Gary David Goldberg, creator of classic TV series Family Ties, has died at the age of 68. The TV boss passed away at his home in California on Sunday (23Jun13) after a battle with brain cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
He helped launch Michael J. Fox's career in the 1980s with Family Ties, which won Goldberg an Emmy Award for outstanding writing in 1987.
The sitcom, which ran from 1982 to 1989, starred Fox as the young Republican son of two liberal ex-hippies, a concept Goldberg once admitted was inspired by his own relationship with his daughter Shana.
Goldberg went on to co-create Spin City, which also featured Fox, and he picked up a second Emmy in 1979 for his TV drama Lou Grant.
During his career, Goldberg wrote episodes of M*A*S*H and The Bob Newhart Show, and he stepped behind the camera to direct Jack Lemmon in 1989 comedy movie Dad as well as John Cusack in 2005 romantic comedy Must Love Dogs.
He is survived by his daughter Shana Goldberg-Meehan, a TV writer who was an executive producer on hit sitcom Friends and its spinoff Joey.
Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites, which was marked by it's unpredictability, has the most unlikely of winners: John Cochran. Yes the nerdy Harvard law student who was a Survivor superfan was not only victorious, but he won in a unanimous vote against Dawn Meehan and a zombie that told everyone its name is Sherri Biethman.
Though that seems very unlikely based on how Cochran played on his first season, Survivor: South Pacific, and the opening episodes of this game, where he was remarkable more for overcoming a crippling sunburn than he was for his bombastic game play, but as soon as the show started it seemed fairly clear that he was going to win. When the episode began, Eric had to be evacuated from the game for the reason that seems the mostly likely but has never stricken a player before: starvation. He was dizzy and about as crazy as Dawn on a crying jag in a bag full of wet cats. This seemed to take all the guess work out of the rest of the proceedings. The only person who seemed like he could possibly beat Cochran was now removed through no fault of his own.
What was probably going to be an immunity challenge was then turned into a reward challenge to give whoever won an advantage in the final challenge (however last season Malcolm won a reward challenge that gave him an advantage in the final too, so maybe there was just a challenge they scrapped and this was the intent all along). This type of challenge has become more popular with Jeff Probst than that one shirt with the double pockets that he has in every color and seems to be the only garment he wears on camera. It's a challenge where everyone has to build a house of cards to a certain height and the first one to watch all of House of Cards in one sitting wins. Wait, that's some sort of Netflix challenge. After more back and forth than the world's first Pong tournament, Cochran ended up winning.
That means at the final challenge – where everyone had to run up an obstacle course, collect bags of puzzle pieces, and then build a puzzle – Cochran didn't have to untie his puzzle pieces from a series of knots like everyone else. Though the advantage didn't help him out too much, he ends up winning the challenge and taking the necklace.
The big conundrum then became whether he should take Dawn (his ally not only in this season but their last one as well) along with him to the finals or if he should take Eddie, who is kind of stupid and didn't do much in terms of game play or winning challenges. Zombie Sherri was going to the finals because, well, she's a zombie and while she might have Outlasted, Outwitted, and Outplayed everyone on the jury, she didn't Outlive any of them. What really irks me about the final three setup is that the holder of immunity doesn't even get to make the decision of who faces the jury. When there is a final two, the fate of the finals isn't necessarily decided by the person who won immunity and I think that is not only unfair, but it makes for boring TV as well, which is the ultimate crime of any reality show.
But I think that keeping Dawn was a very clever strategy for Cochran. He said when casting his vote that he was doing it based on what he thought the jury wanted. They didn't want someone who played mean and cutthroat, which is what he would have been if he axed Dawn so late in the game. Instead she gets to be the one to take the heat for blindsiding Brenda and Andrea and he gets to look like the nice guy who took his friend along to the end even if it might have cost him a vote or two. It made him seem that much warmer than Dawn and like he was unafraid to face deserving players in the end.
Cochran was clearly the best player there. Not only did he own the strategic game, he also did a great job in the challenges, something he didn't really play up to the jury. In fact, everyone's presentations seemed to be short on specifics. Cochran says that he was a master strategist, but never told us why. Zombie Sheri kept saying she played a strong game, but never gave one example. She just groaned and shuffled and mumbled something about brains.
The final tribal council was the mix of stunts and speeches that we've come to expect, and which are always a letdown after Sue Hawk's genius oratory in the first ever Survivor finale. There were two really intense moments, however. The first was when Eric confronted Sherri and told her she did nothing in the game, which is sort of like the pot calling the kettle a zombie. Then Sherri told Eric he was wrong and she didn't need his vote and to sit down. I don't want to pile on Sherri because the jury already did, but that was really her only good action the entire season. The second moment to remember was when Brenda confronted Dawn and made her take out her teeth. Like so much else this season, it just seemed a bit mean. I totally know where Brenda was coming from, she wanted Dawn to do something to prove how painful it was to vote her own friend out by debasing herself. But still, man, it was hard to watch.
In the end it was Cochran's articulate levelheadedness played so much better than Dawn's teary-faced paranoia. After his winning votes were read, we had to endure the reunion show, where Jeff Probst completely ignored Sherri and everyone who didn't make the jury so that he could talk to a bunch of his favorite men, macho bullies like Phillip, Boston Rob, and Rudy (who managed to use the word "queer" twice in 20 seconds). I'm shocked that the entire Hantz family didn't get up there and sing some sort of choir number about treating people like crap and beating up your enemies. All this did was to show why Jeff Probst's talk show got cancelled so damn fast.
Then at the end of the reunion, we got to find out what is up with the next season of Survivor (which, I'm guess, Reynold, like all the other chauvenistic a**holes that Jeff Probst loves, is going to be on). It is called Survivor: Blood Vs. Water and it's totally going to pit family members against each other, right? I will say that it was totally gratifying to watch this season and have a bunch of scrappy misfits take out the cool kids and make it so far and to see Cochran, the ultimate underdog, take the top prize after growing so much as a person. That has always been the enchanting thing about Survivor from the beginning – that we all think that, given the chance, we could go out there and win a million smackerinos. Seeing Cochran, a guy who seems more likely to win a Magic: The Gathering tournament than a survivalist nightmare, walk away victorious only makes us think, even more, that we can win.
What isn't fun to watch is the cruelty that has seeped into recent seasons of the show. We saw it this year with the casting of Brandon Hantz (who was banned from the finale, even after supposedly being cleared to play the game) and with Brenda and Dawn robbed of their loved ones and made to watch everyone else enjoy theirs right off their beach. That cruelty is built into a season where family members are pitted against each other and it might be, sadly, the first season of 26 that I don't actually watch.
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When asked why he chose the path of boxing, Rocky Balboa offered a simple, though rather elegant, explanation: "Because I can't sing or dance." Now imagine if he could, and you'll get a pretty good idea of what's in store: a Rocky musical, the latest film adaptation to be mounted for Broadway. The Hollywood Reporter shares that a team of Alex Timbers (director), Thomas Meehan (writer), Stephen Flaherty (composer), and Lynn Ahrens (lyricist) will be transforming Sylvester Stallone's Oscar winning picture into a song-laden stage production; Stallone himself weighed in on the forthcoming project:
"I couldn’t be more proud or more excited about this production and how my original story of Rocky Balboa has been brought to spectacular life onstage," Stallone told THR. "Alex Timbers and the entire creative team ... have made [the character's] story as exciting, heart-breaking, and inspiring as it was when Rocky first went the distance onscreen."
It was 1976 when Stallone brought his now iconic character to Hollywood for the first of six (so far) times. The Best Picture victor, among the most beloved of sports films, is so full of memorable lines, scenes, and emotional instances, that it'll be quite the endeavor to turn the lot of them into musical numbers. So which Rocky's thick-tongued slurs, Adrian's squawking admonitions, Paulie's crass cackles, or Mickey's endearing insults will earn their own showstoppers? Here's one example already:
"The Italian Stallion"An upbeat overture, introducing the audience to its lovable hero: Rocky Balboa.
"Be a Thinker, Not a Stinker"Apollo Creed's Gilbert & Sullivan style romp about the merits in education trumping the glory in athletic stardom.
"Eat Lightning, Crap Thunder"The first powerhouse number of the play: a fired up Mickey puts Rocky through the wringer with this operatic call to arms.
"Ya Don't Have to Kiss Me Back"To follow, a softer entry: Rocky professing his affection for leading lady Adrian, offering the chance to refuse his courtship in this duet.
"Eat the Bird"Perhaps the emotional crux of the film, Paulie's vigilant ballad, directed toward his sister Adrian in a moment so wrathful, it'll warrant a therapeutic intermission immediately afterward.
"I Ain't No Bum"The tenderness hits a peak when Rocky channels all of the pain he has felt over his modest intellect and poor choices, declaring to the audience that he has more to him than everyone thinks.
"A Damn Monster Movie"At last, the real showstopper! The showdown between Rocky and Apollo Creed, an orchestrated song pitting the two against one another in the ring. Whole lotta dancin'.
"A Couple of Coconuts"Finally, following the big match, we reunite Rocky with Adrian, allowing him the happy ending of his true love's embrace.
Fill in the gaps with your own suggestions!
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Entering into its 26th season, Survivor is obsessed with bringing returning players back into the game — all of the last several iterations of the still-popular franchise have featured at least two if not more returning players. They also went on a spate of getting quasi-famous people to appear, like Blair from The Facts of Life, but that craze seemed to be at an end when the show announced its cast today (even though anyone with a web browser with a Google window figured out who the returning players would be after the last reunion special).
The punctuation-filled season Survivor: Caramoan – Fans Vs. Favorites will feature 10 returning castaways from five previous seasons, most of which are still in very recent memory. That means a lot of these people have already played together in the past. Here are the people returning: Erik Reichenbach (Survivor: Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites), Corinne Kaplan (Survivor: Gabon), Brenda Lowe (Survivor: Nicaragua), Andrea Boehlke (Survivor: Redemption Island), Francesca Hogi (Survivor: Redemption Island), Phillip Sheppard (Survivor: Redemption Island), John Cochran (Survivor: South Pacific), Brandon Hantz (Survivor: South Pacific), Dawn Meehan (Survivor: South Pacific), and Malcolm Freberg (Survivor: Philippines). Malcolm, with his long hair and rippling muscular body, really is my favorite. He's my favorite to watch padding along the beach in his board shorts, and my favorite to dream about cuddling up to in the cold, dark night. Oh, Malcolm.
But, um, aren't you guys forgetting the "favorites"? I can't even remember half of these people, and the ones that I really do remember (Phillip, Cochran, Brandon, Dawn) I remember as being really annoying, or I remember them getting voted out for being lousy players. This season should be, um, interesting. Of course there are also a bunch of newbies — from the hot fire fighter to the hot beauty queen to the hot guy with a beard and a lot of tattoos who's not really that hot at all. There's all of them. Check out the video below.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: CBS]
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The writer suffered a respiratory arrest outside his home in Manhattan, New York City on Monday (06Aug12), according to the New York Daily News.
Best known for his Tony Award winning work on the 2002 musical, which he wrote with Thomas Meehan, O'Donnell went on to pen the screenplay for the 2007 movie adaptation, starring John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer.
O'Donnell and Meehan worked together again in 2007 on the stage version of Johnny Depp's 1990 musical film Cry-Baby, which was nominated for four Tonys.
He also published two novels, Getting Over Homer and Let Nothing You Dismay.
The Producers Guild of America will give out awards tonight, with the teams behind A Beautiful Mind, Moulin Rouge and Shrek among those in contention for its top honor. The producers of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring are also in the running for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award.
The honor is similar to the motion picture academy's best picture prize, and the winner is considered a near shoo-in for Oscar gold. The 1,500-member Producers Guild has correctly predicted the best picture Oscar winner 10 out
of the last 13 years.
A Beautiful Mind, Lord of the Rings and Moulin Rouge are
nominated for both the PGA award and best picture Oscar. But the guild opted for box office hits Shrek and Harry Potter for its other two slots,
while the Academy chose the indie critic faves In the Bedroom and Gosford Park.
The Producers Guild will also hand out awards in three television categories, with such shows as The West Wing and The Sopranos among those in the running.
The teams behind CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and The West Wing are nominated for the Norman Felton Producer of the Year Award in episodic television-drama.
Contenders for the Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in episodic television-comedy are Frasier, Friends, Malcolm in the Middle, Sex and the City and Will & Grace.
The nominated producers of Frasier include the late David Angell, who was aboard one of the hijacked planes that crashed on Sept. 11.
Among the David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in longform television nominees are some well-known names--Billy Crystal for HBO's 61*, and Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg for HBO's Band of Brothers.
Husband-and-wife actors Bradley Whitford of The West Wing and Jane Kaczmarek of Malcolm in the Middle will host the guild's 13th annual ceremony at the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa.
Formed in 1950, the Producers Guild has about 500 active members and 1,000 affiliated members.
Here is the full list of nominees:
Darryl F. Zanuck Theatrical Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award in Motion Pictures
A Beautiful Mind, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, David Heyman
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh
Moulin Rouge, Martin Brown, Baz Luhrmann and Fred Baron
Shrek, Aron Warner, John H. William and Jeffrey Katzenberg
Norman Felton Producer of the Year in Episodic Television-Drama
CSI Crime Scene Investigation, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ann M. Donahue, Carol Mendelsohn, Anthony Zuiker, Jonathan Littman, Sam Strangis, Danny
Cannon, Cynthia Chvatal and William Petersen
Law & Order, Dick Wolf, Barry Schindel, Jeffrey L. Hayes, Lewis H. Gould and Kati Johnston
Six Feet Under, Alan Ball, Robert Greenblatt, David Janollari and Alan Poul
The Sopranos, David Chase, Brad Grey, Mitchell Burgess, Robin Green, Ilene S. Landress and Terence Winter
The West Wing, John Wells, Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme, Llewellyn Wells, Christopher Misiano, Alex Graves and Michael Hissrich
Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television-Comedy
Frasier, David Angell, Peter Casey, Kelsey Grammer, David Lee, Dan O'Shannon, Mark Reisman and Maggie Blanc
Friends, Kevin S Bright, Marta Kauffman, David Crane, Shana Goldberg-Meehan, Scott Silveri, Andrew Reich, Ted Cohen and Todd Stevens
Malcolm in the Middle, Linwood Boomer and James S. Simons
Sex and the City, Michael Patrick King, Cindy Chupack, John P. Melfi and Sarah Jessica Parker
Will & Grace, James Burrows, Jeff Greenstein, Max Mutchnick, David Kohan and Tim Kaiser
David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in Longform Television
61*, Billy Crystal and Ross Greenburg
Anne Frank, Hans Proppe and David R. Kappes
Band of Brothers, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Tony To
Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Robert Allan Ackerman and Lorna Luft
Wit, Cary Brokaw