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July 30, 2014

Get Smart

Leonard Stern, 'Honeymooners,' 'Get Smart' Writer/Producer and Mad Libs Creator, Dies

by Marc Schneider, posted Jun 9th 2011 1:30PM
Leonard Stern made a name for himself writing complete sentences for some of the most iconic TV shows in history, including 'The Honeymooners,' 'Get Smart' and 'McMillan and Wife,' but it's when he co-created a game book that purposefully left words out that his name become known to kids and grown-ups alike. The Mad Libs innovator died Tuesday, June 7 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles following a long illness, his daughter-in-law told the LA Times. He was 88.

"A super silly way to fill in the _________!" by Roger Price & Leonard Stern graced the bottom of each Mad Libs, which emerged in 1958. At that point Stern was already a successful writer on 'The Honeymooners,' starring Jackie Gleason.

He began his writing career in film in the early 1950s, but moved on to television. He won an Emmy as part of the writing team for 'The Phil Silvers Show' and another for an episode of 'Get Smart,' in which he acted as executive producer for its entire 1965-1969 run.

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6 Lamest Remakes of Great TV Shows

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 21st 2010 2:45PM
Ed O'Neill and Ethan Embrey on 'Dragnet'When networks get desperate for ratings, they look to one place -- the past. What worked before has to work again, right?

So, it's no surprise that the networks, both broadcast and cable, keep digging up TV's graveyard to reanimate undead shows and turn them into unholy creations that will eventually turn on their masters. One or two might break through the pack and become a menial hit, but the rest are doomed to become worm food once again.

All you have to do is look back at TV's extremely checkered past of "re-imagined" classics to know that trying to cash in on kitschy nostalgia can stick you with a whole lotta nothing.

These six attempts to bring back the dead, however, are below the bottom of the barrel, the lower of the lowest of the low, the best of the worst. That means they will never have a chance of being remade EVER AGAIN. (We can only hope.)

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'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' Is Heading to the Big Screen

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 14th 2010 6:08PM
the_man_from_uncle_robert_vaughn_david_mccallumThey're at it again. Another popular television series from yesteryear, in this case 1964-68, is being remade, reworked and revamped into a big screen movie. 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E,' one of the iconic spy shows spawned by the James Bond craze, has been tapped by Warner Brothers as a theatrical. The Hollywood Reporter reports that David Dobkins, best known for 'Wedding Crashers,' will direct 'The Man from UNCLE' and Max Borenstein is writing the script.

The big question now is not when or why, but who. Who will Warners choose to play Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, the two super secret agents of United Network Command for Law Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.), and even if the casting is perfect, as a follow up, how will they inevitably screw it up? The track record for well-loved TV shows being rejiggered for the silver screen is awful.

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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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TV Comedy Writers Aaron Ruben, Barry Blitzer, Die

by Harley W. Lond, posted Feb 2nd 2010 7:01PM
Two veteran TV comedy writers died last week: Aaron Ruben, who worked on such shows as 'The Andy Griffith Show,' 'Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.' and 'Sanford and Son,' and Barry Blitzer, who wrote for such series as 'Get Smart' and 'The Flintstones.'

Ruben died Jan. 30 in Beverly Hills from complications of pneumonia, according to EW.com. He was 95. Blitzer died Jan. 27 in Santa Monica from complications after abdominal surgery. He was 80.

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 7th 2009 6:24PM
Lost DVD season 5
Here are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.


There are several different versions of the season 5 set for Lost being released this week, from a regular set (actually called an "Expanded Edition") and a Blu-ray version of that set, plus a "Dharma Initiative Orientation Kit" set in both regular format and in Blu-ray. Those sets have the extras you see in the pic above (deleted scenes, bloopers, interviews, etc), plus...a videotape! That's one of the cooler extras you'll find in a DVD set, eh?

  • Friday - Complete Series
  • The Fugitive - Season 3, Vol. 2
  • Get Smart - Season 5
  • Highlander - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
  • The Jerry Lewis Show - The Jerry Lewis Show
  • The Judy Garland Show - Collection
  • Lost - Season 5
  • McLeod's Daughters - Pilot Movie
  • Perry Mason - Season 4, Vol. 2
  • Rescue Me - Season 5, Vol. 2
  • SpongeBob SquarePants - Season 6, Vol. 1

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'The Goode Family' to Premiere Jan. 6 on Comedy Central

by Chris Jordan, posted Nov 6th 2009 12:12PM
The Goode FamilyIt's all 'Goode' on Comedy Central.

The animated series 'The Goode Family' will make its official move to the network on Jan. 6, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

'The Goode Family,' about a socially liberal family trying to be politically correct, initially aired over the summer on ABC. Those episodes will be transfered over to Comedy Central, where they will air Wednesdays at 10:30PM.

"We started building a nice cult fan base (on ABC) and hope those fans will come back and we would be able to reach new fans on Comedy Central, where people are used to such shows," said John Altschuler, who created the series with Mike Judge and Dave Krinsky.

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Don vs. Don: Rickles roasts Adams

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 16th 2009 6:02PM
There are very few recurring television moments that instantly grab my undivided attention: seeing an undead Billy Mays still pitching Oxy-Clean, Twilight Zone episodes that pwn Nazis, late night Skinemax.

