Today's News: Our Take

Question: I remember watching ...

Question: I remember watching a TV show when I was younger with Jerry O'Connell in it. He lived next door to a professor and had an accident which made him able to fly and do some other weird things. Please tell me that I'm not insane and that I did not imagine such a show, because no one seems to remember it. — Veronica, Burlington, Ky.

Televisionary: As I always say, I can't testify to your sanity, but I can tell you you're thinking of the half-hour syndicated comedy My Secret Identity, 72 episodes of which were produced in Canada, from 1988-91.

In the show, O'Connell played teen Andrew Clements, who possessed super-strength, super-speed, invulnerability and the ability to fly thanks to an experiment by scientist neighbor Dr. Jeffcoate (Derek McGrath). He didn't sport any kind of cool costume or anything; he just ran around, dealt with baddies and helped out Dr. Jeffcoate in secret.

Christopher Bolton played Andrew's buddy Kirk read more

Question: I don't know the ...

Question: I don't know the name of the Christmas story, but I was hoping you can help me. It's got Heat Mister and Mr. Cold and Mother Nature. If you can come up with name of the story, that would be great! — Darin J., Detroit, Mich.

Televisionary: It's Heat Miser and Snow Miser, and the holiday special in question is The Year Without a Santa Claus. And you're in luck; it's on ABC Family at 7 pm/ET tonight, 9 pm/ET on Christmas Eve and 11 am/ET on Christmas Day, so set your VCR.

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Line of Fire Hires Ex-Con

TV tough guys are a dime a dozen, but Line of Fire's Brian Goodman comes with actual street cred. The 40-year-old actor plays a Mob henchman in the gritty ABC drama — Tuesdays at 10 pm/ET — and his real-life past wasn't too far from his role. Here, Goodman tells us how he went from doing prison time to primetime.

TV Guide Online: Were you a bad kid?
I wasn't a bad kid. Lost, confused and scared was what I was. I was unfortunately from a broken home. South Boston was a cold place, and the area I existed in was violent and I was trying to survive. I was more a scared kid than a bad kid. I was sleeping in hallways at 12 years old and making money on the street and that became all I knew. I feel I was a survivor.

TVGO: Why did you go to prison?
Well, I started to pay a penance for the drug trafficking I did in the '80s. I got myself addicted read more

Elijah Wood's Extreme Stunt

Elijah Wood returns as the diminutive hobbit Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (currently in theaters). Of course, while he's small in stature, that doesn't mean he's afraid to take some big risks. During his time in New Zealand, where the epic Rings trilogy was filmed, Wood and several castmates did extreme sports in their free time.

"I did paraponting, which is awesome," he enthuses. "It is running off a hill with a parachute and catching thermal [pockets of air]. I basically parachuted over Queenstown, [New Zealand]."

In Rings, Frodo braves the terrifying depths of Mordor in an effort to rid Middle Earth of a notoriously troublesome ring. But in real life, Wood's courage only takes him up to a point! He left some of the more reckle read more


Aiken's Idol "rival" Ruben Studdard has settled his lawsuit against hip-hop clothing maker 205 Flava Inc. Ruben sued the company in August, claiming the owners unfairly profited by using his image to sell those 205 jerseys. Details of the settlement were not disclosed, but rumor has it the Velvet Teddy Bear was seen driving away from his lawyer's office in a new Hummer. read more


The producers of The Bachelor are suing their latest star, Bob Guiney, for breach of contract for making public appearances in connection with his new CD, 3 Sides. Bachelor contestants are prohibited from promoting any other products — particularly bad CDs — without permission from producers. Guiney's record company, Wind-up Records, is also named in the suit. read more


American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken graduated Saturday from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a bachelor of arts degree in special education. The ceremony was marred by controversy after school officials decided to limit graduates to seven guests each due to Aiken's popularity. read more


"It's the saddest holiday ever. It's an unwelcome time for me, very unwelcome. I generally have a Christmas party but this year I'm only having a small family party." Martha Stewart discussing the impact her legal woes are having on her holidays in an interview on CNN's Larry King Live. read more

Kelly Clarkson Against the World

Forget ambassadors of good will. The United States is sending Kelly Clarkson, the original American Idol winner, to represent in a sing-off against Idol victors from 11 other countries in Fox's World Idol. (The competition airs Christmas Day at 8 pm/ET, and the winner is announced New Year's Day at 9 pm/ET.) But before she goes to face the music in the United Kingdom, we found out what Miss Independent thinks about her global showdown, her movie misfire and whether she's destined to be a Broadway Baby.

TV Guide Online: Think you've got an edge over the other Idols, having been on a world tour?
There's actually a few of us that have gone to other countries, so everybody has that benefit. I have been around in the U.K. and other countries in Europe for quite some time, but in Australia read more


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has announced the seven films in contention for the visual effects Oscar, and they are The Hulk, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Master and Commander, Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Terminator 3 and X2. Surprisingly, neither The Matrix Reloaded nor The Matrix Revolutions made the cut. On the bright side, both films are considered shoo-ins for best original screenplay nods. Final nominations are announced on Jan. 27. read more

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