Today's News: Our Take


BAD TIMING

Actor Billy Crudup and West Wing star Mary-Louise Parker have split, the New York Daily News reports. The break-up comes two months before Parker is due to give birth to their baby. In happier news, Robert Downey Jr. reportedly popped the question to his girlfriend, producer Susan Levin. Oh, and she said yes. read more

RED HERRING

It's not easy to admit when i'm wrong, so instead, i'll say simply, "Damn you, Fox — you got me!!" That 24 spoiler I accused Fox entertainment president Gail Berman of slipping into yet another commercial turned out to be, as loyal "Entertainment News" follower Lauren put it, "slightly misleading and not such a big deal, kind-of sort-of." (My favorite comment came from Rion, who wrote in this morning to say, "Ooooh. You were wrong about the promo. That must suck." It doesn't feel good, Rion. It doesn't feel good.) Alright, so I jumped the gun on this one — but it's not like my knee-jerk reaction wasn't justified (cue Exhibits A through S). Still, props to Berman for using her network's promo machine for good instead of evil — this time. read more

SPLIT DECISION

Everyone's a loser in the case of Rosie vs. Rosie. A judge ruled Wednesday that neither Rosie O'Donnell nor the publisher of her doomed mag deserve damages in their dispute over its collapse. "It seems to me... we're just dealing with bragging rights here, who wins and who loses," said New York state Supreme Court Justice Ira Gammerman. Despite the split decision, O'Donnell could still ask Gruner + Jahr to cover her legal expenses. "I'm happy it's over," the former talk show host said outside court. She then used the opportunity to plug her new Broadway show Taboo, which opens tomorrow. She's no dummy. read more

SHORT CUTS

HBO has ordered a second season of Real Time With Bill Maher, to premiere on Jan. 16... CBS tied NBC last week in the adults 18-49 demo, a November sweeps first. read more

COUNTERPUNCH

Paris Hilton's X-rated co-star, Rick Solomon, plans to sue his leading lady for defamation, claiming the hotel heiress wrongly accused him of releasing their homemade sex tape. Solomon's lawyer, Marty Singer, tells the New York Post that his client is suing "Paris, her parents and [publicist] Siri Garber for defamation." Solomon is probably also steamed about allegations that he took advantage of Hilton while she was nearly unconscious — which, if you've seen the footage, is a laughable idea. Paris is clearly wide awake, even vamping for the camera at one point. So I've heard. read more

FAREWELL, NORTON

Legendary second banana Art Carney, forever known as Jackie Gleason's dimwitted, endearing buddy Ed Norton on The Honeymooners, died Sunday after a long illness. He was 85. Although most famous for playing Gleason's sidekick, Carney made his mark on film as well, winning an Oscar for 1974's Harry and Tonto. He also played Felix Unger in the original Broadway production of The Odd Couple. Carney was buried Tuesday after a small private funeral near his home in Chester, Conn. read more

BABY BOON

Fatherhood has been good to David Letterman. His Late Show trailed The Tonight Show With Jay Leno by just six-tenths of a ratings point last week, the smallest margin since February 2000. Letterman announced his son's arrival on last Tuesday's show. read more

NOVEL IDEA

Britney Spears is thisclose to signing a deal to turn her semiautobiographical novel, A Mother's Gift, into an ABC Family movie. Spears, who wrote the book with her mother Lynne, would serve as exec producer of the project. It's not clear whether she would appear in the film as well. Gift tells the story of an aspiring teenage singer who grows up to be just a little bit skanky. read more

One on One Oh, my goodness. Am...

One on One
Oh, my goodness. Am I watching a father-daughter comedy on UPN or Skinemax? McKinley High must be the sluttiest school since Fast Times at Ridgemont High! Just look at all those teenagers makin' out and undoin' each other's shirt buttons in the hallways. They need to be spanked! Um, wait, maybe that wouldn't help... Anyway, I liked how Breanna and Spirit read those steamy romance novels so they could seem "experienced" to their trashy schoolmates. Then, the gal pals tried for real sex with their favorite guys, but couldn't go through with it. Aww... how sweet! It's great how this episode shows the clumsiness of losing your virginity — and why it's best to resist peer pressure — without sounding "uncool" to the young peeps. (Okay, speaking of uncool, let me not start talking like Carson Daly.) Bravo, Breanna, for resisting the shirtless Arnaz! If she said no to that kind of temptation, you know God blessed the child with wil read more

Nat'l Geo's Spin on Survivor

TV Guide Online assembled a virtual roundtable to discuss next Monday's episode of Worlds Apart (8 pm/ET), National Geographic Channel's globe-spanning new series in which American families spend 10 days immersed in a culture far different from their own. Our conversation brings together the executive producers of the series, Glenda Hersh and Steven Weinstock, and participants Daryle Noble and Debbie Johnson of St. Louis, who ventured off with their children, Joshua, 10, and Jasmine, 8, to a remote Outer Mongolian village last August. There was no electricity, no running water and just tall weeds to hide behind when nature called. After more than a week in the wild, the family discovered as much about themselves as they did about a vastly different way of life.


TV Guide Online assembled a virtual roundtable to discuss next Monday's episode of Worlds Apart (8 pm/ET), National Geographic Channel's globe-spanning new se read more

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