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But I'm Not Sure Ben Kingsley Could Sing ''Walk This Way''

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 30, 2006

I was out in the car today, flipping through XM channels and pausing at Taylor Hicks's ''Do I Make Your Proud.'' And began thinking about Ben Kingsley.

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Once You Get Real Football...

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 30, 2006

This was in the e-mail:

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Big Gulp TV

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 30, 2006

Right now I'm watching the 11th episode of the Showtime series ''Brotherhood,'' which premieres on July 9. The 11th is the last of the show's inaugural season and yes, I have watched the 10 preceding it, the TV on my desk running while I went through papers, organized press releases, answered e-mails and planned some projects.

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More ''Closer''

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 30, 2006

From today's e-mail:

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Thinking ''Superman''

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 27, 2006

Beacon Journal movie critic George Thomas and I sat down last week and recorded a podcast about our various likes and dislikes regarding Superman, as a tie-in to -- what else -- ''Superman Returns.'' It was a really nostalgic journey for me, and one that reminded me how much the various incarnations of Superman have been a part of my life.

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Goodbye, Knight Ridder

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 27, 2006

Not long ago we had our farewell to Knight Ridder, which ceases to exist today, with the Beacon Journal and other papers going to new owners.

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Star's Out

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 27, 2006

Star Jones Reynolds can now go somewhere else to show off her alarmingly thin frame; as was widely predicted, she is leaving ''The View.'' Here's her statement, from today's e-mail:

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''He Raped Her''

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 26, 2006

There's been an ongoing debate about last week's episode of ''Rescue Me,'' because of the scene where Tommy and his ex-wife Janet had a confrontation that looked like a textbook rape. Even worse, it fell back on a pulp-fiction cliche, with Janet becoming aroused during the assault, suggesting as too many things have that conflict with a woman can be settled in a direct physical way.

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Monday Morning Notebook: ''Broken Trail,'' ''Family''

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 26, 2006

As I mentioned in my notes about Aaron Spelling (below), the producer was especially proud of ''Family,'' the acclaimed ABC drama from 1976-80. Now comes news that it will be released on DVD. Here's the announcement:

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Aaron Spelling

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 24, 2006

I crossed paths with Aaron Spelling, who died Friday, more than once over the years. How could you not?

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The Sound of ''Earl''

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 23, 2006

Hurry... Updated and Expanded

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 22, 2006

... to www.youtube.com and watch all of ''Nobody's Watching,'' the best new sitcom you will see this summer -- and probably this fall as well. I'll have more about it later, but for now, go watch.

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Celebrities Do It: How About You?

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 22, 2006

For some reason -- probably the intense attempt at indicating trendiness -- the following announcement amused me:

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Fox Fall Premiere Dates

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 21, 2006

Because it's never too early to start planning your viewing...

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''Mama's Family'' on DVD

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 20, 2006

Believe it or not, people have asked about this. So here's the announcement:

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Goodbye, Dan, Again (Updated) (And Bye, Connie, Please!)

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 20, 2006

Much buzzing the last couple of days about Dan Rather leaving CBS after 44 years. It's now official, as you can read here. No doubt this will prompt extended reflection on his career, his influence and his decline.

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Back on the Online Block (Expanded)

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 19, 2006

My study is beautiful, if a bit spartan for the time being. We have moved the desk back in, which gave me a place to hook up the computer, and I can go back to blogging from home in the most casual of wear. (Trust me, the less said the better.) I'll be online later with a few thoughts, none of which involves ''W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings.''

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Missing the Internet and Other Weekend Issues

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 19, 2006

A couple of friends lately have mentioned trying to go without TV for an extended period -- with some exceptions. (One borrowed a review DVD of a show airing during the no-TV period, so it could be watched before video abstinence kicked in.) I have had my own brand of denial for the last day or so, and it isn't fun.

