Today's News: Our Take


TRIAL, INTERRUPTED

Winona Ryder's shoplifting trial, slated to get underway Monday in Beverly Hills, has been postponed until Oct. 15. The actress's attorney apparently had a conflict. read more

NBC BELIEVES IN CHER

Cher has inked a deal with NBC — and believe it or not, it has nothing to do with Will & Grace. The queen diva will tape a two-hour concert special for the Peacock network to air sometime early next year. The special will be taped Nov. 6 and 7 at Miami's American Airlines Arena — one of the final stops on her current farewell tour. read more

SPLITSVILLE

Syndicated action hero Lorenzo Lamas and his wife, former Playboy Playmate Shauna Sand, have separated after six years of marriage. The couple — who split due to "problems of incompatibility" — have three young daughters. read more

Question: I remember watching ...

Question: I remember watching Grape Nuts ads that had Euell Gibbons in them when I was a kid. Who was he, anyway? — Tim W., Toledo, Ohio

Televisionary: Gibbons was a wild-foods expert and writer whose best-known works include Stalking the Wild Asparagus and Stalking the Healthful Herbs. Growing up in the dust bowl of New Mexico, Gibbons first learned about living off the land from his mother and then spent years adding to his knowledge by doing research in libraries and interviewing locals as he traveled around the country.

Along the way, he put in time as, among other things, a cowboy, newspaper writer, hobo, carpenter and teacher. In addition to his books, his writing appeared in such publications as National Geographic and National Wildlife.

As you say, he was probably best known for his '70s Post Grape Nuts ads, spots that landed him on such shows as read more

WAS FRAN DRESCHER BUSY?

Julie Andrews has been tapped to play the nanny in Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime, ABC's upcoming TV movies based on the popular children's books. Newcomer Sofia Vassilieva will play the title role. Shooting gets underway next month in Toronto and New York. read more

Question: I have searched the ...

Question: I have searched the Internet over and cannot find the answer! Who are the two female artists singing "I'll Take You There" on The Gap's commercial for long and lean jeans? — Diane, Fort Worth, Tex.

Televisionary: It depends on which version you're talking about. One features Marianne Faithfull and Taryn Manning, while Manning and Tweet are handling the singing duties in the other. ("I'll Take You There" was originally recorded by The Staples Singers, by the way.)

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Question: I just started ...

Question: I just started watching the new medical TV show Presidio Med on Wednesday nights. And the plastic surgeon played by Sasha Alexander is soooo familiar looking to me. I've been racking my brain for weeks now, since I first saw a commercial for the show, trying to place her. Can you please tell me what other things she has been in? — Anie, West Dundee, Ill.

Televisionary: Golly, Anie. Dr. Jackie Colette may be a little stiff, but as far as I know the character's meant to be flesh and blood. Anyway, you may have spotted Alexander, who plays the good doctor on the new CBS drama, on the small screen on shows like Dawson's Creek or ABC's short-lived Wasteland. She also picked up checks for guest work on CSI, Friends, The Tracey Ullman Show and read more

Question: In The West Wing's ...

Question: In The West Wing's credits they list a Renee Estevez. I assume this is Martin Sheen's daughter. What character does she play on the show? Thanks. — Anthony M., Cleveland, Ohio

Televisionary: She is indeed Sheen's daughter and, thanks to his latest contract, she's reportedly guaranteed more time on the show as Nancy, an office assistant who previously worked for the deceased Mrs. Landingham. You can find out more about her on her website, Renee-Estevez.com.

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Question: NYPD Blue has had a ...

Question: NYPD Blue has had a constant turnover of actors and it is easy to remember that Dennis Franz was one of the original cast members. However, isn't Gordon Clapp (Medavoy) also one of the original cast members from 1993? — Todd C., Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Televisionary: Not quite. Clapp didn't appear on the show until a few episodes in, and even then he wasn't a regular character until the show's second year. Franz is the only original cast member who's still with the series.

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Question: A while ago you ...

Question: A while ago you wrote about Columbo. What was the name of the cowboy cop who used to be on with him? — Jane S., Gorham, Maine

Televisionary: That "cowboy cop" was one Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud (Dennis Weaver), who journeyed from his native Taos, N.M., to New York City chasing an escaped prisoner and then decided to stay for a spell. McCloud debuted in 1970 in a series of special movies and then was put into rotation with McMillan and Wife and Columbo read more

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