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Robert Guillaume, TV's 'Benson,' Dead at 89

Robert Guillaume, TV's 'Benson,' Dead at 89
Robert Guillaume, who played Benson DuBois on 'Soap' and 'Benson,' has died after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 89. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Robert Guillaume, who played the quick-witted and sarcastic Benson DuBois on Soap and the spinoff Benson, has died. His widow, Donna Brown Guillaume, told The Associated Press that he died at home in Los Angeles where he was battling prostate cancer. He was 89.

In 1977, Guillaume took on the role of DuBois, a butler to the wealthy Tate family, on ABC's soap-opera parody sitcom Soap.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Pamela Adlon Reveals How Louis C.K. Gave Her the Confidence to Write and Direct ‘Better Things’

Pamela Adlon Reveals How Louis C.K. Gave Her the Confidence to Write and Direct ‘Better Things’
Anyone who watched “Louie” knows that Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon share an infinitely watchable rapport onscreen. Playing fictionalized versions of themselves in the Emmy-nominated FX show, their real-life friendship infused their characters with a warm naturalism that made “Louie” unlike any other show on television. It comes as no surprise then that “Better Things” shares the same naturalism; Adlon was a writer/producer on “Louie” and C.K. is an executive producer on “Better Things.” C.K. was instrumental in getting the show greenlit, pitching an Adlon show to FX president John Landgraf.

Former collaborator Tig Notaro recently disavowed C.K.’s involvement in her Amazon series, “One Mississippi,” even though he is credited as an executive producer. As unseemly rumors continue to surround the comedian and filmmaker, his fruitful collaboration with Adlon of a woman filmmaker who has benefitted greatly from C.K.’s support — and that’s all according to Adlon.
See full article at Indiewire Television »

Pamela Adlon Reveals How Louis C.K. Gave Her the Confidence to Write and Direct ‘Better Things’

  • Indiewire
Pamela Adlon Reveals How Louis C.K. Gave Her the Confidence to Write and Direct ‘Better Things’
Anyone who watched “Louie” knows that Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon share an infinitely watchable rapport onscreen. Playing fictionalized versions of themselves in the Emmy-nominated FX show, their real-life friendship infused their characters with a warm naturalism that made “Louie” unlike any other show on television. It comes as no surprise then that “Better Things” shares the same naturalism; Adlon was a writer/producer on “Louie” and C.K. is an executive producer on “Better Things.” C.K. was instrumental in getting the show greenlit, pitching an Adlon show to FX president John Landgraf.

Former collaborator Tig Notaro recently disavowed C.K.’s involvement in her Amazon series, “One Mississippi,” even though he is credited as an executive producer. As unseemly rumors continue to surround the comedian and filmmaker, his fruitful collaboration with Adlon of a woman filmmaker who has benefitted greatly from C.K.’s support — and that’s all according to Adlon.
See full article at Indiewire »

The 20 Best TV Spin-off Series of All Time, Ranked

  • Indiewire
The 20 Best TV Spin-off Series of All Time, Ranked
The early success of CBS’ new “The Big Bang Theory” prequel “Young Sheldon” is a reminder that often the most successful spin-offs look or feel completely different from their mother ship. “The Simpsons” was nothing like “The Tracey Ullman Show.” “Mork and Mindy” was set in a different time frame than “Happy Days.” And “Maude,” “The Jeffersons” and “Good Times” featured characters with a completely different mindset from “All in the Family’s” Archie Bunker.

Try as TV executives and creators might, it’s nearly impossible to replicate success in the same world or with many of the same characters. (Looking at you, “Joey” and “AfterMASH.”) Some of the best TV spinoffs succeed specifically because they approach a familiar template from a completely different angle. Spin-offs come in many forms: Some are continuations of series that have ended. Others follow popular characters on their own journeys. And some are simply planted into a hit show,
See full article at Indiewire »

The 20 Best TV Spin-off Series of All Time, Ranked

The 20 Best TV Spin-off Series of All Time, Ranked
The early success of CBS’ new “The Big Bang Theory” prequel “Young Sheldon” is a reminder that often the most successful spin-offs look or feel completely different from their mother ship. “The Simpsons” was nothing like “The Tracey Ullman Show.” “Mork and Mindy” was set in a different time frame than “Happy Days.” And “Maude,” “The Jeffersons” and “Good Times” featured characters with a completely different mindset from “All in the Family’s” Archie Bunker.

