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October 13, 2015


Top 5 Celebrity Narrators in Television History

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 18th 2010 2:55PM
Arrested DevelopmentThey're heard, but not seen. TV show narrators have set the scene for viewers for decades, their familiar voices cluing us into what to expect (or how to react) to certain plot developments. And more often than not, these off-screen narrators are well-known celebrities -- making their comments and asides all the more familiar and comforting.

While compiling a list of our five favorite celebrity narrators, only two stipulations were used: First, this list only deals with scripted american programming. Documentaries don't count, nor do any overseas imports. Second, the narrator in question can not have appeared on screen as a regular character on the series (although in some instances, the narrator is a future version of the main character, played by a different actor).

That being said, here are our five ...

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It's Jack Bauer! On Call of Duty!

by Jane Boursaw, posted Sep 23rd 2009 10:42AM
Keifer Sutherland in Call of DutyI was playing Call of Duty: World at War with my son the other day (hey, I'm the cool mom), and he said, "You know, that sounds like Jack Bauer." I listened, and sure enough, that unmistakable "Fire!" was indeed Kiefer Sutherland, a.k.a. Jack Bauer on 24.

It's always fun when stuff like this happens, where you recognize a beloved TV character's voice elsewhere. I surfed around YouTube and found a video of Sutherland in the recording studio, along with Gary Oldman, who played James Gordon on The Dark Knight, among dozens of other films.

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Cronkite will keep introducing Katie Couric

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 20th 2009 6:30PM
Walter CronkiteRight after Walter Cronkite died, CBS decided to stop using his voice over in the intro of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, mainly figuring it was inappropriate to have a ghostly voice introduce their current anchor.

It seemed like a respectful decision, but it felt a bit wrong to me. The voice over was a simple sentence: "This is the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric." That's it. It felt like a good way to pay tribute to his immense contributions to television news and to bridge the years between his era and the current one. And, shockingly enough, it wouldn't have felt creepy at all, just comforting.

Cronkite's family must have felt the same way, as they've given CBS permission to keep using his voice at the top of the broadcast. How long CBS will keep doing it is anyone's guess. But if Billy Mays can keep selling Oxi Clean from the Great Beyond, why can't Uncle Walter keep introducing the news?

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Some random thoughts on the Emmy nominations

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 16th 2009 2:44PM
Emmy_statue_ATASNow that the excitement has died down, I've been scouring the complete list of nominations. Here's a few observations... Then, let me know what you think.

-- Why bother with the Outstanding Mini-Series category? There were only two nominees worthy of a nomination. Exactly how many mini-series are even produced anymore? This is an outmoded TV format. Kill the category.

-- What's going on with the writers? 30 Rock dominates the comedy category and Mad Men dominates the drama category. What are the chances that the lone nomination in each category wins? I'd say slim and none. I call for limitations; only two episodes per series. Writing is such a subjective thing anyway. If you like 30 Rock's scattershot humor, you're more likely to vote for it compared to a traditional sitcom like Big Bang Theory. The latter should have snagged a nom for The Lizard-Spock Expansion episode.

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Hyundai goes for irony with Kelsey Grammer

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 14th 2007 1:05PM
Kelsey Grammar for HyundaiSometimes, when I'm bored and my WiFi router is broken, I like to play "guess the celebrity commercial voice over." Most of the time, I usually get things right, as advertisers are using more familiar voices than ever before. But sometimes I wonder if a company uses a particular voice for more reasons than they're available, recognizable, and like cashing large checks for very little work.

Case in point is a recent set of Hyundai ads starring the voice of Kelsey Grammer. In the ads, Grammer compares the attributes of the Korean car company's Santa Fe SUV with a much more expensive Land Rover. Of course, this being a Hyundai ad, the Santa Fe comes out favorably, matching the Land Rover in every category except cup holders.

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Marlowe -- A look at the pilot script

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 5th 2007 10:00AM
Raymond Chandler bookI'm a big fan of private eye TV shows and novels, and I've been thinking lately that they need to make a big comeback (sorry, Monk just isn't the same). Raines comes kinda close, but it's not quite the same thing. Judging from the script for the pilot of Marlowe, ABC's modern take on the classic Raymond Chandler character, it looks like it could be a return to the great private eye genre that TV fans have been waiting for.

The first thing I noticed is that, yes, the show is going to have voiceovers! Some people hate voiceovers, some people love them. I remember that Robert Parker hated the voiceover on Spenser: For Hire, when it was actually one of the cool things about the show. There's a lot of voiceover in this pilot script, and while I don't mind it, I wonder if it's too much.

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'Twas the VO before Christmas - VIDEO

by Kevin Kelly, posted Dec 24th 2006 2:02PM

And all through the house, a heck of a lot of voice talent was stirring ... even the ones who have a voice like a mouse. When was the last time you saw Eddie Deezen? It's probably been awhile, however he's been heard a lot -- most recently in Kim Possible. As far as all of the other voice over actors in this piece? Legendary. You've got everyone from The Unit's Dennis Haysbert to SpongeBob's Tom Kenny to Don LaFontaine, trailer announcer extraordinaire reading you this classic tale.

Gather around your computer, and warm everyone with this holiday classic. I can't imagine all of this VO talent assembling again, so enjoy it while you can.

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The Five: Voices

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 13th 2006 5:33PM

Gary OwensOkay, kids, for this addition of "The Five" we're going to talk about those voices we love so much. I'm going to focus entirely on television announcers, but I'm expanding the topic to include anyone whose job in television is (or was) centered around their vocal cords. That's why you won't see Mel Blanc or Daws Butler on my list, though they most certainly would have been on it otherwise. Everyone on board? Okay, let's do it:

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In Defense Of: Maria Bamford

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 9th 2006 6:07PM
maria bamfordThere's a tendency in our culture, and it's certainly prevalent in the blogosphere, to snark at anything that doesn't immediately turn us on. I'm guilty of this myself, but I cut myself some slack because I'm writing about the entertainment industry, which is, to me anyway, of little consequence within the Grand Scheme.

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