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September 1, 2014

pitchmen

'PitchMen' Returning to Discovery in August

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 26th 2010 8:30PM
Anthony SullivanIf you've ever wondered how Discovery could carry on the highly entertaining reality series 'PitchMen' without the highly electric personality of the late Billy Mays, you're about to get your answer.

The second season of the Discovery Channel series will begin on Aug. 21 starring the other "pitchman," Andrew "Sully" Sullivan.

'PitchMen' will pick up where the first season left off, with our intrepid infomercial maverick traveling the country looking for new and exciting products to sell insomniacs and soap opera watchers around the world. Sadly, he'll be doing it without his old partner in crime. Mays passed away last year after suffering a heart-attack, and an autopsy would later reveal that he had cocaine in his system at the time of his death.


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Gilbert Gottfried: Comedian, Actor and ... Pitchman?!?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 17th 2010 10:00PM
Does it ever feel like your TV is screaming at you? This ad is actually yelling at you. No, you're not high on drugs.

For some reason, the people behind Shoedini, the device that allows you to put on and take off your shoes without all that unnecessary bending and exercise, hired Gilbert Gottfried, a man who's voice could make babies cry BEFORE they are born.

WARNING: If you watch this ad, just like anytime you hear Gilbert's voice on TV or in a movie, it will follow you around in your head for the remainder of the day or narrate your most haunting dreams.

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Why no love for Billy Mays, Emmys?

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 21st 2009 11:00AM
Pitchmen's Billy Mays and Anthony SullivanI'm not saying that I necessarily think Billy Mays should have won a posthumous Emmy, or even that his show Pitchmen should have been included in their "The Year in Reality" segment. But leaving him out of the "In Memoriam" segment? You have people from every facet of the television industry, and you leave out the most famous infomercial personality ever. Infomercials are television programming.

Yes, they're annoying at times and yes, they're not as exciting as Lost or The Amazing Race, but it's still television. Billy Mays was famous because of television. And he was famous. Virtually everyone in this country recognizes "Hi, Billy Mays here!" and that almost patented way of shouting talking he had.

But hell, even if you don't buy any of those arguments, he was one of the stars of Pitchmen, a successful reality show. You honor reality shows, right? I'm just saying, It seems to me that one of the most famous faces of the modern era on television, and one of the most powerful men in the commercial industry, could have maybe earned a quick mention upon his passing.

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Discovery renews Pitchmen

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 15th 2009 12:04PM
PitchmenWhen Billy Mays died a couple of weeks ago, we were trying to figure out what exactly Discovery was going to do about their show Pitchmen. Would they cancel the show? Renew it with just Anthony Sullivan as the star? Try to find another pitchman (or woman)? Turns out it's going to be none of those things.

Instead, the show is going to continue with the addition of Mays' son, Billy Mays III. No word yet if the younger Mays will step into the co-host role with Sullivan or be involved in other ways, but I'm sure he'll have at least some on-screen role.

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Pitchmen pays teary tribute to Billy Mays

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 10th 2009 3:03PM
Billy MaysI don't know how true this axiom is, since I just made it up out of thin air. But it seems to me that, in the world of reality TV, you can edit a nice person to look like a jerk, but it's much tougher to edit a jerk into looking like a nice person. It's just harder to fake being a good person than it is to fake being a jerk. And what I learned by the entire season of Pitchmen, including last night's tribute episode, was that Billy Mays was a good guy.

Sure, he had an ego. Sure, there are probably production staffs out there who think the guy was a jerk because he was having a bad day when he worked with them. But, the entire season of Pitchmen showed that Mays was a fun-loving guy that seemed to be a dedicated family man; he also seemed to be truly committed to helping people realize their dreams through their inventions. Considering how many different people teared up during the tribute episode last night, I could tell the guy was loved and admired.

