Today's News: Our Take


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 TV Guide Channel's very own Joan Rivers. Ladies and gentleman, let's here it for my new colleague Joan Rivers! read more


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. read more

The Jury Since the producers of...

The Jury
Since the producers of this show also made HBO's Oz, they pulled a neat trick: Cast 12 memorable Oz alums to play this week's jury — in a death-penalty case about a prison chaplain's murder during a jailhouse riot. Father Wallace was whacked upside his head (several times) with a folding chair. Ouch! Of course, that's a fairly ho-hum demise compared with the "Did we shock you?" slayings on Oz. Anyway, The Jury's accused guy did it with malicious intent, although we're invited to feel sorry for him because he was wrongly convicted and jailed in the first place. Guess prison really hardened him. But honestly, I feel the same way I did the first time I watched The Jury. The whodunit aspect of the case is less interesting than the jury-room dramatics. It was great to see Broadway baby Betty Buckley again, bickering along with other Oz faves like Eamonn Walker and Jon Seda. (I especially realiz read more


On Monday, TV Guide Online — as well as The Associated Press, USA Today and the Washington Post — reported that actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton welcomed their first child over the weekend. Turns out it was all just a hoax. The couple's son, Billy Ray, was actually born last October. On the bright side, no one really cares about this anyway. read more


Soul Food stars Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Parker are engaged. Kodjoe popped the question on June 20 in his native Germany. They'll marry next spring. read more


With Spider-Man 2 set to invade 4100 theaters tomorrow, Hollywood is buzzing about the Webbed Wonder's box-office prospects. Can it beat the original's record-breaking $114.8 million opening? Will it surpass the first flick's overall domestic haul of $403 million? If early rave reviews are any indication — including this one from yours truly: It's damn near perfect — the answers to those questions will most likely be "You bet" and "Uh-huh." read more

Fallen Comic Laughs Last

On last week's Last Comic Standing, Bonnie McFarlane became the first funny person given the boot from the finalists' ha-ha hacienda. But, when talking with TV Guide Online, the California girl sounded more relieved than bereaved. Has she told so many jokes that the punch lines have left her punch-drunk? In anticipation of tonight's episode (airing at 9 pm/ET on NBC), you can read on and decide for yourself.

TV Guide Online: I'll make this as quick as possible.
Bonnie McFarlane:
I hope so. I've got things to do. I've got rice and beans with my name on it!

TVGO: Mmm... beans. On an unrelated note, John Heffron seemed to be really sweating during your head-to-head. Were you as surprised as I was that he wasn't eliminated instead of you?
Not really. I thought I had a pretty good set, but then they took me to my dressing room — you're not allowed to watch the other person's set. But I heard the laughter. It really was read more


Johnny Depp has signed on to provide the lead voice in Corpse Bride, Tim Burton's latest stop-motion animated film, Variety reports. The story focuses on a European villager who travels to the underworld for a quickie wedding to a mysterious corpse bride (Helena Bonham Carter). Depp and Burton are also collaborating on a remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. read more


Boobygate star Janet Jackson will perform without a net (read: live!) on tonight's fourth annual BET Awards. That's right, the six or eight-second delay typical for most live shows will not be instituted — despite Jackson's now-legendary wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl last February. "We have every confidence in our production and every confidence in our talent," a BET rep tells the New York Post. "We've always done this show live, and we see no reason to change it at this point." Translation: Send the kids to bed early, light some candles and get those TiVos fired up! read more


Sales of former President Clinton's autobiography My Life are nearing the 1 million mark, according to publisher Knopf. The book sold a record 400,000 copies in its first day of release last Tuesday. read more

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