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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

It’s the end of a year that, well, could have been better in many ways. But there were some highlights in television, movies and books that I wanted to share in case I can inspire someone for 2019.

MOVIES

I dug into movies as I usually do, but a few stood out by the end of the year as worthy of your time and money.

[Photo Credit: Reed Morano/Sundance Institute]

Eighth Grade

Bo Burnham did a stellar job in capturing an awkward girl in eighth grade trying to navigate her life.  Rueben’s already highlighted how Elsie Fisher is good in this role, and it’s true. The whole movie is raw and made me uncomfortable in a good way.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor

If you don’t cry at a story about Mister Rogers, I don’t know what your life was like, but it needs Mr. Rogers. Once a staple of children’s television watching, this movie gives new details on the way in which Fred Rogers was a trailblazer and reminded me of how much we all need empathy for each other.

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse

This animation is amazing! The story is heartfelt and brings in so many good Spider-memes from years gone by. Miles Morales is the next Spider-Man we need on screen and this movie tells you why.

TELEVISION

Many of my favorite shows this year are repeats of years before (The Good Place is quality always) but I do want to take note of two new series and one episode that stood out as amazing.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Netflix’s series based on the Archie comic is dark, but in the best way. As a kid I loved the version on ABC, but this keeps the world with dark magic, darker villains and less of a laugh track. Kiernan Shipka is stoic when she needs to be but also confused and expressive of Sabrina’s awkward position in life.

The Bodyguard

Brought to America via Netflix, this ITV drama is a thriller based off the complicated life of a Personal Protection Officer who gets tangled in a plot against the Home Secretary. Starting Richard Madden, the show pulls off so many twists and turns but with an end that feels right given the looming threat of terrorism in the show’s conceit.

The Good Place’s Janet(s)

D’Arcy Carden is a gift to us all! She played at least seven characters (including characters pretending to be other characters) in twenty-two minutes of jam-packed television. If she doesn’t win an Emmy in 2019, we’ve all been robbed.

BOOKS

Normally I’m so bad about books in the end of the year. That’s not to say I’m not reading, but I tend to read quickly and find few stick with me weeks later. I’m so glad to find that more than a few books did stay with me this year.

Ship It

Britta Lundin currently writes for The CW series Riversdale, and that affects so much of Ship It‘s story.  When a fangirl raises the question about why two male leads on a show can’t be shipped in a convention panel, the fangirl’s life changes in numerous ways. First, she’s asked to be part of the rest of the promotional tour for the show, but that means being around the cast – not all of whom get shipping. But the book is more than just a book about fan’s interacting with the creative team, as the heroine has to figure out so many other things about herself in the process.

If you’re a fan of enough TV and ship an unconventional couple, this book is for you.

The Wedding Date and The Proposal

Jasmine Guillory turned out two books this year with something I rarely see: an African-American heroine. The two books are interconnected, but reading a book with a character who looks like me is something I rarely find. For that alone, these each stuck with me. Plus, they’re each funny but relatable stories of finding love in some very awkward situations.

Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

For YA books, there’s always a hook I need to be drawn into books. This time it was historical fiction with action and adventure with some dysfunctional family dynamics mixed in. There’s not a great way to talk about each book without spoiling so much, but if you’re sold on watching teens having to use their brains to get through Europe without money, then these Mackenzi Lee books are perfect!

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The following industry personalities (listed in alphabetical order) passed away in 2017 and heartfelt condolences are extended to their families, friends and fans:

Roger Ailes (Founder, FOX News)
Lola Albright (Singer and Actress, TV’s “Peter Gunn” and Film classic “Champion”)
Gregg Allman (Pioneer of Southern Rock Allman Brothers Band)
Richard Anderson (Actor, “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “The Bionic Woman”)
Gary Austin (Founder of “The Groundlings”)
John G. Avildsen (Director, “Rocky” and “Karate Kid”)

