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Thank You Too Blanche

This evening I saw in the news that Rue McClanahan died at 76.    Rue McClanahan of course is best known for the role of Blanche on the comedy series The Golden Girls.   I remember watching the Golden Girls when I was a young kid who didn’t really know what the show was all about, as I got older  I would catch the show in re-runs and see just how these women really talked and how they acted with one another and also about men and life in general.    There was the smart-ass mother Sophia, her daughter Dorothy, the sexy and slightly slutty Blanche, and also the loveable yet clueless Rose.

The Golden Girls were all about being there for one another.   I recently caught the first few episodes of the first season on television, Golden Girls like MASH is still in heavy rotation.   So more than likely you can catch the Golden Girls on the air and watch them, laugh with them, even cry with them sometimes.   It was a comedy at the end of the day but don’t think for a moment that they didn’t deal with real issues of getting older and also having adult children because they did.    The thing about the Golden Girls is that it is a timeless show like MASH, you can watch it no matter what decade it is and you will still find it relevant and even funny.

Of the four Golden Girls,  Blanche was always the one who looked younger, acted younger, and still had needs!  She was great fun to watch because of that.   Blanche was the ultimate show of just because you’re older it doesn’t mean that you get older in spirit.  Blanche often had a new man or two even if they weren’t seen on screen.    In the end though Blanche was a true friend for the other Golden Girls just as they were there for her.   When the show ended I was sad to see it go adn though I liked Golden Palace it was no Golden Girls mainly because without Dorothy it felt hollow.

Of course Rue also played another character that I loved as well called Momma’s Family which she played Aunt Fran though it was only for a season of the show.  She also played a character that I loved in Charles In Charge: Irene Pembroke.    Rue was always ready to make you laugh it seemed to me while I was growing up as a kid, teenager, and even an adult.     I remember her in Wonderfalls, though she only played in one episode and the show only lasted a few episodes beyond that.   Like Bea Arthur (Dorothy), and Estelle Getty (Sophia) before her Rue McClanahan will be missed but she’ll always be able to make us laugh when we turn on our televisions because the Golden Girls will always be there.

As I am sure many did before last year when Bea Arthur died I leave you with something from The Golden Girls, a blooper set:

A Funny scene:

And the opening credits:

Thunder…Thunder…ThunderCats HO!!!

You hear that, its the sound of the ThunderCats coming back on the air only this time its going to be an anime from Studio4°C and Warner Brothers.   The Thundercats were a big deal in the eighties, the hit television series about cats that walked like humans and protected their world from the evil of Mumm-Ra is getting the chance to get a second series on the Cartoon Network sometime next year.   I imagine from the press release that it is going to be a full on re-imagining though they are going to retain some of the main characters, as the first released image is that of Lion-O and the press release also mentions Mumm-Ra and others.

Here is the official press release from the WB:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THUNDERCATS, HO!

WARNER BROS. ANIMATION ANSWERS THE CALL WITH A NEW

TAKE ON THE CLASSIC ANIMATED SERIES “THUNDERCATS,”

TO AIR ON CARTOON NETWORK

(June 3, 2010 – Burbank, CA) – Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) has begun production on “ThunderCats,” an all-new animated series for Cartoon Network, based upon the iconic 1980s action classic. “ThunderCats” is the newest series from WBA, joining “Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” which was recently renewed for a third season, and the following forthcoming programs: “The Looney Tunes Show,” “MAD,” “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated” and “Young Justice.” The announcement was made today by Sam Register, Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs, Warner Bros. Animation.

“In addition to being Warner Bros. Animation’s first anime series, ‘ThunderCats’ marks our most ambitious foray yet into fantasy,” said Register. “The realism and dynamic visual style we’ve achieved are sure to thrill viewers, and the cool weapons, vehicles and technology should help the show appeal to a diverse audience.”

The 21st century reimagining of the series marks a creative collaboration between WBA and Studio4°C, one of the most vibrant animation studios in Japan, with credits including “The Animatrix,” “Gotham Knights” and “Halo Legends.” WBA is working closely with Studio4°C, utilizing the latter’s expertise to give the “ThunderCats” characters a new cutting-edge look while remaining true to the compelling storylines and mythology of the original series.

