Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

Showtime has renewed The Chris Isaak Show for a third season. New episodes begin airing next year... PBS commentator Bill Moyers pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of negligent driving. He was fined $750. read more

Sara Sex Change: What's in a Name?


A million times over, the old adage has been proven true: Sex sells. But despite the fact that Mandalay Entertainment's long-on-the-shelf Serving Sara (opening Aug. 23) probably needs all the help it can get, studio founder and chairman Peter Guber decided against using the world's most surefire marketing tool to turn on movie-goers to the Matthew Perry/Elizabeth Hurley flick: He signed off on a title change from the more titillating Servicing Sara.

"There was a connotation to that title that didn't play into our core audience," he explains to TV Guide Online. "In other words, this wasn't an NC-17 film about sex. Normally 'servicing' somebody has a double entendre meaning. This was about a process server."

You'd think that would be all the read more

REUNITED

Comedy vets Betty White and Tom Poston will play the parents of That '70s Show mom Debra Jo Rupp in at least two episodes of the Fox comedy this season. White and Poston co-starred in the now-defunct CBS comedy Bob and the film The Story of Us. read more

SHOW OF SUPPORT

Showtime has renewed The Chris Isaak Show for a third season. New episodes begin airing next year. read more

APOCALYPSE NOW

As expected, Anna Nicole Smith's audience is slipping away — but not as fast as many had hoped. The second episode of E!'s Anna Nicole Show notched a 3.0 rating — off just 25 percent from last week's strong debut. Given how bad the premiere was, insiders predicted the reality disgrace would suffer a much steeper second-week nosedive. read more

WILL THEY LIKE HER?

Sally Field is fleeing Hollywood for the Great White Way. The Oscar winner will make her Broadway debut in Edward Albee's Tony-winning play The Goat. She replaces Mercedes Ruehl beginning Sept. 13. read more

Lottery Luck on King of the Hill?


Since its 1997 debut, King of the Hill's low-brow laughter has revolved around poking fun at redneck stereotypes. What's next for the animated comedy — whose sixth season debuts Nov. 3? Rumors have the Texan Hills striking it rich á la The Beverly Hillbillies, just like the yokels on Roseanne once did.

"The Beverly Hillbillies is one of my favorite shows of all time," creator Mike Judge tells TV Guide Online. "But we're not doing the win-the-lottery episode yet... You'd have to have 'em lose the money. That could be fun in our last season as our 'jump the shark' episode."

For now, Judge — who also voices Hank Hill and Boomhauer — says the Hills still will have working-class worries. This problem figures in an episode s read more

Matthew Fox: Party Time Not-So-Excellent


It may be hard to believe, but there apparently was more angst behind the scenes of Fox's late family drama Party of Five than on camera. Series star Matthew Fox, who played patriarch-by-default Charlie Salinger, reveals in an exclusive interview with TV Guide Online that the six years he spent keeping his orphaned TV siblings in line was no party.

"I can honestly say that I was frustrated a lot of the time because I was being asked to do stories and to play a role that I had problems with," he sighs. "I just felt that the show was very soft, very emotional — everybody talking about their feelings all of the time. It wasn't visceral enough.

"To be specific," he continues, "there's a very big difference between the genders and how they deal with things, and I would have loved to have seen the [men] on the show written a little bit more guarded read more

MEDICAL UPDATE

Jason Priestley — who doctors say will recover fully from injuries he sustained Sunday in a race car accident — was airlifted from the University of Kentucky Hospital to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis late Monday afternoon. The 32-year-old former Beverly Hills, 90210 hunk faces weeks of rehabilitation and will likely require surgery to repair the broken bones in his feet. He also broke his back in the crash, but there were no immediate signs of paralysis or permanent neurological damage. Meanwhile, Priestley's former 90210 boss Aaron Spelling tells Variety's Army Archerd that the actor "came up to my office last week and said, 'I'm ready to go back to work in a series for you.'" read more

GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS

A Beverly Hills judge has set an Aug. 26 date for pretrial motions in Winona Ryder's shoplifting case. A trial date will be set within 30 days of that hearing. The 30-year-old actress has pleaded innocent to stealing $6,000 in merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue last December. read more

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