J.J. Abrams, the man behind Lost, Alias and Mission: Impossible III, is about to add another sci-fi classic to his résumé. Paramount recently handed the 40-year-old writer-producer-director the reins to one of its most revered projects: the next Star Trek film. Abrams will produce the movie with Lost cocreator (and fellow Trekker) Damon Lindelof. Abrams recently called from his Pacific Palisades, California, home, where he was hanging with kids (and budding sci-fi fans) Henry, Gracie and baby August, to chat about sci-fi, the th
Question: Oh, great Televisionary, I vaguely recall a game show where the contestants got a chance to play on a giant pinball machine. Who was the host and how was the game played? Thank you.
Answer: Well, I... uh...
Sorry, Jeffrey — I was stunned into pfumpfery by your shameless worship (not that there's anything wrong with that). The show you're thinking of was called The Magnificent Marble Machine and it aired on NBC's daytime schedule from July 1975 to June 1976. Hosted by Art James, it featured celebrities who teamed up with average-joe contestants to play a 50-foot-high pinball machine. Without getting into too much detail, players were supposed to light up bumpers and earn points using a regular ball and a special bonus ball in an attempt to win cars and other big prizes. Before they could do that, though, they had to defeat another contestant in an initial round, which called for them to identify mys
Question: Any updates on when Scrubs might return to NBC's schedule?
Answer: No news is bad news. With The Office struggling on Tuesdays after My Name Is Earl, the prevailing wisdom was that NBC would give Scrubs a shot in the 9:30 time slot during November sweeps. In fact, it appeared the Peacock was headed in that very direction when it announced late last week that it was benching The Office on Oct. 25 and replacing it with a rerun of the Earl pilot. But an NBC source says The Office is still scheduled to air after Earl during sweeps, so, basically, I don't know what the hell is going on. But I'm beginning to suspect someone at NBC really hates Bill Lawrence.