Today's News: Our Take

Survivor Vet Reveals Outback Loser

CBS should have extended its current gag order to include Survivor's 16 original castaways. Kelly Wiglesworth — the 23-year-old ex-Palau Tigan who lost the $1 million booty to naked Richard Hatch and who received a now-legendary tongue-lashing from redneck Susan Hawk — believes she has the inside track on who won't be going the distance on Survivor: The Australian Outback (premiering Sunday following the Super Bowl).

As Wiglesworth confides, she recently met Outback contestant Jerri Manthey, and on close inspection determined that, well, she's a big ol' loser. "I don't think she won," Wiglesworth tells TV Guide Online. "She did not say a word to me... She could be the [winner] for all I know. But personally, I just got the vibe that she didn't win."

Wiglesworth and her former Survivor buds Dirk Been, Joel Klug and Gervase Peterson invited Manthey — a 30-year-old actress read more


Sex and the City actress Sarah Jessica Parker is the new pitchwoman for the name-your-own-price Internet company Priceline, replacing William Shatner, whose contract expires in October. For now, only Parker's voice will be featured in Priceline's spots. read more


Madonna has hired hubby Guy Ritchie to direct the video for her next single, "What It Feels Like for a Girl." According to MTV News, shooting will begin in Los Angeles sometime in mid-February. Reports had surfaced that Madonna was slated to appear in Ritchie's next film, The Mole; however, the filmmaker recently denied this. read more


3rd Rock from the Sun taped what may be its final episode Tuesday night, as NBC seems likely to put the series out of its misery at season's end. According to Variety columnist Army Archerd, the plot of the "finale" features the aliens departing earth the same way they arrived — in a convertible. Elvis Costello appears in the episode singing "Fly Me to the Moon." read more


Pop diva Celine Dion gave birth to a baby boy Thursday morning in Palm Beach, Florida. Rene-Charles arrived three weeks ahead of schedule and weighed in at 6 lbs, 8 oz. It's the first child for Dion and her manager-hubby Rene Angelil, who conceived the baby through in vitro fertilization. According to a statement released by the singer's rep, both mother and child are "doing marvelously well and are in perfect health." Dion is in the midst of a three-year career sabbatical. — Michael Ausiello read more

John Edward's Cold Reading

For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, dead people-reader John Edward insists that he can see ghosts. In fact, the host of the Sci Fi Channel's breakout hit, Crossing Over with John Edward, reveals that a little chest congestion may actually help clear the pathway between him and the great beyond.

"The night of [one] lecture I had a 103 [degree] fever and begged the sponsor to cancel it," recalls the 31-year-old Edward, who has been helping people contact their deceased loved ones for 16 years through his personal practice, public appearances and, now, his TV show. "I said, 'I don't know if I'm going to be able to get out there and do this.'" Well, as it turns out, the medium was getting freaked out over nothing. "It was one of the best events I ever had."

The reason being, explains Edward, is that the success or failure of his readings are — to a certain degree — out of his hands. "I can only be as good as [the audience members] a read more


Law &#038 Order creator Dick Wolf is blasting NBC for its decision to bar Wednesday's controversial "ripped from the headlines" episode from future airings. Latino activists complained that the episode sensationalized last summer's "wilding" spree in New York's Central Park during the Puerto Rican Day Parade. "The bedrock of American democracy is free speech and lack of censorship," Wolf said. "The network has caved in to the demands of a special interest group and I am extremely disappointed with this decision, about which I was not consulted, as I think it sets an extremely dangerous precedent." In an interview with The Associated Press, Manuel Mirabal, head of the National Puerto Rican Coalition, countered that, "Every Puerto Rican shown in that show was portrayed negatively as a criminal, as a delinquent, as someone who abuses women." In a statement, NBC said: "We sincerely apologize for offending memb read more


Fox's lurid reality smash Temptation Island is showing some signs of weakness: Compared to the previous week's installment, Wednesday's episode was down 5 percent in total viewers and 8 percent among adults 18-49. Despite the ratings dip, Temptation still managed to attract 16.83 million viewers, second only to an original episode of NBC's The West Wing. (Among adults 18-49, however, it beat the Golden Globe- winning drama.) Meanwhile, NBC's Ed beat ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for the first time among adults 18-49. read more


Nicole Kidman is on the verge of dropping out of her starring role in the David Fincher-directed drama The Panic Room due to a bum knee. According to Variety, Mrs. Tom Cruise — who was already two weeks into shooting Panic — never fully recovered from a knee injury she sustained while shooting Moulin Rouge in Australia. Should Kidman exit, producers would need to recast quickly, considering the project has to be completed before the anticipated actor's strike this summer. read more


Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher gave the Backstreet Boys a serious black and blue this week when he said the group "can't sing, can't play, can't dance... They should be shot." During a press conference in Caracas, Venezuela, Gallagher claimed that the "very bad taste" of the American public — as proven by the success of acts like Backstreet — has prevented his and other British bands from hitting it big in the U.S. (Fair enough, but the "should be shot" comment is a tad harsh, no?) read more

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