Today's News: Our Take


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.

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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

CHOICE KUDOS

CSI and Friends were the big winners at Sunday's 30th Annual People's Choice Awards, winning best TV drama and comedy, respectively. Joan of Arcadia was named favorite new drama and Two and a Half Men nabbed the prize for favorite new comedy. On the movie side, Pirates of the Caribbean was voted favorite movie, while Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers took the favorite dramatic film trophy. All told, there wasn't a surprise in the bunch. read more

HEADING WEST

Kevin Costner is sticking to what he does best: making Westerns. The Dances With Wolves/Open Range star has signed on to direct and star in the upcoming Disney Western Horizon. read more

THE NAME GAME

The Game Show Network will change its name to GSN in March as part of its ongoing mission to branch out beyond game shows. In related news, UPN is considering changing its name to FREE PORN as part of its ongoing mission to stay on the air. read more

IT'S SHOWTIME

Newly single pop tart Britney Spears will headline a live concert special for Showtime on March 28. The concert will take place at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, one of the stops on Spears' upcoming 25-city tour. read more

SHRINK WRAPPED

The doctor is out — and I mean it this time. Really. NBC has decided that this will indeed be the final season of Frasier. Peacock execs had been in talks with Paramount (the show's producer) about a 12th season of the Cheers spin-off, but such a deal would have proven too costly for the network. NBC President Jeff Zucker made the announcement to members of the Television Critics Association (like me!) at a previously scheduled farewell press conference on Monday. read more

GO FISH

Tim Burton's family fable Big Fish duked it out with Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King for top box office honors over the weekend. According to early estimates Fish — expanding to wide release — may have hooked the No. 1 spot with $14.5 million, although rival studios accuse Columbia of spinning a tall tale with that figure. New Line says LOTR remains the champ with $14.1 million to Fish's $13.7 million. (Final numbers are due later today, at which point we'll find out who's lying.) Elsewhere, January rejects My Baby's Daddy and Chasing Liberty parlayed their atrocious reviews into equally atrocious sixth- and seventh-place rankings. 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

DONALD, YOU DEVIL

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

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