“We at Studio4°C are excited to be in this creative partnership with Warner Bros. Animation to bring ‘ThunderCats’ to life,” said Eiko Tanaka, President and CEO, Studio4°C. “This collaboration combines the strengths of our two companies – high production values and great storytelling – toward reintroducing this classic fan-favorite to a new audience.”

Roaring to life through WBA and Studio4°C’s use of the Japanese animated artistry of anime, “ThunderCats” characters Lion-O, Mumm-Ra, Panthro, Cheetara and others will spring off the screen with realistic cat-like characteristics inconceivable in previous incarnations.

The new “ThunderCats” will appeal to viewers who have loved the characters all their lives as well as young newcomers to the franchise. A sweeping tale combining swords and science and boasting ferocious battles with the highest of stakes, the grand origin story of Prince Lion-O’s ascension to the throne – and of those who would thwart his destiny at any cost – takes on epic dimensions in this sharp new telling. As the forces of good and evil battle each other in the quest for the fabled Stones of Power, Lion-O and his champions learn valuable lessons of loyalty, honor and mortality in every episode.

“ThunderCats” is executive produced by Sam Register (“Teen Titans,” “Ben 10,” “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”). Michael Jelenic (“Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” “Wonder Woman”) and Ethan Spaulding (“Avatar: The Last Airbender”) are the producers.

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This comes only days after the creator of the Thundercats, Stephen Perry was found murdered, no real leads into his murder have been found yet but I doubt Warner Brothers did it.       The new series could be interesting, the original one was really good though looking back on it now as an adult I don’t like it as much as I did as a kid, perhaps the re-imagining will do for Thundercats what it did for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a few years back as I like that re-imagined show better than the original because it was a more coherent story with things that happened in episodes before being remembered in later episodes and even effecting the over all story.   It will be interesting to see what WB and Studio4°C manage to do with the characters.
On a side note: whatever happened to the on again off again movie??

Spielberg and Dinosaurs are back together again!

Many may not know it but Steven Spielberg along with Brannon Braga and David Fury are prepared to release an all new dinosaur series upon us, in the title of Terra Nova currently Terra Nova is set to be a mid-season replacement show next year and while the official press release has come out today regarding the plot of the show and it sounds interesting it has not been cast yet and no finalized pilot has been shot yet either.

Terra Nova is about the Shannon family who go back in time with a group of explorers to live in prehistoric times from the far future of 2149 when mankind has basically depleted all natural resources and our planet is dying.   These explorers travel back in time to prehistoric time when dinosaurs roamed the world and mankind wasn’t even monkey’s yet.    This could be an interesting series and I am sure with Spielberg involved it will have a good budget for special effects.    The only question remains is the reliability of Brannon Braga and David Fury.    Braga was responsible for the horrid flop that was Flashforward and also a probably barely remembered show called Threshold. His last good series really was Enterprise which was hardly watched by anyone despite it being very good.     There is also David Fury involved whom I like better, Fury was responsible for a lot of what made Lost into the show it became and was also responsible for Angel along with Josh Whedon.  He also worked on a lot of 24 for a while.

The show sounds interesting though I am not totally sold on it just yet.   At least the plot sounds interesting:

The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to TERRA NOVA, the first colony of humans in this second chance for civilization. JIM SHANNON, a devoted father with a checkered past, guides his family through this new land of limitless beauty, mystery and terror. Jim’s wife, ELISABETH SHANNON, is a trauma surgeon chosen through a global lottery as a new addition to Terra Nova’s medical team. JOSH SHANNON is their son, mourning the girl he left behind, as he’s torn between two role models – his father and the charismatic COMMANDER FRANK TAYLOR, the leader of the settlement, and the heroic first pioneer through the time portal. MADDY SHANNON, Jim and Elizabeth’s teen daughter, is as independent and adventurous as her parents, but her distrust of authority soon leads her on a dangerous path.

The rest of the press-release is over at Trekweb.com

NBC Fall Schedule Announced

NBC today while I was out being a person with a life released their fall schedule which includes of course the return of Chuck and absolutely nothing else that I watch at the moment although I do enjoy some 30Rock from time to time.   The schedule is surprisingly I think full of a few mis-steps that they could easily fix.  We’ll start with Monday.

