Today's News: Our Take


DENIED

Robert Blake better make himself comfortable in that jail cell of his: The onetime Baretta star was denied bail at a hearing today in Los Angeles. "There is proof of his guilt and the presumption is great, for bail purposes only," Superior Court Judge Lloyd Nash said. "That does not mean I believe he committed this offense, or that I think he's guilty." Nash will reconsider the bail request after a preliminary hearing Dec. 11. Blake is awaiting trial on charges that he murdered his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. read more

TEMPORARY LEAVE

Following the sudden death of husband Bruce Paltrow, Blythe Danner reportedly has taken a temporary leave of absence from her CBS medical drama Presidio Med. Paltrow — the father of Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow — died last week of complications from pneumonia and a recurrence of throat cancer. read more

RADIO STARS

Alfre Woodard and Debra Winger have joined the cast of the upcoming Columbia Pictures football drama Radio, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ed Harris, Variety reports. The film centers on the relationship between a high school football coach (Harris) and a mentally challenged man nicknamed Radio (Gooding). Cuba wouldn't be gunning for a second Oscar now, would he? read more

RATINGS ROUND-UP

CBS racked up its second consecutive Nielsen victory of the new fall season. For the week ending Oct. 6, the Eye Network averaged 13.3 million viewers — up 21 percent compared to last year. NBC ranked second among total viewers (12.6 million), but was tops in the 18-49 demo. ABC placed third with 9.5 million viewers, followed by Fox (8.1 million), the WB (5 million) and UPN (4.1 million). It's worth noting that the WB is up a staggering 32 percent over last year, while UPN is down 28 percent. The top five shows of the week were Friends, CSI, ER, Everybody Loves Raymond and Survivor: Thailand. read more

WILL HE GO FREE?

A California judge has scheduled a hearing on Wednesday to determine if former Baretta star Robert Blake should be released on bail. The actor is awaiting trial on charges of murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. read more

OLD SCHOOL

Rolling Stone Mick Jagger has donated $150,000 to his old grammar school in England — but there are strings attached: The 59-year-old singer wants the money to be used for music education. "I believe we should encourage children to sing and play instruments from an early age," Jagger told The Associated Press. "It is so important that they have somewhere like this where they can share their musical ideas and vision and be able to practice for as long as they like." Heck, it beats dodgeball. read more

Survivor Hottie: Teeth or Tinseltown?


Apparently, God doesn't play favorites. When Vecepia "Vee" Towery won Survivor: Marquesas last May, the fundamentalist Christian chalked up her surprise victory to divine intervention. But where was the big guy last week when fellow Christian Jed Hildebrand became the first member of the Sook Jai tribe to get the boot on Survivor: Thailand?

For his part, the 25-year-old hard body isn't holding the good Lord accountable for his early defeat. "I feel like I was given the strength to endure the challenges that came up, and God may have made this opportunity a growing experience," he tells TV Guide Online. "At no time did I ever blame anybody for what happened. I enjoyed my time there, and I think it's all for the best."

In truth, Hildebrand confesses that if anyone should take the fall for his ouster, it's him. The Texas native — who was labeled la read more

Julianna Margulies: Don't Call Her Caruso


When Julianna Margulies exited her role as ER's Nurse Carol Hathaway in 2000, the world was stunned this curly-tressed star gave up one of TV's highest paying gigs. The actress bristled — and still does — to comparisons with NYPD Blue's infamously injudicious ship-jumper, David Caruso.

"I always found it incredibly odd that anyone would compare me to him," Margulies says. "First of all, I did the show for six years, and I was always appreciative of the show and I completed a contract on the show. In fact, I signed two extra contracts on that show. He walked out after a year and then failed.

"I was very taken aback by the backlash," the 36-year-old continues . "And I thought, 'Wow, has no one been watc read more

ALL TALK, NO ACTION

Two stars of the popular stage show Puppetry of the Penis will make an appearance on Wednesday's Tonight Show with Jay Leno. But genital contortionists David Friend and Simon Morley won't be dropping trou on national TV. Instead, they will just talk about their, er, below-the-belt talent. Sounds kinky. read more

THE WRONG STUFF

Bonnie Hunt has pink-slipped most of the writing staff on her new ABC comedy Life with Bonnie. According to Variety, Hunt and fellow exec producer Don Lake want to pen the scripts themselves. ABC recently picked up Bonnie for a full season. read more

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