Today's News: Our Take

Question: While watching the ...

Question: While watching the season finale of Law and Order: C.I., I thought that the woman who committed all of the murders looked familiar. Was she Kevin's older sister in The Wonder Years? — Evie, Overland Park, Kans.

Televisionary: That she was, Evie. But the villain who vexed Det. Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio) so was a far cry from flowery hippie chick Karen Arnold, whom Olivia D'Abo played on the hit ABC sitcom, no? Good eyes on you.

Her performance and the episode as a whole were even enough to merit kind words from TV Guide critic Matt Roush, who certainly has his problems with the series. To read Matt's reaction, see his June 2 Ask Matt column (se read more


JAG star Trevor Goddard — who recurred as Lt. Commander Mic Brumby from 1998 to 2001 — was found dead of a suspected drug overdose Monday in his North Hollywood home. The L.A. County coroner said the cause of death may be suicide. Apart from his JAG stint, the 37-year-old Aussie actor also appeared in films, including Gone in Sixty Seconds and the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean. read more

Question: I know there used ...

Question: I know there used to be a sitcom on that starred Randy Quaid and Jonathan Winters. Jonathan was his dad. Can you tell me the name, when it was on and how long it lasted? — Kim, Shawnee, Kans.

Televisionary: Okay, so I'm making it a Kansas-heavy column this week. (It's just coincidence, folks; I don't play geographic favorites here, I swear.)

You're thinking of Davis Rules, Kim, which, as you say, starred Quaid as an elementary-school principal who had a heck of a time with kids — basically, he got no respect — on the job and at home. Making things even more difficult for him on the homefront was his wacky pa, Gunny, played by the wacky Mr. Winters. (Other notables in the cast included read more

Question: There was a Disney ...

Question: There was a Disney Cartoon that was on in the mid-afternoon in the mid- to late '90s called Gargoyles. It was sophisticated and involved quite a lot of Shakespeare and mythology. Is it playing in reruns? Also, who was the actor who voiced the character Goliath? I hear him do so much voice work these days. — Valerie G., Warwick, N.Y.

Televisionary: You'll find it on Toon Disney's schedule, Valerie. Just search our listings for times. And Goliath was voiced by actor Keith David, who's done voice work on such shows as Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Hercules and House of Mouse, and has appeared in far too many features to list here.

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Question: Rick Springfield ...

Question: Rick Springfield was the voice of a cartoon character I watched as kid. I cannot remember what the show was called. It was about a witch who taught a class and would have to take the kids with her. They would go through the chalkboard to get wherever. I seem to remember Rick's character was always involved. I think he used to sing as well. Could you please help me out? — Curtiss N., Seattle, Wash.

Televisionary: That I can. Springfield voiced an animated version of himself on an ABC Saturday-morning cartoon called Mission: Magic, which ran from 1973-75, I believe. On the show, teacher Miss Tickle and her magic cat took the student members of her Adventurers Club through a magic door she drew on the board. Rick and his owl guided them on their adventures, and Springfield also penned and performed original tunes for the show.

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Question: Can you please tell ...

Question: Can you please tell me how to pronounce CSI actor Erik Szmanda's last name? — Em, Jackson, Tenn.

Televisionary: Sure thing. It's zuh-MAN-duh, like the name Amanda, but with a "z" in front.

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Sunday's three-hour Tony telecast on CBS attracted nearly 8 million viewers, roughly on par with last year's record low. On the bright side, young adult viewership was up 20 percent. Meanwhile, USA Today reports that the network received some complaints for the on-camera smooch between Hairspray songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. The reaction included 68 e-mails, all of which were signed, "Hugs and kisses, David Gest." read more

Question: I'm not sure if I'm ...

Question: I'm not sure if I'm splitting racial hairs here, but I'm just curious. Wasn't Chico, from Chico and the Man, supposed to be a Chicano since the show takes place in L.A.? A friend of mine says he was Puerto Rican. — Hector R., San Diego, Cal.

Televisionary: Funny you should ask, Hector, since Chico (the late Freddie Prinze) started the show as one, but ended as the other. A little explanation is in order (and I assume you don't mind — why else would you be reading this in the first place?).

When the hit NBC sitcom launched in September 1974, Chico Rodriguez was a Chicano (an American of Mexican descent) who came to work with curmudgeonly garage owner Ed "The Man" Brown (Jack Albertson) and help save his business. The series immediately found a big audience — and just as quickly drew fire from prominent read more

The Return of Tom Green

Who knew sucking on a cow's udder and throwing plastic babies at cars would launch both a career and a national obsession with televised pranks? Well, Tom Green apparently did. The outrageous stunts on his short-lived but influential MTV series The Tom Green Show (1999-2000) literally spawned the shock TV trend. (Think Fear Factor, Jackass, Punk'd and The Jamie Kennedy Experiment). But just as quickly as Green rose to idol status with his teenage male audience, he came crashing down with a series of set backs. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer, he wed (and shed) Drew Barrymore and wrote, directed and starred in a spectacularly horrible movie, Freddy Got Fingered.

Green, now 32, is getting back to his roots with MTV's The New Tom Green Show (debuting at m read more

Brooke Burke Feels The Heat

When Brooke Burke exited E!'s skin-driven Wild On travel series last year, the bikini industry and much of the male population softly wept. But thankfully, you can still catch her on Rank, E!'s pop culture countdown show, as well as Maxim's Hot 100, NBC's TV version of the men's mag's annual female revue (Saturday at 9 pm/ET). We asked Burke, 31, to reflect on this head-turning honor.

TV Guide Online: Congratulations on your three-peat on the Hot 100. You've made the list for three years in a row now.
Thank you. It's pretty cool. I didn't think of it that way. Suddenly [number] 82 doesn't look that bad! (Laughs) I think it's always great to be included, and 100 is a pretty small number when you look at all the women in the world.

TVGO: So what did you think of the rest of the list?
It's really bizarre this year. I'm absolutely shocked at the results. You're looking at some controversy.

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