Peter Baldwin (Actor turned Prolific TV Director)
Chuck Barris (Host, “Gong Show”)
Walter Becker (Guitarist, Bassist and Co-Writer for band Steely Dan)
Buzz Belmondo (Comedian-Actor, “Out of This World” and “Baywatch”)
Chester Bennington (Lead Singer of Linkin Park)
Shelley Berman (Actor, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Stand-Up Comedian)
Chuck Berry (Rock ‘n’ Roll Pioneer)
Joseph Bologna (Playwright, Director and Actor, “My Favorite Year”)
Powers Boothe (Actor, “Sin City,” “Nashville” and “Deadwood”)
Jimmy Breslin (Pulitzer Prize-Winning New York Columnist)
Brad Bufanda (Actor, “Veronica Mars” – played Felix Toombs) [He was only 34]

Glen Campbell (Country Music Legend)
Bernie Casey (Actor, “Revenge of the Nerds” and “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka”)
David Cassidy (Singer-Actor, “The Partridge Family”)
Darlene Cates (Actress, Housebound Mom in box office film “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” film)
Alan Colmes (Fox News Commentator)
Barbara Cook (Broadway Actress, “Cabaret”)
Chris Cornell (Singer, Soundgarden and Audislave) [He was only 52]

Jonathan Demme (Director, “Silence of the Lambs”)
Fats Domino (R&B Singer and Rock Pioneer)
Roy Dotrice (Actor, “Beauty and the Beast”)
Gord Downie (Frontman of Tragically Hip, Canadian band)
John F. Dunsworth (Actor, “Haven”)

Nelsan Ellis (Actor, “True Blood”) [He was only 39]
Dick Enberg (Legendary Sportscaster)

Gloria Fallon (Mother of Comedian and Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon)
Miguel Ferrer (Actor, “NCIS: Los Angeles”)
Neil Fingleton (British Actor, “Game of Thrones”) [He was only 36]
June Foray (the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha Fatale, “The Bullwinkle Show”)
Bruce Forsyth (Legendary British Entertainer and TV Personality, “The Generation Game”)
Warren Frost (Veteran Actor, “Twin Peaks” and “Seinfeld”)
Stephen Furst (Actor, “Animal House,” “Babylon 5” and “St. Elsewhere”)

Dick Gautier (Actor, Hymie the Robot on 1960’s classic “Get Smart”)
Troy Gentry (Half of the Popular Country Duo Montgomery Gentry)
Cuba Gooding, Sr. (Soul Singer and Father of Cuba Gooding, Jr.)
Robert Guillaume (Actor, “Benson”)
Sue Grafton (Best-Selling Author)
Dick Gregory (Pioneering Stand-Up Comedian and Civil Rights Activist)

Barbara Hale (Veteran Actress, “Perry Mason”)
Monty Hall (Host, “Let’s Make a Deal”)
Roy Halladay (American professional baseball player)
Ty Hardin (Actor, “Cheyenne” and “Bronco”)
Robert Hardy (British Actor, Cornelius Fudge [Minister of Magic] in “Harry Potter” franchise)
Connie Hawkins (Harlem Globetrotters Player)
Glenne Headly (Actress, “Lonesome Dove” and “Dick Tracey”)
John Heard (Actor, “Home Alone”)
Hugh Hefner (Founder, Playboy Magazine)
Blake Heron (Actor, “Tom and Huck” and “Shiloh”) [He was only 35]
Mike Hodge (Actor, “Law & Order” and SAG-AFTRA New York Local President)
John Hillerman (Actor, “Magnum, P.I.”)
Tobe Hooper (Director, “Texas Chain Saw Massacre”)
Lena Horne (Legendary Singer and Actress)
Rance Howard (Veteran Actor and Father of Actor-Director Ron Howard and Actor Clint Howard)
John Hurt (Veteran Actor, “Alien,” “The Elephant Man” and “Doctor Who”)
Earle Hyman (Veteran Actor, “The Cosby Show”)

Al Jarreau (Grammy-Winning Jazz Singer)

