Question: What was the number-one television show for 1984? I would like to know for my homework. Thanks. Dawn, Burbank, Calif.
Televisionary: The only reason I'm answering this is because I'm sure that by the time it appears, you'll have done the right thing and looked it up yourself, Dawn. (And I'm betting the local librarian knows a little about the entertainment biz there in Burbank.) But for everyone else's benefit, Dallas was tops in the Nielsens from September 1983 to April 1984, while Dynasty took the crown for the following fall-to-spring TV season.
Question: I have a dinner bet on this. I say Harry Morgan (Col. Potter from M*A*S*H) is still alive. Two co-workers say he died (one said he died in '94). I did research and found a Henry Morgan who died in '94, but not a Harry Morgan. Can you tell us if he's still around? A.R., Anchorage, Alaska
Televisionary: That he is. And he was initially billed as Henry, but changed his professional name to avoid confusion with the late radio host, comedian and game-show panelist, who did indeed die in 1994.
Question: What was Donna Reed's character's name on her show? I remember she had the same first name. And come to think of it, was Donna Reed her real name? Thank you. Curtis R., Neely, Miss.
Televisionary: Reed's name on the hit Donna Reed Show, which ran on ABC for eight years beginning in September 1958, was Donna Stone, Curtis. And no, she didn't use her birth name when working. The Iowa farm girl was born Donna Mullenger, but after moving to Los Angeles to attend college, winning a beauty contest and gaining entree to a casting director, she became a contract player for MGM, where her name was changed to Reed.
The thing was, she didn't pick the name and despite her sunny personna, she never pretended to be happy about it. "I hear 'Donna Reed' and I get a picture of a tall, chic, austere blonde, which isn't me," she told TV
Question: Being the only white girl in my all-African-American office, I have been elected to ask this question. Where have we seen the fine-looking white guy on Abby? You know, the sarcastic one? Please help us out. Thank you, oh, great one. Going Crazy, Bladensburg, Md.
Televisionary: See, this is why I tried to convince my boss we should stop requiring readers to ask only about those who share their ethnicity, but he wouldn't listen and... Wait a minute we have no such rule! What are you thinking, G.C.? What kind of set-up are you living under there in Bladensburg? And how would I know your race if you didn't tell me, anyway? (Thanks for the "great one" part, though.)
I assume you mean Sean O'Bryan, who plays Abby's boss on the UPN comedy. I can't say for sure where you've see him, but he was a reg
Question: I was wondering if you could tell me the title of the Twilight Zone episode I am about to describe. The show was centered around an author who could create people by talking into his dictation machine. If he wanted to get rid of these people, he would destroy the tape. His wife thought he was cheating on her with one of his creations. He even had Rod Serling's "tape" in an envelope, too. Corey M., East Orange, N.J.
Televisionary: You're thinking of "A World of His Own," the final episode of the series' first season (1959-60). Starring Keenan Wynn as the playwright in question and written by sci-fi legend Richard Matheson, it's available on several Zone
Question: Who starred in Hennessy and what years? Was it Jackie Cooper and Juliet Prowse? Jim P., Louisville, Ky.
Televisionary: Jeez, Jim, if you keep trying answering your own questions you might start a trend. And why would they bother paying for my column, then?
Lucky for me you're only half-right. Yes indeed, it was Cooper playing medical officer Chick Hennesy, who treated the fine folks of his San Diego naval base. But Abby Dalton was his romantic interest, nurse Martha Hale, on the series, not Ms. Prowse. Also in the cast were James Komack (The Courtship of Eddie's Fath
Joe Millionaire put hearts in the eyes of viewers and dollar signs in eyes of Fox executives. So, although the network's entertainment president Gail Berman said in January that there probably wouldn't be a second installment because "the secret is out," she has drastically amended her statement since the show's Feb. 17 finale pulled in 40 million viewers and helped Fox clinch its first-ever sweeps victory among young adults. Now, says Berman, "There will be a sequel to Joe Millionaire."
But how can the suits pull it off? Given that there can't possibly be another gold digger alive let alone 20 who wouldn't already be in on Joe's infamous fib, Fox has brainstormed a "slightly different" little white lie. "It will not be the same concept," Berman confirms, "but it will feel completely compatible with the Joe Millionaire title."
Of course, if Joe Millionaire has taught the viewing public anyt
After years as writers for The Simpsons, spouses Mike Scully and Julie Thacker-Scully have co-created a new midseason Fox show called The Pitts (debuting March 30 at 9:30 pm/ET). "It's a live action show, but cartoony in some aspects," he says. "It's really designed for the Simpsons audience."
The premise? Picture the Kennedys just with all of the Kennedy curse, and none of the Kennedy money or sexy looks. "The Pitts are the world's most disaster prone family," he explains. "So, on other sitcoms, you have dilemmas like, Dad gets an ugly tie for Father's Day. On the Pitts, it's things like, a cult has implanted Satan's heart in Dad."
The plain Jane lookin' cast includes Dylan Baker (Happiness, Thirteen Days, and
Will the Academy kneel and pay homage to Chicago Oscar nominee Queen Latifah on March 23? With stiff competition in the supporting actress category there's Julianne, Meryl, Kathy Bates and Catherine Zeta-Jones her chances look slim, even if she is fabulous singing "When You're Good to Mama." Still, just to get from rap and Living Single to this lofty plateau is major stuff.
"I think it means a lot for hip-hop," the Queen proudly says. "There's a lot of talented people who ar
With war apparently imminent, NBC News has removed its six-member television crew from Baghdad the first major TV network to do so. The Peacock, however, can still get coverage from MSNBC's Peter Arnett; the former CNN correspondent apparently missed the last train out.