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Mixed Notes - July 31 (Updated)

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 31, 2012

UPDATE: In a previous post I mentioned my chat with Jeanne Cooper. It is now online and you can find it here.

 

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Mixed Notes - July 29

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 29, 2012

Today's DVD/Blu-ray column, about the release of "Hatfields & McCoys," a little-seen Miley Cyrus movie and other topics is here.

Also in today's Beacon Journal, but not yet online that I can find, is my interview with soap legend Jeanne Cooper.

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"Dancing With the Stars" All-Stars Announced: Alley, Marini, Palin, More

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 27, 2012

The official word: “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” marks the first time prior contestants will return for another chance at winning the coveted mirror ball trophy for a very special All-Star season. ...In a show first, fans will determine who the final All-Star cast member will be. The three celebrities vying to fill the 13th spot on the cast are Sabrina Bryan, Carson Kressley and Kyle Massey.

Fans can vote for their favorite “Viewers’ Choice: All-Star” at www.ABC.com/DancingwiththeStars, presented by Diet Pepsi, starting today, Friday, July 27 at 10:30 a.m., PT through Friday, August 24 at 12:00 p.m., PT, to determine which of the three celebrities will be named the final All-Star contestant. Once voting has closed, the final cast member will be announced live on “Good Morning America,” on Monday, August 27.

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CNN Boss Stepping Down

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 27, 2012

The struggling news network announces a shift at the top; departing boss says the network "needs new thinking." The official word:

Jim Walton told the CNN organization today that he will step down as president of CNN Worldwide at the end of this year. He will continue in his current role until that time. Jim’s decision has the support and respect of Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent. Phil will lead the search for Jim’s successor.

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More Re Katie Couric's New Show

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 26, 2012

Here is today's official  description of the show -- airing this fall on WEWS -- and some elements, including a theme song by Sheryl Crow (which, by the way, you can hear over at www.katiecouric.com):

This fall, award-winning journalist, best-selling author and television personality Katie Couric will bring her distinctive voice and authentic interview style to daytime with the September 10th premiere of the hour-long, nationally-syndicated series, “Katie” (check local listings, www.katiecouric.com). Distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television to 95% of the country, “Katie” will be broadcast live from New York City in front of a studio audience and will be executive-produced by Couric and longtime colleague Jeff Zucker, reuniting one of television’s most successful partnerships.

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ABC Announces Fall Premiere Dates

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 26, 2012

Here's the list with a codicil: "The Neighbors” will premiere on Wednesday, September 26 at 9:30 p.m., before moving to its regular time period at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3. And on we go...

Friday, September 14
8:00-9:00 p.m. “Shark Tank”
9:00-10:00 p.m. “What Would You Do?”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “20/20”

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PBS Sets Prince Charles Documentary About the Queen

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 26, 2012

The official word: PBS announced today that ROYAL MEMORIES: PRINCE CHARLES’ TRIBUTE TO THE QUEEN, which premiered to 10 million viewers in the UK as part of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee weekend, will air Sunday, September 2, 2012, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET on PBS. In this touching, personal film, Charles, Prince of Wales reflects on Her Majesty’s 60-year reign — both as the nation’s queen and as his mother.

 

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Mixed Notes - July 26 (Updated): ONN Shutting Down, "Gangster Squad" Postponed, More

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 26, 2012

The Ohio News Network is shutting down. Details, from the Columbus Dispatch, are here. One of the big stumbling blocks for ONN was that Time Warner didn't really want to carry it. When TW added ONN to the Akron lineup in 2000, after some difficult statewide negotiations,  it was included only on the digital tier, at Channel 119, which not all subscribers could get; more recently, it has been at Channel 362, in a cluster with a bunch of other news channels.

This week's mailbag is here,. To my great embarrassment, the first question and the headline contain an error. The author of the Jack Reacher novels is Lee Child. The reader who asked about him wrote Childs. I used Child in my answer but failed to correct the text of the question (which I had pasted from an email). The headline was then derived from the question. I hope to get the online version corrected. (Update: The onlin version has been corrected. And the print version included the error in the text but not in the headline.)

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Five Early Frank Capra Films Coming to DVD

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 25, 2012

The Capra/Stanwyck collaboration "Meet John Doe" was on earlier today, and made me want this set all the more. It includes Rain or Shine (1930), and four  early Capras  with Stanwyck: Ladies of Leisure (1930), The Miracle Woman (1931), Forbidden (1932) and The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933).

The official word: Frank Capra is one of the most popular and beloved filmmakers of all time, but many of his earlier films have never been made available on DVD. Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) are joining forces with The Film Foundation on Frank Capra: The Early Collection, a box set of five 1930s pre-code Capra classics coming to DVD for the first time on Monday, Sept. 3.

