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By Elizabeth Mehren and Elizabeth Mehren,Los Angeles Times | June 24, 1992
BOSTON -- For one goofy moment after Murphy Brown announced that she was pregnant, WBZ-TV news anchor Liz Walker thought that maybe the show's producers had stolen her life.After all, Ms. Walker had ignited a controversy of her own five years ago when she disclosed that she was expecting a baby -- and that she had no intention of revealing the identity of the child's father, much less of marrying him.So the similarities were chilling -- although Diane English, the creator of "Murphy Brown," declined to comment on the resemblance between Ms. Walker and the character portrayed on the CBS series by Candice Bergen.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | June 3, 2010
The Katherine Heigl- Ashton Kutcher action comedy "Killers" has raised eyebrows because the studio that produced and distributes it, Lionsgate, chose to open it without advance critics' screenings. A "cold opening" is a rarity for a big-star, big-budget, early-summer release. But Casey Wilson, who plays Heigl's "frenemy," saw the film on Tuesday and swears it's "a throwback" in a good way. "It's part caper, part all-out wild comedy, part romance," says Wilson, "kind of like 'Romancing the Stone,' though of course the plot is very different."
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NEWS
By ELLEN GOODMAN | July 9, 1993
Boston. -- It's not that I am without sympathy for Hollywood. At times, the moguls of the entertainment world have, after all, been the innocent victims of false accusations.Consider the man in Wichita, Kansas, who recently alerted the police after calling a video store and hearing these words in the background: ''Everyone down on the floor!'' When the cruiser arrived, the sound turned out to be a soundtrack. The scene of the crime was a scene from ''Sister Act.''Nevertheless, I watched for years with morbid fascination as the entertainment industry denied any link between violent acts on the screen -- big or small -- and violent behavior in real life.
NEWS
By Jill Rosen and Jill Rosen,SUN STAFF | September 2, 2005
Decorative arches with lights, installed over Howard Street in the 1980s to restore long-lost twinkle, instead became a 20-year-running light bulb joke. Cut the laugh track - the city's taking them down. "They won't be missed!" Baltimore Development Corp. President M.J. "Jay" Brodie cheerfully wrote in an e-mail yesterday. His exclamation point punctuates the joy he and other downtown boosters feel to see the arches go. The bulb-dotted arches that span the street, looking, especially at night, not unlike a carnival ride, were part of a multimillion-dollar attempt by then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer to rejuvenate the Howard Street retail district.
FEATURES
By Brian McTavish and Brian McTavish,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | July 3, 2003
Love it or loathe it - or just go with it - the television laugh track remains a staple after five decades of viewer-assisted frivolity. For that triumph or disgrace, one person can be thanked or blamed. Charlie Douglass, who died in April at age 93, was a technical director of TV shows in the 1950s. He noticed that studio audiences didn't laugh as much when jokes were repeated after the first take. So the mechanical and electrical engineer, who helped develop a shipboard radar for the Navy in World War II, created a "laff box" that would supply recorded audience reaction.
NEWS
By David Folkenflik and David Folkenflik,Sun Staff | February 4, 2001
The scene: A sitcom family gathers in a semicircle around a telephone, as the youngest child of the family worries that his calls to a pornographic chat line will become known to his father. Action: The mother cries out in horror as she listens to the voice on the other end of the phone. The boy, in an aside, says: "Mom was a teeeeny bit upset." The sound: sustained waves of laughter. The laughter, as rehearsed as the action, is some of the longest-running material on TV and is usually the product of a machine.
NEWS
March 23, 1994
"SOMEONE Like Me" debuted with considerable fanfare last week, promoted as an innovative, "coming of age" television sitcom told from the viewpoint of a 12-year-old girl.Slyly, the canny network withheld the first episode from advance viewing by critics, but the concept alone was enough to stir critical rapture. O frabjous day! Callooh, callay! Gender equity wins the day!Alas, the network couldn't quit winners. Sooner or later, it had to unveil the show. "Someone Like Me" aired last week, and someone like we is (are?
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | September 9, 1994
"The Boys Are Back," the CBS sitcom that premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday on WBAL (Channel 11), should be on the Nostalgia Channel. Or maybe the History Channel, or the Way Back When Channel.It seems to care not a whit for demographics -- the watchword of TV programming in the 1980s and '90s.It is cleverly written, however, and will probably make you laugh during the half hour. It will also likely wind up in Nielsen's Top 10 or 20 next week, thanks to its showcase after "60 Minutes," before settling into its Wednesday night slot.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | September 18, 1991
"The Royal Family" is a royal mess.It's a show with regressive fat jokes and double-entendre sex talk scheduled at 8 o'clock when children are watching. It's a show that pretends to be blue-collar, but has no real sense of anyone ever scraping to make a mortgage payment or ends meet. It's a show that will be gone from the schedule in six weeks -- if we are lucky.Premiering tonight at 8 on WBAL-TV (Channel 11), "The Royal Family" is basically Redd Foxx reprising cranky Fred Sanford -- minus the junkyard, plus another generation of family.
SPORTS
December 15, 2004
When you get right down to it, nothing says Christmas like David and Victoria Beckham in a nativity scene. It just seems that not everyone may agree. The likenesses of the Beckhams - he of soccer fame, she the former Posh of the Spice Girls - were part of a controversial nativity scene at Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London. The exhibit featured the Beckhams as Joseph and Mary and included President Bush as one of the three Wise Men, actors Hugh Grant and Samuel L. Jackson as shepherds, and Australian singer Kylie Minogue as an angel.
