Question: I read an article recently indicating that Mary Steenburgen had never previously worked on television. The lead-in read, "Mary Steenburgen Working on Joan of Arcadia, First Time She's Ever Acted on Television." Didn't she star with husband Ted Danson on a short-lived series set in a newspaper office sometime in the mid-'90s? And hasn't she also made guest appearances on TV? I seem to recall her being on Becker. Thanks for your help. Stephen M., Huntington, N.Y.
Televisionary: That's just an example of bad headline writing, Stephen. Out of curiosity, I went and found the news item you saw. While the headline reads exactly as you say, the story itself never makes such a claim. Rather, it says Steenburgen was nervous about working on a regular TV series because she's never been on any job TV included for more than three or four months at a pop.
As you say, the actress appeared in a guest role on Becker (with husband Ted Danson), and also has guest credits on such series as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Ellen and Frasier. And she did co-star with Danson on CBS's Ink, in which the two played a divorced couple working at the same New York paper. However, that show lasted only a season after its October 1996 launch, and her other TV work has been in miniseries and the like.
It's not my job to chide other sites and publications (especially since I ain't exactly perfect myself), so I'm purposely not saying where I found that headline. But somebody needs to read a little more closely before writing such things.