Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Category: Television (Page 1 of 5)

Celebrating 20 years of So Weird (and of dating my wife)

This won’t be a big deal to many people — certainly not in comparison to something like the recent anniversary celebration of The Sopranos — but today marks the 20th anniversary of the night that the Disney Channel show So Weird premiered.

It’s a doubly major milestone for me, because it was the biggest break in what was then my screenwriting career — I wrote four episodes and shared credit on a fifth — but the premiere party on Sunset Boulevard was also the first official date for me and my future wife.

Last summer, I talked about those experiences and more when I did an episode of The So Weird Podcast. I never posted that here, but today’s a good day for it. It’s a fun listen if a) you were a So Weird fan or b) are interested in the career experiences of the Jason Grabowski of screenwriters.

So Weird, I truly believe, deserves a more popular legacy than it has gotten. I mean, it’s certainly not The Sopranos, but it was a Disney Channel show with uncommon depth, willing to take on real life issues but in an imaginative, non-Afterschool Special way. It remains one of the greatest work experiences of my career, one that I’m forever grateful for even if it was relatively short-lived. (Fortunately, my marriage continues to be renewed season after season.) And, aside from the technology changes since the pre-Y2K era, I think it holds up. (Same.)

I even got to write an episode set largely on a ballfield, which remains near and dear to my heart. I’ll put it up against The Sandlot anyday …

Anyway, there’s no way you’ve read this far if you didn’t like me and/or the show, so if you have, join me in an anniversary toast …

Video: Happy retiree Vin Scully on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’

vin-jimmy
Enjoy these clips below from 11-day retiree Vin Scully’s lively appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Thursday, taped during Game 5 of the National League Division Series but airing shortly after the marathon ended.

— Jon Weisman

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Vin Scully to appear Thursday on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Vin Scully will give his first post-retirement interview on Thursday’s episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC, which airs at 11:35 p.m.

— Jon Weisman

KTLA to broadcast Vin Scully’s final six games

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

KTLA Channel 5 will air Vin Scully’s final six broadcasts through an agreement with Charter that was announced today.

The six simulcasts with SportsNet LA include the September 23-25 home series finale against Colorado — which will be Vin Scully Weekend at Dodger Stadium — and the last three games of the regular season, September 30-October 2 in San Francisco.

The September 23 broadcast will also feature the live Vin Scully Appreciation Day pregame ceremony, beginning at 6:15 p.m.

In all, Scully will work 16 more games — six on the homestand that starts tonight, seven from September 19-25, and the final three at AT&T Park.

Jack Riley, Vin Scully and ‘Occasional Wife’

RileyJack Riley (right), who was best known — and beloved — as Mr. Carlin on “The Bob Newhart Show,” passed away today. I mention that here because Riley got his start in television as a guest on the 1966-67 NBC series “Occasional Wife,” which had (along with a lot of subtext) a narrator by the name of Vin Scully.

Scully has several credits in Hollywood, but “Occasional Wife” was the scripted show he participated in the most, even if it was all off screen.

“There are 8 million stories in the Naked City,” Scully begins in the pilot (below). “Some are violent. Some happy. Some sad. But one of them is just plain cuckoo.”

— Jon Weisman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7TpXORfK78

Dodgers, SportsNet LA win five local Emmys

[mlbvideo id=”534783883″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

By Jon Weisman

Five trophies were given to the Dodgers and SportsNet LA at the 68th annual Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards on Saturday.

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How the Dodgers’ starting rotation is like the family from the 1994-2000 Fox television series ‘Party of Five’

Party 4By Jon Weisman

How the Dodgers’ starting rotation is like the family from the 1994-2000 Fox television series ‘Party of Five’ …

Clayton Kershaw = Charlie Salinger: Older than his years, young by any other reasonable standard, Clayton/Charlie is the unquestioned leader. Everybody loves him. Everybody wants him. This rotation/family could thrive or dive depending on his presence, and fans will be in awe over his always perfect amount of facial hair. But on rare occasions when even he needs a lift, we turn to the rest of the clan.

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‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ star Terry Crews on the Dodgers, sports, acting and life

terry_crews_brooklyn_nine_nine

By Jon Weisman

Terry Crews is as big as they come, but his heart is even bigger. And Dodger Stadium has played a not-so-small part in that.

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‘Jackie Robinson’ doc explores complex life

Jackie pic

By Jon Weisman

Tonight, the two-night, four-hour documentary “Jackie Robinson” premieres on PBS. In this piece for Dodger Insider magazine, I interviewed Ken Burns about how the documentary seeks to humanize a figure that time has made more mythological.

With each passing year, the stature of Jackie Robinson looms larger in the history of baseball and the United States.

But it has been nearly 70 years since Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier, nearly 60 years since he retired from baseball and well over 40 years since he passed away. And in that time, the flesh-and-blood Robinson has only grown more and more remote.

“This is a person who has become kind of one-dimensional, [because] heroism in our media culture tends to make you just one-dimensional — perfect,” said famed documentarian Ken Burns, who with his daughter Sarah and son-in-law David McMahon directed and produced the four-hour “Jackie Robinson,” airing in April on PBS. …

Read the entire article here, or in Dodger Insider magazine, which officially launches its new edition at Dodger Stadium’s Opening Day on Tuesday.

