Is Murphy Brown one re-boot too many?

There should be a rule against re-booting sitcoms that already lasted seven years after they stopped being funny. Murphy Brown ran for 10 seasons on CBS. The 1988 – 98 sitcom had a talented cast, led by Candice Bergen, and featuring strong supporting players, including Faith Ford, Charles Kimbrough, Robert Pastorelli, Joe Regalbuto and Grant Shaud. Buffalo,… Read on



Carl Reiner: a class act

Now and then, a bit of what matters most — business-wise — is dropped off in the mail box. Today this unexpected package arrived: Carl Reiner’s latest book, “Too Busy to Die.” The title came to Reiner after he complained to his pal Mel Brooks that he was at loose ends after finishing his latest project.… Read on


Jerry Van Dyke 1931 – 2018

Who didn’t like Jerry Van Dyke? Dick’s banjo-playing younger brother never failed to warm up any TV show or movie. He passed away Friday at his ranch in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was 86. I was fortunate to interview Van Dyke on a few occasions, once on the phone. At the end of that conversation, he kindly volunteered… Read on


Rose Marie 1923 – 2017

Rose Marie died over a week ago on Dec. 28, and I’ve been searching for my cassette tape of our interview ever since. The interview, over the phone, occurred probably 14 years ago at the time The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited — Carl Reiner’s coda to his classic ’60s sitcom — aired on CBS. I remember… Read on



Early Christmas present: Q&A with Carl Reiner

Christmas came early for me this year. I got to interview one of my all-time TV idols, Carl Reiner. The occasion is The Dick Van Dyke Show — Now in Living Colour!, a holiday-timed special premiering Friday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. This is the second hour-long special featuring two computer-colourized episodes of… Read on


More on Moore: her quality shone through, even in tough times

It has been a 24-hour MTM marathon ever since the news broke Wednesday that Mary Tyler Moore has passed away. I was honored to be asked to share memories of watching and, on a few occasions, meeting Moore. The first time I met Moore was in January of 1986 at a TCA press tour gathering in… Read on


Mary Tyler Moore 1936 – 2017

What makes even a crusty TV critic cry? News that Mary Tyler Moore has passed away. I first fell in love with her on The Dick Van Dyke Show, but who didn’t? Certainly Dick Van Dyke did. Look at the photo above — how much in love were these two kids? They were even asked,… Read on


From TCA17 to Taffel’s 16mm TV rarities

Did you know Sammy Davis Jr. could not land a special on a U.S. network TV schedule in the late ’50s — so he made one in Canada instead? That’s just one of the things I learned Monday from my pal Stan Taffel, 16mm film collector extraordinaire. Taffel is the president of Cinecon, an annual Los… Read on