Today's News: Our Take

Question: I was wondering if ...

Question: I was wondering if you could tell me who plays the principal on Joan of Arcadia. — Catherine, Ypsilanti, Mich.

Televisionary: Sure thing. Morocco Omari plays Principal Stephen Chadwick on the hit CBS series. You may also have caught him in guest appearances on such shows as Dragnet, Angel, Judging Amy and The District. (And to answer your next question, Vice Principal Gavin Price is played by Patrick Fabian.)

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Question: I was wondering: On ...

Question: I was wondering: On the series Murphy Brown, did they ever disclose the identity of the father of Murphy's baby? If so, who was it? — Alex S., Fresno, Calif.

Televisionary: They did indeed. It was Murphy's ex-husband, Jake (Robin Thomas). The baby was conceived when Murphy and Jake had a brief return to physical relations and Jake was willing to remarry her, but she turned him down.

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Question: My wife and I were ...

Question: My wife and I were talking about how much weight Al Roker and other heavy celebrities have lost and I got to thinking about Raymond Burr, who starred in Perry Mason. Didn't he lose a tremendous amount of weight at one time? — Lawrence F., Taos, N.M.

Televisionary: That's part of what got him the role, Lawrence. And it was before the days of gastic-bypass surgery, too.

Having grown up being teased about his size, 340-pound Burr hit Hollywood after serving in the Navy in World War II and decided to do something about his weight. With the same single-mindedness he brought to his roles and nearly all other aspects of his life, he shut himself up in a fleabag motel and subsisted on 750 calories a day, eating mainly cottage cheese and other low-cal foods. Six months later, he emerged a trim 210 — not a bad number for a large-framed man who stood 6-foot-2½.

From there his fil read more


Nip/Tuck has tapped X-Men babe Famke Janssen to play the life coach of Joely Richardson's basket-case character, Julia. Janssen will appear in at least 12 episodes of the FX drama, which kicks off its second season in June. read more


Eddie Murphy's wisecracking Donkey character from Shrek will guest-star in an episode of DreamWorks' much-hyped CGI-animated comedy Father of the Pride, which debuts this fall on NBC. The series focuses on a family of white lions performing in Siegfried & Roy's Las Vegas show. According to Variety, the pilot episode will make subtle reference to Roy Horn's tiger attack last fall. read more


Paris Hilton was thrown from a horse Friday during production of The Simple Life 2 in Florida. The celebutante-turned-home-video star was airlifted to the nearest Barneys, er, I mean hospital, where doctors quickly determined that everyone had overreacted. She was released later that day. read more

Meet J.Lo's ''Daughter''

While most 9-year-olds just watch movies and TV shows, pint-sized Long Islander Raquel Castro works in them. After smaller gigs in Sesame Street and Third Watch, she got her big break playing the offspring of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in Jersey Girl (opening Friday). Thanks to her Bennifer connection, the energetic kid has begun fantasizing about life as a celebrity.

"I'm hoping that, after this movie, people will realize who I am," she giddily says, "because I like signing autographs. I want to be able to go to the mall and McDonald's and everything, but I want to sign autographs because it read more

Eden Vixen: ''Nobody's Dead... Yet!''

Thus far, the hard-bodied lunkheads of Fox's unofficial Paradise Hotel sequel, Forever Eden, have failed to generate the kind of horndog hysterics that their predecessors did. But we're still tuning in (as we will again tonight at 9 pm/ET), to catch host Ruth England casting out the bad apples. Honest to God, the Brit bombshell seems to delight in delivering bad news almost as much as we enjoy watching her do it. "That must be your imagination," she insists to TV Guide Online, then laughs. "Actually, I do feel a little evil some of the time. Friendly-nasty... or sexy-menacing; that's what I'm going for.

"Half the people there hate me," she goes on, sighing. "We're recording 24/7, and I hear what they say about me — they get quite nervous when I walk up. But I'm the messenger, and the messenger often gets blamed."

Truth be told, England doesn't much mind sending shivers down the spines of the pampered money-grubbers. For all the R& read more


A bunch of crazed zombies proved a bigger draw than Jesus Christ this weekend as Universal's Dawn of the Dead remake opened at No. 1 with $27.3 million, knocking The Passion of the Christ out of the top spot for the first time in a month. Don't feel too badly for Christ, though; Mel Gibson's little-religious-flick-that-could pocketed another $19.2 million for a total of $295.3 million. Elsewhere, Angelina Jolie's new thriller Taking Lives debuted at No. 3 with $11.4 million while Jim Carrey's quirky romance Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind — which played on far fewer screens — bowed at No. 6 with a very bright $8.6 million. read more


Janet Jackson thanked fans for being there "during the good times as well as the bad" at Saturday's Soul Train Music Awards, where the 37-year-old Boobygate star was honored with a career achievement award. "Your love and support has always been a great source of comfort," she added, "especially in these last few weeks." Jackson nearly stole the spotlight from the night's big winner, hip-hop duo OutKast, who won album of the year for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and best video for "Hey Ya!" read more

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