Today's News: Our Take


Spike TV has ordered 13 episodes of Howard Stern: The High School Years, an animated series that follows an adolescent Stern through high school, Variety reports. MTV, meanwhile, is developing a reality series starring embattled New York PR maven Lizzie Grubman. The show will shadow Grubman as she runs the nightlife in Manhattan, Miami and the Hamptons and backs her SUV into people who piss her off. read more


Thousands of no-talent fame whores are converging on the nation's capital this week for the latest round of American Idol auditions. Although tryouts don't get underway until later today, many of the aspiring William Hungs started showing up on Monday. Their rationale? It beats bagging groceries. read more


CBS's Amazing Race is gonna be a little less amazing without its breakout star. On last night's episode, iron-willed little person Charla and her much-maligned sidekick Mirna were — say it ain't so! — eliminated. The sorry turn of events even brought host Phil Keoghan to tears. Or was it Charla's scrambled-ostrich-egg breath that did that? Whatever the case, this really stinks. read more


American gymnast Mohini Bhardwaj — who helped the women's gymnastics team capture a silver medal last night — owes a big debt of gratitude to actress-entrepreneur Pamela Anderson. Earlier this year, Anderson — a former gymnast herself — gave a deep-in-debt Bhardwaj the $25,000 she needed to attend the U.S. Olympics trials. Rumor has it that Anderson will next present Russia's frighteningly underfed Svetlana Khorkina with the $2.99 she needs to buy a Big Mac. read more


Roughly 30 million viewers watched NBC's Olympics coverage Tuesday night, according to Nielsen. Viewership peaked at 34.2 million at 10 pm/ET — around the time golden boy Michael Phelps went bonkers. read more


DreamWorks Television and reality giant Mark Burnett, the producers behind NBC's upcoming boxing series The Contender, are seeking a court order to block Fox's The Next Great Champ from debuting on Sept. 10. They contend that Champ producers beat them at their own game, er, I mean engaged in unlawful business practices. A ruling is expected today. read more


Jennifer Lopez will return to Will & Grace for the show's Sept. 16 season premiere, NBC confirms. Continuing the story line from last season's finale, J.Lo returns from her concert tour with her newest backup dancer, Jack. Jenny's comeback sets the stage for Janet Jackson's arrival the following week. "He loses his job with Jennifer Lopez," exec producer Alex Herschlag tells TV Guide Online, "but she feels bad for him so she gets him a job dancing backup for Janet Jackson." Who the heck is running Jacques' Cafe during all this!?!?! read more


Paris Hilton's beloved Chihuahua Tinkerbell is missing no more! Extra reports that tiny Tink has been found and will be reunited with Hilton. No further details were revealed, like how she got loose, who found her and what role Shannen Doherty played in the pup's disappearance. read more


A group of conservative country music stars — including Ricky Skaggs, Randy Travis, Darryl Worley and Billy Dean — launched a get-out-the-vote project Tuesday, urging Americans of all political persuasions (but especially Republicans) to go to the polls in November (and buy their albums). The nonpartisan (pro-Bush) tone of the effort was intended to rebut the pro-Kerry campaign currently being waged by musicians such as Bruce Springsteen and the Dixie Chicks. read more

2004 Summer Olympics: Women's...

2004 Summer Olympics: Women's Fencing
I think 19-year-old Mariel Zagunis is supercool. Miss Girl Power won the United States its first gold medal for fencing in 100 years! Kudos to her also for getting admitted to Notre Dame — where they're big on fencing — even though she's deferred for a year to focus on her swashbuckling skills. But one question comes to mind: Why do I even give a fig about this Oregonian girl's triumph in a fringe sport? My best friend Troy (who's one of the Fighting Irish himself) says: "Everybody I know is crazy over the Olympics this year. It allows us to take pride in being American without having to involve the government or election drama. It's totally nonpolitical." Troy's definitely on to something there. This is the good kind of reality TV, unlike...

Big Brother 5
Marvin is mouthy in this episode! He's not "pandering to the marketplace" for votes to keep himself in the house, he says. A read more

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