Today's News: Our Take


REALITY KUDOS

ABC has signed a deal with Emmy guru Don Mischer to produce a two-hour awards show this fall devoted strictly to reality television, Variety reports. Somewhere, Paradise Hotel's Toni is preparing her acceptance speech — and that's precisely why we love her. read more

George Lopez's Grammy Coup

If we didn't know better, we'd think CBS Entertainment President Les Moonves had a crush on ABC. First, the Eye chief guest starred on an episode of The Practice, and now, the exec has tapped comedian George Lopez — arguably one of ABC's biggest stars — to host CBS's telecast of the 4th annual Latin Grammy Awards (tonight at 9-11 pm/ET). What's next? Moonves exchanging barbs with Jimmy Kimmel? For his part, Lopez is more than happy to welcome the "Don Corleone of CBS" into the Mickey Mouse Club.


TV Guide Online: You're CBS's newest star. How'd that happen?
George Lopez:
I just know that Les Moonves had to approve me, and he did. I'm a big fan of Les's. I like what he's done with the network.

TVGO: Do you see this as a sign of progress?
Lopez:
It's a huge thing because no wants to promote other people on other networks because it's so competitive. Every time you hear "George Lopez" in a [CBS promo f read more

Jon Lovitz Takes on Reality TV


Jon Lovitz was a cult fave as irascible movie reviewer Jay Sherman on the animated series The Critic. Now, this former Saturday Night Live regular is sparing the silver screen, instead turning his evil eye on reality TV shows!

"I don't like them that much," Lovitz plainly tells TV Guide Online. "But, the first Bachelor I thought was pretty fascinating. That I really got into. I couldn't believe that the women were taking it this seriously and crying over somebody they didn't know. Even after six weeks, you couldn't know the person.

"It is ridiculous," the 46-year-old actor adds. "I couldn't believe it, but I liked seeing that house they were at because I'd seen it before and I thought, 'Oh, I wanted to buy that house!'"

Lovitz's new movie, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (opening Friday), spoofs Fox's Celebrity Boxing in its opening scene. He's got a gripe with that show's concept, too. "I think it is read more

SURVIVOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Survivor: Pearl Islands doesn't debut until Sept. 18, but TheSmokingGun.com just couldn't wait to expose the sordid secrets of this season's castaways. Oddly enough, her CBS press bio has already preemptively mentioned 24-year-old Christa Hastie's past arrest on a misdemeanor charge of "disrupting an officer's ability to perform his duties." (Translation: She once squatted on the hood of her car while it was being towed away.) But TSG has dug up some old Internet newsgroup postings from Hastie — and fellow contestant Ryan Shoulders, 23 — in which both made inquiries about scoring illegal drugs, like acid and methamphetamines. Oh yeah, and L.A. cops arrested Jon Dalton, 29, last February for DUI and driving without insurance. Hey kids, a big round of applause for your new role models! read more

ROAD RAGE

Good help is hard to find lately, especially for hip-hop artists with security staff. Johnny Bonner, a limo driver from Mobile, Ala., is suing 50 Cent, claiming the rapper's bodyguards roughed him up on the night of a concert in March. Allegedly, the driver had trouble following 50's motorcade back to his hotel, and suggested an alternate route to some bodyguards he was ferrying. They strongly disagreed, Bonner claims, and forcibly took over the wheel of his vehicle, causing him "bruised ribs, fear and emotional distress." The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, but suffice it to say Bonner wants more than, um, 50 Cents. Gimme a break folks, it's 7:10 in the freakin' morning. That's the best I can do. read more

BIG DEAL

Final details are being hammered out, but it looks like NBC has won the bidding war for Vivendi Universal's media assets. If the proposed merger is completed, the new and improved Peacock will take on a major movie studio, three cable channels, a television studio and several theme parks. read more

BAT SIGNAL

Warner Bros. and director Christopher Nolan are thisclose to settling on an actor to take over the role of the Caped Crusader in the next Batman film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, those vying for the coveted role include Jake Gyllenhaal, Christian Bale and Joshua Jackson. Shooting gets underway in February. read more

CASHIN' IN

Book publisher Alfred A. Knopf has signed ex-P.O.W. Jessica Lynch to a $1 million book deal. She'll co-author I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story — the tale of her capture and rescue in Iraq — with Rick Bragg, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer. The book is due out in November. read more

SHORT CUTS

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will wrap up their 2002-03 world tour with two shows at New York's Shea Stadium on Oct. 1 and 3... In honor of its 20th anniversary, Brian De Palma's 1983 gangster classic Scarface will be re-released in theaters on Sept. 19. read more

ART IMITATES LIFE

Here's some more "TV News" scoop from the current issue of TV Guide magazine: David Cassidy will play a cheesy lounge performer in Malcolm in the Middle's Las Vegas-set season premiere on Nov. 2. Word is the role fit the Partridge Family vet like a pair of tight bell-bottoms. read more

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