Today's News: Our Take


Question: I was wondering if ...

Question: I was wondering if you could tell me the name of the song played during the Sex and the City ads on TBS. I checked their website but couldn't find it. — Clinton, Houston, Tex.

Televisionary: Shame on you for checking the wrong website when you should've come to this one first, then. Nevertheless, it's French Affair's "My Heart Goes Boom" and you'll find it on their Desire CD.

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North Shore Here's how desperate...

North Shore
Here's how desperate I am to see a non-reality show: I watched this entire episode even though the cute bartender guy was barely in it. And I liked it. In a plot twist that I didn't see coming, Tessa ended up hustling her evil hustler ex boyfriend, getting him arrested and getting $11,000 out of the deal. (Shut up!) Next on her hit list: hotel head Vincent Colville (aka James Remar).

But, wait. Let me get this Chris and MJ story straight. So they accidentally ride into a marijuana farm, drug dealers take them captive and are about to beat the aloha out of them and all they do while waiting for their inevitable end is share their how-I-came-to-be-in-Hawaii stories and kiss? Yeah, right. That's what I'd do — after I tried to tunnel my way out of the hut or MacGyver a weapon out weed seeds. I'm just saying.

VH1's I Love the '90s
No, they didn't. VH1 pulled out the big guns for these shows. (Ian Ziering, read more

Question: What was the real ...

Question: What was the real name of the little girl who played Jenny in the episode of Gunsmoke? — Mark J., New York, N.Y.

Televisionary: Assuming you mean the 1970 episode "Jenny," Mark, that was young Lisa Gerritsen, who had earlier appeared as William Windom's daughter on My World and Welcome to It and later went on to play Cloris Leachman's daughter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show spin-off Phyllis.

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Question: There's a ...

Question: There's a commercial on TV these days that claims that a brand of cleanser is so good that it gives you a lot of free time; they illustrate the point by showing well-known TV maids and housekeepers on vacation. We recognized Marla Gibbs (Florence from The Jeffersons) and some of the others, but can you name them all? Especially the woman at the end who goes parasailing? (We think it's Shelley Morrison, who plays Rosario on Will & Grace.) — Shawn W., Winnetka, Cal.

Televisionary: That's no mere cleanser, Shawn. That's the Swiffer Duster with Extendable Handle, which lets you clean in those hard-to-reach places around the house! (There... Now I've repaid the Swiffer people for being nice enough to return my call.)

You've already identified two of the TV ladies appearing in the ad. Also in the commercial are Ann B. Davis (Alice, read more

Question: If anyone knows ...

Question: If anyone knows this, you'd be the one! Who plays the haunting cello in Angel's theme song and is it available on CD? — Mark

Televisionary: The cellist's name is Gerri Sutyak and she's playing along with L.A.-based band Darling Violetta on the song, which is officially known as "Angel Main Title Theme." Unfortunately, Fox Television owns the rights to that rather than the band, so it's not available on any of their CDs (or any CD that I know of). The good news is you're likely to appreciate some of their other tunes, which you can sample and buy on their website.

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Question: When I was growing ...

Question: When I was growing up, I heard a rumor that the Monkees couldn't really play their instruments. Is that true? Thanks. — Monica T., Altoona, Pa.

Televisionary: It's not that they couldn't play their instruments, Monica. It's just that when they were cast for the series, which ran from September 1966 to August 1968 on NBC, musical talent wasn't exactly the first thing the producers were looking for. And because they didn't have much confidence in their cast members' abilities, their contributions to their early hits were limited, which led to a bit of a revolt further down the line when the songs became hits and the guys wanted to play their own music.

Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz all had some musical experience, though certainly not enough when the show launched — and not enough together — to sound like the tight, poppy band the series required. But it didn read more

Amazing Race's First Losers

It's never easy being the first team to face "Philimination" on The Amazing Race. Just ask Dennis and Erika, the formerly engaged couple from New York, who lost a nail-biting race-to-the-finish on Tuesday night's premiere. Still, for these longtime Race fans, the chance to appear on their favorite reality show outweighed their embarrassment.

TV Guide Online: It's gotta be tough being the first team out. Did you get any condolence calls from previous racers?
Erika:
We did. There's a whole group of racers in New York and they all called us together. There's also a group in Las Vegas that called us. We're really big fans of the show and have seen every season, so we know we're in good company.

TVGO: Dennis, you seemed really taken aback at the airport, where one of the other racers called you a "scumbag."
Dennis:
I went into this trying to be fair and just get along with everybody. Usually, I'm perceived as a nice guy, but righ read more

Press Tour Diary: Day One


As any self-respecting TV journalist will tell you, the annual Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Los Angeles is only as good as the free food that's dished out. And from the taste of things, this is going to be a fan-freakin-tastic 10 days. NBC kicked things off Saturday with a menu that included power bars, smoothies, hot popcorn, fresh fruit, a movie theater-style candy counter and, best of all, veggie burgers! Suddenly, the Peacock's new fall lineup was looking a lot better. The only thing missing was Diet Raspberry Snapple, which, by the way, was not waiting for me when I arrived at my hotel. (Let's just say I was not pleased and leave it at that, okay? Great.) Anyway, the day's schedule included panels for Medical Investigation, The Apprentice 2 and the much-talked about Siegfried and Roy-themed CGI comedy Father of the Pride. Here's my minute-by-minute recap:

EXECUTIVE SESSION
9:00 am The ex read more

AFTRA KO'D

A year after the Screen Actors Guild pooh-poohed a proposed merger with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFTRA is taking desperate measures. In order to cut the costs that the arranged marriage with SAG would have saved the organization, it is moving its headquarters from New York to Los Angeles, cutting its number of board members from 113 to 75, closing two of its 33 offices and replacing members' regular coffee with Folger's decaffeinated crystals. read more

Press Tour Diary: Day Two


What do Heather Locklear, Matt LeBlanc, Drea de Matteo and Debra Messing have in common with, well, me? We all spent Sunday at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles for the Television Critics Assoc. press tour. (Actually, I spent most of the day next door at the St. Regis, but that's another story for another time.) Anyway, it's NBC's final day of the tour and up first is the session for this fall's most anticipated new sitcom, Joey. Here's my minute-by-minute rundown of yesterday's most memorable moments:

JOEY
9:50 am The cast — featuring new brother-sister team LeBlanc and de Matteo — walks out on stage and... Oh my God, Adriana's alive! For the love of God, she's alive!

9:54 "It wasn't properly conceived," exec producer Shana Goldberg Meehan says of Ashley Scott's next-door-neighbor character. As a result, the role is currently being revamped and recast. An anno read more

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