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zaterdag 28 januari 2012

Tiffani Thiessen: 'I don't want or need Saved By The Bell reunion'

Tiffani Thiessen: 'I don't want or need Saved By The Bell reunion'

Tiffani Thiessen has insisted that she has no interest in a Saved By The Bell reunion.

Late Night host Jimmy Fallon has been the chief proponent of Thiessen reuniting with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Mario Lopez for a new one-off Saved By The Bell episode, but the actress has now told Parade that it will likely never happen.

"It's not something I want or need to do, and a few of us feel the same way. We're all doing our own thing," Thiessen said, adding: "Jimmy's never called me personally, only his producers. He might be a little harder to turn down."

Thiessen also revealed that she's never read co-star Dustin Diamond's tell-all biography Behind the Bell, which dished dirt on Saved By The Bell's cast.

"My time is very precious these days, and that's not how I want to spend it," she said.

Saved By The Bell ran for five seasons between 1989 and 1992 and even spun off a College Years series.

Denise Welch wins Celebrity Big Brother Final

Denise Welch wins Celebrity Big Brother Final

After 23 days of tears, tantrums and tasks that many of the cast will undoubtedly regret, Celebrity Big Brother 2012 drew to a close tonight with Denise Welch emerging as the surprise winner.

They may not have been victorious, but Frankie Cocozza, Gareth Thomas, Michael Madsen and the Shannon twins made sure they were looking their best when Brian Dowling announced that their time had come.

'Luther' series three cast revealed, BBC America to co-produce

'Luther' series three cast revealed, BBC America to co-produce

New details have emerged about the upcoming third series of Luther.

The BBC crime drama, which stars Idris Elba as maverick cop John Luther, will return for four 60-minute episodes, it was confirmed earlier this month.

It has now been confirmed that BBC America will co-produce the new series, which will air in the UK and US later this year.

"Luther has been integral in establishing our new Dramaville franchise, the home for groundbreaking British drama," said BBC Worldwide America's Perry Simon.

"We're excited to work once again with the incredibly talented writer Neil Cross and executive producer Phillippa Giles on this new ambitious four-part mini-series."

The entire lead cast from the show's second run will return, including Warren Brown (Justin Ripley), Dermot Crowley (Schenk), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Erin Gray) and Michael Smiley (Benny Silver).

Luther star Elba recently won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the show's title character.

"We made our little show in London, and now we're getting this worldwide recognition of it," said the actor. "Love it."

The third series of Luther will be written by Neil Cross and directed by Sam Miller.

Jonathan Ross to host new ITV panel quiz 'Trending Topics'

Jonathan Ross to host new ITV panel quiz 'Trending Topics'

Jonathan Ross is to host a new quiz show on ITV1.

The broadcaster announced the series Trending Topics via his Twitter account.

"I'm making a new panel show called Trending Topics (someone has to)," he quipped. "[You can get] free tickets to our dry-runs in London."

No further details are currently known about the project. Ross is also working with ITV on a second series of his chat show.

"I am thrilled to be signing again for ITV," the 51-year-old said in November. "It's like that stage in a relationship when you've been leaving a few clothes over every time you stay, and they finally give you a door key."

Two run-throughs for Trending Topics have been scheduled for Monday, February 13 and Monday, February 20.

Filming will take place at The Rada Studios, formerly known as The Drill Hall, in central London.

'Glee' casts 'White Collar' star Matt Bomer as Blaine's brother

'Glee' casts 'White Collar' star Matt Bomer as Blaine's brother

Matt Bomer is in talks for a major guest role on Glee.

The White Collar star is nearing a deal to play the brother of Blaine (Darren Criss), according to TVLine.

The character will debut in an April episode and will reportedly share a musical number with his brother.

Bomer has played Neal Caffrey on USA's White Collar since 2009 and previously played the recurring role of Bryce Larkin on NBC's Chuck.

He will also collaborate with Glee creator Ryan Murphy on forthcoming film drama The Normal Heart.

Jeff Goldblum and Brian Stokes Mitchell recently joined the Glee cast. The pair will play Rachel (Lea Michele)'s gay dads.

Glee airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on Fox.

Ant & Dec: 'Britain's Got Talent panel is better than ever'

Ant & Dec: 'Britain's Got Talent panel is better than ever'

Britain's Got Talent hosts Ant & Dec have claimed that the refreshed judging panel "is the best [the show's] ever had".

The presenting duo, who on Wednesday (January 25) picked up their 11th National Television Award, said that Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Amanda Holden have "instantly clicked".

"The new panel is the best we've ever had," they told the Daily Star. "It all just works, they instantly clicked.

"It's great to have Simon back. He's fired up and more harsh than ever. He knows he wants to find a huge star so he's not messing around. He just says to them, 'No, you're not a star'. David is hilarious, he constantly winds Simon up."

The I'm a Celebrity pair similarly told Digital Spy at the NTAs that they considered Cowell to be "the best talent show judge in the world".

"He's upped the stakes this year," they claimed. "He's not giving an inch. He's given us all a tough time."

Dec also revealed today that Cowell is considering hiring guest judges while Holden recovers from the life-threatening birth of her daughter Hollie this week.

'TOWIE': Joey Essex takes shine to newcomer Georgina Dorsett and Amy Childs wants to create 'TOWIE' rival

'TOWIE': Joey Essex takes shine to newcomer Georgina Dorsett and Amy Childs wants to create 'TOWIE' rival

Joey Essex takes a shine to new cast member Georgina Dorsett when The Only Way Is Essex returns this weekend.

In the opening episode of series four, Dorsett arrives in Faces and instantly attracts the attention of Essex, who is out with Mario Falcone and James 'Diags' Bennewith.

