The Mystery of Life & Death – Mother & Daughter – Fisher & Reynolds

Just one day after it was announced that Carrie Fisher died, her famous mother, Debbie Reynolds died of a stroke, apparently brought on while making funeral arrangements.

They were so close, but so different and they had their ups and downs, but in their final years they were inseparable. They even filmed a documentary for HBO.

Fisher ReynoldsBright Lights: Starring Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher is a documentary about the extraordinary bond that they formed over six decades in the glare of showbiz’s spotlight. The documentary screened in October at the New York Film Festival also screened in Cannes.

The movie shows the close and volatile relationship that mother and daughter maintained through their personal and professional ups and downs. Fisher talks candidly about her battles with mental illness.

HBO has not yet scheduled the documentary for showing.

Advertisements

The Best & Worst of 2014! People Mags December 22 Issue

People Magazines Best & Worst of 2014 Dec. 22 Cover

People Magazines Best & Worst of 2014 Dec. 22 Cover

When this issue hits our mailbox at work, I always make sure to read it cover-to-cover. Most of the other People Magazines that arrive in the mail I just page through, but the Best & Worst is always interesting and since I don’t pay for the subscription, that’s even better.

This year-end issue they usually forecast who will be HOT in the coming year and they didn’t disappoint … They mention Kathy Griffith taking over for the late Joan Rivers on Fashion Police. I never watched that show, so I could give a rat’s ass who takes over. Up and comers versus backstabbers is the daughters of Melanie Griffin and Don Johnson, Dakota Johnson, who we’ll be seeing in the adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey. That girl has strong acting genes on both sides of the bloodline.

Katy Perry will be headlining the half time show at the Super Bowl in 2015 (Feb. 1), which is just a week before the Grammys (Feb. 8). I wonder if Taylor Swift feels snubbed.

On page 50 they list the Top 10 “Your Faves” Pop Culture’s Most Wanted, Streamed, Watched and Read of 2014. Under Prime-Time Cable, #8 was… yep, you guessed it … Longmire. The show A&E dumped and the show Netflix has now picked up and put into filming for Season 4. That was the only A&E show listed. The Walking Dead was #1 (of course) followed by Game of Thrones (HBO); American Horror Story (FX); Sons of Anarchy (FX); Rizzoli & Isles (TNT); Major Crimes (TNT); The Last Ship (TNT); Longmire (A&E); True Blood (HBO); The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo).

Movies, Most Streamed Songs on Spotify, Kindle Bestsellers, Increase in Twitter Followers, and some other social media garbage is also listed.

I also use this issue to see if I missed anyone in my 2014 list of obituaries. People, of course lists the really big celebrities who died, but they also included some of the lesser known celebrities.

I’ll be putting up my list starting on Friday, December 19.

 

 

TV Marathons – A Big Part of Turkey Day

Every Thanksgiving, the sound of the television has always been in the background. If not a football game, it’s the Macy’s Day Parade, a cooking show or a favorite series or holiday movie. Here’s a list of just a few of the marathons scheduled for this upcoming Thanksgiving weeked.

All times are Eastern. You can always check to see what’s on your favorite channels by Googling their schedule (for example: Cloo Schedule). Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

 

Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen of IFC's "Portlandia". © Chris Hornbecker Photographer  Credit: IFC

Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen of IFC’s “Portlandia”. © Chris Hornbecker Photographer Credit: IFC

Thursday, Nov. 27

Adventure Time: 9am–2pm on Cartoon Network
Portlandia: 9am-2:30pm on IFC
Friends: 10am-5pm on TBS
Seinfeld: 5-8pm on TBS
Friday Night Lights: 10am–9pm on Pivot
Jurassic Park: 10am–2am Friday on AMC (I bet they air the trailer from the upcoming Jurassic Park movie coming to theaters this summer)
Modern Family: 10am-12am (Midnight) on USA
Transporter the Series: 11am-11:03pm on TNT
Alaska: The Last Frontier: 12pm-3am Friday on Discovery Channel
My Dirty Little Secret: 12pm-8pm on Investigation Discovery
The Millionaire Matchmaker: 3-10:30pm on Bravo
The Simpsons: 4-10pm followed by The Simpsons Movie on FXX
The Brady Bunch: 5:30-9pm on TV Land

