Item! You never know what you'll get from a spin-off. For every Frasier, there are 10 Kramers. That said: How ya doin', Joey? Pretty good, from the look of the episodes I've seen. Drea DeMattingsly is a great comic actor—something you might not have predicted, given her role on The Sopranoes. The kid who plays her son is a natural, and Matt TheBlanc? He's going to be one of your "best Friends." The laughs are there, the hugs are there, and we get to see a more serious side of Joey. I predict a 10-year run for this show, and I'll be tuned in every Thursday to watch.

(The Emmys happened. Did you see them? I forgot to set my VCR again. Drat!)

Item! Is she or isn't she? That's the question everybody's asking. By "she" I mean Britney, and as to what she is or isn't, that would be married. She may have pulled a J-Lo and tied the knot with one of her dancers. But there was some hubbub over the wedding license—namely, they didn't have one. I for one think that if she wants to be married, we should let her. Celebrities in love are above the law. OJ taught us all that.

Speaking of OJ, you know what's great? The hotel breakfast bar. I don't get to travel a lot, so sometimes I just stop in at a hotel in the area, have some coffee, and read the paper. You should try it. It's like having a getaway without leaving your own hometown. But be careful! I had a bagel, coffee, and some OJ at a nice hotel atrium breakfast bar once, and when I tried to pay, the hostess told me the meal was for hotel guests only. She said she didn't have any way to take my money, and then she called the manager. It took about five minutes of tense negotiations before they let me go, and boy, was I in a sweat! I get the nerves just "sampling" a grape at the grocery store! So make sure there's a non-guest dining policy before you dig in.

Item! Dan Rather is going through a certain school I call the school of a lot of knocks. People in high places are complaining about a story he did about the president and some documents that may have been fudged. I'd like to offer a word of advice to Mr. Rather, if I may. Mr. Rather, as a journalist, I know that sometimes you get a story that's so good you don't want to wait to check facts. You just want to run with it. But remember—if a story looks too good to be true, it probably is. Next time, step back, take a breath, roll up your sleeves, and make sure those documents are real.

Now that I've got the dish—satellite, that is—I've been staying in a lot more and catching up on some of the shows I missed. One I've run across is the Grahem Norton Affect. I'm not sure what the "affect" is, but it's having an "effect" on me: nausea. Pure nausea. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, it's a talk show where celebrities are trotted out to make coarse comments and berate the audience. I feel bad complaining about Grahem, who is gay, but that's not the reason I don't like him. It's because he's mean. I hate to see a valuable desk go to waste when someone who has experience in entertainment journalism could be out there "dishing" dirt without being disrespectful. (Are you listening, TV execs?)

You know who needs a makeover? Terry Heinz-Kerry. Frum-py! If her husband gets elected, she'll go down in the Martha Washington-Barbra Bush hall of shame. But with a new hairdo and the right clothes, she could turn her look right around. Terry, don't do it for your husband. Do it for yourself.

Item! Computers in movies are bigger than ever, and nothing is bigger in computers than Sky King and the World of the Future. You won't believe what's on the screen—a fantastic universe of blimps, airplanes, robots, and whatever. The ads look amazing. But how's the acting, you ask? Well, ever heard of a couple girls called Gwen Paltrow and Angelia Jolie?

Where did all the good commercials go? It seems like ages since a lizard asked me "Whazzuuup?" and tried to sell me some beer! Come on, Madison Avenue! Put your heads together and whip up 30 seconds of mirth. We all could use a good sponsored chuckle.

If you didn't change the batteries in your smoke alarm on the first day of fall, you may already be dead. Just kidding! But seriously, check or change those batteries every six months, and consider getting yourself a combination smoke alarm/carbon-monoxide detector. It takes up no more space than a smoke detector, but since it detects carbon monoxide, it makes your home twice as safe.

Well, that's going to do it for today. It's late, and I'm out of space. Next time, I'll let you know what the deal is with Fox News anchorwoman Donna Feducia's eye shadow. Plus, I'll explain why Sharon Stone still has what it takes. Until then, I'll catch you on The Outside!