Today's News: Our Take


FLYING HIGH

NBC's lame attempt at replicating American Idol fever seems to hold promise for the Peacock. Wednesday night's debut of Fame, featuring Gen-Xers singing and dancing, scored 10 million viewers. Hosted by Debbie Allen and 'N Sync dude Joey Fatone, Fame garnered the largest total audience for a summer reality series premiere in two years. read more

JUST LIKE THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY

Ozzy Osbourne is returning to England for his first solo gig in eight years. And his opening act will be none other than daughter Kelly. "I couldn't be happier about doing my own dates in the UK and having Kelly on the bill with me," Ozzy wrote on his website. This will mark the first time the father-daughter duo have performed on stage together. read more

MAYBE BABY

Could Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck be expecting a child? Rumors of the pop diva's pregnancy are rampant in Las Vegas. On Monday, the Las Vegas Sun reports, the couple bought hundreds of dollars worth of baby clothes at a Burberry shop in the Venetian hotel. "I don't know if it was for her," a store manager told the newspaper, "but I didn't ask." Well, TV Guide Online asked J.Lo's manager, Benny Medina, who insists: "She's absolutely not pregnant. She's got a niece and nephew that she shops for all the time. That's really all there is to it. And they were toddler clothes, not baby clothes!" read more

Finding Ellen DeGeneres


In Disney's Finding Nemo (opening today), Ellen DeGeneres dives undersea to play Dory, a Blue Tang fish who suffers from short-term memory loss, but still bubbles with positive energy. Wait, who's this article about again? Oh yeah! Ellen DeGeneres... she starred in that TV show Ellen and dated Anne Heche. Er, anyway, while she bares little resemblance to her scaly, animated alter ego, DeGeneres does have a similar outlook on life.

"Dory's innocent," the comic says. "She's optimistic. There's not even a thought in her head that a shark would hurt her or that being swallowed by a whale is a bad thing. In some ways, I'm like that, but not quite so much.

"It was fun to play," she continues, "because I got to go in, over the course of three years, and stand there and play this hap read more

OH, CANADA!

Shania Twain and Neil Young may be adding their names to the growing list of Canadian singers who will perform at a benefit concert in Toronto, reports The Associated Press. The star-studded event, set for June 21, hopes to combat the city's slump in tourism due to SARS. Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan and the Barenaked Ladies have already signed on. read more

BOOM BOMBS

The debut of NBC's cop drama Boomtown on TNT was a bust, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Despite having the highest-rated episode ever of Law &#038 Order on TNT as a lead-in, Boomtown's cable premiere registered a below average rating in it's Monday at 10 pm timeslot. A TNT spokesman blamed little time for promotion, as a deal to air the struggling show was just reached last week. read more

I'M COMIN' OUT

In next week's issue of TV Guide magazine, Richard Chamberlain confesses he's gay — and he's been secretly married to a man for 20 years. Chamberlain, best known for his roles in Dr. Kildare and The Thorn Birds, discusses life in Hollywood's celluloid closet, and his hidden relationship with Martin Rabbett, who is now his manager. For the full story, click here and pick up TV Guide on newsstands Monday. read more

BLOOD PACT BROKEN

Hollywood's spookiest couple, Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton, are officially over. Jolie, 27 — who cited "irreconcilable differences" in court papers — was granted an uncontested divorce on Tuesday. This was her second marriage, and the fifth for Thornton, 47. Support and visitation rights for their adopted Cambodian son, Maddox, have been agreed upon, but no details were revealed. There's also no word on who gets to keep those creepy his 'n hers blood amulets. read more

BAIT AND SWITCH

Move over Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul's got a new guy to give the cold shoulder to: American Idol host Ryan Seacrest! Fox has tapped Seacrest to host Idol's upcoming kiddie spinoff American Juniors, TV Guide Online has learned. The problem? Abdul was reportedly in advanced talks to host the show, which debuts June 3 at 8 pm/ET. read more

Ruben Studdard Needs a Nap!

These days, the title of Hardest Working Man in Show Business surely must go to Ruben Studdard, the newly-minted American Idol winner. As if crooning like Luther Vandross all season weren't enough, he's been meeting the press non-stop, making endless public appearances and planning his album. (His first single, "Flying Without Wings," drops June 3.) When Ruben rang up TV Guide Online, the 24-year-old — who yawned his way through our last interview — was even more exhausted. If you think pop Idols go idle offstage, think again: He's being run ragged, singing and talking way too much for a man of few words.


TVGO: Are they wearing you out?
Ruben:
They are.

TVGO: At the Idol finale, you were perspiring pretty heavily on stage. Some folks were worried. Are you okay?
Ruben:
I'm fine, dude.

TVGO: It read more

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