Today's News: Our Take


IN RELATED NEWS...

If you do anything today, please read my column. After you're done with that, make sure you check out Ethan Alter's exclusive interview with Race rabble-rouser Colin, who responds to those explosive allegations that Mirna recently leveled against him on TV Guide Online. My fave part is when he concedes that his girlfriend/teammate, Christie, "is a much bigger person than I am and is able to take the high road and be mature enough not to let our problems escalate... I am damned lucky to have her as my partner." It takes a big man to state the obvious. It takes an even bigger man to commit himself to a loony bin. read more

Question: I recently watched ...

Question: I recently watched 13 Going on 30 and saw Mark Ruffalo. He looks incredibly familiar, but I've never seen any of his other movies. Has he been on any TV shows? I would appreciate your response because it is really bugging me. Thanks! — Sarah, Baltimore, Md.

Televisionary: I'm betting if you saw him on TV, it was when he played opposite Derek Cecil's Off. Mike Dorigan as Off. Zane Marinelli on UPN's The Beat, which ran from March to April in 2000, Sarah. The show also featured Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) and Lee Tergesen (Oz). And if you're in the market for a Ruffalo showcase, I strongly suggest You Can Count on Me, which is more than worth your time and boasts a truly great performance.

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Question: Oh, great ...

Question: Oh, great Televisionary, please help me resolve one of the great mysteries of my television-viewing life. Back when I was young, I remember watching a show on TV that was a live-action version of The Flash. I think it was a TV-movie, and the only scene that I can remember was when the man who was The Flash got sick and sneezed, it caused him to shoot backward. The show had to have aired before 1994. Can you tell me what I saw? Is there any way I can see it again since I remember really liking it? — Carly S.

Televisionary: Sure thing, Carly, but I can also tell you about the dangers of e-mailing two people at the same company with the same question. See, Matt Roush forwarded the mail you sent to him, and don't think I didn't notice that you called him both great and wise. I'll assume you're very sorry and feel just terrible.

The Flash ran on CBS from September 1990 to July 1991 and starred John Wesley Shipp (read more

ALL IN THE FAMILY

Dakota Fanning has signed on to play Tom Cruise's daughter in Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds remake. Fanning starred in Spielberg's Sci-Fi Channel miniseries Taken, but she did not meet the Oscar-winning filmmaker during the shoot. Why? Probably because she gives him the creeps. read more

COUNTRY KUDOS

Alan Jackson nabbed a field-best seven nominations for the 38th annual CMA Awards, including entertainer of the year and best male vocalist. Album of the year nominees include Toby Keith for Shock'n Y'all, Brooks and Dunn for Red Dirt Road, Kenny Chesney for When the Sun Goes Down, Gretchen Wilson for Here for the Party and Brad Paisley for Mud on the Tires. Big deal. Hose 'em down and quit your whining. read more

Question: Is the photo of ...

Question: Is the photo of Colonel Potter's wife on M*A*S*H really Harry Morgan's wife? If not, do you know who she is? Thanks. — Jennifer, Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

Televisionary: No, it wasn't and yes, I do. The photo of Mildred Potter, Col. Sherman Potter's beloved wife, was actually a shot of actress Spring Byington, with whom Morgan worked on CBS's December Bride from 1954 to 1960. Byington played the lead on that series, which featured Morgan as neighbor Pete Porter before his character got his own spin-off, Pete and Gladys (1960-62).

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THE SCOOP IS OUT THERE

Kerr Smith — best known for his role as Dawson's Creek's token gay, Jack McPhee — is joining the cast of Charmed as a love interest for, um, a girl. Specifically, leading lady Rose McGowan. A show spokeswoman describes Smith's character as a homeland-security agent who believes in the supernatural. Says the rep: "He's sort of like Fox Mulder from The X-Files." He'll debut in October and, if my hunch is correct, start making eyes at fellow newcomer Nick Lachey by November sweeps. read more

Question: While watching ...

Question: While watching Olympic swimming last night, my friend and I got into a dispute over the flags that are shown on the lanes. Daniel Roberts mentioned it in the Watercooler today. I believe that the flags are projected into the pool, so that the live audience can see. My friend thinks that they are only shown this way on television so that the TV viewers could see it. I'm pretty sure I'm right, but I need someone to verify this for me! Thanks! — Christa, Scranton, Pa.

Televisionary: Sorry, Christa, but that someone won't be me. Those flags are an only-on-TV effect, much like the first-down line you see when watching football.

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Look, people. Please stop writing...

Look, people. Please stop writing me, complaining about how I keep talking about reality shows. I want to watch new episodes of scripted comedies and dramas. Really, I do. There's just nothing on. Believe me. I, like you, am counting the days until the fall season kicks in. I'm already envious of Daniel R. Coleridge because Scrubs comes back tomorrow and he gets to watch it. Lucky sonofagun.

Entourage
When "E" (aka Pizza Boy) accidentally drunk-dials his ex-girlfriend Kristin instead of Emily — the girl he's currently seeing — Turtle says, "Either marry this girl or kill her. We can't take this anymore!" Yeah. Riiiiight. Here, ladies, is a peek inside the male mind. Apparently, among these guys, death/murder and marriage equal the same thing. And, yes, I know this is a repeat from Sunday night. But let me have this one. OK?

Fear Factor
I knew it! I knew after they lost that $1 million that Adam and read more

Question: Here's what might ...

Question: Here's what might be an odd question, but I don't know the answer and I bet you do. On BJ and the Bear, why was the chimp called Bear? — Rachel S., Ponca City, Okla.

Televisionary: Bear (played by a chimp named Sam) was named for late University of Alabama football coach Bear Bryant, Rachel. The odd (or, at least, unexpected) part is how indie trucker BJ McCay (Greg Evigan) partnered up with his furry pal. It seems that while BJ was a POW in Vietnam, Bear saved his life by bringing him food.

Now I'm betting one of your next questions will surely be among the following: BJ was a trucker and a Vietnam vet/POW? They had the temerity to have him meet a chimp while starving? What the heck was a chimp doing there?

To which my answers are yes, yes and I don't know. Full disclosure time: I can't remember exactly what Bear was doing in Vietnam, though I understand a group of chimp vets has organized to tell everyone he never r read more

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