Monday, June 23, 2008

Many TV Classics Coming to Online Station; Remembering George Carlin and Dody Goodman

The TVS Television Network, the fourth oldest commercial TV network in the USA, has launched NTV Tele.Net, an advertising supported full time streaming video internet channel, short for the Nostalgia Television Network. NTVTele.Net is a streaming video channel that programs classic TV programs and movies 24 hours daily. While all of the classic programming is of a vintage nature, TVS plans an aggressive slate of new programs that capture the historic nature of NTVTele.Net programs.
NTVTele.Net features top classic TV shows from the past 60 years of television including Bonanza, Andy Griffith, Robin Hood, Jim Bowie, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, Dobie Gillis, My Favorite Martian, Sea Hunt, Peter Gunn, Checkmate, Beverly Hillbillies, Ozzie and Harriet, Dick Van Dyke, and many other classics.
TVS is scheduled to roll out 16 more fulltime streaming channels in 2008, most under the legendary TVS banner. TVS began in 1961 telecasting to independent TV stations and has been a premiere occasional network for 47 years.
NTVTele.Net is currently running marathon classic TV programming in its Beta stage, and will convert to a classic schedule of programming in August.

We have lost two more sitcom stars. George Carlin, who was one of the best stand-up comics, and Dody Goodman, more known for her Broadway work.
Comedian George Carlin, a counter-culture hero famed for his routines about drugs and dirty words, died of heart failure at a Los Angeles-area hospital on Sunday at about 6pm PT. Known for his edgy, provocative material, Carlin achieved status as an anti-Establishment icon in the 1970s with stand-up bits full of drug references and a routine about seven dirty words you could not say on television. A regulatory battle over a radio broadcast of his "Filthy Words" routine ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court.
He was a frequent performer and guest host on The Tonight Show during the three-decade Johnny Carson era, and was also the first person to host Saturday Night Live back in 1975...he hosted an episode again in 1984.
George Carlin got his own sitcom in 1994 on Fox called The George Carlin Show. The show only lasted 27 episodes and was about George playing New York City cab driver named George O'Grady.
His other sitcom credits include guest shots on Welcome Back Kotter, That Girl and The Simpsons. Children best know him for his work on Shining Time Station as the conductor, which he spoofed in 2000 on an episode of MADtv. He was also the narrator for many years on the children's series Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends.
His film credits include Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (which he also appeared on the animated TV series), Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Americathon, Prince of Tides, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl, Scary Movie 3 and Cars.
Stand-up comedy was of course what he was best known for. He hosted about 14 HBO comedy specials and is known as one of the best stand-up comics of all-time.
The Kennedy Center just said it will posthumously award the Mark Twain Prize to the late George Carlin at this year's annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. He died a week after being named the 2008 recipient of the Twain Prize. He will be remembered at the Nov. 10 ceremony.
Mr. Carlin will certainly be missed. We are all probably saying the seven dirty words he was known to use today as we heard about his passing. Mr. Carlin was 71.

We have also lost Dody Goodman. Dody Goodman died Sunday (June 22) at Englewood (N.J.) Hospital and Medical Center. The actress had been ill for some time and had lived in the Actors Fund Home in Englewood since October. Goodman gained a measure of newspaper column space for her dancing solos in such '40s Broadway musicals as High Button Shoes and Wonderful Town. In 1955, she stopped the show in Off Broadway's Shoestring Revue with the novelty song "Someone's Been Sending Me Flowers."
She came to the attention of nighttime talkshow host Jack Paar, who after becoming enchanted by Goodman's ditzy persona and seemingly spontaneous malaprops, invited the lady to become a semi-regular on The Tonight Show. As Goodman's fame grew, she became difficult to handle on the show, and Paar was not happy with her upstaging habits. So she left show and appeared on other talk shows such as The Merv Griffin Show. She returned to Broadway in 1974 to appear in Lorelei with Carol Channing.
Then in 1975 she played Louise Lasser's mother on the comedy-soap Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Her high-pitched voice could be also heard announcing the show's title at the beginning of each episode. She appeared on the spin-off Forever Fernwood as well. She was also famous in the '80s for her recurring role as Aunt Sophia on the '80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. Goodman also provided the voice of Miss Miller on the animated series Alvin & the Chipmunks and various specials and movies such as The Chipmunk Adventure. She also had a role in the '80s daytime soap Texas. Her other TV credits include her first role as a waitress on The Phil Silvers Show, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Mary Tyler Moore Hour, CHiPs, Just Our Luck, St. Elsewhere, Punky Brewster, One Life to Live, Crazy Like a Fox, Bustin' Loose, Murder She Wrote, Here and Now, and Boston Common. She also appeared in the TV movie I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later. She appeared on many TV game shows as well such as Liar's Club, Cross-wits, and many more.
She appeared in such popular films as Grease, Grease 2, playing Blanche (the principal's assistant), and in the movie Splash and Splash, Too. Both movie franchises are very memorable and she was a big part of them.
She will certainly be missed by Broadway fans, TV fans, and movie fans as she had big roles in each. Dody lived a long life and was 93.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

