Today's News: Our Take


Martha Stewart, who begins her five-month prison term on Oct. 8, has been designated federal inmate No. 55170-054. Interestingly, if you add up all those numbers, then multiply the total by 3 and then subtract 18, you get Stewart's age — 63. Talk about spooky. read more


Matt LeBlanc has found a new friend in John Travolta's wife. Kelly Preston has signed on to do a two-episode story arc on Joey this November, TV Guide Online has learned. Preston will play the best friend of Joey's sis, played by Drea de Matteo. According to a source close to the spin-off, producers initially eyed an Oscar-winning actress for the part, but the thesp ultimately passed. Here's a hint: It was not Meryl Streep. Or Brenda Fricker. Or Judi Dench.... read more


"If those girls are so scared, I can go ahead and drop them off in Harlem and see how long they last." — Apprentice castoff Stacie J. on her teammates' frightened reaction to her Magic 8-Ball freak-out during a Q&A with TV Guide Online. To read the rest of my interview with SJ, click here. read more


A majority of Americans do not think embattled CBS Newsman Dan Rather should be fired over Memogate. According to a new USA Today/CNN poll, 56 percent said that Rather and CBS made an "honest mistake" in its controversial story challenging President Bush's military service. Asked whether Rather should get axed, 64 percent said no. The rest were too stoned to answer. read more


In response to the recent storms affecting the southeastern U.S., Sesame Street is rerunning a five-part hurricane story line that originally aired in Feb. 2001. It shows Big Bird and Co. dealing with a nasty storm and its aftermath, and was written to help kids deal with their feelings about natural disasters. Look for the hurricane to hit Sesame Street (again) during the week of Oct. 4. read more

North Shore With Tessa's help,...

North Shore
With Tessa's help, Shannen Doherty's Alexandra seizes control of the Grand Waimea from Vincent and utters the most loathed and overused catchphrase since "Where's the beef?" — "You're fired." Alexandra may be a viper, but the words lacked bite without The Donald's signature cobra hand gesture. Anyhow, because of the baseball playoffs, we're gonna have to wait until November for new episodes. But there is one consolation: The show's moving to Thursdays, where it will be paired with The O.C. as a sudsy alternative to NBC's Sort-Of See lineup of Joey, Will & Grace and The Apprentice, and CBS heavy hitters Survivor and CSI.

Listen Up
Thankfully, Malcolm-Jamal Warner says tonight what I said about Jason Alexander's mouthy daughter last week: "I never would have gotten away with what she does. My father would have brought the hammer down." And while I was read more

Question: What was the ...

Question: What was the program with the Chinese detective named Sammo? — Bob, Deltona, Fla.

Televisionary: Tell you what, Bob, I'm going to make you happy with a new thing I'm doing. Since I receive multiple questions about shows I've already discussed, I'm going to link back to old answers more frequently so the curious newcomers can sleep at night with some comforting TV info to prompt pleasant dreams. You're thinking of Martial Law, and I wrote about it last September.

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Question: When I was a kid, ...

Question: When I was a kid, my older brother got to watch S.W.A.T., but I wasn't allowed to because my mom and dad said it was too violent. Looking back, I can't believe it was that bad. Was it? — Vicki V., Norman, Okla.

Televisionary: Well, "bad" is really a question of time period, Vicki. Was S.W.A.T. bad compared to, say, The Shield? Nope. But it was violent stuff for network TV in the mid-'70s, when it aired. And concern over the violence was also complicated by the post-Vietnam politics of the time, when plenty of pundits and viewers had had enough of gunplay and anything they took to be pro-police-state imagery.

During its run from February 1975 to June 1976 on ABC, S.W.A.T, like the recent feature film spawned by the seri read more

Question: I'm trying to ...

Question: I'm trying to collect all of the TV Guide covers with Charlie's Angels on them, Farrah to Tanya. Could you give me a list? — Pamela D., Florissant, Mo.

Televisionary: That I can. But working in the teach-a-man-to-fish vein, anyone looking for similar stuff can just head to our Cover Gallery and search away.

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Question: I was humming a ...

Question: I was humming a song from an old cartoon from my youth to my 6-year-old and would love to know all the words to it. Dick Dastardly sings it to his dog Smudley: "Wake up, Smudley. You're dreaming again. You're not Daniel Boone and you're not Gunga Din." Can you help? My brothers and I used to love this cartoon with Penelope Pitstop and gang. — Veda, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Televisionary: First things first, Veda. The dog's name was Muttley rather than Smudley. The song you're thinking of is from the "Magnificent Muttley" segment of Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines, which ran on CBS's Saturday-morning schedule for two years, beginning in September 1969. As you probably remember, the second Wacky Races spin-off (The Perils of Penelope Pitstop was the first) revolved around Dastardly, Muttley and Co. flying around in their World War I planes, trying to stop the brave (and annoying) Yankee Doodle pigeon.

The "Magnifice read more

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