Today's News: Our Take


Ex-talk show hostess Sally Jessy Raphael has slapped The National Enquirer with a $100 million libel suit. She denies the tabloid's Oct. 22 cover story, which alleged that Raphael was rushed to a psychiatric ward in distress after her show's cancellation. The suit says she merely went off on vacation with her husband, and that she's concerned the Enquirer's story may jeopardize her future employment prospects. read more


Wrestler-turned-governor Jesse Ventura is in talks with MSNBC to host his own political show after he leaves office in January. Insiders speculate that Ventura's chatfest might replace Phil Donahue's struggling show. Former Politically Incorrect funnyman Bill Maher, meanwhile, is in negotiations with HBO about hosting a new show. read more


Veteran singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, 59, says that her upcoming double album, Travelogue, will be her last. "I'm quitting after this because the [music] business has made itself so repugnant to me," she tells December's W. Mitchell also had a few choice words for Madonna, saying, "She has knocked the importance of talent out of the arena. She's manufactured. She's made a lot of money and become the biggest star in the world by hiring the right people." Sounds like someone just came from a screening of Swept Away. read more


Spider-Man creator Stan Lee filed a $10 million lawsuit against Marvel Entertainment Inc. on Tuesday, claiming the comic book company cheated him out of millions of dollars in profits from last summer's blockbuster film. Spider-Man grossed more than $400 million in the U.S. alone, but Lee says he hasn't seen a penny. read more


CBS has inked a multi-year deal with BBC Worldwide to bring its popular Robbie the Reindeer franchise to the network, Variety reports. Two Robbie specials — revoiced by the likes of Ben Stiller, Hugh Grant, Britney Spears and Jim Belushi — will air on Dec. 13 following CBS's annual telecast of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. read more


Fox has picked up freshman dramas Fastlane and John Doe for a full season. The jury's still out on Firefly and Cedric the Entertainer Presents. read more


Uh oh!, an offshore gaming company in Antigua, has been taking wagers on the outcome of ABC's The Bachelor. Will Aaron choose Helene or Brooke? Strangely, a large number of bets were placed by residents of his hometown of Springfield, Mo. — and they all bet on Helene. Since the show is pre-taped — with an outcome already known to some — could Springfielders have obtained inside info? "My parents don't even know the outcome," Aaron told The Associated Press, "let alone my friends." Meanwhile, ABC dismisses talk of an alleged tip-off as mere "urban legend." In related news, The Bachelor was the top-rated reality series last week among young viewers — beating Survivor: Thailand for the first time. read more


It's a boy for Dixie Chicks singer Emily Robison! On Monday, she and hubby Charlie welcomed son Charles Augustus Robison into the world. The new mom and son are healthy and resting at home in San Antonio, Tex. read more


ER star Noah Wyle and his wife Tracy became the proud parents of a baby boy, Owen Strausser Wyle, on Saturday in Los Angeles. This is the couple's first child. Before you ask, Wyle's grandfather was reportedly named Strausser. read more

Buffy Ghost Revisits Old Haunts

Halloween 2002 is dead and buried, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer is still digging up cemetery plots: In tonight's installment (airing at 8 ET on UPN), "polterguest star" Kristine Sutherland returns as Joyce Summers, the dearly departed mother of the Chosen One and her kid sister, Dawn. "It's a very scary episode," the actress tells TV Guide Online. "Something very, very dark and evil takes Dawn for quite a scary ride. In the end, she sort of calls on the forces that love her, and her mother appears."

Although Sutherland admits that she was as bummed out as viewers when her beloved character was bumped off back in season five, she has no complaints whatsoever about her alter ego's afterlife. "There are a few frightening images of Joyce after she went to the other side," she reveals, "but it was much better than being in the morgue, let me tell you." What's more, she suspects that there's at least a ghost of a chance th read more

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