"The girl in the white is a bit of a salt (hot), int' she?" Essex says, using the special language he has developed with best friend Bennewith.

Meanwhile, Falcone still hasn't given girlfriend Lucy Mecklenburgh a key to his apartment after she cheated with Mark Wright over the summer.

The tailor also brands his girlfriend "disgusting" after finding a clump of hair extensions on his couch.

"It's like having a child, not a girlfriend," he says.

Elsewhere, Jessica Wright goes on a bike ride with Nanny Pat, during which they have a heart-to-heart about their love lives.

The Only Way Is Essex returns to ITV2 this Sunday (January 29) at 10pm.

Meanwhile Amy Childs has revealed plans to produce a rival show to The Only Way Is Essex featuring the original cast members.

The former Celebrity Big Brother star's announcement comes after cousin Harry Derbidge admitted that he'd like to start a TOWIE-style series following his axing.

Mark Wright and Kirk Norcross, who both left the ITV2 show to star in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here and Celebrity Big Brother respectively, could also take part in the project.

Alesha Dixon 'snubbed National Television Awards over Strictly exit'

Alesha Dixon 'snubbed National Television Awards over Strictly exit'

Alesha Dixon reportedly chose to snub this week's National Television Awards due to BBC resentment over her Strictly Come Dancing exit.

Dixon quit the ballroom contest earlier this month to join rival ITV show Britain's Got Talent, allegedly collecting triple her £100,000 Strictly fee from Simon Cowell. It was later claimed that bosses at the corporation were "unaware" of her plans to leave.

Both shows were nominated for 'Most Popular Talent Show' at Wednesday's (January 25) NTAs ceremony, with Strictly heavily tipped to collect the trophy - leaving Dixon in a quandary as to which side she would take.

"Strictly had a great year and was tipped to win so it would have been really awkward for her," a source told The Sun.

"The BBC aren't exactly happy with her move to BGT so she wouldn't have been welcome collecting the award."

Both programmes ultimately lost out to Cowell's other talent show The X Factor.

Dixon claimed at the launch of Britain's Got Talent this week that she had always planned to leave Strictly in 2012.

She also denied that her move had been motivated by money, saying: "If it was, I'd have done so many crazy things over the years."

Simon Cowell considering guest judges for 'BGT', says Declan Donnelly

Simon Cowell considering guest judges for 'BGT', says Declan Donnelly

Simon Cowell has told Ant & Dec that he may hire guest judges for the Britain's Got Talent auditions.

Amanda Holden, who gave birth to a baby girl on Monday, is expected to take a prolonged period of recovery after fighting for her life in hospital.

Declan Donnelly told the Daily Star: "While Amanda Holden is out of action Simon's thinking about getting guest judges to fill in for her."

However, Donnelly revealed that it "won't be" Alexandra Burke, describing her guest stint on The X Factor as "bloody awful".

"I was doing I'm A Celeb when she guested on X Factor but I heard all about ''," he added.

One Direction to guest star on Miranda Cosgrove's 'iCarly'

One Direction to guest star on Miranda Cosgrove's 'iCarly'

One Direction are to guest star in the fifth season of Nickelodeon sitcom iCarly.

iCarly stars School of Rock's Miranda Cosgrove as the host of a web show with her friends.

One Direction will appear as themselves in an episode where Cosgrove's character becomes sick after coming home from a trip, reports MTV News.

She finds out that One Direction have agreed to perform on her web show, but band member Harry Styles also becomes sick after their arrival.

One Direction are set to perform 'What Makes You Beautiful' on the show.

The band previously admitted that cracking the US music market is going to be difficult.

Styles said: "America is a massive place and it's going to be hard. Nothing is gonna come easy. A lot of people have tried and failed but we want to break the mould and see what we can do. We'll definitely give it a go."

'Glee' Michael Jackson Episode: The Music From 'Michael'

'Glee' Michael Jackson Episode: The Music From 'Michael'

Happy Days, Gleeks! It's that time of the week again -- all of the songs from the anticipated "Michael" episode of "Glee" have been finally been released. We're really digging Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Sam's (Chord Overstreet) sweet "Human Nature" duet, and Artie (Kevin McHale) "Scream"-worthy track with Mike (Harry Shum Jr.).

"Black and White" is also a standout track, and surprisingly not one of the tracks that lead vocalist McHale pitched to Ryan Murphy and the writers. "There's a number that Harry and I are doing that we really fought for, so we were excited to do it," McHale told HuffPost TV in January. "'Black or White' is definitely another one that I was happy to do. Harry and I actually threw a few song ideas out there toward Ryan [Murphy] and the writers, and 'Black or White' wasn't one of them, so I'm so happy that they kind of didn't listen to us there and added that one."

Besides 10 Michael Jackson classics, what can viewers expect from the upcoming "Michael" episode? Expect a showdown between Sebastian and Blaine (Darren Criss), while Finn's (Cory Monteith) proposal to Rachel (Lea Michele) is still up in the air. Will Rachel say yes? The cast isn't spilling any secrets, but we do know that the "Glee" lovebirds will sing Jackson's classic tune, "I Just Can’t Stop Loving You."

As for the New Directions' big stage performance of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" -- on which Blaine takes the lead -- the photos do offer a look at which Michael each of glee clubbers is dressing as: McHale, told HuffPost TV that the red leather "Thriller" jacket was bestowed upon him while Brittany got tied up in a "Bad" costume.

"The one number we did where everybody wore a different Michael outfit was just incredible. It was like everybody liked somebody else's more than their own," McHale said. "We had no idea what everybody was going to wear until we got to set and were like, "Oh my god! Look at yours!' ... We were all just freaking out."

