Today's News: Our Take

Question: Are the SBC ...

Question: Are the SBC commercials narrated by Tommy Lee Jones? — Kelli, Loomis, Calif.

Televisionary: Yes, that is indeed Mr. Jones (Lonesome Dove, Men In Black) doing voiceover work for the telecommunications giant's ads.

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Longtime Price Is Right announcer Rod Roddy has suffered a relapse of colon cancer, the New York Post reports. Roddy will be taking two to three weeks off from encouraging contestants to "come on down" while he's recovering. read more


ABC could finally have another hit on its hands. The alphabet network plans to turn John Grisham's best-selling novel The Street Lawyer into an hourlong drama, according to Variety. The pilot will revolve around a young attorney who quits his high-paying gig at a big corporate firm in order to fight for the little guy. read more


Plans for a Gladiator sequel are moving forward, according to The Hollywood Reporter. John Logan, who helped pen the Academy Award winning picture in 2000, has been hired to write the follow-up. Meanwhile, Philip Seymour Hoffman has signed on to the as-yet-untitled Ben Stiller/Debra Messing comedy from Universal, and Jamie Lee Curtis has joined the cast of Freaky Friday. Curtis replaces read more


They like you, Conan O'Brien, they really like you! Sunday night's Emmy telecast heralded a return to good ol' Hollywood hijinks and glamour — and America tuned in to see it. The three-hour awards show averaged 19.8 million total viewers, with an estimated 40-45 million people watching at least some of it. According to a TV Guide Online poll conducted Monday, more than three-quarters of those surveyed gave O'Brien a thumbs-up on his hosting gig. For a complete Emmy wrap-up, click here. read more


Oscar-nominated actor Nick Nolte checked himself into a substance abuse clinic after his arrest earlier this month on suspicion of drunk driving, Variety reports. The Prince of Tides star, who has spoken about his heavy drinking in the past, "voluntarily entered" the treatment facility shortly after his run-in with the law. read more


The fall season's big forensics drama duel got underway last night and the premiere of CBS's CSI: Miami clobbered NBC's Crossing Jordan, according to preliminary ratings. The new CSI spinoff finished first at 10 pm; Jordan came in third, and was down double digits from its debut last season. CBS — which easily won the night — also posted strong numbers for its returning comedy block, headed by Everybody Loves Raymond. read more


The two older sisters of Mexican singing sensation Thalia Sodi, Ernestina and Laura, were kidnapped in Mexico City on Sunday evening, the New York Post reports. Sodi — who's married to Mariah Carey's ex and Sony Music head Tommy Mottola — is anxiously awaiting word about the whereabouts of her siblings after they were forced into a van by 10 assailants. read more


An apparently marriage-minded QVC fan is in trouble for visiting a home-shopping hostess's New Jersey home — bearing wedding rings and two plane tickets to Las Vegas! The 52-year-old Arizona man, Phillip M. Young, was acquitted of stalking QVC's Pat DeMentri, but did get sentenced to five years probation for trespassing. What's more, Young previously received three years probation for harassing another QVC personality, Lisa Robertson. Maybe the judge should just cut off his cable TV hookup. read more

Question: I was a h-u-u-u-ge ...

Question: I was a h-u-u-u-ge Knots Landing fan and always wondered about some of the gossip of the day. Is it true the cast hated each other? How did they really get along? Thanks for the answer. — Harry K., Newark, Del.

Televisionary: Well, on the screen, Knots Landing was about a community of ambitious, scheming, somewhat narcissistic people trying to get theirs via means ranging from upright and fair to downright nasty. Behind the scenes, it was pretty much the same thing.

But that's only to be expected when you consider that the series, which launched on CBS in December 1979 as a Dallas spin-off revolving around Ewing black sheep Gary (Ted Shackleford) and wife Val (Joan Van Ark), saw more than 100 cast members march across its sets by the time it left the air nearly read more

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