The long running English sitcom Only Fools And Horses is going to be remade in the US…. The Guardians showbiz spies reveal the subtle tinkerings that have been made to the original formula. The funniest thing ever on television. Allegedly. (This is funnier)
""If technology is a drug--and it does feel like a drug--then what, precisely, are the side-effects?" "Charlie Brooker (previously), the writer of E4's Dead Set, returns with a suspenseful, satirical three-part mini-series that taps into collective unease about our modern world" - Black Mirror [more inside]
In 1993, in the era of television reinvention following the earthquake of Twin Peaks, ABC aired a 6-hour miniseries executive produced by Oliver Stone and Bruce Wagner -- Wild Palms. Featuring a monster cast (James Belushi, Dana Delaney, Robert Loggia, Angie Dickenson, Kim Cattrall, Ernie Hudson, Nick Mancuso, Bebe Neuwirth and Brad Dourif, just to name a few) and with episodes directed by the likes of Kathryn Bigelow and Phil Joanou, it was a near-future cyberpunkish surreal Television Event that the New York Times described as "nothing so much as an acid freak's fantasy, drenched in paranoia and more pop-culture allusions than a Dennis Miller monologue." [more inside]
Kitchen Nightmares shows Gordon Ramsay helping restaurants make miraculous turnarounds. Ramsay helped relaunch Austin, Texas's El Greco, but the restaurant still ended up closing. Some people are saying that Ramsay's interference may have been the final nail in the coffin for the restaurant.
The company that creates digital effects for Boardwalk Empire has put together the before and after shots from Season Two.
Day at Night was an interview series on the public television station of the City University of New York that aired from 1973-4. CUNY TV is in the process of digitizing and uploading the 130 episodes that were produced, with 46 done so far. The episodes are just under half an hour in length. Among the people interviewed by host James Day are author Ray Bradbury, actress Myrna Loy, medical researcher Jonas Salk, singer Cab Calloway, writer Christopher Isherwood, nuclear scientist Edward Teller, comedian Victor Borge, tennis player Billie Jean King, linguist and activist Noam Chomsky, composer Aaron Copland, actor Vincent Price and boxer Muhammad Ali.
It's the BDO world championship final and the Guardian has The Joy of Six: darts the six best moments in darts history* which has a great anecdote about the Indoor League, a near legendary television programme. [more inside]
The Internet often discusses shows that died before their time. Splitsider looked at "10 Promising TV Series That Weren't Picked Up". Television Without Pity also has its "Brilliant But Cancelled" blog, taken over from the original site. [more inside]
In the UK, people pay a yearly licence fee to watch live television, with revenues funding the BBC. TV Licensing is the group that collects fees, and they use a number of methods — some real, some imaginary, some in between — to gain compliance. But one Briton remains determined not to play that game.
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.
This is a story of a young man named Chotu Lohar* from a small nondescript village in one of the poorest states of India. He dropped out of school to work in the iron mines. Music on a radio was the only entertainment available in his house but last year he came to national notice on a reality show called Dance India Dance - where although his untutored enthusiasm and energy captured attention - he was unable to make the cut. His passion, on the other hand, caught the interest** of the show's producers who took him under their wing and a year later, he's just made the shortlist for this year's show. [more inside]
As fans of the television show Community wait through a Whitney induced hiatus of indeterminate length, they might be wondering what the cast and crew has been up to. At least one of those things was squaring off for a game of Trivial Pursuit hosted by Dan Harmon.
"For the show’s editor, the genre is a new Russian art form, celebrating real-life proletarian characters."
Mother of all TV shows: [Financial Times] Russia’s latest hit, ‘Mother in Law’, makes ‘Big Brother’ look like ‘Sesame Street’.
The Powers That Be was a short-lived, irreverent sitcom about a dim US Senator (John Forsythe, in his last major starring role on television) and his dysfunctional family, that aired on NBC between 1992 and 1993. Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, who would go on to create Friends, the show co-starred David Hyde Pierce (pre-Frasier) as the Senator's suicidal son-in-law. [more inside]
In honor of Christmas, Splitsider's Mike Drucker runs down twenty Christmas TV episodes, new and old. It all starts with The Dick Van Dyke Show... [more inside]
Downton Abbey has become one of the UK's most popular drama series of recent years and will take pride of place in ITV's schedule with a special episode(video) on Christmas Day that is said to be so good as to be potentially 'vomit inducing'. [more inside]
"Bob Shuter, suburban vigilante. Driven by rage to wage a one-man war on the underworld of Kent, Bob Shuter is... The Reprisalizer."
