Today's News: Our Take

ER Newcomer Lashes Out!

Apparently, the meek shall inherit the ER. On tonight's episode of NBC's medical drama, mild-mannered med student Michael Gallant finally lives up to his name when, after suffering months of abuse at the hands of the arrogant Dr. Pratt, he musters up the courage to strike back.

"Pretty much, he takes a stand," explains Sharif Atkins, Gallant's relieved portrayer. "He's been really a by-the-book, follow-the-rules, do-what-you've-been-told kind of guy. A good soldier. But part of being a leader and part of being your own person is knowing when to follow and when to lead — and then knowing when to take the lead."

A disagreement over how to treat two different patients causes the Army recruit to snap... or as Atkins puts it, "come into full bloom." As a result, the Gallant/Pratt power struggle is forever altered. "Not that he'll cease be read more

Meet Katie Holmes's Biggest Fan

Hmm... The stressed-out, overachieving college senior Katie Holmes plays in Abandon just happens to be named Katie, too. Coincidence? Nope! The film's writer-director, Stephen Gaghan — an Oscar-winner for his Traffic screenplay — is a die-hard fan.

"It's the furthest thing from a coincidence that exists in the movie business," quips Gaghan, who makes his feature directorial debut with this psychological thriller (opening Friday). "I wrote Abandon for Katie Holmes... Every movie I've written, I wrote with actors in mind. I wrote that policeman role in Traffic for Benicio del Toro. I'm goofy, but I read more

Question: Is there any place ...

Question: Is there any place on your site where I can view program schedules from the 1980s? — S.P., Boca Raton, Fla.

Televisionary: But of course. You can take a look at prime-time and Saturday-morning line-ups from the '50s through today in our 50th anniversary time-capsule section. (Be sure to take a look at some of our classic stories and ads while you're there.)

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Question: I've been catching ...

Question: I've been catching CHiPs reruns on TBS and was wondering if Erik Estrada, who played Ponch, was as much of a pain in the butt as I heard when that show was on. Was he? — Kim B., Lihue, Hawaii

Televisionary: Touch of insomnia, Kim? According to our lovable listings, TBS is running CHiPs in the wee, small hours of the morning.

Anyway, "pain in the butt" is a relative term, but the heartthrob (whose voice can currently be heard on The Cartoon Network's hilarious Sealab 2021) certainly took a hot temper along for the ride while straddling a California Highway Patrol cycle from September 1977 to July 1983 on the hit NBC show. Brought up poor in New York's tough East Harlem, the read more

Jonathan Jackson Looks Beyond Star Wars

A long time ago, in a galaxy not too far away, Jonathan Jackson was allegedly on George Lucas's short list of actors to take over the role of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones. At one point, Newsweek even said the former General Hospital teen idol was a virtual shoo-in to play the boy who would be Darth Vader. In the end, the force turned out to be with up-and-coming thesp Hayden Christensen — and Jackson couldn't have been happier.

"I personally wasn't even that excited about doing it, just because I didn't know how comfortable I'd be having my face on Pepsi cans all over the world overnight," Jackson confesses to TV Guide Online. "So, I actually read more

Question: I am a huge fan of ...

Question: I am a huge fan of Charmed, but I'm confused. How did Prue die? Did I miss something?

Televisionary: She was killed at the end of season three by the assassin demon Shax and her obituary showed up in a newspaper at the beginning of season four. (In reality, she was killed by Shannen Doherty's exit from the show.) Her death kicked off a sequence of events that brought about the arrival of new sister Paige (Rose McGowan).

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Question: Someone help. ...

Question: Someone help. Whatever happened to the superhero cartoons that used to come on after school in the 1970s (Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, Submariner, Spider-Man, Iron Man)? Is there a way I can still see these cartoons? Thanks a million. — Gregory R., Detroit, Mich.

Televisionary: Someone help? By Heimdall's beard, mortal, do you presume to invite others into my hallowed realm?

Sorry to geek out on you there, Gregory. How'd you like the Thor shtick? Not nearly as much as you'll like me telling you The Fantastic Four can be found on Boomerang, The Cartoon Network's classic-cartoon spinoff channel, I'll bet. (That is, of course, if your cable operator carries the channel.)

The other good news is that several '60s animated versions of various Marvel Comics properties are available on home video, though they may not be that easy to find. I don't like to give direct plugs to folks who really should be buying ads on our site (and thus read more

Question: During the promos ...

Question: During the promos for American Dreams, there is a song with the lyrics "I want to show you..." What is the title of this song? It's really pretty.

Televisionary: Sounds like you're thinking of Scarlet's "Independent Love Song," which can be found on the band's album Naked or on the Bed of Roses soundtrack. You may also have heard Martha and the Vandellas doing "Heatwave" or Michelle Branch's version of Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me." In addition, the network used the cuts "So Was Red," from the Shawshank Redemption soundtrack, and "Victory At Ed Parker's," from the Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story soundtrack.

And just to head off the next question from you American Dreams fans, the show's theme song is performed by Tonic's Emerson Hart.

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Undeclared Grad Stalks Creek Coed!

Look out, Katie Holmes! As the missing college boy in Abandon — opening Friday — Charlie Hunnam may or may not be stalking the Dawson's Creek star. Either way, he sure has his share of disturbing psychotic outbursts! His evil side is new to those who've only seen Hunnam as the suave theater major in Undeclared or the sexually adventurous gay teen in the U.K. version of Queer As Folk. The blond Brit tells TV Guide Online that his inspiration for madness came from an unlikely source...

"I see my mom in my performance when I get really angry," he reveals. "I just remember her [anger] when, as a child, I'd do something horrible to my brother or something. I've told her this — but she probably wouldn't be too thrilled that I was telling you!"

Um, maybe we shouldn't analyze that one too much further. But speaking of seeing red, did Hunnam lose his cool when Fox cancelled read more

Question: What show is Shemar ...

Question: What show is Shemar Moore on now? — Mary C., Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Televisionary: It depends on which show you mean, Mary. He hosts Soul Train, but is also a regular on the WB's new comic-book action series, Birds of Prey.

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