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Chad Everett, RIP

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 25, 2012

In what's proving a tough week for vintage TV stars, Chad Everett has also died. One obit is here. He is not as significant a figure as Sherman Hemsley (below) but a relatively sturdy actor who managed to have a long career. In his heyday on "Medical Center," which aired from 1969 to 1976, I wasn't much of an Everett fan. He was good-looking, sure, but a somewhat stiff actor, especially in comparison to James Daly. Still -- like another '70s TV hunk, James Brolin -- Everett became a more interesting actor as he got older, more able to bring a sense of humor and a little danger to his performances.

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Sherman Hemsley, RIP (Updated)

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 24, 2012

The actor, famous for "All in the Family," "The Jeffersons" and "Amen," has died. One obit is here. He was not only a good actor but a significant TV character -- a successful African-American businessman who was not servile, who freely expressed opinions (including some wrong ones) without fear, who overcame the many obstacles society put up because of race -- but never pretended those obstacles were no longer there. Hemsley himself was a warier sort, especially around the press. But he had the knack of portraying all of George Jefferson's qualities in contentious racial times -- while still making the audience love him.

This came in from TV Land later today:

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"Re-Animator" Coming To Blu-ray

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 24, 2012

Janet Maslin said this about the film in the New York Times in 1985:

''RE-ANIMATOR'' has as much originality as it has gore, and that's really saying something. Stay away if you haven't a special fondness for severed body parts, or an unflinching curiosity about autopsy scenes; this one takes place mostly at the morgue, and it doesn't leave a thing to the imagination. But as directed by Stuart Gordon, a television and stage director making his feature debut, ''Re-Animator'' has a fast pace and a good deal of grisly vitality. It even has a sense of humor, albeit one that would be lost on 99.9 percent of any ordinary moviegoing crowd.

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TCM Examines Disabilities in Films in October

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 24, 2012

The official word: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will dedicate the month of October to exploring the ways people with disabilities have been portrayed in film. On behalf of Inclusion in the Arts, Lawrence Carter-Long will join TCM host Robert Osborne for The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film. The special month-long exploration will air Tuesdays in October, beginning Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. (ET).

TCM makes today’s announcement to coincide with the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) on July 26. And in a first for TCM, all films will be presented with both closed captioning and audio description (via secondary audio) for audience members with auditory and visual disabilities.

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"Snow White & The Huntsman" Extended Version on DVD/Blu-ray

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 24, 2012

I thought the theatrical version went on too long, but it had its fans. The official word: Venture into a land of action fantasy, heroic battle scenes and visual wonder in Snow White and the Huntsman Extended Edition, coming to Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand and Digital Download on September 11, 2012, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Packed with pulse-pounding battles, unmatched visual imagination and compelling characters, Snow White and the Huntsman is a wholly original adventure story told on an epic scale. From the splendor of the wicked Queen’s enchanted palace to the menace of the Dark Forest, a breathtaking combination of harrowing beauty, epic battle scenes, visual wonder and jaw-dropping special effects make this film singularly suited for the incomparable high-definition picture and perfect hi-def 5.1 surround sound of Blu-ray™. To view the trailer, visit: http://youtu.be/_WgWm2H1ESE

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NBC Sets Pre-Fall Previews of All Its New Series

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 24, 2012

The official word: NBC again will offer full-episode, pre-sampling versions of its new fall series prior to the network time-period premieres as each new primetime program will receive a digital sampling window for marketing and promotional purposes over multiple platforms leading into the regular series premiere.

As NBC takes advantage of the Summer Olympics springboard to provide a full-episode and commercial-free network preview of the new comedies “Go On” (August 8) and “Animal Practice” (August 12), the online preview for those shows will be available over a wide spectrum for viewing immediately following their initial broadcasts beginning August 9 and 13, respectively. All other new new fall series will receive a two-week digital sampling period leading up to the broadcast series premiere.

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DVD/Blu-ray Notes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 24, 2012

As I mentioned in a previous post, another commitment last week kept me from writing a full video column. So here are some observations about several titles arriving today.

The big item, at least for my inner geek, is the Blu-ray debut of "Star Trek: The Next Generation's" first season, along with some new retrospective extras. To start with the obvious question, yes, it looks spectacular. At least, it does in terms of clarity and sharpness of image. But that is a mixed blessing. The HD image shows off details -- a hint of 5 o'clock shadow -- that were perhaps not originally intended, and the modest budgeting of some sets is more evident. Nor has the series itself aged entirely well; the performances especially seem  a bit rigid, as if the cast and writers still are not entirely comfortable with each other, the pacing of the dialogue somewhat slow, the humor corny. (I wonder if some of this stemmed from the show having to contend with the still-alive and demanding Gene Roddenberry; one of extras makes clear that there were plenty of debates with him about the course the show would take.)  But fans of the show have long since forgiven that, and if I am going to watch "TNG" again, the Blu-ray version is the one I will watch.

