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ABC's decision to post talking billboards above urinals in New York and Los Angeles promoting Norm's move to Fridays is getting the flush of approval from the sitcom's executive producer, Bruce Helford. "You know, sometimes the low road is the [one] less congested," he told assembled press at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA. "We had a blast doing it when they called." Series star Norm Macdonald, however, cops to being "embarrassed by all that restroom stuff," but added that he would not object to seeing the ads featuring his voice in women's restrooms. read more


Gabriel Byrne, star of the upcoming ABC comedy Madigan Men, confirms that he is in talks to appear in the next Star Wars prequel, due in summer 2002. "[We're] discussing it," reveals the actor, adding that he has no details about who he would play. "I think they're still writing the script." read more


It appears that the mutants of X-Men weren't as mighty as originally predicted. Box office estimates had the comic book caper grossing $57.5 million over the weekend, ranking it as the fourth-largest opening ever. Well, final figures are in, and the film pulled in $54.5 million — still spectacular, but now it's the sixth-biggest opening, behind The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Star Wars: Episode I, Mission: Impossible II, Toy Story 2 and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. read more


Brooke Shields, 35, got engaged over the weekend to boyfriend Chris Henchy, 35, a scribe from her late, hated sitcom, Suddenly Susan. Shields previously was married to tennis great Andre Agassi, who is now dating Steffi Graf. — Michael Ausiello and Allie Cahill read more


Tom Cruise is in preliminary talks to reteam with Cameron Crowe, writer/director of his 1996 smash hit Jerry Maguire, in an untitled love story, Variety reports. Should he sign on, the project — which would be produced by Cruise's production company — is slated to start filming in late fall. After that, the Mission: Impossible II star will begin work on the Steven Spielberg-directed Minority Report. read more


Christopher Reeve will produce and direct a TV-movie for ABC based on the just-released novel Rescuing Jeffrey, a true story about a parents' struggle over whether to remove their quadriplegic son from life support, Variety reports. Reeve — himself left paralyzed from a 1995 equestrian accident — directed the acclaimed HBO minimovie In the Gloaming. read more

Question: On Fantasy Island, ...

Question: On Fantasy Island, what were the names of the main characters and who played them? Also, when did the series appear on television? Thank you.

Televisionary: So this is where my detractors expect me to go off on a lame "De plane, boss! De plane!" riff, eh? Please, my standards are a little higher than that (not much, admittedly.)

I'm assuming you mean the original version, which starred Ricardo Montalban as the mysterious Mr. Roarke and Herve Villechaize as his assistant, Tattoo. (I'll get into the other characters in a second but, frankly, those guys are the only ones anyone remembers anyway.)

Pulled from the pop-crap genius factory of TV overlord Aaron Spelling, Fantasy Island was built upon the same general formula as The Love Boat, another hit Spelling series on ABC at the time. Generally speaking, both were vehicles for guest stars to appear and have their problems solved by an amiable host. Of course, in read more

Question: You are a fraud. ...

Question: You are a fraud. You make everyone think you know or can find out anything about the entertainment industry. But when you can't, instead of posting the truth that you are stumped and ask your loyal readers for help, you simply ignore the question, and go on to the next. Why don't you go work for the government? I'm sure they will pay you lots more money to be this evasive. — Lui

Televisionary: OK, now you've got me all dizzy. You call me a fraud, but to my mind I've always admitted I don't know what I'm talking about, so that makes me quite truthful, really, which means I can't really be a fraud if I'm already admitting I'm one, right?

Great. Now my head hurts.

And I'm not ignoring your question, either. I won't work for the government because I can't get the two ends of a necktie to match up right so I don't wear one. And the uniforms required for the other jobs look mighty itchy to me. Also, I can't count beyond fingers and toes, so cens read more


Meg Ryan's estranged mom isn't surprised by rumors that her daughter has fallen for Gladiator star Russell Crowe. "When it was announced that they were making a movie together, it was obvious Meg would either hate Russell and have him kicked off the set because he was everything [estranged husband] Dennis [Quaid] was not, or she would end up having a passionate affair with him," Susan Jordan told London's Daily Mail. read more

Question: OK, Televisionary. ...

Question: OK, Televisionary. I am not going to give you weeks or months to answer my question. Tell me this week or I'll find someone who might better do your job. Howard Cunningham on the popular TV show Happy Days belonged to a club. Please tell me and the rest of your devoted readers what club he belonged to. I'll tell my co-workers what a genius you are if you print it in your next installment. Thanks from Indiana. — Paul

Televisionary: Oh, come now, Paul. The guy who sells overpriced gum in this building's lobby could better do my job. What I'm saying is, it's not that tough to be a fraud. (Just ask Lui... sniff.)

						 Howard Cunningham (Tom Bosley) belonged to the Leopard Lodge.

Now, please — let the co-worker enlightenment begin.

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