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News 01/28/2007

In reality TV news: Andrew "Drew" Sawa, a 21-year-old student and operations analyst intern (and a Trekker) from Milwaukee, WI, and Erin Gipson, a 25-year-old voice teacher and model from Chicago, IL, were eliminated Wednesday from CW's "Beauty and the Geek 3." Also on Wednesday, Elia L. Aboumrad, a 23-year-old assistant room chef from Las Vegas, NV, and Sam Talbot, a 28-year-old executive chef from New York City, NY, were eliminated on Bravo's "Top Chef 2." Ilan Hall and Marcel Vigneron are the two chefs left to compete in next week's season finale. On Thursday, Kacey Musgraves, an 18-year-old from Golden, TX, was eliminated on USA's "Nashville Star 5."

The Food Network is claiming that a McDonald's logo that flashed on the screen in a recent episode of "Iron Chef America" was the result of a technical glitch, as opposed to a nefarious subliminal advertising plot. Slow-motion footage of the clip was posted on YouTube by sharp-eyed viewers, leading McDonald's to deny it engages in such practices.

Arab leaders are urging ABC to drop CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck as a "Good Morning America" commentator because of his "blatant anti-Arab, anti-Muslim bias."

70—number of years "Guiding Light" has been on the air in some form, securing it the Guinness World Record for being the longest-running show in broadcast history. 1937—the year the show debuted on radio. 1952—the year the show transitioned to television. 15,094—the number of "Guiding Light" episodes that have aired on television as of Thursday. 17,555—the number of episodes that have aired overall.

The TV Guide Channel has hired the "American Idol" season-one runner-up Justin Guarini as a correspondent for "Idol Tonight," its live "Idol" pre-show. Guarini will work alongside season-two finalist Kimberly Caldwell and "Popstars" winner Rosanna Taverez on the show, which premieres in March.

FOX served YouTube with a subpoena Wednesday, demanding the identity of a user by the name ECOtotal, who recently uploaded full episodes of "24" and "The Simpsons" to the video-sharing site, per the Hollywood Reporter. YouTube suspended the offending account, but declined to comment on whether it would comply with the network's request.

NBC has signed "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" stars Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni to new two-year contracts guaranteeing annual salaries in excess of $6.5 million each, according to Daily Variety. The pay bump makes Hargitay one of the highest-earning female actors in television, with an estimated fee of more than $330,000 an episode.

News 01/24/2007

Anne Heche and Coley Laffoon are separating after five years of marriage, a rep for the actor said Wednesday.

Isaiah Washington has entered a residential treatment facility to seek help for behavioral issues amid the controversy caused by his use of a gay slur at the Golden Globe awards last week. "We applaud and encourage Isaiah's realization that he needs help and his subsequent choice to seek immediate treatment for his behavioral issues," "Grey's Anatomy" executive producer Shonda Rhimes said in a statement Wednesday.

Anna Nicole Smith has put off her battle with alleged baby daddy Larry Birkhead a little longer. A Los Angeles judge has temporarily blocked an order requiring Smith's infant daughter, Dannielynn, to undergo paternity testing by Tuesday. The matter is on hold pending a Feb. 7 hearing.

An online catalogue of Paris Hilton's belongings, including personal photos, videos, letters, and diaries, was posted on the new Website parisexposed.com, which boasts that it offers an "unprecedented, unauthorized release of the most personal, private, and outrageous footage ever seen. Period!" Users wishing to access the items must pay a monthly fee of $39.97. The site was created by Bardia Persa, who obtained Hilton's possessions in September after she apparently failed to pay the rent on the storage facility where she was keeping the items.

Elizabeth Vargas told Oprah Winfrey on Tuesday she was not pushed out of her job as co-anchor of ABC's "World News Tonight" but stepped down when she learned she was pregnant. The "20/20" correspondent defended the network against unfair criticism over a decision she said was ultimately hers.

News 01/23/2007

In reality TV news: Gina Morganello, a.k.a. G-Child, a 21-year-old Vanilla Ice worshiper from Allentown, PA, was told to step off Monday on VH1's "ego trip's The (White) Rapper Show."

