Today's News: Our Take

Question: I have two ...

Question: I have two children, so I'm usually listening in on cartoons. Some voices really sound familiar, like Patrick on SpongeBob SquarePants. Is that the guy who played Dauber on Coach? And what about the penguin on Oswald? Is that Squiggy from Laverne &#038 Shirley? — Ginny, Mount Prospect, Ill.

Televisionary: Right you are, Ginny, on both counts — good ears. Bill Fagerbakke, who played Dauber Dybinski on ABC's Coach for eight years beginning in February 1989, is the voice of Patrick Star. And David Lander, who portrayed Andrew "Squiggy" Squiggman on ABC's Laverne &#038 Shirley from January 1976 to May 1983, is the voice of Oswald's penguin pal, Henry.

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Question: There was a ...

Question: There was a short-lived television show in the late '80s or early '90s that featured a large (eight to 10 people) band. The band also had a record out at the same time. I believe part of the name was "heights." Any ideas? — Laura W., Lawrenceville, Ga.

Televisionary: Well, one. You're thinking of The Heights, a drama which ran on Fox for only three months beginning in August 1992.

As you say, the band was nearly big enough to field its own baseball team, with Dizzy (Ken Garito), Stan (Alex Desert), Rita (Cheryl Pollak), Hope (NYPD Blue's Charlotte Ross), J.T. ( read more

Question: Televisionary, how ...

Question: Televisionary, how do you get a boy to like you? — Marissa, New York, NY

Televisionary: I no longer have to, Marissa. You see, I've been married for a while and maybe you'll understand when you're older, but that changes everything. I, for instance, don't have much time for in-person male companionship anymore. Watching sports, political talk shows and network news is about all the testosterone splash I get. Well, that and trading Simpsons lines with a guy at my office now and then.

Oh, you mean you? You can't "get" anyone to like you, sweetheart. But you can be yourself and see if he appreciates that. If he doesn't, you may be sad for a while. But you'll eventually find that just leaves you free to find the boy who will — and who you'll end up liking a whole lot better. It might take longer than you want it to, but be patient.

(Note to adults: Please be kind — I'm wi read more

Question: It's driving me ...

Question: It's driving me crazy: Was Toni from Paradise Hotel also on another reality TV show last year? — Jennifer B., Woodmere, N.Y.

Televisionary: Yep. She was on another Fox show, Love Cruise. (And I'll admit: Whenever I get a look at those shoulders, I hear Nick Nolte saying, "We're going to have watch that temper of yours.")

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Question: What is the name of ...

Question: What is the name of that beautiful, haunting song that is The Dead Zone's theme and who sings it? — Lauren, Columbia, Md.

Televisionary: That's the late Jeff Buckley's "New Year's Prayer." You'll find it on his album Sketches (For My Sweetheart the Drunk).

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Question: I can't remember ...

Question: I can't remember the name of the actress who played Goldie Hawn's character in the sitcom Private Benjamin. And how long did the series last? — Julie T., Taylor Mill, Ky.

Televisionary: In taking the hit feature film from the big screen to the small, Lorna Patterson stepped into Goldie Hawn's boots as pampered widow Judy Benjamin, who enlisted after her hubby died. The only two actors to carry over from the movie version were Eileen Brennan as Judy's C.O. and Hal Williams as her D.I. Her fellow recruits included read more

Question: I haven't seen you ...

Question: I haven't seen you settle any bets in a while, so I hope this will get you to answer my question, especially since I'm sticking to the rules and telling you what we bet. If I'm right, my wife has to go to an Angels game with me. Didn't Mark Hamill play David on Eight Is Enough before the actor who eventually played him over the long haul did? Please answer soon. Thanks. — George T., Fullerton, Cal.

Televisionary: I sense two words in your future, George: Play ball! Hamill did indeed play eldest Bradford child David in the original, unaired pilot for the ABC series, which ran from March 1977 to August 1981. However, after shooting the pilot — entitled "Never Try Eating Nectarines Since Juice May Dispense," which stood for Bradford kids Nicholas, Tommy, Elizabeth, Nancy, Susan, Joanni read more

Sarah Jessica Defends Baryshnikov Casting

We must confess: Sex and the City's decision to cast 55-year-old dance legend Mikhail Baryshnikov as Carrie's new artist-boyfriend caught us way off guard. When exec producer Michael Patrick King told TV Guide Online he snagged a "big name" for the plum part, we were thinking Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Sean Penn... you know, movie stars. Not a freakin' ballet dancer. That said, given that it was Carrie's portrayer, the delightful read more

Skin Star Defends Porn

When TV vet Ron Silver (Rhoda, Veronica's Closet) last graced the small screen, he was Emmy-nominated as Bartlet's campaign strategist on The West Wing. His next career move: Playing a porn mogul in Skin, a spicy new fall Fox drama. Why take this shady flesh-peddler role?

"You may want to ask my first wife's lawyer," he quips, then launches into a serious defense of the adult film business. "This guy is providing a service. It's an $8-10 billion-a-year industry. It's legal. He's not being hypocritical, like many people in public life are, about the role of sexuality in our lives and how we approach it."

Despite his trashy line of work, Silver's alter ego, Larry Goldman, sees himself as a family man. This sparks the show's main c read more


For the real story behind Sex and the City's decision to cast 55-year-old ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov as Carrie's new love interest, read my interview with exec producer-star Sarah Jessica Parker in today's Insider. And don't let her snippy response to the Mr. Big (Chris Noth) question mislead you into thinking the 38-year-old Square Pegs grad is a diva. Parker left a rather sweet (and very Carrie-esque) message on my voice mail later that evening to make sure I got everything I needed and to thank me for the interview. She said a bunch of other stuff too, but that's between her, me and everyone who crowded around my desk Fri read more