Question: I know I have seen That '70s Show's Debra Jo Rupp on something before, a very long time ago. Did she play the obnoxious Judy on Welcome Back, Kotter?
Televisionary: Nope. Actress Helaine Lembeck played Judy Borden on that series, which ran on ABC from 1975-79.
But Rupp, who plays mama Kitty Forman on '70s, has been around, so you've undoubtedly spotted her before.
She was on CBS's here-and-gone Valerie Harper vehicle, The Office, during its one-month run in 1995. You may better remember her as Jerry's booking agent on Seinfeld, as Phoebe's sister-in-law on Friends, or from guest spots on ER or Caroline in the City.
Question: Patrick McGoohan once appeared in a black-and-white surrealist adventure series and I'm trying to remember the name. He basically acted alone. I think it was in the '60s and it was not The Avengers, although it might have appeared in the same decade. E-mail to me the name.
Televisionary: Whoa. With that kind of a demanding tone, are you sure you're not Number Two, pal?
First off, as the boilerplate text above states, I don't do e-mail. I receive way too many questions to answer each one and this is, after all, a site that earns its keep by convincing readers to look at pages with ads on them. So I'm answering you here and hope beyond hope that you see this.
The show in question is The Prisoner, which is one of the more fascinating series in TV history, to my mind. Call The Prisoner the Twin Peaks of its time. Like that
BEVERLY GOODBYE SCORES BIG: The bad news is that Beverly Hills, 90210 is over; the good news is that the series finale scored huge ratings, giving Fox its best Wednesday night numbers in almost five years. According to the Hollywood Reporter, 90210's weepy wedding beat Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Jesus among viewers 18 to 49. Another blow against Regis and religion, huh?
MADONNA'S GUY STRIKES A POSE: Material Mom Madonna's main man was arrested Thursday in London for assaulting a fan outside Madonna's home. Britain's Sun tabloid reports that director Guy Ritchie kicked and punched the 20-year-old man while Madonna allegedly sat in her car and laughed! "[Ritchie] aimed a high kick at the camera around his neck he must do kickboxing or something," said the injured fan's pal. "Then he started laying into him punching and kicking. There was no reason for it. My mate wasn't
Question: What cartoon character said "I hate those mices [pronounced meeses] to pieces"? We've been puzzling over who and what cartoon show for weeks! Melinda VanArsdale
Televisionary: Then stop that confounded puzzlement this minute, Melinda. The flustered feline in question was Mr. Jinks, a character on the old Huckleberry Hound show.
In the Pixie and Dixie cartoon, a regular feature on Huckleberry, the often unfortunate Jinks fought with the pain-in-the-tail, titular mice (not to be confused with titmice, which are actually birds). To his credit, though, he sometimes bested them in battle.
And speaking of confusion, Jinks is not to be mixed up with the hapless Mountie Klondike Kat, who doggedly (sorry) pursued the outlaw mouse Savior Faire and vowed to "make mincemeat out of that mouse."
Question: Is there any truth to the rumor of the possible cancellation of The Pretender? If so, I am outraged and need to express my feelings on this, so who and where do I write to express my disappointment? The Pretender was one of the best shows ever on NBC... well, besides Homicide. NBC has lost a longtime viewer and I will never watch NBC again until they correct this mishap. Thank you. Neisha
Televisionary: Your hunger-strike notion is indeed noble, Neisha, but are you really prepared to deny yourself Saved by the Bell: The New Class, when your abstinence will no doubt go unnoticed?
Yes, The Pretender will pretend on NBC no more. But the Net rumor mill is already a-buzz with the notion that TNT, which begins running first-cycle cable reruns of The Pretender in September, may be thinking about picking up rights to new episodes of the show.
Now, let me stress that such online tales are often way
Question: Why are you finding it so hard to answer my question? Maybe you don't find it entertaining enough for your column. Well, maybe you will find this e-mail more interesting. I mean, how much time does it take to answer a simple question like what the hell happened to Veronica's Closet? Please try to be a little more helpful in the future!!!!!!!!!! Thank you. TooKrazee2
Televisionary: It's been cancelled!!!!!!!!!!
Now quit cursing, ya Krazee.
Question: On what NBC program did Corbin Bernsen play a lawyer?
Televisionary: Former soap actor (Ryan's Hope) Bernsen played womanizing attorney Arnie Becker on Steven Bochco's groundbreaking L.A. Law, which practiced on NBC from October 1986 to May 1994. He's had TV work since and a string of movie roles, but it's likely he'll be best remembered for the time put in on that long-running series.
I use groundbreaking as a backhanded compliment, really. With Law, Bochco fine-tuned the multithread, hour-long dramatic formula he helped pioneer with the critically acclaimed but ratings-starved Hill Street Blues to create a bona fide hit in Law. His secret? More soap opera elements, more glitz and prettier faces (all of which were easier to introduce using the slick legal profession instead of the gritty precinct of Hill Street, though he later pulled it off in the cop world, too, on NYPD Blue).
To the show's cr
Question: How can I purchase the soundtrack to NBC's The '70s miniseries? I would very much like to buy it!!! Thanks. ? Gina
Televisionary: Alright, Gina. Normally I'd consider it well beneath this site to shill directly for NBC (unless, of course, they pay handsomely).
But just between you, me and my loyal legions of readers (and those who click around just to send me hate mail), you can buy The '70s soundtrack along with several types of T-shirts on NBC's site.
(A side note to the network suits: Take care of me come the holidays, know what I mean? Don't worry about appearing above-board ? this is special text that only you can see.)
Question: What is the name of the title song for the WB series Charmed, and who performs it?
Televisionary: That's a version of The Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?" performed by Love Spit Love. You can get a longer version of it on the soundtrack from that other pretty-witch property, The Craft.
Normally I'd go on a rant about how much better the original song is (and it is better), especially since I usually hate remakes that add little or nothing to the real thing. However, I cut Love Spit Love front man Richard Butler some slack due to his '80s Psychedelic Furs pedigree.
Try as I might to be a purist, I have to admit I don't mind the Charmed take. But there's no question it lacks the righteous angst and misery of the Morrissey delivery.
Question: Can you tell me when the original miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man aired on TV? Was it in 1976 and on consecutive nights? If so, what were the dates the episodes were on? Thank you.
Televisionary: ABC's 12-hour landmark miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man, based on the 1970 epic Irwin Shaw tome of the same title, ran Mondays from Feb. 1 to March 15, 1976. And looking back, it's rather strange that it's not widely remembered as the milestone that it was.
The production, which told the tale of brothers Rudy and Tom Jordache (Peter Strauss and a much less craggy Nick Nolte) was one of the first miniseries to hit U.S. airwaves. With its blockbuster ratings (second-highest of the season), its critical raves and 20 Emmy nominations, it pretty much established the form ? then lost its place in the cultural memory as Roots came along and usurped it in most American minds as the first miniseries.
That's a shame, really, since