Today's News: Our Take


Al Sharpton's New Job

He became a man of God by age 8, was an activist by 16 and hit the road as a tour manager for the "Godfather of Soul" by 18. Next stop for Rev. Al Sharpton... reality TV? Yes, the streetwise politico is the host/life coach of Spike TV's I Hate My Job, a series that offers winners $25,000 and a chance at the career of their dreams. What makes the man once pilloried for his velour sweat suits qualified to tell people how to change their lives? "Because I've done it myself," Sharpton says. "I walked away from a lucrative show-business career to start my civil-rights organization. [Thirty] years later, I was able to run for president."
TV Guide Online: In this week's premiere of I Hate My Job, you're kind of hard on the candidates.
Al Sharpton:
I'm rough on them because life is rough. You should not assume that just because you have a dream, the whole world is going to fold to your dream.

TVGO: Ah, so you're just kicking them into gear. Tell us a read more

TIT FOR TAT

CBS is challenging plans by the FCC to fine 20 of its stations $550,000 for Janet Jackson's Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction. The network denies that the fleeting glimpse of Jackson's breast violated decency standards or was designed to "pander, titillate, and shock" viewers. That's what Big Brother is for. read more

SEEING GREEN

Shrek 2 sold a record 12.1 million DVD/VHS copies during its first three days of release, adding roughly $185 million to DreamWorks' coffers. By comparison, the original Shrek sold 7 million units in its first three days. read more

SHORT CUTS

60 Minutes Wednesday is adding longtime BET anchor Ed Gordon as a part-time correspondent... Moulin Rouge front man Ewan McGregor will headline a revival of Guys and Dolls on London's West End in June... CBS and Fox have sealed new deals with the NFL to continue airing Sunday-afternoon football games through 2011. The combined deals are reportedly worth $8 billion. read more

MANGO RETURNS

ABC has signed former Saturday Night Live funnyman Chris Kattan to star in an as-yet untitled half-hour comedy that is being billed as a cross between Curb Your Enthusiasm and I Love Lucy. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kattan will play a consumer reporter at a small-town TV station who is both neurotic and appealing — a deadly combo if ever there was one. read more

YEAH!

Chart-toppin', six-packin' "Yeah" man Usher has signed on to star in a coming-of-age film about a kid from the streets who finds salvation through music and enjoys walking around shirtless, Variety reports. The Dimension project is being written by Ray scribe James White. read more

GOLDEN GLITCH

Michael Moore's November nightmare continues. The anti-Dubya crusader has just learned that Fahrenheit 9/11 cannot compete in this year's Golden Globes derby because it's a documentary. The Globes have also dealt a blow to Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, rendering that pic ineligible in the best drama category because it is considered a foreign-language film. read more

GAME OVER

After striking out in its new Saturday time slot, Clubhouse has been benched for the remainder of November sweeps, CBS confirms. Repeats of crime dramas and specials will replace the baseball-themed drama on Saturday at 8 pm/ET. The news comes just days after Eye execs axed fellow freshman series dr. vegas. Can Center of the Universe be far behind? Fingers crossed. read more

TOE BE OR NOT TOE BE

Burt Reynolds has been called many things, but a toe stomper? The 68-year-old actor is suing ex-girlfriend Pamela Seals, alleging that she was threatening to falsely accuse him of abuse if he didn't cough up millions of dollars in extortion. Specifically, Reynolds claims Seals was going to accuse him of yelling at her and, um, stomping on her toes during their 16-year relationship. In Reynolds' defense, I hear Seals' toes can easily be mistaken for big, juicy grapes. read more

EXTREME NIELSENS

ABC's one-two punch of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Desperate Housewives hit new series highs Sunday, lifting ABC to another dominant win on the night. Home drew 20.5 million viewers at 8 pm, while Housewives attracted nearly 25 million at 9 pm. Housewives' momentum is even more startling when you consider that the once-promising dramedy seems to be spiraling downward creatively. (Read tomorrow's "Ask Ausiello" for more on that.) Elsewhere, viewers virtually ignored Fox's My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss (4.8 million viewers), but Arrested Development — in its new time slot following The Simpsons — pulled in a promising 8 million viewers. Finally, CBS's cheesy Dallas reunion drew a solid (if unspectacular) 14.2 million viewers. read more

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