Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

NBC is ending its four-year partnership with the Pax Network and parent company Paxson Communications... CBS confirmed Thursday that it will air a one-hour special chronicling Michael Jackson's career on Nov. 26, the final night of sweeps... Wednesday's 60 Minutes II (8 pm/ET) profiles Felix Dennis, whose Dennis Publishing is responsible for such magazines as Maxim, Stuff and Blender. read more

DALY NEWS

Carson Daly, who started out as a radio DJ in Los Angeles, is developing an as-yet untitled comedy series for NBC set at an urban radio station, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The sometime TRL host is on board to executive produce but will not star in the project. read more

MOM'S AWAY

Alias villainess Lena Olin seems to be taking her role as Jennifer Garner's absentee mom, Irina Derevko, a little too literally. As reported in the new issue of TV Guide magazine, the actress nixed a deal to return this season despite the fact that, as a source close to the negotiations puts it, "every single one of her demands were met by ABC and the producers." Among her initial requests: "Sharon Stone-type money," says an insider, referring to the unprecedented $100,000-per-episode salary the Basic Instinct star reportedly pulled in for her recent Practice stint. ABC declined to comment, as did Olin's camp, but Alias exec producer J.J. Abrams is holding ou read more

MORE LEGAL MATTERS

A 14-year-old girl is suing Maury Povich and his talk show for $25 million claiming she was raped by a limo driver shortly after an appearance on Povich's program in 2001. The girl — who travelled to New York to tape an "Out of Control Teens" segment of The Maury Povich Show — was apparently still under the show's travel arrangements when the alleged attack occurred. read more

SPOOF, THERE IT IS

MGM is producing a big-screen spoof of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises titled Henry Bates and the Sorcerer's Balls, Variety reports. The film is being written by David Morgasen, James R. Stein and Timothy Stack, who collaborated on Howard Stern's FX series Son of the Beach. read more

AND THE SAGA CONTINUES...

Paris Hilton's X-rated leading man made good on his threat to take legal action against the hotel heiress over the whole sex tape fiasco. On Wednesday, Richard Salomon filed a $10 million slander lawsuit against Hilton, her parents and publicist Siri Garber, claiming they have waged a "cold, calculated and malicious campaign" to portray him as "a rapist." Solomon maintains in the suit that Hilton "posed and preened" during the video — and even said "hi" to the camera. She also answers her cell phone at one point. So I've heard. read more

An American Tragedy


We were horrified when NBC's 1960s-set gem, American Dreams, bumped off stalwart Henry's wife late last month. (We optimistically thought the cancer patient would recover!) But imagine how series regular Jonathan Adams felt: Not only did he have to say good-bye to his on-screen better half, but her loss was his gain. Since the plot twisted, he has been given especially meaty material and has risen to the occasion, playing to the hilt his character's heartbreak and resilience.

"I got kind of upset with myself," he admits to TV Guide Online, "because last year, when [executive producer] Jonathan Prince and I were discussing it, I got a little bit happy. 'They're going to kill my wife! Yea!' As far as [dramatic possibilities for Henry], I thought it was wonderful. It just felt really weird."

The suddenly-single parent will need every ounce of his strength, not to mention his restraint, in this Sunday' read more

REMEMBERED

Penny Singleton, who brought the comic strip character Blondie to life in a series of films from 1938 to 1950, died Wednesday in Sherman Oaks, Calif. She was 95. Singleton was also the voice behind Jane Jetson on The Jetsons. read more

CAR TROUBLE

Country crooner Wynonna Judd has got a right to sing the blues. A Nashville cop stopped the 39-year-old star on Thursday for driving 47 in a 30 miles per hour zone. That's when Judd, whom the cop described as "cooperative and pleasant," failed a field sobriety test. She was then arrested, charged with DUI and released on $500 bail. She probably needed a ride home, though, since her Land Rover was impounded. Dang it! read more

IDOL GOES GLOBAL

Miss Independent is setting her sights on a new, loftier title: Miss Universe! American Idol's inaugural champ, Kelly Clarkson, will compete against 10 of her international counterparts in World Idol, a two-part special airing the evenings of Christmas and New Year's Day on Fox. The singers will perform for 11 judges, one from each participating country. Producers have yet to decide which U.S. judge — Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul or Randy Jackson — will be invited to participate. But just to be safe, Abdul is learning how to say "You were amazing" in German, French, Polish and Icelandic. read more

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