Today's News: Our Take

Lil' Zane Changes His Rap

Trash-talkin' rapper Lil' Zane — who got his big break jamming with 112 on their "Anywhere" track — will show hip-hop fans another side of himself on his next album, due out later this summer.

"I'm not cursing in my lyrics no more," he proudly declares. "Instead of using [expletives] or the wrong word, I come up with something clever for it." Because of record execs' pressure to push the envelope, the 18-year-old rapper thinks listeners may have the wrong impression of him. "I had people behind me that were older than me that were like, 'Write this,'" he says, referring to the racy rants on his debut album Young World: The Future. "All I could do was write. I was just trying to do what they wanted me to do."

Having made his film debut with Sean Connery in Finding Forrester — "I think it was kinda long, but it was a good movie," he says — Lil' Zane returns to the big screen in read more

Question: I swear there was a ...

Question: I swear there was a game show called Whew! on TV in the late '70s. I think there was a bonus round in which contestants had to face a row of cut-out monsters and somehow knock them down by answering questions. My friends think I'm crazy, and when I describe it aloud, it certainly does sound more like a bad dream than a game show. Was it real? Thanks. — Jenny


Now, Jenny, your friends simply have to learn that when someone swears, it simply must be true. At least, they'll see that this time since Whew!, hosted by Tom Kennedy, ran on CBS's daytime schedule from April 1979 to May 1980.

The basic setup was this: One player, the blocker, placed a series of "blocks" on a board while the other player was out of the room. Then the other player, the charger, came back and, choosing squares by their dollar amounts, had to correct a serious of erroneous facts hidden behind each square and make it to the top of the board in 6 read more

Question: I am looking for ...

Question: I am looking for the name of the TV series that had a character named Jim Anderson. Can you help me with so little information given to you? Thank you in advance! — DD


That would be Father Knows Best, which featured the warm, nuclear-family experiences of Jim Anderson (Robert Young); wife Margaret (Jane Wyatt); son James Jr., aka "Bud" (Billy Gray); and daughters Betty, aka "Princess" (Elinor Donahue) and Kathy, aka "Kitten" (Lauren Chapin). On the series, which managed to appear on CBS, NBC and ABC during its initial 1954-63 run (only repeats ran after the 1959-60 season), Jim worked for the General Insurance Company during the day and served as counsel for his family at night.

The show started off as a radio series in 1949, read more

Question: Hi. What is the ...

Question: Hi. What is the name of Ben Stein's co-host : Nancy P...? — Ed


Why, that's writer and comedian Nancy Pimental matching wits and sparring with the monotone conservative on Comedy Central's Win Ben Stein's Money (weeknights, 7:30 pm/ET), Ed.

Mind you, the lady's more than just a pretty face — and certainly needs to be if she hopes to hold her own against the brainy, biting Stein. Originally from Massachusetts, she's got a degree in chemical engineering and has done some writing for the network's other hit, South Park. In addition, she's got standup experience and has a few screenplays in circulation, so expect to hear more from her.

read more

Question: My brother and I ...

Question: My brother and I were trying to remember an old show from when we were young, but cannot remember the name. It was about a dog that wandered around and made friends with a different family each week. Some of the words from the theme song were: "Travelin' around from town to town / Sometimes I think I'll settle down / But I know I'm destined to be free / Driftin's the only life for me." Can you help us remember the show? Also, who sang the theme song and what was the exact title? Thanks!


Actually, those last two lines are: "But I know I'd hunger to be free / Rovin' is the only life for me."

The show in question was the syndicated Canadian series The Littlest Hobo, which followed the adventures of a german shepherd named London who rode the freights and, as the song says, wandered from town to town. Much like read more

Cosby's Raven-Symoné Grows Up

Former Cosby Show cutie Raven-Symoné (she played Lisa Bonet's pint-sized stepdaughter) has no intention of following in the footsteps of Dana Plato (Diff'rent Strokes) and Anissa Jones (Family Affair) — both of whom were casualties of TV's child-star curse.

"I do the best that I can not to end up like that," the now-15-year-old actress tells TV Guide Online. "[My] family keeps me very down to earth. And I was raised in Atlanta, not really in Hollywood." What's more, she says her friends warn her if "they see anything starting to look just a little bit big-headed."

Of course, the exception being if Symoné ever finds herself sharing screen time with a young hottie like rapper Lil' Zane — who plays her love interest in Dr. Dolittle 2 (opening Friday). "I called up every single read more

Lifetime Star's Real-Life Drama

When you see Any Day Now's Donzaleigh Abernathy playing a veteran of the 1960s civil rights era, she's not merely regurgitating lines from a script — she's reliving her history. "My father is Ralph David Abernathy, and he and his best friend Martin Luther King, Jr. founded the civil rights movement together," the actress proudly tells TV Guide Online. "On the show, I play the wife of a civil rights lawyer, and so I have to relive events like my mother, Juanita, would have gone through. It gives me a new perspective on what I saw as a little girl, and a newfound respect for my mother."

Indeed, a young Abernathy saw things most people would hope to shield from their kids' eyes: Her family stood on the front lines of the war for racial equality, enduring bombings and beatings. And as is recorded in the history books, King himself died in her father's arms. In her early days on Any Day Now, such memories often made her work that read more

Fast and Furious Love Triangle

The Fast and the Furious isn't just a macho action-thriller about speedy autos and the hunky men who drive them. And that was bad news for star Paul Walker — who plays an undercover cop romancing Jordana Brewster in the flick (skidding into theaters Friday).

"I had to do a love scene with Jordana [and] she was dating Mark Wahlberg at the time," he tells TV Guide Online. "And there was a rumor that he wanted to be on the set the day Jordana and I locked lips. I kept looking around to see if he was there. I admit I was a little nervous, but it was cool: Mark never appeared and Jordana was a complete sweetheart. The only downside was hearing the crew snickering while we were trying to get it on."

Walker felt a little more comfortable cozying up to the film's other stars — the cars. "I grew up around them," says the 27-year-old read more

Father's Day, Sopranos Style

Since in his movies he has tried to murder youngsters ranging from Edward Furlong to Josh Hartnett, Robert Patrick probably would be the last person anyone would expect to receive a Father's Day card. Yet the silver-screen heavy's paternal instincts come shining through off-duty, according to John C. Hensley, his son in a memorable second-season story arc on The Sopranos.

"When I found out I was going to be on that show, I felt like a little kid who had been called out in the hall to fight a bully," he relates to TV Guide Online. "But Robert — whether he saw how terrified I was or without even knowing it — turned all my anxiety into excitement by basically being cool."

In fact, The X-Files leading man — and real-life dad of two — offered his baby-faced colleague the best piece of advice that he ever expects to receive. After a day of read more

Sitcom Star's Jurassic Lark

If you reported for work and found extraterrestrial velociraptors in place of colleagues, you'd probably start listening for narration by Rod Serling. However, when Just Shoot Me co-star Enrico Colantoni found himself in that scenario, he knew at once that he hadn't entered The Twilight Zone, but simply had arrived for his guest appearance on The Outer Limits, the Sci Fi Channel's update of the 1960s anthology series.

"In this story, Earth's air is becoming poisonous," he tells TV Guide Online, "so these alien dinosaurs bring us a technology that zaps a human being 90 light years away to another planet. The person on Earth gets destroyed while simultaneously being regenerated in this other place."

Unfortunately, in the course of the episode (airing tonight at 10 pm/ET), the process goes awry, and an Earthling winds up in two worlds at once — a scenario that presents to Colantoni read more

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