Here's some cool news for any Star Trek fans who have been enjoying the new digitally remastered Star Trek episodes currently airing in syndication:
CBS will re-air "new" digitally-cleaned-up episodes of the original Star Trek series starting next month. Forty episodes will be shown in total, starting September 15, 2007 and ending August 2, 2008. You'll have to check your listings to see what time they're airing, though it'll be either on a Saturday or Sunday.
In March, I told you about a new TV Land series called Back to the Grind in which celebrities from classic TV shows actually attempt to do the jobs their characters performed on television. I told you it debuted on October 10, but clearly I was lying because it actually kicks off this Wednesday, July 18 at 10:30 p.m.
If you don't have TV Land, don't worry. You can actually watch full episodes on TV Land's site starting July 16. Right now you can just see a few clips, but I think they give a pretty good idea of what to expect. I especially enjoyed watching Erik Estrada continuously fail both the written examination and driving test for his motorcycle license. Also, Loni Anderson doesn't look that much different than she did when she was on WKRP in Cincinnati. It's almost as if she had some kind of surgery performed on herself to make her look younger than she really is.
If you were a fan of the Sesame Street: Old School DVD set, the one with episodes from the series' earlier, and arguably better, years, you'll be happy to know that a second set will be released sometime this year. Muppet News Flash has the scoop, which is that the sets should come out sometime between August and October. Sorry I can't be more specific than that, but who cares, it's more of the classic Sesame Street folks my age and older grew up with, and I ain't complaining.
Oh yeah, and despite whatever warnings they may put on the DVD, I say plop your kid down and let them enjoy a show that managed to combine educational material with some truly funny writing, songwriting and animation. There's never been another show like Sesame Street, and that includes today's Sesame Street.
Last year, Brett mentioned that Turner Classic Movies would be showing a retrospective on the life and career of actor Marlon Brando. Well, it's finally here, and you can check out the first part of Brando on TCM tomorrow night at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and the conclusion on Wednesday night at the same times.
The documentary features interviews with Al Pacino, John Turturro, John Travolta, Martin Scorsese and Cloris Leachman, among others about what it was like to work with a man many considered both a genius and one of the most difficult men in Hollywood to work with.
If you can find it, I also recommend Hearts of Darkness, a documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now that also shows a glimpse as to what Brando could be like on set. Of course, by the end of filming on that movie I think everyone had pretty much lost their marbles.
The Hollywood Reporter has a review of the doc here.
TV Shows on DVD points to this survey being conducted by Warner Classic Animation asking potential buyers which series they'd like to see on DVD. Some of the titles listed include Tiny Toon Adventures, Freakazoid, Pac Man, Plastic Man, The Jetsons ('80s version) and Johnny Quest ('80s version).
Which series fans choose will no doubt come down to how old you are. In that case, I'd love to see Tiny Toons and Freakazoid both released on DVD. Despite some purists who felt the shows were too gimmicky and weren't made in the same spirit as the classic Warner Bros cartoons they claimed to emulate, I still found them enjoyable as a youngster, and I think little kids who missed out on those shows would love them. I'll admit that nothing can compare to the old Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, but I'd also be lying if I said Tiny Toons didn't provide me with a lot of laughs throughout junior high.
Anyway, head on over and take the survey. You'll get a nice five dollar coupon for your effort, too. No kidding.
I have often said that all television falls into two categories, good and bad. However, I have recently discovered that television can also be categorized as classic and non-classic. But there's a catch.
When I was growing up, there wasn't a lot of good TV due to the fact that there were only three networks (four if you count PBS, which I certainly didn't). Consequently, local affiliates had no choice but to fill their daytime schedules with reruns of popular sitcoms like The Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island and The Monkees. These shows and shows like them have become classics almost by default. Bottom line: when an entire generation can sing the theme song of a show, it's a classic.
The sketch I've placed below is from The Mike Douglas Show and features Douglas, Soupy Sales and Moe Howard. The sketch is amusing, though not laugh-out-loud funny, but you may like it more than I did. Really, my main reason for posting it is that I'm a Three Stooges fan and I've never seen any of the Stooges outside of their old movie shorts. Seeing Moe in thick glasses and gray hair is both kind of cool and kind of weird. It's "cweridool," if you will. Will you? Thank you.
