Today's News: Our Take

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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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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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

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

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

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

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

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