Monday, February 24, 2014

Harold Ramis, beloved comedian, actor, writer dies in Chicago at age 69

If you are a Boomer, you remember watching SCTV, hearing and knowing of Chicago's Second City troupe of talents including Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Eugene Levy, Gilda Radner, and more. One of the best of the best comic writers, Harold Ramis, has died today at age 69.
                                                      Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images

For story, click here.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

An acoustic evening with Jon Anderson at Houston’s Dosey Doe Big Barn Feb. 24, 2014

There’s something very special to look forward to on Mon., Feb. 24: an acoustic evening with legendary singer/songwriter Jon Anderson will come to the Big Barn of the Dosey Doe. 
                                          Photo by Deborah Anderson (used with permission Glass Onyon PR)

For reasons not to miss this show, click here. Yes, you will enjoy seeing Jon Anderson and hearing stories from throughout his career. And the food and coffee at Dosey Doe's Big Barn is worth the drive alone.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Seacrest team up for NBC's ‘Shades of Blue’ for 2015

This is so not a good idea....a TV drama for NBC starring Jennifer Lopez as a "single mom and dirty cop" who has to turn her back on other dirty cops, the people who helped her raise her child, as she works with the FBI. Hollywood Reporter shared: "It's a straight-to-series" idea produced by Lopez' own Nuyorican Products, together with "American Idol" host and annoying clone of Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest, in his Ryan Seacrest Productions. Sorry, but Ryan needs to stick with E! and the Kardashians....NBC "shoulda knowed better" will the show do in 2015-2016? Not a Blood Chance of gaining an audience, I think...I could be wrong but...
                                          Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
For story, click here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ralph Waite tribute marathon airs today at 4:00 p.m. (EST) on USA Network

Since "NCIS" reruns are only on Wednesday's on USA Network, this afternoon---TODAY-- starting at 3:00 p.m. CST, there's a Ralph Waite Marathon on NCIS--all 8 episodes back to back. Click here for the full story.

Here are the episodes you'll see:
Heartland (2008), Season 6, Episode 4, directed by Tony Wharmby
Silent Night (2008), Season 6, Episode 11, directed by Tony Wharmby
Faith (2009), Season 7, Episode 10, directed by Arvin Brown
Rule Fifty-One (2010), Season 7, Episode 24, directed by Dennis Smith
Spider and the Fly (2010), Season 8, Episode 1, directed by Dennis Smith
Life Before His Eyes (2012), Season 9, Episode 14, directed by Tony Wharmby
The Namesake (2012), Season 10, Episode 5, directed by Arvin Brown
Better Angels (2013), Season 11, Episode 7, directed by Tony Wharmby

Set your DVR's!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

CBS orders fourth CSI police procedural from Anthony Zuiker

CBS is planning fourth CSI spinoff from Anthony Zuiker and his team, this one based primarily on the work of Mary Aiken, a noted Irish cyber-psychologist. Question is: what song by The Who would work best for the spinoff's theme song? 
                                          Photo by Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

For my vote, it has to be "Long Live Rock" by who else? The Who, of course. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 
Click here to read the story.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Buckinghams and Herman’s Hermits’ Peter Noone Have Fun at Star Plaza "Salute to the 60s" concert

In January, 2014, in Merrillville, Indiana, Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone, The Buckinghams and the Grass Roots performed at the Star Plaza Theatre. Peter Noone is a known prankster, but Carl Giammarese holds his own. And Star Plaza CEO Charlie Blum finds a 'home away from home' onstage with the Buckinghorns' Carlo Isabelli, Charles Morgan, and Rich Moore. Great fun! 
                                          Photo by S.D. Aigo Photography

Click here to read the story.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

This is 'not how to Sonic': America's drive-in should retire 'Sonic Guys'

Open message to Sonic Drive-Ins. I've had it "up to here" with your dumb TV commercials. Especially these guys for their Sonic spots. Make them stop, ad agency with multimillion dollar account, whomever you are today. Make them stop. Have mercy! I'm going anywhere else until you give viewers a reprieve from these guys.

Click here to read the story.

Ralph Waite, actor and television father favorite, dead at 85

America loved actor Ralph Waite on "NCIS" as Jackson Gibbs. But so did so many around the world, including Annie Booker, a dear lady in Australia who made this lovely photo collage tribute. 

On Feb. 13, 2014, television audiences lost another iconic and beloved actor. The New York Times reported that Ralph Waite passed away at age 85. Whether you live in New York, Houston, or in Los Angeles, for so many, learning this news evoked an instant reaction similar to the loss of one of your own family members.

