Today's News: Our Take

Question: When does NYPD Blue ...

Question: When does NYPD Blue come back? Line of Fire is OK, but it ain't no Blue! Thanks a heap! — T.W.S., Asheboro, N.C.

Televisionary: You're welcome a heap. NYPD Blue returns to ABC's schedule next Tuesday (Feb. 10) at 10 pm/ET.

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Question: Why was Cheers ...

Question: Why was Cheers cancelled? — Martha P., Ridgway, Colo.

Televisionary: It wasn't. Its creators decided to end the show after star Ted Danson, who played Cheers owner Sam Malone, threw in the towel and ended its successful 11-year run on NBC (September 1982 to August 1993).

Your next question, I'm sure: Why did Danson want to quit? Basically, as he told it at the time, he simply wanted to move on to other things. "[O]nce Ted decided not to come back, it was all academic," Cheers executive producer and cocreator Les Charles told TV Guide in 1993. "We would not do the show without Ted."

Since the network and Paramount, which produced the show, wanted to go for another season, as did nearly all of the cast, and making that call meant he was single-handedly putting people out of work and disappointing an audience that wanted more, Danson went to impressive lengths to avoid takin read more

Question: On the TV show I ...

Question: On the TV show I Dream of Jeannie, why did Major Healy have a green Air Force uniform, while everyone else had a blue uniform? — Monica, Maywood, Ill.

Televisionary: Roger Healey (Bill Daily) was in the Army Corps of Engineers, and thus wore a green uniform. Anthony Nelson (Larry Hagman) was in the Air Force, so his uniform was blue.

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Question: There is a series ...

Question: There is a series of revolting TV commercials for Hungry Man Frozen Dinners which use grossly overweight men telling each other what they ate for dinner the night before. I wondered if My Big Fat Obnoxious Fianc&#233's Steven Bailey is one of the two guys in the locker room (wearing just towels — yuck!). He's the one who mentions the "little sprig of parsley." I swear it's him! — Bob C., Petaluma, Cal.

Televisionary: That's him, alright, Bob. Good eyes (though I'm sure you cursed them after they burned that particular image into your brain.)

Yes, Mr. Bailey currently appears in ads for both Hungry Man and Dawn Power Dissolver. His guest appearances on other shows include work on Becker, Nash Bridges, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Wil read more

Question: On a recent episode ...

Question: On a recent episode of Joan of Arcadia, they read a poem for Rocky's funeral. Can you tell me who wrote the poem? — Veronica, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Televisionary: Not only can I tell you, Veronica, I can present it here for you.

The poem read in the Jan. 9 episode has been shared and sent around the world with slightly different wording, different titles, and with its lines in varying order to comfort the bereaved after major disasters, terrorist attacks and the deaths of ordinary people. (Four lines have even been lost along the way.) It's been set to music, used on cards and in various needlepoint projects and was even read by John Wayne at Howard Hawks' funeral. Most of the people who've quoted it never knew who the author was.

Over the years, many different people have claimed authorship, even driving researchers working on the Dear Abby column to distraction when they tried to read more

Question: Please refresh my ...

Question: Please refresh my memory. Didn't What I Like About You's Allison Munn, who plays Val's friend, play Fez's girlfriend on That '70s Show? — Mark S., Westmont, N.J.

Televisionary: That she did, Mark. She was Caroline, clingy girlfriend to Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) on the hit FOX comedy. You may also have spotted her on such shows as Now and Again, Boston Public, JAG or Charmed.

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Bud Light's spot featuring a crotch-biting mutt ranked as the most popular Super Bowl commercial, according to USA Today's annual ad meter contest. The 136 adults polled also gave high marks to Pepsi's ad, in which a bear disguises himself as his human owner, and Frito-Lay's spot featuring Grandma and Grandpa fighting over a bag of chips. Surprisingly, no one seemed to like FedEx's alien office worker ad — which was my personal favorite. Eh, what do I know. read more

Dynasty Diva Redux

Now that ABC has given the green light to a TV-movie about the making of Aaron Spelling's seminal primetime soap, Dynasty, execs are pulling out their hair — and not because they are imitating babelicious bruisers Joan Collins and Linda Evans, either. (If that were the case, they'd be pulling one another's hair!) The suits are faced with the daunting task of finding two actresses who could fill out their predecessors' Nolan Miller evening gowns. But not to worry: As always, we've got a few bright ideas. See if you don't agree that Krystle and Alexis Carrington would be well played by:

Suzanne Somers and read more


It'll likely go down as one of the most thrilling moments in Super Bowl history — and I'm not talking about the New England Patriots' victory-clinching field goal during the final seconds of last night's game. I'm referring to the climax of the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show when Justin Timberlake tore off part of Janet Jackson's black leather bustier, prompting my brother David to shout: "I just saw Janet Jackson's boobie!" CBS immediately issued an apology for the incident, which Timberlake later dubbed an unfortunate "wardrobe malfunction." MTV, which produced the halftime show, said the striptease was "unrehearsed, unplanned, completely unintentional." The NFL said it was probably the music network's Super Bowl swan song. "It's unlikely that MTV will produce another Super Bowl halftime," said NFL exec vice president Joe Brown, who was last seen chomping read more


With the country's rapt attention focused on Janet Jackson's boobie, er, I mean the Super Bowl, it was a slow weekend at the box office — with one exception. The urban dance flick You Got Served surprised industry analysts by debuting at No. 1 with a potent $16 million. Two other newcomers — the SAT heist flick The Perfect Score and the Owen Wilson comedy The Big Bounce — flunked, taking in a combined $8 million. Meanwhile, last week's Oscar nods gave a slight boost to best picture contenders Lord of the Rings, Mystic River, Master and Commander and Lost in Translation. read more

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