Jake LaMotta (Real-Life “Raging Bull” Boxer)
Mark LaMura (Actor, “All My Children”)
Martin Landau (Legendary Actor, “Mission: Impossible” and “Ed Wood”)
Chuck Law (Actor, “Goodfellas”)
Joan Lee (Wife of Legendary Comic Book Creator Stan Lee)
Jerry Lewis (Comedy Legend)

Ralphie May (Comedian)
Rose Marie (Legendary Actress)
Julio Oscar Mechoso (Veteran actor, “The Legend of Zorro”)
Dorothy Mengering (David Letterman’s Mom)
Heather Menzies-Urich (Actress, “Sound of Music”)
Dina Merrill (Actress and Philanthropist)
Roger Moore (Actor, “James Bond” Films)
Erin Moran (Actress, “Happy Days”)
Jeanne Moreau (French Actress, “Jules and Jim” and “Diary of a Chambermaid” and the U.S film “Ever After”)
Charlie Murphy (Actor and Comedian and Eddie Murphy’s Brother)

Jim Nabors (Singer-Actor, “Gomer Pyle”)
Michael Nygyist (Swedish Actor, the original “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”)

Paul O’Neill (Founder, Trans-Siberian Orchestra)
Don Ohlmeyer (NBC Producer and Executive)
Robert Osborne (TCM Host and Film Historian)

Tommy Page (90’s Singer and Music Executive [He was only 46]
Michael Parks (Character Actor, “Kill Bill”)
Bill Paxton (Actor, “Titanic” and TV adaptation “Training Day”)
Tom Petty (Rock n Roll Legend)
Gabe Pressman (Legendary New York TV Reporter)

Della Reese (Singer – Actress, “Touched By An Angel”)
Don Rickles (Legendary Comedian)
George Romero (Legendary Director, “Night of the Living Dead”)

Sam Shepard (Playwright and Actor, “The Right Stuff”)
Keely Smith (Legendary Jazz and Pop Singer)
Liz Smith (Gossip Columnist)
Harry Dean Stanton (Veteran Actor, “Big Love” and “Twin Peaks”)
Ward Sylvester (Manager and TV Producer, “The Monkees”)

Jay Thomas (Actor, “Murphy Brown” and “Cheers”)
Mary Tyler Moore (Legendary Actress)
Frank Vincent (Actor, “The Sopranos”)

Robert James Waller (Author, “Bridges of Madison County”)
Judge Joseph Wapner (Judge, “People’s Court”)
Ann Wedgeworth (Actress, “Three’s Company”)
Adam West (Legendary Actor, “Batman”)
John Wetton (Bassist and Singer for Asia)

Francine York (Actress, Classic “Batman” Series, 1960’s)
Malcolm Young (Rock Band AC/DC, Co-Founder and Guitarist)

NOTE: This list, in no way, covers all the industry talent who passed away this year. Again, condolences are extended to one and all.

Out of respect, please take a moment of silence.

TOMORROW: Ratings

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2017 has been – to say the least – a very tumultuous year with more political scandals and unbelievable issues within the world of the government than any of us want to think about, countless accusations of sexual misconduct all throughout the world of Hollywood and horrible acts of Mother Nature that wreaked havoc on so many cities [and so much more].

Despite all of the bad things that have transpired this year, I want to focus – as much as possible – on all the good and fun things that have taken place.

For more than a decade now, I have been compiling these year-end round-ups on all things entertainment industry related. Granted it’s impossible to focus on EVERY single thing that has taken place, but I certainly have attempted to take a look at as many as I can through this year’s round-up articles.

As I have mentioned many time before, I have been a big fan of television since I was a child, becoming “the walking encyclopedia of the entertainment industry” (at least for my small hometown back in Pennsylvania) by the time I was in my mid-teens. And all these years later, I am still enamored with the good things that happen in the world of television, movies, music and books.

Two of my favorite activities are reading books and attending TV-related events. This year I was able to get through 30 books, and while that may seem like a small amount of reading material, for me [who is a SLOW reader] that is a lot for me. Among my favorites have been several trilogies by Susan Mallery and numerous books by Lauren Oliver, Becca Fitzpatrick, Amanda Grange, Beth Pattillo and Teri Wilson. I am finishing the year off reading “Drums of Autumn” by Diana Gabaldon in order to be prepared for season four of Outlander, which will air at some point in 2018.

