Today's News: Our Take


RECOVERING

Legendary NFL broadcaster Pat Summerall, 73, remains in stable condition at a Jacksonville, Fla., hospital after receiving a liver transplant Saturday. Summerall, a recovering alcoholic, had been on a waiting list since April 2. read more

'TIS THE SEASON

Ally McBeal alum Jane Krakowski has joined the cast of NBC's upcoming remake of A Christmas Carol, starring Kelsey Grammer, Jason Alexander and Jesse L. Martin. Krakowski will play the Ghost of Christmas Past. read more

SHAKING THE TREES

Janet Jackson wisely spoofed her starring role in Boobygate on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. Appearing as National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice before the 9/11 panel, Ms. Damita Jo flashed a pixelated (and blurred) breast to distract the commissioners from her testimony. Jackson's hosting stint, meanwhile, propelled SNL to its highest ratings in major markets in 13 months. In related news... read more

SHORT CUTS

The WB has renewed Everwood and Smallville for next season... In related news, the Frog network has tapped Drew Carey to star in and produce Green Screen, a live-action-animated improv comedy it's developing... Columbia Pictures has optioned Richard A. Clarke's controversial White House memoir, Against All Enemies, Variety reports. read more

SUNDAY The Nick Jessica Variety...

SUNDAY

The Nick & Jessica Variety Hour
What exactly happened here? It's been so long since we've had a successful variety show that it's hard to even judge this genre anymore. Was Nick and Jessica's over-the-top stage banter purposely forced or just naturally choppy? (I mean, were Sonny and Cher like this?) I also remember seeing some MTV bio thing on Jessica that gave the impression that she used to be somewhat embarrassed by her rather large breasts. Safe to say, she's gotten over that particular inhibition. I mean, d-a-m-n.

The '70s and '80s kitsch factor was sky high, with appearances by Mr. T, Kenny Rogers, KITT (the Knight Rider car), Johnny Bench and the Muppets. Toss in performances of "I've Got You Babe," "Islands in the Stream," "Take My Breath Away" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and this would have played nicely in 1983. (Yeah, I know that B read more

POST-AUTOPSY REPORT

The L.A. County Coroner has ruled that Murphy Brown star Robert Pastorelli died of an accidental heroin overdose, TheSmokingGun.com reports. The 49-year-old actor's assistant discovered him slumped over on the toilet at his Hollywood home on March 8. read more

APOCALYPSE NOW

Fox's unsightly (yet uproarious) makeover saga, The Swan, is looking good in Nielsen's eyes. Wednesday's premiere attracted 15 million viewers and retained nearly 80 percent of its huge American Idol lead-in. By comparison, The O.C. and 24 have been holding on to just 50 percent of Idol's audience. ABC's latest Bachelor edition, meanwhile, got off to a so-so start with 11 million viewers. read more

Cuthbert Dishes 24's Ending


Elisha Cuthbert knows the question before it's even asked. "No, I didn't watch any porn films to prepare for the role," laughs the 24 starlet and frequent Maxim pinup. No, she's not referring to a Very Special Episode of 24 where her catastrophe-prone character Kim Bauer, goes undercover to infiltrate L.A.'s adult-film industry. She's talking about her part in the romantic comedy The Girl Next Door, which opens in theaters today.

Cuthbert plays Danielle, a seemingly normal girl who becomes involved with her next-door neighbor, a nerdy high-school senior named Matthew (played by Emile Hirsch). The unlikely romance goes swimmingly until Matthew receives some unwelcome news: His new girlfriend is an ex-porn star. "The script had everything I was looking for as far as character goes," says Cuthbert. "I wanted to prove that I have the skills to transform this girl from the girl next door to and adult-film star and make it all blend to read more

LITTLE WILL

Will & Grace star Debra Messing gave birth to a baby boy Wednesday morning in Los Angeles. The little guy reportedly weighed in at 5 lbs, 14 oz. This is the first child for Messing and hubby Daniel Zelman. As reported last week, the 36-year-old actress had to be written out of the final three episodes of Will & Grace after doctors ordered her to stay off her feet. read more

Idol Chatter with Amy Adams

On last week's Motown-themed episode of American Idol, there were a number of performances that were pretty, um, awful. Amy Adams's spirited rendition of "Dancing in the Street" was most definitely not one of them. Yet the 24-year-old with the hot-pink hairdo was the singer kicked to the curb by fickle (and possibly tone-deaf) viewers. Is this a sign that the apocalypse is near? Or was the audience simply watching with the volume turned off? Desperate to achieve some closure on this embarrassing chapter in the talent competition's history, TV Guide Online rang up the Gen-Y Celine Dion to trade conspiracy theories.

TV Guide Online: Let's start with the most ridiculous incident in your time on the show. Please tell me you've recovered from Simon Cowell's bizarre remark about your "resemblance" to Jay Leno.
Amy Adams:
(Laughs) You know what? It wasn't even really a recovery thing that I had to go through. It was just something that I had to read more

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