Today's News: Our Take


THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS

With Law & Order's Elisabeth Rohm leaving early next year to pursue a film career (buh-bye), exec producer Dick Wolf has narrowed down the search for a new assistant D.A. to five actresses. As reported in the current issue of TV Guide magazine, the finalists will be flown to New York later this week to shoot a full screen test with costar Sam Waterston and play hide-and-seek with S. Epatha Merkerson. read more

NOW FEAR THIS

Five reality stars and one serial fabricator have signed on to appear in a February sweeps episode of Fear Factor, USA Today reports. The participants include Survivor alums Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca, Amazing Race stud Reichen Lehmkuhl, The Bachelorette's Ryan Sutter, American Idol also-ran Nikki McKibbin and Apprentice hell-raiser Omarosa. It's not clear what challenges they face, but a Fear source reports seeing a lie detector being wheeled onto the set. read more

Trading Spouses When was the last...

Trading Spouses
When was the last time you saw a well-adjusted, soft-spoken, non-neurotic Jewish wife on TV? Well you won't see her in this week's episode. Anne Marie is the peppy, prayer-happy Christian who "likes to bless people." Stephanie is the pushy, complaining, loudmouth Jew who's the boss at home. (You think the families will love them, or what?) Stephanie's husband isn't interested when Anne Marie offers hokey advice on teaching his kids abstinence. (She actually likens "purity" to a piece of chocolate, which gets messier the more it's passed around. Uh-huh...) And Anne Marie's church group is appalled when Stephanie applies lipstick in the middle of a Bible-study class. ("We pray for all the people involved in the show," says the teacher. "The editors especially, Lord.") While Anne Marie gets to be the saint, Stephanie plays the bitch, and yet another ugly stereotype is reinforced.

The Swan
When sisters Kari read more

DEAR SALLY...

Here's another little scoop nugget from the current TV Guide: J.J. Abrams tells me he's "actively looking" to reteam with his former Felicity muse, Keri Russell, on a new project. "We've been talking a lot recently," he says. "I'm determined to work with her again — really soon. I miss her terribly." Welcome to my world. read more

Question: I see you like ...

Question: I see you like Cartoon Network. I am a big fan of their Justice League series, and my question is this. Per Cartoon Network's episode guide to their series, they created 13 episodes, but only ran eight. Will the other five ever be seen and, if so, when? I hope you can assuage my curiosity. Thanks. — Joanne, Norcross, Ga.

Televisionary: I'm not sure which Justice League series you mean, but I can tell you this: Cartoon Network produced 52 episodes of the original Justice League series and has aired them all, a spokeswoman pal tells me. They've ordered 26 of Justice League Unlimited, have received nine of those, and are airing them as they come in.

read more

Question: Can you clear ...

Question: Can you clear something up for me? Who or what are the Katzenjammer Kids? My father-in-law has mentioned this name many times and I always thought they were friends of his growing up. (My husband just rolls his eyes and assumes his dad is just being weird.) But on the double-date episode of Gilmore Girls, Lorelei uttered that name before they started watching Pippi Longstocking. I almost choked and had to rewind my DVR to show my husband his father isn't so weird after all. Thanks. — Erica, New York, N.Y.

Televisionary: The Katzenjammer Kids, created in 1897 by cartoonist Rudolph Dirks, is the oldest newspaper comic strip still being run. It focuses on troublesome twins Fritz and Hans and their dealings with their mother, Mama, and der Captain, an old seaman they love to torment.

The comic found its way onto the screen in 1916 as a series of short cartoons, but production stopped whe read more

KISS AND TELL

Fresh off his Garden State success, Zach Braff is poised to star opposite Rachel McAdams in the romantic comedy The Last Kiss. A remake of the Italian film L'Ultimo Bacio, Kiss centers around a couple who are unsure whether they are meant to be together. read more

Question: Who was the ...

Question: Who was the narrator on The Wonder Years? Thank you. — Lou P., Toledo, Ohio

Televisionary: That was actor Daniel Stern (Breaking Away, Home Alone) narrating the series, which ran on ABC from March 1988 to September 1993. But you didn't know he was the voice of the adult Kevin Arnold because he was uncredited — and liked it that way.

"It's the perfect incognito part," Stern told TV Guide in 1990. "The main thing I do is movie acting. I don't want people listening to me in my movies thinking about me in The Wonder Years." It was also good for the show, he added, because "people really think it's Kevin's brain talking or Kevin in the future looking back."

It was a fun gig for Stern, who even got to parody himself as the voice of an adult Bart on The Simpsons read more

SHORT CUTS

ABC has picked up freshman comedies Rodney and Complete Savages for a full season... Spike Lee has tapped Keanu Reeves to star in The Night Watchman, a feature about a disgraced cop who discovers corruption inside a police department, Variety reports... Helen Hunt and Djimon Hounsou are in talks to star in 100 Days of Darkness, an FX original movie about the 1994 Rwandan genocide. read more

Question: What does (cc) mean ...

Question: What does (cc) mean in TV Guide? — Anuj, Austin, Tex.

Televisionary: It means a program features closed captioning — description and dialogue text for the deaf and hard of hearing.

read more

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