Today's News: Our Take


Brad Pitt has signed on to play gunslinger Jesse James on the big screen, Variety reports. The film, produced by Pitt's Plan B production company, will be based on the Robert Hansen novel The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. read more

Question: Don't ask why, but ...

Question: Don't ask why, but I was thinking about what kind of monster each member of the Munster family was. Herman was Frankenstein, Grandpa was a vampire and Eddie was a werewolf, but what was Lily? — Lauren A., Mason City, Iowa

Televisionary: First off, I'll be a stickler here and point out that The Munsters' Herman (Car 54's Fred Gwynne) looked like Frankenstein's monster rather than the good doctor himself, a distinction hammered into me by my dad whenever I made that mistake as a kid. And his beloved Lily (Yvonne DeCarlo) was a vampire like her dad (Al Lewis).

The fact that you even had to ask means poor DeCarlo went through two hours of makeup a day (heavy grease plus special hot wax for the fingernails) for naught, though I'm sure she considered it worth it since the role gave her career new life after an earlier run of eye-candy r read more


In other kudos news, Halle Berry's feline flop Catwoman nabbed a field-best seven Razzie nominations, including worst film, worst actress for Berry and worst supporting players for Sharon Stone and Lambert Wilson. Oliver Stone's epic disaster Alexander came in a close second with six nods, including worst picture, actor (Colin Farrell), actress (Angelina Jolie) and director (Stone). The other worst-picture finalists were Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, Surviving Christmas and White Chicks. President Bush even got in on the fun, landing a worst actor nod for his "performance" in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. read more

Question: I need to know when ...

Question: I need to know when the nighttime soap Paper Dolls aired and what the premise of the series was. Wasn't that Nicollette Sheridan's first role on TV? — Kamal H., Cherry Hill, N.J.

Televisionary: Paper Dolls debuted on ABC's schedule in September 1984, Kamal, but not for long. Three months later it was gone.

Based on a 1982 TV-movie of the same name, the series focused on the New York modeling and makeup biz and one of its biggest players, industry powerhouse Grant Harper (Lloyd Bridges). Also on board were his son Wesley (Dack Rambo) and daughter Blair (Mimi Rogers), Blair's husband David (Richard Beymer) and a host of other characters. Racine (Morgan Fairchild) headed a modeling outfit which brought along with it such headaches as teen model Taryn (Sheridan) and Taryn's pushy mom, Julia (Brenda Vaccaro). Others in the sizable cast included Terry Farrell, Lauren Hutton, Jonat read more

7th Heaven So this is the "biggest...

7th Heaven
So this is the "biggest 7th Heaven event ever"? The only thing big about this episode is the house Kevin buys for Lucy. As a surprise. Can we talk about this for a second? Who actually goes out and buys a huge-ass house (with a pool, spa and rose garden) without telling their spouse? How does one pull that off anyway? Do you say you're going to the store for some milk, then come home with a mortgage? (And did I happen to mention how large this house is?) Other than that, I was kinda disappointed by this "very special" episode. They couldn't come up with something more original than Lucy getting stuck in an elevator while she's going into labor? Oh, and did anyone else laugh at that ridiculous contest that urged viewers to log on to WB's web site "after the blessed event"? Um, they know that Lucy's not a real person and that she didn't have a real baby, right? Sorta what you need to qualify as "blessed."

Purell Hand San read more

Question: On Jan. 12, 1995, ...

Question: On Jan. 12, 1995, what Seinfeld episode(s) were on. If there were any, could you write a brief synopsis of them? — John Smith, Boston

Televisionary: No new episode aired that night, John, so there shall be no synopsis. (Don't believe me? Check the Season 6 episode guide on our fabulous ShowGuide's Seinfeld page. Matter of fact, anyone with similar questions oughtta check the Guide first.

read more

Question: The date of the ...

Question: The date of the Televisionary still shows the year to be 2004. What do I win? — Alan, New York City

Televisionary: It doesn't anymore, Alan — and thanks. And aside from my gratitude, it's prize enough, I think, to know that those who don't accept anything as truth until I say it is will now believe the friends and loved ones who've been trying to tell them it's not last year anymore. 'Cause when you think about it, is there any greater reward than that, really?

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Jay Leno presided over an hourlong tribute to Johnny Carson on last night's Tonight Show. In addition to memorable clips of the late-night legend's 30-year Tonight Show run, the show featured appearances by longtime Carson pals Ed McMahon, Don Rickles and Bob Newhart. Leno kicked things off with a heartfelt monologue in which he described Carson as "the best — plain and simple." Ellen DeGeneres, meanwhile, dedicates today's Ellen DeGeneres Show to Carson as well. read more

Question: Mr. T., I'm trying ...

Question: Mr. T., I'm trying to remember an old series from the '50s. The theme song spelled out the name of the main family, the Harrigans. Please inform me about the cast, characters and premise for the show. Thanks. — Joe T.

Televisionary: I don't have much, Joe, but I can tell you you're thinking of Harrigan and Son, a comedy about lawyers James Harrigan Sr. (Pat O'Brien) and Jr. (Roger Perry), the latter a recent Harvard Law School grad. Georgine Darcy and Helen Keeb played their secretaries, and there ain't much more than that because the show only ran for a year or so beginning in October 1960. The theme song, by the way, was George M. Cohan's "Harrigan," from his 1908 musical Fifty Miles from Boston. It later showed up, of course, in James Cagney's classic Yankee Doodle Dandy, which is where most people remember it from. (Well, that or the stellar read more

L&O Remembers Jerry Orbach

For 12 seasons, Jerry Orbach and S. Epatha Merkerson were a team on Law & Order. He was the series' signature seen-it-all police detective, Lennie Briscoe. She was his all-business lieutenant, Anita Van Buren. Because he was fighting prostate cancer, Orbach left for a less strenuous role on L&O creator Dick Wolf's latest spin-off, Trial by Jury, which debuts on NBC in March. (He'll be seen in several episodes.) The 69-year-old Orbach's passing on Dec. 28 left both fans and colleagues shocked and saddened.

"It just never occurred to me that Jerry wouldn't make it," Merkerson tells TV Guide Online. "It just seemed that even death couldn't beat him."

The actress already felt devastated when Orbach exited the original series, she says. "It didn't hit me until the day we said goodbye to him, and there was such an outpouring of love for this dude. I bet it was a 20-minute ovation. It was more than I could take. H read more

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