Today's News: Our Take


Question: I was searching for ...

Question: I was searching for stuff on WKRP's Jan Smithers (I had a crush on her instead of Loni Anderson) and found a 1966 Newsweek cover with a picture of her on it. But WKRP wasn't on until the '70s, so what show was she on there for? Thanks. — Conrad L., Tallmadge, Ohio

Televisionary: Bailey over Jennifer? Join the club, Conrad. Most every target-market adolescent boy I knew chose the quieter beauty of Bailey Quarters (Smithers) over the in-your-face va-va-voom of bombshell receptionist Jennifer Marlowe (Anderson).

Someone at Newsweek thought Smithers was an attention grabber, too, because she was chosen for the March 21, 1966 cover, which showed her perched on the back of a cycle for a story about trends among American teens, without a TV show to her name. The magazine wanted a typical California girl and picked the then-16-year-old Smithers for the shot, stating in the story that she "orbits between the worlds of th read more

Question: The Dec. 16 episode ...

Question: The Dec. 16 episode of Less Than Perfect was dedicated to the memory of someone who apparently died recently. Who was it? — Kathleen, Tewksbury, Mass.

Televisionary: That episode was dedicated to Gail Castleberry, a crew member who worked as Sherri Shepherd's stand-in on the show. Sadly, she recently passed away after battling cancer.

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Question: I recently saw an ...

Question: I recently saw an episode of Bewitched in which Samantha delivers a little boy. I was amazed to find out she had a child other than Tabitha because I watched the show growing up and have no memory of Sam being pregnant or having this other baby. Was Elizabeth Montgomery really pregnant at the time, or was this just a plot device for the show? — Tracey W., Madison, Miss.

Televisionary: Both. The late Ms. Montgomery was pregnant with her third child, so Samantha gave birth to a baby boy, Adam, in the episode that aired Oct. 16, 1969. The following season, the older Adam was played by twins David and Greg Lawrence.

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Question: On the TV version ...

Question: On the TV version of Mister Roberts, was he a Navy SEAL? — John B., Ft. Myers, Fla.

Televisionary: Nope. Played for a year beginning in September 1965 by Roger Smith on NBC, Roberts was a plain old Naval lieutenant (junior grade) on the cargo vessel Reluctant, just as he was when Henry Fonda portrayed him on stage and screen.

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Question: I remember a show ...

Question: I remember a show about the Pony Express. One of the charactors was "Wild Bill" and I want to say the show's name was The Young Riders. Is that correct or was it something else? — Angela R., Elyria, Ohio

Televisionary: That it is, Angela. You're thinking of the action drama that aired on ABC from September 1989 to July 1992.

The show centered around a group of young bucks, several of whom would later become Western legends. Josh Brolin played Jimmy Hickok (better known, as you say, as "Wild Bill"); Ty Miller was "The Kid;" Stephen Baldwin was Billy Cody ("Buffalo Bill" to all you who aren't into the cowboy thing) and Gregg Rainwater was their token Native-American pal, Little Buck. Oh, and Yvonne Suhor was their cross-dressing pal Lou, who posed as a boy because... well, I don't know — probably because the show's creators wanted to cover the Calamity Jane angle, I reckon.

Overse read more

Question: I saw the first ...

Question: I saw the first part of a movie a few years ago and missed the second part. I don't know the name and would like to know if it is available to rent. It was a case of a husband beating his wife and the wife disappearing. The wife's sister believed he murdered her. Part 1 ended with his parents sitting upright in his bed at night, seeing the stuff on the walls that the police had put there to show blood. Please help me with the name. I'd like to finish watching it. — Anne P.

Televisionary: You're thinking of CBS' In a Child's Name, a two-part 1991 CBS TV-movie that was based on a true story. It featured Valerie Bertinelli as a woman who, after her brother-in-law (Michael Ontkean) murders her sister (Karla Tamburrelli), fights her brother-in-law's parents (David Huddleston, Louise Fletcher) for custody of her nephew.

It's no longer available on home video, but if you do some searching on some online auction sites, read more

SHRINK WRAPPED

The doctor is out — and I mean it this time. Really. NBC has decided that this will indeed be the final season of Frasier. Peacock execs had been in talks with Paramount (the show's producer) about a 12th season of the Cheers spin-off, but such a deal would have proven too costly for the network. NBC President Jeff Zucker made the announcement to members of the Television Critics Association (like me!) at a previously scheduled farewell press conference on Monday. read more

DONALD, YOU DEVIL

Here's a shocker: One of the female contestants Donald Trump hired for The Apprentice has a past in softcore porn! According to Inside Edition, Kristi Frank, who was described on last week's season premiere as a restaurant owner, starred in an episode of Showtime's Red Shoe Diaries titled "Swimming Naked." She was the one swimming naked. But, in her defense, she looked very ambitious. read more

Juliette Lewis Chases Plum Part

Get ready for the new, uptight, buttoned-down Juliette Lewis. The 30-year-old actress — known for her wild youth and her freaky, hell-raising characters — takes a major career departure with Chasing Freedom, an original movie for Court TV airing Jan. 19 (9 pm/ET). Lewis plays Libby Brock, a staid, career-obsessed corporate lawyer forced by her boss to represent — pro bono — a young, Afghani woman seeking asylum in America. Set just before and immediately after Sept. 11, the film explores the horrors of life under the Taliban, as well as our own issues of homeland security and ethnic paranoia. It's heady, mature stuff for Lewis, who first gained fame (and an Oscar nod) as the Lolita-esque teen who sucked Robert DeNiro's thumb in 1991's Cape Fear. She went on to play a slew of read more

CHOICE KUDOS

CSI and Friends were the big winners at Sunday's 30th Annual People's Choice Awards, winning best TV drama and comedy, respectively. Joan of Arcadia was named favorite new drama and Two and a Half Men nabbed the prize for favorite new comedy. On the movie side, Pirates of the Caribbean was voted favorite movie, while Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers took the favorite dramatic film trophy. All told, there wasn't a surprise in the bunch. read more

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