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FEST OF SHOW

Organizers of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival have announced this year's lineup, and it includes 45 movies that no one has ever heard of. The 11-day fest kicks off Jan. 15 in Park City, Utah. read more

Question: Tom Selleck was ...

Question: Tom Selleck was known for a cologne before he got big on Magnum, P.I.. What was the cologne? — Robert C., Vermillion, S.D.

Televisionary: That'd be Chaz, Robert, though Selleck's poster-boy looks weren't what landed him a starring role on a hit detective show. No, it was a guest-starring role in a hit detective show that did that.

Selleck — who was already making a living doing commercials, guest work on TV shows, a few movies and a year-and-a-half stint on The Young and the Restless — played impossibly perfect private eye Lance White in a 1978 Rockford Files episode. The character, and the actor playing him, proved popular enough with fans that CBS and Universal, which produced Rockford, decided to give Selleck his own vehicle. So they dug up Magnum, an old script about a private detective in Hawaii, and figured the timi read more

Question: Why are sitcoms ...

Question: Why are sitcoms always a half-hour long and dramas an hour long? — Andrew, Woodbridge, Va.

Televisionary: Well, I can give you a very general opinion because that's not always the rule. (Ally McBeal, for example, was called a dramedy and ran an hour per episode, but competed in the Emmys comedy category.) Overall, though, it has to do with story format. Sitcoms are joke- and dialogue-based, and are primarily concerned with packing each episode with as many funny lines and gags as possible (their scripts also require a higher per-minute page count than dramas because of the faster pacing). That's tough enough to pull off for 30 minutes on a weekly basis, never mind an hour. Dramas, on the other hand, are more story- and character-based and, thus, usually require more time to tell the tale. Again, that's just generally speaking.

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CHOICE KUDOS

This is how it's done at the People's Choice Awards: Nominations for TV's annual popularity contest are out and Fox's The O.C. will face off against CBS's Cold Case and Joan of Arcadia for Favorite New Dramatic Series. The finalists for Favorite New Comedy Series, meanwhile, are Hope & Faith, Two and a Half Men and Whoopi. Elsewhere, it was business as usual, with Kelsey Grammer, Ray Romano and Martin Sheen vying for Favorite Male TV Performer and Jennifer Aniston, Debra Messing and Oprah Winfrey up for Favorite Female TV Performer. The only real surprise came in the Favorite Reality-Based Program category, in which nods went to Fear Factor, Survivor and The Bachelor — but not American Idol. (I blame Paula.) The ceremony, airing Jan. 11 on CBS, will be hosted by Two And A Half Men co-stars Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer. read more

Question: There was a cartoon ...

Question: There was a cartoon on in the '70s that featured a dog that could turn invisible. I thought it was called The Ghostchasers, but I could be mistaken. Any idea of the name and if there is somewhere that I could obtain copies? — Staci S., Nottingham, Md.

Televisionary: Continuing with this animated discussion (sorry), you're thinking of ABC's Goober and the Ghost Chasers, which aired Saturday mornings on ABC for two seasons beginning in September 1973. (Only the first year included new episodes, however, — season two was all repeats.)

Essentially a Scooby-Doo retread, the show featured a team of kids sniffing out supernatural doings for a magazine called Ghost Chasers. Their dog Goober turned invisible (except for his hat) when frightened — which was most of the time — and all his legs bent like a human being's for some reason, which bothered me a lot when I was a kid. What bothers me as an adult is that the carto read more

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Siegfried & Roy illusionist Roy Horn, who continues to recover from October's tiger attack, may be well enough to return to Las Vegas for Christmas. That's according to Siegfried Fischbacher, who said on the Today show that his longtime partner "is moving now, little by little. [He's] speaking a few words... but this develops also every day." Horn remains hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. read more

Average Joe Zach, you got what...

Average Joe
Zach, you got what you deserved. When Melana whipped off that mask to reveal that what you called a DUFF (Dumb Ugly Fat Friend) was actually the top prize in disguise, your face said it all. We almost felt sorry for you when Melana called you forward to tell you she hoped you had learned your lesson, but the little temper tantrum after you were discarded and the whining about how "this isn't reality" put a quick end to the pity party. Bye-bye.

Adam, you scored big points at every turn, especially for making Melana cry with that soliloquy about feeling like a giddy teenager whenever you're around her. If that was just a line, it was a good one, but I think it was honest 'cause something tells me you're a horrible liar. Obviously Melana agrees. It looks like you're in a good position to pull an upset worthy of Seabiscuit and debunk the adage that says nice guys always finish last. My money says this one doesn't finish second, read more

Question: I seem to remember ...

Question: I seem to remember there being a cartoon version of the movie Fantastic Voyage, only none of the characters from the film were in it. I can't find any references to it. Can you tell me the name of the show and the dates it was on? — Susan W., Sante Fe, N.M.

Televisionary: Indeed I can, Susan. The show was called, of all things, Fantastic Voyage, and it ran on ABC's Saturday-morning schedule for two years beginning in September 1968.

Taking the concept behind the 1966 film and running with it, the show centered on the exploits of the Combined Miniature Defense Force (CMDF), a group of hero scientists and explorers who would shrink to microscopic size to go on missions impossible for life-size folks.

Ted Knight (The Mary Tyler Moore Show) provided voices for several of the characters on the Filmation production, including eyepatch-wearing command read more

Question: Is actress Rachael ...

Question: Is actress Rachael Stirling related to Patrick Macnee (The Avengers)? My friend thinks they look alike. — Alex, New York, N.Y.

Televisionary: Close — and it's an interesting guess, considering Ms. Stirling, a featured player on the BBC's Tipping the Velvet, is the daughter of Macnee's Avengers co-star, Diana Rigg. Her dad is Rigg's ex-husband, Scottish landowner Archibald Hugh Stirling.

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Question: Did the show Skin ...

Question: Did the show Skin get cancelled? It hasn't been aired for a couple of weeks. Thanks. — Don C., Chandler, Ariz.

Televisionary: Skin got skinned, Don. Sorry. And sorry, too, to the fans of Boomtown, Luis, L.A. Dragnet, The Lyon's Den, Coupling, Tarzan, The Mullets and The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire who keep writing in. Those are gone, too. (For more on the demise of Skin, see our Nov. 24 Robins Report.)

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