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Category: TV

“The Terror” Trailer is Finally Here!

Posted in Celebs, History, Horror, and TV

In 2007, I wrote about The Terror by Dan Simmons.  Here’s what I said then:

The Terror by Dan Simmons is a novelization of the true doomed 1840s Franklin expedition to find a Northwest passage. History tells us there were no survivors and the men died from exposure, starvation and worse. Simmons’ story combines all of the interesting historical details and adds a new menace, a creature which feeds on men. The Terror was a national best seller. Stephen King listed it as one of his favorite books of the year. Who am I to argue with Stephen King?

Then in July of 2016 I posted

AMC has greenlit 10 hour long episodes to air in 2017 with Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker serving as Executive Producers and David Kajganich on board to write and take the reins as showrunner.  This is a project worth keeping an eye on.

You can imagine my thrill at seeing this…

8 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT ‘THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW’

Posted in Celebs, Humor, and TV

Me-TV presents 8 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT ‘THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW’.  Here are three of my favorites…

EACH EPISODE WAS TAPED TWICE.
Despite having the feel of a live TV program, each episode was taped twice in front of different studio audiences. That meant that if an actor flubbed a line in both takes, it was still included in the final edited episode.

DICK VAN DYKE WAS A CAST MEMBER.
Although Burnett was the star of the show, she was supported by an incredibly talented cast that included Lawrence, Korman, Waggoner and Conway. When Korman left after the tenth season, Dick Van Dyke replaced him. The lack of chemistry among the cast members and Van Dyke proved to be a disaster, which is why he left after three months.

THE SHOW NEVER RANKED IN THE TOP 10.
The Carol Burnett Show is consistently ranked on critics’ lists as one of the best television programs of all time. However, the series was not a ratings juggernaut when it aired from 1967 to 1978. Although the show peaked at No. 13 in the Nielsen ratings during the 1969-1970 season, it consistently ranked in the 20s for the first nine seasons.

Dave Wachter Deals a Winning Hand: The Man with No Name, Maverick, Django & Jonah Hex!

Posted in Art, Comics, Movies, and TV

Dave Wachter has another winning hand with his art above.  Click on the drawing to get a bigger look at the poker game between Jonah Hex, Django and Brett Maverick.  Oh, and let’s not forget The Man with No Name who is making his entrance.

The only way this could have been better is if Cheyenne Bodie and Jim West also made an appearance.

12 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT ‘BRIAN’S SONG’.

Posted in Celebs, Movies, Sports, Trivia, and TV

Me-TV presents 12 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT ‘BRIAN’S SONG’.  Here are three of my favorites…

JAMES CAAN WAS THE FASTER RUNNER IN REAL LIFE.
It seems James Caan grew up playing high school football and could run circles around Billy Dee Williams, so when they had to film their racing scene, Caan had to make himself go real slow to convince viewers that Williams’ was the speedier of the two.

BILLY DEE WILLIAMS WAS NOT THE ORIGINAL ACTOR CAST AS GALE SAYERS.
Louis Gossett Jr. was originally cast as Gale Sayers, not Billy Dee Williams. Just before shooting started, Gossett managed to tear his Achilles’ tendon. That’s when Williams stepped in and took over the role, shattering Gossett’s spirit worse than the pain of his injury. As the story goes, producer David L. Womper made a big promise to cast Gossett in the next beefy part he could place him in to cheer the actor up. That promise took six years to fulfill, but it was worth the wait when Gossett’s 1977 performance as Fiddler in Roots won him an Emmy and made him a star.\

‘BRIAN’S SONG’ WON MORE AWARDS THAN ANY OTHER ABC MOVIE OF THE WEEK
For airing Brian’s Song, ABC took home four Emmys and a Peabody Award. They also received commendations from both the NAACP and the American Cancer Society. In total, the movie was nominated for eight Emmy Awards. The only other ABC Movie of the Week films to get that kind of attention was The Immortal in 1969 (1 Emmy nomination) and That Certain Summer in 1972 (7 Emmy nominations, 1 win).

THESE ‘GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C.’ FACTS WILL MAKE YOU SAY ”SHAZAM!’ 

