Michael Moses


Frasier Welcomes an Avenger


Over the course of his lengthy career, Patrick Macnee has been many things: Royal Britannic Naval officer, Canadian television pioneer, critically acclaimed actor of both stage and screen. His most enduring persona, however, remains that of John Steed, the suave umbrella-toting star of the smashingly popular '60s British spy show, The Avengers. Macnee starred in the series for more than 11 years — despite being told he lacked "the right mug."

"My producer once said to me, 'It's amazing with your face that you managed to get the lead in this thing,'" Macnee laughingly recalls to TV Guide Online. "But it worked out quite well. My character was extremely personable and pleasant and got on well with women. He didn't want to cut them into pieces like James Bond."

Macnee — who made his cinematic debut as an extra in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp almost 60 years ago — returns to TV tomorrow night when he guest stars on read more

Oz Star's Secret Past


It's hard to imagine, but J.K. Simmons — aka Vern Schillinger, the black-hearted neo-Nazi of HBO's Oz — once dreamt of becoming the next Leonard Bernstein. "I actually started out as a composer and a classical singer," the actor tells TV Guide Online. "That segued into conducting orchestras and doing summer stock. To be totally honest, I was a musical Broadway-type guy up until a few years ago."

As the deranged Schillinger, Simmons — who once starred in a Guys and Dolls special for PBS — certainly demonstrates the acting equivalent of perfect pitch. Few can generate the kind of head-on hatred he stirs up with each chilling episode of the popular prison series. Fewer still would be able to handle the pressures of the role — both on screen and off.

"At first, my wife was really concerned that I was going to be attacked on the street for playing such a hateful character," says Simmons. "I actually had a couple of white sup read more

Meet TV's New Mr. Roeper


Hard to believe it's been 26 years since Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert and his Chicago Tribune counterpart, the late Gene Siskel, began thumb-wrestling on the balcony. The rival Windy City scribes bickered like an old married couple, and audiences ate it up — consistently turning the duo's half-hour of cinematic analysis into one of the highest-rated syndicated programs on television. However, after the untimely passing of Siskel in early 1999, fans wondered if the balcony would ever be the same.

Enter Richard Roeper, a Sun-Times columnist since 1987 who got the gig last year after the show's producers tried partnering Ebert with a rotating panel of critics. "I watched the show growing up and was very aware and respectful of its legacy," Roeper tells TV Guide Online, adding that any jitters he had about filling Siskel's shoes have since disappeared. "To be honest, I'm having too much fun to be nervous."

Roeper — read more

Will The Mole be a Survivor?


Talk about a big money question: Can The Mole's equation of 10 contestants plus $1 million equal Survivor-like numbers? ABC certainly hopes so, especially since its crown jewel — Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? — has lost some of its ratings luster this past season. But producers insist that The Mole — premiering Tuesday at 8 pm/ET — is not just another Survivor clone.

"I think the show will have its own life," Mole executive producer Scott Stone tells TV Guide Online. "This show appeals to a slightly different audience, [those] interested more in mysteries than reality shows, which are basically popularity contests."

The Mole follows ten contestants — ranging from a 63-year-old retired New York City cop to a 23-year-old medical school applicant with "nasty gas" — as they try to complete a series of mental and physical challenges. After each test, money gets placed into a communal po read more

A Who's Who of Survivor: The Australian Outback


They are moms and soldiers, aspiring actors and small-town teachers. But as of Thursday morning, they will forever be known as the contestants of Survivor: The Australian Outback. On CBS's The Early Show, the identities of the 16 contenders competing for the million-dollar jackpot in the deep river canyons and scorched-earth region of northeastern Australia were revealed to the world, and already standouts are emerging. The Early Show's Julie Chen and Mark McEwen both seemed to favor former cop/tough lady Maralyn Hershey. "She looks like the Rudy of this group," remarked Chen. "She seems like a survivor."

When the follow-up to the most successful summer series in TV history debuts on January 28 (following the Super Bowl), viewers will find the competitors split into two teams — the Ogakor and Kucha, named after aboriginal words for freshwater crocodile and kangaroo. Here are the names and backgrounds of each player, along wi read more

The Grammy Buzz Begins!


