Today's News: Our Take

The Ultimate Buffy/Angel Crossover

There's good news and bad news for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and spinoff Angel. First, the good: Although it was announced at this fall's Television Critics Association press tour that, since Buffy is moving to UPN, there will be no more crossovers with the WB's Angel, TV Guide Online has learned that some of the series' stars will still interact. Now, here's the bad news: As the actors in question, Alexis Denisof and Alyson Hannigan, are a real-life item, we won't get to watch!

"I'll still be crossing over with Alyson," promises Denisof, laughing.

The pair met when the Maryland native's Angel character, scholarly Englishman Wesley Wyndham-Price, was introduced during the third season of Buffy, where Hannigan has played the title heroine's sidekick, winsome witch Willow Rosenberg, since the sho read more

Farscape: The Greatest Love Story Ever Retold

It took nearly three years for Farscape's lost-in-space lothario, John Crichton, to turn butt-kicking, leather-wearing alien babe Aeryn Sun into girlfriend-worthy material — and all this week at 8 pm/ET, the Sci Fi Channel is replaying every episode in the couple's unorthodox mating dance.

"It was never two normal humans having a conversation," Claudia Black, who plays the modern-day Barbarella, explains to TV Guide Online. "Rather, they had exchanges which carried the strain of couples whose languages and cultures are not the same — let alone the fact that they are from different planets!"

Ironically, the Farscape love story only began to feel strange to the Pitch Black bad-ass when it at last began to seem normal to everyone else. "I get creeped out when it feels too Earthbound," the actress admits, "when Aeryn could be walking around in rollers and fuzzy slippers, and at any moment, Crich read more

Malcolm's Muniz Handicaps Emmys

Malcolm in the Middle's pint-sized star Frankie Muniz is holding out little hope that he'll parlay his lead actor in a comedy Emmy nomination into an actual gold statue next month. "I mean Kelsey Grammer's been nominated 14 times," he points out to TV Guide Online, sizing up his stiff competition. "He almost has as many nominations as I do years in my life!"

"I don't know what [the Emmy voters] were thinking," the modest 15-year-old adds. "I don't think I am a good actor at all. I just yell at my mom and fight with my brothers. That's not funny to me. I have a zero percent chance. I'm not even going."

Of course, Muniz is kidding about that last part. All joking aside, the New Jersey native admits that his nomination is a "very cool" thing. "I know everyone says it's an honor to be nominated, but this really is because I hear they d read more

Question: I remember a show ...

Question: I remember a show from the '80s called Throb.  It was about a mother who goes to work for a record company.  I don't remember the star of the show, but I do recall a young Jane Leeves as a character called Blue. Am I nuts or was this a show?  I thought it may have been syndicated. Thanks. — Melissa

Televisionary: It was indeed syndicated, Melissa. Throb, 48 episodes of which were produced from 1986-88, starred Diana Canova, veteran of Soap and I'm a Big Girl Now (a short-lived sitcom in which she played Danny Thomas's daughter).

The sitcom, the title of which sounds more like the set-up for a South Park episode than an actual series, revolved around Canova's single-mom character Sandy, who took a new job at Manhattan-based Throb Records as th read more

Question: In the late '70s or ...

Question: In the late '70s or early to mid-'80s there was a television show called Merlin. The lead character was Merlin, played by Barnard Hughes. Who played the part of Arthur? Thank you.

Televisionary: Actually, the show was called Mr. Merlin and there wasn't an Arthur in sight. There was, however, a Zac (Clark Brandon), who, one could argue, filled the Arthur role (provided you forget all about Arthur wielding a legendary sword, being cuckolded by his best pal, sending his friends on a disastrous quest, etc.).

Max Merlin (Blossom's Hughes) was the ancient magician, who by the early '80s had moved from grand castles and sorcery to a San Francisco garage and fixing cars. The fun began when he decided to teach Zac the wonders of sorcery, whereupon the new apprentice launched into the usual problems with spells gone awry and the troubles of keeping his powers a secret from mere mortals. Rounding out the cast were Jonathan Prince read more

Gilmore Girls Living Single

Inquiring Gilmore Girls aficionados want to know: Will single mama Lorelai (Lauren Graham) ever get past the percolation stage with coffee-shop owner Luke (Scott Patterson)? This fall, how about seeing a robust, full-bodied, fire-roasted romance for the oh-so-caffeinated duo, instead of just an occasional cuppa joe?

