Today's News: Our Take


NBC LEAVES ME ALONE

NBC has shelved a fall comedy pilot starring Saturday Night Live grads Norm Macdonald and Jon Lovitz in an apparent dispute with producer Adam Sandler over syndication revenues, Variety reports. The potential series, titled Leave Me Alone, is now expected to be shopped around to the other networks. read more

PIANO MAN ILL

Billy Joel and Elton John have postponed the eight remaining dates on their joint U.S. concert tour so Joel can recover from an inflamed vocal cord and an upper respiratory infection. On Monday, a New York Times review of Friday night's concert at Madison Square Garden suggested that Joel "seemed to have ingested something quite a bit stronger than cough syrup," and described him as rambling and bellowing. Joel's rep declined to comment on the review, telling The Associated Press only, "He was sick." read more

I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!

Saturday Night Live alumna Molly Shannon is joining the cast of HBO's Sex and the City for a multi-episode arc. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the funny lady will play a single publishing executive in search of a man. Additionally, Shannon is in talks to take a role in ABC's remake of The Music Man. read more

Question: I remember a show ...

Question: I remember a show from the early to middle '70s called Primus. It was sort of a Sea Hunt knock-off, but it got me into scuba diving. Can you tell me more about this show, such as who was in the cast and the years it aired? — Kevin C.

Televisionary: That's why I'm here, Kevin. Actually, Primus, a syndicated show produced in 1971, was more than just a Sea Hunt knock-off — it was a younger sibling of sorts. Producer Ivan Tors, who created the series, was also behind Sea Hunt and Flipper.

Carter Primus (Robert Brown), the title character, was an adventurer who, aided by submersible robot Big Kate, mini-sub Pegasus and other sundry gadgets, earned his living under the sea. Pal Charlie (Will Kuluva) and assistant Toni (E read more

Question: I have an argument ...

Question: I have an argument with a friend about an old cartoon. She doesn't believe me when I tell her about The Mighty Heroes. I have found some info on the Web, but was wondering if it was on TV or available on video so I can actually show her some episodes. Please e-mail me. Thank you.

Televisionary: As it says at the top of page, Televisionary don't play that. So I hope you see this here.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, episodes of The Mighty Heroes are no longer on the air and aren't available on video anymore, but they have been on VHS in the past so you might be able to score a copy from your favorite online auction site or used-video outlet. If it helps your cause at all, however, I'm only too happy to confirm that the cartoon did indeed exist, especially since I used to catch it in syndication and loved it as a young'un.

The titular heroes of the superhero genre-spoofing cartoon included team leader Diaper Man, a flying baby with the p read more

Question: I was wondering if ...

Question: I was wondering if you could tell me the name of the guy who is playing Judge Ripley on Philly. At the end of the program the credits go by so fast that I can't see who it is. I think the chemistry between him and Kathleen is very good! Any info on him would be appreciated. Thanks.

Televisionary: That's actor Jamie Denton playing the romantic interest for defense attorney Kathleen Maguire (former NYPD Blue trouper Kim Delaney) on the ABC drama. If you were a fan of the now-defunct Pretender series, you may remember him as the underhanded Mr. Lyle.

Denton also did some guest work on such series as read more

AIR RAGE TRIAL

R.E.M guitarist Peter Buck was back on trial in a London courtroom Monday to face charges of assaulting a British Airways flight crew during a Seattle-to-London flight last April. Prosecutors said Buck — whose first trial was dismissed on a technicality — behaved like a "drunken lout," overturning a breakfast trolley, mistaking a stranger for his wife and scuffling with crew members. The 45-year-old guitarist has pleaded not guilty. read more

SHORT CUTS

Universal is planning to release a special IMAX version of Apollo 13 in theaters this summer... Eddie Murphy is in talks to star in Haunted Mansion, a feature film based on the spooky Disneyland ride... Johnny Depp has signed on to portray Peter Pan author Sir James M. Barrie in Miramax Films's Neverland... Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and The Royal Tenenbaums won best movie costume awards over the weekend from the Costume Designers Guild... Meat Loaf has been cast in the Fox drama pilot John Doe... Former read more

FAMILY MATTERS

Newlyweds Liza Minnelli and producer David Gest are wasting no time starting a family. According to Britain's Daily Express newspaper, the couple plan to adopt four children "of all races." Meanwhile, Minnelli and Gest are reportedly planning to chat with CNN's Larry King tomorrow via satellite from London. read more

Question: Okey dokey, my dad ...

Question: Okey dokey, my dad and I have a bet riding on this one. My father says that Petticoat Junction came before The Beverly Hillbillies and that Kate and Pearl, though both played by the late, great Bea Benaderet, were not related. I, on the other hand, say that the Hillbillies came before Petticoat — and am pretty darn sure that there was something about Kate and Pearl being distant cousins or something of the sort. Who's right? Thanks! — Ashley, Julian, N.C.

Televisionary: Looks like it's a draw on this one, Ashley. And since you broke the age-old Televisionary rule and didn't tell me what your bet was (and that's Mr. Okey Dokey to you, by the way), all I can say is it's either a wash and you either owe each other nothing or you should buy something nice for one another.

You're right on the first count: The Beverly Hillbillies debuted on CBS in September 1962 and read more

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