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TV.com's The Gab: Roseanne, Fez, Crichton, Newhart

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Sub: Roseanne for Rosie on The View

When Rosie O'Donnell leaves The View in June, those who watch the show may not notice. The New York Post is reporting that the leading candidate to replace her is a woman of equal girth and outspokenness--Roseanne Barr. Citing an anonymous source, the paper claims that ABC is on the hunt for a host with personality and humor, and Barr fits the bill.

A rep for Barr told the Post that the claim is just a rumor. "It's almost like that rumor that spread last month about how she was going to be on Desperate Housewives," said the rep. Among the other names mentioned for the chair are Whoopi Goldberg, Connie Chung, and Bette Midler.

Wilmer Valderrama inks production deal

Former That '70s Show star and current Hollywood lothario may be following in the footsteps of ex-castmate Ashton Kusher of Punk'd fame. Valderrama has signed a deal with American Idol coproducer FremantleMedia North America for first looks at scripted and reality projects.

Valderrama, who played the foreign exchange student Fez on That '70s Show, will set up offices in FremantleMedia's Burbank, California, offices. Valderrama, who runs VW Enterprises with buddy Danny Villa, previously produced the MTV insult competition Yo Momma and is currently producing Universal Pictures' PartyBuddys.

Ridley Scott puts Strain on A&E;

Hypochondriacs may want to wash their hands a extra few times before tuning into A&E; later this year. Ridley and Tony Scott are producing a miniseries adaptation of author Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain, and today Variety revealed that it would land on A&E.;

The book, about an alien germ that devastates an entire town except for an elderly man and a baby, was made into a movie in 1971. Crichton is no stranger to seeing his pages end up on the screen. In addition to creating ER, his past work was the basis for such films as Jurassic Park, Sphere, Disclosure, and Congo.

Tom Poston dies at age 85

Actor Tom Poston, known for his roles on Newhart and The Steve Allen Show, died at his home today, reports the Associated Press. The cause of death has only been revealed as "an illness."

Poston made a living out of comedic awkwardness. The lanky actor played the dim-witted George Utley on Newhart and the oddball neighbor on Mork and Mindy. He was thrice nominated for a supporting actor Emmy for his role in Newhart and won Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his appearances on The Steve Allen Show.

"Tom was always the 'go-to guy' on Newhart in addition to being a good and longtime friend," said Bob Newhart, in a statement. Poston was 85.

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