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Rock Hall Sets Chuck Berry Week for October

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 24, 2012

The official word: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Case Western Reserve University will honor rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry during the 17th annual American Music Masters® series this October. Roll Over Beethoven: The Life and Music of Chuck Berry, a weeklong celebration, will tell the story of one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Berry has had a lifetime of brilliant musicianship and has inspired nearly every rock artist to date.

“I’m happy to be honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum,” said Chuck Berry. “I’m looking forward to reelin’ and rockin’ in Cleveland.” Berry will attend the tribute concert to accept the award and will perform.

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"American Idol" Adds Mariah Carey

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 23, 2012

The official word: Mariah Carey, one of the best-selling female recording artists of all time, has joined AMERICAN IDOL as a new judge. A five-time Grammy Award-winning global superstar with more than 200 million records sold worldwide and more No. 1 songs than any solo artist in history, her 18 Billboard No. 1 singles (17 of which Carey wrote) rival all but The Beatles. Carey joins the judges’ panel when AMERICAN IDOL returns in January 2013 on FOX.

 

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"Glee" Casting News

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 23, 2012

The official word: It’s back to school for newcomers Dean Geyer and Jacob Artist as they join GLEE when the hit show returns Thursday, Sept. 13 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

In the season premiere, RACHEL BERRY (Lea Michele) lands in New York City to attend NYADA and meets BRODY WESTON (Geyer), a handsome upperclassman who shows an interest in her. Meanwhile, back at McKinley, PUCK’s (Mark Salling) bad boy younger half-brother, JAKE PUCKERMAN (Artist), tries out for the glee club, but his attitude could derail his audition.

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"American Idol" Adds New Audition Ways

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 23, 2012

The official word:
AMERICAN IDOL is expanding audition opportunities by providing aspiring superstars three additional ways to audition for the No. 1 show on television, including the “AMERICAN IDOL Small Town Audition Bus Tour,” the “Nominate An Idol” program and online auditions.

The series will leave no stone unturned in its quest for talent, and for the first time ever, will embark on the “AMERICAN IDOL Small Town Audition Bus Tour,” a 10-town nationwide mobile tour offering hopefuls a chance to audition for IDOL. The mobile audition bus will hit the road next month, giving thousands of hopefuls the chance of a lifetime. The “AMERICAN IDOL Small Town Audition Bus Tour” will stop at the following cities: Idaho Falls, ID; Billings, MT; Casper, WY; Rock Rapids, IA; Iowa City, IA; Bowling Green, KY; Clarksdale, MS; Joplin, MO; Dodge City, KA; and Grand Junction, CO. Specific locations and dates to be announced. Please keep checking www.americanidol.com for forms, rules and terms and conditions.

IDOL is also looking for talent who may not think of auditioning. The “Nominate An Idol” program is a new audition opportunity that lets family and friends nominate individuals who they think could be the next AMERICAN IDOL. Individuals can secretly nominate their friends or family by filling out an online form and submitting an existing video or URL of their “nominee” singing solo and a cappella. Chosen candidates will then be surprised on location by a film crew and given the chance to advance to the next round of auditions. Submissions and nominations must meet all eligibility requirements and be a surprise. If you are going to nominate someone, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions. Please keep checking www.americanidol.com for submission rules and terms and conditions.

Online auditions for Season 12 will be open from Wednesday, Aug. 1 through Tuesday, Aug. 14. Hopefuls will have the opportunity to audition by submitting an audition video online. Entrants should demonstrate their stellar singing ability by choosing one of the songs from the approved list and performing it a cappella. Videos are limited to one submission per person. Please keep checking www.americanidol.com for submission rules and terms and conditions.

All AMERICAN IDOL auditioners must be between the ages of 15-28 (on June 5, 2012), and a legal U.S. citizen or a permanent U.S. resident who is eligible to work full-time in the United States.

-more-
“AMERICAN IDOL” AUDITIONS AND BUS TOUR – Page 2

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Mixed Notes - July 23

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 23, 2012

Tonighrt marks the return of both "Alphas" and "Warehouse 13," both with good, dark episodes setting up a lot of possibilities for the season to come. I try to stay away from spoilers but did writea short column about "Alphas." And I had a chat not long ago with "Warehouse 13's" Eddie McClintock, which you can find here.

"The Closer' continues its march to the series finale on Aug. 13 (the same night that its succcessor, "Major Crimes," wiil premiere). The series has taken a grim turn in the remaining episodes, and tonight is part of that,  particularly in the way the professional and personal pressure on Brenda is increasing.

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In Case You Missed It ...

