Today's News: Our Take


Another day, another high-profile fall casualty. Fox has scratched Skin from its lineup after three low-rated airings. The porn industry-set drama attracted just 4 million viewers last night. Fox will now air back-to-back episodes of Joe Millionaire on Mondays through November. read more

Question: While we were ...

Question: While we were watching a TV commercial using the song "Route 66," my mom claimed she dated the guy who wrote the song and that he played a doctor on Emergency!. While I know you can't confirm whether she dated him, can you at least tell me if he actually wrote the song? — Kate R., New York, N.Y.

Televisionary: Indeed he did, Kate. Bobby Troup, a bandleader, musician and actor, wrote the famed "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" in 1946 while driving cross country from his native Pennsylvania to Los Angeles to chase his music-career dreams. "He showed it to Nat King Cole. Nat loved it and he had a charmed life ever since," a friend told Variety after Troup passed away in early 1999.

Nat wasn't the only one, either. The song has been recorded by a slew of musicians, ranging from Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters to The Rolling Stones and Depeche Mode (and is sometimes confused with the Nelson Riddle read more

Question: Help. I've been ...

Question: Help. I've been rattling my brain for weeks. What's the title of this TV show from the '80s? It starred a redhead and a Rob Morrow-type, both in their 20s. The plot was, they both worked in this antique shop and a lot of the items were cursed. Unfortunately, the last owner of the store didn't know that and had sold several items already. So in every episode, the two of them, along with the new store owner, some older english gentleman, I think, tried to retrieve one of the cursed items before it killed again. Help! — Alain

Televisionary: Stop rattling the old gray matter, Alain — you need that thing. Besides, the reason you can't think of the title is because it had pretty much nothing to do with the show.

Friday the 13th was a syndicated show, 78 episodes of which were produced from 1987-90. As you say, rather than focusing on the doings of the invincible Jason, it centered on a young woman (Louise Robey) who inherited an anti read more

Who says TV's not a great teaching...

Who says TV's not a great teaching tool? Here are a few things I learned tonight.

Dinner for Five
Lesson 1: Vince Vaughn is one crazy interrogator.
In 45 frighteningly hilarious seconds, the Old School star went from friend to foe and brow-beat a nervous-smoking Rory Cochrane of CSI: Miami into telling a true-but-really-uncomfortable story about the time he went to live with a Mexican guy he met in a phone booth. "Didn't you, when you first got here, move in with some family you met in a phone booth?" Vaughn grilled. "Isn't that true? It's true! Isn't it?" It was brutal and cruel and funny as all get-up. Dark minutes like that make me like this show, even though they never talk about the food which really, by the way, annoys me.

Fear Factor
Lesson 2: Don't trust reality show producers.
I can't be sure, but I think Fear Factor-types are trying to make female contestants' to read more

Question: The Incredible ...

Question: The Incredible Hulk's Peter Banner was married in the series, and then his wife passed away. What was the actress's real name?

Televisionary: It depends on which wife you mean. The first wife of David Banner (Bill Bixby) was played by Lara Parker (Dark Shadows). Already dead when the story began, she was seen only in flashback. His second wife was a psychiatrist played by Mariette Hartley (who won an Emmy for her troubles), but she, too, was doomed. (Why do you think he had that chip on his shoulder?) Both episodes are paired together on a DVD which Universal released in June.

read more

Question: I know The ...

Question: I know The Untouchables was a TV show before it was a movie. But my buddy says the TV show was based on another, older movie. Is he right? Only 20 bucks is riding on it, but I'd like to know. Thanks. — Craig T., Vancouver, Wash.

Televisionary: Technically speaking, your pal is right, Craig. Robert Stack first starred as gangbusting treasury-department legend Eliot Ness in a two-hour movie intended for overseas feature distribution. In the U.S., producer Desi Arnaz sold it as a two-part story for his CBS show, Desilu Playhouse and thought that was the end of it. But those early 1959 installments were big hits with audiences, so ABC execs came calling to launch it as a series.

Which would've been celebrated all around, except that none of the major players were much interested in doing a series at first. In fact, few of them had even been interested in making the initial movie to begin with, which makes read more

Question: Could you please ...

Question: Could you please tell me if Kathryne Dora Brown (Zola on Judging Amy) is Tyne Daly's biological daughter? They have a striking resemblance to each other. I've also seen the two of them in the movie The Wedding Dress. Please, help satisfy my curiosity. Thank you. — Lorraine M., Shirley, N.Y.

Televisionary: Indeed she is, Lorraine. Daly's former husband, actor Georg Stanford Brown (The Rookies), is her father.

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Question: On Beverly Hills, ...

Question: On Beverly Hills, 90210, what was the name of Andrea's daughter? — Ralph, Wellington, Fla.

Televisionary: The daughter of Andrea (Gabrielle Carteris) and Jesse (Mark Damon Espinoza) was named Hannah.

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Survivor Outcast Twist Explained

Shiver me timbers! If you skipped last week's Survivor: Pearl Islands, you missed quite possibly the biggest twist in Survivor history. Executive producer Mark Burnett went overboard with the pirate theme: He resurrected the show's six castoffs from Davy Jones's locker, allowing them a chance to swashbuckle their way back into the game!

Here's the sitch: Burton, Lill, Ryan S., Nicole, Michelle and Trish formed the new "Outcast" tribe. During a reward challenge between the remaining Drake and Morgan members, they exacted their revenge. By solving a convoluted puzzle first, they forced the existing tribes to go to tribal council and evict one member each. In their place, the Outcasts will be permitted to vote two castoffs back into the game. Cool! Yet, is it fair to give these losers a second chance?

"The first ever read more

Ghostbusters Star Turns TV Cop

What is Ernie Hudson best known for? "Ghostbusters comes up all the time," the 58-year-old actor tells TV Guide Online. "Yes, I was the black ghostbuster. It's nice to be in a movie that was so popular, but people always say, 'Hey Ernie! Who you gonna call?' Like it's so clever and I haven't heard it a million times."

Other fans who approach Hudson liked him on HBO's Oz as Warden Leo Glynn. Or else it's "the young kids who really liked Krull or The Basketball Diaries. And women who related to The Hand That Rocks the Cradle." Speaking of Cradle, we'll never forget that chilling scene where Rebecca DeMornay — as Peyton, the psycho nanny — bitch-slaps Hudson, who plays Solomon, the benevolent yet retarded handyman. T read more

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