Tag Archives: nbc

Thank You For Being a Friend (at Any Age)

Yes, it’s true that Blanche, Dorothy, Sophia, and Rose don’t exactly make most think of fashion and fornication like the names Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda, and Samantha do. However, there’s something about these South Florida retirees that has struck a chord with viewers of almost every age for the past two decades. While the show ran initially on NBC in the 80’s and early 90’s, it has settled into a nice retirement of nearly constant reruns on Lifetime. This “second life” has given the show a whole new generation of viewers. So, when Nylon posted its thoughts on a potential cast for a younger version of  The Golden Girls, it gave me an interesting idea. Since that other foursome of (sometimes) single ladies got a prequel, why can’t the Golden Girls as well? 

Friendship is golden at any age. via NylonMag.com

Imagine this potential episode – “Pussycat” Sophia and her cross-dressing brother Phil pick up high school senior Dorothy from the prom, where Dorothy’s high school sweetheart, Stan, had just knocked her up. While driving Dorothy home, their car accidentally hits Rose, a tourist who is visiting New York from St. Olaf with her eight siblings in search of Bob Hope, who she believes is her biological father. Offering to help Rose find her father out of guilt, Sophia and Dorothy venture into the city to find Bob Hope. However, they instead confuse him with lookalike Curtis Hollinsworth. After a long conversation, Curtis introduces the three ladies to his daughter, Blanche, who lovingly only refers to him as “Big Daddy.” It could work, right? I guess it is a bit of a stretch… 

-MK 

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com

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It’s Hard to Say Goodbye: TV Most Memorable Series Finales

Just like dating, watching a TV show is about keeping up a relationship. Over the years, you grow up with the characters and experience the same things they feel. The only difference? While they may let you down from time to time, they can never fight with you – making it a thousand times better than a real relationship. After so many years with 24, Lost, and Law & Order, it’s going to be hard to say goodbye. Let’s take a look at some other series finales that we still remember after all this time.

The Cosby Show – April 30, 1992
After so many years on top of the ratings, Bill Cosby’s seminal sitcom had to fall from its throne at some point. By 1992, it was clear that America was ready to say goodbye. In the last episode, Theo graduates from college and Cliff Huxtable reminisces on the past years – flashing back to scenes from the pilot. In the last scene, Cliff finally fixes the family’s doorbell (a recurring joke throughout the series), and break character by walking off to thank the audience for a long run.

M*A*S*H – February 28, 1983
Bringing this seminal series to a close was probably not easy, but the show’s producers managed to do it while attracting 121.6 million viewers to join in the 4077th’s closing party after the last cease-fire of the Korean War was signed. This episode held the record for most watched telecast of all time until it was broken earlier this year by Super Bowl XLIV.

The Sopranos – June 10, 2007
I don’t know where the time went, but three years have passed since The Sopranos signed off TV for good. For a series known for its graphic violence, often unexpected plot twists, and willingness to kill off characters both large and small, the finale was dramatic mostly for its simplicity. After playing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” (and inspiring countless imitations…ahem…Glee), the show cut to black – leaving the ending completely up to viewers’ interpretations.

St. Elsewhere – May 25, 1988
This is the finale that has stirred the most discussion over the years. Whether an cop-out or a fitting end, the series ends when a father puts his autistic son, Tommy Westphall’s, snow globe of St. Eligius on a TV set and call him to dinner. Imagine that! After six years, it all ended up being a figment of a kid’s imagination. There’s probably nothing scarier to a Lost fan than this scenario. Unfortunately, the dream/imagination ending is somewhat common – it was also used to wrap up Roseanne, Life on Mars, and Newhart.

The Wonder Years – May 12, 1993
This is one that I honestly can’t watch. I tear up every time it’s on. While most family drama finales have happier endings, Kevin & the Arnold family had a sadder one than many viewers were expecting (albeit – probably a more realistic one than most other shows). After experiencing the radically changing world of the 1960’s with the Arnolds, Kevin signs off. In his last narration we learn about the fate of the family we came to care about so much – and how they all grew up after their “wonder years.”

The Golden Girls – May 9, 1992
After seven seasons, how can any ending be a fitting thank you for being our friend for so many years? While Dorothy’s departure to begin her new married life in Atlanta splinters this fearsome foursome, it ends up not being the end for this sitcom – a short-lived sitcom entitled The Golden Palace tried to relive this show’s glory, but was quickly cancelled.

ER – April 2, 2009
After 331 episodes, it was finally time to say goodbye to the doctors of County General. May of the show’s former cast members came back to pay their respects and honor the longest running cast member, Noah Wyle (who played Dr. Carter). After they performed some last life-saving techniques and shared some final emotional moments together, the show ends just as it begun – showing doctors in their typical routines during another typical day of life at the ER – and revealing the hospital’s full exterior for the only time in the entire show’s run.

With nearly 35 years of television combined between them, Lost, Law & Order, and 24 have a lot to live up to.

-MK

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com.

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Next Year’s TV Now

This is the week many have waited for in Hollywood. In their annual display of wasteful pomp and circumstance, broadcast networks will be announcing their fall 2010 TV schedules to advertisers, in the grand tradition known as “upfronts.” What does this mean if you aren’t an advertiser, writer, or network executive? That you get to find out when your Tivo will be in overload now, so you can strategize your prioritizer all summer long.