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 22, 2012

This is Rita Braver's piece on the All-American Soap Box Derby for "CBS News Sunday Morning." And you can read a chat I had with Braver a few days ago here.

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Mixed Notes- July 22

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 22, 2012

After spending much of Friday writing about the horrors in Colorado, I have been focused on more domestic things over the weekend. The bride and I went to a nice wedding yesterday, and today has included church and housecleaning. Checked into Colorado coverage at times, but it remained the same mix of fear, anger and bafflement.

I did want to make note of how summer Sundays are turning into big viewing nights. The bride is big on "Army Wives." We both keep tabs on "Longmire," although that often gets DVR'ed for another day. And, I forgot when I was writing this earlier, we're "Leverage" fans. didn't care for the premiere of "Political Animals" and want to give it a second chance. "Breaking Bad" is upon us. I am much disenchanted with "The Newsroom" but will keep watching it in case by some miracle it finds its footing.(Then again, that may wait until next season.)  And there are things I missed the first time around; I am slowly going through my old review copies of "Girls" and will have some things to say later,

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More Network Plans for Colorado Shootings Coverage

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 20, 2012

NBC's "Dateline" at 9 pm. plans "reports on the killing of 12 people in Aurora, Colorado during a screening of the new Batman movie."

And from CBS:

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More on Colorado and "Dark Knight Rises": A Badly Placed Trailer

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 20, 2012

Ther relevance of this is explained after the jump.

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More Colorado Aftermath Notes (Updated)

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 20, 2012

I went to a couple of local theaters this morning before their first "Dark Knight" shows, one at 10 a.m., the other at 10:15. Small turnout -- fewer than 10 cars in the lot at one theater, maybe 15 at the other -- but that could be a function of the early hour. Talked to a young man coming to the 10:15 show who said he was a fan of Batman and the movies -- and had not heard about the Colorado shootings.

Update: I have contacted several theater chains about how the shootings will affect their security procedures this weekend,. So for, only Cleveland Cinemas has replied; a spokesman declined to discuss security but offered this statement:

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Colorado

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 20, 2012

As a rule, when I think of security in movie theaters, I think of those electronic sweeps to make sure no one is copying all or part of a movie with a camera or smart phone. In fact, when I went to a preview screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," there were several pre-screening warnings about turning off electronic devices.

Now, of course, given the horrible news out of Colorado, security may be something very different. Bag searches. Customers in costumes being told to take them off. And people staying away from the film out of concern that something could happen to them. It makes me sick to think there could be other lunatics are out there, and they may be a row or two away in a movie theater, a place we often go to escape the real world's miseries.

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The Annual Emmy Peevishness

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 19, 2012

OK, I am happy about some things, including the 17 nominations for "Mad Men" and the honors to "Homeland" (including spectacular Claire Danes). You can find all the nominees here.  And, having done the early-riser thing on the West Coast for the nominations a few times, I enjoyed Jimmy Kimmel showing up for the announcement in his pajamas.

That said:

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WKYC Changing Daytime Programming

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 19, 2012

Yesterday went a little crazy, so I am late in posting this announcement. But here goes the official word (and don't miss the reference to "advertiser friendly" material):

WKYC TV 3’s President and General Manager Brooke Spectorsky announced today that on Monday, August 13th the station will launch its new show “Live On Lakeside”. Hosted by Hollie Strano and Michael Cardamone, the new show will be a mix of news, weather, entertainment, lifestyle and advertiser friendly segments. Airing from 11a.m. – 12:30p.m., the show will also feature News Anchor Amanda Barren, Meteorologists Bruce Kalinowski and Marcus Walter, Arts, Culture and Entertainment Reporter Karina Mitchell, Lifestyle and Features Reporters Joe Cronauer and Desiray McCray, “Ways To Save” Anchor Matt Granite and a host of other contributors.

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Thursday Notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 19, 2012

Here's what I have in today's Beacon Journal and on Ohio.com:

My review of "The Dark Knight Rises,

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"Thick of It" Goes Hulu

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 18, 2012

A subject for further discussion -- Lots of movement in online programming lately, including the debut of Tom Hanks's "Electric City," Larry King on Hulu and now this official word about a series that has previously aired on BBC America:

Hulu today announced its first international co-production with the BBC for the highly anticipated fourth season of Armando Iannucci's political UK comedy "The Thick of It,” through a partnership secured by BBC Worldwide Americas. Beginning July 29, Hulu and Hulu Plus will be the exclusive U.S. destination for fans to watch every episode from the first three seasons of the beloved program, as well as the two specials released between seasons in the UK. "The Thick of It" was initially broadcasted on BBC Four in the UK and BBC AMERICA in the U.S. Hulu will also exclusively premiere the fourth season in the U.S., which will air first on Hulu and Hulu Plus day-and-date with the UK broadcast before returning to BBC AMERICA early next year.

