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News 02/17/2007

In reality TV news: Erica Durosseau, a 27-year-old non-profit fundraiser from Lake Charles, LA, was voted off the island Thursday on CBS's "Survivor: Fiji." Also on Thursday, Whitney Duncan, a 22-year-old from Scotts Hill, TN, was eliminated on USA's "Nashville Star 5."

Officials from the Medical Board of California have announced that they are conducting a review of L.A. "Entertainment Medicine" practitioner Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, after reports surfaced that he had prescribed methadone to Anna Nicole Smith over the summer under the patient alias Michelle Chase.

The FCC is circulating a report recommending that Congress create a law allowing the government agency to regulate the amount and nature of violence in TV programming, much like they monitor sexual content and language.

Bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman lost his injunction request to not be tried in Mexico, paving the way for his extradition to the country to be put on trial on charges of deprivation of liberty. The charges stem from Chapman's 2003 capture of convicted rapist Andrew Luster, the Max Factor heir, in Puerto Vallarta.

FOX has renewed its smash hit "House" for a fourth season and its not so smash hit "Bones" for a third.

"Lost" averaged just 12.8 million viewers Wednesday, marking the series' lowest ratings ever for a new episode.

News 02/15/2007

In reality TV news: Megan Hauserman, a 25-year-old model and Playboy cybergirl from Boca Raton, FL who currently resides in Chicago, IL, and Alan "Scooter" Zackheim, a 23-year-old from Helena, MT, with a degree in social anthropology from Harvard University, won the finale of the CW's "Beauty and the Geek 3" Wednesday against Cecille Gahr, a 27-year-old bikini model from Santa Cruz, CA, who currently resides in Beverly Hills, CA, and Nate Dern, a 21-year-old Harvard University student and singer for a Star Wars band from Evergreen, CO, who currently resides in Cambridge, MA. Also on Wednesday, Elizabeth Moore, a 48-year-old from Los Angeles, CA, who teaches pre-production visualization, production Design, art direction, and visualization at the College of Art and Design in Pasadena, teaches concept development at Otis College of Art and Design, and is a self-employed interior designer, was eliminated on Bravo's "Top Design."

Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, filed court documents in Santa Monica Friday seeking to establish paternity of Anna Nicole Smith's infant daughter, Dannielynn. Von Anhalt claimed he slept with Smith in January 2006, when the baby was most likely conceived and that he will take responsibility for the child if it turns out he's the father. Police on Thursday entered the Bahamas home shared by Smith and Howard K. Stern up until her death last week. Members of the crime scene squad were observed photographing the property, where Stern is still living, though it was unclear whether he was present at the time. Stern filed a burglary report earlier this week after claiming that items including a computer, home videos, and personal photos were taken from the mansion while he was still in Florida, where Smith died. A judge ordered another DNA sample to be taken from Smith's body Thursday, as arguments continued in an emergency hearing over the fate of her remains and the custody of her daughter. The swab was to be taken from the former model's cheek during a lunchtime recess as a means of insuring that enough samples existed so that the body would never be exhumed. "When we bury her, I want it to be forever," Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin said. The hearing ended for the day without resolution as to who will claim the body. Meanwhile, a judge has appointed attorney Richard Millstein to act as guardian ad litem for five-month-old Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern. A Florida judge has declared himself in control of Smith's body during an emergency hearing called Wednesday as Stern and Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, continue to argue over where the remains will be laid to rest. Stern wants to bury Smith next to her son, Daniel, in the Bahamas, while Arthur wants her daughter buried in her home state of Texas. The judge declared that the body will remain in Broward County until he makes a ruling. Another emergency hearing was scheduled for Thursday.

Keith Olbermann has re-upped his contract on MSNBC's "Countdown" for another four years, NBC News announced Thursday.

Paris Hilton inspired frenzy at a mall in Vienna Thursday when an autograph-signing appearance was cut short when several objects were tossed onstage, leading security guards to whisk the hotel heiress to safety. Hilton, who is in Vienna to attend the Opera Ball as the guest of millionaire businessman Richard Lugner, was almost barred from entering the country after it was discovered her passport had expired; luckily the U.S. ambassador to Austria was willing to vouch for her.

Keri Russell's rep confirmed to "E! News" that the former "Felicity" star swapped vows with her longtime boyfriend, contractor Shane Deary, on Wednesday in New York. The couple are expecting their first child together this summer.

After seemingly endless weeks of cringe-worthy audition footage, "American Idol" finally revealed the 24 semifinalists Wednesday night. Voting begins next week, as the top 12 guys showcase their vocals Tuesday, followed by the top 12 girls on Wednesday.

News 02/14/2007

Radio host Howard Stern announced on his Sirius Satellite radio show that he popped the question to longtime girlfriend Beth Ostrosky Tuesday night. No word on the couple's wedding plans.

