Today's News: Our Take


As expected, Daredevil blindsided the competition over the weekend. Ben Affleck's sight-challenged superhero debuted at No. 1 with $43.5 million in ticket sales. It was the second-best February bow ever, behind the $58 million opening of Hannibal two years ago. Last weekend's top flick, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, fell to No. 2 with a still-strong $19 million, followed by Oscar frontrunner Chicago (No. 3 with $12.6 million). read more


Yoko Ono has moved one step closer to breaking up the Pet Shop Boys. John Lennon's widow has teamed up with the Boys to record a dance version of the Beatle's final song "Walking on Thin Ice." read more

Question: What is the name of ...

Question: Question: What is the name of this made-for-TV movie starring Nancy McKeon (The Facts of Life) where she was an abused wife and was stabbed quite a few times and the police just stood there and watched? — Dennis H., Oshawa, Ont., Canada


Answer: Televisionary: You're thinking of A Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman Story, a 1989 NBC TV movie. As far as I know, however, it's not available on home video.

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The Spice Girls are reuniting — but thankfully, it's just for tea. A spokeswoman for Ginger, Baby, Sporty, Posh and Scary confirms reports that the Girls are planning a "social get together" this week for the first time in five years. However, the rep adds that a possible comeback won't be on the menu. Phew. read more

Question: What was the name ...

Question: Question: What was the name of the St. Bernard on the show Topper? — Rich K., Glenside, Pa.


Answer: Televisionary: The ghostly dog with a taste for brandy was named Neil. And he was a TV invention — in Thorne Smith's written version, there was no canine pal to help shake up the life of the proper Cosmo Topper (Leo G. Carroll).

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Late cinematographer Conrad L. Hall received the outstanding film achievement award Sunday at the 17th annual American Society of Cinematographers Awards. Hall, who died in January at age 76, won for his work on the woefully underrated drama Road to Perdition. read more


The owner of Hello! magazine apologized Monday to Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas for publishing unauthorized pictures of their wedding. However, Eduardo Sanchez Junco told London's High Court he thought the couple — who are suing the mag for $800,000 — exaggerated their level of distress. In her testimony last week, Zeta-Jones said the "tacky" images in Hello! made her look overweight and the reception look like a "disco." Obviously, she's never attended a wedding in New Jersey. read more


Lovable losers Homer Simpson and Al Bundy came through for Fox in a big way Sunday night. The Simpsons's much-hyped 300th episode (21.2 million viewers) combined with a Married... With Children reunion special (19.2 million) gave the network its biggest non-sports Sunday in three years. ABC's remake of Meredith Willson's Music Man suffered as a result: The movie delivered a troubling, with a capital "T," 13.1 million viewers. read more

Question: The days of ...

Question: Question: The days of innocent cartoon watching on Saturday mornings are all but gone. I am a 33-year-old father who is looking forward to sharing with my 1-year-old daughter the cartoons I grew up with. Cartoons like Super Friends, The Banana Splits, Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and so on. They were great fun on those non-school mornings. Although the Cartoon Network has shown some of them, I would like to know if you have any insight into where I could find a collection of the cartoon greats. Also, is there any way you could get an archive listing of the Saturday morning lineup of the major networks so that I may recall and share my childhood with my daughter? — Hector H., Merritt Island, Fla.

Answer: Televisionary: Well, it sounds like you're already looking into my first suggestion, which would be to tune in to the Cartoon Network's Boomerang chann read more

Question: Who is the biggest ...

Question: Question: Who is the biggest movie star that started out in TV? My guess is either Bruce Willis or Tom Hanks. Are there others? — Pam H., Herndon, Va.

Answer: Televisionary: Y'know, Pam, I'm going to take the cowardly way out and drop the "est" part of the question because, frankly, in order to figure out who is the biggest of all time I'd have to not only add up the box-office takes of blockbusters starring Hanks or Willis, I'd also have to add up the totals of guys like Clint Eastwood, who got his first big break on Rawhide and has had a longer career. So allow me to talk in generalities, please.

Certainly, Hanks and Willis cl read more

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