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August 28, 2014

AllInTheFamily

When Good Shows Go Bad (AKA the 'Heroes' Hall of Shame)

by Gary Susman, posted Nov 20th 2009 5:00PM
Recently, we were inspired by 'Parks and Recreation' to write a feature listing TV shows that overcame a rocky launch. Sadly, the reverse seems more common: shows that start strong but finish weak.

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.

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Best '70s TV Shows

by Kim Potts, posted Jun 22nd 2009 6:00AM
MASHIn AOL TV's continuing countdown of the best TV shows of each decade, we're back to break down the 1970s, a decade when the cop dramas were less gritty, the families were close-knit and the sitcoms were sprinkled with serious social commentary.

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.

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The man behind one of the most famous kisses and kiss-offs in TV history - VIDEO

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 5th 2009 9:02AM
Since I accepted TiVo as my personal savior, I have been afforded an opportunity to watch some great shows that air in the wee hours of the morning. Shows that, until now, have only been enjoyed by air traffic controllers with low attention spans, speed freaks and easily confused frat boys.

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.

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TV 101: How Friends caused the current financial crisis (OR: Say it ain't so, Joe the Actor)

by Jay Black, posted Nov 12th 2008 2:06PM
That bed cost $18,000.If you haven't heard, the country is in a recession and things are getting bad. I spend every afternoon watching CNBC and weeping. My father, who deals in real estate, calls me every night just to scream and babble incoherently. My wife splits her time between loading up the Model T to head out west Californee-way and burning our quarterly financial statements for warmth.

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.

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Stump the King - Barney Martin

by Paul Goebel, posted Aug 5th 2008 5:07AM

Barney MartinThis 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.

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Five memorable TV dads - VIDEOS

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 15th 2008 12:02PM
dadsIt's Father's Day. Dad's day of the year. Earlier this week, I took the AOL TV Dad's Quiz, like Debra, and I was reminded of the variety of fathers on the tube. I think I have a unique take on TV dads. My own died when I was just eight, so I tend to admire those characters that remind me of him. For that reason, the pipe-smoking, cardigan sweater wearing Jim Anderson on Father Knows Best doesn't ring true; neither does the coarse Archie Bunker of All in the Family.

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.
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TV Moms Quiz

by Kelly Woo, posted May 5th 2008 2:19PM
What's the name of the bowling instructor who almost wooed Marge Simpson away from her family?

Let's face it ... everybody can acknowledge that it's mother who knows best.

Beloved TV moms from Carol Brady to Claire Huxtable to Lorelai Gilmore have given sage advice, fixed boo-boos and given tongue-lashings for decades.

How well do you know these magnificent mamas? Take our TV moms quiz now and find out.


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Family Guy's Cleveland to get own spin-off?

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 29th 2008 11:41AM
Peter's gang family manOh, Peter. They're breaking up that old gang of ours! There's a spin-off of Family Guy in the works at Fox. Peter's drinking buddy, Cleveland Brown, might be getting his own show. Oh no, does this mean he may be leaving Quahog? What, no more get-togethers at The Drunken Clam? (Note to self: He's an animated character; he could still be part of Family Guy.)

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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The five best lineups in TV history

by Paul Goebel, posted Apr 16th 2007 12:58PM

Carol BurnettWelcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.

Even before "Must-See TV" networks made an attempt to capture a particular demographic with a killer lineup of TV shows. (Bob's done one of these lists in the past.) What follows is a list of the best TV lineups in history.

1. CBS Saturday, 1973: All in the Family, M*A*S*H*, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, The Carol Burnett Show. All classics. If this lineup were on today, it would still get huge ratings. It's hard for most folks to remember when these shows were originally on and it's even harder to believe that they were once all on in the same night. It makes me wonder what the other networks were showing or why they even bothered.

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Mike Evans dead at 57

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 22nd 2006 12:27PM

The JeffersonsYou'll remember Evans from his role as Lionel Jefferson on All In The Family and the spinoff show The Jeffersons. He died of throat cancer last week in California.

Besides his role as Lionel, Evans also appeared in The Streets of San Francisco, Rich Man, Poor Man, Love, American Style, Match Game, and Walker, Texas Ranger. He was also one of the creators and writers of the sitcom Good Times.

I had forgotten this, but he was actually replaced as Lionel Jefferson on The Jeffersons for four years, in the late 70s. He was replaced by Damon Evans, then returned to the show for the last couple of years.

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Family Guy: Stewie Loves Lois (season premiere)

by Brett Love, posted Sep 11th 2006 7:19AM
Family Guy - Robin(S06E01) Family Guy is back, and it's like they never left. That could just be because of my penchant for watching adult swim every night before bed though. Anyway... the episode kicks off with a newscast. We find out that Quahog is suffering from a flu epidemic. After cutting to Trisha, who is puking in the toilet, they send it back to Robin Hood, Boy Wonder. And that kicks off our theme for the night, a series of retro gags. Robin arrives on the scene where a group of girls in a car are teetering on the edge of a cliff. Upon seeing Robin come to their rescue, they're unimpressed. There is a no cell service joke about him being useless, but I thought it would have been funnier if he kicked them over the edge.

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The science behind television pilots -- market research

by Richard Keller, posted Aug 7th 2006 8:36AM

ASI Media CenterThe journey to get a television show from concept to eventual broadcast is a harrowing one. You have an idea, you prepare a spec summary for the network; they review the proposal and ask for a script. You (with help from others, most likely) prepare a script to send back to the network; they review the script and ask for a filmed pilot. You blow a big was of cash to create that pilot. Through a miracle of God the show gets picked up by the network.

At this point you're probably thinking Emmy and a juicy syndication package. Everything is going your way. Well, actually, no. You see, there's one more stop on the road to getting your show onto the big picture box. One stop that producers dread, but need to make in order to ensure some sort of chance to have their show stay on the air longer than two weeks. It's the small theater with people off of the street; pencils in their hands, a survey sheet nearby. I am talking about the neighborhood market research panel.

In this case, ASI Entertainment, Hollywood's oldest and most frequently-used audience testing location. Established back in 1966, ASI gages the reaction of regular folks for any number of television pilots that make it to the precipice of network pickup. From those reactions producers of those pilots make determinations on whether or not anything should be changed or if it is good to go for broadcast.


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New TV on DVD releases today

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jan 3rd 2006 10:16AM
Every Tuesday morning here on TV Squad , we will highlight the week's TV-on-DVD releases. Some noteworthy releases today, January 3, 2006:

  • alien nation cast 1st & Ten - Season 1; Season 2
  • Alien Nation - The Complete Series
  • All in the Family - The Complete 5th Season
  • Gunsmoke - 50th Anniversary Edition - Volume 1; 50th Anniversary Edition - Volume 2; 50th Anniversary Edition Giftset
  • Have Gun Will Travel - Season 3
  • Hunter - Season 3
  • Silk Stalkings - Season 4

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