Today's News: Our Take


Fear Factor Yeah. So, uh, if this...

Fear Factor
Yeah. So, uh, if this is the "model" episode, then where are all the pretty boys? Answer me that, Joe Rogan. Where's the beefcake? Click.

Jockey
Be careful what you ask for. I turn the channel and HBO's got 106-pound jockey butt — naked in the shower. Whoa. I wanted a little testosterone. But not like this. Man. "People don't know what riders go through," says one jockey before launching into a detailed description of how these little men make weight. Sweat boxes, diuretics, the purge method, overexercising and undereating. You name it. They do it. And all for one chance at racing glory. Remember that DMX song that goes, "Would you ride for me? Would you die for me?" Yeah. Well, these guys ride and die and they do it for suprisingly little money. The fourth-place rider in the Kentucky Derby gets something like $600. From one of the highest-stakes races in the world. What?! Forget greyhound-rescue programs. Th read more

Question: My son was asking ...

Question: My son was asking me about a sitcom that was like a video game and I cannot remember the name of it, what station it was on, or if it is still airing. Could you help me please? — Angela S., Bradford, Mass

Televisionary: Sure can, Angela, but I don't think your son's going to like it. He's talking about UPN's Game Over, which is an apt title given that the show is officially "on hiatus" but is understood to have been canceled. Sorry.

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Question: I was wondering if ...

Question: I was wondering if you have heard any buzz about when the HBO show The Wire is returning for Season 3. Have they started filming yet? — Diane, Detroit, Mich.

Televisionary: I had heard buzz, but because I'm a consummate professional, I checked with HBO and found out my buzz was stale, so I won't bother telling you what it was. Turns out the show starts shooting in May and will debut in September.

It just so happens The Wire is one of my favorite dramas these days, so I'm looking forward to it as much or more than you are. Adding to my enthusiasm, they're bringing acclaimed crime novelist Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) and novelist-screenwriter Richard Price (Clockers) on board this season to contribute to the show, which can only make it better.

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SEND IN THE CLONE

ABC is searching for the next Martha Stewart in a two-part special that sounds a lot like the Today show's recent "Domestic Diva" contest. Airing May 25 and 26, The Great Domestic Showdown will test six contestants on their gardening, cooking and entertainment skills. The winner gets a book deal, an appearance on Good Morning America and a possible TV show. read more

OVER THE HILL

The WB has picked up its teen sleeper One Tree Hill for a second season. After a slow start, Chad Michael Murray and co. now regularly win their Tuesday night timeslot among the show's target audience of women 12-34 and gay men of all ages. read more

Question: There is a Simpsons ...

Question: There is a Simpsons episode that features a John Denver song that starts with the words "starry starry night/paint your palette blue and grey..." What is that song title? — Melanie O., Ottawa, Ont., Canada

Televisionary: Actually, that's Don McLean singing the classic "Vincent" in the episode "'Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky," Melanie. You'll find it on his classic album American Pie, named for his best-known song.

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ISN'T IT IRONIC

The FCC's highly publicized effort to pacify Howard Stern may have backfired. During the winter quarter that ended March 31, Stern posted strong ratings gains in his three biggest markets: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. read more

Question: I recently saw a ...

Question: I recently saw a clip of a movie coming out about the West Coast collapsing into the ocean. I can't remember if it is going to be on TV or at the movies, much less the name of this movie. If it will be on TV, when will it air? — Don S., Indianapolis, Ind.

Televisionary: Sounds like you're thinking of 10.5, a two-part earthquake thriller that debuts on NBC May 2 at 9 pm/ET. Starring Kim Delaney, Beau Bridges, Dul&#233 Hill and Fred Ward, among others, it tells the tale of what happens when the big one hits.

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SOUR NOTE

Sir Elton John is weighing in on Jennifer Hudson's shocking ouster from American Idol last week, calling the whole thing "incredibly racist." John — who rubbed elbows with Hudson and Co. earlier this month as an AI special guest — says "the three people I was really impressed with, and they just happened to be black, young female singers, and they all seem to be landing in the bottom three." No word yet on what Eltie thought of Camile Velasco's ghastly cover of his "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," but I'm betting he despised it. read more

Question: Wasn't there a ...

Question: Wasn't there a television show in the late '70s or early '80s called Angie, which was about a single young woman living in Philadelphia? Also, the musical score to the show was very good. Do you know who did the theme song? — Scott, New York. N.Y.

Televisionary: Yes and yes. Angie, which starred Donna Pescow as the titular character, ran on ABC from February 1979 to October 1980.

Angie was a Philadelphia waitress who met and married Brad (Robert Hays), a successful doctor and member of a wealthy society family. John Randolph was Brad's father and Sharon Spelman his sister, while Doris Roberts played Angie's mom and Debralee Scott her sister.

Maureen McGovern performed the theme song, "Different Worlds."

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