Today's News: Our Take


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

CHOICE KUDOS

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was the big winner at last night's 29th Annual People's Choice Awards, tying with Spider-Man for best movie and winning for best dramatic motion picture. Friends was named fave comedy and CSI dethroned ER as TV's most popular drama. Other winners included: My Big Fat Greek Wedding (fave comedy film), CSI: Miami (best new TV drama) and 8 Simple Rules (best new TV comedy). By the way, in case you're wondering why Choice winner Jennifer Aniston limped on stage with a cane, it's because she recently broke her f read more

GILMORE BOYS

Also at the TCA press tour, the WB announced that it is developing a Gilmore Girls spinoff series centered around Rory's bad boy beau Jess, played by Milo Ventimiglia. The show would focus on Jess's relationship with his estranged father. Hey, Dean, there may be hope for you and Rory yet! Meanwhile, comedian Steve Harvey is returning to the WB as the star of his own variety/talk show. read more

CONTEMPLATE YOUR NAVAL

CBS is planning a JAG spinoff about naval crime investigators, it was announced today at the Television Critics 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, the Eye is staging some February sweeps casting stunts. Cheers alums Kelsey Grammer and Ted Danson will enjoy a reunion of sorts when Grammer visits Becker on Feb. 16. Meanwhile, Tyne Daly reunites with Cagney & Lacey co-star Sharon Gless, who guests on Judging Amy's Feb. 11 episode. Rosie O'Donnell also visits Amy as a family read more

AAHHH... BUNDY!

Fox will air a one-hour Married... With Children reunion special on Feb. 16, the same night the network broadcasts the 300th episode of The Simpsons. The entire Bundy clan — including Ed O'Neill, Katey Sagal, Christina Applegate and David Faustino — taped the retrospective over the weekend. read more

DID THEY READ THE REVIEWS?

The critically panned romantic comedy Just Married, starring real-life lovebirds Brittany Murphy and Ashton Kutcher, debuted atop the box office over the weekend with $18 million. That knocked The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which had been No. 1 for three straight weekends, to No. 2 with $15 million. Rounding out the top five: Catch Me If You Can (No. 3 with $14.8 million), Two Weeks Notice (No. 4 with $6.7 million) and About Schmidt (No. 5 with $6.3 million). read more

CASE CLOSED

Embattled AOL Time Warner chairman Steve Case announced Sunday that he will step down in May. "Some shareholders continue to focus their disappointment with the company's post-merger performance on me personally," he said in a statement. read more

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

FAREWELL

Bee Gees singer Maurice Gibb, 53, died Sunday at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami after going into cardiac arrest just prior to surgery for an intestinal blockage. Gibb's brother Barry is questioning the hospital's treatment of Maurice at the time of his death. "The fact that they had to operate on Maurice during the shock of cardiac arrest, is very questionable, and we will pursue every factor, every element, every second of the timeline of the final hours of Maurice's life," he told the BBC. "We will pursue that relentlessly. That will be our quest from now on." He added that Maurice's death had "decimated" the lives of his wife Yvonne, and their two children, Adam and Samantha. read more

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