Question: Who played the fictional detective Nero Wolfe on TV prior to the A&E production?
Televisionary: That would be Cannon's William Conrad, who played the titular, reclusive sleuth on NBC from January through August in 1981. Matt Houston's Lee Horsley played his assistant, Archie Goodwin.
Question: My dad and I were talking about barrier breaking on TV and ended up in a disagreement. Wasn't Julia the first TV show with a black star in the lead? Ted A., Altoona, Pa.
Televisionary: Not quite, Ted. Shows like Amos 'n' Andy and Beulah featured black actors in lead roles years before NBC introduced Julia in September 1968, and Bill Cosby started working as an I Spy co-star three years earlier, becoming the first black lead in a dramatic series. But the first was considered to be racist and demeaning, the second revolved around a character cast in a subservient role and the last, a secret-age
Question: Who played Maxwell's father on The Nanny? Caroline, Cleveland, Ohio
Televisionary: That was former Man from U.N.C.L.E. co-star Robert Vaughn playing Maxwell Sheffield's dad, James Sheffield. And here's an unasked for bonus: Dynasty's Joan Collins played Maxwell's stepmom, the family maid who lured dad away from Maxwell's mother.
Question: I believe there was a show in the '90s called Sweet Justice. It starred Cicely Tyson and Melissa Gilbert. How long was it on the air, and does any network play reruns? Crystal, Bel Aire, Md.
Televisionary: Sweet Justice, which starred Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie) as a young lawyer who returned home to sign on with civil-rights crusader Tyson instead of the conservative firm headed by her Old-South daddy (Ronny Cox), ran on NBC from September 1994 through the following April. (The show also featured A Different World's
The Online Film Critics Society has named The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers the best picture of 2002. The epic also won awards for best director, ensemble acting, editing, sound and visual effects. Julianne Moore won best actress for Far From Heaven and Daniel Day-Lewis was chosen best actor for Gangs of New York. Supporting kudos, meanwhile, went to Samantha Morton (Minority Report) and Dennis Quaid (Far From Heaven).
Question: I hope you can help me settle a bet with my husband. Tonight we were watching Law & Order reruns on TNT. The episode "Mushrooms," from Feb. 26, 1991 aired. I noticed that the part of the children's mother was being played by S. Epatha Merkerson, who now plays Lt. Van Buren. My husband said it wasn't her. We tried to check the credits at the end, but they ran by too quickly. Just wondering if you can find out if she did appear in that episode or point me to a place where I can find out. Thanks! Jeannie
Televisionary: Now, why would I send you clicking off into oblivion when all your answers are right here, Jeannie? Don't you know your devoted knower-of-all-things-TV better than that?
Ms. Merkerson did indeed appear in that
Guitarist Kevin MacMichael the '80s rocker who co-founded Cutting Crew with singer Nick Van Eede has died of lung cancer at 51. They're best known for their Grammy-nominated hit single "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" back in 1987. And a damn fine song it was.
Question: I heard that a new miniseries, Kingpin, will debut on NBC in January on Sunday at 10 pm, which is the time slot for Boomtown. So is Boomtown getting canceled or is it just moving to a different time? Winnie, New York, NY
Televisionary: Neither. Six episodes of Kingpin, which NBC intends to make a series, will air on Sundays and Tuesdays beginning Feb. 2. Boomtown will return to its 10 pm Sunday berth March 2.
Hopefully, fans of novelist John Grisham won't mind that Runaway Jury — the latest flick adapted from his legal fiction (due later this year) — plays musical chairs with social issues. In the works since 1997, Jury's story has gone from a courtroom battle over tobacco (as in the book) to gun control. That's a hot-button issue for actor Bruce Davison, who co-stars with John Cusack, Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman in the film.
For the role of attorney Derwood Cable, Davison had to set aside his strong anti-gun sentiments to defend the gun manufacturer being sued. "It certainly goes against [my p
If imitation is really the sincerest form of flattery, then NBC's sleeper hit American Dreams (Sundays, 8 pm/ET) is paying a doozy of a compliment to Hairspray, the 1988 cult-classic movie that's become the toast of Broadway as a musical. Not only do both have a beat and you can dance to 'em, but their story lines are so similar that Dreams executive producer Dick Clark ought to at least give an "inspired by" credit to Hairspray writer-director John Waters.
Hairspray: Early-1960s Baltimore.
American Dreams: Early-1960s Philadelphia.
Hairspray: Chunky Tracy Turnblad, who defies her mother's wishes to achieve her goal of becoming a dancer on The Corny Collins Show.