Monday

Chuck- Chuck stays in the 8/7c slot that has been its home since the show launched and personally I still think it’s the perfect place for Chuck to stay.  If you don’t know Chuck is the show of a young man named Chuck who becomes a super-spy when he accidently downloads a computer program into his brain.   The show has had a few mis-steps in its run but for the most part has been one of the most consistent science fiction shows on television.

The Event– A new show that NBC is betting on is coming in at 9/8c.    It is the show about a man whose fiancee goes missing and he begins a quest to find her.   The show sounds very 24 like but it could also be horrible from the premise about conspiracies and government cover ups and this guy being an everyday man who stumbles upon this is similar in vein to Chuck but to me this show rings a little hollow and I am beating upon the synopsis from NBC themselves that this is another show that doesn’t survive more than one season.

The Chase– An action drama show that I really have no interest in so if it survives cool…if not eh who cares I won’t be watching either way.   For those of you who like these kinds of shows if it has good plots and good action then it will survive as long as people watch it.

Tuesday is returning of the Biggest Loser and Parenthood two shows that I don’t watch and since this is more of a blog about shows that I will watch and I already do watch there really isn’t anyway for me to review a reality show or a drama about families although I have heard from a few people that Parenthood is a pretty decent show, but its not one that I will be watching.

Wedensday

Undercovers- The new show from J.J. Abrams about a husband and wife who were in the CIA but left when they got married and are dragged back in when a fellow spy and friend goes missing, the two are dragged back in to hunt him down and find out what happened.   This show sounds interesting and not only because its from J.J. Abrams.    This is also where NBC is making a huge MISTAKE, Undercovers should be on Monday’s following Chuck, it’s so natural that these two shows should be together that I am sure others have said the same thing…NBC of course isn’t run by the smartest people in the world so there you go.

The rest of Wednesday is a Law and Order love fest for those that love that show….uh me not so much.   Thursday is a dead day on NBC and remains one even now,  Friday is the same and of course so is Saturday.  Sunday will be filled with Football.

The other show that NBC is passing on until a mid-season replacement ( I bet it ends up being a replacement for The Event just saying) is The Cape which sounds much more interesting than The Event. The Cape is the story of a man who becomes his son’s comic book superhero The Cape when things happen that lead him into hiding to protect his family.  He becomes the Cape to save his family and his city.   This show could be promising and it’s not even on the fall schedule.

IN conclusion NBC’s new risky fall schedule looks familiar and not in the warm fuzzy good feelings familiar.   My bet is that at least three shows are going to fail on this fall line up, and if two of those shows are Chuck and Undercovers I’m not going to be surprised but I do hope both make it out…especially Chuck!

In closing I am sort of glad to see NBC taking some risks and also to see that they finally have the courage to try something new and also to cancel the abysmal Heroes.

Those are my thoughts, hopefully it’ll spark some interest from some of you.   The entire press-release with descriptions of shows is over at Deadline Hollywood.

Television News for 5/14/2010

Chuck will Spy Again…but will the Heroes Fly again?

Its official from NBC themselves, Chuck has been renewed for 13 episodes with a possible back 9 pick-up if the first 13 do good enough to warrant more shows.    This is great news for Chuck fans like me, the new season of Chuck has been perhaps the best of the entire show’s run so far.   The question is: can Chuck retain its current ratings and also grow them.      A good pairing would be Chuck with the new J.J. Abrams show Undercovers (about a husband/wife spy team).  I could see NBC doing a Spy-Monday theme these two shows put together.   Perhaps this was NBC’s thinking in renewing Chuck and green-lighting Undercovers.

In other news Heroes looks to be dead in the water.   Though NBC hasn’t given any official reports on the matter, they seem to be holding out on it as long as possible on making a decision.   Tim Kring the creator of the show wants another season of course, but even though the show was profitable for NBC in the international market I am not betting on this being  a reason to renew the show.  There are three possibilities that NBC is deciding upon:  Cancelling, Renewing for a short season, or a mini-series of some sort.   If I was a betting man I would bet on the mini-series approach.   Heroes has not been a good show since the end of the first season and NBC cannot possibly hope that it is going to actually bring in new watchers in another season.

No more Flashes…but the Aliens will be back

Word from ABC is that Flashforward is done, the show has languished in ratings hell for the entire second half of the season not even being able to beat Vampire Diaries on the CW which is the smallest network in primetime.  I saw this one coming from a mile away.   V has continued to struggle a well but it hasn’t done anywhere near as horrible as Flashfoward, in fact it has actually been gaining audiences in the past few weeks and looks to finish strong in the next few episodes.

