Tag Archives: All in the Family

TV Show: AmericanĀ Idol

Paula's gone, and the show survived just fine. Now Simon's going, and replacing him will be infinitely harder. Uploaded by bittenandbound.com.

It’s trendy for people to turn their noses up at this show, it’s somehow beneath them. But its overpowering ratings in almost all demographic groups reveal its enduring popularity. It was the top-rated TV show for five consecutive seasons, a feat matched only by All in the Family and The Cosby Show.

The talent show format is as old as broadcasting: Major Bowes hosted the Amateur Hour on radio, and it was continued on the Dumont Network in television, starting in 1947. The concept has continued on TV with Star Search, America’s Got Talent, and most successfully, American Idol.

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Idol is essentially an Americanization of the British show Pop Idol. One of the reasons for the show’s success has undoubtedly been the acerbic criticism of judge Simon Cowell, who tells contestants the truth as he perceives it without sugar-coating. The 2010 season will be his last, and the show’s producers decision on who replaces him will be critical to American Idol’s future.

Winning is everyone’s goal, but history has shown that many non-winners have also had success they wouldn’t have experienced without the show. Some of these talented singers include Clay Aiken and Kimberley Locke (Season 2), Jennifer Hudson (Season 3), Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Elliott Yamin, and Chris Daughtry (Season 5), Melinda Doolittle (Season 6), David Archuleta (Season 7), and Danny Gokey (Season 8).

So far, American Idol participants have won one Academy Award, 8 Grammys, 15 American Music Awards, and 38 Billboard Music Awards.

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As for the winners? Here’s my ranking in terms of sheer talent:

1. Carrie Underwood (Season 4)
2. Fantasia (Season 3)
3. Kelly Clarkson (Season 1)
4. David Cook (Season 7)
5. Kris Allen (Season 8)
6. Ruben Studdard (Season 2)
7. Taylor Hicks (Season 5)
8. Jordin Sparks (Season 6)

Having said that, for pure singing ability, I think Melinda Doolittle is the best who’s ever appeared on American Idol…

TV Show: The Mary Tyler Moore Show

On CBS Saturday night during the 70s, the lineup included The Mary Tyler Moore Show, MASH, All in the Family, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. Wow. Uploaded by nytimes.com.

When Mary Richards showed up in our homes, we didn’t quite know what to make of her. A single woman in her 30s? Not widowed or divorced? Not dependent on a man? Happy with her career? Credit not only Mary Tyler Moore, but show creators James Brooks and Allan Burns with bringing something completely new and original to American TV.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was for many years a part of the Saturday night lineup on CBS, the strongest night of television ever. Consider this lineup – All in the Family, M*A*S*H (Great American Things, Nov. 5, 2009), The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. A TV hall of fame all one one night.

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The titles said the show was about Mary Tyler Moore, but this was the epitome of sitcom by ensemble. What a remarkable cast of characters: the irascible Lou Grant (Ed Asner), the long-suffering Murray (Gavin MacLeod), the pompous Ted (Ted Knight), the buddy Rhoda (Valerie Harper), the two-faced Sue Ann (Betty White), the snobbish Phyllis (Cloris Leachman), and the naive Georgette (Georgia Engel). What a cast.

Mary worked in the newsroom of WJM TV in Minneapolis, an unusual workplace in a city not known to most viewers. She had an office family we enjoyed getting to know, and a roommate we identified with. The characters grew and developed during the show’s seven-year run, and the humor was more character-driven than was typical at the time.

The show earned lots of awards, both during and after its run. It won 29 Emmys, including Outstanding Comedy Series in 1975, 1976, and 1977. The show received a Peabody Award in 1977 for having “established the benchmark by which all situation comedies must be judged.” In 1977, TV Guide ranked the “Chuckles Bites the Dust” episode as number one on their list of the Greatest Episodes of All Time. In 2002, the magazine named the show as number 11 on its 50 Greatest Shows of All Time.

If you remember the show, one scene that will always stay with you occurred during the opening credits, as Mary tossed her hat into the air. The theme show was right: “You’re gonna make it after all…”