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News 09/30/2007

In reality TV news: WWE diva Ashley Massaro, a 28-year-old from East Northport, NY, became the second castaway eliminated Thursday from CBS's "Survivor: China." Also on Thursday, "Moesha" and "The Parkers" Countess Vaughn and her rap mentor Warren G were eliminated due to Vaughn's illness on MTV's "Celebrity Rap Superstar."

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office has formally filed two misdemeanor DUI charges against Kiefer Sutherland. Prosecutors are also seeking to revoke the actor's probation on a similar 2004 bust. Sutherland could face between four days and one year behind bars if found guilty of all charges. Arraignment is set for Oct. 16.

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office has filed paperwork seeking to revoke the probation of former "Lost" star Michelle Rodriguez on a litany of charges, including hit and run, driving with a suspended license, driving under the influence, and failing to exchange information at an accident scene, alleging she has failed to abide by the terms of her probation, including not completing community service and violating her alcohol monitoring program. Rodriguez could face up to 537 days behind bars for the violations.

Nicole Richie enrolled in Santa Barbara's SB 38 Alcohol Program Wednesday, an 18-month anti-drinking driver course designed for people who have been convicted on more than one DUI within a seven-year period. Richie will undergo 52 hours of group counseling, 12 hours of alcohol education, and will be required to attend biweekly face-to-face interviews.

According to E! Online TV columnist Kristin Dos Santos, "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation" star Jorja Fox will be leaving the show after the current season's seventh episode after suffering through...and apparently not making it out of...a particularly hairy round of contract negotiations. Meanwhile, the procedural's season premiere bested that of "Grey's Anatomy" Thursday night by its largest margin to date, drawing 4.4 million more viewers than its competition.

Oprah Winfrey's has unsurprisingly topped Forbes magazine's list of highest-earning TV stars, raking in $260 million between June 2006 and June 2007 alone, more than four times that of the nearest moneymaker. Jerry Seinfeld, whose show about nothing has given him a whole lot of something in residuals, placed second with $60 million. Simon Cowell rounded out the top three with $45 million, while E!'s own Ryan Seacrest placed 16th with $14 million.

Dylan McDermott and wife Shiva Rose have announced plans to separate after nearly 12 years of marriage, per People. The red carpet staples have two daughters together, 11-year-old Collette and two-year-old Charlotte.

Melissa Joan Hart is expecting her second child with husband Mark Wilkerson, her rep confirmed to "E! News." The erstwhile "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" star is currently four months along. The couple welcomed son Mason back in 2005.

News 09/27/2007

In reality TV news: Sports Illustrated bathing beauty Josie Maran became the first casualty of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars 5" Wednesday night after scoring a mere 16 on her foxtrot and striking out with at-home viewers. Partner Alec Mazo gracefully directed all future votes to wife Edyta Sliwinska, who's dancing with "All My Children's" Cameron Mathison. Eleven contestants remain. Also on Wednesday, Mila Bosonowa, a 20-year-old recent college grad from Boston, was the first girl voted off of the CW's "America's Next Top Model 9," leaving 12 hopefuls in the running. Finally on Wednesday, Brian Malarkey, the 34-year-old executive chef of The Oceanaire Seafood Room from San Diego, CA, was eliminated on Bravo's "Top Chef 3."

Lawyers for the three codefendants in the O.J. Simpson armed robbery case lost a bid Thursday to have the prosecution turn over audio recordings made by the man who arranged the meeting between the former football great and two memorabilia dealers. Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure Jr. denied the motion, claiming his court "simply doesn't have the authority."

Bill O'Reilly said Wednesday that his critics took remarks he made about dining with Al Sharpton in famed Harlem restaurant Sylvia's out of context and "fabricated a racial controversy where none exists." The FOX News host complained to the Associated Press that liberal group Media Matters for America "cherry-picked" remarks from a broader conversation about racial attitudes. Among the statements the group took issue with was O'Reilly's claim that he "couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference" between the black-run Sylvia's and other New York eateries. "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M.F.-er, I want more iced tea,' " O'Reilly said of the experience.

News 09/26/2007

In reality TV news: Jerry Lisenby, the 62-year-old from Peoria, IL, became the third contestant cut Tuesday from NBC's "The Biggest Loser 4." Also on Tuesday, Tony Tran, a 26-year-old medical student from Fort Smith, AR as well as his partner Amanda Hanshaw, a 25-year-old model from Warren, OH, became the first couple eliminated from the CW's "Beauty and the Geek 4."

Chris Rock will guest star on the Oct. 1 season premiere of "Everybody Hates Chris," the UPN-turned-CW sitcom he co-created with Ali LeRoi. Rock, who also serves as an executive producer, will play Chris' (Tyler James Williams) high school guidance counselor.

Nielsen Media Research, which measures how many people are watching what, announced Wednesday that it plans to triple its number of "Nielsen families" over the next four years, meaning it will be tracking three-times as many households' and individuals' viewing habits by 2011. Nielsen currently gets its numbers...the ones that determine whether a show sinks or swims...from "people meters" attached to participating families' TV sets.

E! is welcoming David Hasselhoff into the fold. The former "Baywatch" player will star in "Tales of the Hoff," a scripted comedy currently in development to be co-produced by Ryan Seacrest. The series will follow Hasselhoff through fictional trials and tribulations as he navigates the Hollywood dating scene post-divorce.

