Today's News: Our Take


SUNDAY RATINGS

A whole lot of people turned out Sunday to wish CBS a happy anniversary. CBS at 75 attracted 18.5 million viewers from 8-11 pm/ET, helping the Eye network win the night by a huge margin. Nostalgia also ruled for Fox as 15.7 million viewers watched the 15th season premiere of The Simpsons. The rest of Fox's Sunday lineup didn't fare so well: Malcolm in the Middle (9.7 million viewers) was off 20 percent from its premiere last year, and the debut of the network's critically acclaimed new comedy Arrested Development disappointed with just 7.7 million viewers. read more

JACKO'S BACK

Just when you thought you could get through a sweeps period without a Michael Jackson special, CBS comes along and ruins everything. The spooky baby dangler is reportedly in talks with the Eye network to headline a music special that would air on Nov. 26, a week after his hits collection, Number Ones, arrives in stores. read more

TRAVELERS ADVISORY!

If you're planning to travel to the U.K. in early 2004, please be advised: Mariah Carey is threatening to make her London stage debut next year in The Sleeping Prince, the vintage comedy that served as the inspiration for the 1957 film starring Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. "Mariah wants to get rid of the glitz and tassels," the show's producer, Bill Kenwright, tells Variety. "She wants to be an actress." read more

POLITICAL SCANDAL

CBS has officially impeached The Reagans. In a statement, the Eye network said its decision to pull the four-hour miniseries from its sweeps schedule was based "solely on our reaction to seeing the final film," and not the outcry from conservative groups. "We believe it does not present a balanced portrayal of the Reagans for CBS and its audience. Subsequent edits that we considered did not address those concerns." As expected, the telepic — which stars James Brolin as the former president and Judy Davis as wife Nancy — will air instead on sister pay-cabler Showtime. read more

RUNWAY OR ANOTHER

Bravo has ordered 10 episodes of Project Runway, a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion industry from the producers of HBO's Project Greenlight, Variety reports. Supermodel Heidi Klum has already signed on as a producer/judge for the reality contest, which will pit aspiring designers against one another. It's slated to debut this summer. read more

FULL MONTY

Note to NYPD Blue butt barer Dennis Franz: You're off the hook. Danny DeVito will guest star on Friends this February as "an over-the-hill stripper" who performs at Phoebe's bachelorette party. In the same episode, Donny Osmond will play himself when Joey appears as a celebrity contestant on Pyramid. read more

GRACE BABY UPDATE

It's not Will & Grace & Child for a reason, folks. An NBC spokesperson tells TV Guide Online that Debra Messing's recently-announced pregnancy will not be written into the show. (Good, because that would have been a disaster.) read more

THE END IS NEAR, FOLKS

In other reality news, adult film star-turned-politician Mary Carey has signed on to host a new reality show that asks the age-old question, Can You Be a Pornstar? The seven-episode series — which will debut on various pay-per-view outlets on Jan. 8 — will feature 28 women competing for a one-year contract with a major adult video distributor and a cash prize of $100,000. read more

OUT FOR REVENGE

FX is developing an original TV movie based on Peter Lance's controversial book 1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI (The Untold Story), which contends that the Sept. 11 attacks could have been avoided. There's no word when the telepic would air. read more

AXED

Another day, another high-profile fall casualty. Fox has scratched Skin from its lineup after three low-rated airings. The porn industry-set drama attracted just 4 million viewers last night. Fox will now air back-to-back episodes of Joe Millionaire on Mondays through November. read more

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