Listen to the music from "Michael" below. All of the music is also posted over at Glee the Music.

"Glee's" tribute to the King of Pop airs Tues., Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. EST on Fox. Take a look at some of the official photos from "Michael" below.



Black or White

Human Nature

I Just Can't Stop Lovin You

I Want You Back

Never Can Say Goodbye


Smooth Criminal Full Performance

'Spartacus: Vengeance' Star Liam McIntye Talks Andy Whitfield And Lucy Lawless' Chakram

'Spartacus: Vengeance' Star Liam McIntye Talks Andy Whitfield And Lucy Lawless' Chakram

"Spartacus" fans were shocked when its charismatic star Andy Whitfield died of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in September 2011 at the unfair age of 39. Now, Australian actor Liam McIntyre is taking the lead, ready to fill Whitfield's awfully big gladiator sandals in the show's second season, "Spartacus: Vengeance."

The road ahead won't be an easy one for McIntyre, who is ten years younger than his predecessor in the role. Both "Spartacus" and Whitfield were wildly popular, breaking ratings records for Starz and drawing in approximately 6 million viewers per episode, according to the channel. When McIntyre steps into the arena for the first time, he'll be fighting as much for fans' acceptance as he will be for the rights of the rebel slaves that Spartacus leads into battle.

We chatted with McIntyre about his breakout role, his admiration for Whitfield and what's ahead for the rebel leader in "Spartacus: Vengeance."

It's been a bit of a whirlwind for you, hasn't it? You're stepping into a character that Andy Whitfield did such a phenomenal job at creating.

Oh, didn't he, though? It's just the strangest, hardest, most exciting experience ever. I went through four months of tests to get the job. During these tests, you're not even thinking of getting the job; but then one day, someone rings up and says that you got it, and then you have to take stock in what you've got. It's a huge responsibility. It's an iconic character that's already been done with such amazing aplomb by Andy. At the time, we all were hoping that he would get a lot better. There was so much hope. There have been a lot of mixed emotions and ups and downs.

Did you talk to Andy about where to go with the character? I know that Andy gave his consent to be recast.

Andy was so supportive. He obviously loved the show. It was apparent in everything we discussed. First of all, to have the best opportunity of your life and then have it taken away in such a tragic way must have been impossibly hard. And then, to have someone else do it, and to really get behind it, is just jaw-dropping. As for actually being like Andy, that's a conversation we never had. In fact, I kind of got the opposite; not to be like him. I had seen the show, but you just know as an actor, you don't copy people because it never works out. [Spartacus is] still the same character; he's written the same way; and he still feels the same. But I took what I knew of that character and made it my own. I didn't try to mimic anyone.

In what ways have you made him your own?

He's going on a different journey now. He's gone through the ludus [i.e. hellish gladiator academy] at the end of Season 1, so now he's in the big bad world, as it were. Increasingly, he's having to take on the role of being the leader of these people, which isn't exactly why he stepped into that position to begin with. Obviously, he wants to do right by Sura [Spartacus' late love interest] and atone for that, but he finds himself in control of this ragtag bunch of rebels. He's got to learn the lesson of what it takes to really be a leader, which is where the Spartacus myth comes into being. It's really the story of a man leading all these desperate people to amazing things. So I think the character is growing, but it will be up to the audience to see how I'm different. We look different and we sound different, but hopefully the soul is still there.

What's it like reading an action sequence? Do you get excited at the thought of playing with all those weapons?

On paper, these action scenes are described so amazingly, and then they hand them over to the stunt team, and they find a way to make them even more amazing. You'll read them and get really excited, and then you'll see what they've done to make them come alive and you're like, "Oh my god, I never thought of that! It's amazing!" This year, the stuff they achieved on screen is like nothing else I've ever seen on television.

What's your favorite show on TV? Aside from your own, of course.

Well, that's the weirdest part, actually. I was such a huge fan of "Spartacus," but now I'm going to watch and just criticize myself. It's sad, in a way.

Did you do any research for the role?

Yeah. It was cool because the producers had, like, 30 books on it, and I was like, "Yep, thanks!" I might be wrong about this, but I feel like I know the most about this period out of everyone, aside from some of the really, really dedicated behind-the-scenes people. I would challenge Steven DeKnight. I think he would win, but I'll still take him on.

I bet your training was insane as well.

The hardest thing, by a mile, was getting my weight back up. I had just lost about 45 pounds for a film, so I was down to, like, Christian Bale's weight. And then the next day, they were like, "So you're in New Zealand today to test for this role in 'Spartacus.' And then I'm like, 'I've seen that show. I don't look like that guy.'" Four months of training later, I'm on track, at least. I trained every day of the whole season, which I'm quite proud of because they were 14-hour days.

What were you doing to train?

Lifting heavy things, really. They would give me heavy things to lift, and then it was like a rinse-repeat type of thing for the rest of the year. [Laughs]

When you stepped into the prop room for the first time and saw the set, were you just like a kid in a candy store?

That's one of the funniest memories I have from the tests, going down these little back allies of New Zealand and then coming into this little warehouse. I had this idea of what these big studios looked like, where they shot shows like "Spartacus"; but it was this little warehouse, one of the many converted warehouses that the studios use. It had this old fruit shop logo at the top, and then I'm like, "Are you sure this is the place?" Then, they took me in, and suddenly, I was in ancient Rome. The costume room looks like this big clothing store, but then when you actually look at the clothes, they're all ancient Roman vests and thong sandal shoes. We have incredible leather workers on set. Someone told me that those leather workers "love leather like I love my girlfriend."

