Today's News: Our Take

Aykroyd on SNL's Presidential Shake-Up

Saturday Night Live alum Dan Aykroyd (Blues Brothers, Coneheads) predicts that current castmember Will Ferrell's days of impersonating President George W. Bush on the NBC sketch comedy are numbered. "He's probably got about three more years... before the administration changes and Hillary [Clinton]'s president," the 49-year-old comic-actor tells TV Guide Online. "She's going to be president, there's no doubt about it."

Until that day arrives (for the record, Clinton reportedly has denied that she plans to make a run for her husband's old post in 2004), Aykroyd says it's been quite a joy watching Ferrell settle into his role as Commander in Chief. "[He] is really finding Bush," he enthuses. "All the gestures and the facial moves and the body language and the speech and accent... It's really being perfected.

"I'm a big fan of the show, read more

Ferrell and Bush: Comedy Duo?

Saturday Night Live's Will Ferrell — whose dead-on impersonation of President Bush jumpstarted the long-running NBC sketch comedy's critical and ratings resurgence last season — has no problem with his alter ego taking a month-long vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. As proof, the comedian offered Dubya an opportunity to extend his controversial summer liberty even further.

"I put in a call to invite him to take a vacation on my ranch, but he hasn't gotten back to me," he deadpans to TV Guide Online. "He might be ready because there's that saying that you need a vacation from your vacation. We could have fun, and maybe talk about doing a show on the road together."

In the meantime, Ferrell will continue to poke fun at Bush — and no less so now that he's settled into his role as the nation's Commander in Chief. "It doesn't matter what office Bush holds, we jus read more

Andy Lawrence Grows Up

Here's something that will really make you feel old: Andrew Lawrence — one third of the rascally Lawrence troupe that includes older bro Joseph (Blossom) and middle-sib Matthew (Boy Meets World) — is officially a teenager. The lil' one turned 13 earlier this year, but memories of his misspent youth still linger. Recalls the actor: "There was a period where I wouldn't leave the house without my Batman cape."

Fast forward to 2001: Lawrence is at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia reuniting with Matt, 21, and Joey, 25, for Jumping Ship, a Disney Channel sequel to 1999's Horse Sense premiering Friday night at 7 pm/ET. Although the Lawrence brothers have exploited their matching designer genes to great benefit career-wise — in addition to the Disney flicks, they appeared together in the mid-'90s sitcom Brotherly Love — Andy insists that their on-camera camaraderie is not growing stale.

read more

Meet the New Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres insists that her upcoming CBS comedy The Ellen Show will be light on issues and heavy on laughs, a far cry from the final year of her politically-charged ABC sitcom Ellen. But a month before the new show's debut, the Emmy winner confesses that her comeback vehicle — in which the out comedian once again plays it gay — is already a bit of a groundbreaker.

"I think it's an interesting statement that I'm on at 8 o'clock on Friday nights," she tells TV Guide Online. "I mean, [ABC] had to move [Ellen] to a later hour before, and now I'm on earlier [and] on the family night. It's really interesting to me."

All things considered, The Ellen Show — which sneaks Monday, Sept. 17 before moving to its regular Friday timeslot on Sept. 21 — is a perfect fit for TV's family hour. In it, DeGeneres plays a jaded city slicker who moves back to her small Mayberry-esque hometow read more

Cruise's Co-Star: An American Phenom?

Irish actor Colin Farrell — whose performance in last year's little-seen Tigerland made him the toast of Tinseltown — may look up to screen vets like Tom Cruise, his co-star in Steven Spielberg's just-wrapped Minority Report, but he won't be asking them for marital tips anytime soon.

The newlywed says he plans to ride the highs and lows of celebrity marriage (he recently wed Amelia Warner of Quills in a hush-hush Hawaiian ceremony) and has no interest in learning from others' mistakes. "No, I didn't get any advice from Cruise!" he tells TV Guide Online. "I don't want any advice. I'm just going to read more

WB Showdown: A Blow-by-Blow Account

One of the most dramatic moments from last month's three-week long Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., was, ironically enough, also one of the quietest. During a poolside shindig thrown by the WB, network bigwig Jamie Kellner slithered over to Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon and — egad! — shook his hand.

To understand the significance of such an encounter, one has to be familiar with the bitter Kellner/Whedon feud of 2001. For those in the dark, here's a quick recap: During last spring's protracted contract negotiations over Buffy, the two combatants found themselves embroiled in a bitter and very public war of words over the value of the acclaimed dramedy. Kellner downplayed the show's importance, saying it was a niche program that appealed mainly to teens. A furious Whedon fired back, telling the New York Daily News that, "For Jamie Kellner to call it read more

Question: I am an art teacher ...

Question: I am an art teacher and I am interested in knowing if there is a book or other material available containing examples of the many sun variations done on CBS's Sunday Morning over the years. It would be a great help in teaching radial designs to children. Thank you. — Susan B.

Televisionary: Sorry Susan, but according to CBS they can't publish such a collection (and plenty of people have asked) because they don't own the rights to most of the suns they use. Many of the funky solar images you see on the show come from producers who happen upon items at flea markets or in museums, but many others are created by local artists and fans of the show. Either way, they're not for the network to use beyond what you see each week.

I was going to suggest that you contact the engineers at Goodyear for help in radial design, but it's just that kind of crack that got my ears boxed and knuckles thwacked in grade school. So the best real suggestion I can offe read more

Angel Delivers a Devil of a Time

While Emmy's snub of Buffy the Vampire Slayer brings most critics' blood to a boil, the fact that those same reviewers often overlook the supernatural series' sublime spinoff, Angel, makes the rest of us reach for our stakes. Since its 1999 premiere, Angel has solidified into an hour of quality television that rivals — and this past season arguably even outshone — its sire. In fact, if the final WB episode of Buffy (before its fall transfer to UPN) is an "instant classic" — and, frankly, it is — then the four-episode fairy tale with which Angel rounded out the year is at least a mini-masterpiece. So, who does a blood-sucking crimefighter have to bite around here to get some respect? Executive producer David Greenwalt doesn't know. "We could do an all-nude episode," he sighs to TV Guide Online, "and we'd still read more

Question: What is the name of ...

Question: What is the name of the TV show with Becca and Corky? — Suzie B.

Televisionary: That was the groundbreaking ABC drama Life Goes On, which ran from September 1989 to August 1993. The first network show built around a character with Down syndrome (and one that featured an actor who had the condition to boot), it focused on the Thatcher family and borrowed its title from the classic Beatles song "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," a version of which served as the theme song.

In the series' early days, Life Goes On revolved chiefly around the challenges facing 18-year-old son Charles (Christopher Burke), better known as Corky. Corky "mainstreamed" over from special education to high school when the show kicked off and, in doing so, added a new wrinkle to the daily life of younger sister Becca (ER's Kellie Martin), who was now his classmate. Overseeing the homefront were dad Drew (Bill Smitrovi read more

Baywatch Beauty's Raunchy Rat Cameo

Ever wonder how much a night with former Baywatch babe Brandy Ledford might go for? Well, at least one lucky gent will get the answer to that very question this weekend... sort of. "I play a hooker with a heart of gold," she tells TV Guide Online of her memorable big-screen appearance in Rat Race. "Is there any other kind?"

The movie, which wrapped before Ledford stepped into her starring role on the Sci Fi Channel series The Invisible Man (airing Fridays at 8 pm/ET), is "a loose, loose remake of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," explains Ledford, "combined with a little bit of Cannonball Run."

Of course, neither of those zany flicks featured scenes even remotely similar to the one in which Ledford finds herself immersed in Rat Race (opening Friday). " read more

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