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Mixed Notes - July 18

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 18, 2012

I saw "The Dark Knight Rises" last night and pretty much loved it. At least, emotionally I did. Intellectually, I saw enormous flaws -- but the movie hit me in the gut so effectively that I forgave almost all of them. I'll post a link to my full review once it is online.

In the review I did not get into the issue of whether the movie is some kind of liberal anti-capitalism rant -- and the whole idea seems silly to me. Since I have been working on an essay about the Joker as Marxist, I was attuned to elements in "DKR" dealing with capitalism, and it's clear that the movie is far from opposed to it. Yes, there are bad businessmen. But there is also an endorsement of trickle-down benevolence -- that Bruce Wayne's financial success allows him to do good works, and a lack of such success will keep good works from happening. And Bane, like the Joker before him, recalls Stalin.

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TLC Sets "Big Tiny" Series

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 17, 2012

The official word: TLC opens the door to the extraordinary life of Bridgette (Bri) and Bradley (Brad) Jordan, the world’s smallest siblings in the new series BIG TINY. Crowned the “World's Shortest Living Woman,”

Bri weighs 18-pounds and stands at a diminutive 27-inches while her brother, Brad, weighs 35-pounds and stands at 38-inches, making them the world’s shortest living brother and sister. But, don’t let their size fool you. With booming self-confidence, unbelievable athleticism and larger-than-life personalities, Bri and Brad tackle everyday life just like anybody else. This captivating new series gives an inside look at how two unique siblings fighting the odds, make something big out of being tiny on BIG TINY beginning Monday, August 13 at 10 PM ET/PT.

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Complete "All in the Family" Box Coming

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 17, 2012

Indvidual seasons have been released before, as has the first season of "Archie Bunker's Place" (only the pilot of which is in this new box). Some new extras. Here's the official word:

On October 30, 2012 Shout! Factory will release All In The Family: The Complete Series, a 28-Disc box set of one the most beloved and groundbreaking television shows of all time. The first-ever box set release of the show contains all 213 episodes, uncut and in their original broadcast form. A wealth of bonus features includes a 40-page collectible book with essays by Pulitzer Prize–winning TV critic Tom Shales and USC Media Professor Marty Kaplan, a new interview with Norman Lear, the documentary Those Were The Days: The Birth Of “All In The Family,” the documentary The Television Revolution Begins: “All In The Family” Is On The Air, the original All In The Family pilot “Justice For All,” the second All In The Family pilot “Those Were The Days,” and the spin-off pilot episodes of Gloria, Archie Bunker’s Place, and 704 Hauser.

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Rock Hall Sets Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia Celebrations

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 17, 2012

I ionly saw the Dead once, in 1971, but it's a good, good memory. 

 The official word: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will host a weekend of events surrounding the Museum’s special exhibit devoted to Grateful Dead powered by McIntosh. The weekend will take place Friday, August 3 through Sunday, August 5, during the days between Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Garcia’s 70th birthday and the 17th anniversary of his passing.

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Mixed Notes - July 17

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 17, 2012

"What To Expect When You're Expecting" comes to video formats on Sept. 11, with the distributor quite tackily declaring:" It’s too late to pull out now as Lionsgate releases What to Expect When You’re Expecting on Blu-ray Disc (plus Digital Copy), DVD (plus Digital Copy), Digital Download and On Demand this fall" The comedy was a tepid performer at the box office, and Jennifer Lopez perhaps should have looked closely at tne numbers when planning her departure from "American Idol." if this is what a movie with her will do when she has a huge TV platform, what will happen when she is less in the public eye?

Spike TV has made some schedule adjustments: The second season of  “Bar Rescue” will now debut on Sunday, July 29th with back-to-back new episodes at 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM, ET/PT. The second season of “Flip Men” will now premiere on Sunday, August 5th, with back-to-back new episodes at 10:00PM and 10:30 PM, ET/PT.
 

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More Notes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 16, 2012

Celeste Holm has passed away (one obit is here), which means that another vibrant, intelligent screen presence is gone. I have long admired Holm's work, especially in "Gentleman's Agreement." That's one of those movies where, at the end, I was convinced that the wrong people had ended up together. Even if Dorothy McGuire had an epiphany, she was less deserving of Gregory Peck than Holm was.

That led me to think again about wrong matches in movies. Another example: Winona Ryder in "Reality Bites." Maybe it's because I have watched the movie as a grownup, but it seemed that Ben Stiller was better for Ryder than Ethan Hawke. And my friend George Thomas noted that Molly Ringwald should have ended up with Jon Cryer in "Pretty in Pink." There may be more. Any thoughts?

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Mixed Notes - July 16

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 16, 2012

I have mostly been involved in domestic matters for the last couple of days, including a brief road trip on Sunday. Here are some items of interest...

