Grantland writer Rembert Browne journeys into the "dark heart" of 90s nostalgia via Central Perk
, the museum / tourist trap / coffee dispensary dedicated to the popular television show Friends. The modestly popular show premiered 20 years ago today
, and had a number of memorable moments
which are fondly remembered by its small, but dedicated group of fans. Friends previously
In 2000, Conan O'Brien taped a comedy segment at the NYC offices of Foote, Cone & Belding
. The premise: take a chainsaw-wielding furniture huckster from Texas, and try to turn him into a star using a top-tier ad campaign. In the segment, Conan is introduced to a team of FCB copywriters, who dutifully come up with an appropriately ridiculous TV ad.
The segment went as planned; Just another remote for Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Little did he know where it would lead. Conan and one of the on-camera copywriters took a shine to each other, and stayed in touch. Two years later, Conan O'Brien and Liza Powel were married. Today they live in Hollywood with their two kids.
In a 2012 interview, Conan told CNN's Piers Morgan
: "Somewhere, in the vault at NBC, there's footage of me literally falling for my wife on camera."
Roll the tape.
Tonight at 10/9c! The critically
, criminally-underviewed NBC thriller Hannibal
returns for a second season. There will no doubt be copious live-tweeting
(not least from the showrunner himself
) and much flailing from the intelligent
, and hilarious
fanbase. [more inside]
NBC's critically lauded thriller Hannibal released a season two trailer today
. Author and fandom superstar Cleolinda Jones livetweeted the entire TCA preview event
. (Spoilers for Season One, general screaming and rending of garments)
The AV Club interviews Nicole Michalik
about her experience as a fourth season contestant on NBC's weight-loss reality show The Biggest Loser [more inside]
How do you solicit freelance scripts for a science fiction television series that breaks the mold? You create a comprehensive guide to writing an episode of Star Trek
. [more inside]
If Matt Lauer doesn’t want to be seen with sharp knives, it’s because last summer his co-host Ann Curry was discovered with one in her back. Five million viewers, the majority of them women, would not soon forget how Curry, the intrepid female correspondent and emotionally vivid anchor, spent her last appearance on the Today show couch openly weeping, devastated at having to leave after only a year. The image of Matt Lauer trying to comfort her—and of Curry turning away from his attempted kiss—has become a kind of monument to the real Matt Lauer, forensic evidence of his guilt. What followed was the implosion of the most profitable franchise in network television.
"Revolution" seems a little too much like "Powerless."
Indie television proof-of-concept pilot "Powerless" is "about a trio who are in the woods when an unexplained and unexpected event causes electricity the world over to suddenly disappear." The pilot is submitted to a 2011 television festival where it is seen by studio executives. Then, "come February 2012, NBC picks up [a] mystery high concept pilot and reveals it's called 'Revolution' and the high concept is: An adventure series in a world suddenly and inexplicably without power." [more inside]
Early in 1903, the success
of the New York production of the musical adaptation of L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz
got composer Victor Herbert and librettist Glen MacDonough thinking. They thought that it might be possible to duplicate that success by applying a Christmas theme to Baum's story and then sprinkling in a few Mother Goose characters. Later that year the resulting show, Babes in Toyland
, was a rousing success
. Thirty years later it was made into a movie
starring two of the greatest motion picture actors of the era, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, produced by Hal Roach
. But this post isn't about either of those productions; it's about the worst
production. [more inside]
In the wake of increasingly prominent appearances by South Asians in American television (Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari, Danny Pudi), NBC has launched Outsourced
) (full pilot
on Hulu), a comedy about an American who moves to Mumbai to manage a call center. Featuring a mostly South Asian cast, the show is a potential high-water mark for Indians in popular American media. But is the show's portrayal of Indians progressive, or does it get bogged down in stereotypes and clichéd jokes about spicy food and funny names? Himanshu Suri of art rap trio Das Racist weighs in
. [more inside]
The Personal Photographs of Dr. Vladimir Kosma Zworykin, Television Pioneer.
The screen images are time exposure photographs of the picture on the kinescope in the monitoring rack in the main control room. Some were taken with stationary frames of moving picture film projected upon the iconoscope by a standard moving picture machine. Others are actually the pictures transmitted with the iconoscope camera in the studio and outdoors.
MAD Magaziner Jack Davis' multi-page montage of everything on NBC in the Fall of 1965,
including the Huntley-Brinkley Report
, Johnny Carson
, Dr. Kildare
, Andy Williams
, My Mother The Car
, Please Don't Eat the Daisies
, I Spy
, Dean Martin
, Camp Runamuck
, The Man From UNCLE
, I Dream of Jeannie
and Get Smart
. (missing from the reconstructed pic are the Sunday shows, including Bonanza
and Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color
). via Mark Evanier
NBC is rebooting the classic 70's detective show The Rockford Files
. The Rockford Files
was perhaps the best '70's detective show out there. Jim Rockford, played by James Garner
, had more charm than bank balance, and more than often enough his "friends" were less than helpful. But the "closed criminal cases only" P.I. always got through the hour, and somehow looked cool despite being a less than snappy dresser. Perhaps it was the gold Pontiac Firebird Esprit
he drove around Southern California. Rockford was able to live on the beach in Malibu, even if it was in a trailer home in the parking lot of a restaurant. [more inside]
Without Breasts There Is No Paradise
Ben Silverman's first new series
is a Spanish-language soap opera called Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso
. It's about Catalina, a teenage prostitute
seeking breast implants to win the heart of a cocaine smuggler, whom she hopes will free her from a live of poverty. Can a sweet young thing from a small town find happiness in a fast-paced world of easy money and drug trafficking?
Steve Carell may be hilarious in the office
, but how much would his jackass behavior cost
in real-life? clips
A show about a supertrain that costs an assload of money and has no real direction or over arching story? why the hell not? link clips
iTunes Gets NBC Shows.
And not just this season's: like a page out of Infinite Jest
, iTunes and NBC
are serving up classic NBC programs, including Knight Rider
and Hitchcock Presents
. (note: sorry - first link goes to iTunes Music Store -- no press releases available yet to link to.)
. The King
of Late Night
In 1967 the television program Bonanza
three-year run as the most-watched television show in the United
had not started well; its first two seasons
but kept alive by the bequest of (then) NBC-parent RCA
. RCA had a
vested interest in keeping the color series alive in order to push
of their color
That same year Bill
and Joyce Anderson created The Ponderosa Ranch
attraction near Incline Village, Nevada on the site allegedly shown by
in the opening credits. The property annually attracts
nearly 350,000 tourists
to Lake Tahoe's north shore to enjoy the surroundings
of a period recreation including mock
gunfights, cowboy rope tricks
and an honest 1860's-style saloon.
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)
Hold on, Mr. President - you forgot your makeup!
NBC is showing this special tonight about the "real" West Wing, but of course the President's handlers have manipulated the day so it looks good on tv. But it's not just Bush - theatrics in the same vein of "Look, he's being presidential
" have been going on a long time in Washington. Is it good, bad, or just the nature of the beast? Who's your favorite "The Real World: Pennsylvania Ave."
It was bound to happen.
"The NBC TV network is looking to revive the old fantasy TV series FANTASY ISLAND -- as a reality series."