Today's News: Our Take


Fox has picked up eight episodes of a new reality show that combines elements of ABC's Extreme Makeover and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, MTV's Pimp My Ride, Fox's The Swan and Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. "The basic idea is to take every makeover show you've ever seen and roll it into one," Fox reality guru Mike Darnell tells Variety. Jay McGraw, son of Dr. Phil, will host. The basic idea is to take someone with a promising future and get him to sell out. read more

Stars Attack Sci-Fi Shindig

Once a year, the quiet California city of San Diego becomes a geek Mecca, as fanboys (and fangirls) from all over the world descend on the futuristic convention center for Comic-Con International. Now in its 35th year, the sci-fi-palooza has gotten bigger in every way: more attendees (upwards of 75,000 people this time), more celebrity special guests (Sarah Michelle! Keanu! Ben Browder!), more events, more sneak previews and, most importantly, more free goodies. In fact, there was so much to do and see last weekend that this TV Guide Online reporter often found himself wishing for a handy cloning device (or at least that Time-Turner gadget that Hermione had in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) so he could be in two places at once. Until reality catches up with science fiction, here are the highs and lows of a weekend in comic-book paradise.

Warmest Reception
The Firefly faithful were out in force to welcome Joss Whe read more


"I feel like this is my phase two, like it's a new beginning. Like everything I did before really doesn't matter." — Jennifer Lopez discussing her state of mind these days in the August issue of InStyle. read more


The final two Christmas-themed episodes of the Brit hit The Office are at last making their way across the pond, debuting on BBC America Oct. 21, USA Today reports... Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will arrive on DVD Nov. 23. read more


Actor-comic Anthony Anderson, who starred last season in the short-lived WB sitcom All About the Andersons, has been accused of rape. A 25-year-old female extra on the Memphis set of his hip-hop film, Hustle & Flow, alleges that Anderson and assistant director Wayne Witherspoon forced her into a trailer, where she was fondled and forced to strip for nude photos. She says she fled the trailer unclothed when the attack was interrupted by a passerby. The two men have each been charged with one count of aggravated assault. Meanwhile, Anderson's publicist says he's "a happily married family man" and "absolutely denies the heinous charges." read more


Ashlee Simpson's debut disc, Autobiography, entered Billboard's album chart at No. 1 with sales of 398,000. In a statement, MTV's newest reality star said the boffo bow was "beyond my wildest dreams... I'm so excited for what's happened and what's to come." I can't be sure, but I think what's to come is a catfight with your big sis. read more


Former Moesha star Shar Jackson — best known these days as the young mother Kevin Federline dumped to be with Britney Spears — is shopping around a reality show starring herself. According to Variety, the half-hour "docusoap" would follow Jackson around as she attempts to get back into music and acting while raising the two children she had with Federline. Each episode will end with the kids stomping on a brand-new Britney Spears collectible porcelain doll. read more


American Idol runner-up Diana DeGarmo was briefly hospitalized Tuesday after taking a spill on stage during an "American Idols Live" concert in Grand Rapids, Mich. According to sources, DeGarmo had just reached her rainbow's end when she caught a shooting star in her shoe, sending her flying head-first into Fantasia's pot of gold. Now that's some bitter irony. read more


If the folks at UPN are a little, um, buggy today, here's why: Last night's two-hour premiere of Amish in the City averaged a potent 5.2 million viewers and propelled the lowly network to a second-place finish among adults 18-49. What's next? Are cows going to beam down from outer space? read more


Catherine Zeta-Jones gave more than three hours of emotional testimony Wednesday at a preliminary hearing to determine whether her accused stalker, Dawnette Knight, should stand trial. The Oscar winner claims Knight sent her numerous letters containing death threats. In one note, Knight allegedly threatened to "slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs." Zeta-Jones' hubby, Michael Douglas, also took the stand, saying he was "shocked, scared and stunned" after learning that his wife was "a marked person." If convicted, Knight faces up to 19 years in prison. read more

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