Today's News: Our Take


HASTA LA VISTA, BABY!

Terminator-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger was voted governor-elect of California Tuesday, ending Gray Davis's controversial run in office and killing any chance for a Junior 2. read more

Question: I am one of the few ...

Question: I am one of the few who love Dawson's Creek, not just up until when they go to college but all six seasons. In the fourth season, when Gale Leery becomes pregnant, there is a really pretty song playing in the background when Dawson tells Joey. I know its called "Fields of Gold" but I don't know who sings it. Do you know? I can't seem to find it anywhere. — Leah

Televisionary: The song playing when Dawson told Joey of his mom's pregnancy in the "Great Xpectations" episode was Eva Cassidy's version of Sting's "Fields of Gold." (It was also heard earlier in the episode, in a scene in Andie's hospital room.) You'll find it on her album Songbird (Blix Street), and Sting's original take is on Ten Summoner's Tales and Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting 1984-1994.

And just because I'm a stickler for detail, I'll point out that the Cassidy version was also used in the 2001 graduation episode, called, of all things, "The read more

Question: Hi there! There's ...

Question: Hi there! There's been a lot of question at my office place about whether Mr. Ed was truly a zebra or not. Can you shed some light on this to end our discussion once and for all? Thanks! — Laura P., Greendale, Wis.

Televisionary: That's an urban legend with remarkable legs (pun intended), Laura. Tell your co-workers Mr. Ed was definitely a California-born show horse named Bamboo Harvester. Apparently a zebra was used to do a few stunts the horse wasn't able to handle, but otherwise it was all Ed.

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Question: My husband and I ...

Question: My husband and I agree on one thing about You Bet Your Life. When someone said the secret word, a toy duck came down with a prize for them. But even though he says I'm wrong, I remember other animals and people giving the prize away, too. Am I right? Thank you. — Ruth V., Anacortes, Wash.

Televisionary: That you are, Ruth, but the change came into play only in the last couple of seasons of the show's 1950-61 run on NBC.

For years, a moustache-wearing toy duck dropped from above to bless contestants on Groucho Marx's popular TV and radio quiz show who stumbled on the secret word of the night — an everyday word like "gas" or "fire" — with $100. (The audience, of course, had already been clued into what the word was. Today's young whippersnappers probably think Pee Wee Herman made that up.) But Groucho being Groucho, he had to mix it up — and get a pretty woman in on the act. Thus, the prize was sometimes delivered by ba read more

Question: In broadcasting, ...

Question: In broadcasting, why is the guest room called the green room? — Jim A., Jacksonville, Fla.

Televisionary: Boy, I'll bet you figured there was a simple answer for this one, eh, Jim? There ain't. In fact, the one definite thing I can tell you is that nobody really agrees on the origin of the word.

It predates the tube by quite a bit, though. While it currently describes the room guests wait in before appearing on TV, it was originally used in the theater world to describe where actors killed time before coming on stage. The first written use of it to describe such an area dates back to the early 18th century.

Now, why it's called that remains a disputed topic. Some people claim the room was painted green to soothe performers' eyes after they squinted into the bright stage lights (doubtful, since electric lights weren't in use so the stage lighting wasn't all that bright). Others claim that because the slang term for stage was "the green," i read more

AND THEY SAID IT WOULDN'T LAST

Not to toot our own horn, but MTV is confirming what we at TV Guide told you last week: Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica is coming back for a second season. The first season finale airs Oct. 21 (at 10:30 pm/ET), five days before the couple's first (and likely final) anniversary. MTV also has renewed Snoop Dogg's variety show Doggy Fizzle Televizzle for a second season — something we first reported, um, right this second. Look, we can't get every scoop. Geez. read more

WHAT THE BLAZES?

Another Bridges of Madison County landmark has been damaged by arson. A suspicious fire tore through the farmhouse featured in the Clint Eastwood-Meryl Streep movie Monday morning. Last year, the wooden bridge at the center of the film (and the book) was destroyed by fire. The latest inferno comes just days before the annual Madison County Covered Bridge Festival. read more

SHORT CUTS

ABC is developing a horse racing drama loosely based on the relationship between legendary Churchill Downs trainer Jerry Romans and his sons... NBC is following up its successful Three's Company tell-all film with a behind-the-scenes look at Charlie's Angels. Be afraid, Farrah Fawcett. Be very afraid. read more

Fear Factor Life is truly not...

Fear Factor
Life is truly not fair. Proof: Krisandra ate live African cave-dwelling spiders for nothing. She didn't win the car. Or the game. Cliffhanger solved.

The New McDonald's Commercials
Why don't they show an actual, oh, I don't know, McDonald's restaurant in these things? Last week, they had Justin Timberlake singing over scenes of people laughing, dancing and living the skinny high life. This week they've got a Latino group doing the same thing. Well, guess what? I'm not lovin' it. Translation: No me encanta.

Dinner for Five
I'll admit it. I was surprised to see that this show is A.) still on and B.) still able to book guests. And pretty decent ones too! Joining Jon "Mr. Swingers" Favreau for dinner tonight at a hotel in Vancouver: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel and Mary Steenburgen. Not bad, right? Yeah... That's 30 minutes I'll never get back. Shoot. read more

Question: I missed last ...

Question: I missed last week's TV Guide, where you were going to tell us whose eye was used for the cover a couple of weeks ago. I'm dying to know! — India S., Kansas City, Mo.

Televisionary: Then die no longer. The owner of the eye featured on our fabulous Fall Preview cover is revealed here.

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