June 2002

Morty's News Archive

  Friday, June 14, 2024
This is a collection of old news and obituaries from the Ask Morty TV News page.  Dates, where shown, represent the date the story was originally posted on the web site.  Because these are old stories, links within the stories may no longer be active. For current news and schedules, click here.  
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U-Pick Nick

[June 30, 2002] "Batman" will air at 5:30PM Monday thru Friday, the week of July 8th on Nickelodeon as part of U-Pick Nick. The Batgirl episodes will be airing, starting Monday with "Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin," Tuesday: "Ring Around the Riddler!"  Wednesday:  "The Wail of the Siren"  Thursday: "The Sport of Penguins" Friday:  "A Horse of Another Color"

China Beach Returns July 7th

[June 30, 2002] The critically acclaimed Vietnam series, "China Beach" will begin airing on The History Channel, Sundays at 7:00AM.  Unlike most History Channel programs that repeat the same day, each episode will only be shown once. "China Beach" was a popular ABC drama that aired from April 26, 1988 to July 22, 1991 and was part of the TV Land line-up several years ago. The show was about a group of nurses just trying to do their jobs in Vietnam.

TV Land August Schedule Changes

[June 26, 2002] Now don't get upset, it's still early, I don't know that these changes mean that departing shows will not return.

Effective Monday, July 29th:
3 & 3:30PM Weekdays - "Father Knows Best" (replaces "Dennis The Menace")

"TV Land KitSchen New Schedule"  Effective Friday, August 2nd:
12:00AM - "Fernwood 2Night" (Replaces "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman")
12:30AM - "Perfect Strangers" (Replaces "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman")
1:00AM - "Welcome Back Kotter" (Replaces "Fernwood 2Night")
1:30AM - "Square Pegs" (Replaces "The Monkees")

Hallmark Channel for Sale?

[June 23, 2002] Friday's Wall Street Journal reported that Hallmark Cards could dispose of all or part of its two-thirds stake in Crown Media Holdings, which operates the Hallmark Channel.  The article reports that News Corp., Discovery and MGM were among potential suitors.  Hallmark denies itís looking to sell but says it has been approached to develop a partnership.

A Crown Media spokesperson said, "Hallmark has been approached by certain parties that may want to develop strategic relationships."  Crown Media would not reveal details of those talks or say who they were with.


[June 22, 2002] William D'Angelo, Television series producer William P. D'Angelo, whose credits include "Room 222," "Love, American Style" and "The Young Lawyers."  He started as an assistant producer on "Batman." in 1966.  He went on to produce the series "Barefoot in the Park," "Alice," "Big John, Little John" and "Turnabout" and the special "The Nativity" in the 1970s. Along the way, he worked for every major studio and helped produce episodes of "Maverick," "Cheyenne," "Lawman" and "Hawaiian Eye." D'Angelo died June 8 in Los Angeles of pancreatic cancer, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. No other details were given.   D'Angelo was 70.

Ann Landers  Advice columnist Ann Landers, who gave the world the expression "wake up and smell the coffee," died on Saturday at the age of 83, the Chicago Tribune reported.  The Tribune, which had been her home base since 1987, said she died at home of a malignant tumor of the bone marrow. Her real name was Esther Pauline Friedman Lederer, and according to the Tribune her column was for 40 years the world's best read and most widely syndicated -- printed in 1,200 newspapers.  Lederer along with twin sister Pauline Phillips writing as "Abigail Van Buren" under the "Dear Abby" flag, dominated the advice-giving genre in U.S. newspapers during most of the last half of the 20th century and beyond.  The sisters were the topic of a 1999 TV bio-drama, "Take My Advice: The Ann and Abby Story" starring Wendie Malick

James Luisi,  Emmy-Winning Character Actor.  James Luisi, a character actor adept at portraying hard-boiled detectives and gangsters and remembered for his long-running role as Lt. Doug Chapman on television's "The Rockford Files,"  died of cancer on June 7th at age 73.  Other credits include playing Earl Johnson on "Days of Our Lives", Ben Clark on "Santa Barbara"  and guest appearances on "Bonanza,"  "The Rookies," "Valerie,"  and "Baywatch Nights".


