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- via @THR: Television producer and director Ron Satlof dies at age 79
- Coming soon to TV CONFIDENTIAL: Actor, musician and voice artist Will Ryan (aka S-H-Double O-ooster) and writer, producer and director Michael Schlesinger take us behind the scenes of The Misadventures of Biffle and Shooster, a collection of 1930s-style shorts that pay homage to the great two-reel comedies of The Golden Age of Hollywood
- via @CreationEnt: More than 120 celebrities will join an estimated 15,000 Trekkies and Trekkers from around the world at this year’s Official Star Trek Convention, Aug. 1-5 at the Rio Suites Hotel in Las Vegas
- via Variety: Nancy Sinatra Sr., former wife of Frank Sinatra and the mother of his three children, dies at age 101
- Our conversation with Roger Perry from October 2017 is available online for listening on demand on our YouTube channel
- Mark Dawidziak, television critic for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, with a personal remembrance of his friend Harlan Ellison. We’ll replay our conversation with Mark about Ellison from May 2017 next weekend on TV CONFIDENTIAL on
- Coming next week to TV CONFIDENTIAL: Donelle Dadigan with a look at some of the exhibits on display this summer at The Hollywood Museum, including the return of REAL to REEL: Portraits and Perceptions of LGBTQ in Hollywood, which launched earlier this month, and the new additions to Holy Hollywood History: Batman 1966, which has been extended through July on
- via the Toronto Star: Canadian actor Daniel Pilon died Tuesday 6/26 at age 77. Fans of the original Dallas know him as Naldo Marchetta, Jenna Wade’s treacherous ex-husband on
- via Decades Network: Decades remembers the life and legacy of Robert F. Kennedy with an hour-long special premiering Monday 6/4, the fiftieth anniversary of his assassination on
- via PBS: Peter Marshall, Nick Clooney to host Perry Como Classics: ‘Till the End of Time, a new special that will premiere during the weekend of Saturday 6/2 on most PBS stations on
Coming soon to TV CONFIDENTIAL: Author, journalist and screenwriter Robert Crane on interviewing Bruce Dern, Traci Lords, John Wayne, John Candy, Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Joan Rivers, Phil Hartman, Roseanne Barr, Koko the Gorilla and other creatives at a time when industry people spoke their minds freely without self and organizational censorship. Bob’s new book, Hollywood Plateau, is available now in softcover and as an eBook
via Time-Life: Sock It to Me! Season Five of Laugh-In becomes available at retail for the very first time beginning Tuesday 7/10. Six-DVD set includes the show’s landmark 100th episode, plus new cast members Richard Dawson along with such guest stars as Gene Hackman and Raquel Welch
Political correctness met its match with Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, NBC-TV’s groundbreaking variety series that became a cultural touchstone and part of the fabric of ’60s-’70s era America. Every Monday night at 8pm from 1968-1973, straight man Dan Rowan and wisecracking co-host Dick Martin led a supremely talented comic ensemble through a gut-busting assault of one-liners, skits, bits and non sequiturs that left viewers in hysterics and disbelief. ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON, from the award-winning TV DVD archivists at Time Life, makes its retail debut on July 10 in an uproarious set featuring all 24 re-mastered episodes from the fifth season (September 13,1971-March 20, 1972).
In THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON, after years of shameless name dropping, Dick finally gets his wish when bombshell Raquel Welch kicks off the new season with her first and only appearance on the show. Former Hogan’s Heroes POWs Richard Dawson and Larry Hovis escaped CBS to join the cast. And, along with alumni Judy Carne, Arte Johnson, Henry Gibson, Jo Anne Worley and Teresa Graves, they help to celebrate Laugh-In‘s landmark 100th episode (September 1, 1971). THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON also trots out many of the 20th century’s greatest talents, including Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, Johnny Cash, Carol Channing, Charo, Petula Clark, Bing Crosby, Tony Curtis, Henry Gibson, Gene Hackman, Rita Hayworth, Hugh Hefner, Bob Hope, Arte Johnson, Paul Lynde, Liza Minnelli, Agnes Moorehead, Joe Namath, Carroll O’Connor, Vincent Price, Carl Reiner, Debbie Reynolds, Sugar Ray Robinson, Bill Russell, Vin Scully, Doc Severinsen, Jacqueline Susann, Tiny Tim, John Wayne, Raquel Welch, Henny Youngman, and more!
THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON also includes such classic features as “Cocktail Party,” “Fickle Finger of Fate,” “Joke Wall,” “Gladys and Tyrone,” “General Bull Right,” “Big Al,” Lily Tomlin’s legendary “Ernestine” and “Edith Ann,” “Tasteful Lady,” and “Ruth Buzzi’s Hollywood Report”. Additionally, Mod, Mod World takes on sports, toys and games, families, politics, nutrition, leisure, year’s end, Manhattan, television, small towns, crazy people, and the theater, Robert Goulet, Charo, and Three Dog Night perform the Laugh-In news song and there’s a hilarious “Salute to Santa” and a very modern Christmas Carol.
- Dan Rowan
- Dick Martin
- Lily Tomlin
- Ruth Buzzi
- Arte Johnson
- Gary Owens
- Alan Sues
- Ann Elder
- Dennis Allen
- Barbara Sharma
- Johnny Brown
- Larry Hovis
- Richard Dawson
Format: DVD/6 Discs
Running Time: 1239 minutes
Genre: TV DVD/Comedy
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
via USA Today: Netflix’s new higher-priced premium service, Ultra, which it is testing out in Europe, prompts fears that the streaming service will also raise subscription costs to U.S. subscribers
Podcast of TV CONFIDENTIAL Show No. 409 with guests Jerry Houser, Paul Robert Coyle and Dan Davidson is now available online for listening on demand
Show No. 409 with guests Jerry Houser, Paul Robert Coyle and Dan Davidson
Original Airdate: June 29-July 2, 2018
Listen to “TV CONFIDENTIAL Show No. 409 with guests Jerry Houser, Paul Robert Coyle and Dan Davidson” on Spreaker.
First hour: Actor/comedian Dan Davidson discusses how he puts together a stand-up routine and how watching Charlie Callas on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson first inspired him to become a comedian. Dan has a supporting role opposite Josh Brolin in the action crime thriller Sicario: Day of the Soldado, which is now playing in theaters nationwide. Also in this hour: Greg Ehrbar and Ed talk about the various configurations of Match Game that are available both on DVD and streaming on demand, as well as how the ABC Match Game compares to the classic CBS show. Second hour: Ed welcomes back actor, producer, voice artist and teacher Jerry Houser (Summer of ’42, Slap Shot, The Brady Brides). Topics include Jerry’s experience working with Robert Reed, Buddy Ebsen, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Zalman King, and Paul Newman; how he was cast in Summer of ’42; the workshops for beginning voice artists that Jerry offers; and what casting directors are looking for in voiceover today. Television writer Paul Robert Coyle co-hosts the hour.
Coming soon to TV CONFIDENTIAL: Pop culture historian Chuck Harter returns with a look at the era of Pop Music TV Shows of the mid to late 1960s, from Shindig and Hullabaloo to Hollywood a Go Go, Shebang! and everything in between
via KSAV and Susan McCray: Kent McCray, producer of Little House on the Prairie, dies at age 89. Also the husband of network TV casting director (and, later, KSAV Radio personality) Susan McCray, Kent McCray also partnered with Michael Landon on Bonanza, Highway to Heaven and Father Murphy
Kent McCray, a producer and production manager who collaborated with the late Michael Landon on the NBC dramas Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, Highway to Heaven and Father Murphy, has died. He was 89.
McCray died Sunday June 3rd in Los Angeles of natural causes, four days before his 90th birthday, publicist Jeff Sanderson announced.
While serving as a production manager on Bonanza (he worked on the legendary NBC drama from 1962 until its conclusion in 1973), McCray became friends with Landon, who played Joe Cartwright on the show.
