Today's News: Our Take


CRITICS HONOR WEST WING, MALCOLM

Emmy nominations won't be announced until Thursday, but NBC's The West Wing and Fox's Malcolm in the Middle are shaping up to be the early favorites. Both shows won big at the Television Critics Association Awards, held over the weekend. The White House drama took home honors as program of the year, new program of the year and outstanding drama series. Malcolm, meanwhile, was named outstanding comedy series and star Jane Kaczmarek won honors for individual achievement in comedy. James Gandolfini of The Sopranos took home the award for individual achievement in drama for the second year in a row.

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CHER BELIEVES IN ADOPTION

Since she can't turn back time, 54-year-old pop diva Cher is considering adopting a baby daughter. According to Britain's Sunday Mirror, Sharon Stone, who recently adopted a little boy, made the Oscar winner a believer in adoption. "When I heard about Sharon, I knew what's been missing in my life," she told the Mirror. Cher has two children: Chastity, 31, and Elijah Blue, 23.

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SURVIVOR SECRET OUT?

CBS may have to sue itself for accidentally revealing the $1 million Survivor winner. One of the show's fans claims that a glitch on CBS's official web site inadvertently identified the victor. His findings have been posted on the anti-Survivor site, survivorsucks.com.

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ABC UNVEILS POTTY SPOTS

In a move that officially confirms nothing is sacred, ABC today will announce plans for a new male-targeted advertising campaign that will place talking billboards over urinals in New York and Los Angeles, Variety reports. The spots — aimed at promoting Norm's move to Fridays this fall — will feature the voice of star Norm Macdonald cracking such thigh-slappers as "Oh my God, look at the size of that thing!" and "Hey, watch your shoes!" No word on how the network will reach those suffering from pee shyness.

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GARTH TO WED

Former Beverly Hills, 90210 resident Jennie Garth, 28, is engaged to Can't Hardly Wait actor Peter Facinelli, 26, People reports. The couple, which have a 3-year-old daughter, Luca Bella, plan to tie the knot in January. It'll be Garth's second trip down the aisle.

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CBS DISSES ROSIE?

Broadway's love affair with Rosie O'Donnell may be coming to an end. According to the New York Daily News, CBS will not invite the talk show queen back as host of the Tony Awards next year, opting to take the telecast "in another direction." This year's Tonys program was the lowest-rated in its history. — Michael Ausiello read more

X-MEN MORPH INTO BOX OFFICE CHAMPS

The mutants of X-Men muscled their way to the top of the box office over the weekend, grossing a whopping $57.5 million, the fourth-biggest three-day opening ever (behind The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Episode I and this summer's Mission Impossible II). Last week's top flick, Scary Movie, held strong in second place, taking in $26.1 million. Rounding out the top five were The Perfect Storm ($17.5 million), The Patriot ($11 million) and Disney's The Kid ($10.5 million).

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X Symbol Channels Geek Within


X-Men vamp Rebecca Romijn-Stamos may be one of the most beautiful people alive according to People magazine, but the former model remembers a time when her looks were more likely to elicit a scowl than a howl.

"When I was a teenager I was much taller and skinnier than all my friends, and I was really uncomfortable in my skin," she tells TV Guide Online. "I didn't want anything below my neck to even exist."

My, how times have changed. Still, Romijn-Stamos says that it was her ugly-duckling phase that helped her get in touch with Mystique, the malevolent shape shifter she plays in the film version of the comic book, opening today. "This movie is for anybody who has ever felt like an outcast, even at one point in their lives," she says. "Everybody feels like an outsider at some point, so I think everybody can relate to that."

Ironically, you won't see much evidence of the 27-year-old's transformation from underdog to glamorpuss in X-Men. In f read more

Shirley Jones's Dark Side


It's hard to believe, but bubbly Partridge Family mom Shirley Jones has a dark side.

"She loves reading about serial killers and crime-and-punishment stories," reveals son Ryan Cassidy on this Sunday's A&E Biography on his Oscar-winning mom (8 pm/ET). "I believe everybody has a dark side and that's her dark side. She finds it fascinating."

"My mother, as grounded as she is and as stable as she is and seemingly normal as she is, has a very dark streak that begs for this sort of darker stimulation in people," adds TV producer Shaun Cassidy, another of her three sons with troubled late actor Jack Cassidy. "She found it in my father and she certainly looks to it in what she reads."

Son Patrick concurs with his brothers that there's more to the actress than meets the eye. "Underneath my mother's wonderful smile there's something going on," he says. "My mother has a real rebel inside her. If you tell her to do something she read more

Sparks Fly on Farscape


Fans of Sci Fi Channel's Farscape take note: It looks like flyboy John Crichton (Ben Browder) and Peacekeeper Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) might finally get their romance off the ground.

"They'll get together," confirmed executive producer David Kemper at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA. But some sexual tension is expected to remain as sparks start flying in the upcoming story arc "Look at the Princess," three episodes that begin airing July 21 (9 pm/ET).

Browder likes the fact that his character and Black's never quite get there. "The show itself is not about Crichton and Aeryn and their relationship," he said. "That's one particular aspect of the show. It's an aspect that I love. I think it's fantastic and you could throw me in a room with Claudia any day and I would be happy to act with her."

Also on hand at TCA was Farscape's Virginia Hey, who told reporters she's so committed to her role as alien read more

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