Today's News: Our Take


Time's up for two stars of 24. Penny Johnson Jerald and Sarah Wynter — whose respective roles as Sherry Palmer and Kate Warner were pivotal last season — will not be returning as series regulars for Day Three this fall, TV Guide Online has learned. A Fox spokesman refused to confirm the demotions, but did caution that "it would be a mistake to infer from an actor's contract status what their participation in the show next year will be. For example, Xander Berkeley (George Mason) was hired as a series regular last year but his character was killed off in episode 15." Yeah, that sucked for him. read more


After years of diplomacy, HBO has finally convinced the City of New York to allow for the return of Taxicab Confessions, Variety reports. Shooting on the new episodes will begin in July. read more


Ben Affleck is in discussions to star in two upcoming comedies — Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Sex Talk. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ghosts centers on a bachelor who attends his brother's wedding and is visited by the spirits of his past flames. Sex Talk, meanwhile, is about a reporter who uses sports strategy to help couples solve problems with their sex lives. read more


Thousands of copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were stolen from a warehouse in England Sunday. Phoenix, the fifth installment of JK Rowling's boy wizard saga, goes on sale midnight Friday. read more


For Love or Money dud Rob Campos once tried to grope his way onto The Bachelor. According to Extra, the disgraced ex-marine had auditioned for ABC's hit dating game, but producers wisely went with Andrew Firestone instead. read more


Felicity grad Keri Russell has been cast as the lead in the British indie flick Cabbages & Queens, her rep confirms to TV Guide Online. She'll play Holly, a TV producer's assistant who sniffs out a jewel heist plot while working undercover as a theater stage manager in London. Nathan Lane co-stars in the screwball comedy, which starts filming later this month. Felicity reruns make me cry. There, I said it. read more


British babe Kate Beckinsale (Pearl Harbor) is engaged to filmmaker Len Wiseman, the director of her upcoming vampire pic Underworld... Talking head-turned-New Age guru John Tesh has settled a copyright infringement lawsuit that claimed lyrics to his song "God in the Stairwell" were taken from a Sept. 11 poem written by a Missouri woman. read more


Ruben Studdard has made his first bad career move. The American Idol champ has agreed to make a singing cameo in Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, which is currently shooting in Vancouver. A Warner Bros. rep confirms that Studdard will play himself in the bit, so expect heavy perspiration. read more

What Scares Shannen Doherty?

As host of Sci Fi's guiltiest pleasure, Scare Tactics (which returns with new episodes Friday at 10 ET), Shannen Doherty is an accomplice to all manner of terrifying pranks. So she can't be entirely surprised by our first question: What would really freak her out?

"It would have to be something to do with water or sharks," she admits, perhaps foolishly, to TV Guide Online. "I'm petrified of sharks. Petrified. Like, I know I'm going to get eaten one day."

Aha! Now we've given the altered-reality prankathon's producers the info they need to spook their star. Yet for some reason, the Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed actress isn't quaking in her boots. What gives? "I don't think they'd do that to me," she says. "If you pulled a prank on me with a shark, I'd probably have read more


CBS is fuming over a recent New York Times article that basically accused the Eye network of using unethical means to score an exclusive interview with former POW Jessica Lynch. The Times piece suggested that CBS told Lynch that other divisions of Viacom — including MTV and Simon & Schuster — would likely offer to do separate projects with her if she agreed to the CBS sit-down. In a statement, the network responded: "CBS News does not pay for interviews and it maintains a well-established separation from other parts of Viacom." For its part, the Times stands by its story. read more

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