Today's News: Our Take

I SPY A... D'UH!

Alias fans, you may want to sit down for this: Jennifer Garner is dating her leading man Michael Vartan! The official confirmation — which came as a complete shock to no one — was issued by Garner's spokeswoman, who told Us Weekly that the pair "were friends and they recently started dating." Garner split from her hubby, ex-Felicity star Scott Foley, last April, but according to Us, she and Vartan didn't start dating until Alias resumed production two weeks ago. It's not a lie if you believe it. read more


Alec Baldwin's onetime business partner is suing him for fraud and breach of contract, claiming the 45-year-old hairy-chested thesp owes her $125,000 of his earnings from the recent TNT movie Second Nature. Corrinne Mann says she developed the TV movie with Baldwin and is entitled to half of the fees he collected from the project. read more


Former Roseanne patriarch John Goodman has signed a deal with CBS to headline a sitcom targeted for fall 2004, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This would be the actor's first starring TV role since his ill-fated Fox comedy Normal, Ohio flopped in 2000. The premise of the new show is still being hammered out. read more


NBC has inked a deal with mystery writer James Patterson for three more TV movie adaptations, including 2nd Chance and 3rd Degree — the follow-ups to last season's highly-rated 1st to Die flick... All the publicity surrounding that Fox News Channel lawsuit has propelled Al Franken's upcoming book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, to No. 1 on Amazon. read more


In sort-of-related news, production on Roseanne Barr's upcoming ABC Family series Domestic Goddess is being pushed back so the show's star can undergo a hysterectomy next week. The development of Goddess serves as the basis for the current ABC reality series The Real Roseanne Show, which was D.O.A. last week. read more


ER's top doc Noah Wyle may be taking some time off this fall, but his commitment to NBC's long-running hospital drama is hardly wavering. Wyle has extended his ER contract for another year, through the 2004-05 season. The new pact also calls for the actor to direct two episodes of the show. read more


Jay Leno has invited all 135 candidates running for California governor — including Arnold, Gary, that blonde porn star and a number of other D-listers — to appear on NBC's Tonight Show on Sept. 22. "We have 300 seats," Leno says, "we'll let everybody in." Just to be safe, NBC may want to hire extra security that night to guard the petty cash drawer. read more


HBO is divorcing itself from Marriage, Steven Bochco's much-talked-about upcoming drama series set almost entirely in the bedroom of one couple's New York City apartment. After viewing the pilot, the network "had serious reservations about whether it could be sustained as a series," an HBO rep tells Variety. Bochco, meanwhile, is developing a new cop drama for ABC — a possible successor to NYPD Blue, which is entering its 11th (and possibly final) season this fall. read more

Whoa! Joey Lawrence Grows Up

Joseph Lawrence, the 27-year-old artist formerly known as Joey on Gimme a Break! and Blossom, is getting back to his sitcom roots this fall with the WB's Run of the House. He plays Kurt, the eldest of four sibs who is left in charge when mom and dad fly south for the winter. It's a character the real-life older brother to 23-year-old Matt and 15-year-old Andy can relate to.

"I always felt with Matt that I was more of a surrogate-like father/uncle type than I was an actual bro who would throw down and party with him," explains Lawrence, whose recurring role on American Dreams will come to an end this fall. "So I think that [my character], Kurt, feels that way, too, and throws the responsibility onto his shoulders. I id read more

Jamie Kennedy's Shocking New Experiment

The star of The Jamie Kennedy Experiment is a massive liar. He even says so on Page 2 of his new book, Wannabe: A Hollywood Experiment (Citadel Press), a candid account of his early, mostly humiliating days in Hollywood. Of course, things did turn around for the 33-year-old actor-comedian: His WB prankfest returns for a third season next month, the book is out on Aug. 25, and Malibu's Most Wanted, the film based on one of his outrageous characters, arrives on DVD in September. Not bad. Now, let's get to the truth.

TV Guide Online: In the book, you're pretty blunt about your sexual experiences. Have your parents read it?
I don't want them to. My dad could, but my mom... she's had six kids but somehow doesn't think sex happens.

TVGO: She knows you lost your virginity at some point though, right?
I don't even think she knows that.

TVGO: You wrote that when you wo read more

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