Today's News: Our Take


Survivor: Marquesas's perky runner-up Neleh Dennis has been hired as a reporter for CBS's Salt Lake City affiliate KUTV, USA Today reports. Despite having no journalism experience, the 22-year-old will cover the entertainment beat for the station's 2 News This Morning. read more


Pacific Gas and Electric Co. says the upcoming basketball comedy Like Mike (opening tomorrow) could be harmful to children because a scene shows Lil Bow Wow retrieving a pair of shoes from a power line. "These are high-voltage power lines... and a little kid doesn't stand a chance," says a rep for the utility company. A 20th Century Fox spokesperson responds: "Like Mike is a fantasy about magic shoes. The scene is clearly not meant to be real or present behavior to be emulated by youngsters." read more


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


Big changes are underway at Rosie O'Donnell's self-titled magazine. Amid slumping newsstand sales, the former talk show host has fired her editor and will not appear on the cover anymore. "It was the same thing every month — me on the cover, hugging someone, looking uncomfortable," she tells Newsweek. "It had gotten boring." Additionally, O'Donnell says Rosie will be a little edgier (read: mean). "My nice thing, it wasn't an act," she says. "It was part of me, but not all of me. So get ready. The bitch ain't so nice anymore." I guess this means no more free Koosh Balls. read more

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


Actor-comedian-walking punchline Tom Arnold, 43, married girlfriend Shelby Roos, 30, Saturday in Los Angeles. This is the third marriage for Roseanne's ex. read more


American Idol semi-finalist Delano Cagnolatti was disqualified on last night's show for lying to producers about his age. Turns out, he's 29 — not 23. He was promptly replaced by 20-year-old Atlanta citizen EJay Day. In an article appearing in the July 20 issue of TV Guide magazine, Day called Cagnolatti's decision to fib about his age "desperate," adding, "I don't know why anyone would put the energy into lying for this." Well, Cagnolatti offered little explanation: "I don't have anything to say about American Idol anymore, ever." To read the complete text of the TV Guide story, click here. read more


Jean-Marie Messier has been forced out as chairman and chief executive of troubled media conglom Vivendi Universal amid concerns over the company's tumbling stock prices and colossal debt, Variety reports. An official announcement is imminent. 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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