Today's News: Our Take


SHORT CUTS

Fox's Barbra Streisand: Timeless special — dubbed the star's final TV concert — drew only 8.8 million viewers Wednesday night, roughly half the viewership that Temptation Island had been attracting in that timeslot... Tigerland's Colin Farrell is in final talks to co-star with Tom Cruise in the Steven Spielberg-directed Minority Report, Variety reports... TV Guide Channel hostess Katie Wagner and TV Guide magazine writer Mark Schwed play themselves on tonight's Grosse Pointe. — Michael Ausiello with Daniel R. Coleridge read more

ANOTHER CELEBRITY SPLIT

Bill Cosby's longtime leading lady, Phylicia Rashad, has filed for divorce from her sportscaster-hubby Ahmad Rashad on grounds of "abandonment," the New York Daily News reports. The couple — who have a 14-year-old daughter, Phylea — were introduced by Cosby and got engaged on Thanksgiving Day in 1985 when Rashad proposed on national television. This was the third marriage for both. read more

MITCHELL GETS KNIFED

After three weeks of lackluster tribal council votes, the gang from Survivor: The Australian Outback turned out a real nail-biter last night as Mitchell Olson — the lanky, 23-year-old songwriter from New Jersey — was voted out after losing a second tiebreaker with Ogakor tribemate Keith Famie. Despite all the suspense, Survivor lost some ground in the ratings according to overnight estimates. (Maybe viewers don't like to watch pigs being slaughtered after all.) From 8-8:30 pm, NBC's Friends — featuring guest star Susan Sarandon — actually inched past CBS's reality phenom (15.8 to 15.5). However, Survivor came back in the final 30 minutes and ended up winning the hour with a 2 percent advantage over the 40-minute Friends/20-minute Friends clip show combo. For an episode recap, click here. Meanwhile, CBS is now ac read more

Another Patriot Actor Wears Pantyhose?


What is the deal with manly man stars from last summer's nitty-gritty The Patriot now trying on ladies' stockings? First, this past holiday season, Mel Gibson pulled on thigh-highs for the comedy What Women Want. Now, in Sweet November (opening Friday), Jason Isaacs — who portrayed Patriot baddie Colonel Tavington — kicks it up a notch by appearing in full drag.

"Everything Mel's doing, I'm doing a pale shadow of," Isaacs tells TV Guide Online, adding that his Sweet November castmate, Charlize Theron, offered up no beauty advice for his distaff depiction. "I think that if I had gotten makeup tips from her, I wouldn't have looked like such a hag. 'Stay a man,' I think is what she might have said!"

Whereas Isaacs's Sweet November personality is bound to have audiences grinning in shocked disbelief (the very reaction he elicited on-screen from Theron's co-star, Keanu Reeves), the actor says read more

WITCH WITH PITCH

TV Guide Online has learned the five girl band members of the WB's Popstars — whose identities will be revealed on the show this Friday — will guest star in an episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch airing sometime in the Spring. read more

CBS'S BIG GAMBLE

CBS apparently is not content beating NBC's Friends and Will &#038 Grace on Thursday nights, it's now setting its sights on the network's powerhouse drama ER. Beginning next month, CBS will replace 48 Hours at 10 pm/ET with Big Apple, a new cop drama from NYPD Blue writer/producer David Milch. Currently, 48 Hours is CBS's only weak link on its new and improved Thursday night lineup that includes Survivor and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. read more

SISTER TWIST

Former Suddenly Susan star Brooke Shields will appear on Just Shoot Me on March 29, TV Guide Online has learned. She plays Kansan hayseed Erlene, who incites the jealousy of big sister Nina (Wendie Malick) when she charms her way into the hearts of Finch (David Spade) and the rest of the Blush magazine staffers. read more

Sarandon Sudses It Up on Friends


From the soaps she came, and to it Susan Sarandon shall return. Well, sort of. The actress, who had early gigs on Search for Tomorrow and A World Apart back in the '70s, will only be a fictitious soap star this time around. On tonight's Friends, she portrays Cecilia Monroe, a catty castmate scorned by Joey (Matt LeBlanc) when he reprises his role as Drake Ramoray on Days of Our Lives.

"Joey gets my brain in a brain transplant," Sarandon previews. "It's one of those preposterous soap-opera inventions. [Though] I guess it would be more preposterous if Joey was donating his brain for the brain transplant."

Despite having made guest appearances on other primetime shows like The Simpsons and Mad TV, Sarandon readily admits she's no great lover of the tube. "We have a sticker on one of our station wagons that says, 'Kill your television sets,' so we're very picky in terms of h read more

Tonight Show Takes on Survivor


"If you can't beat 'em, mock 'em." That's the attitude NBC is taking with its Thursday night foe, Survivor. In a stunt that kicked off earlier this month, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno has been pitting two celebrity survivor teams — consisting of stars from '70s and '80s TV — against each other. Like CBS's reality smash, one performer gets knocked off each week (in this case, Friday), but instead of a $1 million grand prize, the winner of this contest goes home with nothing more than bragging rights.

Members of the the Topanga tribe include Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family), Dawn Wells (Gilligan's Island), Alison Arngrim (Little House on the Prairie) and Gary Coleman (Diff'rent Strokes). Comprising the Cahuenga team are Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch), Charlene Tilton (Dallas), Jerry Mathers (Leave It to Beaver) and Adam Rich (Eight Is En read more

POINTED REMARK

Newly single Tom Cruise may want to avoid Friday's episode of the WB's Grosse Pointe featuring guest star Sarah Michelle Gellar. In the installment — shot prior to the actor's high-profile split with wife Nicole Kidman — Marcy, Hunter and Courtney are sitting around gossiping about the Buffy the Vampire Slayer star's sexual orientation. When Courtney says she thought the actress was in a relationship with Freddie Prinze Jr., Hunter sarcastically replies, "Yeah, and Tom Cruise is married to Nicole Kidman." Ouch. "We just watched a tape of the episode for the first time last night," Lindsay Sloane, who plays Marcy, tells TV Guide Online, "And I was like, 'Eww, are we going to have to change that? Are we going to have to loop that line?'" Apparently not. A Grosse Pointe spokesperson says that in spite of recent events, the episode — written and directed by series cr read more

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