Today's News: Our Take


RATINGS WOES

Turns out Sunday's Emmy Awards weren't in fact the lowest rated ever, as I stated here yesterday. They were the second lowest. Either way, Elaine Stritch is still not gonna be happy. read more

MEDICAL SETBACK

Comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who underwent heart-valve replacement surgery last month, has slipped into what his wife Joan is calling a "light coma." But in a statement, she added that her 82-year-old hubby "is starting to show signs of awareness, and we are all hopeful that he will regain full consciousness soon." read more

CULKIN CHARGED

Oklahoma City prosecutors formally charged Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin with two misdemeanor drug counts Monday after police found him in possession of marijuana and several Xanax tablets (Mmmm... Xanax!) during a traffic stop Friday. No court date has been set. read more

Question: I recently saw an ...

Question: I recently saw an episode of Bonanza and Patricia Blair was in it. I know she starred on a TV show, but cannot remember what it was. — Rusty

Televisionary: Well, you've got your choice, actually. From 1962 to '63, she was innkeeper and con woman Lou Mallory on ABC's The Rifleman, and from 1964 to '70 she played Rebecca Boone, Daniel's wife on Daniel Boone.

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Question: What year did ...

Question: What year did Groucho Marx die, what did he die from and was Groucho Marx his real name? — Ingamara

Televisionary: Groucho died in 1977 in Los Angeles at the age of 86. He was born Julius Henry Marx in New York City, and his official cause of death was pneumonia.

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Question: I am a big Alice ...

Question: I am a big Alice Cooper fan. There is a back-to-school ad running for some office-supply store that features Alice Cooper buying supplies with some little girl while his "School's Out" song plays in the background. Is that his daughter in the commercial? — Ronnie R., Atlanta, Ga.

Televisionary: "Some office-supply store"? Oy, Ronnie. You're killing the Staples ad people. But no, a Staples spokesperson told me the girl is an 11-year-old actress, though Cooper does have a daughter that age. Matter of fact, she said, the singer's real daughter asked him to take her shopping there after seeing the commercial, which leaves me wondering if the poor girl worried about being replaced. No word on whether Cooper actually took her or not, but he got a chuckle out of the whole thing.

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North Shore Shannen Doherty arrives...

North Shore
Shannen Doherty arrives at the Grand Waimea and wastes no time paying homage to the network and series that made her infamous. When her character, Alexandra, is asked how she likes Hawaii, she smirkingly replies, "Beats the hell out of Beverly Hills." That's right, baby, the bitch is back! (Her second-best line came when some obnoxious kids were running around her table: "Do something or I will." Admit it, you know you've wanted to say that to inattentive parents at least once in your life.) And I knew, knew, knew that she was in cahoots with Tessa. That single tear running down her cheek when she was baring her soul to newfound half sister (or is she?) Nicole was a dead giveaway.

Listen Up
Over on CBS, another familiar face pops up, with far less satisfying results. Jason Alexander's back in this painfully unfunny comedy about a sports talk-show host who begins writing a newspaper column about life and end read more

Question: There's no bet ...

Question: There's no bet here, just an argument. Didn't that foxy Don Johnson help create Miami Vice? I thought it was supposed to be a vehicle for him. Thank you. — Kris E., Somerville, Mass.

Televisionary: You mean the foxy one as opposed to... the unfoxy one?

Assuming we're talking about the same Don Johnson, Miami Vice was most definitely not created by or for him, Kris. It was spawned by a two-word memo from late NBC Entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff, who was said to have jotted "MTV cops" on an executive pad, thus launching the whole idea. And the casting process involved going through many an actor before the producers were able to persuade reluctant network execs to sign Johnson for the series, which debuted in September 1984.

"They looked at every actor from New York to Los Angeles," Johnson told TV Guide in 1984. Not only that, but even after his screen tes read more

Question: I remember a ...

Question: I remember a television show that was probably on in the mid-1960s that featured Peggy Cass as a mother with chimpanzees for children. (I can't remember who portrayed the father.) Just wanted to find out if my memories are accurate; thank you for any information. — Beth D.

Televisionary: Well, they weren't actually her children, Beth — the '60s weren't that far out, after all — though The Hathaways' Elinore Hathaway did treat them as such. Cindy, Charlie and Enoch were the Marquis Chimps, an entertainment act booking agent Elinor represented on the sitcom, which ran on ABC from October 1961 to August 1962.

Jack Weston was Elinore's put-upon real-estate-agent husband, Jack, while Harvey Lembeck was the chimps' talent agent, Jerry. The chimps were just like precocious, smart-aleck kids on a contemporary sitcom, only they were a lot hairier, a heck of a lot stronger and threw their feces when provoked.

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Backstage Scoop at the Emmys


In order for this year's Primetime Emmy Awards to be considered a success, I decided early on that one of three things must happen. The first one is obvious: To hell with the restraining order, I gotta finally meet Mariska Hargitay. Next, I must observe at least one uncomfortable moment between Sex and the City-movie killer Kim Cattrall and her resentful costars, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis. And lastly, and this is a big one, the Academy has to end what's arguably become one of the most egregious snubs in awards show history and hand Scrubs the statuette for best comedy series. What? It wasn't even nominated? Great, I'm 0 and 1 and I haven't even put on my tux yet. Mariska, here I come!

1:15 pm/PST I arrive at the security check-in and there's a homeless man at the front of the line trying to gain access. Ah, Hollywood.

1:16 Wait, that's not a homeless man — it's Garr read more

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