"Prison Break" star Sarah Wayne Callies is expecting her first child with husband Josh Winterhalt this summer, her publicist said Tuesday.

Palm Beach officials are asking a federal court to take over Donald Trump's $25 million lawsuit against the town, claiming it involves a constitutional question. The business mogul is suing the town after he was ordered to remove a 15-by-25 foot flag he hoisted over his Mar-a-Lago club because it violated codes, claiming that his rights to free speech were being violated.

Jamie Foxx is launching the Foxxhole, a new urban comedy, entertainment, and lifestyle channel on Sirius Satellite Radio. The actor will be heard on the channel daily, with a dispatch from wherever he may be in the world.

Though this season of "American Idol" has been accused of being overly mean, the Special Olympics are commending the show's treatment of former Special Olympics athlete Jonathan Jayne, who auditioned in Seattle and did not make the cut. "People with intellectual disabilities don't want pity or special treatment," the organization said in a statement.

News 01/22/2007

In reality TV news: Arrow project manager Michelle Sorro, a 34-year-old real estate consultant from Los Angeles, CA, decided to quit rather than be fired Sunday on NBC's "The Apprentice: Los Angeles." Donald Trump decided to cancel the boardroom afterwards for the other Arrow team members.

After being questioned over her bizarre behavior in a series of recent interviews, Paula Abdul denied she has been drunk or on drugs while promoting "American Idol." Rampant speculation began after several video clips were posted online showing Abdul slurring her words, giving nonsensical responses to questions, appearing to fall asleep, and swaying wildly in her seat. "I've never been drunk. I'm not under the influence of anything," Abdul told the New York Times. Meanwhile, Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Randy Jackson are denying reports they have been meaner to this season's "Idol" contestants than in the past and are remaining unapologetic about the put-downs they have been dishing out. "If you don't want to hear that, don't show up," Cowell told reporters at the Television Critics Association conference Saturday.

Oprah Winfrey wrote in the February issue of O magazine that she was devastated and cried for three days in 1990 after a relative told the National Enquirer she became pregnant at 14 and lost the baby. "I felt devastated. Wounded. Betrayed. How could this person do this to me?" Winfrey wrote in the article. According to news reports at the time, the backstabbing relative was Winfrey's half-sister, Patricia Lloyd, who was allegedly paid $19,000 for the scoop.

Isaiah Washington met with leaders from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network Monday to discuss ways the actor can help kids to understand the power of anti-gay slurs like the one he used against his "Grey's Anatomy" costar T.R. Knight. The meeting coincided with the first day of No Name-Calling Week in schools nationwide.

ABC led the nominations for the 18th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, which honor the accurate depiction of the gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender community in mainstream media, with a total of eight nods. Despite the recent controversy over Isaiah Washington's use of a gay slur, "Grey's Anatomy" earned a nomination for Outstanding Individual Episode.

Paris Hilton pled no contest to alcohol-related reckless driving Monday, a reduction of a DUI charge stemming from her arrest in September. The heiress sentenced to 36 months of probation, ordered to attend an alcohol education program, and fined $390.

Chris Rock is denying reports that he and his wife of 10 years, Malaak Compton-Rock, were divorcing, telling AP Radio they were "still very much together." The couple was rumored to have parted ways in November, but Rock claimed they never made the split official.

Gisele Bündchen told Brazilian newspaper O Globo that families, not the fashion industry, are to blame for anorexia among young models. Bündchen claimed she never suffered from the disease because she had a "very strong family base" and plenty of support from her parents. "Everybody knows that the norm in fashion is thin," she said. "But excuse me, there are people born with the right genes for this profession."

Guy Ritchie, a.k.a. Mr. Madonna, is trying his hand at directing for the small screen with the new ABC pilot "Suspects," per the Hollywood Reporter. The show is said to be a procedural crime drama that examines each suspect associated with a recently committed crime until the truth about who actually pulled it off is revealed.

NBC freshman sensation "Heroes" is taking a page out of "Lost's" playbook and re-launched its Website Monday with new interactive features to coincide with a batch of new original episodes.

FOX is launching a new game show from Mark Burnett called "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?," in which adults will compete in a quiz based on questions from elementary school textbooks.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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