Today's News: Our Take


Viacom has stuck a fork in Martha Stewart's syndicated series, Martha Stewart Living, in the wake of the domestic diva's conviction Friday for obstruction of justice. read more


Last Comic Standing judge Drew Carey is accusing NBC of being "crooked and dishonest" in selecting the reality show's next batch of contestants. During last month's Vegas-based semifinals round, Carey claims the input of the judges in selecting the final 10 comics was discounted in favor of Peacock execs and the show's producers — a fact NBC won't deny. "The casting decisions were made by NBC and NBC Studios in consultation with talent scouts and we appreciate their valuable input," NBC said in a statement. "Now that the 10 participants have been selected, the program will begin." read more


Speaking of Return of the King, the trilogy's Oscar-winning climax is coming to DVD on May 25 as part of a two-disc set. A special extended edition will hit stores around Christmas. Meanwhile, the first installment — The Fellowship of the Ring — will make its broadcast debut on the WB during November sweeps. read more


The body of 62-year-old actor-writer Spalding Gray, who disappeared from his Manhattan apartment two months ago, was pulled out of New York's East River on Sunday. The cause of death was still under investigation. Gray — who was probably best known for his Obie-winning monologue, Swimming to Cambodia — had suffered from depression in recent years. read more


Ailing R&B singer Luther Vandross was the big winner at Saturday's NAACP Image Awards, picking up four trophies including best male artist, best music video, best song and best album for Dance with My Father. Vandross, who is still recovering from a stroke, did not attend the ceremony. Other winners included The Fighting Temptations for best movie, The Bernie Mac Show for best TV comedy and Ruben Studdard for best new artist. read more


Singer David Crosby was arrested on marijuana and gun possession charges early Saturday in New York City after an ounce of pot, a 45-caliber handgun and a knife were found in his Times Square hotel room. He was released on $3,500 bail and is due in court on May 19. He faces up to seven years on the gun charge if convicted. So, if you're a lesbian looking to get artificially inseminated by the 62-year-old musician, hurry up. read more


CBS is courting big-screen vet Gary Sinise to headline CSI: New York, the latest spin-off of the network's killer forensics franchise. As reported in the new issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale today), the Oscar-nominated Forrest Gump costar has yet to sign a deal, but "he had a great couple of meetings with [show runner] Anthony Zuiker," confirms a source within Sinise's camp, who adds that although the actor has some reservations about committing to a long-term TV gig, "he likes [the prospect] of being able to spend more time with his kids while they are growing up." Another aspect of the gig that probably doesn't suck much: The cash. read more


In a major victory for crappy singers everywhere, American Idol misfit William Hung has officially signed a record deal with Fuse Music Network and Koch Records. The 21-year-old Hong Kong native's debut CD, featuring his signature tune "She Bangs" as well as a cover of Elton John's "Rocket Man," is due in stores on April 6. The disc will also include a 40-minute DVD with behind-the-scenes footage from his studio recording sessions and fan questions and answers. "He may not be the next American Idol," says Fuse president Marc Juris, "but he is definitely a star and inspiration to everyone who sings in the shower." read more


Former Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar has not ruled out making a guest appearance on Angel's upcoming series finale. "I go back and forth on the idea, especially because Angel had such a hard time, in my opinion, getting out from Buffy's shadow," she tells SCI FI Wire. "And it never got to stand on its own. And I would hate for it to go out being about Buffy." One key factor sure to impact her decision: Gellar, currently in Tokyo shooting the horror film The Grudge, might not be home in time for Angel's last stand. What's more, the erstwhile Chosen One claims no one has approached her — which sounds a little shady considering what Joss Whedon told me last month. read more


NBC performed a little nip/tuck on a scene from tonight's unauthorized Charlie's Angels telepic after Farrah Fawcett's ex-manager complained. Jay Bernstein reportedly threatened legal action if the closing scene — which featured a paunchy, Hawaiian-shirted version of Bernstein on Hollywood Boulevard, hustling a blond in his search for the next Farrah — was not removed. NBC insists the sequence was cut for artistic reasons. The new ending will update viewers on what happened to Farrah, Kate and Jaclyn, which just seems cruel. read more

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