Try as TV executives and creators might, it’s nearly impossible to replicate success in the same world or with many of the same characters. (Looking at you, “Joey” and “AfterMASH.”) Some of the best TV spinoffs succeed specifically because they approach a familiar template from a completely different angle. Spin-offs come in many forms: Some are continuations of series that have ended. Others follow popular characters on their own journeys. And some are simply planted into a hit show,
See full article at Indiewire Television »

Tracee Ellis Ross Talks ‘Black-ish,’ Winning a Golden Globe, Emmy Nomination

Tracee Ellis Ross Talks ‘Black-ish,’ Winning a Golden Globe, Emmy Nomination
When “Black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross won the Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy or musical TV series in January, she became the first black woman since Debbie Allen of “Fame” in 1982 to win in that category. Next month, Ross has a second shot at history. If she takes the Emmy for comedy actress, she’ll be the first black woman to do so since “The Jeffersons” actress Isabel Sanford in 1981.

What did it mean to win the Golden Globe?

The magnitude of the larger historical context took it out of my personal feelings and into the larger spectrum of what we as an industry and what we as a culture are saying. Diversity and inclusion are still a question because they have not been answered. We are not, as an industry and as a culture, doing a good enough job of telling balanced stories of who we are as a people. So
See full article at Variety - TV News »

'Lemon' Review: Brett Gelman's Alt-Loser 'Comedy' Lives Up to Its Name

'Lemon' Review: Brett Gelman's Alt-Loser 'Comedy' Lives Up to Its Name
Do you find Brett Gelman hilarious? It's not a rhetorical question: You either consider the comedian's act, located at the intersection of Adult Swim and aggressively annoying, as the epitome of edgy, avant–ha-ha humor or you probably don't consider it at all. When deployed correctly in small doses – see the staggeringly great Amazon Britcom Fleabag – Gelman's subway-frotteur vibe can add the perfect toxic aftertaste. And even if the weaponized uncomfortability of something like his Dinner in America short isn't your bag, you have to admire the sheer commitment of
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Peter Tolan, Norman Lear Developing NBC Comedy With Production Commitment

Peter Tolan, Norman Lear Developing NBC Comedy With Production Commitment
Peter Tolan and Norman Lear are developing a new comedy series with NBC, Variety has learned.

The network has given the new single-camera series, currently titled “Guess Who Died,” a pilot production commitment. Based on Lear’s personal experience of working well into his 90’s, the series is described as a humorous and inspiring look at the shared joys and challenges people experience at any stage of life.

Lear and Tolan will serve as executive producers and writers, with Brent Miller also executive producing. Lear’s Act III Productions and Tolan’s Cloudland Company will produce along with Sony Pictures Television. Cloudland is set up under an overall deal at Sony.

Lear is a television legend, having created, produced, and written classic shows such as “Good Times,” “Maude,” “The Jeffersons,” “All in the Family,” and “One Day at a Time.” He has been nominated for 11 Emmy Awards during his storied career, winning
See full article at Variety - TV News »

What Were Angelina Jolie and Nicolas Cage Like as Freshmen? See the Photos as Beverly Hills High School Alumni Dish on Their A-List Classmates

  • PEOPLE.com
What Were Angelina Jolie and Nicolas Cage Like as Freshmen? See the Photos as Beverly Hills High School Alumni Dish on Their A-List Classmates
From Angelina Jolie to Nicolas Cage, Beverly Hills High School has educated a who’s who of A-list celebrities for generations.

The high school, which turns 90 this year, is even a bit famous in its own right. The memorable pool sequence from It’s a Wonderful Life was filmed in the gym, and it was also the inspiration for the high school in Beverly Hills, 90210.

In celebration of its 90th anniversary, The Hollywood Reporter spoke with a handful of notable past graduates, like Will & Grace co-creator Max Mutchnick and actress Joely Fiser, who dished on what their famous classmates were like before they became stars.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

‘Black-ish’ Wants An Emmy, And Creator Kenya Barris Isn’t Ashamed to Demand One

  • Indiewire
‘Black-ish’ Wants An Emmy, And Creator Kenya Barris Isn’t Ashamed to Demand One
The awards season game is one that typically involves a lot of subtlety and false humility. But in its second year as an Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy nominee, the team behind “Black-ish” is stepping up their game.

