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Film News: Jerry Lewis, The King of Comedy, Dies at 91

Las Vegas – For Jerry Lewis, the “King of Comedy” wasn’t just a mere nickname, but an apt description for his long career and influence. He went from being the most popular entertainer of an era, to notable and studied filmmaker, to charity spokesperson and finally to comic legend. Jerry Lewis died in Las Vegas on August 20th, 2017. He was 91.

When the gawky 19 year-old Lewis met the suave singer Dean Martin in 1946, little did they know that they would become the most popular act in America for several years. Their box office draw was white-hot, so much so that neither of them could keep up with the blur of what happened to them. They eventually broke up at the height of their fame in 1956, during which Martin famously said, “Jer, when I look at you, all I see is a dollar sign.” The second phase of Lewis’s career would be about his prolific filmmaking,
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Jerry Lewis Dead at 91 (Update)

  • TMZ
7:15 Pm Pt -- The White House has issued a statement on the death of Jerry Lewis, saying ... "Jerry Lewis kept us all laughing for over half a century, and his incredible charity work touched the lives of millions. Jerry lived the American Dream -- he truly loved his country, and his country loved him back. Our thoughts are with his family today as we remember the extraordinary life of one our greatest entertainers and humanitarians.
See full article at TMZ »

Interview: Norman Lear of ‘Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You’

Chicago – Norman Lear is one of the greatest TV creators of the 20th Century, and beyond. The producer was a titan of 1970s television, with shows like “All in the Family,” “Good Times,” “Maude” and “Sanford and Son.” He is the topic of a new film documentary, “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.”

Lear is the embodiment of television history, having worked in the medium since its advent in the 1950s. He began with partner Ed Simmons, writing for shows like the “Ford Star Revue” and “The Colgate Comedy Hour” (with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis). Throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, he produced television that was common at the time – star oriented and non-controversial – while also writing and producing movie satire like “Divorce, American Style” and “Cold Turkey,” with partner Bud Yorkin. In the late 1960s, he began to work on a pilot called “Justice for All,” featuring a bigoted character named “Archie Justice.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Norman Lear Looks Back on Early Days as TV Comedy Writer

Norman Lear Looks Back on Early Days as TV Comedy Writer
If anyone deserves to write a memoir, it’s Norman Lear, who reinvented television comedy in the 1970s with “All in the Family,” and whose “Even This I Get to Experience,” a how-to book about understanding the TV business, comes out in paperback Oct. 27. Lear was first mentioned in Variety on Nov. 15, 1950, as part of a story about an exodus of L.A. writers moving to New York for TV jobs.

How did you get the New York gig?

Ed Simmons and I had written a routine for Danny Thomas’ nightclub act, which led to New York and Jack Haley’s “Ford Star Review.” Jerry Lewis saw a sketch that he knew he could do better, so he wanted us. McA handled both shows, so it was easy to move over to Martin & Lewis. Within three weeks, we were writing for “The Colgate Comedy Hour.” Suddenly Simmons & Lear were major comedy writers.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Bud Yorkin, ‘Jeffersons’ and ‘All in the Family’ Director-Producer, Dies at 89

Bud Yorkin, ‘Jeffersons’ and ‘All in the Family’ Director-Producer, Dies at 89
Bud Yorkin, director of influential 1970s TV shows including “All In The Family,” “Maude,” “The Jeffersons,” “Sanford and Sons” and “Diff’rent Strokes,” died Aug. 18 of natural causes at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 89.

Yorkin played a pivotal role in developing some of the most popular series of the 1970s in partnership with Norman Lear at Tandem Productions. He was nominated for three Emmys and worked on TV series that won 25 Emmys and 10 Golden Globes. His feature film directing credits included “Love Hurts,” “Twice In A Lifetime,” “Arthur 2: On The Rocks,” “The Thief Who Came To Dinner” and “Inspector Clouseau.”

