Today's News: Our Take


Joe Millionaire's Unhappy Ending


Joe Millionaire butler Paul Hogan would sooner serve white wine with steak than reveal which of Evan Marriott's wannabe wives winds up wearing the noufaux riche construction worker's engagement ring. But he will disclose who didn't see any action at all during the taping of the Fox smash: him!

"Fancy being at a French chateau for [a month] with 20 women and not being slipped a single number!" he exclaims to TV Guide Online in mock humiliation. (In the interest of full disclosure, it must be noted that Hogan did attract at least one admirer. "Paul is very charming," admits Melissa Jo "MoJo" Hunter. "If he was a little bit younger, we could have had a whole other show!")

Truth be told, the distinguished major-domo wasn't terribly broken up that he didn't land a lass of his own. "It would have been nice, I suppose, but my old man always told me, 'Never get your meat where you buy your bread,'" he says, chuc read more

Tool Time for Joe Millionaire


Since Joe Millionaire struck ratings gold, the reality series' star, make-believe moneybags Evan Marriott, has been pondering the $64,000 question. No, not which avaricious vixen he prefers, but how he's going to cash in once his secret at last is revealed!

"I think it would be neat to have a TV show, kind of like a Bob Vila show on steroids," he tells TV Guide Online. "[I'd] get away from the house stuff and get on big job sites and big buildings. Wouldn't that be killer?

"[Forget this] Bob Vila crap!" he continues, his enthusiasm growing seemingly in direct proportion to his disdain for This Old House. "Who wants to put up crown molding? We're going to put up beams! Real men don't want to put up crown molding, they want to [operate] cranes and move beams and set up girders... stuff like that."

Of course we do. And the powers that be know it. "I don't see [Marriott] replacing Paige Davis [as host of The Learni read more

REALITY BITES

We said it wouldn't last, and by golly, we were right! Bachelor No. 2 Aaron Buerge and bride-to-be Helene Eksterowicz have called off their engagement. The 28-year-old banker from Springfield popped the question to Eksterowicz during the show's Nov. 20 finale. But by New Year's, the wedding was off. Not surprisingly, the split will be chronicled on a Feb. 20 ABC special. read more

LIES, ALL LIES!

Madonna insists she is not — repeat, not — pregnant! The Material mother-of-two plans to file a formal complaint in Britain over a story in Heat magazine that said she is pregnant with her third child. "She dyed her hair brown instead of blond; that does not confirm somebody's pregnant," her rep told Reuters. "And she's been wearing baggy clothes for 20 years, so what else is new?" Um, I just got a new microwave oven, does that count? read more

MORE SEX, BUT SAFER

Sex is getting more common on television, but shows are more likely to include some references to making it safe, according to a study released Tuesday from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The report found that 26 percent of shows with sex references also included messages of abstinence or protection. That is nearly double the rate that the foundation found in 1997-98, the first year of its ongoing study. read more

FREE LOVE

Courtney Love, arrested Tuesday at London's Heathrow airport for allegedly being "verbally abusive" to the cabin crew aboard a Virgin Atlantic flight, spent nine hours in custody before being released with a warning. "I cussed at a lady named Mary," Love told reporters. "She wasn't letting my friend into first class so I said, 'Why are you being a bitch about it?'" A better question would be: Why did you let your so-called "friend" fly coach? read more

WELCOME BACK, MURPHY!

Murphy Brown's Candice Bergen is returning to CBS as the star of the TV movie Footsteps. In the thriller, Bergen will play a best-selling suspense novelist who finds herself caught up in a real-life crime story. read more

WHO'S THAT GIRL?

The woman that rock producer Phil Spector is accused of murdering is a B-movie actress who starred in such films as Amazon Women on the Moon and The Barbarian Queen. Police believe Spector met Lana Clarkson, 40, Sunday night at the House of Blues in Hollywood, where she had been working as a hostess. Spector, who is currently free on bail, allegedly killed Clarkson after they returned to his Los Angeles-area estate. read more

PURR-FECT CASTING

Need further proof that Nicole Kidman is the cat's meow in Hollywood? According to The Hollywood Reporter, the in-demand Hours star has been offered the title role in Warner Bros. Pictures' upcoming Catwoman flick. Wisely, the actress — who played Dr. Chase Meridian in 1995's Batman Forever — is waiting on the latest draft of the script before making any decisions. The role was originally slated for Ashley Judd, but saner minds apparently prevailed. Nothing against Judd, but she's no Kidman. read more

FOX TROTS TO TOP

Whatever Fox is paying American Idol meanie Simon Cowell, it's not enough. Fueled by two highly-rated editions of Idol (not to mention a little show called Joe Millionaire), Fox was the most-watched network last week — the first time it has scored such a feat on the strength of its entertainment programming alone. And all signs suggest that the network will make it two in a row. Monday's Joe Millionaire hit a new series high among total viewers (20.6 million), and last night's Idol — in which the first eight semifinalists duked it out (go Trenyce!) — easily won its timeslot. Speaking of Idol, I have a question for Ryan Seacrest: If I vote via text messaging, do I need to insert a space between "Idols" and the contestant's number? You weren't very clear about that last night. read more

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