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September 21, 2014

DesigningWomen

Remembering Dixie Carter on 'Designing Women'

by David Hofstede, posted Apr 12th 2010 5:00PM
Not every situation comedy can get away with tackling serious issues, but 'Designing Women' was the exception. The series boldly confronted racism, homophobia and other hot-button topics while never forgetting that its first responsibility was to be funny.

Most of its overt political and social statements were written by series creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, and delivered by Dixie Carter as regal, feisty Julia Sugarbaker. For many fans, the most memorable and quotable moments from 'Designing Women' were those featuring Carter and her famous southern belle smackdowns, which earned the character the nickname 'the Terminator.'

To honor Carter, who passed away April 10 after a battle with cancer, we present three of her best 'Designing Women' moments.

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'Designing Women' Star Dixie Carter Dies

by AOL TV Staff, posted Apr 11th 2010 12:51AM
Dixie CarterTV star Dixie Carter died Saturday morning at age 70, the AP is reporting.

Carter's death was confirmed Saturday by publicist Steve Rohn, who represents Carter and her husband, Oscar-nominated actor Hal Holbrook. Further details, including the cause of death, were not disclosed.

"This has been a terrible blow to our family. We would appreciate everyone understanding that this is a private family tragedy," Holbrook said in a written statement.

Carter's career spanned multiple decades on television and on the stage. TV fans may remember her best for her portrayal of Julia Sugarbaker on the CBS sitcom 'Designing Women,' on which she appeared in over 160 episodes from 1986-1993. The role came just one year following a two-season gig on NBC's 'Diff'rent Strokes,' as aerobics instructor Maggie McKinney

For more on the career of Dixie Carter, visit PopEater.

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Delta Burke on 'Modern Family'? Make it Happen!

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 13th 2010 1:20PM
delta_burke_fan_smilingThere's a rumor buzzing around the Internet that Delta Burke will guest on 'Modern Family' as Cameron's mother. TV Guide had something in the print edition, and it was also repeated here, but the real culprit behind the tale is actor Eric Stonestreet who plays Cam. He said he would love Delta Burke to play his mama ... and it's a great idea.

Listen to how Eric described his character's background in a November interview: "Cameron is from a rural area in Missouri, he grew up on a farm. We don't know quite how he came out of the closet yet. You're going to find out little tidbits in the next few episodes about how my parents knew I was gay, but I think the thing is my parents are very supportive, very passionate and funny people. I can't wait for America to meet Cameron's mom -- I think Cameron's mom probably has a lot to do with his vivaciousness."

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New TV on DVD for Mar. 2: 'Alice,' 'Designing Women' & More

by Scott Harris, posted Mar 2nd 2010 2:00PM
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and if that's the case, Tim Burton and the folks behind 'Alice in Wonderland' are about to be buried under an avalanche of flattery. Whether you think it's a cheap marketing ploy or a very, very smart marketing ploy, the release of top-line films such as 'Alice' usually coincide with other studios rolling out all the similarly themed product they can in order to ride coattails to success at the cash register. And while most of those releases come in the form of old adaptations and quickie knockoff films, there's a little something for everyone this week in the DVD market, even TV fans.

Case in point: SyFy Channel's 2009 miniseries 'Alice.' No, it wasn't conceived by the network as a way to get rich off of Johnny Depp's wacky hairstyle, but there's no question that the studio wisely decided to capitalize on the hype by picking this week to release the 'Alice' DVD set.

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We Raise a Glass to Our Favorite New Year's Episodes

by David Hofstede, posted Dec 31st 2009 10:30AM

New Year's Eve episodes have never been as plentiful as those about Christmas. Television writers, it seems, figure most viewers would rather be out sipping champagne and kissing strangers on December 31 than watching TV.

But a few of these holiday-themed gems were made, and they're a great way to get ready for your midnight celebration. Here are some of the best.

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Two and a Half Men: Mmm, fish. Yum.

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 6th 2009 9:26AM
jon_cryer_cbs(S07E03) So far this season, Two and a Half Men has been sailing along, continuing to provide plenty of laughs and just enough vulgarity to keep its crown as a raunchy pleasure. Tonight, however, they hit an iceberg. Too bad really, but half the show -- no pun intended -- was spot on. If only the other half had been as good.

For some reason, the writers have this idea that Alan as the object of affection to older women is funny. No, not really. It didn't work when Carol Kane guested as the mother of a girl Alan was dating and it didn't work tonight with Annie Potts as Judith's mother, Lenore.

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TV on DVD: Week of May 26

by Katy Kroll, posted May 26th 2009 6:00AM
Here's a taste of what's coming out on DVD this week:

'The Closer' (The Complete Fourth Season)

What the Season's About: As L.A.'s lead investigator, Brenda Leigh Johnson has a special gift when it comes to getting criminals talking. But the real drama comes as she grapples with preparing for married life with fiancé -- and FBI agent -- Fritz.

Special Features: There's a blooper reel, deleted scenes and an informative featurette with actor Corey Reynolds and a real-life L.A. police detective.

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Why isn't Jan Hooks famous?

by Eliot Glazer, posted May 9th 2009 12:50PM
Radner. Louis-Dreyfus. Poehler. Fey. Shannon.

jan hooks snlSuffice it to say, the number of women who became famous on Saturday Night Live before graduating to solo success is few and far between. Sure, Gilda Radner can be considered a pioneer in the art of sketch comedy. And Julia Louis-Dreyfus undoubtedly honed her comedic skills before becoming a sitcom icon on Seinfeld. And, yes, Tina Fey can easily be considered a heroine to comedy nerds everywhere who have witnessed her climb from Weekend Update anchor to Mean Girls scribe to single-handedly decimating the vice presidential chances of one certain gun-wieldin', six-pack-totin' Alaskan governor.

