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Sunnier Than Sonny And Cher!

What is Pink Lady? In Japan they are remembered for a string of pop hits in the 70s, but Americans might remember them either from their disco single "Kiss In The Dark" or from an attempt to sell them to the US market in 1980 via a short-lived NBC variety show Pink Lady & Jeff (TVParty summary) with comedian Jeff Altman. (Opening). The show featured their Japanese hits, UFO, MONSTER (a bit more rock and roll), and SOS along with US hits like Boogie Wonderland, McArthur Park and the occasional guest star. (with encore) Also, Roy Orbison. Sadly, the show failed to break out and the two returned to Japan for a series of farewell concerts and retrospectives. Much, much more available at this charmingly retro, utterly exhaustive fan site devoted to them. Or just read the recaps. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Dec 11, 2011 - 33 comments

If it's out there, it's in here.

Ding! Furniture stripping. Rock drills. Herbs. Die casting. Dumbwaiters. Conductive shoes. Vanity cases. Civil engineers. If it's out there, it's in here. [MLYT] [more inside]
posted by Orinda on Dec 11, 2011 - 4 comments

The S-T period to the I-D-E to the S!

In 1991, Ice Cube was a force of nature. The idea that he could someday star in Are We There Yet? was inconceivable. Still, commercialism wasn't foreign to him. He shilled St. Ides malt liquor as furiously as he called out the police.
St. Ides, manufactured by Pabst Brewing Company, targeted young black people. They built an advertising strategy around rappers and hired DJ Pooh to produce beats and commercials. Rappers responded with zeal. [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Dec 2, 2011 - 83 comments

Yesterday's Tomorrow Today!

The BBC broadcasted the science and technology showcase show Tomorrow's World (titles on piano) on 7 July 1965 on BBC1, it ran for 38 years until it was cancelled at the beginning of 2003. Unlike the boosterism of US science programs, Tomorrow's World was more famous for it's live stunts and wry outlook ( James Burke experiences the "convenient" office of the future and the future of home gardening and crushing ennui). The BBC has an archive of episodes and clips for UK visitors, everyone else will have to be content with clips concerning Home Computers, New Banking, Nellie The School Computer, The Elliot Light Pen, Mobile Phones, and Moog Synthesizers.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 26, 2011 - 17 comments

The Master Game

The Master Game was a BBC production of televised chess tournaments that ran for seven series on BBC2 from 1976 to 1982. [more inside]
posted by night_train on Nov 26, 2011 - 7 comments

How is this malarkey supposed to stop the war effort?

The creators of Italian Spiderman were hired by Australia's multicultural TV network, SBS, to produce Danger 5: "Set in a bizarre, 1960s inspired version of World War II, action comedy series DANGER 5 follows a team of five spies on a mission to kill Adolf Hitler." The six-part TV series will air in February 2012, but the trailer and the first instalment of a promotional web-series are now playing.
posted by robcorr on Nov 24, 2011 - 30 comments

No Alibi

?uestlove is grounded. As the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Roots are known for providing guests of the show with impressive, personalized entrances. Last night, however, in an ill advised attempt at snark that has left some feelings hurt Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann entered the stage to the song "Lyin’ Ass Bitch” by Fishbone. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Nov 22, 2011 - 230 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

Have you seen this Gordon?

In 1969, Sesame Street put together an unaired pilot to test in front of children. The pilot contained the appearance of an actor playing Gordon different from the other three actors who subsequently played that character. Sesame Workshop has no idea who this actor was and has exhausted all leads. Do you know who the mystery Gordon is?
posted by mightygodking on Nov 10, 2011 - 91 comments

The spiritual successor to 24 is a much calmer affair.

At first glance, the new inside-the-CIA Showtime series Homeland looks like a cynical socio-political potboiler -- an attempt to exploit fears of a terrorist attack on American soil by Muslim extremists. In reality, the critically acclaimed show, about an anti-terrorism agent (Claire Danes) tracking a U.S. Marine war hero (Damian Lewis) who may now be working for what's left of Al Qaeda, is thoughtful and emotionally complex despite its airplane-thriller trappings. That's why showrunners Howard Gordon and his buddy Alex Gansa gave an interview to Mother Jones, a self-described "news organization that specializes in investigative, political, and social justice reporting." Reflecting on lessons they learned in the trenches of 24, they talk about Homeland's self-aware approach to paranoia as entertainment, and how "dangerous and politically incendiary" a TV show can be .
posted by Joey Bagels on Nov 8, 2011 - 67 comments

Tales of the Dark Knight

The 10 Best Episodes of 'Batman: The Animated Series'
posted by Artw on Nov 3, 2011 - 97 comments

Televisual journalists report forthcoming same-sex nuptuals on Conan

Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late-night television
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 3, 2011 - 173 comments

Gimme the phone

Global British Columbia Sports Anchor Barry Deley wins lotto home draw, live on his own TV channel. But it turns out he's got an even more personal connection to the lottery.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 3, 2011 - 78 comments

