Today's News: Our Take


ROUND TWO

Pamela Seals has slapped former boyfriend, alleged toe-stomper Burt Reynolds, with a palimony lawsuit. The filing comes a day after Reynolds sued Seals for extortion. read more

NOTHING PERSONAL

Liza Minnelli filed a breach-of-contract suit Tuesday against her longtime personal assistant after he accused the diva-icon last month of beating him during alcohol-fueled fits. Minnelli is seeking at least $250,000 in damages, a court order against M'hammed Soumayah and a personal assistant who's not a girlie man. read more

WHO'S DESPERATE NOW?

Buoyed by record-setting performances from Desperate Housewives, Lost and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ABC won the first full week of sweeps among adults 18-49. CBS, which had the week's most-watched show with CSI, was tops among total viewers. read more

The Biggest Loser Loved Gary telling...


The Biggest Loser

Loved Gary telling Maurice "you'll have to go through me" to get to that sticky, gooey cinnamon bun. It didn't even look all that tempting, did it? There was no challenge there for me. Had they left an avocado bacon cheeseburger and curly fries next to that telephone, however, I would've broken my diet in a flash. And I would then have used my phone call to ring up my boyfriend and have him bring over a pint of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia. 'Cause it's all over at that point, so why not go out in a blaze of glory, ya know whumsayin'?

The Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best
Virgin founder Richard Branson, who insists his vanity series wasn't inspired by the success of Donald Trump's The Apprentice, referenced Trump in the pilot episode. Hmm... They appeared to be mocking The Donald by having that goofy-lookin' Trump impersonator step out of the limo while Bra read more

MARITAL WOES

Saturday Night Live grad Tim Meadows, 43, is headed for divorce court. His wife, Michelle, filed papers in L.A. on Monday. She requested joint custody of their two young sons. No reason has been given for the split, but rumor has it she felt his Ladies Man's shtick was wearing thin. read more

INFERIORITY COMPLEX

Speaking of weak premieres, Showtime's much-hyped drama Huff drew an embarrassing 456,000 viewers Sunday night. How bad is that? I'm pretty sure Bravo gets better ratings out of Manhunt. 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

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

How The Shield Snagged Glenn Close

OK, who among us wasn't stunned speechless upon hearing that Oscar nominee Glenn Close was joining FX's The Shield as the new captain? Well, series star Michael Chiklis, for starters. "At the [2003] Golden Globes I approached her and said, 'I'm gonna work with you someday,'" he recalls. "She looked at me a little incredulously and said, 'Oh, that's good to know.' I've wanted to work with her for a long time." Actually, when it comes to scoring the casting coup of the year, a little wishful thinking goes a long way, as Shield creator Shawn Ryan recently revealed to TV Guide Online's Michael Ausiello.
TV Guide Online: Which came first: the actress or the character?
Shawn Ryan:
The character came first. The writers and I started working on this season in July and we came up with [the idea to have] a new captain in the barn, and it needed to be someone who had some years on the force. Our show has pretty much stuck with the formula of casting 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

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