As part of her continued quest to prove that those tabloid fat photos were just the result of a really bad camera angle, Tyra Banks squeezed into the same tiny red-and-white bikini she wore as a Sports Illustrated covergirl 10 years ago, when she was the first African-American woman to appear alone on the cover. The resulting footage is scheduled to air on Monday's "Tyra Banks Show."

NBC is pulling "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" off the air a week earlier than scheduled and replacing it with "The Black Donnellys" as of Feb. 26. The network is claiming that the series will return at some point.

A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge has agreed to lift a hold he had placed on the release of Anna Nicole Smith's body, after ruling last week that former model's remains should not be buried until DNA samples could be taken as part of the paternity dispute over her infant daughter. Officials in Florida, where the body is currently being held, said DNA samples were taken last week as part of the autopsy procedure. Larry Birkhead's attorney, Debra Opri, stated that she is pleased with the ruling. Meanwhile, Smith's final film, Illegal Aliens, is due out on DVD in May. The video company is denying they are releasing the film to capitalize on Smith's death, claiming they are merely adhering to a plan that was already in place. In addition to starring in the film, Smith was also credited as a producer; her late son, Daniel, was credited as associate producer.

Tracy Morgan pled guilty to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge Wednesday in exchange for a conditional discharge, meaning the case against him will be dismissed if he meets the conditions set by the court and stays out of trouble for six months. The judge fined the comedian $1,000, suspended his license for six months, and ordered him to enter a doctor-supervised alcohol program. Morgan will also be required to complete community service to be determined at a later date.

Al Franken has officially declared his candidacy for a Minnesota Senate seat, challenging Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in the 2008 race. The former "SNL" star made his announcement Wednesday on the final day of his radio show on Air America.

Bill Cosby's Dandie Dinmont terrier, Harry, lost in the Best in Show category at the Westminster Dog Show Tuesday, where he was the only dog of his breed to compete. Cosby opted not to watch his pooch's performance from the sidelines, though his daughter, Erinn, was in attendance. James, an English Springer Spaniel, was the night's big winner.

Stephen Colbert is joining the ranks of Jerry Garcia, Dave Matthews Band, Phish, and Wavy Gravy with a new Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor named in his honor. Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream contains vanilla ice cream, fudge-covered waffle cone pieces, and caramel, a combination the dessert purveyor described as "the sweet taste of liberty in your mouth." Colbert is vowing to use his ice cream flavor to "bring some balance back to the freezer case."

Oxygen is launching an online contest giving viewers the chance to name the bed & breakfast featured in Tori Spelling's upcoming reality series, "Tori & Dean: Inn Love."

News 02/13/2007

In reality TV news: Rachel Mucerino, a.k.a. Persia, a 25-year-old from Far Rockaway, Queens, NY, Monday on VH1's "ego trip's The (White) Rapper Show."

Football star Tiki Barber is joining NBC as a correspondent for "Today" and an analyst for "Football Night in America," the network announced Tuesday.

The Sci Fi channel has renewed "Battlestar Galactica" for a fourth season, scheduled to debut in January 2008. The move comes after the show's shift to a Sunday slot resulted in a dramatic increase in viewers.

Howard K. Stern's sister told the Associated Press that her brother last saw Anna Nicole Smith asleep in bed, while a nurse iced her down in an attempt to break a 105-degree fever. He had allegedly been gone for two hours when the news reached him that Smith was dead, after a nurse found the former model unresponsive and called 911. Also, Larry Birkhead has filed a petition in Broward County (Florida) Circuit Court to ensure that a California court's ruling is upheld requiring that Smith's body be preserved pending a Feb. 20 paternity hearing. Meanwhile, the county medical examiner says he has heard that attorneys for Stern and Smith's mother, Vergie Arthur, are going to request an emergency order demanding the body be released in a timely manner.

A Chicago development group is suing Nicky Hilton for breach of contract over her alleged failure to make good on an agreement to promote a hotel project known as Nicky O's Chicago. The group also alleging that Hilton contracted out interior design work she was supposed to perform herself and misrepresented the amount of experience she and her associates had in hotel design.

Bill Cosby's six-year-old Dandie Dinmont terrier, Harry, won his category at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden Monday night, making him one of the favorites in the Best of Show category, to be announced Tuesday. Cosby did not attend the show, sending his daughter to cheer on the dog in his place.

The family of Ron Goldman is subpoenaing several Hollywood groups, including the Screen Actors Guild and the Producers Guild of America, for information on payments O.J. Simpson may have received for past television and film appearances in an attempt to claim some of the estimated $40 million Simpson owes according to the wrongful death judgment against him.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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