Today's News: Our Take


No Sex on the Beach for Paradise Hottie


We know there's no IQ test to become a cast member of Fox's Paradise Hotel (airing Mondays and Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET), but hello? It seemed to us like Andon, the first stud muffin to be eliminated from the hot-to-trot race, was really asleep at the wheel. How could he possibly go two long weeks without scoring?

"It was never really my intention to go there and hook up with anybody," the 26-year-old graphic designer tells TV Guide Online. "But if Fox says to you, 'Hey, we're going to pay you to go hang out with a bunch of really cool people in the most exotic resort known to man... ' What? You're gonna say no? No! Anybody would do it.

"Plus, it's not like in the real world, where you could have sex with somebody, then never see them again," he continues. "You have to live with the person you hooked up with. So you can't just have random sex for sex's sake."

To make matters worse, the tattooed not-so-bad boy spent his e read more

RISE AND SHINE

Arnold Schwarzenegger promised he'd be back, and by golly, the aging cyborg wasn't joshing! Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines debuted atop the box office with $44 million over the July 4 holiday weekend ($72.5 million since opening Tuesday). Although the well reviewed sequel opened at the low end of expectations — industry analysts predicted a $55 million bow — T3 nonetheless represented a personal best for Schwarzenegger. Legally Blonde 2: Red, White &#038 Blonde snapped up the No. 2 spot with a so-so $22.9 million ($39.2 million since Wednesday). That marked Reese Witherspoon's second-best opening ever, behind Sweet Home Alabama's $35.6 million haul. Rounding out the top five: read more

Pop Idol Goes from 'N Sync to 'N Gaged!


Relax, girls — pop heartthrob Justin Timberlake is still swingin' single. However, 'N Sync bandmate Joey Fatone has taken himself off the market. Last month on The Late Show, the Fame host revealed that he'd proposed to girlfriend Kelly on June 18 and (well, duh!) she said yes. But don't expect to read all about their engagement on TV Guide Online or anywhere else, for that matter.

"I keep my [sweetheart] and my [2-year-old] daughter kind of out of the limelight," he notes. "[Interviewers] ask me questions, and I tell them how [my family is] doing and stuff — it's not a secret. But I just try to keep them out of the limelight as far as pictures and stuff."

Fatone isn't pulling a Jacko, though; on the contrary, he's one of the more down-to-earth platinum-selling recording artists with whom you cou read more

COWABUNGA, EVIL DUDE!

Turns out Simon Cowell's not really bad, he's just drawn that way. As reported in TV Guide magazine's new TV News column (hey, that's my column!), in a recently-taped episode of The Simpsons (to air in March '04), American Idol's Judge Dread voices a brutally honest admissions screener at one of Springfield's most desireable pre-nursery schools. "Homer and Marge are trying to get Maggie into the school, but she has to interview [with Cowell's character] first," explains a show insider, who adds that the biting Brit is parodying, not playing, himself. Suffice it to say, Cowell — who recorded his dialogue on June 27 in London — doesn't react with compassion when he discovers that Maggie's mute. Pick up the current issue of TV Guide (on sale now) to read the Paula Abdul dig that caps read more

J.R. RETURNS!

SoapNet has acquired all 13 seasons of Dallas, to begin airing weekdays beginning Sept. 8. I'll ask again: What about Santa Barbara?!?! read more

SAVAGE REMARKS

Last month's Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay sex seems to have pushed conservative talk show host Michael Savage over the edge. MSNBC fired Savage on Monday after he referred to a caller as a "sodomite" and said he should "get AIDS and die." A rep for the struggling cable network told The Associated Press that Savage's "comments were extremely inappropriate and the decision was an easy one." read more

MIDDLE GROUND

The U.S. heartland is getting its own cable network. The America Channel launches in the spring and will focus on life between New York and Los Angeles. Among the shows in America's pipeline: Road Trip, about twentysomethings driving cross-country, and Occupational Hazard, in which folks try out an unusual job for a day. Rumored to be in development: Big Cities are the Coolest!, a series in which people in Middle America dream of someday moving to New York or Los Angeles. read more

BILL'S NEW SIDEKICK

Soledad O'Brien made her highly touted CNN debut today opposite Bill Hemmer on American Morning. The cable network celebrated the former NBC newswoman's arrival by hiding her behind a WOPR-sized laptop, which was positioned smack-dab in front of her on the anchor desk. Ironically, the computer was there to make everyone look smarter. read more

HE'S SO OVER JOEY

Former Dawson's Creek star James Van Der Beek married longtime girlfriend, actress Heather McComb Saturday in Malibu, Calif. The private beachfront ceremony culminated in a spectacular fireworks display. read more

FAREWELL, BUDDY

Famed TV actor Buddy Ebsen, best known for his roles as mountaineer Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies and aging P.I. Barnaby Jones, died Sunday at the age of 95. Ebsen — who also co-starred in Breakfast at Tiffany's and on the TV series Davy Crockett — had been hospitalized in Torrance, Calif., since late June for an undisclosed illness. Ebsen's passing comes two days after the death of another entertainment giant, R&B crooner Barry White. The Grammy-winning soul legend — who provided sexual healing to millions of couples with songs such as "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" and "I've Got So Much to Give" — died Friday after being in poor health for years. He was 58. read more

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