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September 2, 2014

Upstairs Downstairs

'Upstairs Downstairs' Star Jean Marsh Suffers Stroke, Will Miss Filming

by Catherine Lawson, posted Oct 3rd 2011 8:00AM
Jean MarshMore drama offscreen at the rebooted PBS drama 'Upstairs Downstairs.' It's been announced that star and co-creator Jean Marsh will miss the first few episodes of Season 2 due to illness.

The BBC reports that Marsh has suffered a minor stroke and that scripts are being rewritten to accommodate her absence before filming starts next week.

Marsh, who plays maid Rose Buck, is the only cast member from the 1970s original series to appear in the rebooted version. She won Emmy nominations for her work in the role in 2011, 1974 and 1976, winning the award in 1975.

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Alex Kingston Joins 'Upstairs Downstairs'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 26th 2011 5:15AM
Alex KingstonThe runaway success of 'Downton Abbey' has led to big shakeups at rival PBS period drama, the rebooted 'Upstairs Downstairs.'

Following news that co-creator Eileen Atkins has quit the series, comes the announcement that 'ER' and 'Doctor Who' star Alex Kingston has signed on for a major role in the upcoming season.

The BBC announced that Kingston will play the younger sister of Atkins' character, Lady Holland, the racy-sounding archaeologist Blanche Mottershead.

"I simply couldn't resist the opportunity to get inside the iconic 165 Eaton Place," said Kingston, adding that Blanche is "a wonderfully, intriguing character ... who will over time reveal some secrets of her own."

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An Old Favorite Gets a Makeover and Returns to PBS

by Catherine Lawson, posted Aug 5th 2010 7:30AM

The Bellamy family and their servantsTell the parlormaid to bring some tea, dust off the antimacassars and stiffen those upper lips: 'Upstairs Downstairs' is coming back! The perennial PBS favorite is the latest '70s classic to get a 21st-century reboot, and new details have been released.

A co-production from PBS and The BBC, there will be three all-new, hour-long episodes to be broadcast in the U.S. next year as part of Masterpiece's 40th anniversary celebrations. Filming is due to start in Wales later this month.

The original 'Upstairs Downstairs' aired on PBS from 1971-5 and followed the fortunes of the aristocratic Bellamy family and their servants from the turn of the century to 1930. The final episode saw their iconic mansion in Belgravia being shuttered up for the last time as the remaining family members and servants moved out.

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PBS Launching New Sherlock Holmes

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 23rd 2010 9:29AM
benedict_cumberbatch_viewimagesBBC Worldwide and PBS have decided that it's time for a new 'Sherlock Holmes.' The 1984 series, which ran ten years and 41 episodes, had Jeremy Brett as Sherlock and is still widely regarded as the best Holmes since Basil Rathbone's incarnation in the movies, but after the success of Guy Ritchie's kinetic Robert Downey Jr. version last Christmas, the people in a position to make things happen are ready to give us a 21st century variation on Holmes and Watson and 221B Baker Street.

Thus far the casting is promising. Martin Freeman, who is best known as the British version of Jim in the UK 'The Office,' will play Dr. Watson. In the role of Sherlock, the actor chosen is named Benedict Cumberbatch. That's a great name for an actor cast as Holmes; it just sounds so British. But Benedict also has the look of a Holmes, and he was in 'Atonement' and was nominated for a BAFTA playing Stephen Hawking in a BCC drama.

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They're remaking Upstairs Downstairs

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 13th 2009 7:26AM
upstairs_downstairs_PBSBefore Dallas and Dynasty and Falcon Crest and Knots Landings captured the imaginations of American viewers, there was a British soap import that was even more compelling.

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.

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Maid heads to ABC: Are there no new ideas in Hollywood?

by Jane Boursaw, posted Aug 13th 2008 9:01AM
Maid in Manhattan heads to ABCThis seems like an odd one. ABC is bringing the 2002 Jennifer Lopez movie Maid in Manhattan to the small screen.

I'm a sucker for romantic comedies, and I actually liked the movie (probably one of the few who did). But even I think it's a weird project to be adapting into a TV series.

The movie features Lopez as Marisa Ventura, a struggling single mom from the Bronx who works as a maid at a posh Manhattan hotel. Ralph Fiennes plays a rising politician who mistakes her for a wealthy socialite. They fall in love, yada, yada, yada. Those two stars had very little chemistry (and yet I still liked the movie).

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Gareth Hunt dead at 65

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 17th 2007 3:40PM

Gareth HuntMy first introduction to The Avengers, the classic cult 60s show with Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman and Linda Thorson, was actually the second version of the show in the 70s, The New Avengers. CBS used to run the show late at night, back in the day, when they showed crime and action shows after the local news.

"Back in the day?" I'm getting really old.

The new version also starred Macnee, but this time he was paired with Joanna Lumley (as Purdey), who later went on to fame in Absolutely Fabulous, and Gareth Hunt, who played Mike Gambit. Isn't that a great name for an action hero, Mike Gambit? I really liked this show (and the original series, which I started watching repeats of later). Supposedly it only lasted 26 episodes, though it seems like more.

Hunt died of pancreatic cancer this week in London. Besides The New Avengers, he appeared in Upstairs, Downstairs, EastEnders, Space: 1999, Doctor Who, The New Adventures of Robin Hood, and many other TV shows and movies. Lumley has a lot of nice things to say about her costar.

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