Today's News: Our Take


FOX GETS REAL

The producers behind MTV's The Real World and ABC's Making the Band are casting a new Fox reality series, Singles Cruise, that will follow the romantic interactions of 16 singles on a cruise ship. Interested applicants (age 22-35) can log on to bunim-murray.com for more info. read more

Diahann's Spelling Test


How does an actress land a gig with big-shot TV producer Aaron Spelling? Simply by letting him know that she's one tough bitch!

Veteran actress/singer Diahann Carroll landed her role as Dominique Deveraux on Spelling's classic '80s prime-time soap Dynasty by doing just that, according to Thursday night's A&E Biography on the star (8 pm/ET). The episode tells how the actress made her pitch to Spelling after crashing one of the über-producer's legendary Hollywood bashes.

"She went up to Aaron and said, 'I want to be on Dynasty! I want to be the first black bitch on television!' " recalls Dynasty's preeminent vixen, Joan Collins, who recently poked fun at her own diva image on NBC's Will & Grace. Carroll's boldness paid off: She got the job, and it was just a matter of time before she and Collins began performing their campy knockdown, drag-out brawls for the camera.

"She and I had some good read more

Shepherd Wanted Willis


Despite their well-publicized battles, Cybill Shepherd reveals that she and Moonlighting co-star Bruce Willis were "very attracted" to each other and came real close to hitting the sheets off-screen.

"[But] he would put the brakes on," she tells the TV Guide Channel. "I would have gone for it, no question about it."

Shepherd, who will soon be hosting a new daytime relationship show based on the best-selling book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, says she recently watched a Moonlighting marathon on Bravo and was "amazed" by how well the show held up. In fact, she's even jazzed enough to consider a reunion, but doubts Willis would ever return to the quirky TV series that made him a star.

"I think he's too rich," she says. Besides, she adds, age-obsessed Hollywood probably would want a younger actress to take over her role as detective Maddie Hayes. "They'd have to recast my part with Gwyneth Paltrow."

Looking back, the read more

BYE BYE BABS

Barbra Streisand is calling it quits, and this time the legendary Funny Girl isn't joking around. Streisand's four September concert dates will mark the 58-year-old diva's final live appearances. "This is only part of her professional life she has decided to put a stop to," Streisand's manager told USA Today. The Oscar winner — who has had a long history of stage fright — will say good-bye to her fans on Sept. 20 and 21 at Los Angeles's Staples Center and Sept. 27 and 28 at New York's Madison Square Garden. read more

SCULLY GETS A NEW PARTNER

Terminator 2's Robert Patrick will replace David Duchovny on The X-Files, USA Today reports. Duchovny, whose Mulder character was abducted by aliens in last May's season finale, is slated to appear in only 11 episodes this season, beginning with the two-part fall premiere. Patrick played recurring character David Scatino on The Sopranos last season. read more

Honeymoon's Over for Matt and Darva


Matt Lauer fought with Today show execs over booking Darva Conger as a guest. The Mr. Nice Guy of morning TV admitted that when he learned the bride of Fox's now-infamous PR nightmare, Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire, wanted to extend her 15 minutes of fame on the popular morning show, he wanted to divorce himself from the proceedings.

"I've now done three interviews with Ms. Conger and I'll be candid with you," Lauer told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA. "I've been with the Today show now six years, and in that time I've had one disagreement with our executive producer [Jeff Zucker] that resulted in words being exchanged. And that was the day ? the second interview."

Lauer added that he initially gave the golden-locked opportunist the benefit of the doubt. "I kind of thought after the first interview you know, maybe she made a mistake," he said. "Maybe she just took on this show and read more

FOX'S ANIMATED PLANS

Reports that Fox has cancelled Family Guy are simply not true, said new Fox exec Gail Berman at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles. "I like the show and where the show is going creatively," said Berman, who has ordered an additional 13 episodes of the animated series. In other Fox animation news: Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Drew Barrymore and Stephen King will lend their voices to The Simpsons next season; King of the Hill's line-up will include guests Lisa Kudrow, Brendan Fraser, Snoop Dogg and former Texas Gov. Ann Richards. read more

SURVIVOR EXILE SHUNS EARLY SHOW

Greg, the latest Survivor castaway to get the boot, took his frustration out on CBS's The Early Show. The exile — best known for inventing a "nature phone" using coconuts — refused to follow in the footsteps of his fellow banishees and appear on the Bryant Gumbel-hosted morning show, the New York Post reports. Meanwhile, last night's "cliff-hanger" came as little surprise to web surfers; CBS.com prematurely posted an episode summary that revealed Greg's fate. read more

MYERS HIRES P.I.

The war between Mike Myers and Universal Pictures over the troubled Dieter movie just got uglier. According to Variety, the Austin Powers star has hired noted Tinseltown private investigator Anthony Pellicano to dig up dirt on the enemy. Pellicano's celebrity clients have included Michael Jackson, late producer Don Simpson and Kevin Costner, who hired the spy when a woman claimed in a tabloid that she had an affair with him. read more

EMMY HONORS WEST WING, WILL & GRACE and (FINALLY) BUFFY!

NBC's freshman White House drama The West Wing won the equivalent of a major political primary this morning, nabbing 18 Emmy nominations, tying HBO's mob drama The Sopranos as Emmy's most nominated series. In addition to vying for the Outstanding Drama Series prize, West Wing cast members singled out include Lead Actor Martin Sheen and supporting players Richard Schiff, John Spencer, Stockard Channing and Allison Janney. The Peacock Network also was having a gay ol' time celebrating Will & Grace's 11 nominations, including nods for its four performers. Also on the comedy side, HBO's Sex and the City seduced voters, nailing down nine nods including one for star Sarah Jessica Parker. WB's critically acclaimed yet criminally ignored Buffy the Vampire Slayer won its first major nomination for Drama Series Writing (ironically for the Joss Whedon-penned episode "Hush," in which the residents of Sun read more

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