Thursday night brings you a choice between trashy good and good-for-you good: NBC offers the premiere of the much-talked-out "Friends" spinoff, "Joey" (8 p.m. ET), starring Matt LeBlanc and Drea de Matteo, followed by the 90-minute (!) season premiere of "The Apprentice" (8:30 p.m. ET) and a new "CSI"-like medical drama, "Medical Investigation" (10 p.m. ET). Or you could watch two specials on HBO about the dangers of nuclear power: Rory Kennedy's "Indian Point: Imagining the Unimaginable" (8 p.m. ET) and Mary De Leo's Academy Award-winning documentary "Chernobyl Heart" (8:45 p.m. ET). We have a sneaking suspicion we know which lineup you'll choose ...
Hitting a nerve? The Bush camp has come out swinging against the Kitty Kelley book, "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty," due out next week. The New York Times reports that, among other attempts to muzzle the book and squelch its potentially deleterious effect on the president's reelection campaign, a White House representative called NBC News president Neal Shapiro "to discourage that network from broadcasting interviews with Ms. Kelley about the book on its 'Today' program and on its MSNBC cable program 'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'" And Kelley tells the New York Daily News that Larry King is opting not to have her on his show, even though she's promoted all her other books on his show, because, she supposes, "having me on his show would probably anger the [Bush] family." Perhaps most alarming to Kelley may be Sharon Bush's denial that she ever said she saw George W. Bush snort coke at Camp David, an allegation she is reported to have made in Kelley's book. "I categorically deny that I ever told Kitty Kelley that George W. Bush used cocaine at Camp David or that I ever saw him use cocaine at Camp David," Sharon Bush said in a statement. "Although there have been tensions between me and various members of the Bush family, I cannot allow this falsehood to go unchallenged." A third party at the meeting in which Bush is said to have confirmed the coke sniffage to Kelley, however, says that Kelley's recollections appear to be consistent with his own. "Kitty, who can make a rock talk, said: 'I know about the drugs. I know that W did drugs at Camp David during his father's presidency,'" recalls the third party, who requested anonymity in connection with this quote but has been identified elsewhere as Sharon's former publicist Lou Colasuonno. "Sharon agreed. She said, 'Absolutely. That's all true.'" (N.Y. Times, Lloyd Grove's Lowdown, Rush and Molloy)
Don't Bacall her that! Whatever you do the next time you see Lauren Bacall and Nicole Kidman together, don't call Kidman a "legend." When a TV reporter used the L-word in connection with Kidman during a recent interview with both actresses, who were promoting their film "Birth" at the Venice Film Festival, Bacall spat out, "She's not a legend. She's a beginner ... she can't be a legend at whatever age she is." Kidman is 37; Bacall, 79. (BBC News)
Also: Richard Linklater has signed on to direct the remake of "The Bad News Bears," starring Billy Bob Thornton (Hollywood Reporter) ... The Olsen twins have spent $7.3 million on a 5,725-square-foot, 15th-floor penthouse apartment in NYC in which to live while they attend NYU (Rush and Molloy) ... And a woman accused of stalking and making death threats against Catherine Zeta-Jones because she had a crush on Michael Douglas has been ruled sane enough to stand trial (N.Y. Daily News)
-- Amy Reiter