CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The Television Critics Association began its winter press tour this week in which the various broadcast and cable networks talk about their upcoming plans to the nation's top critics and entertainment reporters.
Here's a breakdown of the highlights of Nick at Nite/TV Land's presentation (via press release):
TV'S MOST POWERFUL AND SUCCESSFUL PRODUCERS PROFILED IN TV LAND MOGULS
MERV GRIFFIN HOSTS SIX-PART DOCUMENTARY SERIES TO PREMIERE ON TV LAND IN APRIL '04
TV Land, television's home to the best programming from the past 50 years, profiles television's most influential movers and shakers in the medium's history in a six-part documentary series entitled TV Land Moguls. Hosted by television veteran Merv Griffin, each one hour installment chronicles the creative pioneers who indelibly influenced the television industry. The series is narrated by actor Adam Arkin. The announcement was made today by Larry W. Jones, Executive Vice President and General Manager, TV Land and Nick at Nite.
Produced by the award-winning CBS News Productions, the documentary series is presented in six installments, with each installment focusing on a decade -- from television's rise in the early 1950's to date. The series highlights the creativity, innovation and business acumen that brought about significant contributions to the television industry as well as considerable personal wealth to the individual producers. The first episode of TV Land Moguls will premiere on Wednesday, April 21 (9-10:00 PM, ET/PT), with subsequent installments airing on the ensuing Wednesdays at 9:00 PM, ET/PT. Immediately following each telecast TV Land will present a specially themed programming block representing the work of moguls seen in that evening's episode.
Each installment presents the select group of producers and their significant creative contributions. Among the roster of celebrated producers featured are Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, Sheldon Leonard, Danny Thomas, Carl Reiner, Quinn Martin, Sherwood Schwartz, Norman Lear, Grant Tinker, Aaron Spelling, Garry Marshall, Stephen J. Cannell, Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner, Stephen Bochco, Dick Wolf, Rob Burnett, Darren Star, and Jerry Bruckheimer.
Along with rarely seen archival footage, the series also features interviews with many of the actors and actresses who starred in the television programs showcased, including Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Marlo Thomas, Efrem Zimabalist, Jr., Tony Randall, John Amos, Mary Kay Place, Jean Stapleton, Henry Winkler, Gavin McLeod, Alec Baldwin, Joan Van Ark, Ricardo Montalban, Betty White, James Garner, Robert Guillaume, Dennis Franz, Jimmy Smitts, Cameron Manheim, Jesse Martin, Jason Priestly, Sarah Jessica Parker, William Peterson, David Caruso and Anthony LaPaglia.
Following is a brief synopsis of each episode:
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.
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.
The 70's - Part I: Because of their taste, style and tenacity, Grant Tinker (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda) and Norman Lear (All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude, Sanford & Son) changed the television landscape forever. They broke down barriers, opened viewers' minds, shed light on the world "outside the box" -- illuminating the human spirit. The creative atmosphere at their production companies nurtured several generations of TV's best talent.
The 70's - Part II: Although dismissed by the critics, Aaron Spelling and his partner Leonard Goldberg had one of the most prolific and profitable production company's in the 70's -- from Charlie's Angels and Starsky & Hutch to The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. Former advertising executive, Lee Rich's Lorimar Productions produces The Waltons and Eight Is Enough, but it's Dallas that brings phenomenal ratings success and signals the emergence of primetime soaps (Dynasty, Knots Landing). Garry Marshall strikes a chord with America's funny bone with hits like The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy.
The 80's: Stephen J. Cannell dominated network primetime with action-adventure hits like Baretta, Rockford Files, the A-Team and Wiseguy. Stephen Bochco brought quirky, quality dramatic hits like Hill Streeet Blues, L.A. Law and N.Y.P.D. Blue. The decade also saw the outrageous sitcoms from Witt-Thomas-Harris Productions, including Soap and Benson. Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner achieve the pinnacle of success with their groundbreaking comedy series, The Cosby Show, Roseanne and A Different World.
The 90's: Prolific writer/producer David E. Kelley dominates with Chicago Hope, Picket Fences, Alley McBeal and The Practice. Dick Wolf's New York- based Law & Order franchise debuts. In addition to hosting and producing his own late night show, comedian David Letterman forms World Wide Pants and together with Rob Burnett produces The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn, the dramatic series Ed and the hit sit-com Everybody Loves Raymond. Darren Star collaborated with mogul Aaron Spelling to deliver the hit series Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place. He later goes on to produce HBO's phenomenally successful series, Sex and The City, which follows the funny and sometimes shocking exploits of four single women in New York City. Jerry Bruckheimer, one of the most successful feature film producer's in the history of movies, brings his big-budget film style to the small screen. Combining state of the art visual effects with authenticity and realism -"feature-television," his hits include C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI Miami, and Without A Trace.
