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November 27, 2014

EverybodyLovesRaymond

Why Charlie Sheen Must Return to 'Two and a Half Men'

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 7th 2010 1:03PM
charlie_sheen_jon_cryer_two_and_a_half_men
My colleague Danny seems to think that Warner Brothers and CBS should show Charlie Sheen the door and let him leave the series, even though the network and production company are committed to two more years of 'Two and a Half Men.' And my other fellow TV Squadder Jason has kiddingly suggested seven characters who could fill Sheen's shoes. Well, to paraphrase the words of Dan Aykroyd on 'Saturday Night Live,' they are both ignorant sluts!

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TV Land Awards to Honor 'Glee,' Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 16th 2010 10:02PM
carl_reiner_mel_brooks_1963TV Land will be honoring some of the greats of television, some from the golden age of TV, some from just a few years back, and even the greats of tomorrow? How's that? Well, look at the line up: Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, the creators of 'The 2000 Year Old Man' among other comic gems, the cast of 'Everybody Loves Raymond,' a salute to Farrah Fawcett by the other 'Charlie's Angel' stars, and with a wink toward the future, a celebration of 'Glee.'

The Annual TV Land Awards will be taped in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 17, for broadcast the following Sunday, April 25 at 9 PM ET on TV Land. Scheduled to appear are the 'Raymond' gang -- Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, Patricia Heaton, Doris Roberts; two of the 'Angels' -- Cheryl Ladd and Jaclyn Smith; and 'Glee' cast members Jane Lynch, Dianna Agron, Jayma Mays, Jessalyn Gilsig and Kevin McHale.

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Fred Willard to Play Ty Burrell's Father on 'Modern Family'

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Nov 18th 2009 3:28PM
Fred WillardFred Willard, better known for his work in films like 'Best in Show,' is joining the Dunphy family on ABC's breakout comedy 'Modern Family.'

In an interview with Fancast, Ty Burrell reveals that Willard will play the Phil Dunphy's father.

"Fred is not just a pioneer for this type of comedy but somebody who has really set the tone for how it can be done, so it was just a total honor," Burrell says to Fancast. "He really established, even going back to 'Spinal Tap,' some of the funniest stuff out of the medium."

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Patricia Heaton Talks About Life in 'The Middle'

by Gary Susman, posted Nov 4th 2009 1:30PM
Patricia Heaton'Everybody Loves Raymond' alumna Patricia Heaton relishes the legacy of having starred in one of TV's all-time most popular sitcoms, but after a long reign at the top, she's happy now to settle in 'The Middle.'

You may have thought Heaton's Debra Barone on 'Raymond' had it tough, with her childish husband and impossible-to-please mother-in-law, but Debra lived the life of a pampered princess compared to Heaton's 'Middle' mom. Every week, Heaton's supermom Frankie Heck courts comic catastrophe as she tries to juggle her many responsibilities -- marriage, a sputtering career, dismal finances and three hapless children.

Heaton spoke to AOL TV about how much fun she's having on the freshman ABC sitcom, how closely it mirrors her own life as a busy mother of four and following up one of the hardest acts to follow in TV history.

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What Patricia Heaton is doing right in The Middle

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 17th 2009 9:03AM
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I wasn't really prepared to like The Middle. I had no expectations, really, because aside from knowing that it was Patricia Heaton's latest sitcom, there had been very little scuttlebutt about it. So, when I tuned in, I expected the typical Patty Heaton I had seen for years on Everybody Loves Raymond or the upscale version I'd watched on Back to You.

Well, what a surprise when I saw her on The Middle. This is a Patty I had never seen before, and I not only liked her character, I admire her performance.

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Chris Elliott cast as Lily's pop on How I Met Your Mother

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 10th 2009 9:38AM
chris_elliott_smilingIt'll be how I met Lily's dad on How I Met Your Mother. Chris Elliott has been cast as Lily's father on the CBS sitcom, a character who is supposedly something of a good-for-nothing parent. Elliott is hilarious and specializes in playing these kind of goofy roles. On Everybody Loves Raymond, for instance, his was Robert's overly familiar brother-in-law, Peter, who liked Ray just a little too much.

