Today's News: Our Take

Question: I know The ...

Question: I know The Untouchables was a TV show before it was a movie. But my buddy says the TV show was based on another, older movie. Is he right? Only 20 bucks is riding on it, but I'd like to know. Thanks. — Craig T., Vancouver, Wash.

Televisionary: Technically speaking, your pal is right, Craig. Robert Stack first starred as gangbusting treasury-department legend Eliot Ness in a two-hour movie intended for overseas feature distribution. In the U.S., producer Desi Arnaz sold it as a two-part story for his CBS show, Desilu Playhouse and thought that was the end of it. But those early 1959 installments were big hits with audiences, so ABC execs came calling to launch it as a series.

Which would've been celebrated all around, except that none of the major players were much interested in doing a series at first. In fact, few of them had even been interested in making the initial movie to begin with, which makes read more

Question: On Beverly Hills, ...

Question: On Beverly Hills, 90210, what was the name of Andrea's daughter? — Ralph, Wellington, Fla.

Televisionary: The daughter of Andrea (Gabrielle Carteris) and Jesse (Mark Damon Espinoza) was named Hannah.

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Question: While we were ...

Question: While we were watching a TV commercial using the song "Route 66," my mom claimed she dated the guy who wrote the song and that he played a doctor on Emergency!. While I know you can't confirm whether she dated him, can you at least tell me if he actually wrote the song? — Kate R., New York, N.Y.

Televisionary: Indeed he did, Kate. Bobby Troup, a bandleader, musician and actor, wrote the famed "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" in 1946 while driving cross country from his native Pennsylvania to Los Angeles to chase his music-career dreams. "He showed it to Nat King Cole. Nat loved it and he had a charmed life ever since," a friend told Variety after Troup passed away in early 1999.

Nat wasn't the only one, either. The song has been recorded by a slew of musicians, ranging from Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters to The Rolling Stones and Depeche Mode (and is sometimes confused with the Nelson Riddle 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: Help. I've been ...

Question: Help. I've been rattling my brain for weeks. What's the title of this TV show from the '80s? It starred a redhead and a Rob Morrow-type, both in their 20s. The plot was, they both worked in this antique shop and a lot of the items were cursed. Unfortunately, the last owner of the store didn't know that and had sold several items already. So in every episode, the two of them, along with the new store owner, some older english gentleman, I think, tried to retrieve one of the cursed items before it killed again. Help! — Alain

Televisionary: Stop rattling the old gray matter, Alain — you need that thing. Besides, the reason you can't think of the title is because it had pretty much nothing to do with the show.

Friday the 13th was a syndicated show, 78 episodes of which were produced from 1987-90. As you say, rather than focusing on the doings of the invincible Jason, it centered on a young woman (Louise Robey) who inherited an anti read more


NBC officially pulled the plug Friday on its much-hyped freshman dud Coupling. Low ratings were to blame. The show's remaining unaired episodes will hopefully be torched. read more


How weird! On Thursday's Will & Grace, Grace (Debra Messing) appeared in only two minor scenes — and she was bed-ridden in both. Then, at episode's end, she decided to follow Leo to freakin' Cambodia! What gives? It turns out, Messing has been feeling under the weather because she's expecting her first child with husband Daniel Zelman. The show's writers hurriedly shipped Grace off to Cambodia in order to explain her absence while Messing's on a reduced work schedule. NBC won't say how long Grace will remain MIA, or whether the pregnancy will be worked into the show. read more


ABC is breaking ground on a Little House on the Prairie revival. The network is producing a six-hour miniseries based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's classic stories of grassland livin'. The project is slated to air sometime next season. read more

Jon Favreau's Dinner Dates

At this moment in his career, Jon Favreau is feelin' "so money." The star and scribe of Swingers and Made is the creator, producer and host of his own IFC chatfest, Dinner for Five. He just directed Will Ferrell in Elf (opens Nov. 7). He's also slated to do a slew of other upcoming movies. (Phew!) But despite his busy big-screen life, he still finds time to fret about finding more Dinner guests.

"I just worked with Jack Nicholson [on Something's Gotta Give]. I'd love to get him," Favreau tells TV Guide Online. "But I didn't have the nerve to ask him. He doesn't do any press, so he's gonna do this little IFC show?"

Sometimes, though, he does lean on his newfound friends for favors. "Peter Billingsley was in [Elf]," the 37-year-old gid read more

Survivor Outcast Twist Explained

Shiver me timbers! If you skipped last week's Survivor: Pearl Islands, you missed quite possibly the biggest twist in Survivor history. Executive producer Mark Burnett went overboard with the pirate theme: He resurrected the show's six castoffs from Davy Jones's locker, allowing them a chance to swashbuckle their way back into the game!

Here's the sitch: Burton, Lill, Ryan S., Nicole, Michelle and Trish formed the new "Outcast" tribe. During a reward challenge between the remaining Drake and Morgan members, they exacted their revenge. By solving a convoluted puzzle first, they forced the existing tribes to go to tribal council and evict one member each. In their place, the Outcasts will be permitted to vote two castoffs back into the game. Cool! Yet, is it fair to give these losers a second chance?

"The first ever read more

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