But, sadly, the number of men who left Studio 8 for the superstardom of Planet Hollywood (not the theme restaurant) easily outnumbers the ladies. For every Amy Poehler, there's a Will Ferrell. And a Bill Murray. And a Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler (although, to be fair, there's also a David Gary Kroeger, A. Whitney Brown, and Charles Rocket for every Melanie Hutsell, too). (And for the record, no, you shouldn't recognize those names.)

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Best '80s TV Shows

by Kim Potts, posted Apr 13th 2009 6:00AM
Family TiesIt may have been the Me Decade.

But in TV land, the sisters were doin' it for themselves and finally getting respect as cops, war nurses and working moms; iconic shows like 'Hill Street Blues,' 'St. Elsewhere' and 'L.A. Law' would forever change (for the better) cop, medical and legal dramas; and no idea was too high concept to fill a primetime spot (time-travelling physicist? check; housewife-turned-CIA op? check; New York City beauty in love with a subterranean monster? check).

The bottom line: They all add up to 10 years of fine channel surfing -- and our awesome list of the 40 best series of the 1980s.

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Nine memorable TV shows about TV - VIDEO

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 18th 2009 10:06AM
The Mary Tyler Moore Show

The success of Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon recently inspired me to assess the ten best movies about television. TV has been a fertile source of entertainment for filmmakers. The TV turf is also a popular setting for TV shows, and there have been some all-time great shows about the tube. Here are nine that I think warrant special recognition -- in no special order.

1. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
It all started at WJM-TV in Minneapolis. The Mary Tyler Moore Show was the perfect sitcom blend of home and work, and work happened to be the local TV news team. As Mary Richards, the associate producer, Mary Tyler Moore was the single girl America loved because she was real, funny, gorgeous and lovable. At work, the news was mangled nightly by Ted Baxter, the quintessential news reader anchorman who loved every dulcet tone of his voice and had no idea what he was reporting. In perfect irony, when the show came to an end, most everyone at WJM -- Lou Grant, Murray Slaughter, Sue Anne Nivens, Mary -- were fired. Only Ted was spared!

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Best '90s TV Shows

by Kim Potts, posted Feb 9th 2009 1:00PM
We know, we know ... another "best of" list.

But this isn't any old list – our Top 40 TV Shows of the '90s is just the first in a new series of countdowns in which we'll put our AOL Television seal of approval on the top 40 series of every decade.

Every other month we'll tackle another decade, going all the way back to the '50s, to recall the best comedies (hello 'Lucy'), the best prime-time soaps (do you remember who shot JR?), the best cop shows, animated series and groundbreaking TV shows.

So kick off 50 years of silver-screen bests with the greatest shows of the '90s, including everyone from 'Beavis,' 'Buffy' and 'Simpsons' to 'Freaks and Geeks' and teens on the 'Creek.'

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Six characters from other shows whom we wish were Cylons - VIDEO

by Eliot Glazer, posted Jan 16th 2009 11:33AM
battlestar galactica sci fiBattlestar Galactica is premiering! Did you know that? BSG is starting again. Ten eps left. Best show ever. Can. Not. Wait. Especially because we need to know the identity of the final Cylon!

Look, we're so crazy excited for the season premiere that the only thing we could do to keep ourselves from going a'spoiler-hunting was to create a wishlist. Below are six characters from other shows throughout history whom we imagine share the same genetics as those frakkin' Toasters.

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Palin comparison ... GOP VP choice looks like a bunch of TV characters

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 1st 2008 5:25PM
Sarah PLast Friday, Senator John McCain shocked the world by announcing that little-known Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was his choice as vice presidential candidate for the Republican party. If you were like me, you couldn't help but notice that Sarah Palin -- a very attractive, 44-year-old mother of five -- looked an awful lot like some familiar TV faces, like 30 Rock's Liz Lemon.

In fact, at least one Hollywood writer recognized in Sarah Palin's being plucked from virtual obscurity was like one of his creations. Rod Lurie, the writer/producer of Commander in Chief, joked that he and Gena Davis should be asking for royalties if Palin emerges as McCain's VEEP, especially if she becomes president like Davis's character did on that ABC drama series.

Here are the main TV characters that come to mind when you think about Palin:

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Jean Smart: The TV Squad interview

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 16th 2008 11:02AM
Jean SmartJean Smart is one of TV's most popular and prodigious actresses. Capable of doing comedy and drama equally well, it seems that not a season passes without Jean making her mark. This past year, she was wonderful as Christina Applegate's mother on Samantha Who?

The two-time Emmy winner (for guesting on Frasier), is likely to win an Emmy nomination, which I discussed with her recently. But what about her other TV work. Here's some thoughts about 24, Designing Women and other TV memories. And find out what she thinks is the best show ever on television!

Allison Waldman: What are your memories from playing Charlene Frazier on Designing Women?

Jean Smart: There are so many. Of course, meeting my husband (Richard Gilliland). I met him on the fifth episode and we hadn't even been on the air yet. I remember the chemistry that we all had together, which was so much fun. When my character got married on the show, I found out I was pregnant, so I got it in just under the wire. Charlene was a good Baptist girl, she couldn't be pregnant without being married.

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Biggest Behind-the-Scenes TV Scandals

by AOL TV Staff, posted Jun 10th 2008 2:22PM
'Three's Company's' on-set feud ... Isaiah Washington's gay slur ... Miley Cyrus' racy pics ... find out where they rank on our list.

Before YouTube, camera phones and celebreality-TV, the best Hollywood catfights, feuds and fracases happened behind the scenes.

Some of the most salacious scandals were never caught on camera, but their fallout is the stuff of legend.

We dig deep -- from before the advent of the Internet and since -- to name our picks for TV's top 20 off-screen scandals of all time.

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