Today's News: Our Take

Question: When I was a child, ...

Question: When I was a child, I loved this show called Doctor Who. I remember that it was on PBS, but no one else has ever even heard of it. I know I'm not crazy. It was about a scientist who traveled in an English phone booth to other planets and fought aliens. I know this sounds far-fetched, but I remember it clear as day. I remember that he always wore a scarf around his neck and a long coat. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! — Lori


No one else has ever heard of it? Obviously, you need to hang with the comics convention and role-playing crowd a little more, dear lady. Then again, maybe it's easier to just read about it here.

I'll admit, though, that "easy" isn't a concept that applies to summing up the legendary Doctor Who, which was broadcast by the BBC from 1963-89 in its initial run, making it the world's longest-running TV series (and one that I'll add to my long list of series with top-notch theme songs) read more

Question: Was Sarah Michelle ...

Question: Was Sarah Michelle Gellar ever on a show called Swans Crossing? — Jasmyne B.

Televisionary: That she was, Jasmyne, though Gellar's snotty, rich-kid character was far closer to Cruel Intentions's dark-hearted and scheming Kathryn Merteuil than Buffy the Vampire Slayer's heroic (and, for now, martyred) Buffy Summers. (Also worth mentioning among the young cast was Mira Sorvino, who went on to win an Oscar as the statuesque hooker in Mighty Aphrodite.)

Broadcast in 1992 in its initial run, the syndicated soap opera was aimed at the pre-teen and teen market who, it was hoped, would also shell out their allowance and babysitting bucks for the line of read more

Chris Tucker: Rising Star

Rush Hour 2 helmer Brett Ratner sums up the appeal of star Chris Tucker pretty simply. "He's funny as hell," the director grins. "He's funny if he just says, 'Hey, maaan.'"

Taking his comedy a bit more seriously, Tucker boasts that his work has "evolved tremendously" since his early days. "I always knew I wanted to keep going to another level," says August's GQ cover boy, who's cleaned up his dialogue plenty since his last collaboration with Ratner, Money Talks.

Rush — hitting theaters Friday — found Tucker a fish out of water, both on and off the set. While the citizens of Hong Kong were already familiar with prominent native read more

Waters's World

John Waters, the renegade director of such gross-out classics as Pink Flamingos and Mondo Trasho, has his say in an episode of the Sundance Channel's Conversations in World Cinema series airing tonight at 8:30 pm/ET and Saturday at 4:30 pm/ET. But before then, one of his favorite leading ladies — sorry, not the late Divine — wants to speak her peace about the outrageous auteur.

"[The atmosphere on John's sets] was like reform school," Cry-Baby and Serial Mom veteran Traci Elizabeth Lords tells TV Guide Online, laughing. "I adore John. He definitely sees the world off to the left... or off to the right... or just off."

All kidding aside, the former blue-movie starlet holds in the highest esteem the colorful character who gave her her big break in legitimate pictures. "I respect John so much," she says. "He grew up wanting to be a filmmaker so badly that he went out and got a little eig read more

X-Files's Lesbian Shocker

During her eight years chasing flying saucers on The X-Files, Gillian Anderson's G-Woman Dana Scully has been paired with a believer (David Duchovny's Mulder), a skeptic (Robert Patrick's Doggett) and a lackey (Mitch Pileggi's Skinner). Well, if Internet buzz is any indication, the addition of Annabeth Gish's Agent Monica Reyes as a regular next season gives the former abductee an altogether different type with whom she can butt heads: a lesbian.

Here's the lowdown: Although it was heavily implied during Reyes's introduction last February that the sexy sleuth shared a romantic history with Doggett, the show's May cliffhanger — specifically a scene in which she gushed to an in-labor Scully that she looked "amazingly beautiful" — hinted that she may have switched teams in the interim.

