Today's News: Our Take


Bob Keeshan — who charmed kids as TV's Captain Kangaroo for 36 years — has died after a long illness. He was 76. On his iconic childrens' show, Keeshan played a gentle, grandfatherly man with a bowl haircut, whose "Kangaroo" nickname came from the deep pockets in his signature cardigan sweater. Over the years, he hung out with puppets, told knock-knock jokes and won six Emmys along the way. read more


NBC has decided that, well, maybe Friends isn't the "best comedy ever" after all. The network promised Thursday not to rerun a much-criticized promo in which it used that phrase to refer to the departing hitcom. An NBC spokeswoman concedes that the spot "went overboard." She'll get no argument from Frasier star Kelsey Grammer, who last week expressed his dismay at the ad. "I don't blame them for saying that," he said. "Although, we all know it's not true." read more


The TV Guide Channel relaunches today with all-new programming — including What's On, featuring TV Guide Online's Watercooler columnists, Daniel R. Coleridge and Michael Peck in their very own segment. Look for the dishy duo's Watercooler chatter twice a week on What's On, debuting tonight at 7 pm/ET (check local TV Guide listings). read more


Even though Shrek 2 doesn't open for another four months, DreamWorks is fast-tracking production of a third installment, in which the lovable green ogre tackles the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Meanwhile, Variety reports that the studio is also hard at work on Shark Tale 2, even though the first Shark Tale doesn't debut until October. read more


MTV's Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica kicked off its second season Tuesday with its most-watched episode yet, attracting an estimated 4.7 million viewers. That helped boost the debut of 'Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen and Dave, which notched a decent 3.3 million viewers and ranked as MTV's highest-rated series premiere among viewers 12-34. read more


Kooky Crocodile Hunter/baby-dangler Steve Irwin dodged a bullet Thursday when Australia's Office of Workplace Health and Safety decided not to bring charges against him for holding his 1-month-old son while feeding one of his crocs. Let this serve as a lesson to everyone: You will not be punished for using your children as croc bait. read more

FriendsNot one but two reruns?!...

Friends Not one but two reruns?! Yeah, you'll be there for me. In April.

Steve Harvey's Big Time The ever-smug comedian continues to mock his guests (he's more sincere hawking Burger King's Chicken-Caesar sandwich) on this variety show, which tonight should be called Steve Harvey's Big Top since all but one of his acts belongs in the circus. Among tonight's gems: an Eastern European who manipulates a bow and arrow with her feet; a South American woman who swings from a pole by her hair; and an American hula-hoop champion. All of a sudden, Cirque de Soleil ticket prices seem reasonable.

Tru Calling Nash Bridges' Jodi Lyn O'Keefe guest-stars as Tru's former best friend, whom she has to save from drowning at their five-year high-school reunion. Though the still-painful old wounds and rivalries and are melodramatically accurate, I have two major quibbles: My five-year reunion, which I'll never forgive my mom for read more


Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's tumultuous 18-month courtship is over. "I am confirming the reports that Jennifer Lopez has ended her engagement to Ben Affleck," read a statement from Lopez's camp. "At this difficult time, we ask that you respect her privacy." According to reports, the romance ended on Jan. 20, just three days after Affleck returned to Los Angeles from the Sundance Film Festival and four months after the duo called off their lavish, million-dollar nuptials. Let's all share a moment of silence in memory of Bennifer. read more


The plot thickened Thursday in Hollywood's ongoing screener saga. The FBI arrested an Illinois man, Russell Sprague, in connection with an Internet piracy ring that allegedly can be traced back to Academy member/actor Carmine Caridi. According to reports, Caridi had been sending his Oscar screeners over the past three to five years to Sprague, who transferred them into digital format and put them online. Oh, so that's how you do it. read more

The Apprentice's Sam Speaks!

It was a move that surprised absolutely no one — except Sam Solovey. On last night's Apprentice, Donald Trump finally canned Sam. From Day 1, the 27-year-old Internet entrepreneur from Chevy Chase, Md., created static with his teammates. But if you think the experience has humbled him, think again.

TV Guide Online: Why was it such a struggle for you to stay on the show?
Sam Solovey:
I have a strong personality. I have a lot of big ideas. I was thinking out of the box, which I do in business, and it's been successful for me. And it didn't work in this environment. I may have been a threat. A lot of people in the working world think one-dimensionally, and I don't, and that often throws people off.

TVGO: Do you think trying to sell a cup of lemonade for $1,000 hurt you?
I was actually very close to getting that sale. I'd be willing to go back to those people today and present them with the same offer, and I think they w read more

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