Today's News: Our Take


PREZ DISPENSER?

L.A. Law and NYPD Blue alumnus Jimmy Smits is in talks to join The West Wing as a three-term Houston congressman who — let's be real — is likely to replace Martin Sheen's President Bartlet in the Oval Office. Rumor has it that Barbie — the Mattel doll who announced her sorta real-life candidacy yesterday — was also in the running, but NBC execs were more familiar with her platform shoes than her political platform. read more

Farscape Vixen Returns


Like every Farscape cast member, Claudia Black spent the first three seasons of Sci Fi Channel's cult hit convinced it could be yanked off the air at any moment. "The fourth year was the first time I actually believed we'd be back," says the actress, who played steely Peacekeeper warrior Aeryn Sun. "We were shooting the last scene of the final episode, and I said to Ben Browder [aka Crichton], 'We'll be back. We always come back. It's the boomerang show!' And he said, 'No, I don't think so.'"

Unfortunately, Browder was right... until now, anyway. Against the odds, Farscape is returning to Sci Fi this October in a four-hour miniseries called Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars. As happy as Black was to be back onboard Moya, the project came at an awkward time. "It was filmed just before Christmas," she says. "We had all scattered to the four winds and getting everybody back was really difficult. read more

TRUE TO LIFE

Gwyneth Paltrow and Sigourney Weaver have been added to the cast of Every Word Is True, Warner Independent Pictures' Truman Capote bioflick. Paltrow will play singer Peggy Lee and Weaver is to portray a socialite in the drama, which also stars Mark Wahlberg, Sandra Bullock and Toby Jones as Capote. Go on, you know you want to: Say, "Toby who?!" then sing a little chorus of "One of These Things Is Not Like the Others." read more

Matthew Lillard: "Scooby's Done"


Zoinks! Is the Scooby-Doo franchise done for? Actor Matthew Lillard — who plays grungy hippie Shaggy — thinks this particular dog has had its day. Although the sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, didn't play dead at the box office (domestic gross was more than $80 million) it wasn't a big hit by today's standards. Looks like it's time to let sleeping cartoon dogs lie, and give Sarah Michelle Gellar's Daphne poses a rest.

"I think it is done," the 34-year-old says. "At some point, that franchise will come back, but I don't think it will have any of us in it. It will probably be four or five years from now — that's my prediction. I actually think that the second movie was much better than the first movie; I think that we had a bad release date. "

Does that mean we'll never see Lillard scarf down Scooby Snacks again, even if Warner Bros. opts for a third Scooby movie? "Contractually, I would have to do read more

TRES CHIC

Beyonce, Usher and Rod Stewart are set to perform at Fashion Rocks, a style-conscious megaconcert taking place on Sept. 8 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Andre 3000, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys and Avril Lavigne are also on the roster. Fox will broadcast the all-star jam as a two-hour special on Sept. 26. In addition, a magazine supplement on the relationship between hot tunes and haute couture will be included in subscription copies of the October issue of 12 periodicals, among them W and Vogue. read more

Amazing Race's First Quitters

If nothing else, Marshall and Lance will forever be remembered as the first team to quit CBS's The Amazing Race (Tuesdays at 10 pm/ET). It's hard to blame the New York-born brothers, though, considering Marshall was experiencing such chronic knee pain that he could barely walk. Here, the two outspoken restaurateurs sound off about their Amazing adventure, particularly the frequent unpleasant run-ins with a certain pair of fellow Racers...


TV Guide Online: So Marshall, have your knees gotten any better?
Marshall:
Yeah, they're fine now. Basically, I just needed rest. I saw a doctor before we were eliminated and he told me that I needed rest and ice — two things that weren't available [during] the race.

TVGO: When did the knees first become a problem for you?
Marshall:
That long plane flight to Russia. It seemed that flying just made the inflammation worse. By the time we landed in St. Petersburg, my knees were re read more

CASE CLOSED

After pleading no contest to two misdemeanor drug-paraphernalia charges, 63-year-old funk icon George Clinton has been sentenced to 200 hours of community service and two years of probation. (He's also paying almost $400 in court costs.) Back in December, police found the music legend with a bag of crack cocaine and a glass pipe. read more

CONGRATULATIONS

Grown-up Wonder Years moppet Fred Savage, now 28, married his childhood neighbor Jennifer Stone, also 28, on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles. Eleven years after the actor moved out of their Chicago suburb, he bumped into his dream girl next door, who's now a realtor, at a birthday party. They've been canoodling ever since. read more

SHORE 'NUFF

All hail Shannen Doherty. On her first day of work on North Shore, Fox gave a full season pickup order to the Hawaii-set soap. The net did the same for the sitcom Quintuplets and renewed The Simple Life for a third season. However, we suspect Doherty had nothing whatsoever to do with those decisions. read more

DOIN' IT THEIR WAY

Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams got stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday. Not coincidentally, Laverne & Shirley arrives on DVD this month, along with the sitcom that spawned it, Happy Days. read more

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