I'll wager what really sent Stallone over the edge was Fox snagging "Eye of the Tiger" as their theme song — what the hell was Stallone thinking? Rocky III made that song the definitive boxing anthem, and the moment he inked the deal with NBC to produce The Contender (debuts in November on NBC), he should've been on the phone with composer and Survivor front man Jim Peterik to secure the rights.

Now I'm biased because I love boxing as a sport, but I have to say that this show has gotten just about everything right — everything, that is, except the boxing, and I'll get to that in a minute. There is enough tes read more

MAKE TIME FOR THIS

The upcoming DVD of 24's third season will include an exclusive mini-prequel that sets the stage for the serial thriller's fourth-season premiere in January, Variety reports. The 10-minute episode — which will not be shown on TV — will introduce many of Season 4's new characters, including Kiefer Sutherland's latest love interest, played by Third Watch's Kim Raver. The seven-disc set arrives Dec. 7. read more

That '70s Show Fall Scoop


During its six years on the air, not much seems to have changed about That '70s Show. The actors all still pretty much look the same. The characters — from prissy Jackie (Mila Kunis) to playboy Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) to conspiracy freak Hyde (Danny Masterson) — have many of the same quirks and looks. And it's certainly as popular as it's ever been. Still, there's at least one big difference between now and then.

"There are a lot nicer cars in our parking lot now," jokes Jackie Filgo, the sitcom's executive producer. "And better parking spaces."

Once this fall season gets rolling, there'll be more than just automotive changes going on. For instance, Filgo says Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna (Laura Prepon) decide to back off their marriage plans — since he just wants to hang around his house being, in his words, "a bum."

Meanwhile, Hyde meets his real father, who turns out to be African-America read more

NOW HARE THIS!

Fox's ill-fated comedy series Greg the Bunny is hopping back to cable channel IFC for a half-hour special next year. Before heading to Fox in 2002, the fabricated American got his start hosting a movie showcase on IFC. Greg costar Seth Green will appear in the special, which may turn into a weekly series if Green's movie career keeps heading up a creek Without a Paddle. read more

TOO HOT FOR TV?

Is Fahrenheit 9/11 headed to a small screen near you? If Michael Moore has it his way, yes. According to USA Today, Moore plans to televise his incendiary Bush-bashing flick prior to the November election. Look for Fahrenheit to air on public television or pay-per-view. After CBS chickens out and drops it, of course. read more

GO USC!

ESPN is launching a sister network in March that will focus entirely on college sports. According to The Hollywood Reporter, ESPNU will broadcast 300 live events — primarily Division 1 football — in its first year on the air. read more

SHORT CUTS

Jamiroquai front man Jay Kay had his driving privileges revoked for six months after cops clocked him going 105 mph in Scotland.... Roseanne will kick off the inaugural New York Comedy Festival on Nov. 9.... 'N Syncer Joey Fatone will reportedly marry girlfriend Kelly Baldwin on Thursday. read more

DOWN FOR THE COUNT

Fox's copycat boxing show barely survived its first round in the ratings ring. Only 5.2 million spectators turned out for last night's debut of The Next Great Champ, placing it well behind time-slot rivals Big Brother and Father of the Pride. Heck, Champ's macho men failed to muster enough strength to beat an According to Jim repeat on ABC! (Talk about emasculating.) Over at CBS, Amazing Race continues to pick up steam as it heads toward the finish line. Nearly 11 million viewers watched host Phil Keoghan deactivate blunder twins Kami and Karli. Clearly, the Lord no longer wanted these two in the game. read more

KEN JENNINGS UPDATE

Jeopardy! brainiac Ken Jennings notched his 40th consecutive win on Tuesday's show. Jennings pocketed another $21,800, bringing his total to $1,353,461. read more

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