What about Lucy Lawless? I have to ask, what was it like working with "Xena"?

I actually got to bring home a chakram, and it was from Lucy Lawless herself. That was pretty cool. It wasn't the actual prop. It was one of the toys, but still, it was actually from her! As far a role model goes for this business, because I'm new at this, she's it. She's done it for so long, with so much success, but she's still a normal, funny person. But on screen, she's wicked this season, a total menace. Man, who wouldn't want to watch the show with her on it? When she makes her appearance on screen, you'll get chills.

HBO places a bet on horseracing drama "Luck"

HBO places a bet on horseracing drama "Luck"

David Milch first visited a horse racing track when he was six years-old. Sixty years later he is bringing his passion for the behind-the-scenes world of jockeys, gamblers, horses and trainers to television with the HBO series "Luck".

Milch, 66, the creator of Emmy-winning TV western "Deadwood", says there is no better setting for storytelling than a horse track whether you are a racing fan or not.

"The racetrack is a place of incomparable beauty, and the animals and humans who inhabit it illustrate their best and worst possibilities," said Milch, who has owned a number of thoroughbreds himself.

"The racetrack's an awful lot like the circus. It's tremendous fun to see all these different kinds of creatures rubbing up against each other," he added.

"Luck", starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, comes to HBO on Sunday (January 29) after getting warm reviews when the cable channel ran a preview of the first episode, directed by Michael Mann, in December. The network hope to emulate the success it has had with other dramas including its "Boardwalk Empire."

Hoffman, in the first major TV role of his 40-year career, plays taciturn, mob-like Chester "Ace" Bernstein, who is just out of prison and bent on revenge with the help of a prized $2 million thoroughbred.

Nolte is a veteran trainer-turned-owner with a dark history, and the cast is rounded out by a quartet of grubby gamblers, trainers, young jockeys, veterinarians and dozens of horses.

Crowded with characters, and with multiple plots revealed at a leisurely pace, Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker called "Luck" a "beautiful hour of television to watch".

The Hollywood Reporter said "nothing on television has captured this life-style, which makes this series unique."

"Luck" was filmed largely on location at Santa Anita Park near Los Angeles, framed by mountains and Southern California's ubiquitous palm trees.

It's a place that Milch knows well.

"Because David has spent so much money over his lifetime at Santa Anita, the carpet was rolled out," Mann told TV reporters in January.

But Milch's obsession with racing began much earlier, when he was a child in upstate New York.

"My dad first took me to the track when I was five or six years-old and after that I would sneak out there on my own whenever I could. I would wear my dad's fedora hat and by the time I was eight I was reading the daily racing form," Milch said.

Finally writing a TV series about his world, he said, is "a privilege and it's an enormous responsibility."

Vampire Diaries Stud Bites Into Castle Role, Awake Adds Alias Fave and More!

Vampire Diaries Stud Bites Into Castle Role, Awake Adds Alias Fave and More!

Lest fans of Castle‘s “Caskett” worry that Sarah Jane Morris’ character will make a play for Rick, know this: She’s married — and to a hunky Vampire Diaries vet at that.

Sources tell exclusively that Taylor Kinney, aka Mystic Falls’ erstwhile werewolf, has been cast alongside the NCIS/Brothers & Sisters‘ alumna in an episode of Castle slated to air later this winter. ABC has yet to confirm the scoop.

• Alias fan fave Kevin Weisman (Marshall!) has landed a recurring role on NBC’s still-unscheduled new drama, Awake. Per, the actor will play Mr. Blonde, a mysterious man who will haunt Jason Issacs’ character in both worlds.

• Broadway vet Bebe Neuwirth has nabbed a juicy recurring gig on The Good Wife, reports. The Cheers alumna will take on the role of Judge Friend, a “sexy woman with a stern manner.”

• Shawnee Smith, who is best known as the Saw films’ scream queen, will play the soul-searching ex-wife of Charlie Sheen on his upcoming FX comedy, Anger Management, per Deadline.

• Fox has picked up a comedy pilot from Shameless producers John Wells and Mike O’Malley. Prodigy Bully, based on the one-minute movies by the same name, centers on a young genius who uses his smarts to get anything he wants.

Did Once Host a Secret Lost Cameo? Is Bones No Longer TV's Ickiest Show? And More Questions!

Did Once Host a Secret Lost Cameo? Is Bones No Longer TV's Ickiest Show? And More Questions!

We’ve got questions, and you’ve (maybe) got answers! With another week of TV gone by, here are some queries we are going to throw at you, from shows including Once Upon a Time, Fringe, Pretty Little Liars, White Collar and Project Runway All-Stars!

01 | Given the flood of memories going through our head as Chuck‘s series finale neared, how much of a gut-punch was it to see Sarah lose many of hers?

02 | Couldn’t you watch a whole episode of Fringe doppelgangers shooting looks at each other across a conference room table? (Our Broyles seemed to be thinking as he surveyed his twin, “Dial it down a notch, Major Tough Guy.”)

03 | Did you know that Lost boss Damon Lindelof voiced the TV weather reporter during that stormy episode of Once Upon a Time?

04 | Is there a character you’d like to punch more than Downton Abbey‘s Thomas?

05 | Let me get this straight, Gossip Girl: Tripp drained the car’s brake fluid, and he didn’t think anything too bad would happen? Guess we were wrong about who is the pretty one in the family.

06 | Between the nasally baby-doll voice and voluminous tresses, wasn’t Hilarie Burton nearly unrecognizable as Castle‘s Kardashian-like bimbette?

07 | Is it just us or does Hart of Dixie seem better when Lemon and George don’t interact at all? And that Belles chant will be turned into a rap, right?

