But this isn't any old list – our Top 40 TV Shows of the '90s is just the first in a new series of countdowns in which we'll put our AOL Television seal of approval on the top 40 series of every decade.
Every other month we'll tackle another decade, going all the way back to the '50s, to recall the best comedies (hello 'Lucy'), the best prime-time soaps (do you remember who shot JR?), the best cop shows, animated series and groundbreaking TV shows.
So kick off 50 years of silver-screen bests with the greatest shows of the '90s, including everyone from 'Beavis,' 'Buffy' and 'Simpsons' to 'Freaks and Geeks' and teens on the 'Creek.'
1. Home Improvement. What a good show this was, and the type of show you don't see much of anymore, a sitcom shot on video in front of a live audience (most filmed-before-a-live-audience sitcoms today, like Gary Unmarried and Old Christine, have that film look). I think a lot of people dismiss this show because it was about a guy who was more into cars and tools than reading and emotion, but the show was a lot deeper than that.
Now they're both working on new sitcom projects and hoping for the best. Scrubs' Neil Flynn has joined Patricia Heaton in The Middles, an ABC sitcom pilot about a middle-class family living in middle America struggling in these tough economic times. They have three kids, too, just like the set up in Everybody Loves Raymond. Meanwhile, Kelsey Grammer's also doing comedy for ABC. The network has ordered a Grammer pilot about a corporate big shot who tries to reconnect with his estranged family.
Sarah Palin and Tina Fey aren't the only celebrities that people sometimes mix up. These two look a lot alike (more so when Fey has her hair a certain way, less so when she doesn't), but I often confuse two celebrities that don't even look alike in the slightest. Sometimes it's because they have similar names or have similar roles or a combination of both. Sometimes it's just because I don't see them that often and when one pops up I say to myself, "hey wait, is that _____ or _____?" Here's my list of eight people I often mix up. This must happen to you too, right?
1. Dan Butler and Paul McCrane. Both bald, both on hit NBC shows. Butler was horndog Bull on Frasier and McCrane was jerky, killed-by-copter Dr. Romano on ER. They really do look alike.
- TBS has A Christmas Story all night.
- At 8, NBC has It's A Wonderful Life.
- The CW has The Flight Before Christmas at 8, followed by The Story of Santa Claus.
- ABC Family has the live action How the Grinch Stole Christmas at 8.
- Comedy Central has two Christmas episodes of Futurama at 8, then several Christmas episodes of South Park.
- FOX News Channel has A Fox and Friends Christmas at 8.
- Also at 8: Disney has The Santa Clause 2.
- At 8:40, BBC America has a new Catherine Tate Christmas episode, followed by an Absolutely Fabulous Christmas special.
- At 9, Lifetime has the movie The Christmas Shoes.
- TruTV has a new Most Shocking at 9, then two new episodes of World's Wildest Vacation Videos.
- Hallmark has the movie The Most Wonderful Time of the Year at 9.
- Nickelodeon has two Christmas episodes of Home Improvement at 9.
- Showtime has a new Inside The NFL at 9.
- At 10, Travel Channel has a new Man vs. Food.
- At 11, Lifetime has two Christmas episodes of Will & Grace, followed by two Christmas episodes of Frasier.
- At 11:30, CBS and NBC has Christmas Eve Mass and music.
- At 1am, ABC has Christmas Eve Mass and music also.
Check your local TV listings for more.
(Most of the late night talk shows are pre-empted or repeats tonight, except Charlie Rose.)
Island-dwelling heroes, martini-swilling Ivy Leaguers and autobiography-penning sitcom actors ... we're talking, of course, about TV land's most beloved canine cohorts.
How much do you know about the most memorable prime-time pooches?
Take our quiz and find out! Be warned: it's "ruff" stuff.
"Deedee Chappel. Get ready to unzip your pants!" - Lowell
That's one of my favorite lines in TV history, and I'm happy to say it was uttered in a show I had the pleasure of being an extra in many years ago, NBC's Wings. A great friend of mine, Suzanne, worked on the show and, since I was going out to Los Angeles for a vacation, she got me on the set as an extra. The episode was titled "If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother" and guest-starred Debbie Reynolds. It was filmed in October of 1994 and aired on November 22.
The Simpsons celebrated Krusty the Klown's bar mitzvah in the episode "Today I Am A Klown," which was a variation on one of the all-time great sitcom bar mitzvahs of all time: the episode "Buddy Sorrell, Man and Boy," on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Square Pegs shared "Muffy's Bat Mitzvah" with viewers, and this past season, Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David used his friend Jeff Greene's daughter Sammi's bat mitzvah to announce that he never put a gerbil up his butt.
