Today's News: Our Take


THE STORY THAT WON'T DIE

A country-music station in Colorado has suspended two disc jockeys for playing Dixie Chicks music in violation of a ban imposed after lead singer Natalie Maines dissed President Bush. KKCS DJs and free speech supporters Dave Moore and Jeff Singer will be out for a couple of days. read more

RAINBOW CONNECTION

Kermit and Miss Piggy are back where they belong — with their creator, the late Jim Henson. German media group EM.TV confirmed on Wednesday that it agreed to sell Jim Henson Company to Henson's children for $89 million. EM.TV bought Henson for $680 million at the peak of the stock market in 2000. read more

CAUSE OF DEATH

An autopsy has confirmed that Gimme a Break! actress Nell Carter died Jan. 23 of natural causes. She was 54. read more

LET'S MAKE A DEAL

Jeffrey Jones, best known as Principal Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, is reportedly close to settling his child porn case with a plea bargain. The 55-year-old actor was charged with allegedly hiring a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photographs. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted. read more

ON THE SIDELINES

Turner Sports has tapped pop stud Justin Timberlake to serve as a special correspondent. Among the TNT events the 'N Syncer will cover: the NBA playoffs, NASCAR races and the PGA championship. read more

MAC ATTACKS

Buoyed by another first-place finish from CSI, CBS ranked as the most-watched network last week — the first full week of May sweeps. NBC, meanwhile, narrowly beat Fox among advertiser-friendly adults 18-to-49. Still, Fox had plenty to celebrate. Thanks to its strong American Idol lead-in, Bernie Mac attracted 13.8 million viewers — its largest audience to date. America, you have good taste. read more

COMING UP NECKS...

Vampires are returning to the Great White Way — but thankfully, Michael Crawford is not leading the charge. Elton John and longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin are teaming up to bring The Vampire Lestat to Broadway. The musical, based on the character from Anne Rice's novels, is slated to open in 2005. At a press conference Tuesday, John said the show will "not be a rock opera" like Crawford's short-lived Dance of the Vampires. "It has to be classically written." read more

The Bachelor's Near Mrs.


Even before she made him eat codfish, viewers of ABC's The Bachelor (Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET) knew that it was only a matter of time before superfine Firestone wine heir Andrew pruned thorny Jersey girl Cristina from his garden of sweeties. However, frisky frontrunner Kirsten need not sign up for classes in cork-sniffing and posey-arranging just yet; her victory is anything but a foregone conclusion. In fact, a quick review of her behavior thus far, as well the attractive attributes of her romantic rivals, reveals that her handsome playboy may well leave her singing "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." Check it out. &#151Ben Katner

Kirsten: Let's all agree on one point right off the bat, shall we? This chick is hot. Really, really hot. And she's not just another pretty face, either. She's got one helluva set of curves on 'er, too. Erstwhile Joe Millionaire Evan would probably go so far as to say that she's got a " read more

Cheers Stars Dating!


Pull up a barstool and make yourself comfortable — the cast of Cheers is finally reuniting! Well, at least two of the classic sitcom's co-stars are. In tonight's episode of ABC's 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (airing at 8 ET), barmaid Diane and mailman Cliff — aka Shelley Long and John Ratzenberger — drop in as the Hennessys' neighbors, Mary Ellen and Fred Doyle.

"Johnny was absolutely on his game, as he always is," an enthusiastic Long informs TV Guide Online. "This is a terrific character for him. Very different. And I got to do something new, too. There are bits and pieces of Mary Ellen that I don't think will be familiar to people who know my work. I'm also looking a read more

LAME DUCK

FX has elected not to support American Candidate, a 13-week reality series that would have followed 10 presidential hopefuls as they campaigned across the country. Apparently, the project proved too costly. read more

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