I also attended a handful of TV-related events, sadly for the very LAST time. Those events included the annual Paley Fest at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, Wonder Con at the Convention Center in Anaheim, California and the annual Comic Con in San Diego.

But that’s more than enough about me. Starting tomorrow my first year-end round-up of this year will focus on the good and bad of television and for each day throughout the rest of the year I will spotlight the year that was: 2017.

NOTE: I apologize in advance for any omissions, spelling errors or oversights I may have made, but I don’t apologize for any of the choices I made.

Read Full Post »

The following industry personalities (listed in alphabetical order) passed away in 2016 and heartfelt condolences are extended to their families, friends and fans:

Mohammad Ali (Boxing Legend)
René Angélil (Music Impresario and Céline Dion’s husband)

Kenny Baker (The Man Behind R2-D2 in “Star Wars”)
David Bowie (Legendary Singer)
Dave Brubeck (Legendary Jazz Musician)

Charmain Carr (Actress, “Liesl” from The Sound of Music)
Fidel Castro (Revolutionary leader and Cuba’s former President)
William Christopher (Actor, “Father Mulcahy” on M*A*S*H*)
Chyna (Former WWE Wrestler)
Leonard Cohen (Singer-Songwriter, Poet and Novelist)
Natalie Cole (Singer)
Pat Conroy (Author, “The Prince of Tides” and “The Great Santini”)

Gloria DeHaven (Actress from Golden Age of Hollywood)
Daniel Dion (Celine Dion’s brother)
Jerry Doyle (Actor, “Babylon 5”)
Larry Drake (Actor, “L.A. Law”)
Patty Duke (Legendary Actress)

Ronnie Claire Edwards (Actress, “The Waltons”)

Joey Feek (Country Singer from Duo Joey + Rory)
Fyvush Finkel (Actor, “Picket Fences” and “Boston Public”)
Carrie Fisher (Actress, Princess Leia in Star Wars franchise)
Tommy Ford (Actor “Martin” and “The Parkers”)
Bernard Fox (Veteran Actor)
Glenn Fry (Guitarist and Singer “The Eagles”)

Zsa Zsa Gabor (Veteran Actress)
Michael Galeota (Disney Star) [he was only 31]
George Gaynes (Character Actor, “Punky Brewster,” “Tootsie” and “Police Academy”)
David Gest (Music Producer)
Gary Glasberg (NCIS Showrunner)
Ron Glass (Actor, “Barney Miller” and “Firefly”)
John Glenn (Former Astronaut and U.S. Senator)
Christina Grimmie (“The Voice” Competitor) [She was only 22]
Reg Grundy (Australian Media Mogul)

Merle Haggard (Country Music Legend)
Dan Haggerty (Actor, “Grizzly Adams”)
Earl Hamner (Creator of “The Waltons”)
Curtis Hanson (Director, “L.A. Confidential”)
Pat Harrington (Actor, “One Day at a Time”)
Florence Henderson (Actress, “The Brady Bunch”)
Steven Hill (Actor, “Law & Order” and original TV series “Mission: Impossible”)
Arthur Hiller (Director, “Love Story)
Robert Horton (Actor, “Wagon Train”)
Ken Howard (SAG-AFTRA President and Former Actor “White Shadow”)
Gordie Howe (Hockey Legend)
Beth Howland (Actress, “Alice”)
David Huddleston (Veteran Character Actor, “The Big Lebowski”)

Barry Jenner (Actor, “Family Matters” and “Dallas”)

Paul Kantner (Founding Member of Jefferson Airplane)
George Kennedy (Veteran Actor, “Airport”)

Harper Lee (Author, “To Kill a Mockingbird”)
Ron Lester (Actor, “Popular” and “Varsity Blues”)

