Today's News: Our Take


USA ON TOP

Thanks to original series like Monk and The Dead Zone, USA Network took the No. 1 spot among cable networks in all key demos. And in a show of good taste by viewers, not one primetime wrestling show made it into the top 10 of individually ranked cable programs over the summer. read more

WILLY WONKA AND GRACE

Funnyman Gene Wilder will guest star on Will & Grace as Will's boss at the law firm. (As the plotline has it, you've never seen the head honcho before because he works out of "the London office.") Look for Wilder's episode to air during November Sweeps. read more

UH-OH OZZY

We can already hear Sharon cursing about this. The Osbourne family matriarch promised ABC News's Barbara Walters an exclusive interview regarding her battle with colon cancer, reports the New York Post. However, her husband Ozzy accidentally broke that deal by speaking with Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren about his wife's condition in a two-part interview. Part one aired last night on Fox's The Pulse, and though the rocker attempted to correct his error by stopping the second-part airing, it is still scheduled to air tonight during FNC's On the Record. read more

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

Former morning television host Bryant Gumbel got a bit of a surprise when his 24-year-old son Bradley was arrested for purse snatching. But according to Gumbel family lawyers, the police apprehended the wrong man. The Manhattan District Attorney's office apparently agrees, since they have chosen not to prosecute. Phew! read more

BABY WEIRDNESS

Recently in Las Vegas, Michael Jackson was spotted at a Siegfried and Roy show with three kids. In addition to son Prince Michael, 5, and daughter Paris, 4, the pop star had an infant boy he called his "third child," People reports. Confusingly, he referred to the child as Prince Michael II. Is Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe the baby's mama? "Anything's possible," a source told the mag. "They still have a relationship." read more

SHORT CUTS

A&E's low-rated series Nero Wolfe has been canceled... Speculation is running rampant that Vin Diesel will get an ego boost this weekend — not that he needs it — with his film XXX poised to take the top spot for the third week in a row... Irish rocker Caroline Corr married longtime beau Frank Woods on Thursday evening... Morgan Freeman has signed on to play opposite Owen Wilson in his new film The Big Bounce. read more

NOT HIM AGAIN!

Former Vice President Dan Quayle is dragging out the old family values again. Known for harping on Murphy Brown's single mom status, he recently told Travel and Leisure Golf magazine that he also has a bone to pick with Friends. "I don't think that should be portrayed on television as a good thing," he said regarding Jennifer Aniston's Rachel having a baby out of wedlock. "It's tough on the mother and it's tough on the child — the chance of that child ending up in poverty is quite high." And we thought the biggest Friends dilemma was if Rachel would pick Ross or Joey. read more

Wesley Snipes: King of the Ring


Wesley Snipes is hoping his new boxing drama Undisputed will score a knockout at the box office this weekend — especially considering all the blood, sweat and tears he put into the production. The 40-year-old Blade star was sentenced to over a month of intense physical training to prepare for his role as a prison boxing champ.

"Boxing is just extremely demanding physically," he tells TV Guide Online. "Your muscles get extremely sore, and if you can make it through a three-minute or six-minute round, you are in pretty doggone good shape."

Another surefire sign of optimum physical strength: being able to go a few rounds with Ving Rhames, Snipes's co-star and chief rival in Undisputed. Was their sparring as brutal as it appeared? " read more

THE BOSS DETHRONED

After two weeks at the top, Bruce Springsteen's The Rising slipped to No. 3 on the album chart with sales of 167,000 units. Nelly's Nellyville reclaimed its No. 1 position (183,000 copies), followed by Eminem's The Eminem Show at No. 2 (179,000 copies sold). James Taylor's new CD, October Road, debuted at No. 4 with 154,000 copies sold. read more

FRONT AND CENTER

Burt Reynolds is the latest celeb to sign up for a stint as center square on Hollywood Squares. Reynolds — who joins recent center-square recruits Ellen DeGeneres and Alec Baldwin — has signed on for a two-week guest stint. read more

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