Question: Please settle a bet between my friend and me. I am positive that I remember the actor Morgan Freeman on the kids' show The Electric Company in the mid-'70s. My friend says no way. Who is right? I have a bottle of very good wine riding on this!!! Jessica U., Talent, Ore.
Televisionary: Well, this oughtta pop your cork, then, Jessica. (And, at the risk of beating this horse to death, all you Goofuses who hold back on the details of your betting should take note of Jessica's Gallant-like move of telling me what she and her pal have at stake in their bet.)
Freeman did indeed play Easy Reader, the afro-wearing character who helped a generation of children learn to read on the brilliant Electric Company, from 1971-76. That role followed acclaimed work on stage and represented the actor's first break in television, but his feelings about the job seem to depend on when you asked him about it. In 2001, when he served as chair of th
Question: Dear wise Televisionary: We are going bonkers trying to get to the bottom of this. When Eddie Murphy was on Saturday Night Live, he did a sketch called "Buckwheat Sings" where he sang several songs as Buckwheat (i.e., virtually incomprehensible). We recognized most of the songs ("Three Times a Lady", "Bette Davis Eyes"), but there is one that we just can't figure out "Oona Panoona Bonka." This has caused a major disagreement: My friend says that it is a song that Murphy made up, and I say that it is a real song from the '50s, but I just can't put my finger on it. Can you enlighten us? We have resorted to "The Bet": The prize is a tasty adult beverage at our favorite watering hole. Please, Televisionary, quench my thirst for knowledge so that I may be rewarded with a tasty beverage. Mike, San Diego, Calif.
Televisionary: Alright, everybody. At the risk of turning poor Mike into the kid who was sing
Question: I remember a show from the early '70s that starred Adam Arkin as a kid who was on his own for the first time. His apartment had wallpaper with ducks on it and Barbara Rhoades played the neighbor who lived across the hall from him. No one else seems to remember this show. Please help. If it helps, I think it was on Monday night on CBS. Chet, Rochester, N.Y.
Televisionary: No one else remembers because you seem to have vacuumed up all the spare facts about the show, Chet. Impressive work; you make my job easy.
The CBS sitcom was called Busting Loose
. It debuted on a Monday in January 1977 and did indeed star young Mr. Arkin (Baby Bob
, Chicago Hope
) as an engineering school grad who moved away from the smothering love of Mom (Pat Carroll
) and Dad (Jack Kruschen
) and into his own dum
Disney and Pixar whose partnership has yielded such box office behemoths as Monsters Inc., Toy Story and A Bug's Life have unveiled their next three films. First up is the underwater adventure Finding Nemo (due summer 2003), followed by the Christmas 2004 release of The Incredibles, about a family of superheroes, and the automotive comedy Cars (due Christmas 2005).
Hollywood producer Steve Bing still is not convinced he is the father of Elizabeth Hurley's newborn son. The 35-year-old millionaire went to court on Friday seeking to determine whether he is indeed the child's daddy. London's High Court could order that DNA tests be carried out on little Damian Charles. Natch, Liz is not amused. "Elizabeth has always made it clear that she is willing to participate in paternity tests and is extremely distressed that Stephen is attempting to resolve these personal issues publicly," her rep said.
CBS will air five hour-long editions of The Price Is Right in prime time over the summer, beginning in June. In addition, a special Price featuring Navy sailors has been scheduled for May 17 at 8 pm/ET. The best part? Variety reports that the show's signature "Big Wheel" will be upped from $10,000 to $100,000!
Baretta actor Robert Blake, 68, was formally charged on Monday with murder in the shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. He was charged with one count of murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait, which could bring the death penalty. Blake's former bodyguard, Earle Caldwell, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit murder.
Once bitten by a genetically-enhanced arachnid presto! Spider-Man's puny Peter Parker is a superhuman stud. Too bad his portrayer, Tobey Maguire, didn't find it so easy to get comic-book buff. Here, the 26-year-old star of gems like The Ice Storm, Pleasantville and The Cider House Rules gives TV Guide Online the skinny on turning trés beefy.
"I worked very hard," Maguire says. "I trained for a little while before I got the role, because I knew the screen test was coming up. Then, I was cast and worked out for five months, six days a week, anywhere from an hour
Who says June nuptials are best? Every May, wedding bells ring for at least one special TV twosome after all, nothing says "sweeps" like blushing brides and goofy grooms! On 7th Heaven, the happy couple is Sarah and Matt. There's just one hitch to their getting hitched next month: The lovebirds, played by Sarah Danielle Madison and Barry Watson, secretly eloped back in February!
Oh, and did we mention they're from different religious backgrounds? She's Jewish, he's Protestant and their dads are both clergymen. Uh-oh! "It is a battle from the start to the finish between the Rabbi and [Rev. Camden, who's played by Stephen Collins]," exec produc
Almost Famous star Billy Crudup isn't the most stand-up guy in World Traveler (opening Friday). He plays a man who leaves his wife and child to go gallivanting in search of his own happiness. Still, Crudup insists the idea of wanting more out of life is something everyone can relate to.
"We have the lottery now," he tells TV Guide Online. "And we have these TV shows where people shove spiders up their butt because they might get some fame."
The 33-year-old actor knows plenty about fame's elusiveness. He's often taken parts in indie films like Jesus' Son and Waking the Dead instead of heading more mainstream. "I tend to think that everybody in the world is going to have the same taste that I do," he jokes. "I always think