Question: I've been watching Bonanza reruns and was wondering why it was eventually cancelled. My dad says it was because Dan Blocker died. Is that true? Thanks for your help and keep up the good work! Tim M., Cicero, N.Y.
Televisionary: Aw, heck t'ain't nothin, but thanks for the kindly words, Tim.
It's true that when Blocker died at 43 from surgical complications, many felt the heart and soul of the show went with him. But the show also dropped in the ratings after NBC moved it from its longtime Sunday-night berth to Tuesday night. The truth is that Bonanza most likely perished because its time had simply passed. Next to Gunsmoke, it was the longest-running Western on TV (from September 1959 to January 1973) and for much of that time it turned in phenomenal ratings. From 1964-67 it was number one and it only began to slip out of the top 10 in
Question: Oh, great Televisionary, I vaguely recall a game show where the contestants got a chance to play on a giant pinball machine. Who was the host and how was the game played? Thank you. Jeffrey E., Rochester, Minn.
Televisionary: Well, I... uh...
Sorry, Jeffrey I was stunned into pfumpfery by your shameless worship (not that there's anything wrong with that). The show you're thinking of was called The Magnificent Marble Machine and it aired on NBC's daytime schedule from July 1975 to June 1976. Hosted by Art James, it featured celebrities and average-joe contestants teaming up to play a 50-foot-high pinball machine. Without getting into too much detail, players were supposed to light up bumpers and earn points using a regular ball and a special bonus ball in an attempt to win cars and other big prizes. Before they could do that, though, they had to defeat another contestant in an initial round, which called for them to identify myster
Question: Hi. Can you tell me who the blonde singer is on Ally McBeal? I have tried the website and can find nothing. I love her voice and would like to learn more about her. Thank you. DeeAnn
Televisionary: That's singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard doing cover versions of such pop classics as "Someday We'll Be Together," "Tears on My Pillow," "Fire," "This Magic Moment," "It's So Easy" and a whole truckload of others on the show. A former backup singer for Jackson Browne, the New York native struggled to make a name in the biz before Ally creator David E. Kelley, a fan, brought her in to provide musical backup for the show and gave her career a bigtime boost.
If you like her work on the series, there are three bestselling compilations available: Songs from Ally McBeal
, Heart and Soul: New Songs from Ally McBeal
and Ally McBeal: A Very Ally Christmas
. You might also enjoy
At the press junket for Domestic Disturbance, actress Teri Polo she's the ex-wife of John Travolta's who weds killer Vince Vaughn in the thriller boldly informed reporters: "My next role is being a mother. We're currently working on having a baby. Not right now, 'cause that would be right here on the table and y'all would be really embarrassed!"
Clearly not shy about her intimate life with husband Tony Moore, Polo admitted she's not pregnant yet. "[But] hopefully this week, 'cause I'm ovulating! He's up in the hotel room. It's in my contract that I have 15 minutes [with him] in between every interview!"
Was she just kidding? It's hard to tell, sinc
Finally, the show went on. After two unprecedented postponements stemming from the Sept. 11 attacks, the 53rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards were held last night, and as expected, politics and patriotism both real (musical tributes, stirring speeches) and fictional (The West Wing's second-consecutive best drama series victory) played a major role. But did anyone watch?
With a nail-biter of a World Series finale airing opposite the kudocast on Fox, the consensus backstage in the Jade West restaurant-turned-press room was that the Yankees weren't the only ones headed for defeat Sunday. Even Emmy honcho Bryce Zabel struggled to put a positive spin on the potent counterprogramming. "That's the breaks," he sighed. "But on the other hand, the idea that there's a live baseball game going on at the same time as the Emmys really sends a powerful message to the rest of the world."
Well, the message it sent to many in attendance at Los Angeles's S
Following the devastating attacks on the United States, the 53rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony was postponed by three weeks. After America retaliated against Afghanistan, CBS rescheduled the proceedings again. But really, by then, what was the point? Watching the rich and famous pat themselves on the back for doing the jobs that made them rich and famous has
never exactly been an experience that set anyone's soul aglow, and that was before the world was turned upside down. So now that our nation has entered into an indeterminate period of mourning and gone to war, why bother handing out the golden girls at all?
It turns out, the answer is reassurance. In these, the most uncertain times that many of us have ever known, it is comforting just to see the personalities whom we invite into our living rooms each evening. Furthermore, to come away with the impression that many of them are not at all the money-grubbing egomaniacs that cynics would have us believe that
He's donned loads of prosthetics (for Spawn), dressed in drag (To Wong Foo) and walked on his knees for weeks (Moulin Rouge), but method actor John Leguizamo says he's had enough of the challenging, bizarre parts that made him famous. Having just signed a seven-figure deal with CBS for a cop dramedy, the energetic chameleon says he's now ready to take it easy and spend time with wife Justine Maurer and their children, two-year-old Allegra Sky and 10-month-old Ryder Lee.
"I've always wanted incredible challenges and things that were as different from me as possible, but not any more," admits the versatile star, who plays a mentally-handicapped man who witnesses his mother's murder in King of the Jungle (in li
Does actress Kelly Preston have more guts than her action-hero hubby, John Travolta? We're not sure about that, but she will compete on the celebrity edition of NBC's Fear Factor airing Nov. 27 something the star of Domestic Disturbance says he'd never do.
"I wouldn't dare leave a perfectly good airplane [in mid-air]," Travolta grins to TV Guide Online. "I wouldn't dare eat a perfectly good goat's eye. I wouldn't allow bugs to crawl up my nostrils when I don't have to. But my wife is fascinated with that show, as is most of the public."
While he leaves all the stunts to Preston, the actor reveals we will see him comforting his jittery spouse in the episode. "I just ended up having to go on and act like a cheerleader," he shrugs, recalling that he teased her
Asked how he celebrated Halloween growing up, Monsters Inc.'s John Goodman quips: "We'd sacrifice an animal and rub blood on our faces. Let's all worship Satan country style!"
If you're looking for the boisterous Roseanne alum to make any apologies for his irreverent humor, don't hold your breath. "Hey, I got enough dough," he grins. "I don't have to kiss anybody's behind."
That thick skin of his served Goodman well when Fox canceled Normal, Ohio his critically-dissed sitcom about a citified gay man going back to live in his rural hometown. "I didn't read the papers, so I don't know what kind of hits it was taking," he shrugs. "We were having such a good time, I didn't give a big rat's patoot. So when they pulled it, they pulled it. That's showbiz. We probably didn't have much of a chance anyway
In the new film Tape (opening tomorrow), Ethan Hawke stars as a man who's still hung up on his high-school sweetheart, played by real-life wife Uma Thurman. Off screen, Hawke seems rather hung up on the idea of collaborating with his bride, as he cast Thurman in his upcoming directorial debut, Chelsea Walls.
"It worked out pretty good actually," winks the 30-year-old auteur, who currently appears opposite Denzel Washington in the hit cop drama Training Day. Hawke adds, however, that it wasn't all smooth sailing for the happy couple who have a three-year-old daughter, Maya Ray. "To work with somebody you'