A TABOO AFFAIR, THE QUEEN OF MEAN, TRAILBLAZING TV STARS AND THE REAL STORIES OF LAW ENFORCEMENT MAKE UP OCTOBER 2021 PREMIERES
'Mary Kay Letourneau: 'Til Death' Delves Into the Bizarre Story of the Teacher Whose Illegal Affair with a 13-Year-Old Student Riled a Nation
'Leona Helmsley: Life, Death & Money' Examines the Epic Estate Battle Triggered by the Wild Final Wishes of Billionaire Real Estate Mogul Known as the Queen of Mean
Six Specials Celebrating America's Favorite Television Shows Make Their REELZ Premiere with Stars Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, Tim Allen, Betty White, Howie Mandel and Many More Sharing Stories of Their Groundbreaking TV Shows
Every Friday in October Features Eight Back-to-Back Episodes of the Original 'COPS' Documentary Reality Series Showcasing the Real Stories of Law Enforcement in the Line of Duty Across America
(Albuquerque, NM) Wednesday, September 15, 2021 - REELZ today announced its October 2021 premieres led by new original special Mary Kay Letourneau: 'Til Death detailing the real story of an illegal affair between a teacher and her sixth-grade student, their controversial decision to start a family and what Letourneau did in her final days that shocked everyone. October also marks the return of original series Life, Death & Money with a look at the estate battle over billions of dollars bequeathed by the real estate magnate Leona Helmsley who disinherited family members but gave her dog "Trouble" $12 million. Making their REELZ premieres in October are six specials about the trailblazing sitcoms, superhero, science fiction, western and comedy shows and stars that made indelible marks on pop culture. Every Friday in October features eight back-to-back episodes of the original hit documentary reality series COPS with the unscripted real life action from the front lines of law enforcement across America.
"October premieres focus on the real lives intertwined in the stories of Mary Kay Letourneau and Leona Helmsley who captivated and shocked people for very different reasons," said Steve Cheskin, SVP of Programming at REELZ. "We're also excited to celebrate the beloved shows and stars that changed television forever with six specials making their REELZ premiere telling the stories of shows from Gunsmoke to Roseanne and I Love Lucy to The Twilight Zone."
Kicking off the October lineup on Friday, October 1 are eight back-to-back episodes of the original COPS making their REELZ premieres starting at 7pm ET/ 4pm PT. The original reality ride-along series follows police officers and sheriff deputies during patrols and various police activities by embedding camera crews with their units to give viewers an inside look at being in the line of duty. Then on Saturday, October 2 it's the REELZ premiere of specials that spotlight the television shows and stars that broke new ground on the small screen and changed entertainment forever starting with Gunsmoke to Bonanza: TVs Favorite Westerns at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. From stand-up comedy legends laughing their way into American living rooms with sitcoms to superheroes saving the world night after night on the small screen the specials feature hundreds of stars including Jerry Seinfeld, Mary Tyler Moore, Tim Allen, Ray Romano, Howie Mandel, Betty White and many more sharing stories of the most iconic shows of American television.
In a story befitting of an entire TV series in itself elementary school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau rocketed to infamy in 1997 after it was revealed the married woman with four children had a sexual affair with student Vili Faulaau who was only 13 years old. On Tuesday, October 5 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT Mary Kay Letourneau: 'Til Death delves into the infamous relationship with PEOPLE magazine reporter Steve Helling who has covered the couple for 15 years and Letourneau's best friend Ann Bremner who give viewers personal insight into the lives of the controversial couple during Letourneau's last days on earth before dying of cancer in 2020. Making her own controversial headlines during her life and definitely after she passed was billionaire real estate mogul and hotelier Leona Helmsley. In her will she disinherited family members while leaving $12 million to her dog "Trouble". Despite being dubbed the Queen of Mean for her ruthless approach to building a massively successful real estate empire based in New York City Helmsley left the bulk of her $4.8 billion fortune to be divvied up to charities devoted solely to the care and welfare of canines. The trouble is she wasn't specific enough in her will and it triggered several lawsuits from charities as well as disgruntled family members.
Below is October 2021 programming listed by premiere date and time. Full synopses for every show follow this list.
Saturday, October 2
Gunsmoke to Bonanza: TVs Favorite Westerns at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
Tuesday, October 5
*NEW* Mary Kay Letourneau: 'Til Death at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT
Saturday, October 9
Lucy to Carol Burnett: TVs Favorite Comediennes at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
Seinfeld to Roseanne: TVs Favorite Comics at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT
Tuesday, October 12
*NEW* Leona Helmsley: Life, Death & Money at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT
Saturday, October 16
Lucy to Andy Griffith: TVs Favorite Sitcoms at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
Saturday, October 23
Batman to Wonder Woman: TVs Favorite Superheroes at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
Star Trek to Twilight Zone: TVs Favorite Sci-Fi at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT
Below are detailed descriptions for October 2021 programming listed by premiere date and time:
COPS - Every Friday in October starting Friday, October 1 at 7pm ET/ 4pm PT eight back-to-back episodes of the original COPS make their REELZ premieres. The original reality ride-along series and pioneer of the unscripted television explosion takes viewers coast to coast and to the front lines with the men and women of American law enforcement where the action is visceral, unpredictable and as real as it gets. COPS is produced by Langley Productions.
