Today's News: Our Take


STRESSED OUT

Russell Crowe is taking a chill pill. Just days after reportedly being involved in a London restaurant brawl, the Oscar champ says that he has been under a "massive level of stress" and is heading back to Australia to be with his father and girlfriend. What's more, he announced that his band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, were canceling their upcoming U.S. tour. In a message posted on the group's website, Crowe cited his father's upcoming surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome as a factor in his decision to return home. read more

REUNITED!

A Los Angeles judge has agreed to let Paula Poundstone regain custody of her three adopted children, who have been living in foster homes since the comic was arrested on child-endangerment charges 17 months ago. However, her lawyer — citing mountains of legal red tape — says it may be weeks before the reunion takes place. read more

Question: Lea Thompson ...

Question: Lea Thompson starred in a mini-series in 1998 called A Will of Their Own. Could you tell me the title and author of the book it was based on? — Brenda

Televisionary: Sure thing. The NBC mini-series, which also starred Dharma and Greg's Thomas Gibson and Will &#038 Grace's Eric McCormack, was based on Susan Richards Shreve's novel Daughters of the New World.

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Question: I loathed Stanley ...

Question: I loathed Stanley Kubrick's filmed version of The Shining, but loved the ABC Miniseries Stephen King himself wrote. ABC made It, The Stand, and The Langoliers available on video, so are there any plans to release Stephen King's The Shining as well? I certainly hope so. — Eric S., Glendale, Ariz.

Televisionary: Y'know, Eric, I've never insulted a reader (well, not this week, anyway), but I want you to think long and hard about some of your beliefs and the effect they may have on how others see you. You loathed the Kubrick film but loved the network version? Whenever I'm faced with a difference of opinion I try to think of my dear, level-headed dad and his mantra of "that's why there's vanilla and chocolate," but you're out of your tree on this one, mister.

On my side, I've got a master read more

Question: I say Wilma ...

Question: I say Wilma Flintstone had two different maiden names, but my friend says Slaghoople was the only maiden name she had. Can you tell me if she had another maiden name and, if so, what it was? — Leah, Sarnia, Ont., Canada

Televisionary: Believe it or not, this generates real controversy among Flintstones fans. In the series, Wilma's maiden name was twice said to be Pebble, but in later episodes it was Slaghoople. 'Stones experts (hey, everyone needs their hobbies) generally accept that the latter is correct, especially since that name was used in the films based on the cartoon.

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Question: When was The ...

Question: When was The Courtship of Eddie's Father on?

Televisionary: The Courtship of Eddie's Father first hit ABC's schedule in September 1969. It was based on a Mark Toby novel that was earlier made into a feature film with Glenn Ford and Ron Howard in the lead roles. But it hit the small screen with the late Bill Bixby (whose TV credits include My Favorite Martian and The Incredible Hulk read more

Question: The Bing Crosby ...

Question: The Bing Crosby movie Going My Way was made into a TV series of the same name, which ran from 1962-63. Who was the star? — James L., Forestville, Md.

Televisionary: Why, that was the late Gene Kelly in the role of Father Chuck O'Malley on the ABC series, James. Playing a young priest working in a New York City parrish, the legendary hoofer and actor co-starred with Leo G. Carroll, Nydia Westman and Dick York, who's probably best known as Bewitched's long-sufferi read more

MUSIC KUDOS

Nominees for the American Music Awards came out Tuesday, with hip hop's usual suspects grabbing up the glory. Glamour girl Ashanti got five noms, including best female artist. On the boys' side, Eminem and Nelly each took four, including nods for favorite male artist. The Osbournes will host ABC's three-hour kudocast, airing Jan. 13. read more

Question: I just saw the Oct. ...

Question: I just saw the Oct. 31 episode of CSI. The murderous magician character looked like the same actor who played the Hannibal Lecter-type character in the movie Manhunter, which also starred William Petersen as the investigator who hunted him. Was it the same actor? — Ralph, Flower Mound, Tex.

Televisionary: Sharp eyes there, Ralph. In the hit crime drama's Halloween episode, entitled "Abra Cadaver," actor Tom Noonan played the villainous illusionist. That's the same Tom Noonan who, as maniac Francis Dollarhyde, worked with Petersen, Dennis Farina, Joan Allen and read more

Harry Potter Star in Slugfest!


While Daniel Radcliffe is the hero of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, fans also adore Rupert Grint, who plays Harry's loyal best friend, Ron Weasley. In one scene, poor Ron coughs up several gooey slugs after a spell backfires on him. (It's very reminiscent of 1987's The Witches of Eastwick, when a bewitched lady choked up a bucketful of cherry pits!) While the 14-year-old Grint looks utterly miserable, he reveals shooting the gross-out moment was actually big fun!

"The slugs were probably my favorite thing [in the movie]," Grint gushes. "I had to try out all of these different flavored slimes. There was orange, lemon, peppermint and chocolate. The [prop department] made them taste really nice, so I really enjoyed it."

In fact, the easy-to-please redhead got a kick out of everything about making Chamber of Secrets, especially his crazy action sequences. Readers of J.K. Rowling's book will recall that Ron and read more

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