Today's News: Our Take


CBS is developing a four-hour movie about Elvis Presley that for the first time will use master recordings of some of the King's biggest hits, Variety reports. It's slated to air next season. read more


Mean Girls star Lindsay Lohan has been tapped to host the MTV Movie Awards on June 10... The MPAA has slapped an NC-17 rating A Dirty Shame, the latest comedy from cult director John Waters. The film stars Tracey Ullman as a working-class store owner who turns into a depraved sex addict following a concussion... Jim Carrey is mulling a sequel to Bruce Almighty, Variety reports. read more


Law & Order has tapped acting vet Dennis Farina (Midnight Run, Get Shorty) to replace Jerry Orbach next season. As previously reported, Orbach is transferring to spinoff No. 3, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, which debuts on NBC at midseason. Although Farina's character is still being fleshed out, exec producer Dick Wolf tells TV Guide Online that the 60-year-old Crime Story star will be playing an "Italian cop who's an iconoclast... and a confirmed bachelor." Adds Farina: "He's going to be a little out of the ordinary." read more


As global condemnation of La Toya London's ouster on American Idol intensified, critics are looking at what role Hawaii played in the scandal. Specifically, did residents of the Aloha State jam phone lines in support of hometown girl Jasmine Trias? According to Verizon, Hawaii logged more calls during Idol's two-hour voting period than all of the company's 29 coverage states — with the exception of New York and California. In related news, the National Weather Center says there is a 90-percent chance that Hurricane Fantasia and Tropical Storm Diana will collide over Honolulu next Tuesday evening. read more


Reality titan Mark Burnett is in talks with Martha Stewart about a possible syndicated show starring the jail-bound domestic diva. "My vision says her customers and fans are still loyal to her," Burnett tells Variety. "I don't think the Martha Stewart brand loyalty has changed." read more

Frasier: Analyzing the Laughter...

Frasier: Analyzing the Laughter and Series Finale After 11 years and 31 Emmys, the beloved Cheers spinoff bids adieu on the night it originally called home before being bounced in favor of much less deserving Must-See TV fare. The farewell kicks off with an hourlong (55 minutes, actually, to steal from Survivor's audience, perhaps, but why quibble) clip show of the series' most memorable moments. (My favorite episode was the frantic installment in which the Crane boys bought and tried to run their favorite restaurant, with hilariously disastrous results. Daphne whacking that eel is priceless.) Clip shows are always fun, especially when they remind us of how characters have evolved over the years, emotionally and physically (forget Jennifer Aniston's hair; Kelsey Grammer's could be the topic of someone's thesis it changed so many times). But why did the usually brilliant writers resort to the contrived device of having Fraiser participating i read more


On Thursday's finale of MTV's Making the Band 2, producer-host P. Diddy finally had enough of all the drama and broke up Da Band. During the show's two seasons, the group was plagued by constant infighting, tardiness and legal entanglements. P. Diddy will remain in business with two members of the sextet — Ness and Babs. Dylan, Fred, Sara and Chopper, meanwhile, are rumored to be in talks to headline Making the Big Macs. read more


Frasier ended its storied 11-year run Thursday night with two happy endings, a big mystery and 25.4 million viewers. First, the happy endings: Niles and Daphne became first-time parents and Crane patriarch Martin married ex-model Nina van Horn. Now, for the mystery: After accepting a new job in San Francisco, lovelorn Frasier jetted to Chicago to win back would-be soul mate Charlotte. Was he successful? The freakin' curtain fell before we could find out. Imagine that: A sitcom ending that doesn't spell everything out for the viewer. That's no fun. read more


It's official: Rupert Boneham is the most popular Survivor of them all. The lovable pirate was awarded a $1-million check live Thursday night on CBS after fans chose him as their fave all-star in an online poll. The runners-up were Big Tom (huh?), Colby and Boston Rob, who revealed during the show that he and fiancée Amber are talking to a network about televising their nuptials. Would they ever do it? Cracked Rob: "If the price is right." read more


The doc hired to counsel the ugly ducklings on Fox's The Swan is apparently as fake as the contestants. According to The Smoking Gun, therapist Lynn Ianni received her Ph.D. from a California correspondence school that was described this week as an unaccredited "diploma mill" by congressional investigators. Now, if only TSG would find some dirt on host Amanda Byram. read more

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