Today's News: Our Take

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

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: 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

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: 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


ABC is developing a drama series described as a prequel to 1994's blockbuster Keanu Reeves action pic Speed. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show would take place five years before the film and center on the partnership between the SWAT team members played by Reeves and Jeff Daniels. As long as it doesn't resemble that atrocious 1997 Cruise Control sequel, we're game. read more


Actor Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman) was charged Friday with one misdemeanor count of possessing child pornography. The charges stem from an ongoing investigation involving character actor Jeffrey Jones (Ferris Bueller's Day Off), who, as reported, was arrested last week on a felony charge of hiring a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photos. Jones, who is free on $20,000 bail, will be arraigned in a Los Angeles court on Thursday. Reubens's arraignment is set for Dec. 19. Reubens, 50, and Jones, 56, are reportedly acquaintances. 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


The body count keeps piling up on HBO's The Sopranos. On last night's episode, Adriana's beloved pooch Cosette was killed when Christopher accidentally sat on her while high on heroin. Just a week earlier, Joe Pantoliano's Ralphie was whacked by Tony. read more


Harry Potter still has that magic touch at the box office. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the sequel to last year's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, grossed $87.7 million during its opening weekend — just $3 million shy of its predecessor's debut haul one year ago. That makes Secrets the third biggest opening on record, behind Spider-Man ($114.8 million) and Stone ($90.3 million). Last weekend's top grosser, Eminem's 8 Mile, saw a steep decline following its huge debut. The film fell to No. 2 with $21.3 million, down 58 percent from its opening weekend. Its 10-day total stands at a $86.4 million. Rounding out the top five: The Santa Clause 2 (No. 3 with $15.1 million), The Ring (No. 4 with $11 million) and th read more

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