Today's News: Our Take


THEY'RE TALKING

Bringing Friends back for a ninth season is "our No. 1 top priority," NBC Entertainment president Jeff Zucker told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday morning. And despite past dustups over the sextet's soaring salaries, NBC West Coast prez Scott Sassa insisted "we're in discussions and there's no acrimony." read more

GOING FOR THE GOLD

Awards website GoldDerby.com is pegging The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring as the favorite to win best dramatic film at the Jan. 20 Golden Globes. GoldDerby — which is now partnering with renowned Vegas oddsmaker America's Line to size up the top kudofests — puts Lord's odds at 3-to-4. Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind is close behind with even odds. read more

LORDY! MORE AWARDS!

Nominations for the 13th annual Producers Guild Awards were announced Thursday and A Beautiful Mind, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Moulin Rouge and Shrek will compete for best picture. TV drama nominees are CSI, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and The West Wing. On the TV comedy side, Frasier, Friends, Malcolm in the Middle, read more

SHORT CUTS

NYPD Blue's Charlotte Ross has broken off her engagement with her CAA agent-beau Jeremy Plager, TV Guide Online has learned... Newcomer Sharif Atkins has been upgraded to series regular status on ER... Nicole Kidman will play flamboyant Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine in Court and Spark, a film based on the life of the 12th-century monarch, according to The Hollywood Reporter... Hank Azaria's poorly reviewed NBC comedy Imagine That got off to a lousy start Tuesday night, drawing just 7.7 million viewers... read more

MOVE OVER LAW & ORDER...

CBS is prepping a CSI spinoff series based on an episode set to air later this season. The new show would revolve around forensic experts in a different city, possibly Miami. read more

URBAN RENEWAL

The Peacock network has renewed freshman series Scrubs, Crossing Jordan and Law & Order: Criminal Intent for a second year, it was announced Wednesday at the TCA press tour in Pasadena, Calif. read more

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Survivor is going back to its roots. The fourth installment of CBS's reality franchise — Survivor: Marquesas — will take place on the South Pacific island of Nuku Hiva. The show's first chapter was set on the South Pacific island of Palau Tiga. (We can only hope it's that good.) Survivor: Marquesas will debut on Feb. 28. Meanwhile, Survivor: Africa's two-hour finale airs tonight (8 pm/ET), followed by a live reunion with all 16 players. read more

SEX SELLS

Sex is still good for HBO. Sunday's first of six new Sex and the City episodes was the show's most-watched ever. Some 7.3 million viewers tuned in to watch Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) clean out her closet. read more

Wayne Brady: Still Keepin' It Real


Whose Line Is It Anyway? joker Wayne Brady is on a roll: His ABC variety series, The Wayne Brady Show — which debuted last summer to solid reviews and respectable ratings — is expected back on the network's schedule later this season. And next fall, the funnyman will be launching his own syndicated talk-variety show. Surely, it's right about time for Brady to morph into a hotshot showbiz prima donna, right? Not a chance.

"I always told myself that if I ever achieved a certain modicum of success, I was going to treat everyone the way that I wanted to be treated," the 29-year-old entertainer tells TV Guide Online. "The person that is your [production assistant] or even your co-star today could tomorrow be one of the most powerful people in Hollywood. So, you treat people with a certain dignity."

As Brady recalls, it wasn't too long ago when he was at the bottom of the Hollywood food chai read more

Survivor Stewardess Flies Away!


Survivor: Africa reject Teresa "T-Bird" Cooper lost out on that cool million when loony Lex finally ousted her last week. (Who didn't see that coming?) On the bright side, the 42-year-old flight attendant from Jackson, Ga., must've earned a slew of frequent flyer miles jetting to Kenya and back! "You know what, it wasn't the $1 million," she tells TV Guide Online. "I wanted the title of Survivor. To be number one out of the 16 people would've been quite an honor."

The way T-Bird tells it, it sounds possible we'll see Lex's threatening tantrums seal his own fate during Thursday night's finale. "He's really a very sensitive guy," she hints, "and I think that one vote I put [against] him early on just threw him off. It came out in his 'throat-cutting' comments. Unfortunately, because of the way he overreacted, he lost a lot of fans [amongst the tribe].

"You don't want to show that side of yourself read more

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