Today's News: Our Take


IDOL WORSHIP

Clay Aiken is proving to be the most successful loser in history. The American Idol runner-up's debut CD, Measure of a Man, entered Billboard's album chart at No. 1 with sales of 613,000 copies. By comparison, Idol's inaugural champ, Kelly Clarkson, moved 297,000 units during her album's first week in stores last April. Now, the pressure's on Aiken's Idol sidekick Ruben Studdard, whose Soulful CD drops Nov. 25. read more

SOBERING STATEMENT

Pamela Anderson fears that hepatitis C, which she was diagnosed with in 2001, will most likely kill her in a decade. "I think I've got a good 10 years left in me, which is sad, too," she tells US Weekly. "Maybe 15, if I'm lucky. It's scary, but lately I've been feeling great." read more

SWEEPS STUNT

Will Smith is heading back to the small screen. The erstwhile Fresh Prince will guest star on the Nov. 18 episode of UPN's freshman laffer All of Us. As previously reported, the actor — who produces the sitcom with wife Jada Pinkett — will play a college buddy of Robert (Duane Martin) and Neesee's (LisaRaye), who returns to L.A. and ends up crushing on Neesee. read more

Antwone Fisher Star's Reality Check


It has been a tremendous couple of years for 29-year-old actor Derek Luke. He's gone from working in Sony's gift shop and waiting tables at awards ceremonies to winning an Independent Spirit Award for his starring role in Antwone Fisher. But it hasn't all been smooth sailing for the handsome thesp, who currently co-stars with Katie Holmes in Pieces of April. Despite the heady joys of newfound fame, he's learned the star trip has its drawbacks.

"Sometimes [acting] is a challenge, because you get a lot of attention," Luke concedes. "[Especially] if I just got off a movie, and I had catering people coming up to me. But then, at home, I sit there and watch TV and the garbage piles up. And my wife goes, 'Derek, you've got to take the garbage out.' And I give her a look. Then, I think, 'Oh my God, read more

Meet TLC's Newest Sex Symbol

If a good man is hard to find, then a good-looking man who's as quick with a quip as he is handy with a hacksaw must be darn near impossible to locate. So it makes sense that the newest sex symbol to emerge from The Learning Channel stud farm is Andrew Dan-Jumbo, the hunky carpenter on While You Were Out (Fridays at 9 pm/ET). But would the Nigerian-born, English-bred hottie who could, well, nail anything he likes, collapse when hammered with TV Guide Online's unrelentingly probing questions? Read on and find out.


TV Guide Online: Um, Jumbo?
Andrew Dan-Jumbo:
It's a Nigerian name. There's a long story behind it, but it would probably take three pages to explain.

TVGO: No time for that, then. Would you agree that it gives you a lot to live up to, running around with a name like Jumbo?
Dan-Jumbo:
(Laughs) It does, yes. But as awkward as that name was to go through school with, because of the ridicule, it was a name that peo read more

BABY NEWS

Rumor has it Friends star Courteney Cox and hubby David Arquette are expecting their first child. David's actor-brother Alexis let the cat out of the bag during a taping of Sharon Osbourne's talk show Monday. (It airs next month.) "We're not commenting," the couple's rep tells USA Today. "When they're pregnant and ready to announce it, they will." read more

SHORT CUTS

Tennis great Billie Jean King will play a judge in an upcoming episode of Law & Order, her favorite TV show... UPN has cut The Mullets from its schedule. read more

MOURNED

Singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, who earned an Oscar nod for "Miss Misery," one of several songs he contributed to the soundtrack for Good Will Hunting, died Tuesday of an apparent suicide, MTV reports. He was 34. Smith's body, marked with a single knife wound, was found in his Los Angeles apartment by a friend. Smith battled drug and alcohol addiction throughout his career, and often addressed such themes in his music. read more

NOW FEAR THIS

Speaking of sweeps stunts, NBC will air a special 90-minute Fear Factor beginning at 8 pm/ET on Nov. 4 — the first Tuesday of November sweeps. (Whoopi, Happy Family and Good Morning, Miami are taking the night off.) Fear will go head-to-head with ABC's 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, which returns that same night with a special hour-long episode focusing on the death of John Ritter's character. In other Ritter news, the first season of Three's Company will be released on DVD Nov. 11. read more

PROBLEM CHILD

Miami-based record producer Terrence "T-Robb" Robinson is suing Beyonc&#233 Knowles, her father and fellow members of Destiny's Child for $200 million, claiming they stole his music for the hit song "Survivor." At a news conference Tuesday, Robinson said the song would have made him "one of the biggest, most sought-after producers" in the biz. read more

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