Question: I was wondering if Colin Hanks from Roswell and the new movie Whatever It Takes is related to Tom Hanks? I think they look alike.
Televisionary: They certainly do look alike and there's a very good reason for that: Master Hanks is Tom's son by his first wife, actress Samantha Lewes, who parted ways with the lad's father when Hanks the younger was 8.
As you say, Colin plays nerdy Alex on the WB teen drama Roswell and also can be seen on the big screen in Whatever It Takes. His series, though worthy, is struggling in the ratings and his less-worthy movie was a disappointment at the box office, but I'd say his career shows promise.
Hey, his dad started out in a dress and just look at him now.
Question: Last year I read that David Lynch (Twin Peaks) was once again going to come to television. This time it would be a series with a more well-worked-out storyline to be called Mulholland Drive. Whatever happened to that? Jim Leatherman
Televisionary: For a while, that was a question Mr. Lynch was asking as well, Jim.
In fact, the whole experience with ABC, which decided not to go with the series after its executives freaked over the length and strangeness of the pilot the director turned in, had Lynch vowing in The New Yorker that he'd never go near TV again.
That would be a shame, really, since to my mind the first season of Twin Peaks, which also ran on ABC, represents some of the medium's finest moments, and I'm a big fan of the filmmaker (Blue Velvet, Lost Highway,
Question: I have a bet with my wife on the stars of the show thirtysomething. She thinks that Sela Ward was married to Ken Olin on the series. I cannot put a name to the actress, but I am certain that Sela Ward was on Sisters, not thirtysomething. I do remember the actress also being on another show with the gentleman that played Kirk on Dear John with Judd Hirsch. What is the actress's name from thirtysomething?
Televisionary: Ah, me. It's getting to the point where nothing works with you people. Not nagging. Not yelling. Not begging. I give and I give and I give. So I'll ask once again before I dive once again into the job I love so: Please tell me what you're betting when you're betting. It makes me happy. And a happy Televisionary is a chock-full-of-facts Televisionary.
That said, the missus is mistaken. Actress and former model Mel Harris played Hope Steadman, wife to ad man Michael (Olin) in the series,
Question: Could you please find out who sings the opening song on Jack and Jill?
Televisionary: Sure thing. "The Truth About Romeo" is by New York City-based duo Pancho's Lament (musicians Jeff Cohen and Pete DeMeo), whose songs have also been included in episodes of Dawson's Creek and Party of Five.
You can find out more about them, check out some of their other tunes and order their CD on their site.
Question: Please settle a dispute for me. Was Brad Pitt ever on the television show Growing Pains? I say no but my boyfriend insists that he was. Thank you. Sarah Hesketh
Televisionary: Ah, love and arguments the world could turn on those elements alone.
I was all prepared to tell you how wrong your beau is and point out that he's probably thinking of fellow hunky guy Leonardo DiCaprio, who joined the show's cast in its last season. As it turns out, though, he's right.
Mr. Pitt put in a guest appearance on the show in 1985 and it wasn't his only series TV work. He also showed up in Dallas, 21 Jump Street, Head of the Class and thirtysomething, which brings this column full circle and allows me to stop annoying my neighbors with this damnable keyboard tapping of mine.
Question: Please settle a bet for me. I say that Marisa Tomei of My Cousin Vinny starred in the first season of A Different World, a short-lived series that ran just after The Cosby Show in the 1980s. I've been debating this with my husband for years and I'd love to settle this once and for all! Respectfully, Michelle Leclerc
Televisionary: Then settle it we shall, Michelle. And you, like Christina above, may thumb your nose at hubby over your morning java.
As you say, Ms. Tomei, who picked up a Best Supporting Actress statue for her work in Vinny, played sunny-outlook Hillman College coed Maggie Lauten in the series's first season (1987-88). Interestingly enough, series star Lisa Bonet, whose Denise Huxtable was the link to the high-flying Cosby Show and the reason for World's existence, left at the same time.
What should have been a death bl
Question: My husband and I are having a disagreement and my question is a little complicated. There is a new show on called Daddio. The dad in the show is the same man that use to play The Commish. Now here is where it gets confusing. On Growing Pains, Mike Seaver dated many girls. He had a few dates with the daughter of his basketball coach, who went on to star in his own spinoff. My husband thinks that coach is the man from Daddio and The Commish, but I don't agree. Please, can you tell me if I am right? Thank you. Christina Guillot
Televisionary: But of course you are, Christina, which is why you joined the ranks of Televisionary seekers motivated to write in by the desire to look your life-partner directly in the eye and gloat with the satisfaction that only comes from being so darned correct.
Actor Michael Chiklis, who heads up NBC's Daddio (Thursdays, 8:30 pm/ET) and starred as ABC's Commish
Question: Please help me with this trivia question: On I Dream of Jeannie, what was Jeannie's evil twin sister's name? Thank you! Iris McCorry
Televisionary: Ah, the ever-present "evil Jeannie" question, which is nearly as common as the "evil Samantha"/Bewitched query (to be answered at a later date, I promise).
As disappointing as it may seem, Jeannie's troublesome sibling was named... Jeannie (and was also played by star Barbara Eden, for anyone who was fooled by the dark hair). Apparently, the character was referred to as "Jeannie II" in scripts for the show so the actors wouldn't be confused.
She first showed up during the third season in the episode "Jeannie or the Tiger," blinking astronaut Anthony Nelson (Larry Hagman) all over the planet in an attempt to win (or pilfer) his affections. As is typical with many such opponents, the writers squeezed all they could out of the character, who made eight subsequent appearances
Question: On The Practice, what is the name of the African-American actor who plays lawyer Eugene Young?
Televisionary: Counselor and father Eugene Young is portrayed by Steve Harris, who first hit the small screen with an appearance on NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street.
On the big screen, he's appeared in The Rock and The Mod Squad and plays a detective in The Skulls, which just opened last weekend.
Question: Who played Artemus Gordon opposite Robert Conrad in the original Wild Wild West?
Televisionary: Secret Service agent Artemus Gordon was played by the late Ross Martin in the series, which ran on CBS from September 1965 to September 1970, before being yanked from the schedule to appease the politicos during a particularly down-on-violence period.
Born in Poland, the multitalented Martin he spoke Russian, Italian, Spanish, French, English, Polish and Yiddish and had degrees in law and psychometrics was twice nominated for an Emmy for his efforts on the show, but his Wild work wasn't all smooth going. He suffered a near-fatal heart attack late in the show's run and had to take a break from shooting it.
Not that the series was much easier on star Conrad, who played fast-fisted ladies' man James West. The actors performed many of their own stunts and took the bumps and bruises one might expect from such work: In one of th