Today's News: Our Take


Survivor may have finally met its match. Responding to increasing speculation, Brad Pitt admits that he'd be willing to join his wife, Jennifer Aniston, in an episode of her NBC sitcom Friends. "It's certainly one of my favorite shows — even from before [I met Jennifer]," he told Access Hollywood. "I'd do something if it wasn't superfluous. If it fits." read more


Former fitness guru Jane Fonda is speaking out about her longtime struggle with anorexia and bulimia. "For 25 years, I could never put a forkful in my mouth without feeling fear, without feeling scared," she told an audience at a fundraising dinner Saturday for the Eating Disorders Education Network. "I'm 63 years old, and only in the last two years have I learned that good enough is good enough." read more


CBS's Late Late Show host Craig Kilborn will preside over the third annual TV Guide Awards airing March 7 (8 pm/ET) on Fox. "My job is simple — make sure the TV Guide Awards do not run over into the Oscars," Kilborn jokes. "I have a three-week cushion, so I believe I am up to the challenge." read more


Drew Barrymore's pup Flossie is being labeled a hero. When the Beverly Hills home the Charlie's Angels star shares with beau Tom Green caught fire Sunday morning, the mutt began scratching on the couple's bedroom door — alerting them to the blaze. Although the duo escaped injury, their $3 million crib sustained damages worth an estimated $700,000. The cause of the fire was under investigation. read more

Question: Did anyone besides ...

Question: Did anyone besides Diana Rigg ever play Mrs. Peel in The Avengers? My uncle says "No" and I say "Yes." Also, is there anywhere I can buy old episodes as a gift? Right or wrong, I love him and want to get him something special for his birthday. Thanks. — Beth K.

Televisionary: Sorry, Beth, but your uncle's right on this one. Mrs. Emma Peel (named for her male or "M" appeal), the beauteous and capable partner to Patrick Macnee's dashing John Steed, was played only by Dame Diana. Coming off a stint with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the actress took what was seen as a step down to work in the TV biz, but what do the cultural elite know? The role of the intelligent, catsuit-complementing, karate-chopping babe, her male partner's equal in every way, launched her into the realm of TV legend. And Rigg herself doesn't mind that a bit — she once told reporters that in her line of work, it's important to be known, provided you're not ashamed of read more


Fox's next foray into reality programming, Boot Camp, will debut on March 28 in Temptation Island's soon-to-be-vacant Wednesday night timeslot, Variety reports. The series follows male and female contestants as they train under ex-U.S. Army drill instructors.... Stanley Kramer, the filmmaker behind Inherit the Wind, High Noon, The Defiant Ones and Judgment at Nuremberg, died Monday at the age of 87... NBC's third XFL football telecast lost another 2 million viewers Saturday night from the previous week... Mel Gibson's The Patriot and NBC's The West Wing won top honors from the American Society of Cinematographers Sunday night. — Michael Ausiello with Jeanne Wolf read more


Robert Downey, Jr. — who just signed on to do eight more episodes of Fox's Ally McBeal — will introduce a special salute to "Actors of 1000 Faces" at the 7th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, airing March 11 on TNT (8 pm/ET). Downey is up for best supporting actor for his Ally McBeal work. Meanwhile, the actor's next court hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, is expected to be postponed so lab tests can be completed. Downey faces drug charges stemming from his Thanksgiving weekend arrest in Palm Springs. read more

Question: Who played Bat ...

Question: Who played Bat Masterson in the old TV series of the same name? Was it Patrick Macnee? Thanks. — Neil M.

Televisionary: Okay, so I've written countless columns without one question about Mr. Macnee, and now you guys are going to bury me with him? (In my world of exaggeration and knee-jerk freakouts, two questions in a row is a deluge, you see.)

'Twas actually the rugged Gene Barry who played lawman Masterson on the series, which ran on NBC from October 1958 to September 1961. He did, however, wear a bowler (or derby) hat in the series, just as Steed did in The Avengers. You may also remember Barry from Burke's Law, in which he portrayed a millionaire chief of detectives in L.A. That series ran on ABC from September 1963 to January 1966 and returned on CBS's schedule in the mid-'90s.

read more

Question: I was wondering ...

Question: I was wondering what the name of the ER-type show that was on NBC (I think) in the early to mid-'80s was. I believe it starred someone like Lou Ferrigno. Any ideas? My wife and I have been trying to think of the name for a week and a half now. Thank you. — Jacob

Televisionary: I'm betting poor James Naughton, the "real" star of NBC's Trauma Center, would be crushed to hear that, Jacob.

You see, Naughton (TV's Planet of the Apes, Faraday and Company, The Cosby Mysteries) was billed as the lead in the drama, which ran for a couple of months beginning in September 1983. He played Dr. Michael "Cutter" Royce (I don't know about you, but that particular handle would keep me moving down the preferred provider list), who worked at McKee Hospital Trauma Center.

Joining the good doctor in the nifty monicker department were Dr. Nate "Skate" Baylor (Dorian Harewood) and Dr. "Beaver" Bouvier (Bill Randolph read more

Question: Hello! My ...

Question: Hello! My girlfriends and I were chatting and one stated that Joan, the character in Girlfriends, is Diana Ross's daughter. Is this true?

Televisionary: Sure you don't want to ask if she's Patrick Macnee's daughter? Okay, Tracee Ellis Ross is the famous Supreme's kid, though she goes to great lengths to downplay it. The actress, the second of five Ross children, insists in interviews that she's determined to make it on her own (though not determined enough to drop the name, apparently).

Frankly, skeptical as I am, I have to admit she's in a no-win situation pleading that case. If she honestly believes it makes no difference, she comes off as naive, and if she embraces her lineage, no one will give her credit for any achievements.

Consider her r&#0233sum&#0233 to date. After graduating from Brown University, she was offered a contributing editor spot at Mirabella. After nine months there, she moved to New York read more

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