Today's News: Our Take


Question: No one I know seems ...

Question: No one I know seems to recall the show Madame that came on, I believe, in the '80s and starred a wisecracking, female, silver-haired puppet. It might have been around the same time Madeline Kahn's show was on. I'm 27 yrs. old and those shows used to crack me up. I know I didn't make them up in my head, but I can't find any proof that they existed. Thanks for your help. — Tara, New Orleans, La.

Televisionary: Then consider this proof right here, Tara.

First off, you're thinking of Madame's Place, a syndicated, 30-minute comedy that aired in late 1982 and into early 1983. It starred late puppeteer Wayland Flowers's puppet Madame as a talk-show host. Johnny Haymer was her butler and othe read more

Question: Will they rerun 24 ...

Question: Will they rerun 24 before the new season begins? I missed the final episode! — Joyce, Fort Collins, Colo.

Televisionary: You mean you don't have a VCR in this age of cheap and plentiful gadgetry, Joyce? I'm this close to banning you from participating in my column.

If you have a DVD player — or a friend with one — you're in luck. The second-season DVDs go on sale Sept. 9. And you'll want to set aside the an hour at 9 pm/ET on Oct. 28, when season three premieres. (Make sure you don't drink too much water beforehand, either — there won't be any commercial breaks and I assume you don't have a Tivo.)

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THEY HAVE A VERDICT

Actor Tom Sizemore was convicted Friday on seven misdemeanor counts of harassing and abusing ex-girlfriend and former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. However, the 41-year-old star of Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan was acquitted of 10 other counts of domestic violence. Sizemore faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced on Oct 2. read more

FAREWELL

R&B producer-songwriter Ed Townsend, best known for producing Marvin Gaye's sexually-tinged 1973 hit "Let's Get It On," died Wednesday of heart failure. He was 74. read more

Meet Alias's Sexy New Superspy

Jennifer Garner's got someone new to kick around on Alias this season. Actress Melissa George has been cast as Lauren Reed, the mysterious Brit that Vaughn (Michael Vartan) went and married during Sydney's two-year brain freeze. The Aussie import — best known as John Stamos' partner in crime on ABC's short-lived Thieves — will debut in the show's second episode. TV Guide Online spoke with the femme fatale just hours after she nabbed the plum part, so forgive her if she's a little giddy.


TV Guide Online: How did you get the part?
Melissa George:
I read like everybody else in L.A.

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Threat Matrix Promises PC Terrorists


As the success of 24 has proven, America is ready to see TV tackle terrorism. But the creators of ABC's new drama Threat Matrix (debuting Sept. 18 at 8 pm/ET) are walking on eggshells nontheless. Exec producer Daniel Voll says one of his top concerns is making sure the show portrays Muslims in a fair way; and that means there will be good guys and bad guys of every color and creed.

"We just have a feeling that the world of terrorism is an equal-opportunity employer," Voll says. "We're tracking down everything from SARS to following stories out of Iraq, to being on college campuses. And sometimes we'll end up finding that the perpetrators will be kids in Nebraska. So we don't go into this with a formal definition of what we think a terrorist looks like."

Case in point: Producers cast Arab-American actor read more

SHORT CUTS

Actor-turned-newswoman-turned-actor Andrea Thompson has landed a recurring role as a CTU tech specialist on this season's 24... Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines will be released on DVD Nov. 11... Former West Wing exec producer Aaron Sorkin has expressed interest in developing a new series that would be set behind-the-scenes of a Saturday Night Live-type sketch comedy show, the New York Daily News reports. read more

BY GEORGE, SHE GOT IT!

Here's some "TV News" scoop from the current issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale now): Aussie actress Melissa George (Thieves) has been cast as the mysterious woman that Vaughn (Michael Vartan) went and married during Sydney's two-year blackout on Alias. To read George's first interview since landing the plum part, click here. read more

Hilary Duff Breaks Her Silence

As evidenced by her sexy "So Yesterday" video, actress-turned-pop star Hilary Duff is so ready to put Lizzie McGuire behind her. But the 15-year-old — who this spring parted ways with Lizzie when talks with Disney broke down — doesn't think her edgy new image will alienate her core tween-girl fan base. "It's not, like, crazy," she says of the video for the single, which is currently No. 2 on the charts. "I'm not taking my clothes off or anything." Fair enough. But still, it's safe to say a new, more grown-up day has dawned for Duff. In addition to her first solo album Metamorphosis (due Aug. 26), the Texas native has two movies in the works (Cinderella Man and Cheaper by the Dozen), is planning a series of music specials for the WB and is about to launch an ambitious fashion and merchandise line. Lucky for us, she took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to chat about t read more

STICK A FORK IN IT

ABC Family isn't waiting around for Roseanne Barr to recover from her impending hysterectomy to start production of The Domestic Goddess Hour, the cooking show that served as the inspiration for ABC's The Real Roseanne Show. The network confirms that Goddess — which was slated to debut on Sept. 20 — "has been shut down permanently and will not air on ABC Family." Look for the ax to fall next on Real Roseanne, which no one is watching anyway. read more

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