Today's News: Our Take


Freaks and Geeks: The Next Generation


Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig is developing a new comedy series for HBO about four twentysomething friends — three guys and a girl (no pizza place) — dealing with sex and dating from a distinctly nerdy point of view. Think of it as his attempt to educate Hollywood about the complexities of the male species.

"Guys in their 20s in movies and on TV always wanna get laid, and that was not my experience," the self-proclaimed geek tells TV Guide Online. "We were looking for the great girlfriend, who could then make a wife. I wanted to portray that and get away from the ugly side of male mating."

Of the four central characters, "three work at a mall and a fourth guy secretly works in an adult book store on the outskirts of town," explains Feig. "What it enables them to do is meet in the food court all of the time, which is very Freaks and Geeksy in a way. I just love how people kind of talk when they're eating together.

"An read more

WHAT'S GOOD FOR ASHTON...

Topher Grace has signed a new deal with That '70s Show that will pay him more than $250,000 an episode next season. That puts the actor on par with what co-star Ashton Kutcher will be making. read more

THREE BABIES AND A MAN

Here's some "TV News" scoop from the current issue of TV Guide magazine: Movie star Giovanni Ribisi will reprise his role as Phoebe's wacky brother — and father of the triplets to whom she was a surrogate mom — in a Friends episode slated for October. read more

HEY, MIKE TYSON — DINNER IS READY

Illusionist David Blaine performed his best stunt yet over the weekend: He left the British media bloody speechless. At a London press conference Monday, Blaine appeared to cut off his ear with a pocket knife after a reporter asked whether he could show off any new tricks. He left the room holding a handkerchief to his ear and later returned covered in blood. (Why doesn't this happen at any of the press conferences I go to???) The point of all this? Publicity for Blaine's Sept. 5 stunt, in which he'll be suspended in a clear box by the River Thames in London for 44 days. read more

IN RELATED NEWS...

Thursday's MTV Video Music Awards was seen by 10.7 million viewers — down from last year's record-breaking 12 million. Meanwhile, rumor has it the music network wants Eminem to kiss David Gest during next year's opener. read more

FAREWELL

Tough-guy actor Charles Bronson, best known for the popular Death Wish film franchise, died of pneumonia on Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 81. According to reports, Bronson had Alzheimer's disease and had been hospitalized since suffering organ failure in early August. A private memorial will be held this week. read more

LABOR GAINS

The annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon raised a record $60.5 million in pledges Monday for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. That surpasses last year's record of $58.3 million. Despite suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, the 77-year-old Lewis — whose body appeared bloated due to steroid medication — emceed the event for the 38th consecutive year. read more

TONGUES ARE WAGGING

After receiving a deluge of complaints, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution apologized to its readers Monday for running a picture of Britney Spears and Madonna playing tonsil hockey at the VMAs on the front page of Friday's edition. Managing editor Hank Klibanoff said the photo of the same-sex smooch should only have appeared inside the paper. I'm assuming in the sports section. read more

DID THEY OR DIDN'T THEY?

Although there's been no official confirmation, Beatle scion Stella McCartney allegedly married publisher Alasdhair Willis on Saturday on a remote Scottish island. Among the celebs in attendance: The fashion designer's famous father Paul, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Madonna and model Kate Moss. read more

THE HORROR!

Jeepers Creepers 2 made a heap of money over the long Labor Day weekend, grossing $18.5 million to debut at No. 1. Freaky Friday climbed to No. 2 with $11.7 million, followed by S.W.A.T. (No. 3 with $10.5 million) and Open Range (No. 4 with $10.2 million). Meanwhile, The Italian Job — which was re-released on nearly 2,000 screens — got the job done for Paramount; the film crossed the $100 million mark after grossing another $3.8 million. All told, Hollywood rang up $3.87 billion in ticket sales this summer — besting last year's record by two percent. read more

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