From 1971-75, PBS aired the British upper crust soap Upstairs Downstairs. And now Upstairs Downstairs is going to be remade. It'll be filmed and shown in England first before coming to America in 2011.
What made Upstairs Downstairs classic television – it won Emmys, BAFTAs and Golden Globes – was the way it depicted of the British class system. Upstairs you had the rich, privileged Bellamy family. Downstairs there were the servants who worked for them. The lives of all these characters intertwined in a well-written, brilliantly acted drama series.
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.
From one of the first night-time soaps ('Peyton Place') to one of the most popular sitcoms of all time ('Friends'), TV series have kept us watching by keeping true love from running its course -- in the most entertaining (and treacherous!) ways.
We count down the 20 hottest love triangles in TV history.
Well, after months of no news about the show, we learn today that no news is bad news. Swingtown has been cancelled.
CBS president Nina Tassler championed the show, but apparently she couldn't save it. At the press tour presentation she talked lovingly about the drama, even patting the network on the back to taking a risk by broadcasting it. But in the end, the good performances, excellent writing, critical approval and cult following it garnered didn't matter.
Still, in CBS's defense, Swingtown just hasn't grabbed the kind of ratings all summer long -- mostly on Thursday nights -- to warrant the network believing that it has a potential hit on its hand. The New York Times pondered Swingtown's fate, too.
I think it does, but only if CBS gives Swingtown some time. I'm not alone in thinking this either. Josef Adalian agrees, as do and many TV Squad readers have expressed their passion for this show. Will CBS hear them as they chant, "All we are saying, is give Swingtown a chance."
Swingtown reminded me of Knots Landing meets Boogie Nights with a dollop of The Stepford Wives thrown in there, too (maybe it was those scenes in the supermarket). Superficially, there are elements of Swingtown, in particular the attention to detail in the production design and music, that are as spot on for 1976 as Mad Men was for 1960. When you see that pop-top can of Tab, you can't help but go back in time.
Film, stage, and television actress Herta Ware passed away Monday at the age of 88. While perhaps not widely recognized, she left behind a wide body of work, including guest spots on shows such as The Golden Girls, E.R., Cagney and Lacey, Knots Landing, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. She was the wife of the late Will Geer, who played "Grandpa" on The Waltons, and was one of the founders of the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Southern California.
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