Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

Actor-dancer-sitcom star Flex Alexander (UPN's One on One) will play Michael Jackson in Family Values, VH1's in-the-works biopic about the embattled pop star... ABC has ordered two more editions of The Bachelor... Cedric the Entertainer is in talks to star in a remake of the 1986 Rodney Dangerfield comedy Back to School. read more

WONDER NO MORE

Rumors that the WB may pick up Fox's recently canceled gem Wonderfalls for the fall are just that — rumors. "It's not true," a network source tells TV Guide Online. read more

COULD THE TIMING BE ANY WORSE?

An appeals court has reinstated a sexual and racial-harassment lawsuit filed by a former writer's assistant on Friends. Last year, Amaani Lyle sued three of the sitcom's writers, claiming they joked about women and sex, and often ridiculed and mocked black people. The suit was eventually dismissed, but on Wednesday the appeals court determined that the defense's position — that vulgar comments and jokes were a regular part of creating a program about sexually active young people — was not strong enough to warrant a dismissal. read more

WIN LOOS

Rebecca Loos, the woman who claims to have had an affair with married soccer stud David Beckham, has agreed to take part in a UK dating show titled Love on a Saturday Night. Beckham's former assistant will appear as a celebrity date in a contest titled "Win Loos or Whor.., er, Draw." read more

REMEMBERED

Harry Babbitt, the voice behind Woody Woodpecker's signature laugh, died April 9 of natural causes. He was 90. Babbitt also sang with Kay Kyser's big band ("The White Cliffs of Dover") from 1938 to about 1949. He retired from showbiz in 1964 and started a successful career in real estate. read more

GRAMMER'S LOVE MATCH

Jennifer Love Hewitt is in talks to star as Kelsey Grammer's love interest — no that's not a typo — in NBC's upcoming musical update of A Christmas Carol, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Hewitt would play Emily, the long-lost love of Ebenezer Scrooge (Grammer). read more

STORMY WEATHER

Did the rash of tornadoes in the Midwest contribute to Jennifer Hudson's shocking ouster from American Idol this week? According to Extra, the wacky weather caused a power outage in Hudson's Chicago hometown, preventing some 15,000 fans from voting. The National Weather Center, meanwhile, is warning that Hurricane Fantasia could strike John Stevens' hometown of East Amherst, N.Y., next Wednesday around 9 pm/ET. read more

BEGUN, THE MELTDOWN HAS

That whole N-bomb debacle is continuing to haunt Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth. The Apprentice diva walked off the set of ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live last night after she allegedly spotted a lie-detector machine on the set. According to a Kimmel spokeswoman, the equipment was set up for a comedy bit with show regular Uncle Frank and was unrelated to Om's appearance. "The producers attempted to reassure [her] that they did not intend to ask her to take a lie-detector test," says the rep, "[but] she became upset and left." Kimmel kept the show going despite the sudden guest shortage, and even brought a producer onstage to explain what happened. "Apparently, her 15 minutes ended the second before I introduced her," Kimmel later cracked. "I felt like Jessica Simpson standing alone at the airport." Maybe Omatrocious was sti read more

FriendsOh. My. God. I almost fell...

Friends Oh. My. God. I almost fell off the couch when Janice came down those stairs! Sure this show has had a ton of memorable bit players and they all can't come back for the finale, but I would have been so disappointed if I didn't get to hear Maggie Wheeler's grating cackle and nasally voice utter those three words — which have become one of the show's singular catchphrases, not to mention one of my personal favorite spontaneous utterances — one more time. I know it was the first thing that came to mind when I saw that ridiculous sweater-scarf-luggage-strap ensemble Rachel was wearing. For a moment I thought she was wearing a tie, only to realize that her quite cute matching sweater and scarf were connected by what I can only describe as a buckled contraption, which she kept awkwardly tugging on. I can only assume that this look is all the rage in Paris and she's gearing up for her new life in France. That or Patricia Fields was a wardrobe co read more

BAD HAIR DAY

No doubt fearing a backlash from consumers, Herbal Essences has washed Omarosa right out of its hair. A spokeswoman for parent company Clairol confirms that the one-woman train wreck has been clipped from its upcoming "Streaking Party" commercial. Says the rep: "After reviewing the film... a decision has been made not to use the Omarosa take." The news likely hit Omatrocious like a ton of ceement. read more

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