Anne Heche and her estranged husband, Coley Laffoon, both emerged happy from a closed custody hearing in Los Angeles Wednesday. Heche told reporters she had "a good day in court," while Laffoon also said he was pleased with the results, but described the process as "not fun, it's painful." Neither went into how the details of the hearing pertained to their five-year-old son, Homer.

Kiefer Sutherland's DUI arrest could potentially stop time on "24." The actor faces a mandatory minimum of four days in jail, thanks to a previous DUI conviction in 2004, and could face a maximum sentence of a year behind bars. It's unclear what effect a long-term sentence could have on the production of the FOX drama. Sutherland was also convicted of alcohol-related reckless driving in 1993. He's due in court Oct. 16. Meanwhile, his latest drunken driving arrest wasn't one of the topics Sutherland touched on in his speech Tuesday night, when he was honored with the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists' Award of Excellence. "NYPD Blue" star Gordon Clapp, who attended the ceremony, said Sutherland gave a "beautifully elegant speech" but avoided discussing his run-in with the law.

A Milwaukee tourism group is leading an effort to raise money for a bronze statue of The Fonz, Henry Winkler's character on the show "Happy Days," which was set in the Wisconsin capital. So far, the group has succeeded in raising $45,000 of the $85,000 required to commission the statue.

Ever wanted to try out some of the crazy stunts Johnny Knoxville and crew pull on "Jackass?" Now you can...but from the safety of your own home and without the pain factor. Red Mile Entertainment and MTV Games have launched Jackass the Game for PlayStation, allowing players to take on the roles of Knoxville, Steve-O, Wee Man, and whichever other Jackasses they may wish to impersonate.

William Shatner has been named the "person most deserving of a star named in their honor," according to an online poll conducted by Celestron.

"Young and the Restless" star Michael Evans died Sept. 4 from age related complications, his son said Wednesday. He was 87. Evans played Col. Douglas Austin, friend to billionaire Victor Newman (Eric Braeden), on the CBS soap from 1980 to 1995.

News 09/25/2007

In reality TV news: Alvaro, a.k.a. "Kosmo," a 23-year-old video game programmer (he is actually an actor) won VH1's "The Pick-Up Artist" Monday over Brady, a 25-year-old photographer.

"Dancing with the Stars" alum Drew Lachey will fill in for Samantha Harris as Tom Bergeron's co-host until the new mom returns from her maternity leave, a spokesperson for the show told "E! News." Lachey comes to the gig with plenty of experience, having been crowned the champion of the second season of the fleet-footed competition.

Grammy winners Chaka Khan and Bebe Winans and "American Idol" finalist LaKisha Jones will all be making their Broadway debuts when they join the cast of The Color Purple in January. The musical currently stars "Idol" winner Fantasia as Miss Celie, the central character in Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel upon which the theatrical production is based.

Another "Bachelor"-made match has fallen through. Season seven's Charlie O'Connell and Sarah Brice have broken up, In Touch Weekly reports. "We split a few months ago--it was a clean breakup, nothing out of control," Brice told the magazine. "I definitely thought I'd spend the rest of my life with him--I think we both did--but there were some things between us that we couldn't resolve." In related news, season 11 of the dating show premiered Monday.

Kiefer Sutherland was arrested early Tuesday on suspicion of drunken driving. The actor failed a Breathalyzer test and was taken to the Hollywood police station, where he was booked for misdemeanor DUI and released on $25,000 bail. Sutherland's arrest comes on the day he's due to be honored with the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists' Award of Excellence in Los Angeles. The honor is presented every other year to Canadian actors who work primarily in L.A.

A misdemeanor hit-and-run case against David Hasselhoff's ex-wife Pamela Bach has been dropped after the owner of the other vehicle filed an affidavit saying she did not wish to proceed, the actress' lawyer said Tuesday. Bach turned herself in to be booked on the charge Monday; the incident took place in January.

Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, and Denis Leary are among the actors set to star in HBO's "Recount," a drama about the Florida results in the 2000 presidential election, per Variety. Spacey plays Ron Klain, the former chief of staff to Al Gore, and one of the lead attorneys who challenged the voting results. Dern will star as Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state, and Leary will play Michael Whouley, a pollster on the Democrat side.

News 09/24/2007

"Family Ties" alum Tina Yothers and her husband, Robert Kaiser, welcomed son Jake Kaiser, born Monday morning at an Orange County hospital, People reports. The baby weighed in at a healthy eight pounds, eight ounces. It's the second child for the couple, who also have a 23-month-old daughter; Kaiser also has two sons from a previous marriage.

Despite Internet rumors to the contrary, Hannah Montana is not planning to be a mommy anytime in the near future. Teen mag J-14 issued a statement Monday, denying that the publication ever reported 14-year-old Miley Cyrus was pregnant. "Someone doctored the 'This Just In' article that appeared on page 16 of J-14’s July 2007 issue, where a few of Miley’s "Hannah Montana" co-stars talked about her gross habits," the statement read by way of explanation. The altered article included fake quotes from the teen star, including, "I was in real shock when it happened accidentally."

Bahamian officials have set an Oct. 30 start date for the inquest into the death of Anna Nicole Smith's son, Daniel, with at least 35 witnesses expected to give testimony. The long-delayed inquest could last up to two months, Bahamas Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez said. A private autopsy previously found that Daniel, who died Sept. 10, 2006, had a cocktail of drugs in his system at the time of his death. His mother passed away just five months later.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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