Today's News: Our Take


Question: I recently saw a ...

Question: I recently saw a documentary on the TV series Cheers. I was wondering, what other series besides Cheers and M*A*S*H lasted longer than 10 years? Thanks. — Joan, Kawasaki, Japan

Televisionary: A lot more than you think, Joan. It's too long a list to run here in its entirety, but I can give you highlights. Gunsmoke was the longest-running drama or comedy (20 seasons), followed by such shows as: Lassie (17); The Simpsons (15); The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Bonanza, Dallas, Knots Landing, Law & Order (14); various incarnations of read more

The N-Word Trio's repeating its...

The N-Word
Trio's repeating its well-meaning special tonight. And, OK, here's the deal. If you're not black, don't say the N-word. If you are black, don't say it. How about, everybody, just don't say it? Some words deserve to die.

North Shore
Don't make Frankie angry. You won't like him when he's angry. Apparently, in addition to being the Grand Waimea's all-seeing, no-cost counseling bartender extraordinaire, Jason Momoa's character is also the pretty-boy muscle who lends beach cred to "haole" wannabe pro surfers like Gabriel (Corey Sevier). Frankie's only purpose this entire episode was to smooth things over for the lifeguard who got in too deep when he crashed a local's water toy then couldn't pay to have it fixed. That scene where he and Jason went to back Gabe up with the local boys was so West Side Hawaii Story it had me rolling. I mean, the big bad local surfer guy actually had the words "north shore" tattooed pri read more

Question: The new series of ...

Question: The new series of commercials for Six Flags is causing quite a debate. Just who is portraying the dancing senior citizen? My girlfriend thinks it is Dana Carvey, while I'm leaning towards Jamie Kennedy. Do you have any idea who it is, or can you at least venture a guess? Your opinion is highly valued. — Brian, N.J.

Televisionary: Thanks for the kind words, Brian. I hope you still feel the same way after I tell you that aside from telling you the character's name is Mr. Six, I have no earthly idea who's playing him.

And that's the way the Six Flags folks like it, since it's getting people like you talking and, they hope, going to their parks. "It is a mystery," a company spokeswoman told me. "It's been in just about every paper in the country at this point. There's been speculation that it's Paris Hilton or [Uncle] Junior from The Sopranos. A TV station said they had it on very read more

HE'S AMAZING

Spider-Man 2 grossed a record-shattering $180 million in its first six days of release, obliterating just about every box-office benchmark in its path. Among the pic's historic feats: Best six-day debut; biggest opening day; and fastest film to reach $180 million. Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 slipped to No. 2 with $21 million, off just 12 percent. The doc's total stands at an unprecedented $60.1 million. read more

Question: Who is the female ...

Question: Who is the female singing "What a Wonderful World" on the MCI television commercial? I recognize Tony Bennett, but can't put my finger on that beautiful female voice! Help me, please! — Amy, Greenville, N.C.

Televisionary: That's k.d. lang, Amy. And you'll find it on their CD A Wonderful World (Columbia), on which the two offer a host of songs identified with the great Louis Armstrong.

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SWAN UPDATE

The application deadline for The Swan 2 has been extended to July 16, Fox confirms. Contestants must be between the ages of 21 and 45, healthy and have a face for radio. read more

Question: I know you keep ...

Question: I know you keep getting questions about stars being difficult, but I was a big Star Trek: The Next Generation fan and wanted to know if Patrick Stewart was as poorly behaved on the last episode as I've heard. Thank you for your time and effort. — Bonnie L., Union, N.J.

Televisionary: I'm not sure how bad you heard it was, Bonnie, but it was fairly well-known that as the syndicated Star Trek: The Next Generation, which was produced from 1987-94, wound down, Stewart did exhibit some difficult behavior. The actor himself admitted to that in a 1994 TV Guide interview (albeit while talking about himself in the third person, which is often a worrisome sign).

"There were reports that Patrick was becoming too much of a diva, having hysterics on the set, throwing people off the set. And then, when we went to Star Trek Generations, it was reported read more

RAZZLE DAZZLE

David Hasselhoff will assume the role of Billy Flynn in the London stage production of Chicago. His 60-performance gig begins July 16. "This is not about making money," he says, "this is about following my heart, challenging myself and having fun." I can't be sure, but I think he just took a swipe at K.I.T.T. read more

THE ENTERTAINER

Denzel Washington will produce and direct a film based on the life of Sammy Davis Jr., Variety reports. Washington, who will not act in the pic, made his directing debut with 2002's Antwone Fisher. read more

SHORT CUTS

More than 1250 U.S. radio stations commemorated the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley's "That's All Right" recording (included in the current issue of TV Guide magazine) by simultaneously playing the tune on Monday. .. Tom Cruise will introduce a tribute to late Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman at the 12th annual ESPY Awards on July 14. Tillman, who gave up his football career to join the Army, was killed in Afghanistan in April... TCM will air a five-film tribute to screen legend Marlon Brando, who died Thursday at the age of 80. The tribute kicks off Saturday at 8 pm/ET with On the Waterfront. read more

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