Today's News: Our Take


BELOW-AVERAGE JOE

Joe Millionaire 2's disappointing Nielsens have led Fox to tinker with its Tuesday night lineup. Instead of offering a second helping of Joe, the network will mix repeats of 24, That '70s Show and The Simpsons from 8-9 pm/ET throughout November sweeps. Original episodes of Joe will continue to go unwatched on Mondays at 8 pm/ET. Meanwhile, Fox has delayed the return of The Bernie Mac Show until Nov. 30. read more

KATIE'S BIG GET

Katie Couric has scored an exclusive interview with disgraced New York Times plagiarist Jayson Blair. The chat will air in March and coincide with the publication of Blair's memoir, Burning Down My Master's House. read more

SUNDAY CBS at 75 CBS's...

SUNDAY

CBS at 75
CBS's self-congratulatory special had a ton of clips; but what it had the most of was uncomfortably long and strangely timed reaction shots of the celebrity audience. (Hey, there's Loni Anderson saying something we can't hear to Howard Hessman! Look, the guy next to Dennis Weaver just took a sip of water!) Still, it was a treat to see footage of shows that I've only heard about, but have never seen before, like Our Miss Brooks and The Jack Benny Show. And John Schneider and Tom Wopat each deserve a new car with doors that actually open for singing all those theme songs.

The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XIV
It's become more of a Halloween tradition than throwing eggs at passing cars (although that's still popular too).
The Opening:

  • Bart (in a Charlie Brown costume): "Good grief, this candy's terrible. Circus peanuts, raisins, nicoti
  • read more

    FIRESTORM

    News flash: Les Moonves can be intimidated. According to reports, CBS's fearless leader is considering dropping The Reagans, the network's upcoming four-hour miniseries about the former president. Scheduled to air on Nov. 16 and 18, the controversial project has come under fire from conservative groups who claim the movie casts Ronald and Nancy in an unflattering — and inaccurate — light. One scenario has Moonves dumping the telepic on sister pay-cabler Showtime. A decision is expected in the next couple of days. read more

    DIDDY DID IT

    Despite a bum knee, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs finished the New York City Marathon Sunday in 4 hours, 14 minutes, 54 seconds. The rap mogul plans to donate the $2 million in pledges he raised to children's charities. Rumor has it a portion of the proceeds will also be used to install a soda machine in a certain Honduran sweatshop. read more

    SCARY DROP

    As expected, my grandmother's scathing review of Scary Movie 3 put a significant dent in the film's box office. In its second weekend of release, the horror spoof grossed $21.1 million — off a staggering 56 percent from its record-breaking opening. Still, the flick managed to hold on to the No. 1 position — although it was nearly beaten by Disney's Brother Bear, which expanded to wide release and climbed to No. 2 with a solid $18.5 million. Rounding out the top five: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (No. 3 with $10.9 million), Radio (No. 4 with $10.2 million) and Runaway Jury (No. 5 with $6.9 million). read more

    SHORT CUTS

    The season finale of Survivor: Pearl Islands will air live from Panama City on Dec. 14... Filmmaker Ed Burns and supermodel Christy Turlington became the proud parents of their first child, a baby girl, late last month... Nickelodeon has tapped Julia Roberts's 12-year-old niece Emma Roberts (daughter of Eric) to play a musically inclined pre-teen in the comedy pilot Unfabulous. read more

    BELIEVE IT

    Cher's farewell tour — which finally ended Friday night in Toronto — grossed $145 million from more than 200 concerts. It ranks as the biggest tour in history for a female artist. read more

    Creepers "Haunts" Ed Star


    The original Jeepers Creepers freaked out a whole lotta people (us included), and none more so than Ed's Justin Long. But it wasn't what he saw while playing the creature feature's embattled protagonist that gave him nightmares, it was what we didn't see.

    "The hardest scene for me to do in that movie," he tells TV Guide Online, "was the one right after I saw all that scary scary stuff [in the Creeper's stiffs-stuffed lair]. We all really wanted to make it authentic... to make that fear as real as possible. I didn't know how I was going to do it. It was the kind of experience that leaves a [gray] streak in your hair" — &#224 la JoBeth Williams in Poltergeist.

    Nonetheless, the junior achiever was determined to give himself read more

    Blair Witch "Spells" It Out


    Four years ago, three actors went into the woods and came out with The Blair Witch Project, the most crudely shot — and, arguably, most lavishly admired — independent film in, like, ever. And, according to leading lady Heather Donahue, even if the godawful sequel hadn't killed the franchise, there could never have been another Project anyway.

    "On a regular set, you've got all these [crew members], and you have to be working on their schedule, because they've all got their jobs to do," she explains to TV Guide Online. (Well, duh.) "On Blair Witch, it was just the three of us out there. So we pretty much made that movie however we damn well pleased!

    "If we wanted a break, we took a break," she continues with a laugh. "When we were ready to shoot a scene, we shot a scene. We didn't have to do a million takes or take anybody's direction; we just read more

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