Brett Alexander is Executive Producer of TV Land Moguls. Bob Waldman, Jan Legnitto, Jan Albert, and Margaret Murphy serve as producers. Series was created by Bob Waldman. Overseeing for TV Land is Sal Maniaci, Vice President, Production and Development for TV Land and Nick at Nite. Overseeing for CBS is Margery Baker- Riker, Vice President, CBS News Productions.
TV Land Welcomes Carol Burnett and Friends with a 48-Hour Marathon of the Most Memorable Episodes
TV Land celebrates the launch of one of television's most enduring shows, Carol Burnett and Friends, with a 48-hour marathon beginning Saturday, Jan. 17, 2004 at 6 a.m. (all times ET/PT). One of the most celebrated shows in the history of its genre, it helped define a golden age of television comedy. Carol Burnett and Friends, the half-hour syndicated version of The Carol Burnett Show, will begin airing in its regular timeslot of Mon.-Fri., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sat. and Sun., 8 p.m. beginning Monday, Jan. 19.
"Carol Burnett and Friends had one of the greatest teams of talent ever assembled on television," states Larry W. Jones, Executive Vice President and General Manager, TV Land and Nick at Nite. "Carol Burnett is one of the funniest and most beloved comediennes of all time, and it is an honor for TV Land to add this show to our line-up."
For more than a decade, Carol Burnett and the talented cast of The Carol Burnett Show entertained America with song, dance and comedy in one of the most successful variety series of all time. The show was one of the most successful programs in television history and garnered 22 Emmy Awards during its run. In an era when variety shows would come and go, it remained successful, due in large part to the chemistry between Carol and her supporting stars - Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman and Lyle Waggoner. Burnett -- one of television's most versatile variety performers who could sing, dance, act, clown and mime -- was the cast's binding force.
The show is filled with comedy sketches, spoofs of TV series and movies - variety at its best. Among Burnett's extensive range of comic characterizations are "Mr. Tudball and Mrs. Wiggins" in which she plays an inept office worker with a frustrated boss played by Tim Conway. In "Old Folks at Home" Carol and Roger, played by Harvey Korman, are an unhappily married couple always fighting with Carol's sister Chrissy (Vicki Lawrence) and in "Ed and Eunice" she and Korman play a married couple constantly at odds with Eunice's mother, played by Vicki Lawrence. That sketch was to become the basis for the series Mama's Family, starring Vicki Lawrence. Of all the parodies performed on The Carol Burnett Show, a takeoff of the film Gone with the Wind is one of the best-remembered. Burnett played Starlett O'Hara, who tries to tempt the debonair Rat Butler (Korman) by using drapes and a curtain rod to make an elegant gown.
EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND STAR BRAD GARRETT TO HOST THE SECOND ANNUAL TV LAND AWARDS: A CELEBRATION OF CLASSIC TV
Two-Hour Special from Hollywood Palladium Honors the Best and Brightest from the History of Television
Emmy-award winning actor Brad Garrett, star of the current hit comedy series Everybody Loves Raymond, will host the second annual TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV, premiering on TV Land and simulcast on Nick at Nite on Wednesday, March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, it was announced today by Larry W. Jones, Executive Vice President and General Manager, TV Land and Nick at Nite. The event will be taped on Sunday, March 7 from the renowned Hollywood Palladium.
The TV Land Awards is the network's second annual awards salute to classic TV. The special recognizes shows and stars from television's rich history which have truly withstood the test of time. TV Land, together with some of the most beloved celebrities of modern and classic TV, will honor the legends, innovators, pop culture favorites and unsung heroes of television's past. Last March, at the network's inaugural awards show hosted by the late John Ritter, TV Land bestowed special tribute awards to some of television's most celebrated series. The accolades included The Dick Van Dyke Show (Legend Award), All in the Family (Innovator Award), Star Trek (Pop Culture Award), Julia (Groundbreaking Role Award), and American Dreams (Future Classic Award).
"We are thrilled to have Brad Garrett host the second annual TV Land Awards show," states Larry W. Jones. "Brad is a beloved actor and comic genius whose energy and talent make him the perfect choice as host."