(S06E14) It's awfully hard to pick a standout episode from a comedy like Frasier that lasted eleven seasons. There are so many that stand out for different reasons.
I picked 'Three Valentines' because:
- It is a good example of classic Frasier foibles
- Niles's cold open is a masterpiece in physical comedy, something we don't often see in Frasier episodes
- The performances are top-notch: sensitive, masterful, spot-on
- This episode is an example of perfect timing being a key to a sitcom's success
- It is filmed in three acts, each allowing the characters featured to play up to their strengths perfectly.
Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.
Welcome back to TVSBTTHB (TV Squad Behind the True Hollywood Biography). For 11 years the bar simply known as Cheers was the place to go. Not only did everyone know your name (particularly if it was 'Norm'), but you were able to get a beer, a story about major league baseball's heyday, some homespun wisdom, a bunch of needless trivia from a postal worker, and perhaps a beer thrown into your face by a hormonal waitress who seems to have been very pregnant. When you left your wallet would be lighter, but a smile would crease your face.
Yet, once the last beer was sold and the final patron walked out the door the employees and patrons of that Boston bar disappeared into its narrow and winding streets, people have been asking the folks here at TVSBTTHB whatever happened to Sam, Diane, Norm, Cliff, and the rest of the Cheers gang. Now, after digging through mounds of beer kegs, Hungry Heifer napkins, and undelivered mail, we have discovered what happened to these folks who seemed to spend all of their waking hours in the bar.
The two-time Emmy winner (for guesting on Frasier), is likely to win an Emmy nomination, which I discussed with her recently. But what about her other TV work. Here's some thoughts about 24, Designing Women and other TV memories. And find out what she thinks is the best show ever on television!
Allison Waldman: What are your memories from playing Charlene Frazier on Designing Women?
Jean Smart: There are so many. Of course, meeting my husband (Richard Gilliland). I met him on the fifth episode and we hadn't even been on the air yet. I remember the chemistry that we all had together, which was so much fun. When my character got married on the show, I found out I was pregnant, so I got it in just under the wire. Charlene was a good Baptist girl, she couldn't be pregnant without being married.
It's been two years since we first delved into the world of Retro Squad, so we're back now with what we believe is a better format. Rather than pick a few shows and only review one season from each throughout the summer, we're doing theme/show weeks. These weeks will not only have standout episode reviews from any past season, but we'll have themed lists, Vs., interviews and videos. There are only so many weeks in the summer, so we can't cover all of your favorites, but I think there's something for just about everyone here. Check out the schedule below, after the jump.
Now, less than two weeks later, Kelsey Grammer has been cast in a new ABC sitcom called Roman's Empire. This is big news for a big star and he's the emperor in the title. He's playing Roman.
Roman's Empire is not a three-camera, traditional sitcom, which has been Grammer's playground since Cheers. Frasier may have been one of the best three-camera sitcoms ever. As an actor, Kelsey's accustomed to having an audience watching him work. Empire is a single-camera comedy -- like The Office or My Name Is Earl or Samantha Who? -- and revolves around a nice guy named Leo (Nick Thune), who's dumped by his heiress-like girlfriend (Christine Woods), but remains connected to her crazy family, the Prettys. That's especially true of Roman Pretty, the family patriarch, an outspoken, outrageous character.
When Kelsey phoned, Les took the call, and he even told Grammer that he'd "think about it," that is, moving Back to You to CBS. However, when Kelsey followed up with a call to Nina Tassler, CBS Entertainment prez, she dismissed it. There really was no room on the CBS schedule for another sitcom; even Rules of Engagement (which CBS has a vested interest in bringing back) won't be broadcast till mid-season next year. There's no mention of Kelsey calling ABC or NBC; perhaps they didn't take his call?
Niles & Frasier Crane, Frasier
Two brothers, both psychiatrists, both opera buffs, both wine connoisseurs, both heterosexual despite evidence to the contrary. The Crane brothers were like two peas in a very funny pod, sparking each other in comedy, competitive and supportive at the same time. Making their brotherly friendship even funnier was the fact that their Dad, Martin, who was nothing like either one of them. What's even funnier is the fact that when Frasier was originally spun-off from Cheers, the writers didn't include the character of Niles. It was only after seeing an 8x10 of David Hyde Pierce, and how much he looked like Kelsey Grammer's brother, that they put him in the pilot. Frasier would not have been nearly the hit comedy it was without the brother angle.
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