Bob Schieffer has a bone to pick with the Romney campaign over their use of footage with him during a campaign ad -- one that, by the way, ran during Schieffer's "Face the Nation." A recap of the situation is here. CBS took the additional step Monday of issuing Schieffer's reaction to the ad, which is this:

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Mixed Notes - July 15

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 15, 2012

 

"Breaking Bad" returns tonight and it continues the transformation of Walt. I think a key moment in the fourth-season finale was Walt's explaining all that happened with "I won." So often, Walt's actions have involved his attempt to survive and to provide for his family; in that line, he shifted the deal to power and success, and to his triumphing over enemies as opposed to just getting around them. And it's clear by the end of tonight's episode that his priorities are very much changed.

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PlayhouseSquare Sets Lineup for Classic Film Series in August

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 13, 2012

Includes a free screening of a recent documentary and a "West Side Story" sing-along.

The official word: Cinema at the Square returns to PlayhouseSquare for its fifteenth year of bringing classic films back to the BIG screen in Cleveland August 2-19. Join us for thirteen movie classics and a special feature-length documentary the way they were meant to be seen: on a massive Super Hurley-Glo projection screen. The series features nostalgic pre-show organ recitals on the mighty 1927 Kimball organ, retro short films and cartoons before each screening, a fabulous snack bar, and more! Even the prices are vintage with all tickets just $5 each. Enjoy the classic movie-going experience in the historic Palace Theatre all over again as Fifth Third Bank presents the 15th Annual Cinema at the Square series at PlayhouseSquare!

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Director Larry Peerce Coming to Cleveland

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 12, 2012

The official word: Veteran Hollywood filmmaker Larry Peerce, who directed over 50 movies and TV shows in a career that spanned five decades, will appear in person on Saturday, August 4 at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, 11141 East Boulevard in University Circle. Peerce will present two of his earliest, and best, feature films: the shot-in-Painesville ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO (1964) at 5:30 pm and the 1967 New York subway thriller THE INCIDENT at 8:00 pm. He will answer audience questions after each movie.

 

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AMC Sets Special "Breaking Bad" Feed for Dish Subscribers

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 12, 2012

As you know, there's a lot of contractual wrangling right now between satellite services and program providers; DirecTV and Viacom are in a nasty fight, and the owner of AMC and other channels is battling with Dish Network. While Viacom has created collateral damage by pulling online replays of its shows for all viewers (so DirecTV subscribers can't see them another way), AMC is making Sunday's season premiere of  "Breaking Bad" available to Dish subscribers. The official word:

In response to DISH’s recent drop of AMC to gain leverage in an unrelated lawsuit, the network will provide DISH customers access to the highly anticipated return of the Emmy® Award-winning drama “Breaking Bad” on Sunday, July 15, at 10PM EST. AMC is offering a special live stream of “Breaking Bad’s” season five premiere to all DISH subscribers on amctv.com.

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"Unrated & Banned" "Dictator" to DVD/Blu-ray on Aug. 21

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 11, 2012

The joke-riddled official word: The brilliant Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) “establishes a claim to be the best comic filmmaker now working” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) as Third World ruler Admiral General Aladeen in the “outrageously funny” (Rafer Guzman, Newsday) comedy THE DICTATOR, reigning supreme in an all-new Banned* & Unrated version debuting August 21, 2012 on Blu-ray with a Digital Copy, DVD (both with UltraViolet ™), On Demand and for Digital Download from Paramount Home Media Distribution.

 

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PBS Sets Julia Child 100th-Birthday Tie-Ins

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 11, 2012

The official word: For decades, following her screen debut on WGBH Boston, culinary pioneer and beloved public television icon Julia Child opened up new worlds for generations of Americans, showing them that cooking, even French cuisine, was enjoyable and within reach for all. In celebration of what would have been her 100th birthday on August 15, 2012, PBS will honor Child’s legacy through a multi-platform initiative spanning on-air, online, and social media engagement.

 The public television celebration of this effort, from August 5 to 15, begins in the kitchen. PBS viewers and Julia Child fans are encouraged to cook their own versions of a classic Julia dish and share the experience through pictures and blogs on PBS Food and by using the Twitter hashtag #CookforJulia. Julia Child content can also be shared through various other social media channels, such as PBS’ Facebook page, PBS Food’s Facebook page, YouTube and Pinterest.