Vin Scully to call quartet of Spring Training games

SNLA ST sked

VinBy Jon Weisman

Vin Scully is scheduled to call four of the 16 Dodger games SportsNet LA will televise during Spring Training, including all three Freeway Series tilts against the Angels.

The SportsNet LA schedule (shown up top) begins with the Cactus League opener March 3 against the White Sox. All four National League West rivals are featured, including two games against the Giants on March 6 and 25. SportsNet LA will air games on every Saturday and Sunday in March.

New addition Joe Davis makes his Spring Training debut March 19 against the Pale Hose, mixing in with Charley Steiner, Rick Monday, Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra.

Live coverage from Camelback Ranch begins tonight at 7 p.m. with the Spring Training debut of “Access SportsNet: Dodgers,” which will air every weeknight until the regular season, with John Hartung, Alanna Rizzo, Hershiser, Garciaparra, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Ned Colletti on board.

Behind-the-scenes series “Backstage: Dodgers” has its third-season premiere Thursday at 8 p.m.

SportsNet LA, the exclusive 24/7 TV home of the Dodgers, is available on Time Warner Cable, Charter and Bright House Networks. For more information about SportsNet LA or to demand the network from your provider, visit www.sportsnetla.com. You can follow the network on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Scully, Jarrin, Hershiser, Monday win kudos at Southern California Sports Broadcaster Awards

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Photos by Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers BroadcastersBy Jon Weisman

Vin Scully won two awards for best play-by-play — in radio and in television — at the 25th annual Southern California Sports Broadcaster Awards, announced today at the Lakeside Golf Club.

Jaime Jarrin was named best foreign-language play-by-play announcer, while Orel Hershiser was the winner in TV color analysis and Rick Monday in radio color commentary.

Scully, Jarin and Monday are all in the organization’s Hall of Fame.

Scully has won the radio award, named in honor of Chick Hearn, 18 times since its inception in 1991, and the TV award 13 times. (Winners of three consecutive awards in a category are not eligible to repeat for one year.)

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 9.07.43 PMJarrin won his ninth career award since foreign-language broadcasters were first recognized in 2003, and Monday his fifth.

Ann Meyers Drysdale also received a special award, the Chuck Benedict/Stu Nahan President’s Award, while former Dodger executive Tommy Hawkins won the Gil Stratton Lifetime Achievement Award.

Fordham alumni Vin Scully and Pat Harrington Jr. appear on ‘It Takes Two’ in 1970

Pat Harrington Jr., the longtime TV performer (“One Day at a Time”), passed away Wednesday at age 86. Harrington graduated from Fordham in 1950 — one year after Vin Scully — and was a guest on the Scully-hosted “It Takes Two” in June 1970.

— Jon Weisman

Flashback: The Dave Roberts experiment

Dodger director of graphic design Ross Yoshida passed along this video of Dave Roberts when he was the prankee on a September 2003 episode of “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment” on the ol’ WB Network. (Former Dodger catcher Paul Lo Duca is in on the bit.) The Dodgers’ new manager is patient — really patient — but firm and in the end, able to take a joke.

— Jon Weisman

Meet the Dodgers’ newest broadcaster: Joe Davis

Joe Davis

By Jon Weisman

Any time the Dodgers add a new play-by-play announcer to their broadcast team, it’s going to draw attention — especially in the winter before what Vin Scully has said will be his final year behind the mic.

So let’s just make it clear: Joe Davis, who will be the play-by play announcer for 50 Dodger road games in 2016, working with Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra and Alanna Rizzo, is not taking Scully’s place.

“I think that like all Dodgers fans, I would hope that Vin would go as long as Vin would want to go,” Davis said in a phone interview. “From my perspective, I’m just looking at 2016. I know it sounds cliché to say that, but I’m just looking at my job to do those 50 games in 2016. Nobody replaces Vin Scully — nobody ever will replace Vin Scully. So all I really can worry about is doing my job the best I can, getting to work with an incredible crew and two guys that I think are two of the best analysts in all of baseball.”

In the televised games that Scully and Davis don’t work, Charley Steiner will do play-by-play. Steiner will also do play-by-play on radio in the remaining games, teamed with Rick Monday.

With that out of the way, who is Joe Davis?

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Vin Scully suits up for interview, 2016 return

By Jon Weisman

In his first interview since the end of the 2015 regular season, Vin Scully re-confirms that he is definitely returning to the Dodgers in 2016.

Scully spoke to SportsNet LA’s Alanna Rizzo today for a conversation that will air at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“Yes,” Scully told Rizzo in regards to the 2016 season. “Oh yeah, definitely. I’m looking forward to next year, maybe because it’s my last year. I’m looking forward to it as much as my second year, because I got by the first year and I was so thrilled there was another one coming up — well, that’s how I feel about ’16. I am chafing at the bit.”

Click here for a link to the clip

Scully underwent a medical procedure three weeks ago that sidelined him from postseason duty, but he was his vibrant self today, pulling up a chair (if you will) opposite Rizzo.

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