Today's News: Our Take


SEXY COUNTER PROGRAMMING

Dodge is sponsoring a pay-per-view alternative to the traditional Super Bowl halftime show dubbed the Lingerie Bowl. For $30, viewers can watch women in lingerie playing tackle football. For $50, you can watch them get chased around the field by a 2004 Durango. read more

CHOICE KUDOS

This is how it's done at the People's Choice Awards: Nominations for TV's annual popularity contest are out and Fox's The O.C. will face off against CBS's Cold Case and Joan of Arcadia for fave new drama. The finalists for fave new comedy, meanwhile, are Hope & Faith, Two and a Half Men and Whoopi. In the reality category, nods went to Fear Factor, Survivor and The Bachelor — but not American Idol. (I blame Paula.) The ceremony, airing Jan. 11 on CBS, will be hosted by Two And A Half Men co-stars read more

SORRY, KELLY JO

Meredith Phillips may not have won Bob Guiney's heart on the last Bachelor, but she did score a pretty nifty consolation prize: a starring role in the next Bachelorette. As reported in the Dec. 13 issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale Monday) third runner-up Phillips — who famously skipped out on her Gram's funeral to keep a date with Guiney — will follow in Trista Rehn's footsteps as ABC's next Bachelorette. Her quest for a man kicks off Jan. 14. read more

CONGRATULATIONS!

Speaking of Trista Rehn, Entertainment Tonight reports that the bride-to-be has been slapped with a $200,000 breach-of-contract lawsuit by a man who claims to be her former manager. Kevin Allyn alleges that while Rehn compensated him for other gigs, she has yet to ante up any of the $1 million she stands to make for marrying Ryan Sutter on ABC next week. read more

VIEWERS CHOOSE LIFE

Turns out Paris Hilton doesn't have to be engaged in a sex act to draw a crowd. Roughly 13 million curiosity seekers watched the celebutante slum it in the heartland with pal Nicole Richie on last night's premiere of Fox's The Simple Life. The show handily beat the debut of NBC's The Tracy Morgan Show. read more

LOOK WHO'S BACK!

Evan Marriott (née Joe Millionaire) has been tapped to host Game Show Network's first original dating show, Fake-A-Date, Variety reports. The show, which bows in March, sets up one singleton with two dates, one fake and one real. If at the end of the day the contestant chooses the impostor, the faker wins a luxury trip with his/her real significant other. read more

PRETTY COOL

Roy Orbison lives! Well, sort of. As reported in the current issue of TV Guide magazine, the late "Pretty Woman" singer is being resurrected by retro troubadour Chris Isaak in an upcoming episode of NBC's 1960s-set gem, American Dreams. read more

SUMMER SCHOOL FOR DUFF

Hilary Duff (née Lizzie McGuire) has signed on to star in the big-screen music drama Heart of Summer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the feature finds Duff playing a small-town girl who heads to Los Angeles to attend a performing arts school. read more

SHAKESPEARE IN LABOR

Gwyneth Paltrow and boyfriend, Coldplay's Chris Martin, are expecting their first child next summer, her publicist confirms. The couple have been dating for about a year. read more

SOUR GRAPES

Justin Guarini is setting the record straight about why he missed last month's American Idol holiday special. Apparently, the happy-go-lucky crooner — who RCA reportedly just booted from its ranks — bailed on An American Idol Christmas due to "unresolved" contract issues with the show's producers. "I am grateful for all that American Idol has done for me," he said in a statement, "and look forward to resolving my differences with 19 Management and again being part of the [AI] family." Would someone please put a fork in his career, because I'm pretty sure it's done. read more

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