Today's News: Our Take


GAY 'OL TIME

Embattled Broadway producer Rosie O'Donnell is organizing what she calls "the first gay cruise with family values." The weeklong boat trip — which will depart from New York for the Bahamas on July 11 — will feature discussion groups on adoption, artificial insemination and surrogacy and other topics of particular interest to gay parents or gay parents-to-be. Artificial insemination? Sign me up! read more

THE HOOK

Joey Pants is about to lose his shirt — or at the very least his CBS series The Handler. The network has trimmed the show's episode order from 22 to 15, fueling talk that the freshman drama is a goner. read more

SOLID BOW

More than 19 million viewers watched 27-year-old Internet exec Sam Solovey self-destruct on Thursday's premiere of Donald Trump's NBC reality show The Apprentice. CBS' unstoppable CSI remained the night's top draw with roughly 27 million viewers. read more

PLAN B

In other Ashton Kutcher news, writer-director Cameron Crowe is talking to Lord of the Rings hottie Orlando Bloom about replacing that '70s Show star in his ensemble comedy Elizabethtown. Kutcher dropped out of the project due to "scheduling conflicts." He's so gonna regret that in a few years. read more

FriendsTonight's installment is...

Friends Tonight's installment is the first new episode since mid-November, but it was well worth the wait. What a truly happy coincidence that the Bings find out that they are going to get their baby within days of Courteney Cox Arquette's confirmation that she and hubby David are expecting their own bundle of joy later this year. Monica has always been my favorite Friend, and I couldn't hope for sunnier outlooks for her and the talented actress who brought her to life. That said, although Monica is the character pals tell me I'm the most like, I felt a special kinship with Joey, who was mortified when his date ate a fry from his plate ("Joey doesn't share food!"). Unfortunately, my situation is more complicated than Joey's because not only do I lament allowing samples from my own plate, but I'm also guilty of his date's sin of ordering a garden salad and then pilfering goodies from other diners' meals (because calories don't count when the food's not on the read more

DON'T TELL CARMELLA

Sopranos kingpin James Gandolfini is engaged to Lora Somoza, an assistant he met four years ago on the set of The Mexican. Speaking of big announcements, did you hear that USC is so the No. 1 college football team in the country? Fight On, Trojans!!! read more

Dorothy Lanier's Weir Science


Now that Comedy Central has gone crazy for Fox's Mad TV (airing classic episodes of the skitcom at 7:30 pm/ET every weekday but Monday), fans who learned only recently how deadly dull Saturday Night Live is by comparison can catch up on the show's former glories. Foremost among them: Dorothy Lanier, the self-absorbed D-lister played by kooky current cast member Stephnie Weir.

"She's my favorite character right now," the funny lady tells TV Guide Online, then goes on to explain the over-the-top starlet's origins. "In Chicago, they have these theater awards, which are like the Tonys. One of our writers and I were both performing in a theater that was nominated, and while we were [at the ceremony], there was an actress who won, and that's where it was kind of taken from."

OK, could that flashback be any more boring? Give us the deep dish, Steph — read more

CASH AND CARREY

The nation's theater owners have named Jim Carrey the top box office draw of 2003. Nicole Kidman ranked second, followed by Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp, Russell Crowe, Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell and Renee Zellweger. In related news, Fight On U.S.C.! Trojans are No. 1! read more

Monty Python Star Returns

Terry Jones will forever be identified as a member of the outrageous British comedy troupe, Monty Python's Flying Circus. He's the man who delivered the magical line "Spam, spam, spam!" In recent years, Jones has become somewhat of an expert in medieval history and authored several books on the subject. But don't think the humorist has abandoned any of his silly sensibilities. Jones says that Python's surreal humor was often best played in a historically accurate setting, as in the films Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Life of Brian. His new History Channel series, Terry Jones' Medieval Lives, tells the true stories behind many of the iconic medieval myths of the past. Informative and witty, the show proves that, despite what your teachers might have said, you can laugh and learn.

TV Guide Online: Is this show a boring history lesson?
Jones:
Oh, no. V read more

PEACE OFFERING DENIED

The doctor accused of coercing former Beatle George Harrison into signing a guitar while on his deathbed offered Wednesday to donate the piece of memorabilia to charity. But a lawyer representing Harrison's estate rejected the olive branch, calling it nothing more than "spin." Harrison's wife and son are suing Dr. Gilbert Lederman for $10 million. read more

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