Today's News: Our Take


NBC has tapped Big Brother 2 champ Will Kirby (aka "Dr. Evil") to host its latest reality venture, Love Shack (debuting Aug. 27 from 8-9 pm/ET). The six-episode series centers around two singles of the opposite sex who compete against each other to win a one-year lease on a California beach house. Of course, lots of potential mates will come and go during the course of the show until the ultimate dream couple is left. Gee, sounds original. read more

Emmy Snubs Farscape

In space, nobody can hear you scream... even when the only Emmy nomination your critically praised series snags is for costume design. Not that Ben Browder, who plays rebel-without-a-clue-where-he-is astronaut John Crichton on the hit space saga Farscape really expected anything different.

"Award shows are not about merit," he tells TV Guide Online, putting his co-star and on-screen love interest upon a pedestal for all to see. "Look at what Claudia Black does [as Aeryn Sun], and the scope of her performance. She does comedy, tears, action... Heck, she could read the phone book and make it interesting. How can someone like that not get a nomination?

"That," he adds with a sigh, "is all you need to know about the validity of something like the Em read more


CBS's Big Brother is in big trouble again. According to, 25-year-old contestant Chiara Berti was arrested in late May for drunk driving. The incident took place in Los Angeles, where Berti was in the final stages of the Big Brother 3 audition/screening process. Berti's arraignment has been set for Sept. 3. CBS spokesman Chris Ender responds: "We were aware of the incident, but it didn't preclude her participation in the show." And what if Berti's still in the Big house when her Sept. 3 court date rolls around? "If that's the case, then we'd have to make a decision whether she's allowed to temporarily leave the house to make the court appearance or [if] that would be grounds for eviction from the show," he says, "but neither scenario has yet been discussed." Ironically, in a Q&A posted on, Berti expressed concern about the exposure that comes with read more


Felicity grad Scott Speedman has been cast opposite Kate Beckinsale in the big-screen action film Underworld. The Hollywood Reporter describes the pic as "a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story set in the world of vampires and werewolves, in which one lover is a vampire (Beckinsale) and the other a werewolf (Speedman)." read more


J.K. Rowling's fifth Harry Potter book, The Order of the Phoenix, won't arrive in bookstores until June 2003, USA Today reports. Rowling apparently is still writing the novel. Hurry up, already! read more


American Idol meanie Simon Cowell is in talks with NBC to produce an updated version of the classic '60s TV series The Monkees. According to Variety, the remake would feature a new American boy band in the roles made famous by Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. read more


NBC has lined up an all-star cast for A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, the first-ever made-for-television Muppet film. Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Cusack and David Arquette will join Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang in the pic, which airs in December and finds America's favorite frog fighting to save the Muppet Theater from a Scroogish bank owner. Look for cameos by Sir Michael Caine, William H. Macy, Snoop Dogg, Carson Daly, read more


Final figures show that the Tom Hanks gangster epic Road to Perdition beat out Stuart Little 2 for the top spot at the weekend box office. Perdition, originally projected to be the No. 2 film, grossed $15.4 million — just a whisker ahead of Stuart's $15.1 million haul. read more


Sean Young will appear on the first two episodes of NBC's Third Watch this fall... Oscar winner Marlee Matlin gave birth to a baby boy, Tyler Daniel Grandalski, on Thursday. This is her third child with husband Kevin Grandalski... Rapper Ja Rule is in negotiations to reprise his role in The Fast and the Furious 2. read more


"He is formidable. He is a man among men, unselfish and all-encompassing. He stands by the choices he made. He will never blame it on somebody else, and I have never seen anybody else do that." — Julia Roberts gushing about new hubby Danny Moder on Good Morning America. read more

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