Today's News: Our Take


On the heels of its Raymond lead-in, CBS's sitcom Two and a Half Men — co-starring Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer — kicked off strong on Monday night with 18.1 million viewers. Meanwhile, NBC's drama Las Vegas got off to a so-so start with 12.6 million. But Nielsen's biggest casualty was Dubya. Monday Night Football and all those new TV shows crushed Brit Hume's A Conversation with the President, which scored Fox a paltry 4.3 million. That's worse than UPN's The Parkers! Of course, Mo'Nique is much cuter than Bush. read more


At last! Fox says The Simple Life will debut Dec. 2. In case you've already forgotten, the new reality show will follow ditzy heiresses Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie as they adjust to life as rural laborers. read more

Gilmore Girls Finally! It was...

Gilmore Girls
Finally! It was rough to wait months for a fresh cup of Lorelai and Rory's super cute, over-caffeinated banter. But it's weird how co-dependent this mother-daughter duo is. I mean, they've supposedly just spent the entire summer backpacking in Europe together, right? So do they have to spend every moment together in the days before Rory heads off to Yale? Cut the cord! Stars Hollow and New Haven are both in Connecticut, which ain't that big a state. Hey, I grew up an only child of a single mom, too, and we are very chatty and close like the Gilmores, but we also need our space. Or else. Am I right, Mom?

Paradise Hotel
Okay, normally when I check into Paradise Hotel, I soon feel like running for the nearest exit. This show is like the Big Brother house on acid. Nothing anyone says makes sense! It's just a bunch of ignorant sleazes rubbing up against each other. Or else they just lay around drunk and read more


Melissa Gilbert has won a second term as the president of the Screen Actors Guild... Adam Sandler's WB sitcom about a 19-year-old man who finds himself elected mayor of a small town was axed as a midseason replacement, according to The Hollywood Reporter... Variety reports the producers behind Lethal Weapon are teaming up with The West Wing's Tommy Schlamme to create Nice Guys, a buddy detective drama for CBS. read more

Michael Caine's Texan Yen

Oscar-winner Michael Caine is one of the few honest actors in the biz. He's freely admitted to taking some projects solely for the hefty paycheck. But at 70, though he mixes heavy fare like The Quiet American with family flicks like Secondhand Lions, it seems he's narrowed his criteria a bit.

"I don't work a lot, and I only go to work if I really want to," Caine declares. "Secondhand Lions was completely different from anything else I'd ever done before. Plus, it was a Texan, which I'd never played before. It's one of those characters I'd grown up with in movies. You see them in Westerns, these grumpy old Texans."

How does a proper Englishman turn into a rural cowboy? "It's a frame of mind," smiles Caine, who previously filmed Miss Congeniality in Austin. "Texans talk slowly, and the reason they talk slowly is, they're usually about 6 feet tall and have a gun. So they know you're listening."

In Lions, Cain read more


Will & Grace's Megan Mullally married fiancé Nick Offerman Saturday night in a private Los Angeles ceremony, Extra reports. In related news, rocker Melissa Etheridge and actress-girlfriend Tammy Lynn Michaels (Popular) tied the knot in a commitment ceremony over the weekend. read more

Seinfeld's Puddy Returns!

Maybe Patrick Warburton has a thing for difficult women. At least his characters certainly do. For three years, his dim Seinfeld alter ego was Puddy in the hands of pushy Elaine. And this season, he'll be appearing on the workplace "witcom" Less Than Perfect as Jeb, a media pundit who'll be hot for ice princess Lydia (Andrea Parker).

"We're doing a little arc with them," executive producer Christine Zander tells TV Guide Online. "They have a very sexually tense relationship, but neither of them will admit to their attraction to one another, and then they finally do."

While Jeb's infatuation with Lydia is certainly understandable — she's smokin' hot! — the outcome of their involvement is far more difficult to predict. Could a kinder, gentler diva possibly emerge? "I think," hints Zander, "we're going to see maybe a little more vulnerability in Lydia."

The softening of the vamp's hard heart couldn't come at a bet read more


Actor Gordon Jump, best known to TV audiences as befuddled station manager Arthur Carlson on WKRP in Cincinnati, died Monday of complications from pulmonary fibrosis. He was 71. Jump also made his mark in commercials as the lonely Maytag repairman, a character he inhabited for more than a decade. read more


A day after The West Wing picked up its fourth consecutive best drama series Emmy, four members of the show's supporting cast — Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford and John Spencer — have quietly resolved their salary dispute with Warner Bros. TV. Although exact figures were unavailable, Variety reports the quartet had been looking to bump their salaries from $90,000 to $150,000 per episode. read more


Are Bennifer on again? Damned if I know, but Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were spotted in a Georgia courthouse Monday where Affleck was apparently applying for a gun license. A court clerk said the estranged couple "were very amiable." read more

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