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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2003

10 items from 2017


‘Baywatch’ Origin Story: How One Lifeguard Turned His Dream Into A Hassle That Paid Hoff

28 May 2017 7:51 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Gregory Bonann was a lifeguard at Will Rogers State Beach in 1977 when he helped two children who were caught in a riptide. That rescue would ultimately change his life – and the face of television, setting the stage for the eventual “Baywatch” juggernaut.

Now, with the new feature adaptation of “Baywatch” in theaters this weekend, it’s time to revisit the unusual story of how the lifeguard show made it on the air – ultimately producing 242 episodes before ending its run in 2001.

It all started because it turns out Bonnan had saved the children of Stu Erwin, an executive at Mtm – the independent production company behind series like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Bob Newhart Show,” and run by legendary exec Grant Tinker.

While visiting Mtm’s offices in Studio City, Bonann pitched Erwin on a drama about lifeguards. The company passed, but Bonann took the opportunity to learn all about the TV biz. »

- Michael Schneider

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‘Baywatch’ Origin Story: How One Lifeguard Turned His Dream Into A Hassle That Paid Hoff

28 May 2017 7:51 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Gregory Bonann was a lifeguard at Will Rogers State Beach in 1977 when he helped two children who were caught in a riptide. That rescue would ultimately change his life – and the face of television, setting the stage for the eventual “Baywatch” juggernaut.

Now, with the new feature adaptation of “Baywatch” in theaters this weekend, it’s time to revisit the unusual story of how the lifeguard show made it on the air – ultimately producing 242 episodes before ending its run in 2001.

It all started because it turns out Bonnan had saved the children of Stu Erwin, an executive at Mtm – the independent production company behind series like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Bob Newhart Show,” and run by legendary exec Grant Tinker.

While visiting Mtm’s offices in Studio City, Bonann pitched Erwin on a drama about lifeguards. The company passed, but Bonann took the opportunity to learn all about the TV biz. »

- Michael Schneider

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Book Excerpt: “Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets & Sitcoms”

21 April 2017 1:01 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Mary Tyler Moore and Susan Silver

The following is excerpted from Susan Silver’s “Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets & Sitcoms,” which will be released May 2.

(Author’s Note: Iris Rainer Dart, my then writing partner who later went on to write “Beaches,” had gotten pregnant and we had stopped working together. It was 1971. We were managed by comedy legend Garry Marshall and had written one script for “Love, American Style.”)

After Iris and I split up as a writing team, I was starting all over again, trying to “make it on my own” as those famous “Mary Tyler Moore Show” lyrics said. I told Garry that I’d seen her new show and knew I could write it. How did I know? It’s called “chutzpah,” French for “balls.” And I had some, it seems. Actually, she was situated in the Midwest, worked in a small local TV station, and so had I, both those things. It seemed like fate.

Because Garry knew the guys there, they were willing to take his recommendation about me, though I had nothing to show them written alone. I rehearsed over and over in the car as I drove to the studio. I’m sure passersby thought I was a crazy person as I animatedly “delivered my material” checking my expressions in the rear view mirror. I was nervous but determined. I had wanted this so long and now was my big chance.

I pitched three stories to Jim Brooks and Allan Burns, the creators of the show, a little intimidating though nice, and David Davis and Lorenzo Music, the story editors. Lorenzo doubled as the voice of the marvelous droll Carlton the Doorman on “Rhoda,” as well a lot of other voice over work. He and David were in my corner from the beginning, realizing how hard this was for a new writer. They laughed whole heartedly, and I kept eye contact with them as I “performed.” They were so supportive and sweet, and I am forever grateful.

I left the office with the promise of an assignment if they got picked up for a full season. Which, fortunately they did. Surprisingly enough, CBS was not sure about the show and initially stuck it on a Tuesday. Believe it or not, the reviews were not good. Remember the times: It was not common for a woman in the early seventies to not want to be married first and foremost. This character’s fiance had dumped her! To be a career woman with stirrings of feminism, sticking up for one’s self, was not expected in a TV heroine. Here was an actress who had been the beloved wife of Dick Van Dyke! Now she was at work, forming a family with colleagues, and starting friendships with women who were not always that friendly! Radical thinking, particularly about Mary, America’s sweetheart, who every man loved and wanted to protect and every woman wanted to be. This could be dangerous to women viewers and their roles in society.

Fortunately, for me and the show, Fred Silverman, the whip smart exec who came in, moved it to Saturday where it became part of the must-see lineup, later with “Mash,” “Bob Newhart,” “All the In the Family,” and “Carol Burnett.”

That lineup — along with the growing Women’s Movement, which latched on to the show as important — got the Mary Tyler Moore franchise a lot of attention. In comedy as in life, “timing was everything.” I should have been terrified, writing this script alone. But ignorance is bliss.

I always say, “I started on the top and it was downhill after that.” That wasn’t really true, but the Mtm experience was so far superior to any other. Other shows would give you a twenty-minute story meeting and send you home to write. Then sometimes they’d wonder why the script was “not what they had in mind.” At Mtm, once I got my assignment, we had an all day story meeting while we fleshed out the story together. This gave a detailed blueprint from which to begin.

Frankly, if I’d had a struggle to get an assignment, I don’t know if I would have been able to hang, make it at all. I may have been gutsy, but I was not resilient, or so I thought back then.

