TV Bites: Simon Cowell Plots Vegas Heist


· In a recent GQ article, TV's Richest Man, Simon Cowell, outlined a Las Vegas scheme so unlikely, so complicated and so risky, that it sounds like George Clooney's plan to rob the Bellagio vaults in Ocean's Eleven. First, the show will set up production in a Vegas casino-hotel, where Cowell & Co. will broadcast two talent shows a week live over the internet where the American Idol judge expects "20, 30, 40 million" to pay to watch each episode. For reference, American Idol averages 30 million (non-paying) viewers while UFC, a successful pay franchise, draws about one million viewers per fight. After the Vegas X Factor has taken off, Cowell will pack Chinese acrobat Paula Abdul into a briefcase and shop the live competition show around the world. [Hollywood Reporter]

Anne Hathaway returns to Springfield, Charlize Theron heads south with 32 footballers, and more TV Bites after the jump.

· NBC is developing yet another legal drama, but this one, Tommy Supreme, has an everyman quality to it. From scribe Barry Schindel, the project is based on the true story of Tom Goldstein, an accomplished poker player who wound up arguing before the Supreme Court as a first-year law graduate, and proceeded to argue over 20 cases before the judicial body. Let's hope there is a guest spot for William Shatner as, say, a libidinous and unethical mentor. [Variety]

· Collect your money. Regis Philbin's hip surgery was successful. Maybe he is not quite ready to bequeath his Live With Regis and Kelly spot to Anderson Cooper. [Reuters]

· Poor Ugly Betty is moving again, this time to Wednesday night at 10 PM. Packing is always a drag but even Wilhelmina knows that coasting off of Supernanny's Friday viewership, was a cruel position to be in. Wake up and smell the aromatherapy! [Variety]

· Charlize Theron will host Nelson Mandela, David Beckham and 32 professional footballers during Friday's draw for next year's World Cup finals. The event, held in Capetown, South Africa, will air at 12 PM EST. [USA Today]

· Pre-order your sprinkle donuts. The Simpsons will conclude their 20th anniversary celebration with Morgan Spurlock's hourlong special The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: in 3-D! on Ice on Sunday, January 10 at 8:30 PM EST. At 8 PM, Bart will star in his 450th episode alongside guest star Anne Hathaway. Below, a clip of the Oscar-nominated actress in Springfield last April, playing Bart's Good Samaritan love interest. [Associated Press]