Jerry Maren (Actor, “Wizard of Oz”) [the last of the Munchkins]
David Margulies (Actor, “Ghostbusters”]
Garry Marshall (Legendary Director)
George Martin (Beatles Producer)
Joseph Mascolo (Veteran Actor, “Days of Our Lives”)
Michael Massee (Actor, “The Crow” and “24”)
John McLaughlin (Host, “The McLaughlin Group”)
George Michael (Singer)

Noel Neill (Actress, the original Lois Lane from the 1950’s “Superman” TV series)
Agnes Nixon (Creator of All My Children and One Life to Live)
Marni Nixon (“Ghost Singer” for Deborah Kerr in The King and I; Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Audrey Hepburn in Fair Lady)
James Noble (Actor, “Benson”)
Bill Nunn (Character Actor, “Do the Right Thing”)

Hugh O’Brian (Veteran Actor, “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp”)

Arnold Palmer (Golf Legend)
Jon Polito (Character Actor “The Big Lebowski” and “Miller’s Crossing”)
Prince (Legendary Musician, Singer and Songwriter)

Nancy Reagan (Former First Lady)
Janet Reno (First Female U.S. Attorney General)
Debbie Reynolds (Legendary Actress)
Alan Rickman (Veteran Actor)
Jack Riley (Actor, “The Bob Newhart Show”)
Doris Roberts (Veteran Actress)

Morley Safer (Legendary “60 Minutes” Reporter)
Theresa Saldana (Actress, “Raging Bull”)
Joe Santos (Actor, “Rockford Files”)
John Saunders (ESPN Commentator)
Antonin Scalia (Supreme Court Justice)
William Schallert (Veteran Actor and Former SAG President)
Garry Shandling (Actor and Comedian)
Jim Simpson (Sportscaster)
Frank Sinatra, Jr.
David Smyrl (Actor, “Sesame Street”)

Alan Thicke (Actor, “Growing Pains”)
Grant Tinker (Former NBC Chairman-CEO and Founder of MTM Enterprises)

Vanity (aka Denise Katrina Matthews) (Lead singer of 80’s girl group Vanity 6)
Peter Vaughan (Veteran Actor, “Game of Thrones”)
Robert Vaughn (Actor, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”)
Abe Vigoda (Actor, “Barney Miller”)

Janet Waldo (Voice actress for Judy Jetson from “The Jetsons”)
Tom Whedon (Father of Joss Whedon)
Maurice White (Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire)
Elie Wiesel (Nobel Prize-Winning Author)
Gene Wilder (Veteran Actor, “Willy Wonka” and “Young Frankenstein”)
Van Williams (Actor, “The Green Hornet”)

Anton Yelchin (Actor, “Star Trek”) [He was only 27]
Alan Young (Veteran Actor, “Mister Ed” Star)

NOTE: This list, in no way, covers all the industry talent who passed away this year. Again, condolences are extended to one and all.

Out of respect, please take a moment of silence.

TOMORROW: Ratings

Read Full Post »

I have been putting together my year-end round-ups on all things entertainment industry related for over a decade now. Just thinking about how long I have been compiling these round-ups is surprising to me. As I have said before, every year it is an interesting experience keeping track of the unique events that take place in the world of entertainment.

Of course, it’s impossible to focus on every single thing that has happened over the past year, but I sure do enjoy focusing on all the good things that have taken place throughout the year.

I have been a big fan of television since I was a child, becoming “the walking encyclopedia of the entertainment industry” (at least for my small hometown back in Pennsylvania) by the time I was in my mid-teens. In fact, I like to joke that I was IMDB before IMDB existed. But, I also love reading, and for the past decade I have set a goal for myself to read at least 20 books a year.

For avid book readers that total is pretty small, but given the fact that my small business is just going into its second year of existence, all the freelance writing I do throughout the year and – well, real life – getting through 20 books is a lot for me.

Among the books that I enjoyed the most this year included a trilogy of books by authors Susan Mallery, Veronica Roth and Nora Roberts as well as several Jane Austen inspired books by Alexandra Potter and Kaitlyn Saunders. I also really enjoyed Deadly Heat by Richard Castle, The Heirloom Girls by Chris Culler and the Diana Gabaldon novel Voyager (in preparation for season three of Outlander).

