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By Tom Jicha and Tom Jicha,Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | December 19, 1993
Harry Thomason doesn't believe in going through channels. When he has faith in something, he takes his case directly to those he needs to reach.Last year, it was Bill Clinton. Mr. Thomason, a fellow Arkansan and long-time friend of the Clintons, became the former governor's top strategist during the 1992 campaign.This year, Mr. Thomason has a new campaign, the salvation of "Hearts Afire," the CBS series he and his wife, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, created and produce.In a stroke of ingenuity, the Thomasons are bypassing network researchers and show doctors and taking their case right into American households.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | February 16, 1997
Karl Childers came to Billy Bob Thornton just at the right time.Thornton, 41 and Arkansas-born and bred, was sitting in his trailer on a movie set feeling very sorry for himself. He'd just had one of his famous little scenes with a director after 10 takes."He wanted me to do it his way," he recalls. "See, I wanted to do it my way."It not only almost cost him the job, but the reputation he was acquiring for intransigence almost cost him his career. But on this day, sitting in the trailer, exhausted and spent and bitter over a life that was not going where he wanted it to go, suddenly"He was just there.
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Contributing Writer | October 27, 1993
Is it me, or is there very little going on tonight where TV is concerned? Let's see . . . Hmm. It's not me.* "Hearts Afire" (8-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Two other CBS sitcoms have retooled themselves substantially this season. "Love & War" revitalized itself by replacing Susan Dey with Annie Potts, and "Bob" shifted focus successfully by adding Betty White and Jere Burns to the mix. Now comes the revamped "Hearts Afire," which snaps the network's winning streak.Even with Conchata Ferrell as a new member of the cast, and with Billy Bob Thornton tossing off more and drier rejoinders than ever, this second-season pilot, which moves Markie Post and John Ritter from Washington to a small town, is forced and surprisingly flat.
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By Consella A. Lee and Consella A. Lee,Sun Staff Writer | April 17, 1995
They come to Roadhouse Oldies to find the artists they grew up with, the Dells, Little Richard, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Soul Survivors, and it has to be on vinyl, thank you.The shop's owner, Alan Lee, doesn't have much use for sounds before 1955 or after 1968. In the late 1960s as the influence of drugs and electronics became more widespread in popular music, Mr. Lee decided he had to make a choice, and he did.For this 45-year-old former electrical engineer, rock-and-roll is here to stay.
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | April 11, 1994
Nothing to complain about tonight -- not when you have Billy Crystal as one of "The Three Little Pigs" in an old "Faerie Tale Theatre," and guest star Rush Limbaugh on a new "Hearts Afire." Also on tap: Norman Lear revisits the site, if not the spirit, of "All in the Family," in a new sitcom called "704 Hauser." Hauser 'bout that?* "Evening Shade" (8-8:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- This show is going on hiatus, which, since the Burt and Loni flap, is surprising only in that it took so long.
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By Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | February 4, 1993
"Hearts Afire" is within weeks of creating a TV variation on the old shotgun wedding.On Feb. 22, the characters played by John Ritter and Markie Post will be married on the first-year, Monday-night CBS sitcom. This will legitimize a romance that quickly has become one of the hottest on TV.From opening night in September, the characters played by Mr. Ritter and Ms. Post -- John Hartman and Georgie Ann Lahti -- have been unable to keep their hands off each other. The pilot episode concluded with the two -- he's a divorcee with two kids; she has never been married -- embracing in a hot tub.Since then, the couple -- both aides to a conservative Southern senator -- have been amorous in their Washington office, in a car and just about anywhere else they could create some privacy.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | September 14, 1992
"Hearts Afire" is a case of the terminally dumb vs. the eternally wisecracking in the political world of Washington.It's not exactly the South of "Evening Shade" or "Designing Women," but there's no mistaking the fact that this is Linda Bloodworth-Thomason country we're traveling in -- a world of non-stop one-liners, jokes and wisecracks.In tonight's one-hour preview on CBS (Channel 11) at 8, there are bisexuality jokes, jokes about Southerners, jokes by Southerners, jokes on Southerners, and one very dumb redheaded receptionist 5l who's a running joke.
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Contributing Writer | November 17, 1993
Due to a scheduling quirk, tonight's prime-time offers independent biographical looks at Jack and Jackie: a repeat of Lifetime's "Jackie Onassis: An Intimate Portrait," followed on CBS by a two-hour John F. Kennedy profile called "Jack."* "Hearts Afire" (8-8:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- This is the first of the totally redesigned "Hearts Afire" episodes to center on the newsroom, setting up the format for all subsequent episodes. Which means, basically, if you don't like it tonight, chances are you never will.
NEWS
By Consella A. Lee and Consella A. Lee,Sun Staff Writer | April 17, 1995
They come to Roadhouse Oldies to find the artists they grew up with, the Dells, Little Richard, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Soul Survivors, and it has to be on vinyl, thank you.The shop's owner, Alan Lee, doesn't have much use for sounds before 1955 or after 1968. In the late 1960s as the influence of drugs and electronics became more widespread in popular music, Mr. Lee decided he had to make a choice, and he did.For this 45-year-old former electrical engineer, rock-and-roll is here to stay.
