Today's News: Our Take


INNOVATION OR IMITATION?

Fox has quietly wrapped production on My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss, a reality series that sounds suspiciously like a rip-off of Andy Dick's Apprentice spoof The Assistant. Boss — which will air Sundays at 9 pm/ET beginning Nov. 7 — revolves around 12 wannabe moguls as they compete to win the approval of N. Paul Todd, the "eccentric, egomaniacal" founder and CEO of a faux company called Iocor. Weekly challenges will include begging for money on the street and serving as paintball targets for Mr. Todd, who will be played by actor William August. Variety, however, identifies the thesp behind the Donald Trump parody as August Caimi. Whaddaya say we split the difference and just call him Red Lobster Waiter. read more

SHORT CUTS

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (a parent company of TV Guide) is talking to the NFL about creating a sports cable network that would take on ESPN, Variety reports... After 38 years in Nashville, the Country Music Assoc. Awards are moving to the Big Apple in 2005. The ceremony will then return to Tennessee in 2006. read more

PAY UP

Rap mogul Sean Combs has been ordered to pay $35,000 a month in child support for the 10-year-old son he had with fashionista Misa Brim. The judge based the monthly stipend on Combs' annual income of $50 million and the kid's rapidly expanding jewelry collec... , er, I mean toy collection. read more

Everyone who clicked on that hot...

Everyone who clicked on that hot Joan Rivers photo specifically to read about Nip/Tuck's blowout second-season finale, scroll down!

Vice Presidential Debate
Note to my loyal readers who've been haranguing, er, encouraging me to watch Veronica Mars: Because the Veep face-off was scheduled for 9 pm/ET tonight, UPN feared their girl detective would be clobbered in the ratings. So they opted to air a rerun this week instead of an original episode. Smart move. I promise to check out Ms. Mars later on, kids.

Now as for the feisty matchup betwixt Dick Cheney and John Edwards: They basically called each other liars and crooks for 90 minutes, which was vaguely entertaining. But in all the silly post-debate analysis, every anchorman from Rather to Brokaw made annoying boxing metaphors about it — the second bananas were "sparring" like George Foreman, Muhammad Ali and other ran read more

SIMPLE CEREMONY

Peg Bundy is officially off the market. Katey Sagal married Shield writer Kurt Sutter in a private ceremony Saturday at their Los Angeles-area home. This is the third marriage for the 8 Simple Rules/Married... With Children leading lady. read more

Why Buffy's Beau Nearly Wasn't


Marc Blucas almost missed his chance to be Buffy's commando boyfriend, Riley, on the cult fave Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The handsome 32-year-old originally bounced around the idea of playing pro basketball or, worse yet, wasting those rugged good looks as a lawyer! Thankfully, he came to his senses at the last minute.

"I was a business major, just doing theatre on the side," Blucas recalls. "I grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania. I used my sport to get me out of town. I love going back there, but I knew I wasn't a lifer. I got a scholarship to [Wake Forest University], played basketball there, did the Hoop Dreams thing and got to play professionally [with England's Manchester Giants] for a year.

"I had an academic scholarship to law school," he continues. "I thought that was the path that I was supposed to be on. If you grew up in Girard, Pa., people would throw rocks at you if you said you wanted to [act]. Two weeks before law sc read more

X MARKS THE SPIN-OFF

Twentieth Century Fox is giving Hugh Jackman's X-Men character, Wolverine, his own movie. The studio has tapped Troy scribe David Benioff to pen the spin-off, which will likely explore the steel-clawed hero's pre-mutant days, Variety reports. In addition to Wolverine, Fox is also prepping a third X-Men. read more

Life Lessons from Dr. Phil (Keoghan)


The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan was only 19 years old when his life almost ended. "I was working on an adventure show and I followed this guy into a shipwreck where we were going to be shooting," recalls the 37-year-old New Zealander. "The wreck was about the size of the Love Boat and it was underwater. I go further and further into the ship, and I get separated from the guy I'm with. Suddenly, I don't know where I am. I started to panic.

"I'm very claustrophobic," he continues, "and I'm completely disoriented because I'm in this big, black mass of steel. I don't know where I am and I don't know how to get out. So I suddenly realize that this is it: I'm going to die."

Obviously, Keoghan eventually made it out of the wreck, but the scare profoundly changed him. "When I got out I was motivated to live — it was like a switch went off," he says. "I sat down and wrote a list of things I wanted to do before I died, and that became my life contract read more

SEW WHAT

As if Joan Lunden — who's currently expecting her second set of twins — isn't busy enough with her own home life, CBS has tapped the former Good Morning America host to emcee Finding the Next Designing Diva. The upcoming reality series will feature 12 Martha Stewart wannabes dueling in the domestic arts. read more

TOUGH CELL

Showtime is developing an hourlong drama series about the personal lives of terrorists, the New York Post reports. Titled The Cell, the show will be told from the viewpoints of a group of European and American converts to Islam who are plotting terror attacks in America. The Mummy's Oded Fehr stars as the group's leader. read more

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