Today's News: Our Take

Question: The Dec. 16 episode ...

Question: The Dec. 16 episode of Less Than Perfect was dedicated to the memory of someone who apparently died recently. Who was it? — Kathleen, Tewksbury, Mass.

Televisionary: That episode was dedicated to Gail Castleberry, a crew member who worked as Sherri Shepherd's stand-in on the show. Sadly, she recently passed away after battling cancer.

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Question: I was searching for ...

Question: I was searching for stuff on WKRP's Jan Smithers (I had a crush on her instead of Loni Anderson) and found a 1966 Newsweek cover with a picture of her on it. But WKRP wasn't on until the '70s, so what show was she on there for? Thanks. — Conrad L., Tallmadge, Ohio

Televisionary: Bailey over Jennifer? Join the club, Conrad. Most every target-market adolescent boy I knew chose the quieter beauty of Bailey Quarters (Smithers) over the in-your-face va-va-voom of bombshell receptionist Jennifer Marlowe (Anderson).

Someone at Newsweek thought Smithers was an attention grabber, too, because she was chosen for the March 21, 1966 cover, which showed her perched on the back of a cycle for a story about trends among American teens, without a TV show to her name. The magazine wanted a typical California girl and picked the then-16-year-old Smithers for the shot, stating in the story that she "orbits between the worlds of th read more

Antiques Roadshow Value of a 1871...

Antiques Roadshow
Value of a 1871 map of the Great Chicago Fire: $900-1,000.
Value of a men's pocket watch and girly chatelaine: $7,500.
Value of time lost to tonight's show: priceless.
Watching the Antiques Roadshow makes me wonder: Would I be willing to fake surprise at the value of my supposed garage sale finds just to get on television? Not really. But it seems like half the people who get airtime do. They must. Their reactions are too calculated. There was only one guy from tonight's episode that I actually believe had no clue how much his piece was worth. The gray-haired owner of an 18th century map of Virginia and Maryland used in the Seven Years War. Mister-Mister stumbled backwards and didn't know what to do with his hands after the Roadshow expert appraised his piece at $18,000 to $25,000. "You're kidding!" he said. No, Grandpa, they're not. Congratulations.

Fear Factor: Couples
OK. I'm just too bitter read more


Turns out there was something fishy about Columbia's weekend box office estimate for Big Fish. According to final figures, Tim Burton's latest tall tale grossed $13.8 million — well below the $14.5 million the studio initially reported. That means Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was the real champ with $14.2 million. read more

Question: I recently saw an ...

Question: I recently saw an episode of Bewitched in which Samantha delivers a little boy. I was amazed to find out she had a child other than Tabitha because I watched the show growing up and have no memory of Sam being pregnant or having this other baby. Was Elizabeth Montgomery really pregnant at the time, or was this just a plot device for the show? — Tracey W., Madison, Miss.

Televisionary: Both. The late Ms. Montgomery was pregnant with her third child, so Samantha gave birth to a baby boy, Adam, in the episode that aired Oct. 16, 1969. The following season, the older Adam was played by twins David and Greg Lawrence.

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Question: I remember a show ...

Question: I remember a show about the Pony Express. One of the charactors was "Wild Bill" and I want to say the show's name was The Young Riders. Is that correct or was it something else? — Angela R., Elyria, Ohio

Televisionary: That it is, Angela. You're thinking of the action drama that aired on ABC from September 1989 to July 1992.

The show centered around a group of young bucks, several of whom would later become Western legends. Josh Brolin played Jimmy Hickok (better known, as you say, as "Wild Bill"); Ty Miller was "The Kid;" Stephen Baldwin was Billy Cody ("Buffalo Bill" to all you who aren't into the cowboy thing) and Gregg Rainwater was their token Native-American pal, Little Buck. Oh, and Yvonne Suhor was their cross-dressing pal Lou, who posed as a boy because... well, I don't know — probably because the show's creators wanted to cover the Calamity Jane angle, I reckon.

Overse read more

Question: On the TV version ...

Question: On the TV version of Mister Roberts, was he a Navy SEAL? — John B., Ft. Myers, Fla.

Televisionary: Nope. Played for a year beginning in September 1965 by Roger Smith on NBC, Roberts was a plain old Naval lieutenant (junior grade) on the cargo vessel Reluctant, just as he was when Henry Fonda portrayed him on stage and screen.

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Question: I saw the first ...

Question: I saw the first part of a movie a few years ago and missed the second part. I don't know the name and would like to know if it is available to rent. It was a case of a husband beating his wife and the wife disappearing. The wife's sister believed he murdered her. Part 1 ended with his parents sitting upright in his bed at night, seeing the stuff on the walls that the police had put there to show blood. Please help me with the name. I'd like to finish watching it. — Anne P.

Televisionary: You're thinking of CBS' In a Child's Name, a two-part 1991 CBS TV-movie that was based on a true story. It featured Valerie Bertinelli as a woman who, after her brother-in-law (Michael Ontkean) murders her sister (Karla Tamburrelli), fights her brother-in-law's parents (David Huddleston, Louise Fletcher) for custody of her nephew.

It's no longer available on home video, but if you do some searching on some online auction sites, read more


Here's a shocker: One of the female contestants Donald Trump hired for The Apprentice has a past in softcore porn! According to Inside Edition, Kristi Frank, who was described on last week's season premiere as a restaurant owner, starred in an episode of Showtime's Red Shoe Diaries titled "Swimming Naked." She was the one swimming naked. But, in her defense, she looked very ambitious. read more

Juliette Lewis Chases Plum Part

Get ready for the new, uptight, buttoned-down Juliette Lewis. The 30-year-old actress — known for her wild youth and her freaky, hell-raising characters — takes a major career departure with Chasing Freedom, an original movie for Court TV airing Jan. 19 (9 pm/ET). Lewis plays Libby Brock, a staid, career-obsessed corporate lawyer forced by her boss to represent — pro bono — a young, Afghani woman seeking asylum in America. Set just before and immediately after Sept. 11, the film explores the horrors of life under the Taliban, as well as our own issues of homeland security and ethnic paranoia. It's heady, mature stuff for Lewis, who first gained fame (and an Oscar nod) as the Lolita-esque teen who sucked Robert DeNiro's thumb in 1991's Cape Fear. She went on to play a slew of read more

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