08 | How unbelievably perfect was the moment where Pretty Little Liars‘ Aria and Ezra (finally) embraced — in slo-mo! — in the rain?

09 | After that “mother” of a reveal at the end of The Lying Game, does it seem (too?) obvious that Charisma Carpenter’s schemey Rebecca “Annie” Sewell is the twins’ actual birth mom?

10 | Is there any setting other than The Bachelor where a woman would giddily agree to a first date that finds the man taking her to a deserted field with a “No Trespassing” sign, making her strip to a bikini, and lowering her into a hole in the ground?

11 | Would having a teacher that looks like White Collar‘s Neal Caffrey be counter-productive, or encourage studying? We can’t decide. And where can the lovelorn of us get our own Mozzie?

12 | Did Southland take the crown from Bones, CSI, etc. for most gruesome/gross dead body on TV with that torn apart woman stuck under the SUV?

13 | We know it’s a soap, but don’t those 90210 kids get awfully serious awfully quickly? Silver mulling a move to New York with her man, Ivy trying to dissuade her new boyfriend’s international career… all after a matter of a couple months together?

14 | Couldn’t the State of the Union Address be streamlined to a lean half-hour if POTUS started off by asking everyone to hold their applause for the end?

15 | Just to be clear: Simply putting on a new blouse seemingly healed CSI Catherine’s previously debilitating bullet wound?

16 | After four weeks and a 100-percent appearance rate by women in the bottom two, we have to ask: Does Project Runway All-Stars have a problem with female designers, or did it just do a poor job of casting lady alumni for this season?

17 | Who wants to go with us to see Martin Luther King Day, the star-studded rom-com featured on 30 Rock? After all, the cast does bost Jenna Maroney as well as Emma Stone, John Krasinski, The Price Is Right‘s “Plinko” and The Flight Attendant Who Went Crazy.

18 | Are we in agreement that 30 Rock achieved one of its finest Tracy Jordan moments with his, “No presents? Please!” outburst?

19 | Was Tom’s jacket on Parks and Recreation a sign that he’s going to star in the Drive sequel? And “casual,” finger-gunning Leslie Knope is in a lot of ways funnier than the original, yes?

20 | How do we get Fun With Flags to air after Big Bang Theory, instead of Rob?

'Fear Factor' Donkey Semen Makes NBC Execs Hot

'Fear Factor' Donkey Semen Makes NBC Execs Hot

"Fear Factor" producers' plans to serve fresh glasses of donkey semen to contestants on the next episode had NBC execs so concerned ... they gave serious thought to killing the stunt.

Sources involved in the production tell us the stomach-churning stunt was shot last summer -- but NBC honchos were having a tough time swallowing this one as the air date approached.

We're told the challenge involved teams of twins drinking the full glass of donkey semen -- with a glass of urine thrown in for good measure. Contestants had to drain both glasses in order to move on to the next round.

Our sources say NBC execs had multiple pow-wows in the months after the stunt was shot ... but eventually gave FF producers the thumbs up.

Calls to NBC were not immediately returned.

The episode airs this coming Monday -- and yes, we're told multiple contestants actually do (gulp) drink up.

So that's what they mean by donkey punch.

'Mob Wives' Renee Graziano Hospitalized After Dad's Bust in Mafia Crime Sweep

'Mob Wives' Renee Graziano Hospitalized After Dad's Bust in Mafia Crime Sweep

"Mob Wives" star Renee Graziano was rushed to a NYC hospital by ambulance today ... just hours after feds busted her father and several other Bonanno crime family members.

Sources close to the Graziano family tells... Renee had a panic attack, collapsed, and had trouble breathing when she got news that her dad, Anthony "TG" Graziano, had been arrested in an early morning raid.

A "Mob Wives" rep confirms Renee was admitted to the emergency room and is still getting treatment right now.

Further upsetting for Renee -- the fact her ex-husband played a role in her father's arrest. Hector Pagan, who's appeared on the VH-1 show, has reportedly turned rat for the DEA.

ABC Picks Up 3 Comedy Pilots -- Including Project From 'Work It' Producer

ABC Picks Up 3 Comedy Pilots -- Including Project From 'Work It' Producer

ABC beefed up its comedy stockpile Friday with pilot orders for three pilots.

ABC Picks Up 3 Comedy Pilots -- Including Project From 'Work It' Writer

"How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life," created by Claudia Lonow ("Friends With Benefits," "Accidentally on Purpose" and, more recently, the troubled cross-dressing sitcom "Work It"), will follow the adventures of recent divorcee and single mother Polly, who moves in with her eccentric parents, Elaine and Max, who are full of life but know no boundaries. Lonow is also executive-producing the half-hour, single-camera project, which comes via 20th Century Fox and Imagine Television. Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo are also attached as executive producers.

The network has also given the go-ahead to a pilot by Adam Sztykiel, writer of the big-screen offerings "Due Date" and "Made of Honor." The as-yet-untitled project promises to offer a "raw, hilarious peek behind the curtain of modern 20-something relationships." Sztykiel created and will co-executive produce the project through 20th Century Fox Television. Sean Perrone and Aaron Kaplan ("Made of Honor," "You, Me and Dupree") are executive-producing the half-hour, single-camera comedy.

Rounding out the trio is "Only Fools and Horses," which is based on the British series of the same name and "chronicles the misadventures of two streetwise brothers and their aging grandfather as they concoct outrageous, morally questionable get rich quick schemes in their quest to become millionaires."

Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley, both veterans of "MADtv," are writing the half-hour, multi-camera project, which comes via ABC Studios.

