Today's News: Our Take


OOPSIE

The closed captioning on a recent edition of ABC's World News Tonight erroneously reported that Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan — who's currently being treated for an enlarged prostate — was hospitalized for an "enlarged prostitute." Interest rates remained flat on the news. read more

IS SHE OR ISN'T SHE?

Rumors are swirling that Friends star Courteney Cox, 38, is expecting her first child with hubby David Arquette, 31. The New York Daily News reports that the actress could already be three months along. read more

STAYING PUT

Comedy Central has inked a new deal with Jon Stewart that will keep the funnyman anchoring The Daily Show through the 2004 presidential election. Ratings for the newscast are up 10 percent over last year. read more

O.J. UPDATE

O.J. Simpson is denying reports that he will star in his own reality series, although he says he would consider becoming a news commentator during Robert Blake's murder trial. And if that doesn't pan out, he's going to get very angry. read more

GET YOUR GAME FACE ON

ESPN is developing an American Idol-esque reality series in which aspiring sportscasters will compete for a one-year gig as a SportsCenter anchor. Contestants on Dream Job will compete in four categories: play-by-play, sideline reporting, one-on-one interviews and SportsCenter highlight voice-overs. read more

PLAY IT AGAIN

Former Johnny Carson sidekick Ed McMahon is reprising his most famous role: that of second banana. In next week's TV Guide magazine, columnist Michael Ausiello — hey, that's me! — reports that Jimmy Kimmel has tapped McMahon to guest-cohost his ABC talk show the week of May 19. read more

HE'S IN THE MONEY

Who says military pay stinks? Not JAG star David James Elliott, who just signed on for another two seasons of his hit CBS drama in a deal worth a reported $13 million. According to Variety, Elliott will pocket $300,000 per episode under the terms of the new pact, up from $200,000. In the new issue of TV Guide magazine, on sale Monday, CBS president Les Moonves said he was holding off on renewing the Navy saga for an eighth season until Elliot's deal was in place. Not that he ever had any doubts. "You can bet big money it will be back," he said, adding, "With David." read more

NOTHING COMPARES TO RETIREMENT

Sinead O'Connor announced on Thursday that she's quitting the music business in July to "pursue a different career." In a message posted on a fansite, the Irish singer says she wants to seek a normal life out of the spotlight. We hear actor-turned-cobbler Daniel Day-Lewis is looking for an assistant. read more

Meet The Gong Show's New Emcee

This is what you call a good week for comedian Jeffrey Ross. Yesterday, he wrapped the pilot for the WB's new Gong Show. "Everywhere I go, my mechanic is a contortionist, and my doorman wants to do his Dustin Hoffman impression," he cracks. "This is what made Chuck Barris move to France!" And tonight, he plays a cocky comic who drops dead on CSI (9 pm/ET): "I've died many times onstage," he says, "but never where I actually had to go head first into the floor." Lucky for us, Ross lived to face another heckler.
TV Guide Online: Gilbert Gottfried and Bobcat Goldthwait also guest star on tonight's CSI. Why were you the most qualified to play the corpse?
Jeffrey Ross:
They didn't have to use makeup for me. (Laughing) To be honest with you, I had nightmares because I played a headliner in Vegas, and they used my real headshot. I kind of saw my own death for the whole week of filming.

TVGO: But lying on a morgue table read more

Will Hollywood Hijack a Hairspray Star?


If you've caught the exuberant Broadway adaptation of Hairspray, you'll know what we mean when we say that Kerry Butler damn near steals the show. As heroine Tracy Turnblad's dim-witted but bright-eyed best friend Penny Pingleton, the Brooklyn native pulls no punch lines and turns even secondary stage business into physical comedy of the first order. What's more, Penny's climactic transformation from lovelorn square to lustful "checkerboard chick" takes away theater-goers' breath along with the powerhouse singer's own. So what the heck is the veteran leading lady from Beauty and the Beast and Les Miserables doing in a supporting role?

"I actually prefer being in the ensemble," she tells TV Guide Online. "It makes life easier. When you're the lead, you have to be perfect. With Penny, I can do whatever I want, and [the audience] won't care — unless it's really bad!" The ingenue doesn't even mind that Penny shuffles along with two lef read more

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