“We want an Emmy,” executive producer Kenya Barris told a room of reporters during a recent press event. “I always take the backseat, because I think that’s the higher road to take, but I’m going to say it this time. I want it for my crew, for myself and because I grew up watching network television.”

Read More:‘Black-ish,’ ‘Insecure,’ and Others Aren’t Just ‘Black Shows,’ As Nielsen Study Proves

Black-ish,” the deeply personal series about an affluent black family living in Los Angeles, is one of two broadcast comedies nominated for an Emmy this year (the other being longstanding veteran “Modern Family,” which is not considered a favorite to
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Black-ish’ Wants An Emmy, And Creator Kenya Barris Isn’t Ashamed to Demand One

‘Black-ish’ Wants An Emmy, And Creator Kenya Barris Isn’t Ashamed to Demand One
The awards season game is one that typically involves a lot of subtlety and false humility. But in its second year as an Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy nominee, the team behind “Black-ish” is stepping up their game.

“We want an Emmy,” executive producer Kenya Barris told a room of reporters during a recent press event. “I always take the backseat, because I think that’s the higher road to take, but I’m going to say it this time. I want it for my crew, for myself and because I grew up watching network television.”

Read More:‘Black-ish,’ ‘Insecure,’ and Others Aren’t Just ‘Black Shows,’ As Nielsen Study Proves

Black-ish,” the deeply personal series about an affluent black family living in Los Angeles, is one of two broadcast comedies nominated for an Emmy this year (the other being longstanding veteran “Modern Family,” which is not considered a favorite to
See full article at Indiewire Television »

Tracee Ellis Ross Reveals Her Secret to Keeping Calm on Emmy Nomination Morning (Hint: It Involves Birds!)

  • PEOPLE.com
Tracee Ellis Ross was not calm Thursday morning as she waited for the 2017 Emmy Awards nominations to be announced.

“I’d been up since, like, 4:40 a.m. because I’m on European time. I hopped in the shower at 8, but that did not change my attention,” the black-ish star tells People of the nerves and anticipation she felt in the minutes leading up to the reveal.

“I decided to put on a moisture mask and go down to my meditation room and meditate. So I was listening to the birds when 8:30 struck, and when I opened my eyes
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Norman Lear Teams Up With Peter Tolan to Revive His Senior Citizen Comedy ‘Guess Who Died’

Norman Lear Teams Up With Peter Tolan to Revive His Senior Citizen Comedy ‘Guess Who Died’
Norman Lear is moving one step closer to making his long-gestating comedy “Guess Who Died” a reality.

Emmy-winning writer Peter Tolan (“The Larry Sanders Show,” “Rescue Me”) has joined the project as co-writer with Lear on the show, which is set in a retirement village. Lear has been working on the show for at least seven years, and frequently brings the project up in interviews. But until recently, he expressed dismay that it might never get made.

But now the legendary TV producer, at age 94, is on another hot streak. Following the recent successful remake of Lear’s 1970s sitcom “One Day at a Time,” now reimagined at Netflix with stars Justina Machado and Rita Moreno, Sony Pictures TV is developing “Guess Who Died” as a spec comedy script.

That means it’s still in very early stages of development, but the addition of Tolan gives it more momentum. Tolan
See full article at Indiewire Television »

Norman Lear Teams Up With Peter Tolan to Revive His Senior Citizen Comedy ‘Guess Who Died’

  • Indiewire
Norman Lear Teams Up With Peter Tolan to Revive His Senior Citizen Comedy ‘Guess Who Died’
Norman Lear is moving one step closer to making his long-gestating comedy “Guess Who Died” a reality.

Emmy-winning writer Peter Tolan (“The Larry Sanders Show,” “Rescue Me”) has joined the project as co-writer with Lear on the show, which is set in a retirement village. Lear has been working on the show for at least seven years, and frequently brings the project up in interviews. But until recently, he expressed dismay that it might never get made.

But now the legendary TV producer, at age 94, is on another hot streak. Following the recent successful remake of Lear’s 1970s sitcom “One Day at a Time,” now reimagined at Netflix with stars Justina Machado and Rita Moreno, Sony Pictures TV is developing “Guess Who Died” as a spec comedy script.

