Today's News: Our Take


Frellin' awesome!! As reported in next week's TV Guide magazine, the Jim Henson Company is producing a four-hour Farscape miniseries that will tie up the loose ends left dangling when the cult hit was prematurely axed last year by Sci Fi Channel. "It's an epic conclusion to the series," confides a source. The project — which will reunite leads Ben Browder and Claudia Black — will start shooting in December in Australia. Since the telefilm is unlikely to air on Sci Fi, word is it may be sold into syndication. So there! read more

Question: has ...

Question: has shown three different third-season premiere dates for The Bernie Mac Show. The last date was supposed to be Nov. 9, at 8:30. I tuned in, but no Bernie Mac! What is going on? My husband and I think this show is very funny and we are looking forward to seeing the season opener. — Barbara S., Coram, N.Y.

Televisionary: Then see it you shall, on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 8:30 pm/ET. (I'd love to pretend I made that happen simply because you asked, but the truth is the network announced the new date a couple weeks back.)

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Question: I remember you ...

Question: I remember you covering the ruckus Roseanne used to kick up on her show. What about Brett Butler and Grace Under Fire? Wasn't she bad, too? — Francis J., Provo, Utah

Televisionary: Indeed she was, Francis. Bad enough to get her hit show cancelled after producers couldn't tolerate her tantrums, abuse and assorted acting out any longer.

However, it's not like ABC execs, and producers Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner, didn't know what they were getting into when they signed the tart-tongued southerner to star in Grace Under Fire, a comedy about a divorced mother of three trying to make ends meet by working at an oil refinery after leaving her marriage to an abusive husband (a setup that dr read more


Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh returned to the airwaves Monday after what he described as "five intense weeks" of rehab for an addiction to painkillers. "There is a whole lot of stuff I can tell you that I can't tell you yet," he said. "There's even more honesty to come." Let me guess: Courtney Love is his sponsor. read more

Fear Factor What is wrong with...

Fear Factor
What is wrong with people? Seriously. Wannabe model Ryan Degrave changed the spelling of his first name from R-Y-A-N to R-Y-N-E — to be "original." When host Joe Rogan pointed out that R-Y-N-E isn't pronounced like "Ryan," Wisconsin's whitest boy ever played the race card and said "the way I pronounce it — ebonically — it works." Ebonically. Yeah, right. Thank God he was eliminated first.

Britney Spears: In the Zone
The girl said, "Let me see you dance." And, well, you can guess what I did... I bruised my shin trying to mimic the souped-up steps. (Shout out to the choreographers!) Yes, people, I enjoyed this glorified infomercial. I was even grateful that Britney seemed to lip-synch 90 percent of the time. I just don't understand why she insisted on singing ballads. Seriously. Why do pop stars do that? "...Baby One More Time" worked just fine as an uptempo dance number. But as a slo read more

Question: I believe there was ...

Question: I believe there was a movie that aired in the '70s depicting the first African-American president. Is this true or was I imagining this? If so, is there a video of it? I would really like to see it. — Steven M., Chicago, Ill.

Televisionary: It sounds to me like you're thinking of The Man, which starred James Earl Jones as the title character. It was produced as a TV-movie, but received a theatrical release in 1972 instead.

Written by Rod Serling (The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery) and based on an Irving Wallace novel, the movie's setup featured the convenient death of the sitting president and everyone else in line for the job. (They all bought it when a building collapsed.) I've never seen it myself, but from what I understand simply knowing it exists is more interesting and enjoyable than watching the film itself.

As far as I know, it's not out on VHS or DVD.

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Fox has announced that the next edition of American Idol will kick off on Jan. 20. In other network scheduling news, the WB is moving its sophomore comedy What I Like About You back to Friday nights following Reba. read more

Question: What happened to ...

Question: What happened to The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.? I was enjoying that show and suddenly it was preempted by something else and it hasn't been back in several weeks. Was it cancelled? — Jackie B., Westhampton Beach, N.Y.

Televisionary: Yup, it's gone after only five episodes, Jackie. Sorry to be the one to break it to you.

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Question: Last year in TV ...

Question: Last year in TV Guide, around Christmastime, you had Heat Miser and the other Miser from the movie The Year Without a Santa Claus. Their faces were on cups. Where can you get those? — Jocelyn, Windham, Maine

Televisionary: Well, if you're thinking of the Year Without a Santa Claus Thermos mugs, you can get them online at Island of Misfit Toys, along with other Year Without-related merchandise. Elsewhere, it looks like Time &#038 Space Toys doesn't have the mugs, but you can find many other items there.

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Question: I remember watching ...

Question: I remember watching an old Bonanza that had a midget as a guest star. It may be the one about Hoss and a leprechaun. Can you tell me his name? Was he in show business, or just in that one show? Thanks. — Phil, New York, N.Y.

Televisionary: It depends on which episode you're talking about, Phil. In the 1963 episode "Hoss and the Leprechauns," in which Hoss (Dan Blocker) meets up with people he thinks are leprechauns but are really rebellious performers from a carnival, two of the guest stars (Harry Monty and Nels Nelson) were actors who'd appeared in The Wizard of Oz nearly three decades before.

But I have a feeling you mean the 1970 episode "It's A Small World," in which a former circus performer (Michael Dunn) leaves his job to settle down in Virginia City and ends up on the wrong side of the law when he can't find work. Dunn, an acclaimed actor, garnered accolades for h read more

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