[June 20, 2002]  Hallmark Schedule:  There were a couple minor changes made to the Hallmark Channel's schedule, which I posted here on June 9th, that takes effect July 1st.  Most notable is the addition of "The Facts of Life"  Full Details 

Seven TV series created and produced by Stephen J. Cannell over the last two decades, including "21 Jump Street," "Renegade," "Wiseguy,"  "Hardcastle & McCormick" and "The Commish," could return to cable as early as this fall.  Full Details 

Woody Harrelson broke his way out of a speeding cab and ran through the streets of London with 14 cops in pursuit, and wound up charged with causing $500 worth of damage to the taxi. His trial is set for July 1, 2002.   Full Details 

"Diff'rent Strokes" star Todd Bridges, has taken a role on the daytime drama "The Young and the Restless."  Bridges will play a character named Juice, described by executive producer David Shaughnessy as "a real out-and-out bad guy ... bent on revenge." Full Details 

The TV Land Screen Gems Mystery

[June 19, 2002]  A few days a I noted that on June 24th the series "Dennis the Menace" will re-start with episode #1, rather than continuing the run.  Pavan, who keeps me up-to-date on TV Land schedules,  noted that it will happen again in late July.  While we were pondering why this was happening, Bill, wrote to ask why "The Rookies" were recycling back to episode one.  Pavan found that "Donna Reed Show" will also start over on July 1st, "The Flying Nun" starts over with episode 3 on July 7th, "The Waltons" and "Gidget" are also not completing their runs this time around.

TV Land says it's contractual.  We wonder if they just just couldn't prepare enough episodes to fill the schedules.  You might have noticed that TV Land is now using digital video, rather than video tape.   So we'll just have to stay tuned and see what happens...

Two More Classics to DVD

[June 19, 2002]  On August 6th two more classics of  70's TV will be released on DVD, "Sanford and Son," and "The Jeffersons."  Each set will include the first seasons, but these shows only had 13 and 14 episodes in their first seasons, so you get a nice price break, just $29.95, but from Morty's Mall, the price is only $22.45, you save 25%.  You can pre-order these sets, and be the first on your block to own them when they're shipped. 

These are just two of 95 TV DVDs being released this summer.  

Nickelodeon Programs to Pre-empt Nick

[June 11, 2002]  On Friday, June 21st, Nick at Nite will be pre-empted for Nickelodeon programming all night, as the song goes: "School is out for the summer!"  It's a basic preview for Nickelodeon Daytime and the new NickToons TV channel.  Click Here for the line-up.

ABC to Air Unseen Pilots!

[June 11, 2002]  This fall ABC will air a special called "The Best TV Shows That Never Were," a collection unseen TV pilots.  It's actually the second edition of "TBTVSTNW," the first aired in the 90's.  This collection will feature "Great Day," starring "Happy Days'" Al Molinaro, "about what fun it was to be a skid row bum in New York City,"  an Aaron Spelling TV show called "Velvet," about four aerobics instructors  who are really only working for "Polly Bergen's Velvet International" health spas as a cover for their jobs as secret agents and  "Shivers,"  about a divorced man ("Beverly Hills, 90210" dad James Eckhouse) who, with his two children, moves into a house haunted by a Revolutionary War-era troublemaker  and his girlfriend.   The special, which according to an ABC source may turn into a series, is based on author and entertainment writer Lee Goldberg's book Unsold TV Pilots: The Greatest Shows You Never Saw , an addictive collection of the "best" of the bad high-concept TV pilots that, in most cases, never saw screen time.  No date has been announced yet.

