Today's News: Our Take


TUBE WARS

FX has ordered a pilot for a Jack Black-hosted reality competition that pits wannabe TV producers against each other, Variety reports. Inspired by Black's live show, Channel 101 will give contestants one week to create a five-minute comedy pilot. A studio audience will view the finished products, renewing the best ones for a second episode and canceling the stinkers. The goal is to go the longest without getting axed. read more

STILL ON-AIR

Twentieth Television has picked up Ryan Seacrest's option to host a second season of the syndicated On-Air With Ryan Seacrest. But strangely enough, the deal only applies to Seacrest and not the show itself. Long story short: I'm confused. read more

TCA CRISIS!

A potential strike among hotel workers in Los Angeles is threatening to derail the Television Critics Association press tour, which kicks off July 8. And no TCA press tour means no TCA diaries, folks. So, for everyone's sake, let's hope that members of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union can reach a new deal. read more

GEEZ, DAD!

Lindsay Lohan's father, Michael Lohan, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly failing to pay a $3800 bill for several suites at a posh Long Island hotel. He was released on $250 bail. Lindsay's pa also faces charges in two separate cases, one involving a scuffle with his brother-in-law and another for swearing at a sanitation worker whose truck was blocking his car. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we just found Courtney Love's new best friend! read more

SHORT CUTS

Five months after Clear Channel pulled the plug, Howard Stern's radio show will be back on the air in Rochester, Orlando, Pittsburgh and San Diego beginning July 19. The program will now air on Infinity-owned stations... Pop star Michelle Branch, 20, has married her bass player, Teddy Landau, Entertainment Tonight reports... Janet Jackson's Super Bowl peep show could cost 20 Viacom-owned CBS stations a total of $550,000 in fines, payable in singles. read more

SPIDEY CENTS

Spider-Man 2 proved anything but itsy bitsy in its opening day. The acclaimed sequel grossed $40.5 million Wednesday, the largest single-day haul in history. The previous record was set by the original Spider-Man, which brought in $39.4 million. Now let's see if part deux can surpass the first film's three-day-weekend gross of $114.8 million. read more

CODE BLOND

As first hinted in the new issue of TV Guide magazine, Heather Graham is in preliminary discussions to join the cast of my favorite TV show, Scrubs, this fall as a full-fledged series regular. "She'd play an attending shrink who comes in and [exposes] everyone's flaws and all their bull----," says exec producer Bill Lawrence. "The character's a real catalyst to mess things up for everybody." Pretty girls are so like that. read more

SHE FOUND HER POT OF GOLD!

American Idol winner Fantasia's first single, "I Believe," debuted atop the singles chart with 142,000 copies sold. The figure pales in comparison to previous Idol winners Ruben Studdard and Kelly Clarkson, whose debut tracks sold 286,000 and 236,000, respectively. Not that it's a competition or anything. read more

HEEEEEERE'S ALF!

TV Land has tapped former sitcom star Gordon Shumway to host Alf's Hit Talk Show, a half-hour special slated to air July 7. The furry Melmac native will be joined by legendary late-night sidekick Ed McMahon, as well as guests Dennis Franz, Drew Carey and Joan Rivers. Speaking of Ms. Rivers... read more

LADY BOSSES MEN

Veteran sitcom director Pamela Fryman — who got her start on a little show called Santa Barbara — will take over as the primary director on CBS's Two and a Half Men next season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. read more

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