Today's News: Our Take


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


Saturday Night Live's Chris Kattan, who created exotic dancer Mango and half-simian Mr. Peepers, is leaving the late-night skitfest after seven seasons. The show's May 17 season finale will be his swan song. He joins cast member Tracy Morgan, who is departing to headline his own NBC comedy series. read more


In a last-minute move on the part of American Dreams, NBC's feel-good drama has tapped rising starlet Ashley Williams to guest as mod British singer Sandy Shaw in Sunday's episode (airing at 8 pm/ET). The Good Morning, Miami leading lady will perform "Always Something There to Remind Me" and, if there is a God, make us forget the wretched rendition that Nikki McKibbin once delivered on American Idol. read more


Erstwhile James Bond Roger Moore, 75, collapsed on stage Wednesday night during a performance of the Broadway comedy The Play What I Wrote. Moore was reportedly unconscious when he was rushed to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, but as of Thursday, his rep said he was "comfortable and doing well." It's unclear what caused the actor to collapse. read more


As if reality TV weren't soda-saturated enough — American Idol's endless Coke plugs give my colleague Daniel "Party Boy" Coleridge gas — now Pepsi is in on the act. Comic Drew Carey has been tapped to host Pepsi Play For a Billion, a two-hour special airing this fall on the WB. All summer, viewers will check cans of Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Sierra Mist for sweepstakes entry codes, which they'll enter on a website for a chance to appear on the show and win $1 billion. 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


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


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


Her scandalous ouster from American Idol sure hasn't hurt Frenchie Davis's career. She begins appearing in Broadway's Rent on May 16. Davis will sing the popular "Seasons of Love" solo, plus play three or four small character roles in the Tony-winning AIDS-themed musical. read more

Deaf Survivor's Amazon Adventure

Competing on Survivor: The Amazon is a tough task for anyone. Factor in the extra obstacle of hearing impairment, and it seems impossible. But that's the challenge last week's castoff, Christy Smith, chose to take on. Hey, you've gotta hand it to this 24-year-old adventure guide for the deaf, who quickly learned to adapt — and made it to the final six without any special consideration.

"I went into the show to be treated fairly, like everyone else," Smith tells TV Guide Online. "I think all of us had our own disadvantages, and we had to deal with them."

Perhaps there was one advantage to being deaf in the Amazon — she wasn't bothered by all the whining and lying that went on behind her back! "Watching the show now, I realize that I didn't need to hear everything," she admits. "Maybe if I had heard stuff, I would have butted in and caused problems, because I am a very opinionated lady."

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