Just like last year I attended Paley Fest in Los Angeles, but unlike every other year for the past few years, I only attended one panel for Supergirl. I also enjoyed attending WonderCon and Comic Con; a panel for the Syfy TV series 12 Monkeys at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills as well as the Paley Center’s annual Preview Parties for each of the five major networks. As a big fan of Outlander, I also got to see the cast and creative minds behind the show in March as well as the Outlander Exhibit at the Paley Center

That’s enough about me, though. Starting tomorrow my first year-end round-up focusing on the best and worst of television will go live and for each day throughout the rest of the year I will spotlight the year that was: 2016.

NOTE: I apologize in advance for any omissions, spelling errors or oversights I may have made, but I don’t apologize for any of the choices I made.

Read Full Post »

The following industry personalities (listed in alphabetical order) passed away in 2015 and heartfelt condolences are extended to their families, friends and fans:

Frank Albanese (Actor, The Sopranos)
Jayne Meadows Allen (Comedian and Actress)
Lynn Anderson (Country Singer)

Yogi Berra (New York Yankees Legend)
James Best (Actor, The Dukes of Hazzard)
Theodore Bikel (Actor, Fiddler On The Roof)
Khan Bonfils (British Actor Star Wars and James Bond franchises
Martin E. Brooks (Actor, Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman)
Bobbi Kristina Brown (Daughter of the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown) [She was only 22]

David Canary (Actor, All My Children)
Judy Carne (Laugh-In Star)
David Carr (New York Times Critic and Media Columnist)
Jack Carter (Comedic Actor)
Brian Clemens (Writer/Producer of TV’s The Avengers)
George Coe (Original SNL Member and Archer Voice Actor)
Jackie Collins (Romance Novelist)
Former Child Actor (and TV Producer) Kevin Corcoran, “Old Yeller”
Catherine “The Log Lady” Coulson (Actress, Twin Peaks)
Yvonne Craig (Actress, Batgirl on Batman)
Wes Craven (Director, Scream and Nightmare on Elm Street)
Jonathan Crombie (Canadian actor from Anne of Green Gables movies)
Andrae Crouch (Gospel Singer)
Suzanne Crough (Actress, The Partridge Family)

Jean Darling (Actress, Our Gang)
Little Jimmy Dickens (Legendary Country Singer)
Donna Douglas (Actress, The Beverly Hillbillies)
Richard Dysart (Actor, L.A. Law)

Anita Ekberg (Legendary Actress)

Joe Franklin (TV Talk Show Pioneer)
Stan Freberg (Satirist and Looney Tunes Voice Actor)

Frank Gifford (Sportscaster and NFL Hall of Famer)
Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. (Son of Hollywood Mogul)
Lesley Gore (Singer-Songwriter “It’s My Party”)
John Guillermin (British Director, The Towering Inferno and 1976’s King Kong)

Edward Hermann (Actor Gilmore Girls and Lost Boys)
James Horner (Film Composer “Titanic”)

Marty Ingels (Comic Actor and Industry Raconteur) [and husband of Legendary Shirley Jones]

Doug Jones (Actor, The Love Bug)
Louis Jourdan (Veteran Actor, Gigi)

Mary Doyle Keefe (Model for “Rosie the Riveter” in the Normal Rockefeller painting)
B.B. King (Blues Legend)
Ben K. King (Legendary Singer, “Stand By Me”)

Jack Larson (Veteran Actor, The Adventures of Superman)
Christopher Lee (Actor The Lord of the Rings)
Cynthia Lennon (John Lennon’s first wife and mother of Julian Lennon)
Geoffrey Lewis (Actor, High Plains Drifter and Any Which Way You Can) [Father of actress Juliette Lewis]
Robert Loggia (Veteran Actor)

