Today's News: Our Take

Question: In the early '90s, ...

Question: In the early '90s, I think, there was a show called Grand. Was that a real show? What was it about, and why did it go off the air? If I remember correctly, I really liked it. Thanks. — Shelby, Los Angeles

Televisionary: That it was, Shelby. For just shy of a year in 1990, in fact (January to December), Grand ran on NBC's schedule.

A spoof of soaps, the show revolved around the lives of three families in Grand, Penn. The Weldons consisted of papa Harris (John Randolph), who owned a piano factory, his son Norris (Joel Murray), and their butler, Desmond (John Neville). The Pasettis consisted of Janice (Pamela Reed), who was the Weldons' maid, and her daughter Edda (Sara Rue). The Smithsons consisted of Harris' niece Carol Anne (Bonnie Hunt) and her husband Tom (Michael McKean). Also in the picture was Officer Wayne (Andrew Lauer), who had a thing for Reed's Janice.

Why was it don read more

Question: How did the writers ...

Question: How did the writers write Dr. Joel Fleischman off of Northern Exposure when Rob Morrow left the show? — Tanya D., Meridian, Miss.

Televisionary: With their fingers, I'm betting. Ha!

As fans know, Dr. Joel Fleischman returned to New York, which turned out to be the mythical city he was seeking in "The Quest." In reality, Morrow's leaving didn't go quite so smoothly.

Just ask Janine Turner, who costarred as the good doctor's love interest and frequent sparring partner, bush pilot Maggie O'Connell. "My publicist said, 'They've already figured out how they're going to write him out, and a new doctor is coming to town,' " Turner recalled of the moment in the summer of 1994 when she first heard the news of Morrow's departure. "And I just hit the roof."

By the time Morrow left, he'd reportedly been making life difficult for many on the set and behind the scenes of the show that launc read more

Question: Do you know where ...

Question: Do you know where you can get a copy of the "letter" that Katey Sagal read in the farewell show to John Ritter on 8 Simple Rules? I thought it was one of the most moving speeches ever written and would love to have it. Thank you. — Leslie, Madison, Ala.

Televisionary: You mean Paul's final article? Here it is (and nobody give me any grief about running this in the Short Answers section — I'm a softy at heart, and it is moving):

"OK, readers, today we're having a little pop quiz. It's multiple choice. So sharpen your number two pencils and put on your thinking caps. Ready? Here's a quote: 'Dad, you're an idiot.' Now, contestants, this was said to me because of which of the following transgressions:

A. Coming to the breakfast table wearing pajamas and black socks.
B. Asking my oldest daughter if that guy I saw her talking to at school yesterday was her boyfriend. read more

Question: Was In the Heat of ...

Question: Was In the Heat of the Night's Hugh O'Connor the son of Carroll O'Connor, and was he murdered? — Margaret, Candler, N.C.

Televisionary: Yes. O'Connor the younger was the late All in the Family star's adopted son, Margaret, but he wasn't murdered. He committed suicide in 1995 after years of struggling with substance-abuse problems. (It should be noted, however, that the elder O'Connor would've certainly disputed that point. He blamed his son's dealer for his suicide and even filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against him.)

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Question: In TV Guide it was ...

Question: In TV Guide it was reported that Sissy Spacek was going to guest as Keri Weaver's birth mother on ER, but the promo on NBC had Frances Fisher in it. What gives? — Sherri, Studio City, Cal.

Televisionary: Scheduling gives (or, in this case, wouldn't). Our crack news team was all over this.

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In the end, the 47th Annual Grammy Awards belonged to Ray Charles. The late music legend was honored with a field-best eight trophies Sunday night, including album of the year for his final work, Genius Loves Company. Charles also won for best pop album and record of the year for "Here We Go Again," with Norah Jones. Song of the year went to John Mayer for "Daughters," and best new artist — in the evening's biggest shocker — went to Maroon 5 and not Kanye West. West had to settle for three consolation prizes, including best rap album for The College Dropout. Elsewhere, Grammy darling Alicia Keys picked up four awards, while U2 and Usher nabbed three apiece. Among the non-musicians garnering wins were former President Bill Clinton (best spoken word album for his autobiography My Life), Scrubs star Zach Braff (best soundtrack compilation read more

Aussie Avril's All-Star Trek

For better or worse... Wait. No, actually, just for better: Samantha Lombardi doesn't have a big sister in the music biz to pave the way for her. But the 15-year-old Australian — think Avril Lavigne but with rock on the brain, not rocks in her head — clearly has friends in high places. The proof: Her radio-ready debut album, Take Your Pic (which drops in May), features raucous and catchy tunes written by no less than Nine Inch Nails and Paul Stanley of KISS.

"When I first got the songs, I was really excited — I mean, those guys are huge!" Lombardi exclaims to TV Guide Online. "But I was nervous, too, because I didn't wanna screw 'em up. I didn't want them to hear me singing their songs and think, 'Yeah, it sounds all right.' I wanted them to kick ass!"

Mission accomplished, and then some. On swinging singles-to-be like the star-crossed love song "Black Hole" and the kiss-off anthem "I'm Over You," the read more

Race's Kris and Jon Move On

With a whopping 92 percent popularity rating on, Jon Buehler and Kris Perkins easily qualify as this season's most beloved Amazing Racers. Honestly, how could you dislike these sweet long-distance daters? In a season filled with screaming matches and shoving incidents, the hot couple charmed viewers with their positive attitudes and genuine affection for each other. Believe it or not, they are just as nice in real life. Here, Jon and Kris discuss their relationship and why they're really OK with finishing second.

TV Guide Online: It's safe to say that, like last time, this race was determined by a single plane ride.
Jon Buehler:
Yeah, that was definitely the deciding factor. We did ask the American Airlines guy several times, "Are you sure this is the first plane to land in Chicago?" And he kept saying that he was absolutely positive. So we just took his word for it, got the tickets and ran over to the Internet cafe to find i read more

TV's 20 Best Same-Sex Kisses

V-Day is upon us, kids, and it's time for romantic reminiscing. And while we're sure you'll adore TV Guide's fun-filled list of TV's 20 Hottest Kisses of All Time, we at TV Guide Online thought you'd like to double your pleasure with our very own Top 20 list of TV's most memorable same-sex kisses. Some were hot, some were not, but all set off sparks on America's pop-culture radar.

1. Willow and Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer 2001
Wiccan witches Willow and Tara had been platonically chanting, lighting candles and holding hands to save the world — until the day Buffy's mom unexpectedly dies. That's when Tara takes the grieving Willow's head in her hands, kisses her forehead, then finally, tenderly and lingeringly lands one right on the lips. Covens of Buffy fans around the country sang hallelujah. "I told them, 'You guys will kiss and it will be when nobody's expecting it and nobody's look read more


Valentine-minded moviegoers flocked to their local megaplex this weekend, but there was just one Hitch: The Will Smith-Kevin James romantic comedy bowed at No. 1 with a record-shattering $45.3 million. It was the biggest opening ever for a romantic comedy starring two dudes, surpassing In & Out's $15 million debut in 1992. read more

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