Today's News: Our Take

Will &#038 Grace Star Moves Into Trailer!

While on summer hiatus from Will &#038 Grace, Megan Mullally — who plays tart-tongued Manhattanite Karen Walker — has left behind the trappings of not-so-polite society. Especially her rich witch character's high-pitched voice.

"It's really very grating isn't it?" she grins. "It does not befit a wealthy resident of the Upper East Side. You'd think Karen would take some of her money and get it surgically altered or something."

Of course, her less than dulcet tones are hardly Karen's worst flaw — she mainly lives to dress down and rank out everyone in her path. In fact, Mullally's a bit concerned about fan response to her alter ego's cutting commentary. "A lot of people come up to me and say, 'Oh god, I'm just like Karen, that's what they [tell me] at the office,'" she laughs. "I'm like, 'You know what? The people in your office may not be giving you a compliment. You may be getting fired soon.'"

The sass read more

Question: Who played the part ...

Question: Who played the part of the Assistant District Attorney on Law &#038 Order before Sam Waterston?

Televisionary: Well, technically there's more than one answer to that. Richard Brooks portrayed Asst. DA Paul Robinette from the time the NBC series debuted until his departure in 1993. However, I assume you mean Michael Moriarty, who left the show after a very public tiff with L&#038O head man Dick Wolfe over the actor's outspoken criticism of then Attorney General Janet Reno and her effort to curb TV violence.

Wolf and NBC West Coast President Don Ohlmeyer took Moriarty along to a meeting with Reno, but they probably could've chosen someone a little better versed in diplomacy. Reno, Moriarty said in a letter urging President Bill Clinton to fire her, is a "mindless attack dog in the spirit of Joe McCarthy." And lest she miss out on that particular opinio read more

Survivor's Tina Takes on her "Twin"

The revelation by Survivor: The Australian Outback producer Mark Burnett that, for aesthetic reasons, he went back and re-shot certain sequences of the show using body doubles has reinvigorated the age old debate about just how real reality TV is. But Outback champ Tina Wesson admits she doesn't understand what the brouhaha is all about.

"I knew that they were going to use [the doubles] for aerial photos and things that are totally non-game related," she tells TV Guide Online. "It's just to get the shot, because they want to get us back at camp interacting — that's where the stories really take place, not standing around waiting for a helicopter to fly over and take a shot. So it's a very, very innocent thing. It's not a big deal at all."

Citing an example, Burnett said he reenacted an Outback swimming race with look-alikes wearing the same bathing suits as the contestants. And "the only other thing we've done is when the two t read more

Question: Please tell me if ...

Question: Please tell me if Robert Blake (Baretta) was one of the kids from Our Gang or The Little Rascals. I say no, my husband says yes. We have a bet riding on this. Thank you! — Debbie H.

Televisionary: Hubby wins, Debbie. However, before I get into that, allow me to head off any angry letters from readers who might assume I'm running this answer to piggyback on the actor's recent misfortune. This question came in weeks ago and, in a strange coincidence, I wrote the answer just a day or two before the recent death of Blake's wife.

But to settle this argument, Blake was born Michael James Vijencio Gubitosi. He entered show biz at the tender age of two in a song-and-dance routine he, his sister and his dad performed in his native Nutley, N.J. When he was five, his family relocated to Venice, Cal., and he did a five-year stint in Our Gang, playing a kid named — what else? — Mickey Gubitosi. After that, his most notable ch read more

Question: Why is Buffy going ...

Question: Why is Buffy going off the air? I am very mad and I can't believe it! That is my favorite show. I can't believe these people and don't tell me they are taking it off because there is nothing else to write about because there is. They can make up anything. They can even make up the demon that stops time. Please reply ASAP and try to stop it. — Deanne B.

Televisionary: Okay, Deanne. As I'm sure you've heard from many a teacher, you just cool your jets a second while I try to restore your faith in all things TV.

Buffy is not going off the air — it's merely jumping from the WB to UPN (though if you happen to live in a market without a UPN affiliate... sorry, but it might as well be cancelled). Why, you may ask, are the Buffinator and her undead-whompin' gang bailing to another network? Why, for the same thing that drives just about any decision made in Hollywood (no matter what they try to tell you): money. And lots of it.

