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News 02/10/2006

In reality TV news: 32-year-old Tennessee crooner Melinda Hyder from Sevierville, TN, was ejected from CBS's "Survivor: Panama" Thursday night, which also saw the four tribes merge into two. Also on Thursday, Karl, a 23-year-old Dungeon Master from Chicago, IL, and Danielle, a 25-year-old cocktail waitress from Des Plaines, IL, were eliminated on the WB's "Beauty and the Geek 2." On Friday, actor George Hamilton and his dance partner Edyta Sliwinska were eliminated on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars 2."

ABC's "World News Tonight" co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas has announced she's expecting her second child with singer-husband Marc Cohn in late summer. The pair already have a three-year-old son, Zachary, and Cohn has two kids from a previous marriage.

Donald Trump and NBC are asking viewers to cast their vote for one of 12 Olympians at NBCOlympics.com now through Feb. 26 to see who joins the cast of aspiring Trump employees in a future edition of "The Apprentice" set in Los Angeles and debuting this fall.

E! has ordered eight episodes of "The Chelsea Handler Show," a prime-time series featuring the comic and "Tonight Show" correspondent in film shorts, taped spoofs, and doing stand-up before a studio audience. It debuts in April.

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a new report that rejects a cable-industry lobbying effort and embraces the idea of ŗ la carte pricing options for cable customers, instead of bundling channels into packages, because it saves money for the consumer.

Franklin Cover, the stage and television actor whose career spanned six decades but will probably best be remembered for his role as Tom Willis in the TV Land staple, "The Jeffersons," died of pneumonia on Sunday in Englewood, New Jersey. He was 77.

News 02/09/2006

In reality TV news: 22-year-old model Danyelle from Baltimore, MD, and 38-year-old designer Nick Verreos from Los Angeles, CA, were eliminated Wednesday on Bravo's "Project Runway 2."

Only 15.1 million viewers tuned into CBS to watch the Grammy Awards between 8 to 9 p.m. EST, while 28.3 million watched "American Idol" on FOX. The awards show averaged 17.6 million viewers overall.

Oprah Winfrey has signed a three-year, $55 million deal with XM Satellite Radio to launch a new radio channel beginning in September, Winfrey and XM announced Thursday.

Al Michaels has left ESPN after a dispute over the course of "Monday Night Football" and has joined John Madden as co-host of "NBC's Sunday Night NFL Football." To fill the void, ESPN has unveiled a brand new "MNF" team, consisting of former quarterback Joe Theismann, Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser, and Mike Tirico.

Sarasota High School has rescinded its invitation to Jerry Springer to host its "Hollywood Nights" dance on Saturday after determining that the talk show host wasn't an appropriate role model.

"Daily Show" correspondent Rob Corddry has landed the lead role in FOX's comedy pilot "Becoming Glen," per the Hollywood Reporter. Meanwhile, ABC has tapped Angie Harmon to star in drama pilot "Secrets of a Small Town."

News 02/08/2006

Ellen DeGeneres nabbed a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Her show is up against "The View," "Live with Regis and Kelly," and "Dr. Phil" for Outstanding Talk Show. The 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be presented Apr. 28 from Los Angeles...the first time the show has taken place in New York.

CBS has pulled "Love Monkey" from its schedule, but is stopping short of officially canceling the series.

ABC cameraman Doug Vogt, who was injured in Iraq along with Bob Woodruff last month, was transferred to an outpatient facility at the Bethesda Medical Center, ABC said Wednesday. Woodruff, who was more seriously hurt in the attack, remained at the National Naval Medical Center.

"American Idol" contestant Tatiana Ward was charged with shoplifting and possessing a fake ID in 2002, TMZ.com reports.

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, co-creators of the BBC's "The Office," are writing an episode for NBC's version of the series to air next season.

Apple and Showtime have announced a deal making some of the cable network's programming available for download through iTunes Music Store, marking the first non-broadcast content offered.

News 02/07/2006

In reality TV news: Dave Coulier and Nancy Kerrigan were eliminated Monday on FOX's "Skating with Celebrities." Also on Monday, Sarah Blondin, a 23-year-old student from Winnipeg, Canada, was denied a rose on ABC's "The Bachelor 8: Paris."

"Daily Show" host Jon Stewart and wife Tracey welcomed over the weekend the arrival of a healthy baby girl named Maggie Rose Stewart, according to the show's Website. The tyke is the couple's second child.

A Los Angeles Superior Court has issued a restraining order against Paris Hilton at the request of Brian Quintana, a PR exec who claims the hotel heiress threatened his life.

In his 2007 budget, President Bush has requested that the budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting be cut by $157 million over the next two years, threatening educational programming like "Sesame Street" and National Public Radio, so he can make his tax cuts permanent.

Former "Xena: Warrior Princess" star Lucy Lawless is joining the crew of Sci-Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica" for a 10-episode arc slated for the third season.

VH1 is planning to air "The Surreal Life: Fame Games," an all-star edition of the series featuring former C-level celebrity cast-members such as Vanilla Ice, Emmanuel Lewis, and Ron Jeremy, among others, competing in an elimination-style competition for a $100,000 prize.

Bravo has created OutzoneTV.com, its first Broadband channel specifically aimed at a gay and lesbian audience that will feature video-on-demand content, including episodes of "Queer Eye" and "Boy Meets Boy," among other network programming.

David Letterman shaved Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roesthlisberger's beard Monday night during an appearance on CBS' "The Late Show" after the football star refused to do it since October because he was afraid he'd jinx his team.

The Walt Disney Co. is selling its 22 ABC Radio stations and network to Citadel Broadcasting for $2.7 billion, though the deal does not include EPSN and Radio Disney network.

The sixth and final season of HBO's "The Sopranos" premiering on Mar. 12. Twelve new episodes will air this year, with the final eight debuting in 2007.

Former "American Idol" host Brian Dunkleman will offer commentary on the new "Idol" fansite idolgohome.com, which features show-related trivia and prizes.

News 02/06/2006

Al Lewis, known to television audiences as "Grandpa" on the hit sitcom "The Munsters," died Friday after years of failing health. He was 95.

Jay Mohr and Nikki Cox have announced that they are engaged and plan to marry next winter.

More than 90 million people tuned in Sunday to watch the Super Bowl, per overnight ratings.

Robert Blake has filed for bankruptcy two months after a civil court jury found he "intentionally caused" his wife's death and awarded her children $30 million in damages.

Many of Paris Hiltonís personal items, including photos and diaries, were put on sale with a $20 million asking price by broker David Hans Schmidt, who purchased the goods from a storage facility for $2,775 after the heiress failed to pay her bill.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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