March 2004

Morty's News Archive

  Friday, January 27, 2023
This is a collection of old news and obituaries from the Morty's 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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Special Airings of The Lucy Show, Adam-12, Make Room for Daddy,

Dragnet & More on TV Land!

[Monday, March 29 2004 -- Posted by Pavan]  TV Land will be airing some of your favorite shows that are currently not airing on the network, on Wednesday nights in April and May. As part of the TV Land Moguls programming block, which salutes television pioneers, TV Land will air some of these pioneers' famous work. Starting 9PM on April 21, TV Land Moguls: The '50s, showcases an hour long biography of Sheldon Leonard, Lucy & Desi, Danny Thomas & more. Then, starting at 10PM TV Land will show some of their work, shows including The Lucy Show, Star Trek, and Make Room for Daddy will air that night.

The following week will showcase the works of famous '60s executive producers, Jack Webb, Quinn Martin, Sherwood Schwartz, and Paul Henning. Among the shows airing that night will be Petticoat Junction, The Fugitive, Adam-12 and Dragnet.

And that is just the '50s and '60s! TV Land will have more goodies in store for the '70s (two parts), the '80s and the '90s.

Here is the Moguls schedule for April:

Wednesday, April 21
9:00PM TV Land Moguls: The 50's: Television's Golden Age. Celebrated television icons Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, Sheldon Leonard and Danny Thomas developed breakthrough television production and 3-camera filming before a live audience. They were instrumental in moving TV production to Los Angeles and brought quality, character driven sitcoms that were ratings winners.
(Reairs: Thursday, April 22 at 8:00am; Friday, April 23 at 5:00pm; Saturday, April 24 at 8:00pm; Sunday, April 25 at 9:00am, Monday, April 26 at 2:00am; Tuesday, April 27 at 11:00am; and Wednesday, April 28 at 6:00pm.)
Programming from the Moguls 50's episode 10pm-1:30am (Reairs: Sunday, April 25 10am-1:30pm)
10:00PM I Love Lucy (TV Land Mogul: Desi Arnaz) #30 "Lucy Does a TV Commercial"
10:30PM The Lucy Show (TV Land Mogul: Lucille Ball) #42 "Lucy Puts Out a Fire at the Bank"
11:00PM Star Trek (TV Land Mogul: Gene Roddenberry): #42 Trouble with Tribles
12:00AM Make Room for Daddy (TV Land Mogul: Danny Thomas) #85 "Danny Meets Andy Griffith"
12:30AM The Andy Griffith Show (TV Land Moguls: Sheldon Leonard & Danny Thomas) #96 "Opie & the Birdman"
1:00AM The Dick Van Dyke Show (TV Land Moguls: Sheldon Leonard & Danny Thomas) #51 "It May Look Like a Walnut"

Wednesday, April 28
9:00PM TV Land Moguls: The 60's: While Quinn Martin and Jack Webb brought gritty crime drama and feature film production quality to the television screen, Sherwood Schwartz and Paul Henning found success with zany sitcoms including The Beverly Hillbillies and Gilligan's Island.
(Reairs: Thursday, April 29 at 8:00am; Friday, April 30 at 5:00pm; Saturday, May 1 at 8:00pm; Sunday, May 2 at 9:00am, Monday, May 3 at 2:00am; Tuesday, May 4 at 11:00am; and Wednesday, May 5 at 6:00pm.)
Programming from the Moguls 60's episode 10pm-1am (Reairs: Sunday, April 25 10am-1pm)
10:00PM Adam-12 (TV Land Mogul: Jack Webb) #1 "Log 1 -- The Impossible Mission"
10:30PM Dragnet (TV Land Mogul: Jack Webb) #907
11:00PM Petticoat Junction (TV Land Mogul: Paul Henning) #75 "Dear Minerva"
11:30PM Green Acres (TV Land Mogul: Paul Henning) #1 "Oliver Buys a Farm"
12:00AM The Fugitive (TV Land Mogul: Quinn Martin) #120 "Judgement, II"

The 6-part series continues every Wednesday in May at 9pm, with the '70s Part I (programming block from 10pm-1am), the '70s Part II (programming block from 10pm-2:30am), the '80s (programming block from 10pm-12am) and the '90s (programming block from 10pm-11:30pm).

