Today's News: Our Take

Kidman: "I'm Still Overwhelmed"

Nicole Kidman's new film, Moulin Rouge, may have come up empty-handed at the Cannes Film Festival last weekend, but it scored a major victory at the box office: On just two screens, the musical drama grossed a spectacular $167,540, for a per-screen average of $83,770. (By comparison, the No. 1 film, Shrek, pulled in $11,806 at each theater.)

While it's too early to herald the pic a smash — the true test comes June 1 when it opens wide — it's safe to say that Kidman's decision to aggressively promote the movie has paid off so far. Still, given her recent split from Tom Cruise (and her subsequent miscarriage), the actress admits to TV Guide Online that, "Obviously I would not do interviews during this particular time in my life if I didn't have such a wonderful film to talk about. I want people to know about it."

In an effort to protect her two children, Kidman won't disc read more

Felicity's Smart Move

On tonight's season finale of Felicity, Noel's ex-flame, Ruby, pays a visit to attend his graduation. But the former coed — once again played by Amy Smart — does not show up alone. "I had to bring the baby back," says Smart, whose character was preggers by another man when last seen. "It's my first time [playing] a mom."

With Noel (Scott Foley) still pining away for Felicity (Keri Russell), Ruby faces an uphill battle if she's hoping to reconcile with her college sweetheart. But as Smart explains, her reappearance serves a higher purpose. "So many people are wondering what happened to [Ruby], I felt like I needed to kind of finalize it," she says. "And also, I think everyone was sort of curious if I had a boy or a girl."

And while Smart says she "always loves coming back and working on the show," future Felicity stints will "depend on how my film career goes." In other words, don't expect to see read more

Friends Baby: Who's Your Daddy?

Not since Dallas nearly knocked off J.R. Ewing in 1980 has a cliffhanger sparked as widespread a guessing game as the one that has erupted in the wake of this season's Friends finale. The $64,000 question: Who impregnated Rachel (Jennifer Aniston)? A recent TV Guide Online poll revealed that most viewers thought that the single gal's ex-husband Ross ought to stock up on cigars. But he is far from the only fellow who might ace a paternity test. In fact, next season the mom-to-be could conceivably find herself reading Dr. Spock with any of these potential fathers.

Ross (David Schwimmer): Since their breakup, Rachel and her old flame have repeatedly reheated their romance — heck, they even got hitched during a lost weekend in Vegas. Plus, just because the one booty call they scheduled on-screen was aborted doesn't mean that there couldn't ha read more

Question: Can you settle an ...

Question: Can you settle an argument for me? My fianc&#233 and I are arguing over some Old Navy commercials (I believe they showed them mainly during Christmas) featuring the "Item of the Week." There is a woman on the commercial and my fianc&#233 believes it's Megan Mullally from Will &#038 Grace. I say it's not. Who's right? Thanks. — Teresa

Televisionary: Once again, I play peacemaker — and this time I'm happy to head off a relationship crisis before it tears you two kids apart. Don't let TV get in the way of your love, Teresa. It's just not worth it.

Your intended is right; 'twas Ms. Mullally (Will &#038 Grace's money-loving Karen) dancing with the Old Navy boys in the ads, which hawked such essentials as sleep bottoms and half-zip pullovers. And lest you two lovebirds stop your cooing to battle over another aspect of those spots, that was read more

Boreanaz on Buffy and Angel's Big Split

At the WB's fall schedule presentation to advertisers last week, Angel hunk David Boreanaz practically woke the dead when he stumbled onstage and uttered: "This isn't the UPN." The crack — a not-so subtle reference to the Smackdown network's acquisition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer — made WB execs' blood boil, and intensified speculation that Boreanaz wanted Angel to join its sister show across the dial.

But in an interview with TV Guide Online, the actor insists that he "really didn't have a preference" either way. "If Angel ended up on UPN, I would still have gone into work and done my thing. And if it stayed on the WB, I'd do the same thing. That's what I get paid to do. I am not in a position to decide what network we should be on."

Of course, Boreanaz concedes that having Buffy and Angel on rival channels will make crossovers "difficu read more

Question: In the mid-'70s I ...

Question: In the mid-'70s I seem to recall watching four shows on ABC on Tuesday nights. The schedule was as follows: Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley and Three's Company. I can't for the life of me remember the fourth show. Any help would be appreciated.

Televisionary: It depends on which year you're talking about. In 1977, Happy Days kicked things off at 8 pm, followed by Laverne &#038 Shirley at 8:30 pm, read more

Question: Help! I thought I ...

Question: Help! I thought I once heard that there were three different openings for The Dick Van Dyke Show — one where star Dick Van Dyke falls over the ottoman, a second where he jumps over it, and a third where he goes around. I told my 11-year-old son this and I think he is starting to think I made the whole thing up as we only see Dick go around the ottoman. I can picture all three scenarios in my head but, is it only in my head? Thanks. PS: Love your column. — Jacqui

Televisionary: Why, thank you kindly for sharing the love, Jacqui — now let's see if I'm worthy of it.

My unearthly Televisionary abilities indicate there were actually four openings to the legendary show, which ran on CBS from October 1961 to September 1966. The first showed two hands holding a folder of photos which spill out to reveal a flattering head shot of the star before a follow-up montage of read more

Question: There used to be a ...

Question: There used to be a television program in the '50s, I think, called Boston Blackie. Could you give me some information on the progam and the actors in it? Thanks much.

Televisionary: Not a problem — what else do I have to do on a weekday afternoon, after all? (Just give me a moment to tear myself away from Timmy and Passions.)

Fifty-eight episodes of the syndicated Boston Blackie were produced from 1951-53, starring Kent Taylor as the "enemy of those who make him an enemy, friend of those who have no friend." An L.A. denizen who'd come around from a life of crime, Blackie was helped by gal-pal Mary Wesley (Lois Collier) and accompanied by faithful canine pal Whitey as he solved mysteries the ineffective Inspector Farrady (Frank Orth) couldn't suss out himself... which was pretty much all of them.

The character was originally conceived by writer Jack Boyle in 1919, appearing in a series of magazine stories read more

Question: Did Jane Kaczmarek ...

Question: Did Jane Kaczmarek (Bradley Whitford's wife) ever appear in The Paper Chase TV show or movie? — Rachel K.

Televisionary: Now, Rachel, let me get this straight. In this time of enlightenment, Ms. Kaczmarek's work on Malcolm in the Middle earns her an Emmy nomination and all you can do is define her as West Wing-er Whitford's wife? Ah, me.

To answer your query, though, the actress was on the small-screen version of the 1973 film. She played law student Connie Lehman in The Paper Chase: the Second Year, the series continuation shown on Showtime in 1983 after CBS's 1979 cancellation of the original Paper Chase. She only appeared for one season, a read more

Christina Ricci Accents the Negative

Following in the footsteps of Renée Zellweger and Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Ricci, 21, had to master a British accent for her latest film, The Man Who Cried (opening Friday). The arduous task would have brought the Opposite of Sex star to tears herself, if it weren't for the help of cast and crew.

"I would get nervous before scenes, which is really different for me," says Ricci, who plays a Russian-Jewish refugee who grows up in pre-World War II England. "I work best by not thinking about what I'm doing, but when you do an accent, you have to think about every word."

Ricci was coached by Barbara Berkery, the dialect wiz who trained Zellweger for Bridget Jones's Diary and Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love and read more

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