SPORTS
December 15, 2004
When you get right down to it, nothing says Christmas like David and Victoria Beckham in a nativity scene. It just seems that not everyone may agree. The likenesses of the Beckhams - he of soccer fame, she the former Posh of the Spice Girls - were part of a controversial nativity scene at Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London. The exhibit featured the Beckhams as Joseph and Mary and included President Bush as one of the three Wise Men, actors Hugh Grant and Samuel L. Jackson as shepherds, and Australian singer Kylie Minogue as an angel.
FEATURES
By Brian McTavish and Brian McTavish,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | July 3, 2003
Love it or loathe it - or just go with it - the television laugh track remains a staple after five decades of viewer-assisted frivolity. For that triumph or disgrace, one person can be thanked or blamed. Charlie Douglass, who died in April at age 93, was a technical director of TV shows in the 1950s. He noticed that studio audiences didn't laugh as much when jokes were repeated after the first take. So the mechanical and electrical engineer, who helped develop a shipboard radar for the Navy in World War II, created a "laff box" that would supply recorded audience reaction.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Gary Dorsey and By Gary Dorsey,Sun Staff | March 3, 2002
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore. William Morrow. 408 pages. $25.95. Thirty years ago, Christopher Moore might have excited a storm of protest for writing the Book of Biff, which is what this fresh Gospel account of Jesus' missing years attempts in sometimes hilarious fashion. Instead, one suspects this silly novel will slip past even the most conservative religious censors because Moore has such an innocently adolescent sense of humor and the once fundamentalist defenders of Christian propriety have come to understand the "unchurched" generation better than they did in the alarmist days of Holden Caulfield and The Life of Brian.
FEATURES
By John Murphy and John Murphy,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | February 27, 2001
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The doorbell rings at the home of Madam Gwen, but Eve, the black maid, refuses to answer it. This act of defiance spells trouble for plump and proper Madam, who idles away her day while her domestic servants do all the chores. Madam reluctantly pulls herself up from the sofa and opens the door. "I don't think I've ever seen you answer the door before," says the startled visitor, a neighbor. "I wouldn't let Eve have time off to see her Uncle Joe, so now she's getting back at me," says Madam.
NEWS
By David Folkenflik and David Folkenflik,Sun Staff | February 4, 2001
The scene: A sitcom family gathers in a semicircle around a telephone, as the youngest child of the family worries that his calls to a pornographic chat line will become known to his father. Action: The mother cries out in horror as she listens to the voice on the other end of the phone. The boy, in an aside, says: "Mom was a teeeeny bit upset." The sound: sustained waves of laughter. The laughter, as rehearsed as the action, is some of the longest-running material on TV and is usually the product of a machine.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | August 30, 1999
LOS ANGELES -- There is a studio in the heart of seedy, old Hollywood near Sunset and Vine that they call "The Factory." From the outside it looks like two adjoining, pock-marked, abandoned buildings behind a weedy lot. But inside, there are makeup rooms, dressing rooms, sleek conference rooms, photography studios and soundstages. It is a full-service publicity studio, and the product made on its assembly line is image -- as in, "Image is everything." Its special brand: African-American television images.
FEATURES
By John Murphy and John Murphy,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | February 27, 2001
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The doorbell rings at the home of Madam Gwen, but Eve, the black maid, refuses to answer it. This act of defiance spells trouble for plump and proper Madam, who idles away her day while her domestic servants do all the chores. Madam reluctantly pulls herself up from the sofa and opens the door. "I don't think I've ever seen you answer the door before," says the startled visitor, a neighbor. "I wouldn't let Eve have time off to see her Uncle Joe, so now she's getting back at me," says Madam.
NEWS
By Jill Rosen and Jill Rosen,SUN STAFF | September 2, 2005
Decorative arches with lights, installed over Howard Street in the 1980s to restore long-lost twinkle, instead became a 20-year-running light bulb joke. Cut the laugh track - the city's taking them down. "They won't be missed!" Baltimore Development Corp. President M.J. "Jay" Brodie cheerfully wrote in an e-mail yesterday. His exclamation point punctuates the joy he and other downtown boosters feel to see the arches go. The bulb-dotted arches that span the street, looking, especially at night, not unlike a carnival ride, were part of a multimillion-dollar attempt by then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer to rejuvenate the Howard Street retail district.
FEATURES
By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,SUN STAFF | November 29, 1995
Sure, some people used to think he was nuts, says Dick Gregory, but that was decades ago. Today they know better.Today, says Mr. Gregory, folks can see he was onto something in the 1960s when he accused the U.S. government of involvement in the murders of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. And when he told a nightclub audience that FBI director J. Edgar Hoover was hostile to homosexuals because he was one. Even when he said the Central...
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | September 9, 1994
"The Boys Are Back," the CBS sitcom that premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday on WBAL (Channel 11), should be on the Nostalgia Channel. Or maybe the History Channel, or the Way Back When Channel.It seems to care not a whit for demographics -- the watchword of TV programming in the 1980s and '90s.It is cleverly written, however, and will probably make you laugh during the half hour. It will also likely wind up in Nielsen's Top 10 or 20 next week, thanks to its showcase after "60 Minutes," before settling into its Wednesday night slot.
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