James at 15 premiered on NBC before my 10th birthday, but I was the kind of kid — I think a lot of us were — who craved TV that seemed more grown-up than I was. In fact, looking it up right now, I see that Soap premiered on ABC eight days later, and that might well have been the most controversial series of the 1970s, or at least since the debut of All in the Family. I remember watching a report about Soap on Eyewitness News earlier that evening, warning of the risqué material, but that didn’t keep me from watching the first episode that night. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here before, but when we moved into our new house in Woodland Hills in late 1972, just as I was turning 5, the three Weisman kids each got their own bedrooms and their own TV sets. For real. Yes, we had it good.
Category: Television (Page 1 of 5)
A: Arrested Development
B: Breaking Bad
D: The Dick Van Dyke Show
E: EZ Streets
F: Freaks and Geeks
G: The Good Place
H: Hill Street Blues
I: I Love Lucy
K: The Kids in the Hall
L: The Larry Sanders Show
M: Mad Men
N: Northern Exposure
O: The Office
P: Parks and Recreation
Q: Quincy, M.E.
W: The White Shadow
X: The X-Files
Y: Young Justice
Most surprisingly competitive letter:
W: The White Shadow, The Wire, WKRP in Cincinnati, The Wonder Years
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 …
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
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
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 (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
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.
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.
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. …
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 Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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.)
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.
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
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