Today's News: Our Take


THEY HAD IT COMING

Catherine Zeta-Jones — who just won a $24,000 judgement against a British tab that published her wedding pics — has moved on to her next legal battle. According to TheSmokingGun.com, the Oscar winner is fuming over reports that she lost weight via the Atkins diet. In a warning letter sent last week to various media outlets, a lawyer for Zeta-Jones maintained that press reports are "falsely representing to the average reader, including many young women who look up to my client and admire her beautiful appearance, that Ms. Zeta-Jones would recommend this diet to any person looking to lose weight." read more

COMING UP NECKS

That creepy Barnabas Collins is getting a new lease on undead life. The WB is resurrecting the classic ABC vampire sudser Dark Shadows for fall 2004, Variety reports. The franchise has been collecting dust since 1991, when NBC attempted its own Dark Shadows remake starring Ben Cross. read more

SOUND FAMILIAR?

Just a day after Bravo announced plans to produce the hourlong Queer Eye spinoff Straight Eye for the Queer Guy, Comedy Central has greenlit the similarly-themed Straight Plan for the Gay Man. Described as a parody of Queer Eye, the show will feature a team of straight comedians (the Flab 4) teaching gay men how to pass as heterosexual. The series premieres in February, but look for the lawsuit to debut much sooner. read more

Question: On One on One, we ...

Question: On One on One, we often see the barbershop owned by Flex's father and the two barbers, Malik and Walt, who work there. I know that Omar Gooding plays the character of Malik, but I was wondering if perhaps you knew the name of the actor who plays Walt. Thank you. — Dina, New York, N.Y.

Televisionary: Sure thing. That's Rashaan Nall, whom you may also have spotted in guest appearances on such shows as Nash Bridges, NYPD Blue, Touched by an Angel and ER.

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Question: I used to watch ...

Question: I used to watch Square One a lot when I was a child. I remember "Mathnet" and "Mathman" and my question is, what was the name of Mathman's archnemesis that kept trying to prevent him from reaching his mathematical goals? — A.J., Flagstaff, Ariz.

Televisionary: The evil character who waited to eat the Pac-Man-like Mathman when he chose a wrong number on the Children's Television Workshop show (produced from 1987-92) was named Mr. Glitch.

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OH NO SHE DIDN'T

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times? Shame on... um, er — just plain shame! Fox entertainment president Gail Berman has once again broken her promise to 24 fans to refrain from airing promos that give away pivotal plot twists. Her latest act of defiance came at the end of last Tuesday's episode, when (warning: spoiler alert!) the commercial teasing tonight's installment showed the contaminated cocaine getting flushed down the toilet, prompting Jack ( Kiefer Sutherland) to announce, "The virus is out!" A network rep insists that it's not Fox's goal to "reveal key plot points," but adds that "determining how to tease the next episode is always a challenge." Naturally, viewers are fuming. "What is the matter with Fox?" asks Kerry via e-mail. "Apparently, you need to harass [Gail Berman] about this some more!" I read more

SHORT CUTS

David Spade has been tapped to host Spike TV's first annual Video Game Awards on Dec. 4... The WB has extended full season orders (that's 22 episodes) to freshman comedies Like Family and Run of the House. All About the Andersons and Steve Harvey's Big Time, meanwhile, received three-episode pick-ups. read more

Monday Night TV-loving brothers...

Monday Night

TV-loving brothers and sisters, before we get started this evening, I'd like to have a moment of silence for the Fox show Skin. A slick soap with a Midas touch, it took Shakespearean drama to new heights. Made you love a porn king who was just trying to provide for his family. Made you realize that once you play a redhead skank, you're always a redhead skank. (Hello, Sydney Andrews Mancini Field!) Skin died a premature death last week. Was taken from us before its time. It will be sorely missed. And the remote-hogging congregation says: Amen.

7th Heaven
"Man. She. Is. Really. Bad." Ashlee Simpson said about Lucy Camden's batting skills. Man, that's the pot calling the kettle black. With robotic line delivery like that, I've only got two words for you, Ashlee: Acting. Lessons. Study your craft, girl. It can never hurt.

Girlfriends
OK. Y'all know this is my show. But I'm going to take read more

Question: Where is Rod Roddy ...

Question: Where is Rod Roddy of The Price Is Right? We miss him. Thank you. — Morris M., Brainerd, Minn.

Televisionary: Sadly, The Price Is Right's "come on down!" man, who'd suffered from cancer for the past two years, died in Los Angeles on Oct. 27 at the age of 66. He taped his last show about two months ago.

A Texas disc jockey before getting into commercial voiceover work in L.A., Roddy's first TV work was as the narrator of the classic sitcom Soap. You may also have seen and heard him on the game shows Love Connection and Press Your Luck.

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AND THE WINNER IS...

Sunday night's much-hyped TV movie showdown between CBS's The Elizabeth Smart Story and NBC's Saving Jessica Lynch ended in a virtual dead heat. While the Smart pic prevailed among total viewers (15.5 million vs. 15 million), Lynch tied Smart in key demographics, including adults 18-49. read more

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