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April 24, 2014

TV Royalty

Does the chair on Shatner's Raw Nerve bug you?

by Jane Boursaw, posted Dec 10th 2009 9:02AM
Shatner's Raw Nerve - the chair
I've really been enjoying Shatner's Raw Nerve on the Biography channel. He has great guests, and he's just so Shatnerific with them. On the one hand, you sort of feel like you're listening in on a conversation between old friends. On the other hand, he's so intense that you're afraid he might jump up and start leaping around the room gesturing wildly. Which brings me to ...

The Chair. You know, it's different. But I don't think I really like it. My husband thinks it's called a "lover's chair" or something along those lines, and I can see that. The two people sitting in it are sort of in the perfect position to embrace and kiss. But from what I've seen, most of the guests seem a little uncomfortable with it. I mean, just look at Henry Winkler. He looks really uncomfortable, probably because he's not sure if Shatner might try to embrace him.

What do you think of the chair? Any experts out there who can tell us the origin of this particular type of chair?

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What's Hot on SlashControl: Mary Tyler Moore and the Teddy Awards

by Jane Boursaw, posted Dec 5th 2009 8:04PM
One of my favorite episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show is "Put On a Happy Face" from season three. It's the one where Mary is nominated for a Teddy Award, but everything in her life suddenly starts going wrong. It starts with a "hair bump," then moves on to a sprained foot, a nasty cold, a dress that comes back from the cleaners with a horrible purple spot on it, a broken hairdryer, and Ted as a date for the awards ceremony.

So Mary ends up going to the event with a dress borrowed from Rhoda that looks like something a grandmother (back then) might wear. It starts raining so the slipper she's wearing on her sore foot gets soggy, and then her false eyelash comes off just as they announce her name as the winner. Seriously, Mary still looks pretty fantastic even when her life goes to heck.

There aren't many shows that can make you laugh out loud even when you're watching them by yourself. The Mary Tyler Moore Show is definitely one of a kind. Here's the episode, straight from our sister site, SlashControl.

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Oprah breaks the news to her fans

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 20th 2009 5:11PM
So Oprah is ending her talk show in September 2011. The news first came out yesterday, but when she announced it on today's live show, there were still a few surprised moans in the audience. What, they didn't know about it already? Weird. Anyway, here's the clip with her announcement.

I hope she can still collect unemployment when the show ends, but I don't think you can if you quit your job.

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Oprah to end syndicated show in September 2011

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 19th 2009 6:55PM
Oprah WinfreyThere had been lots of speculation that Oprah Winfrey was going to be giving up on her juggernaut of a syndicated talk show soon, but many of those rumors had been dismissed as negotiating ploys or some other silly rumor. Now, however, it seems like Oprah's departure from daytime is official: Tim Bennett, president of Harpo, confirmed that Oprah will announce on her show tomorrow that she will be ending the program on September 9, 2011.

Not coincidentally, that date is the day after the 25th anniversary of her first nationally-syndicated episode, and she'll mark the anniversary on her last show. Bennett told WCCO that this decision was under discussion for months, but the decision ultimately came down to the big O herself.

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Sneak Peek: Oprah's interview with Sarah Palin

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 13th 2009 11:28AM
Well, the big interview happens this Monday: Oprah interviews former Alaska Governor and VP candidate Sarah Palin. The interview actually took place several days ago so some clips are starting to be released. Here's a first look, where Oprah asks Palin about Levi Johnston.

Update: we love to see comments on our site, but if they go off topic or get into political arguments, they will be deleted. If you want to comment specifically about Palin's appearance on Oprah, that's fine. Other comments will be deleted. Thanks.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/video.

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Dear Oprah: I'd like to be on the cover of O too

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 6th 2009 6:01PM
ODear Oprah:

I saw that cover of the December issue of O magazine that was revealed today. Congrats to Ellen DeGeneres. She's been campaigning to get on the cover since last March, and it's good to see her goal become a reality. It proves that even regular folks with a daily daytime talk show and a million Twitter followers can realize their dreams too!

I'm not sure if this is the right venue for this, but I'll just come out and ask: can I be on your cover too? I don't have to be paid for it and you can dress me up any way that you like. I just want the honor of being on the cover with you.

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Jane After Dark: The Wire, season five (part one)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Nov 2nd 2009 8:03PM
The Wire, season five, Not For Attribution
Ah, how good it is to get back to The Wire. I've been steered off track by other DVDs landing on my doorstep for Jane After Dark, so season five of The Wire has been a while coming. One again, the show blows me away with the writing, characters, cinematography and realism. I'm just part-way into season one, but I love all of the references to everything that's happened thus far in the series, and the crew's continued attempts to bring down Marlo's organization. And, apparently, Omar is still in the game ...

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Joss Whedon is directing an episode of Glee!

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 19th 2009 9:02PM
Joss Whedon directing an episode of GleeIt's one of those things that you think would be cool if it happened, and then it actually happens. Joss Whedon is reporting that he'll be directing an upcoming episode of Glee.

We know he has on occasion stepped outside his usual genre of sci-fi and fantasy based on his directorial work on The Office. We know he's into musical theater based on his creation of the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog. Now, he's merging all that he's done before. Or at least he would be if the episode of Glee ends up involving evil scientists and vampires.