Bewitched Casting News

[March 26, 2004] As you may know, Nicole Kidman will play Samantha Stephens in the upcoming feature film treatment of "Bewitched." Will Ferrell was cast as Darrin, and recently announced is Shirley MacLaine in the role of Endora and Michael Caine as Maurice, Sam's father.  Shooting begins this summer, "Bewitched" will open in theatres in 2005, and the TV series will be released on DVD at the same time.

NBC Plans Diff'rent Strokes Movie; More in the Works As Well

[Friday, March 26 2004 -- Posted by Pavan]   Whatchoo talkin' about, NBC?

As part of its "Behind the Camera" franchise, NBC is developing a two-hour look at the drama surrounding the hit '80s NBC sitcom, "Diff'rent Strokes." Greg Pincus is writing a script for the project, which is one of several TV tales in the works at NBC.

NBC is also in early development on telepics focusing on the behind-the-scenes drama of ABC hits "Mork & Mindy," "Laverne & Shirley" and "Bewitched." NBC has previously produced telepics on ABC hits "Three's Company" and "Charlie's Angels."

"The franchise has performed quite well for us," said NBC longform topper Jeff Gaspin, who also heads alternative programming at NBC and is president of Bravo. Most recent "Charlie's Angel" pic was just so-so in raw numbers, "but when we got in the upscale demos for 'Angels,' it was off the chart," Gaspin added.

Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges have signed on as consultants on the "Diff'rent Strokes" telefilm, which Gaspin said will tread cautiously when dealing with many of the tragic events surrounding the sitcom -- including the death of star Dana Plato.

"If you get it right, this is a cautionary tale about kids in Hollywood," he said. "We need to do it in a non-exploitative manner."

William S. Paley Television Festival Honors Sherwood Schwartz

[March 15, 2004]  LOS ANGELES ( - Sherwood Schwartz may be 87 years old, but the man who once wrote jokes for Bob Hope and Red Skelton still knows how to whip out the funny material. Friday night's (March 12) "A Salute to Sherwood Schwartz" session at the William S. Paley Television Festival offers more carefully delivered one-liners than most current sitcoms can muster in a season.  image Full Details. 

ET Covers Dick Van Dyke Revisited & Growing Pains TV Movies

[March 12, 2004] Entertainment Tonight caught up with the casts of two upcoming TV movies, "The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited," and "Growing Pains II Home Equity."

"The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited," expected to air this Spring, looks in on the Petrie family almost 40 after our last visit.  Alan Brady (Carl Reiner) has been asked to do a TV special and he looks up Rob and Sally (Rose Marie) to write it.  But when he calls Rob's house, Alan discovers the famous residence is now the home of Rich Petrie (Larry Mazzeo). 

Meanwhile, on the set of "Growing Pains II Home Equity,"  finds the Seaver kids (Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold, Jeremy Miller, Ashley Johnson) up in arms after their parents (Alan Thicke, Joanna Kerns) decide to sell the family house.

See the interviews from both movies. 

Survey Sez...

[March 11, 2004] What's your favorite TV/Movie Car? Hagerty Insurance, the Traverse City, Michigan based firm that specializes in collector car insurance took a survey.  Here are the results:

 #1 "The Dukes of Hazzard," 1969 Dodge Charger General Lee
 #2 "Bullitt," green 1968 Ford Mustang driven by Steve McQueen
 #3  "Gone in Sixty Seconds," 1967 Shelby GT500
 #4  "Back to the Future," 1983 DeLorean
 #5  "Batman" TV series, Batmobile
 #6  "Goldfinger," Aston Martin DB5
 #7  "Smokey and the Bandit," 1977 Pontiac Firebird T/A
 #8  "Herbie, the Love Bug," 1963 Volkswagen Beetle
 #9  "Starsky and Hutch" TV series and "Starsky & Hutch" movie, 1974 Ford Torino
 #10  "The Green Hornet" TV series, Chrysler Imperial Black Beauty

Frankly, I'm shocked that "The Munsters" Koach or Drag-ula didn't make the list.  
image Full Details. 
See Related Story Here

Message Board Open 

[March 11, 2004] I've added three message boards to the site.  I've wanted to do this for quite some time, but never got around to it.  The boards are very simple, and should be easy to use for those of you with limited internet experience.

