Today's News: Our Take


LET'S MAKE A DEAL

Jeffrey Jones, best known as Principal Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, is reportedly close to settling his child porn case with a plea bargain. The 55-year-old actor was charged with allegedly hiring a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photographs. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted. read more

RAINBOW CONNECTION

Kermit and Miss Piggy are back where they belong — with their creator, the late Jim Henson. German media group EM.TV confirmed on Wednesday that it agreed to sell Jim Henson Company to Henson's children for $89 million. EM.TV bought Henson for $680 million at the peak of the stock market in 2000. read more

MORE OPRAH

Oprah Winfrey won't be quitting her day job anytime soon. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the gab queen is thisclose to finalizing a deal to renew her talk show for two more years, through the 2007-08 season. Winfrey had been planning to wrap up Oprah at the end of the 2005-06 season. read more

SHORT CUTS

Today's Matt Lauer will switch jobs with a New York taxi driver on May 15 as part of the show's week-long trading places stunt... Mr. Personality host Monica Lewinsky will serve as guest co-host on Jimmy Kimmel Live next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. read more

SMUGGLED

A 40-year-old pedestrian milling about in eastern England discovered two unbound copies of the new Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, dumped in a field. The books, which don't arrive in stores until June 21, are being returned to the publishing company. An investigation into their apparent theft is underway. Also discovered in the field: Michael Jackson's old nose, Paula Abdul's cochlea and Alan Thicke's missing teeth. read more

Cheers Stars Dating!


Pull up a barstool and make yourself comfortable — the cast of Cheers is finally reuniting! Well, at least two of the classic sitcom's co-stars are. In tonight's episode of ABC's 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (airing at 8 ET), barmaid Diane and mailman Cliff — aka Shelley Long and John Ratzenberger — drop in as the Hennessys' neighbors, Mary Ellen and Fred Doyle.

"Johnny was absolutely on his game, as he always is," an enthusiastic Long informs TV Guide Online. "This is a terrific character for him. Very different. And I got to do something new, too. There are bits and pieces of Mary Ellen that I don't think will be familiar to people who know my work. I'm also looking a read more

MISTER ROGERS'S GREATEST HITS

The World According to Mister Rogers, a collection of Fred Rogers's inspirational sayings, advice and anecdotes, will be published in book form by Hyperion this fall. Rogers died in February at age 74 of stomach cancer. read more

WEEKEND UPDATE

Saturday Night Live headwriter/Weekend Update anchor Tina Fey has signed a new two-year deal with the show worth a reported $4 million. The pact also calls for Fey to develop a prime-time comedy for NBC and to improve SNL so it stops sucking so bad. read more

The Bachelor's Near Mrs.


Even before she made him eat codfish, viewers of ABC's The Bachelor (Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET) knew that it was only a matter of time before superfine Firestone wine heir Andrew pruned thorny Jersey girl Cristina from his garden of sweeties. However, frisky frontrunner Kirsten need not sign up for classes in cork-sniffing and posey-arranging just yet; her victory is anything but a foregone conclusion. In fact, a quick review of her behavior thus far, as well the attractive attributes of her romantic rivals, reveals that her handsome playboy may well leave her singing "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." Check it out. &#151Ben Katner

Kirsten: Let's all agree on one point right off the bat, shall we? This chick is hot. Really, really hot. And she's not just another pretty face, either. She's got one helluva set of curves on 'er, too. Erstwhile Joe Millionaire Evan would probably go so far as to say that she's got a " read more

LAME DUCK

FX has elected not to support American Candidate, a 13-week reality series that would have followed 10 presidential hopefuls as they campaigned across the country. Apparently, the project proved too costly. read more

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