FEATURES
By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Contributing Writer | December 29, 1993
Tonight's TV programming sets up a conflict of interest for viewers interested in the cultural arts: Broadcast at the same time, on different networks, are a 90-minute tribute to Leonard Bernstein and this year's two-hour "Kennedy Center Honors." Having seen both on preview tapes, I'd hate to have to make that choice -- but I'd love to have to make it more often, rather than just during "dead week" in December, one of the few times the networks don't care much about ratings.* "The Nanny" (8-8:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11)
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | May 18, 1994
CBS says it's looking for younger viewers. But you'd never know it from the fall schedule the graying network announced yesterday, with new shows for such older stars as Dudley Moore, Della Reese, Hal Linden and Suzanne Pleshette.Furthermore, CBS renewed several series with the oldest audience profiles on TV -- Dick Van Dyke's "Diagnosis Murder," Angela Lansbury's "Murder She Wrote" and "Rescue 911."The biggest news yesterday from CBS might have been its cancellations. Burt Reynolds, Norman Lear and Tom Arnold all got the boot as the network canceled "Evening Shade," "704 Hauser" and "Tom."
FEATURES
By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | April 11, 1994
Nothing to complain about tonight -- not when you have Billy Crystal as one of "The Three Little Pigs" in an old "Faerie Tale Theatre," and guest star Rush Limbaugh on a new "Hearts Afire." Also on tap: Norman Lear revisits the site, if not the spirit, of "All in the Family," in a new sitcom called "704 Hauser." Hauser 'bout that?* "Evening Shade" (8-8:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- This show is going on hiatus, which, since the Burt and Loni flap, is surprising only in that it took so long.
FEATURES
By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to the Sun | March 28, 1994
If you have a feeling of deja vu watching TV tonight, it may be because of what you're vu-ing. All three telemovies shown tonight on the major networks have been televised before: Fox's is a rerun, NBC's was shown last year by HBO, and ABC's was shown by Lifetime.* "Dead Silence" (8-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- This telemovie was shown three years ago on Fox, when so few people watched the network that this barely counts as a rerun. But it's not worth watching, once or twice. Its plot (vacationing students cover up a fatal accident involving their car)
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Contributing Writer | January 19, 1994
When the hurricane hit South Florida, "48 Hours" bounced back with a disaster special that was one of the series' best efforts. So now that it's a little more than 48 hours after the California earthquake, tonight's "48 Hours" is one obvious place to turn, to see where the crews decided to go and whom they decided to profile. In the same vein, check out NBC's "Now," because nonfiction tonight is a lot more interesting than most of the escapist offerings.* "The Nanny" (8-8:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11)
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Contributing Writer | December 29, 1993
Tonight's TV programming sets up a conflict of interest for viewers interested in the cultural arts: Broadcast at the same time, on different networks, are a 90-minute tribute to Leonard Bernstein and this year's two-hour "Kennedy Center Honors." Having seen both on preview tapes, I'd hate to have to make that choice -- but I'd love to have to make it more often, rather than just during "dead week" in December, one of the few times the networks don't care much about ratings.* "The Nanny" (8-8:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11)
FEATURES
By Tom Jicha and Tom Jicha,Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | December 19, 1993
Harry Thomason doesn't believe in going through channels. When he has faith in something, he takes his case directly to those he needs to reach.Last year, it was Bill Clinton. Mr. Thomason, a fellow Arkansan and long-time friend of the Clintons, became the former governor's top strategist during the 1992 campaign.This year, Mr. Thomason has a new campaign, the salvation of "Hearts Afire," the CBS series he and his wife, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, created and produce.In a stroke of ingenuity, the Thomasons are bypassing network researchers and show doctors and taking their case right into American households.
FEATURES
By Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | April 29, 1993
Bill Clinton's most acerbic critic and Hillary Clinton's best pal finally have found something they agree on: Reports of bad blood between them are ridiculous.A supposed rift between conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, friend of the Clintons and TV producer, came up on Mr. Limbaugh's TV show last week. During a lampoon of Earth Day, the host's "man in Washington" interviewed John Ritter, star of "Hearts Afire," which was created by Ms. Bloodworth-Thomason.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | May 18, 1994
CBS says it's looking for younger viewers. But you'd never know it from the fall schedule the graying network announced yesterday, with new shows for such older stars as Dudley Moore, Della Reese, Hal Linden and Suzanne Pleshette.Furthermore, CBS renewed several series with the oldest audience profiles on TV -- Dick Van Dyke's "Diagnosis Murder," Angela Lansbury's "Murder She Wrote" and "Rescue 911."The biggest news yesterday from CBS might have been its cancellations. Burt Reynolds, Norman Lear and Tom Arnold all got the boot as the network canceled "Evening Shade," "704 Hauser" and "Tom."
FEATURES
By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Contributing Writer | November 17, 1993
Due to a scheduling quirk, tonight's prime-time offers independent biographical looks at Jack and Jackie: a repeat of Lifetime's "Jackie Onassis: An Intimate Portrait," followed on CBS by a two-hour John F. Kennedy profile called "Jack."* "Hearts Afire" (8-8:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- This is the first of the totally redesigned "Hearts Afire" episodes to center on the newsroom, setting up the format for all subsequent episodes. Which means, basically, if you don't like it tonight, chances are you never will.
FEATURES
By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Contributing Writer | October 27, 1993
Is it me, or is there very little going on tonight where TV is concerned? Let's see . . . Hmm. It's not me.* "Hearts Afire" (8-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Two other CBS sitcoms have retooled themselves substantially this season. "Love & War" revitalized itself by replacing Susan Dey with Annie Potts, and "Bob" shifted focus successfully by adding Betty White and Jere Burns to the mix. Now comes the revamped "Hearts Afire," which snaps the network's winning streak.Even with Conchata Ferrell as a new member of the cast, and with Billy Bob Thornton tossing off more and drier rejoinders than ever, this second-season pilot, which moves Markie Post and John Ritter from Washington to a small town, is forced and surprisingly flat.
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