Today's News: Our Take


Question: There was a song ...

Question: There was a song played twice in the pilot episode of the addictive, mind-boggling, fabulously wonderful 4400. It started, "Hush, baby, don't you cry" or something to that effect. Can you tell me who sings it and how I can get a copy? I would be forever in your debt. My roommate and I have watched it three times, and have exclaimed out loud all three times, "That is a great song! We have to have it!" Please help us! — Taunja, Normal, Ill.

Televisionary: But of course, Taunja — just as I did in my April 6 column when James asked about the theme song from Kingdom Hospital. The answer is the same: It's Ivy's "Worry About You" and you'll find it on their 2001 CD, Long Distance (Nettwerk).

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Question: What's up with ...

Question: What's up with every political ad starting and/or ending with "My name is (insert politician's name here) and I approved this message"? Is this some kind of new FCC regulation, or is it just something that the advertising industry and politicians think sounds way cool? — Jon B., Atlanta, Ga.

Televisionary: Neither, Jon (though I can't really say for sure on the second point — maybe some of them do think it's way cool). Those statements are required on all radio and TV ads paid for and produced by the candidates themselves. That's in keeping with the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law, which went into effect last year.

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Question: Hi. I'm Stacey ...

Question: Hi. I'm Stacey Scowley's publicist. Thought I'd mention that interestingly enough, the girl who Kate is getting her confused with is Lara Boyd Rhodes, who co-starred in Pi&#241ata and is, coincidentally, very close friends with Stacey. They get this all the time. — Amy F., Los Angeles, Cal.

Televisionary: The extra info is much appreciated, Amy. I thank you, and I'm betting Kate thanks you, too. (For any of you who didn't read the question in question — and shame on you for not keeping up, you laggards — see my July 20 column.

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Question: Is it true that ...

Question: Is it true that Family Matters was supposed to be called Urkel? There's some serious money riding on this. Thank you. — Marci G., Natchitoches, La.

Televisionary: No, it's not true, Marci. But considering how quickly nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel (played by Jaleel White) stole the show out from under his costars, it might as well have been.

Thing is, White wasn't even supposed to be a costar when he auditioned for the role. As written, Urkel was intended to make a one-time appearance 12 episodes into the first season (the show debuted in September 1989 on ABC). According to executive producer Thomas L. Miller, however, that changed as soon as White recited his lines in front of 50 or so actors, writers and producers his first time out. "When he started reading, the whole room screamed," he said. "I turned to my partner, Bob Boyett, and said, 'We have to sign this kid'."

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I SEE VILLAGE PEOPLE

Here's another little tip about the mysterious monsters terrorizing The Village: They attract some serious green. The latest mystery-thriller from M. Night Shyamalan debuted at No. 1 with an estimated $50.8 million. It ranks as the auteur's second-best opening ever, behind 2002's Signs ($60 million). The Bourne Supremacy slipped to No. 2 with $23.4 million, followed by Denzel Washington's Manchurian Candidate redo, which bowed with a respectable $22.2 million. Meanwhile, here's one more clue about those Village creatures: They stand three apples tall and live in mushroom houses — and that's all you're gettin' from me. read more

BEWARE, KIDS

The conservative family watchdog group Parents Television Council has named the WB drama Everwood the worst TV show for family viewing. Runners-up include Fox's That '70s Show, NBC's Fear Factor and CBS's Cold Case. The Eye net's Joan of Arcadia topped the best list, followed by Doc (Pax), Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye (Pax), Reba (WB) and 7th Heaven (WB). In related news, if anyone knows what the heck Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye is, please let me know. read more

HOLIDAY HORROR

Tin-eared American Idol reject William Hung is banging out a Christmas album. Little is known about the CD, except that it'll make Santa's ears bleed. read more

FAMILY WAY

Fox will air two Family Guy mini-marathons opposite NBC's Olympics coverage on Aug. 18 and 25 from 8 to 10 pm/ET, Variety reports. This will mark the first time the show has aired on Fox since the network axed it in 2002. Original episodes of the cult phenom will debut on Fox next year. read more

Natalie Portman's Garden Secrets


Natalie Portman isn't a Jersey girl by birth (she's actually a Long Island native), but she certainly makes a convincing one in her latest film, Garden State. She plays Sam, an Annie Hall-like young woman who strikes up a relationship with the film's Benjamin Braddock-like hero, Andrew (played by Scrubs star Zach Braff). The role gave Portman the chance to wear ordinary clothes for once, unlike the elaborate costumes she sports as Amidala in those Star Wars prequels.

"Sam was a fun character to play because she doesn't really hide anything," says the 23-year-old actress. "She gets to have all of this weirdness hanging out. I enjoyed doing a small movie like this. It's not about big special effects or opening-weekend grosses. It's about creating something together that people will enjoy."

Portman agreed to appear in Garden State after meeting with writer-director Braff, with whom she clicked right away. But read more

Amazing Race's Internet Lovers

There's one thing you can say for sure about Bob and Joyce: These senior citizens definitely don't look like your typical Internet-dating couple. Still, the latest team to face Philimination on CBS's The Amazing Race (Tuesdays, 10pm/ET) was also one of the most popular thanks to their upbeat attitudes, strong racing skills and all-around good-heartedness. Here the New Jersey natives reminisce about their first date, and look ahead to the future.

TV Guide Online: So tell us the story of how you met.
Joyce:
We met through Match.com. I had been a widow for a long time and didn't have much of a personal life. I was raising my three children and working hard. My son, who is a software engineer, told me, "Mom, you need a life. Go on the Internet. It's the only way you'll be able to do this." And I said, "No way." But he insisted and helped me put my profile on Match.com. Lo and behold, Bob came on...
Bob: And I saw her profile. Actually, I pass read more

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