Today's News: Our Take


Question: Who starred in ...

Question: Who starred in Hennessy and what years? Was it Jackie Cooper and Juliet Prowse? — Jim P., Louisville, Ky.

Televisionary: Jeez, Jim, if you keep trying answering your own questions you might start a trend. And why would they bother paying for my column, then?

Lucky for me you're only half-right. Yes indeed, it was Cooper playing medical officer Chick Hennesy, who treated the fine folks of his San Diego naval base. But Abby Dalton was his romantic interest, nurse Martha Hale, on the series, not Ms. Prowse. Also in the cast were James Komack (The Courtship of Eddie's Fath read more

FEARING THE WORST

Paul Stojanovich, the 47-year-old creator of World's Wildest Police Videos, is feared dead after falling 300 feet from an Oregon cliff into the Pacific Ocean over the weekend. Stojanovich was hiking with his fiancée when he slipped off the cliff. read more

CONGRATS, MATE

Oscar winner Russell Crowe will wed girlfriend Danielle Spencer in his native Australia on April 7. Incidentally, that's the same day the Gladiator star turns 39. He just had to make it all about him. read more

Queen Latifah Makes Oscar Bow To Rappers


Will the Academy kneel and pay homage to Chicago Oscar nominee Queen Latifah on March 23? With stiff competition in the supporting actress category — there's Julianne, Meryl, Kathy Bates and Catherine Zeta-Jones — her chances look slim, even if she is fabulous singing "When You're Good to Mama." Still, just to get from rap and Living Single to this lofty plateau is major stuff.

"I think it means a lot for hip-hop," the Queen proudly says. "There's a lot of talented people who ar read more

SCAREDY CATS

With war apparently imminent, NBC News has removed its six-member television crew from Baghdad — the first major TV network to do so. The Peacock, however, can still get coverage from MSNBC's Peter Arnett; the former CNN correspondent apparently missed the last train out. read more

Joe Millionaire Sequel Scoop!


Joe Millionaire put hearts in the eyes of viewers — and dollar signs in eyes of Fox executives. So, although the network's entertainment president Gail Berman said in January that there probably wouldn't be a second installment because "the secret is out," she has drastically amended her statement since the show's Feb. 17 finale pulled in 40 million viewers and helped Fox clinch its first-ever sweeps victory among young adults. Now, says Berman, "There will be a sequel to Joe Millionaire."

But how can the suits pull it off? Given that there can't possibly be another gold digger alive — let alone 20 — who wouldn't already be in on Joe's infamous fib, Fox has brainstormed a "slightly different" little white lie. "It will not be the same concept," Berman confirms, "but it will feel completely compatible with the Joe Millionaire title."

Of course, if Joe Millionaire has taught the viewing public anyt read more

DADDY DEAREST

File this under "I" for Inevitable: Hollywood playboy Colin Farrell is going to be a dad. The 26-year-old Irish lothario confirmed the news on Friday, but declined to name the baby's mother. Published reports, however, say the lucky lady is model Kim Bordenave. "It's cool," Farrell said. "I'm chuffed, so over the moon." And by over the moon, he means, "Oh &%#@!" read more

Life's The Pitts


After years as writers for The Simpsons, spouses Mike Scully and Julie Thacker-Scully have co-created a new midseason Fox show called The Pitts (debuting March 30 at 9:30 pm/ET). "It's a live action show, but cartoony in some aspects," he says. "It's really designed for the Simpsons audience."

The premise? Picture the Kennedys — just with all of the Kennedy curse, and none of the Kennedy money or sexy looks. "The Pitts are the world's most disaster prone family," he explains. "So, on other sitcoms, you have dilemmas like, Dad gets an ugly tie for Father's Day. On the Pitts, it's things like, a cult has implanted Satan's heart in Dad."

The plain Jane lookin' cast includes Dylan Baker (Happiness, Thirteen Days, and read more

FREE AT LAST

Alleged murderer Robert Blake was freed from a Los Angeles jail on Friday after posting $1.5 million bail. The actor, who has been behind bars since his arrest last April, told reporters that he plans to "sleep for three or four days." read more

WILL DIPLOMACY WORK?

HBO and Sopranos kingpin James Gandolfini are reportedly on the verge of striking a new deal that would put an end to the ugly contract dispute that threatened to whack the hit mob drama. Paving the way for the compromise: The actor apparently scaled back his salary demands from $20 million annually to $16 million a year. Another factor triggering the truce was France's threatened veto of any resolution that gave HBO permission to use force to get Gandolfini to return to work. read more

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