Today's News: Our Take


Question: This is a comment ...

Question: This is a comment from faithful ER watchers. We have watched ER since day one. Tonight we turned it off because we refuse to watch a homosexual relationship. It is such a good show and they had to ruin it by putting a gay relationship in the storyline. If it continues you will lose quite a few viewers. Not every show needs a gay storyline. Thank you for your time. — Kari

Televisionary: Oh, shut up.

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Question: Who is the Canadian ...

Question: Who is the Canadian actor in the TV series The $treet?

Televisionary: Lesser columnists would work in a cheap "hoser" comment or tell you to "take off, eh?" But darn it, I'm better than that, so I'll simply tell you the man you're thinking of is young Christian Campbell, brother to the better-known Neve. The actor played Balmont Stevens trainee Tim Sherman.

The Toronto native started acting at the age of six and, while still in school, scored a role in the cult-favorite Canadian series Degrassi Junior High. You may also have caught him working alongside such notables as Keri Russell and Charisma Carpenter in the short-lived Spelling high-school series Malibu Shores, which ran on NBC for a scant three months in 1996. Other TV roles include William Shatner's TekWar and the mini-series Seduced by Madness.

Those of you who keep writing in to ask about the show's health will note, by the way, read more

Question: This one seems like ...

Question: This one seems like it should be easy, but my boss is so sure he's right. Wasn't Johnny Carson the first host of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson? After all, it was named for him. Tell me I'm right and this jerk owes me a bottle of bourbon. Thanks. — Sam L.

Televisionary: Well, Sam, this question leads to a couple more. Did Carson serve as the first master of ceremonies on the show you named? Technically, yes, since it wasn't called that until he began hosting. But the legendary gabber and comedian, as great as he was, certainly did not create The Tonight Show. That was the late Steve Allen, who was the first host of the late-night fixture when it debuted on NBC way back in 1954. (The other question is whether or not you should call your boss a jerk in a widely read column, but only you and he can answer that, friend.)

The Tonight Show has gone through various permutations since it first aired. In the Allen years read more

Question: I was flipping ...

Question: I was flipping channels last night and came across WB's sitcom, Nikki, which actually wasn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be, what with all the awful reviews it received when it first came on the air. I swear one of the co-stars of the show has a voice that sounds just like the voice of Megara, biting sarcasm and all, in Disney's Hercules movie of a few years back. As I was a huge fan of the character, especially the voice, I was wondering if you could tell me if this is the same person and, if so, how she went from a Disney film to a third-rate sitcom. Appreciate any light you can throw on the subject. — Bryan L.

Televisionary: Actually, Bryan, failure is in the eye of the beholder: What you see as a drop, I see as a rise, business-wise.

Granted, on the surface actress Susan Egan went from Broadway accolades (playing Sally Bowles in read more

Question: Bubba, from the ...

Question: Bubba, from the series In the Heat of Night, did another series in which he starred in sometime (I believe) during the year 2000. Do you know the name of the series? Thanks. &#151&#160Alden.

Televisionary: I reckon you're thinking of Sons of Thunder, a Walker, Texas Ranger spin-off that aired on CBS for a month beginning in March 1999.

Autry, who portrayed Sgt. (eventually promoted to Cpt.) Bubba Skinner alongside Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins on NBC's In the Heat of the Night, played former boxer and ex-private investigator Marion "Butch" McMann on Thunder. He ran a sports bar and rented the office above it to Trent Malloy (Jimmy Wlcek) and Carlos Sandoval (Marco Sanchez), who had just opened a P.I. operation of their own.

Though they brought some experience to the job — Trent had worked under kick-first-ask-questions-later lawman Cordell Walker (Chuck Norris) on Wal read more

Early Taste of American Pie 2


Actor Eugene Levy would love to tell the world how thrilled he is to be reprising his role as Jason Biggs's old man in American Pie 2. However, due to the strict code of silence surrounding the eagerly anticipated sequel, his lips have been sewn shut.

"They've got me paranoid," he tells TV Guide Online of Universal, the studio behind the film. "They keep sending me these letters and they send scripts with false titles on them, saying, 'We don't want anybody to see this.'"

Although Levy is keeping mum, brothers Chris and Paul Weitz — who directed American Pie and are executive producing the follow-up — are willing to offer a little clue. "Let's just say there is Krazy Glue in the place of baked goods in this one," hints Paul. Younger sib Chris is quick to add with a laugh, "[But] not in the exact place."

Despite the sticky situation, Paul assures Pie fans that the sequel isn't oversaturated with goo. "It is rela read more

EARTH TO BATTLEFIELD: YOU STINK!

Battlefield Earth finally is getting some recognition during this crowded awards season. John Travolta's sci-fi flop received a leading eight nominations for the 21st annual Golden Raspberry Awards — which honor the worst in film during 2000. In addition to Earth, nominees for worst movie of the year include Little Nicky, The Next Best Thing, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas and Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. read more

NEW BLUE RECRUIT

Esai Morales (La Bamba, Mi Familia) has been cast as the new lieutenant on NYPD Blue, TV Guide Online has learned. The actor — most recently seen as Juan Miguel Gonzalez in The Elian Gonzalez Story — replaces the exiting James McDaniel. Look for the new boss to be a potential love interest for Charlotte Ross (Beggars and Choosers), who joins the force next month. read more

OPPOSITES ATTRACT

Gay pop star Elton John has accepted an invitation from homophobic rapper Eminem to perform in a duet at next week's Grammy Awards. "I'm a big fan of his music, and I said I would be delighted to," John told the Los Angeles Times. "I know I'm going to get a lot of flak from various people who are going to picket the show... [but] if I thought for one minute that he was [hateful], I wouldn't do it." The Gay &#038 Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) — which is planning a pre-Awards show protest — called John's decision "hurtful" and "embarrassing." The duo reportedly will perform Eminem's "Stan." Meanwhile, in an interview with BBC Radio One, the controversial artist said that he may soon make his big screen debut. "There is an offer that came across recently that does sound appealing to me," he said. "It is an action movie. That is all I can say. I would be the villain. This is the first offer I have got that actually sounded appealing to me." read more

HANNIBAL EATS BOX OFFICE RIVALS

Let the puns fly! Hannibal made a killing at the box office over the weekend, devouring the competition and making mincemeat of box office records. (Phew!) The highly anticipated sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, er, grossed $58 million in its first three days of release — the third-highest debut in history and the biggest February opening ever. The mixed-reviewed film also set new records for a non-summer bow and an R-rated release. After two weekends on top, The Wedding Planner slipped to No. 2 with $7.8 million, followed by newcomer Saving Silverman (No. 3/$7.4 million) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (No. 4/$5.1 million). With $60 million in the bank so far, Dragon has now surpassed Life Is Beautiful as the highest-grossing foreign-language film in U.S. history. read more

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