Today's News: Our Take


Reality Producer Goes to War


Bertram van Munster — creator and exec producer of CBS's The Amazing Race — just went on another international adventure, but this one's more dangerous than usual. Tonight, his Profiles from the Front Line (8 pm/ET on ABC) sends a camera crew to Afghanistan, looking for personal stories from the war on terror. Even with the full cooperation of the Pentagon, van Munster says he delivers a complete, unbiased story.

"We don't have any political message," he tells TV Guide Online of the six-episode series. "We don't say, 'War is good.' Actually, we show more 'War is bad' than anything else, because we have people die on the battlefield, and we have some very sad stories on the show that are not exactly 'Rah! Rah! Rah!' stories. I think we show both sides of what a war can bring to you."

Profiles depicts the everyday lives of military personnel, from a helicopter refueler to a Special Force read more

Tom Arnold Shuns Reality TV


In his post-Roseanne years, comedian Tom Arnold has salvaged his career by wisecracking on Best Damn Sports Show Period and stealing scenes in movies like True Lies and Cradle 2 the Grave (opening tomorrow). Eager to keep whatever street cred he's got, he refuses to appear on reality TV.

"If I were on one of these reality shows, I don't think they'd let me act anymore," Arnold admits. "I get asked to do them all. The reason I don't do them is because I would like to attempt to be in movies."

What sort of trashy TV gigs has he been offered? "Celebrity Mole Hawaii," he moans, adding, "I was afraid that people would have to take their shirts off. I don't do anything where I have to take my shirt off." Sound judgement, Tom.

Arno read more

IN THE FAST LANE

Oscar-nominated Unfaithful star Diane Lane is in talks to star opposite Bruce Willis in the big-screen mystery Me Again. The Mementoesque plot revolves around a man (Willis) who wakes up in a hotel sans memory but with a dead body in his room. That happened to me once, and trust me, it's no fun. read more

BIG FAT RATINGS

Monday's debut of My Big Fat Greek Life averaged 22.9 million viewers for CBS, making it the highest-rated launch of a comedy on any network since NBC's Jesse in 1998. The show moves to its regular Sunday, 8 pm, time slot this weekend. Is it just me, or was My Big Fat Greek Wedding the most overrated movie ever?! read more

WB Hottie Rides Again as Lone Ranger


"Heigh-ho, Silver, away!" Black mask or no, that hunky, blond cowboy in The Lone Ranger — airing tonight at 8 pm/ET — looks mighty familiar. That's 'cause it's Chad Michael Murray, 21, from Gilmore Girls and Dawson's Creek! We notice he's become quite a staple on the Frog network...

"They invited me into the [WB] family," Murray tells TV Guide Online. "In 2000, I tested for a pilot called Day One, and I didn't get it, but they felt like they could develop me over at the network, so they gave me a deal."

And a sweet deal at that. Murray's latest Lone gig has him headlining an update of the classic 1950s Western. The two-hour TV movie — which could turn into a series if it lassoes good ratings — tells the tale of a myste read more

FAREWELL, BUFFY

Vampire pun alert! This sucks, folks: Sarah Michelle Gellar will exit Buffy the Vampire Slayer in May to pursue her film career full time, TV Guide Online has learned. UPN and 20th Century Fox declined to comment, but sources confirm that the 25-year-old actress has informed series creator Joss Whedon that she will not be renewing her contract beyond this season. For the complete story, click here.. read more

SHORT CUTS

MSNBC has pulled the plug on Phil Donahue's low-rated talk show after six months on the air. His final show runs Friday night... NBC's Ed moves to Fridays at 9 pm/ET beginning March 21. Dateline NBC will take over the show's old Wednesday, 8 pm/ET time period. read more

ALL HER CHILDREN

Live spitfire Kelly Ripa gave birth to her third child, son Joaquin Consuelos, on Monday in New York. The former All My Children star broke the news this morning when she called into Live with Regis & Kelly. "We are the proud parents of a healthy baby boy," she told Regis. "We can't wait to bring Joaquin home to meet all of our friends and family." Ripa and hubby Mark Consuelos also have a 5-year-old son, Michael, and a 1-year-old daughter, Lola. read more

Scoop: Gellar Quits Buffy!


The Chosen One has finally made her decision: Sarah Michelle Gellar will exit Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the end of the season, TV Guide Online has learned. Although UPN and 20th Century Fox declined to comment, sources confirm that the 25-year-old actress — whose Buffy contract expires in May — is leaving the cult-classic series to pursue her film career full time.

Talk of Gellar's probable Buffy departure has been gathering steam for months. Adding fuel to the fire: the recent announcement that the Scooby-Doo star will begin shooting the feature Romantic Comedy in August, around the time she would have been returning to work on a new season of Buffy. As one Gellar confidante puts it, "You do the read more

OH, NO YOU DIDN'T

Here's my two cents about American Idol's latest semifinalist round last night: Juanita Barber's little on-stage meltdown in front of the judges was disgraceful. "What About the Children," she asks? I took an informal poll this morning, and they thought you stunk too. Me? I voted for Ashley. I don't care if she can't carry a tune, the 17-year-old exhibited tremendous grace under pressure after being torn to shreds by Simon. read more

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