Today's News: Our Take


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

FriendsJoey finally gets to display...

Friends Joey finally gets to display the acting chops that keep him on Days of Our Lives when he hilariously talks himself out of a corner during a run-in with Chandler and Monica's adoption agent (Maria Patillo), a young woman he never called after a date. Although she is probably known for her role on Providence, I remember Patillo from the late great Partners, which starred current comeback kids Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men) and Tate Donovan (The O.C.).

Threat Matrix Something about Russian operatives, American double agents and contagion-carrying currency. Maybe it's a plug for the new $20 bills.

Old Navy Commercial Lil' Kim is their new spokesmodel? Because sometimes it's just too damn cold for only pasties and a G-string.

Survivor: Pearl Islands I still have not tired of seeing Rupert repeatedly win challenges. Too bad we all know thos read more

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