: "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 -
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 -
It may be the most notorious Thanksgiving promotion of all time. It is the 40th best television episode of all time. It's available in (semi-)entirety on HULU
. And the classic TV blog offers an oral history
. Happy thanksgiving, and, as God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.
posted by Bunny Ultramod
on Nov 21, 2012 -
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]
posted by zarq
on Dec 25, 2011 -
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 -
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 -
Fred and Ethel resurrected as corporate shills
"Through the magic of Hollywood, famously tightfisted Fred (William Frawley) and his irascible wife, Ethel (Vivian Vance), are brought back to life in a series of entertaining vignettes," California-based PacifiCare said in a release about its new television advertising campaign.
Using body doubles, voice impersonators and computer-generated imagery, the national TV ads that will premiere in mid October will enable the two long-dead actors to "speak" once more. And, oddly enough, they'll be talking about PacifiCare's new drug plan.
posted by Artifice_Eternity
on Oct 10, 2005 -
What it was like to be in the studio audience of The Dick Van Dyke Show
. Nice essay from Mark Evanier.
posted by braun_richard
on Aug 5, 2004 -
"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 -