The landmark comedy debuted on CBS on Oct. 3 1961, exactly 50 years ago today, and it's been announced that having acquired the broadcast rights, TV Land will mark the anniversary by airing all 159 episodes of the series, premiering tonight.
Deadline reports that the network will run episodes in a three-hour block from 6-9PM ET Monday through Friday, culminating in a marathon over the weekend.
No stranger to the old soft shoe, the star of the classic musicals 'Bye Bye Birdie,' 'Mary Poppins' and 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' said no to a stint on 'Dancing.'
"I was asked to be on 'Dancing With the Stars.' And I said I could do one [episode]," Van Dyke told Inside TV. "But to do a second week would be out of the question. I couldn't cut it," joked Van Dyke, who was promoting his new family-friendly CD, 'Rhythm Train,' available online. (Produced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith, the CD also features L.A. musician Leslie Bixler.)<
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.
As AOL Television continues their look at the 50 Best TV Comedies -- Ever with their Top 10, we here at TV Squad are also looking at television comedy, but with a slightly skewed difference. Last week, we took a look at the Saturday Night Live cast members from 1996 to 2006 that made it to the big time. This week, we get a bit more serious.
There are those in the industry who say that it is easier to go from acting in a drama to acting in a comedy than it is the other way around. Yet, as you will see from the list we've compiled after the jump, there are plenty of comedic actors who have jumped from the world of comedy films, stand-up comedy, and television sitcoms into the more serious world of drama. In many cases they have had even greater success than they did on the other side of the tracks. There have even been instances where they stayed in the drama genre and never went back to being funny.
This version is going to be a new take on the old story of a man who sets sail from England, his ship is wrecked in a storm and he's thrown overboard winding up alone on a deserted island where he has to fen for himself. In time, he is joined by an escaped slave whom he names Friday. Ben Silverman, NBC's head honcho, described the proposed series in this way: "It's part MacGyver, part contemporary morality tale about race and personal discovery, part comedy and part Castaway meets Survivor." As envisioned, this Robinson Crusoe will need to be clever indeed. It's going to keep the time period 1650's, but when Crusoe finds Friday, he'll presumably be treating him as if it were today with regard to race relations.
A new feature here at TV Squad: Standout Episodes, where we review a great episode of a TV series, one that's a perfect example of how great television can be.
"The Death of the Party"
Filmed: October 27, 1964
Aired: December 9, 1964
Since I mentioned The Dick Van Dyke Show earlier this week, I figured I'd start with an episode from that classic sitcom. But boy, it wasn't easy picking the first one.
I could have picked, well, approximately 156 of the 158 episodes the show had over its five season run, but this one stands out because it truly has everything you need for a great episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show.
- At 8, ABC has a repeat Wife Swap, followed by new episodes of Supernanny and What About Brian.
- CBS has a repeat How I Met Your Mother at 8, followed by repeats of The Class, Two and a Half Men, Old Christine, and CSI: Miami.
- FOX has a new Prison Break, then a new 24.
- NBC has new episodes of Deal Or No Deal, Heroes, and Studio 60.
- The CW has new episodes of Everybody Hates Chris, All Of Us, Girlfriends, and The Game.
- ABC Family has a new Wildfire at 8.
- There are two new eps of Gay, Straight, or Taken? on Lifetime at 8, followed by the new movie Nora Roberts' Angels Falls, which is rather hard to say.
- Some cool shows on American Life at 8: Harry O, 77 Sunset Strip, and Surfside 6.
- The Science Channel has a marathon of 2057 all night.
- G4 has a new X-Play at 8.
- Also at 8: Mario Lopez hosts the 2007 Miss America Pageant, on CMT.
- At 9, USA has a new Monday Night RAW.
- There's a new Unwrapped on Food Network at 9, about "Texas Snacks."
- Hallmark has a new Murder 101 movie with Dick Van Dyke at 9: College Can Be Murder.
- At 10, NFLNet has a new ep of America's Game, followed by a Super Bowl preview.
- Discovery has two new eps of Stunt Junkies, starting at 10.
Check your local TV listings for more.
This 12 disk set contains The Andy Griffith Show (16 eps), Hal Roach's Rascals (9 eps), Dick Van Dyke (6 eps), Petticoat Junction (4 eps), The Lucy Show (19 eps), The Beverly Hillbillies (20 eps), Ozzie and Harriet (18 eps), Burns and Allen (10 eps), and the Rescue From Gilligan's Island movie. All for the low low price of $9.98, new in box. It's a fun collection. While I wouldn't be in the market for season sets of any of these shows, with the possible exception of Dick Van Dyke, it's nice to have them around when the networks go all repeat on us. And finding a twenty-something Dennis Hopper guest starring as a beatnik poet on an obscure Petticoat Junction episode makes it funny in a whole new way.
Unfortunately, I can't seem to track down this exact set anywhere online. Amazon does have a similar set from the same company with a slightly different mix of episodes, and minus the Gilligan movie, new for $23.99, and used for $10.97. Still not a bad deal.
I really liked this show, actually. It was sort of a male Murder, She Wrote, and it was good to see Vany Dyke on a weekly series again.
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