Today's News: Our Take

Question: Could you tell me ...

Question: Could you tell me who is singing the song on the new VW Touareg commercial? — Mark C.

Televisionary: A beautiful and sad song, isn't it? And when you really listen, it's an odd choice for a car ad, but I'm glad it's getting exposure just the same. That's Richard Buckner singing "Ariel Ramirez," and you'll find it on his album Since (MCA). For those of you who haven't seen the ad, entitled "Picture," you can download it from Volkswagen's site.

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Question: Who played DJ ...

Question: Who played DJ Conner in the pilot for Roseanne? — James A., Portsmouth, Va.

Televisionary: Young Sal Barone played DJ in the pilot for the ABC comedy, which launched in October 1988, James. He reportedly left the series because of problems with co-star Sara Gilbert, and Michael Fishman stepped in for the rest of the run, which ended in August 1997.

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Question: No question from me ...

Question: No question from me this time around, but regarding your answer to Matt B. about "The Lonely Man Theme," it is available on the CD Fantastic Television, which also contains the "Suite from V" by the same artist. I happened to check iTunes when I read your answer, and there it was! — Laura T., Alexandria, Va.

Televisionary: Thanks very much, Laura. And for those of you who missed that answer the first time around, here 'tis.

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L.A. Law Star Strips Off Pounds

When Sheila Kelley slid down a stripper's pole in Dancing at the Blue Iguana, something occurred to her: This is hard work. Sensing there was more to the job than stilettos and dollar tips, the L.A. Law cutie tapped into her dance background and developed The S Factor, a how-to on shaping up burlesque-style. In Kelley's L.A.-based studio, the female-only clientele indulge in a combination of Pilates, yoga and erotic moves straight from the stage to redefine their natural curves. The S Factor is rapidly becoming a fitness craze — Teri Hatcher is a fan — and desperate housewives everywhere are getting sleek by vamping it up. Sometimes it's good to be a woman.
TV Guide Online: How can shimmying down a pole get me in the best shape of my life?
Sheila Kelley:
I have to put you on a pole and watch you flounder first. It sounds simple until you actually get on that pole and try doing a trick. I used muscles that I never knew in my life that read more


Dallas actor Howard Keel, who played J.R.'s conscionable stepfather Clayton Farlow until the show ended in 1991, died Sunday of colon cancer. He was 85. Prior to Dallas, Keel headlined such '50s movie musicals as Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate, Calamity Jane and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He also appeared in a string of Westerns, including Waco, Red Tomahawk and The War Wagon with John Wayne. Ironically, Keel's death came the same day CBS aired its Dallas reunion special, Return to Southfork. read more


Loyal readers of this column are no doubt wondering why The Practice's Camryn Manheim is guest-starring on tonight's Two and a Half Men instead of Roseanne — who was initially tapped to play Berta's crazy sis. Well, here's the scoop: Although CBS insists the former sitcom superstar had a scheduling conflict, other sources tell me Rosie — who would have reunited with Men creator and ex-Roseanne scribe Chuck Lorre — bailed because "the script poked too much fun at her." Adds her rep: "She felt it [spoofed] her life during the Tom Arnold period." Scheduling conflict, my arse. read more


Jessica Alba has signed on to star in and produce the futuristic flick Sonic, per Variety. She'll play a young waitress who dies suddenly but is brought back to life just in time for the lunch rush. read more


Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino, 37, gave birth to a baby girl Wednesday. This is the first child for the actress and her husband, 23-year-old actor Chris Backus. The couple has not released the baby's name. read more


Tara Reid made a boob of herself at P. Diddy's 35th-birthday bash last Thursday in New York. While walking the red carpet, Reid's plunging satin dress malfunctioned and her left breast popped out. The actress tried to nip the scandal in the bud by pleading with the paparazzi not to publish the photos. But by Saturday the image was all over the Internet as well as the New York Post — two outlets that typically show great restraint. read more

Third Watch Star's Cop Drama

When actress Nia Long joined the cast of NBC's Third Watch (Fridays, 9 pm/ET) last year, she was thrilled to play policewoman Sasha Monroe right on New York City's mean streets. In fact, the 34-year-old Brooklyn native looks so convincing, passersby sometimes mistake her make-believe for reality.

"[I love] running around the streets of New York in a cop uniform with a gun," Long happily tells TV Guide Online. "[Recently,] I was on a long break. I had my uniform on, but I was on my cell phone and was wearing flip-flops. My shirt was out, but I had my gun belt on. And this woman, someone hit her car and ran.

"She's like, 'Miss, you are police officer, right?' I'm like, 'No, what are you talking about?' I forgot that I had the uniform on. She's like, 'I need someone to call the police.' I'm like, 'Well, call 911, I'm not a [real] cop.'"

Aside from these occasional moments of confusion, Long enjoys her work atmosphere. "People in New York City read more

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