After working in the 1950s on numerous award-winning variety shows, he teamed with writer Lear in 1959 to form Tandem Productions, and made his film directing debut with “Come Blow Your Horn” starring Frank Sinatra. Yorkin had previously worked with Lear on such
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Bud Yorkin, ‘Jeffersons’ and ‘All in the Family’ Director-Producer, Dies at 89

Bud Yorkin, director of influential 1970s TV shows including “All In The Family,” “Maude,” “The Jeffersons,” “Sanford and Sons” and “Diff’rent Strokes,” died Aug. 18 of natural causes at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 89.

Yorkin played a pivotal role in developing some of the most popular series of the 1970s in partnership with Norman Lear at Tandem Productions. He was nominated for three Emmys and worked on TV series that won 25 Emmys and 10 Golden Globes. His feature film directing credits included “Love Hurts,” “Twice In A Lifetime,” “Arthur 2: On The Rocks,” “The Thief Who Came To Dinner” and “Inspector Clouseau.”

After working in the 1950s on numerous award-winning variety shows, he teamed with writer Lear in 1959 to form Tandem Productions, and made his film directing debut with “Come Blow Your Horn” starring Frank Sinatra. Yorkin had previously worked with Lear on such
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Bud Yorkin dies aged 89

  • ScreenDaily
Bud Yorkin dies aged 89
The film and television director, producer and writer died of natural causes at his Bel Air Home. He was 89.

Yorkin was born in the coal mining town of Washington, Pennsylvania on February 22 1926 and after serving in the Navy embarked on a career as a camera engineer for NBC.

He became a stage manager and then writer, working on NBC’s variety showcase The Colgate Comedy Hour. He moved into directing that show and then directed stints on programmes such as The Spike Jones Show and Light’s Diamond Jubilee.

Film director credits include Love Hurts, Twice In A Lifetime, Arthur 2: On The Rocks, The Thief Who Came To Dinner, Start The Revolution Without Me, Inspector Clouseau, Divorce American Style and Come Blow Your Horn.

He also served as executive producer on Blade Runner and played a role as producer in bringing to fruition the sequel, which is set to begin shooting next summer.

His credits
See full article at ScreenDaily »

What You Can Learn From New Streaming Service Shout! Factory TV

Streaming video is a godsend if you want to catch up with recent seasons of TV series. But what's a TV fan to do who wants to stream older shows? Netflix has very little from before the millennium, and Amazon Prime has very little from before 1990.

That's not a knock; the big streaming services know their market. Still, it's worth remembering that Amazon's initial appeal as a bookseller was it's long-tail catalog, the notion that comprehensiveness was worthwhile because somebody somewhere would want that obscure or ancient title, that the markets for all those titles were collectively significant and worth catering to, and that the Internet had at last made it easier to connect those customers with what they wanted.

But until the big streaming services step into the long-tail breach, Shout Factory TV (at shoutfactorytv.com) is ready to make a home there. The boutique streaming service, which is free and requires no subscription,
See full article at Moviefone »

Woody Allen Is Writing and Directing a TV Series for Amazon

  • Movies.com
Sixty years ago, long before he started making movies, Woody Allen moved to Hollywood to write for television. Over the next decade, he worked on such programs as The Colgate Comedy Hour and The Sid Caesar Show. Now, after all his time as one of the most recognized and prolific American auteurs in cinema, he's returning to the small screen. It's a very different medium, though, then when Allen was starting out, and the outlet for his new project is a prime example (no pun intended). Amazon Studios has snatched the filmmaker to develop a series for the online retailer's growing -- and now award-winning -- original-content division. And he's set to write and direct every episode of its first season.  This series is due next year, for streaming on...

Read More
See full article at Movies.com »

It’s Not TV: HBO, The Company That Changed Television: The Wasteland

The Wasteland:

Television is a gold goose that lays scrambled eggs;

and it is futile and probably fatal to beat it for not laying caviar.

