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Fawlty Towers without the Fawltys

John Cleese: "I remember at a party I met these chaps from Viacom, who said they were working on a new Fawlty Towers. My ears pricked up at the sound of cash registers and said, 'That's wonderful, are you going to change anything?'. They said, 'Well we have changed one thing, we've written Basil out'. And that's absolutely true, they took Basil and Sybil's lines and gave them all to Bea Arthur." The resulting effort was a 1983 ABC series called Amanda’s By the Sea which could charitably be described as a fiasco. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 24, 2014 - 68 comments

Would you believe...

What do you need to be an international CONTROL super spy fighting the forces of KAOS? A Shoe-Phone. A Cone of Silence. A Bulletproof Invisible Wall and a Laser Blazer. Then, and only then, can you Get Smart. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 16, 2013 - 52 comments

A Very Spooky Episode

Grantland's YouTube Hall Of Fame: The Halloween Episodes
posted by The Whelk on Oct 30, 2013 - 13 comments

Small-Town Maiden Aunt Chic

People who are dressed like Jackie from Roseanne.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 14, 2013 - 98 comments

So good they cancelled it.

Somewhere between Buggin' Out and Gus Fring, Metafilter favorite Giancarlo Esposito starred as Paul Gigante, a city cop transplanted by family circumstances into a dysfunctional small town police department and frustrating partnership with the imbecillic Wade Preston, in Bakersfield P.D., a short-lived comedy gem from Fox Network. Partially available for your viewing pleasure in grainy video on a YouTube playlist, with German subtitles and no laugh track. [more inside]
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth on Feb 15, 2013 - 12 comments

Now all they need is a replica of "The Wire"

"Almost a decade since the end of the hit American TV series Friends, the show — and, in particular, the fictitious Central Perk cafe, where much of the action took place — is enjoying an afterlife in China's capital, Beijing. Here, the show that chronicled the exploits of New York City pals Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey is almost seen as a lifestyle guide."
posted by vidur on Jan 23, 2013 - 37 comments

"Jake from Two and a Half Men means nothing. He is a non-existent character."

Angus Jones, better known as Jake on the show Two and a Half Men, has joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The young star has released a pair of videos urging people to stop watching the show.
posted by reenum on Nov 26, 2012 - 182 comments

♪ Where Everybody Knows Your Name! ♪

"Everybody Knows Their Names: The GQ Oral History of Cheers." (Single page version.) On the thirtieth anniversary of the premiere of Cheers, GQ "sat down with just about everyone who made it." Also, Christopher Lloyd, Amy Poehler and Shawn Ryan talk about what they learned from the show. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 27, 2012 - 145 comments

To a deluxe apartment, in the sky...

Sherman Alexander Hemsley died today at the age of 74. Perphaps best known for his role as George Jefferson on All in the Family and its spin-off, The Jeffersons, Hemsley's career spanned over four decades, including working on stage, in films, and of course, appearing (or starring in) in many TV shows.
posted by KillaSeal on Jul 24, 2012 - 71 comments

White girls are broke like *this*...

I walk up to "2 Broke Girls" co-creator Michael Patrick King, offer my hand and say, "Mr. King, I'm sorry things got so ugly there, but I wanted to say that it came from a place where a lot of us in the room like the parts of your show involving Kat and Beth, and want the rest of the show to live up to that." King, stone-faced, silently turns and walks off the stage.
posted by no regrets, coyote on Jan 11, 2012 - 118 comments

Britta'd it

NBC's Community is being put on hiatus. Twitter is pissed. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Nov 14, 2011 - 376 comments

Is the 2011-2012 Sitcom Schedule the Worst in a Decade?

Splitsider asks "Is the 2011-2012 Sitcom Schedule the Worst in a Decade?"
posted by reenum on Nov 10, 2011 - 163 comments

at 18:43: "...which kind of explains why there's never been a funny show about lawyers"

In 1979, the producers of "Taxi" were hot, and got carte blanche to make another sitcom for ABC. So they adapted John Jay Osborn's novel "The Associates"*, his follow-up to "The Paper Chase" (which, as a TV series, had just been cancelled by CBS) about young lawyers at a prestigious New York firm. It starred a very young Martin Short as a very young (and surprisingly normal) Junior Associate, Wilfred Hyde-White as a very old Senior Partner and some other folks you may or may not recognize. It bombed. But the next-to-last episode to be aired before the plug was pulled was something you would never expect any broadcast network in 1980 (or maybe even now) to show, in which young lawyer Short represented a network against a rebellious producer, titled "The Censors". And yes, that is John Ritter as a Hollywood actor in character.
Bonus content: "The Associates" pilot episode in two parts. via the world-class blog by Ken Levine of M*A*S*H, Cheers and the Seattle Mariners
* TOTALLY not related to John Grisham's "The Associate"

posted by oneswellfoop on Aug 3, 2011 - 15 comments

Orange you glad you got your Nickelodeon?

Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game. As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert -- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon. Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire. Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat." But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and All That. To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 25, 2011 - 116 comments

You can't have one without the other...

Ever wish you could watch the pilot episode of Married... with Children with different actors portraying the roles of Bud and Kelly? Of course you have. Why wouldn't you? [more inside]
posted by item on Jun 10, 2011 - 25 comments

One-Man Show

Louis C.K. has what most artists dream of: total creative control over his show.
posted by reenum on May 16, 2011 - 45 comments

Mallory shops, therefore she is.

Mallory's Clothes. As per the Tumblr description, a comprehensive rundown, in chronological order, of Mallory Keaton's outfits from the series Family Ties (1982-1989). Found by Matthew Perpetua (behind the Fluxblog mp3 blog), then also discovered by Justine Bateman herself.
posted by myopicman on Sep 25, 2010 - 34 comments

Why is it, if there's such a shortage of oil, it keeps appearing on my trouser bottom?

Britain's longest running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine came to an end on Sunday, gathering 5.4 million viewers rather than the 20 million of its heyday. Filmed in Holmfirth, Yorkshire it followed the exploits of playful, cantankerous retirees for 37 years. Though the last bathtub has rolled, Britons can watch the final episode on Iplayer. Location map, some quotes, scriptwriter Roy Clarke interview. We won't see its like again, but you can hear Ronnie Hazlehurst's theme tune set to words for Compo's funeral.
posted by TheophileEscargot on Aug 31, 2010 - 22 comments

Life With Betty

Most people don't realize that Betty White was awesome nearly 60 years ago. In 1952, she was already TV's first female talk show host, and she became the first woman on TV to star AND co-produce her own sitcom (without being married to one of the other producers), "Life With Elizabeth", and the show is (IMO) a Lost Classic. (less lost now, with the help of YouTube; MLYT follows...) [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on May 8, 2010 - 24 comments

"A new comedy series that's halal-arious"

Little Mosque on the Prairie is a new Canadian sitcom that premiers January 9th at 8:30 PM EST on the CBC. To promote the series, 135 kilograms of shawarma was served up (embedded Flash video) Thursday on a downtown Toronto street, with a flock of camels on hand to spread the halal-arity. Considerable buzz is being generated, with American talking heads discussing the effect this show may have, and why it would never have been created in the US. Says series creator Zarqa Nawaz: "North America should be the first place where a comedy like this would come about, where Muslims can be comfortable in their own skin."
posted by good in a vacuum on Jan 6, 2007 - 69 comments

From the Critically Acclaimed Fans of Scrubs and Arrested Development

Make an independent sitcom? These guys did. On a shoestring budget, a collection of very funny folk have created a 22-minute-long pilot episode of Break a Leg. Heavily influenced by Arrested Development, I found it funnier than most sitcoms I see on TV. The next episode is apparently a few months away.
posted by Wataki on Dec 1, 2006 - 35 comments

Really married to the Kellys

The Real Story of the Kelly Family. Two sisters of the Kelly family depicted in the ABC show, "Married to the Kellys", comment on the show, and how it compares to the real family. Sorta cute and interesting to see how art imitates life and life imitates the art imitating life.
posted by riffola on Jan 23, 2004 - 3 comments

Sims on Fox?

"It could be a sitcom or something completely different" What is it? A new show on Fox, based on the Sims video game by EA's Maxis studio. Will Wright, the creator of the Sim line of games, has signed on to help create the show, which is being described as "blending puppetry with animation" and "set in feudal Japan but dealing with modern-day suburban situations". If that's not "orignial", then I don't what is.
posted by Hackworth on Jun 3, 2003 - 7 comments

Am I the only one who notices that Scrubs is the best new show on television?

Am I the only one who notices that Scrubs is the best new show on television? Great writing and a great cast make me wonder who is Watching Ellie and putting the Seinfeld Curse at 3 for 3 with 2 RBI's and a double. If you haven't seen Scrubs, check it out. If you have, tell other people to watch it. Don't let quality television go off the air because of a bad time slot! (Tue. at 9:30 Est on NBC)
posted by McBain on Mar 8, 2002 - 41 comments

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