Today's News: Our Take


SORRY, CHARLIE

Not since Richard Hatch's Survivor victory has a reality show delivered such a stunning upset. On ABC's Bachelorette finale last night, single gal Trista chose shy poet Ryan over frontrunner Charlie! The 27-year-old fireman promptly proposed marriage to the ex-cheerleader, an offer she couldn't — and didn't — refuse. Our take? Give the girl an Emmy. read more

TECHIE

Talk about a low-profile gig: Kate Hudson has been tapped to host the March 1 sci-tech Oscar ceremony, which honors behind-the-scenes advancements in motion picture arts. (Translation: All the boring categories.) The official Oscar ceremony takes place on March 23. read more

NO AVERAGE JOE

Fox hit pay dirt with Monday's Joe Millionaire finale. The two-hour climax — during which Fox awarded lovebirds Evan and Zora $1 million — delivered the best ratings for a night of entertainment programming in the network's history. Nearly 35 million viewers watched the former construction worker struggle to find the right words to explain away his $50 million lie. (Spend some of that dough on communication training, dude!) Next Monday, Fox airs a special hourlong post-Joe Millionaire in which viewers will learn why Evan and Zora eventually broke up, um... I mean, what their future holds. read more

THEY'RE BAAACK

Tonight's special 90-minute American Idol will feature a special sneak preview of Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini's upcoming feature film From Justin to Kelly, USA Today reports. Sounds great, but if Randy calls one more contestant "Dawg," I'm changing channels. read more

AILING

There may have been a good reason why Daniel Lue kept falling off that balance beam on Thursday's Survivor: The Amazon premiere. The 27-year-old tax accountant from Houston was diagnosed last week with malaria. He apparently contracted the mosquito-borne disease while taping the show. He's currently recovering at home. read more

MUSICAL CHAIRS

More high-level executive tumult at AOL Time Warner Inc.: Turner Broadcasting head Jamie Kellner is stepping down after two years on the job. CNN News Group president Philip I. Kent will replace him. Yeah, this stuff bores me too, but I felt obligated to include it. read more

SHORT CUTS

Paul McCartney is embarking on his first British tour in a decade. His "Back in the World" tour kicks off in April and includes stops in London and Manchester, as well as France, Spain, Germany and Scandinavia... Ashley Judd will make her Broadway debut this fall as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Variety reports... CBS is developing a made-for-TV flick based on the sensational Mercedes murder case involving Clara Harris, the New York Post reports. read more

SKINNER'S BACK

Former X-Files star Mitch Pileggi has joined the cast of the WB's upcoming Tarzan series. He'll play the jungle hottie's uncle. (As reported, Calvin Klein model Travis Fimmel has nabbed the title role.) In other TV casting news, Delta Burke has been tapped as the Southern belle lead in the WB comedy pilot Sweet Potato Queens. read more

TWENTY FOUR SCORES

It's official: 24's time has come. Last night's episode of the critically acclaimed Fox drama attracted 13.6 million viewers — its largest audience to date. The serial thriller — which has gotten a nice boost from lead-in American Idol — also scored an all-time high among adults 18-49. In related news, 24's Reiko Aylesworth (aka CTU babe Michelle) has just been named "TV's Best Kept Secret" by me. read more

GOOD THERAPY

Dr. Phil's much-hyped visit with David Letterman Monday night lifted CBS's The Late Show to its best ratings in 17 months and its first victory over NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno in three years. Dr. Phil scares me a little. read more

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