Today's News: Our Take


Question: Did Jane Kaczmarek ...

Question: Did Jane Kaczmarek (Bradley Whitford's wife) ever appear in The Paper Chase TV show or movie? — Rachel K.

Televisionary: Now, Rachel, let me get this straight. In this time of enlightenment, Ms. Kaczmarek's work on Malcolm in the Middle earns her an Emmy nomination and all you can do is define her as West Wing-er Whitford's wife? Ah, me.

To answer your query, though, the actress was on the small-screen version of the 1973 film. She played law student Connie Lehman in The Paper Chase: the Second Year, the series continuation shown on Showtime in 1983 after CBS's 1979 cancellation of the original Paper Chase. She only appeared for one season, a read more

Question: Help! I thought I ...

Question: Help! I thought I once heard that there were three different openings for The Dick Van Dyke Show — one where star Dick Van Dyke falls over the ottoman, a second where he jumps over it, and a third where he goes around. I told my 11-year-old son this and I think he is starting to think I made the whole thing up as we only see Dick go around the ottoman. I can picture all three scenarios in my head but, is it only in my head? Thanks. PS: Love your column. — Jacqui

Televisionary: Why, thank you kindly for sharing the love, Jacqui — now let's see if I'm worthy of it.

My unearthly Televisionary abilities indicate there were actually four openings to the legendary show, which ran on CBS from October 1961 to September 1966. The first showed two hands holding a folder of photos which spill out to reveal a flattering head shot of the star before a follow-up montage of read more

Question: There used to be a ...

Question: There used to be a television program in the '50s, I think, called Boston Blackie. Could you give me some information on the progam and the actors in it? Thanks much.

Televisionary: Not a problem — what else do I have to do on a weekday afternoon, after all? (Just give me a moment to tear myself away from Timmy and Passions.)

Fifty-eight episodes of the syndicated Boston Blackie were produced from 1951-53, starring Kent Taylor as the "enemy of those who make him an enemy, friend of those who have no friend." An L.A. denizen who'd come around from a life of crime, Blackie was helped by gal-pal Mary Wesley (Lois Collier) and accompanied by faithful canine pal Whitey as he solved mysteries the ineffective Inspector Farrady (Frank Orth) couldn't suss out himself... which was pretty much all of them.

The character was originally conceived by writer Jack Boyle in 1919, appearing in a series of magazine stories read more

Question: In the mid-'70s I ...

Question: In the mid-'70s I seem to recall watching four shows on ABC on Tuesday nights. The schedule was as follows: Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley and Three's Company. I can't for the life of me remember the fourth show. Any help would be appreciated.

Televisionary: It depends on which year you're talking about. In 1977, Happy Days kicked things off at 8 pm, followed by Laverne &#038 Shirley at 8:30 pm, read more

Boreanaz on Buffy and Angel's Big Split


At the WB's fall schedule presentation to advertisers last week, Angel hunk David Boreanaz practically woke the dead when he stumbled onstage and uttered: "This isn't the UPN." The crack — a not-so subtle reference to the Smackdown network's acquisition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer — made WB execs' blood boil, and intensified speculation that Boreanaz wanted Angel to join its sister show across the dial.

But in an interview with TV Guide Online, the actor insists that he "really didn't have a preference" either way. "If Angel ended up on UPN, I would still have gone into work and done my thing. And if it stayed on the WB, I'd do the same thing. That's what I get paid to do. I am not in a position to decide what network we should be on."

Of course, Boreanaz concedes that having Buffy and Angel on rival channels will make crossovers "difficu read more

Question: Can you settle an ...

Question: Can you settle an argument for me? My fianc&#233 and I are arguing over some Old Navy commercials (I believe they showed them mainly during Christmas) featuring the "Item of the Week." There is a woman on the commercial and my fianc&#233 believes it's Megan Mullally from Will &#038 Grace. I say it's not. Who's right? Thanks. — Teresa

Televisionary: Once again, I play peacemaker — and this time I'm happy to head off a relationship crisis before it tears you two kids apart. Don't let TV get in the way of your love, Teresa. It's just not worth it.