Garrett's role in Everybody Loves Raymond has earned him three Emmy nominations, and in 2002 and 2003 he won the Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. He portrays Robert Barone, Ray Barone's (Ray Romano) older brother, an NYPD policeman who has just gotten married. Robert's existence is constantly overshadowed by his sports-writer sibling. This rivalry, in addition to their parents' constant meddling in Ray's life, helped coin the titled line, Everybody Loves Raymond. Now in its eighth season on CBS, the comedy continues to be a critical and ratings success, posting numbers worthy enough to consistently win its time slot every week.
A native of Woodland Hills, CA, Brad got his start in standup comedy. He has headlined at Bally's Park Place and co-headlined with the Temptations at Trump Plaza. He has also worked at the Sands with Frank Sinatra, Caesar's Palace with David Copperfield, Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson, Harrah's with Sammy Davis Jr. and the Beach Boys, and Radio City Music Hall with Julio Iglesias.
In addition to Garrett's two Emmy Awards, he shared the 2003 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. In 2002, Garrett played Jackie Gleason in the CBS Television movie "Gleason," for which he earned both an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild nomination as Outstanding Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series. He has also guest-hosted The Late Show for a sidelined David Letterman.
His film credits include "Sweet and Lowdown," "George B." and "Suicide Kings." He also appeared in the cable movies "Only in America: Don King," "Club Land" and "Bleacher Bums." His voiceover work includes giving life to Fatso the ghost in the 1995 feature film "Casper," and he can be heard playing the part of Dim the rhinoceros beetle in "A Bug's Life" and the blowfish Bloat in "Finding Nemo."
The TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV features celebrity presenters and special guests. Winners will be decided by TV Land's experts and viewers who have cast their vote on tvland.com.
The TV Land Awards is presented by Revlon. Other major sponsors include Mitsubishi, Sears, Orbitz, Ambien and Walgreens.
Michael Levitt (TV Land Awards 2003, Billboard Music Awards) serves as Executive Producer, Emmy-award winning Glenn Weiss as Director (2003 Tony Awards, Christmas in Washington, Star Search), Greg Sills as Supervising Producer (VH1 Divas, Billboard Music Awards), Michael Dempsey as Producer (Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration, mtvICON), and Sal Maniaci and Larry W. Jones also serve as Executive Producers.
TV LAND AND NICK AT NITE INVITE VIEWERS TO SHARE MORE THAN MEALS AT THE FAMILY TABLE IN NEW PRO-SOCIAL CAMPAIGN SET TO LAUNCH ON THANKSGIVING DAY
Malcolm-Jamal Warner Featured in Debut Round of On-Air Spots
TV Land, television's home to the best programming from the past 50 years, and Nick at Nite, the home of modern classic sitcoms, have unveiled a new pro-social initiative entitled TV Land & Nick and Nite's Family Table - Share More Than Meals that will make its on-air debut on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2003. The announcement was made today by Larry W. Jones, Executive Vice President and General Manager, TV Land and Nick at Nite.
The two networks have committed over $6 million in on-air promotion over the next year for the initiative, which TV Land and Nick at Nite will support in a variety of ways. The on-air campaign will launch with five public service announcements (PSAs) debuting on Thanksgiving Day and will continue airing daily on both networks. The first round of PSA's, include three spots starring television veteran Malcolm-Jamal Warner of The Cosby Show�� - currently seen on Nick at Nite - which address the television tradition of family mealtimes and their relevance to viewers' lives today. The spots will run through early 2004 and be refreshed periodically.
The initiative's messaging will also play a role in original programs beginning with The Nick At Nite Holiday Special (premiering on Nov. 28 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT) and in Nick at Nite's new original animated series Fatherhood, set to debut in spring of next year.
The network's Emmy-nominated web site, tvland.com, will also support the pro-social effort by posting information on the campaign, including suggested conversation starters, interesting ways to set a table as well as a message board where families can share ideas about mealtimes. Additionally, TV Land and Nick at Nite will schedule specially themed programming events tied to the initiative by showcasing classic TV episodes in which the show's central plot is revealed or resolved over a meal.
"TV Land and Nick at Nite's Family Table will elevate the importance, value and benefits of families reconnecting and sharing mealtime together. Family - traditional and non-traditional -- is the common thread that connects all of our programming," said Jones. "Now that TV Land is virtually fully distributed and, combined with Nick at Nite, has strong delivery of adults, we feel that this is the perfect time to embrace an initiative designed to encourage families and friends to reconnect - back at the table - to eat, talk and share in each others lives."