Today's News: Our Take

Joy Rider Paul Walker

In Joy Ride, a harmless practical joke sends a lonely trucker on a psychotic rampage. Of course, leading stud Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious) knows pranksters always run the risk of retaliation, but he still loves messing with people.

"My buddies just got their sweetest revenge," shares the 28-year-old actor, who tasted his own medicine on the golf course when a pal asked for one of his Calloway balls. "I reach in my bag, and something doesn't feel right... I say, 'What is it, man?' — and it's a toad. I jumped a mile!"

While traveling to pick up his dream girl (Leelee Sobieski) in Ride, Walker stops to bail his mischievous older brother (read more

Felicity Enters Senior Year

On tonight's fourth-season premiere of Felicity, our favorite coed finds herself at a major crossroads as she embarks on her senior year of college. "We're focusing very much on Felicity's love life versus her real life," explains the show's executive producer/co-creator J.J. Abrams, "meaning she's about to graduate college, and is she any better off now than when she first got there?"

Well, if this four-star episode — written by Abrams and directed by his Felicity partner, Matt Reeves — proves anything, it's that this WB drama is never better than when it explores the internal struggles of its title heroine. To that end, Abrams and co. have resurrected a popular character from the first and second seasons: Felicity's audio pen pal-slash-sounding board Sally. And that's not the read more

Jane Fonda's Son Talks Politics

Jane Fonda's handsome son, Troy Garity, has inherited more than just showbiz genes. Born to provocative peaceniks from the Vietnam era, the actor's passion for social justice is also his legacy. While his mother earned the nickname "Hanoi Jane" for her liberal activism back in those days, dad Tom Hayden was on trial with the radical Chicago Seven. (He's since earned a distinguished reputation in politics as a California state senator.)

"Growing up, I knew that my parents had a good deal of notoriety and often evoked strong emotions from people," says Garity, who co-stars in the screwball comedy Bandits (opening Friday). "But for every person who threw a stone at our house read more

Creek Star Becomes a Legend

When recent high-school grad Pacey Witter heads back to Dawson's Creek this season (which kicks off tomorrow night), he'd better take a paddle, because his big brother might not be around to bail him out of trouble. Seems Deputy Doug's portrayer, Dylan Neal, may soon have bigger fish to fry, thanks to his starring role in the upcoming Sci Fi Channel movie/pilot Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers.

"Legend shoots in Vancouver, and I'd be sort of the lead on the show," he tells TV Guide Online, "so I don't see how I would have time to fly all the way to Wilmington, N.C., to shoot a scene for Creek."

Having recently shot an episode of the teen soap ("I got to go visit the kids, see how they're doing"), he now finds himself playing a waiting game. And while Legend seems likely to be given a green light, experience has taught Neal to put the brakes on his own enthusiasm. "In 1999, I had eig read more

Question: What do you think ...

Question: What do you think of what Bill Maher said on his show? Do you think he should be taken off the air? — Pearl

Televisionary: Honestly, Pearl? To me, it's not so much what he said as it is his right to say it. For the record, I've never been crazy about Maher or Politically Incorrect. I find him to be unbearably smarmy and largely unfunny, plus he's hosting a show the very title of which screams, "Watch us 'cause we're edgy and might offend your sensibilities!"

But why was everyone so surprised when he did just that?

And for those who didn't actually see Maher's Sept. 17 show, most of the reports quoting him as simply calling the U.S. "cowardly" weren't quite fair. If you read the entire transcript on ABC's site, it's clear his comments come off much worse when quoted out of context.

In Maher's defense, I read more

Question: I have a question ...

Question: I have a question that could only be answered by a great one, namely you. Watching a re-run of Charlie's Angels (I know, I shouldn't admit to such things, even when home with the flu) the Angels were talking to a dark-haired man that was so familiar. I think he was a regular on the show. Who is he and could he possibly be the same actor that played on a show that aired in the mid-'90s with a priest and nun who solved mysteries together? I can't remember the name of the later show, but the nun was a street kid before she became a nun. It's amazing how once you start wondering about something it really sticks in your mind. — your forever devoted reader, Rika

Televisionary: Ah, Rika, your flattery is appreciated, but the question can be answered with just the slightest flex of my unearthly TV abilities.

I'd venture to say that no two actors in TV history have been confused with one another more than Tom Bo read more

Question: Sir, could you ...

Question: Sir, could you please tell me who the main stars were on Wagon Train? Thank you. — Teri B.

Televisionary: Thanks for the respect, Teri (I get so little), but as the old boot-camp admonishment goes, you don't call me "sir" — I work for a living!

There are a few answers to that question, the first being the cast list (which I'll run down in a moment) and the second being a list of guest-stars, since episodes revolved around one-shot characters who came and went. But any fan of the show would whittle it down to one actor — the opinionated, tough-as-leather Ward Bond.

In the series, which ran on NBC from 1957-62 before jumping to ABC and finishing out its run there in 1965, Bond played Major Seth Adams, who led the train each season from St. Louis to California with assistant wagonmaster Bill Hawks (Terry Wilson) and cook Charlie Wooster (Frank McGrath) by his side. Flint McCullough (Robert Horton) was th read more

Question: I am thinking of a ...

Question: I am thinking of a show that probably aired in the late '80s to early '90s that reminded me a lot of Air Wolf. The only difference was the use of a motor bike and not a helicopter. The motor bike was equipped with small guns and a missile launcher. I remember the storage place for the motor bike was an old brick building that looked rundown on the outside but was high-tech on the inside. What show was this or was it a dream? Please tell me it was a show. I hope you can help me out. Thanks. — Luke

Televisionary: It wasn't a dream, Luke, but it might have seemed it since Street Hawk, the show you're thinking of, ran only from January to May in 1985.

On the series, motorcycle cop Jesse Mach (Rex Smith) was working a desk after a bad accident when techie Norman Tuttle (Joe Regalbuto) offered Jesse a deal: restorative surgery for secret servitude. Tuttle would repair Jesse's leg if Jesse would do undercover work testing the Street read more

Billy Bob Reacts to Sept. 11

Billy Bob Thornton — who co-stars with Bruce Willis in the screwball comedy Bandits (opening Friday) — is accustomed to fielding queries about his love life, quirky hang-ups and general rep as one of Hollywood's oddest individuals. And, in most cases, the actor's equipped with an equally eccentric response. Yet, when asked for his reaction to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Thornton isn't quite sure what to say.

"I kind of feel guilty saying, 'Well, I'm just trying to make it through,' because I'm living in Los Angeles, the sun is out, and everything's okay here," he candidly admits. "We have no idea what it's like to be one of the people who are really suffering."

Thornton says he and wife read more

2001 Emmys: Canceled or Postponed?

Now that the 53rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards has been called off for an unprecedented second time — the most recent postponement came Sunday following U.S.-led air strikes in Afghanistan — rumors are rampant that despite the old Hollywood adage, this show may never go on. But Bryce Zabel, chairman and chief executive officer of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, insists that no such decision has been made.

"We're not at this point calling it a cancellation," he said at a press conference yesterday. "We're looking at all the options... We've simply gone ahead and said for now we're postponing."

The ceremony was originally slated to air Sept. 16, but was called off following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. After much discussion, Academy officials and CBS decided to reschedule the show for Oct. 7 — albeit with a much more somber tone (read: no lavish gowns, no after-parties and no Joan Rivers).

Noted Em read more

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