Question: I distinctly remember William Shatner starring in a short-lived TV series (I even remember the theme song) called The Barbary Coast. I think he played a pirate. I am, however, the only person who seems to remember this series. Could you confirm its existence for me? Patrick S., Middletown, Conn.
Televisionary: That I could, Patrick, and I shall. Shatner (Star Trek and T.J. Hooker, as if I need to tell anyone that) starred as government agent and master of disguise Jeff Cable in the series, which was set in the 1870s in an area of San Francisco known, of course, as the Barbary Coast. The show lasted, as you say, for only a brief time on ABC's schedule, debuting in September 1975 and leaving the air the following January.
Question: Please help settle a battle of memories. I say Cathy Lee Crosby played Wonder Woman before Lynda Carter did, but a colleague of mine says she was a superpowered girl on a different show. Who's right? Tim M., Cicero, N.Y.
Televisionary: You are, of course, though the ABC 1974 TV movie Crosby starred in had her wearing an odd '70s getup that bore so little resemblance to the comic-book version that your friend almost has a point.
In that adaptation of the classic comic heroine, Crosby (That's Incredible) played a contemporary Wonder Woman. However, she didn't fit the part because, as TV Guide writer Bill Davidson quipped in 1977, she was "an ethereal blonde who looked more suited modeling chemises at Bergdorf Goodman than hurling 200-pound men through the air like Frisbees."
That she did. After all, as all comics fans could have t
Question: Could you please tell me who made the announcements over the P.A. system in M*A*S*H? Thank you very much for solving this 30-year-old mystery. Jay O., Albany, Ga.
Televisionary: Aside from those periodically given by Radar O'Reilly (Gary Burghoff) or Max Klinger (Jamie Farr), P.A. announcements were handled by actors Sal Viscuso or Todd Susman, both of whom appeared in an episode or two themselves.
For a party ghoul who's spent two decades scaring up laughs as Elvira,
Mistress of the Dark, Cassandra Peterson sure does spook easily. In fact, the mere mention of the Rumanian shoot for her blood-curdling new comedy Elvira's Haunted Hills (having its New York premiere Friday) sends a chill down her spine.
"It was really brutal... one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my entire life," she tells TV Guide Online without a hint of the cheekiness that is her stock in trade. "Everyone had to work under unbelievably awful conditions horrible food, horrible rooms... There were moments when you thought you were just going to fall down and cry because you weren't going to make it."
On the rare occasions when day-to-day hardships didn't give Peterson nightmares, Haunted Hills still made her toss and turn she not only stars
The Cartoon Network has snapped up rerun rights to Fox's Futurama... Fashion-challenged hip-hopper Lil' Kim will star in the the upcoming urban Western Guns and Roses... Austin Powers sidekick Verne Troyer had his appendix removed last week... Madonna's Maverick Films is developing a TV movie for VH1 titled How to be the Perfect Latino Popstar.
Julianne Moore was named best actress for her role as a '50s housewife in Far From Heaven Sunday at the Venice International Film Festival. Winning best film honors was the controversial convent drama The Magdalene Sisters.
After Sept. 11, Aaron Sorkin felt moved to postpone The West Wing's third season premiere in favor of "Isaac and Ishmael," a stand-alone episode about a similar terrorist crisis. The show's creator still is taking heat for what critics bashed as a "preachy, pedantic" tribute. Nearly one year later, he responds with a sort of mea culpa.
"I didn't think it right," Sorkin says, "that [the premiere] just be a regular episode of The West Wing that people be tearing around the [White House] corridors, flirting with each other and being glib. It just didn't seem right. Some sort of respect had to be paid to what just happened. You had to bow your head to it.
"I wasn't going for the cover of TV Guide," he adds, "or an Emmy nomination, or a bigger deal here at Warner Bros."
In the episode, WW's characters lectur
My Big Fat Greek Wedding once again had to settle for bridesmaid status at the box office. In its 21st week of release, the sleeper smash maintained its No. 2 ranking with $10.6 million, behind teen thriller Swimfan, which opened at No. 1 with $12.4 million. Don't feel too sorry for the folks behind the indie success story: Although it has yet to reach first place, the romantic comedy is just $4 million shy of hitting the $100 million mark. Not bad for a movie that cost just $5 million to make. The Robert De Niro-Frances McDormand drama City by the Sea, meanwhile, debuted in third place with $9.1 million. Rounding out the top five: Signs (No. 4 with $8 mi
An Oregon couple are auctioning off late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's childhood home on eBay. Ed and Jennifer McKee who bought the Oregon City crib last month for $42,500 have set an opening bid of $200,000. The auction ends Sept. 15.
When Dawson's Creek kicks off its sixth and likely final season, viewers will see a new face gracing the opening credits. Freaks and Geeks alum Busy Philipps. And not to be vain, but the actress who joined the WB sudser last season as Pacey's new flame Audrey admits she's relishing the added visibility.
"I'm so excited because I totally got screwed on Freaks and Geeks," she tells TV Guide Online. "I never got my picture in the opening because they added me later on as a series regular. So, I've never actually had that. And regardless of what people say, that stuff totally matters.
"It was a contractual thing," she adds of her well-deserved Creek promotion. "I became a series regular, so they had to put my face up there."
And to think, Phillips was only suppo