Posted in Trivia, and TV

Me-TV presents THESE ‘GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C.’ FACTS WILL MAKE YOU SAY ”SHAZAM!’  Here are three of my favorites…

IT WAS A SPIN-OFF OF A SPIN-OFF, OF SORTS.
The characters from The Andy Griffith Show were first introduced to American audiences in a 1960 episode of The Danny Thomas Show (Make Room for Daddy), “Danny Meets Andy Griffith.” It was more of a marketing maneuver, but technically that makes Andy Griffith a spin-off. The pilot episode of Gomer Pyle arrived as the season four finale of Andy Griffith in 1964.

IT WAS INCREDIBLY POPULAR, RIGHT UP UNTIL THE END.
The show finished outside the top three only once in its five-year run, when it slipped to No. 10 in the Nielsen ratings in 1967. Yet it bounced back strong, gaining some of its best ratings in its final season. In fact, Gomer Pyle was the second most watched show in television when it shut down.

FRANK SUTTON WAS A BLACK BELT IN JUDO AND SERVED IN THE ARMY.
As Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter, Sutton set the mold for the hard-as-nails, shouting drill sergeant so common to military narratives. Ironically, in real life, the actor failed a Marine physical and instead served in the Army during WWII, where he proved himself in taking part in over a dozen assault landings around the Philippines. He also had a black belt. That’s some man. Sadly, Sutton passed away too soon at 50 from a heart attack.

How Rocky Props Saved Paul Wintner’s Business in 2017

Posted in Celebs, Movies, and TV

Paul with Sly at The Expendables Premiere (Thanks Randy!)

Paul Wintner is a long-time SZoner and one of the most die-hard Sylvester Stallone fans in the world.  We’ve shined a spotlight on Paul’s Stallone Collection several times over the years. It’s always a pleasure interacting with Paul.  Until you see his collection, you’d never know the quality of his pieces or the number of props he has.  You probably wouldn’t know that he is also the CEO of Wintner Artists where he works with voice-over talent for movies and television.

When I recently visited Paul’s business site, I noticed he had a new logo (Hey, Yo! Eye of the Tiger!) and had posted on his front page the famous quote from Rocky Balboa (“Life is not about how hard you can hit…).  I knew that Paul’s agency had worked on several of Sly’s biggest films (Rocky Balboa, Rambo, The Expendables) but I wondered if something else was at play.

So, I asked.

Paul went on to tell me how Rocky saved him again.  Let me turn it over to Paul…

Last year my business partner and best friend of over 22 years decided to leave Wintner Artist Management.  Looking back, the signs were all there, but at the time it came as a huge surprise.  Over the years I had worked extremely hard to help talent of Wintner Artist Management build their careers.  My company became much more successful than most thought would be possible with me as the CEO (myself included).  And then an unfortunate thing happened.  I became complacent.  Like Rocky Balboa in Rocky III, I lost the eye of the tiger.

Paul's Rocky Fedora and Glove

Things were going well.  The company was established. I had guided some of these guys from their first jobs to being the biggest names in the business. I had taken my huge love for films and memorabilia and turned it into a career I loved.  My partner was working closely with the talent.  I was steering the ship and we were coasting along.  Maybe, looking back it was me who was coasting along.  It was like the saying, “Things were going great, until they weren’t.”  When my partner decided to quit Wintner Artist Management, every single voice-over artist except one decided to go with him.

Who could blame them?  He had been working closely with the talent.  He had their booking schedules and spent more time dealing with the daily grind.  Lately they felt he was their manager.  While I was still there making sure our talent were reading for the projects I wanted them to land since I had always kept a log of all the great movies coming soon. But I had lost some of the old Wintner fire. Going with my partner must have seemed like the smart move to all of them… all of them except one.

Lucky for me, it was my number one guy, Ashton Smith, who decided to stay with me.  Ashton had done voice-over work for Rocky Balboa, Rambo and Creed.  It meant the world when Ashton told me, “I’m staying with you my man, you always believed in me and I will always believe in you. I sit here in my studio in my beautiful home with my plane all because of you!”  It was almost like Burgess Meredith as Mickey, telling Rocky to get up ‘cuz he didn’t hear no bell.

As I sat in the middle of my office I realized I was CEO of a talent agency who after 20 plus years was left with no partner and one voice-over artist.  The odds against being able to start over again at 46 were against me.  I looked up and found myself staring at some of my most treasured Rocky memorabilia.  Stallone and Rocky had always resonated with me.  Like them, I was considered a longshot for success.  School was hard for me.  Sly and Rocky had made it.  So had I… once.  Could I do it again?  Could I regain the Eye of the Tiger?

