Today's News: Our Take


Regis Philbin's attempt to stop the National Enquirer from running a story about him in next week's issue apparently has failed. According to Enquirer flack Robert Valvo, who refused to divulge the nature of the supposed scandal, the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire host did try to block the story from running, to no avail. "It's the front page," Valvo tells TV Guide Online. "And we're not giving [any details] out until it hits newsstands tomorrow morning." An unnamed ABC source was quoted in the New York Post as saying Philbin "blew his top when he heard about the Enquirer story." Counters Philbin's rep: "We don't comment on tabloid issues." read more


Barbara Walters is on the verge of signing a new contract with ABC worth more than $12 million a year, the New York Post reports. If a deal is struck, the 68-year-old broadcasting legend would become the highest-paid female personality after Oprah Winfrey. Walters, who in addition to her duties on 20/20 and The View hosts numerous prime-time specials for the network, met with CBS execs earlier this summer, fueling speculation that she was considering jumping ship. read more

Bad Times

Times weren't always so good on the set of Good Times, according to those who worked both on camera and behind-the-scenes of the hit '70s sitcom.

"I left that show very ashamed of the fact that I had worked on that show," says writer Judi Ann Mason on an upcoming E! True Hollywood Story (Aug. 20, 9 pm/ET). "And I think everybody was feeling the same thing. There was so much pain, not only in saying good-bye, but just in realizing that maybe we had done something wrong. The attempt to present realistic black life had failed."

The show's evolution from socially relevant topics to silly plots centering around lanky Jimmy Walker (J.J.) and his trademark line "Dyn-o-mite!" also didn't sit well with series stars John Amos and the late Esther Rolle, whose previous work on Maude inspired the series.

"Esther was very disturbed about that because this was her show," recalls Mason. "It was a spin-off based on her character, and then read more


Curiosity seekers didn't turn out to catch Dennis Miller's debut in the Monday Night Football booth. Ratings for Monday night's preseason opener were 28 percent lower than last year's debut. Miller, who received mostly favorable reviews for his witty commentary, shouldn't shoulder all the blame, however. One factor likely contributing to the ratings decline was the earlier start time; Monday's game kicked off an hour earlier due to ABC's coverage of the Republican National Convention. read more

Young American Star's Hellish Schedule

While most girls her age were worrying about what to wear to the prom, Young Americans star Kate Bosworth was busy memorizing her lines for the WB drama.

"I missed my prom because I was working," the actress tells the TV Guide Channel. "[But] I got to dress up for an episode and someone made it so that it was like my prom. So it's cool. They really do work with me like that."

Bosworth, an accomplished equestrian whose big break came in 1998's The Horse Whisperer, says she's been so busy shooting the Baltimore-based prep school drama that lately she hasn't even had much time for riding her beloved horses.

"I barely have time to breathe," says Bosworth, who spends up to five hours each day on her schoolwork in addition to her busy production schedule. "Everyone's like, 'How's Baltimore?' And I'm like, 'I don't know! My set's great, my bed's great. The Harbor? I have no idea!' "

On the bright side, Bosworth says off-set socializing with he read more


With six apiece, Faith Hill and Brad Paisley received the most nominations for the Country Music Association Awards, announced yesterday. In the Entertainer of the Year category, Hill — buoyed by her hit album Breathe — will compete with husband Tim McGraw as well as the Dixie Chicks, Alan Jackson and George Strait. CBS will televise the ceremony live on Oct. 4. read more


Rap artist DMX will star in the next installment of The Crow, titled Lazarus. The hip-hopper, who appeared in the 1998 gangsta drama Belly, will play a hard-core rap star who is murdered in a drive-by shooting. He comes back from the dead to seek revenge on the gang responsible for his murder.
— Michael Ausiello read more


The creative team behind the gone-but-not-forgotten NBC drama Freaks and Geeks are returning to television — this time on Fox. Variety reports that Judd Apatow and Paul Feig have signed a deal to produce six episodes of a new midseason comedy for Fox. Unlike Freaks and Geeks, which took place in high school, the untitled sitcom will be set on a college campus. "Freaks and Geeks was about the oppression of high school," Apatow told Variety. "This is about the freedom of college and what kids choose to do with it. This isn't about the underdogs." read more


Liz Hurley says that estranged beau Hugh Grant was a bore in bed, noting that "after 13 years, [sex with him had] become less than adequate — or adequate, I should say." In a no-holds-barred interview with Jane magazine, Hurley says that although she still lives with Grant, they haven't been intimate since ending their 13-year relationship in May. "We haven't had sex since we split up," she told Jane. "[And] I don't miss it." Other juicy tidbits: Hurley was furious when Grant would watch sports in the sack; she'll "probably never date anyone again [because] I'm quite fussy and confused"; and she hates partners who make "inappropriate comments" during sex — particularly the word "mommy." The September issue of Jane hits newsstands nationwide Aug. 14. read more


MTV has backed down to the Material Girl. The music network has decided not to fiddle with Madonna's video for her new single, "Music", which debuts on MTV and VH1 today (4 pm/ET). Last week, word leaked out that MTV felt portions of the video objectified the female dancers because their heads were not shown while they danced. As a result, execs reportedly considered digitally obscuring areas of the screen during several parts of the video. "We're running it as everyone else is running it," an MTV rep tells TV Guide Online. "There weren't any changes." In speaking about the controversy, MTV president Van Toffler admitted to TV Guide Online that "Standards is a very tough thing. You've got to be in tune with the cultural barometer. If you look at teens and twentysomethings today, they've grown up with [Jerry] Springer and Sally Jessy Raphael and that stuff doesn't shock them. Thongs didn't exist 20 years ago and now there are songs about thongs. The ba read more

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