Today's News: Our Take


ORANGE ALERT

Fox has had second thoughts about moving The O.C. to Thursday nights (opposite CSI and Will & Grace) next month, when it returns from its seven-week hiatus. Instead, the network will air the second half of the hit primetime sudser's first season on Wednesdays at 9 pm (opposite ABC's The Bachelor), beginning Oct. 29. In other scheduling news, Fox is moving Bernie Mac to Sundays at 8:30 pm, where it will replace the talk show-within-a-sitcom The Ortegas, which has now been benched to midseason. Bernie kicks off its new season on Nov. 9. read more

DID THEY OR DIDN'T THEY?

Rumor has it David Letterman married longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko several weeks ago at his Montana ranch. The couple are expecting their first child later this year. Responds a Letterman rep: "We never comment on Dave's private life." read more

SHORT CUTS

Warner Bros. has given Peter and Bobby Farrelly the green light to revive the Three Stooges franchise on the big screen, Variety reports... CBS is developing a sitcom for fall 2004, starring Ally McBeal alum Jane Krakowski. FX has axed The Orlando Jones Show... Oprah Winfrey has chosen Alan Paton's 1948 novel Cry, the Beloved Country as her latest book club selection... Bachelor Bob Guiney is releasing a solo album on Amazon.com Oct. 7. It's titled 3 Sides and is being described as a cross between Matchbox Twenty and John Mayer. read more

SUNDAY RATINGS

CBS's Cold Case iced the competition in its debut Sunday while NBC notched promising numbers for its new Rob Lowe drama The Lyon's Den. Cold Case attracted 15.5 million viewers to lead the 8 pm hour, while Lyon's Den drew 12.5 million viewers to finish second at 10 pm (behind the Eye telepic 12 Mile Road). Meanwhile, David E. Kelley's retooled Practice — which featured a poignant story about a man who smelled — failed to impress with 10.2 million viewers. read more

2003 World Gymnastics Championships...

2003 World Gymnastics Championships (a repeat)
Thanks ESPN2. I finally get to see Brazilian gymnast Daiane Dos Santos spank Romanian ass on the floor exercise (and make history for her country). Girlfriend threw two double Arabian pike fronts with the height of a man and the grace and style of a strong black woman. Go Daiane! I say, "Flip!" You say, "Flop!"

Fear Factor
Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, I can not stand host Joe Rogan. He's a condescending, instigating, little man who talks big — like he could ace half the stunts the competitors do on that show. But tonight, I had to give it to him. When it came time to eat live African cave-dwelling spiders, perky Krisandra started to cry. But Rogan talked her through it. And she pulled it together and ate three creepy crawlers. Shoot. I ain't gon' lie: I ran screaming from the room when she bit the first one. (My neighbor did not appreciate that by the read more

FRIENDS CONTROVERSY

A story in today's New York Post alleges that Friends star Jennifer Aniston's desire to start a family with hubby Brad Pitt led to the hitcom's accelerated production schedule this season. Friends is shooting two episodes a week so that it can wrap up in January. In related news, Newsweek reports that (spoiler alert!) the Rachel-Joey romance will come to an end fairly soon — to Aniston's apparent relief. "I hated it," she says. "Joey's like my brother." read more

IT'S OVER

Heath Ledger and Naomi Watts are an item no more. According to Entertainment Tonight, the couple split about a month ago "due to work schedules that kept them apart." read more

PG-RATED SEX

TBS has acquired rights to rebroadcast Sex and the City beginning in June 2004, shortly after the racy comedy completes its HBO run. Concerned parents need not worry, though. The reruns will be edited down to remove all the good stuff. read more

STUNT CASTING ALERT

It's official: Regis Philbin will guest-star on Kelly Ripa's ABC sitcom Hope & Faith this November, the duo announced on this morning's Live. Reege will play used-car salesman Handsome Hal Halverson, who auditions Ripa's character to appear in his local TV commercial. read more

Question: My husband and I ...

Question: Question: My husband and I are having a major debate about the origins of Happy Days. One of us says it was spun off from Love, American Style, and the other says it was based on American Graffiti. Which one is it? There is a lobster dinner riding on the answer to this! Thank you in advance!


Answer: Technically, Amy, neither is exactly right. But for the sake of the bet, whoever stood by the Love, American Style spinoff gets to crack claws for free.

Happy Days began life as a half-hour pilot called New Family in Town. Co-creators Garry Marshall and Tom Miller envisioned it as a Norman Rockwell-esque endeavor and they set it in Milwaukee, where Miller grew up. "It was a very soft, gentle show," Marshall wrote in a 1984 TV Guide article he penned as his series wrapped its 11th season. "The network guys looked at it and they said, 'What a sweet, lovely read more

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