Today's News: Our Take


Question: The new series Dead ...

Question: The new series Dead Last stopped its run and I've not heard anything about why they stopped it. Do you know why it's not showing anymore? It looked like a really good show. — Ann, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Televisionary: Unfortunately for you and the WB, not enough people agreed with you and the series came in, well... just about dead last in the ratings. Color me superstitious, but I think titles like that too often serve as a bad omen for a show's success. Let that be a lesson to any of you planning to pitch TV versions of The Unseen, Don't Look Now or Switching Channels.

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Question: I remember a '70s ...

Question: I remember a '70s show called Hot Dog. It aired before or after Love, American Style on weekdays, if I remember correctly. Is this show a figment of my imagination? If not, where can I find information about it? — Elizabeth D., Chicago, Ill.

Televisionary: Where do you find more information? Right here, my dear — and you're about to.

I don't know if you saw re-runs on weekdays or not, but Hot Dog's first run was on NBC's Saturday-afternoon schedule, where it aired for a year beginning in September 1970. Created by Frank Buxton, who cut his educational teeth as host of the earlier kid's program Discovery, the show did its darndest to teach wee viewers something after they'd just had their noggins filled with cereal ads plus half-hour programming that was really cereal and toy ads in disguise.

Hot Dog revealed the secrets read more

Question: What was Lt. ...

Question: What was Lt. Columbo's first name? — Chris R., Little Neck, N.Y.

Televisionary: You've managed to hit upon one of the few mysteries never solved on the show, Chris (another being why the upper class seemed to view homicide as a pastime). Columbo, which rotated with Dennis Weaver's McCloud and Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James's McMillan and Wife to form the NBC Mystery Movie from September 1971 to September 1977 before showing up on ABC's ABC Mystery Movie from February 1989 to February 1993, never quite said. Instead, the lovable, disheveled detective (Peter Falk), whose odd manner and dog-in-the-rain demeanor fooled many a read more

Question: Who was the actress ...

Question: Who was the actress that played Isis on the Saturday morning show? — Art

Televisionary: My June 11 Shazam! answer got you curious, huh? Joanna Cameron played both the goddess-powered Isis and her alter ego, high schooler Andrea Thomas, on The Shazam/Isis Hour and its spin-off, Secrets of Isis.

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Question: It's really ...

Question: It's really impossible for people to believe a joker! I have a tendency to play around a lot, but I know my stuff. Yet no one believes me when I say that Brittany Murphy played the title character Blossom. Could you prove to everyone that I may play, but I'm no dummy when it comes to entertainment? — Jay-Lo, Tampa, Fla.

Televisionary: I'm sad to say that despite my awesome Television powers, even I can only prove things that are actually true. On this one, that just ain't the case.

Ms. Murphy appeared in a multi-part episode of Blossom in 1993, which may be what's causing the confusion for you. As fans know, she then went on to hit it big on the big screen with movies like Clueless and Don't Say A Word, but has also stayed active in the TV read more

Question: Is Anthony Michael ...

Question: Is Anthony Michael Hall, who stars in USA's The Dead Zone, the same person who was in The Breakfast Club? — Charmaine, Guntersville, Ala.

Televisionary: Yes, the formerly pint-sized comic actor, who started out in such John Hughes high-school hits as Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, has graduated to more adult fare. From being trapped under a coffee table to reading minds and seeing the future — not a bad jump.

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REST IN PEACE

A private memorial service for late singer-actress Rosemary Clooney will be held Wednesday at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. A public service is scheduled for Dec. 9 in Los Angeles. Clooney — who died Saturday from complications of lung cancer — will be buried Friday in her hometown of Maysville, Ky. read more

Jill Clayburgh: Viva La Vamp


These days, you can TV surf and find acting vet Jill Clayburgh on just about any channel. Whether she's playing Ally McBeal's mom on FX or weeping it up on Lifetime, the Emmy and Oscar-nominated actress — whose career has spanned over three decades — is one of Hollywood's most familiar leading ladies. But don't expect this 58-year-old beauty — who's dated Al Pacino and co-starred with Burt Reynolds — to pen a spicy tell-all book about it.

"I think it's just [for] desperate actresses who want to make a buck," Clayburgh tells TV Guide Online. "I mean it's one thing for Katharine Hepbur read more

FALLEN STAR

Legendary singer-actress Rosemary Clooney, best known for co-starring with Bing Crosby in White Christmas and for her 1951 hit record "Come on-a My House," died Saturday in her Beverly Hills home due to complications from lung cancer. "She was one of America's finest pop vocalists, with a clear, pure voice filled with warmth and sincerity," Tony Bennett said. "She was a wonderful person." Services are expected to be held in Beverly Hills and her hometown of Maysville, Kentucky. read more

K-19 Cast's Boozy Secrets


As if acting in a cramped submarine weren't rough enough, the cast of K-19: The Widowmaker also had to endure subzero temperatures in Russia and Canada. Oddly, actor Christian Camargo — who co-stars with Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson in the Cold War tale — didn't appear too uncomfortable. How did he manage to keep his cool in such frosty cold?

"That was acting!" laughs Camargo, a theater thesp who's only previously done indie films. "It was really freezing, especially with the authentic costumes we had to wear. In Moscow, we did a scene outside at two in the morning. Our coats were stiff with ice."

Fortunately, some Russians soon came read more

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