Back in the 1970s, All In The Family and The Jeffersons were part of TV’s most successful night of comedy. Both shows came from the mind and pen of legendary producer Norman Lear, who reveled in his ability to push the boundaries of which topics television could cover at the time. On Wednesday night, the two shows will return as part of a special live evening of TV. Lear’s sharing producing and hosting duties with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who thinks the two shows are just as relevant in today’s society as they were 45 years ago. (Click on the media bar below to hear Jimmy Kimmel)
As for Lear himself, he’s been pleasantly surprised that both the shows’ themes and dialogue sound just as cutting-edge today as they did when the original sitcoms first aired. (Click on the media bar below to hear Norman Lear)
All In The Family and The Jeffersons, performed live before a studio audience, will air Wednesday night at 8/7c on ABC.
Going into its second decade, American Ninja Warrior is going through some growing pains. Well, actually, American Ninja Warrior is just growing; the pain is reserved for its contestants, who will face a daunting new challenge if they want to complete TV’s most difficult obstacle course. Co-hosts Akbar Gbajabiamila and Matt Iseman talked to us about the new twists and turns the show will offer up in its new season. (Click on the media bar below to hear Akbar Gbajabiamila & Matt Iseman)
The new season of American Ninja Warrior premieres May 29 at 8/7c on NBC.
Former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood paid a visit to the show this season, and of course she’ll be watching when Idol crowns its new champion this weekend. When she does, her mind will inevitably drift back to that magical night in her own past when she was on that stage, though she admitted to us that she was so nervous, she doesn’t really remember all of the details. (Click on the media bar below to hear Carrie Underwood)
Although her own memories of Idol finale night are a bit fuzzy, she definitely knows what this year’s finalists will be going through as they await the results. (Click on the media bar below to hear Carrie Underwood)
The American Idol finale will air live across all time zones Sunday night at 8 ET/5 PT on ABC.
There have been plenty of workplace ensemble comedies on TV over the years, and the best ones always seem to feature characters who really feel like they belong in the workplace. Now that we’ve gotten to know the cast of Superstore over the past few seasons, we can believe they’d all have reasons for working at the store. Ben Feldman, who stars as Jonah on the show, told us he thinks this realism makes the show — and his character — much more interesting.
Two episodes of Superstore air Thursday nights, starting at 8/7c, on NBC.
When The Big Bang Theory premiered in 2007, it was a much different show than the one we’ll see for the last time tonight. The focus was squarely on Sheldon, Leonard, and Penny; Howard and Raj were much less prominent in the show’s storylines. Sure, Leonard had a thing for Penny, but none of the other women in the series were part of the cast. (Poor Raj, he couldn’t even talk to women yet.) And, of course, some things haven’t changed. Even though he got the woman he loved, Leonard is still as neurotic as ever; Sheldon is — knock knock knock — still as OCD as ever; the apartment building’s elevator is still out of service; and the show is still as funny as ever.
Twelve seasons and three marriages later, the show has morphed from a story about socially awkward loners who found solace in their geeky group of peers into a story about how even geniuses could have trouble navigating their way through life, love, marriage, and even parenthood. At first, we liked the characters because we felt sorry for their social ineptitude. But as the show went on, we started to care about them — and even love them — for who they were, quirks and all. We got to know their stories and their backstories, to the point where we even got a Young Sheldon spinoff. We started to see them not as gawky nerds, but as real people who, for all their brainpower, still had to deal with all of the emotional issues we all experience.
Now, it’s time to say goodbye. We’re going to miss our weekly visits to Pasadena. We’re going to miss the running gags. We’re going to miss the amazing array of guest stars and cameos. (After all, no other show can boast seven appearances by Stephen Hawking, along with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader.) We’re going to miss the take-out meals in the living room. We’re going to miss the scientific equations drawn on their home whiteboards (which, yes, had some real science behind them). We’re going to miss the laughs. We’re going to miss the emotional moments. We’re going to miss Sheldon and Amy. We’re going to miss Leonard and Penny. We’re going to miss Howard and Bernadette. We’re going to miss Raj and his dog.
We hope the show will give us a proper send-off. Maybe we’ll get a look into their future — we could certainly imagine seeing them at a Nobel Prize ceremony or at a science fair where their kids are even smarter than they are. But however the end is envisioned, we hope the group will stay together. Over these twelve seasons, they’ve embarked on an incredible journey together, and we can’t see them breaking up now. Just like Sheldon will always have his spot on the couch, these characters and this show will always have a spot in our hearts. Because, ultimately, this show about people with big brains did win us over with their equally big hearts. Thanks for the laughter, the tears, and the unraveling of mysteries, Big Bang Theory. We’re going to miss you.
It takes a special kind of person to survive the often-brutal Chicago winters — the cold, the snow, and oh, that wind! Meanwhile, the summers can get hot and very, very humid. NBC’s “Chicago” shows shoot in the city itself, and the casts and crews have been exposed to all kinds of weather. Kara Killmer of Chicago Fire is a Texas native, so it took her a little while to get used to the Windy City weather. Now that she’s been working there for five season on the show, Killmer told us what it takes to survive Chicago’s climactic extremes.