Television is a unique communications medium that allows viewers to share a part of an ongoing (often) fictional world where life is pleasant, simple, joyful, or you’re placed into an environment that shields you from long-term pain because a resolution can be reached in as little as an hour or even half hour. The dynamic of the television father and the actors who portray them is serious business.

From TV shows that included father in the title, “Father Knows Best,” “Bachelor Father” “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” to shows that revolved around families, featuring a very strong father figure, such as “The Waltons,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Leave it To Beaver,” and even “NCIS” with Mark Harmon playing a father who’d lost a child and adopted the co-workers around him as his ersatz family. Fathers lead. Fathers guide. Fathers issue accolades and discipline with almost even frequency. At least that is how it is on television.

Real life isn’t like that. Maybe your own father wasn’t like the other dads you saw on television. Maybe your dad was so memorable that you might write a book about him. Somewhere in between is the fascination of people searching for fathers to identify with, either as they have one or perhaps as they want to be like one they’ve seen at a distance, every week, on your little television.

Ralph Waite was one of those fathers that people admired and thought to be “the best.” The New York Times reported that

In 2004, a TV Guide poll of readers ranked him (Waite) No. 3 on its list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time,” behind Bill Cosby’s Dr. Cliff Huxtable (No. 1) on “The Cosby Show” and Lorne Greene’s Ben Cartwright on “Bonanza.”

Interestingly, in 2004, one primary role had defined Waite as a father. As the New York Times noted, it was only because of Waite’s role as John Walton that he was considered a “Greatest TV Dad.” Viewers had nine years and 196 episodes of “The Waltons” to admire and regard Waite’s character John Walton, and yet Waite was more popular in his early career as a stage actor. The medium’s often the thing, as far as making a household name out of a truly great actor.

Waite was such a popular actor that from 2009-2013 Waite appeared as Hank Booth, the grandfather of FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth on three episodes of the ABC-TV procedural, “Bones,” as Seeley’s grandfather whom Hank raised as his own. Also in that same time span, Ralph made 94 appearances as “Father Matt,” a priest, on the NBC daytime soap opera, “Days of Our Lives.”

But wait, there’s more. From 2008-2013 in perhaps his most endearing role, Ralph made 8 appearances as Jackson Gibbs, on TV’s current number one scripted drama. Jackson is father to NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Undoubtedly this role is one of the most important of his career, possibly even more so than playing the family patriarch on “The Waltons." On the tote board, that’s three fathers in three shows on three different networks. That has to be an acting record somewhere.

NCIS 9.14 "Life Before His Eyes" 20-second promo (CBS)


In further support of his acting ability, many times you might describe the personal Waite as a simple country man, who saw a lot of hard labor in his life, and he surely must be the perfect father, right? Real-world Waite achieved three marriages in his lifetime and his B.A. degree from Bucknell led to “almost three years of divinity school at Yale. Biographical sources report that Waite’s early youth included time “as a social worker, religious editor for publisher Harper & Row, and Presbyterian minister,” more insight into the collected countenance which Waite brought to his roles, whether portraying a minister or father.

The character of Jackson Gibbs has been and is so important to helping define the character of NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. The very thin line between recurring television characters and the actors who portray them was described well many years by the late Sonny Bono, U.S. Congressman, singer/songwriter, and record producer, when he said “Television is a distancing phenomenon. You see us in your home each week; we are a part of your family. You feel like you know us as well as you know members of your own family.” And, Sonny was right.

Poignantly, upon the death of actor-singer-U.S. Congressman Bono, minister-actor-social advocate Waite ran for the seat as a candidate but lost to Sonny’s widow Mary Bono Mack, who served as Congresswoman for 14 years. When you choose to be in the public eye, you may aim for acting at first, but so very often the path to the goal includes rich and relevant side roads you have to traverse before you achieve your dream. Just as importantly the dream of “getting it right” as a father may not come in real life, but it can come across on screen, to the delight of millions of people watching each time. That’s surreal, but true enough.

Particularly through the eyes of Ralph Waite as Jackson Gibbs, the episodes that featured all the rich dialog between Jackson and Jethro spelled out the intense father-son dynamic that came from the mind of “NCIS” creator Donald Bellisario, whose own father, by the way, was named Albert Jethro Bellisario.

Jackson’s character has continued to be expertly extended by show runner and frequent writer, Gary Glasberg. One can only wonder what’s next for “NCIS” without Jackson. Of all of Waite’s appearances on “NCIS,” the 200th episode, “Life Before His Eyes” (Season 9, Episode 14) is perhaps the most important and poignant one to watch for the insight it produces as the backstory develops between Jethro and Jackson. Both silver-haired, blue-eyed strong men, Harmon and Waite, look at one another and say more with looks than with words.

