Today's News: Our Take


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

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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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: I have been trying ...

Question: I have been trying to find a song I heard on a repeat episode of Beverly Hills 90210. It was played in the "Graduation" episode and it was one of the last songs played as they were driving down to look at the "Class of '93" sign they put up on the Hollywood hill. The main chorus went something like, "don't forget, blood is thicker than water." Who sings the song, and where can it be found? ? Carrie Anne, Virginia Beach, Va.

Televisionary: The 1993 episode, "Commencement" (a two-parter, actually), included the Triplets' "Blood is Thicker Than Water." You'll find it on the band's album (surprise!) Thicker Than Water.

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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

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

Question: In your Aug. 19 ...

Question: In your Aug. 19 column you mentioned the Nathan Laneseries Encore, Encore; but what was that very (and perhaps mercifully) short-lived series about Nathan being a gay congressman? ? Randall, Hollister, Cal.

Televisionary: Jeez, Randall. Forgotten already? CBS only pulled the show at the end of June. Then again, judging by Charlie Lawrence's low ratings, it didn't stick with too many other people, either.

Lane, the acclaimed Broadway and film talent, played gay TV star-turned-congressman Charlie on the show, which debuted in mid-June. He was a first-term representative from New Mexico, with Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne, Norm) as his biggest fan-turned-office manager and read more

David Spade's Child Star Search


Hollywood has-beens are plentiful in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (opening tomorrow). Writer/star David Spade corraled a long list of yesteryear talent, including both Coreys — Feldman and HaimLeif Garrett, and most of the Brady Bunch clan. Was there any C-list celeb on Spade's wish list who wasn't eager and available?

"Fonzie," Spade tells TV Guide Online. "Love him. [Henry Winkler] was my favorite 35-year-old read more

Ridley Scott Can't Escape His Alien


Look out, Ripley, the original bitch is back! This Halloween, a new generation will have the chance to be scared silly by Alien when a new director's cut of the 1979 sci-fi screamer gets released in theaters. Oscar-nominated helmer Ridley Scott says he jumped at the chance to retool his landmark spooker.

"Fox [asked], 'Do you think we've got an audience there again?'" recalls the British auteur, whose con-artist comedy Matchstick Men opens Sept. 12. "I said, 'Absolutely!' I regard a generation as 10 years. The kid who couldn't see Alien at 15 years old, never saw it until it was on video. Tape fades and it varies tremendously... It can be anything from what it should be to absolutely dreadful. That is not the film I made."

Though the running time of the extra-terrestrial thriller will remain about the same, Scott says he trimmed some slow bits and added about five minutes of unseen footage. "As the 24 years have past, I think, read more

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