Today's News: Our Take

Question: Just one question ...

Question: Just one question from the mists of my childhood memories. I remember a U.S. show which was broadcast on regional Italian TV in the late '70s. It told stories of two agents (maybe FBI) tryng to shed light on UFOs. In fact, they went to talk with people who claimed they saw UFOs or starships and sometimes it turned out that it was only fantasies or optical effects. Something like The X-Files's grandparents. Do you remember anything about this series? Thank you in advance and ciao da firenze! — Luigi, Florence, Italy

Televisionary: That I do, Luigi. You're thinking of NBC's Project UFO, which ran from February 1978 through August of the following year.

From TV legend Jack Webb (Dragnet, Emergency! Adam-12) and real-life Air Force UFO investiga read more

Question: My friend once told ...

Question: My friend once told me that in the first episode of Ed someone else starred as Ed and in the second episode they replaced him with Tom Cavanagh. Is this true or is she on something? — Susan, St. Louis, Mo.

Televisionary: Those are two different questions, and I'm only qualified to answer the first. Cavanagh's been the star the entire time, and if my say-so isn't good enough for her, show her the Season One page of the Ed episode guide on our sure-as-shootin' ShowGuide.

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Question: Which actress was ...

Question: Which actress was on 29 TV Guide covers? — Joann

Televisionary: You're probably thinking of Lucille Ball since this is a trivia question I've seen before and she's the answer. However, the number's higher these days. Count for yourself.

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Question: Every TV fan who ...

Question: Every TV fan who knows anything knows Dick Sargent replaced Dick York on Bewitched. But why? — Mark F., Overland Park, Kans.

Televisionary: The late York, who played put-upon mortal hubby Darrin Stephens on the ABC hit for the first five years of its 1964-72 run, suffered from serious back problems dating back to an injury he suffered while filming 1959's They Came to Cordura. From that shoot on, he struggled with chronic pain and addiction to painkillers, problems which eventually led to his leaving the show after he collapsed on the set and decided he couldn't continue with the work.

So they brought in Sargent as the new Darrin and figured the audience would just go along with it. After all, poor York, for all his comic ability, always worked in the shadows of star Elizabeth Montgomery, who played witch-wife Samantha Stephens, and Agnes Moore read more

Question: What happened to ...

Question: What happened to the new series Peacemakers, with Tom Berenger? I thought it was supposed to be on Wednesday nights on USA. — Ruth, Port Charlotte, Fla.

Televisionary: The USA Western ended its eight-episode season on Oct. 8, but you can catch reruns on Mondays at midnight. Assuming you're a fan, keep your fingers crossed: The network says there haven't been any discussions about a second season yet.

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Ruffalo's Sex Scenes Cut

The dramatic thriller In the Cut (opening Friday) features stars Meg Ryan and Mark Ruffalo in very spicy sex scenes. So explicit, in fact, that director Jane Campion was obliged to make a tamer U.S. edit to avoid an NC-17 rating. When reporters asked Ryan how she approached the challenge of shooting such risqu&#233 footage, she mumbled something about discussing sex "globally, thematically and intellectually." Huh? Luckily, Ruffalo had a better way to describe their awkward task.

"You know what we're going to do today?" he quipped. "We're all going to take our clothes off, to feel what it's like."

Alrighty then! "To deal with these things, [you have to] establish boundaries," added the actor, who's best known for his breakout role in 2000's You Can Count on Me read more


The plot over the MPAA's controversial screener ban is thickening. The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. says it will cancel its annual awards gala unless the Motion Picture Assn. of America drops its ban on sending DVDs of films to critics and Oscar voters. The critics group insists the ban, which the MPAA is touting as an anti-piracy measure, will make it "physically impossible" for its members to see every movie released by the end of the year — let alone copy and sell them on eBay. read more

TV's Teenage Radio Angst

TV Guide Online recently grabbed some quality phone time with brothers Will and Douglas McRobb (The Adventures of Pete &#038 Pete), co-creators of Radio Free Roscoe on The N, Noggin's nighttime programming for teens. (In case you haven't seen it, Noggin's a channel mostly seen on digital cable systems, but also available on satellite.) The show (Fridays, 8:30 pm/ET) drops in on the lives of four high school freshman DJs at an underground FM station.

TV Guide Online: When you sat down to create Radio Free Roscoe, who did you hope would be watching?
We wrote it for anybody who A) loves radio and B) felt like they needed a voice. And considering the state of affairs when you're in ninth grade, it felt like that pretty much added up to about everybody.

TVGO: What do you remember of ninth grade?
It's a tough time. You go from being on top of things to being at the low-rung of the totem pole. T read more


M*A*S*H star Alan Alda remains hospitalized in South America following emergency surgery for an intestinal obstruction. The actor — who is reportedly recovering well — was in Chile working on a TV documentary. read more


The WB is once again posing the question, "What happens when celebrities stop being polite and start getting real... desperate?" Yes, folks — the Frog network has rounded up a new batch of D-listers for its second installment of The Surreal Life. Among the has-beens moving in together this time around: rapper Vanilla Ice, mascara queen Tammy Faye, porn legend Ron Jeremy, CHiPs star Erik Estrada, ex-Baywatch babe Traci Bingham and Real World grad Trishelle (they were really scraping the bottom of the barrel with that one). The five sub-lebrities began their 10-day sleep-over on Monday, and rumor has it some surprise guests may pop in. Although the WB has not given The Surreal Life 2 an air date, there's talk it could air as early as midseason. read more

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