Today's News: Our Take


POLITICAL FALLOUT

Maria Shriver is taking a leave of absence from NBC News now that her hubby, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has officially entered the race for California governor. An NBC rep said Shriver saw her dual roles as a political wife and news correspondent as a potential conflict of interest. Speaking of Ah-nold, critics who say the actor is a political ignoramus obviously didn't see the Terminator star on the Today show this morning. During a satellite interview, Schwarzenegger conveniently lost contact with the morning show right after Matt Lauer asked him whether he would make his income tax statements from the past several years available to the public. Schwarzenegger claimed he couldn't hear Lauer's question and the intervie read more

Perfect Possibilities to Play Andy Dick's Moms


Now that word has hit the street that Less Than Perfect is casting the lesbian mothers of resident odd duck Owen (Andy Dick), every ambiguously gay duo in Hollywood ought to be beating a path to the ABC witcom's offices. But before producers hand over the plum parts, perhaps they should review our list of unusual suspects. Some of these tag teams, you have to admit, have always seemed queer as folk.

Joan Collins and Linda Evans: If the dueling divas of Dynasty actually had sublimated sapphic tendencies, we'd at last have a plausible explanation for their obsession with fisticuffs and shoulder pads.

Jane Curtin and read more

IN RELATED NEWS...

Toothless homewreckers in Ohio will have to find another candidate to support in the upcoming senate election. Jerry Springer has decided against running for the state's senate seat, believing voters wouldn't be able to distinguish the candidate from the talk show host. "As long as I'm doing that show," he says, "my message, no matter how sincere and no matter how heartfelt, does not get through to the people I need to reach." read more

BEAUTIFUL BUNDLE

Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly, 32, gave birth to a son Tuesday — her first child with husband (and Beautiful Mind co-star) Paul Bettany. The actress also has a 5-year-old son, Kai, from a previous relationship. read more

OPRAH'S STILL NOT SWEATING

Britney Spears isn't the only actress-singer-diva kicking around the idea of launching a talk show. According to reports, Jennifer Lopez is mulling a possible syndicated gabfest that would include her less-talented sister, New York radio personality Lynda. Like Brit, J.Lo would only make occasional appearances on the show — allowing her plenty of time to continue starring in bad movies. read more

Gilmore Girls Star's Weight Loss Secret


Gilmore Girls scene-stealer Melissa McCarthy shed nearly half her body weight over the summer, but viewers won't know what's missing when the show returns this fall; her alter ego, Sookie, will be six months preggers at the start of the new season. "I'll be wearing all these pads," laments the actress. "That's the irony."

But even after Sookie delivers, the show won't be making a big deal of the character's newly-svelte self. "We never made an issue of her weight on the show before," notes exec producer Amy Sherman-Palladino, "so I doubt we will start now."

McCarthy — who says the "final straw" came earlier this year when she stumbled upon a pair of her old size four jeans — slimmed down with the help of UCLA's Risk Factor Obesity (RFO) program. "It's been around for like 20 years, so it's pretty well known," she explains o read more

Spy Kids Star Succeeds J.Lo


The new ABC drama Karen Sisco (debuting Oct. 1 at 10 pm/ET) has been described over and over as a show based on the U.S. Marshal Jennifer Lopez played in the movie Out of Sight. (You know, the role that made us think she was a real actress?) And yes, there is a steady supply of sexy convicts (&#224 la George Clooney's character) flirting with Karen, played by Spy Kids mom Carla Gugino. But Sisco's creators also insist this is a whole 'nother story.

"You can't base a series on a woman who's always chasing the same bank robber," notes exec producer Michael Shamberg. "So we simply took the very good character who ha read more

SHORT CUTS

Roger Ebert will begin radiation treatment later this month to treat a cancerous tumor in his salivary gland... NBC will air the full hourlong version of Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Aug. 14 at 10 pm/ET, prior to the Fab Five's appearance on The Tonight Show. The network originally planned to air a shortened 30-minute version at 9:30 pm/ET... Actress Marlee Matlin announced on Tuesday's Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn that she and husband Kevin Grandalski are expecting their fourth child... America's Next Top Model victor Adrianne Curry will play a waitress in two episodes of UPN's Half and Half, beginning with the Sept. 15 season premiere. read more

RECRUITING JESSICA LYNCH

NBC's upcoming TV movie Saving Private Lynch may be getting some high-profile support. According to The New York Times, NBC may pay former POW Jessica Lynch to consult on the film, which is slated to air in November. Such a deal would turn the currently unauthorized pic into an authorized version. read more

FREAKS AND GEEKS 2?

Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig has signed a deal with HBO to develop Nice Guys, a comedy series about a trio of nerdy male co-workers looking for love. "Just as Freaks and Geeks was a realistic version of the high school experience for many people, this will lay out what normal guys go through as young adults," Feig tells Variety. "I'm talking about the guys who aren't superficial jerks and would actually make good husbands if women would just stop and notice." He's not bitter, though. read more

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