The current forums are: "Big Brother," "TV Questions," and a "General TV Talk Board."  During the off-season of "Big Brother,"  I don't do much updating, here's a place you can post the news I miss.  For those of you that have asked me questions I couldn't answer, now you can post them in the "TV Questions" forum, and have them answered by true TV experts, other fans.  The "General TV Talk Board"  is just that, a place to talk about your favorite shows, post news about your favorite stars, etc..

I actually installed these boards last month, so to read the welcome messages you need "show topics from last 30 days."  I've had friends testing the software to see if everything works, and there don't seem to be any problems.  So give them a test ride and we'll see if they're worth keeping on the site.  Go to message boards.

Murphy Brown's Robert Pastorelli Found Dead at 49

[March 9, 2004] Robert Pastorelli, an actor,  was found dead on Monday afternoon, He was 49.

After a series of menial roles in a variety of movies (including "Beverly Hills Cop 2") and television projects, in 1988, Pastorelli landed the part of Murphy's housepainter and confidante, Eldin Bernecky on CBS' "Murphy Brown."   In 1995, he earned an Emmy nomination for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series.

After "Murphy Brown," Pastorelli starred in the failed comedy "Double Rush" and the short-lived American update of "Cracker." The actor's feature credits include "Dances with Wolves," "Michael" and "Eraser."

In 1999, Pastorelli's girlfriend Charemon Jonovich was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Pastorelli had a daughter, Gianna, with Jonovich.  According to the AP, Pastorelli's body was discovered in the bathroom of his Hollywood Hills house. An autopsy was to be performed on Tuesday, but a spokesman for the coroner notes that drug paraphernalia was found.

Actor Paul Winfield Dies

Winfield as "The Mirror" in the ABC sit-com, "The Charmings."

[March 9, 2004] Paul Winfield, an actor, died of a heart attack Sunday night at Queen of Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. He was 62.

Winfield was only the third African American to receive an Academy Award nomination for best actor when he was honored for his performance as Nathan Lee Morgan, the loving sharecropper father in the 1972 classic "Sounder."   Last year, Winfield had a cameo in the ABC remake of the period piece set in the South in the 1930s. It was to be his last film role.

Winfield's TV career started in 1957 with a guest role on "Perry Mason," followed "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,"   "Room 222" and "Julia," in which he played Diahann Carroll's boyfriend. He considered his role in "Julia" the only meaningful acting he had done until "Sounder.' Cast mainly in character roles, Winfield consistently worked in film, television and theater, receiving an Emmy in 1995 for his role as a federal judge on "Picket Fences." He had previously received Emmy nominations for his lauded performance as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1978 miniseries "King" and another in 1979 for "Roots: the Next Generation."

In the 1980s, he appeared in such films as "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."  On TV he co-starred on "The Charmings" as Queen Lillian White's  wisecracking enchanted mirror.  On stage he appeared in works by Shakespeare, Ibsen and Chekhov. He starred opposite Denzel Washington in Ron Milner's play "Checkmates" in Los Angeles, and repeated his role in the 1988 Broadway production.

The 1990s began on a high note with a juicy role as a judge in the 1990 hit "Presumed Innocent." He appeared in Los Angeles opposite Carroll in "Love Letters" and won the Emmy for his guest-starring role on "Picket Fences."  In 1998, he was offered to narrate the A&E crime documentary series "City Confidential."

Besides his acting career, Winfield also bred and showed black pug dogs for several decades until his diabetes forced him to stop. Never married, Winfield shared his Hollywood Hills home with seven pugs, each named after a Shakespearean character, and more than 600 ceramic and bronze pug figures.

He is survived by a sister, Patricia Wilson of Las Vegas. Funeral services are pending.

Upcoming TV on DVD Releases

[March 9, 2004] As you may know by now, this is one of my favorite subjects.  There's rarely a night that goes by that I don't watch some classic TV on DVD.  No commercials, no edits, pause the credits, it's paradise...   Highlights for the April/May releases include two of the best collections, season two of "Three's Company," and season four of "The Dick Van Dyke Show." 

