Today's News: Our Take


AMAZING NEWS

CBS has officially ordered fifth installments of Big Brother and The Amazing Race. Brother will return in summer 2004, while the Emmy-winning Race could bow as early as midseason. NBC, meanwhile, will serve up additional episodes of The Restaurant later this season. read more

ORANGE ALERT

Fox has had second thoughts about moving The O.C. to Thursday nights (opposite CSI and Will & Grace) next month, when it returns from its seven-week hiatus. Instead, the network will air the second half of the hit primetime sudser's first season on Wednesdays at 9 pm (opposite ABC's The Bachelor), beginning Oct. 29. In other scheduling news, Fox is moving Bernie Mac to Sundays at 8:30 pm, where it will replace the talk show-within-a-sitcom The Ortegas, which has now been benched to midseason. Bernie kicks off its new season on Nov. 9. read more

Meet Cable's New Wildlife Hunks

Martin Kratt's calling in by satellite phone from a snowy outpost in mountainous Australia. He's there with his brother Chris to film segments about kangaroos for their new National Geographic Channel series Be the Creature, which debuts Sunday night at 8 pm/ET. "It's been raining for four days," Kratt says. "The kangaroos have a great coat of fur that repels the rain, but we are getting soaked!"


TV Guide Online: The hook of your show is that you and your brother Chris not only hang out with animals in the wild, you mimic their behaviors and assimilate into their environments. Why?
Martin Kratt:
We get such a better feel for the animals when we try to do what they do. You can see what it takes, and you can appreciate the physicality. You can also understand the struggle for survival they face on a daily basis. You know, we've been here in the rain, and I don't know where that phrase "creature comforts" comes from. These kangaroos have no she read more

STUNT CASTING ALERT

It's official: Regis Philbin will guest-star on Kelly Ripa's ABC sitcom Hope & Faith this November, the duo announced on this morning's Live. Reege will play used-car salesman Handsome Hal Halverson, who auditions Ripa's character to appear in his local TV commercial. read more

NEW EXPERIMENT

Jamie Kennedy — star of the WB's hidden camera farce, JKX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment — has signed a deal with the Frog network to develop a semiautobiographical comedy series project about his early struggles in Los Angeles, according to The Hollywood Reporter. read more

SHORT CUTS

Warner Bros. has given Peter and Bobby Farrelly the green light to revive the Three Stooges franchise on the big screen, Variety reports... CBS is developing a sitcom for fall 2004, starring Ally McBeal alum Jane Krakowski. FX has axed The Orlando Jones Show... Oprah Winfrey has chosen Alan Paton's 1948 novel Cry, the Beloved Country as her latest book club selection... Bachelor Bob Guiney is releasing a solo album on Amazon.com Oct. 7. It's titled 3 Sides and is being described as a cross between Matchbox Twenty and John Mayer. read more

DID THEY OR DIDN'T THEY?

Rumor has it David Letterman married longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko several weeks ago at his Montana ranch. The couple are expecting their first child later this year. Responds a Letterman rep: "We never comment on Dave's private life." read more

PG-RATED SEX

TBS has acquired rights to rebroadcast Sex and the City beginning in June 2004, shortly after the racy comedy completes its HBO run. Concerned parents need not worry, though. The reruns will be edited down to remove all the good stuff. read more

FRIENDS CONTROVERSY

A story in today's New York Post alleges that Friends star Jennifer Aniston's desire to start a family with hubby Brad Pitt led to the hitcom's accelerated production schedule this season. Friends is shooting two episodes a week so that it can wrap up in January. In related news, Newsweek reports that (spoiler alert!) the Rachel-Joey romance will come to an end fairly soon — to Aniston's apparent relief. "I hated it," she says. "Joey's like my brother." read more

IT'S OVER

Heath Ledger and Naomi Watts are an item no more. According to Entertainment Tonight, the couple split about a month ago "due to work schedules that kept them apart." read more

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