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''Weeds'' on DVD

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 16, 2006

Here's the official announcement:

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''Dispatches From the Edge''

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 16, 2006

Near the end of Anderson Cooper's book ''Dispatches From the Edge,'' he writes that ''I've started to believe in signs and magical thinking.'' The line delighted me. More than once, reading Cooper's book, I thought of Didion, and her book ''The Year of Magical Thinking.''

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CBS Summer Changes

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 15, 2006

Here's an announcement from CBS today...

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''Nighty'' No? (Or Has ''The Office'' Changed the Rules?)

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 14, 2006

Over the weekend I was talking to my cousin, who lives in London, and the issue of TV came up. (I know, I know, wherever I am, the issue of TV comes up.) We were talking about what he watched and he mentioned ''Nighty Night.''

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The Post 9/11 Drama Five Years On

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 14, 2006

Yesterday kind of got away from me. Morning telephone interviews with Tavis Smiley and the Son of Ghoul, mailbag questions, writing the Smiley story for Thursday's paper, some family business,  an afternoon meeting, a little more Anderson Cooper ... Days fill up, and they don't always feel as if we control them.

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Monday Night

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 12, 2006

I didn't see as much of the US-Czech Republic soccer match as I had hoped, but by the time I got to it, the Czechs were up 2-0 and things were pretty settled anyway. I'm saving my ''Hell's Kitchen'' comments until after I watch tonight's second hour; a review disc I had included only the first. And, while the invective hurled was intermittently entertaining, I want to see if it there's anything different in the second hour.

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Is Dating Dead?

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 12, 2006

At least, have we seen the end of dating as we used to know it -- two people meet, go out together, get to know each other? I've been feeling that it's an outmoded form based on the modern dating shows -- ''Date My Mom,'' "Next,'' shows where the idea of making a match also means making a gimmick. But I was especially disheartened by ''How to Get the Guy,'' premiering tonight on ABC, which indicates that smart, capable women still need to be instructed in things like making eye contact and paying compliments.

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Later Rather Than Sooner... (Expanded)

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 12, 2006

After filing some notes here this morning, a few additional points occurred to me, which I have added in bold type like this.

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Back Soon...

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 8, 2006

I was going to make a joke here about being busy googling the lyrics to ''O Canada'' but just about everyone at the Beacon Journal has made an ''O Canada'' joke by now. (And if you're confused by that comment, read the story here.) I do expect to post a list soon of the many fine Canadians who have worked in U.S. television, as well as an appreciation of ''King of Kensington.'' (And if you don't get that reference, see here.)

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More ''The Shield,'' But With a Farewell Timetable

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 5, 2006

Fans of ''The Shield,'' me among them, have feared that the 10 episodes planned for 2007 were going to be the last. But there will be more than that. Although those 10 have been thought of as a continuation of the current season, FX is now treating them as a separate, sixth season. (Forest Whitaker, so good on the show recently, will be back on a limited basis for that sixth season.) And there will be a seventh after that.

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'"The Sopranos,'' Baseball

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 5, 2006

The semi-season finale of ''The Sopranos'' on Sunday was a frustrating hour. As much as I understood what the show was doing, I wasn't crazy about the way it went about its business.

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Yes. ''JAG'' Is Coming to DVD

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 2, 2006

It's only taken a decade, and countless requests from fans, but ''JAG'' will finally appear on DVD on July 25. Paramount is releasing the ''Complete First Season'' set of episodes, apparently from the show's NBC run, in a six-disc set retailing for about $65. Expected extras include three featurettes: ''How the Series Took Flight,'' ''JAG: An Inside Look'' and ''The Military Accuracy.'' There's also a commentary from series co-creator Donald P. Bellisario on the show's pilot episode. That should be pretty good; I enjoyed Bellisario's commentary on the pilot of the ''NCIS'' first-season set, which hits stores on Tuesday.

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Katie Couric

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 1, 2006

If you haven't read enough about Katie's farewell, you can find my column for today's Beacon Journal right here.

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