The "Three's Company" set includes all 25 episodes from the second season--including "Ground Rules," "Jack Looks for a Job," "Three's Christmas," "Days of Beer and Weeds," and "Chrissy Come Home," as well as: Never Before Seen Pilot Episode #1: Made Before Joyce DeWitt and Suzanne Somers Were Cast,  "John Ritter-Always Leave Them Laughing": An All-New Documentary Featuring Interviews With Joyce DeWitt,  "Eight Years Of Laughter: A Tribute To John Ritter": Showcasing His Funniest Three's Company Moments,  Audio Commentary For "Days Of Beer And Weeds" with Chris Mann, Author of Come And Knock On Our Door - Best Of Janet: Season Two - Best Of Chrissy: Season Two - Best of the Ropers: Season Two - Blooper Reel - Trivia Game - Photo and Still Gallery - Memorabilia Gallery - Talent Bios Look for our own Pavan Patel's name in the credits, he assisted in the research. 

The fourth season of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" brings us all 32 episodes including "My Mother Can Beat Up Your Father," "The Ghost of A. Chantz," "4 1/2," "It Wouldn't Hurt Them to Give Us a Raise," and "The Redcoats Are Coming" collected in a five-disc set. Audio commentary by Van Dyke, Reiner; rehearsal footage; featurettes; photo gallery; TV spots; more. Producer, Paul Brownstein won an award for making "The Dick Van Dyke Show" the best TV series DVD boxed set.

April 6
Charlie's Angels The Complete 2nd Season
Due South Season 3
Freaks and Geeks The Complete Series
Friends The Complete 7th Season
In Living Color Season 1
Muppet Show, The Best of The Muppet Show: Vol 8
April 13
Babylon 5 The Complete 5th Season
Highlander: The Series Season 4
April 20
Andromeda Volumes  3 & 4
Clifford the Big Red Dog New Friends/Little Puppy
Cracker Season 3
King of Queens, The The 2nd Season
Lost World, The Season 2
Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary and Rhoda Reunion Movie
Office, The Complete 2nd Series
Playmakers Season 1
Prime Suspect 4 HBO 3 Episodes
Prime Suspect 5 Prime Suspect  5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 1

April 27
Dick Van Dyke Show Season 4
ER The Complete 2nd Season
Kids in the Hall, The Season 1
Midsomer Murders Box Set 3
Profiler Season 3
Saved by the Bell Seasons 3 & 4
May 4
Campion The Complete Second Season
Gilmore Girls The Complete 1st Season
Law & Order The 2nd Year
Monarch of the Glen Series 2
Osbournes, The The Osbournes 2 1/2
Party of Five Season 1
ReBoot Season 4:
Samurai Jack Season 1
Three's Company Season 2

May 11
Adventures of Jonny Quest, The Season 1
Have Gun Will Travel Season 1
Invader Zim Volume 1 of 3
Jetsons, The Season 1
Waltons, The The Complete 1st Season
X-Files, The Season 9 Box Set
May 18
Prime Suspect Prime Suspect 6
Providence The Providence Collection
Sex and the City The Complete 6th Season  Part 1
West Wing, The The Complete 2nd Season
May 25
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 6
Cheers Season 3
Frasier Season 3
Northern Exposure Season 1
Ponderosa Ponderosa: Season 1 Vol. 1
Smallville The Complete 2nd Season
Tiny Planets Magnificent Seven & Shower Power

TV Land Awards Taped on Sunday

[March 7, 2004] A recap of what happened at the taping last night at the TV Land Awards includes a tribute to the late John Ritter, expert awards, and viewers choice awards.  So read only if you want to know, if not watch the TV Land Awards on March 17 at 9-11PM ET/PT on TV Land and Nick@Nite.  Here is the recap:

Gary Coleman wears the "Coleman-Cam" at the second annual TV Land Awards.

