Today's News: Our Take


CAROLINE, SUCH A PITY

Paramount has aborted plans for Caroline, a talk show to be hosted by comic Caroline Rhea, a regular on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and frequent Hollywood Squares guest. "Due to the current daytime marketplace, the cost of producing the show, in a manner the industry has come to expect from us, made it financially prohibitive to continue," a studio spokesperson said. read more

BIRTHIN' BABIES

The past few days have been busy ones for celebrity parents. The Practice's Kelli Williams and hubby Ajay Sahgal gave birth to a 7 lb, 12 oz baby girl, Sarame Jane Sahgal, on Saturday. And on Monday, newlywed actor-singer Marc Anthony and his bride, former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres, welcomed a 7 lb, 1 oz son, Cristian Anthony Muniz. read more

KELLEY GETS TV GUIDE NOD

Producer David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, The Practice) will take home the newly minted Brandon Tartikoff Award at the third annual TV Guide Awards, which will air on March 7 on Fox. Named for the legendary network executive, Tartikoff's award honors other creative movers and shakers behind the scenes. read more

KIDMAN HITS THE BOARDS

On the heels of her separation from Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman is returning to the London stage in a production of Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea, Reuters reports. She'll play a young woman married to an older country doctor. Kidman made her West End debut two years ago in David Hare's The Blue Room. read more

SONGBIRD CRIES OUT

In the midst of a legal tussle with her label, Curb Records, LeAnn Rimes has apologized to fans for her new album, I Need You, the Los Angeles Times reports. "This album was made without my creative input," the teen country crooner wrote on her website. "It consists largely of unfinished material and songs that didn't make other albums. I have not heard the album so I cannot tell you my opinion on it. But... this album is not a reflection of myself as an artist... and for that I am truly and deeply sorry." In turn, Curb fired off its own statement calling it "the best album she has ever recorded." read more

SHORT CUTS

Jennifer Lopez will serve as both host and musical guest on this weekend's Saturday Night Live... Mick Jagger has finally reached a settlement with Brazilian model Luciana Morad over child support for their 21-month-old son. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Morad was seeking $35,000 a month. — Michael Ausiello and Daniel R. Coleridge read more

The Deflowering of Dawson's Joey


One of television's last-remaining virgins will lose her innocence tomorrow night when Joey (Katie Holmes) goes all the way with Pacey (Joshua Jackson) on Dawson's Creek.

"These kids have been together for nine months, they spent three months on a boat together last summer... it made a hell of a lot of sense," executive producer Greg Berlanti tells TV Guide Online of the momentous occasion. "It felt like the right thing to do."

Fans holding out hope that Joey would reunite with her first love, Dawson (James Van Der Beek), may disagree. But as Berlanti teases, don't count out Dawson just yet. "I don't think this is the final answer," he says. "Sex, as I think any adult understands, can complicate things. It's no finish line. It's a new plateau fraught with new difficulties that make for really interesting drama and tension.

"I sort of always make the case that [Dawson's Creek] is a read more

The Not-So-New Kid on the Block


Although the usual flock of new talk show hopefuls — Caroline Rhea, John Edward, Ananda Lewis, Pat Bullard, Andrew Dice Clay — made the rounds at the recently concluded NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) convention in Las Vegas, it was the not-so-necessarily-new Maury Povich who took the town by storm. As one of the only two established daytime talkers showing growth — Maury and Live with Regis are each up 9 percent in households year-to-year — the rejuvenated talk show has ranked as high as No. 2 this season behind the queen of the genre, Oprah Winfrey.

"Considering this is my 10th season, you might think doing the same thing day in and day out would become tiresome," Povich tells TV Guide Online. "But since I moved over to Studios USA in the fall of 1998 (Maury was syndicated by Paramount from 1991-98), I feel like this is a brand new show."

When Maury read more

GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER?

Shocked by California's current energy crisis, Arnold Schwarzenegger says he may run against Governor Gray Davis in the next election. "I've thought about it many times because I love politics," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I just leave it open. If [Davis] doesn't keep his promises on all those issues — energy, environment, schools, health care — then you've got to say, 'OK, there's room for someone else.'" read more

And the Winner is... Kelly Ripa!


All My Children star Kelly Ripa — who yesterday was named Regis Philbin's permanent co-host on Live — has already earned a key endorsement.

"[Kathie Lee Gifford] wrote me a beautiful note telling me that she hopes that I have 15 wonderful years with Regis like she had," Ripa told TV Guide Online at a brief press conference following yesterday's show. "She was very nice and generous... I am a big fan of hers."

The 31-year-old quick-wit won the highly coveted gig after producers tested out dozens of potential replacements in the six months since Gifford's swan song. According to insiders, Ripa's main competition was Ally McBeal's Jane Krakowski and Entertainment Tonight's Jan Carl.

"She was sort of an ebullient personality and had a lot of great qualities that we were looking for," Philbin explained. "But because it is such a big move for all of us, we invited her back three times, and after the thir read more

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