Today's News: Our Take


Question: I am looking for ...

Question: I am looking for information about the TV-movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, in which John Travolta portrayed Todd Lubitch. I need to compare it with a book I read for school. Please let me know if there is a website I can go to. I would love to know the history of the movie and what it was about.

Televisionary: You've got it backwards, my young friend. If you're a lazy student, the idea is to watch the movie and ask someone about the book, not the other way around.

Be that as it may, as you say, the 1976 TV-movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble was based on a true story and starred Travolta as a young man born without a functioning immune system. Confined to a shielded environment that kept all germs out, he fell in love with a girl (Glynnis O'Connor) and was faced with the prospect of wooing her without being able to touch her or enter her world. How did it end up? Hey, with as long as you've waited for me to tell you that, read more

Question: Please help me win ...

Question: Please help me win a bet. What was the name of the actress who played Gina, the P.A.A. who dated Martinez on NYPD Blue around 1997? Thanks so much. — Karen W.

Televisionary: Well, Karen, perhaps it's time I start nagging people again about an old Televisionary rule: If you're going to write me about a bet, I insist on knowing what's at stake. A steak dinner? A paycheck? Spill it.

Nevertheless, I'll tell you that P.A.A. (principal — or sometimes police — administrative assistant) Gina Colon, who began dating Det. James Martinez (Nicholas Turturro) shortly after showing up on the job and eventually had his baby, was played by Lourdes Benedicto. If you miss the lady, look for her on Dawson's Creek as a troubled barmaid/love interest for the chronically irritating Pacey (Joshua Jackson).

read more

City Slickers Make Room for Daddy


Next month, when David Eigenberg reappears on Sex and the City as Steve, the father of Miranda's unborn baby, don't be surprised — he'll be surprised enough for all of us. "I've been constantly amazed," he tells TV Guide Online, "that I've been brought in and out and back in again."

In fact, after Miranda first told Steve 'sayonara,' Eigenberg was so certain that he was history that he said his own farewells. "When I got down to my last episode, I went up to say goodbye to [boss] Darren Star, and he said, 'Well, you never know,' and I said, 'If I can be of service, great. If not, there's no sour grapes.'"

Now, Eigenberg finds himself all but umbilically tied to the series — and, specifically, to Cynthia read more

Question: The other night my ...

Question: The other night my boyfriend and I were talking about that housewife who used to complain about Married... with Children and other shows she thought were dirty. As we remembered it, she got a lot of attention and made a lot of progress. But TV isn't any cleaner today. Did she actually do anything? Thank you. — Louis L., Estes Park, Colo.

Televisionary: Looking back, what suburban Detroit housewife Terry Rakolta actually did was create much ado about nothing, which was still a pretty notable effort for a total outsider who started by banging out letters from home. For those who don't remember the dust-up, during the 1988-89 season, mother Rakolta turned on her TV to find MWC's Peg Bundy (Futurama's Katey Sagal) in search of a new bra. The episode, typical for the raunchy, standards-torturing show, was called "read more

Question: Has Wolf Lake, ...

Question: Has Wolf Lake, which starred Lou Diamond Phillips, already been cancelled? I'm a fan of weird shows no one else seems to like and I want to know what happens.

Televisionary: Jeez — if I had a buck for every reader who's sent in questions about this series. Where were all you Wolf Lake fans when the show was on? I've got good news and bad news for anyone taken with it.

Bad news first: CBS hasn't officially cancelled Wolf Lake, but it was put "on hiatus" after four episodes. While that doesn't sound grim on the face of it, the show isn't coming back (networks often utilize that phrase to avoid using the c-word in the hope that everyone will just understand).

The good news? You most likely won't ever find out what happens since the network doesn't have any plans to burn off the unaired episodes. (Okay, so that's bad news, too. There isn't any good news — I just wante read more

Angry Inch Shrinks to Fit Small Screen


These days, John Cameron Mitchell thinks a lot about acceptance. It's at the heart of the actor-writer's directorial debut, the cathartic musical travelogue Hedwig and the Angry Inch. And, as the movie hits video-store shelves tomorrow, it also will decide the ultimate profitability of his creation. Are Middle American audiences planning a Blockbuster night going to embrace the main character, an East German transsexual rock singer, when even she has trouble doing so?

The Sundance Film Festival prize winner certainly hopes so. "When you see something like The Rocky Horror Picture Show on cable all the time or on Broadway, it makes me think that people will remember that the details of the story are really just that — details," the 37-year-old native of El Paso, Tex., tells TV Guide Online. "The more specific read more

Leary's Most Challenging Job


When ABC pushed back the sophomore season premiere of The Job from September to January, naturally, there was speculation that the network had lost confidence in Denis Leary's critically-acclaimed cop comedy. But according to Leary, the Gotham-based series owed the delay to Sept. 11, not the disappointing ratings that plagued its debut season.

"We shoot on-location in downtown New York," the show's creator and star tells TV Guide Online. "A week [after the attacks] we knew there was no way we were going to make it on the air until January — at least. Which in retrospect is a good thing, because I had neither the time nor the interest to watch something new."

The unexpected hiatus was no break for Leary, however. He spent his downtime raising $1.2 million for the The Fund for New York's Bravest — a branch of the Leary Fire read more

Julia Stiles: She Loves NY!


Here's one more name you can add to the list of celebs touting their Big Apple pride: Julia Stiles. The Save the Last Dance actress — a native Gotham girl and a Columbia University coed — rejoices, "More than ever, [I'm] proud to be a New Yorker!"

About the tragic events of Sept. 11, Stiles confesses to TV Guide Online that she was shaken up over the destruction of her hometown. Stiles, whose parents live near the former site of the World Trade Center, was touched on a very personal level. "I grew up in that neighborhood, and seeing all the news footage and recognizing every street corner was really terrifying and upsetting," she sighs. "I went back to the block that I grew up on and not seeing the Twin Towers outside my window right down the street was really weird."

You'd think the devastation would drive the starlet straight to the West Coast read more

Will The West Wing Tackle AIDS?


At a recent World AIDS Day event — where Emmy-winning West Wing director Paris Barclay was honored as one of 20 black "Heroes in the Struggle" — this question arose: Might his issue-oriented series ever address the impact of AIDS on African-Americans?

"That would be a great storyline," said Barclay's pal, Dulé Hill, who plays presidential aide Charlie Young on the show. "I think it's something we should bring to [creator] Aaron Sorkin. I would like to see that."

Scoffed Barclay: "Aaron ignores everything that doesn't come from his own mind. I found the best strategy is to go to [writer/producer] read more

Maybe It's Her Big Break!


No maybes about it: Young Reagan Dale Neis — star of the WB's Friday night sitcom Maybe It's Me — has made it in Hollywood. And no one's more surprised than the 19-year-old actress herself.

"I sort of figured that my career would start with tiny bit parts like I was getting, which was two lines here and two lines there," the onetime Malcolm in the Middle guest star tells TV Guide Online. "My next big prayer was that I could get up to five lines in an episode. I was totally willing to work my way to whatever I ended up getting, and then Maybe It's Me [came out of nowhere]."

Of course, it's possible the show's casting director initially wanted to meet with the Alberta, Canada native just to get the inside scoop on her catchy moniker. "[In America], everybody wonders if I was named after [former] President [Ronald Reagan]," she e read more

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