With the help of over 70 stars from television and film, TV Land bestowed special tribute awards tonight to some of television's most celebrated series and stars during the second annual TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV. TV Land presented awards to the casts of several shows including "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (Groundbreaking Award), "The Andy Griffith Show" (Legend Award), "Gilligan's Island" (Pop Culture Award) and FOX's "Arrested Development" (Future Classic Award).

The TV Land Awards was taped at The Hollywood Palladium and will air on TV Land and Nick at Nite on Wednesday, March 17 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET/PT).     The full-blown homage to classic television featured unforgettable moments such as when acclaimed comedic actor Ben Stiller presented the cast of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" with the "Groundbreaking Award" for one of television's earliest depictions of a single, successful career woman. Academy Award-winner Billy Bob Thornton presented the cast of "The Andy Griffith Show" with the "Legend Award" honoring the show's timeless and enduring appeal of life in a small North Carolina town. Cast members from "Gilligan's Island" accepted TV Land's "Pop Culture" Award for the popular sitcom's enduring comedy about castaways on a deserted island. The award was presented by CBS' "Survivor All Stars." Academy and Emmy Award-winning actress Liza Minnelli presented Mitch Hurwitz, David Nevins and the cast of "Arrested Development" with the "Future Classic Award," which is presented to the one new show from the past calendar year which best exemplifies the qualities of an emerging television phenomenon.    

Amy Yasbeck pays tribute to her late husband, John Ritter.

Other memorable moments included Golden Globe-winning actress Sharon Stone presenting the "Bossiest Boss Award" to Danny Devito ("Taxi"); Emmy Award-winning actor Eric McCormack of Will and Grace performing a tribute song to Mary Tyler Moore and an opening medley which featured Cybill Shepherd singing the theme song to Moonlighting; Tony Orlando and Dawn singing "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" and Charlotte Rae and Lisa Whelchel singing the theme song to "The Facts of Life." Classic TV stars Bea Arthur, Sally Struthers, Katherine Helmond and Charlotte Rae appeared in a hilarious spoof of "Sex and the City;" Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden of "I Dream of Jeannie" were reunited onstage to present actress Patty Duke with the Award for "Favorite Dual-Role" ("The Patty Duke Show"), and the original "Catwomen" -- Lee Meriwether, Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt presented Marlo Thomas ("That Girl") with the "Favorite Fashion Plate --Female Award."  The musical performances also featured the first-ever live performance of "Love American Style", the title song to the hit 1970's comedy series by the legendary singing family, The Cowsills.    

Comedian George Lopez paid tribute to the late John Ritter, beloved star of the enduring hit sitcom "Three's Company" and "8 Simple Rules ... for Dating My Teenage Daughter." Ritter also hosted last year's first TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV. The salute featured a clip package of Ritter's vast television work, including appearances on "The Cosby Show" and "Wings" with actress Amy Yasbeck, whom he later married.    

The tribute awards presented included the following:    

GROUNDBREAKING AWARD     This award is presented to a show whose characters and stories changed the course of television history and reflected contemporary social issues. TV Land honored "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" as this year's recipient. Acclaimed comedic actor Ben Stiller presented the award to Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White, Cloris Leachman, Ed Asner, Gavin McLeod, John Amos and Valerie Harper.    

LEGEND AWARD     This award is presented to a television series that has withstood the test of time and ranks among the most memorable and celebrated shows in TV history. This year's honoree is "The Andy Griffith Show." Academy Award-winner Billy Bob Thornton presented the award to Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, Jim Nabors, Aaron Ruben, Betty Lynn, Earle Hagen, Elinor Donahue, George Lindsey, Harvey Bullock, Howard Morris and Maggie Peterson.    

Sherwood & Lloyd Schwartz, Dawn Wells, Tina Louise, and Russell Johnson of "Gilligan's Island."

POP CULTURE AWARD This award is presented to a show that has crossed the line from television series to pop culture phenomenon. TV Land  acknowledges "Gilligan's Island" as this year's recipient. CBS Survivor All Stars Rudy Boesch, Tina Wesson, Jenna Morasca and Rob Cesternino presented the cast with this award. Bob Denver, Dawn Wells, Tina Louise, Sherwood Schwartz, Lloyd Schwartz and Russell Johnson accepted on behalf of the show.    

