Today's News: Our Take

Question: Q: I was wondering, ...

Question: Q: I was wondering, when will Tru Calling air? — Jil A., Sheridan Ark.

Televisionary: A: The new Fox series, which boasts a title character (Buffy alum Eliza Dushku) who has a day to stop a tragedy before it occurs each week, premieres Thursday, Oct. 30 at 8 pm/ET.

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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: Q: Who played the ...

Question: Q: Who played the captain's wife in the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Very Very Old Man"? More importantly, what other shows of bygone years featured her? This is one to keep us up nights. — John, Catonsville, Md.

Televisionary: A: That was Glenne Headly, whose last regular series work was as Nathan Lane's wife on the short-lived NBC comedy Encore! Encore!, which ran for about six months beginning in September 1998. You may also remember her guest appearances as Dr. Abby Keaton on ER.

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Question: What was the name ...

Question: What was the name of the character who was the son of the Rifleman, Lucas McCain? — Phil, Shrewsbury, Mass.

Televisionary: Young Mark McCain was the son of homesteading hotshot Lucas (Chuck Connors) on the ABC series, which debuted in September 1958. He was played by Johnny Crawford, who went on to sing a series of pop hits in the '60s ("Cindy's Birthday" and "Patti Ann," among others) and currently leads a swing band in Southern California).

That fact that you care enough to ask lends some credence to the late Connors's theory on why his show was 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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Question: Q: You answered a ...

Question: Q: You answered a question last week about who voiced some of the characters on SpongeBob SquarePants. Could you tell me who the voice is behind Sandy? — Angie, Baltimore, Md.

Televisionary: A: That's Carolyn Lawrence as undersea squirrel Sandy Cheeks. You may also have heard her as Cindy Vortex in both the TV and big-screen versions of Jimmy Neutron.

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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


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

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

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