Today's News: Our Take

Question: Which episode was ...

Question: Which episode was Ian Thorpe, the Australian swimmer, in? — Liane R., Sydney, Australia

Televisionary: Jeez, Liane — you can't even tell me the name of the show you're asking about? Challenge me, why don't you? Well, I think I can help you anyway. I assume the series is Friends, because the Season Seven episode "The One with Ross's Library Book," which debuted Nov. 16, 2000, featured the Thorpedo as an extra in a Central Perk scene.

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Fear Factor Chandra ate 10 live...

Fear Factor
Chandra ate 10 live slugs and drank cow bile. Girlfriend worked hard for her money, OK?

For Love or Money 2: The Finale
Don't know about you, but I'm feeling a bit pimped. NBC strung us along for almost two hours just to find out Erin picked Chad and that the fool chose her over the money. All those shots of the boys walking, deep in thought around the mansion grounds. Oh, the soft-focused flashback scenes! ("Remember when we first met on the veranda. When I was guy seven of 15... ") Now don't go getting your panties in a bunch. I want love to win just as much as anybody else. But come on now. Nobody believes the love between Erin and Chad. (Or the "falling in love," as Erin said.) Hell, I don't even think Chad believes. That boy just gambled that someway, somehow he could get the lady and the loot. And he did. More power to him.

The Pizza Hut Commercial
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Question: I could have sworn ...

Question: I could have sworn there was a Saturday-morning cartoon based on Punky Brewster. I think I remember her dog being able to talk on the show. Nobody I ask believes that it ever came on. I know I was probably only about 5 when it would have been on the air, but I don't think my imagination was that wild. Please tell me I'm not crazy. — Ren&#233 E., Beckley, W.V.

Televisionary: Well, it depends, Ren&#233: the dog wasn't talking to you, right? If not, I'm betting you're otherwise okay, since It's Punky Brewster was indeed an NBC Saturday-morning cartoon from 1985-89.

In it, the irrepressible Punky, whose own live-action Sunday-night show ran from 1984-86, lived in a world very similar to that of her evening series. Well, except for her super-powered friend Glomer, who whisked her away to other realms and planes of existence. And while such things would rend the fabric of an adult mind, they didn't shake Punky much. I mean, what's read more


NBC closed a groundbreaking deal with Australia's Network Ten on Monday to produce an Aussie version of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy... Fox has greenlit The Circuit, an hour drama that will explore the legal system through the eyes of a Big Apple jury... Reality guru Mark Burnett is developing a spinoff of The Restaurant that would chronicle the behind-the-scenes drama at a Las Vegas casino. Rumor has it all slot machines will come equipped with fly swatters. read more

Question: I may be completely ...

Question: I may be completely wrong, but I thought on the last episode of Quincy they revealed his first name. Is that true and, if so, what was his first name on the show? — Rob, Sheffield, Mass.

Televisionary: Nope, it's not. Matter of fact the first name of Quincy (The Odd Couple's Jack Klugman) — the medical examiner who first appeared on The NBC Sunday Mystery Movie before launching the Quincy, M.E. series on its 1976-83 run — remains, appropriately enough, a mystery. The only clue ever given appeared in the Feb. 3, 1978 episode "Accomplice to Murder." In it, a glimpse of Quincy's business card revealed his first initial was R.

And I firmly believe, based purely on anecdotal evidence, that if the name wasn't revealed, it's because Klugman wanted it that way. After all, many a person who worked on the show — and several who found themselves off it because they butted heads with the star — can tell you abo read more


Xena Warrior Princess is coming out of retirement to save someone else's butt — and what a nice butt it is. Lucy Lawless is joining the cast of the WB's upcoming fall drama Tarzan. She'll play publishing magnate Kathleen Clayton, the loincloth-wearin' hottie's aunt. (In case you've been jungle-bound, Calvin Klein model Travis Fimmel will be the one sporting said loincloth.) Lawless's character will be at odds with her older brother Richard (Mitch Pileggi), who wants to use Tarzan for evil. Bottom line: Kathleen good, Richard bad, Tarzan hot. read more

Question: I remember watching ...

Question: I remember watching the great old farce/sitcom/soap opera Soap back a few years ago when Comedy Central re-ran the entire series. Then it suddenly disappeared from the schedule. Do you have any information on where I can see this classic show again? — Stim, Dover, N.H.

Televisionary: Funny you should ask: Columbia TriStar Home Video is putting out a DVD of Soap's entire first season later this month and will most likely release other seasons — the show ran for four — in the future. Check with your favorite video retailer or online site.

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Question: Did Weezer perform ...

Question: Did Weezer perform "Buddy Holly" on a Happy Days episode? It was in Arnold's restaurant and they were dressed in '50's attire. Fonzie did a cossack-style dance solo, etc. I am trying to get this performance on video, but need help in locating a copy or source. Thank you. — Randy C., Kingman, Ariz.

Televisionary: As kids, the members of Weezer may well have watched the Happy Days episodes that were intercut with footage of the band playing "Buddy Holly," Randy, but they were definitely too young to have actually performed on the show. (The birth years for Rivers Cuomo and crew range from 1965-70; the show was on the air from 1974-84). In fact, when that video was released in 1995, the band was only in existence for three years or so.

The video, directed by Spike Jonze, was shot on the original Arnold's set and former Happy Days cast member Al Molinaro, who played Arnold's owner Al Delvecchio, made a read more


A Minnesota jury on Monday cleared spooky rocker Marilyn Manson of battery at a concert three years ago, when he stuck his crotch in a security guard's face without at least buying him dinner first. David Diaz's suit sought more than $75,000 for emotional distress and other injuries. read more

Question: Despite the fact ...

Question: Despite the fact that serials like Roots and Lonesome Dove can be bought for a song these days, James Clavell's Shogun is only available on VHS and costs hundreds of dollars. Are there any plans for an affordable Shogun on DVD? — Pat B., Downey, Cal.

Televisionary: Boy, you guys have great timing. Paramount Home Video's releasing a five-disc DVD set of the entire mini-series, with director commentary and other add-ons thrown in, on Sept. 23 for $79.99. (And searching online, I was able to find it for $55.99, so look around.)

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