Jews, People with Mustaches, and Divorced People

America in Primetime is a four-part PBS special on four character archetypes that define contemporary television and interviews tons of writers, producers and actors from a set of defining shows. The first episode, Independent Women (which you can stream from their website) aired last night, gaining measured reviews from Bitch and the AV Club. Future episodes: Man of the House, The Misfit and The Crusader.
posted by Apropos of Something on Oct 31, 2011 - 22 comments

I vant to track your bleh

At no point in Bela Lugosi's iconic role in the 1931 film Dracula does he make the sound "Bleh!" So why is "Bleh!" so deeply associated with Dracula in popular culture? Followup with more examples.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Oct 31, 2011 - 50 comments

New! And Improved! Buy Now! Half off! Limited time offer! Fortified with 11 vitamins and minerals!

Melt your brain into goo on an overdose of crass 80s consumerism and TV without the TV shows at 80sCommercialVault. Superbowl 19 commercials. Commercials from Jaws. Saturday morning commercials. Daytime / evening commercials. [more inside]
posted by loquacious on Oct 30, 2011 - 11 comments

Internet killed the television star

YouTube (Google) is spending $100 million dollars to create 25hrs a day of new original content. Intending to compete with cable TV, they'll have 100 "channels" with regular series and well-known talent. The channels are being developed "specifically for the digital age," which sounds like they're trying to create a new type of media, they compare it to the advent of cable television. There's a graveyard of ideas like this that failed, but maybe YouTube is different this time. First channels show up in a few weeks, most appear in 2012.
posted by stbalbach on Oct 29, 2011 - 51 comments

The Closest Thing We Have To A 99 Percent Movement Comedy

Alyssa Rosenberg of Think Progress on why CBS's new show 2 Broke Girls is the closest thing we have to a 99% Movement Comedy.
posted by reenum on Oct 25, 2011 - 69 comments

It took braaaaaaains.

Why George Romero rejected The Walking Dead to make The Zombie Autopsies
posted by Artw on Oct 20, 2011 - 31 comments

This Year’s Hot TV Trend Is Anatomically Correct

There has been a noticeable uptick in the use of the word "vagina" in network TV shows, reports the NY Times.
posted by reenum on Oct 19, 2011 - 131 comments

I DEMAND TO BE HOUSEWARMED!

Dan Harmon shares pics of the notes and diagrams from the writers' room for this week's highly praised Community episode, "Remedial Chaos Theory."
posted by Navelgazer on Oct 16, 2011 - 110 comments

"Big Bang" in Belarus

Watched every episode of the "Big Bang Theory" and still want more? There's always Belarus's unauthorized copy of the show, titled "The Theorists".
posted by reenum on Oct 13, 2011 - 94 comments

The 60 Coolest Television Title Sequences

The 60 Coolest Television Title Sequences in three pages of links.
posted by gauche on Oct 13, 2011 - 140 comments

Sympathy for Gus

Sympathy for Gus: Giancarlo Esposito talks 'Breaking Bad' (Here be spoilers). [more inside]
posted by Horselover Phattie on Oct 10, 2011 - 149 comments

A Twonky is something that you do not know what it is.

One of the more terrifying monsters to haunt the human imagination: The Twonky (yt). [more inside]
posted by kuujjuarapik on Oct 8, 2011 - 19 comments

Can't Beat A Bit Of Bully

Bullseye Contestants (I don't think they've got to the murderer yet) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 8, 2011 - 17 comments

Syd Dale, Legend of Library

There is no questioning Syd Dale's [mid-60s UK NSFW] place amongst the legends of library music. ... his lavish big band inspired compositions were quickly brought to the public's attention through their use in countless t.v. shows and advertisements. Much of his work could be as classed as easy listening however Dale was also adept at incorporating elements of funk and spy jazz.* [The music of the 1967 Spider-Man animated TV series - to which he so memorably contributed - has been discussed previously.] [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 8, 2011 - 10 comments

Box o' Yuks

Metafilter has debated the necessity of the laugh track before; we even got called out by Craig Ferguson for allegedly mistaking a live studio audience for canned laughter. But do you know the history of the laugh track? (previously) [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Sep 28, 2011 - 115 comments

The Benny Hill Show

Thanks to his work in television, especially The Benny Hill Show, Benny Hill is the most universally recognised of British comedians. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 27, 2011 - 68 comments

Documentary mistakes videogame footage for genuine terrorist footage

Last night, British ITV broadcasted "Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA", a documentary which included this 1988 Provisional IRA footage the filmmakers found on YouTube. Unfortunately, the footage is actually and blatently from videogame ArmA 2. ITV has stopped streaming the documentary.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 27, 2011 - 25 comments

Dallas-Fort Worth Kids' TV Legend Passes

So long Mr. Peppermint Generations of North Texas men and women remember Mr. Peppermint for his three decades of entertaining children. He passed away today. (Entertainment runs in his family).
posted by punkfloyd on Sep 26, 2011 - 28 comments

