Today's News: Our Take

Question: I could have sworn ...

Question: I could have sworn there was a Saturday-morning cartoon based on Punky Brewster. I think I remember her dog being able to talk on the show. Nobody I ask believes that it ever came on. I know I was probably only about 5 when it would have been on the air, but I don't think my imagination was that wild. Please tell me I'm not crazy. — Ren&#233 E., Beckley, W.V.

Televisionary: Well, it depends, Ren&#233: the dog wasn't talking to you, right? If not, I'm betting you're otherwise okay, since It's Punky Brewster was indeed an NBC Saturday-morning cartoon from 1985-89.

In it, the irrepressible Punky, whose own live-action Sunday-night show ran from 1984-86, lived in a world very similar to that of her evening series. Well, except for her super-powered friend Glomer, who whisked her away to other realms and planes of existence. And while such things would rend the fabric of an adult mind, they didn't shake Punky much. I mean, what's read more

Question: I may be completely ...

Question: I may be completely wrong, but I thought on the last episode of Quincy they revealed his first name. Is that true and, if so, what was his first name on the show? — Rob, Sheffield, Mass.

Televisionary: Nope, it's not. Matter of fact the first name of Quincy (The Odd Couple's Jack Klugman) — the medical examiner who first appeared on The NBC Sunday Mystery Movie before launching the Quincy, M.E. series on its 1976-83 run — remains, appropriately enough, a mystery. The only clue ever given appeared in the Feb. 3, 1978 episode "Accomplice to Murder." In it, a glimpse of Quincy's business card revealed his first initial was R.

And I firmly believe, based purely on anecdotal evidence, that if the name wasn't revealed, it's because Klugman wanted it that way. After all, many a person who worked on the show — and several who found themselves off it because they butted heads with the star — can tell you abo read more

Question: I have listened to ...

Question: I have listened to the Here Come the Brides theme song several times, and it sounds to me like they're saying, "Boys'll stand around and stare," which isn't much better than the version you found. Pine-scented air and staring men don't seem to have much to do with one another, unless those are the points being touted to tempt the "brides" into coming to Seattle. Being ogled by a bunch of strange men isn't high on my list, but then again, I'm not a 19th-century miss looking for a husband.

On a Bobby Sherman website, the lyrics from the version he cut are listed as, "Never knew a day so fair." Maybe he thought the original lyrics were lame, too. — Melinda, Rock Valley, Iowa

Televisionary: Perhaps, but you wouldn't believe how many people weighed in with their take on that line after I admitted I couldn't decipher it and asked for help in last week's column. I got several variations of yours ("boys, don't stand around and stare," etc.) and j read more


Spike TV has rescued a capsizing Shipmates. The male-oriented cabler has ordered new episodes of the dating show, which was slated to end its two-season syndication run this week, Variety reports. The new episodes will debut in early 2004. read more


David Spade's has-been satire Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star debuted atop the weekend box office with a rather lame $7 million. That was the lowest-grossing No. 1 opening since Ashley Judd's Eye of the Beholder took in $6 million back in 2000. Still, Spade and Co. fared better than Heath Ledger, whose supernatural thriller The Order was DOA at No. 6 with $4.3 million. On the bright side, Ledger still has Naomi Watts to go home to. Or did they break up? I can't recall. read more


Singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, best known for the '70s hit "Werewolves of London," died Sunday of lung cancer. He was 56. Zevon — who was diagnosed with the disease in 2002 — spent the last year recording his final album, The Wind. read more

Will Ben and J.Lo Give in to Temptation?

As their eagerly-anticipated wedding approaches, we can't help but think that media mainstays Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez would benefit from some prenup counseling. And where better for a couple on the verge to go over the edge than on national television, right? That's why we're dying — dying! — for the soon-to-be marrieds to drop in on Mark L. Walberg and turn Temptation Island into Fantasy Island.

"There is no question in my mind that that would be a very watchable television show," the reality host tells TV Guide Online, adding with a laugh, "Bookable is another story."

On the flip side, Walberg suggests that, after seeing the Gigli co-stars smile from the covers of hundreds of magazine and walk a thousand red carpets, their public may not be ready to hear them air their true confessions. "I don't know if I would be as interested," he says, "in seeing celebrities sit there and whine abou read more


Fox has ordered an untitled drama pilot for fall 2004 about a team of doctors who solve complicated medical mysteries. What do you wanna bet the pitch went something like this: "It's ER meets The X-Files!" read more


American Idol also-ran Kimberly Locke has signed a multiple album deal with Curb Records, USA Today reports. There's apparently no truth to the rumor that the pop-urban album — which is due out later this year — will include 10 variations of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." read more


Here's some "TV News" scoop from the current issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale now): Former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar recently recorded an episode of Fox's The Simpsons to air in early 2004. In the episode, the Chosen One plays a kiddie delinquent named Gina who befriends Bart in juvenile detention. She later helps the bad seed escape, and the two go on the lam &#224 la The Defiant Ones. read more

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