Friday, Nov. 28

Helix: 6am–8pm on Syfy
Deadly Women: 6am–9pm on Investigation Discovery
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 9am–10pm on Pivot
Rambo: 11am–midnight on AMC
Star Trek: The Next Generation: 12pm–6am Saturday on BBC America
American Pickers: 1–11pm on History
Tanked: 2–9pm on Animal Planet
Gilligan’s Island: 3–9pm on TV Land
Gold Rush: 3–10pm on Discovery Channel
Mysteries: 3pm–4am Saturday on Travel Channel
Blue Bloods: 11am on Ion
Rookie Blue: 10pm on Ion

Saturday, Nov. 29


House: 6am–6am Sunday on Cloo
Manzo’d with Children: 6–10am on Bravo
The Leftovers: 8:45am–6:45pm on HBO Signature

Mark Harmon stars in NCIS. Photo: Jordin Althaus/CBS ©2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Mark Harmon stars in NCIS. Photo: Jordin Althaus/CBS ©2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

NCIS: 11am–midnight on USA
The Matrix: 11am–5am Sunday on AMC
Veronica Mars: 12pm–5pm on Pivot
Vikings: 3pm–4am Sunday on History
Homeland: 3pm–12am on Showtime
Z Nation: 11pm–5:30am Sunday on Syfy
Law & Order: Criminal Intent: 11am on Ion

 

Sunday, Nov. 30


NCIS: 6am-6am Monday on Cloo
Ax Men: 7am–1pm on History
Law & Order: SVU: 9am–11pm on USA
Roseanne: 10am–4pm on weTV (also on TV Land from 12–6pm)
Man v. Food Nation: 2–8pm on Travel Channel

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead (Season 5): 1–10pm on AMC
The Real Housewives of Atlanta: 3–11:30pm on Bravo
The Affair: 4–11pm on Showtime

 

Do You Believe in the Death Penalty? Watch HBO’s The Cheshire Murders

HBO: The Cheshire Murders: Synopsis.

Do you remember where you were when you first heard about the Cheshire murders? It was a home invasion of the Petit family that took place in Cheshire, Conn. in July 2007 that sent the mother to a bank to withdraw funds while the rest of the family was being held hostage at the home.

The mother and two daughters were killed, the father was brutally beaten in the head with a bat and their house was fully engulfed in flames when the police arrived on the scene.

As the suspects were making an attempt to flee they were stopped by the police and taken into custody: Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky.

Both suspects agreed to plead guilty for life without parole (LWOP) but the prosecution rejected their offers and pursued death sentences; under Connecticut law, the death penalty cannot be imposed without a trial.

At the time, Connecticut’s legislation was debating to abolish their death penalty but when this particular case came up, that debate stopped. In 2009 the legislation voted to abolish the death penalty. Citing the Cheshire case, Governor Rell vetoed the bill.

However the Connecticut legislation did vote to end the death penalty again in 2012, and it passed, so the Hayes and Komisarievsky will probably never be put to death.

Which means the Petit family and the families of Hayes and Komisarjevsky sat through the trial, day after day and heard everything. Every horrible thing, for nothing.

To make things even worse, there was serious doubt about the competency of the Cheshire police. Family members wanted answers and didn’t get them. But when the defense received the police logs they discovered that the police were on scene for almost 30 minutes, watching the house, setting up their perimeter.

During that time, the strangulation of Jennifer Petit occurred, the rape of Jennifer Petit occurred, the pouring of gasoline occurred and the setting of the fire occurred.

The HBO documentary originally aired in July of last year but it’s available On Demand anytime. I recently watched it and was stunned by the feelings I had regarding the death penalty.

