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COMING TO FX
I've just screened some upcoming episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and I'm pleased to say this show continues to get better with time. In fact, FX has the best original shows anywhere on the dial right now.

If you haven't seen Sunny you should, everyone is talking about it; the program's attracting a legion of fans for the third season, a solid ratings hit for the network. It's a clever improv-based sitcom set in a bar that works by staying light - from the 1960's elevator music inspired theme to the silly plotlines. Not to mention the likeable cast that includes Danny DeVito, once again delightfully cast as a conscience-less cretin.

All of the upcoming episodes hit the sweet spot; look for some gut-busting moments, especially during the episode where the gang sells the bar and goes to work at an Applebees type restaurant. Pure gold!

Think of all the successful sitcoms that featured a bar as a major component - Cheers, of course, and Archie Bunker's Place but also Bewitched, Murphy Brown and dozens more. If you can make it work it's a natural setting for laughs. Heck, on Dallas and Dynasty the guys had bars in their offices and those shows are funny as hell.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia can be seen in back-to-back episodes Thursday nights at 10:00pm on FX.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 10:26am
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ROSEANNE
I'm really looking forward to Roseanne Season 9 coming next week to DVD. This was the final season where Dan and Roseanne win the lottery. I haven't seen any of the ninth season episodes, though I'm crazy about seasons 5 - 7. Year 8 was pretty good as well but for the show's final run it was decided to shake things up and open up new opportunities for humor.

I'm hoping there's a healthy Beverly Hillbillies / Filthy Rich influence on year 9. Filthy Rich, if you don't remember, was an exceedingly funny 1982 show produced and starring the folks behind Designing Women which came a few years later. It concerns a white trash family that inherits a mansion and millions of dollars and it was hilarious, at least it appealed to my base sensibilities.

Filthy Rich starred the irascible Slim Pickens as the deceased millionaire (he appeared in video taped messages) along with Delta Burke and Dixie Carter of Designing Women. (Forrest Tucker took over the role of 'Big Guy' when Pickens passed away after shooting the summer run.)

This Dallas / Dynasty take off was originally scheduled for a four week summer run, was brought back in the fall but failed to attract an audience, was cancelled and then renewed hastily then cancelled for good before the end of the season, then rerun over the summer of 1983.

It was one of my favorite shows of all time, one of the few TV programs I watched in the 1980s and I haven't seen it since it aired. There's probably a slim to none chance it will turn up on DVD, huh?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 - 10:36am
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QUOTABLES FROM NBC'S 'LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN' OCTOBER 1-5 (Mondays ˆ Fridays, 12:35 a.m. ET ˆ 1:35 a.m. ET)
"The airport bathroom where Senator Larry Craig was arrested is now being renovated and the new bathroom will have stall dividers that go all the way down to the floor. When he heard about the new stall dividers, Senator Craig said: "It doesn't matter -- love will find a way."

"Over the weekend, the tickets for the Spice Girls reunion concert in London sold out in 38 seconds. Also gone in 38 seconds -- the self-respect of an entire city."

"According to a new report, one of the New York Mets' players is being accused of taking steroids. Apparently, he's being accused of taking them incorrectly."

"ABC is trying to promote its new series 'Cavemen;' so they sent one of the actors from the show dressed as Cro-Magnon Man to appear on 'The View.' There was an awkward moment when Barbara Walters said, 'What's my prom date doing here?'"

"As part of a legal ruling that's intended to seize all of his assets, O.J. Simpson must now give up his Rolex watch. As a result, anyone scheduled to be murdered by O.J. should expect him to arrive 20-30 minutes late."

"President Bush's daughter Jenna is now saying that she doesn't want to get married at the White House; she wants her wedding to be in Crawford, Texas. When asked why, Jenna said, 'I want my Dad to be there.'"

"A porn star named Barbie Cummings is claiming that she recently got out of a speeding ticket by performing oral sex on the cop who pulled her over. The porn star also said she has never paid her gardener or tipped the pizza delivery guy."

"Yesterday in Los Angeles, Kevin Federline showed up to his child custody hearing wearing a patch over his eye. Even more strange-Britney was wearing underwear over her vagina."

Monday, October 8, 2007 - 11:03am
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HEROES SNEAK PEEK
Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura from Star Trek, is joining the cast of Heroes as the grandmother of the new super person, Monica of New Orleans. It's great to see classic TV actors at work again, George Takei was absolutely brilliant last season on the show.