Your intended is right; 'twas Ms. Mullally (Will &#038 Grace's money-loving Karen) dancing with the Old Navy boys in the ads, which hawked such essentials as sleep bottoms and half-zip pullovers. And lest you two lovebirds stop your cooing to battle over another aspect of those spots, that was read more

Backstage Emmy Drama


Believe it or not, the biggest controversy at the 28th annual Daytime Emmy Awards did not involve General Hospital's Ingo Rademacher (that hairdo!), The Bold and the Beautiful's Adrienne Frantz (that voice!) or Regis Philbin's long-overdue double win for Live and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (that poor Kathie Lee Gifford!). No, the real debate of the night — as determined by backstage scuttlebutt — concerned CBS's As the World Turns, and who really is responsible for the show's miraculous resurgence that culminated in eight Emmy wins (including Outstanding Drama Series and Writing Team).

Although many believe new head writer Hogan Sheffer deserves the credit — since taking over in August, he re-energized the 45-year-old soap with "a sense of humor and really fast storytelling" — those associated with ATWT weren't so quick to proclaim him their comeback kid. "It's a co read more

Dark Night for the Daytime Emmys


If you live under a rock, maybe you don't know: The Daytime Emmys just happen to be the biggest awards show of the year, next to the Oscars and the primetime Emmys. And the Tonys. And probably the Grammys, too. And maybe the Espys. Oh yeah, and the CableAce Awards, for sure. And... and...

Okay, fine. So, since perennial also-ran Susan Lucci finally won one of the damn things in 1999, the Daytime Emmys have been pretty pointless. Heck, even she seems to know it. Though the All My Children melodrama queen was again a nominee at Friday night's 28th annual ceremony, she didn't attend, but instead appeared via satellite from her and Regis Philbin's Atlantic City cabaret gig. And why should she have gone? It's not like the show provides the excitement of wondering whether Robert Downey Jr. is going to get busted onstage or the suspense of watching J. Lo read off a TelePrompter, her ample bosom promising to burst forth at any second from a bar read more

The Shrek Who Shagged Me


Mike Myers just couldn't resist making Shrek something of a Fat Bastard. The funnyman — who supplies the not-so-jolly green giant's voice in the animated send-up of classic fairy-tales — admits he borrowed heavily from the gluttonous Scotsman he created for Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Why, you ask?

"At first, I was making Shrek sound Canadian," he says, "and I wasn't totally happy. Then I remembered that my mom, who's from Liverpool, used to read me children's stories with a British accent. And even though we had [already] recorded a lot of stuff, I said to the producers, 'I want to try something new.' So I made Shrek sort of British and Scottish. I guess that did include a bit of Fat Bastard."

Myers — who replaced Chris Farley after the comic's sudden passing — clearly doesn't take the role too seriously. "I was worried about typecasting," he deadpans. "I think I've played too many green ogres." More thoughtfully, read more

Charmed Casts More Than a Spell


Now that churlish Charmed enchantress Shannen Doherty has hung up her pointy black hat, every wannabe Wiccan in Hollywood is reciting incantations in hopes that she will be picked to round out the coven of remaining co-stars Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs. Even Survivor: The Australian Outback antagonist Jerri Manthey has, figuratively speaking, parked her broomstick outside producer Aaron Spelling's office.

"Oh, absolutely!" the wicked witch of Oz tells TV Guide Online. "I'm all over it. Somebody should plant that seed."

Unfortunately for Manthey, a well documented mean streak alone won't get her handed the keys to Doherty's cauldron. "I'm glad she would be interested [in signing on]," cackles a rep for Spelling TV. "Frankly, I just don't see it. But thank you for making me laugh."

Assuming that Manthey's hocus-pocus will never enthrall TV read more

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