Today's News: Our Take


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"Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake... the guy who played Steve Urkel [Family Matters co-star Jaleel White], Stevie Wonder and Tom Cruise. Yeah, I'd watch that!" — Celebrity Mole: Hawaii finalist Erik von Detten (The Princess Diaries) on the performers ABC ought to recruit for its next all-star installment read more

NOT AGAIN...

Another week, another reality show contestant caught up in a porn scandal. American Idol semifinalist Frenchie Davis, the plus-sized, brassy-voiced diva-in-the-making from Washington , D.C., has been eliminated from Fox's talent contest after she admitted to appearing on an adult website four years ago. She'll be replaced on the Feb. 25 show. In other Idol chit chat, after watching last night's episode, I'd like to make a plea to the remaining Kelly and Justin wannabes who are preparing to strut their stuff in front of Simon, Randy and Paula: Please don't argue with the judges (read: Simon) if you don't like what they say. Not only does it make you look pathetic, it's costing you precious votes. (Yes Kimberley Locke, we're talking to you.) read more

SURVEILLANCE TAPES

In an effort to stop TV critics from selling or distributing screener tapes on the web, HBO has branded upcoming episodes of Six Feet Under with the journalists' initials. In a letter sent to the media, an HBO spokesman wrote, "We are placing chyrons with your initials in the upper right hand corner on all future review tapes. We have tried to make this chyron as unobtrusive as possible." That reminds me, I must get around to putting next season's Sopranos premiere on eBay... read more

THEY HAD US FOOLED

Did you feel duped by Monday's misleading Joe Millionaire? You're not alone. Fox is taking heat from angry viewers who were under the impression that Evan Marriott would choose between his two remaining bachelorettes — Sarah and Zora — at the end of the episode. Instead, Joe fans had to sit through a lame 60-minute clip/recap show only to discover that Evan wouldn't make his decision until next week's two-hour finale! "Perhaps we took too much dramatic license with what information would be revealed," a Fox rep tells USA Today. "We apologize if anyone's dissatisfied." In the end, Fox's scheme worked: Monday's episode attracted 24 million viewers — the show's largest audience to date. read more

SHORT CUTS

The four surviving members of the Grateful Dead have decided to rename themselves the Dead. Good, because the Other Ones just wasn't doing it for me... CNN anchor Willow Bay is bolting the cable network because it can't accommodate her desire to work in Los Angeles... Former Ally McBeal star Josh Hopkins has landed the lead role on Fox's Steven Bochco-produced futuristic cop pilot NYPD 2069. read more

THEY HAD IT COMIN'

Nominations for the 75th annual Academy Awards were announced this morning and, not surprisingly, Chicago danced off with a field-best 13 nods, including best picture, best actress (Renée Zellweger), best supporting actress (Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones), best supporting actor (John C. Reilly), best adapted screenplay (Bill Condon) and best director (Rob Marshall). It'll comp read more

A Final Farewell for Buffy and Angel


More evidence that this will be the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Execs at UPN and the WB have apparently put their stakes down long enough to allow The Chosen One (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and her soulless mate Angel (David Boreanaz) to partake in a farewell crossover. Sources confirm for TV Guide Online that Boreanaz will appear in what will likely be the series finale of Buffy in May.

Although Boreanaz — whose WB spinoff series Angel is also bouncing on the renewal bubble — wouldn't confirm that he's headed back to Sunnydale, he did concede in a recent interview with TV Guide Online that "fans would enjoy that. It would be really nice for them." UPN's response? read more

Kiefer's New 24 Mate Speaks!


Fans of 24 may be split when it comes to Jack Bauer's romantic dilemma, but the show's newest heroine certainly isn't. Sarah Wynter, who plays amateur sleuth Kate Warner on Fox's Emmy-winning drama (airing tonight at 9 pm/ET), believes Kiefer Sutherland's widower character has mourned his murdered ex long enough.

"I'm pushing for us to get together," she tells TV Guide Online. "I keep nudging him. I'm like, 'Come on Kiefer, hurry up! [Your wife] died a year ago!' Enough time has past for a little looky-looky." Laughing, she adds: "That's looky-looky, not nooky-nooky."

Indeed, given 24's real-time premise — the entire season takes read more

Confess, Celebrity Mole! Confess!


It's always the quiet ones. Softspoken Celebrity Mole: Hawaii contestant Erik von Detten swears to TV Guide Online that viewers will be "110 percent positively" surprised when the saboteur is unmasked on tomorrow night's finale (at 10 ET on ABC). But us? Eh, not so much. Although the Dinotopia star refuses to spill the beans, our money's still 110 percent positively on him!

From the beginning, von Detten's reserved personality made him our primary suspect. However, he argues that next to boisterous competitors like Stephen Baldwin and Corbin Bernsen, Roseanne would've come off read more

SLOPPY SECONDS

The major broadcast networks are in no mood for sex. ABC, NBC and Fox have rejected HBO's proposal to air sanitized reruns of Sex and the City for $3 million an episode. And word has it that CBS will pass on the offer as well. According to Variety, the networks balked at the price. read more

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