Today's News: Our Take


MTV has quietly changed the disclaimer for its controversial series Jackass after a 13-year-old boy — mimicking a stunt from the show — set himself on fire. Additionally, the network has begun airing the program an hour later, at 10 pm/ET. According to the Los Angeles Times, the new warning alerts viewers to the dangers of copying stunts performed on the show. read more


Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will release a double CD April 3 featuring 19 songs recorded live at Madison Square Garden last summer. Among the tracks on Live in New York City: "American Skin (41 Shots)," the controversial song inspired by the 1999 killing of West African immigrant Amadou Diallo at the hands of four NYC cops. read more

Question: Please help settle ...

Question: Please help settle a bet. Who played alongside Robert Young in Marcus Welby, M.D? Was it James Brolin or Chad Everett? Also, what other doctor show did Everett appear in?

Televisionary: Whatever is at stake (and you know I hate when you don't tell me), somebody's going to be happy. (You didn't even have the common courtesy to tell me which actor you were betting on, for crying out loud.)

'Twas Mr. Barbra Streisand (that's Brolin, for the confused among you) who portrayed Dr. Steven Kiley on the medical drama, which ran on ABC from September 1969 to May 1976. The character was a neurologist-in-training who signed on to work with Welby and his Santa Monica practice for a year, but ended up staying on. Not a bad choice, considering the longer stint on the show resulted in his marrying the eye-pleasing Janet (Pamela Hensley) in '75.

Everett played sawbones Dr. Joe Gannon on Medical Center, which practiced o read more


Troubled Friends star Matthew Perry, 32, checked himself into a rehab facility Friday on the advice of his doctors. Though his spokesperson, Lisa Kasteler, declined to name Perry's malady, rumors of drug problems continue to haunt the actor. "Matthew has every intention of completing his treatment so that he can continue his dream of entertaining people and making them laugh," Kasteler said. "He appreciates everyone's concern and thanks them for respecting his privacy." In 1997, Perry was treated for an addiction to painkillers. read more


Bill Cosby is bringing Fat Albert to the big screen. According to The Associated Press, the funnyman is turning his popular Saturday morning cartoon — which ran from 1972 to 1984 — into a live-action film. Cosby is penning the screenplay with writing partner Charles Kipps, but it's unclear whether the sitcom star will also play a role in the movie. read more


The first part of ABC's acclaimed miniseries Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows attracted 20.3 million viewers Sunday night — the largest audience for any TV movie this season. Meanwhile, Fox was celebrating the best ratings in a year for both The X-Files and Malcolm in the Middle... ABC will present a "Classic TV Star Edition" of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire the week of March 18, featuring Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie), Sherman Hemsley (The Jeffersons), Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time), Adam West (Batman), Marion Ross (Happy Days), Kim Fields (The Facts of Life), Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family), Cindy Williams (Laverne &#038 Shirley), Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch) and Ted Lange (The Love Boat). — Michael Ausiello with Daniel R. Coleridge read more

Question: I love your column! ...

Question: I love your column! As someone who was raised in a foreign culture, TV was my education to the American experience. Some may say that is a tragedy, but I loved watching all the cornball shows in my childhood! Anyway, after being introduced to CSI by a friend, I was struck by its similarity to another show I remembered way back in the 1980s. It was a very brooding show on ABC about a team of forensic scientists tracking down serial criminals. It made a real impression on my mind as a kid because it was so dark. I can't for the life of me remember the title, but I remember the premiere episode had that blond guy from Starsky and Hutch as a criminal with a shoe fetish! Am I crazy? Was this just a figment of the imagination of a latch-key kid? You are my only hope, Obi-Wan! — NTT

Televisionary: Whoa there, NTT. Much as I love my job, I, too, must admit I'm a little unsettled by the notion of foreign nationals gleaning details of American life from our read more

Question: Answer me this: Did ...

Question: Answer me this: Did Perry Mason ever lose a case? If you use that and are still feeling generous, didn't the same actor star as a cop in a wheelchair? What was the name of that show? Thanks.

Televisionary: Well, yes and no. The celebrated, deeply intense defense attorney (Raymond Burr) never saw a client punished for a crime he or she didn't commit. Over the show's long 1957-66 run on CBS, Mason racked up a near-perfect record against D.A. Hamilton Burger (William Talman), but for one trial he lost for a client unwilling to give him access to the evidence that would exonerate her. Perry being Perry, of course, he went out and got it himself, clearing her name anyway (the device that made the drama more of a mystery series than a legal show).

Given his long string of losses, it's a wonder poor Burger kept getting elected. It was bad enough that he couldn't beat the imposing Mason, but he also pressed case after case against the innocent — and h read more

Question: Back in the late ...

Question: Back in the late '60s there was a show that started with the following opening: "It's about time, it's about space...." Can you please tell me what show those lines came from? Thank you.

Televisionary: You're thinking of It's About Time, a sitcom produced by Sherwood Schwartz (Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch). It focused on two astronauts, Hector Canfield (Jack Mullaney) and Mac MacKenzie (Frank Aletter) whose capsule traveled through time and landed them in the Stone Age. The theme song for the show, which debuted on CBS in September 1966 and left the airwaves the following August, began with the lines "It's about time, it's about space."

It's About Time also featured a family of cave people, played by Joe E. Ross (Car 54, Where Are You?), Imogene Coca (Your Show of Shows), Mary Grace and Pat Cardi, who lived nearby. About halfway through its run, the series's two flyb read more

Survivor's Animal Lover Bites Back

Survivor's Kimmi Kappenberg, the 28-year-old vegetarian from Ronkonkoma, N.Y., whose vocal animal rights stance led her fellow meat-eating, pig-butchering contestants to kick her out of the Australian Outback in last week's episode, may be rewarded for her endless grousing: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is interested in recruiting the bartender to be a spokesperson.

"We are going to be getting in touch with her [to discuss it]," reveals Lisa Lange, PETA's director of policy and communications. "Kimmi did the animals and PETA proud by sticking to her convictions."

On Friday's Early Show, host Jane Clayson suggested to Kappenberg that she go to work for PETA, an idea the Long Island native didn't reject. What she did shoot down, however, was the perception that she took her crusade to protect the local wildlife too far. (Just prior to getting the boot, Kappenberg got into a finger-pointin' brawl with fellow Kuchan Al read more

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