Michael Davis


Cuba Gooding Jr. Talks to the Children of Military Families 

Cuba Gooding Jr. with Sesame Street's Elmo

Cuba Gooding Jr. serves his country with distinction tonight when he introduces the heartfelt PBS special When Parents Are Deployed (check local listings to confirm time). Aimed at the 700,000 children of military families under the age of 5 who are separated from a parent this holiday season, the show, from the producers at Sesame Workshop, probes the strains imposed on households by deployment. The Oscar-winning actor — and Elmo fan — describes the special as "a tool for healing."

TV Guide: Why this project?
Cuba Gooding Jr.:
Anything that I can do to help the proper development of children in the proper environment, read more

Has NCIS' Gibbs Met His Match in Susanna Thompson?

NCIS' Mark Harmon, Susanna Thompson

On Nov. 7 (postponed from its previously announced airdate of Oct. 24), Susanna Thompson (Once and Again, The Book of Daniel) pops up on CBS' NCIS (Tuesdays at 8 pm/ET) as an Army investigator who catches the attention (or is that a-tenn-shun?) of special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon). The versatile actress recently took a call from TV Guide to discuss what may blossom into a full-fledged love affair for Harmon's oft-taciturn, coffee-addicted character.

TV Guide: Cranky-pants Gibbs in love? Will read more

Parents' Guide: How to Best Use TV Ratings

The TV-14 assigned to shows like Family Guy and Grey's Anatomy suggests parental monitoring.

Once up a time, when your ride had that heavenly new-car smell of freshly turned pleather, you quickly familiarized yourself with the owners' manual, then tucked it away in that handy drop-down compartment where everything but gloves is stored.

For most parents and grandparents, the TV ratings system is a lot like that potentially useful manual: You don't think about it much, but you know it's there.

Of course, there are those who actually sit down and page through the owners' manual and refer to it when the need arises. To be generous, I'd say they represent about 1 percent of the population, the same people who read the warning tags on mattresses and scrupulously pore over every word in an online registration agreement before clicking "I Accept."

You may have a neighbor who fits this description, that guy who is out in the driveway every Saturday morning checking the air pressure in his steel-belted radials. He not only knows how many miles remain in the war read more

Vanessa Williams Dishes About Elmo!

Vanessa Williams, A Capitol Fourth

Of all the leading men in the multimedia career of Vanessa Williams, Kevin Clash is — by far — the least recognized.

In fact, this strappingly handsome, soft-spoken and unassuming African-American gentleman may be the most famous anonymous star in the celebrity universe. For Clash, a puppeteer since his childhood in Baltimore, provides the voice and movements for Elmo, read more

Sesame Street's Elmo Celebrates July 4

Elmo, A Capitol Fourth

A Fourth of July television tradition continues tonight on PBS with A Capitol Fourth (check tvguide.com listings), the annual fireworks and music celebration broadcast from Washington. Host Jason Alexander will welcome Stevie Wonder, JoDee Messina, Michael Bolton, JoJo and the National Symphony Orchestra, and there will also be a special appearance by Elmo, who will take the read more

Vanessa Williams Dishes About Elmo!

Vanessa Williams, A Capitol Fourth

Of all the leading men in the multimedia career of Vanessa Williams, Kevin Clash is — by far — the least recognized.

In fact, this strappingly handsome, soft-spoken and unassuming African-American gentleman may be the most famous anonymous star in the celebrity universe. For Clash, a puppeteer since his childhood in Baltimore, provides the voice and movements for Elmo, read more

Sesame Street's Elmo Celebrates July 4

Elmo, A Capitol Fourth

A Fourth of July television tradition continues Tuesday night on PBS with A Capitol Fourth (check tvguide.com listings), the annual fireworks and music celebration broadcast from Washington. Host Jason Alexander will welcome Stevie Wonder, JoDee Messina, Michael Bolton, JoJo and the National Symphony Orchestra, and there will also be a special appearance by Elmo, who will take the read more

Fall's Edgiest New Show Is... a Cartoon?

The Boondocks

Bold even by late-night standards, The Boondocks is an animated adaptation of the satiric newspaper comic strip. Set to join Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block on Oct. 2, The Boondocks follows the adventures of Huey and Riley, brothers aged 10 and 8, as they move from Chicago's South Side to their grandfather's home in suburbia. TV Guide spoke with creator and executive producer Aaron McGruder, who calls the series "an R-rated black comedy in an anime style." That it includes ample usage of the N-word pretty much guarantees it will catch considerable flak this fall.

TV Guide: Who are your targets in the early shows?
Aaron McGruder:
We do a parody of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Pimp My Ride comes to the house. But we really don't target individuals. I can make fun of people in print because nob read more

Electric Phenom Returns to TV


The Electric Company is coming back to juice a new generation of early elementary-school kids into mastering reading skills. Executives at Sesame Workshop in New York City are hoping to relaunch the landmark literacy series in the fall of 2007, after a near 30-year absence from public television.

Karen Gruenberg, the Workshop's executive vice president for content, promises a series that will call upon "today's artists and the best in pop culture" to lure at-risk kids to the screen. Just as the original series featured Bill Cosby and bits of sketch comedy, Gruenberg says humor will be an essential part of the new series. "If we don't [have humor], we will have completely missed the mark," she says.

Equally electrifying is news that DVD sets of the 1971-77 Electric Company — featuring Rita Moreno, Cosby and a pre-stardom Morgan Freeman — will be released later this year. As many parents will recall, before there was read more

American Dreams Cries "S.O.S."!


Television characters aren't real, but our attachment to them is. With that in mind, I hope we haven't seen the last of plucky protagonist Meg Pryor, the headstrong, idealistic teen daughter on American Dreams, played so convincingly by winsome actress Brittany Snow.

In last week's tumultuous season finale, Meg rode off to an uncertain future in California on the back of a motorcycle, leaving behind a family in Philadelphia divided by issues of war and peace circa 1966.

"I was trying so hard to break people's hearts with the truth," says executive producer Jonathan Prince, who oversaw an episode as uncompromising as it was honest, a send-off meant to send a message. "I wanted to have the network executives and [viewers] say in the end, 'We've got to keep this show on the air.'"

Here's hoping that NBC considers how crushed the show's 7.5 million viewers will be if the netwo read more

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