Today's News: Our Take


AND BABY MAKES FOUR

Dixie Chick Natalie Maines is expecting her second child with actor-husband Adrian Pasdar. The couple have a 2-year-old son, Jackson. read more

JACKO UPDATE

The judge in Michael Jackson's molestation case delayed a ruling Friday on when to hold the preliminary hearing after the defense said it needed more time to review the prosecution's evidence. All parties are due back in court on April 2. The judge also said he hoped the case would go to trial by the end of the year. read more

WHEN DOES HE SLEEP?

As if Ryan Seacrest weren't busy enough, the host of American Idol, On-Air with Ryan Seacrest and the syndicated American Top 40 radio countdown is adding a fourth gig to his repertoire. The well-groomed emcee has been named the new host of KIIS-FM's popular L.A.-based morning radio program. He replaces Rick Dees, who got the big KIIS off after 22 years with the station. Still, he's gotta be feeling better than Brian Dunkleman right about now. read more

BAD DAY

Kiefer Sutherland was injured in a barroom brawl earlier this week, forcing production on his Fox series 24 to be rejiggered to accommodate his absence, a source confirms to TV Guide Online. Upon returning to work on Wednesday, the actor — who received multiple stitches on his face — apologized to the show's cast and crew for the inconvenience. Word is everyone accepted his apology except Chloe O'Brian. read more

IF THEY CAN'T MAKE IT WORK...

In a blow to anatomically incorrect couples everywhere, Mattel announced that after more than 43 years together, the storybook romance that is Barbie and Ken has come to an end. "They feel it's time to spend some quality time apart," says Mattel marketing VP Russell Arons, who adds that come spring, Barbie will sport a whole new look that reflects her life as a "carefree and independent" woman. Ken, meanwhile, will sport a whole new look that reflects his life as an out and proud homosexual. Just kidding. About the last part. The rest of it is true. Really. read more

WHAT THE $%#*!

Courtney Love broke a new record Thursday when she became the most bleeped guest ever to appear on Howard Stern's radio show. Love was bleeped 15 times as she explained why she skipped a court hearing Wednesday. "I didn't show up because I didn't have a professional bodyguard," she told Stern. Love's hearing was rescheduled for next Tuesday. read more

TRUE CONFESSION

Many reality TV personalities have had their sordid pasts publicly exposed, but very few do it themselves! This week on America's Next Top Model, 21-year-old Shandi Sullivan told contest judge Janice Dickinson that she'd dabbled in drugs and committed robbery, hoping to get attention from her family. Indeed, Shandi was arrested in May 2001 for stealing $650, a fax machine, and a small safe from Mr. Bulky's candy store in her hometown of Kansas City, Mo. She later copped a plea and was sentenced to two years probation. FYI, the gawky waif's unfashionable mugshot is now on TheSmokingGun.com — which means the poor thing is gonna be needing another hug from J. Alexander right about now. read more

AUTO PILOTS

ABC has picked up an untitled comedy pilot that finds Newlyweds babe Jessica Simpson playing a fictional version of herself. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nick's dimmer half will star as Jessica Sampson, an aspiring reporter who gets a job with a prime-time newsmagazine show. ABC has also ordered a 24-esque comedy pilot that revolves around a single guy (John Stamos) preparing for a date, with the entire first season taking place over the course of the big outing. Finally, CBS has tapped Chris O'Donnell to star in Westerbergs, a comedy pilot about two brothers who grew up thinking they were special, and must now face the reality that they're just, well, ordinary. read more

CRIME REPORT

Eminem's ex-wife, Kimberly Mathers, was sentenced to at least a month in jail Thursday for using cocaine while on probation. After serving her time, she'll be transferred to an inpatient substance abuse treatment program for an additional 90 days. Speaking of prison sentences, Entertainment Tonight reports that Diana Ross has completed her two-day jail term for DUI. read more

SURVIVOR SHOCKER

It was a very special episode of Survivor: All-Stars Thursday night as Jenna Morasca, the 22-year-old winner of Survivor: The Amazon, abruptly pulled herself out of the game to be with her ailing mother. In a tearful speech to her tribe mates, Morasca admitted that she had made a mistake signing up for All-Stars. Later, a message popped up on the screen informing viewers that eight days after Jenna returned home, her mother lost her long battle with cancer. On CBS' The Early Show Friday morning, Morasca said she had a "premonition" on the island that her mom had taken a turn for the worse. This isn't the first time a Survivor contestant walked away from the show. Last November on Survivor: Pearl Islands, Osten Taylor, bitter that producers changed the rules of the game to give ousted tribe mates a second read more

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