Today's News: Our Take

Question: When can I expect ...

Question: When can I expect to see the new Fall editions of ER on NBC? When does the Fall TV season begin? — Crystal, Virginia Beach, Va.

Televisionary: Hey, you only get one question here, Crystal. ER's season premiere is scheduled for September 26, but you'd know that already if you studied up on our fabulous ShowGuide, which gives you all you need to know on your favorite series. As for the new shows, see our equally enlightening Fall 2002 Schedule.

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Question: Do you remember a ...

Question: Do you remember a TV show from the late '80s or early '90s that was about a girl who was a tennis player who lived with her mom and possibly her coach? Thank you for taking the time and thinking about this.

Televisionary: Think about it? Bah, what a mortal concept. I merely channel my uncanny TV abilities and conjure the answer. That was Phenom, a sitcom that ran on ABC from September 1993 to August 1994. It focused on burgeoning tennis ace Angela Doolan (Angela Goethals), her mom (Who's the Boss's Judith Light) and her pushy coach (Knots Landing's William Devane).

If you're a Goethals fan, by the w read more

Question: Who played ...

Question: Who played Christine on Coach? — Bob C., Louisville Ky.

Televisionary: That was Shelley Fabares playing Christine Armstrong Fox on the hit ABC sitcom. When the show kicked off in February 1989, Christine was the newscaster girlfriend of football coach Hayden Fox (Craig T. Nelson). By the time the series left the air in August 1997, she was his wife and the mother to their adopted child.

By the time Fabares showed up on Coach, she was already a veteran of the entertainment biz. From 1958-63, when she was but a teen, she played the eldest child in the Stone family on ABC's read more

Question: I have been ...

Question: I have been searching all over the Web for information about a particular U.S. TV series that I saw when I lived in Europe a year ago. I think the series was called The FBI, but I am not positive. This was a crime drama, and I am wondering if it is possible to buy videocassettes of this series. I would certainly be grateful if you could give me hints as to where to look for it. — Gunnar H., Boston, Mass.

Televisionary: Unfortunately, the series, which ran on ABC from September 1965 to September 1974, is not available on video, as far as I know, Gunnar. (And, as always, if someone out there knows where it can be legally found, please let me know.)

The reason why could range from rights problems to underestimation of fan interest, but I'm betting there are others out there who'd be interested in picking up a few episodes. Matter of fact, the show's concept — taking real case files from the Bureau and dramatizing them — seems ripe f read more

Question: Sports Night is my ...

Question: Sports Night is my favorite show ever. In the episode "The Sword Of Orion," a song is played at the end that says something like "I want to go home." I have looked everywhere and asked everyone I know what this song could possibly be and no one knows. You're my last resort, so please help! — Evan

Televisionary: Gladly, Evan. The song you want is The Beach Boys' version of "Sloop John B" and the CD you want is the classic Pet Sounds, which is widely acknowledged to be a pop-music classic that's influenced more musicians and works than I could ever begin listing here. Two words: Get it.

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NBC has picked up A.U.S.A., a legal comedy starring Felicity grad Scott Foley, for midseason. The sitcom — which has received a 13-episode order from the Peacock — centers around young U.S. prosecutors. read more


M*A*S*H vet Mike Farrell has been recruited to play Enron chairman and CEO Kenneth Lay in CBS's upcoming Enron movie The Crooked E, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie) and Christian Kane (Angel) have also been cast in the film, which is based on Brian Cruver's memoir Anatomy of Greed. read more


Producers of Fox's American Idol are acknowledging that the talent contest is being bombarded by computer savvy "power dialers," who are able to cast as many as 10,000 votes a night from a single phone line. (Relatives of Nikki McKibbin possibly?) However, execs tell The Associated Press that the calls have had a "statistically insignificant" impact on the results. read more

Seven Silly Questions with Michael Vartan

When last we saw Michael Vartan, his Alias alter ego was submerged in a tidal wave of trouble on the show's season finale. But in real life, the 33-year-old French hottie — who finds himself being stalked by Robin Williams in the new indie thriller One Hour Photo (opening Wednesday) — was alive and well enough to dive head-first into our Seven Silly Questions.

TV Guide Online: What was it like being naked in front of Robin Williams for One Hour Photo's climax? Did he behave himself?
Michael Vartan:
There were a lot of air conditioning jokes made — even though it was 150 degrees in the room. But that's Robin for you. I grew up in France and played sports all of my life, and not to sound weird or anything, but you see guys naked in the locker room a read more


It was only a matter of time before Survivor and the porn industry got into bed together. According to, Survivor: Thailand contestant Brian Heidik — described in a CBS press release as an actor-turned-top used-car salesman — recently dabbled in soft-core porn. The 34-year-old California native's credits include Virgins of Sherwood Forest, Passions Obsession, Sinful Obsession and The Pleasure Zone. The flicks, in which he is credited as Dave Roth, can be seen occasionally on Cinemax or Playboy TV. "We were well aware of [Brian's] film credits," responds a CBS spokeswoman. "Ultimately it is up to the survivors to decide what they wish to disclose in their bios. I'm sure he's not the only actor in town who has chosen to keep certain credits off of his resume." In the early '90s, Heidik had a recurring role on Days of Our Lives and also appeared as a pool boy on read more