All in the (new) family. via Flickr

A reporter from The Hollywood Reporter broke into the tech rehearsal for NBC’s presentation over the weekend, and divulged the details of their fall lineup early, ruining the surprises they hoped would generate some positive press for them this week (what a year…this after the disastrous Leno-Conan war, the cancellation of half of their lineup, and a highly rated Olympics that somehow lost them money…oy).

While it will take all week for all the schedules to fully be revealed, there are some general trends that are making headlines:

  • The Sitcom Strikes Back – Although people have been griping about the decline of network sitcoms for over a decade, these half-hour “situation comedies” have somehow made it through countless critics’ eulogies. Sure, they aren’t the water cooler shows that Friends, Seinfeld, or Will & Grace were (for all those too young to remember, NBC once had shows people talked about), but few shows outside of American Idol, Lost, or Dancing with the Stars are today. These “event” shows are the ones most resilient to DVR-ing, and thus, most appealing to advertisers. However, this season, broadcasters have a ton of sitcoms in the pipeline. Could a full-fledged renaissance be underway? If ABC’s Modern Family is any indication, these shows seem poised for a big primetime comeback.
  • Changing of the Guard – While every spring marks the end of a couple long-lasting, beloved shows, this year has been a bloodbath. This year, we’re saying goodbye to 24, Lost, Law & Order, Heroes, Ugly Betty, and Scrubs. We knew that Lost & 24 were probably expected, and the others were guessable after years of declining ratings – but Law & Order – really?! This is the clearest sign yet that NBC is shutting the door on the past and trying to relaunch itself into a new era.
  • Fallen Idol – While it’s bound to be America’s most watched show yet again this year (and with 6 years on top, break All in the Family’s record of 5 seasons at #1), American Idol is starting to look weak. Ratings are down, fan criticism is up, and Simon’s out. Could next year finally be the year that another show steal’s Idol’s ratings crown?

While networks announce their grand plans to boost their ratings next year, we’ll be enjoying the last few episodes of the shows still on this season. It’s really a shame you can only fast forward and skip through commercials on TV, and can’t just jump past upfronts as well.

-MK

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com.

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Link It Up: 5.17.10

Another reality star has been arrested. Who knew Food Network was so dangerous? [via LAist]

If Steve Carell quits, NBC plans to continue The Office without him. This sounds like one of Michael’s bad ideas. [via Deadline]

The race for the Republican nomination for Governor has gotten nasty. Somewhere, Jerry Brown is smiling. [via LA Times]

With just a few months left until it opens, Santa Monica Place is trying to build some buzz. [via Curbed LA]

Santa Monica Place: something's coming. via Flickr

-MK

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com.

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LAW AND ORDER Is Cancelled, Thereby Proving that Boring Shows Don’t Always Live Forever

I love The TV, but I’m a story person. I like long, drawn-out stories you find on LOST, MAD MEN… gimme a show that you can’t understand without seeing every past season.

He was better in CLUELESS. via NBC

But there are a lot of people – or so I’ve heard – that can watch the episodic stuff, the one-off shows like LAW AND ORDER and CSI. And those shows seem to do really well. Really, really well. In fact, I oft fear that nothing can kill these shows – not bad writing, not bad actors… nothing. They just keep going, year after year, reused plotline after reused plotline.

This is what good TV looks like. via Boston Globe

Oh, but what is this?! What has managed to kill one of the most successful procedurals of all time? NY magazine says it was the executive producer’s fault, but does it really matter? (Ok, maybe to some people.) All I have to say is: ding dong, the witch is dead! The end of LAW AND ORDER (although I always hate to celebrate the loss of jobs in TV) means an open spot on the schedule for something better, something more original and cutting-edge. Will the slot be filled with a DEXTER or a MAD MEN? Chances are… probably not. But a girl can dream. And maybe some day, viewers will have to muddle through all the good TV to find a shitty show instead of the other way around**

**Did my opinions come through strongly enough without me stating directly that I hate procedural TV?… Okay, good.

-MM

Contact the author at mmthesmogger@gmail.com.

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Link It Up: 5.14.10

Just shy of becoming the longest running primetime series, Law & Order has been given a death penalty by NBC. [via THRfeed]

Go to the beach Saturday, be on an upcoming LA Magazine cover. [via LA Magazine]

If you’re going out this weekend, try giving one of these DJs a spin. [via LA Weekly]

Don’t know about the nightlife scene in Downtown? Check out this handy map! [via Bar Map LA]

Need a better view? via Flickr

-MK

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com.

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Link It Up: 5.7.10

Jaguars, Raiders, Chargers, 49ers, or Bills? Could a team be coming to LA soon? [via Pigskin Doctors]

Will The Office have a crossover episode with Parks & Recreation? I can dream… [via THRfeed]

Before you plan your 6-man team for the summer, beware Manhattan Beach’s attempt to kill fun. [via LA Times]

I told you it would turn on us eventually. Did Google destroy your day yesterday? [via LAist]

Thanks to Arizona, Cinco de Mayo got all 4th of July on us. via Flickr

-MK

Contact the author at mksmogger@gmail.com.

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