Former Akron resident John Lithgow will be back as host of the TCM movi9e series which presents "films that are ideal for parents to introduce to kids." Starting with "Old Yeller" on June 6. But I have a few questions. First, why start with "Old Yeller"? We all know where that one goes, right? Will young viewers embrace the several black-and-white titles? And how will the "High School Musical"/"Glee" take to "Bye Bye Birdie"? And what about adults viewing it through the "Mad Men" lens?
Anyway, full announcement and film lineup after the jump.
John Lithgow, a Golden Globe winner for his performance on the TV series Dexter, is returning to Turner Classic Movies (TCM) for a second year to host the network’s ESSENTIALS JR. summer movie showcase. Lithgow, who has also earned acclaim as a children’s author, will present 13 films that are ideal for parents to introduce to kids. This year’s ESSENTIALS JR. is set to begin . . . with the memorable tale Old Yeller (1958).
“John Lithgow is an extraordinary talent who not only knows his movie history but also serves as a champion of children’s education, making him the perfect guide for parents and kids as they share these wonderful classics together,” said Charles Tabesh, senior vice president of programming for TCM. “It’s thrilling to have him back for another year of ESSENTIALS JR.”
TCM’s ESSENTIALS JR. will run each Sunday throughout the summer and will include such movies as the Marx Bros. classic Duck Soup (1933); a special Father’s Day presentation of To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), featuring Gregory Peck’s OscarÒ-winning performance as Atticus Finch; and the Dr. Suess fantasy The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953). The following is a complete schedule. All films begin at 8 p.m. (ET):
June 6 Old Yeller (1958)
June 13 Duck Soup (1933)
June 20 To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
June 27 The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953)
July 4 Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
July 11 Speedy (1928)
July 18 Beauty and the Beast (1946)
July 25 Buck Privates (1941)
Aug. 1 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)
Aug. 8 Road to Morocco (1942)
Aug. 15 The Secret Garden (1949)
Aug. 22 Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
Aug. 29 Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
John Lithgow burst on the scene in 1973, when he won a Tony Award for his work in David Storey’s The Changing Room. Since then, he has appeared in nearly 20 Broadway productions, earning another Tony, three Tony nominations, four Drama Desk Awards and induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame. Among the many productions in which he has appeared are My Fat Friend, Trelawney of the ‘Wells’, Comedians, Anna Christie, Bedroom Farce, Beyond Therapy, M. Butterfly, The Front Page, Retreat from Moscow, Mrs. Farnsworth and the musicals Sweet Smell of Success and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. In 2007, he made his Royal Shakespeare Company debut in Neil Bartlett’s production of Twelfth Night. He also presented his one-man show, John Lithgow: Stories by Heart, at Lincoln Center and recently returned to the stage in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons.
On screen, Lithgow most recently appeared in the hit comedy Leap Year. His extensive list of film credits includes back-to-back Oscar® nominations for The World According to Garp and Terms of Endearment. He has also appeared in such films as All That Jazz, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Footloose, 2010, Buckaroo Banzai, Harry and the Hendersons, Ricochet, Cliffhanger, Orange County, Kinsey, Dreamgirls and Confessions of a Shopaholic, as well as the Brian De Palma thrillers Obsession, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out and Raising Cain.
Lithgow earned an Emmy for his performance in an episode of Amazing Stories and three additional Emmys for his memorable performance on the long-running comedy 3rd Rock from the Sun, which also scored him a Golden Globe, two SAG Awards®, an American Comedy Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He recently earned another Golden Globe for his performance as the title character’s father in the TV series Dexter. Lithgow’s other television credits include The Day After, Resting Place, Baby Girl Scott, My Brother’s Keeper, TNT’s Don Quixote and HBO’s The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
Lithgow has penned seven New York Times best-selling children’s books, created two activities books for parents and children, developed readers for use in elementary schools and compiled 50 classic poems aimed at young people. He has earned two Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Awards and four Grammy® nominations. Simon & Schuster recently released his newest children’s book, I Got Two Dogs. Lithgow has performed concerts for children with the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Baltimore and San Diego symphony orchestras and at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He has also released three albums for kids.
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