Today's News: Our Take


CUSHY VIEW

Don't shed any tears for exiting 20/20 co-host Barbara Walters. Miramax Books reportedly has agreed to pay the 72-year-old TV icon $6 million for her memoirs. read more

Programming Note: Thanks to President...

Programming Note: Thanks to President Bush's last-minute decision to hold a live news conference in prime time, Fox's Must-See Tuesday schedule was all screwed up. That meant I missed out on writing about two of my faves, American Idol and 24, both of which had to be rescheduled. And if that's not a good enough reason to vote for John Kerry in November, I just don't know what is.

Gilmore Girls
During tonight's shows, the WB had the words "Fresh Episode" in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Hmm... Is that just fresh as in new or fresh as in "funky fresh"? Anyway, this was the first new GG episode since March 2, so it's about time. Uptight good girls Rory and Paris trying too hard to "go wild" on spring break was adorable. Paris was so desperate to be cool, she even went for a lesbian chic moment! But I was definitely read more

Apprentice Loser Disses Amy

Before firing them, Donald Trump declared Nick Warnock and Amy Henry's Apprentice "marriage" over on Thursday's penultimate episode. And for once, the Master of Hyperbole — "The Apprentice is the No. 1 TV show ever!!!" — wasn't overstating things. Sure, the canoodling contestants dated briefly after the show ended, but Amy's "cold-hearted" recommendation that Trump fire her honey over Bill and Kwame marked the beginning of the end for the reality lovebirds. Luckily, the failed romance left in its wake just enough resentment to make our Q&A with the 27-year-old Xerox salesman chock full of passive-aggressive digs, and therefore, a must-read.

TV Guide Online: I spoke to Katrina last week and she said your romance with Amy was just a strategy to win the game. True?
Nick:
That's partially true. I aligned with a very strong player who I thought would help me in the long run, and it did. If you look at the Taj read more

UGLY TURN

Fox's apocalyptic makeover series The Swan sagged a bit in the ratings last night, attracting just 8 million viewers in its first Monday airing. That's off sharply from the 15 million who checked out the show's premiere last Wednesday. read more

THE SWAN

A fast-food addict from Missouri was crowned Miss USA 2004 Monday night. Shandi Finnessey, 25, who listed wrestling a greased pig in a mud pit as one of the craziest things she has ever done, will now represent the United States at the Miss Universe pageant in Quito, Ecuador, on June 1. read more

KITSCHY CHRISTMAS

The success of Sunday's Nick and Jessica Variety Hour — the retro-revue won its timeslot with more than 11 million viewers — has prompted ABC to move forward with plans for a Christmas special hosted by the Newlyweds pair. This time around, suicide hotlines will staff up to meet the extra demand. read more

IDOL IDLED

President Bush's last-minute decision to hold a live news conference in prime time tonight is wreaking havoc on Fox's Must-See Tuesday schedule. The network is moving tonight's performance edition of American Idol to Wednesday at 8 pm/ET. As a result, Idol's results show shifts to Thursday at 8 pm/ET (opposite Survivor!), leading into Tru Calling (8:30-9:30) and a repeat Simpsons (9:30-10). Tonight's regularly scheduled 24, meanwhile, will air Sunday at 9 pm/ET against The Sopranos on HBO and Alias on ABC. Elsewhere, NBC is bumping tonight's scheduled season finale of Happy Family to read more

PAGING THE SPICE CHANNEL...

Britney Spears' reps are shopping around a reality series featuring backstage footage from the European leg of her current Onyx Hotel Tour. According to The Hollywood Reporter, OnTourage would chronicle the "Toxic" singer's adventures with her dancers, bodyguards and managers from the tour bus to the nearest wedding chapel. The six-episode series could be on the air this summer. read more

Survivor's Lex a Hypocrite?

Last week on Survivor: All-Stars, love was definitely not in the air when 40-year-old Lex van de Berghe got his torch snuffed out. After sacrificing tribemate Jerri two weeks ago — so his pal Boston Rob could keep girlfriend Amber around — it was Lex's turn to get burned. Mere moments after helping the lovebirds reunite, Lex was backstabbed by his Beantown bud at tribal council. Here, the first member of the All-Stars jury tells TV Guide Online about his intense strategy, why he voted out Ethan and his feelings toward Rob.

TV Guide Online: Are you happy with the way you played the game?
Lex van de Berghe:
I'm absolutely, 100-percent thrilled with the way that I played the game. It is the one thing that I can walk away [from] feeling totally good and at peace with. What you see is what you get with me. I only know how to play the game the way I am, which is straight and hard.

TVGO: Out of all read more

HEALTH SCARE

Actress-model Lauren Hutton was airlifted to a New Mexico hospital Monday after experiencing chest pains. Docs later determined that the 60-year-old beauty was just suffering from a little indigestion. In a statement, Hutton said it's important to understand the heart-related risk factors for women and seek treatment immediately. It's equally as important to take a TUM, TUM, TUM, TUM, TUMS after eating anything with curry, as I found out last Valentine's Day. read more

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