Today's News: Our Take

FriendsGiven that there are only...

Friends Given that there are only eight more episodes left and the finale doesn't air until May, I knew I shouldn't have gotten so excited about last week's new episode. And sure enough, I was brought back down to earth by tonight's embellished clip show, in which the gang recalls some of their favorite urban moments after Monica and Chandler reveal their plans to move their impending family to the suburbs. Don't get me wrong; I loved every blessed second (especially clips from the debut episode, where Ross — for the first and only time — had the best haircut of the bunch). But I couldn't help but wonder whether I was simply suffering from sitcom withdrawal and that maybe we should have wrapped things up two years ago and saved ourselves from the frustration of this abbreviated yet seemingly endless 10th season.

The Apprentice By capitalizing on sex appeal a second time, the ladies trumped the men again and team leader Jason got fire read more


Crossing Jordan will move to Sundays at 10 pm/ET when it kicks off its abbreviated third season in early March, NBC confirmed Wednesday. The network also announced that tennis great John McEnroe will host a one-hour program on CNBC this spring. It will air weeknights at 10 pm/ET. read more


David Spade's guest-star gig as Katey Sagal's nephew on ABC's 8 Simple Rules... has turned permanent, the network announced today... Fox has axed A Minute With Stan Hooper... American Idol grads Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken will embark on a 30-date arena tour beginning Feb. 24 at the Charlotte Coliseum in North Carolina... Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List arrives on DVD March 9... ABC has picked up six episodes of the hit overseas quizzer Deal or No Deal, which pits audience members against one another as they compete for $2 million. read more


In her first public comments since her quickie marriage and annulment, Britney Spears said in a phone interview on Wednesday's Total Request Live that she does "believe in the sanctity of marriage, I totally do. [But] I was in Vegas, and it took over me." The pop princess added that she doesn't understand why the media made such a big to-do of the nuptials, saying, "We landed on Mars that day — why aren't they talking about that?" Sweets, I believe you landed on Mars that day. OK? OK. read more


MTV is also forging reality shows with Hilary Duff and 7th Heaven star Ashlee Simpson. Though little is known about the Duff project, the Simpson series will shadow Jessica's younger sis as she records her first album. read more


Cameron Diaz has signed on to exec produce and star in her own travel series for MTV. The untitled project will follow Diaz (and pals including fellow Charlie's Angel Drew Barrymore) as she trots around the globe sans personal assistants and, presumably, Justin Timberlake. Funny story: An MTV spokesman flat-out denied that the network was going into business with Diaz when I phoned yesterday. read more


Paris Hilton is taking a break from her not-so-simple life to appear in the Feb. 2 episode of NBC's Las Vegas. And, in a shocking twist, the reluctant porn icon will not be playing herself. Instead, she'll appear as the fiancée of a Montecito high roller (90210's Brian A. Green, the real-life beau of Vegas star Vanessa Marcil). Still, as exec producer Gary Scott Thompson points out in next week's TV Guide magazine, "It's close to who she is and in the realm of what she can do... [but] tamer than some of the stuff she's getting press for." But, to ensure that she'd feel at-home, the entire episode was shot using a grainy, night-vision lens. read more


The Screen Actors Guild announced nominations for its annual awards today, and the casts of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Seabiscuit, Mystic River, In America and The Station Agent will compete for best acting ensemble — SAG's highest honor. On the TV side, the casts of CSI, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, The West Wing and Without a Trace will vie for top drama honors, while the stars of Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, read more


The upcoming soundtrack to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy will feature a new song from Duran Duran, as well as remixes of Sting's "Never Coming Home" and Elton John's "Are You Ready for Love." And there's apparently no truth to the nasty rumor that Jai Rodriguez will perform a cover of Placebo's "Without You I'm Nothing." But we'll find out for sure when the disk drops on Feb. 10. read more

Buffy Star Will Soon Marry

When Buffy the Vampire Slayer wrapped last May, Emma Caulfield was eager to shed her persona as Anya, the self-centered ex-vengeance demon. She wanted to try something different. Instead, she ended up reconnecting with her former 90210 beau, Jason Priestly. They happily reunited to make the ABC Family romantic comedy I Want to Marry Ryan Banks (Sunday at 8 pm/ET).

"I love that man so much," Caulfield tells TV Guide Online. "He is just one of those people I am so grateful that I met. He is really just one of the good ones.

"It was like no time had gone by whatsoever," she continues. "We just picked up right where we left off. And we just had such a good time. He's just lovely and I always wanted to work with him again. We had really good chemistry on Hi read more

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