It was almost like I heard the Rocky theme in my head.  I knew what I had to do.  First, I was going to give Ashton the attention he deserved for staying.  He had been my Mickey to inspire me, but now I would be his Mickey and promote him like the champ he was.  I immediately started looking for new voice talents – I wanted a big voice for blockbusters, a nice midrange guy and a few more to round out the roster.  I also knew that I would re-design my logo incorporating the Eye of the Tiger.  I went home and told my wife, my Adrian the news.  And like Rocky’s Adrian, she believed and encouraged me every step of the way.

My talent search led me to Matthew Rhode.  In just ten months I made Matthew a top-notch competitor.  Matthew landed Logan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Blade Runner 2049Ghost in the Shell, Kingsmen 2, The Mountain Between Us, American Made, 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Jumanji, and is now heard on Star Wars: Last Jedi Verizon commercials.  Matthew even landed Star Trek: Discovery for the CBS network.  Ashton Smith (my Mickey) had his best year ever with film campaigns.  Jamie Anderson came on board just two months ago and out of the gates landed four films Roman J. Israel, Esq.; The Star,The Greatest Showman and I, Tonya.  2017 was one of the best years ever for Wintner Artists.  Talk about a comeback!

When I think back to me sitting alone in my office, at the lowest point of my business life, I can truthfully say, that it was my Rocky props and what they represent that gave me the strength and courage to get back up and go the distance!

I also want to thank my family for their love and support.

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I asked Paul if he ever speaks to his former partner/best friend.  Paul’s response was perfect: “Absolutely.  Things happen for a reason.  Rocky and Apollo stayed friends,” he laughed.

As my conversation with Paul came to a close, I asked, “So your Rocky props really saved you?”  Without hesitation, Paul responded, “My props, Ashton Smith and every Rocky film ever made and my family.  Because it ain’t over till it’s over.”

Paul’s story is truly inspiring and I’m grateful he was happy to share it.  Paul wishes some how Sly, who is probably sick of hearing it, knew how much that character has inspired people like him.  Like many Stallone fans, Paul was inspired to make fitness a part of his daily life since he was a teenager.  It was Rocky who got Paul through his rough teenage years, gave him the inspiration that he could succeed in business when he was just starting out and it was Rocky again who inspired Paul to make a comeback in business when others thought it would be impossible.

Thanks Paul for sharing your story (and Rocky props)! – Craig

“Life is not about how hard you hit.  It is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” – Rocky Balboa

The Best Movies That Should Be Made Into TV Shows

Posted in Books, Comics, Crime, Movies, and TV

IndieWire recently asked critics to pick the Best Movies That Should Be Made Into TV Shows.  Of all the movies suggested, I liked the idea of Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins Devil in a Blue Dress being turned into a series.  If it did well then other Easy Rawlins’ yarns would be ripe for the picking.

If I was to suggested movies that would make great tv shows, I’d suggest these three for starters…

  • The Expendables (where team members were actually expendable)
  • Sin City (using Miller’s stories)
  • Night of the Living Dead (focus on different stories/casts each season from the first few nights of the zombie outbreak)

9 Tough as Leather Facts About “Rawhide”

Posted in Celebs, Movies, Trivia, and TV

Me-TV presents 9 Tough as Leather Facts About Rawhide. Here are three of my favorites…

EASTWOOD WORE HIS ‘RAWHIDE’ BOOTS IN ‘UNFORGIVEN.’
No need for a wardrobe department when it comes to Clint. To bookend his career as a cowboy, Eastwood wore his same Rowdy Yates boots in his Oscar-winning 1992 masterpiece Unforgiven.

