Today's News: Our Take


IT'S OFFICIAL!

CBS confirmed today that the fifth installment of Survivor will take place in Thailand on the island of Tarutao. "The 16 castaways will share the 58.3 square miles of island with a wide range of monkeys, snakes and bird life, along with a spectacular marine life of whales, dolphins and sea turtles," read a CBS statement. "With the cooperation of the Thailand government, production has been granted access to the island, which is normally closed to visitors from mid-May to mid-November." Survivor: Thailand will debut this fall. read more

SIGNS OF LIFE

Part one of CBS's spooky miniseries Living with the Dead averaged a lively 16 million viewers Sunday night, helping the Eye network to score a rare win among young adults. The two-parter concludes tonight. read more

ALPHABET SCOOP

Steven M. Bornstein has stepped down as president of ABC. Bornstein, who has held the position for a year, plans to pursue other interests. "Steve was instrumental in the development of numerous cable and online businesses, and played key roles in the enormous success of ESPN and the successful launch of the ABC Family Channel," said Disney president Robert A. Iger. "We appreciate all that he has done for ESPN, ABC Family and ABC and wish him well." read more

IRREPLACEABLE

The funeral for TLC's Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes will be held Thursday in her hometown of Atlanta. Meanwhile, group member Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that TLC will continue performing, but added that Lopes will "never" be replaced. "You can't replace a TLC girl. The chemistry we have is something God gave us. You can't put that together." read more

END QUOTE

"These people are in just about as much jeopardy as I am having dinner." Johnny Carson dissing reality shows like Survivor in the June issue of Esquire. read more

THE WITHER OF OZ

HBO has sentenced its kinky jailhouse drama Oz to death. The network has announced that the show's sixth season — slated to debut in early 2003 — will be its last. "Oz has been a landmark series for HBO, one that has had a tremendous impact on both subscribers and critics," said HBO's programming president Chris Albrecht. "We look forward to working with [executive producer] Tom Fontana again." Added Fontana: "With these final eight episodes of Oz, I will finish telling the story I originally set out to tell." read more

PENTHOUSE PEST

Russian tennis pro Anna Kournikova is suing Penthouse. A 10-page spread in the skin mag's June issue boasts busty topless photos of her — but she says they're merely doctored fakes, which Penthouse denies. "The photographs are so dissimilar to Miss Kournikova," her agent David Schwab tells Reuters, "that anyone who knows her... will immediately know that the magazine did it on purpose to exploit her." read more

RUDY BEHIND THE SCENES

HBO is producing the latest Sept. 11 documentary — this one following former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and his City Hall staffers on the day of the WTC terrorist attacks. Titled In Memoriam: New York City, 9/11/01, the special debuts May 26 at 9 pm/ET. read more

YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING

While Baretta star Robert Blake sits in L.A. Men's Central Jail accused of wife Bonny Lee Bakley's murder, her four children have slapped him with a wrongful death suit. Bakley's estate is seeking unspecified damages on behalf of her adult children, Paul and Holly Gawron, seven-year-old Jeri Lee Lewis, as well as Blake's own baby daughter, Rose Lenore Sophia Blake. read more

SHORT CUTS

CBS has renewed The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn through the 2003-2004 season... Tim Burton has signed on to direct Columbia's adventure flick Big Fish, according to The Hollywood Reporter... Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart will headline a Showtime remake of The Lion in Winter to debut in late 2003. read more

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