Marc Peyser

Battle of the Network Stars

When you're trying to tease a couple billion dollars out of a roomful of advertisers, it helps to have a smokin' PowerPoint presentation. Last week, when Fox tried to sell its fall lineup to advertisers in New York City, its idea of exciting was asking the studiously bland Carrie Underwood to sing a tune.

Island Fever

To get to the set, you have to drive 45 minutes north of Honolulu, and you have to know where you're going. There's no sign--they don't call it "Lost" for nothing--just a red flare stuck in a dirt road past some pineapple and coffee fields, along with a note: base camp.

Newsmakers: Eva Longoria

That desperate housewife Eva Longoria is trading in her yoga mat for a gun in "The Sentinel." As her hair was being done, she chatted with NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.Eva Longoria: I grew up on a ranch, and my dad educated us really early about guns.

The Katie Factor

After 15 years, the perky star of morning television finally gets to sleep in. Will she change the evening news, or will it change her?

Newsmakers

Spike Lee Spike Lee just opened a new thriller, "Inside Man." He spoke with Nicki Gostin. Jodie Foster looks very glam in this movie. I remember the first day she showed up in costume.

Television: Copycat Crimes

Television networks aren't known for their originality--how many "CSI" ripoffs are there now?--and the latest trendlet isn't going to help. The last two months have seen the debut of three shows about con artists: "Hustle" (AMC), "Heist" (NBC) and "Thief" (FX).

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Finales can be so tricky--just ask the creators of "Seinfeld." But how do you whack Tony Soprano himself, not to mention what is arguably the most significant TV drama of the century?

Married to a Mob

"The Sopranos" may be the greatest TV drama of the 21st century--pipe down, "West Wing" fans--but it hasn't been above relying on conventions, especially at the beginning of a season.

Color Us Impressed

People go on reality TV shows for all sorts of crazy reasons: to find a husband, to lose weight, to learn ballroom dancing. Rose wanted to become black, so she signed on for FX's "Black.

The Wolf Pack

Everyone knows that the TV industry is one big recycling center--full of reruns, knockoffs and an endlessly revolving cast of actors--but Dick Wolf takes it more literally than most.

The Truthiness Teller

We live in a dangerous world. Fortunately, we've got Stephen Colbert fighting on our side. Colbert defends America when lesser men cut and run. Got a problem with White House wiretapping?

Winter's Tales

Have you ever taken down the Christmas tree, cleaned up all the pine needles and wrapping paper and discovered, way back in the corner, an overlooked, unopened present?

The Spouses of 'Big Love'

Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) pops a lot of Viagra. A lot, as in one every day, which he pulls from a bottle he keeps in his pants pocket. That seems like a heap of thrill pills for a happy, healthy, forty- something married man.

True Blue Howard

Today we're taking a tour of Mr. Stern's neighborhood, led by your host, Howard Stern. We start in the 36th-floor lobby of Sirius, the satellite-radio company that is reportedly paying Stern $500 million to bring his bawdy talk show to its airwaves next month.

Newsmakers

Q&A: KEIRA KNIGHTLEYKeira Knightley tackles Elizabeth Bennet in a new remake of "Pride and Prejudice." She spoke to NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.Terrified. I've been obsessed by the book since I was about 7.

Congress: An 'Apprentice'

As a contestant on "The Apprentice," Raj Bhakta was famous for his grand gestures: the bow ties, the walking stick, the time he hit on Donald Trump's receptionist.

Newsmakers

Q&A: CHARLIZE THERONIn "North Country," oscar winner Charlize Theron plays an iron-mine worker who launches a sexual-harassment suit. She talked with NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.I do.

TV: Changing Their Tune

Sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful... skip? Forgive us for borrowing the "Gilligan's Island" theme, but what's being skipped these days is the TV theme song itself.

Laughing All the Way

Time for a Broadway math lesson. There are 1,077 seats in the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, which means that a show there has 8,616 tickets to sell every week.

HOLLYWOOD: STRIKING A NEW PROSE

There aren't many screenwriters who will happily give credit to their wives for one of their best lines, but then there aren't a lot of writers like Dan Futterman.

Laugh Riot

The awards won't be presented until Sunday, but it's already clear that this will be the year of the Desperate Emmy. For starters, the ceremony is desperate for a laugh.

The Grill Next Door

Rachael Ray would like everyone invited to her wedding this month to know that it's OK to dress casually. "You can come in blue jeans if you want," says Ray, who's tying the knot in an Italian castle. "I'm going to wear a dress picked out in 28 minutes.

She's Back!

People still want to see her ankle bracelet. They'll occasionally ask about prison, too. But here's the No. 1 Martha Stewart question of the moment: What's the line you're going to use to fire people on "The Apprentice"?

Chita's New Kick

Leave it to Chita Rivera to do a one-woman show about her own life and end up sharing the stage with eight dancers. "I came from the gypsies," she says. "Even today, when I was rehearsing my show with the boys, they had to say, 'Chita, move down,' 'cause I always wanted to be up with them." Of course, calling Rivera a gypsy is like calling Tiger Woods a duffer.

HBO'S NEXT EMPIRE: ALL ROADS LEAD TO 'ROME'

Ah, the glory that was Rome. The temples. The togas. The toilets. Rome in 52 B.C. usually means emperors and palaces and dudes with bad haircuts, and you'll see plenty of those when HBO debuts its new drama "Rome" on Aug. 28. "Rome" is a show that will make every history teacher proud.

NEWSMAKERS

Benjamin BrattBenjamin Bratt is on a roll. He's got a new movie, "The Great Raid," out this month, a new television series called "E-Ring" and a new baby on the way.

BAKING IN THE 'BURBS

It's the morning of the Emmy nominations, and the folks on "Good Morning America" are recapping the chosen ones. They're just getting to best actor in a drama series.

FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT

Do you know anyone who doesn't have an opinion about the war in Iraq? Anyone who doesn't believe it's either wonderfully noble or tragically foolish? Then you may be surprised by "Over There," a new drama series that debuts July 27.

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

How's this for the dullest movie pitch in history: "The Girl in the Cafe" is set at the G8 summit--you know, the meeting where a bunch of politicians sit around debating how to make the world a better place.

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