Today's News: Our Take


The partner of opera star Luciano Pavarotti, who was expecting twins, gave birth to a daughter Monday in Rome. Sadly, the second baby — a boy — died. This was the first child for Nicoletta Mantovani, 33, but the fourth for 67-year-old Pavarotti, who has three children from a previous marriage. read more

Question: We all know that ...

Question: We all know that the late George Peppard played John "Hannibal" Smith on The A-Team, but I seem to remember that there was another show that he starred in where he played an insurance investigator. I think I saw it on A&#038E a little while ago, but I cannot remember the name of the show. Can you help? — Cliff T., Birmingham, Ala.

Televisionary: That I can, Cliff.

Peppard played Polish-American (and I specify ethnicity here because it was a big part of the show's flavor) private eye Thomas Banacek in the series, which was called (surprise!) Banacek. In it the Boston-based detective went after vanished goods and then claimed the reward money from insurance companies when he solved the capers. read more


CBS is planning a JAG spinoff about naval crime investigators, it was announced Monday at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Hollywood. Joked CBS chief Leslie Moonves: "For those who say we aren't introducing a new CSI this year... Maybe we are!" But no worries, Catherine Bell fans — JAG's current cast will remain intact. In other CBS news, Touched by an Angel will end its nine-year run with a two-hour finale in May, and it appears as if the network's controversial reality series The Real Beverly Hillbillies is on hold. read more

Question: I was watching a ...

Question: I was watching a show the other day about a modern family living in a house during World War II in England. They were preparing for blackouts, building a bomb shelter in the back yard and buying food with ration cards. It was like 1900 House. The problem is I do not know what the name of the show is and I have no way of watching it again without the title. Do you know the name of this show?

Televisionary: Sounds to me like you caught an episode of 1940s House, the three-part PBS series that followed a modern family, the Hymers, as they struggled through nine weeks of life in London under World War II-era conditions. I don't believe it's currently being broadcast, but the series is available for purchase from PBS Home Video.

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Question: Let's go wayyyyy ...

Question: Let's go wayyyyy back to the '50s. I'm looking for a show about a little girl named Eloise who lived in the penthouse of the Plaza in New York City. I really want to know who the actress was and what program that was. My sister thinks it was a Playhouse 90 or a Hallmark Theatre. I'd really appreciate any info you could dig up. Thanks. — Phyllis B., Sarasota, Fla.

Televisionary: Your sister's a sharp one, Phyllis. Hang onto her.

In 1956, Playhouse 90 presented Eloise, a live broadcast based on author and performer Kay Thompson's popular character, who first appeared in book form. Young Evelyn Rudie played the titular girl, a popular fictional New Yorker who did indeed live at the famed Plaza. Cast members included Hans Conried and Louis Jordan, w read more

Question: Did John Schneider ...

Question: Did John Schneider and Tom Wopat play Bo and Luke Duke the whole time The Dukes of Hazzard was on? I seem to remember other actors playing the roles, too. Thank you. — Beth K., Beach Haven, N.J.

Televisionary: Not quite, Beth, though your memory of substitute stars is halfway there.

Schneider (Smallville) and Wopat played the Charger-drivin' Duke boys from the time CBS launched the show in January 1979 until the spring of 1982, when they bailed out after battling with the suits over merchandising money they said they were owed. Now, before you go thinking they were just a couple of demanding, whiney stars, be aware there was serious money involved.

"[W]e picked up the newspaper and r read more

Question: I recently caught a ...

Question: I recently caught a Christmas episode of Spin City that featured Charlie Sheen. Some of the staff appeared to be in an orphanage distributing gifts. Is it me or was that little blonde girl (I think her name was Cindy) the same one from Taken? — Kayla, Austin, Tex.

Televisionary: Good eye, Kayla. Taken's small wonder, Dakota Fanning, did indeed play wee Cindy in the "Toy Story" episode, which originally aired on Dec. 20, 2000. As young as she is, you may also have spotted her on such shows as ER, Ally McBeal, The Practice, CSI and read more


"I have never been so excited to have people walk all over me for the rest of my life." — Hours star Nicole Kidman on receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Monday. read more

Question: What is the name of ...

Question: What is the name of the Charmed episode where Piper is made to think she's in a mental hospital and everything about her life (and everybody in it) is a fantasy? We've been watching the show daily on TNT and keep hoping it will be on, but it hasn't and I'm not even sure what season it's from. Thank you! — Karen, Horicon, Wis.

Televisionary: The episode in question is "Brain Drain" and it was originally broadcast on Nov. 8, 2001 (Season Four). Keep an eye on our listings to catch it next time it's on.

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Joe Millionaire: What the Butler Saw

Once upon a time, Paul Hogan's closest brush with fame was being confused with the star of Crocodile Dundee. However, since being pressed into service by the Fox hit Joe Millionaire, the merry old Englishman — not to mention his deceitful employer, noufaux riche playboy Evan Marriott — has become a bona fide celebrity. Naturally, now we want to know all about them. But would the genial major-domo tell tales on the erstwhile construction worker and sometime underwear model? Intent on finding out, TV Guide Online got Hogan on the horn, and guess what — the butler did it!
TV Guide Online: How did a fine, upstanding gent like yourself get involved in a project like this?
Paul Hogan:
Just luck, mate. A couple of months ago, I was between jobs, and the president [of the stewards guild] called me up and said, "We've got this gig over in France — a reality program with 20-odd young women. read more

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