Today's News: Our Take

Question: What can you tell ...

Question: What can you tell me about a short-lived show from the '60s called The Ugliest Girl in the World? Whenever you read about the worst show concepts ever, I always wonder how they could forget to include this bizarre show. — N.D., Short Hills, N.J.

Televisionary: Well, I can tell you your standards of beauty are even higher than the series' creators, who merely dubbed the cross-dressing Timothy Blair (Peter Kastner) The Ugliest Girl in Town when they named the show.

The set-up: When photographer Gene Blair (Happy Days and Laverne &#038 Shirley creator Garry Marshall) lost all his shots of local San Francisco hippies, he dressed talent-agent brother Timothy in drag, snapped s read more

Question: My mom and I used ...

Question: My mom and I used to never miss Kate &#038 Allie since she and a divorced friend used to live together for a few years. But she said Jane Curtin and Susan Saint James didn't really get along in real life. Is that true? — Mary S., Northfield, Vt.

Televisionary: Nope, though there were some of the normal tensions brought about by the unfailingly ego-driven entertainment biz and the pressures of mounting a hit comedy during its 1984-89 run on CBS.

Take the time, for instance, that both were nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series after the show's first season. Saint James had already been nominated six times and had won once (for NBC's 1968-71 adventure series The Name of the Game). And she had it in her head read more

Question: What were the ...

Question: What were the character names of Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, Kate Jackson, Shelly Hack, Cheryl Ladd and Tanya Roberts? — G.Y., Baton Rouge, La.

Televisionary: As an addendum to my recent lead answer about Charlie's Angels (and in the order you asked): Smith was Kelly Garrett; Fawcett-Majors was Jill Munroe (1976-77); Jackson was Sabrina Duncan (1976-79); Hack was Tiffany Welles (1979-80); Ladd was Kris Munroe (1977-81) and Roberts was read more


Hilary Duff has traded in a mouse for a frog. The teen sensation, who in May walked away from the Lizzie McGuire franchise when Disney failed to show her the money, is headlining two hourlong specials on the WB, the first of which will air in September. Titled Hilary Duff's Birthday Celebration (she turns 16 on Sept. 28), the star-studded event also ties in with the release of Duff's first solo CD, Metamorphosis. Speaking of Duff, the actress-singer showed up at the WB's TCA party last night in Hollywood on the arm of ex-Dawson's Creek hunk (and upcoming star of the network's drama One Tree Hill) Chad Michael Murray. However, they both told me they were "just friends." Lies! More lies! To see a pic of the happy couple, read more


Sharon Osbourne met the press Sunday at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Hollywood to tout her upcoming syndicated talk show, but reporters were more interested in asking why the heck she agreed to do another season of MTV's The Osbournes. "It's about squeezing out every moment that I possibly can in my life," said Ozzy's better half, who confirmed that she is currently cancer-free. "When somebody says to you, 'You've got a 33 percent [chance] of survival,' you rethink your life." Sharon also conceded that The Osbournes was partially to blame for son Jack's drug problems, because he "had money... and he had people around him that wanted to be near him because he was on a TV show." For my minute-by-minute account of press tour, click here. read more

Peta Wilson Vamps It Up

Peta Wilson — aka TV's La Femme Nikita — has a new role to sink her teeth into. She stars as Mina Harker, Dracula's half-human/half-vampire lover, in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. While that title suggests a he-man film, this blonde starlet brings quite a woman's touch.

"I'm the gentle in Gentlemen," Wilson laughs. "The attraction to this role was Sean Connery, [being] the only female and [doing] a period film. This was the ultimate dress-up film. Being in the 18th century, and to play a woman that is repressed, closed, shut down and, on top of that, Dracula's ex-girlfriend — what a great part to do!"

Though Mina is arguably the central character in the League comic books, she cedes the celluloid spotlight to Connery's Allan Quatermain. No blood was shed over any c read more


Expect to see less of Gilmore Girls scene-stealer Melissa McCarthy this fall. The actress has shed more than 75 lbs. — and she ain't done yet. "I still have some more to go," she shared last night at the WB's TCA bash. Ironically, viewers may not know what they're missing: Since McCarthy's Gilmore alter ego Sookie is preggers, the actress's tummy will be padded for the first half of the season! Now that's some cruel fate. read more

Beckham Babe's Lingerie Lament

Corseted period costumes may look sexy on film, but Keira Knightley thinks they're a drag. The 18-year-old Brit actress — who soccer-kicked her way to fame in Bend It Like Beckham — nearly staged a mutiny over those snug-fitting bodices she wore for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Good thing her character, Elizabeth Swann, also objects to corsets, shedding hers ASAP in the movie. "It's funny, because I can't remember a film where they actually say [corsets] are a really uncomfortable thing," Knightley grins. "They are always very ladylike. So it was quite nice to say, 'This is really, really, really painful!'

"It was completely my fault though," she notes, "because I've got this kind of Scarlett O'Hara thing going on in my head, wh read more


Tarzan and Jane are splitting up — at least the title of their show is. The WB announced at the TCA press tour that its upcoming loincloth drama will be called, simply, Tarzan. "[Tarzan and Jane] was too narrow and too limiting," explained Jordan Levin, the network's entertainment president. "[Tarzan] represents a much broader scope for the series." They should just call this thing Travis's Six-Pack and be done with it. read more

Secrets Spilled at WB Fall Preview Event

We're at the midway point of summer, and that can mean only two things: Soon there will be far fewer kids clogging the streets during the day, and it's time for that semi-annual ritual known as the Television Critics Assoc. (TCA) press tour. For three weeks every July (and two weeks in January), the broadcast and cable networks trot out for the media the stars of their new fall shows during a series of press conferences, parties and other thinly veiled excuses to schmooze. Occasionally, amid all the slick video packages and over-rehearsed sound bites, a genuine, unscripted moment takes place. We at TV Guide Online live for those moments. The broadcast portion of the tour kicked off Sunday (at the Renaissance Hotel in the heart of Hollywood) with the WB. Here are some highlights as they took place in real time &#151 give or take a few minutes. Work with me, people; it was a long day.

8:30 am A startled WB publicist spots veteran actor read more

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