Today's News: Our Take


FREAKS AND GEEKS 2?

Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig has signed a deal with HBO to develop Nice Guys, a comedy series about a trio of nerdy male co-workers looking for love. "Just as Freaks and Geeks was a realistic version of the high school experience for many people, this will lay out what normal guys go through as young adults," Feig tells Variety. "I'm talking about the guys who aren't superficial jerks and would actually make good husbands if women would just stop and notice." He's not bitter, though. read more

IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED...

NBC isn't giving up on Heather Locklear just yet. The network — which did not pick up the actress's comedy pilot Once Around the Park — is developing yet another sitcom vehicle centered around the Spin City/Melrose Place/Dynasty/TJ Hooker star. There's no word on what the premise would be, but I'll go out on a limb and predict it'll be a hit anyway. read more

TOTAL RECALL

Ending months of suspense and speculation, Arnold Schwarzenegger, 56, confirmed on last night's Tonight Show with Jay Leno that he will run for governor of California in the Oct. 7 recall election. "I can promise you... I will pump up Sacramento," he said. The news took many by surprise, considering last week rumor had it the actor was about to back out of the race due to family concerns. But at a press conference yesterday, Schwarzenegger said that his wife, Maria Shriver, eventually came around. "She was concerned about the children, but then she [said]... 'I support you no matter what you do.'" Well, that's not entirely true. According to sources, Shriver is prepared to leave her hubby should he decide to do a sequel to Collateral Damage, read more

OPRAH'S STILL NOT SWEATING

Britney Spears isn't the only actress-singer-diva kicking around the idea of launching a talk show. According to reports, Jennifer Lopez is mulling a possible syndicated gabfest that would include her less-talented sister, New York radio personality Lynda. Like Brit, J.Lo would only make occasional appearances on the show — allowing her plenty of time to continue starring in bad movies. read more

ONE TREE RECAST

Former Guiding Light star Joie Lenz (she played Michelle) has replaced actress Samantha Shelton as Chad Murray's best friend on the WB's new fall drama One Tree Hill. A WB rep tells TV Guide Online that producers "wanted to take the character in a new direction." read more

BATTLE WEARY

NBC is reviving Battle of the Network Stars for a two-hour special to air Aug. 16. However, unlike the late, great ABC version — which featured celebs from all the networks — the Peacock update will highlight only NBC personalities. Among the players signed up: Ali Landry (Spy TV), Dondre Whitfield (Hidden Hills), Brooke Burns (Dog Eat Dog), Drake Hogestyn (Days of Our Lives) and Tonight Show intern Ross Matthews. Immediately following the competition, all team members will be transported via shuttle bus to the Surreal Life 2 auditions. read more

WELCOME TO THE NIELSENS, PUNK!

Fox's new 90210esque prime-time soap The O.C. got off to an OK start Tuesday night. The show's debut attracted 7.5 million viewers, second to the NBC's Last Comic Standing finale (8.2 million viewers). In case you missed Comic's last stand, former doorman Dat Phan was named champion — which, according to one of this column's most loyal readers, was a damn shame. According to Wendy, "Ralphie May is the real winner!" read more

Former GH Star Speaks to God


In the new CBS drama Joan of Arcadia, Amber Tamblyn might have her hands full playing a suburban teen who starts receiving orders directly from God. Then again, this 20-year-old soap vet knows a thing or two about burdensome childhoods. During her tenure as Emily Quartermain on General Hospital from 1995-2001, the actress admits she sometimes longed for a carefree adolescence.

"I wanted to be a normal kid that went to school and got to go to birthday parties," Tamblyn says. "It's really hard when you're 12 years old, working five days a week, doing 22 scenes a day... I didn't think I fully understood what [acting] took away from your life until I started doing it on a soap opera."

Amber and Joan share another characteristic: parents who want to protect their daughters from having to grow up too fast. Actor read more

END QUOTE

"The movie didn't work. We tried to fix it. But it was like putting a fish's tail on a donkey's head." Ben Affleck reacting to the Gigli debacle in an interview with Variety columnist Army Archerd. read more

TRAFFIC ALTERCATION

CNN's Jack Cafferty pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a May 14 accident and was ordered to pay a $250 fine and perform 70 hours of community service. According to police, the American Morning anchor knocked a man off a bike while driving his Cadillac in New York. The bicyclist was only slightly injured. read more

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