Question: Many a year ago, I remember watching a program on PBS about a castle being built. It wasn't narrated by some professor walking around the ruins of an old castle, rambling on about how it was built, with the occasional still photo from a book. It was an animated feature of the castle built from the ground up, with the king and his mason discussing what was to be done. It was wonderfully animated and very educational. I would love to know if this feature is available on VHS/DVD anywhere. My children are very interested in castles and I thought this would be a great program for them to watch and learn from. Any clue?
Televisionary: Sounds to me like the program you seek is Castles, which was hosted by David Macaulay and was based on his book of the same name. (Macaulay's the famed illustrator and writer who also brought us Cathedral, Mill Town, Building Big and other such great stuff.) It's available for 20 bucks or so from PBS Home V
Question: When I was a kid, one of my favorite shows was Room 222. I had such a huge crush on Mr. Dixon and wanted him to be my teacher. I thought I remembered reading the actor who played him died. Did he? Thank you for the answer. ˜ Karen E., Alton Bay, N.H.
Televisionary: Sad to report, Karen, that Lloyd Haynes, who played Walt Whitman High School history teacher Pete Dixon during the show's 1969-74 run on ABC, lost his battle with lung cancer at the age of 52 on New Year's Eve, 1986.
And you weren't alone in your affection for the character. Matter of fact, in 1971, real-life teacher Hal Lenke wrote a column for TV Guide about the frustration of having to live up to his TV co
Question: If you can answer this, you are my hero. I have asked, searched, looked and dug everywhere I can think of. In the final episode of Providence, Syd was standing in front of the mantel looking at family pics and there was a song playing. It sounded like a cross between Elton John and Joshua Kadison. Some of the words were: "A picture postcard, a program of the play, filed away the photographs of your holiday. And your momentos will turn to dust, but that's the price you pay, for every year the souvenir that slowly fades away." Do you have any ideas on this? Thank you in advance for your time. I appreciate it much! Jo H.
Televisionary: Not at all, Jo. After all, my uncanny TV powers don't help me catch bankrobbers or solve mysteries or anything, so I'm darned happy to be a hero to somebody.
The song that's hauntin
Question: My co-worker and I have a bet. She says that The Mary Tyler Moore Show had the most spin-offs in TV history. I say it's Happy Days. Who's right? Whoever wins has to cover the other person's shift for President's Day weekend. Scott S.
Televisionary: Technically speaking, you're both wrong, Scott, though you're closer than she is.
First of all, let's define spin-off. The classic definition is a show whose main characters were regulars on the parent show (so that would pretty much disqualify the various Law & Order shows, for example).
Going by that, All in the Family is the spin-off king, with three series directly spun off (Maude, The Jeffersons,
Question: What night did The Love Boat and The Dukes of Hazzard air? Friday or Saturday? Shawn, Athens, Tex.
Televisionary: The Dukes raised hell on Friday nights from January 1979 to August 1985. The Boat was a capital ship for an ocean trip on Saturdays from September 1977 to May 1986, before switching to Fridays for the final four months of its voyage. If you're a schedule fanatic (and even if you're not), you'll find fall prime-time line-ups going all the way back to 1953 in our What Was On feature.
Question: What is the real name of Cedric the Entertainer? Is he the guy in the funny Budweiser commercials? Harold, Glendale, Cal.
Televisionary: Cedric Kyles. And yes (though they're technically Bud Light ads).
American Splendor, a film about comic artist Harvey Pekar, walked off with the Grand Jury prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday. Capturing the Friedmans, a drama about a family dealing with tragedy, was named best documentary.
After playing the title role in The Mummy and its sequel, Arnold Vosloo had just about had it with sarcophagi and sand crabs. But when he tried to turn down an offer to join the cast of Veritas: The Quest, ABC's high-tech riff on Indiana Jones-type adventurers, he was told in no uncertain terms to sphinx again.
"My agent said, 'This show is exactly what you need to do,'" he relates to TV Guide Online. "'Half — no, 90 percent — of America thinks you're running around Egypt in a loincloth! They don't even know you speak English!'"
So, back into the catacombs marched the actor, his enthusiasm renewed for bringing to life tales from the crypt. And if he hasn't given his rep a sizeable bonus, he ought to: In Vincent Siminou, the strong, silent sidekick of a rugged archaeologist (
If you thought last night's post-Super Bowl episode of Alias was big, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Exec producer J.J. Abrams confirms to TV Guide Online that there have been some informal discussions about transporting Jennifer Garner's double-agent alter ego onto the big screen in an Alias feature film.
"It has come up, and... it's an interesting idea," he says. "My agents have talked to me about it, and I know that they have talked to Disney about it, but it's nothing that is seriously being pursued.
"Given the fact that we try every week to do a movie version of the show, it's not clear to me what we would try to do that we aren't already trying to do," adds the former Felicity
60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt will step down as the show's exec producer next year, CBS announced today. Hewitt will continue to oversee the program until June 2004, at which point he will relinquish his post to Jeff Fager, who currently oversees 60 Minutes II. Rumors have swirled for months that CBS was looking to replace the 80-year-old at the helm, but Hewitt has said, "I want to die at my desk." He may still get his wish: After exiting 60 Minutes, Hewitt will continue on at CBS News developing new projects and offering advice to his successor. In other words, the network will pay him to sit around and reminisce about the good ol' days.