Abe Vigoda: 1921 – 2016

Back when he was on NBC, Conan O’Brien would invite Abe Vigoda on Late Night just to prove that the former Barney Miller star was still alive. On Tuesday night’s Conan, the host paid tribute to the actor, who finally passed away–after all those premature rumours–at the age of 94. The above clip shows several… Read on

Ninety years ago: Baird demonstrates the first TV

Television, it seems has many fathers. One of them is John Baird, showcased in Tuesday’s Google Doodle. Ninety years ago Tuesday, Baird gave the first public demonstration of his invention: the first mechanical television. It was to regular television what Donald Trump is to presidential candidates: crude, sketchy, loud, often unintelligible. Still, back in 1926, Baird transmitted… Read on

What matters most: Warburton on Amazon’s re-boot of The Tick

PASADENA, Calif.–Never mind Donald Trump, Caitlyn Jenner or Jennifer Lopez. Enough with all The X-Files hype, or blather about The People vs. O.J. Simpson. There’s only one burning question this TCA winter press tour–what’s happening with Amazon’s plan to re-mount The Tick, a.k.a. the Big Blue Bug of Justice? It was 15 freakin’ years ago when… Read on

50 Years ago Tuesday: Batman pows onto ABC

Holy senior’s discount Batman! Tuesday, Jan. 12 marks 50 years since ABC’s Batman premiered. I was in Grade Three in 1966 and loved that this series was on two nights a week–same Bat-time, same Bat-channel. It only lasted two-and-a-half seasons and just over 100 episodes, but for a while it was hotter than any of… Read on

Matlock’s still a winner 30 years later on AMI-tv

What’s the No. 1 TV series in Canada–among viewers who are visually impaired? It’s not a new show, it’s not even from this century–it’s Matlock. The folksy law drama, which revived the career of Andy Griffith, ran from 1986 to ’95, with all but the last season on NBC. It’s still a big draw according to the… Read on

What are the best TV Christmas episodes of all time?

What are the best regular series Christmas episodes ever? I wrote a story this week for The Canadian Press listing 10 of the best-ever Christmas-themed episodes. The hook was Monday’s episode of Murdoch Mysteries, a two-hour Christmas special featuring guest stars Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey) and TV legend Ed Asner. Even Peter Mansbridge gets in on… Read on

It’s been 50 years, Charlie Brown

Good grief! Has it really been 50 years since I first watched, along with millions of others, A Charlie Brown Christmas? I was already, at eight-years-old, Charlie Brown crazy. I would read the Peanuts comics in the Toronto Star every day and cut them out and paste them in a scrapbook. My mom would take… Read on

This week’s podcast: All My Children miss Canary

CHML’s Scott Thompson starts things off this week by mentioning the death of All My Children star David Canary. The white-haired soap star passed away Nov. 16 at 77. He won five Emmys for playing twins–one good, the other evil–on the daytime series and is also remembered by some of us for his role as… Read on