Today's News: Our Take

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: 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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The two surviving members of The Who will kick off their scheduled three-month U.S. tour tonight at the Hollywood Bowl — despite the sudden death of bassist John Entwistle last Thursday. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey say the first show will serve as a tribute to Entwistle. British session player Pino Palladino will fill in for Entwistle. read more


Producers of Fox's American Idol have disqualified one of the show's semifinalists for lying about his age. The identity of the contestant — who is 25 — will be revealed on Tuesday's show. 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

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


Marlon Wayans has signed on to star in the upcoming DreamWorks martial arts spoof Kung Fu Theater... Chris Rock and wife Malaak Compton-Rock became first-time parents of a baby girl, Lola Simone, on Friday... Juwanna Mann star Vivica A. Fox has filed for divorce from Christopher Harvest, her husband of three years... Officials in Walworth County, Wis., have OK'd The Grateful Dead's upcoming reunion show, scheduled to run Aug. 3-4 at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre. The group's initial request was denied over safety concerns. read more


Fox is developing a two-hour TV movie remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Rocky Horror Birthday Show is slated to air in February — 30 years after Richard O'Brien first penned the campfest as a London play. Although the update will include many of the same songs, it will feature a new concept. For example, Tim Curry's Dr. Frank-N-Furter character will morph from a scientist to a plastic surgeon. read more


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

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