Unsolved Mysteries makes its return to Netflix today. TVLine has a guide to what you need to know about the new version. Read it HERE.
Meanwhile, the New York Times has a great deep dive on the history of Unsolved Mysteries. Read it HERE.
Johnny Mandel has died at the age of 94. The Grammy-winning songwriter was also the composer of the song Suicide Is Painless - also known as the theme song to the movie and TV show M*A*S*H*. The lyrics from the song (used in the movie and penned by the director Robert Altman’s son), were stripped away for the show leaving just Mandel’s classic theme.
The comedy legend Carl Reiner has died at the age of 98. He absolutely shaped the form of comedy on television, working on screen in the iconic series Your Show of Shows in 1950 alongside Sid Caesar. He then went on to create the defining sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show. And then there were his comedy albums, movies he directed, etc etc. Very few have had the impact that Reiner had on TV as a medium.
Seen on CBS from 1961 until 1966, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” won a total of 15 Primetime Emmy Awards for its cast and crew, five of them for Mr. Reiner as writer and producer. (He won nine Emmys in his career, including two for his on-camera work on “Caesar’s Hour,” one as a writer on a 1967 special that reunited the “Show of Shows” cast and one for a guest appearance, as Alan Brady, on an episode of the sitcom “Mad About You” in 1995.) It is widely regarded as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time.
Then take in this tweet from close friend and professional partner Mel Brooks:
The Dick Van Dyke Show would be Carl Reiner’s one inarguable masterpiece, if it weren’t for all the others. Between Your Show of Shows and its follow-up Caesar’s Hour, Reiner was part of the greatest assemblage of comedy minds television has ever seen, working alongside, among others, playwriting giant Neil Simon, M*A*S*H‘s TV creator Larry Gelbart, and Reiner’s lifelong best friend, Mel Brooks. He and Brooks would be variety-show staples throughout the Sixties with their beloved “2,000 Year Old Man” routine, with Reiner as a classic straight man asking Brooks what life was like two millennia ago.
There’s also this great obituary from CNN this morning:
I also adopted his work ethic. Carl Reiner was always working on some creative project. Books, plays, directing, producing, acting. Readers of this blog know I’m always pushing something (please check out my podcast or buy one of the books featured on the right). Always having something to challenge me creatively has been my salvation through several rough periods of my life, and I can thank Carl for that.
He lived 98 years. He produced an astonishing body of work, much of which will stand the test of time. He was sharp right up to the end. He made the world laugh for probably 96 of those years. He was gracious, supportive, accessible, and brilliant. He went through life celebrating the best of the human spirit and fighting injustice. He was pictured on Twitter just a few days ago wearing a “Black Lives Matters” T-shirt.
I’ve always liked this appearance of Carl Reiner on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. It was his first appearance on the show:
The BBC iPlayer has had its biggest month ever, with 570 million program requests throughout May. It beats the previous high which was the month prior with 564 million program requests through April 2020.
BBC iPlayer Controller Dan McGolpin:
“BBC iPlayer continues to rise higher with yet another record-breaking month in May – 72 per cent more programme requests than a year ago, it’s been the only place to binge on the wonderful new hit series Normal People and the place to see returning favourite Killing Eve first.”
Mission Hill might be kind-of making its way back to television. The series was a 13 episode animated show from 1999 that was cancelled after just two episodes. Mission Hill was about an older brother who takes in his younger brother to live with him, but the two don’t get along. Hilarity soon followed.
The new version of the show is expected to be a spin-off focused on their neighbours Gus and Wally.
it was gay couple Gus Duncz, voiced by Nick Jameson, and Wally Langford, voiced by Tom Kenny, that broke out in the subsequent 20 years. Gus was in his 60s and owned a diner in Mission Hill, while Wally was a projectionist in a local art movie house. The show won an award from GLAAD for its positive portrayal of a gay relationship.
The show’s creators, Simpsons legends Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, are involved in pitching this new version around.
The growth in online streaming through the US is in linear channels. Platforms like the ViacomCBS-owned Pluto TV are bringing a casual lean back viewing approach to TV. And it makes sense - viewers who are just looking for something casual to watch while second screening are having their needs met without missing out on anything happening on screen.
The hot rumor is that Amazon Prime Video is looking to boost its market share by adding more linear TV channels to its service. Already Pluto TV and CBS All Access local news channels are available through Amazon’s linear channel platform. These channels would be in addition, sitting alongside those channels.