Today's News: Our Take


Question: I really liked Rick ...

Question: I really liked Rick Schroder on NYPD Blue. But I can't remember what show he was on as a little boy. What was it? — Kate E., Union City, Ind.

Televisionary: You're thinking of Silver Spoons, Kate, which ran on NBC for four years beginning in September 1982 and continued for another season after that in first-run syndication. Young Schroder played Ricky Stratton, who was raised by his divorced mom before moving in with his wealthy dad Edward (Joel Higgins), a fella possessed of Arthur Bach-esque qualities (except for the excess boozing — this was a family show, after all).

As is typical of shows revolving around a photogenic kid, however, Schroder was anything but the "little boy" you refer to, influence-wise. When he spoke, people on the set listened.

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Question: I read an article ...

Question: I read an article recently indicating that Mary Steenburgen had never previously worked on television. The lead-in read, "Mary Steenburgen Working on Joan of Arcadia, First Time She's Ever Acted on Television." Didn't she star with husband Ted Danson on a short-lived series set in a newspaper office sometime in the mid-'90s? And hasn't she also made guest appearances on TV? I seem to recall her being on Becker. Thanks for your help. — Stephen M., Huntington, N.Y.

Televisionary: That's just an example of bad headline writing, Stephen. Out of curiosity, I went and found the news item you saw. While the headline reads exactly as you say, the story itself never makes such a claim. Rather, it says Steenburgen was nervous about working on a regular TV series because she's never been on any job — TV included — for more than three or four m read more

Question: Who is the artist ...

Question: Who is the artist who sang "Joe Cool" and "Little Birdie" on those '60s and '70s CBS-TV Peanuts animated TV specials? (It sounded sort of like Lou Rawls, but I doubt that it was him.) — Brian S., Del Mar, Calif.

Televisionary: Composer-musician Vince Guaraldi, who wrote and played the classic Peanuts music, also handled the vocal duties on "Joe Cool" (1972's You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown) and "Little Birdie" (1973's A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving). Unfortunately, those versions aren't available on any albums, to the best of my knowledge. However, you can find B.B. King covering "Joe Cool" and Joe Williams singing "Little Birdie" (inferior versions, I'll admit) on the 1989 release Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown (Verve).

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Question: Hi. I don't know ...

Question: Hi. I don't know for sure if this is the right place to send my question, but I thought I would give it a shot. I was watching TV today and ran across a Ford commercial. It is the newest one I have seen. The voice on the commercial is a woman's. I could swear it sounded like Kate Mulgrew (Capt. Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager). However, I am not sure since I can't seem to find any reference to it on the Internet. Could you please help me out? It is driving me crazy not knowing for sure. Thank you. — Mary

Televisionary: But of course, Mary. Anything I can do to restore a little sanity to someone's life.

You're thinking of the Ford Freestar minivan ad, in which a car-talk-show host helps a woman who's disappointed in the new (competing, of course) minivan she bought. The voice in question is indeed that of Ms. Mulgrew.

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IN THE FAMILY

In what is being called an amicable (nasty) split, Tom Cruise has parted ways with his long-time publicist, Pat Kingsley. Cruise will now be repped by his sister, Lee Anne DeVette, who has worked (ordered lunch) at his production company for the last 14 years. read more

TWO AND A HALF

Charlie Sheen and wife Denise Richards are the proud parents of a daughter, Sam Sheen, born March 8 in Los Angeles. This is the couple's first child together. Sheen also has a 19-year-old daughter, Cassandra, from a previous relationship. read more

SHORT CUTS

The National Trust of Australia named Down Under natives Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman "Living National Treasures" on Sunday... Chris Tucker and Charlie Sheen are in talks to headline Money Talks 2, a sequel to their modestly-successful 1997 action comedy. read more

Straight Girl's Queer Crisis!

The 21-year-old bachelorette at the heart of Fox's latest dating romp, Playing It Straight, better fine-tune her gaydar if she wants to meet Mr. Right Orientation. On Friday's premiere, Jackie gave the boot to two guys she suspected were gay but who were actually straight. (Somewhere, Liza Minnelli is feeling her pain.) TV Guide Online rang up the perky Wisconsin coed — and suspected Jennifer Love Hewitt clone — to see whether her queer eye could pass our inspection.

TV Guide Online: How was the show initially presented to you?
Jackie:
They told me it was going to be a dating show with a big twist.

TVGO: What did you think it might be?
Jackie:
Honestly, I thought it might have been that some of the guys were gay.

TVGO: Really?
Jackie:
Yeah. They said i read more

NEW LEASE ON LIFE

Filming of The Simple Life 2 got underway over the weekend as Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie embarked on a 30-day cross-country trip from Miami to Beverly Hills aboard a shiny metallic Airstream trailer. "I've never been on a road trip anywhere," Hilton told The Associated Press. "The farthest I've driven is from L.A. to Palm Springs." Among the everyday conveniences the duo were forced to leave behind: money, credit cards, cell phones, boyfriends and grainy night-vision cameras. read more

WILL IT BE TOXIC?

Britney Spears has signed a deal with Elizabeth Arden to develop (slap her name on) a line of fragrance, skincare and color cosmetics. The products will be in stores this fall. read more

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