Lee Loevinger

When people argue over the quality of television programming, both sides — it’s addictive crap v. underappreciated populist art — seem to forget one of the essentials about commercial TV. By definition, it is not a public service. It is not commercial TV’s job to enlighten, inform, educate, elevate, inspire, or offer insight. Frankly, it’s not even commercial TV’s job to entertain. Bottom line: its purpose is simply to deliver as many sets of eyes to advertisers as possible. As it happens, it tends to do this by offering various forms of entertainment, and occasionally by offering content that does enlighten, inform, etc., but a cynic would make the point that if TV could do the same job televising fish aimlessly swimming around an aquarium,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

TV mother to many, Bonnie Franklin, dead at 69

She was the hard working mom, Ann Romano, to many of us who grew up with her on TV. Actress Bonnie Franklin, who played Romano in the sitcom "One Day at a Time," died Friday from pancreatic cancer at her home. She was 69 years-old. The Santa Monica, CA. native was surrounded by her family and friends. A child star, Franklin appeared on television at age nine, in "The Colgate Comedy Hour," and made her Broadway debut in 1970 in "Applause." The comedy "One Day at a Time," which ran on CBS from 1975 to 1984, made her a household name. Franklin received multiple Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for her work on the series.
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Bonnie Franklin, 'One Day at a Time' Star, Dead at 69

  • The Wrap
Bonnie Franklin, 'One Day at a Time' Star, Dead at 69
Bonnie Franklin, the Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated actress who played Ann Romano in the CBS hit sitcom "One Day at a Time," died Friday at her home. She was 69. News broke in September that Franklin had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by family and friends at the time of her death, an individual familiar with the situation told TheWrap Born in Santa Monica, Calif., in 1944, Franklin first appeared on television at age nine, in "The Colgate Comedy Hour," and made her Broadway debut in 1970 in "Applause." She
See full article at The Wrap »

Christopher Walken: 'No matter who I play, it's me'

He has spent his life creating memorable and menacing characters. The actor tells Sean O'Hagan why he hates horses, loves Hollywood's honesty and won't leave his hotel in London

It was Mickey Rourke who came closest to capturing Christopher Walken's singular aura. "You were always like this strange being from another place," Rourke told Walken when the two came together recently for a feature in Interview magazine. "There was something 'outer space' about you."

Though Walken, now 69, has mellowed somewhat since he first crossed paths with Rourke on Michael Cimino's ill-fated epic, Heaven's Gate, in 1980, that description still seems apt. It's to do with his sense of detachment: the odd mix of preternatural calm and underlying menace that he exudes onscreen. Like the late Dennis Hopper, but in a more understated way, Walken has spent the best part of his career playing extreme characters of one kind or another,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

R.I.P. Jack Elinson

TV comedy writer Jack Elinson, whose career stretched over 50 years, died Thursday at his home in Santa Monica. He was 89. His numerous credits as writer during the 1950s included the series All-Star Revue, The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Duke, The Jimmy Durante Show, Hey, Jeannie!, The Johnny Carson Show, and The Real McCoys. During the 1960s, The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy), The Andy Griffith Show, Hogan’s Heroes, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. (producer), Run, Buddy, Run (producer), and That Girl (producer). He wrote and served as producer on many series in the ’70s, such as Good Times (producer), and One Day at Time (executive producer), as well as The Doris Day Show (producer), Arnie and the animated sitcom Wait Till Your Father Gets Home. During the ’80s, his work included The Facts of Life (executive producer) and 227, the Marla Gibbs-starring comedy series which
See full article at Deadline TV »

Jack Elinson, Veteran TV Comedy Writer, Dies at 89

  • The Wrap
Jack Elinson, a veteran TV comedy writer and producer, died Thursday of natural causes at his Santa Monica home, the Writers Guild of America, West announced Monday. He was 89. Elinson, who cut his teeth writing jokes for Walter Winchell's newspaper column, rose to prominence in the 1950s working on such Golden Age fare as "The Jimmy Durante Show," "The Johnny Carson Show" and "The Colgate Comedy Hour." The following decade saw him writing for series including "The Danny Thomas Show," "The Andy Griffith Show," "Hogan's Heroes," "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." and
See full article at The Wrap »