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What's On Tonight: Big Brother, Billy Mays Tribute, Burn Notice

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 9th 2009 4:04PM
  • Attack of the ShowAt 7, G4 has the 1000th episode of Attack of the Show.
  • At 8, ABC has two new episodes of Samantha Who?
  • CBS has the season premiere of Big Brother at 8.
  • At 9, Discovery has a Billy Mays tribute episode of Pitchmen.
  • USA has a new Burn Notice at 9, then a new Royal Pains.
  • Spike has a new TNA Impact at 9.
  • At 10, NBC has a new episode of The Listener.
  • Comedy Central has a new Tosh.0 at 10.
  • Bravo has a new episode of The Fashion Show at 10.
  • Also at 10: Showtime has a new Penn & Teller's Bullshit.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

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Blue shirts honor Billy Mays

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 6th 2009 5:30PM
Billy Mays funeral

This isn't usually a blog with photos from funeral services, but I thought this one was appropriate for TV fans to see. Pallbearers at Billy Mays funeral the other day all wore blue shirts in a tribute to the commercial king.

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We're going to keep seeing Billy Mays in commercials

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 2nd 2009 6:01PM
Billy MaysFirst off, everyone keeps using the word "infomercial" when describing the ads that Billy Mays did, including this piece at TampaBay.com. Actually, infomercials are longer form ads, usually 30 minutes. What Mays did were commercials (though yes, he did infomercials too). After a meeting between his widow, his son, friend Anthony Sullivan, and marketers, they have decided to resume running all of Mays' ads next week. I'm sure that's going to seem weird to some viewers.

I guess it's not completely odd, because we still watch a TV show that a celebrity has starred in after they die. But commercials are more recent, more "alive," more "of the moment" than some TV show that we all know is a repeat from one, ten, thirty years ago. And that's what's going to be odd about seeing these ads.

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What's On Tonight: Wipeout, American Masters, F Word, Pitchmen

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 1st 2009 4:06PM
  • The Fashion ShowAt 8, ABC has a new Wipeout, followed by new episodes of I Survived a Japanese Game Show and Primetime: Crime.
  • FOX has a new, two-hour So You Think You Can Dance at 8.
  • PBS has a new American Masters at 8.
  • At 9, NBC has a new America's Got Talent, then a new episode of The Philanthropist.
  • BBC America has a new episode of Gordon Ramsay's The F Word at 9.
  • At 10, Discovery has the season finale of Pitchmen.
  • A&E has two new episodes of Tattoo Highway at 10.
  • TBS has two new episodes of Tyler Perry's Meet The Browns at 10.
  • There's a new episode of The Fashion Show on Bravo at 10.
  • Also at 10: MTV has a new Real World.
  • At 10:30, Comedy Central has a new Reno 911!

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

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What should happen to Pitchmen now?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 30th 2009 5:40PM
PitchmenThe season finale of Discovery Channel's Pitchmen airs tomorrow night at 10PM (after a day-long marathon of the show). But now that Billy Mays has passed away suddenly, what should happen to the show?

Discovery hasn't made a decision yet. They could continue the show will just Anthony Sullivan, they could get another commercial/product icon to take Mays' place, or they could simply cancel the show. What do you think they should do?

What should happen to Pitchmen?
Continue it with just Anthony Sullivan394 (29.9%)
Get another commercial icon to take Mays' place355 (26.9%)
Cancel the show569 (43.2%)

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Billy Mays died of heart disease, says autopsy

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 29th 2009 2:16PM
Billy MaysIf you're wearing blue to pay tribute Billy Mays, you were probably as shocked by the pitchman's death as I was. Heck, I was even more surprised by Billy's passing than I was by Michael Jackson's. The guy seemed as healthy as a horse, sporting nothing more than the slight beer gut anyone of his age that's not a fitness fanatic and lives the good life is likely to have.

So in a perverse way, some of us approaching middle age were hoping that the cause of Billy's death could have been explained by the bump on the head he got after his flight had a rough landing the day before he died. We figured it was a delayed response to head trauma, a la what happened to Natasha Richardson earlier this year.

But autopsy results, verified by Billy Mays III on his Twitter feed, showed that there was no head trauma. Mays simply died of heart disease.