Despite my own history in musical theater, I haven't been watching Glee. Whedon's involvement in an episode would certainly pique my interest enough to catch it. Perhaps he could get together with his brother Jed and write the music for the episode, as well, turning it into a 42-minute operetta. They've done it before.

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The Mary Tyler Moore Show - One of the best in TV history

by Jane Boursaw, posted Oct 8th 2009 6:12PM
As Bob mentioned in his DVD post this week, The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Fifth Season was released in a 3-disc set on Tuesday. I have fond memories of watching this show as a kid, and the clips after the jump confirm once again that it featured one of the best casts in TV history.

Not only was each actor perfect for their role, but their timing and delivery of lines was second to none. I also love all of the 1970s-era props, clothes and decor, because of course, the show was made in the 1970s.

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Saturday Night Live: Ryan Reynolds/Lady Gaga

by Annie Wu, posted Oct 4th 2009 2:38PM
madonna lady gaga snl
(S35E02)
After that Jenny Slate f-bomb nonsense and Megan Fox's not terribly original hot girl material from the season premiere, it was exciting to see a really solid episode (and a star-studded one, at that). Ryan Reynolds did a fantastic job as host (snaps for his wavering voice during the porcelain fountains sketch and accent in SYTYCD), though he didn't have any major stand-out roles. Did I miss the memo that Lady Gaga wasn't just musical guest but co-host as well? Such a role is normally left up to Ryan Reynolds' giant biceps.

It's been a while since we've seen such consistently enjoyable writing in an episode. Usually, there's a distinct lull during the course of the 90 minutes, but I didn't feel it this time. Hopefully, this is a good indication of the rest of the season.

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TV Squad Ten: My favorite HBO shows

by Jane Boursaw, posted Sep 29th 2009 11:11AM
True Blood - Anna Paquin and Stephen MoyerHBO has slowly become my favorite network over the past few years. I don't know if it's because the mainstream networks have turned to lots of reality programming or what, but HBO just seems to get better and better. Just about every show on the premium channel is feature film quality (if not better), and I've got some favorites listed below.

I know I'm missing a few biggies, like Rome, Deadwood, Flight of the Conchords, and Extras, but it's only because I either haven't watched these shows or have only watched a few episodes -- not enough to make an informed opinion. I'm sure they'll make my Jane After Dark column at some point in the future. So I hope you'll tell me your favorites in the comments below.

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J.J. Abrams producing comedy for Fox

by Jane Boursaw, posted Sep 23rd 2009 9:25AM

J.J. AbramsI guess even J.J. Abrams needs to lighten things up now and then. With shows like Fringe, Lost and Alias, and movies like Star Trek, Cloverfield and Mission Impossible III on his impressive resume, maybe he needs a break from the sci-fi / action / drama genres.

Now he's exec producing an untitled, half-hour comedy for Fox. It's written by Mike Markowitz (who's worked on Becker and It's All Relative), but other than that, details are few and far between. The tagline is that it'll be "a comedic medical show." Hmmm, so maybe like Scrubs?

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Some Dollhouse tidbits from Joss Whedon

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 18th 2009 2:02PM
Joss WhedonI was lucky enough to participate in a conference call today with Dollhouse (and Buffy and Angel and Firefly and Dr. Horrible) mastermind Joss Whedon. While he was very good at giving vague answers to questions asked so as not to spoil the storylines for season two of the show, he did drop a few tidbits that certainly make me want to watch.

The most interesting of this is that Amy Acker, who plays Doctor Saunders a.k.a. Whiskey, is only contracted for three episodes this season (apparently she's committed to another show). I found that surprising considering her important role in the apocalyptic future of "Epitaph One," but I'm sure the writers have figured out a way around it. It was stated that the world of "Epitaph One" will be revisited later in this season.

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Interviews with Emmy/TV Legends hit the net

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 14th 2009 4:30PM
Archive of American TelevisionThe Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation is now launching a new website called EmmyTVLegends.org. It will include interviews with various celebrities who witnessed the rise of television including Milton Berle, Bob Hope and Walter Cronkite. Ironically, this is being done via the Internet. It's a bit like the passing of the torch from one predominant global medium of communication to the next.

Granted, all the videos have been uploaded to YouTube, so it's possible to find them without going through the website. Still, it's nice that the website organizes the interviews for the viewer. I was channeling my mother for a moment while watching some of them and thinking either "he/she looks so young in that interview" or "he/she is dead now".

The site represents a real treasure trove of television stories and history. I've only had a chance to watch a few of them so far. If you're interested in the medium I recommend watching some of them in your free time.

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Larry Gelbart dead at 81

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 12th 2009 8:42AM
Larry GelbartYesterday brought sad news for anyone who's a comedy writer, aspired to be a comedy writer, or just appreciated a well-turned and funny phrase. Larry Gelbart passed away; he had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. He died at his Los Angeles home yesterday morning at the age of 81.

Gelbart is probably best known for his writing on M*A*S*H during its early years. The almost lyrical comedic dialogue he gave Hawkeye, Trapper, and the rest of the gang is what drew me to the show, and he influenced almost everyone who worked on the show afterwards, including FOS (Friend of Squad) Ken Levine, who was just "too devestated" to write a tribute on his blog (expect one on Monday, though).

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