Today's News: Our Take


Cinematographer Neal L. Fredericks, whose r&#233sum&#233 included The Blair Witch Project, was killed Saturday while shooting the indie pic Cross Bones in the Florida Keys. He was 35. Fredericks was reportedly filming an aerial shot from a single-engine Cessna 206 when the plane crashed into the water. The film's director, producer and first camera assistant survived. read more


Sopranos star James Gandolfini will play Ernest Hemingway in an untitled film about the author's tempestuous romance with war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, Variety reports. Robin Wright PennSanta Barbara's original Kelly Capwell — is a possibility to play Gellhorn. read more


Angel grad Charisma Carpenter will play an evil seer in two episodes of the WB's Charmed this season, sources confirm. read more

Question: You have been ...

Question: You have been helping a lot of people lately with my problem. The opening song to One Tree Hill is one of my favorite songs, but I can't ever find out who sings it or the song name. Could you help me, please?!? — Renee K.

Televisionary: I wasn't aware that so many other people needed to know that, Renee, but since you're the first to ask: That's Gavin Degraw's "I Don't Want to Be" and you'll find it on his album Chariot (J-Records).

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Question: Hearing about the ...

Question: Hearing about the ABC fall show The Benefactor, in which the guy gives away a million bucks to someone who deserves it, reminded me of the old Millionaire show. Wasn't that pretty much the same thing? Also, what was the millionaire's name? Thank you. — Elizabeth M., Perrysberg, Ohio

Televisionary: I can see the similarities, Elizabeth, but they're pretty general. The Benefactor, after all, is a reality show that has real-life contestants competing for billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's money. The Millionaire, which ran on CBS from January 1955 to September 1960, was a fictional show, with episodes relating what happened to a different character each week after personal secretary Michael Anthony (Marvin Miller) delivered a cashier's check for a million tax-free dollars to a carefully chosen stranger as a gift from his wealthy boss.

As for the second question, the boss, who was never fully seen (only read more

Question: When I was living ...

Question: When I was living in South America in the mid-'80s, I saw a dubbed American action/fantasy show, but I cannot remember the title. There were several segments within the show, one dealing with a car that was run-down and ugly, but became new and had superpowers when you put a special horn on it. Another had some kids who had been shrunk by a mad scientist. The last one dealt with a pair of women superheroes, sort of a female Batman and Robin. Any info on what the show was called and when it ran would be appreciated. — Caroline A., Cantonment, Fla.

Televisionary: The car did indeed gain superpowers, but you forgot to mention that it also became sentient, which always sort of freaked me out as a kid, Caroline.

You're thinking of The Krofft Super Show, which was created by brothers Sid and Marty Krofft (H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville, Land of the Lost) and ran for two years on ABC's Saturday-morning schedule beginning in read more

Question: Was there a ...

Question: Was there a television series in the late '70s that went by the same title as the present-day Friends? The best I can remember about this short-lived series is that it starred youngsters as the main characters, most notably, I believe, Jill Whelan before her Love Boat days. Can you confirm this for me? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. — Neal T., Cynthiana, Ky.

Televisionary: Indeed there was, Neal, except in this incarnation the friends were all 11. Whelan played Nancy and Charles Aiken was her pal Pete. Both came from difficult family situations. Jarrod Johnson was their buddy Randy, a lawyer's son. As you say, the show was short-lived. It debuted in March 1979 on ABC and was gone in April.

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Question: With the new wave ...

Question: With the new wave of shows being filmed in Hawaii, I recall one with Cheryl Ladd. It was sort of like Quincy or CSI. Can you help me out, Televisionary? — Debbie

Televisionary: That I can, Debbie. You're thinking of One West Waikiki, which ran for a month on CBS beginning in August 1994, and was offered in syndication a year later. Ladd (Charlie's Angels) played a medical examiner with the Honolulu P.D. who roomed with a maverick cop (Richard Burgi) and worked under a by-the-book captain (Paul Gleason).

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The WB has ordered 22 additional episodes of summer smash Blue Collar TV.... Strangers with Candy goofball Amy Sedaris is the front-runner to replace Craig Kilborn as host of CBS's Late Late Show, the New York Post reports.... The Food Network will air Julia Child: A Tribute, an hour-long retrospective honoring the late culinary queen, on Sunday at 9 pm/ET. The special will cap a day of programming dedicated to Child, who died Friday at the age of 91. read more

Random Olympics Note No. 1 If...

Random Olympics Note No. 1
If I owe anything to this year's Olympics coverage, it's a bit of gratitude for prompting my little sister to call me up yesterday — something she hasn't done for a while. "Have you been watching the Olympics?" she asked. "Some Asian team mopped the American women's volleyball team. And Puerto Rico dusted our men's basketball team." When I pointed out that she'd used two housekeeping metaphors, she came back with, "Well, they need to clean it up then, because that's embarrassing. They beat us in basketball, girl. Basket. Ball. And have you seen how tight security is? They have that athletes' village on lockdown. They've got guards and cameras everywhere. They're probably looking in somebody's window right now."

Synchronized Diving Competition
Of course gold-medal winners Li Ting and Lao Lishi barely made a splash in most of their dives. Your average fourth grader weighs more than they do. And I'm not trying read more

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