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Disappearing Act
A new season kicks off with serial thrills

The hot trend of the new TV season can be summed up in three words: "To be continued…." Serialized thrillers, sudsy dramas and even comedies with cliff-hangers beg the question: How many of these complicated stories will we be willing to follow each week? Fox enters the fall race early with Prison Break's sleek new companion piece, Vanished (Mondays at 9 pm/ET) — not to be confused, though it will be, with NBC's upcoming Kidnapped. This is what you'd get if Without a Trace somehow turned into a cartoonish conspiracy chase thriller. The missing person is the lovely wife of a Georgia senator, who disappears durin read more

Spike Lee Inspired King of the Hill?!

King of the Hill and creator Mike Judge

This Sunday (at 7:30 pm/ET) will mark the 200th episode and 10th season finale of Fox's King of the Hill. The achievement is yet another feather in the cap of series creator Mike Judge, who turned Beavis and Butt-head into household names and directed the oft-quoted cult hit Office Space. Known as read more

WHO'S DA MAN?

Maybe V really stood for vulnerable. This week at the box office, Spike Lee's Denzel Washington thriller, Inside Man, took in $29 million and bumped Natalie Portman's action flick V for Vendetta to second place (with a take of $12.3 million). Personally, I find Frankie Muniz kinda scary as it is, and apparently, combined with an actual fear feature, so do moviegoers: The Malcolm in the Middle star's chiller, Stay Alive, opened in third with $11.3 million. Rounding out the top five are Failure to Launch, in fourth with $10.8 million, and The Shaggy Dog, in fifth with $9.1 million.
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I'LL BE DAMMED

(And with that headline, it's certain.) Filmmaker Spike Lee has announced his plans to develop a film for HBO about the Hurricane Katrina-related flooding in New Orleans, called When the Levee Broke. No stranger to controversy, the writer-director of Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X says conspiracy theories that the U.S. government somehow engineered the displacement of the predominantly black and poor Ninth Ward are "not too far-fetched," and may be explored in his film. read more

Here's an obscure one, but ...

Different strokes: the cast of A Different World

Question: Here's an obscure one, but maybe you know something about it. Didn't Sinbad get in trouble on A Different World? I seem to recall something about him getting kicked off the show, or almost getting kicked off. Am I nuts?


Answer: You may be nuts, but you ain't wrong, Amy. (And what do you mean maybe I know something about it? Ouch, babe.)

The stand-up comic did indeed get in trouble early in the NBC Cosby Show spin-off's 1987-92 run for refusing to stick to the script, ad-libbing to avoid what many agreed were subpar jokes. "I was supposed to play this older graduate student who was crazy and just into all kinds of mischief," he said of his character, Walter Oakes, in 1990. "But it never went that way. I was wearing corduroy suit coats. I was everything I hated...." So he started making up his own gags. "I would change the whole concept to read more

Vet Earns M.D. on Grey's Anatomy

Isaiah Washington

For the first 23 years of his life, before he embarked on a circuitous two-decade acting career and the breakout role of Dr. Preston Burke on Grey's Anatomy, Isaiah Washington walked a very straight line.

He woke up every day knowing exactly what he was supposed to do and who he was supposed to be. Everyone in his suburban Houston neighborhood — where he did his homework, got good grades and stayed out of trouble — knew he was going to get a football scholarship to pay his way through college. But even when that didn't happen, he simply went to the backup plan and joined the Air Force, where he learned enough about aerospace engineering to land a successful private sector job in Washington, D.C.

Throughout it all, he showed up every day and worked hard, and if he had any questions, he asked someone in charge: a coach, a superior officer, a boss. He got married the day aft read more

SPIKE AND FRIENDS STAY UP LATE

How's this for a dream team: Spike Lee, Danny Glover and Pam Grier are teaming up on a Showtime murder mystery titled 3 A.M. Lee will serve as a producer, while Grier and Glover will star in the pic, to be written by Lee David. Variety reports that there is a chance the film could hit theaters before premiering on Showtime. read more

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