Today's News: Our Take

Question: Maybe it's my ...

Question: Maybe it's my memory going in my old age, but I seem to remember a live-action superhero show from when I was a kid. It was a one-shot show, with characters from the DC comics. Help me out and tell me I'm not crazy. — Rodney

Televisionary: You're not crazy, Rodney, though the youthful version of me sure wished Legends of the Superheroes was but a madman's hallucination when I suffered through it in 1978. Alas, it was real, alright.

Now, I have no idea if you were as much of a comic-book geek as I was as a kid, but just imagine how much I looked forward to some of my favorite superheroes appearing on TV. Now picture my steadily falling face as I watched the Hanna-Barbera-produced Legends, which was like a staged version of the execrable Super Friends — only much worse. Remember the extreme close-up of young Danny's horror-stricken mug in The Shining? Darned close.

In the accursed f read more


Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker has a new boy toy. The 37-year-old actress gave birth to her first child — son David Perkins Broderick — early Monday morning at Lenox Hill Hospital on Manhattan's Upper East Side, the New York Post reports. Hubby Matthew Broderick was with her for the delivery. The Post says Parker's Sex co-star, fellow expectant mom Cynthia Nixon, was among the baby's first visitors. read more

Question: Who was the actress ...

Question: Who was the actress who played opposite George C. Scott in East Side/West Side in the 1960s? — Tom R., Berlin, Md.

Televisionary: You're probably thinking of Elizabeth Wilson, who was Scott's boss at the New York welfare agency that served as the setting for the series, which debuted on CBS in 1963. Either that or you mean Cicely Tyson, who played the agency's secretary.

East Side/West Side left the air after only a season, most likely because '60s-era viewers didn't take to realistic (for the time) portrayals of real urban social problems. Learning from the experience, Scott went on to big-screen stardom in such relentlessly upbeat fare as Rage read more


A Saks Fifth Avenue security guard testified at Winona Ryder's shoplifting trial Monday that the 31-year-old actress said she was researching a movie role when she was arrested last year. During opening statements, prosecutors portrayed Ryder as a thief who had an intent to steal. Defense attorneys, meanwhile, depicted the Girl, Interrupted star as a victim of overzealous security guards. read more


West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin is taking some sassy potshots at departing cast member Rob Lowe. In the current issue of Newsweek, Sorkin jokes that there's a lot of pressure writing for an actor of Lowe's caliber. "You're looking at the spectre of [past Lowe films] Atomic Train and Oxford Blues and St. Elmo's Fire," he says, "and you try to live up to those standards, and sometimes you can't." Ouch! So far, Lowe's camp isn't commenting. read more


It's official! The just-concluded 2002 World Series was the lowest-rated fall classic ever. The seven-game Anaheim Angels-San Francisco Giants battle averaged an 11.9 rating. The previous low was 2000's New York Yankees-New York Mets match-up, which drew a 12.4 rating. Still, the series did well enough to help Fox win the weekly Nielsen crown. The network averaged 16.3 million viewers, easily beating second-place CBS (12.6 million). read more


TNT has unveiled its slate of original movies for 2004, and highlights include an update of Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl, biopics on Jesse James and Evel Knievel and a telefilm about a magic baseball card titled Honus and Me. read more


Johnny Knoxville, whose Jackass: The Movie topped the box office over the weekend, has signed on for his next stunt: According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor/daredevil will star as the road manager to late musician Gram Parsons in the low-budget indie comedy Grand Theft Parsons. The film — based on a true story — revolves around the manager's attempt to steal and burn Parsons's body as part of a pact he made with the musician. Christina Applegate plays Parsons's ex-wife. In other Hollywood casting news, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Michelle Yeoh will play a female Robin Hood in the upcoming film The Masked Crusader. read more

Question: ABC Family has the ...

Question: ABC Family has the rights to the animated Hulk, Spider-Man (four different versions), X-Men, Fantastic Four, etc. Currently, Spider-Man (1995) and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends air on weekend mornings. Closer to the movie premieres of Daredevil, Hulk and X2, I expect the network will air marathons of the respective properties. — David G., ABC Cable Networks Group

Televisionary: Wow. As far as I'm concerned, folks, a network employee is really earning his keep when he steals my thunder and trumps me with an answer sent in via my own question form. I believe Mickey Mouse owes that man a fat raise. (And for those of you who have no idea what he's talking about, see the Marvel superheroes question in my Oct. 15 column.)

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Question: This isn't a bet or ...

Question: This isn't a bet or an argument, but I don't believe a friend of mine who told me they shot the pilot of The Love Boat a bunch of times before the network accepted it. Is that true? I can't believe anyone actually tried to make it that bad. Thanks and keep up the good work. — Vic J., Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Televisionary: I see what you're getting at, Vic, but keep in mind that The Love Boat's brand of "bad" kept it on ABC's schedule for nine years (1977-86) and made it an unsinkable hit from its very start, despite the many waterline shots it took from critics. ("My idea of hell is to spend eternity watching 1950s films starring Sandra Dee, Gale Storm and read more

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