ABC Family July 2008: That '70s Show and Nanny 911 Join; WPIX Announces 60th Anniversary Bash

ABC Family Channel has announced its July 2008 schedule and it will see the launch of sitcom That '70s Show and reality series Nanny 911. That '70s Show will launch on Friday, July 4 with a 4th of July marathon from 11am-7:30pm, leading into a Harry Potter weekend marathon. The sitcom will then air weekdays starting Monday, July 7 from 7pm-8pm, replacing Grounded for Life. The sitcom will also air on a Friday primetime block from 8-10pm and 12-1am starting July 11. Grounded for Life will air Fridays 10-11pm starting then, too. Grounded for Life will also continue to air weekdays 10-11am, but the 11am Saturday airing will be That '70s Show starting July 12. So this means That '70s Show will be on three cable networks after it joins ABC Family. It will air in primetime on The N starting later this month (9-10pm and 12-1am weeknights) and will continue to air on FX in the daytime and late nights. Is there no time restrictions for this show on these channels? Seems odd since other shows with shared cable deals can only air at certain times. Anyway, Thursday nights in primetime starting July 17, ABC Family will air the canceled Fox reality series Nanny 911 from 8-11pm every Thursday.
New original series The Secret Life of the American Teenager will premiere July 1 and air Tuesdays at 8PM and new episodes continue of original series The Middleman Mondays at 8PM. ABC Family also has an original movie called Picture This! on Sunday, July 13 starring Ashley Tisdale and Kevin Pollack.
For more on ABC Family July 2008, I urge you to click HERE.

A few weeks ago we announced WPIX is doing a 60th anniversary marathon and special on Saturday, June 14. Now today they made the official announcement.
The year was 1948, the price of a stamp was 3 cents, a subway ride 10 cents, and a gallon of gas a whopping 16 cents when WPIX hit the air on June 15 as New York City's first independent television station.
For 60 years, the award-winning WPIX-TV has been New York's home for groundbreaking television, and to celebrate, WPIX will air WPIX at 60 Birthday Bash, a special marathon of classic programming on Saturday, June 14 (from 12 noon to 9pm) followed by a one hour retrospective hosted by News Anchors Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong. Beginning at noon, the PIX at 60 Birthday Bash will feature 9 hours of vintage programs: The Little Rascals, Abbott & Costello, The Three Stooges, The Adventures Of Superman, Get Smart, My Favorite Martian, I Dream Of Jeannie, The Odd Couple and The Honeymooners. 9 hours...19 episodes...and all the nostalgia you can cram into a day. Did you know Abbott and Costello were the first non-baseball players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (for Who's On First?) or that Jeannie's bottle in I Dream of Jeannie was actually a bottle of Jim Beam painted gold? Interstitials will run throughout the Birthday Bash and will feature PIX program trivia and fun facts.
At 9 pm, WPIX will air a 60th Anniversary Special hosted by Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong. The hour-long program will take a look back at WPIX from 1948 to 2008. Today, WPIX is the CW11, the home for great programs like The CW11 News, America's Next Top Model, New York Mets baseball and many first run and syndicated hits. In the last 60 years, WPIX has celebrated many milestones including the first instant replay (July 17, 1959 Yankees vs. White Sox) and The Rolling Stones' first New York TV appearance on WPIX's Clay Cole Show (1964). From the Giants to the Yankees to the Mets...from Cap'n Jack McCarthy to Officer Joe Bolton to Bozo the Clown...From Dawson to Buffy to Serena, the WPIX 60th Anniversary Special will track the stations' growth from a small independent station to the powerhouse it is today.
Remember playing the PIX PIX PIX game? Did you warm your hands over The Yule Log fire? Do you long for Peanut Butter and Jelly Time? WPIX is inviting viewers to share their favorite memories at cw11.com/60 which will also feature expanded online coverage of WPIX's rich history.
In addition, WPIX has created a commemorative insert which will run in Newsday and amNewYork on June 13 featuring a comprehensive timeline of PIX's greatest moments with vintage photographs.
For more details, including episode info for the vintage programming on June 14, click HERE.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

