Today's News: Our Take


Question: My husband and I ...

Question: My husband and I have a bet that Norm's wife, Vera, on Cheers was never seen. I say that she was never shown on the show, but my husband insists that she was seen on one episode. I find it funny he cannot remember what she looked like, though. Can you settle this bet for us? — Samantha S., Jacksonville, Fla.

Televisionary: Vera's face was never seen, so I say you win, Samantha. Probably the closest she came to revealing herself was when Diane threw a pie at Sam and hit the off-camera Vera in the face with it. When Vera stepped into the shot, of course, her face was obscured by the pie. (And the answer to your next question is yes, Vera's voice was heard on the show, courtesy of actress Bernadette Birkett, actor George Wendt's real-life wife.)

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Question: Here's what might ...

Question: Here's what might sound like a silly question, but how did David Carradine go from having a full head of hair to bald and then back again on Kung Fu? Did they shoot all his flashback scenes with his head shaved and then have him wear a wig, or what? Thanks. — Tony P., Bemidji, Minn.

Televisionary: Actually, it was the opposite, Tony. When playing the adult fugitive Kwai Chang Caine in America's old West, Carradine acted with his natural hair visible. When shooting flashbacks to the character's Shaolin training days, he donned a plastic scalp that was pulled down tight over his real hair and cemented in place, then blended in with makeup and dotted black to give the appearance of stubble.

Aside from that bit of trickery, however, Carradine resembled his character in thought and lifestyle to a remarkable degree while shooting the ABC series, which ran from October 1972 to June 1975. In fact, the press usually had a field day with the actor, read more

HOLY MOSES!

No debate here: The Passion of the Christ is a hit of biblical proportions. Mel Gibson's controversial labor of love grossed a staggering $76.2 million over the weekend — $117.5 million since opening Wednesday — making it the biggest February debut of all time and the seventh-best bow in history. Passion crucified the competition, including fellow newcomers Twisted, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights and Broken Lizard's Club Dread; the three pics brought in less than $20 million combined. read more

WHO IS THAT MASKED MAN?

Michael Jackson was briefly pulled over by police Friday in Glenwood Springs, Colo., and asked to identify himself after shopping at a local Wal-Mart wearing a ski mask. Jacko was reportedly vacationing in the area with his kids when he decided to stock up on discounted Jesus Juice and dangle-proof baby blankets. read more

IT'S GIGLI THAT BAD

At last, closure has come to a nation terrorized by Gigli. Bennifer's high-profile stink bomb picked up a leading six Razzie Awards on Saturday, including worst film, worst actor for Ben Affleck, worst actress for Jennifer Lopez, worst screen couple, worst director and worst screenplay. It was the first time in Razzie history that a single film swept all of the top categories. Elsewhere, Sylvester Stallone scored a record 10th Razzie for his multiple supporting turns in Spy Kids 3-D; Demi Moore was named worst supporting actress for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle; and From Justin to Kelly received a special governor's read more

THE FINAL FRONTIER

The Practice has beamed up William Shatner for a four-episode guest stint. The Star Trek icon will play an "eccentric, well-connected, power-drunk legal legend who is chief partner of a law firm that goes head-to-head" with James Spader and Co. He'll first air in late April. Meanwhile, it looks like fired Practice star Dylan McDermott is headed back to the ABC drama later this season after all. For more on that, pick up the new issue of TV Guide magazine — on sale today! read more

SUPER COMEBACK!

ABC announced late Friday that Super Millionaire will return in May with Regis Philbin once again at the helm. read more

Tears and Jeers at the Oscars


Let's get real: Nobody watches the Academy Awards to find out who wins. You're going to read all about that the morning after in Michael Ausiello's column, and you know it. No, we tune in to the overlong ego trip for three reasons and only three reasons: the clothes, the catastrophes and the crying (and, when we get really, really lucky, the chance to see all three at once). That being the case, last night's live broadcast of the 76th annual ceremony was, by all accounts, a rousing success. For those of you who were too busy double-checking your office Oscar-pool ballots to pay attention to the goings-on, TV Guide Online offers this instant replay.

Clothes Calls
First, let's take a moment to embrace our inner Joan Riverses and talk about the outfits. Trading her Morticia Addams hand-me-downs for a stunning ivory gown, radiant read more

RINGS ROUT

The third time was indeed the charm for The Lord of the Rings. The fantasy trilogy's final installment, The Return of the King, was named best picture at Sunday's 76th annual Academy Awards — one of 11 Oscars the film picked up (tying Titanic and Ben-Hur for most wins in a single year). King was also honored for best director (Peter Jackson), adapted screenplay, makeup, costumes, sound, editing, original score, visual effects, art direction and original song. There were no surprises in the lead acting races as front-runners Sean Penn and Charlize Theron struck gold for their respective roles in read more

YOU GOT SPIRIT?

Lost in Translation was the big winner at Saturday's Independent Spirit Awards, nabbing honors for best film, best director and screenplay for Sofia Coppola and best actor for Bill Murray. Oscar's indie equivalent also singled out Charlize Theron for Monster, Djimon Hounsou for In America and Shohreh Aghdashloo for House of Sand and Fog. read more

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