Today's News: Our Take


Actor Fred Berry, best known as the red-beret-wearing, suspenders-clad Rerun on the 1970s sitcom What's Happening!, died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 52. An autopsy is planned to determine the cause of death, although Berry reportedly had been ill since suffering a stroke this summer. After years of obscurity, Berry experienced a bit of a career revival of late, having appeared opposite David Spade in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star as well as in an episode of Scrubs last April. Most recently, he took part in the new phone-a-celeb service, in which $30 would earn a fan a 30-second call from Berry. read more


Courtney Love has lost custody of her 11-year-old daughter Frances Bean, at least for now. At Tuesday's hearing, which followed Love's Oct. 2 arrest on charges of being under the influence of a controlled substance, a judge decided to place Frances with her nanny. Kurt Cobain's widow will be allowed frequent visits. read more


Disney has pulled the plug on Ben Affleck's upcoming wedding comedy Ghosts of Girlfriends Past — just four weeks before the film was expected to begin production. Although Mickey Mouse execs declined comment, Variety speculates that high costs as well as Affleck's tarnished image (read: Gigli, Bennifer) were contributing factors. In the flick, Affleck was to play a bachelor who is visited by the ghosts of his past girlfriends while attending his younger brother's wedding. read more


ABC has called off its first annual Reality Awards, an upcoming two-hour special honoring the best in reality TV. Why? Competing networks apparently refused to provide clips from their shows. "We were surprised that the networks didn't see the value in promoting their own shows, even if it was on ABC," says the kudocast's producer, Don Mischer. "I can't speak for the networks, but it's just a very competitive time in television. It could be the networks didn't want to give ABC any competitive edge." read more


Liza Minnelli officially filed for divorce from David Gest on Wednesday, a day after her estranged hubby slapped her with a $10 million lawsuit. In a statement, Minnelli called Gest's allegations that she beat him in alcohol-fueled rages "hurtful and without merit," adding that she had "hoped very much that the end of my marriage would be handled with mutual respect and dignity." (I'm tempted to poke fun at Liza's na&#239vet&#233, but I really don't want to get smacked.) read more


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

My Wife and Kids I'm sorry, but...

My Wife and Kids
I'm sorry, but whenever a TV kid gets a lesson in adulthood from their dad, I always have to chuckle. Be it Theo Huxtable, Greg Brady or tonight's Jr., the teens always turn out to be better than pops expected. Of course, if this were real life, I'm not so sure a water balloon is the best tool to teach a high-schooler how to raise a child. Perhaps how to avoid having one in the first place, maybe.

It's All Relative
God bless Lenny Clarke. His loudmouth Mace is this season's homophobic George Costanza with a Boston accent and a gut that screams "EKG." And he's as rabid about the Red Sox as my friend Neil is about the Philadelphia Phillies. Though I am sure Neil would be more gracious about free superbox seats at a Sox-Yankees game with two gay guys — even if one of them was wearing a sweater over their shoulders. Which makes me think that whoever is costuming Simon should check their c read more


ABC will debut its new mob drama Line of Fire on Dec. 2 in NYPD Blue's Tuesday/10 pm timeslot. Blue is expected to return in February with new episodes... Nip/Tuck's first-season finale attracted 3 million viewers Tuesday night. That's slightly below the FX drama's season average of 3.3 million viewers. The season finale of MTV's Newlyweds, meanwhile, led all cable shows among viewers 18-34. read more


Published reports say Tonight Show icon Johnny Carson — who celebrates his 78th birthday today — recently underwent emergency heart surgery to clear a blocked artery. Word is Carson is back home and doing well. 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?
(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

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