DVD Playhouse--April 2011

DVD Playhouse—April 2011

By

Allen Gardner

Hereafter (Warner Bros.) Clint Eastwood’s spiritual thriller follows a trio of characters whose seemingly disparate paths converge: Matt Damon as a blue collar Joe who tries to fight against his psychic powers that see “the other side,” Cecile de France as a journalist who somehow survives the tsunami that crushed Indonesia, and a London schoolboy (Frankie and George McLaren) who seeks answers after losing his twin brother. Like all of Eastwood’s films, the narrative construction is tight as a drum, with solid work by all involved. That said, “solid” would have to be the operative word to describe the proceedings here, as well as “unremarkable” and “uninvolving” on an emotional level. Perhaps we expect too much when we see Clint’s name on a film these days, but that’s the flip side of being one of the best. Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

DVD Playhouse--April 2011

DVD Playhouse—April 2011

By

Allen Gardner

Hereafter (Warner Bros.) Clint Eastwood’s spiritual thriller follows a trio of characters whose seemingly disparate paths converge: Matt Damon as a blue collar Joe who tries to fight against his psychic powers that see “the other side,” Cecile de France as a journalist who somehow survives the tsunami that crushed Indonesia, and a London schoolboy (Frankie and George McLaren) who seeks answers after losing his twin brother. Like all of Eastwood’s films, the narrative construction is tight as a drum, with solid work by all involved. That said, “solid” would have to be the operative word to describe the proceedings here, as well as “unremarkable” and “uninvolving” on an emotional level. Perhaps we expect too much when we see Clint’s name on a film these days, but that’s the flip side of being one of the best. Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

Arthur Penn obituary

American director best known for Bonnie and Clyde, he focused on disillusioned outsiders

Arthur Penn, who has died aged 88, was one of the major figures of Us television, stage and film in the 1960s and 70s when the three disciplines actively encouraged experimentation, innovation and challenging subject matter. "I think the 1960s generation was a state of mind," he said, "and it's really the one I've been in since I was born." He will be best remembered for Bonnie and Clyde (1967), a complex and lyrical study of violent outsiders whose lives became the stuff of myth.

The film, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, and based on the exploits of the bank-robbing Barrow Gang in the 1930s, became a cause celebre. It was praised and attacked for its distortion, bad taste and glorification of violence in equal measure. Newsweek's critic, Joseph Morgenstern, retracted his initial view of the film's violence,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

'Bonnie and Clyde' director dies at 88

'Bonnie and Clyde' director dies at 88
Arthur Penn, the director of the polarizing "Bonnie and Clyde" whose films often flew in the face of American mythology, died Tuesday, one day after his 88th birthday.

Daughter Molly Penn said her father died of congestive heart failure at his Manhattan home. Longtime friend and business manager Evan Bell said Wednesday that Penn had been ill for about a year.

A product of the golden era of live television and an accomplished theater director, Penn's work on "The Miracle Worker" earned him an Emmy nomination in 1957, a Tony in 1959 and an Oscar nom in 1962. At one time, Penn had five hits running simultaneously on Broadway.

Penn was one of a group of directors -- including John Frankenheimer, Sidney Lumet and Norman Jewison -- whose films were intelligent glimpses into politics, morals and social institutions. Often, they were met with controversy.

His movies debunked the allure of the gunman, the
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Eartha Kitt dies at 81

Eartha Kitt dies at 81
Eartha Kitt, who used her seductive purr and sultry style to charm audiences as an actress, singer and cabaret star, died Thursday of colon cancer. She was 81.

The cancer was detected about two years ago and treated, but it recurred after a period of remission. Kitt recently had been treated at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York.

"She came back strongly; she had been performing until two months ago," said Andrew Freedman, a longtime friend and publicist. "We had dates booked through 2009."

Among Kitt's hits was the Christmas tune "Santa Baby," lending poignancy to her Christmas Day death. The song went gold this year, and she received the gold record before she died, Freedman said.

Slinky and catlike, Kitt described herself as a "sex kitten": She followed Julie Newmar in the role of Catwoman on the TV series "Batman" during the 1960s.

But the seductress also could be a political provocateur.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »
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