Today's News: Our Take

Question: I remember hearing ...

Question: I remember hearing that Ben Affleck had been in a short lived series when he was a pre-teen. Any info? — Evan, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Televisionary: If you're talking Affleck's pre-teen years, you must mean PBS's 13-episode series The Voyage of the Mimi and 12-episode follow-up, The Second Voyage of the Mimi, in which the actor's character took part in expeditions to study whales and find a lost Mayan city. Otherwise, Affleck's only other series work was in NBC's 1993-94 small-town football drama Against the Grain, in which he played a teen quarterback.

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The battle between Sopranos star James Gandolfini and HBO is about to get uglier. According to reports, the cabler is expected to file a countersuit against the actor, claiming he would cost the network $100 million by failing to show up for work on the show's fifth season. "We are exposing the frivolous nature of [Gandolfini's] claims," says HBO attorney Bert Fields. "If he doesn't show up by March 24, he's going to owe a huge amount of money." Gandolfini sued HBO last week over a contract technicality. Some say the whole thing is nothing more than a negotiations ploy. And to that, I say: "Duh!" read more

Question: I enjoy reading ...

Question: I enjoy reading your column every week. I do have a comment on this week's column. Actually, I'm a bit confused. I thought the song in the Saturn Ion commercial was "Forever Young," by Alphaville. Maybe there is more than one Saturn commercial out there? I'm thinking of the one where the kids are all playing in a suburban development and then it moves into a prom sequence just before the car reaches the sign. Thanks. — Mary Ann

Televisionary: Unless they've edited both spots together and I missed it, we are indeed talking about two different Saturn ads. "Prom" features the Alphaville tune, while "Childhood" uses the Walkmen's "We've Been Had." You can watch both of them at (And I'll once again trot out my old observation that auto ads manage to evoke more feeling and impact with 30-second mixes of music and visuals read more

Question: I was watching The ...

Question: I was watching The Other Half today, and I recognized one of the hosts from the show Charmed. Do you know who he is? — Kate, Herndon, Va.

Televisionary: Sure do. That's Dorian Gregory, who also appears in Charmed as Det. Darryl Morris. You may also have seen him as a regular on Baywatch Nights, in gigs on such shows as 3rd Rock from the Sun, Moesha or Lois &#038 Clark or on the big screen in Deliver Us from Eva.

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Question: There was a show ...

Question: There was a show that was on several years ago. There were two kids who lived with their uncle and he lived next to or near a vampire named Max. Please tell me the name of the show. I have been asking my friends about it for a while and no one seems to remember it. Thanks. — Christine, Detroit, Mich.

Televisionary: You're thinking of the syndicated Dracula: The Series, 26 episodes of which debuted in 1990, Christine.

Shot in Luxembourg and done pretty much as a goof, it centered on business mogul Alexander Lucard (hint: spell the last name backwards), played by Geordie Johnson, and Gustav Helsing (Bernard Behrens), the man hunting him.

Max (Jacob Tierney) was actually one of Helsi read more


Former Saturday Night Live wire Will Ferrell, whose new film Old School is shaping up to be a big hit, will pocket a cool $4 million to star in the DreamWorks comedy Action News. Ferrell — who co-wrote the script — will play a pompous newscaster in the 1970s. read more

Question: Please help me ...

Question: Please help me convince my husband he doesn't know what he's talking about. On The Golden Girls, how old was Estelle Getty? I always thought she was considerably younger than the character she played. Thank you. — Sarah W., Bakersfield, Cal.

Televisionary: As cagey as the actresses on the hit comedy played it in terms of discussing their ages, Sarah, it was widely known Getty was nearly 20 years younger than her 80-year-old character, the tart-tongued Sophia Petrillo. In early 1986, six months or so after the show's September 1985 debut on NBC, she was reported to be 62.

Getty herself would only tell TV Guide that she was not much older than her co-stars ("only they look better," she said) and those castmates — Bea Arthur, read more


The April issue of W magazine features a 44-page photo spread of Madonna striking a series of unnatural poses with a pole. If I didn't know better, I'd think the Material Girl had a new album coming out or something. read more


Howard Stern is reportedly developing an animated series for cable network TNN that would focus on his high school years. Only this time around, all of his classmates will be lipstick lesbians. read more


Marky Mark's gonna be a papa! Rapper-turned-actor Mark Wahlberg and his model girlfriend Rhea Durham are expecting their first child in the fall, the New York Daily News reports. read more

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