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News 02/17/2006

In reality TV news: Misty Giles, a 24-year-old engineer from Dallas, became the third contestant to have her torch snuffed as she was voted off CBS's "Survivor: Panama" Thursday. Also on Thursday, Wes, a 23-year-old researcher from Atlanta who is tracking monkeys with lasers, Sarah, a 26-year-old dental assistant from Fort Lauderdale, FL, were eliminated from the WB's "Beauty and the Geek 2." On Friday, Lisa Rinna and her dance partner Louis van Amstel were eliminated on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars 2."

A rep for Touchstone Television has denied a report that an unnamed character is not leaving "Grey's Anatomy," but leaving the show's medical-intern program. The problem stemmed from a misprint in TV Guide that was missing a word.

U.S. figure skating champion Michelle Kwan has taken a new job with Disney to be a celebrity spokesperson for the Mouse House after pulling out of the Torino Games due to a groin injury.

Vice President Dick Cheney's sit-down with FOX News' Brit Hume on Wednesday attracted 2.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media.

Alec Baldwin is in talks to join Tina Fey in an untitled NBC comedy pilot following the behind-the-scenes of a sketch-comedy show. It would be the actor's first regular TV gig since doing "Knots Landing" in the mid-'80s.

News 02/16/2006

In reality TV news: 19-year-old model Rachael Hartzog and 29-year-old designer Kara Janx from Johannesburg, South Africa, were eliminated Wednesday on Bravo's "Project Runway 2."

Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey paid a surprise visit to students at San Diego High School Wednesday for an upcoming "Oprah Winfrey Show" segment about the billionaire's school reform efforts.

"Cold Case" star Danny Pino and his wife, Lilly, welcomed their first child together Wednesday, a son they named Luca Daniel Pino.

"American Idol" crushed NBC's Olympic coverage with 27 million viewers Tuesday night compared to 16.1 million viewers, per Nielsen Media Research.

News 02/15/2006

Kristy Swanson and Lloyd Eisler are dating after falling for each other on "Skating with Celebrities." Meanwhile, Eisler's estranged wife is claiming that he left her for Swanson when she was pregnant; but Eisler is claiming the relationship began after he was officially separated.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are modeling couture gowns in a new ad campaign for Badgley Mischka.

Patrick Dempsey became a co-owner of the Vision Racing IndyCar series team.

James Cann has been named Grand Marshal of the 48th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday.

FOX has announced the debut of "Unan1mous," a new reality show featuring nine people locked in a bunker who must decide which of them is the most deserving of a $1.5 million prize in order to get out. The longer they wait, the less money they can win. The show kicks off March 22.

Paris Hilton was pelted with flour by PETA anti-fur protesters outside of a fashion show in London.

UPN has revealed the contestants for cycle six of "America's Next Top Model," including a house painter, a chemist, and a number of students.

The judges selected 44 "American Idol" hopefuls during Tuesday night's show. On Wednesday, the 24 finalists...12 men, 12 women...were revealed.

Ellen Pompeo told TV Guide that one of the intern characters will be leaving "Grey's Anatomy," confirming an earlier statement by Katherine Heigl.

A sexual harassment suit filed by a fired writer's assistant on "Friends" went before the California state Supreme Court Tuesday, in a case that the attorney for the show's producers claims could impact all Hollywood writers by restricting the creative flow process.

MTV has greenlit three new documentary programs: "Tiara Girls," about the lives of beauty pageant contestants as they ready for competition; "MTV Juvies," which will document the experiences of first-time juvenile offenders in Indiana; and "Two-A-Days," about a top-rated high school football team in Hoover, Alabama.

News 02/14/2006

In reality TV news: Bruce Jenner and Tai Babilonia were eliminated Monday on FOX's "Skating with Celebrities." Also on Monday, Susan Edds, a 25-year-old financial associate who currently resides in Overland Park, KS, was denied a rose on ABC's "The Bachelor 8: Paris."

Actress Shannen Doherty was involved in a car accident in Malibu Monday after her Range Rover struck another vehicle on Pacific Coast Highway, sending the other driver to the hospital. Doherty was okay.

Actress and animal rights activist Pam Anderson has released a statement via the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals boycotting the Kentucky Derby because of her staunch views protesting animal cruelty.

Conan O'Brien met for 15 minutes Tuesday with Finnish President Tarja Halonen in Helsinki after jokingly endorsing her for a second six-year term because of their resemblance to one another.

TV Land will debut "Living in TV Land: William Shatner in Concert," a new series giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the life of the former "Star Trek" captain as he performs his songs. It premieres Mar. 22 after the fourth annual TV Land Awards.

Gay-and lesbian-themed cable channel Logo are developing four original scripted series, including two animated programs, a gay domestic comedy titled "Rick and Steve" and "Slink," following five lesbian cats who take up residence at a Malibu mansion.

Viewership for the first three days of NBC's Winter Olympics coverage fell off sharply from the 2002 Salt Lake City games and the 1998 Nagano games, thanks largely to Sunday's withdrawal of Olympic skating star Michelle Kwan, the Peacock's best hope to attract a bigger audience.

Andreas Katsulas, the character actor best known as G'Kar on "Babylon 5" and the one-armed man in The Fugitive movie, has died of lung cancer at 59.

News 02/13/2006

ABC's "Lost" won 8 awards, including Best Drama, at the Online Film & Television Association Awards on the Television side. FOX's "Arrested Development" also won 8 awards, including Best Comedy. Steven Spielberg's "Into the West" on TNT won 9 awards, including Best Miniseries. HBO's "Warm Springs" won 3 awards, including Best Motion Picture Made for Television. Hugh Laurie (FOX's "House") and Jason Bateman ("Arrested Development") won Best Actor in a Drama and Comedy Series; Kristen Bell (UPN's "Veronica Mars") and Mary-Louise Parker (Showtime's "Weeds") won Best Actress in a Drama and Comedy Series.

Michelle Kwan has dropped out of the Winter Olympics due to a severely strained groin and has turned down an offer from NBC to be a commentator from the broadcast booth. The figure skating champion called her withdrawal "the most difficult decision I've ever had to make."

Conan O'Brien spoke to hundreds of fans in Helsinki, Finland, where he endorsed the reelection of Finnish President Tarja Halonen, to whom he bears an astonishing resemblance. O'Brien said he expects to be rewarded with a cabinet position as Inspector of Saunas.

"Baywatch" is coming to DVD, with a best-of episode compilation selected by Pamela Anderson due for a late-summer release, followed by full series releases, per the Hollywood Reporter.

Lou Ferrigno, star of "The Incredible Hulk" TV series, signed in as a Los Angeles County reserve deputy sheriff Monday night.

The director of the Los Angeles Zoo is disputing Bob Barker's contention that the zoo's three elephants live in misery and that the exhibit should be closed, stating that the game-show host was wrongly informed.

ABC is pulling "Commander in Chief" from its schedule beginning Tuesday, rather than on Mar. 7, as the network had earlier announced. The show is scheduled to return to the air Apr. 18.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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