Now you can add Don Rickles to that list. He's become a staple of late night during the early Tonight Show because he's engaging, colorful and damn funny. Every time he stops in at Letterman's Late Show, I have to stop what I'm doing and watch and that includes running a pregnant friend to the hospital, although it does ruin some of the comedy for me. All that screaming.

He's also great at roasts, not because he's a great insult comic but because he can be just as down to Earth and genuine with the people he's skewering. His best roast is one that never made it to television: a roast of Get Smart's Don Adams at the Playboy Mansion.

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 5th 2009 6:00PM
Heeere's JohnnyHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

Not only is The Lola Falana Show on DVD now, I didn't even know there was a Lola Falana Show. I knew that there was a Lola Falana (that's a fun name to say: Lola Falana Lola Falana Lola Falana). She was a dancer and actress who was pretty well known back in the 70s, but her TV show escaped my radar. This set includes guest stars Dick Van Dyke, Bill Cosby, Sonny and Cher, and Muhammad Ali.

There's also a Heeere's Johnny: The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson "Holiday Set." It looks like the same set that I've owned for a couple of years (several DVDs split up into different categories: Timeless Moments, Standup Comedians, Carson Country, and the original Ultimate Collection disc), but with a special Christmas disc thrown in, with three classic episodes.
  • Ally McBeal - Season 1 and Complete Series
  • Astroboy - Vols 1 and 2
  • Blood Ties - Season 2

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Io9's sci-fi chart: possibly the geekiest post ever

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 2nd 2009 7:29PM
The 100 Lives of Blackjack SavageThe science fiction blog Io9 has a chart up at their site that tracks the themes that have been used on sci-fi TV shows since 1970. How many shows have been about time travel, robots, aliens, space travel, and/or mutants? Is there a trend to the themes of sci-fi shows over the years? (Here's the complete list of shows they looked at to create the chart.)

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Best '60s TV Shows

by Kim Potts, posted Aug 24th 2009 4:00PM
Best Shows of the '60s Andy GriffithIn AOL TV's continuing countdown of the best TV shows of each decade, we travel back in time to the 1960s, when viewers were entertained by wacky sitcoms like 'Green Acres,' 'Bewitched' and 'The Addams Family,' a proliferation of Westerns that featured future superstars like Clint Eastwood and Michael Landon, variety shows like 'Laugh-In' and 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour' and James Bond-inspired spy shows like 'The Saint' and 'I Spy.'

Viewers were also into grittier fare like realistic cop dramas ('Ironside,' 'Adam-12') and war action series ('12 O'Clock High,' 'Combat!'), though there was plenty of classic sitcom fun on the airwaves, too, from 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' to 'Get Smart' and 'My Three Sons.'

Take a look at our picks of the decade's best and let us know if we got it right. -- By Kimberly Potts

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Seven greatest hand cannons in TV history

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 4th 2009 3:10PM
Remote Control GunThere are a lot of really horrible things that have put America on the map: Jerry Springer, our ability to infuse anything edible with cheese, the fact that we're probably working on infusing something inedible with cheese.

Guns, however, shouldn't be one of them. The Second Amendment stands as one of many great testaments to the idea of freedom that our forefathers envisioned for their people. They felt a government should trust their people with great responsibility if they truly believed in the concept of freedom and democracy.

Sure, if they came to the present and saw that we primarily use that responsibility for hunting moose from helicopters and negotiating with the Domino's guy they might take it right back, but the idea is what's important.

So to celebrate one of America's latest of many birthday to come because fireworks are technically illegal in my neck of the woods, here are your TV's seven greatest guns.

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 8th 2009 6:07PM
ReaperHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

I sometimes enjoy watching Judge Judy, but it's one of those shows that I can't possibly imagine owning the DVDs. Once is enough for me. But if you're really into the show, there's a 2-Pack set being released this week.

But I have to get the Get Smart DVDs at some point. That's the only show being released that I have any interest in.

  • The Cleaner - Season 1
  • Corner Gas - Season 6
  • Danny Phantom - Season 3
  • Father Knows Best - Season 3
  • Get Smart - Season 3

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Movies on TV: May 10-16

by Andrew Scott, posted May 10th 2009 6:00AM
Spider-ManDon't miss Tobey Maguire and Denzel Washington in two of this week's must-see flicks ...

Fans of 'The Dark Knight' and 'X-Men: Origins' may want to pay homage to 'Spider-Man,' airing this afternoon on TV. The film jump-started the comic book revival by wowing critics, smashing all box office records and virtually everything else a spider can.

Also airing this week: A classic Steve Martin remake, the re-teaming of Denzel Washington and Spike Lee and one of the most popular movie musicals of the '70s.

See more of this week's flick picks after the jump.



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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 9th 2009 6:01PM
Woody WoodpeckerHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

It occurred to me doing this post that I haven't seen - or even thought about - The Woody Woodpecker Show in probably 20 or 30 years. I'm not sure I'd go out and buy a bunch of DVD sets for the show, but a "favorites" collection might be good to own. He was never one of my favorite cartoon characters though. I was a Bugs Bunny kid.

The Baron I got in the mail last week. It was a British series from the 60s that starred Steve Forrest (yup, the one from S.W.A.T.) as an antiques dealer who was really a spy. I'll have to check it out this week and see how it is.

  • The Baron - Complete Series
  • The Best Years - Season 1
  • Bonanza - The Collection

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