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News 01/14/2007

In reality TV news: Tim LaRoche, a 26-year-old from Gardner, MA, and Rickiejoleen, an 18-year-old from Tempe, AZ, were both eliminated Thursday on the season premiere of USA's "Nashville Star 5."

Ex-Miss Nevada USA Katie Rees has inked a $2 million-plus deal to host a revival of the famed Beacher's Madhouse variety show at Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Bravo announced "Hey Paula!," a new reality series following Paula Abdul through her day-to-day life as "American Idol" judge and producer of Bratz: The Movie.

Bravo announced the upcoming season of "Queer Eye" will be its last, with 10 new episodes featuring the Fab Five working their magic on hopelessly uncouth straight guys slated to debut this summer.

Snoop Dogg is teaming up with Spike TV for the candid series, "Bigg Snoop Dogg's Youth Authority: California," in which he relates his own experiences with gang life and selling drugs in the hopes of helping troubled youth to avoid falling into the same situations. The show airs Tuesday.

NBC Universal is launching Chiller, a new network devoted solely to horror movies and series. The net is expected to debut March 1, and so far will be available only through DirecTV.

Terri Irwin told "Access Hollywood" that all footage of her husband's deadly encounter with a stingray was destroyed after it was no longer needed for the investigation into his death, including the final remaining copy of the tape, which authorities turned over to her last week. "Ocean's Deadliest," the documentary Steve Irwin was working on at the time of his death, will air Jan. 21 on Discovery and Animal Planet, minus the footage from the day he died. Meanwhile, eight-year-old Bindi Irwin made her American TV debut Thursday on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," accompanied by a blue-tongued lizard named Spanky. "I just love animals. My dad really brought it out in me," the Croc Hunter's daughter said. Bindi's show for the Discovery Kids network is expected to debut early next year.

News 01/11/2007

In reality TV news: Piao Sam, a 25-year-old tax accountant from Washington, DC, and Sheree Swanson, a 25-year-old business developer for an event production company and a former Hooters waitress from Fort Lauderdale, FL, were eliminated Wednesday on the CW's "Beauty and the Geek 3." Also on Wednesday, Michael Midgley, a 28-year-old line cook at Wine and Roses restaurant in Lodi, CA, was eliminated on Bravo's "Top Chef 2."

Keifer Sutherland will get all dolled up as an action figure version of his "24" character, Jack Bauer.

David Beckham will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season to join the MLS and play for the Los Angeles Galaxy in a five-year deal, beginning in August, he announced Thursday.

Bahamian Director of Public Prosecutions Bernard Turner stated that a decision will be made soon as to whether an inquest is needed into the death of Anna Nicole Smith's 20-year-old son, Daniel, who mysteriously died at his mother's bedside in a Nassau hospital in September, shortly after she gave birth to daughter Dannielynn.

Courteney Cox Arquette has denied the possibility of a "Friends" reunion, telling reporters at the TCA conference Tuesday that it's "too hard to get everyone together." The actor softened the blow by stating that her former costar and real-life pal Jennifer Aniston might soon make a guest appearance on her new FX show, "Dirt."

The U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, will take place Feb. 28-March 4 in Aspen, honoring Don Rickles with its first Pinnacle Award in recognition of his 50-year career. Other highlights of the festival include the panel discussion "Entourage: Behind the Scenes" with cast members Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, and Jeremy Piven, series creator Doug Ellin, and executive producer Stephen Levinson, and performances by headliners George Carlin, Steven Wright, and Katt Williams.

News 01/10/2007

Yvonne De Carlo, best known for her role as Lily Munster in "The Munsters," died Monday of natural causes in Los Angeles. She was 84.

Katey Sagal and her husband, writer-producer Kurt Sutter, welcomed their first child, daughter Esme Louise Sutter, via a surrogate Wednesday, People reports. Sagal, 52, and Sutter, 43, tied the knot Oct. 2, 2004. The former "Married...with Children" star also has a son and daughter from a previous marriage.

Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert will trade appearances on each other's shows Jan. 18.

Dennis Miller will launch a new radio show on Westwood One in March, the company said Wednesday. The three-hour show will reportedly feature commentaries from Miller, as well as interviews and listener call-ins.

Marcia Cross, who is expecting twins in April, has been put on bed rest by her doctor, her spokesperson confirmed Wednesday. As a result, "Desperate Housewives" is moving production to the actor's home for two days at the end of the week, tvguide.com reports. Cross, whose character is not pregnant, had only planned to film two more episodes following the Feb. 11 episode because her baby bump was becoming too difficult to disguise.

Barbara Walters is finally taking sides in the feud between Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump, and is choosing to support her "View" co-host. "That poor, pathetic man," Walters said on Wednesday's "View," as she shared a high-five with O'Donnell. Trump responded with a statement accusing Walters of being a liar and calling her a "sad figurehead dominated by a third-rate comedian."