Nathaniel Marston (Actor, One Life to Live)
Colleen McCullough (Best-Selling Author, “The Thorn Birds”)
Patrick Macnee (Actor, Avengers)
Anne Meara (Comedian-Actress) [Ben Stiller’s mom]
Windell Middlebrooks (Actor, Body of Proof) [He was only 36}
Martin Milner (Actor, Adam-12 and Route 66)
Al Molinaro (Actor, Happy Days)
Ron Moody (Actor, Original box office movie Oliver!)
Dickie Moore (Actor, Little Rascals)
Harry Morgan (Actor, MASH)
Bess Myerson (Former Miss America and TV Personality)

Taylor Negron (Actor-Comedian)
Leonard Nimoy (Legendary Actor)
Patricia Norris (Costume Designer)

Maureen O’Hara (Legendary Actress)
Gary Owens (Legendary TV announcer)

Melody Patterson (Actress, F Troop)
Jim Perry (Game Show Host)
Amanda Peterson (Actress, Can’t Buy Me Love)
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper (Wrestler and Actor)
Ben Powers (Actor, Good Times)

Roger Rees (Actor, Warehouse 13)
Alex Rocco (Actor, The Godfather)

Stuart Scott (ESPN Anchor)
Omar Sharif (Legendary Actor)
Bob Simon (Longtime 60 Minutes and CBS News Reporter)
Sam Simon (Co-Creator, The Simpsons)
Percy Sledge (Legendary Singer, “When a Man Loves a Woman”)
Stewart Stern (Writer of Rebel Without a Cause)

Rod Taylor (Actor, The Birds)
Nigel Terry (Actor, Excalibur)
Fred Thompson (Actor, Law & Order and Former Senator)
Mary Ellen Trainor (Actress, Roswell and The Goonies)

Dick Van Patten (Actor, Eight is Enough)
Daniel Von Bargen (Actor, Seinfeld)

Alberta Watson (Actress, Le Femme Nikita)
Scott Weiland (Lead Singer, Stone Temple Pilots)
Jerry Weintraub (Legendary Producer)
Grace Lee Whitney (Actress, Star Trek)
Ben Woolf (Actor, American Horror Story)

NOTE: This list, in no way, covers all the industry talent who passed away this year. Again, condolences are extended to one and all.

Out of respect, please take a moment of silence.

TOMORROW: Ratings

Read Full Post »

I have been putting together my year-end round-ups on all things entertainment industry related for a decade now; and every year it is a unique experience keeping track of the unique events that take place. Of course, it’s impossible to focus on every single thing that happens, but I sure do enjoy focusing on all the good things that have taken place throughout the year.

As always, I have spent a big portion of my year watching lots and lots of television – I wasn’t known as the “TV Queen” (at one point in time) for nothing. But, I also enjoy reading, setting a goal for myself of reading about 20 books every year. That may not sound like a lot (for some people) but between starting my own new business, all of my freelance writing and real life, reading 20 books is, sometimes, pushing it for me.

That being said, just like last year, I was able to exceed my goal, reading a number of Jane Austen inspired books by Amanda Grange, Jenni James, Beth Revis and Diana Peterfruend as well as several sci-fi-themed novels by Rachel Hawkins, Carrie Jones, Stacey Kade and Deborah Harkness. I also thoroughly enjoyed Frozen Heat by Richard Castle, the latest Veronica Mars book by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham and a delightful book by author Chris Culler. There were also pre-requisite romance novels by Nora Roberts and Robyn Carr as well as Finding Fraser by KC Dyer, a wonderful book based around a woman’s obsession with Jamie Fraser from the Outlander novel.

Just like last year I attended Paley Fest in Los Angeles, taking part in panels for Scandal, Teen Wolf, Outlander, Arrow and The Flash and Jane the Virgin. I, once again, attended Wonder Con in Anaheim, Comic Con in San Diego and the annual Preview Parties held at the Paley Center for Media.

That’s enough about me, though, so starting tomorrow my first year-end round-up focusing on the best and worst of television will go live and for each day throughout the rest of the year I will spotlight the year of 2015.

NOTE: I apologize in advance for any omissions, spelling errors or oversights I may have made, but I don’t apologize for any of the choices I made.

Read Full Post »

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