Golden Globes Trial Exposes Dick Clark CEO's Misleading Negotiating Tactics

Golden Globes Trial Exposes Dick Clark CEO's Misleading Negotiating Tactics

Dick Clark Productions Chief Executive Officer Mark Shapiro had to admit in Los Angeles District Court late this week that he employed bluffs and half-truths to get NBC to agree to an $150 million deal to air the Golden Globes.

The practice is likely standard operating procedure in Hollywood, but copping to the ploys can not have been pleasant for Shapiro.

The deal is at the center of a legal scuffle between DCP and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the non-profit group behind the Globes, over who controls the rights to the broadcast of the highly-rated awards show. Marc Graboff, NBC's former business affairs chief, took the stand Friday morning, with testimony from CBS CEO Les Moonves expected next week.

The HFPA sued DCP and its parent company Red Zone Capital in November 2010, alleging that the company negotiated a new contract with NBC without their consent and that by failing to put the rights out for bidding by other networks, potentially cost them millions of dollars.

DCP claims that thanks to an amendment in its contract, the production company retains the rights to the broadcast every time it reaches a new deal with NBC. It also claims that it did not need the approval of the HFPA to extend the pact with the network.

Under questioning by HFPA attorney Linda Smith this week, Shapiro shied away from using the word “lie” or “mislead,” but he did acknowledge that he led NBC executives to believe that he had HFPA's approval for the extension agreement.

Asked directly by Judge A. Howard Matz, at one point, if he had made false statements during negotiations with NBC, Shapiro said, "right."

He also claimed that he could hammer out a deal with NBC to air the awards pre-show, but said that he would need HFPA's approval before an agreement could be reached. He acknowledged that he told network executives that the HFPA was primarily interested in working out an extension of their deal before they tackled the issue of the pre-show.

Graboff told the court that NBC would not have done a deal for broadcast rights to the show if it had known that the HFPA was not being kept in the loop. But he also said if he had known that the organization was shopping the show to other networks -- as they apparently were trying to do with Moonves and CBS -- he would have tried to block a deal from taking place.

Moonves will likely emerge again during the course of the trial. The CBS chief is scheduled to testify next week -- although whether that testimony is given remotely via video conferencing or in-person is still the source of some debate.

HFPA Chairman Philip Berk met with Moonves in summer of 2010 to discuss the possibility of the Globes migrating to CBS, but DCP attorneys plan to argue that the lunch was in violation of its agreement with NBC. Under that pact, the HFPA was not allowed to talk to any third party about distributing the show until its deal with the network had expired.

The uncertainty around who would control the broadcast of the red carpet arrivals caused some friction. In a note, Graboff told Shapiro that DCP’s reluctance to negotiate terms around the pre-show, while insisting that NBC immediately sign the extension agreement, "raises red flags for us.”

As part of its justification for its “extensions clause,” attorneys for DCP have argued that the HFPA was willing to give the production company broad rights to the program because its reputation was in tatters. The Golden Globes had been pushed off of the major broadcast networks for decades following a series of scandals involving their voting practices and allegations that Pia Zadora’s husband had bought his wife an award by giving the group’s members gifts.

Private correspondence that surfaced during the trial revealed Shapiro’s unvarnished opinion of the controversial organization. In an email to William Morris Endeavor partner Ari Emanuel, Shapiro said that former NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Jeff Zucker understood the difficulty in dealing with the HFPA.

Wrote Shapiro: “Jeff knows these people are crazy.”

'Glee,' 'Rock of Ages' Executive Music Producer Launches Record Label

'Glee,' 'Rock of Ages' Executive Music Producer Launches Record Label

Adam Anders’ Deep Well Records sets its first release for Feb. 14 with Disney star Shane Harper.

The man behind the music on Glee and Rock of Ages is launching his own label.

Adam Anders, Executive Music Producer of the Fox series and Warner Bros. film, announced the debut of Deep Well Records on Thursday. Disney star Shane Harper (Good Luck Charlie, High School Musical 2) is the first artist on Anders’ roster, with a debut release slated for Valentine’s Day. Fans of Cody Simpson and Greyson Chance may remember Harper from his stint as their opening act in the spring of 2011.

Deep Well Records has teamed with Target to release Harper’s self-titled album exclusively on Feb. 14 -- Harper’s 19th birthday.

“We are thrilled to have such an all around talented artist be the debut release on Deep Well and to have the support and partnership of a respected major retailer like Target speaks volumes towards the household name we believe Shane will be,” said Anders in a statement.

Added Harper, “It’s so incredible to record an album under the direction of someone I respect and is so extremely talented- his musical genius is very much appreciated in helping me put forth my debut album.”

Anders serves as executive producer on the album, which includes the singles “Rocketship” and “One Step Closer.” The 12 track release also includes collaborations with rapper Prophet and Harper’s on and off screen girlfriend, Bridgit Mendler.

Ryan Murphy's NBC Comedy Lands Pilot Order

Ryan Murphy's NBC Comedy Lands Pilot Order

The "Glee" co-creator will co-write and direct "The New Normal" with Ali Adler.

NBC is officially getting into the Ryan Murphy business.

The network has given pilot orders to The New Normal, a family comedy from Glee co-creator Murphy and Ali Adler, a writer on the Fox musical.

The project landed at the network after a multiple network bidding war and hails from 20th Television, where Murphy has an overall deal. Murphy and Adler -- who joined the show's writing staff this season -- will pen the script alongside Dante Di Loreto, who also produces Murphy's FX horror anthology American Horror Story.

The single-camera comedy revolves around a blended family of a gay couple and the woman who becomes a surrogate for them as they grow their family. Like his previous efforts Glee, Nip/Tuck and American Horror Story, Murphy will direct the pilot.

