13 items from 2014
E! has ordered its first scripted drama, The Royals, about a British royal family with Elizabeth Hurley starring.
Lana! Lana! Laaaaaana! Guess who got renewed? Yep, FX has ordered a sixth and seventh season of the hilarious Archer.
In disappointing news, the BBC is shutting down BBC Three. Why should U.S. viewers care about this decision? BBC Three is the source of a good number of shows that developed loyal followings stateside like Gavin & Stacey, Being Human, Little Britain, and Torchwood. The channel will continue as a streaming video channel, but celebrities like Matt Lucas are already campaigning to save the channel.
I’m not sure how I feel about the news, as reported by EW, that Isaiah Washington will return to Grey’s Anatomy. At first I was angry, but it’s a one-episode appearance as part of Sandra Oh‘s exit from the series. I guess »
- Lyle Masaki
There’s one name that almost always gets a smile from nostalgic fans of TV cartoons: Jay Ward. After all, he helped to produce one of the earliest cartoon shows during television’s infancy, “Crusader Rabbit”. But it wasn’t until 1959 that Ward unleashed his masterpiece, “Rocky and His Friends”. Each half hours usually contained two short chapters of an ongoing adventure serial starring Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his dimwitted pal Bullwinkle the moose. And in between these installments were classic features often funnier than the show’s title stars. There was the satiric “Fractured Fairy Tales”, the campy “Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties”, the fables of “Aesop & Son”, and “Peabody’s Improbable History” in which the super-genius talking dog Mr. Peabody and his boy, the excitable seven year-old human named Sherman journeyed back through the years via Mr. P’s time travel invention the Wabac machine. After meeting some historical figure, »
- Jim Batts
"Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes from 'I Love Lucy' to 'Community,'" the new book from critic and author Saul Austerlitz ("Another Fine Mess: A History of American Film Comedy") officially hits shelves tomorrow, March 1st, courtesy of the Chicago Review Press. Appealing to TV lovers, comedy enthusiasts and pop culture devotees, the book finds Austerlitz examining the critically underappreciated but eternally popular television genre, beginning with housewife Lucy and working husband Ricky Ricardo and going through to the postmodernism of Dan Harmon's community college show. Austerlitz examines how the sitcom has evolved through 24 episode from 24 pivotal series, include "22 Short Films About Springfield" from "The Simpsons," "Chuckles Bites the Dust" from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and more. Indiewire's pleased to offer an excerpt from "Sitcom" about "Seinfeld," the "show about nothing," below. Find out more about the book...
- Saul Austerlitz
"Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes from 'I Love Lucy' to 'Community,'" the new book from critic and author Saul Austerlitz ("Another Fine Mess: A History of American Film Comedy") officially hits shelves tomorrow, March 1st, courtesy of the Chicago Review Press. Appealing to TV lovers, comedy enthusiasts and pop culture devotees, the book finds Austerlitz examining the critically underappreciated but eternally popular television genre, beginning with housewife Lucy and working husband Ricky Ricardo and going through to the postmodernism of Dan Harmon's community college show. Austerlitz examines how the sitcom has evolved through 24 episode from 24 pivotal series, include "22 Short Films About Springfield" from "The Simpsons," "Chuckles Bites the Dust" from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and more. Indiewire's pleased to offer an excerpt from "Sitcom" about "Seinfeld," the "show about nothing," below. Find out more about the book »
- Saul Austerlitz
History could be made twice at the Emmy Awards this August. If "Modern Family" wins Best Comedy Series for the fifth year in a row, it ties the record set by "Frasier" from 1994 to 1998; "Ally McBeal" ended its winning streak in 1999. And if "Breaking Bad" wins, it will the fourth Drama Series champ to prevail for its final season, following "The Defenders" (1965), "Upstairs Downstairs" (1977) and "The Sopranos" (2007). Four laffers have pulled off this feat: "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1966), "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (1977), "Barney Miller" (1982) and "Everybody Loves Raymond" (2003). Will either, neither or both of these records be set? You can now predict the winners of these races, as well as the four series regular acting awards in both genres. More categories will be added to the prediction center in the weeks to come and »
If you grew up in the 1970s, chances are you remember watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show on Saturday nights, most likely with other female members of your family. You probably also remember the characters, the storylines and how the show made people talk about its blunt feminism. Mtm's producers, James Brooks and Allan Burns, managed to get the scripts right during a time of upheaval for women in American history by hiring female producers and really tackling the issues that hadn't yet made the small screen (like abortion and the pill). The show caused a mini-revolution and was the predecessor to complicated female characters we see today on shows like Girls and The Mindy Project. Curious about the Mtm phenomenon, we spent some time recently chatting with Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, the author of Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And All the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic. »
- Holly Rosen Fink
Adam Lambert at the Family Equality Council’s Annual Los Angeles Awards Dinner. A taste of what to expect from this week’s Hump Day.
