Today's News: Our Take

Question: I need some help ...

Question: I need some help because this is driving me nuts. I want to know the name of a show that was on Showtime a few years ago. It was about a group of friends, but the twist was part of it took place around 1993, another part in 2001 and a third part in 2008 (I'm guessing, but it was around those years). It was on the air a few years ago and I think it only lasted a season. Also, I remember they used "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads in their promos. Can you name this show for me? — Matt

Televisionary: Showtime's Leap Years did more than promote with that tune, Matt; it was the series' theme song.

Leap Years debuted in July 2001, relating the lives of a group of New York friends in the years 1993, 2001 and 2008. Among them were actress Athena (Michelle Hurd), movie critic (and future therapist) Gregory (Garret Dillahunt), lawyer Joe (Bruno Campos), developer Josh (David Julian Hirsh) and teacher Beth (N read more

Question: Might your site ...

Question: Might your site still have the section where you may search listings by keyword? — Ron A., Wynantskill, N.Y.

Televisionary: It might... and does. Simply go to the Listings page and use the Search box near the top.

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Warning: Things are about to get...

Things are about to get uggglllyyy! Pretty soon five good shows will all air at 9 pm on Mondays: Fox's Skin; NBC's Las Vegas; WB's Everwood; CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond; and UPN's Girlfriends. What are network execs trying to do, kill me? Let the tape-one-show-watch-another-and-channel-surf experiment begin. Wish me luck. (Or pray that I get a life, whichever you prefer.)

Fear Factor
People always ask why I like this stupid show. And I'm just going to put it out there: It's a free reality check. Every week I learn one more thing that I would or would not do for money. Plain and simple. This week's two-hour, play-for-a-$1 million episode raised the stakes. Would I lie in a glass casket as it filled with water teeming with live leeches? For a million bucks? Hell, yeah! Now, could I bob in raw ostrich eggs, grab five pig tongues with my teeth, then eat one chased by five live leeches? Um... no. I couldn' read more

Question: Where was the TV ...

Question: Where was the TV series M*A*S*H filmed? Whenever I see reruns, I think that they did a really good job of finding a place that looks like Korea. — Kate, Wellington, New Zealand

Televisionary: During the hit show's 1972-83 run, most exteriors were shot in California, on a Malibu Canyon parcel of land that used to be known as the Fox Ranch but is now Malibu Creek State Park. (Fox gave the property to the state while M*A*S*H was still in production.) The interiors and certain outside scenes were shot on a Hollywood soundstage.

In 1982, a brush fire burned down most of the show's exterior set, which is why a similar blaze was written into the series' final episode. But up until then, those behind the show considered themselves lucky to have, as you say, found a place so similar in appearance to the area surrounding the real-life Korean M*A*S*H unit that inspired the book the movie and show were based on. How did they know? They went to Korea t read more

Question: Who said "I hate ...

Question: Who said "I hate meeces to pieces"? Someone just threw that saying out and it is driving everyone nuts that they cannot think of who said it. Thanks. — Debbie, Spring City, Pa.

Televisionary: That was Mr. Jinks the cat, who squared off against his mouse adversaries Pixie and Dixie in their segment of the old syndicated Huckleberry Hound show. Worth noting: Huckleberry, produced from 1958-62, nabbed an Emmy in 1960 and was TV's first animated series to do so.

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Question: When did The ...

Question: When did The Incredible Hulk's first season start? Was it '77 or '78? — Mike P., Roseville, Mich.

Televisionary: The Bill Bixby-Lou Ferrigo series ran on CBS from March 1978 to June 1982, jumping from Friday to Wednesday, to Friday, and then back again.

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Question: I remember a TV ...

Question: I remember a TV series that ran on CBS (I think) called Chicken Soup. Looking it up, I learned that it was from 1989, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent star Kathryn Erbe was in it, but that's about it. You're my last hope. Can you tell me anything about this series? — Larry P., Akron, Ohio

Televisionary: Only that it was yet another misfired attempt to give a stand-up comic a high-profile primetime vehicle. (Not that there's anything wrong with trying, mind you — Everybody Loves Raymond and Seinfeld sure prove that it's worth a shot — but I get really tired of the lamer efforts.)

As you say, it lasted just three months in 1989, but ABC gets the blame for this one, not CBS. Jackie Mason played an over-the-top Jewish ex-salesman (and if you didn't pick up on the ethnic angle quickly enough, the title and every other joke bludgeoned you with it) who volunteered at an urban community center, read more

Haley Joel Osment Grows Up

Secondhand Lions is Haley Joel Osment's first live-action feature film since 2001's AI. How's he been adjusting to adolescence? Well, in Lions, he's a bit taller and his voice is changing. But he still has that troubled, "I see dead people" look that earned him an Oscar nod for The Sixth Sense. Off-screen, though, Osment seems like any other high school sophomore. Although he sure pays unusual attention to his guidance counselor!

"School has been taking up a lot of time this year," the 15-year-old sighs to TV Guide Online. "Even though homework can get really old, especially at this age, the thing that makes you stick with it is that no career is ever going to be certain. And acting is the one of the most unpredictable [careers]. It's good to build up the skills to do whatever else you have to to succeed in life.

"I've always been really interested in history," Osment adds. "I'm not sure how that's going to translate into a job read more

Emmy Emcees Left Us Laughing

Since the nominees for the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were a who's who of repeat contenders, we were left to focus on what the ceremony's producers wanted us to — the good-humor men and funny ladies they recruited to emcee. So which of them left us laughing so hard that they ought to be going for the gold themselves next year? A quick review of Sunday's live broadcast reveals the host with the most... guffaws.

&#149Gary Shandling: Our favorite neurotic got the evening off to a shaky start, perhaps because he could tell that his disappointing material wasn't so much hit and miss as it was hit and miss and miss and miss. Having money grubber Brad Garrett lumber on stage for a lingering kiss during the erstwhile Larry Sanders's riff on the infamous Madonna-Britney smooch did nothing to give his set the illusion of originality. At least he landed one good punch line in closing. "I just want to say to CBS," he said, breathless, "[Br read more

Backstage Scoop at the Emmys!

Hey, Emmy producers, listen up: If you're looking for a gimmick to goose the ratings for next year's ceremony, here's a hot tip, free of charge — move the cameras to the press room. As any award-show veteran will tell you, the real action at any given kudocast takes place behind-the-scenes. Don't believe me? Well, then you'll just have to peruse my blow-by-blow, minute-by-minute recap of last night's Emmy circus and see for yourself. Go ahead, you know you want to...

8:07 pm/ET Everybody Loves Raymond's Grandmommie Dearest Doris Roberts wins best supporting actress in a comedy for the third time. Groans reverberate through the press tent. We're a bitchy lot, us media types.

8:23 pm Roberts's TV son, Brad Garrett, wins best supporting actor, comedy. A reporter behind me screams out in pain. Or is that CBS boss Les Moonves calculating how much this will cost him?

8:26 pm Roberts appears backstage with read more

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