Today's News: Our Take


DOLLYWOOD BUSTS OUT

Dolly Parton is augmenting her popular Tennessee theme park. According to reports, Dollywood will add 10 rides in 2005 as part of a 3-acre expansion that park officials say will increase ride capacity by more than 2000 passengers an hour. read more

Question: Have all of the ...

Question: Have all of the original actors on Bonanza passed away now? — Linda, Omaha, Neb.

Televisionary: OK, let's make it a Bonanza bonanza. The answer is not quite. Lorne Greene (Ben Cartwright), Michael Landon (Little Joe), Dan Blocker (Hoss) and Victor Sen Yung (Hop Sing) have, but 76-year-old Pernell Roberts (Adam) is still with us.

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THIS IS UNREAL

Donald Trump is getting fired up about a non-reality TV project. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Apprentice kingpin is pitching NBC a prime-time drama series that would be set at New York's Trump Tower — the posh skyscraper that hosted the likes of Omatrocious and Little Munchkin. Writer-producer Gay Walch (Summerland) is in talks to pen the project. read more

Question: I recently saw an ...

Question: I recently saw an episode of Bonanza starring an African-American man singing opera. My friend said it was Paul Robeson. Is that correct? — Tracy, East Orange, N.J.

Televisionary: Nope. That was William Marshall, who later went on to star as Blacula in the infamous '70s blaxploitation movies and also popped up as The King of Cartoons on Pee-wee's Playhouse.

For those who aren't familiar with the Season 5 episode, "Enter Thomas Bowers," originally broadcast April 26, 1964, focused on a famous Italian opera singer's trip to Virginia City. When he arrived and the good citizens of the town realized he was black, he faced all sorts of discrimination, culminating in the Cartwrights taking him in for his own protection when their neighbors began to suspect he was an escaped slave.

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Fear Factor I really don't care...

Fear Factor
I really don't care for this show, but since it's an "all-female" edition, I feel compelled to check out what the girls are up to (about a D-cup, from the looks of it). And I'm appalled right out of the gate by these catty and obnoxious "ladies." This early exchange between host Joe Rogan and one of the contestants pretty much sums up the caliber of the competitors:

Joe: Now, are you happy you're competing against other women here?
Nicole: Yeah, I like competing against women. I'm used to doing it in beauty pageants but this is definitely more challenging...
Joe: What's the hardest thing about beauty pageants?
Nicole: Um...[Squints]
Joe: That you have to answer questions?
Nicole: Um, yeah. [Giggles]

And while I could stomach the first round, there was no possible way I was swallowing the next one, Roadkill Cafe. I'll spare you the gory details except to read more

SOCK-IT MAN

Is Elton John going through the change of life? First, the 57-year-old (off his) rocker threw that whole Taiwanese tantrum, and now he's lashing out at Madonna. While accepting an award from Q music magazine in London, John ripped into Madge after he discovered she was up for Best Live Act. "Anyone who lip-syncs on stage when you pay 75 pounds to see them should be shot," John said, referring to the Material Girl's Re-Invention tour. "Madonna, best f---ing live act? F--- off." Funny thing is, Madge didn't lip-sync on the just-wrapped tour — a fact her reps were quick to point out. "She sang every note of her Re-Invention tour live," says her spokeswoman, "and is not ashamed that she was well paid for her hard work." read more

Question: I recently saw an ...

Question: I recently saw an episode of John Favreau's Dinner for Five in which George Carlin mentioned that he appeared on The Tonight Show 135 times during Johnny Carson's years as host (he had other appearances in the pre-Carson years), but that he did not hold the record for the most appearances on the show. This really got me wondering. Can you tell me who does hold the record? Thanks! — Bryan S., Austin, Tex.

Televisionary: As near as I can figure, Bryan, that would be David Brenner. The veteran comic has showed up on Tonight 158 times.

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Question: I remember loving ...

Question: I remember loving Donny and Marie as a kid, because they were older and seemed cool, but nice. Now, of course, I realize they were kids, too. How old were they? Thanks. — Rob T., Moab, Utah

Televisionary: When producers Sid and Marty Krofft launched the brother-sister team on their own musical-variety show in January 1976, Donny Osmond was 18 and Marie was 16, but both were entertainment vets by then.

Donny was but a wee one when he first hit the stage singing "You Are My Sunshine" on The Andy Williams Show. By 13 he was a teen heartbreaker, selling record after record with hits like "Go Away Little Girl" and "Puppy Love." Marie, for her part, recorded "Paper Roses" when she was 13, and then teamed with Donny a year later for "I'm Leaving It All Up to You."

So putting them together on their own series was a no-brainer, especially considering the wild popularity of the Osmond franchise at the time. read more

Question: A cartoon called ...

Question: A cartoon called Wait Till Your Father Gets Home was on from 1972-74 (?). I would like to know if there are any records to show what time it came on and if it came on before or after Sanford and Son. — Aby

Televisionary: All I can tell you is that Wait Till Your Father Gets Home was indeed produced during those years, which fall within Sanford's 1972-77 run. However, the series was syndicated, which means stations across the country ran it at different times.

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A Super Big Mac Attack!

Morgan Spurlock doesn't think a fast-food burger is a happy meal at all. The director and star of the documentary Super Size Me (now out on DVD), spent one month recording his downfall from consuming an all-McDonald's diet. Now Spurlock, whose gut nearly busted in the fat-fueled experiment, says he's feeling better and ready to talk about living large.

TV Guide Online: Have you eaten McDonald's since you finished the movie?
Morgan Spurlock:
No. There are so many places to get a great burger. Why would I go to McDonald's? Those things have glow-in-the-dark cheese!

TVGO: What's your favorite burger?
Spurlock:
The best burger is from a diner called Cozy's Soup 'n' Burger in New York. On the West Coast, I like In-N-Out, and about once every two years, I'll eat a Tommy's burger.

TVGO: I take it you haven't gone vegan.
Spurlock:
I still enjoy a good steak, and I eat a lot of fish. When I was a kid, there was a dead animal on ou read more

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