Today's News: Our Take


FAREWELL

Actor Rand Brooks, who played Scarlett O'Hara's ill-fated first husband in Gone with the Wind, died Monday in Los Angeles of cancer. He was 84. read more

Question: Was there ever a TV ...

Question: Was there ever a TV version of The Thin Man? If so, who played Nick and Nora? Thank you. ? Bill D., Hemet, Cal.

Televisionary: That there was, Bill. NBC ran a version for nearly two years beginning in September 1957. Peter Lawford played Nick, Phyllis Kirk was Nora and Jack Albertson (Chico and the Man) was Lt. Evans (second season only).

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Question: A few years ago ...

Question: A few years ago there was a police series with a main character who was a Chinese police officer on loan from Hong Kong. TV Guide described him as a man who "looks like Humpty Dumpty and moves like Spider-Man." What was the name of the series, who was the actor and what other parts has he played? I really enjoyed the series and was sorry it was not renewed. ? Bernice, Port Allegany, Pa.

Televisionary: You're thinking of CBS's Martial Law, which starred the roly-poly but lethal Sammo Hung as a Chinese cop working with the L.A.P.D. His English wasn't so hot (no stretch there — neither is Hung's), but he kicked butt with ease. Along for the ride were Kelly Hu as fellow cop Chen Pei Pei (later known as Grace Chen), and read more

CRISTINA'S COMING

Latina talk superstar Cristina Saralegui is crossing over to the English-language market. The Cuban Oprah has inked a deal with Touchstone Television to star in a sitcom based on her life. read more

CRIME PAYS

Let's examine the evidence: CSI and CSI: Miami exec producers Ann Donahue and Carol Mendelsohn have signed new long-term deals with CBS to continue overseeing their respective forensic dramas through 2007. Each showrunner will pocket more than $12 million over the next four years. My conclusion? I'm working on the wrong side of this business. read more

Question: Help! I've been ...

Question: Help! I've been trying to figure out the lyrics to the theme from Here Come the Brides. While we're at it, what's the history of this theme song? I know Perry Como sang a version with similar lyrics. He never sang the theme, did he? Also, I'd appreciate any of your brilliant insight into this show. Thanks for any info! ? Barry

Televisionary: Don't thank me yet — I can only get you part of the way there, to be perfectly honest. When the ABC series launched in September 1968, it boasted only an instrumental version of Hugo Montenegro, Ernie Sheldon and Jack Keller's "Seattle." In October, Como did indeed record a version with lyrics and made out quite well with it; the single made it all the way to No. 38 (No. read more

SHORT CUTS

Mark Wahlberg and girlfriend Rhea Durham became the proud parents of baby girl Ella Rae on Tuesday. This is the couple's first child... Robin Hibbard, a 23-year-old castmember of MTV's upcoming San Diego-set Real World, was arrested Tuesday for assaulting a Marine in a nightclub while shooting an episode of the series, according to TheSmokingGun.com... In anticipation of Emmy night on Sept. 21, TV Land is airing Emmy trivia specials all this month. read more

BACK UNDER THE KNIFE

FX has renewed its hit plastic-surgery drama Nip/Tuck for a second season, to begin as early as next spring. Since debuting in July, the show has averaged a healthy 3.4 million viewers. read more

CAREER RX

Hollywood party animal Tara Reid will put her martini down long enough to do a multi-episode arc on NBC's Scrubs this season. Carson's ex will play a new love interest for series star Zach Braff in as many as six episodes. Scrubs kicks off its third season on Oct. 2. read more

WAITING FOR JAMES

Heads up, Boy Meets Boy fans! We know we promised you a James interview in Friday's Insider, but unfortunately, he's been hard to get a hold of. (The L.A.-based human resources administrator still has a day job, ya know.) No worries, though — James tells all to our own Daniel "Party Boy" Coleridge in Monday's Insider. We mean it this time. Really. read more

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