Today's News: Our Take


NO SALE

French media empire Vivendi Universal, which is for sale, has rejected an $11.5 billion bid from MGM. The offer was apparently deemed insufficient, which means other suitors, including NBC and Liberty Media, are still in the running. Not that you give a fig about any of this. read more

GAY PAYS

Bravo's gay makeover show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, debuted to strong ratings on Tuesday night, with 1.64 million viewers. Hey, for Bravo, that's big! read more

EMMY GETS IT

Alright, Emmy did offer up a few pleasant jolts — emphasis on the word few. Among them: Alias's Lena Olin for best supporting actress; Monk's Tony Shalhoub for best lead comedy actor; and FX's Lucky for best writing in a comedy. read more

EXTENDED STAY

Fox has ordered an additional 12 episodes of its strangely addictive reality romp Paradise Hotel, extending its run for another six weeks. read more

EMMY GETS SILLY

The five best comedy nominees remained identical to 2002 (zzzzzz... ): Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, Will & Grace and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Sadly MIA: The Bernie Mac Show, Gilmore Girls and Scrubs. I've got three words for you Academy voters: Dream Emmy Ballot!!!! read more

EMMY GETS REAL

The Amazing Race, American Idol and Survivor will duke it out for the best reality series Emmy. And for the first time, the category will be presented during Fox's main prime-time telecast on Sept. 21 — not the technical ceremony the week before. I imagine Simon Cowell had something to do with that. read more

DIG THIS

There were few surprises when nominations for the 55th annual Primetime Emmy awards were announced this morning. As expected, Six Feet Under overtook the competition with a field-best 16 nods, including best drama series, best actor for Peter Krause and best actress for Frances Conroy. Three-time champ The West Wing finished a close second with 15 mentions, despite sinking approval ratings last season. The Sopranos, meanwhile, nabbed 13 nods (including shoo-in Edie Falco), tying with Sex and the City and Everybody Loves Raymond. HBO once agai read more

REVAMPING THE PRACTICE

The Practice exec producer David E. Kelley had a lot of explaining to do at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour on Tuesday. For starters: Why did he pink slip half of the legal drama's cast, including Dylan McDermott, Lara Flynn Boyle and Lisa Gay Hamilton? ABC's decision to slash the show's license fee was a factor, but that wasn't the only reason. "Creatively, I knew that the show had to be reenergized," he said. To that end, Kelley confirmed that in addition to James Spader, Sharon Stone would guest star in at leas read more

Can ABC Make Practice Perfect?


ABC wrapped up its two-day gig at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Hollywood on Tuesday with one of the most hotly-anticipated sessions of the event: The Practice panel, during which David E. Kelley would address for the first time his decision to jettison half of the cast in one of the most dramatic overhauls of a drama series to date. Sadly, the press conference was scheduled for 4 pm/PT, and the day's only other exciting offering was a special lunch celebrating One Life to Live's 35th anniversary. Of course, this being press tour, some of the most thrilling moments come when you least expect it. Here's my minute-by-minute guide to all the day's highlights:

9:04 am Kelly Ripa makes good on read more

TREASURE TROVE

Disney is setting sail on a sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio — which has already locked in stars Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley — has begun talks with Pirates scribes Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio about penning a follow-up. read more

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