Today's News: Our Take


NOVEL IDEA

Britney Spears is thisclose to signing a deal to turn her semiautobiographical novel, A Mother's Gift, into an ABC Family movie. Spears, who wrote the book with her mother Lynne, would serve as exec producer of the project. It's not clear whether she would appear in the film as well. Gift tells the story of an aspiring teenage singer who grows up to be just a little bit skanky. read more

COUNTERPUNCH

Paris Hilton's X-rated co-star, Rick Solomon, plans to sue his leading lady for defamation, claiming the hotel heiress wrongly accused him of releasing their homemade sex tape. Solomon's lawyer, Marty Singer, tells the New York Post that his client is suing "Paris, her parents and [publicist] Siri Garber for defamation." Solomon is probably also steamed about allegations that he took advantage of Hilton while she was nearly unconscious — which, if you've seen the footage, is a laughable idea. Paris is clearly wide awake, even vamping for the camera at one point. So I've heard. read more

BABY BOON

Fatherhood has been good to David Letterman. His Late Show trailed The Tonight Show With Jay Leno by just six-tenths of a ratings point last week, the smallest margin since February 2000. Letterman announced his son's arrival on last Tuesday's show. read more

One on One Oh, my goodness. Am...

One on One
Oh, my goodness. Am I watching a father-daughter comedy on UPN or Skinemax? McKinley High must be the sluttiest school since Fast Times at Ridgemont High! Just look at all those teenagers makin' out and undoin' each other's shirt buttons in the hallways. They need to be spanked! Um, wait, maybe that wouldn't help... Anyway, I liked how Breanna and Spirit read those steamy romance novels so they could seem "experienced" to their trashy schoolmates. Then, the gal pals tried for real sex with their favorite guys, but couldn't go through with it. Aww... how sweet! It's great how this episode shows the clumsiness of losing your virginity — and why it's best to resist peer pressure — without sounding "uncool" to the young peeps. (Okay, speaking of uncool, let me not start talking like Carson Daly.) Bravo, Breanna, for resisting the shirtless Arnaz! If she said no to that kind of temptation, you know God blessed the child with wil read more

ANOTHER CLOSING, ANOTHER SHOW

Planning on heading to the Big Apple to watch Farrah Fawcett make her Broadway debut in the comedy Bobbi Boland? Not a chance? Good, because the $2 million stage play closed Sunday after only seven preview performances. Producer Joyce Johnson says she came to the conclusion that the show "simply does not work in a Broadway house." read more

THEY HAD IT COMING

Catherine Zeta-Jones — who just won a $24,000 judgement against a British tab that published her wedding pics — has moved on to her next legal battle. According to TheSmokingGun.com, the Oscar winner is fuming over reports that she lost weight via the Atkins diet. In a warning letter sent last week to various media outlets, a lawyer for Zeta-Jones maintained that press reports are "falsely representing to the average reader, including many young women who look up to my client and admire her beautiful appearance, that Ms. Zeta-Jones would recommend this diet to any person looking to lose weight." read more

Nat'l Geo's Spin on Survivor

TV Guide Online assembled a virtual roundtable to discuss next Monday's episode of Worlds Apart (8 pm/ET), National Geographic Channel's globe-spanning new series in which American families spend 10 days immersed in a culture far different from their own. Our conversation brings together the executive producers of the series, Glenda Hersh and Steven Weinstock, and participants Daryle Noble and Debbie Johnson of St. Louis, who ventured off with their children, Joshua, 10, and Jasmine, 8, to a remote Outer Mongolian village last August. There was no electricity, no running water and just tall weeds to hide behind when nature called. After more than a week in the wild, the family discovered as much about themselves as they did about a vastly different way of life.


TV Guide Online assembled a virtual roundtable to discuss next Monday's episode of Worlds Apart (8 pm/ET), National Geographic Channel's globe-spanning new se read more

Survivor's Savage Beast Talks!


One of the Morgan tribe's first official acts on Survivor: Pearl Islands was to elect Andrew Savage as its fearless captain. Little did the 40-year-old attorney know he was helming a sinking ship! But while Savage remained upbeat through most of the turmoil — the limited supplies, Osten's exit, the botched challenges — he lost his cool when ex-tribemate Lill was given a second chance in the game.

"Any twist, any curveball, [the producers] want to throw at us, I say, 'Bring it on,' because that is the game that we signed up for," Savage explains to TV Guide Online. "Having said that, the reason I was so angry is that for nine days, Lill was in 'Loser's Lodge' on vacation.

"During that nine-day period, all five Morgan tribemates practically killed ourselves to do the impossible," he continues. "And that's to go from five Morgans and eight Drakes, to five Morgans and five Drakes. We read more

CHANGING OF THE GUARD

Brian Williams has moved another step closer to succeeding Tom Brokaw as NBC's top newsman. The network announced Monday that Williams will leave CNBC in January to work full time as a reporter/substitute anchor for NBC News. Williams will officially take over for Brokaw after the 2004 presidential election. read more

COMING UP NECKS

That creepy Barnabas Collins is getting a new lease on undead life. The WB is resurrecting the classic ABC vampire sudser Dark Shadows for fall 2004, Variety reports. The franchise has been collecting dust since 1991, when NBC attempted its own Dark Shadows remake starring Ben Cross. read more

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