Today's News: Our Take


MONK TO THE RESCUE

Troubled ABC is getting a little obsessive-compulsive with its deal-making. The network — which Monday announced a programming partnership with HBO — has signed a deal with USA Network to air reruns of its new hit detective drama Monk on Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET. The episodes will air on ABC four days after their original Friday showing on USA. read more

GOOD PROGNOSIS

ABC News vet Cokie Roberts, 58, is being treated for breast cancer, The Washington Post reports. Roberts — who underwent a successful lumpectomy at Washington's Sibley Hospital two weeks ago — says the cancer was caught in the early stages and she expects to make a full recovery after six months of chemotherapy. Furthermore, the treatments won't "cause any major interference with my work," the exiting This Week co-host says. read more

SHORT CUTS

NBC has ordered an additional 13 episodes of its summer reality hit Dog Eat Dog to air at midseason... Singer-songwriter-actress Jewel and her manager-mother Lenedra Carroll have formed a production company, Magic Lantern Entertainment. The duo's first acquisition: the ensemble drama Wave, in which Jewel will star... Cable network FX is developing a drama series based on the 1998 Robert De Niro feature Ronin, Variety reports... American Pie's Seann William Scott will return for the upcoming third installment, which begins filming in January. Other Pie regulars are also expected back... Showtime has greenlit an original movie about New York's Crown Heights riots. read more

CREEK SCOOP

Kelly isn't the only Osbourne offspring going Hollywood. Her little bro, Jack, will guest star on the two-hour season premiere of Dawson's Creek, airing Oct. 2 on the WB, TV Guide Online has learned. In other Creek news, Oliver Hudson (My Guide to Becoming a Rock Star) and Jensen Ackles (Dark Angel) are joining the cast. read more

Gwyneth's Groovy Powers Cameo!


There's a reason Gwyneth Paltrow's unbilled cameo in the opening minutes of Austin Powers in Goldmember was such a surprise to audiences. "I am an excellent secret keeper," the Oscar winner boasts to TV Guide Online. "It really p---es my friends off. They're like, 'Come on!'"

Goldmember finds Paltrow camping it up as Dixie Normous, the leading lady of the movie-within-a-movie parody Austinpussy. Also appearing in the celeb-packed sequence: Steven Spielberg, Danny DeVito, Kevin Spacey and Tom Cruis read more

Joss Whedon Gives Buffy Back its Bite

Since Buffy the Vampire Slayer bummed out even its diehard loyalists worse than a pair of teeth marks to the neck last season, series creator Joss Whedon knows that this year there's a lot, uh, at stake. Luckily, he has a master plan to keep the UPN sleeper out of the TV-show graveyard and in the Sunnydale Cemetery where it belongs: In upcoming episodes, he reveals, "there will be vampires. And we're going to give [the Scoobies] cute catch phrases like 'Eat this' and 'You're dust.'" All kidding aside, the auteur does have a few tricks up his sleeve to turn around the bloody mess that the cult fave became — and no, none of them involve hiring Luke Perry to reprise his role from the anemic 1992 film. Phew! He's off to a good start already. Here are some of hi read more

ADMIT IT, YOU WATCHED

Despite the "it's so bad it's bad" buzz, E!'s The Anna Nicole Show lured enough masochists, er, viewers to make it the highest-rated series premiere in basic cable history. Sunday night's debut notched a preliminary 5.5 overnight rating — which also sets a new record for an E! show. By comparison, MTV's The Osbournes premiered in the spring with a 2.8 rating. Ms. Smith better enjoy the success while she can: We predict word-of-mouth will have a devastating impact on Anna Nicole next week. read more

MICKEY MOUSE'S CRY FOR HELP

ABC has put out an S.O.S. call to HBO. The struggling Disney-owned network has signed a deal that gives it first dibs on all programs developed by HBO Independent Productions, the company behind Sex and the City as well as CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond. With ABC's luck, they'll get the next Mind of the Married Man. read more

SAD DAY IN SPORTS

Broadcast legend Chick Hearn, the Los Angeles Lakers's longtime play-by-play announcer who coined the phrases "slam dunk," "air ball" and "dribble drive," died on Monday just days after suffering a head injury in a fall. He was 85. "There's never going to be another Chick Hearn," said Lakers legend Magic Johnson. "He's a man who will be remembered long after. Some people grow bigger than their sport, bigger than their job." Hearn fell and struck his head Friday at his Encino, Calif., home. Doctors operated twice on Saturday, but he never regained consciousness. read more

SAD DAY IN HOLLYWOOD

Actor Josh Ryan Evans, the 3-foot, 2-inch star of NBC's Passions, died Monday night as a result of an existing heart condition. He was 20. In an unbelievable parallel, Evans's soap character — pint-sized Pinocchio Timmy — died on Monday's episode. NBC released the following statement: "We are deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of Josh Ryan Evans. He was a truly unique talent with a remarkable spirit. He will be sorely missed by his Passions family and by all of us at NBC." read more

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