Today's News: Our Take


YIPPEE, A SWAN SCANDAL!

The doc hired to counsel the ugly ducklings on Fox's The Swan is apparently as fake as the contestants. According to The Smoking Gun, therapist Lynn Ianni received her Ph.D. from a California correspondence school that was described this week as an unaccredited "diploma mill" by congressional investigators. Now, if only TSG would find some dirt on host Amanda Byram. read more

BLAME HAWAII

As global condemnation of La Toya London's ouster on American Idol intensified, critics are looking at what role Hawaii played in the scandal. Specifically, did residents of the Aloha State jam phone lines in support of hometown girl Jasmine Trias? According to Verizon, Hawaii logged more calls during Idol's two-hour voting period than all of the company's 29 coverage states — with the exception of New York and California. In related news, the National Weather Center says there is a 90-percent chance that Hurricane Fantasia and Tropical Storm Diana will collide over Honolulu next Tuesday evening. read more

ULTIMATE SURVIVOR?

Reality titan Mark Burnett is in talks with Martha Stewart about a possible syndicated show starring the jail-bound domestic diva. "My vision says her customers and fans are still loyal to her," Burnett tells Variety. "I don't think the Martha Stewart brand loyalty has changed." read more

Frasier: Analyzing the Laughter...

Frasier: Analyzing the Laughter and Series Finale After 11 years and 31 Emmys, the beloved Cheers spinoff bids adieu on the night it originally called home before being bounced in favor of much less deserving Must-See TV fare. The farewell kicks off with an hourlong (55 minutes, actually, to steal from Survivor's audience, perhaps, but why quibble) clip show of the series' most memorable moments. (My favorite episode was the frantic installment in which the Crane boys bought and tried to run their favorite restaurant, with hilariously disastrous results. Daphne whacking that eel is priceless.) Clip shows are always fun, especially when they remind us of how characters have evolved over the years, emotionally and physically (forget Jennifer Aniston's hair; Kelsey Grammer's could be the topic of someone's thesis it changed so many times). But why did the usually brilliant writers resort to the contrived device of having Fraiser participating i read more

UNMAKING THE BAND

On Thursday's finale of MTV's Making the Band 2, producer-host P. Diddy finally had enough of all the drama and broke up Da Band. During the show's two seasons, the group was plagued by constant infighting, tardiness and legal entanglements. P. Diddy will remain in business with two members of the sextet — Ness and Babs. Dylan, Fred, Sara and Chopper, meanwhile, are rumored to be in talks to headline Making the Big Macs. read more

A Comeback for Spike?

In next week's Angel series finale, Spike wonders how to spend what could potentially be the last day of his undead life. So the platinum-topped vamp Spike chooses to spout poetry at a seedy bar. For his portrayer, James Marsters, playing live music would more likely top the final to-do list. The California-bred actor moonlights as lead singer of his rock band, Ghost of the Robot. On the final night of his Angel duties, he happily previewed two new tracks for us in his trailer. "I think this is the best song I've written so far," he said proudly of one acoustic ballad. Soon, he'll embark on a European tour with the group, but don't fret, Spike fans: Unlike co-star David Boreanaz, he's not ready to stake his signature role just yet.

TV Guide Online: How does it feel to shoot the last day on a series?
James Marsters:
Good. Television often is an exercise read more

Survivor's Big Tom Bites Back

Best known for his wild chicken dancing and unintelligible mumbling, Big Tom Buchanan was among the few Survivor: All-Stars who enjoyed life on the deserted isle. Too bad all that goofy behavior may've lost him $1 million. Here, the Virginia farmer jaws with TV Guide Online — just prior to Sunday's finale we should point out — about allying with Rob and Amber, Sue Hawk's extreme makeover and his linguistic issues.

TV Guide Online: You did a song and dance when Sue left. So what do you think of her makeover?
Big Tom Buchanan:
She damned sure needed it. I'd like to get that number because maybe if they can do something for her, maybe they can do something for me!

TVGO: It is a pretty impressive transformation.
Big Tom:
From an ugly duckling to a duck. She's got bad breath and hairy legs. Maybe they shaved her legs, anyway. Hey listen, did they get her a new read more

Survivor Rob: Reformed?

Survivor: All-Stars backstabber Boston Rob gets another shot at that $1-million jackpot tonight at 8 pm/ET, when America decides which castaway most deserves to join Amber in the winner's circle. While the Beantown baddie performed some serious damage control by proposing to his suddenly wealthy gal-pal on Sunday's post-finale reunion show, was it enough to convince viewers that he's not the greedy, compassion-challenged conspirator he acted like on the show? Well, just in case it wasn't, the future Mr. Brkich makes his case once again to TV Guide Online.
TV Guide Online: Do you think you have a shot at the second million-dollar prize?
Boston Rob:
I hope so. What I'm hoping is that people will mix up Rupert and Robert and I think I might have a shot. I don't know. We'll see. I think I played the game the best. I think I deserve to win. Who knows, maybe the public will see it that way; we'll have read more

THIS IS AMAZING!

The fifth cycle of Amazing Race doesn't debut until July, but CBS is already gearing up for a sixth installment! According to Variety, the Eye network has quietly ordered a sixth edition of the Emmy-winning reality series. In less-exciting renewal news, the WB has picked up Reba, Grounded for Life and What I Like About You for another season. read more

DIVA DOWN

Simon Cowell's acid tongue came back to haunt him last night on American Idol. In a heinous turn of events, every Hawaiian household apparently did "vote five times to save" Jasmine Trias as the 17-year-old Mililani native made it through to the next round — at the expense of frontrunner La Toya London! The result evoked boos from the audience and led to Paula Abdul's first major breakdown since Soundscan reported opening-week sales of 1995's Head Over Heels. London, however, remained upbeat. "I just want to thank you so much, thank you for believing in me," the 25-year-old class act told the crowd, before turning in a powerhouse performance of "Don't Rain on My Parade." London's exit narrows the competition to three: In addition to Trias, there's Diana DeGarmo and Fantasia Barrino. Meanwhile, if you have questions for Ms. La Toya, e-mail them to me via the link at the bottom of this page. Extra consideration will be g read more

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