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TV News
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News 01/16/2004

FOX has announced plans to shift to a year-round programming cycle, making the network the latest major broadcaster to break the traditional September-to-May television season.

UPN has pulled the plug on fledgling drama "Jake 2.0." Reruns of "America's Next Top Model" will fill its place for the time being, but it is not known at this time if the three previously scheduled February Sweeps episodes will still air.

CBS has given a greenlight to a third edition of "C.S.I.," this one set in Manhattan, reports Variety. Sources say "C.S.I.: New York" may contain a twist on the usual crime-solving format.

ABC won a bidding war with FOX to acquire a one-hour romantic comedy pilot from David E. Kelley about three women who inherit their family's wedding planning business, per the trades.

News 01/15/2004

Ashton Kutcher is insisting that his MTV hidden camera show "Punk'd" is over, despite rumors to the contrary. Kutcher says his busy schedule has left him no time for the show. For those seeking a "Punk'd" fix, the first season comes out on DVD next Tuesday.

FOX has officially cancelled the Norm MacDonald sitcom "A Minute With Stan Hooper." The news comes as little surprise as the series has been off the network's schedule for over a month.

Cameron Diaz has signed up with MTV to star in her own travel series which will follow the actress and her friends on their adventures around the globe while she addresses environmental issues. The cable network also scored series deals with Hilary Duff, Frankie Muniz, and Orlando Jones.

"Frasier" star Jane Leeves gave birth on December 19 to her second child, a boy, Finn William Leeves Cohen, reports USA Today.

20th Century Fox, ABC, and producer David E. Kelley are in talks to renew "The Practice" for a ninth season after the show recovered from last season's move to Monday night and returned to Sundays.

Isabel Sanford, who portrayed Weezie Jefferson in "The Jeffersons," received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Sanford was the first black woman ever to win an Emmy.

Jerry Springer-The Opera, the profanity-laced opera about Jerry Springer's lurid talk show, snagged eight nominations Thursday for the Laurence Olivier, British theater's top accolades.

Before television critics in Hollywood on Wednesday to hype his NBC reality show "The Apprentice," real estate mogul Donald Trump took a swipe at CBS president Les Moonves, calling him "the most highly overrated person in television." "If Les Moonves was a contestant on ("Apprentice"), he would have been fired by the third episode," Trump told reporters, reportedly still angry over CBS dropping his Miss Universe pageant.

CNBC is hiring tennis legend John McEnroe to lead an ensemble team for a nightly talk show that will take an irreverent look at the day's top new stories. The network is trying to revamp its primetime lineup and has already hired Dennis Miller to host another nightly show.

News 01/14/2004

Rip Torn was arrested Tuesday in New York for running his car into a taxi cab, reports the Smoking Gun Website. Police on the scene found a bloodshot eyed Torn disoriented and reeking of booze. He's due in court March 18.

NBC is planning a two-hour farewell to "Friends" May 6 starting with an hour-long retrospective of classic scenes followed by a one-hour series finale. The cast will continue to reminisce from the Central Perk set on the "Tonight Show" later that night.

NBC has put in an order for new drama pilot "Medium," about a psychic suburban mom who helps solve crimes, executive produced by Kelsey Grammer, among others.

NBC will premiere its new fall shows three weeks early this fall after the end of the Summer Olympics. Programming kicks off August 29.

Patrick Dempsey is guest starring on ABC's "The Practice" on January 25.

News 01/13/2004

Taboo, the Rosie O'Donnell-produced Broadway musical about the life of Boy George, will close February 8, losing all of the $10 million O'Donnell put into the production. The production opened November 13 to negative reviews and publicity.

TV Guide is reporting that Oscar-nominated actress Laura Linney will guest star on "Frasier" for at least three episodes as a potential love interest to Dr. Frasier Crane.

Paris Hilton topped Mr. Blackwell's 44th Annual Worst Dressed list as the vapid Venus of Beverly Hills. Britney Spears, Lara Flynn Boyle, Celine Dion, and Jessica Simpson also qualified as style stinkers.

Christopher Reeve is set to return to the WB's "Smallville," reprising his role as Dr. Swann in an episode airing on Wednesday, April 14.

News 01/12/2004

British authorities are allegedly concerned over the validity of blood samples taken by French investigators that led them to conclude drunk driving was behind the crash that killed Princess Diana. No DNA tests were ever performed to prove the blood sample belonged to the car's chauffeur.

Sharon Osbourne returned to host her eponymous talk show on Monday after spending the holidays with her injured husband. Meanwhile, "The Osbournes" returns to MTV January 27.

NBC has announced that "Frasier" will take its final bow in May. Network execs had discussed another season with star Kelsey Grammer but he would have had to take a major pay cut to keep the series on the air.

British media is reporting that the cast of "Friends" plans to come together for a reunion special airing around Thanksgiving. NBC has denied the story.

A Los Angeles man has filed a breach of contract suit against radio station KROQ-FM and deejays Kevin Beyeler and Gene "Bean" Baxter, hosts of the "Kevin & Bean" morning show; he says the station cheated him out of a free SUV.

CBS has announced the roster of former castaways reuniting for "Survivor: All-Stars," which will take place in the Pearl Islands. Among the 18 contestants are Richard Hatch, Tina Wesson, Ethan Zohn, and Jenna Morasca. The alliances begin February 1.

ABC has scheduled a behind-the-scenes telepic about the rise and fall of '80s soap "Dynasty" for May sweeps.

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