Today's News: Our Take


Brace yourself this December for a second volume in the Andy Griffith Show Bible Study Series from Nashville-based religious publisher Nelson Word. Like the just-released first volume, which draws parallels between the small-town sitcom and bible text, part two will come complete with a videotape of four classic episodes and an audiotape of corresponding verse. Here's a sample lesson from the episode in which bumbling deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts) buys a car: "Barney's First Car is a roller-coaster ride of elation, dejection, amazement and deception as Barney's friends loyally support him through his crisis." — Michael Ausiello read more


A member of 'N Sync has come out of the closet about his attraction to perky Today host Katie Couric. On Monday's Access Hollywood, Lance Bass, who met Couric last Friday when he and his bandmates performed on Today, exclaimed: "Katie is hot. She is looking good." On this morning's show, Couric, 43, called the crush "sweet," adding with a laugh, "How old is Lance?" He's 21. read more

Question: Dear Mr. T., How ...

Question: Dear Mr. T., How did Victoria Principal's character Pam Ewing finally leave Dallas? I know she was burnt in a cliffhanger episode and a stand-in played her in bandages the following season. But how did they write the character off the show and was she ever heard from again? — Rob

Televisionary: After meeting a tanker the hard way and staging one of TV's coolest explosions ever — see what happens when you drive while on the phone? — Pam Ewing (Principal) did indeed pull a Claud Rains, doing the bandage thing for a while. When the bandages came off, she went on the lam, warning Bobby (Patrick Duffy) not to come after her and filing for divorce.

That worked for a year or so until Jordan Lee (Don Starr) spotted her and brother Cliff (Ken Kercheval) came a-runnin'. Not that it did much good, of course. She banished him from her life, too — and read more

Question: Dear Televisionary, ...

Question: Dear Televisionary, I have watched the show Fashion Emergency for a very long time. Each day I hope to see some way to get on the show. Am I wishing for too much or is there a way? — Caitlin Landser

Televisionary: You and me both, Caitlin. Frankly, I look like I hit Haircut Day at Dodger Stadium, then raided Urkel's wardrobe and dressed in the dark. And that's on a good day.

You can apply for Emergency help by clicking here.

And say hello to that Leon guy for me. He's my favorite part of the show and I need him to settle once and for all the question of whether my socks should match my shoes or my pants. I keep reading pants, but I don't like the way it looks.

Probably why there's no picture with this column.

read more

Question: Dear Sir, I'm 40 ...

Question: Dear Sir, I'm 40 and grew up with Jack Webb's shows like Dragnet, Adam-12 and Emergency. Whatever happened to him? Is he deceased? I even enjoyed him as an actor. If you have any knowledge I'd like to know. — John Correia

Televisionary: Hey, pal — there are a lot of people who'd like to know if I have any knowledge. And I'm one of 'em.

Writer, producer, actor and director Jack Webb died in Los Angeles in 1982, leaving behind an entertainment legacy more impressive than it looks on paper (and it doesn't look bad there, either). He kicked off his career as a radio announcer in 1945, then moved to performing in radio dramas before coming up with the idea for Dragnet, a radio show based on real LAPD cases.

As the story goes, Webb conceived the show after talking with real cops about how unrealistic most police shows of the time were. Apparently, plenty of people agreed with him since Dragnet, which debut read more


Charlton Heston admitted himself into alcohol rehabilitation earlier this year when his social drinking got out of hand, Reuters reports. Heston — best known for playing Moses in The Ten Commandments and as the controversial head of the National Rifle Association — spent three weeks in a Utah facility in late May to mid-June, the actor's rep confirmed, adding that he "nipped the problem in the bud." No pun intended. read more


An X-Files crew member was killed and six others were injured Monday during a preproduction mishap in Los Angeles. Jim Engh suffered cardiac arrest and later died when the scaffolding he was working on came in contact with a power line. "All of us are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and colleague," X-Files executive producer Chris Carter said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to his family and friends." Stars David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and Robert Patrick were not believed to have been on the scene. Fox has launched a full investigation of the incident. The X-Files season premiere is slated for Nov. 5. read more

Question: I've been dying to ...

Question: I've been dying to find out the name of a show that I saw when I was working in another province. It had an astronaut from Earth who went through some kind of wormhole. This human ended up with a few people helping him. One was called Pilot and, of course, he was a pilot. The ships were some kind of life-form. There was one animal kind of guy that has a mean temper (kind of a Worf thing) and there was a bald female whose species evolved from plants. She was green and could use some kind of special mind powers. I've written before, but I still have not seen a response. If I can get this show in Ontario I would love to try and figure out what I've missed. Any ideas? Many thanx.

Televisionary: Sounds like you're looking for the Sci Fi Channel's Farscape, which does indeed star Ben Browder as lost Earthling astronaut John Crichton. He and his cohorts, who include a big warrior guy named Ka D'Argo (Anthony Simcoe) and an 812-ye read more

Sopranos: The Next Generation

Sopranos star Robert Iler may find his alter ego making a pivotal career move this season. Iler, who plays the son of gangster Tony Soprano on the hit HBO series, says he thinks his A.J. character may soon be getting into the family business.

"I don't think he would just let [that tradition] die," the young actor tells TV Guide Online, adding, "I think I'd rather play the bad guy because it's just more fun."

Whether or not the native New Yorker is on his way to becoming a junior mobster, Iler, who next can be seen playing a big-screen bully in The Tic Code, already is proving quite a hit. As the up-and-comer explains, he can't go anywhere without being recognized as "the Sopranos kid." "It's weird because everybody notices you," he marvels. "When I'm with my dad, people will come up to him and say, 'Hey, that kid you're walking with looks a lot like the kid on The Sopranos,' and he'll be like, 'Yeah, he gets that a lot.' "

Sti read more

Family Feud

It's taken a while, but All in the Family star Carroll O'Connor is finally ready to admit he went a little overboard in his off-camera fights with series creator Norman Lear.

"I had the power to really drive everybody crazy, including Norman, who had to [back down] a lot," recalls O'Connor on this Sunday's E! True Hollywood Story (9 pm/ET). "I got very nasty with him. I fault myself, I didn't have to get that nasty."

O'Connor's efforts to rewrite scripts and his demands for increased pay created plenty of tension behind the scenes of the hit '70s sitcom, which today continues to air in reruns on Nick at Nite. "I made him dislike me and then, of course, I turned around and disliked him," says O'Connor, who eventually went on to star in TV's popular In the Heat of the Night.

Lear, who tried to get the difficult O'Connor bumped from the series, tells E! he found the actor to be "fearful and misguided" during much of the production of the read more

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