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Today is "Wear Blue for Billy" day

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jun 29th 2009 9:08AM
Billy Mays - Wear Blue for Billy DayNews of someone's death always implants a little sadness in my brain, whether its the passing of a major celebrity or some innocent bystander who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Part of it is completely selfish. Someone's passing always reminds me of the frailty of human life and lets me know I'm always one less beer away from reaching the end of my time.

The other part is the projection of my own pain. We've all lost someone close to us and know what that pain feels like when our brain is scrambling to catch up with the reality of that loss. There is someone out there who has to deal with that same pain, whether the person who died was worthy of Catholic sainthood or the Bastard of the Year Award.

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What to Watch June 29 - July 5

by Kim Potts, posted Jun 28th 2009 3:00PM
Dance Your Ass OffThis week on TV: Dancing the pounds away, the kids are back to school in 'Degrassi' and -- boom! -- fireworks galore.

MONDAY, JUNE 29
'Dance Your Ass Off' (10PM, Oxygen) series premiere
What they hope to lose: pounds. What they hope to gain: the $100,000 grand prize that will go to the one contestant out of 12 who drops the most weight by shaking their moneymakers. The 'Biggest Loser'-meets-'So You Think You Can Dance' concept, hosted by Marissa Jaret Winokur, has attracted an eclectic bunch of contestants, including a former model whose career ended when she gained 55 pounds and several diabetics whose weight loss could save their lives. With the help of a doctor, nutritionist, trainer and two hours of dance practice a day, who will leave the show thinner ... and richer?

'The Bachelorette' – Jillian visits the finalists' hometowns (8PM, ABC)
'My Life on the D-List' – Kathy asks her mom to create a Facebook page for her (10PM, Bravo)
'Weeds' – Celia camps out in Nancy's garage (10PM, Showtime)
'New York Goes to Work' – 1st season finale (10PM, VH1)
'Nurse Jackie' – Zoey loses her first patient (10:30PM, Showtime)

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Billy Mays dead at 50

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 28th 2009 12:50PM
Billy MaysFamous (and loud) TV pitchman Billy Mays was found dead in his Florida home today. He was 50.

There's no cause of death yet (an autopsy will be performed tomorrow), but Mays was one of the passengers on a US Airways flight that had a bumpy landing in Tampa, FL yesterday.

I think most people would agree that this been a remarkably strange week for celebrity deaths. Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, then Michael Jackson. We thought those three celebs would be enough for one week (and celebrity deaths often come in threes, as the common wisdom goes). And now we have a guy who is still on our TVs all the time. It's not like he was old or he had retired or he wasn't doing much in public anymore. Commercials with May run all day long, every day. I saw several last night. He also has a weekly show with Anthony Sullivan on Discovery called Pitchmen. The pair were also on Conan's show last week. Video of that appearance is after the jump.

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What's On Tonight: Top Chef Masters, The Philanthropist, Real World

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 24th 2009 4:05PM
  • WipeoutAt 8, ABC has a new Wipeout, followed by a new I Survived A Japanese Game Show and Primetime: Questions for the President: A Prescription for America.
  • NBC has the season finale of I'm A Celebrity... at 8, then a new America's Got Talent and the series premiere of The Philanthropist.
  • FOX has a new, two-hour So You Think You Can Dance.
  • Discovery has a new Time Warp at 8.
  • Also at 8: Cartoon Network has a new episode of The Othersiders.
  • At 9, A&E has a new Dog The Bounty Hunter, followed by two new episodes of Tattoo Highway.
  • History Channel has a new MonsterQuest at 9
  • There's a new Throwdown with Bobby Flay on Food Network at 9.
  • At 10, TBS has two new episodes of Tyler Perry's Meet The Browns.
  • Bravo has a new Top Chef Masters at 10.
  • MTV has the season premiere of Real World: Cancun at 10.
  • Discovery has a new Pitchmen at 10.
  • At 10:30, Comedy Central has a new Reno 911!
  • TCM has Dr. Strangelove at 10:30.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

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