Today's News: Our Take


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

NEW NANNY

The star of Mark Burnett's upcoming semiautobiographical WB sitcom Commando Nanny has been let go just weeks before the show's premiere. According to Variety, Philip Winchester was dropped after he broke his foot in an accident. He has been replaced by newcomer Owain Yeoman, who will probably break his agent's foot when he figures out what a dud this show is. read more

Punk'd Star's No Dope


Ashton Kutcher's former Punk'd cohort, Dax Shepard, makes his big-screen acting debut in the new comedy Without a Paddle (opening Aug. 20). He plays Tom, a lovable boozer and pothead with a tendency toward dishonesty. Sounds like a piece of cake for Dax, right? Actually, the 29-year-old UCLA grad (who majored in anthropology) insists his doofy slacker role really was a stretch.

"In Paddle, I play a guy who is compensating for not having an education," Shepard explains. "I think of my character as someone who is as intelligent as Dan [Seth Green's character], but Dan had good parents and went to medical school and became a doctor, and Tom just went to jail. So he's trying to make up for the fact that he knows nothing, and feel smart by lying a lot and trying to be an expert at something."

How did Shepard make his jump from bookworm to MTV prankster in real life? "I actually made the transition from acting to a read more

WONDERFUL NEWS

Lynda Carter better gas up that invisible jet. The erstwhile Wonder Woman will play the principal of a high school for superpowered teens in the Disney family comedy Sky High. The pic also stars Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston and Dave Foley. read more

BIG TEASE

J.K. Rowling has dropped a big clue about the seventh and final Harry Potter book. Appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Sunday, Rowling told a group of fans that the young wizard "will survive to book seven." Asked to reveal the title of the last installment, she replied: "I'm not going to tell you. I'm sorry. My agent would have me hunted down and killed." Yeah, but at least we'd know the title. read more

IN RELATED NEWS...

The California attorney general's office has reportedly concluded that Jackson was not "manhandled" by sheriff's deputies when he was taken into custody last year on molestation charges. Jackson had claimed deputies handcuffed him in a way they knew was "going to hurt" and banished him to a feces-smeared restroom for 45 minutes. I knew something about that story just didn't smell right. read more

GREECE IS THE WORD

NBC's telecast of Friday's Olympics opening ceremonies attracted 56 million viewers, the third-highest-rated summer games debut ever. All together now: "Opa!" read more

V Is for Villainess

V: The Series — NBC's 1984-85 show about reptilian alien "visitors" conquering Earth — didn't last long. Even so, anyone who saw the show (or the two miniseries that spawned it) remembers the deliciously evil Diana. We shiver just picturing that scene where her mouth unhinged and she gulped down a live guinea pig! With that Charlie's Angels hairdo, those blood-red lips and cool shades for Di's human disguise, Jane Badler played her like a Texas cheerleader gone very, very wrong. Here, TV Guide Online rings up the 50-year-old actress to reminisce about the bad old days — and discuss another possible V invasion!

TV Guide Online: Diana was such a memorable character. Sort of a lizardy Lady Macbeth.
Jane Badler:
There are similarities, but there is probably a bit more humor in Diana. I had a lot of cheeky glee with the fact that she got so much pleasure out of being evil. And she was sexually ambivalent — I wanted to use read more

Ben Browder's Farscape Plan


In his role as John Crichton, the astronaut-turned-action hero of Sci Fi Channel's cult hit, Farscape, Ben Browder frequently struggled to keep his emotions in check. In real life, the actor doesn't always feel the need to hold back. In fact, he was downright verklempt when he arrived on the set of Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, a four-hour miniseries that will air in October — and pick up where the prematurely canceled show left off!

"I got tears in my eyes walking back onto the set," Browder tells TV Guide Online. "To walk back onto Moya [the living leviathin which housed Crichton and his band of interstellar fugitives] was like seeing an old friend you never thought you'd see again. There were minor differences [in the set], but for the most part, it was like a time warp. A year and a half had passed since they had dismantled it, and there it was again.

"It actually leads you to believe read more

LEGAL THRILLER

Dressed in a white suit, Michael Jackson returned to court Monday to face off against his longtime nemesis, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon. The hearing focused on whether Sneddon violated attorney-client privilege when he invaded the office of a private investigator who worked for Jackson's former lawyer, Mark Geragos. To psych himself up for the showdown, Jacko made a surprise visit to Los Angeles' First AME Church on Sunday with an entourage that included current lawyer Tom Mesereau Jr., brother Randy and, standing in for Nick and Aaron Carter, comedian Steve Harvey. read more

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