The REAL Francis Bavier (Aunt Bee) / Walter Cronkite Highlights / Joan Crawford on TV / Gas Prices and the Presidential Elections / Recasting Roles in 60s Sitcoms / Walter Murphy / Will Ferrell Old Milwaukee Beer Commercials / Classic TV Promos / Ed Wynn / Silent Star Marion Mack / Rudy Ray Moore / Natalie Wood Mystery
Rebel Wilson, MTV Awards host: “I’m just a fat, simple girl from Australia. All I’ve ever hosted is this parasitic worm.”
Speaking of zingers at awards shows, I've got a new article on Bette Midler's 1970s TV appearances with video highlights her Grammy and Tony shows along with the entire 2 hour Rolling Stone magazine 10th anniversary special.
Legendary actress Elaine Stritch is going into "semi-retirement" and moving to her childhood home in Michigan.
Aubrey Plaza (whoever that is), drink in hand, crashed Will Ferrell's acceptance speech on the MTV Awards show and was ejected from the premises. That's a very bizarre thing to do, I can't think of another example. But it got her name in the papers.
The final round of the Masters golf tournament on CBS saw a ratings jump of 26 percent from last year.
One of Johnny Carson's writers has spoken (a bit) about the legendary comic.
Just for laughs, from 1977 comes the 400th episode of The Gong Show starring Chuck Barris. 400 may seem like a remarkable run, after all this weird NBC game show began just a year earlier, but it aired five days and five nights a week. The daytime version was cancelled a year later in 1977. Did you know regular Jaye P. Morgan was banned from the series by NBC after too many risque quips and baring her breasts? I loved her.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Classic TV star Francine York has a new web site, FrancineYork.net.
$5.7 million has been raised on Kickstarter campaign for the Veronica Mars movie.
Michael Jackson 'offspring' Paris wants to restore Neverland to its former glory. Is the kid as emotionally tone deaf as his father? After what went on there?
Patrick Duffy is hinting that a Step by Step reunion would be fine with him. Remember Dallas co-star Sasha Mitchell also appeared on that show but hasn't turned up on the new Dallas (thank goodness, James Beaumont, JR's illegitimate son, was a lame character). He's had legal problems, in September 1995 he was convicted of hitting his wife Jeanette, and for a few weeks had to serve time in jail while filming the sitcom. He is very rarely seen on TV today.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Roger Ebert: "I hated this movie ['North']. Hated, hated, hated, hated, hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it."
The Superman reboot (again?) 'Man of Steel' debuts in two months, on June 14th. The movie replaces Brandon Routh with Henry Cavill as the lead character and starts over completely, going back to the origin story. The film has a fine cast including Russell Crowe as Jor-el, Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, and Amy Adams as Superman's love interest Lois Lane. Soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer commented: "What was important for Superman was the simple fact that none of us pay much attention to the Midwest. I know America mainly by the big cities, but if you go into the Midwest, there is a people there and there is a country there. And I thought it was important that the decent folk, simple folk be the heart of the story, and a character who is guileless, who isn't complicated in the sort of flawed way our Dark Knight is, and isn't political in any way. He's just striving to become a better part of humanity." That, at least, sounds promising. I thought 'Superman Returns' was a dreadful film.
Speaking of remakes a new version of 'Carrie' is coming this summer. The original was pitch perfect and I seriously doubt anyone can improve on it. There's just no way. The combination of Piper Laurie and Sissy Spacek and the script that allowed the audience to feel genuine empathy for Carrie by showing the banality of evil was unbeatable. Allowing the movie to 'breathe' so to speak and slowly unfold was a very 1970's thing but necessary to get the true, full impact of the ending. I'm sure you could come at the storyline from an entirely different direction but it wouldn't be 'Carrie,' just a hyper-kinetic kid who gets taunted at school and drenched in pig's blood at the prom.
Monday, April 8, 2013
The Hot in Cleveland taping reuniting Valerie Harper, Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White, Georgia Engel, and Cloris Leachman took place Friday, April 5th. Here's part of a press conference held afterward.
The Bible mini-seies is now out on DVD - that's good timing, they should sell millions.
“Anyone who’s seen Bob [Saget’s] stand-up knows it’s nothing like Full House. He played a sweet dad for Full House; he plays a terrible comedian for a half-full house.” -Sarah Silverman
I found some unusual and disturbing news stories from around the world... News Regurgitator, just for you!