That means it’s still in very early stages of development, but the addition of Tolan gives it more momentum. Tolan
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Animal House’ Actor Stephen Furst Dies at Age 62

‘Animal House’ Actor Stephen Furst Dies at Age 62
Actor and comedian Stephen Furst, best known for his roles in Animal House and Babylon 5, died from complications related to diabetes on Friday. He was 62.

His sons, Nathan and Griff Furst, confirmed the news on their father's Facebook page on Saturday.

Related: ‘Rocky’ Director John G. Avildsen Dies at 81, Sylvester Stallone Pays Tribute

"Steve has a long list of earthly accomplishments," the actor's sons wrote. "He was known to the world as an brilliant and prolific actor and filmmaker, but to his family and many dear friends he was also a beloved husband, father and kind friend whose memory will always be a blessing."

"To truly honor him, do not cry for the loss of Stephen Furst. But rather, enjoy memories of all the times he made you snicker, laugh, or even snort to your own embarrassment," the message continued. "He intensely believed that laughter is the best therapy, and he would
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Stephen Furst, St. Elsewhere and Babylon 5 Star, Dead at 62

Stephen Furst, St. Elsewhere and Babylon 5 Star, Dead at 62
Stephen Furst, best known to TV audiences for his role as Dr. Elliot Axelrod on the 1980s medical drama St. Elsewhere, has died. He was 62.

Furst died Friday morning in his Ventura County, Calif. home, his son tells TMZ. His death was a result of complications from diabetes.

Furst initially rose to fame as Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in the 1978 film Animal House, a role he would reprise one year later in the short-lived TV series Delta House. He would eventually go on to find small-screen success on St. Elsewhere, joining the show in Season 2.

In 1994, Furst booked the part of
See full article at TVLine.com »

Norman Lear Sings the Praises of Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out': ‘I’ve Never Been More Touched’

  • The Wrap
Norman Lear Sings the Praises of Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out': ‘I’ve Never Been More Touched’
Legendary TV producer Norman Lear was stunned into silence the first time he saw Jordan Peele’s record-setting horror movie “Get Out.” “I’ve never been more touched,” Lear said at the Producers Guild’s annual Produced By conference on Sunday. “I lose words when I think about how this man’s film affected me.” Lear’s comments came during a panel where the famed producer behind such iconic shows as “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” sat down with Peele to discuss the making of his universally acclaimed directorial debut. Also Read: Jordan Peele's Next Thriller Lands
See full article at The Wrap »

Rita Riggs, Costume Designer for Alfred Hitchcock and 'The Jeffersons,' Dies at 86

Rita Riggs, the costume designer and wardrobe specialist who worked on Psycho and The Birds for Alfred Hitchcock and on TV's All in the Family and The Jeffersons for Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin, has died. She was 86.

Riggs died Monday in Los Angeles, a family spokesperson said.

In 2003, Riggs received the Career Achievement Award in Television from the Costume Designers Guild, and last year, the guild's legacy committee honored her with another lifetime award.

Riggs' estimable resumé for the big screen also included work for directors John Frankenheimer...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Rita Riggs, Costume Designer for Alfred Hitchcock and 'The Jeffersons,' Dies at 86

Rita Riggs, the costume designer and wardrobe specialist who worked on Psycho and The Birds for Alfred Hitchcock and on TV's All in the Family and The Jeffersons for Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin, has died. She was 86.

Riggs died Monday in Los Angeles, a family spokesperson said.

In 2003, Riggs received the Career Achievement Award in Television from the Costume Designers Guild, and last year, the guild's legacy committee honored her with another lifetime award.

Riggs' estimable resumé for the big screen also included work for directors John Frankenheimer...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Jerry Perenchio, Billionaire Media Mogul Behind Univision, Dies at 86

Media mogul A. Jerrold “Jerry” Perenchio, who amassed a fortune by building a powerhouse TV production company and later the Spanish-language network Univision, and was among California’s most prolific philanthropists and political donors, has died. He was 86.

Perenchio died of lung cancer at his Bel Air home on Monday, a family spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times.

His personal wealth, along with an early career managing high-profile stars and promoting major sporting events, belied a fierce determination to stay out of the limelight, in which he granted few interviews and rarely allowed his associates to do the same.

A partner with Norman Lear in the production of such shows as “The Jeffersons” and “One Day at a Time,” Perenchio made a fortune on megahits of the 1970s, particularly from the sale of the shows into syndication.

No media investment, however, was as lucrative for Perenchio as the one in Univision, which
See full article at Variety - TV News »
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