Today's News: Our Take


MOURNED

Prolific TV director Earl Bellamy, who helmed such shows as The Lone Ranger, CHiPs, The Munsters, Eight Is Enough and My Three Sons, died of a heart attack Sunday in New Mexico. He was 86. read more

FROM JUSTIN TO SURREAL LIFE?

RCA has reportedly dropped American Idol runner-up Justin Guarini from its ranks due to the abysmal sales of his self-titled debut album. The news comes just a week after Guarini was conspicuously absent from Fox's American Idol Christmas special, which, ironically enough, proved to be a wise career move. read more

WHEN LUKE MET SALLY...

Luke Perry will channel his inner Billy Crystal in the London stage adaptation of When Harry Met Sally, which opens Feb. 20 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Producers are still looking for an actress to play Meg Ryan's Sally role. read more

A MOUSE DIVIDED

Another vocal critic of Walt Disney chairman Michael Eisner has resigned from the Mouse House's board of directors. Just a day after news broke that Roy O. Disney was leaving the company, Stanley Gold has announced that he too is vacating his seat on the board. Both men plan to use their status as ex-board members to pressure investors and the public to oust Eisner. read more

FEST OF SHOW

Organizers of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival have announced this year's lineup, and it includes 45 movies that no one has ever heard of. The 11-day fest kicks off Jan. 15 in Park City, Utah. read more

CHOICE KUDOS

This is how it's done at the People's Choice Awards: Nominations for TV's annual popularity contest are out and Fox's The O.C. will face off against CBS's Cold Case and Joan of Arcadia for Favorite New Dramatic Series. The finalists for Favorite New Comedy Series, meanwhile, are Hope & Faith, Two and a Half Men and Whoopi. Elsewhere, it was business as usual, with Kelsey Grammer, Ray Romano and Martin Sheen vying for Favorite Male TV Performer and Jennifer Aniston, Debra Messing and Oprah Winfrey up for Favorite Female TV Performer. The only real surprise came in the Favorite Reality-Based Program category, in which nods went to Fear Factor, Survivor and The Bachelor — but not American Idol. (I blame Paula.) The ceremony, airing Jan. 11 on CBS, will be hosted by Two And A Half Men co-stars Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer. read more

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Siegfried & Roy illusionist Roy Horn, who continues to recover from October's tiger attack, may be well enough to return to Las Vegas for Christmas. That's according to Siegfried Fischbacher, who said on the Today show that his longtime partner "is moving now, little by little. [He's] speaking a few words... but this develops also every day." Horn remains hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. read more

Average Joe Zach, you got what...

Average Joe
Zach, you got what you deserved. When Melana whipped off that mask to reveal that what you called a DUFF (Dumb Ugly Fat Friend) was actually the top prize in disguise, your face said it all. We almost felt sorry for you when Melana called you forward to tell you she hoped you had learned your lesson, but the little temper tantrum after you were discarded and the whining about how "this isn't reality" put a quick end to the pity party. Bye-bye.

Adam, you scored big points at every turn, especially for making Melana cry with that soliloquy about feeling like a giddy teenager whenever you're around her. If that was just a line, it was a good one, but I think it was honest 'cause something tells me you're a horrible liar. Obviously Melana agrees. It looks like you're in a good position to pull an upset worthy of Seabiscuit and debunk the adage that says nice guys always finish last. My money says this one doesn't finish second, read more

AFTER M*A*S*H

It looks like CBS wants to milk its M*A*S*H cow a little more. According to Variety, the network is mulling a behind-the-scenes M*A*S*H movie titled M*A*S*Hback. The project would cast new actors in the classic roles and tell the story from Larry Gelbart's pilot script to the death of McLean Stevenson's character, Lt. Col. Henry Blake. That M*A*S*H theme song always makes me weepy. Just thought I'd share. read more

Question: I seem to remember ...

Question: I seem to remember there being a cartoon version of the movie Fantastic Voyage, only none of the characters from the film were in it. I can't find any references to it. Can you tell me the name of the show and the dates it was on? — Susan W., Sante Fe, N.M.

Televisionary: Indeed I can, Susan. The show was called, of all things, Fantastic Voyage, and it ran on ABC's Saturday-morning schedule for two years beginning in September 1968.

Taking the concept behind the 1966 film and running with it, the show centered on the exploits of the Combined Miniature Defense Force (CMDF), a group of hero scientists and explorers who would shrink to microscopic size to go on missions impossible for life-size folks.

Ted Knight (The Mary Tyler Moore Show) provided voices for several of the characters on the Filmation production, including eyepatch-wearing command read more

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