Today's News: Our Take


LEGAL BRIEF

As first hinted in TV Guide magazine, fired Practice star Dylan McDermott is headed back to the ABC drama for a showdown with his successor, James Spader, a show rep now confirms. The actor will reprise his role as legal eagle Bobby Donnell for a two-episode arc airing May 2 and 16. "There's a lot of conflict in the office involving [Spader's character]," says co-star Camryn Manheim, "so we need our old friend to help resolve it." read more

JESUS JUICE ALL AROUND!

Michael Jackson has won a legal fight to stop a New Jersey man from selling Jackson family memorabilia on the Internet. Unfortunately, Henry Vaccaro claims he already shipped the goods to a European buyer. Jackson's lawyer says he'll seek a court order to have the knickknacks returned. read more

HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW?

Is Clairol about to drop the F-bomb on Omarosa? A spokeswoman for the haircare giant, which on Friday shot an Herbal Essence shampoo commercial featuring the Apprentice diva, tells TV Guide Online that they filmed "multiple endings" to the spot and Omatrocious "may or may not" make the final cut. "No decision has been made at the moment." Clairol may be having second thoughts in the wake of Monday's New York Post story in which Om's Apprentice rival, Ereka Vetrini, blasted the company for aligning itself with the controversial, concussion-prone figure. "You can be sure I won't be using [their] products anymore," she said. Responds the Clairol rep: "We certainly listen to every one of our consumers." read more

PAY IT FORWARD

Kevin Spacey — who won an Oscar for playing a criminal mastermind in The Usual Suspects — was suckered by a humble con artist last weekend. The actor told BBC Radio his cell phone was snatched in a London park by a young man with "some sob story" about needing to phone home. Spacey initially told cops the thief attacked him — but later admitted he'd chased the guy, only to trip over his own dog and bump his head on the pavement. Next to The Life of David Gale, this has to rank as one of the most embarrassing experiences of his life. read more

Survivor's Kathy Blasts Rob

Last week, Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien — whose fate was likely sealed by Lex's recent ouster — became Boston Rob's latest victim on Survivor: All-Stars. The 50-year-old Marquesas alumna scrambled until her last minute to sway votes, but failed. Now an All-Stars jury member, Kathy tells TV Guide Online all about her strategy, Rob's backstabbing, and why she was the one who decided to keep Amber around.

TV Guide Online: You were such a power player in the beginning. What happened?
Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien:
I was working it, but I guess [getting voted off] is what happens when you trust a friend. Other than that, I think I played a pretty good game.

TVGO: What made you think Rob could be trusted after he betrayed Lex?
Kathy:
I helped with that Lex decision, unfortunately. I was the one that instigated that whole Amber idea. I thought it gave us more options to bring Amber over. Hindsight is 20/20 read more

EMERGENCY!

ABC's Kingdom Hospital has claimed another victim: Susan Lyne has stepped down as the network's entertainment president. The move comes two weeks after Lloyd Braun exited his post as network chairman, four weeks after Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital was put on life support, six months after the arrival of It's All Relative and more than a year since Are You Hot? crashed and burned. So, who's minding the store now? Touchstone Television president Stephen McPherson, the dude responsible for such shows as Scrubs and Alias. I like him already. read more

PAGING JAMES EARL JONES...

Star Wars fans will get a first look at Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) morphing into Darth Vader when the Star Wars Trilogy DVD collection hits stores on Sept. 21. The digitized boxed set will preview a sequence from Star Wars: Episode III in which Anakin slips into Vader's new duds. "What we want to do is give people a sense of what it was like when Darth Vader steps back on the set again," Lucasfilm's Jim Ward tells USA Today. "It's one of those moments that happens only once in the lifetime of a saga." Another once-in-a-lifetime moment: Watching Padmé glue a pair of Cinnabons to her daughter's head. We better see that, too. read more

SAFE BET

NBC is toying with the idea of mounting an Apprentice spinoff centered on winner Bill Rancic. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network is in talks with executive producer Mark Burnett about a show that would follow Rancic as he oversees his grand-prize gig: the construction of the 90-story Trump International Hotel and Tower in his native Chicago. But according to the New York Times, financing for the $700 million high-rise project has yet to come through, and some doubt it will. "There is a lot of healthy skepticism about it," says real estate attorney Anthony R. Licata. "That said, Trump has made a career of proving people wrong. I would never bet against the guy." Meanwhile... read more

'TIS THE SEASON

Fox is launching six original series in June as part of an aggressive summer lineup that includes the Mark Burnett-produced reality gamble The Casino, the Andy Richter comedy Quintuplets, the Hawaii-set soap North Shore and the return of The Simple Life. Noticeably MIA: Forever Eden. But rumor has it Fox may bring the low-rent Paradise Hotel knock-off back this summer under the misleading title Forever Eden and Cruz. read more

SHORT CUTS

ABC has tapped Ben Sherwood, the former No. 2 guy at NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, to succeed Shelley Ross as exec producer of Good Morning America... ESPN has renewed Dream JobAmerica's Next Top Model set in the booth — for a second season. read more

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