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April 18, 2014

The Carol Burnett Show

Five Shows in the Tradition of 'The Carol Burnett Show'

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 7th 2010 2:04PM
carol_burnett_show_logo_cbsTelevision legend Carol Burnett has been making the talk show circuit to promote her new book, a look back at her wonderful, classic variety show 'The Carol Burnett Show,' called "This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection." The book sounds like a must-read, especially if you grew up on the comedy, music and characters that Carol, Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway brought to TV viewers every week.

In fact, to this day, those characters are still hilarious. Last week, my sister and I recalled the Mrs. Wiggins sketch, with Tim Conway as Mr. Tudball. We both laughed at the memory.

Sadly, 'The Carol Burnett Show' today is like a relic from the past. It was in many ways the end of an era. Like Carol herself said in USA Today, the cost of those shows would be too much today. But when she was doing her show, CBS Television City was also producing 'The Sonny & Cher Show,' 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour' and 'The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.' That was a lot of variety, something that's non-existent today .

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Barry Levinson urges TV to take back Saturday night

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 28th 2009 10:00AM
Barry_Levinson_PBSFor the longest time, I've kvetched about the fact that the television industry has stopped programming for Saturday night. For years, Saturday was a great night of television. I remember M*A*S*H and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, not to mention guilty pleasures like The Facts of Life and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Even NBC's thrillogy, The Pretender and Profiler were fun. All those shows were Saturday night hits (some bigger than others).

Well, I'm not alone in missing Saturday TV; Oscar-winner Barry Levinson feels the same. Levinson is also a TV producer -- he did Homicide: Life on the Street and The Philanthropist -- and he thinks the networks are making a big mistake by not seizing on Saturday primetime. He knows the business pretty well and he's confused by the networks' strategy.

"I don't think the answer is to retreat," he told the New York Daily News. "When you give up Saturday night, you open the door for people to go somewhere else. Basically, they're shrinking their own audience."

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Kate Winslet takes on the ghost of Joan Crawford, Mildred Pierce

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 14th 2009 12:29PM
mildred_pierce_joan_crawford_kate_winslet
Well, nobody can accuse Kate Winslet of not being courageous. The actress -- also an Oscar-winner for The Reader -- is going to do a remake. Right now Mildred Pierce is slated as a miniseries starring Kate Winslet with Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven) writing and directing. HBO is first in line to broadcast the mini, but the contracts haven't been signed yet.

Remakes always make me a little queasy. After all, for every success like The Fugitive, there's a debacle like The Wild Wild West. But this time around it's not a television series being remade, it's a famous and semi-classic Oscar-winner, Mildred Pierce. The name alone evokes images of Joan Crawford with shoulder pads you could die for and a horrible teenage daughter played by Ann Blyth.

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Best '70s TV Shows

by Kim Potts, posted Jun 22nd 2009 6:00AM
MASHIn AOL TV's continuing countdown of the best TV shows of each decade, we're back to break down the 1970s, a decade when the cop dramas were less gritty, the families were close-knit and the sitcoms were sprinkled with serious social commentary.

Our list of the best shows of the '70s features many of the best shows of all time (here's looking at you, 'Mary Tyler Moore Show,' 'M*A*S*H' and 'Taxi'). Take a gander and let us know if you agree.

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TV Obits: Furth, Rigby, Stulla, Krupnick, Boghossian

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 17th 2008 12:05PM
FurthA roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.

  • George Furth: He was a veteran character actor who appeared in tons of TV shows over the years, including L.A. Law, All in the Family, Murder, She Wrote, Happy Days, The Odd Couple, Bonanza, Green Acres, Adam-12, Night Gallery, I Dream of Jeannie, The Monkees, The Good Guys, That Girl, Batman, F Troop, McHale's Navy, The Defenders, The Nanny, and Wings, as well as movies such as Blazing Saddles, Shampoo, Airport '77, The Boston Strangler, Bulworth, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He was also an acclaimed playwright, writing the play Twigs and collaborating with Stephen Sondheim on Company, Merrily We Roll Along, and Getting Away with Murder. He died at age 75.

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TV Squad Soap Report: Passions played out

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 6th 2008 2:23PM
Passions timmyPerhaps the strangest soap opera of all time has come to an end now that Passions has been canceled by DirecTV. The gothic, modern psycho-drama set in a small Maine town replete with witches, elves, zombies and even some regular people, lasted nine years on the air. In primetime terms, that would be a hell of a run. For soaps, it characterizes Passions as a noble -- to some -- failure.

I never cared for Passions. It turned me off in the first season, 1999, but it wasn't because of the outre elements. I was actually interested in the gothic stuff because I'd grown up enjoying Dark Shadows with Barnabus and Quentin and Angelique and all those horror classic reinterpretations on a next-to-nothing budget -- furniture provided by Stern's Department Store, as I recall -- including werewolves, Frankenstein's monster and The Innocents, and parallel universes. Dark Shadows remains a vivid, happy memory.

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TV Obits: Allport, Truman, Stetson, Marcus

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 31st 2008 2:31PM

Mad Men

A roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.

  • Christopher Allport: He was a veteran actor who most recently played Pete's father on Mad Men. He was a regular on such shows as Felicity, Days of Our Lives, and Commander-In-Chief, and also appeared in many other shows, including Without A Trace, Shark, NCIS, ER, 7th Heaven, Judging Amy, The Practice, JAG, Chicago Hope, Party of Five, Walker, Texas Ranger, Picket Fences, The X-Files, The Pretender, Quantum Leap, Hunter, China Beach, and many others. He died in an avalanche while skiing in California. He was 60.

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The top five Chucks on television

by Paul Goebel, posted Oct 12th 2007 10:27AM

For whatever reason, the name Chuck has turned out to be very popular this year. On TV, Pushing Daisies has a major character named Chuck and, of course, there's the new series Chuck. in the theaters, Chuck and Larry were happily married and Dane Cook was a Chuck with extraordinary luck. All these Chuck's got me thinking (not to mention craving a hamburger) some of the greatest people on television have been named Chuck. Here are a few.

Gavan O' Herlihy as Chuck CunninghamChuck Cunningham (Happy Days)
When the Cunningham family first made their appearance, Chuck was clearly the funniest part of the family. Unfortunately as the show progressed, it became clear that there simply wasn't enough room for Chuck in the house or on the series. Chuck Cunningham lives on, however, as the most famous forgotten character of all time.

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