Today's News: Our Take


THE TRUMPS?

There's a minidrama unfolding behind the scenes of MTV's smash reality series The Osbournes — and no, we're not referring to Lola's inevitable tell-all. According to Variety, Ozzy and his dysfunctional clan are seeking a high seven-figure fee to return for a second season. That's a lot of diet soda. read more

YADA, YADA, YADA...

Miramax Films has landed worldwide rights to Comedian, a documentary about Jerry Seinfeld's year-long post-Seinfeld standup tour. No release date is set. read more

Question: I'm in a bind here. ...

Question: I'm in a bind here. I seem to remember a cartoon version of Happy Days that had Richie, The Fonz and the gang time-travelling in a boat. But no one else can recall such a thing. Am I going crazy or did this cartoon really exist? — Chris, Anaheim, Calif.

Televisionary: I'm tempted to tell you that you are indeed touched in the head and are well on your way to imagining other delusion-spawned shows, like, say, an animated Brady Bunch where Greg, Marsha and the kids run around with two pandas and a magical bird. The thing is, as whacked as those shows sound, The Brady Kids and The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang really did exist, the latter running on ABC's Saturday-morning schedule from November 1980 to September 1982.

The set-up was that Cupcake, a girl from the future, visited '50s-era Milwaukee, picked up Fonzie (Henry Winkler), Richie (Ron Howard) and Ralph Malph (Donny Most) and took them reeling through read more

SHORT CUTS

Clint Eastwood was appointed to the California State Park and Recreation Commission on Monday... Frasier's Kelsey Grammer has made a six-figure donation to his high-school alma mater, Pine Crest School, in Fort Lauderdale... Forest Whitaker has signed on to host UPN's Twilight Zone update, which is vying for a slot on the fall schedule... Universal is releasing Oscar-winning flicks A Beautiful Mind and Gosford Park on video and DVD on June 25... CBS has landed TV rights to the current box-office smash Panic Room. read more

THE WRITE STUFF

Survivor: Marquesas contestant Tammy Leitner — one of nine remaining castaways — was honored over the weekend by The Associated Press Managing Editors of Arizona for a series of stories she wrote about swimming-pool drownings while a reporter for the East Valley Tribune. read more

MEET THE BABIES

Ben Stiller and wife, actress Christine Taylor, are the proud parents of a baby girl, born last week in Los Angeles. This is the couple's first child. Meanwhile, Hannibal actress Julianne Moore gave birth to her second child, a girl, last week. Her longtime companion, director Bart Freundlich, broke the news to E! News Live. read more

DUDE, WHERE'S MY SEQUEL?

Believe it or not, it's headed to a theater near you. Twentieth Century Fox is planning a sequel to Dude, Where's My Car? titled, Seriously Dude, Where's My Car?. Production on the follow-up will likely get underway next year during Ashton Kutcher's summer hiatus from That '70s Show. read more

MARATHON MAN

ABC Family will air an animated Spider-Man marathon during the Memorial Day weekend featuring classic and modern-day episodes of the four Spider-Man series. The live-action Spider-Man feature lands in theaters on May 3. read more

Question: I wasn't going to ...

Question: I wasn't going to bore you with the history of this question, but I will anyway. A guy in the office and I got into this stupid contest where we'd take turns whistling TV theme songs and the other one would have to guess it. When I whistled Mannix, we got off on this discussion about the star and what he'd done. Was he on any shows before that? Thanks for answering this, if you do. — Chris V., Warrington, Pa.

Televisionary: No problem, Chris, but first do you mind telling me what kind of job you have where you can fritter away the hours like that on the boss's dime? (I'm praying it's not one supported by my tax dollars. Then again, as long as you stick to TV tunes, okay by me.)

Mannix star Mike Connors got his start in TV playing an unnamed undercover cop (he was occasionally referred to as Nick, but otherwise his name changed from week to week, depending on the identity he adopted) on CBS's Tightrope, which ran for a year begin read more

Question: On the show ...

Question: On the show Crossing Jordan, there is a character whose name is so long that every one calls him "Bug." Does he have a "real" name and, if so, what is it? — Jo, Conway, Ark.

Televisionary: I'll tell you, Jo, but I just want you to know that the name is so darned long our tech people had to install a larger hard drive on our server just to hold the page. Prepare your eyes for the strain whilst I limber up my typing fingers...

Ready? On the NBC crime drama, forensic entomologist "Bug" is blessed with the birth name Mahesh Vijayaraghavensatyanaryanamurthy. But given his job — as regular viewers know, he uses his knowledge of insects to help solve crimes — it's a heck of a lot easier to call him "Bug" since by the time a colleague finished wrestling with that moniker, any perp would have long ago skipped town.

And for all you skeptics out there, the name's authentic, according to actor Ravi read more

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