Monday, March 20, 2006

The 4th Annual TV Land Awards Airs Wednesday; Fox Animated Sitcom News; Remembering a NYC TV Legend

Cheers Reunion
The 4th Annual TV Land Awards airs this Wednesday from 9 to 11 p.m. ET/PT on TV Land and Nick@Nite, but they were taped last night at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. It was an unforgettable evening as celebrities from television, music and film bestowed special tribute awards tonight to some of television's most beloved series and stars at the fourth annual TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV. The honored shows included Cheers (Legend Award presented by Mary Tyler Moore), Dallas (Pop Culture Award presented by John Schneider and Tom Wopat), Good Times (Impact Award presented by Quentin Tarantino), Batman (40th Anniversary presented by William Shatner) and Grey's Anatomy (Future Classic Award presented by Jeremy Piven). The TV Land Awards was taped at The Barker Hangar on Sunday, March 19 and will air on TV Land (and simulcast on Nick@Nite) Wednesday, March 22 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET/PT.
This star-studded extravaganza featured some unforgettable moments such as when actor and comedian Billy Crystal presented TV icon Sid Caesar with The Pioneer Award.
Grammy award-winning superstar Diana Ross performing a medley of her famous hits including "Touch Me in the Morning," "The Boss," "Do You Know," and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."
Acclaimed actor Robert Downey Jr. presented two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank with the Big Screen/Little Star award.
Emmy-Award winner and previous TV Land Awards Legend Winner Mary Tyler Moore presented the cast of Cheers - Ted Danson, Shelly Long, Kelsey Grammer, Rhea Perlman and John Ratzenberger with this year's Legend Award.
Grey's Anatomy
creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes accepted this year's Future Classic Award along with the cast including Justin Chambers, Patrick Dempsey, T.R. Knight, James Pickens Jr., Kate Walsh and Chandra Wilson.
A TV show theme song medley showcasing the memorable theme songs from shows such as Cheers, Happy Days, Family Ties, The Muppet Show, Dallas, Donny and Marie and others featured live performances by several beloved musical stars including Johnny Mathis, Deniece Williams, James Ingram, Gary Portnoy, Donny and Marie Osmond and others.
TV's most beloved classic TV stars spoofed one of television's most popular dramas, Grey's Anatomy in a parody starring several classic TV stars -- several of whom appeared in popular medical dramas -- including Bernie Kopell, Chad Everett, Diahann Carroll, Ed Begley, Jr., Loretta Swit, Richard Chamberlain, Jane Seymour as well as Larry Hagman, Maureen McCormick and Jimmy "JJ" Walker.
Famed writer, director and actor Quentin Tarantino presenting the Impact Award to the cast of Good Times. And host Megan Mullally performing a commercial jingle medley.
The evening featured a roster of some of the most recognized talent in the history of television. Monty Hall, Wink Martindale and Peter Marshall presented the Viewer's Choice Award for "Character Most in Need of a Time Out," which resulted in a tie between What's Happening!!'s Danielle Spencer and Alison Arngrim of Little House on the Prairie. John Schneider and Tom Wopat of The Dukes of Hazzard were reunited to present Dallas with the Pop Culture Award. Other stars in attendance included William Shatner (Boston Legal, Star Trek), Don Most and Anson Williams (Happy Days), Christopher Knight (The Brady Bunch) and The Muppet Show stars Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. Among tonight's other winners included: TV'S GREATEST MUSIC MOMENT -- Diana Ross - Concert in Central Park; LITTLE SCREEN/BIG STAR -- Hilary Swank; FAVORITE SINGING SIBLINGS -- Donny and Marie; FAVORITE TV FOOD -- Pork chops and applesauce, Peter Brady, The Brady Bunch.
Don't miss the fun this Wednesday night!

Animated sitcoms The Simpsons and King of the Hill both will be back next season on Fox. The Simpsons has been renewed for two more seasons, meaning seasons 18 and 19 will at least be made. It will be cool to see if the show makes 20 or more seasons. King of the Hill has been renewed for another season, its 11th, starting in January 2007. King of the Hill is now tied with Married...with Children with 11 seasons for second on the all-time Fox list behind The Simpsons. The Simpsons will celebrate its 400th episode in May 2008. There is word that canceled animated sitcom Futurama could be revived next season. It is unclear which network would bring it back, though, but Fox and Comedy Central are probably the frontrunners.
Remembering Bill Beutel
Finally, we leave you tonight with a little tribute to a New York City TV news legend. Yes, he was not a sitcom star, but I just have to pay tribute to him because he has been a household name for me and for many other households. Longtime WABC-7 news anchor Bill Beutel passed away Saturday at the age of 75. Beutel joined the station in 1962. In 1968, he became London bureau chief for ABC News, but he returned to the station in 1970 to co-anchor a then-new format called Eyewitness News. In 1975 he did double duty, working with WABC-7 and ABC. He co-hosted ABC's new morning show A.M. America, the forerunner to Good Morning America. Beutel retired from the Eyewitness news desk in January 2001 but remained with the station doing great special reports. He retired for good in January 2003. His successor, Bill Ritter, remembers his mentor and good friend in a nice piece. You can see and read reactions from many people including the mayor and more here from reporter Jeff Rossen; reporter NJ Burkett did a story today here.
Watch a very well done video tribute to Bill Beutel from WABC narrated by Bill Ritter. And as Bill Beutel would sign-off, "Good luck and be well. Goodnight."

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