Today's News: Our Take


Roman Polanski's Holocaust drama The Pianist won top honors Sunday at the Cannes film festival, picking up the coveted Palme d'Or award. The Pianist was the 68-year-old Chinatown director's first film in competition at Cannes since 1976's The Tenant. read more

Question: I enjoy your witty ...

Question: I enjoy your witty writing. It [censored by uncanny, family-friendly Televisionary powers] me. Please give me your home address so that I may display my [yup, again] to you in person. I'm a vixen who knows how to show men a good time. P.S. What was Dr. Bellows's wife's name on I Dream of Jeannie? — Fannie, Lincoln, Neb.

Televisionary: Jeez, Fannie — isn't a simple "please" sufficient there in Lincoln? My wife reads this column, y'know. Amanda! Amanda! Okay? (I'm almost afraid to throw an extra one in and tell you she was played by Emmaline Henry.)

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Question: Can you answer a ...

Question: Can you answer a question for me and my friends? Actually, you're really settling a debate. In an episode of The Newlywed Game, did someone ever answer, "Oh, that would be in the butt, Bob?" (or something similar) after Bob Eubanks asked for the strangest place the couple had ever made whoopee? Curious minds really need to know! Thanks! — Alyson, Hoboken, N.J.

Televisionary: It makes a great story, huh? The oddest thing is that I was going to tell you it never happened, especially since TV Guide reported it was an urban legend in 1999 when we put together our second "TV Confidential" roundup. "It's to the point where it's odd if someone hasn't heard it," host Eubanks told our writers. "I have been told that it was on the training film for the Albuquerque Police Department. That was the weirdest one."

However, if you caught NBC's Most Outrageous Game Show Moments on May 22, you saw that moment on tape. It turns out some car read more


Brian Williams will have to cool his heels a bit longer. Tom Brokaw is staying put as anchor of NBC Nightly News through 2004, at which point he will pass the torch on to Williams. "Brian Williams has been a valuable asset to NBC News and it's reassuring to know that when Tom steps down, Brian will be there," says Bob Wright, chairman and CEO of NBC. In the meantime, Williams will continue to sub for Brokaw on Nightly News and anchor The News with Brian Williams, which will now air on CNBC. Says Brokaw: "It gives me great comfort to know when I move on to other NBC News projects, Brian will be there to take over the Nightly News reins. He is a true professional and a trusted colleague." read more

Question: What show had the ...

Question: What show had the maid named Hazel? — dyehard39, Reno, Nev.

Televisionary: You know, I realize I've proven myself to be up for just about any TV trivia-related challenge (well, the ones I can answer, anyway), but sometimes you people ask too much. Like the guy who wanted to know who the lead in The Bob Newhart Show was. Or the lady who asked where Miami Vice was set. Now this.

Ah, but I kid. Of course, the show with the maid named Hazel was called... Hazel. And it was based on Ted Key's Saturday Evening Post cartoons starring a maid named... Hazel. The series ran on NBC for four years beginning in September 1961 before jumping to CBS for a final year. In it, Shirley Booth played the strong-willed maid, who, though she worked for successful corporate lawyer Ge read more

Question: Please tell me what ...

Question: Please tell me what song was on the episode of ER when Dr. Greene passed away in the beach house. What is the name of the band and the name of the song? It moved me emotionally listening to it. Please respond. Thank you. — Constantine C., Columbia, Md.

Televisionary: I answered this a while back when the song was featured in an Etoys ad, but late Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo'ole sang that version of "Over the Rainbow." You'll find it on his album Alone in IZ World and on the Meet Joe Black soundtrack.

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Question: Will Dark Angel be ...

Question: Will Dark Angel be on next season? — Betsy, Chicago, Ill.

Televisionary: Nope. And you can read James Cameron's thoughts on that on the May 16 edition of our Entertainment News page.

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Question: Please answer these ...

Question: Please answer these questions on closed captioning. Why are so many words misspelled or left out entirely? Instead of letters, why are there sometimes black boxes? Why does the close captioning not always match the words being spoken? Don't get me wrong; it is a wonderful device for those of us who are deaf, hard of hearing, unable to understand what is being said or who just need to mute the sound at times. But if closed captioning is not done accurately, what's the point? — Chris, Dayton, Ohio

Televisionary: The answers to all those questions, as is often the case with technical questions I get, aren't so simple, Chris. But I'll do the best I can.

Basically, it depends on what kind of TV or external decoder you're using (and how old it is), the quality of your reception, which captioning house is handling the captioning for your show, and whether the program you're watching is live or not.

Addressing your questions in order: There could be a numbe read more

Question: What freshman shows ...

Question: What freshman shows did CBS renew for the 2002-2003 TV year?

Televisionary: Oh, sure — I could list them here, but our nifty Fall 2002 grid already does that for me.

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A flood of fresh flicks couldn't trample a certain pint-sized force to reckon with at the box office over the Memorial Day weekend. (Yes, Yoda, we're talking about you!) Star Wars: Episode II &#150 Attack of the Clones held on to the No. 1 spot for the second-consecutive weekend, grossing another $61.2 million from Friday to Monday. Clones's 12-day total stands at $202.5 million; the film hit the $200 million mark one day faster than predecessor The Phantom Menace. Spider-Man remained in second place with $36.5 million, followed by newcomers Insomnia (No. 3 with $26.2 million), Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (No. 4 with $23 million) and Razzie shoo-in Enough (No. 5 with $17.5 million). All told, Memorial Day weekend 2002 was one f read more

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