Lost: Wired's Guide to Pop Culture's Buried Treasure

Wired takes a look at some pop culture legends that elude fans and collectors.
posted by reenum on Sep 23, 2011 - 67 comments

Public Access Poetry

In 1977-1978, a public access TV show called Public Access Poetry featured leading poets from across the country (Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, Eileen Myles, John Yau, Brad Gooch, just to name a few). [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Sep 23, 2011 - 5 comments

Louie Season 2

One of the most radically original TV shows in recent memory is Louie. It's written, directed, edited, and produced by comedian Louis C.K., who stars as a (thinly) fictionalized version of himself. The A.V. Club recently sat down with Louis C.K. to talk through the show's second season, episode by episode. He sheds light on many aspects of the show, including the much-discussed Dane Cook episode. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. (Louis C.K. previously: 1 2 3 4)
posted by naju on Sep 22, 2011 - 85 comments

"An epidural is a proper Christian woman's only chance to get wrecked."

"I think Christians have gotten a bad name because of Christians. Like, I don’t blame other people for the rap that Christians have." Yvette Nicole Brown, who plays Shirley on Community, talks faith, fandom, and show business with the A.V. Club.
posted by psoas on Sep 22, 2011 - 62 comments

The African Hulu

Reel African is a new video-streaming site showing licensed African productions, films, series and documentaries, including The XYZ Show, the African Spitting Image. Also some MTV. Free to watch, with adverts inserted in the content. Promo trailer. Variety write-up. Via.
posted by criticalbill on Sep 19, 2011 - 11 comments

Alligator Boots

Alligator Boots Behind the scenes of the never-aired 'hip-hop puppet show.' From Kanye West and the producers of Crank Yankers. (Via the AV Club.)
posted by box on Sep 15, 2011 - 14 comments

Adventures in vertical hold

The TV show. Part 1, Part 2 (both SLYT's)
posted by obscurator on Sep 9, 2011 - 14 comments

"Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders" (1979)

Your NFL team probably has cheerleaders. But this team's cheerleaders had a movie made about them. And because they're from a place where they like to do things big, when that movie was broadcast, it was viewed on 60% of the televisions in use at the time. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 8, 2011 - 78 comments

The Jon Brion Show

Live from 1999, it's the unaired pilot for The Jon Brion Show! With special guests Paul F. Tompkins, Grant-Lee Phillips, Mark Oliver "E" Everett, Greg Behrendt, Elliot Smith, Rickie Lee Jones, Robyn Hitchcock, Cheap Trick, and Mary Lynn Rajskub. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Sep 6, 2011 - 13 comments

The Gospel of You

O Sister, What Art Thou - Kathryn Lofton on the Religion of Oprah.
posted by joannemullen on Aug 30, 2011 - 21 comments

It's gifs! On a TV!

gif.tv is just what you might expect. It made me giggle a bit. [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Aug 29, 2011 - 41 comments

What if you could watch every channel on 9/11?

See history roll over the world. Today, the Internet Archive has released to the world an archive of all news programs on nearly every major television channel from 9/11/2001 to 9/16/2001. This exhibit, called Understanding 9/11: A Television News Archive provides a grid navigation system of these many hours of footage from dozens of worldwide news programs and gives us a comprehensive overview of television's reaction to 9/11, on 9/11.
posted by jscott on Aug 24, 2011 - 63 comments

See, the king? He stay the king.

The Wire as Toy Story. The Wire as The Lion King. The Wire as Harry Potter. The Wire as a bunch of movie posters. The Wire as Trailer Park Boys (previously). The Wire as a British appliance store.
posted by Apropos of Something on Aug 21, 2011 - 11 comments

"Dana is playing Bill Clinton literally breastfeeding puppies—that was our introduction to America."

GQ: Teats Out: An Oral History of the Rise and Fall (and Rise) of "The Dana Carvey Show." "Steve Carell. Stephen Colbert. Louis C.K. Charlie Kaufman. Robert Smigel. Some of comedy's greatest minds got one of their biggest breaks on the short-lived but much-loved "The Dana Carvey Show." Fifteen years later, in this exclusive oral history, the players recount the brief but fertile life of a truly unusual show", all eight episodes of which are available on Hulu. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 9, 2011 - 33 comments

Drugs Are Like That

Anita Bryant wants to tell your kids about drugs using LEGOs
posted by The Whelk on Aug 5, 2011 - 59 comments

A St. Bernard and a year's supply of whisky

"Little slices of glamour beamed directly into your home in half-hour chunks; a perky theme, flashy titles, charismatic host, inventive format, gags, quiz, games, raucous outro – the works! Incredibly plain people given a quick glimpse of the good life, to which the tanned, funny man in the nice suit held the door." The joys of the 1980s game show. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Aug 4, 2011 - 4 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

Food Network Humor

Food Network Humor (previously)
posted by Trurl on Aug 3, 2011 - 61 comments

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