Catherine Bell, The Good Witch
Catherine Bell's trading in her army-wife stripes tonight for some supernatural potions in Hallmark's original movie The Good Witch (9 pm/ET). Best known for her roles as Lt. Col. Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie in JAG (NBC: 1995-6; CBS: 1997-2005), and currently as Denise Sherwood in Lifetime's Army Wives, tonight she plays the enchanting Cassie Nightingale, a newcomer to a small town who can't decide if she's a witch or not. We spoke with Bell about the film and Wives' upcoming season.
TV Guide: This is one of the more lighthearted roles you've done.
Catherine Bell: It's very different. That's exactly why I decided to do it. She's a little portion of my personality, actually, which is funny because I've played all these women who
Nikki Blonsky, Queen Sized
It's been a fairy tale of a year for 19-year-old Nikki Blonsky. After a failed Broadway audition for Hairspray, Blonsky ended up nabbing the lead role of Tracy Turnblad in the 2007 film version, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. At 9 pm/ET tonight, Blonsky earns a different crown, literally, in Lifetime's original movie Queen Sized, the true story of Maggie, an overweight teen who competes for homecoming queen.
TV Guide: Is Maggie anything like Tracy Turnblad?
Nikki Blonsky: Tracy's a character who can really lift people's spirits and make them feel good about themselves, but Maggie's a character who people can [better] relate to. Not everybody's as positive as Tracy.
TV Guide: Is it hard to be a plus-size actress?
Blonsky: No, I don't find it hard. I look at it this way
Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin, Live
Unwinding to some Dean Martin after a taping of Live with Regis and Kelly (ABC, 9 am/ET; check local listings), 76-year-old Regis Philbin is feeling nostalgic about the show's 20th anniversary. Live's two-week celebration closes out tomorrow morning when former spitfire cohost Kathie Lee Gifford returns as a guest.
TV Guide: It's been 20 years. How's it feel?
Regis Philbin: Twenty years, where did they go? My dream was to go national with the kind of show I'm doing now. I'm glad I finally achieved it.
TV Guide: Say you had to spend an eternity with Kathie Lee, Kelly [Ripa] or Joey Bishop [to whom Regis
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
As the Mad Man with the ad plans, Jon Hamm's making the '60s sexy again playing Don Draper, the Sterling Cooper Agency's charismatic yet mysterious head of creative, in AMC's Mad Men (Thursdays at 10pm/ET). While Don still has a few secrets from his past to deal with, Jon shared a few of his own with us.
TV Guide: What do you find most compelling about the show?
Jon Hamm: It's unlike anything else out there right now. It's ostensibly about something and yet it's really about something else. The show is set in the world of advertising and the world of the 1960s, but it's really about this guy and happiness and American culture and all of these other things. This is a show that's set in a world and in a time where it looks like everybody has everything. How could you not be happy? You're literally at the top of the world,
Kenneth Branagh, Romala Garai and Bryce Dallas Howard, As You Like It
Aside from the poet himself, nobody does Shakespeare quite like Kenneth Branagh. For his latest Bard-based project, the Emmy-winning native of Ireland directs Shakespeare's As You Like It (premiering on HBO Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 9pm/ET) and sets it in 19th-century Japan. The former Royal Shakespeare Company member spoke to us from the set of his new movie Valkyrie, in Berlin, about his modern take on the 16th-century text.
TV Guide: You've done a lot of Shakespeare before, so why adapt this particular play?
Branagh: It's funny and romantic and rather magical. I had been in it in the theater myself, and I'd seen it many times. Although some critics dismiss it as being a little frivolous, a little frothy, I found it to be very beautiful and very life-affirming. I [also] wanted to return to a Shakespearean comedy.
TV Guide: And you chose to set it in Japan based on your own experiences.
Branagh: Yes, the play is so much about the impa