VISIONARY AWARD In 1974, mainstream television went to the barrio for the first time with a situation comedy that saw the growing importance and relevance of Latino culture. In "Chico and the Man," set in East L.A., an enterprising young Latino mechanic forges an unlikely partnership and eventually, friendship, with an older surly, white garage owner. The show starred Emmy-winning legend Jack Albertson and the charismatic young Freddie Prinze as his cohort and antagonist. TV Land honors "Chico and the Man" for bringing a multicultural neighborhood to life and into the homes and neighborhoods all over America. It was an important step forward. It was also the pinnacle of the all-too-short career of Freddie Prinze. George Lopez presented this award to Freddie Prinze Jr., who accepted this award on behalf of his father, the late Freddie Prinze.    

FUTURE CLASSIC AWARD     This award goes to the one show that TV Land feels best exemplifies the qualities of an emerging classic series that would one day fit its broad mix of award-winning line-up. This is the sixth consecutive year that TV Land has presented this award. (The series must have debuted during the past calendar year.) Oscar and Emmy-winner Liza Minnelli presented this award to the cast and crew of Arrested Development - Jason Bateman, Portia DeRossi, David Cross, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat and executive producers Mitch Hurwitz and David Nevins accepted on behalf of the show.    

Also tonight, the network announced the winners of its viewers' choice poll for a variety of fun categories. Among the triumphant victors who picked up the precious TV Land statuette included:     

Bossiest Boss      Danny DeVito, "Taxi"     

Favorite Dual Role Character      Patty Duke, "The Patty Duke Show"     

Favorite "Fan"-tastic Phenomenon      Farrah Fawcett, "Charlie's Angels"     

Favorite Cantankerous Couple      Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford as George and Louise Jefferson, "The Jeffersons"     

Favorite Fashion Plate - Female      Marlo Thomas, "That Girl"

Superest Super Hero      Lynda Carter, "Wonder Woman"

On camera guests include: Host Brad Garrett, Danny Devito, George Lopez, Freddie Prinze Jr., Ben Stiller, Liza Minelli, Billy Bob Thornton, Arsenio Hall, Barbara Eden, Betty White, Bob Denver, Charlotte Rae, Lisa Whelchel, Charo, Cloris Leachman, Cybil Shepherd, David Lander, Eartha Kitt, Ed McMahon, Ed Asner, Eric McCormack, Farrah Fawcett, Gary Coleman, Gavin McLeod, Jane Seymour, Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Larry Hagman, Lynda Carter, Mary Tyler Moore, Marlo Thomas, Michael McKean, Patty Duke, Peter Falk, Rhea Pearlman, Trista & Ryan, Sherman Hemsley, Sharon Stone, Tony Dow, Jerry Mathers, Tina Louise, Dawn Wells, Russell Johnson, Sherwood Schwartz, Lloyd Schwartz, Valerie Harper, Cast of Survivor All-Stars--Rudy Boesch, Tina Wesson, Jenna Morasca, & Rob Cesternino, Cast & Crew of Arrested Development--Jason Bateman, Portia DeRossi, David Cross, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat executive producers Mitch Hurwitz & David Nevins, Donna Douglas, Telma Hopkins, Tony Orlando, Max Baer Jr., John Amos, Joyce Vincent Wilson, Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, Jim Nabors, Aaron Ruben, Betty Lynn, Earle Hagen, Elinor Donahue, George Lindsey, Harvey Bullock, Howard Morris, Maggie Peterson, Batman & Robin, Bea Arthur, Katherine Helmond, Sally Struthers and more. Other Guests include: Amy Yasbeck, Annette O'Toole, Bernie Kopell, Mariette Hartley, Erin Murphy, Phil Donahue, Butch Patrick, Brandon Cruz, E.G. Daily, Jack Klugman, James Keach, Ruth Buzzi, Sam Harris, Ted Lange and more!  

One in a Million to Air on TV One

[March 5, 2004] Shirley Hemphill, who played Shirley Wilson on "What's Happening," briefly had her own sit-com in 1980,  "One in a Million."    TV One has dug up the 13 episodes that feature Hemphill as  Shirley Simmons, a cab driver who inherits Grayson Enterprises, a multi-million-dollar, white run conglomerate.

