7 items from 2015
Michael King, the syndication mogul who, with his older brother Roger, helped launch Oprah Winfrey’s talk show, “Dr. Phil,” “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy” into hugely profitable syndication franchises, died Wednesday at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 67.
King died of complications from pneumonia. He had mostly been retired from the TV biz ever since the brothers sold their King World Productions banner to CBS for $2.5 billion in early 2000. Roger King died in late 2007.
The company was launched in the 1950s by their father, Charles King. It started out selling rerun packages of “The Little Rascals” and other vintage programs to local TV and radio stations. By the time Roger and Michael took the reins in the late 1970s, they were well positioned to capitalize on the demand for high-end nationally syndicated shows as TV stations around the country began moving away from locally produced programs »
- Cynthia Littleton
So today I'm on "Jeopardy!", an American game show created by Merv Griffin to make nerds learn hand-eye coordination. This was awhile before video games and Devil Sticks, you understand. "Jeopardy!" is kind of like crossword puzzles in that the skills required are not applicable anywhere else. You learn "Jeopardy!" from watching "Jeopardy!". Maybe you brush up on your Shakespeare and your kings of England too. And maybe you practice your buzzer skills on a click pen or a springy toilet paper spool. But "Jeopardy!" is not like any other trivia experience since it's a speed-oriented reflex game, a spelling bee shoved inside a pinball machine. I think people underestimate this. If we don't have "Jeopardy!", we don't have the only TV game show that merges memory and quickdraw agility. Let's always remember what a singular phenomenon this is. Ok? Also: Root for me! You can help celebrate by revisiting »
- Louis Virtel
Betty White's illustrious career will be honored by the Daytime Emmy Awards on April 26, when she'll be granted the lifetime achievement award, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced in a press release. White, 93, is in good company: she joins previous honorees including Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Merv Griffin and Regis Philbin. "Betty White is an American institution," said Bob Mauro, president of the NATAS, in a statement. "Betty's career as a female pioneer has followed television from literally the beginning of the medium, winning her first Emmy Award in 1952, to the digital-streaming future, winning again in »
- Amanda Michelle Steiner, @amandamichl
Betty White's illustrious career will be honored by the Daytime Emmy Awards on April 26, where she'll be granted the lifetime achievement award, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced in a press release. White, 93, is in good company; she joins previous honorees including Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Merv Griffin and Regis Philbin. "Betty White is an American institution," said Bob Mauro, president of the NATAS, in a statement. "Betty's career as a female pioneer has followed television from literally the beginning of the medium, winning her first Emmy Award in 1952, to the digital-streaming future, winning again in »
- Amanda Michelle Steiner, @amandamichl
America’s geriatric sweetheart Betty White will be awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced Monday.
White has collected seven Emmy awards throughout her career, which has spanned more than seven decades. This special Emmy will round out her already-impressive haul of career achievement awards, which include a Career Achievement Award from the Television Critics Association, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jane Goodall Institute, a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award in Acting from the American Women in Radio and Television, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.
“Betty White is an American institution,” said NATAS president Bob Mauro. “Betty’s career as a female pioneer has followed television from literally the beginning of the medium, winning her first Emmy Award in 1952, to the digital-streaming future, »
- Marianne Zumberge
A Canadian competitive bodybuilder-turned-heavy-metal frontman and B-horror-movie star you probably haven’t heard of — though given that unique resume, you might well wonder why — is the subject of “I Am Thor.” Ryan Wise’s documentary pays bemusedly affectionate tribute to a no-longer-quite-so-buff rock god still doggedly pursuing, at age 60, a stardom that never quite materialized. Like another Canuck headbanger portrait, 2008’s sleeper success “Anvil! The Story of Anvil,” this mix of real-life “Spinal Tap” antics and underdog rooting value should attract a cult following via fest play and niche sales.
Born in Vancouver in 1953, Jon Mikl Thor followed an older brother’s footsteps into bodybuilding at age 14, eventually winning some top prizes. (At one point here we see him chatting at Comic-Con with erstwhile “Incredible Hulk” Lou Ferrigno, to whom he was a runner-up in one such competition.) In love with music, however, he wasn’t content just to flex his biceps, »
- Dennis Harvey
Exclusive: To get to Tony Danza’s dressing room at the Nederlander Theatre, where he stars in the new Broadway musical Honeymoon in Vegas, you walk a corridor that circles the perimeter of the ancient house, where trash cans line one wall, and graffiti scrawled by Rent cast members dominates the other. Climb a set of stairs, and then there is the star’s cold perch, one that would barely provide room for Michael Keaton’s Birdman levitation act.
You imagine how much smaller this must be than the giant trailers where Danza spent most of his adult life in Taxi and Who’s The Boss. And then he emerges, euphoric and still sweaty after two hours of singing, tap dancing, even serenading with a love song while playing the ukulele, and he looks like a small Brooklyn kid whose parents took him to Coney Island. He has just completed »
- Mike Fleming Jr
7 items from 2015
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