Today's News: Our Take


LOOK OUT, MISS PIGGY

Singer-actress Ashanti has signed on to star in the upcoming ABC original movie The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Queen Latifah is also expected to join the cast. read more

STUNT ALERT!

Oscar winner Sean Penn will guest-star as himself in the Sept. 20 season premiere of CBS's Two and a Half Men. The stunt-heavy episode also features appearances by rocker Elvis Costello and acting vet Harry Dean Stanton. read more

BB5's Gay Guy: He's Out!

Paging an optometrist, stat! Big Brother 5's token gay guy, Will Wikle, has suffered major visual trauma. First, he was seeing double (and then he was seeing red) when Project DNA backfired on him. Evil twin Adria conspired with her identical sister, Natalie, to evict the 26-year-old Mississippian registered nurse (and life of the party) from the house. Before being sequestered, Will dished his adventure with TV Guide Online, including his true opinion of those sneaky siblings

TVGO: What did you think of the twin twist?
Will Wikle:
It explained a lot at first. Of course now I regret it and I wish them all the bad luck in the world.

TVGO: Will you ever eat PB&J again?
Will:
I actually didn't mind peanut butter going into the house all that much. Not only will I continue to eat it, but I will also keep cans of it around for sentimental value.

TVGO: It seems to have gotten very cutthroat in the house R read more

SCARY MOVIE

Universal has recruited Keenan Ivory, Shawn and Marlon Wayans to write and produce a big-screen update of the classic tube series The Munsters. There's no word on casting, but I think Brad Garrett and RuPaul would make a great Herman and Lily. What do you think? read more

THE TRUTH IS O THERE

Turns out, Oprah Winfrey wasn't lyin' when she told reporters that her jury-duty stint couldn't last longer than a week because she's "got shows to do." While it's true The Oprah Winfrey Show doesn't kick off its new season until Sept. 13, a brand-new episode — featuring an exclusive interview with new mom Gwyneth Paltrow — airs Thursday. Sorry I ever doubted you, O. In the meantime, if it's possible, can I get eight tickets to this season's "Oprah's Favorite Things"? All of a sudden my Aunt Joan wants to come, too. read more

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH THEM

Shawn Ryan, creator of FX's The Shield, is developing a drama series for CBS that revolves around the personal and professional lives of the elite military unit known as Delta Force. And if it hits a creative peak in its third season, Emmy voters will no doubt snub it just like they did The Shield this year. But I'm not bitter. read more

WAIT A MINUTES

I'm just gonna tell it like it is, folks: CBS has delayed the fall premieres of 60 Minutes, The King of Queens and the new sitcom Center of the Universe by a week to make room for A Dr. Phil Primetime Special: Family First. The two-hour special, which features the Philadiator helping celebs potty train their kids ("You cannot be who and what you are unless you stop peeing your pants!"), airs Sept. 22, followed by the debut of CSI: New York. Minutes, Queens and Universe bow on Sept. 29. read more

Balderdash Oh, Tim Meadows, you're...

Balderdash
Oh, Tim Meadows, you're better than this — an unfunny game show on PAX. I mean, really.

Olympic Beach Volleyball
OK, this has nothing to do with the U.S.A. vs. U.S.A. game. But I'm going to share anyway. Last week my friend Nerina and I were talking about the wild crazy sex the loser athletes must be having in the Olympic athletes' village right about now. (Yes, these are the types of topics we discuss. You should have heard our ranking of the cutest countries based on the parade of athletes. But anyway....) I only mention this because we had a little disagreement: She thought the gymnasts would be the, uh, most popular among the guys. But I think the beach-volleyball players would be. I mean, just look at them... all that diving and jumping and spiking of the balls — in bikinis! Yes, gymnasts are ridiculously flexible and strong. But they're also boxy and suspiciously young. Beach-volleyball players, however, have got read more

PAGING ORSON WELLES...

Martians are coming to Everwood! Actually, it's just Anne Heche (née Celestia), who is joining the WB drama as a series regular this season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Emmy-winning actress will play a love interest for star Treat Williams. In related news, Everwood producers are at last ditching the show's painfully earnest voice-over narration. But they're not shooting the messenger, John Beasley, who will keep his day job as good-hearted bus driver Irv Harper. "We love John Beasley," executive producer Rina Mimoun tells TV Guide. "He's staying." read more

JACKO UPDATE

The judge in the Michael Jackson case tentatively agreed on Monday to allow 39 items seized at Neverland Ranch last year to be admitted into evidence. At least a dozen other items may be suppressed. Sadly, because the items are identified only by numbers, there's no way of knowing what they are. That said, sources tell me No. 16 is an assortment of heavily played-with Finding Nemo finger puppets. read more

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