In fact, according to executive producer John Shiban, she nearly read more

Ed Co-Star: Winsome, Loses Some

During Emmy season, many an actor experiences the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. However, perhaps only up-and-comer Justin LongEd's adorably awkward Everyteen, Warren Cheswick — went through both emotions in a single morning.

"My dad called and woke me," he tells TV Guide Online. "He was like, 'I wanted to be the first to tell you [that you're up for best supporting actor]!' At first, I didn't even know what he was talking about. Then I realized the nominations were announced that day.

"My dad's a philosopher," he adds, "and he's usually pretty stoic. But he was being so boisterous that I knew it was for real... or at least he thought it was."

Alas, it turned out that, like the rest of the endearing Ed ensemble, Long had been snubbed. "My dad's friend had read the story about 'If TV Guide Online could pick the Emmy nominees...'" relates the s read more

Sopranos Creator Shoots Back

If you were among the legions of Sopranos fans let down by the show's relatively quiet and uneventful season finale (save for Jackie Jr.'s whacking), the show's creator, David Chase, has good news: "Next year we'll kill 200 guys," he deadpans. "Maybe they'll like it better."

Well, it certainly couldn't hurt. Despite 22 Emmy nominations and blockbuster ratings (at least by cable standards), HBO's mob hit continues to find itself haunted by last May's anti-climax — an episode that critics complained spent more time showcasing Dominic Chianese's second career as a singer than tying up loose ends (the Russian mobster, Dr. Melfi's rape, Tony's mistress, etc.).

The disappointing send-off was one of the hot topics at the about-to-be-concluded Television Critics Association press tour in Pasa read more

Bully Star Has No Pie Cravings

You're looking to populate the next big teen romp/gross-out comedy, and think that Nick Stahl would be a fine addition to the cast; after all, he does have the high-school fright flick Disturbing Behavior on his r&#233sum&#233. Good fit, right? Well, don't add his name to the movie poster just yet. After all, "disturbing behavior" aptly describes the types of roles to which this young actor is drawn.

"I get sent [American Pie-type] scripts all the time," Stahl reports. "But they're just not as interesting to me. I guess you've got to see the bad stuff, though, to see the good."

Such a stance hasn't stymied his career path; rather, after a promising feature debut in Mel Gibson's The Man Without a Face, Stahl went on to face gritty read more

West Wing Quandary: Help Wanted

In real life, White House staffers serve at the pleasure of the president. But on The West Wing, cabinet members and coffee makers alike serve at the pleasure of a far more fickle world power: the NBC drama's opinionated audience. So, while the soaring post-mortem popularity of President Bartlett's no-nonsense receptionist, Mrs. Landingham, may enable actress Kathryn Joosten to continue to haunt the Oval Office, the prez still is going to need a warm body to field his calls. The question is: Who?

"I don't know yet, but somebody will," series creator Aaron Sorkin promises TV Guide Online. "I just haven't thought of who the character is, so obviously I haven't thought of who the actor or actress is."

For her part, the politically correct Joosten has some very specific ideas about what type of person should sit behind the desk of the dearly departed. "I told the powers that be that I thought that it should b read more

Emmy "Body"-Slams Buffy

Turns out, Buffy the Vampire Slayer can't even buy itself an Emmy nomination. Just ask the show's creator-executive producer Joss Whedon, who reached into his own pockets to help fund an aggressive campaign to get voters' attention. With a zero return on his investment — the critically acclaimed dramedy failed to get a single nod — Whedon naturally is bummed.

"I feel a certain embarrassment," he tells TV Guide Online. "I feel like I just spent a lot of money trolling for a compliment that I didn't get. So I felt stupid having even gone there.

"But that's part of the business," he adds. "You're supposed to pay for an Emmy campaign. My wife is like, 'Why don't you give the money to something worthy and get an Emmy for free?' I was like, 'That makes sense, honey.' So you feel kind of like a dork having tried, because we were never meant to get Emmys. It's Buffy the read more

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