On HIMYM, Lily's dad will appear for the upcoming Thanksgiving episode on November 23. According to Michael Ausiello of EW.com, there will be series of flashbacks to illustrate exactly what's what with Lily and her father, why their relationship is "troubled." I'm hoping for more from this casting than Eric Braeden as Robin's dad; they never really used him right.

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Grammer and Heaton: back to TV

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 7th 2009 6:06PM
back2Do you think there are times when Patricia Heaton wishes she was still working on Everybody Loves Raymond? What about Kelsey Grammer...don't you think there are days when he reflects on how lucky he was to have played Frasier Crane first on Cheers then on Frasier all those years, winning awards and having job security, critical acclaim, the knowledge that you were at the top of your game? That's not to say that either Patty or Kelsey are not on the top of their game now, but the failure of Fox's Back to You last season must have been a shock to the system.

Now they're both working on new sitcom projects and hoping for the best. Scrubs' Neil Flynn has joined Patricia Heaton in The Middles, an ABC sitcom pilot about a middle-class family living in middle America struggling in these tough economic times. They have three kids, too, just like the set up in Everybody Loves Raymond. Meanwhile, Kelsey Grammer's also doing comedy for ABC. The network has ordered a Grammer pilot about a corporate big shot who tries to reconnect with his estranged family.

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Nine least-wanted TV neighbors - VIDEOS

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 29th 2008 11:03AM
Steve UrkelThe TV neighbor has served many useful roles over the years; some that many thought had been lost by the unrelenting sands of time.

They've become the great modern philosopher like Wilson, the evolving thinker like Bill Dauterive, the bearer of bad news like Newman, and even the court jester -- as long as you don't count one of these guys.

Not only would we not want some of them living next door to us, we wouldn't want them living. Period. These are the annoying next-door neighbors who should have been run out by the Neighborhood Homeowners' Association with torches and pitchforks.

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Why do series finales have to be so final?

by Richard Keller, posted Dec 1st 2008 5:02PM

The series finale for 'The Shield' was not a finale for Vic Mackey's lifeLast week another terrific cable drama, The Shield, took its final bow in a series finale that still has fans talking. The talk is mostly about the last three minutes, which featured Vic Mackey's silent contemplation of the life he now leads after losing his friends, family and, some say, his freedom. Right before the screen went dark we saw Vic stride out of the cubicle that is now his home -- unsure of what his fate would be from now on.

Some fans of the series were unhappy with this ending, saying that there was no closure to the life that Vic had led over the last seven seasons. Some hearken the ending to the now-famous series finale of The Sopranos, which featured several seconds of nothingness before the credits rolled. This concept of not giving finality to a series finale is a new one for viewers to grasp onto. But, when you look at it further, it makes complete sense. Why should the lives of our favorite characters come to a complete ending when our own lives don't?

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Til Death dumped by Fox...for two weeks...for now

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 30th 2008 12:16PM
Til Death windowPrimetime Wednesday seems to be the toughest night of all for TV programmers. There's not one network that seems to do particularly well in the 8-9 p.m. time slot, and the juggling has begun. Fox yanked Do Not Disturb weeks ago, admitting it was a dud.

Now the Brad Garrett-Joely Fisher sitcom Til Death will be off the air for two weeks, effective immediately. In that time slot, instead, we'll be seeing more House, albeit repeats. Still, you watch, those reruns will do markedly better than the sitcoms did.

Til Death, to be frank, has regressed this year. I defended the renewal of the show when Fox gave it a third season, based on the episodes I watched last spring. But the comedy has really strained since its season premiere in September. There's no other way to put it -- Death is in the death throes and should be put out of its misery. This two week hiatus should be the end of the series.

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Worst Week -- An early look

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 19th 2008 11:04AM
Worst Week cast
Sam Briggs is a schlemiel. Everything that can go wrong in his life, every dumb thing a guy can do while trying to do the right thing, happens to Sam.

The preview of Worst Week (premiering Monday at 9:30 PM ET on CBS) has not changed dramatically from this ready-to-go pilot. The premise is simply this: can a good guy like Sam overcome all the stupid things he does and find happiness with the girl he loves and her family that loathes him?

For the pilot, Worst Week works really well as broad farce. The situation of this situation comedy goes from bad to worse to worse still. It's funny. It's over the top. It's very, very outrageous. Whether or not they can sustain this level of silliness and maintain some semblance of believability week in and week out is the big question for Worst Week.

