9 items from 2015
By Lee Pfeiffer
It's almost too good to be true. After long, complex negotiations the cable channel Antenna TV has closed a deal to begin showing full length vintage episodes of "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" beginning January 1. The shows will provide a fascinating time capsule that extends over Carson's thirty years hosting of the iconic NBC late night program. Full one hour episodes will air on weeknights while earlier 90 minute episodes will be telecast on weekends. In today's age of basically crass, dumbed-down interview shows, Carson's "Tonight" episodes will probably resonate better than ever. The show would present an astonishing array of guests that represented everyone from legendary actors and singers to literary figures and politicians. For a generation that grew up on the show it will be great to hear Ed McMahon once again bellow, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Jonas Chernick, whose credits include “My Awkward Sexual Adventure” and “Lucid,” has written the screenplay. The project has been in development for several years with the cooperation of Hartman’s estate.
Hartman is best known for his eight seasons on “Saturday Night Live” as a cast member, beginning in 1986. He won an Emmy in 1989 and was gifted in doing impressions of such notables as President Bill Clinton, President Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, Ed McMahon, Barbara Bush, Charlton Heston and Phil Donahue.
- Dave McNary
Sure, Justin Timberlake brought down the house with Chris Stapleton during their big duet at Wednesday night's CMAs, but that's not the first time he's killed it with a televised country performance. Back in 1992, an 11-year-old Justin appeared on Star Search as Justin Randall, his first and middle names, and wowed the crowd when he sang Alan Jackson's "Love's Got a Hold on You." Although he didn't win, he did sweetly shake the hand of his competitor. Host Ed McMahon also wished him luck - which, of course, in hindsight, he probably didn't need. Check out the fun flashback video above, then see the best pictures of Jt's big night at the CMAs! »
- Laura Marie Meyers
Just when it seemed the late-night landscape couldn’t get more competitive, here comes Johnny Carson.
Tribune Media’s Antenna TV, the multicast digital channel devoted to vintage television shows, will run full-length episodes of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” nightly at 11 p.m. Et/8 p.m. Pt starting Jan. 1.
Antenna TV has struck a multi-year deal with Carson Entertainment Group to license hundreds of hours of the NBC late-night institution. Antenna will run episodes that aired from 1972 through the end of Carson’s 30-year reign in in 1992. Because NBC owns the rights to “The Tonight Show” moniker, Antenna TV’s episodes will be billed simply as “Johnny Carson.”
“This is not a clip show. This is full episodes of Johnny Carson, the man that everyone in late-night agrees was the greatest host of all time, airing in real time as he did back in the day,” Sean Compton, »
- Cynthia Littleton
Like his protégé David Letterman, Johnny Carson entertained America every night for decades, but was largely a mystery off camera. "He doesn't trust very many people, so people who don't know him think he's aloof, stiff, snobby," said his third wife Joanna. But he did open up in a 1979 60 Minutes profile, which can be viewed below, when a confrontational Mike Wallace visited Carson's home in Bel Air, California. The journalist and his crew followed the late night host as he prepared for his show that night by reading newspapers and magazines, »
This week on Nashville, there was seemingly no problem that neither money nor misogyny couldn't solve.
The episode opens with Rayna calling Deacon from her private jet, telling him that she's off to find a new distribution deal. What she's really up to is trying to convince Deacon's estranged sister, Beverly, to cough up a liver for her brother. Through a series of flashbacks we learn that Beverly and Deacon's singing partnership was derailed by Rayna coming into the picture and that Beverly's jealousy runs deep. We also learn that »
David Letterman is readying an exit from his latenight perch at CBS’ “Late Show” that will play down the hype associated with the event, according to people familiar with the matter, and instead focus on his work on the program he has broadcast for decades.
As the veteran host enters his last six weeks at the helm of the program, CBS has unveiled a roster of celebrities slated to appear. The names include George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Stern, Julia Roberts, Robert Downey Jr., Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Tom Hanks, Jack Hanna and Scarlett Johansson. CBS promised “many more names to be announced in the coming weeks.” Bill Murray, the actor and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member who was Letterman’s first guest when he started “The Late Show” at CBS as well as “Late Night” at NBC, is also expected to return to the program, though »
- Brian Steinberg
Quincy Jones, the iconic musician and composer who produced Michael Jackson albums including Bad and Thriller, says he “freaked out” when he learned of the pop star’s death in June 2009. Jones was in London and had just learned that two other stars had died — Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon — when he was told about Jackson. “I freaked out,” he said. “You know, I couldn’t believe it. No, it was heavy. Really heavy. Because, boy, the relationship with a producer and an artist is really special. And there’s no room for Bs at all. It’s got
- Stephen Galloway
For decades, the Super Bowl advertising formula has been the same: Make funny jokes for all the beer-swilling guys in front of the screen. Pay B-list celebrity heaps of cash for 10 seconds on film. Consider doing both. Hope the world pays attention.
For some, the bar is higher. Madison Avenue’s more clever creative directors and chief marketing officers have had better ideas, of course. And that’s who we will celebrate below.
No one is saying the ads that follow are the best or worst Super Bowl commercials ever made. Deciding the entrants in those categories is for savvier minds than ours. We’re putting our focus on those ads that forced a change in how Super Bowl commercials are plotted, put together or placed in the lineup of the network broadcasting the game. So, there’s no mention in the paragraphs below of Coke’s famous Mean Joe Greene »
- Brian Steinberg
9 items from 2015
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