Today's News: Our Take


Question: Please, please ...

Question: Please, please help! I am a loyal reader of your column and I love it. I am begging you to answer this question as it has been driving me crazy for years. No bets on the line, just my sanity. On the final episode of M*A*S*H, Charles befriends a group of North Korean musicians. He then tries to teach them to play a piece by Mozart. Can you tell me the name of this piece? I am almost positive it was Mozart, but I could be wrong on that point. — Karen, Minneapolis

Televisionary: Insanity begone! It was indeed Mozart. "Quintet for Clarinet and Strings" (K. 581), in fact. (But the musicians were Chinese, not North Korean.)

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Question: Can you please tell ...

Question: Can you please tell me if the woman who played Batgirl is still alive? Did she do any other television shows or commercials after she stopped playing her? — Lori H., Flint, Mich.

Televisionary: That she is, Lori, and that she did, though Yvonne Craig's acting work has tailed off as she's gotten into and out of various other businesses (real estate, prepaid phone cards) and done some writing (her autobiography, From Ballet to Batcave and Beyond, came out some years back). Her post-Batman TV work includes guest spots on such shows as The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, It Takes a Thief, The Mod Squad, Star Trek, Love, American Style, Mannix, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Land of the Giants, Emergency!, read more

Question: After watching the ...

Question: After watching the Andy Griffith Show reunion, the thought occurred to me: Was Opie's mother ever mentioned in the show? I think in the early years they might have said something about "Ma," but was her name or her fate ever mentioned? Also, what was Aunt Bee's relationship to Andy? Was she the sister of one of his parents or one of Mrs. Taylor's parents? — Jeff B., Hartley, Del.

Televisionary: "Ma" was the only mention the first Mrs. Taylor ever received, and that only happened twice: in the episode of The Danny Thomas Show that served as a backdoor pilot for Andy Griffith and in the episode "Wedding Bells for Aunt Bee." Other than those two times, the poor woman was ignored.

As for Aunt Bee herself, she was Andy's aunt on his father's side. That, of course, didn't stop nearly everyone else in town from calling her "Aunt" as well. read more

STAR PERFORMER

It's official: ABC's Dancing with the Stars is a summer smash. Last night's episode attracted nearly 15 million viewers, up 1.4 million from last week's boffo bow. Maybe now the judges can cut poor Kelly Monaco some freakin' slack! read more

Question: I'm an Italian fan ...

Question: I'm an Italian fan of Dawson's Creek. I was in the U.S. but I came back to Italy before I could see the last episode. I read about what happened on the show's official website, but I don't know which of them dies. Thanks a lot. — Andrea, Taranto, Italy

Televisionary: OK, spoiler alert: Everyone who hasn't seen this yet and doesn't want it ruined, stop reading now. It was Jen (Michelle Williams), done in by a bum ticker. Jack (Kerr Smith) stepped up and volunteered to raise her kid.

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Question: I have a question ...

Question: I have a question that has been killing me for a long time. Every time the Nielsen ratings come up, they always display ratings for a certain show by age range. For instance, on a recent TV show, they said that it received the most viewers between the ages of 18-24. How on earth do they know how old the viewers are? How do they know if adults or teens watch their shows? While we are on the subject, how do they calculate the viewer numbers? Is our television some kinda tracking device? Basically, how do they know who is watching? — Johanna D.

Televisionary: Your TV isn't a tracking device, Johanna, but the boxes the folks at Nielsen place in sample families' homes certainly are. I've covered this before, but it's been a while, so what the heck? Others are probably wondering about this kind of thing, too. Here are the basics.

Nielsen uses a representative sample of U.S. TV households to determine who's watching what and when since covering all of the 99 m read more

SHORT CUTS

In what has to be a blow to Ryan Seacrest, Bob Costas has inked a deal with CNN to serve as Larry King's regular substitute host on Larry King Live... Diane Sawyer's Primetime interview with Brad Pitt Tuesday night drew a time slot-winning 11.2 million viewers — all of them bored out of their minds. read more

Question: I saw Matthew Perry ...

Question: I saw Matthew Perry on an episode of The West Wing, and I was just wondering which episode it was. — Jessi, Clinton, Ind.

Televisionary: I can't say for sure since he's played lawyer Joe Quincy in three episodes: Season 4's "Evidence of Things Not Seen" and "Life on Mars," and Season 5's "Separation of Powers."

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A GOOD SIGN

Dave Chappelle and Comedy Central are talking again. According to the Associated Press, the stressed-out comic met with Comedy Central president Doug Herzog Friday for the first time since his unscheduled "spiritual retreat" shut down production of Chappelle's Show. There's no word as to what was discussed at the meeting, but it's safe to say the phrase "cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" came up once or twice. read more

Beauty and the Geek Are the challenges...

Beauty and the Geek
Are the challenges on this show designed solely to get the women into skimpy outfits? And wasn't it a little weird that Bill The Dukes of Hazzard fanboy seemed more excited by the Daisy Duke shorts than the teeny bikinis? Thankfully, Ashton and Co. decided to have the guys keep their clothes on. It actually looks like the actor's social experiment is working, as Erika realized how superficial she'd been about dating after meeting her new fling, Brad — I'm real sure that relationship is gonna last in the real world. Too bad her epiphany came just as she and her adorable partner, Joe, were kicked off. Richard managed to save himself with his OTT brown-nosing and wacky behavior. He can't really be that socially inept, can he? And there is no way that he was read more

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