Question: Wow. The West Wing's Nov. 23 episode just ended and I'm still in shock. I think that was probably the best episode written by someone other than Aaron Sorkin. It was tension-filled and kept me glued to the television. It was very similar in that regard to the "17 People" episode from The West Wing, the first era. (BTW, we're currently in the second era of The West Wing, better known as the we-no-longer-care-about-the-Bartlet-Administration-and-only-care-about-the-campaign era). It would definitely have been better if the entire hour had been dedicated to the White House, but it was still great. What were your thoughts? Also, is this the end for Richard Schiff? I have not heard that he is leaving the show and it would be perfectly reasonable for the investigation-indictment-prosecution process to take three months, which is about what is left until Election Day, according to the show's time line. I will be very sad to see him go if it is. It would also contribute to my growing ...
Question: Who played the mayor on the television series That's Life? My husband and I have bet a large sum that it was Colin Higgins, the actor from the movie 9 to 5. I'm keeping my fingers crossed — I could really use the money! Thanks.
Answer: Sorry, Wellie, but now you can really use it. Time to uncross those fingers and dig them into the old wallet because the actor who played the mayor on CBS' That's Life was Peter Michael Goetz, not Mr. Higgins.
You may also have caught Goetz on The West Wing, The Practice, Gilmore Girls, Family Law or in guest spots on a slew of other shows. While you're mourning
Question: Any special episodes of ER coming up?
Answer: Big poops! There's a huge plane-crash episode planned for Nov. 17 that'll feature tennis ace Serena Williams as a woman caught in the wreckage on the ground. November/December will also spotlight guest turns by former teen idol C. Thomas Howell (Nov. 10) and The Practice's Lisa Gay Hamilton (Dec. 8). But the really big news is that Rescue Me spitfire Callie Thorne — she plays Denis Leary's psycho stalker Sheila — has landed the pivotal role of John Leguizamo's sexed-up ex. Her first episode airs Dec. 8 and, well, I may have to start watching ER again!
OK, folks, that's all the poop that's fit to print. Before I go, what do you say you join me in a chorus of "Fight On!" to commemorate USC's historic win Saturday against the Fighting Irish. Pleas
Just six years ago Jonathan Shapiro was working as an assistant to the lieutenant governor of California and thinking about running for statewide office. But he underwent a major career shift after he wrote a script for The Practice and was hired by producer David E. Kelley. On Sept. 19, Shapiro's own creation, Just Legal, will premiere on WB. Based on Shapiro's family experiences, the show stars Jay Baruchel as an 18-year-old prodigy who passes the California bar exam but can't get a job with a decent law firm. He gets his break when he's hired by an ambulance chaser with an alcohol problem (Don Johnson). The Biz recently spoke with Shapiro about his new show and about how TV may have saved him from a life of unsuccessful political fundraising.
TVGuide.com: Before you got into television, you were counting on having a career in politics.
Jonathan Shapiro: I planned my entire life to run for office. I was a speechwriter fo
Question: I recently caught a Christmas episode of Spin City that featured Charlie Sheen. Some of the staff appeared to be in an orphanage distributing gifts. Is it me or was that little blonde girl (I think her name was Cindy) the same girl who was in Taken?
Answer: Good eye, Kayla. Taken's small wonder, Dakota Fanning, did indeed play wee Cindy in the "Toy Story" episode, which originally aired on Dec. 20, 2000. At that young age her other TV appearances already included ER, Ally McBeal, The Practice, CSI and Malcolm in the Middle.
Where has Kelli Williams been since she exited The Practice last year? After learning she was one of six pink-slipped series regulars — including her TV hubby Dylan McDermott — the actress focused on motherhood.
"I had my third child four months after I left The Practice ," she says. "So I got to spend a ton of time with my kids [Kiran, 6, Sarame, 3, and Ravi, 1]. I worked a little bit, but it wasn't a priority to me. I just wanted to not have to go to work, be with the kids and look for something for this TV season."
By the way, she's past feeling bitter about losing her signature role as lady lawyer Lindsay Dole. "Things have a way of working themselves out," Williams shrugs. "It's never fun to be let go from a job. They say you should experience that once. It's all good in the course of life, even when it's hard. I went back and directed an episode with James Spader and my own cast mates, which