Today's News: Our Take

Question: Hi. I'm Stacey ...

Question: Hi. I'm Stacey Scowley's publicist. Thought I'd mention that interestingly enough, the girl who Kate is getting her confused with is Lara Boyd Rhodes, who co-starred in Pi&#241ata and is, coincidentally, very close friends with Stacey. They get this all the time. — Amy F., Los Angeles, Cal.

Televisionary: The extra info is much appreciated, Amy. I thank you, and I'm betting Kate thanks you, too. (For any of you who didn't read the question in question — and shame on you for not keeping up, you laggards — see my July 20 column.

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The conservative family watchdog group Parents Television Council has named the WB drama Everwood the worst TV show for family viewing. Runners-up include Fox's That '70s Show, NBC's Fear Factor and CBS's Cold Case. The Eye net's Joan of Arcadia topped the best list, followed by Doc (Pax), Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye (Pax), Reba (WB) and 7th Heaven (WB). In related news, if anyone knows what the heck Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye is, please let me know. read more

Amazing Race's Internet Lovers

There's one thing you can say for sure about Bob and Joyce: These senior citizens definitely don't look like your typical Internet-dating couple. Still, the latest team to face Philimination on CBS's The Amazing Race (Tuesdays, 10pm/ET) was also one of the most popular thanks to their upbeat attitudes, strong racing skills and all-around good-heartedness. Here the New Jersey natives reminisce about their first date, and look ahead to the future.

TV Guide Online: So tell us the story of how you met.
We met through I had been a widow for a long time and didn't have much of a personal life. I was raising my three children and working hard. My son, who is a software engineer, told me, "Mom, you need a life. Go on the Internet. It's the only way you'll be able to do this." And I said, "No way." But he insisted and helped me put my profile on Lo and behold, Bob came on...
Bob: And I saw her profile. Actually, I pass read more

Natalie Portman's Garden Secrets

Natalie Portman isn't a Jersey girl by birth (she's actually a Long Island native), but she certainly makes a convincing one in her latest film, Garden State. She plays Sam, an Annie Hall-like young woman who strikes up a relationship with the film's Benjamin Braddock-like hero, Andrew (played by Scrubs star Zach Braff). The role gave Portman the chance to wear ordinary clothes for once, unlike the elaborate costumes she sports as Amidala in those Star Wars prequels.

"Sam was a fun character to play because she doesn't really hide anything," says the 23-year-old actress. "She gets to have all of this weirdness hanging out. I enjoyed doing a small movie like this. It's not about big special effects or opening-weekend grosses. It's about creating something together that people will enjoy."

Portman agreed to appear in Garden State after meeting with writer-director Braff, with whom she clicked right away. But read more


Alias has tapped Oscar-nominated thesp Angela Bassett to play the show's new CIA director. For more on how long she'll be sticking around, pick up the new issue of TV Guide magazine, on sale Thursday. While you're at it, pick up two! read more


Tin-eared American Idol reject William Hung is banging out a Christmas album. Little is known about the CD, except that it'll make Santa's ears bleed. read more


Fox will air two Family Guy mini-marathons opposite NBC's Olympics coverage on Aug. 18 and 25 from 8 to 10 pm/ET, Variety reports. This will mark the first time the show has aired on Fox since the network axed it in 2002. Original episodes of the cult phenom will debut on Fox next year. read more


Here's another little tip about the mysterious monsters terrorizing The Village: They attract some serious green. The latest mystery-thriller from M. Night Shyamalan debuted at No. 1 with an estimated $50.8 million. It ranks as the auteur's second-best opening ever, behind 2002's Signs ($60 million). The Bourne Supremacy slipped to No. 2 with $23.4 million, followed by Denzel Washington's Manchurian Candidate redo, which bowed with a respectable $22.2 million. Meanwhile, here's one more clue about those Village creatures: They stand three apples tall and live in mushroom houses — and that's all you're gettin' from me. read more


WB's new sketch comedy Blue Collar TV, starring Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy, attracted 5 million viewers in its debut last Thursday. The show finished second in several key demos, including young adults and middle-aged folks who think their front lawn is a driveway. read more


California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, have sold three properties on their posh Pacific Palisades, Calif., compound for $18 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. The couple moved into a $11.9-million estate in nearby Brentwood two years ago. read more

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