Today's News: Our Take


Question: My mom said she saw ...

Question: My mom said she saw Spike Lee on TV, claiming he owns Spike TV. I think he was claiming to own the name. Who owns Spike TV? — Lisa, Orient, Ohio

Televisionary: Media giant Viacom owns the name and the network, plus CBS, Showtime, MTV and a number of other holdings. Lee sued the company back in June, claiming it was unfairly trading on his name by changing the former TNN's name to Spike. But the two sides eventually settled and made nice, and Spike TV launched in August 2003.

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Question: I was watching a ...

Question: I was watching a rerun of Little House on the Prairie the other day and I was wondering if you could tell me how long that show aired. I know it was a long time because the woman who played Laura started out as a little girl and at the end she was a woman with children of her own, but I can't seem to find a Web site. I hope you can help. Thanks. — Tracy

Televisionary: Can't find a Web site? What about our ShowGuide, or the Televisionary search function at the top of this page? Why, just for that, young lady, I'm not gonna tell you. I'm gonna make you read the results of this Televisionary search and our ShowGuide page for yourself!

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THEY'RE NOT TIC-TACS

Ozzy Osbourne says his bizarre behavior on MTV's The Osbournes was the result of a 42-pill-per-day habit that he blames on a Beverly Hills doctor. Osbourne told the Los Angeles Times that his doc overprescribed a host of powerful antipsychotic and tranquilizing drugs. "I was wiped out on pills," he says. "I couldn't talk. I couldn't walk. I could barely stand up. I was lumbering about like the Hunchback of Notre Dame." On the bright side, it made for some great television. read more

MARRIAGE-MINDED

Gwyneth Paltrow and rocker Chris Martin — who announced last week that they were expecting their first child this summer — have applied for a marriage license in Santa Barbara County, Entertainment Tonight reports. The license is valid for 90 days. read more

GAY KUDOS

HBO's epic masterpiece Angels in America, Bravo's increasingly-grating Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and ESPN's sure-to-be-axed drama Playmakers are among the top nominees for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's (GLAAD) annual media awards. read more

LIVE WIRE

As predicted, Paris Hilton made her first post-sex tape TV appearance over the weekend on Saturday Night Live. The Simple Life star gamely tackled the scandal head-on during a "Weekend Update" segment that found her submitting to a double entendre-laced inquisition from Jimmy Fallon. read more

HERE COMES MOMMY

Here's some "TV News" scoop from the new issue of TV Guide magazine (on newsstands today): Kathleen Wilhoite — best remembered for her role as Dr. Lewis's nutty sis on ER — has been cast as Jess's never-before-seen mom (and Luke's sibling) on Gilmore Girls. She first appears in the Jan. 27 episode, which also marks the return of Milo Ventimiglia's Jess. read more

Tobey Maguire: Oscar-worthy?

Seabiscuit doesn't horse around. The acclaimed film, about the Depression-era racehorse and his rider Red Pollard, took a $110 million bite out of the box office and could win big again on Jan. 27 — that's Oscar nomination day. But Tobey Maguire, who shed 23 pounds from his 5'8" frame to play Pollard, brushes off any talk of a possible nod for himself. "I'm a young guy," says the 28-year-old, never-nominated star. "Right now I'm not concerned with that kind of thing." Instead, like Martha Stewart and her salad, he's here to talk about the Seabiscuit DVD. Due for release Dec. 16 in a single-disc format and a two-disc gift set, it boasts some rare extras — including setside photos (taken by Maguire's co-star, Jeff Bridges) and director Gary Ross delivering read more

Billy Elliot Star Bares All!


Americans know Julie Walters as Ron Weasley's mom in the Harry Potter movies and as Billy Elliot's scrappy ballet teacher. Next up, she drops the maternal routine and strips down with Helen Mirren in Calendar Girls (opening Dec. 19). Yes, the 53-year-old British actress appears nude — although tastefully so — in the true story of some fiftysomething Englishwomen who pose for a cheesecake calendar in order to raise cash for charity. Did she hit the gym to prepare for this daunting task?

"I knew as soon as the script came that [nudity] was inherent in it, somewhere," Walters recalls. "I thought, 'What is this going to be? And what are they going to see?' Because I hadn't done any exercise in a couple of years. And I'm not exactl read more

OPRAH BOYCOTTS DAVE

Despite repeated on-air pleas, David Letterman probably won't be guesting on The Oprah Winfrey Show anytime soon. Or vice versa. Winfrey tells Time magazine that during her previous two appearances on Letterman's Late Show she was "sort of like the butt of his jokes. I felt completely uncomfortable sitting in that chair, and I vowed I would not ever put myself in that position again." I'm sure that whole "Uma, Oprah" debacle didn't help either. read more

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