After slugging it out with Everlast, Christina Aguilera, 'N Sync, Backstreet Boys, his estranged wife, his mother, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Insane Clown Posse and Canada, Eminem is now taking on Beck, Radiohead, Paul Simon and Steely Dan. Unlike the notorious rapper's other donnybrooks, however, this celebrity deathmatch will go down on national television during the 43rd annual Grammy Awards, which will be broadcast Feb. 21 on CBS (nominations were announced Wednesday in Los Angeles). The five combatants — an eclectic bunch, to say the least — will duke it out for Album of the Year honors. As usual, the controversial category has music insiders buzzing.

"No matter who wins, it will be a surprise," Rolling Stone music editor Joe Levy tells TV Guide Online. "Although Eminem's record is excellent and, to say the least, provocative, it's also offensive to many. Ea read more

Ultimate Survivor II Guide


As we approach Super Bowl Sunday, analysts, bookies and Monday-morning quarterbacks are busy speculating on the outcome of the contest: Who will win this year's drama-filled confrontation, a much-ballyhooed match based on cunning strategy, guts and determination? Of course, we're talking not about the football game, but of Survivor's upcoming second season, which is set to premiere after the gridiron showdown on Jan. 28.

Although CBS is keeping a tight lid on Survivor: The Australian Outback (the network plans to release information on the 16 contestants in early January), this much is known: Production recently wrapped at a remote cattle ranch near Blencoe Falls in Queensland; the series will feature 14 episodes (as opposed to last summer's 13), highlighting a competition that lasted 42 days (three more than the first season); and the show's final episode — which should air April 26 — will feature just three contestants. As expected, the network's stri read more

Ultimate Survivor II Guide


As we approach Super Bowl Sunday, analysts, bookies and Monday-morning quarterbacks are busy speculating on the outcome of the contest: Who will win this year's drama-filled confrontation, a much-ballyhooed match based on cunning strategy, guts and determination? Of course, we're talking not about the football game, but of Survivor's upcoming second season, which is set to premiere after the gridiron showdown on Jan. 28.

Although CBS is keeping a tight lid on Survivor: The Australian Outback (the network plans to release information on the 16 contestants in early January), this much is known: Production recently wrapped at a remote cattle ranch near Blencoe Falls in Queensland; the series will feature 14 episodes (as opposed to last summer's 13), highlighting a competition that lasted 42 days (three more than the first season); and the show's final episode — which should air April 26 — will feature just three contestants.

As expected, the network's s read more

Dawson Meets Alexander the Great


Summer may be over, but things are just heating up on Dawson's Creek, thanks to the arrival of former Wasteland star Sasha Alexander. As Gretchen Witter, Pacey's (Joshua Jackson) sexy older sister, Alexander adds a new twist to the already tangled romantic triangle of Pacey, Joey (Katie Holmes) and Dawson (James Van Der Beek).

Naturally, Gretchen's presence — as well as the intimate kiss she and Dawson recently shared — has Creek diehards buzzing: Will jealousy force Joey to reconsider her feelings for Dawson? How will Pacey react to Dawson swapping spit with his sister? And most important of all, will Gretchen be the one who finally deflowers the virginal Dawson?

"God, I hope so," Alexander laughingly tells TV Guide Online. "That would be so cool. I know the producers have something in mind — and it looks like they're pushing in that direction — but I can't read more

CSI's Foxy Lady


Through its exploration of anal swabs and poisoned nipples, CSI: Crime Street Investigation — the CBS drama that has been described as Quincy meets Seven — has quickly become one of this season's biggest hits. A large part of the show's success can be chalked up to its stomach-churning shock value, an element that required its plucky cast — including actress Jorja Fox — to develop an extra layer of thick skin.

"I get nauseous just thinking about some of the things I've seen on the set," Fox laughingly tells TV Guide Online. "We recently did an episode in the woods where we come across a murder victim covered with bugs — real ones. Generally, I'm not very squeamish, but there were thousands of them, including the ones you don't normally see, like maggots. It was intense.

"To be honest," she adds, "in the beginning, I had to ask myself if I could handle working on this read more

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