Today's News: Our Take


Apprentice's Andy Dies Young


What do you get when you cross a 2-lb. hand weight with a world atlas? The edgy new design for a Pepsi bottle... right? Well, that's what The Apprentice's Andy thought before Trump fired him for fizzing out as team leader last week. Does the 23-year-old young gun have any regrets? Any secrets? Any gas after downing all that soda pop? Here, TV Guide Online invites this champion debater to argue his merits.

TV Guide Online: Regarding the Pepsi Edge task, I don't think I can improve upon the whoopee-cushion sound effects with which the guys in post-production punctuated your bottle's unveiling.
Andy:
How funny was that, the music they played when we were presenting? The thing is, when we were developing it, we thought we were right on. We thought we had a great campaign, so we were pretty excited.

TVGO: Maybe you were just a bit loopy from a sugar/caffeine high? You must've set a personal — if not world — record for so read more

Reading Between Lost's Lines


As with almost everything else on Lost, the castaways' taste in literature isn't arbitrary.

In a recent episode of the cryptic ABC drama, Sawyer (Josh Holloway) was reading Richard Adams' 1972 novel, Watership Down. Show cocreator Damon Lindelof picked the classic tale of a ragtag group of rabbits who band together to survive in a new home because "thematically it totally jives with everything we're trying to say in the show... except with bunnies."

The book's characters include a fearless leader (sounds like Lost's Jack), a pregnant hare (Claire), a go-to person with a sixth sense (Locke), a careless rebel (Sawyer) and a crafty hero (Sayid). "My parents wouldn't let me see the [Down] cartoon because it was for grown-ups," Lindelof says. "Which, of course, was the birth of an obsession."


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BLONDE AMBITION

The WB has ordered a script for Bergdorf Blondes, a potential new dramedy based on Vogue contributing editor Plum Sykes' best-seller about a younger version of the Sex and the City girls. Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Rebecca Kirshner will cocreate and, if she's smart, cast the much-missed Emma Caulfield in a juicy new role. read more

OVER AND OUT

Following through on the plan he announced in May of '02, NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw signed off for the last time at the close of yesterday evening's telecast. Although the veteran journalist will still host documentaries for the network, he is looking forward to spending more time on his Montana ranch and getting the mohawk he's wanted for so long. For more on Brokaw's farewell, read today's The Biz. read more

ANIMAL ATTRACTION

Ving Rhames is set to produce and star in Animal, which is not the long-awaited biopic about the Muppet musician but a gritty urban drama about a felon who tries to go straight, saving his son from a life of crime along the way. Personally, I think the movie about The Electric Mayhem drummer sounds like more fun. read more

TRIAL BY JURY

Nearly four years after the fatal shooting of his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley, Robert Blake's murder trial is finally about to begin. The 12 jurors (and six alternates) who'll decide the 71-year-old Baretta actor's fate were chosen and sworn in on Wednesday at Los Angeles Superior Court. And most of 'em are really kickin' themselves right around now for not cooking up better excuses to get out of jury duty. read more

OH, GOD!

NBC, CBS and UPN have decided that ads for a church that — gasp! — embraces gay people and minorities (whereas others do not) are too hot to handle. "We find it disturbing that the networks in question seem to have no problem exploiting gay persons through mindless comedies or titillating dramas," Rev. Robert Chase of the United Church of Christ told Variety, "but when it comes to a church's loving welcome of committed gay couples, that's where they draw the line." Amen, bro. read more

BELIEVE IT... OR NOT

May I never again use any variations of the word "staple" this many times in one sentence: Staples' "Staplers of the Stars" online auction of autographed staplers is poised to bring in big bucks for charity. Paris Hilton's John Hancocked stapler alone is currently commanding top dollar — just over a grand. Hot on the socialite's designer heels are Donald Trump and Katie Couric, whose staplers are going for $800 apiece. read more

BAD VIBRATIONS

Was hip-hop impresario Marion "Suge" Knight involved in that deadly brawl at the Vibe Awards? That's what police and probation officials want to know. So they're reviewing tapes of the melee in which a chap who slugged Dr. Dre was stabbed, allegedly by one of the doc's prot&#233g&#233s. Knight and Dre, who cofounded the cheerfully titled Death Row Records in the early '90s, broke up professionally almost a decade later. Apparently, it wasn't a clean break, either: Upon Knight's prison release in '01, he was ordered to stay the heck away from Dre, near whom he sat at the awards show. Hmm... read more

STOP! THIEVES!

Since the release of the SpongeBob SquarePants movie, 9-foot-by-9-foot balloons bearing the underwater matinee idol's likeness have been appearing on the roofs of Burger Kings across the country. And now, sticky-fingered animaniacs are stealing them. So far more than 50 of the $500 inflatables have been swiped by people who don't have the foresight to realize that they'd be better off making a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond to pick up a $2 loofah. read more

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