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November 27, 2014

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Wacky Races ... Live!

by Brad Trechak, posted Aug 1st 2009 11:02AM

Wacky RacesRemember the Wacky Races cartoon? If you were a kid in the 70's like me, then you probably do. It turns out that in England they're re-enacting the show live. You can even watch them take part in a race from here.

I'm oddly ambivalent about this. Cosplay is one thing. This seems dangerous. What if one of the drivers can't see out of their outfit? On the other hand, watching this live would be kind of cool. How come I've never heard of anybody doing this in America? Is someone afraid the bullies would beat them up?

Admit it, children of the 70's, you would love to take your children to this. It's a chance to share in something generational. Otherwise you'd be too embarrassed to be a grown man or woman attending this without such an excuse.

Do you think you'd attend the Wacky Races live if it were in a town near you?

[via ComicMix]

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The Daily Show correspondents battle over health plans

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 20th 2009 12:34PM
There's a battle right now over President Obama's plans for healthcare, but the battle isn't going to be as funny as this one between Daily Show correspondents Samantha Bee, John Oliver, and Wyatt Cenac (well, it might be as funny, but in a sad, shake-your-head sort of way). I never want to see back-testicles ever again. (Video also here.)

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Lucky Brits get their own special Ugly Betty Diet Coke bottle

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 8th 2009 6:30PM
Ugly BettyThis isn't something I would particularly care about, but consumers in England can buy special Ugly Betty Diet Coke bottles. The bottles are pink and come with stickers so you can decorate the bottle any which way you want. Not sure if it will also be available in the U.S. at some point. Coke seems to be doing a lot of stuff with Ugly Betty over there.

I would like to see a Mad Men-inspired Diet Coke bottle. I'd buy around 10 six-packs of those.

[via TV Tattle]

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Hulu coming to the U.K.

by Brad Trechak, posted Jul 6th 2009 10:02AM
HuluIt's about damn time. The folks behind Hulu are making deals with broadcasters in the U.K. to offer their service to U.K. residents. Hopefully as a result of this, TV Squad won't have to apologize to Brits every time we post a clip from Hulu (at least most of the time... some current American shows like Heroes won't be available in the U.K. due to rights issues).

I'm secretly hoping this also means that some British content will be available to United States viewers. It would somewhat ease my frustration with my cable provider, who can't seem to justify carrying BBC America in their channel line-up no matter how many times I ask. It would be nice to satisfy my Brit TV craving without resorting to Netflix (or, even worse, The Pirate Bay).

Given how protective both countries are of their content, it wouldn't surprise me if this deal fell through. Regulation is a bitch, but Hulu is making some pretty big bucks right now for an Internet venture and I can't see how the media conglomerates behind this deal could be that resistant to profit.

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Yet another news program (and British adaptation) on American TV

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 18th 2009 12:00PM
NBCNBC will be adapting the BBC panel program Have I Got News For You for American audiences. The British version has been running since 1990 and involves a group of newsmakers and celebrities discussing current events in a humorous fashion. Given the unscripted format, this represents a program that NBC could keep going in the event of another writers' strike.

Other than the name value, I don't see the point of NBC doing an adaptation when they could simply create another program in a similar format. The McLaughlin Report has been doing the panel discussion concept for decades (whether it's for humorous effect depends on the viewer) and I even once attended a taping of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn which was the same concept but involved a panel of comedians and included sketches.

I've never seen Have I Got News For You. For those who have, is it good? Do you think it would fly with American audiences?

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Hugh Laurie used to be a comedian? What?

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 30th 2009 8:35AM
Hugh LaurieVariety has an excellent article up about Hugh Laurie's comedic roots in Britain, a genre Laurie excelled at long before he took the lead dramatic role of the dour doctor in House.

Being a fan of Britcoms (particularly those of the 80's), this is the Hugh Laurie I remember. He was even mocked in the Brit satire series Spitting Image in the early 90's for being typecast as a rich, stupid person (In his defense, only his two most famous comedy roles, Prince George of Blackadder The Third and Bertie Wooster of Jeeves and Wooster, were bumbling members of the upper class).

While medical dramas are not my cup of tea, House suffers from an even bigger handicap on my part because whenever I see him on the screen, I flash to Blackadder or A Bit of Fry and Laurie (or even his cameo in The New Statesman). With that in mind, I promise right now that if his old comedy partner Stephen Fry appears on House (as suggested in the article), it would be enough to make me watch the show.

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The Philanthropist will be set (and filmed) in England

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 30th 2008 6:03PM
NBC logoHere's something I didn't know: it's cheaper to film in England and Africa than it is to film in Hollywood.

NBC has announced that their new midseason drama The Philanthropist (a real pain to spell, by the way) won't be filmed in the U.S. at all. Instead, the production will save money by setting the show and filming the show in London, with some filming also being done in Africa and the Czech Republic. Executive producer and writer David Eick, however, will stay in Los Angeles. The first episode will be directed by Peter Horton.

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It's all Buffy's fault!

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 26th 2008 3:44PM
BuffyRemember when rock 'n roll was to blame for teenagers being out of control? What about when John Lennon's quote about The Beatles being as big as Jesus drew the ire of the church and resulted in deejays advocating the destruction of LPs and singles?

Well, here's another missive from an "authority figure" about how pop culture is ruining today's youth. Sociologist Kristin Aune claims that Buffy, the Vampire Slayer is responsible for young women not attending church.

