Today's News: Our Take


WANING FRIENDS?

The 10th (and final) season premiere of Friends beat Survivor in the ratings on Thursday, but NBC's flagship comedy was down a whopping 29 percent year-to-year. (Hey, Jeff Zucker: That's what happens when you prematurely announce that Matt LeBlanc is getting his own spinoff.) read more

STUNT CASTING

Will & Grace has cast Monty Python alum John Cleese to play the father of Karen's nemesis Lorraine (Minnie Driver) in six episodes. Driver will also be back for as many as six episodes this season. read more

Sunday Cold Case So, I figured,...

Sunday

Cold Case
So, I figured, here's another pretty face thrown into a bloody procedure series to give it some window dressing. (Hey, it works fine for CSI — and at least Cold Case isn't trying to pull an ex-stripper explanation over on us. Not in the pilot, anyway.) But Kathryn Morris carries off tough-minded Det. Lilly Rush quite capably. I just hope the writers don't keep heading to the ripped-from-the-headlines well (Michael Skakel, anyone?) that's... OK, earning bigtime ratings for shows like CSI and Law &#038 Order and making millions upon millions for producers like Jerry Bruckheimer and Dick Wolf. Yeah, right. I'll shut up now.

Alias
Y'know, these characters and plots rang truer when they were played out by Gerry Anderson's puppets. Let's see: Vaughn's a teacher, ma read more

SHOW OF SUPPORT

U.S. troops in Iraq were treated to a surprise performance Thursday by the Bruce Willis-fronted rock band The Accelerator. It's unclear if the show boosted or lowered morale, but I'm looking into it. read more

DOWNSIZING

Chris O'Donnell has apparently taken a liking to this TV thing. The upcoming Practice guest star has signed a seven-figure deal with CBS to star in either a comedy or a drama project for the network. read more

THEY'RE HERE, THEY'RE QUEER

NBC-owned Bravo is thisclose to finalizing a deal to renew Queer Eye for the Straight Guy for a second season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bravo may order as many as 40 episodes of the makeover hit. The new pact would also include a hefty raise for the Fab Five, who currently pocket just $3,000 per episode. Incidentally, news of the renewal comes amid buzz that the public may be tiring of Queer Eye. Tuesday's episode took a hit in the Nielsens, attracting 2.4 million viewers — down from 2.8 million the week before. read more

REMEMBERED

Celebrated author and society bon vivant George Plimpton died Thursday night in his Manhattan home of unknown causes. He was 76. Most famous for his football book Paper Lion, he was a friend in his lifetime to many athletes, political bigwigs and famous literati, such as Jack Kerouac, Philip Roth and John Updike. Plimpton was inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters last year. read more

CRIS CROSS

Either aspiring actor/choreographer Cris Judd has a sense of humor about rumors that his marriage to J.Lo ended because a third party cut in, or I'm just reaching to put a juicy spin on this. Regardless, the I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! champ will appear on the Oct. 13 episode of UPN's Eve as a salsa instructor who tangoes into Shelly (Eve) and JT's (Jason George) relationship. read more

Seven Silly Questions for... Paradise Hotel's Smokey

If you ask us, only one of the guests of Fox's wanton wonderland, Paradise Hotel, has never made an ass of himself — and he's a monkey! Yes, even as odd bird Tom's stuffed traveling companion, Smokey, watched his pulchritudinous playmates hook up and strip down, he himself didn't go ape... or did he? Perhaps a little gorilla warfare — in the form of Seven Silly Questions — will flush out his inner party animal.


TV Guide Online: How aggravated were you that you got to visit a singles' mecca, but had to let Tom tag along? Didn't he get in the way of your game?
Smokey:
Somebody has to take one for the team sometimes. We're a pimp duo.

TVGO: In several episodes, we didn't see you at all. Were you under the covers while Charla was hiding out in bed?
Smokey:
No. Most of my time was taken up by Amanda, the host. She wouldn't leave me alone! I was complaining.

TVGO: Gee. You must have had read more

Alicia Silverstone: Miss Familiarity?


Does Alicia Silverstone have a hit on her hands with NBC's Miss Match? As if! The series bears too striking a resemblance to the movie starlet's 1995 comedy Clueless to fail. See for yourself.





MISS MATCH

Golden girl: Silverstone plays Kate, a singleton with a knack for striking matches between her law firm's odd clients out.

Father time: Kate's dad is a tough-as-nails divorce lawyer.

Best bud: Kate's sidekick, Victoria, has a steady stream of beaux.

Hit and run: Kate tells a boyfriend to take a hike by getting out of his car.

True love: Fair-haired Kate seems, um, clueless that cute pal Michael is destined to be hers.

CLUELESS

Golden girl: Silverstone plays Cher, a single teen with a flair for pairing up her high school's lonely hearts.

Father time: Cher's pop is a sharp-as read more

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