Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

The first season of Northern Exposure arrives on DVD May 25, USA Today reports... Usher's Confessions reclaimed the top spot on Billboard's album chart with sales of 267,000 copies. read more

TUESDAY RATINGS

Roughly 14.5 million viewers revisited The Dick Van Dyke Show, giving CBS its best Tuesday since December. Still, Fox ruled the night with its combo of American Idol (23.2 million) and 24 (12 million), the latter of which notched its best numbers of the season. And the WB's One Tree Hill ended its freshman year on a high note, scoring its best marks ever among young adults. read more

BREAKING NEWS...

Just when Tom Brokaw was out, they pulled him back in. The venerable newsman, who will step down as anchor of NBC's Nightly News on Dec. 1, has signed a new 10-year contract with the network. The deal largely calls for him to produce-narrate documentaries and sit around reminiscing about the good ol' days. read more

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE...

Let's play a little game called "What show am I referring to?" Sounds like fun, right? Alright, here we go: In a 10-year-old internal NBC research report obtained by The Smoking Gun, Peacock execs trashed one of their sitcoms as "not very entertaining, clever or original," dissed the show's stars and noted that test audiences "found the characters smug, superficial and self-absorbed." So, what show am I referring to? "Suddenly Susan?" Nope. "Veronica's Closet?" Try again. "Caroline in the City?" You're getting closer. "No... it couldn't be... Friends???" Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Wasn't that fun?! read more

SERIOUSLY, THIS IS FUNNY

How far will two straight guys go to pass as gay? We're gonna find out on June 7 when Fox airs Seriously, Dude, I'm Gay, a two-hour reality special that follows two heteros as they immerse themselves in "the gay lifestyle," all to convince a panel of judges that they bat for the other team. The most convincing "gay guy" walks off with $50,000 and an on-air gig at VH1, E! Entertainment Television or CNN. read more

DOINK DOINK

NBC has renewed all three Law & Order shows — that's the original, SVU and Criminal Intent — for two more years, through the 2005-06 season. The network has also officially given producer Dick Wolf the green light for a fourth edition — Law & Order: Trial by Jury, which will likely debut at midseason. read more

DIVA DOWN

Simon Cowell's acid tongue came back to haunt him last night on American Idol. In a heinous turn of events, every Hawaiian household apparently did "vote five times to save" Jasmine Trias as the 17-year-old Mililani native made it through to the next round — at the expense of frontrunner La Toya London! The result evoked boos from the audience and led to Paula Abdul's first major breakdown since Soundscan reported opening-week sales of 1995's Head Over Heels. London, however, remained upbeat. "I just want to thank you so much, thank you for believing in me," the 25-year-old class act told the crowd, before turning in a powerhouse performance of "Don't Rain on My Parade." London's exit narrows the competition to three: In addition to Trias, there's Diana DeGarmo and Fantasia Barrino. Meanwhile, if you have questions for Ms. La Toya, e-mail them to me via the link at the bottom of this page. Extra consideration will be g read more

GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.

Canadian-born babe Pamela Anderson officially became an American citizen Wednesday after acing an interview and 10-question test. "I felt it was important to become a U.S. citizen in order to vote in the United States," Anderson says. "I have no intention of giving up my citizenship in Canada and am very proud to be a Canadian." And to prove it, she moved to America and became a full-fledged citizen! read more

Smallville Oh yeah, like Clark's...

Smallville
Oh yeah, like Clark's secret would have kept Lana from running off to Paris. Please, child would be racing to Smallville International in a skipped heartbeat if she heard her Abercrombie-worthy crush was actually an alien. With superpowers. Not that he even got to spill the beans, seeing how that nutjob who took over the Talon kidnapped little Miss Lang, who, I'm sorry, totally got what she deserved. Whenever some googly-eyed misfit who sounds like Jean Kasem on really good herb says that she wants to be your best friend, it is so time to run the other way, OK? And I know that everyone is all gaga over Kristin Kreuk. She's adorable. So why does she remind me so much of that elf Muppet from The Dark Crystal?

The Mentalist
Psychics, magicians, "mystifiers." Whatever you want to call 'em, they're just plain weird. John Edward, he's a little too slick, you know? David Blaine? Ew. Might as we read more

MOORE THE MERRIER

Disney has reportedly given Miramax chiefs Bob and Harvey Weinstein the go-ahead to buy back Michael Moore's controversial anti-Dubya doc, Fahrenheit 9/11, clearing the way for the pair to release it through a new distributor. As previously reported, the Mouse House refused to release the pic on the grounds that it "was not appropriate for Disney, a family entertainment company, to be the distributor of a politically charged movie in an election year." read more

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