October 13, 2012 |
On a recent Sunday at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church, an overflow crowd gathered hours after services to see a screening of TV Land's "The Soul Man," starring Cedric the Entertainer as a Las Vegas singer who uproots his family and moves to St. Louis after hearing a divine calling to become a pastor. The well-dressed congregants gave a hero's welcome to Cedric, costar Niecy Nash and TV Land head Larry Jones. Their accomplishment? Putting on one of the few television shows that spotlights an African American family.
February 15, 2010 |
What do you tell someone who still wants to see how Joan Van Ark is holding up, chat with Dr. Kildare and Wyatt Earp or look into the, um, eyes of a bevy of still-buoyant "Baywatch" babes? Stand in line. That and 20 bucks buys you a Vaseline-free lens into pop culture's past at the Hollywood Show, where time is elastic, even if its famous faces and figures are not. The quarterly autograph and memorabilia show -- a retro nirvana for TV Land, VH1 and Turner Classic Movies fans and celebrity signature collectors -- unites vintage Tinseltown idols and survivors with the people who made them as-seen-on-TV commodities.
June 15, 2011 |
TV Land, where all time is eternally present, increases its roster of original sitcoms by 50% Wednesday with the addition of "Happily Divorced. " Fran Drescher, who was "The Nanny," stars as a Los Angeles florist whose real estate agent husband (John Michael Higgins, from Christopher Guest films and a million other things) tells her after 18 years of marriage that he thinks he might be gay. "We just had sex during 'Leno,'" she protests. "How gay can you be?" It is good to live in an age when this may be seen as the stuff of affectionate comedy rather than of painful tragedy, and in fact the series is based on the lives of its creators, Drescher and her gay ex-husband, Peter Marc Jacobson; they also co-created "The Nanny.
October 22, 1998 |
For those who had forgotten that Michael Landon--Cartwright, pioneer farmer and angel--was also a teenage werewolf, a Halloween episode of "Highway to Heaven" will serve as a sweet reminder. The episode, from 1987 and written and directed by Landon, is among the best of the dozens of Halloween-themed shows from yesteryear that will air on cable and broadcast stations next week. In "I Was a Middle-Aged Werewolf" (Oct. 30 at 6 p.m.
February 11, 2002
Re " 'Kidnapped' by Drivel, We Invite World Hatred," Commentary, Feb. 7: If it weren't for morally superior intellectuals such as Norah Vincent, we poor boobs in TV land would never know that shows such as "Fear Factor" and "Kidnapped" were silly escapist fare. How dare we not spend all our time worrying about kidnapped journalists and global crises! Oh, the shame of it--actually laughing at contestants eating chocolate-covered worms while people around the world are starving and killing each other.
November 30, 2011
SERIES I Hate My Teenage Daughter: Annie and Nikki (Jaime Pressly, Katie Finneran) are single moms of two spoiled teenage girls (Kristi Lauren, Aisha Dee) in this new sitcom (9:30 p.m. Fox). Hot in Cleveland: Elka (Betty White) must choose her husband, Max or Fred in the season premiere (10 p.m. TV Land). The Exes: Kristen Johnston, Donald Faison and Wayne Knight star in this new comedy (10:30 p.m. TV Land). SPECIALS Christmas in Rockefeller Center: The 79th annual tree-lighting ceremony takes place in New York.
November 16, 2002 |
When Suzanne Somers watches the Samantha character get naked on "Sex and the City," she has to laugh. In the late 1970s, the producers of Somers' sitcom "Three's Company" had to tussle with the censors just to get the word "toilet" on the air. The boundaries have evolved steadily in half a century of broadcasting, from "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" to "The Osbournes." TV Land chronicles that shift in a breezy but revealing one-hour special, "Inside TV Land: Taboo TV," Sunday at 9 p.m.
February 1, 2002 |
In the broad landscape of television programming, cable's TV Land channel occupies a modest parcel where nostalgia is king and surprises are few. But viewers tuning in at 9 tonight expecting yet another trip to Mayberry or perhaps a visit with the Petries of New Rochelle will be charting a course of a different color.
March 4, 1999 |
You're reminded of just how wild broadcast television has become when you watch "The TV Show," a 20-year-old special that spoofs television with sketches by the likes of Billy Crystal, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Martin Mull. "The TV Show" (airing March 15 at 5 p.m.
October 10, 2000 |
What makes for a great TV show? An original premise, of course, or at least a fresh spin on a proven one. Then there are smart scripts, inspired casting and brilliant acting. But even with those elements in place, there's one more thing a truly classic show needs: great theme music.