Birthday shoutouts go to Laura Dern, who is 47, Elizabeth Banks is 40, Emma Roberts is 23, and Roberta Flack is 77. Here’s my favorite underrated and sadly lost Roberta song. It peaked at #58 in February 1984.
The Walking Dead returned to record ratings last night, easily outpacing Sochi in the demo.
Will Michael Sam Save the NFL From Its Homophobia?
How will news that Michael Sam is gay affect his NFL draft stock? Ugh. At least these Tweets are more supportive.
Congratulations on leading the way, @MikeSamFootball. That's real sportsmanship.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 10, 2014
You're an inspiration to all of us, @MikeSamFootball. We couldn't be prouder of your courage both on and off the field. »
"I'd been looking to try this format for a long time," Alison Janney replies when asked why she's decided to turn her hand to sitcom. "I thought it combined every single element of what I've trained for as an actor - starting out in theatre, working in front of a live audience, then doing films and hour television.
"The half-hour comedy schedule appealed to me and this particular comedy being helmed by Chuck Lorre, I knew that he had intentions to make this a slightly different half-hour in terms of the subject matter we were going to be dealing with."
Janney stars in Mom - a new comedy from hit-maker Chuck Lorre, the man behind Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and many more - and she has nothing but good things to say about Lorre ("He's kind of a genius") or her co-star and on-screen offspring »
The opening and closing images in the Toy Story trilogy are one and the same: a picture-perfect blue sky with a couple of carefully placed, nonthreatening fluffy clouds in the middle. While both are computer-generated facsimiles, the former is a facsimile of a facsimile: the comforting wallpaper in the bedroom of a little boy named Andy Davis. The latter is closer to the real thing, greeting the teenage Andy as he drives off to college and out of the lives of the toys with whom he populated his imagination for over a decade. As the series opens, the 6-year old Andy, a suburban Christopher Robin of sorts, proves in the confines of his tiny room, overstuffed with plush animals, board games, action figures, and other toys, that his world of make-believe is limitless. As the series closes, Andy ventures into the known unknown of the real world, secretly wished an »
- Josh Spiegel
Almost six months after I originally taped my episode of Gsn’s trivia bowl The Chase, I can now divulge what’s crossed my mind at least once a day since that dank August afternoon: I won $38,000 and sneered like Tallulah Bankhead‘s spoiled barista nephew as I did it! It was a thrilling day of questions, answers, nervous energy, and salty badinage. (The show’s resident trivia god Mark Labbett — a.k.a. The Beast — and I exchanged a few quips during the game). Precisely what I wanted out of my game show experience. You’ll be able to catch reruns on Gsn for quite awhile.
It’s been a long time coming, my game show debut. Ever since I was a toddler watching reruns of Split Second, Name That Tune, and Tic Tac Dough on the USA Network, I’ve wanted to be a game show contestant. Competitive people like to show off, »
- Louis Virtel
“A legacy award — really?” she said. “Shouldn’t I get it when I’m really old, or retired?”
Zalaznick, the former NBCUniversal cable and digital maven, was one of four honorees at the 11th annual Tartikoff kudos, recognizing industry figures who have made an impact on the biz in the spirit of the late NBC master programmer.
Zalaznick, the youngest of the group, made a point of looking forward in her remarks, noting the “tremendous transformation of our industry” at this fraught moment when to many it feels as if “there’s a siege on our audience and a siege »
- Cynthia Littleton
It is fitting that Hot in Cleveland airs on TV Land, the home of all those classic shows that your parents watched when they were kids (and occasionally, to make you feel old, the ones that you watched as a kid too). The show seems retro, with the old-fashioned atmosphere that automatically comes from being shot in front of a live studio audience, as so few sitcoms are nowadays. The presence of comedy legend Betty White, delivering lines with the same zing that she did back in the days of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, might also convince you that the show you are watching is from long before the twenty-first century. Indeed, the ensemble of four women of a certain age living together and kvetching about age, love, life and everything in between brings to mind another classic show starring White: The Golden Girls.
- Lee Jutton
Credit: Mike Lamonica
Morgan Freeman will present the SAG 50th Life Achievement Award to Rita Moreno at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®, Executive Producer/Director Jeff Margolis and Executive Producer Kathy Connell announced today.
SAG-aftra is honoring Rita Moreno for her career achievement and humanitarian accomplishments. Past recipients of the Life Achievement Award include Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Ernest Borgnine, Betty White, James Earl Jones, Charles Durning, Julie Andrews, Shirley Temple Black, James Garner, Karl Malden, Clint Eastwood, Edward Asner, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier, Kirk Douglas, Elizabeth Taylor, Angela Lansbury, Robert Redford, and George Burns.
Credit: Mark Hill
In 1971, Freeman and Moreno were among the stars of “The Electric Company,” a comedy variety show created by the Children’s Television Workshop (Ctw) featuring live-action sketches, cartoons, and songs. Inspired by The Motown Sound, “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” and Broadway, the series was designed »
- Michelle McCue
13 items from 2014
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