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Question: In the late '70s or ...

Question: In the late '70s or early to mid-'80s there was a television show called Merlin. The lead character was Merlin, played by Barnard Hughes. Who played the part of Arthur? Thank you.

Televisionary: Actually, the show was called Mr. Merlin and there wasn't an Arthur in sight. There was, however, a Zac (Clark Brandon), who, one could argue, filled the Arthur role (provided you forget all about Arthur wielding a legendary sword, being cuckolded by his best pal, sending his friends on a disastrous quest, etc.).

Max Merlin (Blossom's Hughes) was the ancient magician, who by the early '80s had moved from grand castles and sorcery to a San Francisco garage and fixing cars. The fun began when he decided to teach Zac the wonders of sorcery, whereupon the new apprentice launched into the usual problems with spells gone awry and the troubles of keeping his powers a secret from mere mortals. Rounding out the cast were Jonathan Prince read more

Jeepers Ups the Fear Factor


Don't misunderstand Justin Long: He has a healthy respect for Scream, the ultra-ironic splatter flick that pumped new blood into the scary-movie industry. But he still is frightfully confident that thrill-seeking cinephiles will prefer his new film, Jeepers Creepers, about a pair of siblings terrorized on a road trip by a supernatural bogeyman who makes the Blair Witch come off like Betty Boop.

"Scream was great," the actor tells TV Guide Online, "but then they made 20 other pictures just like it, and the audience just gets sort of sick of that. Jeepers is more like old-fashioned horror: It's horror that trusts itself and the genre, and doesn't rely on satire or slasher [effects].

"I think it will be a breath of fresh air," he continues, "for people who haven't seen a classic horror movie in theater read more

NYPD Blue Babe's Steamy Wish


If you were among those NYPD Blue fans impatiently waiting for something — anything — to happen between Henry Simmons and Garcelle Beauvais's lovestruck characters last season, Beauvais feels your pain. Actually, so does her real-life spouse, CAA talent agent Mike Nilon. Admits the actress: "My husband really wants me to get steamier with Henry."

Beauvais may want to be careful what her significant other wishes for. Considering the ABC cop show's penchant for showcasing its stars' derrières (among other private parts), a full-blown love affair between her ADA Valerie Heywood and Simmons's Det. Baldwin Jones can only mean one thing. "Can I tell you? It's coming," she laughs of her inevitable nude scene. "I don't know when, but probably November sweeps."

Well, if ever Blue producers were going to take advantage of their actors' in-the-raw clauses, now would be read more

Any Day Now Star Learns His Lesson


When it comes to solving the eternal mystery of what women really want, four years of playing hubby to Annie Potts on the female-dominated Lifetime series Any Day Now (airing Sundays at 10 pm/ET) have given Chris Mulkey more than a little insight. And now, he's ready to help his fellow man figure out the fairer sex. "I'm opening up a Collier Sims Academy for the Right Male," he chuckles to TV Guide Online in character, "and we're going to train those guys!"

Certainly, ladies across the country will rush to enroll their spouses on hearing the institute's founding father speak. "Since the show began, I've learned an incredible amount of patience," he admits, adding words designed to send shivers down the female spine, "as well as the ability to listen."

And while the actor says there's no big secret behind what makes his alter ego such a great mate ("He's steadfast, has a conscience, a good heart and is just a read more

ER Alum Joins the CIA


When Gloria Reuben was recruited for CBS's upcoming CIA thriller The Agency (airing Thursdays at 10 pm/ET beginning Sept. 20), she knew full well that the network planned to schedule the show opposite her alma mater, NBC's still-potent ER. But incurring the wrath of her former colleagues was hardly her primary concern. "I thought, 'They must really feel confident about this show,'" she laughs to TV Guide Online.

Well, Tiffany execs no doubt feel more secure about The Agency's chances now that they have stolen one of the medical drama's most valuable alums. Surely, Reuben — who left ER in 1999 to sing back-up for Tina Turner on the pop diva's world tour — feels a smidgen of guilt about going to work for the competition, right? "I never really thought about it that way," she admits. "I'm certainly not forbidden to do any show Thursday night read more

Marisa Tomei's Oscar Curse


Ever since snagging her supporting actress Oscar for 1992's My Cousin Vinny, Marisa Tomei — along with the likes of Mira Sorvino and Tatum O'Neal — has been held up as an example of the "Supporting Actress Curse." Popular lore says her past victory precludes any chance of achieving commercial success or lead actor status again. But almost a decade later, with a slew of films slated for next year, Tomei doesn't feel she's under any sinister spell.

"My Cousin Vinny was my second movie!" she tells TV Guide Online. "[I wasn't on] the usual path, where you're working and you've done a whole bunch of movies, and you win an Oscar and a whole bunch more open up. I wasn't doing any movies, and read more

Freddie Prinze Jr.'s Prankster Rap


Matinee idol Freddie Prinze Jr. won't dish about his impending nuptials to Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Sarah Michelle Gellar — "We never talk about the personal stuff" — but ask him about setside horseplay on his baseball flick, Summer Catch (opening Friday), and you'll get an earful! Let's just say, the 25-year-old gives new meaning to the term "man-child."

Having heard about the pranks Prinze pulled on previous co-stars Julia Stiles and Claire Forlani, Catch's read more

Woody Allen: Separating Fact from Fiction


For someone who claims to be publicity shy, legendary filmmaker Woody Allen is everywhere these days talking up his latest movie, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (opening Friday). Turn on NBC's Today show, and there he is shooting the breeze with Katie Couric. Open up The New York Times, and presto — he's on the cover of the "Weekend" section. Heck, you might even run into the four-time Oscar winner at your local jazz club as he tours with his band in a cross-Curse promotion. (A classy and palatable marketing campaign designed by DreamWorks — the studio behind the pic — apparently coaxed Allen out of his celluloid closet.) Fearing that such an opportunity may never present itself again, TV Guide Online sat down with Allen and gave him a chance to clear up some long read more

Scream Star's Life Endangered


Sports-related injuries are unavoidable on a baseball movie, but Matthew Lillard — that slash-happy, rubberfaced fiend from Scream and Serial Mom — feels lucky to have survived the filming of Summer Catch (opening Friday).

After buddy Freddie Prinze Jr. helped him get cast, the boyish 31-year-old actor showed up on Catch's North Carolina set suffering from severe headaches. "There was literally nothing I could take — I thought it was sinuses," he tells TV Guide Online. "I called my wife and told her I was dying."

Turns out, he really wasn't exaggerating: Doctors discerned that the actor's pain was caused by read more

Nicole Kidman: "It's a Horrible Time"


Nicole Kidman's spooky new thriller The Others enjoyed remarkable staying power at the box office over the weekend, holding steady at No. 4 with more than $10 million. It's a bittersweet development for the 34-year-old actress, who, under different circumstances, would no doubt have been celebrating the film's sleeper success with her ex, Others's co-producer Tom Cruise. Instead, she's forced to maintain a brave public face while Cruise makes the rounds with his new squeeze, Pen&#233lope Cruz.

"It's a really tough, horrible time," Kidman confesses to TV Guide Online. "I'm trying to focus on my children. My primary concern is being there for them. I'm just trying to be the best mother I can." Incident read more

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