In 1974, McCray was named associate producer of the two-hour pilot for Little House on the Prairie, based on the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder about a family living on a Minnesota farm in the 1870s. Landon executive produced and starred as Charles Ingalls alongside Karen Grassle (as his wife) and Melissa Gilbert (one of their daughters), then 9 years old.
After the pilot was picked up, McCray produced Little House on the Prairie for its entire nine-season run.
McCray teamed with Landon to produce Father Murphy, starring Merlin Olsen. That show aired two seasons, from 1981-83. He also became a partner in Michael Landon Productions in 1983 and produced Highway to Heaven, which ran from 1984-89 and starred Landon as an angel.
“Because of my personal and working relationship with Michael, I had the freedom to run a production as I saw fit,” the producer wrote in his 2017 memoir, Kent McCray: The Man Behind the Most Beloved Television Shows. “I have always believed that to get the best show, you must have the very best crew and then allow them to do their job without intruding on their expertise.
“There’s nothing more wonderful than looking forward to going to work every day. Because of the mutual respect and love Michael and I felt for each other and our crew family, that dream came true for me.”
In 1991, following the death of Landon (he died of pancreatic cancer at age 54), McCray produced the NBC tribute special Michael Landon: Memories With Laughter and Love.
“I am so blessed to have spent my formative years both personally and professionally under the tutelage of Kent McCray,” Gilbert said in a statement. “Kent was a masterful producer. His job was enormous and difficult, and he carried it out with effortless grace.
“Kent created an environment that allowed all of us who worked with him to grow, thrive and stretch beyond ourselves. He never viewed us as cast or crew, he saw us family. He was fiercely loyal and deeply caring. He was also incredibly funny. His legacy will live on in me and all of us who were lucky enough to have known him.”
Kent Baldwin McCray was born on June 7, 1928, in Hartford, Connecticut. His father, Thomas, was an executive at NBC Radio, and his mother, Dorothy, was a singer and musician.
He attended prep school at the Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire and then earned a full scholarship to study theater arts under Dr. Elemer Nagy at the University of Hartford (formally the Hartt School of Music).
In 1948, McCray spent a summer managing the Central City Opera Association in Colorado, then began his career at NBC in Los Angeles three years later as a production coordinator on the All-Star Revue and The Colgate Comedy Hour. He also worked on such programs as The Red Skelton Show, This Is Your Life and Groucho Marx’s You Bet Your Life.
McCray in 1953 was named unit manager on The Buick-Berle Show, starring Milton Berle, and began his association with Bob Hope, which included management of The Bob Hope Show and eventually the comedian’s iconic USO Christmas specials.
Under McCray’s logistical leadership, Hope and his all-star casts traveled to Alaska, Korea, Japan and Europe to entertain the troops.
While working on Bonanza, McCray also served as production manager/producer on NBC’s The High Chaparral.
McCray also produced Bonanza and Little House on the Prairie specials; several telefilms, including the Emmy-winning The Miracle Worker; and the 1984 feature Sam’s Son, starring Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson.
In 1995, McCray became a regent at the University of Hartford, endowed the Kent McCray Television Studio and dedicated The Kent McCray Theatre in the memory of his parents.
Survivors include his wife, casting director Susan McCray, whom he married in 1984; his children Deborah, Scott, Kristen and Carolyn; his grandchildren Jon, Kirsten, Tim, Connor, William, Erienne, Alyssa and Spencer; and eight great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The University of Hartford/Hartt Theatre Division at University of Hartford, Office of Institutional Advancement, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, CT 06117.
“There should be a saying: ‘behind every successful man is Kent McCray.’ Kent was not only my Dad?s best friend and like a brother that he never had, but he also helped build the foundation to my Dad?s success. Kent knew my father inside and out, and they always had a friendship that was built on love, mutual respect and admiration for each other. Kent?s storytelling and sense of humor was brilliant, and you will understand why he had such success as head of production for so many years in television entertainment. There are so many great stories from this man in his book Kent McCray The Man Behind The Mose Beloved Television Shows?
I only wish there could have been a second book.
Leslie Landon Matthews, Michael Landon’s daughter