Question: I've been thinking of Hill Street Blues lately and it is driving me nuts that I can't remember the name of my favorite character. He was played by Bruce Weitz and I think his first name was Mick, but they always called him by his last name. He was a wonderfully eccentric policeman scruffy and tough, with a heart of gold and received frequent phone calls from his mother. Can you help me out? I know this will continue to bother me till I find out! Ben L.
Televisionary: That would be Det. Mick Belker, who was quick with a growl, just as willing to bite a perp as book him and, by the looks of him, not on friendly terms with a shower or razor. I'd imagine Weitz would consider it a compliment that you remember his name rather than his character's, but he did memorable work on the series. During Hill Street's January 1981 to May 1987 run on NBC, Weitz was handed an Outstanding Supporting Act
Question: There is going to be a new show on TV called Last Call and it has Carson Daly on it. Is he leaving Total Request Live so he can do that show? Whitney S.
Televisionary: Oh, what the heck let's make it three New York-related questions in a row.
No, Whitney, you and the other TRL
fans will still be able to clog the sidewalks of Times Square heartthrob host Daly ain't going anywhere. However, you'll now be able to mob him in two places, since Last Call
, formerly known as Later
when it was hosted by Bob Costas
, tapes in the same Manhattan studios as Saturday Night Live
As I write this, the show is scheduled to premiere Jan. 7 (at 1:35 am/ET the night before this column goes up hope you enjoyed it). Guests scheduled for tonight and the rest of this week include Gwyneth Paltrow
, Suge Knight
and Jon Stewart
Question: My roommate and I have a dinner riding on this bet. I believe that one of the singers in the "Give a Little Bit" Gap commercial is Lou Reed. She disagrees. Do you know who the artists are? I realize that this isn't quite up your alley you know all things broadcast television-wise but do you know about the commercials? NYC Fan
Televisionary: Y'know, Fan, normally I'd be my cranky self and take you to task for doubting my knowledge of all things television, then move onto mocking you for implying that commercials somehow exist apart from broadcast TV and for missing all the ad-related questions I've answered in this space in the past. But I only recently moved from Manhattan and I'm missing my former home something fierce these days, so I'll go easy on a fellow New Yorker.
Do you really think my hero Lou Reed, the gritty, Velvet Underground-founding poster child for rebellion, would go all corporate toadie on me
How are viewers taking to Gilmore Girls's new rebel without an apparent cause, Jess? "Some girl on the street actually told me she hates me," laments the character's 24-year-old portrayer Milo Ventimiglia, who's being groomed as a spoiler in the Rory-Dean romance. "I've never been put in this position before playing a character that people just don't like."
While Ventimiglia insists he's not sure if the show's writers plan on pairing him with do-gooder Rory (Alexis Bledel), the grad of the late Fox teen drama Opposite Sex has already begun to size up his formidable competition. "Jess definitely brings things out of Rory that Dean (Jared Padalecki) can't," he winks, citing Jess's "carefree attitude" as a major plus. "He really doesn't give a s---. He's going to do what he wants to do and not pay attention to any authority
Question: What's the name of the Dell dude in those commercials? Have I seen him in other things? E. Honeycutt, Pittsburgh Pa.
Televisionary: Dude... Steven, the guy convincing the world to pick up a Dell in those ads, is played by Chattanooga-born, 21-year-old New York University acting major Ben Curtis. But unless you caught him in an off-off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard's Buried Child or passed him on the street, it's doubtful you've seen him in anything else.
Of course, his newfound fame may change all that and I'd be happy to tell you all about it, but my News & Gossip colleagues already interviewed the lad and handled those duties quite nicely, so you can read about it here
It's been nearly a decade since Quantum Leap went off the air, but fans of the show are still itching to vault into the body of its creator, Donald P. Bellisario, to figure out what really happened during that head-scratching final episode.
When viewers last saw Scott Bakula's alter ego Sam Beckett, he was trapped in a small-town tavern in 1953 where an enigmatic bartender appeared to solve the mystery surrounding the time traveler's existence. While Bellisario has attempted to decode the ending to Leap loyalists before, he clarifies to TV Guide Online that the bartender was "God, or fate," as he wanted Sam to at last meet the one who had "created him." And the significance of the bar itself? It was a recreation of the pub once owned by Bellisario's late father.
What audiences did
When a father swears he would slay dragons in order to protect his daughter, it's usually nothing more than a figure of speech. But should the need arise, Reno Wilson probably is better prepared to defend his castle (not to mention his princess, Deni) than your average dad, thanks to his role as tabloid photographer/ghostbuster Wes Freeland on the Sci Fi Channel series The Chronicle (airing Friday nights at 9 pm/ET).
"He's seen a lot more than I have," the actor tells TV Guide Online, "although I think we might be just about even now, 'cause I don't think anything can be wilder than witnessing the birth of your own child."
In fact, the proud pop compares the October birth to a close encounter of the most unbelievable kind. "Deni looked like a little alien when she came out," he shares with a laugh, adding that wife Coco took on a few otherworldly qualities in the delivery ro
Talk about attention-grabbing! As a married couple in Impostor, Madeleine Stowe and Gary Sinise forget foreplay and cut right to the passion, making steamy love in the sci-fi thriller's opening credits. Says Stowe: "We wanted to show that the two of us are not only married, we're very deeply in love." And how! While Stowe doesn't get much screen time, her role is crucial to Impostor's surprise ending, which she admits "was a total shock. I was reading the script and I didn't see it coming."
What she also didn't see coming was the struggle she'd face while shooting A&E's upcoming The Magnificent Ambersons. Feisty director Alfonso Arau (
Some dark omens don't bode well for Hank Azaria's new midseason comedy, Imagine That debuting Tuesday at 8 pm/ET on NBC. The Peacock has ordered only five episodes of the series, whose title was changed from The Hank Azaria Show at the last minute. The generally unencouraging early buzz from TV critics has to hurt, too. If his show goes the way of most celebs' vanity sitcoms, does Azaria fear the high-profile failure would hurt his career?
"I don't know," he says. "I hope not. There's a thing called the '15 Minute Rule' in Hollywood, where everybody is sort of aware of what goes on with you for about 15 minutes. And then they get too absorbed in their own problems after that. You're usually only as good as your next job, and hopefully [this] won't kill the possibility of my next job!"
Imagine That showcases Azaria's talent for doing impressions he's
As prison inmate Tobias Beecher on HBO's Oz, actor Lee Tergesen has made many viewers think twice before drinking and driving. On the jailhouse drama whose fifth season kicks off Sunday at 10 pm/ET yuppie lawyer Beecher is serving 15 years for killing a little girl while driving drunk. And talk about serving hard time: He's been addicted to drugs, sodomized by a neo-Nazi, had his buttocks branded with a swastika, bitten off one attacker's penis and defecated on the face of another!
"Playing Beecher can definitely be a bit of a mental challenge," Tergesen tells TV Guide Online. "I always experience sort of a hangover at the end of each season, and it can take a few weeks to get reacquainted with normal life."
What hell awaits Beecher this season? Though Tergesen won't rat out Oz's writers, he does reveal that