Recently there’s been coverage in the national news about some executions that have gone wrong. The most recent was in Oklahoma where Clayton Lockett died not from an execution but from a heart attack 43 minutes after his actual execution began.

A new and previously unused drug combination had been used and the UV line made the vein collapse, causing the drugs to either be absorbed into tissue or leak out or both. Apparently there wasn’t another vein available nor were there enough drugs available to start over, which didn’t really matter because Lockett died eventually.

He had been given the death penalty for shooting Stephanie Nieman and then watching as two others buried her alive in 1999. Groups who feel the death penalty should be abolished were up in arms because they felt the botched execution of Clayton Lockett was cruel and inhumane. But shooting Stephanie Nieman and burying her alive wasn’t cruel and inhumane?

The drug used was midazolam and it’s tied to two other cases that were botched, in addition to the Oklahoma execution. It’s made by several drug companies in the U.S. Oklahoma used midazolam to render Lockett unconscious and then attempted to inject another drug to paralyze him and a third to stop his heart. He suffered “vein failure” making it hard to administer the rest of the drugs.

Florida and Ohio have also had cases where midazolam caused problems. Usually executions use thiopental and pentobarbital. The makers of these two drugs worried about them being associated with “capital punishment” so they cut back their availability for executions, leading some states to turn to midazolam. This has caused the makers of midazolam to change their distribution agreements and bar sales to correctional departments.

On Death RowMainly because the companies who make midazolam would prefer to … “make it to enhance and save the lives of patients …” and they …”object to the use of their product in capital punishment.” Which brings up the definition of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which the Supreme Court bans procedures that pose “serious harm” when compared with “known and available alternatives.”

But others will argue the Constitution doesn’t outlaw pain in executions or demand that execution methods always be foolproof.

What are the facts? What about Life Without Parole (LWOP)? Life without parole is swift, severe and certain punishment. Sentencing people to death by execution is three times more expensive than sentencing them to die in prison. And if we make a mistake by sentencing an innocent person to death, it can’t be fixed.

Victims’ families prefer LWOP. Unlike death penalty cases, LWOP sentences receive no special consideration on appeal, which limits the possibility they will be reduced or reversed. A person sentenced to die in prison receives only one automatic appeal, not several, and is not provided any court-appointed attorneys after this appeal is complete, usually within two years of the initial sentence. (ACLU)

Want some certainty? Watch the documentary The Cheshire Murders. Listen to Joshua Komisarjevsky confess about sexual assaulting Michaela Petit; not once but three times. Michaela was the youngest Petit, she was 11. Put yourself in the shoes of the family.

How many other states has the same law that Connecticut does; that the death penalty cannot be imposed without a trial? This trial found both of them guilty when they wanted to plead guilty. Then there was another phase where their lawyers pled for life in prison instead of the death sentence.

The death penalty process for Hayes and Komisarjevsky will cost more than $7 million, and is projected to last over a decade. If the State of Connecticut would have accepted the guilty pleas of Hayes and Komisarjevsky when it happened they would have been locked up 3 weeks after the crime and would have never been heard from again.

What a bunch of crap, considering the outcome. In April 2012, shortly after the trials, Connecticut abolished the death penalty for all future cases, making it unlikely that Hayes and Komisarjevsky will ever be executed.

Dr. William Petit started the Petit Family Foundation out of the tragedy of the murders. In August of 2012 Dr. Petit remarried, to Christine Paluf, and moved to Farmington River, Conn. In August of 2013 they welcomed a baby boy and named him William Petit III.

Canceled – But Rated High? Shows Returning in June.

From The Wrap

From The Wrap

How is that possible? Well it happens all the time, especially in that golden 18-49 demographic. Here is a chart of the 20 highest rated but canceled broadcast shows of 2013-2014 in that magic 18-49 demographic.

Robin Williams return to the small screen brought some bittersweet ratings. His show Crazy Ones was number 1 on the list with a 2.7 rating in the key 18-49 demographic, but it was still canceled.

It tied with FOX’s Almost Human which took up space on my DVR and I never watched a single episode. I usually watch anything with Karl Urban in it. Oh well.

