Archive for December, 2008

John’s Grill Turns 100: Sam Spade would surely raise a glass to restaurant’s centennial

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

John Cote of the San Francisco Chronicle on the 100th anniversary of the opening of John’s Grill, the San Francisco institution that has been the kind of spot for a lot of things, including the theft of movie memorabilia, the clearing a young widow of murder and a brush with literary fame for being mentioned briefly in Dashiell Hammett’s 1930 detective novel “The Maltese Falcon”:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/12/21/BAKF14P3B3.DTL&hw=John+Grill+Turns+100&sn=001&sc=1000

Eartha Kitt dies at age 81

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

From the Associated Press, by way of Yahoo! News:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/obit_eartha_kitt

The Best and Worst of 2008: This Week on TV CONFIDENTIAL

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

The year in television will be the focus this week on TV CONFIDENTIAL, Tuesday, Dec. 30 beginning at 10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org.2008 said goodbye to The Shield and The Wire, but hello to Swingtown and Life on Mars. It was a year that saw the election of a new president, and an award-winning HBO series about the life of one of our first presidents. It was also a year in which Saturday Night Live rose once again to watercooler status… while CNN went just a bit overboard with some of its high-tech graphics. We’ll look at the good, the bad, the ridiculous and the sublime… both as we see it, and as you see it as well.

Join Frankie Montiforte and me, along with our guest, David Krell, as we look back in the year in television—the good, the bad, the ridiculous and the sublime… both as we see it, and as you see it as well. It all starts Tuesday, Dec. 30 beginning at 10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org. Ed Robertson
Co-Host, TV CONFIDENTIAL
Every other Tuesday at 10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT
Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
www.tvconfidential.net
blog.tvconfidential.net
Also available as a podcast via iTunes

Leno Move to Prime Time a Sign of Network Decline

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

From The New York Times, by way of Television Week:

http://www.tvweek.com/blogs/tvbizwire/2008/12/leno_move_a_sign_of_network_de.php

and

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/19/opinion/19sepinwall.html?_r=1

For Frankie’s and my comments on NBC, Leno and The Tonight Show, check out the Dec. 16 edition of TV Confidential.

Ed Robertson
Co-Host, TV CONFIDENTIAL
Every other Tuesday at
10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT
Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
www.tvconfidential.net
blog.tvconfidential.net
Also available as a podcast via iTunes

“Tonight Show” producer Rudy Tellez dies at 78

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

From Daily Variety, by way of Television Week:

http://www.tvweek.com/blogs/tvbizwire/2008/12/tonight_show_producer_rudy_tel.php

Ed Robertson
Co-Host, TV CONFIDENTIAL
Every other Tuesday at
10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT
Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
www.tvconfidential.net
blog.tvconfidential.net
Also available as a podcast via iTunes

TV Confidential: SPECIAL REMINDER re: Dec. 30 program

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

In case you missed it, the Dec. 16 edition of TV Confidential is now available online on our archives page at TVConfidential.net. Our guest that night was Andrew Lee Fielding, author of The Lucky Strike Papers: Journeys Through My Mother’s Television Past. Andrew’s mother, singer Sue Bennett, was a featured performer on Your Hit Parade, Kay Kyser’s College of Musical Knowledge and other early network musical variety shows. His book explores the pioneer days of live TV via the shows on which his mother sang.

Our next program will be Tuesday, Dec. 30, beginning at 10:30pm ET, 7:30pm on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org. David Krell will join us as we look back at the Best and Worst of Television in 2008. Because of the holidays, however, this program will be recorded in advance on Monday, Dec. 22. Therefore, if you wish to participate in that program—if you have a favorite moment from television this year, favorite show you’ve recently discovered, favorite guest or program you’ve heard on TV Confidential, etc.—please email your comments to talk@tvconfidential.net no later than 3pm ET, noon PT on Monday, Dec. 22 so that we can include them in our conversation.

In the meantime, thanks to everyone for listening, and Happy Holidays!

Ed Robertson
Co-Host, TV CONFIDENTIAL
Every other Tuesday at 10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT
Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
www.tvconfidential.net
blog.tvconfidential.net
Also available as a podcast via iTunes and FeedBurner

Majel Barrett Roddenberry dies at 76; widow of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry kept the legacy of the series alive

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-roddenberry19-2008dec19,0,1017655.story

I never met Majel Barrett (nor Gene Roddenberry, for that matter), but I did get a chance to chat with their son, Eugene Roddenberry Jr., at one of the Star Trek Grand Slam conventions in Pasadena.

Ed Robertson
Pop Culture Critic and Television Historian
Co-Author, The Ethics of Star Trek
Co-Host, TV CONFIDENTIAL
Every other Tuesday at 10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT
Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
www.tvconfidential.net
blog.tvconfidential.net
Also available as a podcast via iTunes and FeedBurner

Beverly Garland, versatile actress in film and TV, dies at 82

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Known almost as much for the Beverly Hills hotel that bears her name as for her long and diverse acting career, she played gutsy women in movies such as Not of This Earth and It Conquered the World, as well as Fred MacMurray’s wife in the waning years of My Three Sons. Less remembered is her stint as an undercover policewoman on the syndicated TV series Decoy, years before Angie Dickinson did the same on NBC’s Police Woman.

Ed Robertson
Co-Host, TV CONFIDENTIAL
Every other Tuesday at 10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT
Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
www.tvconfidential.net
blog.tvconfidential.net
Also available as a podcast via iTunes

Hollywood icon Van Johnson dies at 92

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Known for his film roles opposite Esther Williams, June Allyson, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor and others during his years under contract to MGM, Van Johnson also starred on Broadway (Damn Yankees, The Music Man, La Cage aux Folles) and was a fixture on network television. Among his many roles on the small screen, he was The Minstrel on Batman, plus he was Desi Arnaz’s original choice to play Eliot Ness in The Untouchables.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081212/ap_en_ot/obit_van_johnson
Ed Robertson
Co-Host, TV CONFIDENTIAL
Every other Tuesday at 10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT
Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
www.tvconfidential.net
blog.tvconfidential.net
Also available as a podcast via iTunes

Prolific character actor Robert Prosky dies at 77

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

He appeared in 220 plays (including Glengarry Glen Ross), 38 movies (including The Natural, Thief, Dead Man Walking and Mrs. Doubtfire) and hundreds of television shows. He stepped in as the desk sergeant in Hill Street Blues after the untimely death of Michael Conrad in 1984, a few years after turning down the role of “Coach” on Cheers that eventually went to Nicholas Colosanto. His signature line on Hill Street Blues: “Let’s do it to them before they do it to us.”

http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2008-12-10-prosky-obit_N.htm

Ed Robertson
Co-Host, TV CONFIDENTIAL
Every other Tuesday at 10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT
Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
www.tvconfidential.net
blog.tvconfidential.net
Also available as a podcast via iTunes