James Karen 1923 – 2018

James Karen is one of those actors whose face you recognize even of you don’t know his name. If “Actor whose name I don’t know” was something you could look up, Karen’s face and name would likely be on the other end of a search. He played a lot of nameless guys, including Larry’s silver-haired… Read on



Cinevent 50 star Leonard Maltin tells how he got Hooked on Movies

COLUMBUS, Ohio — One of the film collector friends I used to run into at Cinefest in Syracuse every year was Leonard Maltin. This week, the author, film historian and frequent TCM contributor is a very active participant in Cinevent 50. Maltin told me Friday that he hadn’t attended this classic film fan gathering since… Read on


Buzz builds as SCTV reunion draws near

On Sunday, I will “take off” for the SCTV reunion at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. CHML’s Scott Thompson had plenty of questions about Martin Scorsese’s upcoming SCTV documentary, which has just been picked up in Canada by CTV. Smart move, Bell. Not a lot of details are known at this point about the project,… Read on


CBC gem from the ’70s a hit at TJFF screening

Very late in posting this but had a great time last Saturday moderating a panel at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. A A 40-year-old CBC TV-movie was saluted: “The Making of the President 1944.” Among the distinguished guests on the panel was the author of the original short story upon which the movie was based,… Read on



CBC gem from 1978 shines Saturday at archival screening

On Saturday, May 5, it will be my privilege to help salute a rare, 40-year-old CBC teleplay: The Making of a President. The hour-long drama, which has nothing to do with the similarly-titled American election chronicles of Theodore H. White, has been kept in a deep corner of the CBC vaults since it aired in 1978.… Read on


Harry Anderson 1952 – 2018

Strange, with the success this spring of the re-boot of Roseanne, that headlines should turn toward news of the passing of Harry Anderson. Anderson’s breakout series Night Court ran from 1984 to 1992. That was back in the day when NBC was considered a “Must See” network. His series started a few years before Roseanne premiered on ABC in… Read on


PODCAST: Celebrating Bochco with Bill Kelly

On Tuesday, CHML’s AM900 morning host Bill Kelly suggested to me that Steven Bochco was to television what Steven Spielberg was to movies. Both moved their medium forward. Bochco certainly was an innovator as a writer and story editor, combining serial elements into police procedurals. Bochco also encouraged Hill Street Blues pilot director Robert Butler to literally… Read on


Steven Bochco 1943 – 2018

Way back when I was a young Turk at TV Guide Canada I was asked to get Steven Bochco on the phone. I thought the request was pure madness. At that time and for many years afterwards, Bochco was TV’s top showrunner, the much-admired writer/producer behind such groundbreaking hits as Hill Street Blues and L.A.… Read on