Today's News: Our Take


ANOTHER SPIN

Spin City alum Michael J. Fox is getting back in business with ABC — but just behind the scenes. The network has picked up the comedy pilot Hench at Home, which Fox wrote and will executive produce. The semi-autobiographical project focuses on a pro hockey player who spends more time with his family after he is forced to retire. Fox left Spin City in 2000 after announcing that he has Parkinson's disease. read more

BEN COMES CLEAN

Ben Affleck will not be marrying J.Lo on Valentine's Day, he reveals in the latest Vanity Fair. "I think it will be sometime next summer," he tells the mag. The Sexiest Man Alive adds that the public's fascination with him and his fiancée is all about race and class. "The fact that I am white and she is Puerto Rican... that's what's underneath," he says, "although nobody says it, because it's not politically correct." For the record, Affleck also states in the interview that he doesn't wear a toupee, he's not gay and he never had a fling with Britney Spears. But what about Colin Farrell? read more

LOWE AND BEHOLD

The West Wing has elected to dismiss Rob Lowe sooner than first thought, TV Guide Online has learned. The actor's final appearance on NBC's White House drama — initially slated for March — will now air during the Feb. 26 episode, a show rep confirms. In a recent interview with TV Guide Online, exec producer Aaron Sorkin said he was holding off on writing Lowe's swan song because, "I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that [he'll stay]. I say it out loud every day: 'Please, I want Rob to stay on the show!'" There seems little chance of that at this point. Lowe recently inked a deal with the Peacock network to headline a new legal drama next season. What's more, Lowe's WW alter ego, Sam Seaborn, recently left his post as communications dire read more

AXED

Here's proof that all bad things must come to an end: Long-running talker Jenny Jones will call it quits in May after 12 years on the air. read more

ANGER MANAGEMENT

Singer-actress Courtney Love, 38, was arrested Tuesday upon arriving at London's Heathrow airport. Kurt Cobain's troubled widow allegedly was "verbally abusive" to the cabin crew aboard a Virgin Atlantic flight from Los Angeles. Love, verbally abusive? Get out of town. read more

OUT ON BAIL

Legendary music producer Phil Spector, arrested Monday for investigation of murder after police found a woman shot to death at his Los Angeles estate, is free after posting $1 million bond. The victim was identified as 40-year-old Lana Clarkson, but there's still no word on what her relationship was to Spector. Ex-O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro is representing the 62-year-old music giant, who produced such landmark records as the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and the Ronettes' "Walking in the Rain." He also produced the last Beatles album, Let It Be, in 1970. read more

MORE SEX, BUT SAFER

Sex is getting more common on television, but shows are more likely to include some references to making it safe, according to a study released today from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The report found that 26 percent of shows with sex references also included messages of abstinence or protection. That is nearly double the rate that the foundation found in 1997-98, the first year of its ongoing study. read more

FOX ON TOP

Whatever Fox is paying American Idol meanie Simon Cowell, it's not enough. Fueled by two highly-rated editions of Idol (as well as a little show called Joe Millionaire), Fox was the most-watched network last week — the first time it has scored such a feat on the strength of its entertainment programming alone. In other ratings news, the Sunday premiere of Dragnet on ABC drew 13.3 million viewers while NBC's competing Kingpin had 12.5 million. read more

SHORT CUTS

Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh is developing a series for HBO set in the world of political consulting... Calvin Klein model Travis Fimmel has been tapped to play the title role in the WB's upcoming drama Tarzan... The UPN sitcom One on One has replaced Fox's The Bernie Mac Show as the top-rated show this season among black households, according to a recent study by ad agency BBDO... Fox is bringing young billionaire Richie Rich back to life in the form of a new TV series... Claudia Schiffer has named her newborn son Caspar. I bet he'll grow up to be a friendly fella. read more

Question: I have seen two ...

Question: I have seen two late-night runs of a show with Annie Potts, in which her character and a black friend (now an attorney) grew up together. What is the name of this show and when and where does it run? — E.K., Uvalde, Tex.

Televisionary: Sounds like you caught reruns of Any Day Now, which originally ran on Lifetime from August 1998 to March 2002. The network runs old episodes of the series — it wasn't renewed because Potts opted out after its initial four-year order was up — weeknights at 1:30 am/ET.

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