Today's News: Our Take


SHE'S A LIFE-SAVER

The rate of people getting screened for colon cancer has jumped 20 percent since Katie Couric underwent the procedure on the Today show three years ago, a new study shows. In related news, the number of people getting buzz cuts has dropped 20 percent since Matt Lauer revealed his new shorter 'do on air last year. read more

PARTY TIME

ABC has placed a midseason order for a drama series from the creators of Party of Five, the network announced Monday at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Hollywood. Set in a building on New York's Upper West Side, the show focuses on the lives of its rich residents through the eyes of their nannies, assistants and housekeepers. For a minute-by-minute recap of ABC's first of two TCA days, click here. read more

WHERE THE &$#* WAS HE?

A bad case of laryngitis allegedly forced Ozzy Osbourne to bow out of Saturday's Ozzfest in Auburn, Wash. I say "allegedly" because I don't believe it for a second. read more

EXTREME MAKEOVER

Actress Tara Reid — who was portrayed as a Carson Daly-obsessed drunk on Sunday's MTV Bash — says she's trying to repair her party-girl image. "I don't want to change my personality," she tells Details magazine. "[But] I want people to know that this is a girl who has plans, has focus, and she's going to get what she wants." And darnit, right now girlfriend wants a martini! read more

FAMILY MATTERS

PBS has ordered 13 new episodes of American Family, broadcast TV's first Hispanic drama. The new episodes will begin airing in April. read more

Question: What happened on ...

Question: What happened on the last episode of Gilligan's Island? — Adnan B., Long Beach, Cal.

Televisionary: Technically speaking, the last episode of the lovably stupid sitcom, which aired April 17, 1967, didn't wrap anything up, if that's what you're driving at, Adnan. In a typical Island setup, a native king came calling, searching for a maiden to be sacrificed to his tribe's volcano god. The ever-heroic Gilligan, seeking to save Ginger, Mary Ann and Mrs. Howell from that fate, dolled himself up to distract the king and... well, I wouldn't want to ruin a good rerun for you.

If what you're really wondering is whether or not they ever got off the island, the answer is yes. But it didn't happen during the show's 1964-67 run on CBS. In 1978, NBC aired the two part Rescue from Gilligan's Island, in which the castaways got off the island, returned to normal life, then got stranded on the island again afte read more

SIGN OF THE TIMES

The embattled New York Times has named former managing editor Bill Keller as its new executive editor. (That finally puts to rest those pesky rumors that former US Weekly bigwig Bonnie Fuller was in line for the top job.) Keller replaces Howell Raines, who took the fall for the whole Jayson Blair saga. read more

RUSH TO JUDGEMENT

Rush Limbaugh is joining ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown as the "voice of the fan." Starting in September, the 52-year-old conservative radio host will deliver a weekly opinion piece at the top of the two-hour show. "I think football is a lot like life," he says. "[And] I know life pretty well." I give this experiment a week. read more

Roseanne, Ripa Make ABC's Day


With the WB portion of the Television Critics Assoc. press tour behind me, I was ready to tackle Day Two — ABC. Unfortunately, I couldn't get too excited about the sessions on tap: Threat Matrix? Yawn. 10-8? 4getaboutit. Luckily, Kelly Ripa and Roseanne Barr were slated to appear to promote their new shows, so the day held some promise. Up first: The dreaded executive session. This should be brief, I think to myself. After all, what the heck does ABC have to talk about?

9:02 am ABC chairman Lloyd Braun tries to convince us that network TV isn't in dire straits by rattling off a series of boring statistics.

9:12 am I can't believe my eyes. Someone in the audience is actually paying attention — and ta read more

HE'S GOT GAME

Former X-Files alien hunter (and upcoming Sex and the City guest star) David Duchovny has signed on to contribute his voice and likeness to XIII, a new video game from Ubi Soft Entertainment. He joins a cast that includes erstwhile Batman Adam West and rapper Eve. read more

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