"One in a Million" replaces "George" on the the TV One schedule.  The following changes in the schedule were made (changes only listed): 
7:00AM "One in a Million" (replaces "George")
7:30AM "Between Brothers" 
8:00AM "Good Times"
8:30AM "Good Times" 
11:00AM "One in a Million" (replaces "George")
6:00PM "One in a Million" (replaces "George")

TV One, the new cable network targeting adult African American viewers, was launched January 19, in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Delaware, Atlanta, Detroit and Flint, Mich. TV One started in Chicago and Oakland, Calif., in February and will hit  Philadelphia in April.

Gilligan's Island to Go 'Real'

[March 2, 2004]  TBS is planning a reality version of "Gilligan's Island."  The Superstation has partnered with the creators of the original series, Lloyd and Sherwood Schwartz, for eight episodes of the project in which real-life counterparts are stranded and working together to get off an island. Setups for certain segments will resemble situations from classic episodes. A casting schedule will begin soon for a real-life skipper, first mate, millionaire couple, movie star, Kansas farm girl and professor.

As a follow-up, the reality version of "Gilligan's Island" TBS is working on an unscripted reality version of  "Sex and the City," as well as a hidden camera show from Martin Lawrence and Gay Rosenthal ("Behind the Music" and "Inside TV Land").

TBS also announced that  starting in June, "TBS: The Superstation"  will turn into "TBS: Very Funny."   When it relaunches in June, TBS will have dropped its "Superstation" logo in favor of the new tagline "TBS Very Funny," emblematic of its new comedy-centered lineup of acquired sitcoms and original reality fare.

Sony and VH1 are working up a new reality take on "The Partridge Family.

Nick Ratings

[March 2, 2004]  Despite all your complaints regarding Nick @ Nite's programming choices,  Nick @ Nite scored their highest rated February ever among adults 18-49 and biggest audience levels ever among its target demo of adults 18-49.

Bolstered by the network's Valentine's Day programming event, "Roseanne and Dan: A Love Story," and a strong showing from its  line-up of "Full House," "The Cosby Show" and "Roseanne," Nick @ Nite finished the month with a +20% increase in rating and a +23% rise in delivery over last year.

According to Nielsen Media Research for February '04 (1/26/04-2/29/04), Nick @ Nite averaged a 0.6/663,000 among Adults 18-49 audience during its programming hours, +20% above last year in rating and up +22% delivery increase. The network also averaged 1.4 million persons 2+, a +19% increase over prior-year levels. Nick @ Nite's programming hours are Sun-Thurs., 9:00PM - 6:00AM; Fri & Sat., 10PM - 6AM.

"Nick @ Nite's strong ratings provides further proof of America's passion for great, modern classic sitcoms," said Larry W. Jones, President, TV Land and Nick @ Nite.

Highlights of Nick @ Nite's February 2004 performance include:

 Roseanne and Dan: A Love Story (2/5/04), a Valentine's Day showcase of "Roseanne" episodes that chronicled The Conners' relationship, posted a 0.7/733,000 among Adults 18-49, a +75% rise in rating and +69% in delivery over last year. Among persons 2+, the program averaged 1.5 million total viewers, up +38% over last year.

The family comedy "Full House" (Sun.-Thurs., 9-10 p.m.) posted a 0.7/708,000 among Adults 18-49, a +40% ratings increase and a +46% rise in delivery; among persons 2+, the series averaged 2.5 million viewers, an increase of +37% over last year.

"Roseanne" (Mon.-Sun., 11p-12a) continued to clean up as the show averaged a 0.8 rating and delivered 799,000 Adults 18-49, a +100% increase in rating and a +77% rise in delivery over last year. The show averaged 1.6 million total viewers, up +36% compared to last year.

"The Cosby Show" (Mon.-Sun., 12a-1a) increased its viewership by +11% among viewers and by +17% in rating among Nick @ Nite's target Adults 18-49 demo. Among total viewers, "The Cosby Show" averaged 1.5 million persons 2+; among Adults 18-49, the show averaged a 0.7 rating and delivered 732,000 adults.  



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