Saturday, December 31, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Fun Facts Week: Chuck Jones finds a Sponsor

When famed animator Chuck Jones was able to convince his old friend Dr. Seuss to let him make an animated version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, he thought the hardest part of the project was over. However, he now needed to find a sponsor willing to put up the sizeable funding needed to complete the project. Strangely enough, he couldn't get any toy, candy or snack company to sign onto the project.

The company that saved the day was The Commercial Banking Foundation. A strange decision for a show that speaks out against materialism.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fun Facts Week: The Original Wilbur Post

The original actor who portrayed Wilber Post in the Mister Ed pilot was Scott McKay.

Mr. McKay would be replaced by Alan Young.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

CBS and Viacom have had an interesting relationship over the years. In 1970, CBS split itself in two, creating two companies- CBS, which would retain the network itself and Viacom, which would own the network's programming. (This was partly done to skirt then new FCC rules.)

Over the years, Viacom grew to become a Hollywood powerhouse, acquiring Paramount Pictures. By 2000, it was big enough to buy back its previous parent company- CBS.

The reunion would be shortlived; listening to Wall Street, the company split itself up again in 2005, becoming separate companies again- CBS and Viacom. If this wasn't crazy enough, the two may combine yet again.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fun Facts Week: Sam and Diane [Do Not] Get Married

When actress Shelley Long decided to leave Cheers, the network wanted to keep her departure a secret. Therefore, a fake wedding scene was filmed in front of the studio audience. The real ending used in the episode was filmed on a closed set.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Fun Facts Week: A Monkey Host

In the mid-1950s, NBC's Today Show featured a monkey named J. Fred Muggs as a co-host. As of the date this post was first published, he was still alive, though long retired.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Embarrassing TV Roles

Long after Bob Hope should have retired from public view, he was still getting propped up for embarrassing NBC specials. The most embarrassing segment he was involved in was a performance of "Jack Frost", where he was propped up like a poorly maintained pizza restaurant animation and forced to bellow lyrics he didn't seem to fully understand.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rest in Peace, Alan Thicke

Alan Thicke, best known for his role as Dr. Jason Seaver in the 1980's ABC sitcom Growing Pains passed away today at age 69. If Mr. Thicke had only starred in Growing Pains, his place as a TV legend would be assured but he also co-wrote two of television's most beloved theme songs- Diff'rent Strokes and Facts of Life. A Canadian, Mr. Thicke died in the most Canadian of ways- playing a game of hockey.

Fake TV Guide Ads: Shameless

Friday, December 2, 2016

Andrew Sachs, 1930 - 2016

Andy Sachs, who played the comical role of the bumbling waiter Manuel on Fawlty Towers, has passed away in England at age 86.


Fans of Are You Being Served? may remember him as the hapless hotel manager who had a thing for Mrs. Slocombe in Are You Being Served?: The Movie.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Grant Tinker, 1926 - 2016

Grant Tinker, who established a legendary studio with his then-wife Mary Tyler Moore in the 1970's, producing classics such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, WKRP in Cincinnati & The Bob Newhart Show has passed away at age 90.


If the shows he co-produced at MTM Productions were his only successes, he would have earned a spot as a television legend, but Mr. Tinker eventually went on to become the CEO of NBC in 1981. The network was a wasteland, its ratings in the toilet. Mr. Tinker resuscitated the network, bringing in Family Ties, The Cosby Show, Cheers, LA Law and The A Team, among other shows, combining both critically acclaimed shows such as those found at CBS, with popular shows like those on ABC, to create a powerhouse that wouldn't topple for nearly twenty years. Mr. Tinker left NBC in the late 80's and tried to establish a new production company with minimal success, but he was often a sought after advisor to those involved in the network television business, long after he had retired. By taking risks and demanding excellence, Mr. Tinker's bold work at MTM and NBC continues to influence television even today.