"We all have somebody in our lives where you kind of revisit the idea now and again," Graham hedges to TV Guide Online. "But Lorelai talks so much and Luke doesn't talk at all. He does understand her in a real good, longstanding friend sort of way..."

Humph! What a tease. "I don't think the relationship gets strung along just for the sake of it," she insists. "It's just sort of real, a thing that tugs at you — and I don't know where it's going to go." Cracking wise Lorelai-style, she adds: "Hopefully it'll end up in Paris: A very special Gilmore Girls in Paris."

Luke read more

Medicine Man Doesn't Just Play M.D. on TV

Chatting on his cell phone while en route to a nearby hospital, Brennan Elliott almost seems as if he needs a reminder that his license plates aren't stamped M.D. "I'm on my way to do some research," the portrayer of Strong Medicine's Dr. Nick Biancavilla tells TV Guide Online. "There's nothing worse than watching someone act like a doctor, pretending they know what they mean when they don't."

Hopefully, fans of the series (airing Sundays at 8 pm/ET on Lifetime) won't question the dashing doc's diagnoses, despite his rapid rise through the medical ranks. "He's been made an attending physician," explains the actor, who went from a recurring role last season to full-fledged cast member this time, "so my residency is over, which was really quick."

Both the actor and character were rushed into the E.R. — not for lack of competent physicians at fictional Rittenhouse Hospital, but in order to pump up the romance between Dr. Nick and a more mature col read more

Question: Who was the woman ...

Question: Who was the woman on the Gong Show panel? I think she was a singer at one time. Thank you.

Televisionary: I'll take a wild guess here, assume you don't have Phyllis Diller or Dr. Joyce Brothers in mind and answer with jazz singer Jaye P. Morgan, often introduced by co-creator and host Chuck Barris as "juicy." And I'm sure the lady would object to your "singer at one time" classification, since she told the Los Angeles Times in 1997 that despite her various entertainment credits (movies, TV, stage, comedy), "[W]hen I get up in the morning, I get up as a singer."

Morgan, born Mary Margaret but dubbed J.P. when she took the job of class treasurer in high school, started her entertainment education at the age of three or four in a family act and eventually worked her way up to hit records ("The Longest Walk" and "That's All I Want from You" read more

Question: We want to know if ...

Question: We want to know if you can tell us what old cartoon featured the turtle that would spin and say, "Help me Mr. Wizard!" We have been trying to figure this out for years. Thanks. — Janelle W., Boise, Idaho

Televisionary: So would it be presumptuous of me to say this is your way of saying, "Help me, Mr. Televisionary?" Then help you I shall.

The character in question is Tooter Turtle, a dreamer who, pardon the expression, wanted to come out of his shell and go on wondrous adventures. His pal Wizard the Lizard fulfilled his request and made his fantasies come true until, inevitably, Tooter got in a jam and cried out for a return to normalcy. The lesson, for those of you who seek to learn from this column, was that you're better off accepting your true self rather than chasing some imagined identity. Or, as Mr. Wizard would say at the end of each episode, "Be what you is and not what you is not. Folks that do this is the happiest lot." (Luckily, Tooter never read more

Helen Hunt's Hypnosis Phobia

Talk about suspension of disbelief! In Woody Allen's Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Helen Hunt plays a woman brainwashed by a nightclub mesmerist into falling in love with the 65-year-old auteur. Farfetched as the comedy's premise may be, it's still enough to make a gal think twice about the power of posthypnotic suggestion.

"I do believe in it," Hunt admits, "and I've never gone under. I'm curious — but not curious enough to be hypnotized." Chuckling, she adds: "I would watch you be hypnotized, happily. But I'm not dying to give a total stranger control of my mind. Call me crazy!"

Indeed, Hunt felt it best to keep her wits about her on the Scorpion set, considering the horror stories she'd heard about Allen, her eccentric director a read more

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