Today's News: Our Take


JENNY DELIVERS

Former MTV spitfire Jenny McCarthy gave birth to a baby boy, named Evan Joseph Asher, on Saturday in Los Angeles. This is the first child for the 29-year-old former Playboy Playmate and her husband, director John Asher. read more

ROSIE WRAPS

Rosie O'Donnell flung her last koosh ball today as the 40-year-old entertainer's six-year talk show career came to an end. "This is the biggest, gayest celebration since Liza's wedding," cracked guest Nathan Lane. Also stopping by to say farewell: O'Donnell's pal Christine Ebersole and her No. 1 obsession, Tom Cruise. The Mission: Impossible superstar appeared in a taped segment fulfilling O'Donnell's ultimate fantasy: cutting her lawn. read more

PROUD AS A PEACOCK

The 2001-02 television season ends tonight and NBC, buoyed by a resurgent Friends (the No. 1 show) as well as enduring hits ER (No. 3) and Law & Order (No. 5), will be crowned the No. 1 network. CBS will finish a strong second, thanks in large part to CSI (No. 2) and Everybody Loves Raymond (No. 5). The news was bad for the No. 3 network, ABC, which saw a quarter of its audience slip away. Fox, meanwhile, was No. 4 (down 4 percent), followed by UPN (up 15 percent) and the WB (up 1 percent). read more

SNAPSHOT BACKFIRE

A Virginia photographer is suing rocker Rod Stewart for copyright infringement, The Associated Press reports. She claims the star used photos she took of him — on T-shirts and concert program books — without obtaining her consent. He's countersuing, claiming the shutterbug was paid, but then tried to extort $500,000 from him for the shots. This head-scratcher of a legal debacle also includes her mother, who Stewart says "surreptitiously" took unauthorized photos of him. read more

THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

Pop-punk trio Blink-182 will guest star on The Simpsons next season, Rolling Stone reports. The episode has Bart running away from home to live in his own apartment, with the band and pro-skateboarder Tony Hawk as his new neighbors! read more

ATTENTION DEAD HEADS

The Grateful Dead is coming back to life. For the first time since the death of Jerry Garcia, the four surviving members of the band will reunite under the name The Other Ones for a two-day concert in August. "Terrapin Station — A Grateful Dead Family Reunion" will take place on Aug. 3 and 4 in East Troy, Wis. read more

PRAYERS FOR BARRY

7th Heaven hunk Barry Watson has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, E! Online reports. The 28-year-old actor, who in March announced to TV Guide Online that he was leaving the WB drama at the end of this season, is expected to make a full recovery. Doctors reportedly told Watson that the disease, a form of lymphatic cancer, has a 95 percent cure rate. read more

SHORT CUTS

Annette Bening has signed on to star in a remake of the classic family comedy Freaky Friday... Monday's series finale of Ally McBeal averaged a decent 11.4 million viewers. read more

EXECUTIVE SHUFFLE

Despite NBC's strong performance this season, there are big changes underway behind-the-scenes. Scott Sassa is stepping down as president of NBC's West Coast operations, but will remain on the network's payroll working on "strategic projects." Sassa's responsibilities will be assumed by NBC entertainment president Jeff Zucker. read more

PINK SLIP

Becker co-star Terry Farrell, who plays diner owner Reggie on the CBS comedy, has been let go, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The move is part of a new creative direction for the sitcom, which relocates to Sundays in the fall. read more

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