Flashforward on the other hand has been a ratings nightmare and also a production nightmare changing show runners three times in just its first season.   The show has often suffered from scripting errors and even plotting errors, if they could have made it interesting with every episode it could have held onto its audience but it made mistake after mistake.  V has been smart, keeping the show fast paced and interesting with each episode.   We’ll find out next year if it can keep the audience without Lost on before it.

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Television News for 5/13/2011-The Heroes Edition

Heroes Likely Canceled (rumors)

From over at Vulture (a part of NY Magazine) comes word that NBC has more than likely stuck a fork in Heroes saying that the show is done. Although it hasn’t officially come down the wire yet as even Tim Kring the creator of the show is not aware that it has been canceled which is not too surprising as the studio is probably still heavily debating with itself on what it is actually going to do or not going to do.   Heroes once boasted over 17 million viewers and this past season was down to just 5 million per episode.

The show has shown a considerable drop in not only viewers but quality per episode as well.   The first season was full of potential with a lot of great characters introduced who all had great powers and also a villain (Sylar) that was great as well.   Despite this the first season ended n a down note with the whole Hiro in ancient japan stuff and the second season picked up from their feeling directionless and without a point.   The roster of characters with super-powers continued to grow and get more bloated with each passing episode and we won’t even go into the horrible impression all of the mutants heroes story line.

The fourth season which just ended back in February was better with a real direction this time and not too many new characters introduced but at the same time it seemed a little dry and uninteresting.   You knew that certain people were going to make it out a live and when they said that they were going to kill off someone they did kill them off for all of ten minutes because he kept resurfacing anyways in Sylar.    The show has often been good but never great beside that first season and this is a shame because it had potential to be great.  My bet is that this rumor is right and Heroes is done…unless NBC does decide to give it closure with a mini-series.

Heroes is another one of those science fiction shows that tried to emulate Lost and is the most successful of the bunch having last four seasons as opposed to others that only went a season or less.

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Television News for 5/12/2010

Tim Roth will continue to study our lies

Coming from Michael Ausiello over at EW (entertainment weekly) we get news that Lie to Me has been renewed for a third season with an order of 13 episodes.    This is great news for me as I have just started reviewing the second season and am almost caught up to the tenth episode right before the new episodes begin airing this June.    Lie to Me is the story of Doctor Cal Lightman and his team of experts who are hired to discover the truth in what others are saying.    They can do jobs from the mundane and simple to complex ones with unexpected outcomes.   There is no revelation of when the third season will begin airing, but if  I had to guess I would put it somewhere in the mid-season area, not in the fall.   Fox also renewed Human Target for a second season, I’m not a huge fan, it is interesting to note thought that Matthew Miller is coming on to the show as a show-runner…could this mean that he already knows the future of Chuck?

In other Fox news while I am there, they also announced new shows for the fall lineup:  RideAlong about cops who are trying to clean up the city of Chicago, sounds like a been there done that kind of a deal.  Also for Fox Midland a dramatic soap about an oil con-man in Texas, yes sounds like a winner to me.  Fox also picked up two half hour comedies Keep Hope Alive a comedy about a single parent and Traffic Light a show about male relationships.      It sounds like Fox is going to be busy this fall trying to bring in more people, which leaves me wondering where Lie To Me will end up in the mid-season..and what about the new X-Factor show isn’t that Fox as well?  Color me confused.

Lost Finale News

No I am not posting any spoilers on that I promise!  This is just a short video interview from The Hollywood Reporter with Matthew Fox about the final episode, it gives NOTHING away just Matthew Fox’s thoughts on the end of the series and how amazing it has been for the past six seasons. Matthew Fox Interview.

In related news of a sort, V was up last night by 14% over the week before which gives the show a chance at renewal though I’m not going to be holding my breath.   For now we’re waiting to see next week if V gets renewed for a second season or not.  Just like I’ve said before with Chuck I’m not going to be betting on this show returning because it’s a good way to get my hopes up.   I also featured V prominently in an article that I wrote recently about the future of science fiction on television, in that article I pretty much beat up on V and what is wrong with it despite me loving the show there are some major flaws in it that they might be able to fix if they get a second season.

More later if there is more!  Slow news day all around

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