Today's News: Our Take

Question: A while ago you ...

Question: A while ago you wrote about Columbo. What was the name of the cowboy cop who used to be on with him? — Jane S., Gorham, Maine

Televisionary: That "cowboy cop" was one Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud (Dennis Weaver), who journeyed from his native Taos, N.M., to New York City chasing an escaped prisoner and then decided to stay for a spell. McCloud debuted in 1970 in a series of special movies and then was put into rotation with McMillan and Wife and Columbo read more

Question: I remember watching ...

Question: I remember watching Grape Nuts ads that had Euell Gibbons in them when I was a kid. Who was he, anyway? — Tim W., Toledo, Ohio

Televisionary: Gibbons was a wild-foods expert and writer whose best-known works include Stalking the Wild Asparagus and Stalking the Healthful Herbs. Growing up in the dust bowl of New Mexico, Gibbons first learned about living off the land from his mother and then spent years adding to his knowledge by doing research in libraries and interviewing locals as he traveled around the country.

Along the way, he put in time as, among other things, a cowboy, newspaper writer, hobo, carpenter and teacher. In addition to his books, his writing appeared in such publications as National Geographic and National Wildlife.

As you say, he was probably best known for his '70s Post Grape Nuts ads, spots that landed him on such shows as read more

Question: I just started ...

Question: I just started watching the new medical TV show Presidio Med on Wednesday nights. And the plastic surgeon played by Sasha Alexander is soooo familiar looking to me. I've been racking my brain for weeks now, since I first saw a commercial for the show, trying to place her. Can you please tell me what other things she has been in? — Anie, West Dundee, Ill.

Televisionary: Golly, Anie. Dr. Jackie Colette may be a little stiff, but as far as I know the character's meant to be flesh and blood. Anyway, you may have spotted Alexander, who plays the good doctor on the new CBS drama, on the small screen on shows like Dawson's Creek or ABC's short-lived Wasteland. She also picked up checks for guest work on CSI, Friends, The Tracey Ullman Show and read more


Married... With Children alum Ed O'Neill has been tapped to play Joe Friday on ABC's upcoming remake of Dragnet. He replaces Danny Huston, who exited last week. The Dick Wolf-produced series bows in January. read more

Heavenly News: Barry Watson Beats Cancer!

When 7th Heaven's resident hunk Barry Watson broke the news to TV Guide Online last March that he was leaving the show to pursue other endeavors, little did anyone know that one of them would be fighting cancer. Well, the 28-year-old actor — who announced in May that he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease — has won the battle!

"He got cancer-free about a month ago," Brenda Hampton, Heaven's executive producer, tells TV Guide Online. "He takes the last [chemotherapy] session Wednesday and then hopefully in about a month he'll start looking great."

Although Watson has been MIA from Heaven since last spring, when his alter ego Matt got hitched and moved to New York, the star of Teaching Mrs. Tingle and Sorority Boys has remained a part of read more


Are moviegoers losing their appetite for a certain cannibal? Red Dragon, the latest installment in the Hannibal Lecter saga, grossed $37.5 million during its opening weekend — considerably less than the $58 million its predecessor, Hannibal, took in last year in its debut. Still, the far-superior Dragon set a record as the best October opening in history, surpassing 2000's Meet the Parents ($28.6 million). Last weekend's top film, Sweet Home Alabama, slipped to No. 2 with $21.6 million, followed by The Tuxedo (No. 3 with $10.1 million), My Big Fat Greek Wedding (No. 4 with $8.5 million) and Barbershop (No. 5 with $6.8 million). Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie opened at No. 6 with $6.5 million, and read more


Bon Jovi's new album Bounce will hit stores on schedule Tuesday after a federal judge refused to delay the CD's release at the request of an Internet company. According to The Associated Press, DownloadCard Inc. claimed a promotional program accompanying Bounce was "precisely the program" it created and offered to Universal Music Group. read more


That's what fans of Saturday Night Live were asking themselves this weekend when the show kicked off its 28th season. Despite talk that Darrell Hammond might succeed Will Ferrell as President Bush, America's commander in chief was nowhere to be found. (A new Bush reportedly is in the works.) The absence of Dubya (well, really Ferrell) clearly had an impact on the ratings: Saturday's premiere was off 14 percent from 2001. read more


The 2-year-old daughter of actors Jude Law and Sadie Frost was hospitalized Saturday after swallowing part of an ecstasy pill at a children's party in west London. Little Iris — who had to have her stomach pumped — reportedly picked the pill up off the floor. She was released from the hospital Sunday morning. read more


David Letterman is making Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson an offer he apparently can't refuse. On Thursday's Late Show, Letterman said he would pay for new road signs on the highway that circles Indianapolis if Peterson renamed the interstate "Dave Letterman Expressway." "You know, Dave, I will tell you, I like that idea," the mayor said. In case you're wondering, Letterman hails from Indianapolis. read more

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