Today's News: Our Take


Question: What is the name of ...

Question: What is the name of the other M*A*S*H unit in the TV series? I can never remember the name and it is driving me crazy! Thanks. — Kari, Beaverton, Ore.

Televisionary: The 8063rd.

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Question: Where is the girl ...

Question: Where is the girl who played Punky Brewster today? — Bridget, Lincoln, Neb.

Televisionary: Not a Sabrina or Proud Family fan, eh, Bridget? Soleil Moon Frye now plays Roxie, the young witch's roommate on the WB series, and provides the voice of Zoey on The Proud Family.

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Question: What actress played ...

Question: What actress played a secretary aspiring to be a Broadway star on a short-lived sitcom? I don't remember the name of the show or the name of the actress. I believe she does a lot of Broadway acting. Her name may be Katherine or Caroline, but I could be wrong. — Caroline C., Atlanta, Ga.

Televisionary: That was Kristin Chenoweth playing an Oklahoma-born gal trying to make it on the Great White Way on NBC's Kristin, which debuted in June 2001 and was gone in no time flat. As you mention, Chenowith herself does much better on the stage; she won a Tony and a Drama Desk Award, among other honors, as Sally in You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

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Question: I saw your April 1 ...

Question: I saw your April 1 answer about Larry David's wife on Curb Your Enthusiasm. That got me thinking about Mad About You. Weren't Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt married in real life, or did I hallucinate that? — Debbie S., Annapolis, Md.

Televisionary: I can't say where the notion came from, Debbie, but it's, well... wrong. Reiser's wife is named Paula and for the bulk of Mad About You's 1992-99 run on NBC, Hunt was with Hank Azaria (they eventually married and split up).

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FAMILY SQUABBLE

Eddie Griffin's stand-up comedy concert movie DysFunKtional Family — which was DOA at the box office with $1.1 million — is under attack from the Sikh Coalition. The group wants Miramax to remove a scene from the film in which Griffin points to a Sikh man and declares: "Bin Laden, I knew you was around here!" TV Guide Online is also demanding the sequence be deleted because it's just not funny. read more

MEA CULPA

Fox News reporter Geraldo Rivera issued an apology Sunday. Not for wasting our time with that whole Al Capone debacle. Or for that ugly chair-hurling melee that marred his late, not-so-great talk show. Or for all those bad hair days. No, Rivera expressed regret for breaking military rules last week when he revealed U.S. troop movements in Iraq. In an interview Sunday on Fox, he said he admitted he "should have been more careful." read more

BIDDING, INTERRUPTED

Here's your chance to own a piece of Hollywood history: Winona Ryder wants to auction off for charity the $5,500 worth of already-way-overpriced merchandise she stole from Saks Fifth Avenue in 2001. Ryder's attorney made the offer at today's progress report hearing in Beverly Hills, during which Judge Elden Fox praised the 31-year-old actress for completing her community service ahead of schedule. Fox postponed a decision on the whole charity auction idea. read more

SOUNDS SUSPICIOUS...

David Letterman, who was sidelined from CBS's Late Show for a month due to shingles, has been dealt another major blow: His cue card guy Tony Mendez (known to viewers as "Big Ink") has quit for personal reasons. "He informed us that he wanted to move on," exec producer Rob Burnett told Variety. read more

How Will & Grace Nabbed Madonna


Madonna's April 24 guest shot on NBC's Will & Grace caps a two-year pursuit on the part of the sitcom's coexecutive producer Tim Kaiser — a mission that involved some wishful thinking, a little behind-the-scenes diplomacy and, perhaps most importantly, a bribe no material girl could resist. "I sent a lot of flowers," Kaiser laughs. "Madonna loves English roses, so I began to send these fantastic arrangements."

The floral fawning helped Kaiser penetrate Madonna's inner circle, although, "There wasn't much interest," he notes. "I was informed Madonna didn't own a television, or know Will & Grace existed." But, crazy for the pop icon, the scribe didn't give up. "I sent tapes of appearances by Matt Damon, Michael Douglas and whatnot, and... pitched how wonderful it would be for her to come on the show."

But it wasn't until last November — shortly after her late read more

SHORT CUTS

Extra has hired Bachelorette runner-up Charlie Maher to serve as a special correspondent... The third (and likely final) season of The Osbournes kicks off on June 10, MTV confirms. read more

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