Gunsmoke to Bonanza: TVs Favorite Westerns makes its REELZ premiere on Saturday, October 2 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Rifleman, Wild Wild West, Maverick, Big Valley and Daniel Boone are among the iconic series profiled. This episode includes both the iconic western stars and the celebrities who used westerns as a launching pad for their acting careers. Featured interviewees include James Garner, Linda Evans, Robert Conrad, Fess Parker, Peter Graves, Angie Dickinson, Ernest Borgnine and Adam West among others. Gunsmoke to Bonanza: TVs Favorite Westerns is produced by Boettcher+Trinklein Television.
Mary Kay Letourneau: 'Til Death premieres on Tuesday, October 5 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT. Mary Kay Letourneau was a teacher who pled guilty in 1997 to the rape of a child. Her victim was 13-year-old Vili Fualaau who'd been her sixth-grade student and Letourneau was ultimately imprisoned from 1998 to 2004. Soon after her release Letourneau and Fualaau were married in May 2005. This special explores their relationship and the many twists and turns that happened between their wedding day and when Letourneau lost her short battle with colon cancer in July 2020. While she was still alive Letourneau and Fualaau quietly separated while still co-parenting their two daughters. Fualaau was a DJ at night and worked at Home Depot during the day while Letourneau was a paralegal. Since Letourneau's cancer diagnosis friends say that Letourneau made amends with her estranged first husband Steve and their four children and that Fualaau never left her side. PEOPLE magazine's Steve Helling who has reported on the couple for 15 years and Anne Bremner who is Letourneau's best friend give viewers personal insight into the lives of the infamous couple during Letourneau's last days on earth. Mary Kay Letourneau: 'Til Death is produced by AMS Pictures.
Lucy to Carol Burnett: TVs Favorite Comediennes makes its REELZ premiere on Saturday, October 9 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. Featuring Lucille Ball's breakthrough on I Love Lucy this episode also follows the legacy of the sitcom stars who followed including Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White and Marla Gibbs. Also included are the first standup comediennes to appear on television with legends Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers among others. Interviewees include Tina Fey, Joan Rivers, Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White, Marla Gibbs, Margaret Cho and Phyllis Diller. Lucy to Carol Burnett: TVs Favorite Comediennes is produced by Boettcher+Trinklein Television.
Seinfeld to Roseanne: TVs Favorite Comics makes its REELZ premiere on Saturday, October 9 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT. This star-packed episode features interviews with Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, Tim Allen, Ray Romano and Bob Newhart and more discussing how as America's top standup comics they made the transition from solo stage acts to the sitcom format. Seinfeld to Roseanne: TVs Favorite Comics is produced by Boettcher+Trinklein Television.
Leona Helmsley: Life, Death & Money premieres on Tuesday, October 12 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT. On August 20, 2007 one of the most infamous and litigious celebrity billionaires of late 20th century in New York City Leona Helmsley died at the age of 87. Helmsley began earning her massive fortune as a real estate mogul working from a secretary to owning her own company before becoming even more wealthy after marrying billionaire husband Harry Helmsley. A hotel heiress her reputation was not only built on the back of her prized property holdings including 30 national hotels, New York's iconic Flatiron building and the Empire State Building it was also built on the backs of her employees who claimed she ripped them off, fired them without cause and ran her properties with an iron fist earning her the nickname from the press as the "Queen of Mean". Helmsley's ultra-lavish lifestyle and penchant for working the tax system would ultimately become her undoing in court after she was convicted of federal income tax evasion and other crimes. Years later at the time of her death the late real estate mogul was worth between $4 billion to $8 billion. Unlike some celebrities Helmlsey did leave behind a will and many would speculate that her estate would be split fairly amongst her living heirs. But in true Helmsley fashion she instead leaves a will behind that cuts out two of her grandchildren and leaves as much as $12 million to her Maltese dog companion named "Trouble" and billions to unspecified canine charities triggering a series of legal battles over who is entitled to what in the Helmlsey empire. Leona Helmsley: Life, Death & Money is produced by Buck Productions.
Lucy to Andy Griffith: TVs Favorite Sitcoms makes its REELZ premiere on Saturday, October 16 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. Features the four formative sitcoms that shaped the TV landscape with looks at I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show. The last remaining Honeymooner Joyce Randolph offers surprising insights into Jackie Gleason while Andy Griffith provides forceful opinions about the people and techniques that made his show work. And in a rare interview together both Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke recount their years on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Lucy to Andy Griffith: TVs Favorite Sitcoms is produced by Boettcher+Trinklein Television.
Batman to Wonder Woman: TVs Favorite Superheroes makes its REELZ premiere on Saturday, October 23 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. Starting with Superman in the 1950s, Batman and The Green Hornet (with Bruce Lee) in the 1960s, Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk in the 1970s and Greatest American Hero in the 1980s American TV audiences have a long history with superheroes. This episode includes interviews with all of the big stars from Adam West, Burt Ward and Lynda Carter to Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Lou Ferrigno and William Katt. Batman to Wonder Woman: TVs Favorite Superheroes is produced by Boettcher+Trinklein Television.
Star Trek to Twilight Zone: TVs Favorite Sci-Fi makes its REELZ premiere on Saturday, October 23 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT. This episode spotlights the fascinating backstories of Star Trek, Lost in Space and Twilight Zone packed with insights from the stars who made these series such long-term successes. Sharing their stories are Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols along with the full cast of Lost in Space and a rare interview with TV producer icon Rod Serling. Star Trek to Twilight Zone: TVs Favorite Sci-Fi is produced by Boettcher+Trinklein Television.
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