"You're going nowhere, son. Just you, me ad the walls. So wipe that bloody grin off before it's shot off, and don't slouch. You toe rag. You bin. Pay attention when I break you. And break you I will, boy. You're in my manor, now." Buck up! It's Terry Finch's THE REPRISALIZER! Follow Bob Shuter, whose mission of reprisal against his brother's killers, their families, associates, progeny and property takes him across the desolate wasteland of 70s Britain, primarily Kent AKA FINCHLAND. Finch, writer of The Reprisalizer and DRAW!, the cowboy whose name means death, is soon to be the subject of a major motion picture from Matthew Holness, creator of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.
What Reality TV Does To Girls - referencing Jennifer Pozner's book and a new Girl Scout Research Institute national survey, this piece discusses "how did we get here?" and "how does this affect the viewer?" Jennifer Pozner talks about her work in Maclean's in much more depth.
"While most other notable British Science Fiction shows were over-ambitious in their special effects, with results ranging from the troubling (Doctor Who) to the disastrous (The Tomorrow People), Sapphire & Steel [ATV, 1979 - 1982] simply did not try to do anything the budget wouldn't allow. The result called for milking surreal horror for all it's worth, creating a show that is, while definitely not for everyone, quite capable of reducing so-inclined viewers to quivering little heaps behind the sofa."
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]
In 2007, an Israeli cable station produced a show that parodied kid's educational tv with over-the-top racism, sexism, you-name-it-ism--kind of what South Park would be like if it were less restrained and tasteful. Toffee and the Gorilla was, apparently, unsuccessful and short-lived. YOUTUBE. NSFW. NSFHome either. Here's a non-youtube article about the show. [more inside]
Republicans vs. Democrats TV survey results: Lefties want comedy, right wingers like work. EW commissions a survey of conservative and liberal television preferences. "In the findings, “sarcastic” media-savvy comedies and morally murky antiheroes tend to draw Dems. While serious work-centered shows (both reality shows and stylized scripted procedurals), along with reality competitions, tend to draw conservatives."
Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch. Variety reports Harry Potter director David Yates wants to reboot Doctor Who. Topless Robot reacts.
Splitsider asks "Is the 2011-2012 Sitcom Schedule the Worst in a Decade?"
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 .
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.
does anyone remember this kid’s show “I think Candle Cove ran for only a couple months in ’71, not ’72. I was 12 and I watched it a few times with my brother. It was channel 58, whatever station that was. My mom would let me switch to it after the news. Let me see what I remember.”
The Nightmare Man was a four part BBC sf/horror drama about some... thing slaughtering the inhabitants of a remote Scottish island. [more inside]
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]
There has been a noticeable uptick in the use of the word "vagina" in network TV shows, reports the NY Times.
Dan Harmon shares pics of the notes and diagrams from the writers' room for this week's highly praised Community episode, "Remedial Chaos Theory."
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".
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]
It has been nearly a decade since VH1 cancelled "Pop Up Video," but at noon ET today the show returns with 60 new episodes. Their first video: Britney Spears' Til the World Ends. The program's new incarnation will also allow viewers to DIY their own "pop up" videos and share them on Facebook and Twitter." [more inside]
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]
Science! (autoplaying video) The 42nd season of "Sesame Street," which premiered today, will be including a few new educational categories for preschoolers in its usual mix of lessons and parodies: STEM skills — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In addition to more scientifically accurate slapstick, characters will try experiments, build bridges and boats, launch rockets and think through problems that require trial and error, observation and data -- all problem areas for America's students. [more inside]
Thanks to his work in television, especially The Benny Hill Show, Benny Hill is the most universally recognised of British comedians. [more inside]
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.
"Apparently you can't hack into a government supercomputer and then try to buy uranium without the Department of Homeland Security tattling to your mother."
TV Fact Checkers "Behind every smart TV show, there is a tireless script coordinator, technical adviser, researcher or producer who makes sure the jargon is right, the science is accurate and the pop culture references are on-point." This week, Wired "is speaking with fact-checkers behind the fall TV season’s geekiest shows." [more inside]
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.)
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]
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]
Embarrassment alert: some would say Channel 4 hired the wrong man (Youtube) to host live coverage of the Athletics World Championships. The consensus seems to be that Channel 4 are to blame.