Veteran TV producer Ted Bergmann has died at the age of 93. He passed away on 2 March (14) following surgery in Santa Monica, California, according to his wife, Beverly.
Bergmann began his career in that late 1940s and was known for helping officials from the National Academy of Recording Artists bring early Grammy Awards ceremonies to TV audiences in the form of The Best On Record, a post-show programme which began in 1963 and featured performances from winners such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Peter, Paul and Mary.
He produced the show for U.S. network NBC for seven years and later moved on to serve as the president of the DuMont Television Network, working on broadcasts of early American football games and live boxing matches.
His other TV credits include 1970s sitcom Three's Company and its spin-off series The Ropers and Three's A Crowd, while he was also known as a screenwriter, penning an episode of The Munsters in 1968 and '70s show Sanford and Son.
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A stage parody of the 1970s sitcom Three's Company has been stuck in legal limbo ever since the original copyright owners of the ABC classic filed a lawsuit, but now the playright is striking back, and he has the support of the theater community.
The original sitcom starred the late John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, and Suzanne Somers, and centered around Jack Tripper, a straight guy who pretended to be gay so he could live with two women (which is about as close to a real live gay person that 1970s network television allowed). Like all things gazed at through hindsight, we realized that the premise of a straight man pretending to be gay so that he could stay at an apartment with two women is silly, and the fact that he kept this charade up for seven whole years, and between two different landlords, and seemingly endless clones of Suzanne Somers (how many cousins could Chrissy really have?) is beyond preposterous.
As such, Three’s Company was in need of a good dissection, and playwright David Adjimi stepped up to the call. Adjmi intended to unwind the cultural knots and kinks at the heart of the show's premise. His play, titled 3C, intended to a cast a dark shadow over ABC's original perma-sunny Santa Monica. This time, the Jack character ("Brad" in the play) would still pretend to be an openly gay man in order to live in the The Wickers' apartment (the play's version of the Ropers, who were very conservative concerning co-ed roommates and yet surprisingly tolerant of homosexuality, huh?). This time around, though, the lead isn't straight, but a closeted gay man... pretending to be a straight man pretending to be a gay man. Hm.
Adjmi's play 3C ran for two months off-Broadway, and sought to open in even wider distribution, but the play was hit with a cease and desist letter from the copyright holders of Three's Company, who considered the parody to be too similar to the original version. Adjmi shelved the play after threat of legal action, but has since thrown caution to the wind and is attempting to publish the play in an anthology of his own work.
While the courts might find Adjimi at fault for copyright infringement in terms of the law, he is clearly within his rights culturally. Ever since the first stories was ever told, those first stories were mocked by the next batch of stories. Satire is a valuable piece of human expression, and it shouldn't be limited due to copyright claims since parody is already protected under fair use. Furthermore, several other properties, ones much more valuable than Three's Company, have received stage parodies that didn't cheapen the original brand, including The Simpsons (the play Mr. Burns) and Silence of the Lambs (Silence! The Musical). Beyond that, modern parodies often open the subject of satire to a new generation of fans. Three's Company doesn't resonate with many people under a certain age, but a new play examining the cultural mores of late '70s with regards to homosexuality might reintroduce the show into our current discussion of the topic.
Emmy Award-nominated writer/producer George Burditt has died. Burditt passed away in Burbank, California on Tuesday (25Jun13), according to editors at Deadline.com. No further details about his death were available as WENN went to press.
Burditt penned several episodes of the hit U.S. sitcom Three's Company and served as its executive producer from 1981 until it ended in 1984.
He also wrote scenes for shows including All In The Family, The Jeffersons, The Ropers, and Three's A Crowd - the TV sequel to Three's Company.
Burditt was nominated for four Emmy Awards during the 1970s, two each for variety shows The Sonny And Cher Comedy Hour and Van Dyke And Company.
Revered TV director and one-time Directors Guild of America President Jack Shea has died following a battle with Alzheimer's Disease. The 84 year old, who was the man behind many of Bob Hope's Christmas specials series, episodes of The Jeffersons and Silver Spoons, passed away on Sunday (28Apr13).
Shea served three terms as DGA president from 1997 to 2002, and he was honoured with the organisation's prestigious Robert Aldridge Award in 1992.
As well as directing Hope's beloved festive TV variety shows, he also toured U.S. Army bases around the world to film Hope onstage, entertaining the troops.
