Today's News: Our Take

Question: What was Donna ...

Question: What was Donna Reed's character's name on her show? I remember she had the same first name. And come to think of it, was Donna Reed her real name? Thank you. — Curtis R., Neely, Miss.

Televisionary: Reed's name on the hit Donna Reed Show, which ran on ABC for eight years beginning in September 1958, was Donna Stone, Curtis. And no, she didn't use her birth name when working. The Iowa farm girl was born Donna Mullenger, but after moving to Los Angeles to attend college, winning a beauty contest and gaining entree to a casting director, she became a contract player for MGM, where her name was changed to Reed.

The thing was, she didn't pick the name and despite her sunny personna, she never pretended to be happy about it. "I hear 'Donna Reed' and I get a picture of a tall, chic, austere blonde, which isn't me," she told TV read more

Question: Being the only ...

Question: Being the only white girl in my all-African-American office, I have been elected to ask this question. Where have we seen the fine-looking white guy on Abby? You know, the sarcastic one? Please help us out. Thank you, oh, great one. — Going Crazy, Bladensburg, Md.

Televisionary: See, this is why I tried to convince my boss we should stop requiring readers to ask only about those who share their ethnicity, but he wouldn't listen and... Wait a minute — we have no such rule! What are you thinking, G.C.? What kind of set-up are you living under there in Bladensburg? And how would I know your race if you didn't tell me, anyway? (Thanks for the "great one" part, though.)

I assume you mean Sean O'Bryan, who plays Abby's boss on the UPN comedy. I can't say for sure where you've see him, but he was a reg read more

Question: What was the ...

Question: What was the number-one television show for 1984? I would like to know for my homework. Thanks. — Dawn, Burbank, Calif.

Televisionary: The only reason I'm answering this is because I'm sure that by the time it appears, you'll have done the right thing and looked it up yourself, Dawn. (And I'm betting the local librarian knows a little about the entertainment biz there in Burbank.) But for everyone else's benefit, Dallas was tops in the Nielsens from September 1983 to April 1984, while Dynasty took the crown for the following fall-to-spring TV season.

read more

Question: Who starred in ...

Question: Who starred in Hennessy and what years? Was it Jackie Cooper and Juliet Prowse? — Jim P., Louisville, Ky.

Televisionary: Jeez, Jim, if you keep trying answering your own questions you might start a trend. And why would they bother paying for my column, then?

Lucky for me you're only half-right. Yes indeed, it was Cooper playing medical officer Chick Hennesy, who treated the fine folks of his San Diego naval base. But Abby Dalton was his romantic interest, nurse Martha Hale, on the series, not Ms. Prowse. Also in the cast were James Komack (The Courtship of Eddie's Fath read more


With war apparently imminent, NBC News has removed its six-member television crew from Baghdad — the first major TV network to do so. The Peacock, however, can still get coverage from MSNBC's Peter Arnett; the former CNN correspondent apparently missed the last train out. read more


Paul Stojanovich, the 47-year-old creator of World's Wildest Police Videos, is feared dead after falling 300 feet from an Oregon cliff into the Pacific Ocean over the weekend. Stojanovich was hiking with his fiancée when he slipped off the cliff. read more

Joe Millionaire Sequel Scoop!

Joe Millionaire put hearts in the eyes of viewers — and dollar signs in eyes of Fox executives. So, although the network's entertainment president Gail Berman said in January that there probably wouldn't be a second installment because "the secret is out," she has drastically amended her statement since the show's Feb. 17 finale pulled in 40 million viewers and helped Fox clinch its first-ever sweeps victory among young adults. Now, says Berman, "There will be a sequel to Joe Millionaire."

But how can the suits pull it off? Given that there can't possibly be another gold digger alive — let alone 20 — who wouldn't already be in on Joe's infamous fib, Fox has brainstormed a "slightly different" little white lie. "It will not be the same concept," Berman confirms, "but it will feel completely compatible with the Joe Millionaire title."

Of course, if Joe Millionaire has taught the viewing public anyt read more


File this under "I" for Inevitable: Hollywood playboy Colin Farrell is going to be a dad. The 26-year-old Irish lothario confirmed the news on Friday, but declined to name the baby's mother. Published reports, however, say the lucky lady is model Kim Bordenave. "It's cool," Farrell said. "I'm chuffed, so over the moon." And by over the moon, he means, "Oh &%#@!" read more


Oscar winner Russell Crowe will wed girlfriend Danielle Spencer in his native Australia on April 7. Incidentally, that's the same day the Gladiator star turns 39. He just had to make it all about him. read more


Alleged murderer Robert Blake was freed from a Los Angeles jail on Friday after posting $1.5 million bail. The actor, who has been behind bars since his arrest last April, told reporters that he plans to "sleep for three or four days." read more

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