Today's News: Our Take


Is new-mom Charisma Carpenter off the WB's Angel? According to new press materials released Tuesday by the network — in which Carpenter's name is conspicuously missing from next season's Angel cast list — it would appear so. A show rep insists no official decision has been made, but Carpenter's agent all but confirmed it when she didn't return the two phone calls I left for her yesterday. (I'll give her one more day to get back to me, and then I'll trash her in this column.) In related news, TVGO readers overwhelmingly believe Joss Whedon flat-out lied to me when he insisted that a deal to bring Buffy regular James Marsters to Angel next season was nothing more than a rumor. Thanks to all who voted. read more


In case you missed last night's Dawson's Creek series finale, here's what happened: Jack fell for Pacey's bro, Jen croaked, Joey picked Pacey, Dawson made it big in Hollywood and through it all, I prayed for a cable outage. read more


Missing from CBS's new fall schedule: Becker, My Big Fat Greek Life" and The Agency. May they rest in peace. (For the lowdown on CBS's lineup, click here.) read more


For the first time in nearly three decades, legendary R&B act the Isley Brothers are ruling the album charts. The group's new CD Body Kiss debuted at No. 1 with 155,000 copies sold. Madonna's American Life, meanwhile, continued to plummet, falling from No. 8 to No. 15. read more


Fox is cashing in on its Joe Millionaire franchise this fall. The network — which unveils its new schedule later today — has slotted Joe 2 for Mondays at 8 pm. (Boston Public moves to Fridays at 9 pm, following Wanda at Large and Luis, a new sitcom starring Luis Guzman as a donut shop owner in New York.) American Juniors, a pint-sized American Idol, will be paired with 24 on Tuesdays until midseason, when Idol 3 launches. (Juniors kicks off its first edition on June 3, with Paula Abdul as host.) Fox's other new offerings include the Norm Macdonald comedy A Minute with Stan Hooper; the Jason Bateman-Portia read more


Kimberley Locke got the boot on last night's American Idol, leaving Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard to vie for the championship next week. Speaking of Idol, this week's Joshua Gracin interview has been pushed back due to some scheduling issues. God willing, we'll have that for you next week, in addition to a Q&A with Locke. As always, if you have questions for Ms. Locke, send them to me via the link at the bottom of this page. Extra consideration will be given to those folks who give a shout-out to my trusty copy editor, Sabrina Rojas Weiss. read more

CBS Eyes Big Changes this Fall

For a network that preaches stability, CBS is giving its schedule an eye-popping shake-up, adding seven new shows and moving established hits The King of Queens and JAG to new nights. Not surprisingly, CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves downplays the risk of audience confusion the moves may cause. "Viewers have a hard time keeping up no matter what you do — there's already a lot of confusion," he says. "But when some of the shows you move are already appointment viewing, their fans will move with them."

Still, the network will have to maneuver a tough road next fall, especially given that five of its new shows are dramas, two of which will face off against some of the most popular shows on primetime. Look for CBS to have more success with its two new comedies, Two and a Half Men and The Stones, both of which will follow read more


The highly anticipated reunion between Survivor buddies Richard Hatch and Rudy Boesch is finally happening. CBS confirmed at its fall presentation Wednesday that the long-rumored all-star edition of Survivor will air next spring. In addition to Hatch and Boesch (who has to be, like, 98 by now), other alums competing for the special $2 million purse include Susan Hawk, Tina Wesson, Ethan Zohn and Jerri Manthey. What, no Debb Eaton? read more


Robert Stack, best known as the star of the TV classic The Untouchables and, more recently, as host of Unsolved Mysteries, died Wednesday of heart failure. He was 84. The baritone-pitched actor had undergone radiation treatment for prostate cancer in October. "He was feeling so good," his wife Rosemarie told The Associated Press. "He had a bout with a tumor but that was gone. It wasn't that, it was his heart. He was too weak. He wouldn't have lived through a bypass." read more


Contrary to rumors, UPN will not be replacing its entire lineup next season with 'round-the-clock coverage of the Yule Log. The struggling network's fall schedule features a new comedy block on Tuesdays, replacing Buffy and the short-lived spooker Haunted. On Wednesdays, Enterprise stays put at 8 pm, but The Twilight Zone has been cancelled and replaced with Jake 2.0, a drama about a National Security agent-turned superhero. Among the new comedies: All of Us, a laffer based on Will Smith's life; The Opposite Sex, a romantic comedy starring singer Eve; Rock Me Baby, starring Dan Cortese as a radio DJ; and the male buddy sitcom The Mullets. read more

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