LOADS OF SOON-TO-BE-FAMOUS FACES APPEARED ON THE SHOW.
That’s Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery taking aim in “Incident at El Crucero,” in a guest role that would foreshadow her gig as Mrs. Sundance. Star Trek crew members Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley appeared on the Western, too. Sitcom legends Buddy Ebsen, Barbara Eden, Alan Hale, Jr., June Lockhart, Gavin MacLeod, Marion Ross and William Schallert also pop up — just to name a few. Then there’s Martin Landau, Frankie Avalon, Anne Francis, Peter Lorre…

TWO EPISODES WERE SLAPPED TOGETHER TO FORM A MOVIE, UNTIL EASTWOOD PREVENTED ITS RELEASE.
Rawhide finished its run in the first week of 1966. By that year, Eastwood was a star of small and big screen. The classic Spaghetti Westerns A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) revolutionized the genre. To further capitalize on Eastwood’s fame, Jolly Film, the studio behind A Fistful of Dollars, pieced together a couple old episodes of Rawhide, primarily “The Backshooter” with Louis Hayward and Slim Pickens, and labeled the flick The Magnificent Stranger, the original shooting title for A Fistful of Dollars. However, Eastwood sued and had the 1967 film withdrawn.

“The Walking Dead” Poster Homages to Classic Movie Posters!

Posted in Horror, Movies, TV, and Zombies

Horror fans will recognize that The Walking Dead poster above pays homage to the original Night of the Living Dead poster.

That’s just one of the many classic poster adaptations for The Walking Dead that Greg Nicotero had created.  Others include homages to Alien; Back to the Future; Blade Runner; The Exorcist; Ghostbusters; The Omega Man; The Shinning; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Psycho; The Thing; Raiders of the Lost Ark and more.

 

10 Things You Never Knew About “Maverick”

Posted in Celebs, Trivia, and TV

Me-TV posted 10 Things You Never Knew About Maverick.  Here are three of my favorites…

GARNER PLAYED BRET MAVERICK IN THREE DIFFERENT ‘MAVERICK’ TV SERIES.
It is the rare actor who can claim two iconic television characters and a successful big-screen career. Garner became a household name thanks to the witty and fun Maverick. The gambling Bret Maverick proved to be so beloved that numerous reboots followed over the decades. In 1979, a TV movie led to Young Maverick, an incredibly short-lived sequel that hardly featured Garner. In 1981, Maverick was dealt another hand in the series Bret Maverick. NBC surprisingly canceled the solidly performing show after a season.

THERE WAS A MASSIVE CROSSOVER EPISODE WITH OTHER WESTERNS.
The madcap season four episode “Hadley’s Hunters” trots out numerous cameos from other Warner Bros. Westerns. You can spot John Russell and Peter Brown from Lawman, Clint Walker from Cheyenne, Will Hutchins from Sugarfoot and Ty Hardin from Bronco. In addition, Edd Byrnes from 77 Sunset Strip also pops up — combing the mane of a horse called “77 Cherokee Strip.”

“SHADY DEAL AT SUNNY ACRES” WAS GARNER’S FAVORITE EPISODE.
Perhaps some of this had to do with the fact that Garner got to spend the episode comfortably whittling in a rocking chair. It’s also a flat-out brilliant piece of television, which carries many similarities to the classic film The Sting. Like we said, the outings with both Bret and Bart Maverick working together are quite special.

 

The Scariest Monsters that Came from the “Twilight Zone”

Posted in TV

The fine folks at Me-TV have posted their choices for the Scariest Monsters that Came from the Twilight Zone.  Using just their list, here are my top three and then my choice for the scariest monster that didn’t make their list but should have…

“NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET”

“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” first aired in October 1963, and it’s been giving us chills ever since, forever changing the way many people feel when they fly. Its central haunt is a furry gremlin who wreaks havoc on the wing of the plane. The beast can seemingly only been seen by the passenger Robert Wilson (William Shatner).

“THE INVADERS”

Knife-wielding miniature aliens are no less terrifying than their looming counterparts, “The Invaders” set out to prove in 1961. It’s one of the most aggressive episodes in The Twilight Zone canon, featuring the unrelenting force of its titular, tiny invader, and a protagonist who’s under attack the entire 25 minutes, nursing her wounds while viewers developed a reverse Napoleon complex.

“HOCUS-POCUS AND FRISBY”

Aliens are probably the most often repeated source of fear in The Twilight Zone. Among the scariest aliens from the show were the ones that came for a fibber named Mr. Frisby. His tall tales caused him to become a target for aliens who come to collect him as an exemplary specimen who represents humanity’s best. In the end, Frisby escapes, but few viewers could turn off the TV set without first putting themselves in Frisby’s shoes, all of us shaking in our boots aboard the alien ship.

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My choice for the scariest monster from The Twilight Zone would be the Kanamits from To Serve Man.  Not only are the an advanced race of aliens that are over 9 feet tall but they eat humans!