Today's News: Our Take


GO-TO GUY

It's official: 20th Century Fox TV is producing at least 22 new episodes of Family Guy, which, thanks to cable reruns and DVD, has turned into a cult phenomenon since its cancellation two years ago. According to Variety, Cartoon Network has signed on to air the fresh segments, although Fox can exercise an option to broadcast them first. read more

BIRDYGATE!

Was it an innocent gesture or an obscene prank aimed at Paula Abdul? That's the question American Idol fans are asking themselves in the wake of Tuesday's show, which showed judge Simon Cowell using his middle finger to prop up his head. "Give me a break," Cowell said Wednesday during an interview on Ryan Seacrest's daytime talker, On Air. "If you scratch your nose with your middle finger, you're flipping somebody off. It's crazy." According to USA Today, Fox — which received roughly 20 e-mails about the incident — never considered editing out Cowell's dirty bird because the network's censors "found it to be nothing more than a benign body posture. He was resting his head on his hands." read more

Survivor: All-Stars A clip show,...

Survivor: All-Stars
A clip show, already? Criminy, it seems like these sadists just showed up on the island to become TV's biggest bug-bitten and backstabbing messes since... well, the last Survivor, I guess. And you know, I gotta say, revisiting the last few weeks was not a blessed event. Not only did we have to see Lex and Jerri pull their Boris and Natasha of Panama act to bring down Colby and Ethan again, but there was all that mumble-mouth posing from Boston Rob. Seriously, a guy who sounds like he should be wearing a helmet in the backseat of the short bus has no room to be mocking Big Tom's accent. I don't care if the guy got himself a TV Guide cover. You don't hear Star Jones picking on Joy Behar, do ya?

American Idol
Now this is how you do a results show! In, out, 30 minutes, a few recaps from last night's country-themed show, a killer number by last sea read more

UNWELCOME MATT

Speaking of obscene gestures, Matthew Rogers' horrendous performance of "Amazed" prompted American Idol voters to sack the 25-year-old linebacker last night. He became the second of 12 Idol finalists to get eliminated. Next Tuesday, the remaining 10 crooners will face off in a Motown-themed show. That noise you hear is Jon Peter Lewis fudging a doctor's note. read more

LET'S GO CRAZY

The artist formerly known as Record Label-Hater is shacking up with the so-called enemy again. After several years as an indie artist, Prince has signed a worldwide deal with Columbia Records that covers the release of his forthcoming CD Musicology. read more

Colin's Costar Goes Dowdy


In the past two years, moviegoers have seen Scottish actress Shirley Henderson play Moaning Myrtle — the restroom-haunting ghost in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets — and Jude, one of Bridget's girlfriends in Bridget Jones's Diary. Now, she portrays a depressed Irish gal who's let herself go — to the extent of sporting noticeable facial hair — in Colin Farrell's new film, Intermission (in limited release). Did she mind frumping herself up for this role?

"I thought I looked alright," the 37-year-old says, mock-defensively. "To me, there was an attractiveness to [the mustache]. It didn't offend me in any way."

Well, we still think her character could've stood a good waxing. But movin' on... How did the Intermission cast like working with Mr. Farrell? "Colin was great," Henderson says enthusiastically. "He was just chatty and took us all for drinks and we all got drunk together. read more

ALIAS SPOILER ALERT!!

Stop reading if you don't want a major Alias plot development spoiled... Alias has tapped actress Mia Maestro (Frida) to play Sydney's kid sis — yes, she has a sister — in at least three episodes beginning April 25. read more

24 Babe Reborn on CSI

Although Claudia's sudden death on 24 this season ultimately freed up actress Vanessa Ferlito to take a plum gig opposite Gary Sinise on CSI: New York, the Italian beauty is still haunted by what coulda been between her and Kiefer Sutherland's Jack. "It depresses me because we were so in love," she laments. "We were supposed to end up together. It's really messed up." So, why did producers kill off Jack's Mexican mistress? And what's the scoop on Ferlito's new CSI gig? Read on...

TV Guide Online: How did you find out that you got the CSI: New York job?
Vanessa Ferlito:
[Exec producer] Anthony Zuiker called me.

TVGO: Did you have to audition?
Ferlito:
No. It's amazing. I read for him once, but not even for the role I got. It was for a different role, an older CSI named Stella.

TVGO: What role did you get?
Ferlito:
Her name is Abigail Martin, but I don't know if read more

RUNWAY WINNER

As expected, Tyra Banks named 23-year-old baby-sitter Yoanna House America's Next Top Model on last night's finale. The former plus-sized beauty beat out Mercedes and Randy, er, I mean Shandi. House wins a contract with IMG Models, a spread in Jane magazine and a Sephora catalogue cover. read more

THAT EXPLAINS IT

The secret is out about Aretha Franklin's mystery illness, which landed her in a Detroit hospital over the weekend. The Queen of Soul reportedly suffered an allergic reaction to antibiotics. "I am resting comfortably and responding very well," Franklin said in a statement. read more

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