Archives for Classic TV

Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – August 6-7, 2011


Breaking Bad
– I would say that things are heating up for Walt and Jesse, but really, when aren’t they? Jesse’s behavior does bring some unwanted attention to he and Walt, while the Cartel makes a serious move (again, not that they’re ever not serious) and Walt and Skyler practice their card skills as they prepare to tell the “truth” about where their sudden financial uptick originated.

I Love Lucy Marathon
– August 6 would have been Lucille Ball‘s 100th birthday, and there is no better way to celebrate than by tuning in to Hallmark’s weekend-long marathon of I Love Lucy, her classic 1951-57 sitcom.
Must-see episodes:

– “L.A. at Last!” (Sat., 8AM), in which Lucy has to don a fake nose (which catches on fire) to meet William Holden (the episode has been cited as Lucille Ball’s personal favorite);
– “Lucy in Palm Springs” (Sat., noon), in which Lucy and Ethel meet Rock Hudson in Palm Springs;
– “Harpo Marx” (Sat., 1PM), in which the beloved Marx Brother guest stars and recreates the famous Duck Soup mirror scene with Lucy;
– “Lucy’s Italian Movie” (Sat., 9:30PM), featuring the classic grape-stomping scene.

Michael Ian Black: Very Famous
– Skydiving and his kids’ lame trick-or-treating gear are among the topics the funny guy discusses in this performance, filmed at the Trocadero Theatre in Philly.

Teen Choice Awards
Kaley Cuoco hosts, One Republic and Jason Derulo perform and celeb presenters and attendees include Jason Bateman, Cameron Diaz, The Biebs, Robert Pattinson, Ellen DeGeneres, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Tyra Banks.

– Where does a frustrated (read: crazy) bride turn when her hair trial goes badly? She takes it out on the one person who so clearly deserves her ire: the person who dares to offer her water on her wedding day (read: super crazy).

Falling Skies
– Tom stays at camp to protect the civilians when the resistance fighter launch a major attack against the aliens, who might finally reveal their motives.

Same Name
Mike Tyson, boxer, swaps lives with Mike Tyson … male nurse.

10PM, SUN | VH1
Behind the Music: Adam Lambert
– Friends, family and the American Idol runner-up himself are interviewed for this BTM.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
– The social assassin – that’s who Larry would be if he were a superhero! – is back in action, as Larry thwarts a buffet line-cutter. But not everything goes so well for him, as his excuse for getting out of volunteer work has very, ahem, moving consequences.

Hillbilly Handfishin’
– People swim (ha!) to Oklahoma to experience noodling, a.k.a. handfishing, a.k.a. that really stupid thing of sticking your paw inside a hole to catch a fish, without knowing for certain what’s inside that hole. Hmmm, if only there were some sort of catching device they could use to go fishing …

Real Housewives of New Jersey
– It’s New Year’s Eve, and everyone’s resolutions seem to involve ticking off their relatives.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
James McAvoy and Liza Minnelli visit the Graham Norton Show (Sat., 10PM, BBCA);
– Eviction nominees are revealed on Big Brother (Sun., 8PM, CBS);
– On Food Network Challenge: Renaissance Festival Cakes (Sun., 8PM, Food Network), chefs make cakes, uh, inspired by renaissance festivals;
– On Drop Dead Diva (Sun., 9PM, Lifetime), Jane’s mom gets arrested when she uses the emergency exit on an airplane;
Hugh has to rescue Rick when his truck breaks down. Again. On Ice Road Truckers (Sun., 9PM, History);
Next Food Network Star (Sun., 9PM, Food Network) cheftestants compete in Iron Chef battles;
– Andy has a date with Holly on True Blood (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
– Jim investigates when a high school teacher and coach (who was also a mentor to Jeff) is murdered on The Glades (Sun., 10PM, A&E);
– The fourth season finale of In Plain Sight (Sun., 10PM, USA) finds Mary’s work yet again interfering with her life, and, this time, Brandi’s wedding;
Kim Coates, a.k.a. Sons of Anarchy‘s Tig, guest stars as Vince’s old nemesis Carl Ertz on Entourage (Sun., 10:30PM, HBO).


R.I.P. Sherwood Schwartz, ‘Brady Bunch’ & ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Creator

You simply can’t overestimate the impact Sherwood Schwartz had on those of us TV junkies who have memorized the plot of every Brady Bunch episode and probably learned what the word “hunch” meant after hearing it in the Brady theme song. So it’s incredibly sad news that the 94-year-old TV legend, who created The Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, died today in Los Angeles.

On the other hand, Schwartz will live on via his ongoing TV/pop culture classics. And he not only created the shows; he also wrote the series’  iconic theme songs, hands down two of the most memorable theme songs in TV history. In honor of the TV Academy Hall of Fame member, a great YouTube compilation of the Brady Bunch theme song, with the various versions from the show’s five seasons:


Hello, Darlin’: TNT Greenlights ‘Dallas’ Remake

This is awesome news for fans of ’80s TV and primetime soaps: TNT has officially given a greenlight to the long-in-development remake of Dallas, the classic nighttime soap about the Ewings, the Texas oil family led by the wily J.R. (Larry Hagman).  The best news: as had been rumored, Hagman, Linda Gray as his ex-wife Sue Ellen and Patrick Duffy as his white sheep brother Bobby will all be  part of the new show.