WPIX's 60th Anniversary Marathon and Special, Sex and the City Movie Special/Stunt; KTLA Celebrates Graduation with Classic TV

New York City station WPIX (CW11) is turning 60 this June and WPIX will celebrate it with an on-air marathon featuring some of the most notable shows WPIX has ever aired along with a brand-new special showcasing WPIX's 60 year history! Official announcement will come soon, but I thought I'd give a heads up ahead of time for fans.
On Saturday, June 14, WPIX will showcase various TV shows/sitcoms that they have aired the last 60 years with a retro day marathon! The festivities start at 12 noon and end at 9pm. We will see back-to-back episodes each of Little Rascals, Abbott & Costello, The Three Stooges, The Adventures Of Superman, Get Smart, My Favorite Martian, I Dream Of Jeannie, The Odd Couple, and the station's all-time favorite The Honeymooners.
We will confirm all that when the official announcement is made, so this is all tentative until then. We will bring you more details, such as episode info, when it is official.
Finally, a retro marathon is not all that will be done! WPIX will create a new one-hour special looking back at the history of WPIX. The WPIX 60th Anniversary Special will be hosted by Jim Watkins & Kaity Tong, of WPIX news. Among the items on the special are: WPIX's sign-on and early years, sports & children's programming, news & local events, movies & syndicated reruns, The Yule Log, promotions campaigns, the web, and The WB & The CW.
KTLA (CW5) in Los Angeles also celebrated their 60th anniversary last fall. They had a much bigger retro marathon, featuring 60 hours of classic TV that they have aired. I don't think they had an on-air special, though.

Continuing news on WPIX, they will have a Sex and the City special and the top three episodes voted by viewers stunt this coming Saturday (May 24) in anticipation of the new movie coming out May 30. Join CW11/WPIX for a special night of sizzle, sex, and the city that inspired it all. At 8pm, get an in-depth look at Sex and the City the Movie with the women (and men) who changed the way we look at fashion, relationships, sex and New York City.
Then watch the 3 most popular episodes of Sex and the City when WPIX counts them down starting at 8:30pm. Visit cw11.com to vote for your favorite episodes then watch the 3 with the most votes immediately after the 8pm airing of the special Bringing Sex Back.
Sex and the City episodes air regularly Monday-Saturday at Midnight on WPIX.

We mentioned KTLA earlier, now we have some current news on KTLA! KTLA (CW5) will celebrate graduations on Memorial Day with a classic TV marathon! On Monday, May 26, 2008, KTLA (CW5) is celebrating Graduation with a Commencement Marathon from 10am-3pm PT of classic TV stars such as The Beaver, Balki, Alex P. Keaton, Greg Brady, and Theo Huxtable!
You're invited to the Commencement Ceremonies of:
Jethro Bodine The Beverly Hillbillies at 10:00am PT
Theodore Cleaver Leave It To Beaver at 10:30am PT
Balki Bartokomous Perfect Strangers at 11:00am PT
Greg Brady The Brady Bunch at 11:30am PT
Betty Anderson Father Knows Best at 12:00pm PT
Mallory Keaton Family Ties at 12:30pm PT
Mike Seaver Growing Pains at 1:00pm PT
Alex P. Keaton Family Ties at 1:30pm PT
Theodore Huxtable The Cosby Show at 2:00-3:00pm PT

You all can get WPIX and KTLA via satellite if you're not in the New York or Los Angeles area.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Strike Update; ME-TV Coming to Milwaukee, Chicago to Launch ME-Too; RTN Coming to Illinois

Well we all know the strike is just about over. Yesterday I mentioned that they had a press conference. So what happened in it? They announced a vote will be held on Tuesday. A yes vote means they are voting to end the strike immediately; a no vote means they are voting to continue the strike during the ratification process.
So the strike has unofficially ended, but it won't be official until after this vote. It is widely expected that the WGA members will indeed vote yes on the new deal and the writers would return to work Wednesday.
So today is technically still day 99 of the strike. And tomorrow is day 100, the last day technically of the strike. How cool is it that this will all end officially on day 100. We will have more on the vote and more details this week.

You all know about ME-TV in Chicago. The local Chicago station (WWME-23) that airs classic TV, well now the same people will bring ME-TV in Milwaukee! ME-TV will launch in Milwaukee March 1 with a lineup that will include programs such as I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Lost in Space.
ME-TV in Milwaukee will be on a new digital subchannel on Channel 58.3 (WDJT). In addition to being available over the air at 58.3, it will have a spot on the Time Warner and Charter digital lineups. For the record, Channel 58's less-than-full power sister channel, WMLW-TV - Channel 41 over the air and Channel 7 on Time Warner Cable - airs at 58.2.
Stay tuned right here on the News Blog for the launch schedule for this new ME-TV station in Milwaukee! We will be the first to post it, I'm sure.