The Book of Mormon's Andrew Randells will star as one of the three leads after signing a talent holding dealwith 20th Television and NBC last week ahead of the pilot's official pickup.

The project marks Murphy's first half-hour comedy and should it be ordered to series, mark his fourth project on the air behind Glee, its Oxygen reality spinoff The Glee Project and FX's anthology thriller American Horror Story, the latter two of which both earned second seasons.

Murphy is repped by CAA; Adler is with WME.

New Normal joins a long list of comedies ordered to pilot at the netowork, including projects from Roseanne Barr, Sarah Silverman, Jon Favreau, Greg Daniels and Jimmy Fallon, among others.

'Luck's' David Milch: 'I Did My Best to Make It Accessible'

'Luck's' David Milch: 'I Did My Best to Make It Accessible'

The executive producer tells THR that he included a pair of "degenerate gamblers" to help viewers gain access into the finer points of the sport.

For longtime horse racing fan David Milch, his HBO drama Luck is a passion project. For others, however, the track jargon featured on the Dustin Hoffman-Nick Nolte gambling story -- including "pick six," "bug boy" and "single" -- could be off-putting.

Milch (Deadwood, NYPD Blue) immerses the viewer immediately in a world that goes deep into the subculture found at the track, revolving around jockeys, owners, trainers, stable workers, track officials and gamblers. It's clear Milch, himself a horse owner and Breeder's Cup winner -- loves the world, but will viewers be able to connect with the complex characters who populate the Santa Anita-set story?

"I did my best to try and make it accessible, to provide surrogates for the audience who weren't familiar with the world so the audience would have a representative within the show," Milch tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Among the characters introduced in Sunday's season premiere, Milch says he included a group of "degenerate gamblers" to help guide the audience through the finer points of the sport. "Two of the degenerate gamblers are less experienced and ask the kind of questions that people who are not familiar with the track would ask," he says. "That's one reason why I introduced them."

While "degenerates" Kevin Dunn (Marcus) and Jason Gedrick (Jerry) are skilled in the ways of the track, Ritchie Coster's Renzo and Ian Hart's Lonnie get a hard and fast lesson when they co-bankroll a "pick six" -- picking winners from the day's six races -- and find out the benefit of picking a "single" in the fifth race. It's a scene Coster says Milch had breakdown for the actor who knew little to nothing about racing coming in.

"We got the scripts and my reaction was the same as every actor across the country: 'It's beautiful … I don't know what it means,' " Coster tells THR of the jargon-heavy pilot. For the pick six scene, "David took me aside and said, 'For this bit, you're the audience surrogate.' "

Coster, who went ahead and auditioned for the part not thinking he'd get it, says his lack of horse racing knowledge comes in handy when playing the clueless but enthusiastic character. After nabbing the role, Coster picked up a book on horse betting and wound up ditching it since the degenerates are the "entry-level character" in the series.

"David Milch wanted to call this Time at some point or another because he wants the audience to invest time with it and then know that it's their world as well because they've earned entrance into it," he says. "It worked for us as actors and I want that to happen for the audience as well. I hope it's a communal experience."

TV Tonight 28th of January 2012

TV Tonight 28th of January 2012

The daily list in alphabetical order, of all the new episodes airing.

    48 Hours Mystery S25E13: "A Fatal Attraction"
    Area no Kishi S01E04: "Episode 4"
    Austin City Limits S37E14: "Florence + The Machine / Lykke Li"
    Bakuman. S02E17: "Episode 17"
    Behind The Music S12E34: "Ted Nugent"
    Bleach (US) S13E10: "The Awakening Hyōrinmaru! Hitsugaya's Fierce Fight"
    Cardfight!! Vanguard S02E04: "Episode 4"
    Casualty S26E20: "Hero Syndrome"
    Color Splash S10E10
    Dan vs. S02E03: "Dan vs. The Neighbors"
    Fairy Tail S03E20: "Frozen Spirit"
    Harry Hill's TV Burp S11E14: "Series 11, Episode 14"
    Ich bin ein Star - Holt mich hier raus! S06E16: "Das große Finale"
    Iron Chef America S09E28: "Tailgate Showdown"
    Kinderen geen bezwaar S08E04: "Aflevering 4"
    Metal Evolution S01E10: "Power Metal"
    My Big Redneck Vacation S01E02: "Too Legit to Etiquette"
    My Cat From Hell S02E04: "Pissed Off!"
    My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic S02E15
    Pit Boss S03E03: "Mending Fences"
    Pit Bulls and Parolees S03E10: "Path of Destruction"
    R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour S02E18: "Headshot"
    Saturday Kitchen S10E31: "January 28, 2012"
    Shakugan no Shana S03E16: "Episode 16"
    Take Me Out (UK) S03E04: "Series 3, Episode 4"
    Take Me Out: The Gossip S01E04: "Episode 4"
    The Dog Whisperer S08E05: "Homeboys and Hounds"
    The Football League Show S03E22: "Series 3, Episode 22"
    The Jonathan Ross Show S02E04
    The Magicians (2011) S02E04: "Series 2, Episode 4"
    The Million Pound Drop Live S08E06: "Series 8, Episode 6"
    Total Wipeout S05E09: "Winter Wipeout (7)"
    UFC on FOX S01E02
    Ultimate Factories S04E12: "Frito Lay"
    Wakfu S02E22: "Le Silence des Anneaux"
    Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry? S02E16: "Addicted to Love"
    Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry? S02E15: "The Perfect Cover"
    Zero no Tsukaima S04E04: "Episode 4"

'Anderson' Executive Producer Jim Murphy Steps Down

'Anderson' Executive Producer Jim Murphy Steps Down

Jim Murphy, co-executive producer of Anderson Cooper's syndicated daytime talk show "Anderson," has stepped down.