The series, which will air in summer 2012 on TNT, will be previewed Monday night during the season premieres of The Closer (9PM ET) and Rizzoli & Isles (10PM ET) … who’s in for another round with the Ewings?

The TNT press release on the reboot:

TNT Greenlights New Series DALLAS

TNT to Unveil Special Sneak Preview of DALLAS Monday
During Season Premieres of THE CLOSER and RIZZOLI & ISLES

New DALLAS Stars Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo and Brenda Strong, Along with the Return of TV Icons Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray

TNT has given the greenlight to DALLAS, an all-new series based upon one of the most popular television dramas of all time, about the bitter rivalries and family power struggles within a Texas oil and cattle-ranching dynasty. Famous for its ratings-grabbing cliffhangers, the original series was known for its wealth, seduction, scandal and intrigues. Set in the big state of Texas, TNT’s new DALLAS — from Warner Horizon Television — also lives life large and in the fast lane and  brings a new generation of stars together with cast members from the original drama series. The new DALLAS stars Josh Henderson (90210), Jesse Metcalfe (John Tucker Must Die), Jordana Brewster (Fast & Furious), Julie Gonzalo (Veronica Mars) and Brenda Strong (Desperate Housewives), and they will be joined by iconic stars Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing. TNT has ordered 10 episodes of DALLAS, which is slated to premiere in summer 2012.

TNT will give viewers their first look at DALLAS on Monday with a special sneak peek during the season premieres of the network’s blockbuster hits THE CLOSER, which starts at 9 p.m. (ET/PT), and RIZZOLI & ISLES, which airs at 10 p.m. (ET/PT). TNT is unveiling today a website dedicated to the new DALLAS series, where fans can view an online photo gallery that features a first look into the show’s new and returning cast.  Fans can visit the new site,, to watch sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes videos. The website will be periodically updated with new materials.

“TNT has explored the possibility of an updated version of DALLAS for several years, but it wasn’t until we read Cynthia Cidre’s outstanding pilot script that we knew we had the foundation for a great new series,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “It is incredibly exciting to see both new and familiar characters in the hands of a dream cast under the guidance of the enormously talented Cidre and Mike Robin. We couldn’t be more pleased with how DALLAS has come together.”

The original DALLAS aired from 1978 to 1991 and centered on the Ewing family, a cattle and oil dynasty occupying the expansive Southfork Ranch in Texas. A long and bitter rivalry between brothers J.R. Ewing (Hagman) and Bobby Ewing (Duffy) eventually led to J.R. losing control of most of the Ewing industries. In the new DALLAS, this explosive rivalry now lives on through another generation, with the future of the family fortune in the hands of the Ewing offspring: cousins John Ross Ewing (Henderson), the son of J.R. and ex-wife Sue Ellen (Gray), and Christopher Ewing (Metcalfe), the adopted son of Bobby. Brewster stars as Elena, who is involved in a love triangle with Christopher and John Ross. Gonzalo stars as Christopher’s fiancée, Rebecca. And Strong stars as Ann, Bobby’s wife.

Executive producer Cynthia Cidre, who wrote the acclaimed film The Mambo Kings and produced the TV series Cane, wrote the pilot for the new DALLAS. TNT’s series is based on the original series created by David Jacobs. The new DALLAS comes to TNT from Warner Horizon Television. Michael M. Robin (The Closer) is the director and executive-producer of the pilot.


Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – June 27, 2011


– The show jumps ahead three years, to the end of Nancy’s stint in prison. She’s paroled into a halfway house in New York City, where she plans to reunite with her family and, yes, restart her weed biz.

8PM | VH1
Basketball Wives
– It’s drama in New York when Evelyn and Tami get into (yet another) fight. Meanwhile, Jen has her first post-Eric date, and Evelyn tries to make up with her distant father.


Hot Coffee
– Remember the woman who, in 1994, sued McDonald’s because she burned herself by what she claimed was hot coffee that was too hot? It was a case considered by many – including the Seinfeld gang in the season seven episode “The Postponement” – to be an example of frivolous litigation. And it’s one of the main examples in this compelling, must-see documentary, from first-time filmmaker and former trial attorney Susan Saladoff.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
– The four-episode weekly marathon include two McPoyle gems: “The Gang Gets Invincible,” in which everyone tries out, sorta, for the Eagles, and “The Gang Gets Held Hostage,” in which the McPoyles take the gang hostage at Paddy’s.

10PM | NBC
Law & Order: Los Angeles
– This may the biggest buzzkill of a Law & Order episode of all time: the guests at a birthday party are murdered by some uninvited attendees.

10PM | MTV
Teen Wolf
– Scott and Allison play hookey, leaving Derek to face the werewolf hunters by himself.

