All in the Family
The Television Critics Association is an organization of more than 200 television critics and journalists, and this year, the group made some pretty unimpeachable choices.
On the comedy side, 'Parks and Recreation,' 'Louie,' 'Modern Family' and 'Community' picked up multiple nominations.
Today, Jan. 12, marks the 40th anniversary of the CBS show's debut, and it's hard to say if the comedy would've been as influential in today's television landscape.
While there are plenty of shows that feature sex and violence -- and even cartoons like 'South Park' handle some political/cultural issues -- there aren't many that deal with politics, race and sex the way this show did. It was controversial then, but with today's 24-hour news, cable pundits, the Internet and political correctness, it would get a lot of heat (if it made it on the air at all).
So in honor of 'All in the Family's' anniversary, here's our list of 12 great moments from the show. It's hard to pick just a dozen, but these are all classic.
Our latest inspiration is the ongoing death spiral of 'Heroes.' (This week: Mohinder does something stupid! People's powers go awry at inopportune moments! Adrian Pasdar, pictured, looks like he'd rather be anywhere else!) Here's a once-inspired show that seems to be going down in flames after having run out of ideas.
Other times, shows peter out because of casting changes, bad writing or bizarre creative decisions. In each case, however, the audience feels betrayed and often deserts the show, leading to ratings death and what-went-wrong autopsies. Here's what went wrong on nine other good shows gone bad.
This might not be the biggest DVD release day in history, but it's certainly one of the business. There's something for everyone this week, including a bunch of "Fan Favorites" DVDs for various sitcoms, including NewsRadio, All in the Family, and I Dream of Jeannie. That's a neat idea, though I wonder, if you're a big fan, wouldn't you already have the DVDs?
Oh, and remember Day Break, the ABC mystery series from a couple of years ago? You can get the Complete Series. I don't think I ever saw the end of that show. You can watch it on SlashControl, so maybe I'll start there before buying the set.
- All in the Family - Fan Favorites
- Ax Men - Season 2
- Barney Miller - Fan Favorites
- Bewitched - Fan Favorites
I don't think I'm giving anything away by revealing that shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, M*A*S*H, and All in the Family are at the top, but there are a few entries that you and your friends can argue about.
Our list of the best shows of the '70s features many of the best shows of all time (here's looking at you, 'Mary Tyler Moore Show,' 'M*A*S*H' and 'Taxi'). Take a gander and let us know if you agree.
Golden Girls star Bea Arthur died this morning in Los Angeles. She was 86. This is actually a bit of a shock. Not that 86 is young, but she always seemed healthy and spry, even in the last few years, doing her stage show and guest starring on various TV shows and endless specials.
On June 9, Sony will release The Norman Lear Collection, a 19-disc set that will include the first seasons of the shows that Norman Lear did over the years, including All in the Family, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, Maude, One Day At A Time, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and Good Times. The set will include lots of bonus material, including new interviews with people like Rob Reiner and Jimmie Walker, along with the two unseen pilots for All in the Family, Those Were The Days and And Justice For All (in the original pilot, the Bunkers' last name was actually Justice).
One of them is All in the Family, which airs at 8 a.m. on TV Land, the network with its rack of sour tasting reality shows and shrinking share of old sitcoms and serials that is in danger of becoming the new MTV.
A week ago, one of the show's -- and all of television history's greatest -- gems found its way to my "Now Playing List." That famous episode where Sammy Davis Jr. makes the trek to 704 Hauser Street and gives Archie a big wet one on the cheek. I had not seen this show since I was a kid, back in the 80s when All in the Family reruns flooded my television, but this most recent viewing unveiled an interesting factoid that almost went unnoticed.
We're on an economic roller coaster right now, and I don't mean a reputable roller coaster like at Six Flags. We're talking one of those death-trap coasters that even the carnies won't ride. The depressing thing is that the whole bag of crap we're in right now just seemed to come out of nowhere, like the last season of Roseanne. How did we get here? Why is this all happening now?
You might be tempted to blame the usual suspects: the president, the congress, the Stone-Cutters. But you'd be wrong. The real culprit behind this whole problems is Friends.
You can vote for them at the ABC site and your answers will be revealed on the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be broadcast on Sunday, September 21. There are two categories, comedy and drama (sorry fans of game shows and reality shows). No, you can't write in your own vote, you have to pick from the finalists that they've already chosen for you, so right off the bat you know there's going to be a lot of "but what about..." and "why did they include..." talk.
That's one of interesting revelations (though that one has been known for quite some time) in the new book Mickey Rooney as Archie Bunker and Other TV Almosts by Eila Mell. It lists a bunch of actors and actresses who almost got roles we know and love. For example, Jenna Fischer (The Office) tried out for the role of Sydney Bristow on Alias, but was deemed not sexy enough for the part (as we told you about before). Whitney Houston didn't want the role of Bill Cosby's daughter on The Cosby Show so the role went to Lisa Bonet. And Leonardo DiCaprio almost played David Hasselhoff's son on Baywatch (the role went to Brandon Call and later Jeremy Jackson). That one isn't surprising at all, considering DiCaprio did work on Growing Pains and other shows.
This week, I got a question from Jonathan Myers that reads...
"There was a short lived television show in the late 60's or early 70's - sitcom - where the characters dressed in dog outfits. Part of me thinks it was related to Rob Reiner? Any idea what show this is?"
Well, after scouring my memory and doing a little research, I was able to dig up some info on an unsold pilot called McGurk.
So, here's my five favorite sitcom dads, the ones I related to the most. That means I've excluded single dads and animated dads. That means Hank Hill, Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin and Fred Flintstone are ineligible for my list. Also, this is strictly sitcom pops.
Cleveland is perhaps the most down to earth of Peter's pals on Family Guy, which could make him the perfect centerpiece of a new cartoon series. Zany new characters could be built around him. If history repeats itself, he could be the George Jefferson to Peter Griffin's Archie Bunker, i.e., The Jeffersons spinning off from All in the Family.
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