Today's News: Our Take


NO WORRIES, OPRAH

Britney Spears is in talks to exec produce her own syndicated talk show — although the pop tart would not serve as host and would make only sporadic appearances. According to MTV, the format would likely use elements from news-magazine programs as well as traditional talk shows. Furthermore, insiders predict that like Spears's late restaurant Nyla, this project will be a big dud. read more

SHORT CUTS

Raquel Welch has separated from her fourth hubby, Richard Palmer. The couple tied the knot in 1999... Singers James Brown and Loretta Lynn, actress Carol Burnett, director Mike Nichols and violinist Itzhak Perlman have been chosen to receive the 2003 Kennedy Center Honors. read more

FIRST AHNOLD, AND NOW THIS

Porn king Larry Flynt, 61, formally announced plans to run for California governor on Monday, calling himself a "smut peddler who cares." However, the Hustler publisher says if private polling shows he has no chance of winning the October election, he'll bow out gracefully. This guy's all class, folks. read more

Blood-Curdling Freddy vs. Jason Secrets!


Veteran scream queen Katharine Isabelle would sooner slit her own throat than reveal the ending of the long-awaited slash-o-rama Freddy vs. Jason (in theaters August 15). "I can't!" the actress tells TV Guide Online with a laugh. "[The producers will] sue me!" But that doesn't mean the co-star of Disturbing Behavior and Bones isn't willing to rattle a few skeletons in the closets of her creepshow colleagues.

For starters, the 21-year-old insists that the scissorhanded villain of A Nightmare on Elm Street (and its umpteen subpar sequels) is really a big softy. "Robert Englund left me a huge bouquet of flowers in my trailer and gave me an 8x10 picture of [himself as] Freddy with the claw that says, 'For K read more

Welcome To The O.C., Punks!


Forget those chatty Dawson's Creek do-gooders. Tonight at 9, Fox's flashy teen soap The O.C. takes you to California's affluent Orange County, where kids have too much cash and too little parental supervision. Party Boy met the sexy cast at the show's launch party at Santa Monica's Viceroy hotel. Let's just say people don't get much younger or blonder than this bunch!

Meet TV's next It Boy, Ben McKenzie — he plays Ryan, the rebellious new kid on the block. Like James Van Der Beek and other It Boys before him, the 24-year-old hates the "teen idol" label and wants to be taken seriously as an actor. He keeps mentioning his obscure stage roots and his degree in foreign affairs and economics from the University of Virginia, hoping we'll see he's more than just a read more

NO WORRIES, OPRAH

Britney Spears is in talks to exec produce her own syndicated talk show — although the pop tart would not serve as host and would make only sporadic appearances. According to MTV, the format would likely use elements from news-magazine programs as well as traditional talk shows. Furthermore, insiders predict that like Spears's late restaurant Nyla, this project will be a big dud. read more

PARADISE REGAINED

In a stunning move, histrionic Paradise Hotel she-hulk Toni sacrificed herself last night to save her "baby girl," foul-mouthed masochist Amy, from elimination. Which makes it even more mind-boggling that the onetime Love Cruise flotation device never defended the misguided kid from her verbally-abusive bed buddy, Zack. Unreal! read more

OH, DARN

Cameron Diaz won a court battle to block the release of topless pics taken of her before she was a big star. The photos were ordered sealed by a Los Angeles judge on Monday. Diaz is suing photographer John Rutter, claiming he forged her signature on the photo release. read more

Tracey Takes on Ruby Again

The first thing Tracey Ullman's fans will notice in her new one-hour HBO special is that she's lost a bit of character. Make that about two dozen characters. No swarthy Middle Eastern hacks or doughnut-loving Asian women this time around. In fact, the mistress of disguise takes on only three personalities in Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales (airing Saturday at 8 pm/ET), which follows Ruby Romaine, Hollywood's favorite gossipmonger and veteran cosmetician, as she struggles to gain readmittance to Local 706 of the Hair and Makeup Guild. And apparently, that suits 43-year-old Ullman just fine.


TV Guide: Ruby's rude, crude and lewd — not exactly a role model. Why bring her back?
Tracey Ullman:
She's a horrible sort of alcoholic bigot, but she's funny. I just like being Ruby. [When I played her on Tracey Takes On] I used to get the most mail about her, letters that said, "We ha read more

SIMON HEXED

MTV veteran Simon Rex won't be back as Jennie Garth's boyfriend on the WB's What I Like About You. Executive producer Wil Calhoun tells this week's TV Guide magazine that he wants Garth's character to explore life as a single gal. "We want to see her dating." Paging Luke Perry... read more

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