"Anderson" co-exec producer Jim Murphy is the latest to exit Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show

Murphy joined the show seven months before its September 2011 premiere, following stints on "Good Morning America," "CBS This Morning," "40 Hours" and "CBS Evening News."

An individual familiar with the transition told TheWrap that Murphy is leaving to re-enter the news field.

Murphy's exit is the most recent in a string of departures for the talk show. In December, executive producers Cathy Chermol and Lisa Morin both stepped down -- according to the New York Post, Morin's departure was for personal reasons, while Chermol quit after a disagreement with Cooper over her handling of a special on the Penn State scandal.

Cooper characterized Murphy as "a good friend," praising his efforts in getting "Anderson" off the ground.

"I'm grateful for Jim's help and his hard work launching the show. He's a good friend and will always be a friend of our show," Cooper said. "We have a terrific team in place led by our executive producer, Terence Noonan, and I'm really excited about the momentum we've built and the future of the show."

"This has been an amazing experience being involved in the creation of this great new show and it has been exceptional to get to know and work with Anderson and the rest of the team," Murphy added. "I leave the show in great hands with Terence."

Despite the upheavals, "Anderson," which has been receiving lukewarm ratings since its launch, has shown signs of improvement. For the week ending Jan. 15, the show grew by 25 percent and reached a series high with a 1.5 household rating.

NYTVF Announces Development Partners

NYTVF Announces Development Partners

The eighth annual New York Television Festival announced nine networks or studios Friday that have committed to development deals with promising entrants.

New development partners VH1, Hasbro Studios, BIO Channel, Logo, and Channel 4 have signed on to the festival, which seeks to unite independent TV producers with studios and networks to develop their shows. They join IFC, MTV, Sundance Channel and SevenOne international, all of which have participated in the festival previously.

The festival, which will be held Oct. 22-27, previously announced the involvement of Comedy Central, Warner Bros. International Television Production, and Fox Television Studios, which is working with Apostle.

Hasbro studios is the first participant in the children's entertainment category.

'So You Think You Can Dance' Choreographer Alex Da Silva Gets 10 Years for Rape and Assault

'So You Think You Can Dance' Choreographer Alex Da Silva Gets 10 Years for Rape and Assault

Alex Da Silva, a former choreographer for Fox reality competition "So You Think You Can Dance," was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday for raping a former dance student and assaulting another, TMZ reports.

"So You Think You Can Dance" choreographer Alex Da Silva gets 10 years for rape and assault

Da Silva, 43, was arrested in 2009 and charged with multiple counts of raping and sexually assaulting four women, all of whom had been his students.

A jury found him guilty on one count of rape and one count of assault with intent to commit rape. It deadlocked on other charges, which were dismissed.

Da Silva had appeared on the first four seasons of the series.

This isn't the first scandal to be associated with "So You Think You Can Dance"; Shane Sparks, who had also appeared as a choreographer on the show, was charged with eight counts of felony child molestation in 2009. He pleaded no contest to one count of unlawful intercourse with a minor under the age of 16 in August 2011, and received 270 days in jail.

David Arquette Is Paying a Visit to 'Cougar Town'

David Arquette Is Paying a Visit to 'Cougar Town'

David Arquette and Courteney Cox are continuing their campaign to be crowned the Most Amicably Estranged Couple Ever.

Despite their separation, Arquette will guest-star on Cox's ABC comedy "Cougar Town." Arquette will play a perhaps-overzealous hotel concierge who offers his services to Jules Cobb (played by Cox) and her crew on the show's season finale.

Displaying his own trademark zeal, Arquette expressed his glee over the upcoming appearance on his Twitter account Friday, tweeting at Cox and her co-star Christa Miller, "Can't wait to work with you ladies!"

This is far from the only collaboration for Cox and Arquette since they announced their split in Oct. 2010. The pair co-starred in last year's "Scream 4," and continue to work together via their Coquette Productions, which last year sold a game show pilot, "Identity Crisis," to CBS.

"Cougar Town" will return for its third season on Feb. 14, in place of the quickly yanked cross-dressing comedy "Work It." The season premiere is titled "Ain't Love Strange."

Fran Drescher: Aliens Abducted Me, Implanted a Chip in My Hand

Fran Drescher: Aliens Abducted Me, Implanted a Chip in My Hand

If you ever run into Fran Drescher, be careful what you say in her presence … they might be listening.

The "they" to whom we refer: aliens, the ones Drescher says abducted her and implanted a chip into her hand.

The star of "The Nanny" and the TV Land sitcom "Happily Divorced" tells The Huffington Post that, in her younger years, she was abducted by aliens. And she was not alone: Drescher says her ex-husband, "Happily Divorced" producer and writer Peter Marc Jacobson, was also abducted by other-world beings.

"You know, it's funny, because Peter and I both saw (aliens) before we knew each other, doing the same thing, driving on the road with our dads," Drescher told the website, "in all seriousness."

"We were both in junior high. A few years later, we met, and we realized that we had the same experience. I think that somehow we were programmed to meet," Drescher says. "We both have this scar. It's the exact same scar on the exact same spot."

Drescher continued that her ex wasn't totally convinced her joint alien experience theory was correct, and that he thinks she got a scar on her hand from a drill bit or a hot cup of water. She begs to differ.

"I said to him, that's what the aliens programmed us to think. But really, that's where the chip is."

Drescher's rep did not immediately respond to TheWrap's request for comment