Dick Clark shaped the lives of the musicians, personalities and actors who worked with him, pushing many of them from obscurity to stardom. After news spread yesterday, April 18, that the iconic TV producer and host passed away, those same performers paid respect in any form they could — making it apparent that Hollywood had lost one of its greatest icons.
The immediate reactions are a reminder of Clark's influence, but the TV show American Dreams, which debuted on NBC a decade ago, may stand as one of the most fitting tributes to the late Clark. The show examined events and emotions of the '60s through the lens of American Bandstand, with a cast of behind-the-scenes creatives, performers, and dancers. American Dreams broke out actress Brittany Snow, who portrayed the show's lead Meg Pryor, a dancer who gets her own big break on Bandstand. Clark was an executive producer on American Dreams and even found himself as a character on the show, played by actor Paul D. Roberts.
Snow shared a statement about Clark's passing with Hollywood.com:
"I am deeply saddened by the news of Dick Clark's death. He was such an inspiring, intelligent and kind man. I am so honored that I was able to be a part of a television show that recreated such an iconic part of history and be a part of Dick Clark's influential work. I will not only be forever grateful [for] how he changed my life but how he also changed the world. A truly gifted man with the most genuine demeanor, he will be so greatly missed."Continuing the high praise for Clark, Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger released a statement lauding the producer's innovative programming:
"For more than half a century, Dick Clark brought the best of American music to audiences across the country, creating careers and countless fans for artists on his iconic shows, American Bandstand and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. We’re proud that ABC was home to those programs and will always be part of his legacy. On behalf of everyone at Disney and ABC, we send our sincere condolences to Dick’s family, as well as the three generations of fans who will miss him as much as we do."
Chuck Woolery, famed television personality, said in a statement:
"I am shocked and saddened by the news of Dick Clark’s passing yesterday. The first time I came in contact with Dick was in 1968 when I did American Bandstand. Dick also produced the show Greed, with me as host, on Fox. He really was the best to work with. We stayed in touch through the years, and I knew Kari, Dick’s wife, as well as his son RAC. I considered Dick, Kari and RAC close friends. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family. What an honor it is to have known him and worked for him. It is such a shock to know he is gone. Dick’s passing is a great loss to not only his family and friends, but to all those fans he touched through the years. Television will never be the same again. Dick was funny, quick, a true gentleman, and helpful to anyone who asked. What more could you ask a man to be? He could walk with Kings and still maintain a common touch."
Mario Lopez, who co-hosted the daytime talk show The Other Half with Clark said in a statement:
"It was truly an honor to have worked with him, learn from him and to be able to call him a friend. He was a great man and an even better friend. The word legend is thrown around a lot, but it's never more appropriate than when used in describing Mr. Clark. He was a real inspiration & influence in my life. I will dearly miss my friend... Rest well DC."
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Update: Ryan Seacrest Pays Tribute to Dick Clark on 'Idol'
Why There Will Never Be Another Dick Clark
Dick Clark on the Big Screen: See the Icon's Rare Movie Appearances
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In the Biz
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Steven Spielberg received an honorary doctorate from Yale University on Monday for his long career in the film industry. Ironically, Spielberg also recently earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Long Beach, after he finished courses he abandoned three decades earlier to pursue his career. He's got the diplomas coming out of his ears now.
This week at the Nielsens, TV's Top 10 featured three sitcoms, one drama and one news magazine; the Top Five featured one game show -- guess which one? Is that your final answer? If we told you that Fox even hyped "Greed" with a special promotional stunt, would that change your answer? It would? Okay, then can we interest you in this lovely faux diamond pendant?
Here's an annotated look at the Top 10 prime-time shows for the TV week of Feb. 28-March 5, according to Nielsen Media Research. (Each rating point represents a little more than 1 million TV homes.)
"Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" (Wednesday), ABC - 20.7 rating You know, everybody enjoys a good "phenomenon" now and again, but we're starting to run out of Regis jokes here.
"Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" (Tuesday), ABC - 20 Maybe you've heard this one before, but come on, really... Who doesn't want to be a millionaire?
"Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" (Monday), ABC - 18.8 If you didn't think that last one was funny, don't worry, we've still got plenty of chances to come up with something.
"Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" (Thursday), ABC - 18.4 Remember when Regis was only on TV for one hour, five days a week? Now that he's on for one hour, five nights a week, too... Well, it's just that much better, isn't it? Isn't it?
"Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" (Sunday), ABC - 17.5 Now if we could just get Rosie O'Donnell a primetime game show, too, everything would finally be perfect!
"60 Minutes," CBS - 13.9 Note to ABC - You know that there are seven days in a week, right? We could have gone for a couple more "Millionaire" hours, easy.
"Friends," NBC - 12.6 Hey look, a sitcom! v "Law And Order," NBC - 12.5 Hey look, a cop-and-lawyer show!
"Drew Carey," ABC - 12.0 Sorry, that was a typo. We meant to say "Regis Philbin."
"Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS - 11.6 Well, a few people love Raymond, anyway. The truth is, everybody has kind of a wandering eye, and it's wandered on over to a certain someone... You know who... He's short, kind of feisty, wears menacing-looking suits, looks like he wears a toupee but really he doesn't (as far as you know)... Say it! You know you love him! Go on and say it...! Meanwhile, in the overall battle between the networks Twenty-two points, plus triple-word-score, plus fifty points for using all my letters. Game's over. I'm outta here.... Okay, guess who won? Is that your final answer? If we told you that NBC aired several hours of the most lavishly epic mini-series in the last 10 years, would that change your answer? It would? Even if we told you it was "The 10th Kingdom?" You know, we don't do this for just anybody, but you've got a nice face, so... Can we interest you in acre or two of National Park land in the beautiful Grand Canyon at a very special one-time-only price?
(Okay, just in case we can't interest you, here's how the network race really stacked up: ABC took the week with an average 10.9 household rating; CBS (8.5), NBC (7.5), Fox (5.9), UPN (2.6) and the WB (2.5) trailed -- badly. Wow. That wasn't even close, was it?
In other ratings news:
-- After an eight-year hiatus (that's got to be some kind of record), the comedy series "Grapevine" returned from the dead on CBS last Monday and did Twenty-two points, plus triple-word-score, plus fifty points for using all my letters. Game's over. I'm outta here.... well, let's call it pretty okay. Now, the show did enjoy CBS' best sitcom lead in, following "Everybody Loves Raymond." And while "Grapevine" couldn't quite hold onto "Raymond's" Top 10 numbers, its 7.7 rating was good enough for 40th place and it still performed better than CBS' other Monday comedies, "King of Queens" and "Becker."
-- On the game-show front, none of Fox's three episodes of "Greed" managed to crack the Top Fifty, scoring a 6.9, 6.3 and a 5.9 rating respectively. That's a little above the network's average for the week, but still ... So, let's get this straight: "Greed" has an equally (if not more) menacing set than "Millionaire," and NBC's "Twenty-One" has an equally (if not more) effusive talk-show guy as host. Are you telling us that Chuck Woolery and Maury Povich combined still don't add up to one Reeg? Really? Is that your final answer?
-- Most people will tell you that appearance isn't important, that a good personality is the most important thing. Still, we wonder what the producers are thinking about the decision to cut Keri Russell's trademark blonde locks down to the naturally curly nub, now that "Felicity" has stopped its season-long ratings free-fall by hitting rock bottom. Sunday's episode (albeit a repeat) ranked 105th for the week -- making it the lowest-rated series on the six major networks. Come April, the WB will ship "Felicity" off to Wednesday nights after "Dawson's Creek." So let's take a little poll. Raise your hand if you think that Felicity will have longer hair by April. Okay, then raise you hand if you know who Felicity is? Is that your final answer?
Oh, and one last thing we almost forgot to mention...