Today's News: Our Take

Howard Stern's "Wife" Returns

Best known as Howard Stern's wife in Private Parts, Mary McCormack has followed up that role with a string of second-banana spouse and girlfriend parts. But this Friday, she enjoys more prominence in two competing films, K-PAX and High Heels and Low Lifes.

In K-PAX, McCormack feels she's once again typecast as the strong, dependable wife of Jeff Bridges. Grateful for the work nevertheless, she tells TV Guide Online: "You just do your job and you accept the size of your part and have fun with it. You see people who have really tiny parts making soup a meal and you're like, 'Oy! It's just soup. Just read more

Keri Russell's Red Hot Summer

It was just the kind of summertime drama the tabloids live for: Felicity heroine Keri Russell and sexy Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis — enjoying a swim off the coast of San Diego last June — are pulled to rescue by lifeguards after getting caught in a riptide! Within hours, the rumor mill was spinning out of control with talk that the Golden Globe winner's near-death experience blew the cover on her hush-hush romance with the rock star. Sadly, Russell insists that her seaside scrape wasn't nearly as riveting as press reports indicated.

"There was no drowning. I'm actually a fabulous swimmer," the 25-year-old actress tells TV Guide Online, adding that, despite what people may have read, she and Kiedis were not alone at the time. "I was with [Felicity co-star] read more

Question: The series premiere ...

Question: The series premiere of Crossing Jordon ended with a song entitled something like "These Are Tears from a Long Time Ago." If this is the correct title of the song, can you tell me who sings it? Thank you. Terri M.

Televisionary: Why, I'll tell you even if it's not the correct title of the song, Terri. And it's not. That was Indianapolis native John Hiatt's "Thirty Years of Tears," which can be found on his 1990 album Stolen Moments.

And if you really like the song, you can also check out a cover version of it by Andre Re on last year's Rollin' into Memphis: Songs of John Hiatt, a collection of Hiatt tunes performed by various artists, and another take on it by Kathy Chiavola, who included it on her album The Harvest.

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Smallville Babe: She's Got the Look

If you happened to bump into actress Allison Mack on the street, chances are, you'd recognize the face. But placing that face would be another thing altogether.

"I always get, 'You have one of those faces,'" the rising star of TV (7th Heaven) and film (Camp Nowhere) tells TV Guide Online. "It's probably because I've just been around the block for a while. [And] I don't look too much like any of the other teen actresses that are out right now."

Well, Mack's profile is about to increase dramatically with her new gig as Clark Kent's buddy Chloe on the WB's Smallville (airing Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET). Last week, the WB's Teen of Steel drama pulled in 8.4 million viewers, giving the WB its highest-rated series bow in its seven-year history. read more

Question: I remember watching ...

Question: I remember watching a very short-lived show (it might even have been only a two-hour pilot) about a planet that had one half permanently in the dark and one have permanently in the light. Do you know the name of this show? Thanks. — Eva N.

Televisionary: You're thinking of Fox's White Dwarf, a two-hour pilot produced by Bruce Wagner (Wild Palms) and Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now Redux, etc.), which originally aired in May 1995 and never made it to series.

In what The L.A. Times termed "a sort of Willow meets ER set in the time of Star Wars," it starred Neal McDonough (Band of Brothers, the upcoming Minority Report) as a young do read more

James Woods Blasts Media

Two-time Oscar nominee James Woods has some advice for up-and-coming thespians on how best to deal with the increasingly celeb-conscious media: "Pretend you're in a deposition, and know that they'll [most likely] ask you questions and not care about the answer," he seethes. "They just wait until you're tired, set you up and destroy your reputation. The press is unequivocally the enemy."

Ouch! Ironically, the 54-year-old actor made those comments while talking up his latest film, Riding in Cars with Boys, with that very same adversary. Still, he admits that the process of giving interviews is one that he would "not ever do again in my life — not for one second ever — if I didn't feel an ethical obligation to the film."

Woods has kinder words for another staple of celebrity life: the fans. "I'm famous for being nicer to my fans than anybody read more

Kevin Spacey: Oscar Bound?

When ballots go out to Oscar voters early next year, Kevin Spacey could be competing with himself for a best actor nod. As the is-he-or-ain't-he-an-alien Prot in K-PAX (opening Friday), Spacey shows off more of his all-too-familiar tics and quirks. The two-time Oscar winner — for American Beauty and The Usual Suspects — tells TV Guide Online: "I like characters that aren't perfect. To me, flaws are what make us human."

However, it's The Shipping News — opening Christmas Day — where we'll see Spacey like we've never seen him. He plays an emotionally crumpled man without an ironic or flip bone in his body. "That's probably the least abnormal character I'll play," he admits. Word is, Miramax feels bul read more

Question: Who was that ...

Question: Who was that gorgeous Russian actor in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.? Not Napoleon, the other man. Thanks, hon. — Jocelyn V., Valley Forge, Pa.

Televisionary: You're quite welcome, hon. And let me point out that while it was only Scottish actor David McCallum's character, U.N.C.L.E. agent Ilya Kuryakin, who was Russian, McCallum would most likely accept "gorgeous" over some of the other adjectives love-struck women came up with at the time.

Take, for example, the word "cute," a favorite of fan magazines during the tongue-in-cheek spy series's 1964-68 run on NBC. "That's an American word I hate," McCallum, who played opposite Robert Vaughn's American agent, Napoleon Solo, told TV Guide in 1966. "A litter of mongrel puppies is cute."

Of course, the actor didn read more

Question: I need your help in ...

Question: I need your help in settling a dispute between me and my neighbor, a so-called Brady Bunch expert. After watching the recent broadcast of The Weakest Link with the cast from The Brady Bunch, my neighbor indicated that the actress who played Cindy Brady on the TV show actually died a few years ago and that the person who was on the The Weakest Link was actually the actress who played Cindy in the made-for-TV Brady movies and the short-lived sitcom in the late '80s or early '90s. I told her she was wrong and that, in fact, the actress who played Cindy on the original sitcom is alive and well and appeared on the game show. Please help settle this friendly neighborhood bet. — Steve C., Woodbury, Minn.

Televisionary: Boy, what are we coming to when poor Susan Olsen appears on TV and people like your neighbor still insist she's dead? Well, Steve, you just tell little miss "expert" that it was indeed the original Cindy doing h read more

Macy's View Comes into Focus

In his latest film, Focus (now in theaters), William H. Macy plays a Gentile man who is outcast and threatened because of his Jewish appearance. The Oscar-nominated star of Fargo admits the movie's theme is especially applicable in this post-Sept. 11 climate.

"It's about intolerance and the objectification of people," he tells TV Guide Online of the pic, which is based on the novel by famed playwright Arthur Miller. "It's sort of an exploration of what it takes to get people to rise up against intolerance."

"[My character] spends most of the film saying this is not my fight. If I were Jewish I would get involved, but I'm not a Jew so leave me out of it — which is what I think we all want to do," adds the 52-year-old actor read more

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