Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: In Memorium (11-20 of 40)

'9/11: The Days After' review: A remarkable documentary you should not miss

9/11: The Days After is a remarkable documentary airing on the History channel twice tonight, and will be repeated on September 11. Doing away with narration, it offers up a collection of footage filmed in the immediate wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — footage shot by amateurs, and unedited film taken by TV news crews. Director-producers Seth Skundrick and Nicole Rittenmeyer have added immeasurably to the chronicle of this period of history. READ FULL STORY

9/11 anniversary programming: Is there too much of it? Can you believe people are actually asking this?

The 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is an occasion being marked in a wide variety of ways by the TV industry. Between now and the 11th, the three major broadcast networks will devote hours of memorial coverage featuring their morning- and evening-news anchors. There’s a fictional drama starring Melissa Leo, The Space Between, about a young boy (Anthony Keyvan) whose father worked in the World Trade Center, that the USA network will air. And there are literally more than a score of documentaries that will be shown on channels ranging from Fox News and MSNBC to Nickelodeon and the Smithsonian Channel.

The scheduling of these shows and many others have already given rise to a backlash: It’s too much, some say. It trivializes the horrific event. It’s cynical business. READ FULL STORY

Peter Falk was Columbo and a whole lot more: a career-spanning appreciation

One of the most accomplished television, movie, and stage actors to ever create a pop culture icon, Peter Falk was Columbo, and he was also a helluva a lot more than that, too. His work in movies such as The Princess Bride, Wings of Desire, and The In-Laws, and especially in the proto-indie films made by his pal John Cassavetes, such as Husbands (1970), was superb. His stage career included marvelous performances in plays ranging from Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh to Neil Simon’s The Prisoner of Second Avenue, for which he won a Tony. READ FULL STORY

James Arness has died: why he was the greatest TV Western lawman

James Arness, a great Sequoia tree in the forest of TV Western heroes, has died; he was 88. Arness is immortal in TV history as Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, the longest-running network drama in television history with the most episodes. (Gunsmoke‘s 635 episodes versus Law & Order’s 456; the two are tied with 20 seasons.) This feat would have been impossible without the presence of Arness, a 6-foot-7, quiet man who gave an air of serene authority to Matt Dillon. READ FULL STORY

Here's Elizabeth Taylor on TV: Glamorous and funny, from 'The Tonight Show' to 'The Simpsons'

As one of the last of the Real Movie Stars, Elizabeth Taylor never sought out TV stardom. Unlike screen legends such as Henry Fonda or James Stewart, she never attempted her own series. But as  READ FULL STORY

Jack LaLanne has died, but here's how he can still show you a way to live, healthy and happy

Jack LaLanne, the affably talkative man who helped bring physical-fitness training to TV, has died; he was 96.

LaLanne’s success was due to a number of factors. Facing down skeptics in the 1950s who thought people who watched TV didn’t want to be lectured to about health and READ FULL STORY

Fred Foy, 'Lone Ranger' announcer, has died at age 89

Fred Foy, whose booming voice announced the arrival of The Lone Ranger TV series in the 1950s, has died. He was 89; he died of natural causes, said a representative for his family. If you were a kid in the ’50s, chances are just hearing READ FULL STORY

'Rocky and Bullwinkle' creator Alex Anderson has died

Alex Anderson, the cartoonist who created the famously pun-loving 1960s cartoon characters Rocket “Rocky” J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose, has died. He was 90 and died Oct. 22 in Carmel, Calif. He had Alzheimer’s disease.

Many people, included me, have long thought that Jay Ward was responsible for the creation of Rocky and Bullwinkle, whose media-savvy adventures made them READ FULL STORY

Remembering Tom Bosley, beloved 'Happy Days' dad: An extraordinary ordinary-guy

It’s not easy to play warm-and-cuddly and smart-and-funny, but Tom Bosley, who has died at age 83, managed to do it. As Howard Cunningham in Happy Days, Bosley was a model TV parent: patient, occasionally wise, sometimes exasperated, yet blissfully ordinary. It’s not easy making “ordinary” interesting, but Bosley managed to do that, too.

Bosley died of READ FULL STORY

Barbara Billingsley and 'Leave It To Beaver': A salute to a classic TV mom

Barbara Billingsley, most famous as June Cleaver on Leave It To Beaver, has died at age 94. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Billingsley defined the classic suburban sitcom mother. A full-time mom invariably attired in a dress, pearls, and heels, June Cleaver was at once an accurate snapshot of a certain kind of American mother, a role model, and a fantasy of the sort of maternal figure millions of people enjoyed watching for Beaver‘s six seasons.

Billingsley played June without a trace of irony and a firm confidence. While June knew her place and READ FULL STORY

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