Sticking with ME-TV, ME-TV in Chicago is still going strong. It just launched its new Chill with Me winter line-up and added shows such as Gilligan's Island and My Favorite Martian. Now, WWME (ME-TV Chicago) has announced it intends to add classic reruns to WFBT-Ch. 48 and rename it WMEU-TV beginning March 1. WWME-23 has called itself ME-TV. WFBT-48 will call itself ME-Too.
Besides being broadcast and carried by some area cable providers, the channels also will be available on digital sub-channels belonging to sister station WCIU-Ch. 26, WCIU-DT 26.2 and 26.3 respectively.
Between ME-TV and ME-Too, more than 100 different series will be aired! Having ME-Too will allow development of targeted blocks of programming for different demographics. It also will create a classic program stream when sports preempts regularly scheduled shows.
Among the shows we will see will be a Saturday night "pajama party" lineup will feature sitcoms Square Pegs, Silver Spoons, Facts of Life, The Monkees, The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family. Also we can expect a Sunday "Noir at Night" block of Route 66, Naked City, 77 Sunset Strip and Boris Karloff's Thriller.
Let's hope ME-TV and ME-Too expand to more cities. It would be nice to have at least a ME-TV in most markets...Chicago and Milwaukee are very lucky! I hope we get one in New York!
As we said about ME-TV Milwaukee's launch schedule, stay tuned right here on the News Blog for the launch schedule for Chicago's ME-Too! We will be the first to post it, I'm sure.

Meanwhile, something similar to ME-TV is of course Retro Television Network. RTN is now well over in 50 different markets and growing each day! Retro Television Network announced that it will partner with GOCOM Media of Illinois to bring RTN programming to Champaign/Springfield/Decatur, IL. The network will launch early next year on one of the digital streams of WRSP/WBUI.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

AmericanLife Adds Batman, Trapper John, Lou Grant, Green Hornet and More; Nick at Nite Starts With Fresh

AmericanLife TV Network, the cable network devoted to the Baby Boomer generation, debuts lots of new shows including three new action and adventure programs this October on its primetime program schedule. Mission: Impossible premieres on Monday, October 1, and Batman and Green Hornet follow on Friday, October 5.
Mission: Impossible (Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET /PT) premiered in 1966 and aired for seven years. The series stars Greg Morris, Peter Lupus, Peter Graves, Martin Landau, Barbara Bain and Bob Johnson, who was the voice on the tape that intoned, "Your mission, should you decide to accept it..." Mission: Impossible chronicles the adventures of a secret government agency tasked with conducting covert missions, including freeing hostages, releasing war weapons and solving international mysteries. The series won numerous awards, including three Golden Globe Awards, three Emmy Awards and a Grammy Award for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Show.
Batman (Fridays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT), based on the comic book series, follows Batman and his sidekick Robin as they fight Gotham City’s villains. Starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin, the series also attracted A-list Hollywood talent to play the roles of the villains: Frank Gorshin and John Astin as The Riddler, Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, Cesar Romero as The Joker, Victor Buono as King Tut, Vincent Price as Egghead and Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt as Catwoman. Batman premiered in 1966 on ABC and aired four years.
Green Hornet (Fridays at 9:30 p.m. ET /PT) stars Van Williams as Britt Reid, a newspaper publisher who becomes the masked hero to fight criminals. He is assisted by his secretary, Lenore "Casey" Case (Wende Wagner), and Asian valet and martial arts expert Kato (Bruce Lee). Only airing for one season in 1966, this series marked Lee's debut on American television.
AmericanLife will be adding lots of other ner series this month as well. The other new shows are: Lou Grant, Trapper John M.D., Rat Patrol, 12 O'Clock High, Big Valley, and Burke's Law.
With all these new shows coming from the Fox and Paramount libraries, the Warner Bros. library will be leaving. The shows leaving are: 77 Sunset Strip, China Beach, Gallant Men, I Spy, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The F.B.I., Our Gang, Adventures of Superman, My Favorite Martian, F Troop, Chico and the Man, Welcome Back Kotter and Lawman. The Warner Bros. deal has lasted quite a while on the network, so you all should have taped your shows while you had the chance.
For the full list of changes and to discuss these changes, I urge you to click HERE!

Other highlights for October include a Halloween-themed special (Nancy Kerrigan's Halloween on Ice) and classic television series featuring guest star appearances by several television and film celebrities.