Even beyond the United States, fans of “NCIS” around the world were impacted by the news of Waite’s passing. Jackson Gibbs was gone. In fact, Annie Booker, from Adelaide, South Australia was so moved she created the photo collage shown in this story, in tribute to Waite’s role as Jackson Gibbs. The actor whose real life was never as smooth or joyful as the world he created for all of us, who believed we truly “knew him” from watching him through a digital electronic gateway, has died. The talent of Ralph Waite will be remembered for years to come. The characters he created for us, through the benefit of syndicated television shows, will live on for much longer than that. And you just can’t ask for more than that from any professional. And as the curtain goes down, what’s in order is a final standing ovation for a truly gifted actor, Ralph Waite, with thanks.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lucas Black named to ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ cast: Let the good times roll

A good ol’ southern boy in real life, Alabama native Lucas Black has been added to the cast list of “NCIS: New Orleans,” as reported by Entertainment Weekly on Feb. 10, 2014.

  • Fast and Furious + NCIS: New Orleans launch = Sure Winner. Click here for story.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Search for ‘Patient Zero’ on tonight’s episode of CBS’ ‘Intelligence’

Josh Holloway stars in CBS' "Intelligence" on Monday nights, 9 pm CST. On Feb. 10, the episode revolves around a search to find "Patient Zero" to contain a deadly virus. Only problem is, when Gabriel cyber-renders, he sees that the person had been a criminal who'd been executed a week takes place in Texas.
Click here to learn more about Episode 6, "Patient Zero."

Sunday, February 9, 2014

There's No Need to Fear! Underdog is Here! for Reebok ZQuicks, That Is

If you’re a Baby Boomer who has not yet seen the new Reebox commercial for their “ZQuick Sneaker,” you’re going to love it. Why? The music playing in the commercial is the theme from “Underdog,” the fictional white pup who was “humble and lovable Shoeshine Boy,” by day, and superhero Underdog when the call went out to save the day. #livewithfire

Read the full story and watch the commercial. Click here.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

When You See Your Words Quoted on National CBS-TV Commercials

The 6th CBS promo to feature my quote re "Intelligence" just aired during "Blue Bloods," Friday, 9-10 pm. CBS, Feb. 7.
Read the complete review of "Intelligence," that's "Not Just for Your Eyes Only." Click here. Tune in Monday night, Feb. 10, to see what all the buzz is about. It is indeed the one to watch!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Promos for "Intelligence" on CBS Monday Nights 9 p.m. CST

This is the 5th promo for CBS' "Intelligence" that uses a quote from my review of the show on What a joy. Great episode coming up Monday night, 9 p.m. CST

View the promo here.

Have you watched back the episodes you missed yet? Here's a story that might help convince you. 
Click HERE to read.

Billy Crystal Surprises Jay Leno as "The Tonight Show" ends in style

The highlight of Jay Leno's final telecast of NBC's "The Tonight Show," on Friday, Feb. 6, 2014, didn't come at the beginning of the show, nor at the end. It was all about the brilliance of Billy Crystal. To read the full review, click here.
                                                               Photo by Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Monday, February 3, 2014

Women of Courage Lead CBS "Intelligence" in High Style and High Fashion!

There are four women in harm’s way tonight. Some are physically bound by constraints; others are constrained by rules and the dictates of men who theoretically possess all the power, literally, in the world. But the women have the last word, on a number of levels. Project Clockwork is in good hands.

 LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 07: Actresses Meghan Ory (L) and Marg Helgenberger arrive at CNET'S premiere party for the CBS television show 'Intelligence' during the 2014 International CES at the Tao Nightclub at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

To read the full story on, click here

Scott Bakula Announced as Lead in new "NCIS: New Orleans" Procedural Spinoff

On Feb. 3, 2014, the Hollywood Reporter broke the news that actor Scott Bakula has been tapped to be the “Big Easy’s” version of NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs on the anxiously anticipated new spinoff of "NCIS," CBS-TV’s number one prime-time drama.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: Actor Scott Bakula and Chelsea Field attend the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Check out the full story on Click here

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Take Time to Catch Up with CBS' "Intelligence"

It's definitely worth a second look. Here's a quick course in CBS's Intelligence 101 before tomorrow night's new episode. Have you seen the tension between actors Josh Holloway and Marg Helgenberger interacting as employee and boss? 

Read the full story on; Click here.

 PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 15: Actors Marg Helgenberger (L) and Josh Holloway of the television show 'Intelligence' speak onstage during the CBS portion of the 2014 Winter TCA tour at the Langham Hotel on January 15, 2014 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)