In the sketch, which according to Mark Evanier is based on an old Stooges bit, Moe serves as a translator for the "Maharjah." Hilarity ensues.
Speaking of The Three Stooges, Spike TV airs episodes in the wee hours of the morning. They're always worth an occasional Tivoing if I do say so myself. I especially like the one where Moe gets upset and hits Larry and Curly.
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.
DMGI has distribution rights for over 4,000 hours of video content, including classic television shows such as Gumby, I Spy, and My Favorite Martian. It's not clear at the moment which programs would be made available.
DMGI will share advertising revenue generated by the videos with YouTube. The deal also allows YouTube users to include some of the music DMGI publishes in user-generated videos. YouTube says it will use filtering technology to determine if users are making videos with unauthorized DMGI content, and any revenue generated from those videos will be directed to the company.
This Wednesday, January 10 at 10pm TV Land will debut a new series called Myths and Legends. The series will supposedly uncover the truth behind such urban legends as Mama Cass' death by ham sandwich, the hanging Munchkin from the Wizard of Oz, and Walt Disney's frozen head.
I only see one problem with this new show: it's completely unnecessary. A lot of the stuff this show plans to cover has already been covered before by other TV specials, and folks who were curious about these things have already investigated with the help of sites like Snopes.com. I'm usually a big fan of TV Land's original shows -- hell, I even liked I Pity the Fool, but someone tell me how this show made it to the air? Do I really want to sit and watch a show that tells me things I already know?
Okay, I won't completely dismiss a show I've yet to see. Maybe they'll approach these old rumors in a cool and refreshing way, but the premise alone feels more than a little stale.
Since I dwell at the butt-end of Generation X, the 1962 animated holiday special Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol was never on my holiday TV plate. Perhaps it aired when I was youngster, but damned if I ever saw it. However, I always hear fond memories about the special from folks older than myself, so out of the goodness of my awesome heart I thought I'd let everyone know that the special will air on December 24 at 6:30am on Cartoon Network. That's early, I know, but what can you do? Fly around the Earth and reverse time like Superman? The show would still air at 6:30am even if you did do that, which is why he's Superman and you're not. Superman thinks these things through before he does them.
Bill Melendez was an animator for several of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, but these days he's most recognized outside animation circles as producer/director of the Peanuts animated specials. Melendez, now 89, spoke to the guys at Just My Show about It's the great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and you can download or listen to the podcast here (link is to an MP3 file). It may be hard for some to believe that Melendez was also an animator for Warner Bros, given the flatness of the Peanuts specials compared to the likes of Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, but those specials were meant to reflect the simplicity of Charles Schulz's drawing style. Melendez claims the special was original and not based on anything from the comic strip, which is actually false, the Great Pumpkin story did appear in the comic strip long before the special debuted in 1966. I'll forgive him, though, because he's pushing 90 and he helped to create the greatest Halloween special of all time.
[via Cartoon Brew]
The format of the show, where contestants try to guess the names of songs after portions of them are played by the house band, will be slightly different this time around. This time, teams of two people will participate; the team members will be in different age groups. "It increases the variety of music we can do," Osmond told Variety. "We can go from Sinatra to hip-hop to everything in-between." In addition, the producers want to have surprise guests come out and sing if one of their songs is correctly identified by a contestant. Also, a final round will be added that will award the contestant $1 million if he or she can identify 15 songs in 60 seconds.
All I want to know is: who is going to be the house singer? Donny? I say they should bring Kathie Lee Gifford back (she used to be the house singer for the show in the Seventies). She's not doing anything these days.
If you're a fan of Looney Tunes and find yourself in the 181 Martell gallery space in Los Angeles this Friday (tomorrow), that's a good thing. A street artist by the name of Dr. Romanelli (a.k.a. DRx) was picked by Warner Brothers to create new designs of characters such as Bugs Bunny, Tweety, Sylvester and Daffy as part of a new urban marketing campaign that will eventually include T-shirts, toys, and a limited-edition Chuck Taylor sneaker. The new designs are said to reveal a darker, more insane side of the characters. You can see a couple small examples of what the new designs look like here and here. I'd really like to get my hands on those Chuck Taylors, those would be pretty sweet.
Oh yeah, a bunch of DRx's designs can be found here, too.
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