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October 9, 2015


Rosie O'Donnell on 'Glee,' 'Family,' Team Coco and Love

by Michael Maloney, posted Jan 26th 2010 9:30AM
Rosie O'Donnell may not be voicing her opinions on 'The View' anymore, but she's still letting America know how she feels.

The outspoken and philanthropic Daytime Emmy-winner's next project is the HBO special 'A Family Is a Family Is a Family: A Rosie O'Donnell Celebration,' set to air Sunday, Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. The documentary's goal is to heighten America's understanding of nontraditional families.

AOL was on the scene at the recent TV Critics Association's winter press tour when O'Donnell shared her thoughts on her HBO show, the pros and cons of TV versus radio and possibly guest-starring on 'Glee.'

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10 TV Talk Shows We Wish Hadn't Bit the Dust

by Leonard Jacobs, posted Jan 23rd 2010 10:00AM
And another one bites the dust.

Tyra Banks had long been contemplating ways to forge an Oprah-style media empire well before the debut of her eponymous talk show in 2005. Setting aside her guest shots on 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' in the 1990s, Banks decided to establish her TV-Q as a host by successfully launching 'America's Next Top Model' in 2003. That gave her the clout to fashion 'The Tyra Banks Show' -- which she segued to just three months after leaving the runway -- into something that was part tabloid, part tasteful.

Now that Banks has announced she's ending her talk show this season -- she'll be focusing on her production company, Bankable Studios, among other projects -- we formally add 'The Tyra Banks Show' to the pantheon of great talk shows we wish hadn't bit the dust.

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Ed McMahon in the hospital in very serious condition

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 27th 2009 3:26PM
One of television's biggest success and tragedy stories has started to take a turn for the worse.

TV legend Ed McMahon, 85, has been in the hospital for the last month and his condition has only gotten worse.

TMZ reported a source close to the family said his condition has been upgraded to "extremely serious" since he has been moved into an intensive care unit. He has also contracted pneumonia, which at his age can make things very serious.

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And then there's Maude...in the TV Hall of Fame

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 4th 2008 8:02AM
MaudeYou mean Bea Arthur wasn't already in the TV Academy Hall of Fame before today? Well, actually, that was Bea's choice. In a very Maude-like way, she had turned them down. "I said, `So sorry, very nice of you, but I can't possibly accept. There are so many talented people in the business,'" Arthur recalled.

However, she's had a chance to think it over and when asked again, she agreed to become a Hall of Famer, just like Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson and Bill Cosby.

As I wrote previously, the TV Academy Hall of Fame will expand to include Bea Arthur, Merv Griffin, Larry Gelbart (M*A*S*H), Sherwood Schwartz (Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch), and ABC executives Thomas Murphy and Daniel B. Burke. On December 9 in Beverly Hills, the awards will be presented.

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Five reasons I prefer classic Jeopardy - VIDEO

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 21st 2008 10:02AM
Jeopardy 1964When I read AOL's Top 20 Best Game Shows of All Time, I pretty much agreed with all the choices. I might have moved Password up a bit, and dropped Who Wants to Be A Millionaire to a lower slot, but the one selection that really made me glower was The Price Is Right as number one.

No, no, not to me. For me, the only choice for numero uno is Jeopardy. It's not a game of chance or luck or random spins of a wheel. It's all about brains and thinking on your feet. And maybe having really fast thumbs. Merv Grifffin's creation remains the best gameshow ever in my book.

As I was thinking about Jeopardy, I realized that for me, the best Jeopardy is not today's Alex Trebek version. I mean, it's great -- don't misunderstand me. It's the one I still prefer to watch today, but my favorite Jeopardy remains the pre-syndication edition, the one that played on NBC daytime from 1964-1975. No, I'm not nuts. I have five very good reasons why I prefer the original, classic Jeopardy.

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Maude, Merv & M*A*S*H man entering Emmy Hall of Fame

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 18th 2008 3:20PM
Hall of FameEach year, the Emmys honor the best in current TV. They also recognize the all-time greats. This year Bea Arthur, Larry Gelbart, Merv Griffin, Daniel Burke, Tom Murphy and Sherwood Schwartz will be entering the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame. Grand choices, in my opinion, with only a minor quibble which I'll mention later.

According to ATAS chairman and CEO John Shaffner , "The Hall of Fame is a special recognition for those who have made significant contributions and have left an indelible mark on the television business." As Maude in the 1970's and Dorothy on The Golden Girls in the 1980's (into the '90s) Beatrice Arthur, made her mark. She was more effective on TV than she was in the theater, and she was a dynamo on stage.


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Some Wheel of mis-Fortune - VIDEO

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 17th 2008 12:13PM
wheel of fortuneOh, the humanity! Wheel of Fortune is not all frivolity and fun. Merv Griffin knew what he was doing when he created this venerable game show. Drama, ensues! You think it's so easy spinning the wheel, buying a vowel, laughing at Pat Sajak's jokes and ogling Vanna's gorgeous gait? Well, it's not. Under all that pressure you'd be surprised -- or maybe you wouldn't -- to see how some people simply come up short in the solution department. The letters all float together and instead of spelling a word you know as well as your own name, you pick the wrong consonant and you're WAH-WAHed in shame and regret. The fortune goes to the next player and you're left with egg on your face.

