Today's News: Our Take


NBC has picked up Last Call with Carson Daly for another year. At the same time, Daly has inked a new two-year deal with MTV to continue hosting and exec producing Total Request Live. read more


Melissa Stark is leaving ABC's Monday Night Football to start a family, USA Today reports. Stark, who served as sideline reporter, is expecting her first child in September. In related news, my dear friend Jill's water broke Monday morning, and I'm still waiting to hear whether she has delivered her bundle of joy yet. Jill, if you're reading this, would you call me with a freakin' update? I don't ask for much. read more


Sandra Bullock has obtained a restraining order against a mentally ill man she says stalked her in three states. According to the petition, 34-year-old Thomas James Weldon has followed Bullock from California to Texas to South Carolina in an attempt to have a relationship with her, causing her "physical or emotional injury." So that explains Murder by Numbers. Now it all makes sense. read more


Miramax Films has agreed to help finance Michael Moore's upcoming documentary about the Sept. 11 attacks, which will explore alleged links between Osama bin Laden and the Bush family, Reuters reports. Miramax stepped in after Mel Gibson's Icon Productions backed out. read more


In a blow to aspiring American Idol contestants everywhere, is coming to television in the form of a Court TV show. Smoking Gun TV will debut on Aug. 20 and will be hosted by Daily Show correspondent Mo Rocca. read more

Question: My favorite TV show ...

Question: My favorite TV show when I was 11 or 12 was The Magician, starring Bill Bixby. I was crushed when it didn't last very long. Can you tell me when it aired, the show's premise, how many episodes there were and if there's any chance of seeing this show again? Thanks! — Chris H., Cypress, Tex.

Televisionary: Bixby (The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Incredible Hulk), an amateur magician himself, starred as wealthy illusionist and escape artist Anthony Blake, who'd been unjustly imprisoned in South America and decided to devote his time to making the world right for people in need. Of course, that making always involved mental acrobatics, sleight of hand and illusions. The show's 90-minute pilot kicked things off on NBC in March 1973. The 22-episode series debuted as an hour-l read more

Question: When I first saw ...

Question: When I first saw Brittany Murphy in Clueless, I knew she looked familiar. I am just now recalling where I may have seen her. Did she used to be on that old show, The Torkelsons, after the family moved and the mother worked for a wealthy father and his two kids? — Sarah, New York, N.Y.

Televisionary: Well, sort of (technically, it was the second incarnation of the series). Murphy and Jason Marsden (the most excellent Spirited Away) were the irritating son and daughter of rich guy Perry King (Riptide), whom Millicent (read more


Rocker Noel Redding, who played bass for legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, died Sunday of unknown causes. He was 57. read more


The WB is adding four new comedies and two new dramas to its fall lineup, including a modern-day Tarzan starring Calvin Klein model Travis Fimmel and a sketch-comedy starring Steve Harvey. As reported yesterday, the Frog network is moving Smallville to Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET, where it will be paired with the returning Angel. Among the WB's other new entries: Fearless, an FBI drama starring Rachael Leigh Cook; All About the Andersons, a sitcom about a single dad who moves back in with his parents; Like Family, a comedy about black and white families living under the same roof; and Run of the House, a comedy about siblings forced to raise their 15-year-old sister. read more

Question: Was the house used ...

Question: Was the house used for the PBS show Manor House also used for the movie Gosford Park? — Paige

Televisionary: Nope, though many wondered the same since to the untrained eye (most viewers, myself included) the two locations are close enough in appearance to cause confusion. Manor House was shot at Manderston, a 109-room Edwardian mansion near the Scottish border town of Duns. Robert Altman's Gosford Park was filmed at Wrotham Park, an estate in England's Hertfordshire countryside.

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