Monday, October 8, 2007 - 10:45am
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SUNDAY YOU TUBING
One of my favorite talk shows of the 1970s was Dinah, an afternoon chat fest hosted by Dinah Shore. She had an amazing array of guests on over the years, performers you didn't see often on TV. This first clip from 1975 features David Bowie and Fonzie himself, Henry Winkler, along with Nancy Walker.

Next up, Andy Kaufman as Tony Clifton. Unfortunately the best portion of this taping was destroyed, the part where 'Tony' forces Dinah to sing with him even though she begs off due to a sore throat and, at the end of the segment, he dumps a bowl of eggs over her head.

Jumping back in time, let's join Dinah (from her primetime variety series) and Groucho as they sing 'Peesie Weesie.'

Sunday, October 7, 2007 - 8:39am
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The Kiddie Scene with Mr. Green
I got a lot of comments on the TV Guide scan from the other day. It's from a 1968 North Carolina edition. Kevin Butler asked about the children's show listed as 'Mr. Green.'

That was actually The Kiddie Scene with Mr. Green and I was on that show as a youngster. I took a parody of Dragnet from Cracked magazine to use as a script and wrangled the other kids in the neighborhood and put on a play. For whatever reason, I called channel 48 and asked if we could do the skit on their kid's show and they said yes!

My dad drove us down to the station one afternoon, I don't think he quite believed we were really going to do it. My younger brother, who was in the first grade, missed his cue so one of the girls in the skit called him a "dumus" (like dumbass), that had to be edited. It was a real 'Little Rascals put on a play' kind of thing.

The only other thing I remember about the program was that they played 'Yakety Sax' and 'Charlie Brown' all the time. Channel 48 actually signed on the air at 3:30 in the afternoon, with Kiddie Scene with Mr. Green.

At that time, WUBC channel 48 was a small, independent station in the warehouse district of Greensboro, located on Wendover Avenue, I believe. Today the station is known as UPN 48. They were a damn fine independent station, offering in 1968 a lot of pretty decent movies, a locally produced dance show that followed Kiddie Scene called The Now Generation, public affairs shows like Questions, Answers, Opinions, and reruns of The Outer Limits, Patty Duke and Route 66.

They also aired plenty of syndicated country western shows like Stone & Atkins, Roller Derby as well as The Steve Allen Show weeknights.

Friday, October 5, 2007 - 12:28pm
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RATINGS NEWS
Numbers may be down for the network's primetime fare but more people than ever are watching Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, ratings are the biggest in basic cable history among adults 18-34. Audience numbers are also up 2 points for Judge Judy but down for most of the other daytime court shows.

Friday, October 5, 2007 - 11:18am
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ROMPER ROOM
Miss Connie from Norfolk, Virginia's Romper Room sent these photos circa late-1960s.

Romper Room in Virginia

Was it typical to have a studio audience on the Romper Room set? I think not but the show was massively popular as you can see from this photo.

Miss Connie / Romper Room in Virginia

Miss Connie / Romper Room in VirginiaFinally, a photo of Miss Connie herself. Today, Connie Hindmarsh makes collectable 'Bears, Hares and Folk Art Dolls' and can be found on the net at: hindmarshstudios.net

Thursday, October 4, 2007 - 8:12am
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RATINGS
In terms of new shows, CBS's Moonlight did so-so, not as strong as Close To Home did opening in that same timeslot last season.

Cops: 20 Years Caught on Tape (reviewed here on TVparty!) dominated on Saturday night. The audience was down for ABC's Sunday dramas Desperate Housewives and Brother and Sisters but then that's been the overall trend for returning shows.

ABC's Cavemen was a not unexpected bomb as well, dragging an already lackluster Carpoolers don with it.

Mind of Mencia and Lil' Bush have both been renewed by Comedy Central.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007 - 12:37pm
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PAY PER VIEW
Did you know you can purchase individual episodes of your favorite classic (and new) shows for just a couple of bucks? Movies as well. You can even download entire seasons of some TV programs then burn them to DVD yourself. It's called instant gratification, try it sometime!

There's a module below that lets you explore what's available and begin downloading if you like:

Tuesday, October 2, 2007 - 9:07am
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WHAT WAS ON
Can you still blog if you have nothing to say? Hasn't stopped me yet...

Here's a scan of a TV Guide from 1968 - showing you what choices you would have had on a typical weekday 39 years ago.

TV listings

You can click for a larger image...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007 - 7:49am
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