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CBS Sets Fall Premiere Dates

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 11, 2012

The list:

Wednesday, Sept. 19

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"Million Dollar Legs," "Belle of the Nineties," More in New DVD Set

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 11, 2012

The set will list for $39,99 but TCM's shop is currently taking orders for $34.99. The official word: Four cinematic gems from the 1930s that have been unavailable for years are coming to DVD this August in a unique collection from Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE). Released as part of the TCM Vault Collection, the Universal Rarities: Films of the 1930s set features some of the biggest stars of the era, including W.C. Fields in Million Dollar Legs (1932), Mae West in Belle of the Nineties (1934), Jack Benny in Artists & Models (1937) and Gary Cooper and George Raft in Souls at Sea (1937).

The Universal Rarities: Films of the 1930s collection will be available exclusively through TCM’s online store at http://www.shop.tcm.com, beginning August 6. The set features extensive digital bonus materials, such as photos, posters, lobby cards and more. The following four films included in the Universal Rarities: Films of the 1930s collection:

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Saluting Peter O'Toole

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 11, 2012

The actor, nominated eight times for a competitive acting Oscar without a win,has announced his retirement. In the statement, he said, "The heart for it has gone out of me: it won't come back." And I regret that he will not, either.

In spite of too much drink, bad career choices and -- as the critic David Thomson once wrote -- occasional overacting to the point of ridiculousness, he has a bunch of memorable performances. He could be marvelous by himself (look at his eyes during the opening swordfight in "The Lion in Winter") or when daring other actors to keep up, whether the actor was his colleague Richard Burton (see "Becket"), Katharine Hepburn ("The Lion in Winter") or Robin Williams (the lamentable "Club Paradise"). I think of him in "Masada," "The Stunt Man," "The Ruling Class," "My Favorite Year" and "Becket" -- and of all of those before, say, "Lawrence of Arabia." I look at his Oscars record (which did include an honorary award) and puzzle again at the Academy choices; even more puzzling is that an actor so big that even a movie screen couldn't contain him has an Emmy (for "Joan of Arc") and two other TV nominations, but no Oscar..

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More Kovacs Coming to DVD in October

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 10, 2012

I thought the 6-disc Kovacs box was the be-all and end-all of the great TV comic (and a set of the ABC specials was spun from that earlier box). But I am assured this is material not contained in the earlier Shout! Factory box.

The official word: More of the vast archive of Ernie Kovacs’ (www.erniekovacs.com) iconic brand of comedy and classic television will once again be available to consumers both physically and digitally for the first time since it originally aired in the 1950’s. One of television’s early comedy pioneers gets his second box set due to overwhelming demand.

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"Covert Affairs" Returns, With Web Prequel

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 10, 2012

The USA Network spy drama is back tonight with a bang-up beginning; "White Collar" also returns.

But there's more, per this official word: Today, USA Network, the top entertainment brand and pioneer in Social TV, introduces COVERT AFFAIRS: Sights Unseen, a prequel web series that explores the blind tech-ops expert Auggie Andersen backstory as played by Christopher Gorham. The narrative will invite fans to experience one of his early field assignments since rejoining the CIA after being blinded during a tour in Iraq. Sponsored by Capital One Venture Card, this five-week experience gives fans a special ticket to travel with Auggie to Barcelona, Spain, in a choose your own adventure narrative with exclusive video and plotlines available on iPads or desktops.

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60th-Anniversary Mad Magazine Collection Coming

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 10, 2012

Yes, I read it constantly as a kid. I even still have some of the old paperback anthologies. So this was of interest ..

The official word: To celebrate MAD Magazine’s 60th anniversary, Time Home Entertainment Inc. is foolishly teaming up with MAD Magazine on Totally MAD, a new collection of the legendary humor magazine’s high-quality idiocy that is so widely un-anticipated, this overblown press release is needed to call attention to it.

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Watching TV: "Perception"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 9, 2012

From Sunday's Beacon Journal:

TV can’t seem to get enough of flawed masterminds, characters whose brilliance or powers of perception are so considerable that their personality flaws can be forgiven.

Of course, those flaws are also what make the characters intrigue viewers. If Sherlock Holmes simply looked at a few clues, detected the criminal and went back to his chair and a book of Sudoku, there wouldn’t be much drama to be had.

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TCM Sets Ernest Borgnine Marathon for July 26-27

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 9, 2012

(The headline has been corrected from an earlier version with the incorrect date.)

Includes his Oscar-winning turn in "Marty" as well as his great villainy in "From Here to Eternity.l" From the official word, with the schedule following:

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Ernest Borgnine, R.I.P.

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 9, 2012

I

I remember seeing "RED," with Bruce Willis, not long ago and it reaching the scene where Ernest Borgnine appeared. I had to grin. It wasn't just the pleasure that came with seeing Borgnine at all. It was also that, in a movie about older people who were still vital (including as killers), there was Borgnine who, in his 90s was older than the rest of the lot and quite capable of stealing a scene.

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Mixed Notes - July 9

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 9, 2012

Today is Richard Roundtree's birthday, and above is a trailer for his most significant role, as John Shaft.