Susan Silver wrote for some of the most iconic sitcoms of all time, creating laughs for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Maude,” “Partridge Family,” and more. She was one of the first females in an industry dominated by men. Now she dishes about the highs and lows of her comedy career and life in her memoir, “Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets & Sitcoms.”

Book Excerpt: “Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets & Sitcoms” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Women and Hollywood

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Bob Newhart Likes to Encourage Newcomers

7 February 2017 8:25 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Bob Newhart started out as a standup, and scored massive, award-winning hits with his groundbreaking comedy records. That was before he became a comedy and TV legend, having starred in 1970s hit sitcom “The Bob Newhart Show” and 1980s comedic staple “Newhart” as a Chicago therapist and a New England innkeeper, respectively. While he scored his first Emmy nomination as a writer for the 1962 “The Bob Newhart Show,” incredibly, Newhart didn’t win an Emmy until the 2013 season of “Big Bang Theory” as a guest actor. Although known best for his TV work, he was a memorable Papa Elf in 2003 holiday classic “Elf.” Newhart’s first mention in a Variety was in a review on March 18, 1959, of “Chicago Nightline.” The critic didn’t like the show, but liked him, saying he “has given ample evidence that he can become the No. 1 funnyman on local channels.”

 

How did you get on “Chicago Nightline”?

Dan Sorkin, a »

- Shalini Dore

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From TV Star to Executive: Mary Tyler Moore’s Most Iconic Moments

26 January 2017 6:18 AM, PST | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

Mary Tyler Moore never set out to be one of the pioneers of television, but with her warmth and comedic chops, she cemented a legacy for generations of fans thanks to her groundbreaking work in the medium, both onscreen and behind the camera. Moore died on Wednesday from a cardiopulmonary arrest after contracting pneumonia, her publicist confirmed to Et. She was 80.  

Moore first rose to prominence on The Dick Van Dyke Show, playing the slightly daffy wife to Van Dyke’s TV writer character from 1961-66. She then branched out on her own with The Mary Tyler Moore Show, on which she became a feminist icon as a single, working woman. During the show’s run, from 1970 to 1977, she was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series every year and won a total of three awards. 

After her eponymous show ended, Moore deftly moved into films and Broadway shows, working with the »

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Mary Tyler Moore Appreciation: She Turned The World On With A Smile And Then Some!

25 January 2017 5:38 PM, PST | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Not many are lucky enough to say this, but I can. The first “gig” I got in this business was at Mtm Enterprises, hanging around the set of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show. One of my very first wide-eyed memories of actually realizing my dream of being a part of show business was meeting Mary Tyler Moore during rehearsal on her soundstage at CBS’ Radford studios in Studio City, where I stupidly asked, “Were you really the Happy Hotpoint elf?” I had boned… »

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Mary Tyler Moore Appreciation: She Turned The World On With A Smile And Then Some!

25 January 2017 5:38 PM, PST | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Not many are lucky enough to say this, but I can. The first “gig” I got in this business was at Mtm Enterprises, hanging around the set of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show. One of my very first wide-eyed memories of actually realizing my dream of being a part of show business was meeting Mary Tyler Moore during rehearsal on her soundstage at CBS’ Radford studios in Studio City, where I stupidly asked, “Were you really the Happy Hotpoint elf?” I had boned… »

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How Mary Tyler Moore Paved the Way for Complicated Women on TV

25 January 2017 1:15 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

If the only credit on the resume of Mary Tyler Moore, who died today, had been “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” that would still be enough to put her in the company of entertainment industry legends.

The word “iconic” gets thrown around a lot, but that long-running show truly merited the word. It was a recognizable and reliably pleasurable workplace comedy, but “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” was also a lot of other things. It was a showcase for a cast of character actors who created one of the greatest ensembles in TV history; each character was memorable in his or her own right, and the performers found the complicated human beings underneath the tics, flaws, and insecurities of these messy, amusing people.

Of course, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” was also a referendum of sorts on what a woman could be, on TV and in real life. Mary Richards was a career woman who remained single »

- Maureen Ryan

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Oprah Winfrey on Mary Tyler Moore’s Profound Impact on Her — and That Time She Made Her Cry!

25 January 2017 12:59 PM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

As one of television’s first female icons, Mary Tyler Moore — who died Wednesday at 80 — inspired millions. But none quite as much as Oprah Winfrey.

Winfrey was Moore’s biggest fan and honored her often on Winfrey’s similarly eponymous show.

“I wanted to be Mary Tyler Moore. I wanted to be Mary, I wanted to live where Mary lived, I wanted Mr. Grant in my life, I wanted my boss to act like that, I wanted Ted,” Winfrey said in a video.

In 1997, Winfrey even recreated the opening credits of the The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Moore showed »

- Julie Mazziotta

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12 Classic Shows You Didn’t Know Mary Tyler Moore Was Involved With Behind the Scenes (Photos)

25 January 2017 12:45 PM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970-1977) The acclaimed sitcom that bears Mary Tyler Moore‘s name ran for seven season and won numerous awards. It cemented Moore as a comedy legend. Mtm also produced the show. “Rhoda” (1974-1978) This spin-off from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” included numerous ties back to the show that spawned it, running for five seasons. It was produced by Mtm and won two Emmys and a Golden Globe. “The Bob Newhart Show” (1972-1978) Produced by Mtm, “The Bob Newhart Show” is also often ranked among the best TV shows ever. It received numerous award nominations during its six-season run. »

- Phil Hornshaw

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2003

10 items from 2017


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