Today's News: Our Take


NYPD BLUE STAR QUITS?

James McDaniel, who has played Lt. Arthur Fancy on NYPD Blue since its 1993 premiere, will be written off the show by midseason, the New York Daily News reports. Apparently, McDaniel wants to pursue other projects. ABC had no comment. The news comes just days after the ABC drama was snubbed of an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series for the first time in its seven-year history. read more

SURVIVOR SPOILER ALERT

Two advance chapters from the upcoming tell-all book by Survivor creator Mark Burnett have been leaked to the Canadian press, exposing several previously unknown facts about the hit CBS show. Among the revelations reported in The Calgary Sun: Sonja Christopher, the first contestant booted off the island, is gay; and Richard, the island's other gay contestant, narrowly missed getting voted off the island early on by opening up and endearing himself to the women of the Tagi tribe. Another tidbit: The tribe — minus Dirk and Rudy — bonded by skinny-dipping together. read more

UPN DIES

Beginning next year, the little network that still can't turn a profit, UPN, will officially be renamed The Paramount Network, it was announced at the TCA press tour. Explained president and CEO Dean Valentine: "Our closer association with one of the preeminent names in entertainment will bring enhanced recognition and credibility to everything we do." Meanwhile, it looks like the network that brought us Shasta McNasty has a point below which even it simply will not sink. Valentine confirmed that I Spike, a series about spy babes who play beach volleyball, has been dropped. "I can't bring myself to bulls--t you, it was just bad and we couldn't put it on," he said. "It fell short of our standards." — Michael Ausiello, Michael Peck and Rich Brown read more

EMINEM, 'N SYNC DO BATTLE

The 2000 MTV Video Music Awards will feature a showdown between controversial rapper Eminem and boy band 'N Sync, as each nabbed a leading six nominations. Eminem's hit "The Real Slim Shady," which ironically slams 'N Sync, is up for Video of the Year, and will face off against 'N Sync's "Bye, Bye, Bye," Blink-182's "All the Small Things," D'Angelo's "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Californication." Other multiple nominees include Dr. Dre, Christine Aguilera, Metallica, the Chili Peppers, Sisqó, D'Angelo and Britney Spears, whose video for "Oops!... I Did It Again" earned four nominations. The awards will air live from New York's Radio City Music Hall on Sept. 7 at 8 pm/ET. Marlon and Shawn Wayans — enjoying the runaway success of their film Scary Movie — will host. read more

SPIELBERG VINDICATED

A federal judge has ruled that Steven Spielberg deserves compensation for enduring a flight from hell five years ago. According to Reuters, the judge upheld all but one emotional distress verdict — totaling a record $2.1 million — awarded to 13 American Airlines passengers, including Spielberg, his sister, Nancy, and her two children. — Michael Ausiello and Michael Peck read more

Star Jones Gets a Lashing


Mascara maven Tammy Faye Messner is firing back at The View's Star Jones over some pointed remarks the co-host made during Messner's recent appearance on the ABC gabfest. Jones accused the former televangelist of stealing from the Praise the Lord [PTL] satellite network, a charge Messner and ex-husband Jim Bakker have always denied.

"I think Star must have some hidden problems of her own; generally you do when you lash out at somebody else," Messner tells TV Guide Online, adding that Jones was "aloof" during the entire interview. "[But] it's OK because it's The View and everybody gets to have their view. She [just] decided to bring up the negative."

Messner adds that although the other co-hosts ? Meredith Vieira, Joy Behar and Lisa Ling ? "were so kind to me," Jones's comments "put a knife through my heart. She accused us of what Jerry Falwell accused us of." Not one to hold a grudge, Messner, who was on the sho read more

Muniz Is Mr. Popular


He may only have one season under his belt as the star of Fox's Malcolm in the Middle, but already young Frankie Muniz is learning about one of fame's most enduring conundrums: separating your real friends from your fake ones.

"I went back [home] to New Jersey and saw them for pretty much the first time since the show was on, and it was so wild," Muniz told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA. "It was like I didn't even know some of them. Because a lot of kids that never used to hang out with me used me as a show-and-tell. They'd bring me over to their friend's house [and go], 'Look, look who's my friend!' So it was sort of weird."

The actor stressed, however, that his fair-weather pals "were really cool. They didn't even really make a big deal out of it. They like me because I'm Frankie, not because I'm Malcolm."

And just in case anyone's worried about the effects of his early success spoiling him, Muniz insisted tha read more

SPELLING DISPUTE SETTLED

Producer Darren Star has reluctantly made changes to a character from his upcoming WB teen satire Grosse Pointe after former boss Aaron Spelling complained that it mocked his daughter Tori Spelling. The show — which pokes fun at the industry via a look behind the scenes of a Beverly Hills, 90210-like series — had featured a character who lands a role on the show because her uncle is the network president. The nepotism thread has been removed and the character's hair color has been changed. "[But] I'm not easily letting it go," Star told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA. "I think that when you're doing a show about Hollywood, you would have a character in which [nepotism] is going to be a component. But it wasn't worth fighting to the point of, perhaps, not seeing the show on the air." Star, whose HBO comedy, Sex and the City, is up for nine Emmys, worked with Spelling on 90210 and Me read more

Sex and the Mature Woman


Judging Amy's Tyne Daly is no fresh-faced WB babe ? and that suits her just fine. Fact is, she rather enjoys playing Maxine Gray, mother to the titular Amy (Amy Brenneman) on the hit CBS drama, since she's portraying a mature woman who's independent and ? gasp! — still has an active sex life.

"Sex after 60 seems to be quite interesting to people," the actress told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA. "It's certainly interesting to me. I also am interested in a woman at any stage of the game being a whole unto herself and not having to rely on a man's arm and other parts of his anatomy to validate her."

The former Cagney & Lacey star, who has amassed five Emmys during her career, was just nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her Amy role. But don't be fooled by Daly's enviable statue collection: She never gets tired of the attention.

"No, no, because wh read more

STERN DECLINING

The self-proclaimed King of All Media may be on the verge of losing his crown. Ratings for Howard Stern's radio show in his home market of New York have hit a five-year low, reports RadioDigest.com. Although he remains the top draw in the Big Apple, Stern's ratings have tumbled from an 8.7 in the winter to a 7.2 in the spring — his lowest level since the summer of 1995. Some believe the shock jock has lost his edge ever since breaking up with wife, Alison, last year. read more

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