A roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.
- Bob Anderson: He was probably best known as playing the young George Bailey in the classic movie It's A Wonderful Life, with the famous scene of Bailey getting boxed in the ear by a drunk pharmacist (the actor really did bloody his ear during rehearsals). Anderson had roles in other movies, including A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A Place in the Sun, and The Bishop's Wife, and had a role in the 50s TV series The Adventures of Spin and Marty. After leaving acting he went on to be a production manager for several movies, including Passenger 57, The Omen IV, Demolition Man, Bonfire of the Vanities, and the TV show The Time Tunnel. Anderson died of cancer at age 75.
As most people know, there is very little about being an alcoholic or a drug addict that is funny. For most people who suffer from addiction the best they can hope for is to live "one day at a time" and do their best not to screw up their life and those around them. However, in the world of TV comedy, the addict is often the funniest person on the show. Many characters throughout TV history have given us all a belly laugh while they were under the influence. Here is my list of the funniest of those with this particular problem.
1. Jim Ignatowski (Christopher Lloyd) - Taxi
What could make a young Ivy League undergrad from a rich, influential family become a burned out reverend/cabbie with questionable judgment and a terrible memory? I doubt that even Jim could compile a complete list? At least his driving isn't any less safe than most New York cabbies.
- At 8, TLC has two new episodes of Little People, Big World.
- Soccer players join Emeril on a new Emeril Live on Food Network at 8.
- At 9, ABC has a new Extreme Makeover.
- FOX has a new Hell's Kitchen at 9.
- There's a new Age of Love on NBC at 9, followed by a new Dateline, a salute to Stone Phillips.
- PBS has a new History Detectives at 9.
- TNT has a new episode of The Closer at 9, then a new Heartland.
- USA has a new Monday Night RAW at 9.
- I didn't know that American Life had started showing The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The first episode is on at 9, followed by the first episodes of Newhart, WKRP In Cincinnati, and The Bob Newhart Show.
- Also at 9: GSN has a new High Stakes Poker.
- At 10:30, BBC America has a new Hollyoaks.
Check your local TV listings for more.
Here are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.
- Are You Afraid of the Dark? - Season 3
- Columbo - Mystery Movie Collection 1989
- The Drew Carey Show - Season 1
- Ed, Edd, 'n Eddy - Season 2
- Flipper - Season 1
- Ironside - Season 1
- Kidnapped - Complete Series
- Morel Orel - Vol. 1
- NCIS - Season 3
- The Odd Couple - Season 1
- Planet Earth - The Complete Collection
- WKRP in Cincinnati - Season 1
Over at his cool pop culture blog Something Old, Nothing New, Jaime Weinman posts a list of the changes coming to that long-awaited WKRP in Cincinnati DVD set, and the changes aren't going to make fans happy. Not at all. In fact, it's worse than we could have imagined.
Almost all of the songs are being replaced, even ones that you might have heard in the butchered syndicated episodes several years back. Even songs like "Jailhouse Rock." But that's not even the worst news. As Weinman reports, because they haven't separated the dialogue track from the music track, they are going to actually cut out whole scenes so the music (that they couldn't get the rights to) isn't in the scene. That, fans, is barbaric.
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall aren't the only "classic" TV stars slated to pop up on TV Land this coming season: both Loni Anderson (WKRP in Cincinnati) and Harry Anderson (Night Court) are the first to sign on for a new series called Back to the Grind, which is not a revamped version of the MTV dance show The Grind, but rather a reality series in which actors and actresses will actually perform the jobs their characters had on their respective shows.
Seeing Harry Anderson as a judge and Loni Anderson doing whatever it is she did on WKRP could be entertaining, but I also want to see Wayne Rogers remove shrapnel from a young South Korean boy, and I want to see Melissa Sue Anderson stricken with blindness in order to reprise her role as Mary Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie. If we're going to make a show like this, people, let's not mess around.
The series premieres on October 10.
Whirlpool (yes, they bought Maytag last year) is looking for the next Maytag Repairman, the guy in the blue uniform who never has anything to do because Maytag appliances work so well.
200 guys showed up for a casting call yesterday, including a guy who talked to appliances like it was a wife, a guy with dreadlocks, and yet another guy who sang. They're holding auditions in other cities, and also accepting them by mail (though you better hurry, they're picking the new spokesman in March).
I haven't seen a TV commercial featuring the Maytag Repairman in quite some time, though I'm sure they still run. The current guy is Hardy Rawls, who took over for Gordon Jump (WKRP in Cincinnati), who took over for Jesse White.
As John McEnroe would say, "You cannot be serious." I could understand the holdup with something like the WKRP DVD set because of music clearance issues. When Johnny and Venus were spinning records, nobody had dreamed of what the home video market would become. But given the fact that ABC has been putting a whole mess of their shows, including Day Break, online, how were these issues unforeseen? That's like your car breaking down because of unforeseen cars burn gas issues.
I have no idea what ABC is doing at this point. If the best they have to offer instead of Day Break is repeats of According to Jim and George Lopez, what's the point? The slight gain in ratings still landed them in fourth place, and isn't worth the ill will they are garnering from viewers.
We talked about this recently, how some TV show DVDs are being held up because of how expensive it is to get rights to the songs used in the shows. This Hollywood Reporter article (via Yahoo News) talks about the problem in depth.
The best example of this is that delay in the WKRP In Cincinnati DVDs. They used a lot of rock songs on the show, and I still remember, when the show went into syndication, they replaced the music with horrible generic music in all the scenes, pretty much destroying the mood of the episodes. And if you're familiar with the music they used in WKRP (or Ed or other shows), then it really stands out. Fans were ticked that the second season DVDs of Quantum Leap were changed. Some people think that WKRP will never be released on DVD.
What do you think? Would you rather see your favorite show released on DVD, even if they have to change the music around, or would you rather see it never released on DVD than have the music changed?
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