But that 18-49 demo isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. For example, FOX’s Bones‘ runs around a 2.4 but it’s an enduring show that has proven its value to the network.

The Mentalist on CBS is another show earning a 2.0 but it also survived the cut. So it’s easy to say that numbers aren’t the only thing taken into consideration when shows are on the chopping block.

Here’s a list of what’s returning this month (June):

Longmire (Season 3) — A&E (June 2)

Mistresses (Season 2) — ABC (June 2)

Major Crimes (Season 3) — TNT (June 9)

Royal Pains (Season 6) — USA Network (June 10)

Graceland (Season 2) — USA Network (June 11)

Suits (Season 4) — USA Network  (June 11)

Dog and Beth: On the Hunt (Season 2)  — CMT (June 14)

Perception (Season 3) — TNT (June 17)

Rizzoli & Isles (Season 5) — TNT (June 17)

Rookie Blue (Season 5) — ABC (June 19)

Defiance (Season 2) — Syfy (June 19)

Wipeout (Season 7) — ABC (June 22)

True Blood (Season 7; final season) — HBO (June 22)

Falling Skies (Season 4) — TNT (June 22)

Teen Wolf (Season 4) — MTV (June 23)

Covert Affairs (Season 5) — USA Network (June 24)

Big Brother (Season 16) — CBS (June 25)

Unforgettable (Season 3) — CBS (June 29)

Last Tango in Halifax (Season 2) — PBS (June 29)

Under the Dome (Season 2) — CBS  (June 30)

Some canceled shows I know of include Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and Mind Games (ABC) and Greg Kinnear’s Rake (FOX) which seemed to end before it even began.

The 2013 Peabody Awards

PeabodyThe annual Peabody Awards are administered by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication of the University of Georgia. The Awards recognize distinguished achievement and meritorious service by radio and television stations, networks, producing organizations and individuals.

Selections are made by the Peabody Awards Board, a committee of experts in media, culture, journalism and the arts and are followed by a special screening committee made up of faculty, staff and students.

The 73rd Annual Awards celebrate programs produced for broadcast, cablecast or webcast in 2013. They are under no restrictions as to the number of awards it can present. There are 46 Peabody Award winners this year.

Some of the 2013 Peabody Award winners are:

Turner Classic Movies The Story of Film: A 15-week Historical Journey Through World Cinema

Ira Glass, Master of Ceremonies (host and producer) This American Life which premiered in 1995 and is broadcast on more than 555 public radio stations and is one of the most popular podcasts in America. Over 3 million people listen to the show every week.

Scandal (ABC) ABC Studios

One-on-One with Assad (CBS) CBS This Morning, CBS News

Hanford’s Dirty Secrets (KING-TV, Seattle) King 5 Television

In Plain Sight: Poverty in America (NBC & InPlainSight.NBCNes.com) NBC News

The Central Park Five

The Central Park Five

Tom Brokaw: Personal Award

House of Cards (Netflix)

The Central Park Five (PBS) Florentine Films, WETA

The Bridge (FX) Shine America and FX Productions

Key & Peele (Comedy Central) Central Productions

Breaking Bad (AMC) Sony Pictures Television

Six by Sondheim (HBO) HBO Documentary Films and Sabella Entertainment

Broadchurch (BBC America) A Kudos and Imaginary Friends Co-Production

Life According to Sam

Life According to Sam

Life According to Sam (HBO) HBO Documentary Films and Fine Films LLC

Orange is the New Black (Netflix) Lionsgate Television, Netflix

Coverage of Boston Marathon Bombings (WBZ-TV, Boston, and WBZ Newsradio 1030) WBZ-TV, WBZ Newsradio 1030

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN) CNN, Zero Point Zero Production, Inc.

