In what was already a sad week in entertainment, Rue McClanahan passed away this morning from a massive stroke at the age of 76.
This leaves the resurgent Betty White as the only one of the 'Golden Girls' quartet who's still with us, a remarkable thought considering that it didn't seem like that long ago when White, McClanahan, Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty were all making us laugh on Saturday nights.
Most people know McClanahan from her 'Girls' role of sexy senior Blanche Devereaux. But McClanahan's on-screen career stretches back almost fifty years, and she's been featured in a number of interesting television roles before and since her years on that lanai in Miami.
Here are some of the more interesting parts of Rue's career you may or may not have known about:
Fortunately, it was just my skewed sense of humor at work, because Arianna Huffington, the political talking head and co-creator of The Huffington Post, is not starring in a sitcom. ABC has bought Huffington's idea for a multicamera sitcom. And just to make sure it's funny, they've hired executive producer Greg Malins (Friends, How I Met Your Mother) to develop the project.
20th Century Fox TV is producing the show for ABC and, yes, it is about politics. See, there are these three freshman members of the House of Representatives, two men and a woman (but no pizza place). They share an apartment in the D.C. area. "One is swept up in the movement of change... one has been in politics for a long time, and one is a master of the media and sound bites," said Malins.
Included on the list are the Letterman/Palin battle, the Aqua Teen Hunger Force bomb scare in Boston, the Smothers Brothers political controversy, the quiz show scandals, and a certain nipple that made a cameo appearance at a rather important sporting event.
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.
Golden Girls star Bea Arthur died this morning in Los Angeles. She was 86. This is actually a bit of a shock. Not that 86 is young, but she always seemed healthy and spry, even in the last few years, doing her stage show and guest starring on various TV shows and endless specials.
On June 9, Sony will release The Norman Lear Collection, a 19-disc set that will include the first seasons of the shows that Norman Lear did over the years, including All in the Family, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, Maude, One Day At A Time, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and Good Times. The set will include lots of bonus material, including new interviews with people like Rob Reiner and Jimmie Walker, along with the two unseen pilots for All in the Family, Those Were The Days and And Justice For All (in the original pilot, the Bunkers' last name was actually Justice).
However, she's had a chance to think it over and when asked again, she agreed to become a Hall of Famer, just like Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson and Bill Cosby.
As I wrote previously, the TV Academy Hall of Fame will expand to include Bea Arthur, Merv Griffin, Larry Gelbart (M*A*S*H), Sherwood Schwartz (Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch), and ABC executives Thomas Murphy and Daniel B. Burke. On December 9 in Beverly Hills, the awards will be presented.
The undercurrent of swinging and sex was still there, but the theme of the show was more about choice and control, who makes them and and who has it.
The Millers aren't in synch. In fact, Susan is the first to say it out loud, turning to Trina for guidance. I really like how the women on this show are becoming more real with each episode and less types. Trina is so much more than the wanton from the pilot.
A roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.
- Donna King Conkling: She was one of the original members of the King Sisters singing group and one of the stars of the ABC show The King Family in the 60s. She also appeared in several movies, including Meet The People, Cuban Pete, and Sing Your Worries Away. She died in Texas at age 88.
You can watch several episodes of the TV Land talk show Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg right at the TV Land web site (full episodes from the second season and highlights of the first). Steinberg has interviewed everyone from Jerry Seinfeld to Bob Newhart, but the show that I'd like to talk about is the one where he interviews Daily Show host Jon Stewart. It's actually one of the best interviews with Stewart I've ever seen.
That bit is a good example of what was wrong with this installment. Aside from the fact that it was a reference to a show that you have to be 40 years old, or a tv nutter, to get, it just wasn't funny. And no matter how long the song went on, it was never going to be funny. I found myself in much the same situation while watching tonight. I was just sitting and watching, waiting for it to get funny.
New TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow (a whole bunch!).
- Batman Beyond - Season 3
- Christy - Complete Series
- Deadliest Catch - Season 1
- Garfield and Friends - An Ode To Odie
- JAG - Season 3
- Justice League Unlimited - Season 2
- Kong: The Animated Series - Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 and gift set
- Masters of Horror - Pro Life
- Maude - Season 1
- McHale's Navy - Season 1
- Miami Vice - Season 3 and Season 4
- Mythbusters - Mega Movie Myths
- Newsradio - Final Season
- Run's House - Season 1 and Season 2
- Sleeper Cell - Season 2
- The Wild, Wild West - Season 2
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