Today's News: Our Take


Josh Gracin is on permanent leave from American Idol. Viewers handed the 22-year-old Marine his marching orders on last night's show, freeing up the Oceanside, Calif., native to deal with his anger issues full time. Kimberley Locke, who rounded out the bottom two, joins Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard as the three remaining finalists. Meanwhile, if you have a question for Josh, send it to me via the link at the bottom of this page. Extra consideration will be given to those folks who can correctly ID the number I'm thinking of right now. read more

Daily Show Newsie Gets Literary

Even a senior news analyst, such as The Daily Show's Stephen Colbert, can be confused by recent world events. Like, for instance, NBC deciding not to pick up the pilot he co-wrote with Jon Stewart for its fall schedule. "They said, 'We love it, this is exactly what we want — and we're not gonna make it,'" Colbert says. "So it was an entirely pleasurable experience... except for the part about not making it." At least his other recent collaboration, the novel Wigfield (Hyperion), had a happier ending. Co-written with his Strangers with Candy cohorts Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello, Wigfield follows a self-important, first-time author searching for a story in the book's titular town. The satirical tale unfolds through interviews with 20 inspired characters, which the trio currently brings to life in an adapted stage show on their book tour. Here, Colbert plays the quirky role of himself.

TV Guide Online: The book's "au read more


Actress-singer Vanessa Williams has signed on for 10 episodes of Boomtown next season, a strong sign that the NBC drama will be renewed for a second season. The network unveils its fall schedule next week. read more


Actor Robert Conrad, 73 — who faces DUI charges for his March 31 auto accident in northern California — is partially paralyzed on his right side. Due to the paralysis and a head injury, the court date for his arraignment has been postponed until June 10. read more

Broadway Boy Whipped Into Shape

Actor Fred Weller is comfortable with his body. In fact, he has no problem doing nude scenes eight shows a week in Broadway's Take Me Out. So what could turn this hunk into a self-conscious wreck? Hollywood, of course!

"All I know is, when I'm in Los Angeles, after three weeks, I start to feel like I should be going to the gym twice a day," he tells TV Guide Online. "No one tells me to, but I start to get the feeling that I should."

Weller currently co-stars with Friends thesp Paul Rudd and The Mummy's Rachel Weisz in The Shape of Things (opening tomorrow). The Neil LaBute film explores how p read more


X2 star Alan Cumming is in talks to play the villain in Son of the Mask, the sequel to the 1994 Jim Carrey comedy. In the follow up, Jamie Kennedy replaces Carrey as the lead. read more


Kim Delaney (CSI: Miami, NYPD Blue) has checked into an Arizona rehab facility to treat an alcohol addiction. The 41-year-old Emmy winner — who makes a guest appearance on this Tuesday's Blue — was arrested last year on suspicion of drunken driving. She later pleaded no contest to reckless driving. read more


Can Heather Locklear do for NBC's struggling A.U.S.A. what she did for Melrose Place, Spin City and the Swamp Thing franchise? According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC has approached Locklear about joining the midseason Scott Foley sitcom, which was considered a long shot for a second season. However, should she be persuaded to sign up, Peacock execs have informed A.U.S.A. producers that the series would indeed be picked up. Note to Heather: J.U.S.T.S.A.Y.N.O. read more


A Missouri housewife is suing John Tesh, claiming he took a Sept. 11 tribute she wrote and included it, without credit, on his "Christmas Worship" album, reports. Stacey Randall, 29, charges that Tesh recites her poem "Met in the Stairwell" as a spoken word cut titled "God in the Stairwell." Randall seeks unspecified monetary damages, as well as inside dirt on Mary Hart. read more


It looks like Madonna's new CD is going to have a short shelf life. In its second week in stores, American Life plummeted from No. 1 to No. 8 on Billboard's album chart with sales of 91,000 copies — a 62 percent drop. (Luckily, she's got that acting career to fall back on.) In other chart news, 50 Cent regained the top spot, followed by the debut of American Idol Season 2: All Time Classic Love Songs (No. 2 with 101,000). read more

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