Marc Peyser

Reality On Foot

Claustrophobia has been good to reality TV. Not as good as Richard and the rats or Mandy and Billy's near-miss infidelities, but a major benefactor just the same.

Tony Takes On The President

Did you know that there's an Emmy Award for outstanding commercial? Isn't that like giving a Pulitzer Prize in literature for the best book-jacket copy? Considering how product-placement spots are threatening to turn many TV programs into extended advertisements, blurring the line between art and commerce seems like a dumb thing to do, especially for an industry that wants to be taken as seriously as the folks who make motion pictures.

See It Here First

I am happy to report that every single new sitcom and drama this year is going to be a smash hit. In fact, the networks will have their best year ever, and this on the heels of what was quite possibly the best season in the history of television.

God, Mammon, And 'Bibleman'

Some directors say a little prayer before they launch a new movie. Matthew Crouch isn't taking any chances. He plans to visit 1,900 preachers before his $20 million film, "Megiddo: Omega Code 2," hits theaters in September.

'Real World' After All

MTV's "The Real World" kicks off its 10th season next week, and it's still the most demographically diverse show since the Jeffersons moved into that dee-luxe apartment in the sky.

America's Beloved Bigot

Archie Bunker may have been TV's all-time greatest bigot, but he wasn't above seeking counsel from a "spade," "hebe" or "spic" when the situation required one.

'Producers' Tickets Here!

Did you hear the story about the empty seat in the fifth row for "The Producers"? A woman who saw the precious perch leaned over to the man sitting next to it. "Is that your seat?" she asked him. "Yes, it is," the man said. "My wife was supposed to come, but she couldn't make it." The woman was dumbfounded. "This is a very popular show.

Arts Extra: High Anxiety

We Tony Award fanatics are a rare breed, which is really a nice way of saying that there aren't very many of us losers around. Sure, there are a few (mostly gay) bars in New York that host Tony-watching parties, and you could probably hunt down a Tony-betting pool here and there.

A Family Drama To Die For

Television can be torture to watch, but have you ever thought about what it's like for the poor people who write this stuff? Alan Ball's 1999 series, "Oh Grow Up," survived all of 11 episodes on ABC. "One critic said it was the first show that was actually physically painful to watch," Ball says.

Out Of The Attic, At Last

The last time we see Anne Frank alive in the ABC miniseries "Anne Frank," she's sitting on the dirt floor inside the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp cradling her dying sister, Margot, in her arms.

Family Notes

Summer is a welcome break from school, but it's also a time when a lot of kids end up in the emergency room because of what are often preventable accidents.

Arts Extra: Once And Again

Am I the only one who is completely baffled by this whole Hollywood strike business? Who exactly is threatening to strike, anyway? The writers? The actors?

When 'Chains Of Love' Become A Chain Of Fools

Marry a stranger? Sure. Cheat on your girlfriend? OK. Throw yourself at a guy from Texas named after a cheese? No problem. The short, raunchy history of reality TV has been something like a game of limbo: the lower you go, the more you win.

Sorry And Grateful, After All, For 'Follies'

If Stephen Sondheim is the theater's poet laureate of regret, "Follies" is his grief-stricken masterpiece. "Follies" centers on a group of retired showgirls who reunite just before their New York theater is about to be demolished.

Why The Sopranos Sing

Nothing Else On Tv Can Touch Hbo's Mob Hit-And That's Got The Network Suits Watching Their Backs. Will 'The Sopranos' Change The Face Of Television?

From Broadway To Boob Tube

So Emma Thompson shaved her head for a measly TV movie. Big deal. "I thought the whole shaved-head thing was old news since Sinead and Sigourney," says Thompson.

HBO's Godfather

David Chase created the acclaimed 'The Sopranos.' Now he wants to bump it off.

A Garland For Dorothy

Wearing that fat suit was a bitch. She's not looking forward to the poison-pen letters from the Judy fanatics, either. But at the moment, the actress Judy Davis's biggest Garland-related worry is pharmacological.

Comedian In Chief

Will Ferrell is as busy as that real guy in the White House--maybe busier, since he doesn't have Dick Cheney to do his heavy lifting. In fact, Ferrell's got only a few minutes to talk on the phone.

BRING ON THE BENCH WARMERS

In television, there's no shame in playing second string. In fact, some of the biggest hits in history--"All in the Family," "Happy Days"--only made it on the air to fill a hole when a fall program stumbled.

Reality Tv's Real Survivor

For years, Mike Darnell had his tombstone all planned. "I used to say I'd put: however he died, I hope he caught it on tape," Darnell says. "I don't think that anymore." Perhaps that's because this year he got a good look at what death might, professionally speaking,look like.

Seuss On The Loose

A Dr. Seuss musical--why didn't someone think of that ages ago? After all, Walt Disney and Charles Schulz landed cartoons on Broadway, and cats (albeit without hats) have certainly done well.

Gay All The Way

Television has finally created a man who can go toe-to-naked-toe with the bed-hopping ladies of "Sex and the City." His name is Brian (Gale Harold), a Pittsburgh advertising executive with a sexy grin, smoldering brown eyes and pheromones that never miss.

Beyond Cute

Most of the time, people call her the Pepsi Girl. It happens at Hollywood openings. "We were sitting at the premiere of 'The Insider.' Al Pacino is sitting over there, and Russell Crowe is in that corner," says her mother, Amy. "And she comes on the screen and you hear the murmurs: 'Pepsi Girl.' It's so funny." It happens on the street, too. "She's recognized everywhere," says actress Alison Elliott. "People would ask, 'Oh, my God, is that the Pepsi Girl?

Crass Course

The people who have turned the hit movie "The Full Monty" into a Broadway musical took the stripping concept very seriously. They've not only removed the cast's clothes (though the fleeting frontal shot is no "Oh, Calcutta!").

Sidekicks No More: The Triumph Of The Costars

Jerry is biting his fingernails waiting to become a dad. Jason Alexander is off making bad movies. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is--has anybody seen Julia lately? Two years ago who would have guessed that Michael Richards--a.k.a.

Al And Dubya After Hours

Darrell Hammond knows Al Gore's lips so well, he could have been Tipper's kissing coach. Not that Hammond has ever come that close to the vice presidential pucker.

Star Appeal

Believe it or not, Darren Star says there was one "Sex and the City" episode that was actually too raunchy to air. The show in question revolved around Charlotte (Kristin Davis), the prissiest of the sitcom's hormonal quartet.

'Survivor' Tsunami

Talk About Addictive. We Kept Watching 'Survivor' Even After They Kicked Colleen Off The Island. This Week 40 Million Americans Will Tune In To Find Out Which One Of The Final Four Will Escape Cutthroat Island Without A Knife In The Back And With A Million Dollars In The Bank. An Exclusive Look Inside The Last Days Of A Tv Juggernaut.

High School Confidential

Morgan moss gets thefirst line in the new Fox TV show "American High," and it's a doozy. "These are the years that you're supposed to go f---ing wild, blame it all on your parents or society, not have to suffer consequences, have unprotected sex, go do drugs, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, watch pornos, rent porno movies, get porno magazines.

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