This news didn't come as a huge surprise. It had been known that The Sopranos actor Tony Sirico had been ill for some time, with a reported case of dementia. But still, to see it confirmed...

As Paulie Wallnuts, Sirico was the first break-out star on The Sopranos. He had a certain sense about him - an intoxicating blend of danger and foolishness. One of TV's true loveable dirtbags!

Acting was a second career for Sirico. Before getting on-screen roles, Sirico had been an actual mobster, serving multiple prison sentences.

Here's The Sopranos creator David Chase:

“Tony was a jewel. The way Buddhists refer to a jewel — supernatural and a master. But certainly not a Zen master. He was so uproarious, so funny, so talented. I’m very happy for him that in his mid-50s and 60s he finally learned how talented and loved he was. I was just thinking about him yesterday, strangely enough, and was reminded that he was a main reason for the success of The Sopranos. I will miss him greatly, Gennaro. As will the world.”

When I heard that he passed away, I took some time over the weekend to watch The Sopranos episode Pine Barrens - not only the best Paulie Wallnuts episode, but almost certainly the best episode of the entire series.

Here is his obit from THR:

Tony Sirico, ‘The Sopranos’ Actor, Dies at 79
Sirico portrayed “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri on the HBO series.

The best writing about Sirico from the weekend was Justin Sayles at The Ringer who went in deep to discuss Sirico, his career, and, yes... those silver wings.

Half a Wiseguy: The Genius and the Menace of Paulie Walnuts
A tribute to the famed ‘Sopranos’ character and actor Tony Sirico, who found his arc and made the TV gangster an icon

Be careful what you wish for...

A good year or so ago I had an idea that I shared with you all. It was a good idea then and it still holds: Someone should bring back The Golden Girls as an animated show. The idea would be to create the show as it previously looked and felt, only animated. There would be more liberty with sets and they would be able to move around more than a traditional filmed sitcom provides. But it would be the same show.

Animator Mike Hollingsworth also believes it is a good idea to bring the Golden Girls back as an animated series. Only he wants to f**k with it and set it in the future.

Here's his vision for Golden Girls 3033:

You can read more about his idea:

‘Golden Girls 3033’: ‘BoJack’ Director’s Animated Pilot Sends ‘The Golden Girls’ to the Future — Exclusive
Using original audio from Betty White and Bea Arthur’s classic sitcom, “Golden Girls 3033” reimagines the four friends in a brand-new series — and its creator hopes to make more.…
  • Writer Saloni Gajjar mounts a case for the strength of the Apple TV+ lineup of original shows. Saloni is correct. Read: The AV Club
  • Here's 10 facts about Melrose Place to mark its 30th anniversary. Read: TV Insider
  • RIP actor Lenny von Dohlen. He was in Twin Peaks, but will forever be (almost) remembered as the star of MTV-inspired 80s classic Electric Dreams. Read: THR
  • RIP Gregory Itzen. He's a character actor who appeared in almost every US drama over the past 30+ years. I remember him best for 90s drama Murder One, but you may know him as one of the Presidents in the show 24. Read: THR
  • RIP Larry Storch, of F-Troop fame. He died aged 99. Good run. Read: Variety
  • HBO has cancelled Gentleman Jack after 2 seasons. I understand partner BBC is considering its options. Read: Variety
  • Candice Patton from The Flash says she wanted to leave the show during its second season, tired of the abuse from viewers of the show. Here's the thing: I can't speak to the abuse she has received. But as a viewer, I know I stopped watching - a combination of a terrible performance coupled with weak writing that never found a good use for the character made the show largely unwatchable. Read: THR
  • George RR Martin tries to give fans a reason to buy his new books, saying his Game of Thrones ending will be very different to the TV show. Read: Indiewire

Virgin River returns to Netflix July 20 for season 4.

The Australian version of Showtime docuseries Couples Therapy debuts July 26 on Paramount+.

That's it for today. A big start to the week. May all of your TV viewing be plentiful!