Today's News: Our Take


Yep, Ashton Kutcher punk'd us. Four months after he swore his MTV prank-a-thon, Punk'd, was history, MTV announced Thursday — April Fool's Day — that the show would kick off its third season on April 25. An MTV rep confirms that the closing notice Kutcher posted in December was merely a joke. Alright, WB: It's your turn to come clean about Angel's so-called "cancellation." You got us good with that one. read more


NYPD Blue star Charlotte Ross, who's currently on maternity leave following the birth of her first child, son Maxwell, on March 23, will not be returning for the cop drama's 12th and final season next fall, TV Guide Online has learned. "She requested to take next year off and [series creator Steven Bochco] was kind enough to let her out [of her contract]," confirms Ross's manager hubby, Michael Goldman. "She's burnt on the character and burnt on drama and really also wanted to be a mom." That's all well and good, but what about the fact that Ross's Blue character is married and expecting a child with Dennis Franz's Andy? Producers will deal with that tricky matter next season. Says a show rep: "They haven't made a decision about it one way or the other at this read more


The one-hour Friends finale will be available on DVD May 11 — five days after it airs on NBC, the New York Post reports. I think I'll just watch it for free. read more


Troy McClain, the 32-year-old country boy from Montana who never met a homespun simile he didn't like, got pink-slipped by Donald Trump on last night's episode of The Apprentice. That leaves only four mini-moguls — Kwame, Bill, Amy and Nick — to vie for the $250,000-a-year job with The Donald. If you've got questions for Troy, send them to me via the link at the bottom of this page and I will forward them to my trash icon since I interviewed him at 9:15 this morning. read more


CBS will pair new seasons of Big Brother and The Amazing Race on Tuesday nights this summer, beginning July 6. Brother will also air on Thursday and Saturday. read more


Married...With Children's Ed O'Neill has been cast in an untitled comedy pilot for ABC that stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as an on-air reporter for a sports TV show. O'Neill will play the program's executive producer, who moonlights as a shoe salesman. read more


Rocker Pink (aka Alecia Moore) will make her debut as a big-screen leading lady playing the late Janis Joplin in an upcoming biopic directed by Penelope Spheeris, Variety reports. "After trying to make a picture on Janis's life for 15 years, I'd call Alecia's screen test the most gratifying moment in my film career," says Spheeris. "She is the perfect age to play Janis from when she first came to California at 19 to when she died at 27." I know she's a serious actress now, but that whole Alecia thing just ain't doin' it for me. Sorry. read more


VH1 has ordered a pilot for Gaydar, a half-hour reality series in which celeb guests grill contestants to try and figure out if they are gay or straight. Well, for starters, do they watch VH1? read more


After this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards suffered a huge dip in the ratings, TNT has decided to relocate the 2005 kudocast to a less-competitive Saturday evening. The Feb. 5 ceremony will also air three weeks earlier than usual. read more


Survivor: All Star's reigning diva, Jerri Manthey, became the ninth MVP to get her torch snuffed last night. An 11th-hour threat made by Boston Rob — in which he urged his rival tribemates to spare his gal-pal, Amber — sealed Manthey's fate. If you have questions for Jer, send them to me via the link at the bottom of this page and I'll forward them to my colleague, Angel Cohn, who will be speaking to her this afternoon. read more

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