Today's News: Our Take


THIS JUST IN...

Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith — the dude who said "b--- j--" on air — has inked a new four-year deal with the round-the-clock news network, Variety reports. Smith's new salary was not disclosed, but insiders say it's a lot of money for someone who said "b--- j--" on national TV. read more

FROM A LAND DOWN UNDER

Miss Australia Jennifer Hawkins, a 20-year-old model-choreographer-surfer, won the 2004 Miss Universe title last night in Ecuador. She takes home an undisclosed yearlong salary and a $45,000 scholarship at a New York film school. And if she flunks out there, well, there's always Western International University. read more

LOVE REKINDLED

Remember that ABC sitcom pilot starring Jennifer Love Hewitt as an on-air reporter for a sports TV show? No? Well, I told you about it back in April. Anyway, the network — which didn't include the show on its fall lineup — may pick it up for midseason instead, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Why the change of heart? Rumor has it ABC execs took pity on Hewitt after watching her slum it as an American Idol correspondent. Apparently, no one — not even Bailey's annoying ex-girlfriend — deserves that. read more

SHORT CUTS

Bruce Willis and gal pal Brooke Burns have reportedly split up... Justin Timberlake has expressed interest in starring in a big-screen version of the Broadway musical Rent, reports the Chicago Sun-Times... The WB's new drama Summerland got off to a strong start Tuesday night, averaging 4.5 million viewers. read more

IF YOU CAN'T BEAT 'EM...

Producer David E. Kelley, a vocal critic of reality TV, is developing an unscripted series for NBC in which wannabe lawyers will compete for a position at a law firm. This sounds vaguely similar to Fox's upcoming reality series The Partner. Actually, this sounds identical to Fox's upcoming reality series The Partner. Imagine that. read more

BUTTON UP

Britney Spears has received formal approval from China's Culture Ministry to perform five concerts in Shanghai and Beijing next year — under one condition: She has to promise not to dress like a skank. And she thought singing was hard. read more

Summerland It's a Full House all...

Summerland
It's a Full House all over again for Lori Loughlin, a free-spirited artsy type who takes in her sister's kids when their parents are killed in a car accident. Somehow she thinks it's a brilliant idea to uproot them from Kansas to her California beach house, where her hunky ex, her diva business partner and their hippy-dippy Aussie mate also happen to live. And surprise, surprise, none of them knows how to take care of the three clich&#233d orphans — the horny 16-year-old, the thorny 13-year-old and the moody 5-year-old — who have ruined their beach-party lifestyle.

But haven't we seen this show before? Actually, Summerland doesn't just rip off Party of Five, it also borrows liberally from Beverly Hills, 90210 (wholesome Midwestern kids who pray before dinner are suddenly dropped into the big-boobs-and-botox world of Southern California) and The O.C. (a sullen outsider who, ironically, could read more

FIREWORKS START EARLY

Michael Moore's controversial anti-Dubya doc Fahrenheit 9/11 will actually arrive in theaters on June 25 — a week earlier than planned. read more

TOUGH TALK

A mental-health activist has filed a complaint with the FCC alleging that Dr. Phil's daytime talk show doesn't air an adequate viewer disclaimer. Neal David Sutz believes Dr. Phil should have to run an advisory prior to each episode that reminds viewers that the show is intended as entertainment and not counseling. In related news, TV Guide Online is asking the FCC to find Neal David Sutz a hobby. read more

FAT REMOVAL

Miss America is undergoing some much-needed lipo. In an attempt to boost ratings, pageant officials are trimming the annual telecast — airing Sept. 18 on ABC — from three hours to two. read more

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