Anthony Bourdain at J Mueller BBQ

Anthony Bourdain at J Mueller BBQ

Outside the Lines: NFL at a Crossroads: Investigating a Health Crisis (ESPN) ESPN

FRONTLINE: League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis (PBS) FRONTLINE, Kirk Documentary Group

Orphan Black (BBC America) Temple Street Productions in associations with BBC America and SPACE

The Returned (Les Revenants) (SundanceTV) Haut et Court TV, Canal +, Jimmy, Cine + Backup Films)

And for the first viral video ever honored: A Needed Response (YouTube/Samantha Stendal) Samantha Stendal, Aaron Blanton. A Needed Response grew out of two University of Oregon students’ outrage when watching the news coverage of the Steubenville, Ohio rape sentencing that denied the perpetrators’ loss of their promising athletic careers while ignoring the 16-year-old girl they had drugged and sexually assaulted. Samantha Stendal and Aaron Blanton conceived, staged and shot a 26-second video that emphatically rejects the idea rape is ever excusable. Short, sweet and to the point, it was an ingenious PSA targeted to college age viewers and definitely got their attention. They uploaded the video to Upworthy’s Facebook page and within 48-hours the video surpassed 1 million views. It doubled, tripled and continued to grow as more and more peopled shared it, debated it and discussed its take on masculinity and morality. A Needed Response received a Peabody Award for creating an unforgettable, undeniable statement about rape culture and sharing it with the world via social media.

 

Returning Series

Have you been wondering if your favorite TV series is returning? Well thanks to our friends at Channel Guide Magazine, here’s the latest list of returning series:

Name of Series, Name of Network, Date

Anger Management, FX, Jan. 17

Archer, FX, Jan. 17

American Idol, FOX, Jan. 16

Anger Management, FX, Jan. 17

Archer, FX, Jan. 17

The Bachelor, ABC, Jan. 7

Being Human, Syfy, Jan. 14

Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, NBC, Jan. 8

The Biggest Loser, NBC, Jan. 6

Body of Proof, ABC, Feb. 5

Celebrity Apprentice, NBC, March 3

Community, NBC, Feb. 7

Cougar Town, TBS, Jan. 8

Dallas, TNT, Jan. 28

Dancing With the Stars, ABC, March 18

Dancing With the Stars Results Show, ABC, March 26

Deadly Sins, Investigation Discovery, Jan. 12

Downton Abbey, PBS, Jan. 6

Enlightened, HBO, Jan. 13

Fringe, FOX, Jan. 18 (series finale)

Ghost Hunters, Syfy, Jan. 16

Girls, HBO, Jan. 13

Grimm, NBC, March 8

Justified, FX, Jan. 8

The Lying Game, ABC Family, Jan. 8

The Millionaire Matchmaker, Bravo, Jan. 10

Necessary Roughness,  USA Network, Jan. 23

Pretty Little Liars, ABC Family, Jan. 8

Revolution, NBC, March 25

Scorned: Love Kills, Investigation Discovery, Jan. 26

Shameless, Showtime, Jan. 13

Smash, NBC, Feb. 5

Southland, TNT, Feb. 13

Spartacus: War of the Damned, Starz, Jan. 25

Suburgatory, ABC, April 3

Suits, USA Network, Jan. 17

Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell, FX, Jan. 17

Touch, FOX, Feb. 8

True Crime With Aphrodite Jones, Investigation Discovery, Jan. 7

The Voice, NBC, March 25

White Collar, USA Network, Jan. 22

Viewer’s Voice Awards – The Viewer’s Spoke

In the August, 2012 Channel Guide Magazine announced some new Annual Awards that recognize the Best and Worst on cable TV. These Awards are decided by the Viewers and will be known as The Viewers Voice Awards.

Each year Channel Guide sends out a Reader Survey and the nominations on favorite shows and networks plus a few categories from the magazine staff were all compiled to create the categories of these new annual awards.

The official ballot was sent out in the August 2012 issue of Channel Guide Magazine.

Here are the winners:

The Girl HBO: Tippi Hedren and a stellar cast talk

The Girl HBO: Tippi Hedren and a stellar cast talk.

Fascinating story about Tippi Hedren, Alfred Hitchcock and the new HBO film “The Girl.”