April 15, 1990 |
"Global warming, deforestation, toxics, desertification, garbage overload, water pollution, ozone depletion." That's the alarming diagnosis for Mother Earth (played by Bette Midler) in "The Earth Day Special," a two-hour, all-star program scheduled to air next Sunday at 9 p.m. on ABC, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first Earth Day. Among the myriad Earth Day documentary and entertainment specials airing in the next few weeks, this one is perhaps the most ambitious.
June 24, 1988 |
By a wide margin, members of the Writers Guild of America voted to reject a producers' contract offer and continue their 16-week-old strike against the motion picture and television industry, the union reported Thursday. Of 3,722 votes cast, 2,789, or 74.9%, were against the contract and 933, or 25.1%, were in favor. Guild officers said the vote signaled a record turnout for the 9,000-member union.
May 15, 1996 |
In the strange new world of prime-time television, series and production companies continue to discover that there is such a thing as life after cancellation. NBC has already ordered ABC's "The Jeff Foxworthy Show" for next season, and there are reports that other networks have expressed interest in NBC's "JAG" and Fox's "Partners," which hasn't even officially been passed on yet. The most aggressive buyers of canceled programs, however, have been the fledgling UPN and WB networks.
July 10, 1994 |
In a thoroughly L.A. move, most Brazilian soccer players are known simply by a single name. This is the height of Hollywood hip. The Brazilians, indeed, look cool, play cool, dress cool, talk cool, sweat cool. They were grunge before grunge, funky dunky before Funky Dunky. And the Brazilians understand that, when you're really big here, you need only one name. Madonna. Cristophe. Cher.
February 22, 1985 |
TV is getting scarier and scarier. It's bad enough that the lead stories on the late news are usually about death and destruction, famine and pestilence, fires and car crashes, child abuse, sex crimes, war and every other calamity known to man--and even some new ones. It's bad enough that much of prime-time drama is a blood bath where people are always getting shot, mashed, run over, beaten up or otherwise victimized by man or disease. Now comedies are jumping on the scare bandwagon.
September 19, 1992 |
Check it out, man! Cheech Marin has gone mainstream. Not only is he a regular on CBS' "The Golden Palace," the revamped version of the long-running sitcom "The Golden Girls," but Marin also is releasing his first children's album at the end of October. Marin, who with ex-partner Tommy Chong rose to fame in the 1970s as the successful counterculture comedy team Cheech and Chong, admits that he has consciously attempted to separate himself from his drugged-out "Cheech" persona.
February 7, 1992 |
The filmmaking generation that grew up with Alfred Hitchcock created thrillers that at worst were Hitchcock rip-offs and, at best, as with prime Brian De Palma, neo-Hitchcock fantasias. The new psychological thriller "Final Analysis" (citywide) is directed by Phil Joanou, who is still in his 20s and one of the first thriller filmmakers of the post-De Palma era. Although shrouded in the immense shadow of The Master, most of the film's effects are derived not from Hitchcock but from his imitators.
September 13, 1992 |
"The Golden Palace" is a series that almost wasn't. When Bea Arthur announced that she was leaving "The Golden Girls" at the conclusion of last season, Betty White felt that the series was doomed. White and co-star Estelle Getty met with executive producers Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas earlier this year. "Susan Harris (the series' creator and another executive producer) had come up with an idea to keep it going," White said.
April 21, 1990 |
Will too much of a good thing turn out to be a bad thing? There is not always strength in numbers. The danger exists that the sheer crush of this week's programming keyed to Sunday's 20th anniversary of Earth Day will be ultimately less illuminating and motivating than desensitizing. It all gets to be a blur. If there's one of these programs that makes unique use of television, however, it's the ambitious, two-hour "Time Warner Presents the Earth Day Special" at 9 p.m.
December 21, 1994 |
"Mixed Nuts" is a farcical whirligig that doesn't whirl. It's energetically unfunny, like "Radioland Murders," and, like that film, it boasts top-flight talent. Maybe the idea of making a comedy about a suicide prevention center just got to everyone--it's a bummed-out comedy about being bummed out. Steve Martin plays Philip, the head of a Venice, Calif.-based suicide hotline service called Lifesavers.