Today's News: Our Take


FAT CHANCE

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

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

GRACE GETS WOODY

Former Cheers actor Woody Harrelson will guest star on four episodes of Will &#038 Grace to air during May sweeps. He'll play Nathan, a slovenly neighbor whose rude manners irk Grace (Debra Messing) — until the wily redhead glimpses his secret romantic side. read more

NEW JACKASS WARNING

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

LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT'S THE BOSS!

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

CBS LOVES RAYMOND

CBS will pay upwards of $140 million for two more years of Everybody Loves Raymond, Variety reports. The deal — which keeps the TV Guide Award-winning sitcom on CBS's schedule through the 2002-03 television season — calls for the network to shell out slightly less than $3 million an episode. read more

REUNITED

Elton John and rapper Eminem reunited at Monday's Brit Awards for the first time since the duo performed together at the Grammys last week. John presented the rapper with the Best International Male Artist prize at Britain's most prestigious music awards. "And the winner is... Steely Dan," Eminem joked after receiving the trophy, a reference to losing the Album of the Year Grammy to the music vets. Fresh off her Grammy shut-out, Madonna was named Best International Female Artist. U2, meanwhile, were chosen Best International Group. read more

SHORT CUTS

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

A FRIEND IN NEED

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

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