Today's News: Our Take


THE FINAL FRONTIER

The Practice has beamed up William Shatner for a four-episode guest stint. The Star Trek icon will play an "eccentric, well-connected, power-drunk legal legend who is chief partner of a law firm that goes head-to-head" with James Spader and Co. Meanwhile, it looks like fired Practice star Dylan McDermott is headed back to the ABC drama later this season after all. For more on that, pick up next week's issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale Monday). read more

GROWING PASSION

The official opening-day tally for The Passion of the Christ is in, and the film grossed $23.6 million on Wednesday — well above preliminary estimates of $15 million to $20 million. Mel Gibson's labor of love is poised to rank as the biggest religious-themed movie since The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur. read more

ON THE DEFENSIVE

A day after getting dumped in six markets by radio giant Clear Channel Communications, shock jock Howard Stern took to the airwaves Thursday and blamed his suspension on a conservative backlash prompted by Boobygate. (Duh.) "They've been after me since 1992, and they're having their way with me," he said on his show. "Then Janet Jackson whipped out her boob and it's all over." read more

ROSIE WEDS!

Inspired by what she called President Bush's "vile and hateful comments" against gay marriage, Rosie O'Donnell and longtime girlfriend Kelli Carpenter tied the knot Thursday in San Francisco. They join more than 3,300 other same-gender couples who have married in the city since Feb. 12. Emerging from city hall to thunderous applause from hundreds of spectators, O'Donnell thanked the mayor of San Francisco for taking "this amazing stance for... the thousands and thousands of loving, law-abiding couples." O'Donnell and Carpenter have been together for six years and have four children, one failed Broadway show and a truckload of koosh balls. read more

BUH-BYE

Reality television's foremost villain, Richard Hatch, got his torch snuffed for the first time last night on Survivor: All-Stars. The Mogo Mogo tribe — led by the increasingly grating Colby Donaldson — voted unanimously to oust the 42-year-old naked guy, prompting Survivor's first champ to exclaim, "I've been bamboozled!" Meanwhile, Donald Trump wisely fired 27-year-old emotional basket case Ereka Vetrini on NBC's The Apprentice on the grounds that she, well, was an emotional basket case. read more

SHORT CUTS

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has joined Forbes magazine's billionaires club... One of Clay Aiken's early American Idol outfits — soiled Smurf Underoos and all — will be on display at the North Carolina Museum of History beginning March 2. read more

GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL

Bobby Brown has been sentenced to 60 days in the slammer for parole violations stemming from a 1996 drunk driving charge. Brown's wife, Whitney Houston, was MIA at the sentencing hearing. Eh, it's not right but it's OK. read more

YOO-HOO!

ABC News is close to signing a deal with British journalist Martin Bashir, whose controversial interview with Michael Jackson catapulted him to fame in the U.S. In related news, Bashir's Living With Michael Jackson documentary was named program of the year Thursday by Britain's Royal Television Society. read more

Survivor All-Stars Ding-dong,...

Survivor All-Stars
Ding-dong, the Rich is dead. Which old Rich? The wicked Rich. Ding-dong, the wicked Rich is dead! Can you tell I'm more than a bit happy to see the arrogant weeniemeister be the first person evicted after the merge? Mogo Mogo may have to live off Ethan's one-fish-a-day catch from now on. But they are still so better off without Rich. Shoot. I'd rather survive off cowboy Colby's sexy looks than live with that naked rat king. Ding-dong, the merry-oh. Sing it high. Sing it low. Ding-dong, the wicked Rich is dead!

Friends
What's with people and Paris this week? First the Russian took Carrie to Paris on Sex and the City, now Mark from Bloomingdale's is offering Rachel a job in the City of Lights. What? I parlez a little Francez; when is somebody going to try to hook me up? But, ahem, enough about moi. I hope Rachel goes. It will be hard for Ross to try to reel her back i read more

Survivor Rob's Game Over

Scheming, strategizing and cracking wise carried Rob Cesternino to third place in Survivor: The Amazon. But his game was off on Survivor: All-Stars, where the Chapera tribe ousted him. Here, Cesternino tells TV Guide Online about Boston Rob's betrayal, life in cramped quarters with a certain canoodling couple and his hopes for a future in reality TV.

TVGO: In the Amazon, you were everywhere. We barely saw you on All-Stars. What happened?
Rob Cesternino: I just thought if I kept out of trouble and didn't bother anybody, they wouldn't come after me. That works on a regular Survivor, but when you play the game like I played it in the Amazon, people aren't going to forget about it too easily.

TVGO: Did the Chapera tribe see you as a quiet threat?
Cesternino: Even though read more

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