A new ABC series coming to a TV near you, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It's executive Produced and co-written by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse, Dr.Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), Jeffrey Bell (Angel, Alias) and Jeph Loeb (Smallville, Lost, Heroes).
Wesley Snipes has completed the prison time he got for tax evasion.
A very funny episode from the spring of 1978, America 2night, check out the very young performers Gary Coleman and Corey Feldman:
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Wrestling immortal Ric Flair's son has died at age 25, no word on a cause of death.
The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention superstars that have been announced include Julie Newmar, Margaret O'Brien, Ed Asner, Johnny Crawford, Robert Loggia, Larry Storch, and many others. The convention is set for September.
Fresh on the heels of the extremely successful Kickstarter campaign to bring Veronica Mars to the big screen Funny or Die wants to revive some TV series from the 1990s. They include Dinosaurs, Wings, Darkwing Duck, Family Matters, and Sliders. (I'm not familiar with that last one but I say here here. I'd like to see the Family Matters cast working again for one thing! If you like the idea, click over to Kickstarter and fund one of your fave shows. Why not revive Lost in Space with the surviving cast members?
AMC's "The Walking Dead" finale attracted 12.4 million viewers and 8.1 million adults 18-49 making it largest audience in the series history.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
The Bible has been a big hit for the History Channel. A scholar points out 5 things the production got wrong - although with a book like that, open to so many interpretations, it might be subjective. One criticism... too many Caucasians.
Amazon is making a pilot out of the movie Zombieland. Whether it makes it to series depends on the viewer reaction, making it a much more reliable version of audience testing. Smart move. This larger more representative of the true audience sampling will be more immediate and visceral... and should prove successful. I always found testing by the studios in the 80s & 90s was good only to tell you what people wanted yesterday, not tomorrow. Believe me I was in the minority in that view. After all, I figured, Star Wars tested notoriously lousy.
The more Leno makes ridicules NBC the higher his ratings go. That's a tradition that goes back to radio if you think about it, I have no idea why the network is so steamed at the Tonight show host.
Speaking of feuds... someone has posted a ton of Jack Benny Programs on You Tube, including this episode with Fred Allen. Oh joy!
Friday, March 29, 2013
Jay Leno: "You know the whole legend of St. Patrick, right? St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland and then they came into the United States and became NBC executives."
TV Land has renewed Hot in Cleveland for a fifth season. That 24-episode order brings the series to a total of 104 episodes, and it's a hit in syndication. Valerie Harper will will join Mary Tyler Moore, Cloris Leachman and Betty White in an upcoming episode, it's the first time they've been on screen together since The Mary Tyler Moore Show finale in 1977. The taping is April 5th, expect it to be the hottest ticket in LA.
The premiere of Bates Motel was a smash, with 3 million viewers.
The Dr. Who series turns fifty this year.
It's movie Trailer time! First up, Star Trek Into Darkness:
And another summer blockbuster, Iron Man 3. Can they do it again? The odds aren't good for the third film in a series.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Jim Longworth has a very though provoking article on the 1983 live TV movie 'Special Bulletin'.
I break down here why I don't think Hollywood can pull off a Justice League movie.
Thanks to Kevin Butler for the heads up - puppeteer supreme Craig Marin has created a Facebook page dedicated to Sandy Becker - specifically "Sandy Becker's Christmas Carol"
Remember 'Totally Hidden Video' on FOX back in the 1980s? There were occasionally (rarely) some funny segments but for the most part I didn't believe that the people being punked didn't realize what was going on. You'd have the lighting neccesary for a TV shoot for one thing, and they're in LA. Here's a prime example. (I don't know why I brought that up...)
Tuesday, March 18, 2013
Malachi Throne, known for roles on the Batman and Star Trek TV shows, has died. He was 84. In a prime example of how actors embellish their resumes, Throne said this about his Batman appearance: "Everyone wanted to know who played False-Face. It was a two-part episode, so after the first week the papers were abuzz. Eventually, I cooled down and let them put my name at the end of the second episode. It was the best press I ever got in my life."
There may have been some heat in Hollywood behind 'who was False Face' after the Wednesday night it aired in 1966. True, it was a two-parter (they all were) but the second episode aired the night after the first, not the next week. It's also true that the actor playing False Face went uncredited in the opening and closing of the first outing and only recieved credit at the end of the conclusion on Thursday night. And 'True or False Face' was the 17th episode of the first season, just as Batmania exploded. Batman was the biggest thing on television by that point but the credits would have been locked down from the start. I'm not knocking the guy just sayin'...
Sunday, March 17, 2013
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