Two and a half billion—the estimated dollar value of the "American Idol" franchise, according to Advertising Age magazine; $500 million—the estimated amount brought in each season by TV ads; 79 million—the number of "American Idol"-branded candy bars Nestle plans to distribute this year; 32,000—the number of illegal Idol clips on YouTube at last count. Meanwhile, Madame Tussauds Las Vegas unveiled a new interactive "American Idol" wax attraction on Tuesday that will allow the public to perform onstage in front of wax figures of Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest, using the video game "Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol."

News 01/09/2007

In reality TV news: David Shinavar, a.k.a. Dasit, a 29-year-old from Toledo, OH, was the first rapper eliminated on VH1's "ego trip's The (White) Rapper Show."

Suzanne Somers' Malibu home was completely destroyed in a raging fire Monday that also consumed several other multi-million dollar homes. "We'll rebuild and I really think we'll learn something great from this. What else can you do with tragedy but look for the opportunity to grow?" Somers told reporters.

Brooke Burke and fiancé David Charvet welcomed their first child together, daughter Heaven Rain Charvet, Monday in Santa Monica. This is the third child for Burke, who already has two ethereally named girls with ex-husband Garth Fisher.

Courtney Thorne-Smith tied the knot on New Year's Day with Hollywood agent Roger Fishman, per People. The ceremony took place at the "According to Jim" star's home, according to her rep. This was Thorne-Smith's second trip down the aisle.

Neither Donald Trump's high-profile feud with Rosie O'Donnell, nor his West Coast relocation strategy is doing much to help shore up "The Apprentice's" sagging ratings. Sunday's sixth season premiere attracted an average audience of 9.1 million, down 600,000 from the fifth season premiere and marking the smallest audience ever for an "Apprentice" debut.

A Georgia man accused of trying to extort $1.5 million from Oprah Winfrey has waived his preliminary hearing Monday, meaning the case will likely go before a grand jury to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant a trial. Keifer Bonvillain was collared by the FBI in December, after he allegedly threatened to release recorded phone conversations he said would be damaging to the Queen of Daytime, unless she bowed to his cash demands.

"Gilmore Girls" actor Melissa McCarthy is expecting her first child with husband Ben Falcone in May, People reports. "We are so excited about the baby," Stars Hollow's Sookie told the magazine. "I'm hoping the baby has a lot of Ben's calm traits and less of my spazzy ones."

Paris Hilton pled not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of drunken driving stemming from her arrest in September. The heiress was not required to attend the arraignment and entered her plea through her attorney.

Sirius Satellite Radio has rewarded Howard Stern with $82.9 million in stock, based on the increase in subscriptions driven by the shock jock in his first year with the company.

The 19th installment of MTV's long-running reality series "The Real World" will be set in Sydney, Australia, with filming beginning next month, the network and Bunim-Murray Productions announced Tuesday.

"Scooby-Doo" creator Iwao Takamoto died Monday of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 81. Over his six-decade career, the cartoonist also assisted in designs for classic animated films and TV shows including Cinderella, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and "The Flintstones."

News 01/08/2007

In reality TV news: Martin Han Clarke, a 37-year-old attorney and professor from Atlanta, GA, was the first candidate fired during Sunday's broadcast of the first episode of NBC's "The Apprentice 6: Los Angeles." Also on Sunday, ex-New Kids on the Block member Jordan Knight was the first cast member to leave the show (his grandmother died) on VH1's "The Surreal Life: Fame Games."

An Atlanta man was charged with trying to extort $1.5 million from Oprah Winfrey by threatening to release recordings of telephone conversations he claimed would damage her reputation, according to the FBI and published reports. Keifer Bonvillain, who was arrested Dec. 15, is due in court Monday for a preliminary hearing. Meanwhile, Winfrey got tested for HIV on Saturday at her new South African school for disadvantaged girls in the hopes of setting an example for her pupils and encouraging others to do the same.

Bindi Irwin, the eight-year-old daughter of the late Steve Irwin, is launching her show biz career with appearances this week on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "The Late Show with David Letterman," as well as performances with the Wiggles at concerts in Los Angeles and New York. Bindi's tour coinciding with the airing of her father's final documentary, "Ocean's Deadliest," which will be broadcast on Discovery and Animal Planet Jan. 21, and will not include footage of his deadly encounter with a stingray. Her own show is expected to debut later this year.

A New Hampshire man is suing Donald Trump for age discrimination, claiming he was rejected from "The Apprentice" because he was deemed too old at 49, the New York Post reports.

An ABC primetime special about Bob Woodruff's recovery following the serious injuries he suffered in a roadside bombing in Iraq is set for Feb. 27. The special is expected to include Woodruff's interviews with eyewitnesses and the medical team that saved his life.

Vanessa Minnillo has signed on to appear in the spring 2007 advertising campaign for Bongo, which will debut in magazines and on the Internet in March.

"Ugly Betty" is sitting pretty in the UK, with 4.5 million viewers tuning into Channel 4 for the Jan. 5 premiere, the biggest audience for a U.S. comedy series launch on the network in 10 years.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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