He also directed 110 episodes of The Jeffersons, according to The Hollywood Reporter, 91 episodes of Silver Spoons, 22 of The Ropers, 15 of Sanford and Son and 14 of Designing Women.
He was nominated for an Emmy Award twice.
We're getting down to the wire here. Only seven kids remain on The Glee Project, and they're ready to fight to the death for that coveted role on Glee. It's fitting, to say the least, that this week's theme is tenacity, which Ali so kindly defines for viewers who may not happen to be up to snuff with their SAT vocabulary. "Tenacity is, when an obstacle comes your way, looking at it as an opportunity and using it," she says. Nicely put.
To showcase their tenacity, the contenders are first faced with the challenge of performing my favorite song ever, Destiny's Child's 2001 hit "Survivor." (Has Glee ever done an episode dedicated to Destiny's Child? They really should. Think of all the hits! "Say My Name," "Jumpin' Jumpin,'" "Bills, Bills, Bills," "Bootylicious," the list really is never-ending.)
If Destiny's Child is around, it means Amber Riley can't be far behind. Am I right? I'm right. This week's not-so-secret surprise mentor/judge is Mercedes. And she is digging on Ali and her blonde pigtails. Girl is on fi-yah with the homework wins! Aylin's eyes flash with rage and envy-fueled contempt as her lips curl into a grinch-like smile. She's just so happy for Ali, you see, and not jealous at all. Not one bit, no sir.
Robert breaks Aylin's fury-induced trance by announcing tenacity week's group number song. Dun, dundundun, dundundun, dundundunnnnnn … It's "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. Survivor the band, not the aforementioned Destiny's Child song. It's confusing, I know; are you taking notes? It's at this point that Robert reveals the sadistic plan he cooked up with the other mentors: the video shoot this week will be an obstacle course in a high school gym, and the entire video will be filmed in a single shot. This is going to be a nightmare, and every person in that dusty choir room knows it.
But before the kids hit the gym, they must face Nikki in the recording booth. She is practically gleeful while explaining to the camera that this song is out of everyone's vocal range. Is she bouncing a bit while she says that, or do my eyes deceive me? It's a good thing there's a glass wall to separate Nikki and her sound-mixing cohort from the contenders, because otherwise Blake would have been in danger. Pregnant Nikki, hormones racing, looks like she's about to pounce on Blake and drag him back to her cougar's lair. He'll be lucky if he gets out of there with all his limbs.
Following Blake in the studio is pretty boy numero dos, Michael. Unfortunately for Michael, Nikki has a thing for shaggy-haired blonds. For like the 67th time this season — which is impressive, considering there have only been eight episodes — Michael can't pull himself together in the booth. I'm already getting a whiff of the bottom three.
NEXT: The gym class from hell
No more messing around, it's time to explore the fiery pits of hell that is a gym class obstacle course. And, like Groundhog's Day for Bill Murray, this is one obstacle course that is doomed to repeat itself.
To kick things off, Blake runs up a row of bleachers holding a ball, which he throws to Michael. Michael must catch the ball and dive through a tire ring like a show dog. Cue Abraham, who runs through some more tires. And was that flash Aylin? Yep, Aylin has to clear some hurdles. Then Lily pitches a softball to Ali who jumps out of her wheelchair and swims 25 laps in an Olympic-sized pool. At this point, Shanna must stay on hold with Time Warner Cable for 45 minutes while simultaneously baking muffins for her sister's kindergarden field trip to the science museum. Finally, everyone makes a pyramid and Ali slam dunks a dodge ball into the basketball hoop. Got that? Go!
Take 1: Michael doesn't make it through the hoop. Take 2: Abraham forgets to lip sync. Take 11: The jump ropers (did I miss the jump rope portion in the above rundown? My bad), lose all nerve control in their faces. Take 16: Abraham pretends to sprain his ankle. Take 24: Shanna vomits into a trash can. Take 27: Ali misses the basketball shot. Take 29: Ali misses the basketball shot. Take 32: Ali misses the basketball shot. Take 34: PERFECT. Head count, is everyone still alive?
Following such a grueling video shoot, the judges are almost remorseful about picking a bottom three. Almost. Immediately safe are Ali (could it be my friend was right, and
The series, set at the Royal Dale Condominium Town House in Chevia Hills, California, follows the misadventures of Stanley and Helen Roper, a retired landlord and his wife, as they seek, but seldom find, a life of peace and quiet. A spin-off from "Three's Company," but based on the British series "George and Mildred" (which is a spin-off from the "Man About the House" series).