Dr. Aune, who's written Women and Religion in the West, and is a teacher at the University of Derby (that's in the U.K.), doesn't know if Buffy has also affected young men. Her research doesn't address if boys are abandoning the church, too, so I guess they're safe.

This is no joke, although it does sound like a good way to promote a book that would otherwise be ignored. Mentioning Buffy is a good way to let the world know that Dr. Aune wrote it.

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Paris is going to Britain

by Brad Trechak, posted Aug 25th 2008 11:03AM
Paris HiltonOh thank God. Paris Hilton is going to England to try and find a new best friend for her reality television show Paris Hilton's My New BFF. Now, rather than subject us to her vapid, debutante antics, she'll be doing the same thing across the Atlantic where they're more used to that sort of behavior.

You know, this is quite an honor for some lucky Brit. There is nobody more loyal, caring and understanding as a friend than Paris Hilton. Just ask Nicole Richie.

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Hey ESPN, I really hate your Wimbledon scoreboard

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 27th 2008 3:40PM

Andy RoddickAs longtime readers of TV Squad probably know, I'm a tennis fanatic. I hate summer with a passion, but I'm happy for the season during four weeks: the two weeks of Wimbledon (late June/early July) and the two weeks of the U.S. Open (late August/early September). If you need me those two weeks, I'll be in front of my TV and a fan, drinking cold liquids.

Of course, it's not all popcorn and roses. There's something that really irritates me about ESPN's coverage of Wimbledon that's going on right now, and I see it every single time I look at the screen (which I find you have to do if you want to watch the matches). It's that damn scoreboard at the top of the screen.

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The British ban Martha Stewart

by Brad Trechak, posted Jun 21st 2008 2:28PM
Martha StewartI'm not sure who to root for in this particular dispute. The British authorities have banned Martha Stewart from entering the country due to her previous conviction of obstructing justice.

The television personality was hoping to visit England for some business engagements. Stewart's assistants confirmed her visa denial, but didn't give details (I don't understand this particular fact. American citizens don't need a visa to go to England, only need a passport.).

"Martha loves England; the country and English culture are near and dear to her heart," said Charles Koppelman, chairman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. "She has engagements with English companies and business leaders and hopes this can be resolved so that she will be able to visit soon."

I'm not the biggest fan of Martha, but this seems like a bit of a snow job. She did the crime and did her time. Why do the British authorities feel that she is still some sort of threat?

She did, however, get to visit her ancestral country of Poland. Score one for the Poles! Maybe they'll keep her.

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CBS greenlights NY-LON, Mythological X and Can Openers

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 28th 2008 4:39PM
cbs logoShowbiz has gone green, and that's not just ecologically! Green is flashing all over Hollywood. CBS has given the greenlight to three more pilots, including a doctor drama, a psychic romance, and a British-based tale of international love.

NY-LON (no, not nylon the fabric!), refers to the New York-London connection via air. The story, which writers Patti Carr and Lara Runnels (who both worked on 'Til Death) are translating from the U.K. version, is about a British businessman who meets a New York City record store clerk while she's in London, and then their subsequent attempts to maintain a transatlantic romance. The series ran seven episodes in England, which is not atypical. Of course, for American TV, many more episodes than that will be necessary to constitute a hit.



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Kids on Supernanny are made to cry

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 3rd 2007 9:19AM

Jo Frost a.k.a. SupernannyAccording to this article in the U.K.'s Telegraph, kids on the reality TV show Supernanny have been intentionally made to cry to boost ratings. The show is successful in Britain and in the United States (on ABC) and has made host Jo Frost a household name.

My question is: why is this surprising? It's somewhat common knowledge that reality TV intentionally gets its participants into awkward situations in order to get good TV out of it. Hell, right before I started with TV Squad I appeared on a cable TV game show and I was amazed at how much the producers wanted me to behave a certain way in order to make for better TV.

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TV Comedy Classics site from UK launches this month

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 9th 2007 4:22PM

pardon my genieLater this month, TVComedyClassics.com will officially launch as a download service in which folks can purchase, or rent, various comedies from the UK.

Don't expect well-known shows like Black Adder or Monty Python, however. In fact, there isn't a single show listed on the site I've ever heard of. Perhaps they'll be familiar to some of our readers from across the pond: Labours of Erica, Up the Elephant and Round the Castle, Mann's Best Friend, Robert's Robots and Two in Clover, just to name a few. Other series from the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s will be added when the site officially launches, with over one thousand titles in all eventually added to the service.

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BBC America says so long to Benny Hill

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 11th 2007 3:23PM

benny hillIf you've been enjoying the antics of Benny Hill on BBC America, I have sad news for you: the series is being removed from the channel.

The decision to remove The Benny Hill Show from the channel's lineup is just part of a new makeover that's discarding many older shows for newer ones. The channel hopes to give American audiences more modern shows instead of older fare such as Hill and Are You Being Served? and replace them with newer shows like Torchwood and Hollyoaks.

I must say, I never really understood the appeal of Benny Hill, though that certainly doesn't mean it was a bad show. Obviously, a lot of people liked the series, and how many of us can watch a scene shot in high speed and not start humming that goofy Benny Hill chase music?

I have to ask: will any of you miss Benny once he's gone? Or is he an artifact of an earlier age and no longer relevant?

[via CC Insider]

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