Thursday, October 4
The Time Tunnel: Carroll O'Connor guests in "Last Patrol" (9:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Sunday, October 7
St. Elsewhere: Judith Light guest stars in "Dog Day Hospital" (8:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Thursday, October 11
Lost in Space: Warren Oates guest stars in "Welcome Stranger" (8:00 p.m. ET/PT).
The Time Tunnel: Oscar-winning actress Ellen Burstyn guests in "Crack of Doom" (9:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Friday, October 12
Mission: Impossible: Lloyd Bridges guest stars in "Fakeout" (8:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Sunday, October 14
Mission: Impossible: William Smithers guests in "The Ransom" (8:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Wednesday, October 17
Combat!: James Coburn guests alongside ex-heavyweight boxing champ Rocky Marciano, making his television acting debut, in "Masquerade" (7:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Saturday, October 20
The Big Valley: Mary Astor guest stars in "Who Killed Cable Roberts?" (6:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Monday, October 22
The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Vic Tayback guests in "Second Story Story" (9:00 p.m. ET /PT).

Wednesday, October 24
Trapper John, M.D.: Emmy and Golden Globe winning actress Shelley Long guest stars in "The Shattered Image" (10:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Thursday, October 25
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Richard Carlson guest stars in "The Village of Guilt" (10:00 p.m. ET /PT).

Friday, October 26
Combat!: Actor and director Ron Howard guests in "What Are the Bugles Blown For? Part I" (7:00 p.m. ET /PT) (Part two airs Monday, October 29 at 7 p.m. ET /PT).

Nick at Nite will be kicking off each night this week with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, replacing one of the Home Improvement airings. No other changes will be made. Maybe Fresh is coming into boost the ratings a bit? We'll see, but as of now it is just for this week...but that could change.

Don't forget tonight to tune in to the series premiere of Aliens in America on The CW, along with the rest of the season premieres of The CW Monday comedies. And if that is not all, it is week two of the CBS Monday comedies! The fun starts 8/7 central on both CBS and The CW. Watch and TiVo!
8:30pm will be a busy slot as Perfect Strangers launches on ION tonight! Get out of the city!

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Friday, July 27, 2007

AmericanLife TV August 2007 Highlights and Changes

AmericanLife TV Network, the cable network devoted to the Baby Boomer generation, debuts a new Saturday night Boomer Solutions lifestyle primetime programming line-up on August 4, 2007 featuring new shows This Food, That Wine (9pm) and Save Our House, Save Our Family (10pm), as well as recently relocated Fixing Dinner (9:30pm) and 'Til Debt Do Us Part (10:30pm). The block encores from 11pm-1am.
So what about the Saturday Comedy Block? It is before and after the new Boomer Solutions LifeStyle Block now. There is now only one episode of The Color Honeymooners (just at 7pm), followed by My Favorite Martian at 8pm and F Troop at 8:30pm. Chico and the Man is now at 1am (going into Sunday) and Welcome Back, Kotter is at 1:30am.

Other August highlights:
Thursday, August 2
* Combat!: Richardo Montalban, known for his role of Mr. Rourke in Fantasy Island, guests in "Gadjo" (7:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Saturday, August 4
* My Favorite Martian: Doris Packer guest stars in "We Love You, Miss Pringle" (8:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Sunday, August 5
* I Spy: Carroll O'Connor guests in "It's All Done with Mirrors" (6:00 p.m. ET/PT).
* L.A. Law: Sela Ward guest stars in the first of two episodes, "The Venus Butterfly" (10:00 p.m. ET/PT) and "Fry Me To the Moon" (August 12).

Tuesday, August 7
* Combat!: Robert Duvall guests in two upcoming episodes, "Cry for Help" (8:00 p.m. ET/PT) and "The Partisan" (August 21).

Thursday, August 9
* Kung Fu: Tim Matheson guest stars in "The Soldier" (8:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Tuesday, August 14
* China Beach: Don Cheadle guests in "Promised Land" (12:00 a.m. ET/PT).

Wednesday, August 15
* The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.: Ed Asner guest stars in two upcoming episodes, "The Double-O-Nothing" (10:00 p.m. ET/PT) and "The U.N.C.L.E. Samurai Affair" (August 22).

Sunday, August 19
* I Spy: Michael Conrad guests in "So Coldly Sweet" (6:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Friday, August 24
* The FBI: Martin Sheen guest stars in "The Condemned" (9:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Tuesday, August 28
* China Beach: Megan Mullally guests in "The World, Part Two" (9:00 p.m. ET/PT).

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