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TBS loves Engvall

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 11th 2008 3:00PM
Bill Engvall ShowWhere are the family comedies these days? They're a rare commodity on the big three plus Fox, and even if you include the animated clans on The Family Guy and The Simpsons and American Dad, you can count the family-type comedy shows on one hand.

However, TBS has a throwback family comedy, one in The Cosby Show mode, and they're sticking with it. TBS's The Bill Engvall Show has just been given a third season renewal. The sitcom will be back in the summer 2009 with ten new episodes.

I've watched The Bill Engvall Show and enjoyed it. It's meant to evoke Cosby, but I also found a lot of Everybody Loves Raymond and Home Improvement in it as well, and that's a good thing. Engvall's a funny guy, and he's greatly aided in the show by sitcom vet Nancy Travis as his smart, attractive spouse.

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Monk: Mr. Monk Buys A House (season premiere)

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 19th 2008 8:00AM
Adrian Monk w/fingers(S07E01) It seems like only yesterday when Monk, the ultimate obsessive compulsive Sherlock Holmes, began on USA Network, and now here it is the start of its seventh season. In all that time, for a man who doesn't like change at all, Adrian Monk has had to endure quite a bit of upheaval. The untimely death last April of actor Stanley Kamel, who played Monk's security blanket/therapist Dr. Kroger, was written into this premiere episode, in -- what I believe -- was a very subtle, graceful way.

Monk's sudden displeasure with his home is rooted in his discomfort in his life now that Dr. Kroger is gone. The ultimate egotist, in that Monk cares most for himself, Adrian is desperate to throw himself into work to avoid the irritating piano-playing coming from the little girl across the street and disturbing the sanctuary of his home. Kudos to the new therapist, Dr. Bell, for connecting the dots and quickly sizing up why Monk finds the music so displeasing.




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Kelsey asks CBS to save Back to You

by Allison Waldman, posted May 16th 2008 8:00AM
back to youFrasier has left the building, but Kelsey Grammer hasn't. Or maybe he just doesn't want to. The actor, whose Fox situation comedy, Back to You, was canceled after just one season, doesn't want to call it quits. He wants the show to continue and he's so determined, he's even lobbied for the show personally. The Emmy award winning star phoned CBS executives -- including CBS CEO Les Moonves -- to plead the case for Back to You.

When Kelsey phoned, Les took the call, and he even told Grammer that he'd "think about it," that is, moving Back to You to CBS. However, when Kelsey followed up with a call to Nina Tassler, CBS Entertainment prez, she dismissed it. There really was no room on the CBS schedule for another sitcom; even Rules of Engagement (which CBS has a vested interest in bringing back) won't be broadcast till mid-season next year. There's no mention of Kelsey calling ABC or NBC; perhaps they didn't take his call?

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Eight sets of memorable sitcom siblings

by Allison Waldman, posted May 13th 2008 10:34AM
FrasierRecently, the AOL list of the 50 Best Sitcoms of all time got me thinking about ten all time great sitcom sidekicks. Working on that list inspired me to look at the best in sitcom siblings -- ADULTS ONLY. The brother/sister relationship, brothers, sisters, family dynamics are great fodder for comedy. For my collection of the best, I've limited it to grown-up siblings only because there are some truly funny things that happen only among adults brothers and sisters that are unique and universal at the same time. After all, unlike the childhood years when kids are controlled by parents, adult siblings remain close and in each other's lives by choice -- and that has made for some wonderful situation comedy.

Niles & Frasier Crane, Frasier
Two brothers, both psychiatrists, both opera buffs, both wine connoisseurs, both heterosexual despite evidence to the contrary. The Crane brothers were like two peas in a very funny pod, sparking each other in comedy, competitive and supportive at the same time. Making their brotherly friendship even funnier was the fact that their Dad, Martin, who was nothing like either one of them. What's even funnier is the fact that when Frasier was originally spun-off from Cheers, the writers didn't include the character of Niles. It was only after seeing an 8x10 of David Hyde Pierce, and how much he looked like Kelsey Grammer's brother, that they put him in the pilot. Frasier would not have been nearly the hit comedy it was without the brother angle.

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