Today's News: Our Take


Question: What was the name ...

Question: What was the name of Corky's girlfriend on the TV show Life Goes On? — Janell, Philadelphia, Pa.

Televisionary: Corky's girlfriend (and eventual wife) was named Amanda Swanson and she was played by Andrea Friedman. For more on that series, see my Aug. 14, 2001 column.

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Question: On a current Chevy ...

Question: On a current Chevy Tahoe (I think) commercial with James Garner's voice, he recites what sounds like a song that I've heard before. Something like "I know where I've been." Is that a song or poem? — Cindy

Televisionary: Poem. And the impressive thing about it is that while you and others who've written in are sure it's a classic, it's actually a brand spankin' new work written just for Chevrolet.

Writer Patrick O'Leary explains on his website that when the idea came up at his ad agency to use children's verse in the spot, his boss decided they should write their own rather than use a well-known author. The task fell to O'Leary and he did, in my opinion, a spectacular job. (And given how much buzz the ad's gotten, I'm not alone.) Of course, having the always stellar Garner read read more

Question: Settle an argument ...

Question: Settle an argument for me, please. Wasn't Bonnie Franklin on One Day at a Time TV's first main character to be a divorc&#233e? I say yes and my sister says no. (And both of us are divorced, but don't cry for us since we're both much better off.) — Gail Z., Pelham, N.Y.

Televisionary: Well, Franklin's Ann Romano, who raised two daughters (Mackenzie Phillips, Valerie Bertinelli) on the CBS series from December 1975 to September 1984, was TV's first successful divorced mail lady, Gail. But technically the first was Lee Grant's swinging divorc&#233e, Fay St read more

Question: I wanted to know if ...

Question: I wanted to know if you've seen Sealab 2021, on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" line-up. This is (usually) one of the funniest shows I've seen in a long time, and I just wanted someone else's opinion on it. — Derek W., Richmond, Va.

Televisionary: I couldn't agree more, Derek. I've made no secret of my undying love of the Cartoon Network. And I've thought for some time that the original Adult Swim late-night fare — Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show, Harvey Birdman, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, etc. — is funnier by far than nearly all of the formulaic, anemic, laugh-free refuse vomited up by the comic geniuses at the major networks. (Gee, think I feel too strongly about this? And please note that I said "major" — HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm and BBC America's The Office are downright hilarious and I don't want anyone thinking I'm lumping them in with the bi read more

Question: In the Feb. 20 ...

Question: In the Feb. 20 episode of ER, what is the name of the book referred to about the little Japanese girl with cancer who thought a thousand paper cranes would grant her a wish? — Amanda L., Falmouth, Mass.

Televisionary: I can't say exactly since I don't believe he named the book, but I'm betting it was Eleanor Coerr's Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. The children's classic relates the true story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who survived the Hiroshima blast but was stricken at the age of 11 with leukemia (known locally as "the atom bomb disease"). Following the folk legend that the gods would grant a wish to whoever folded a thousand cranes, Sadako set about trying to reach that goal. Her story inspired memorial statues in Hiroshima and Seattle, and the book was made into a video narrated by Liv Ullmann. (Yo read more

WHAT'S HE AFRAID OF?

Finally, some good news for Michael Jackson: The baby dangler won the first round of a legal fight with Granada Media Group over unseen footage from the controversial documentary Living with Michael Jackson. A private agreement has been reached between Jacko and Granada that will keep the outtakes under wraps until a court hearing on March 31. read more

"TWIST" SINGER DIES

Singer-songwriter Hank Ballard, best known for launching a nationwide dance craze in the 1960s with his hit "The Twist," died Sunday of throat cancer at his home in Los Angeles. Ballard's age remains a bit of a mystery; birth records reportedly say he was born in 1927, but biographical information lists his birth year as 1936. read more

Joe Millionaire Babe Dismisses Horse Talk


Joe Millionaire's winning bachelorette Zora Andrich wants to set the record straight about her less-than-shocking split from Evan Marriott. She did not — repeat, not — leave the hunky construction worker for, um, Mr. Ed.

In a recent interview, Andrich described what it was like filming the Fox reality phenom at that now-famous French chateau. "Oh, I loved those horses," she told People. "Being with the horse, the one whose name meant 'Sweetie' in French, I was in heaven. That's who has my heart. The horse."

Well, a quote is a quote, of course, of course, unless of course... "I said that jokingly," she tells TV Guide Online. "There are people who actually ask me about that, and I'm like, 'Are you kidding?' It's so odd.

"That's one [drawback] when I'm doing these interviews," adds the 29-year-old substitute teacher from New Jersey, "things read more

APPETITE FOR MARRIAGE

Forget those fava beans, Hannibal Lecter has a new favorite dish. Anthony Hopkins, 65, married antiques dealer Stella Arroyave, 46, in a private ceremony in Malibu, Calif., on Saturday. This is Hopkins's third marriage. read more

Action Dude Jet Li: Can He Act?


Jet Li is best known for his martial arts moves in flicks like Lethal Weapon 4 and Romeo Must Die. His current movie Cradle 2 the Grave — co-starring rapper DMX — offers more of the same high-kicking hijinks. But while the Beijing-born Li enjoys making "popcorn action films," he'd like to add some new flavor to his steady diet of popped-kernel cinema.

"I've always played the tough guy or the good guy," Li tells TV Guide Online. "And I save the families, the cities, the countries, save everybody. But right now, I'm working in Paris with Morgan Freeman and [director] read more

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