Today's News: Our Take


CASE CLOSED

The bitter legal dispute between Warner Music Group and Madonna's Maverick Records has ended with Warner agreeing to buy Madge out of her 12-year-old label. The deal apparently does not affect the diva's current contract with Warner Bros. read more

North Shore "I'll make you a deal,"...

North Shore
"I'll make you a deal," hot but jilted hotel manager Jason says to his ex, Nicole. "I keep Oahu and you can have the rest of the world." Holy soapy goodness. I so need this show to provide some escapist fun that it's not even funny. A mouse that apparently planned on summering in my Brooklyn brownstone chewed through the denim bag I got at the 1999 MTV awards to get at a Snickers wrapper I'd forgotten was in the purse. The bag — one of the cute little Levi numbers that MTV had left in every seat (ah, those were the days) — was sitting in my favorite chair. Which means the mouse was in my chair. And by association, it was probably on the couch next to it. The couch is my TV-watching sanctuary — my sacred prime-time place.

This is so not something you need to know — especially since the Grand Waimea Resort (get it Why Me, ah?) would never have this kind of problem. (They're too busy with teens who accuse lifeguards of rape just read more

O.C. Vixen Going MIA?


If Fox makes a hit of its new Hawaii-set soap, North Shore (premiering tonight at 8 pm/ET), then its other prime-time sudser, The O.C., could be missing one of its mischievous minxes when it returns in November. That's because O.C. hellion Hailey and North Shore trouble magnet Tessa are both played by Amanda Righetti, the hardest-working vamp since Heather Locklear. "I guess I'm sort of on a roll here!" Righetti tells TV Guide Online with a laugh. "I'm hoping that I can do both shows, but it's going to really depend on scheduling. It's like, 'Don't make me choose!'"

Like any actress who deserves her SAG card, Righetti wants nothing more than to stretch as an artist. But for now, she doesn't mind being Fox's go-to bad girl; for all their pot-stirring, pampered Hailey and streetwise Tessa are very distinct, she says. "Tessa came from a broken home and has had to fend for herself for a lot of her life. She's found her niche i read more

CRIKEY!

Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin is once again under attack — this time for breaching regulations governing how close people can get to wildlife in the Antarctic. While swimming with two whales in the ocean off Antarctica, Irwin allegedly got too close to penguins and seals. The loony thrill-seeker claims he merely climbed onto an iceberg after his dry suit ripped. Likely story. read more

Napoleon Nerd Makes Good


The first thing we noticed about Jon Heder — star of the current indie comedy Napoleon Dynamite — is that he looks nothing like the title character. Heder's improbably named high-school outcast (with a heart of something resembling gold) sports thick glasses, droopy eyes and a hairstyle that would worry even Ted Koppel. In real life, the 26-year-old actor-animator looks like a normal guy. Get him talking, though, and you'll see where his wacky character comes from...

Like Napoleon, Heder sprinkles his sentences with exclamations like "Sweet!" and "Gosh!" "Growing up, I totally said a lot of the things he does," Heder admits. "And I have memories of very Napoleon-esque moments. I was freakin' 15 years old when I did a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stop-motion animation on my video camera. I was like 'Dude, I'm supposed to be hooking up with chicks! This isn't going to help me score!'"

Heder spent his own geeky teen years in Salem, Or read more

JoJo a Superstar No Mo'!

When WB crowns (or is that "beheads"?) its Superstar USA tonight (9 pm/ET), three things are certain: 1.) Our ears will bleed. 2.) The "winner" will cry, if not from excitement, then from embarrassment. And 3.) JoJo will be sad. As the ambitious platinum blond tells TV Guide Online, he doesn't care that Tone-Loc, Vitamin C and the entire viewing audience were laughing at him; he was just happy that we were looking at him at all.

TV Guide Online: How did you find out that Superstar USA had turned you into a punch line?
JoJo:
One of the producers called and was like, "I need to talk to you." I'm thinking, "It's just to tie up loose ends," and then he said, you know, "You were the butt of a joke."

TVGO: Ouch.
JoJo:
To be honest with you, I laughed! I had such a fun time doing it that even though it was a joke, you know what? I still have the experience. I always had a suspicion that something was going on, but I could ne read more

MIKEY DOESN'T LIKE IT

The MPAA has assigned an R-rating to Michael Moore's anti-Dubya doc, Fahrenheit 9/11, for "violent and disturbing images and for language." Distributor Lions Gate plans to contest the ruling. The film opens June 25. read more

TOO MUCH SUN?

Rap mogul-turned-Broadway star Sean Combs left A Raisin in the Sun during intermission on Saturday after suffering stomach pains. Understudy Billy Eugene Jones stood in for him during the second half. Combs — who called in sick again on Sunday — hopes to return for Tuesday's performance. read more

LEAP FROG

WB's Jordan Levin is out as the Frog net's CEO. According to Variety, Levin — coming off one of WB's worst years ever — bolted after he was asked to take on a reduced role. He will be succeeded by WB chairman Garth Ancier. Producer David Janollari, meanwhile, is reportedly the frontrunner to be named WB's entertainment president. read more

DIVORCE COURT

Ali Landry has filed for divorce from Saved by the Bell's Mario Lopez after just six weeks of marriage. I never thought I'd say this, but I kinda wish The Other Half was still on the air. Speaking of celeb splits, Rush Limbaugh announced Friday that he and wife Marta are going their separate ways after 10 years of marriage. I never thought I'd say this, but I kinda wish Rush Limbaugh: The TV Show was... oh, who am I kidding, no I don't. read more

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