Today's News: Our Take


GOODBYE, OLD FRIEND

Late-night legend Jack Paar — host of NBC's The Tonight Show from 1957 until 1962 — has died at 85 after a long illness. Johnny Carson, who inherited the Tonight reins from Parr, said he was "very saddened to hear of [Parr's] passing. He was a unique personality who brought a new dimension to late-night television." Indeed, Parr — whose guests included everyone from JFK to Judy Garland — was dubbed "one of America's most popular indoor pastimes" just weeks after his debut. read more

Apprentice Villain Fires Back

As he proved during his brief but memorable stint on NBC's The Apprentice, Sam Solovey is a small guy with a larger-than-life personality. In fact, the 27-year-old Internet entrepreneur is such a big presence that he required two — count 'em, two — TV Guide Online interviews. So, as a follow-up to his pre-pink slip chat, we rang up with the nutty obsessor just hours after he proposed to his girlfriend live on the Today show to grill him some more.
TV Guide Online: Which was more nerve-racking: facing The Donald in the Board Room or proposing on national TV?
Sam Solovey:
It's funny. When other people are most uncomfortable, that's when I'm comfortable. I'm an intense person, so going into the Board Room was an exhausting process, but I was never nervous. And I wasn't even nervous this morning because I enjoy those opportunities for the challenge. I love that kind of scary moment. It's a thrill t read more

DOESN'T A BAT HAVE WINGS?

Newlyweds star Jessica Simpson will make her feature film debut in the ensemble baseball flick Walk On, Variety reports. It tells the true story of David Clyde, who was recruited in 1973 by the nearly bankrupt Texas Rangers when he was just 18. Simpson will play his high school sweetheart and wife. read more

'70s Show Star Quitting?


Topher Grace, 25, is best known for playing retro boy Eric Forman on the long-running Fox hitcom, That '70s Show. Over the past few years, though, he's been earning street cred with small parts in movies like Mona Lisa Smile and Traffic. Now, he's a lead in the current comedy, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!. Does the actor's big screen success mean his TV run will soon end?

"As long as you forgo having a social life, [doing both] is a piece of cake," Grace tells TV Guide Online. "It'll calm down, eventually. [Right now], I think it is so wonderful workwise, because I have this home base with '70s, where I have been working since I was a teenager.

"That was my first audition," he continues. "I was pulled out of a high school play for that show. And very few actors have this home base in Hollywood and then are able to go try something different and come back. It has been a wonderful kind of graduate school for acting. But nex read more

SOLID BOW

The debut of Dennis Miller's new CNBC talk show notched decent ratings Monday. The premiere, which featured a guest appearance by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, attracted 746,000 viewers — more than four times what the cable network had been averaging at 9 pm. read more

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES

Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated drama Mystic River was named the best movie for grown-ups by AARP The Magazine. The mag also singled out Bill Murray and Diane Keaton as the best actor and actress over 50 and School of Rock as the best movie for grown-ups who refuse to grow up. Gigli, meanwhile, was honored as the best movie for grown-ups who like really crappy films. read more

SO THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED

One of the biggest mysteries from Sunday's Golden Globe Awards has been solved. In Tuesday's Insider, we posed the question: "What was the commotion at Johnny Depp's table during Robin Williams' introduction of the Master and Commander clip? Did someone collapse?" According to a spy seated in the ballroom, one of the show's cameramen got tangled up in his wires and Depp and Co. jumped in to help. Phew, I'm glad that's settled. read more

MORE PRAISE

Michael Douglas, who gushed endlessly about Karl Malden at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards, will present his mentor and former TV sidekick with the Screen Actors Guild's 40th Life Achievement Award on Feb. 22. Malden and Douglas were costars in the 1970s crime drama The Streets of San Francisco. read more

BAD SINGING = GOOD RATINGS

The return of American Idol propelled Fox to the top of the ratings heap last week. With Idol holding the top three spots, the network won the week with an average 12.8 million viewers. Wednesday's Idol ranked as the most-watched show with 29.4 million viewers, followed by Monday's and Tuesday's installments. Idol also boosted the premiere of My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance (No. 8) and lifted The O.C. to its best numbers yet. NBC, buoyed by Sunday's highly rated Golden Globe Awards, finished a close second with 12.7 million viewers. read more

BUSTED

R&B singer Faith Evans and her husband, record executive Todd Russaw, were arrested Wednesday in Atlanta on drug possession charges. They were allegedly caught with cocaine and marijuana. read more

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