When you think of The Muppet Show, what do you remember? Glamour? Sure. Miss Piggy wrote the book on style. Laughs? You bet, and lots of 'em, thanks to Fozzie Bear. Excitement? Pshaw. No adventurer ever threw himself into a stunt more enthusiastically or more literally than Gonzo the Great. And heart? Yeah, you read that right heart. Amid all of the comical chaos, one Muppet embodied the sweet sentiments of friendship and inclusion that were the hallmarks of the ensemble's creator, the late Jim Henson. As TV Guide Online celebrates the 25th anniversary of The Muppet Show today, it seems to us that what the world needs now is more Muppets and humans like the variety program's good-natured ringleader, Kermit the Frog.
TV Guide Online: The old show
Although polls indicate that a majority of Americans want the World Trade Center's Twin Towers rebuilt, CNBC's Wall Street wiz, Maria Bartiromo, isn't ready to support such an effort. "To be honest, I don't know if I'd want to work in a building that tall," she confesses to TV Guide Online. "It's so sad to look at our skyline now, but maybe from a safety point of view... I don't know. I'm on the fence about it."
Bartiromo (aka the "Money Honey") certainly has reason to be apprehensive: The popular host of Market Week was just blocks away from Ground Zero when disaster struck. "I was in my office [at the New York Stock Exchange] getting ready to go on the air with one of my updates and I saw on TV that one tower was on fire," she recalls. "I ran outside and called my office, and [while] I was on the phone, a plane comes out of nowhere and crashes right into the second tower. I couldn't believe what I just saw."
And before she could even begin to proc
When Saturday Night Live kicks off its 27th season this weekend, it will do so without its most popular character: President George W. Bush. In fact, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have led producers to put the kibosh on political humor altogether.
"I think in some ways we've seen Bush transform into a real leader," Dubya impersonator Will Ferrell tells TV Guide Online. "There's also a collective spirit at Saturday Night Live that this is not the time to make fun of anything political or topical. We're very sensitive to that and we're going to have to play it by ear.
"Frankly," he adds, "there's only one topic that's on anyone's mind right now, so our first shows are going to be more light-hearted and character-based."
That said, Ferrell believes that the long-running sketch comedy can provide an important public service during this difficult time. "In the
Though Sherri Shepherd admits Suddenly Susan was a "sinking ship" when she joined the sitcom during its final season, the actress still adores pal and former co-star Brooke Shields. "When I was chewing gum during my wedding," she winks to TV Guide Online, "Brooke tapped me on the shoulder and made me spit the gum out in her hand. That's how wonderful she is!"
Despite her affection for Shields and wacky castmate Kathy Griffin, there's no love lost between Shepherd and Susan's writing staff, who denied her an on-screen beau due to her weight. The plus-size performer says hunky co-star Nestor Carbonell who's now on Fox's The Tick met with reluctance from scribes when he asked that his Latin loverboy, Luis, be romantically paired with her saucy secret
Question: The media is oversaturating the American public once again with coverage of the terrorist attacks and it's becoming very depressing. We do want to know if anything new arises, but the constant coverage, the crawl, the oversensationalism (and that's for money, not patriotism) is a continuous depressant and we'd like to know when the normal broadcasting will resume.
Televisionary: Well, as you read this, the networks' usual programming is back and running steady, but I'd like to address your comments just the same because I'm writing it only a few days after the initial plane crashes and am feeling pretty strongly about a number of things.
First off, in a situation this extraordinary, this devastating, the job of any news division is to get the details out there as quickly, responsibly and accurately as possible. Now, the world changed on September 11. The ramifications of the atrocities committed, beyond the unspeakable pain and suffering brought about by the kil
Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman: the pioneers of entertainment's Aussie invasion. Yet Simon Baker, one peer from their homeland and the star of the new CBS drama The Guardian (premiering tonight at 9 pm/ET), insists that American actors need not feel threatened by the influx of Down Underlings.
"It's just a coincidence," says Baker. "There have always been many Australians attempting to succeed on the world stage. It's just that, at the moment, a few more than usual are succeeding.
"But the ones from Down Under who speak a bit weirder," he adds with a smile, "haven't always been so prominent."
American TV audiences may have reaso
Question: My friend and I disagree over who starred in Simon & Simon. She says Perry King and Gerald McRaney, but I say that it was Parker Stevenson and Gerald. Who is right? I have been looking for info on the information superhighway but haven't found anything yet. We would greatly appreciate your help. Thanks bunches. Florell
Televisionary: Oh, Florell. Have you any idea what this dispute of yours would probably do to poor Jameson Parker's feelings? You see, when the actor was riding high and starring with McRaney in the hit series which was originally supposed to be called Pirate's Key before it ran on CBS from November 1981 to December 1988 the prospect of such mistakes was already keeping him up at night.
"When you look at the names of actors in TV Guide from 10 years ago, there aren't many names you remember," he said in 1985, motivated by the fact that though the show was popula
Meet Toni, whose store-bought bosom puts her fellow female contestants on guard right from the start on Fox's Love Cruise (debuting tonight at 9 pm/ET on Fox). "I don't mind what people say [about my plastic surgery]. Why do you think I got them?" the brassy blonde proudly declares during a round of the boat-based reality series's "Hot Seat" competition. "I wanted to make myself more attractive to men. It was my choice, my money and I did what I had to do."
Oh, to remember the simpler times of Love Boat, when the most bawdy banter stopped and started with, "Would you like to come in for a night cap?" Instead, Love Cruise in which eight eligible men share a boat with eight single women aims to make serious waves. "This is a very raucous, salacious, gregarious and even exhibitionist cast," host Justin Gunn teases TV Guide Online. "Each and every one of them is a grand personality with a lot to give."
Question: What were some of the more popular shows of 1976?
Televisionary: Well, since we're actually talking about two seasons in any given calendar year for example, the tail end of 1975's fall season and the first half of 1976's it's a whole host of programming. But because I like that time-capsule stuff, I'll give you a taste.
The top five shows for September 1975-April 1976, together with each one's network and rating (percentage of total TV households in the country at that time) were: All in the Family (CBS, 30.1); Rich Man, Poor Man (ABC, 28.0); Laverne & Shirley (ABC, 27.5); Maude (CBS, 25.0) and The Bionic Woman (ABC,
Question: What was Laura Petrie's maiden name?
Televisionary: Oh, please, mortal. You think to test me not only with your question, but also with the omission of the specific show?
The maiden name of Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore
), wife of Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke
) on The Dick Van Dyke Show
, was Meehan.