Today's News: Our Take


A whole lot of people turned out Sunday to wish CBS a happy anniversary. CBS at 75 attracted 18.5 million viewers from 8-11 pm/ET, helping the Eye network win the night by a huge margin. Nostalgia also ruled for Fox as 15.7 million viewers watched the 15th season premiere of The Simpsons. The rest of Fox's Sunday lineup didn't fare so well: Malcolm in the Middle (9.7 million viewers) was off 20 percent from its premiere last year, and the debut of the network's critically acclaimed new comedy Arrested Development disappointed with just 7.7 million viewers. read more


If you're planning to travel to the U.K. in early 2004, please be advised: Mariah Carey is threatening to make her London stage debut next year in The Sleeping Prince, the vintage comedy that served as the inspiration for the 1957 film starring Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. "Mariah wants to get rid of the glitz and tassels," the show's producer, Bill Kenwright, tells Variety. "She wants to be an actress." read more


FX is developing an original TV movie based on Peter Lance's controversial book 1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI (The Untold Story), which contends that the Sept. 11 attacks could have been avoided. There's no word when the telepic would air. read more


In other reality news, adult film star-turned-politician Mary Carey has signed on to host a new reality show that asks the age-old question, Can You Be a Pornstar? The seven-episode series — which will debut on various pay-per-view outlets on Jan. 8 — will feature 28 women competing for a one-year contract with a major adult video distributor and a cash prize of $100,000. read more

Question: Could you please ...

Question: Could you please tell me if Kathryne Dora Brown (Zola on Judging Amy) is Tyne Daly's biological daughter? They have a striking resemblance to each other. I've also seen the two of them in the movie The Wedding Dress. Please, help satisfy my curiosity. Thank you. — Lorraine M., Shirley, N.Y.

Televisionary: Indeed she is, Lorraine. Daly's former husband, actor Georg Stanford Brown (The Rookies), is her father.

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Question: The Incredible ...

Question: The Incredible Hulk's Peter Banner was married in the series, and then his wife passed away. What was the actress's real name?

Televisionary: It depends on which wife you mean. The first wife of David Banner (Bill Bixby) was played by Lara Parker (Dark Shadows). Already dead when the story began, she was seen only in flashback. His second wife was a psychiatrist played by Mariette Hartley (who won an Emmy for her troubles), but she, too, was doomed. (Why do you think he had that chip on his shoulder?) Both episodes are paired together on a DVD which Universal released in June.

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Who says TV's not a great teaching...

Who says TV's not a great teaching tool? Here are a few things I learned tonight.

Dinner for Five
Lesson 1: Vince Vaughn is one crazy interrogator.
In 45 frighteningly hilarious seconds, the Old School star went from friend to foe and brow-beat a nervous-smoking Rory Cochrane of CSI: Miami into telling a true-but-really-uncomfortable story about the time he went to live with a Mexican guy he met in a phone booth. "Didn't you, when you first got here, move in with some family you met in a phone booth?" Vaughn grilled. "Isn't that true? It's true! Isn't it?" It was brutal and cruel and funny as all get-up. Dark minutes like that make me like this show, even though they never talk about the food which really, by the way, annoys me.

Fear Factor
Lesson 2: Don't trust reality show producers.
I can't be sure, but I think Fear Factor-types are trying to make female contestants' to read more


Note to NYPD Blue butt barer Dennis Franz: You're off the hook. Danny DeVito will guest star on Friends this February as "an over-the-hill stripper" who performs at Phoebe's bachelorette party. In the same episode, Donny Osmond will play himself when Joey appears as a celebrity contestant on Pyramid. read more


CBS has officially impeached The Reagans. In a statement, the Eye network said its decision to pull the four-hour miniseries from its sweeps schedule was based "solely on our reaction to seeing the final film," and not the outcry from conservative groups. "We believe it does not present a balanced portrayal of the Reagans for CBS and its audience. Subsequent edits that we considered did not address those concerns." As expected, the telepic — which stars James Brolin as the former president and Judy Davis as wife Nancy — will air instead on sister pay-cabler Showtime. read more


Another day, another high-profile fall casualty. Fox has scratched Skin from its lineup after three low-rated airings. The porn industry-set drama attracted just 4 million viewers last night. Fox will now air back-to-back episodes of Joe Millionaire on Mondays through November. read more

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