The idea of reliving the sitcom fun of the nanny named Fran blowing into the life of theatrical producer Maxwell Sheffield and falling in love with him while taking care of his three children was the stuff of television romance when it aired on CBS from 1993 to 1999.
Part The Sound of Music, part schmaltzy broad Jewish shtick, The Nanny was fun stuff. For this marathon, Fran herself, actress Fran Drescher will host the week which Nick has dubbed Valentine Schmalentine.
Benz got her first big break on the small screen way back in the early 1990s on the extremely short-lived ABC and Nick-at-Nite sitcom spoof Hi Honey, I'm Home! She played the show's archetypal '50s sitcom teenage daughter Babs Nielson. I don't know why it's so amusing to watch her on the show now. Maybe if it's because we knew that Babs would end up dating and marrying a successful serial killer, the original show might have lasted a little longer.
A few weeks ago, while doing some research on stand-up comedians who became sitcom stars, I ended up Googling a whole bunch of names to get some additional pre-television history on them. One of these was Home Improvement's Tim Allen. While looking up Tim's information I came upon a listing for his personal website. It was a weird listing though -- something like Tim Allen -- T'Avatar. Well, since I know Tim's not a Romulan, I thought this was just an abbreviation of something. Needless to say I clicked in.
Turns out, T'Avatar was short for Tim Allen's Avatar, which appears in an opening video to his website. Folks, this Avatar freaks the living piss out of me.
How do I know this? I turned on Nick at Nite last night and saw an episode of... George Lopez.
I grew up on a farm, so I could only watch cable when visiting friends in town, at least until I was in high school and my family got a satellite dish. This was in the '90s, and one of our favorite channels to watch as a family was Nick at Nite: we'd watch The Donna Reed Show, The Patty Duke Show and Mr. Ed. You know, classic TV.
Fast forward to today and you have shows like Home Improvement, George Lopez and Saget-era America's Funniest Home Videos slated to appear on the cable channel, none of which feel especially "classic" to me. And George Lopez is still on, for the love of God.
The popular '80s sitcom Growing Pains will be added to the Nick at Nite lineup this month, kicking off with a marathon on January 21 from 9pm to 1:30am (and then repeating from 1:30am to 6am). Starting on January 22, the show will slide into its normal timeslot Monday through Thursday at 9 and 9:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 10:30pm, and Sunday at 9:30pm.
Growing Pains was one of the shows my family watched while I was growing up, and that's pretty much where it stays: in my memories. I've tried watching reruns in recent years, but it's still very much "of the '80s" to me. That isn't to say it was a bad show, and it followed the precedent set by The Cosby Show of having a family where both the mother and father had high-paying careers. Also, the kids were mischievous but never complete hoodlums. Actually, the more I think about it, it was pretty much a white Cosby Show in many ways.
Now, according to this press release, Nick at Nite will be becoming very Nineties-oriented over the next year or so, with the additions of Home Improvement, Designing Women, A Different World, and Bob's favorite show, NewsRadio. What's next, Seinfeld?
Also, does this mean that the shows from the Eighties are going to be pushed to TV Land? If so, where will the older stuff go? The dusty confines of our memories aren't enough. I guess I'll have to stock up on the DVDs...
[via The Futon Critic]
Nick at Nite has given us yet another reason to rev up our Tivos and VCRs.
It turns 20 on July 1, and all this week they are celebrating by showing episodes of shows that they've had on the schedule over the years. Some of the shows:
- Kate and Allie (damn, I wish this show was on DVD)
- Who's The Boss
- Family Ties
- Night Court
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents
- Growing Pains
- Get Smart
Great shows all, but it illustrates a point: why aren't these shows on the network right now? As Noel Holston says in the Detroit News/Newsday piece below, "...while Nick at Nite - and TV Land, for that matter - have never been more successful, it's nostalgia isn't what it used to be."
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