See, in read more

Question: I saw on the news ...

Question: I saw on the news that some Bugs Bunny episodes are going to be shelved due to content that could be considered racist in 2001, but was not a big deal when the cartoons were made back in the '40s. Is this true? Can you expound on this matter? — M. Collins, San Jose, Cal.

Televisionary: Actually, 12 Bugs shorts are being kept out of The Cartoon Network's "June Bugs" event, which, starting the first of the month, will run down the entire body of B.B. cartoons, one after the other. And frankly, I can't say I blame the network folks.

Mind you, I'm a huge Bugs Bunny fan — I think that at their best, those cartoons are absolutely hilarious. But some of the gags in the omitted works include, for example, Bugs appearing in Al Jolson-like blackface, Bugs distracting a black hunter by rattling dice and Bugs calling a stereotypical eskimo "a big baboon." Other Bugs 'toons feature over-the-top Japanese, German and Native American characters as well. It's pr read more

Outback Champ Running on Empty

She braved 42 days of starvation, boredom and backstabbing, yet Survivor: The Australian Outback's $1 million victor, Tina Wesson, is finding it difficult to outlast another menacing foe: The media. Last Tuesday, after five days of non-stop interviews and appearances, the 40-year-old Tennessee nurse passed out after boarding a flight en route from New York to Los Angeles.

"It has just been very, very busy," Wesson tells TV Guide Online. "I've talked to my family like 10 minutes since I won. It's just you get up in the morning and you go until bedtime — it's a lot harder than I anticipated."

After being checked out by doctors, Wesson — who says her mini-spell can be partially blamed on a mild sleeping pill she had taken — was able to make the cross-country trek. However, she admits, "I still kinda feel like I've been hit by a train."

Well, if Wesson thinks she has it rough, the soft-spoken mother of two should step into the shoes of read more

X-Villain: Where There's Smoke...

On The X-Files, fluke worms grow to be Rock-sized, sharks walk on two legs, and UFOs take off more regularly than airline flights. In other words, anything can happen. So, although his character, the nefarious Cigarette-Smoking Man, took what appeared to be a fatal fall in last year's finale, William B. Davis believes that viewers might not have seen the last of him.

"[My fate] was left deliberately ambiguous," the actor tells TV Guide Online. "At the end of the season, they really didn't know if the series would be continuing. Once they found that it was, they didn't want to engage the new character [Doggett] in the old stories... so they've gone in a different direction.

"I don't know what their thoughts are now on those loose ends," he adds, "including me at the bottom of the stairs!"

Whether at last the villain really was served his just desserts, his portrayer doesn't see a little thing like his passing read more

Chris Isaak's Co-Star Tells All

Chris Isaak's self-titled Showtime series — airing Mondays at 10 pm/ET — isn't quite as semi-autobiographical as the rock star/actor would have you think. At least not according to co-star Kristin Dattilo, who plays his angsty, sleep-deprived manager, Yola.

Aside from mining his own adventures for the show's quirky plotlines, Dattilo tells TV Guide Online, "Chris has brought on a lot of people from his life who really were band members and ex-girlfriends. So I know it's not supposed to be his real life, but it so is. He's in such denial!"

Yes, but surely Isaak doesn't really seek advice from that nude blonde oracle who lives in the aquarium? Quips Dattilo: "Actually, I think in his real life he does speak to a lot of naked women."

As if working on The Chris Isaak Show — which has just been renewed for a second season — weren't surreal enough, the actress has her soap star sibling's troubles to contend with. Her brot read more

V.I.P. Vixen Mouths Off

As one of the shapely starlets of Pamela Anderson's popular jigglefest, V.I.P., Natalie Raitano knows from drama. Not so much the bullet-dodging, car-chasing sort — her stunt doubles handle that fuss and muss. Still, her daily life isn't all posing for photo shoots with big guns and tiny bikinis. In a telephone t&#234te &#224 t&#234te with TV Guide Online, Raitano boisterously opens up about her struggles as an actress and an animal lover — and her vow to defend gal pal Pam from tabloid tattletales. — Daniel R. Coleridge

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