Watch these great examples and you'll see what I mean (a sample is after the jump). Like Jay Leno's simple "man in the street" questions about common knowledge, you see that there's no telling how stupid people can be, especially with a camera and microphone in their face.

[via digg]

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 13th 2008 5:03PM

Merv Griffin headstoneHere's what on the other blogs via the internets.

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 18th 2007 9:09AM
  • Alex TrebekThe secret that everyone already knew.
  • Hurricane Dean is coming, and that means the news networks are going crazy.
  • Get ready for a ton of "How are Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira doing one year later?" stories (Sept. 5 for Katie, the following week for Meredith).
  • Paris Hilton has a new line of children's clothing.
  • Here's video of Alex Trebek screwing up on the Jeopardy! set and swearing.
  • The art of the TV Mashup.
  • Jaime Weinman shows up some of TV's most depressing intros.

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GSN to salute Merv Griffin this weekend

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 14th 2007 3:51PM

Merv GriffinThe Game Show Network will have a special tribute to Merv Griffin, who died earlier this week of cancer at age 82.

On Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19, GSN will run two different Griffin marathons, from 10am to 3pm. The shows included in the marathons will include a Chuck Woolery-hosted episode of Wheel Of Fortune and the first episode that featured Vanna White. We'll also see the first NYC-based episode of Wheel (not sure why this is so special, but I guess I'll wait and see) and a Jeopardy Masters Tournament of Champions. On Sunday night we'll see a 1960 episode of Play Your Hunch, a game show Griffin hosted, and then at 3:30am we'll see a To Tell The Truth episode that Griffin guest hosted.

That's a lot better than their tribute to Kitty Carlisle earlier this year, when they ran her game show appearances in the wee hours of the morning and that was it.

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Merv Griffin dead at 82

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 12th 2007 1:42PM

Merv GriffinBusinessman and talk show host Merv Griffin died last night of prostate cancer. He was 82. Rich had told you the other day, there were rumors floating around that Griffin was very ill and that it didn't look good. Those reports turned out to be true.

Griffin started as a singer in San Francisco and had roles on TV shows and movies, though he went on to greater fame as host of The Merv Griffin Show, the daytime talk show that lasted several years.

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Prognosis is not good for Merv Griffin after recurrence of cancer

by Richard Keller, posted Aug 10th 2007 9:31PM

Merv Griffin is reported in grave condition after a recurrence of prostate cancerThe news is not good for 82-year-old talkshow host and game show producer Merv Griffin. It is being reported that the TV legend is in grave condition after a return of prostate cancer.

Griffin was admitted to Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center back in July for a recurrence of the cancer, which he first battled in 1996. Various media outlets, such as Entertainment Tonight and KNBC, are reporting that the prognosis is not good and that Griffin is currently in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit. Griffin's representatives have yet to reply to press inquiries.

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Merv Griffin being treated for cancer

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 19th 2007 8:00AM
Merv GriffinWheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! creator Merv Griffin is being treated for prostate cancer.

Griffin is hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. The cancer was discovered last month during a routine doctor's visit. According to his son Tony, Griffin is getting "great care." His doctors wanted to treat the cancer in a controlled setting, which is why Griffin has been hospitalized, and Griffin remains optimistic. Griffin went through prostate cancer once before.

Griffin has another game show coming up, Let's Play Crosswords. The show will premiere in syndication this fall across the country.

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Megan Mullally gabs about her new talk show

by Jen Creer, posted Sep 6th 2006 4:22PM
Megan MullallyWhen my friend Kathy Howe heard I was going to participate in a conference call with Megan Mullally today, she said, "OMG, tell her I LOVE her and want to MARRY her!" So, Megan, if you are reading this, now you know. I did not have the chance to ask Megan any questions during today's conference call (though I did try!), but I did get to listen to all of the other questions and responses. So, here is an overview of the conference call about NBC's forthcoming The Megan Mullally Show.

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Rolling Stone takes break from Britney coverage to talk to Merv Griffin

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 6th 2006 10:05AM
Merv GriffinIt's pretty common knowledge that Rolling Stone, a magazine that used to be about the counter-culture and rock 'n' roll, hasn't been about either in quite a long time. From what I've heard, they've gotten back to their musical roots a little, but except for their recent 1,000 issue, I haven't read it since my subscription ran out five years ago.

That being said, they do have a very interesting profile of television legend Merv Griffin in the latest issue. The profile, written by John Colapinto, mostly examines Merv's entertainment career, discussing the various versions of The Merv Griffin Show, which ran for over twenty years. Of course, Colapinto also talks to Merv about his two creations that live on to this day, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune (he wrote the famous J! theme; Merv recounts opening a big royalties check for a J! ringtone, even though he had no idea what a ringtone was). The article follows Merv around to meetings and to his sprawling house in La Quinta, CA. And Colapinto goes the extra mile, interviewing everyone from Pat Sajak to good friend Nancy Reagan.

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