TV Guide Magazine


Special Report: Faith on TV

The Simpsons

They say that God works in mysterious ways. As proof, look no further than a recent story in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, which praised Homer Simpson for being a "true" Catholic. The publication cites The Simpsons for using "Christian faith, religion and questions about God" as recurring themes.

At first glance, it seems odd that a child-choking, beer-swilling glutton who has embodied all seven deadly sins could be considered a shining example of a man of faith. Then again, as the Vatican paper explained, the Simpson family "recites prayers before meals and, in their own way, believes in the life thereafter." Even Melissa Henson, director of communications for the Parents Television Council, says, "The Simpsons is one of the more balanced treatments of faith-based characters that you'll see... read more

Is It Just Me: TV Phone Etiquette

Jon Hamm

There's a total lack of telephone etiquette on screen. Nobody ever says "goodbye" when the conversation is over — they just hang up. Why? — Scott Kenward, Miami

So why do TV characters sign off without so much as a sayonara? According to Pen Densham, a Hollywood-based screenwriter (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) and author of the new script manual Riding the Alligator, proper farewells during scenes often end up ... read more

Ask Matt: NCIS Without Gibbs? Plus Human Target, Shameless and midseason TV

Mark Harmon

Send questions to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: In many of my favorite shows (NCIS, Grey's Anatomy, etc.), there have been contract issues and in some cases instances where lead actors and actresses decide to leave the show. I feel like if one main character left, then it would end the show in some sort of way. What do the cast members and directors do when a lead character leaves the show? An example: What if Mark Harmon or Ellen Pompeo left NCIS or Grey's? ... read more

Keck's Exclusives First Look: V Brings Back an Old Fave

V

First Jane Badler, and now Marc Singer! The '80s hunk, who played the original V's strapping lizard slayer Mike Donovan, will appear in the season finale of ABC's updated V as all-new freedom fighter Lars Tremont.

"It was an inevitability," says the confident star, now 62. "You have to include the personalities who started this dynamic. As V grows, it becomes like a big, hungry animal needing nourishment to grow more and more muscle." Whatever you say, Marc, although I might have gone with a reptilian analogy... read more

Keck's Exclusives First Look: Grey's Dad Stirs Up Trouble

Grey's Anatomy

You can always expect drama on Grey's Anatomy when Meredith and Lexie's father, Thatcher (Jeff Perry), drops in on his doctor daughters. And there's more in store on the February 10 episode of the ABC drama, when old Thatch returns complaining of stomach pains. "They suspect he's rejecting the [partial] liver Meredith gave him," says Jeff, who is unaware of the character's ultimate fate.

But what causes Lexie (Chyler Leigh) the most heartache is seeing her daddy dating Danielle (All My Children alum Alexa Havins), a heavily tattooed girl her same age... read more

Matt's Picks: January 3-6

Paula Abdul

Castle (Monday, 10/9c, ABC)
Meet Nikki Heat — not to be confused with Kate Beckett, although Beckett isn't amused when Hollywood siren Natalie Rhodes (That '70s Show's Laura Prepon), who's been cast to play her fictional alter ego in a movie version of Heat Wave, starts tagging along with her and Castle and begins a physical transformation as well. Castle thinks it's a hoot, which only annoys Beckett more... read more

Is It Just Me: License Plate Lookalikes

Yvonne Strahovski and Zach Levy

Are the license plates that I see on Chuck the same ones I've seen way back on The Rockford Files and Columbo? Is this the equivalent of those 555 phone numbers? — Gary Land, via e-mail

Bingo! Odds are, you probably have spotted the same license plate on multiple shows, confirms Chuck prop master Scott Bauer.

"The California DMV allows productions to use certain sequences that have not been issued to the public," he says. "The PCE is used as a passenger license plate and ...
read more

Universal Sports Revisits the Glory of Olympic Filmmaker Bud Greenspan

Bud Greenspan

Universal Sports has announced plans for a nine-night celebration of legendary sports filmmaker Bud Greenspan, who passed away on Christmas Day at age 84 after battling Parkinson's disease. Greenspan is best known for his series of documentaries chronicling the Olympic Games, many of which are rarely seen anymore and are not currently available on DVD.

The tribute, which Universal Sports is dubbing "Nine Nights of Glory," begins Saturday (Jan. 1, 9/8c) with the iconic 16 Days of Glory: Los Angeles '84. "Bud Greenspan ...
read more

Is It Just Me: Are Glee's Outfits Affordable?

Chris Colfer

Can Glee's Kurt really afford all those fashionable outfits? I thought he came from a struggling middle-class family. — Dottie Alasky, Fairmont, W. Va.

No question about it — the kid's a clotheshorse. On a recent episode of Glee, openly gay teen Kurt (Chris Colfer) was shown rocking a $435 shirt and a $260 silk scarf by designer Alexander McQueen — not exactly the kind of duds that are common for a mechanic's kid from Lima, Ohio.

How does he pull it off? NYC stylist Joseph ...
read more

Rachel Griffiths Talks Sesame Street, Brothers & Sisters

Rachel Griffiths

Rachel Griffiths ends 2010 on a sweet, furry note when she appears alongside Elmo on Sesame Street. "It's, like, the best job I've ever been offered," proclaims the mother of three — Banjo, 7, Adelaide, 5, and Clementine, 1 — who was thrilled at the chance to let her two oldest children watch as she taped a "Word on the Street" segment in which she explains to Elmo the concept of a dozen. "It was the sweetest thing," she says. "[Adelaide] didn't integrate ...
read more

My Watchlist

On TV

Editors' Picks

10:00PM | CBS
9:00PM | ABC
10:00PM | NBC

Full Episodes

Find a TV Show

See more »

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular