Tuesday, May 11, 2004

TV Tuesday

Reunited and it feels so good!

Tuesday at 9/8 central CBS is running the 159th episode of one of it's classic TV series: The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited. This episode was written 40 years later, with all the surviving cast members in it. This will be an actual episode, with the actors in character, not just actors sitting around reminiscing about the good old days.

Bill Persky, the show's writer-producer, said in TV Guide: "Everybody's memory was not what it was. We could remember a joke from 40 years ago, but we couldn't remember whether we decided to do a scene this way or that way. Everybody had something they almost remembered, so when we were looking for a title, I came up with The Dick Van Dyke Show Almost Remembered. The comic timing was terrific- except when they couldn't hear anything. There was a lot of "What? What? What?" The greatest below-the-line expense was for hearing aid batteries."

On that note, how do you feel about reunion shows?

1. What show would you like to see brought back for an hour or two episode, to see how the characters are doing now? (This should be a show that it might be possible to do a reunion on.)

1st choice: M*A*S*H, definitely. I believe all the actors are still with us - Alda, Farrell, Morgan, Stiers, Swit, Farr, Burghoff, Christopher, (I think even Wayne Rogers is still kicking around, though would Trapper now have to be played by Pernell Roberts?) Unfortunately, Larry Linville has passed away - Frank would've been great fun (and of course, McLean Stephenson couldn't come back even if he were still alive). Actually, I'd be happy for a 2-hour episode of just Hawkeye and BJ sitting around drinking coffee and discussing their medical careers and their lives through Vietnam, the Reagan years, etc.

2nd choice: Picket Fences but it would have to be done v-e-r-r-r-y carefully with David Kelley writing the script, but not being allowed within 100 feet of the production stage - I've seen what he did with Ally McBeal and the Practice, etc.

2. Pick a show that could not realistically be brought back for a reunion, because some or all of the cast members are gone. What if they could have done a reunion before it was too late? Name the show you'd most like to see.

It might've been fun to see a Happy Days reunion where Richie and Lori Beth Cunningham were the parents of two teenagers in the 70's....but That 70's Show pretty much has covered that niche.

Another fun possibility: Alien Nation

3. Which reunion show have you watched and thought "Wow, they should have left that one alone!"

I was actually looking forward to the "Facts of Life" reunion for the sake of seeing Jo again (ah, my teen years...) but when I heard they actually decided her character was dead, I didn't watch it.

~Bonus~ Which do you prefer- a "reunion" episode of the series, or a "cast reunion" where the actors sit around and talk about the making of the show?

A full new "episode". Save the sitting-around-talking for the season DVD's.

Thanks for playing, and while you're watching Dick Van Dyke Revisited remember this: (found in TV Guide May 9-15 issue)

~ Actual furniture from the New Rochelle living room set was tracked down and used in the special.
~ An early title considered for the original show was "Double Trouble".
~ Johnny Carson was ever so briefly considered for the part of Rob.
~ The show was almost cancelled midway through the first season because it ran against the popular "Perry Como" show on NBC.

And who could forget:

"Oh Rob!!!"

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