Vanessa Williams

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Reviews and a Preview: Happy February!

Today is not only the start of February but of February sweeps. You know what that means: a repeat-free zone for at least the next four weeks. (Then comes Mar. 1, and you know what that means: Unless you're 24, Lost or Jericho, which will be all-new to the end of their respective seasons, it's a mixed bag of new and old episodes, plus the chaos of rejiggered schedules to make room for mid-season tryouts. But we'll cross that bridge later.)For now, before we start the sweeps march, I want to reflect on Wednesday's highlights. (I'll catch up with Bones later, with a preview of next week's episode next Wednesday. That's a promise to that show's loyal and vocal fan base.)Is there any show that lifts and breaks the heart more regularly and memorably than Friday Night Lights? The quiet poignancy of Tim Riggins reuniting with his estranged dad (Brett Cullen playing his second memorable Texan of the season, after his guest shot as a laid-back mogul wooing and loosening up Vanessa Williams o... read more

Look at Who's Heating Up TV Guide's Hot List!

Grey's Anatomy's Eric Dane, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip's Amanda Peet

The weather’s getting cooler, but TV’s catching fire! Here are this season’s steamiest sensations. HOT DOCEric Dane, Grey's AnatomyWhy him? Look no further than this season’s second episode, in which Dane — aka Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan — emerges from Addison’s hotel bathroom in a cloud of steam, and not much else. “I had a towel on,” says the real-life hubby of Vanished star Rebecca Gayheart. “We also had to use double-stick tape.” Ouch. HOT GEEKMasi Oka, HeroesWhy him? As Heroes’ Japanese salesman Hiro Nakamura, Oka steals the show with his hi read more

Rooting for the Underdogs Ugly Betty Veronica Mars and Friday Night Lights

Every season there are shows that I worry are too good for TV: too offbeat, perhaps too real, maybe too smart. I'm hoping my heart won't be broken if these shows don't catch on, but for now, they're making my heart soar. I'm in love with Ugly Betty (Thursdays, 8 pm/ET on ABC), a show and a heroine larger than life, twice as colorful and infinitely more adorable. This giddy story of a grotesquely unfashionable but genuinely sweet and wise young woman hired by a high-fashion magazine is a fairy tale as comic book, with each exaggerated emotion painted in garish bold strokes. It veers wildly and freely from slapstick to sentimentality, as hissable villains (including Vanessa Williams in elegantly campy Cruella mode) shower poor Betty with contempt. As Betty, the wondrous read more

Press Tour Diary: ABC Day 1

Today's big news: I woke up to find a zit the size of a Vespa parked on my face. Good times....EXECUTIVE SESSION9:04 am: ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson is wearing blue jeans that scream "rock-star network executive!"9:06 am: McPherson announces that he's going to pressure the TV Academy to let us, the nation's top TV critics, decide next year's Emmy nominees. Hey, that was my idea! (And not to split hairs, but it's only supposed to be Matt Roush and me.)9:08 am: McPherson admits if he had to do Commander in Chief over again, he wouldn't have impeached Rod Lurie and replaced him with Steven Bochco. "We would probably bring it on later in the season and let Rod prep for it a lot longer than he had a chance to. He was the voice of that show." 9:08 am: I ask McPherson what he's doing behind the scenes at Desperate Housewives to address last season's "creative collapse." Although he disagrees with the "creative collapse" part — I was going to say implosion — he c... read more

Vanessa Williams Dishes About Elmo!

Vanessa Williams, A Capitol Fourth

Of all the leading men in the multimedia career of Vanessa Williams, Kevin Clash is — by far — the least recognized. In fact, this strappingly handsome, soft-spoken and unassuming African-American gentleman may be the most famous anonymous star in the celebrity universe. For Clash, a puppeteer since his childhood in Baltimore, provides the voice and movements for Elmo, read more

Sesame Street's Elmo Celebrates July 4

Elmo, A Capitol Fourth

A Fourth of July television tradition continues tonight on PBS with A Capitol Fourth (check tvguide.com listings), the annual fireworks and music celebration broadcast from Washington. Host Jason Alexander will welcome Stevie Wonder, JoDee Messina, Michael Bolton, JoJo and the National Symphony Orchestra, and there will also be a special appearance by Elmo, who will take the read more

Vanessa Williams Dishes About Elmo!

Vanessa Williams, A Capitol Fourth

Of all the leading men in the multimedia career of Vanessa Williams, Kevin Clash is — by far — the least recognized. In fact, this strappingly handsome, soft-spoken and unassuming African-American gentleman may be the most famous anonymous star in the celebrity universe. For Clash, a puppeteer since his childhood in Baltimore, provides the voice and movements for Elmo, read more

Sesame Street's Elmo Celebrates July 4

Elmo, A Capitol Fourth

A Fourth of July television tradition continues Tuesday night on PBS with A Capitol Fourth (check tvguide.com listings), the annual fireworks and music celebration broadcast from Washington. Host Jason Alexander will welcome Stevie Wonder, JoDee Messina, Michael Bolton, JoJo and the National Symphony Orchestra, and there will also be a special appearance by Elmo, who will take the read more

How can people in the movie ...

Question: How can people in the movie business have the same name? Like there's a director called Morgan Freeman as well as an actor; isn't there some kind of rule that one of them has to change his name?


Answer: Two actors who are members of the Screen Actors Guild cannot use the same professional name. That's why you have one actress named Vanessa Williams and another named Vanessa L. Williams though, confusingly, both the Vanessas were in Soul Food: Vanessa L. was in the 1997 movie and just-plain-Vanessa was in the cable series. Fortunately, they didn't play the same character. I put in a call to the Directors Guild of America, and they have a similar rule: As long as a DGA member is active (which does read more

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Our Favorite Things - Christmas in Vienna / Tony Bennett, Vanessa Williams, Placido Domingo, Charlotte Church
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