Today's News: Our Take

Question: I was watching ...

Question: I was watching Malcolm in the Middle and I noticed that Linwood Boomer is the creator and executive producer of the show. Is this the same guy who played Adam Kendall on Little House on the Prairie?

Televisionary: Indeed it is, and I'm impressed with your memory. (Then again, could there really be two guys walking around with that unique a name?)

From 1978-81 Boomer played young Adam, who instructed Mary (Melissa Sue Anderson) at the school for the blind before stealing her heart and charming her into a walk down the aisle. He then moved behind the camera to work on such shows as Night Court, Flying Blind, Townies, 3rd Rock From the Sun and God, the Devil and Bob. In theaters, he served as an executive producer on the Tom Hanks smash Big.

It's always a pleasant surprise to see an actor on a hit show move on to success as a wri read more


The Peacock Network saw its ratings dip to an all-time low last week, led by its rebroadcast of the miniseries The 10th Kingdom that earned the lowest ratings ever for a non-political prime-time program on NBC. The network also was hurt by low viewership for its coverage of the Republican National Convention. ABC is expected to win the week on the strength of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. — Michael Ausiello read more

Question: On Dateline ...

Question: On Dateline [recently] they did a feature story on nursing homes. At the end of the feature they gave their web site, which contains more information. They gave their URL so fast I didn't have time to write it down. By any chance do you know what it is? Thank you!

Televisionary: I didn't know for sure when you asked, but I sure do now! (The basic formula around here is "no know, no pay." Therefore, I learn — fast.)

Click here for the site you seek. All other Dateline fans, you can check out the show's site here.

read more


Gwyneth Paltrow says that her breakup with Brad Pitt rocked her world, and nothing has been the same since. "It really changed my life," the Oscar winner tells the next Vanity Fair. "When we split up, something changed permanently in me. My heart sort of broke that day, and it will never be the same." Paltrow goes on to say that she "loved every second [of the relationship], but it wasn't healthy. I wouldn't change anything. Even the things I hate most about myself for what happened — the darkest moment of it — I wouldn't change. Because it's made me what I am." read more


The remaining Survivor castaways may want to think twice before voting off Kelly Wiglesworth. The 23-year-old nature guide, who is wanted in Greensboro, NC, for credit-card fraud, was arrested in 1997 for biting her husband, USA Today reports. Wiglesworth was charged with "battery domestic violence" for allegedly biting the nose of then-husband Jay Geary because he lost the house keys. The charges were dropped and the couple later divorced. A Survivor rep, who says producers were aware of the arrest, told USA Today: "During her time on the island, she never bit anyone, not even a rat." Wiglesworth is one of six contestants left on Survivor. read more


A week after landing the role of Spider-Man in the upcoming big-screen remake, Tobey Maguire already has been fitted for the superhero's skintight suit. "They put some kinda grease on my body and then layer after layer of this... stuff," the 25-year-old actor tells Time. "When it hardens, they take it off, and it's a little bit painful 'cause I have hair on my body." Maguire added that he has yet to start pumping up for the part, saying, "Hey, I just got this thing last Friday!" No word on who will join Maguire in the Sam Raimi-directed comic-book caper, but Vincent D'Onofrio insists he's not interested in sprouting mechanical limbs as Spider-Man's formidable foe, Doc Octopus — despite growing fan support on the Internet. Why? Check out today's Insider for an interview. read more

Question: There was a show ...

Question: There was a show called Coronet Blue. It starred Frank Converse as an amnesiac and that was the only phrase he could remember about his past. The show ended and we never found out what the phrase meant. It's been bothering me for the past 25 or so years! I have to know! Thanks. — Mindais

Televisionary: Hold onto your gratitude, friend. As much as I'd love to, I have no way to ease your pain. Only 11 episodes of Coronet Blue, which ran on CBS from May to September of 1967, were ever filmed — and they never led to any kind of conclusion.

As you say, Converse starred as Michael Alden, a man who lost his memory after being dumped into New York Harbor in a failed murder attempt. The only information anyone had to go on were the two words he was mumbling when he was pulled from the water, "coronet blue." Even his name was a construct so that he could go by something other than "hey, you." A monk (Brian Bedford) and a diner read more

Question: I love Bewitched, ...

Question: I love Bewitched, but I thought Samantha's cousin Serena was played by the same person. One day I just happened to see the credits and saw it was played by someone name Pandora (didn't catch the last name). I was shocked. Whatever happened to that person? Can you tell me more about her? She looks so much like the Samantha in the show.

Televisionary: Oh, come now. Do you really want me to ruin the magic of television and reveal all the "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" details?

Of course you do.

In this case, you were right the first time. A mischievous rebel, cousin Serena was indeed played by star Elizabeth Montgomery, though she was credited as Pandora Spocks in a development along the lines of Barbara Eden playing Jeannie's evil dopplegänger in I Dream of Jeannie.

(Wait a minute: Two shows about beautiful, magical women who must hide her abilities from the mortals? Why, it's almost enough to suggest read more

7-UP Guy Makes It

Should you happen upon 7-UP spokesperson Orlando Jones, you might want to shout something a little more clever than "Make 7-UP yours!" As the performer explains, he's tired of being heckled with the very soft drink catchphrase that made him famous.

"I get 'Make 7-UP yours' on a daily basis," he tells TV Guide Online. "In fact, usually they don't even bother with the 'Make 7,' I just get 'UP yours!' Now I get, 'I saw you in a movie, UP yours!' "

Jones, whose 7-UP spots have him doing everything from standing in the middle of a freeway next to a vending machine to accidentally knocking over thousands of soda cans in a supermarket, admits that the current commercial actors strike against advertisers is completely justified. In fact, he says he won't be appearing in any new ads until his "brothers have been compensated. Attica! Attica!

"[But] the strike isn't about jackasses like me," continues Jones, who takes part in a TV Guide Online read more

Bob Dylan, Man of Mystery

Bob Dylan's been making music since the '60s, but biographers still don't seem to be any closer to capturing the private side of the enigmatic pop icon.

Next Sunday's two-hour A&E Biography (Aug. 13, 8 pm/ET) of Dylan ? the latest attempt at revealing what makes the singer tick ? adds little to the previous profiles on the singer-songwriter. But it might just be that fans are looking for complexity where it doesn't exist, offers fellow musician Cesar Diaz.

"He's a very simple man," says Diaz, who's toured with Dylan in recent years. "He doesn't like to be called Mr. Dylan or [his real family name] Mr. Zimmerman. He just likes to be called Bob. He likes to melt into the background and be left alone, and I think that he hates the day that he made it."

So what compels the 59-year-old Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honoree to continue touring? "He likes to be out there because he likes to feel young," Diaz continues, "and [know] that read more

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