Today's News: Our Take

I know. It's all a big hype thing,...

I know. It's all a big hype thing, but the Idol finale is just too big to handle alone. I mean, come on, it's Fantasia vs. Diana and the sisters are totally doing it for themselves. Thankfully, my devoted and adorable young intern Lauren Trucksess has happily agreed to help out with the pre-show, so I can pop into some of tonight's other options. Take it away, LT!

American Idol
Unless you've been living under a soundproof rock for the last few months, you know that tonight is all about the Idol finale. Hour 1 of the self-proclaimed "TV event of the season" was packed with unnecessary but nevertheless entertaining interviews with Ray Romano, Nicole Richie and Sharon Osbourne, as well as performances by eliminated wannabes Jasmine Trias, George Huff and La Toya London. These just served to show us why Jas and Georgie are doing the pre-show, rather than the showdown, and why La Toya contin read more


Halle Berry has filed a restraining order against a 35-year-old Louisiana man who is allegedly stalking her, Celebrity Justice reports. In court papers, Berry claims Greg Broussard "has imagined a relationship with me wherein he and I are engaged to be married." While she's at it, she may wanna file a restraining order against my brother David, too. And my older brother, Pete. And three of my co-workers... read more


Can a shot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer bring Fox's deadly-dull Tru Calling to life next season? Well, it certainly couldn't hurt. According to The Hollywood Reporter, longtime Slayer scribe Jane Espenson is joining the show as a co-executive producer. read more

Spaces ''Villain'' Gets Ugly

It has been said (to us, even) that Trading Spaces' Doug Wilson hates being branded a bad guy. "I told him one time that he was the villain of the show, and he was [horrified], like, 'Oh my God! Do you really think so?!'" hunky handyman Ty Pennington once told TV Guide Online. Yet the demanding designer will risk tarnishing his reputation once again as the host of America's Ugliest..., a new series of quarterly Learning Channel specials with an insult built right into the title.

"It's okay," the genial almost-40-year-old insists now. "I knew I was playing the villain. Throughout my life, I have worked not only in design but as an actor as well, so I knew what made good theater. I actually created some of those [tense] situations. I would see an opportunity and say, 'Okay, this could be some good TV!' After all, that's what this is about: entertainment. Design has always been secondary for me on Trading Spaces."

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West Wing star Allison Janney and her boyfriend of two years, actor Richard Jenik, are altar-bound. Jenik popped the question during a romantic getaway in San Francisco on May 17. read more


MTV confirmed Tuesday that it will launch a gay-and-lesbian-themed cable network on Feb. 17, 2005. Logo will offer a mix of movies, reruns and reality-oriented shows and could be available in about 14 million flawlessly decorated homes by the end of next year. read more


With a record 65 million votes cast, gospel-tinged soul diva Fantasia "Bobo" Barrino edged out the perpetually perky Diana DeGarmo to win American Idol Wednesday night. The 19-year-old single mom from High Point, N.C., collapsed in DeGarmo's arms the moment Ryan Seacrest called out her name. "I always said I've been through some things, but I've worked hard to get where I'm at," she sobbed to the "star-studded" audience that included Fonzie, Nicole Richie and Paula Abdul's breasts. Fantasia follows in the footsteps of previous Idol title-holders Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aik..., er, I mean Ruben Studdard. Her first single, the Tamyra Gray-penned track "I Believe," will hit stores next week and, if all goes according to plan, will become the new leading cause of suicide in the United States by year's end. read more


Vermont-based jam band Phish announced Tuesday that they will break up at the end of their upcoming summer tour. In a message posted on the band's website, front man Trey Anastasio said the group mutually agreed that "Phish has run its course." Their final album, Undermind, hits stores June 15. read more


Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker is trading in vintage ball gowns and Manolo Blahniks for gaucho pants and jelly thongs. The 39-year-old fashion icon has inked a yearlong deal to serve as pitchwoman for the Gap. She'll appear in a series of print and television ads beginning in August. read more


Courtney Love agreed to enter a drug-rehabilitation program after pleading guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor count of being under the influence of a controlled substance. The troubled rocker will reportedly serve several months in an outpatient program that includes classes, counseling, random drug testing and — just to keep her fans in the loop — regular press conferences on the floor of the nearest public bathroom. read more

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