Today's News: Our Take

Question: Who's that girl who ...

Question: Who's that girl who was in the Kia commercial a while back (seen driving the same car, with the same dog, as her boyfriends changed through the years) and more recently in the guacamole Doritos spot (with the kid climbing inside the vending machine)? I think I saw her recently in the forgettable Nick Brendon movie Pinata, but I couldn't catch the credits or remember her character's name. Can you help? Am I hallucinating? — Kate, Chicago, Ill.

Televisionary: You're thinking of actress Stacey Cowley, Kate, and while I don't believe she was in the movie you mentioned (also known as Demon Island), you may have caught her appearing on such shows as Come to Papa and Monk. You can find out more about her on her website.

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Question: There is a new ...

Question: There is a new aspirin commercial which uses the song "Pump Your Blood." My husband and I both clearly remember this song from our youth but cannot agree on where it comes from. He is pretty sure it was School House Rock, but after hearing it a couple of times I think it sounds like Anson Williams from Happy Days. Since I can think of no reason why a song about blood circulation would have been sung on Happy Days and agree that it would have made a good educational song, my husband insists his guess is better than mine. As a result, it causes a heated discussion whenever the commercial comes on. Can you tell us, please, where this silly song from our youth comes from? — Tina, Arlington, Va.

Televisionary: That I can, Tina. It is indeed Williams' Potsie Weber singing the tune in a Happy Days episode from Season 6.

In the episode "Potsie Quits School," originally broadcast May 15, read more

Question: When will we know ...

Question: When will we know if Ed has been canceled? — Donna R., Powder Springs, Ga.

Televisionary: Not to be a wiseacre, but as the joke says, who's "we," Kemo Sabe? The rest of us got used to the idea that the show was gone after it aired its series finale.

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Question: When I was a kid, I ...

Question: When I was a kid, I remember my parents liked a controversial show called Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. I was never allowed to stay up that late or watch it. Was it that bad? — Tara B., Owatonna, Minn.

Televisionary: People seemed to think so when it debuted in January 1976, Tara. Matter of fact, the Norman Lear comedy, which was produced from 1975-78 and featured sexual shenanigans and other taste-testing fare, was syndicated because all of the major networks rejected it.

ABC initially put up the money to develop the series, which focused on the lives of Mary and her cohorts in fictional Fernwood, Ohio, but backed away from it. CBS stepped in and paid for a pilot, then turned it down. Then NBC passed on it, and ABC gave it a thumbs-down a second time. So Lear and Co. sold it directly to 101 stations — who weathered a storm of bad reaction from the shocked masses in the series' first week.

In Boston, as many as 500 phone read more

Random Note Much thanks to all...

Random Note
Much thanks to all the people who wrote to tell me that the Outhere Brothers did the "Boom Boom Boom" song. I ordered their greatest hits CD on Tuesday night. It arrived on Saturday and I've had the song on loop ever since. At last, my gym mix is complete.

And now, on to my regularly scheduled rants....

North Shore
Yeah, so backstabbing Tessa and the Vice President's daughter aside... Why did Beautiful Bartender Guy (Jason Momoa) spend this entire episode making like the moral conscience for all the other characters? Good ol' Frankie told Jason that printing the Morgan's room account out was against company policy, then he intervened to remind MJ that her evil, pro-surfer ex-boyfriend repeatedly crushed her soul back in the day. Can't the cast's only native Hawaiian get some love — or at least his own life? I'm just saying.

Ouch! I'd forgotten how inappropriat read more

Question: In the Celebrity ...

Question: In the Celebrity Poker Showdown finale, Dave Foley said he worked with both Maura Tierney and Lauren Graham on NewsRadio. I remember Maura's character on the show, but can't recall Lauren's. Can you help enlighten me? — Kathy

Televisionary: Sure can, Kathy. Graham (Gilmore Girls) appeared a handful of times on the series in 1997. She played Andrea the efficiency expert.

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At this rate, Will Smith's head is gonna swell so much, he'll only be able to appear in IMAX movies. Co-starring with a bunch of funny-looking 'droids, the king of the summer blockbuster watched his new thriller, I, Robot, rack up $53.3 million at the box office. (That's $13.3 million more than producers hoped for and $1.1 million more than Men in Black II took in two years ago.) As if any other film mattered to movie-goers over the weekend, Spider-Man 2 fell to second place with $24.2 million, Hilary Duff's A Cinderella Story opened in third with $13.8 million, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy dropped to No. 4 with $13.4 million and Fahrenheit 9/11 read more

Metallica Drama Part Deux

Everyone makes mistakes, even rock stars. Still, having your worst faux pas recorded in a feature-film documentary has gotta be tough. In last week's Insider, you read about Metallica's interpersonal dramas, which play out in Some Kind of Monster (currently in theaters). For drummer Lars Ulrich, there was something even more painful to relive than watching himself undergo group therapy with the band.

"There is a part in there where the drummer gets involved with a company called Napster," Ulrich says, ruefully shaking his head. "That makes me cringe a lot. That is about the hardest thing to watch. I took a lot of hits, and it was a very difficult time in my life. So it is very difficult to re-experience that."

He's referring, of course, to Metallica's 2000 lawsuit against the popular Internet file-sharing company. The band disagreed vehemently with Napster's policy on free music downloading read more

Press Tour Diary: Day Seven

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: Thank God for Les Moonves. Just as press tour's big reality-cloning controversy was beginning to lose steam, Viacom's iron-fisted dictator stepped in late last week and fired two disgruntled CSI cast members amid a contract dispute. The move not only gave critics something to buzz about besides dueling boxing shows and crappy elevator service, but it ensured that CBS's press-tour debut on Sunday would be Must-See TCA. Of course, I would have showed up no matter what — if only to get Moonves to explain how the wretched John Goodman sitcom Center of the Universe made it onto the network's fall lineup. And to thank him for the Snapple, of course.

9:11 am
CBS kicks things off on a defiant note by replaying a controversial short film it produced for last May's Upfront in which a cab read more


Ex-Baywatch star Michael Bergin was arrested Friday night and charged with felony DUI, reports. Cops picked up the 35-year-old after he allegedly plowed his SUV into a female roller skater, then refused to take a sobriety test. Bergin made headlines last spring by publishing The Other Man, a trashy tell-all bestseller about his supposed affair with Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. Coincidentally, his July 16 arrest fell on the fifth anniversary of the plane crash that killed Bessette Kennedy and husband JFK Jr. This weekend, Bergin spent about 11 hours in police custody before posting $50,000 bail. The skater, meanwhile, went to L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she's expected to undergo knee surgery. read more

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