Today's News: Our Take


Goofy character actor, director and former Match Game panelist Charles Nelson Reilly has opened a new one-man show, Save It for the Stage: The Life of Reilly, at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank, CA. Will he reminisce about doing those 1970s Bic ads dressed as a giant banana? Tickets are $30 each; the show runs through Aug. 27. read more


Robert Smigel, the man behind Late Night With Conan O'Brien's potty-mouthed puppet Triumph the Insult Dog, will write and produce a new half-hour show for Comedy Central set to debut later this year. The Hollywood Reporter says the as-yet-unnamed show will feature animated shorts, puppets and animals, possibly including Triumph and Smigel's Saturday Night Live creations "Ambiguously Gay Duo" and "Fun With Real Audio." read more

Pauly Shore's Biggest Fan

Before she started turning heads as power-hungry viper Lori Volpone on Showtime's showbiz satire, Beggars and Choosers, Charlotte Ross starred opposite Pauly Shore in the infamous 1997 Fox sitcom Pauly. And get this ? she's not denying it.

"I never claimed the show to be highbrow," Ross tells TV Guide Online. "I knew what I was getting into, and I had the best time playing that character. I laughed the whole time we did that show."

Ross believes the media's bias toward the offbeat comedian contributed to Pauly's sudden death. "All of the interviews that I did for that show, I spent the first 10 minutes defending Pauly," she sighs. "Thank God I really did like him. The press just ate the poor guy alive. I've never seen anything like that and I'd never wish that on my worst enemy.

"It was such a harsh rap," she says. "I thought, 'How could someone deal with that?' And now every time I pick up the paper it says something like, 'It's as read more


ABC plans to add a Buzz Lightyear adventure series and a show about a boy and his dog to its Saturday morning lineup this fall, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Toy Story prequel will feature the voices of former Seinfelders Patrick Warburton as Buzz and Wayne Knight as the Evil Emperor Zurg. — Rich Brown read more


Survivor contestant Richard Hatch is suing the state of Rhode Island for releasing details of his April arrest on child-abuse charges to the National Enquirer. Hatch, 39, was arrested last April just two days after returning from the filming of the CBS series. read more


ESPN is close to completing a deal with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire exec producer Michael Davies for a sports trivia quiz show to be called Two-Minute Drill, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Game show vet Andrew Golder (Win Ben Stein's Money) is shepherding Drill as exec producer along with Davies. read more


Former Taxi star Marilu Henner, Rex Smith and F-Troop's Larry Storch are teaming up this summer in the road company of Annie Get Your Gun. Storch, 75, was originally scheduled to do a stand-up show with Soupy Sales in New York but had to cancel to prepare for Annie's July 25 opening at the Dallas Music Hall. read more


The critics have spoken — Wednesday night's debut of the CBS reality series Big Brother was b-o-r-i-n-g. The Toronto Sun's Jim Slotek writes: "I hereby take back everything negative I said about Survivor and nominate it for a Peabody Award." USA Today went so far as to say the "dopily lethargic" debut could kill the reality trend overnight. Still, the ratings were impressive — buoyed by a Survivor lead-in, Big Brother killed the competition with a 13.5 rating. read more

Patriot Star Avoids Prank

Wondering if well-known prankster Mel Gibson pulled any fast ones on co-star Heath Ledger on the set of The Patriot?

"He didn't!," a surprised Ledger tells TV Guide Online. "That was the prank. And I was waiting the whole shoot; I was waiting for somebody to turn over my trailer or my trailer to turn up somewhere, something!"

This 4th of July, Aussie native Ledger says he'll be celebrating his independence on a grand scale. "I'm twenty-one years old, I'm on a journey, I left my tribe and I've got my flask and my spear," he says of his pilgrimage to Hollywood. "I said, 'I'm going off on my journey. I'll see you in ten years. I'll come back with goods and life stories and emotions and I'll share them with you.'"

The actor, who proved he has what it takes to star opposite Gibson, says he won't let the competitiveness of Tinsletown deter him. "It's a matter of not letting anything, the industry and all the bulls--t and the hype and people blowing smoke read more

John Travolta Stays Tuned

Celebrity pilot, hubby, father and busy actor John Travolta fesses up that when he's not navigating the friendly skies to unwind, one of his earthly pleasures ? besides eating whatever he wants ? is manning the controls of his TV's remote, surfing shows that would make any good "sweat hog" proud.

"Sometimes Kelly will catch me watching a Spanish station that I don't understand. Not music or anything, but a talk show in Spanish," Travolta reveals in the latest issue of Good Housekeeping, referring to his wife, actress Kelly Preston. "I don't know why I like listening to a language I don't understand, but I do."

He goes on to say he's also gotten channel-busted by his wife in the midst of watching programs produced domestically in his native tongue. "She'll find me tuning into those odd home shows on public television that teach you how to do something at home that you're never going to do."

Travolta further feeds his boob-tube habit by admitting to b read more

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