Today's News: Our Take


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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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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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: 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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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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Question: You'll see by my ...

Question: You'll see by my question that I'm no youngster, but you'll also see I've been wondering about this for a long, long time. I grew up watching Howdy Doody and my sister always claimed the beloved puppet I grew up with was not the original. So settle this for me after so many years. Has she been correct all along? Thank you. — Ira S., Sturgis, S.D.

Televisionary: That she has, Ira. The original Howdy Doody puppet, first seen when Bob "Buffalo Bob" Smith went from radio to creating a kids' TV show called Puppet Playhouse in December 1947, was a country character based on Elmer, a holdover from Smith's radio show who greeted listeners with the phrase "howdy doody." After a week, the show's name was changed to Howdy Doody and when Frank Paris, creator of the original Howdy marionette, couldn't come to terms with NBC over ownership of the show and filed suit, Smith and show producer Roger Muir commissioned two former D 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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STORK REPORT

Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett, 34, gave birth to a baby boy, Roman Robert, Friday in London. This is the second child for Blanchett and her screenwriter hubby Andrew Upton, but the first to be named after a popular character from Days of Our Lives. For more on what is becoming Hollywood's hottest new baby-naming trend, click here. read more

Meet 7th Heaven's Junior Hottie


Look out, Barry Watson. You're so old school. A new male heartthrob is taking over on 7th Heaven! Well, a heartthrob-in-training, anyway. Executive producer Brenda Hampton likes to joke that "the puberty fairy was extraordinarily good to" Scotty Leavenworth, who plays Peter. But will he ever live down that puberty quote?

"Everybody goes through that," the 13-year-old Californian tells TV Guide Online. "It's a normal thing." In fact, Leavenworth loves the idea of making fans all swoony. Laughing, he says, "I have no problem with it!"

The young actor — whose credits include Erin Brockovich and The Green Mile — teaches viewers a grown-up lesson on tonight's 7th Heaven. He says his character, Peter, "does something he shouldn't." Well, if he won't spill, we will: Peter's caught drinking alcohol with his friends — and there'll be serious consequences for it.

Aside from read more

Buffy Babe Jumps on Bandwagon!


Does life go on after Buffy the Vampire Slayer? It does for Emma Caulfield, the babe behind Sunnydale's late she-demon Anya. "I had been ready to go for a while — [for various] reasons," she tells TV Guide Online, cryptically. "It had nothing to do with [series creator] Joss Whedon; I love him. There were just certain politics around there that made it very difficult to grow."

So, what's a disgruntled vengeance demon to do? Try her luck on the big screen, natch. Since biting the dust in Buffy's May 2003 series finale, Caulfield headlined the hit horror flick Darkness Falls and produced and starred in the indie mockumentary Bandwagon. In the latter pic, which recently debuted at the Newport Beach Film Festival to rave reviews, the former Beverly Hills, 90210 star plays a self-absorbed Hollywood thesp named, um, Emma Caulfield.

The actress concedes that her peeps were a bit worried that audiences read more

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