The Big C
– The second season opens with Adam unhappy about seeing a therapist, Sean less than thrilled about living with the pregnant Rebecca and Dr. Todd unhappy that Cathy wants a second opinion (from a doc played by guest star Alan Alda).

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Ashley and the final eight visit Hong Kong before she kicks two more to the curb on The Bachelorette (8PM, ABC);
– Back-to-back Family Ties episodes (8PM, The Hub) are the ones that introduced Courteney Cox as Alex P. Keaton’s new girlfriend;
– On The Secret Life of the American Teenager (8PM, ABC Family), Ben tells Adrian he wants their marriage to be over;
Buddy and the Cake Boss gang build a bowling cake (9PM, TLC);
– The top 15 compete on Masterchef (9PM, Fox);
– On Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (10PM, ABC), 24-year-old LaRhonda vows to get her 400-pound-plus body in shape after the death of her diabetic mother.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Jason Sudeikis and DJ Qualls;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Jennifer Aniston;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Grover Norquist;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Shia LaBeouf;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Kevin Bacon and Bethenny Frankel (REPEAT);
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Gabrielle Anwar;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Louis C.K.;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Ellen Barkin (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Dennis Miller;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Adam Pally (REPEAT).


Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV


Real Housewives of New Jersey
– Hard to believe, but the Joisey girls may be wishing Danielle was back after they experience the new cast additions, both relatives of Teresa. In tonight’s premiere, the newbies (Kathy and Melissa) are introduced when Teresa and her family attend a christening. They arrive late (as usual), and that sets off a throwdown that could rival the great table-flipping incident of season 1.

– Can the team stop Vivian before she destroys Chuck and Sarah’s wedding? Now that the show will return for a 13-episode season next year, we may have to wait until then to find out … the episode is called “Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger,” after all.

– House has to deal with some devastating info, while Thirteen’s friend needs help, but can’t be treated at the hospital, because her problem is drug-related.

How I Met Your Mother
– Ted’s life changes at a wedding, but it’s not his wedding. Yet, anyway.

Gossip Girl
– The season ender all comes down to: What will Blair do?

Off Limits
– The new series, hosted by history buff Don Wildman, delves into the hidden, unusual and unknown of various U.S. cities. First up, Los Angeles, where Wildman finds hidden oil rigs in a residential neighborhood, kayaks down the Los Angeles River and gets a look at a rarely-seen part of the city and visits a former Nazi compound in Southern California.

Mike & Molly
– Mike wigs when Peggy’s new boyfriend asks if he plans to marry Molly (Melissa McCarthy). PS – Still haven’t warmed up to M&M, but MM, show star McCarthy, is the breakout star and major scene stealer in the new chick flick Bridesmaids.

– Beckett finds a surprising tie to her mother’s killer when a hit man with key info on the murder escapes.

10 and 10:30PM | THE HUB
Family Ties
– So much to love about tonight’s back-to-back eps: Not only are they the installments where Alex meets girlfriend Ellen, but it’s also when Michael J. Fox meets future real-life wife Tracy Pollan, and the episodes feature one of the all-time great sitcom musical moments, the introduction of Billy Vera & the Beaters‘ “At This Moment.” Remember?

Hawaii Five-O
– When McGarrett gets his hands on some major evidence against Wo Fat, the crime lord makes it his mission to destroy Five-O.

Nurse Jackie
– Jackie finds Bill in a sorry state when she stops by to score some drugs, and Thor bonds with Mrs. Akalitus.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– A wedding and graduation are the main events on the season 3 finale of 90210 (8PM, The CW);
– It’s week nine of performances on Dancing With the Stars (8PM, ABC);
– Ben and Amy butt heads when he defends Adrian on Secret Life of the American Teenager (8PM, ABC Family);
– New Kid in a Candy Store on Food Network (8:30PM);
Mad Love (8:30PM, CBS) wraps its first season;
– On American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior (9PM, Discovery), Junior rejects Senior‘s settlement offer, but when Senior’s dog dies, it may be the thing that will finally lead to a reconciliation between the estranged men;
– Jarek, Caleb and Teresa try to find a key, and missing, witness against Gibbons on The Chicago Code (9PM, Fox);
– Catch The Event (9PM, NBC) while you can; it did not get renewed for a second season;
– Tonight’s four-episode block of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (9PM, Comedy Central) includes “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System” for romance, “Mac and Dennis Break Up” and “The Gang Reignites the Rivalry,” with the introduction of Flipadelphia;
– RJ asks his dad for driving lessons, but he gets a visit to a strip club, with his dad, too, on The Hard Times of RJ Berger (10PM, MTV);
– TJ continues to look for his partner’s killer on Law & Order: Los Angeles (10PM, NBC).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Zach Galifianakis;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Jon Ronson;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Alison Klayman;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Andy Cohen and Julianne Margulies;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Eva Mendes;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Eva Longoria;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Kate Hudson (REPEAT);
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Cee Lo Green and Howie Mandel;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Simon Helberg;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Ben Schwartz (REPEAT).

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