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Mixed Notes - July 6

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 6, 2012

I am out of the office until Monday for some cheerful family business. But news keeps rolling, including a veteran local broadcaster becoming the interim news director at WKYC, and the CBS "buzz bus" being in town today.

On the news job: Distinguished veteran newsman Virgil Dominic will serve as Channel 3’s Interim News Director it was announced today.

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For Your Fourth of July

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 4, 2012

Some moments that seem fitting for this day, and for all the days when people work and fight to keep our independence.

 

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More Andy Homage: TV Land To Air Griffith Show Episodes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 3, 2012

The official word: On Wednesday, July 4th from 8am-1pm ET/PT and Saturday and Sunday, July 7th and 8th from 11am to 8pm ET/PT, TV Land will air some of the most memorable episodes in marathons of “The Andy Griffith Show.” The TV Land Facebook page (www.facebook.com/tvland) will also pay tribute to Andy, celebrating some of his best TV moments.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend, Andy Griffith,” said Larry W. Jones, President, TV Land. “His contributions to the entertainment industry and his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor will live forever in the minds and hearts of generations of television viewers past, present and yet to come. The entire TV Land staff will miss him and our thoughts go out to his family.”

“The Andy Griffith Show” has long been a part of TV Land’s history and has been in the network’s line-up for over a decade. In 2003, the network erected a statue in Raleigh, North Carolina, depicting the famous opening sequence featuring Andy Griffith and a young Ron Howard in their roles of Sheriff Andy and Opie Taylor walking hand-in-hand. Then in 2004, the network unveiled a replica of the bronze statue in Mount Airy, North Carolina, Andy Griffith’s birthplace and the town after which Mayberry was modeled. Also in 2004, the cast was honored with the Legend Award at the 2nd Annual “TV Land Awards.” Additionally, the network has produced two retrospective specials on the series, “TV Land’s Top 10: The Andy Griffith Show” and “Inside TV Land: The Andy Griffith Show.”
 

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Andy Griffith, R.I.P. (2nd Update)

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 3, 2012

News reports say that Griffith died at home in North Carolina,. He was 86. I'm a little shaken by this. Griffith was one of TV's immortals, after all -- "The Andy Griffith Show," the durable if unremarkable "Matlock" --and underestimated as an actor. Look at "A Face in the Crowd," a seminal film about the impact of television on culture and politics, with Griffith as a TV star with echoes of Arthur Godfrey -- and a pure villain to boot.  Look at "Fatal Vision" and other TV movies he made. Damn, I miss him.

UPDATE 2: I have a longer take on Griffith's work and appeal here.

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Mixed Notes - July 3

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 3, 2012

Technical difficulties kept me off the blog for some time yesterday. My apologies.

In case you missed it, my review of "The Amazing Spider-Man," which hits cinemas today, is here.

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A&E Orders "Bates Motel" Series

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 2, 2012

Let's see. There have been for "Pyscho" movies with Anthony Perkins, including the origin story "Psycho IV," with Henry Thomas as the young Norman. There was also a "Bates Motel" movie. And a "Psycho" remake with Vince Vaughn as Norman. And countless parodies and homages to the Hitchcock classic. Decline in quality over the years has been considerable.  So why exactly do we need this:

A&E Network is going directly to series on "Bates Motel" from Universal Television with Carlton Cuse ("Lost") and Kerry Ehrin ("Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood") serving as executive producers, it was announced today jointly by Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager, A&E Network and BIO Channel and the network's Executive Vice President of Programming, David McKillop. The network is moving straight to series, bypassing a pilot, with a 10-episode order. Pre-production and casting will begin immediately.

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Erin Andrews to Fox Sports

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 1, 2012

This was widely expected, according to published reports, and her departure from ESPN was announced a couple of days ago. The official word:

College football on FOX just became must-watch TV this fall as the popular Erin Andrews, one of sports television’s brightest stars, rejoins the FOX Sports family. A versatile broadcaster whose talent bridges sports and entertainment, Andrews’ position includes hosting the new prime time college football pregame show, making significant contributions to the network’s NFL and MLB coverage, along with other marquee sports properties. The announcement of Andrews’ multi-year agreement was made today by Executive Producer, Co-President & COO, FOX Sports Media Group, Eric Shanks.

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Mixed Notes - July 1

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 1, 2012

It has been another weekend of household efforts; our redecoration of the kitchen and dining area is almost done. Amazing how long it can take just to find the right curtains.

In today's Beacon Journal, you can find my thoughts about the new "Amazing Spider-Man," which I liked but did not love -- possibly because the first Tobey Maguire film was too much on my mind when I watched the new one. But I liked Andrew Garfield quite a bit. And the bride, less obsessed with Spidey lore than I, enjoyed the new film very much.

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