Today's News: Our Take

Question: I actually have two ...

Question: I actually have two questions. First, didn't Patricia Heaton play in a comedy that ran for a short time with Delta Burke as a congresswoman filling the seat left open after her husband's death? I think Heaton played one of Burke's advisors. I also wanted to know the name of a short-lived Mel Brooks comedy from the '70s, about a Medieval kingdom. Kind of a Men in Tights thing. — Joyce, New Cumberland, W.V.

Televisionary: Well, I actually have two answers, Joyce.

Yes, Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) did indeed appear in the short-lived Women of the House, which was a sequel of sorts to Designing Women (more about that here). DW's Suzanne Sugarbaker (Burke) went to Washington to finish out her co read more

Question: Just out of ...

Question: Just out of curiosity, were Jack Klugman and Tony Randall anything like their Odd Couple characters? I mean, was Klugman that big a slob and was Randall that fussy? Thanks for answering this. — Robbie R., Charlotte, N.C.

Televisionary: I can't say if Klugman was as much of a slob as sportswriter Oscar Madison, who he played on the hit ABC comedy from September 1970 to July 1975, but I can say that at the time, at least, he shared the character's deeply rumpled look. In fact, he said he couldn't shake it if he tried — and try he did.

Take the time he met with the Odd Couple producers to sign his first contract and showed up in a sports coat and slacks. "That's great," they said when they saw him. "We've been looking all over for this kind of sloppy stuff. It's classic. We'll buy it from you." Which would've been fine, except the coat was new and Klugman considered the pants t read more


TRL cohost Vanessa Minnillo has been named a New York correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. But don't worry, she's not leaving MTV; she'll juggle both jobs. Talk about a workhorse. read more

CSI Honcho Plots TV Invasion

Looks like the man behind all three CSIs, Without a Trace, Cold Case and The Amazing Race wants an even bigger piece of the prime-time pie. Movie producer turned TV-hitmaker Jerry Bruckheimer has five pilots vying for space on the fall schedule.

A military drama called The E-Ring shines as the Bruckheimer series most likely to get picked up. Starring Law & Order alum Benjamin Bratt and Dennis Hopper, the NBC pilot goes inside the Pentagon the way The West Wing went behind the scenes of the White House.

"It's a formula that can be updated for these tenser times of insecurity over homeland security," says John Rash of ad agency Campbell Mithun, who's had a sneak peek at The E-Ring.

CBS is considering American Crime, a drama about a prosecutor who's also a new mom (Jennifer Finnigan could star if NBC cancels her sitcom, Committed).

Meanwhile, read more


Citing irreconcilable differences, Grey's Anatomy scene-stealer Sandra Oh has formally filed for divorce from her husband, Sideways writer-director Alexander Payne. The couple announced their separation last month. Oh is seeking spousal support and the return of her Romanee-Conti Richebourg. read more


Mariah Carey is on track to land her first No. 1 album since 1997. First-day sales of Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi suggest that the CD could surpass 350,000 units in its first week, easily placing it at No. 1 on Billboard's album chart. Her last No. 1, Butterfly, bowed with 235,000 copies in 1997. read more


Rapper DMX was arrested over the weekend following a three-car crash involving a police cruiser on a major New York City expressway. Two police officers and the driver of the other vehicle were treated for minor injuries. DMX was charged with driving with a suspended license and released. read more


Chad Michael Murray has expressed interest in Stealing Cars. No, not the felony — the Warner Bros. movie! Per The Hollywood Reporter, the One Tree Hill hottie is in final talks to star as a rebellious teenager who gets sent to a corrupt juvenile-detention facility in Atlanta. While there, he unites his fellow inmates and faces off against the abusive administrators. Insiders are calling it "Shawshank Redemption without the Oscar clout." read more


MGM's remake of The Amityville Horror topped the weekend box office with $23.3 million, knocking last week's No. 1 flick, Sahara, into second place with $13.1 million. Rounding out the Top Five were Fever Pitch (No. 3 with $8.8 million), Sin City (No. 4 with $6.7 million) and Guess Who (No. 5 with 4.9 million). With overall receipts down for an eighth straight weekend, the movie biz is officially in the throes of a major slump. Things have gotten so bad that the major studios may soon be forced to make movies that don't suck real bad. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. read more

Robin Williams Reacts to NBC's Mork Movie

Earlier this month, NBC aired its TV-movie Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Mork & Mindy, which portrayed Robin Williams as both a cokehead and a star tripper on the set of his classic sitcom. Since the actor who played Williams told he was unsure of how Williams felt about the film, we decided to ask the man himself.

First off, did the 54-year-old funnyman even bother to watch it? "No," Williams answers. "It's weird. If they're going to make a bad movie about your life, then [you should] wait for the Cartoon Network [version]."

Williams admits to having some slight curiosity when he first heard the Mork movie was in the works. "I knew something was up when I asked [NBC] for a script," he says. "They said, 'No, we don't have that.'"

Speaking of TV controversy, the former Mork from Ork is far more irked with ABC tha read more

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