Phil Donahue struck back at MSNBC yesterday for his firing,
suggesting the network was too quick to pull the trigger and that it might be
trying to "outfox Fox" with conservative voices, AP reports.
Donahue's political talk show, a distant third in the cable news ratings in
his time slot, was abruptly pulled from the air after Monday's show. The
program premiered July 15.
Donahue said that his show's ratings were better than anything else in
struggling MSNBC's prime- time lineup. "It took almost three years for Fox
[News Channel] to overtake CNN," Donahue said in a statement yesterday. "We had
six months." Donahue also noted that MSNBC recently hired conservative
commentator Mike Savage as host of a weekend show, and retired GOP politicians
out-fox Fox," he said.
ANOTHER "JOE." Fox is set to produce another edition of "Joe Millionaire,"
reports Newsday's Verne Gay. The new show was confirmed yesterday during a
teleconference call between reporters and executives who had hoped to talk only
about Fox's big February sweeps win - aided in large measure by "Joe
Millionaire." Executives were spare with details, other than to say that it
will contain the same elements - or, as they awkwardly phrased it, "values" -
of the original. "I can't go into any details but I can tell you that we have
sort of cracked the way to it," said Gail Berman, Fox Entertainment chief. "It
will certainly not be [exactly] the same show." Separately, Berman announced
that "24" has been picked up for next season.
DAVE MISSES A NIGHT. Due to an eye infection, David Letterman did not host
last night's "Late Show." Aside from his recovery from open heart surgery in
2000, this marked Letterman's first hosting absence in more than 20 years in
late night television. Bruce Willis, who was scheduled as a guest, filled in as
J.K. ROWLING ON "SIMPSONS." "Harry Potter" author J.K.Rowling will appear
as herself in an upcoming "Simpsons" episode set in England, reports Reuters.
In the episode, Rowling will run into beer-guzzling Homer Simpson and his
family when they visit England to find a woman with whom Grandpa Simpson had a
"SOPRANOS" PAY RAISES. Five key supporting players on "The Sopranos" have
re-upped for another season on the HBO hit mob drama with a substantial pay
Tony Sirico, Drea de Matteo, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Robert Iler have all
renegotiated their contracts to costar on the show's upcoming fifth season with
an option for a sixth.
"BUFFY" OVER. After seven years, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" will be over at
the end of this season, said its star, Sarah Michelle Gellar. "'Buffy,' in
this incarnation, is over," Gellar told Entertainment Weekly magazine for its
March 7 issue, her eyes welling with tears. The series will wrap with a
five-part story, which will include the return of Faith, the bad-girl slayer,
and Buffy's first love, Angel.