Now as much fun as all this sounds, my problem with it is that it's a clipfest,  and I want to see the whole show.  Let's hope it does become a regular series.  There are thousands of hours of unaired pilots, and ABC has nothing exciting to run anyway, so why not show a different one each week?  Ever see Bette Davis in "The Decorator?"


[June 10, 2002]  Herbert Finn, Wrote for Bob Hope, classic sitcoms  such  as "The Honeymooners,"  "The Flintstones" (now we know why they were so similar) and "Gilligan's Island," died May 28 of respiratory failure at Providence St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank. He was 89, and a longtime resident of Studio City.

Freeman King, An actor and comedian best known for his appearances on "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour" in the 1970s, has died. He was 59.  He was seen on "Life Goes On"  playing "Jamal" in 1990 .

Westerns and Perry Mason on New Hallmark Schedule

[June 9, 2002]  Starting Saturday July 6th Hallmark will be airing "High Chaparral" at noon ET, "The Rifleman" 1:00 PM 2:00 PM "Rawhide"  and here's the new weekday schedule featuring "Perry Mason."
9:00AM My Three Sons

 4:00PM Bewitched
9:30AM My Three Sons  4:30PM Bewitched
10:00AM Bewitched  5:00PM I Dream Of Jeannie
10:30AM Bewitched  5:30PM I Dream Of Jeannie
11:00AM I Dream Of Jeannie  6:00PM Bewitched
11:30AM I Dream Of Jeannie  6:30PM I Dream Of Jeannie
12:00PM Hart To Hart  7:00PM Hart To Hart
1:00PM Perry Mason  8:00PM Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
2:00PM Perry Mason  9:00PM MOVIE
3:00PM My Three Sons  11:00PM Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
3:30PM My Three Sons  12:00AM MOVIE
2:00AM Northern Exposure

All times are Eastern Daylight Time.

Off Topic, But Pretty Wild

[June 3, 2002]  ATTENTION: You have less than three days to get your bid in on the engineer's cab of The Walt Disney World Mark IV Monorail!  It's the real deal, it's the front of a 1971 Monorail, with a mere 943,976 miles on it.  The cab was taken out of service in 1993 and was just taking up space in a Disney World garage, so they're auctioning it off.  You can bid on it, if you've got $19,100.00 (at last check), and have a really high limited on your credit card, it's the only payment method they'll take. 

Cost of a Monorail: $20,000.00.  Cost of shipping: $5,000.00.  Pissing off your neighbors with your new lawn ornament: Priceless.

Click Here to buy a Monorail Cab, Click Here to check out other cool items, like a submarine propeller from "20,000 Leagues Under Sea,"  or a Monorail air horn.

Ren & Stimpy:  Back, One Way or Another

[June 3, 2002]  "Ren and Stimpy" are coming to The New TNN, and maybe with new episodes too.  "R&S" became a high-rated Nick favorite in 1991, grabbing enough adult viewers to warrant replays on MTV: Music Television. In 1993 Nickelodeon fired the creator and voice of "Ren", John Kricfalusi from the show.  Under Kricfalusi the program was dogged by delays in delivering new episodes.  Despite these differences with Viacom owned "Nick,"  Kricfalusi is in talks with Viacom owned TNN to make new episodes.  Although new episodes are not a done deal,  TNN picked up "Ren & Stimpy" reruns for use in a primetime animation block coming in early 2003.

Carol Burnett and 'Hearts Afire' Return to USA

[June 1, 2002]  "Carol Burnett & Friends" and "Hearts Afire" will return to USA Network this July.  I haven't seen "Hearts Afire" since it originally aired from 1992-95.  Until I saw this photo I had forgotten how steamy it was.   As for Carol,  her specials have been fun,  and this edited version of "The Carol Burnett Show" is like getting the best of the specials in half hour blocks.  "Carol Burnett & Friends"  airs  Sundays at 6:00AM followed by "Hearts Afire" at  6:30AM starting Sunday July 7th.



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