Voice From the Grave: Whitney Houston couldn't save herself, but she sure saved Oprah. The mogul's interview with Houston's grieving family helped resuscitate OWN, Winfrey's flagging cable network. Oprah was at her talk-show best, whipping the affair into one of her perfectly orchestrated, quasi-religious experiences. Houston's relatives attempted to put a bright spin on the singer's death and her addictions. "Things were really changing," sister-in-law Patricia said. A true statement, at least, for OWN: 3.5 million watched the special, the channel's biggest ratings bonanza ever. Says one entertainment source who worked with Houston: "I would not have advised her family to do that interview. The whole thing just seemed odd. But it was good for Oprah."
A Rousing Revenge: Reproductive rights is serious stuff, but one Ohio woman is having the last laugh. Nina Turner, a 44-year-old state senator, is pushing a new bill that would make Viagra prescriptions as difficult to come by as abortions. "For far too long, female policymakers have abdicated our responsibilities to protect men's sexual health," she deadpans to Newsweek. Turner thinks men should submit to cardiac stress tests and go to counseling where they discuss their, um, progress with the little blue pill. Though aging lotharios may quake at Turner's proposal, at least one fellow appears to be on board: her husband. "He understands this is about equality," she says.
Losing Bet: Luck ran out for HBO's much-hyped horse-racing drama: the network abruptly canceled the show last week, sending Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte to the unemployment line. …