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Owen and Luke Wilson's Father, Television Pioneer Robert Wilson, Dies at 75

Owen and Luke Wilson's Father, Television Pioneer Robert Wilson, Dies at 75
Owen and Luke Wilson's father, Robert Wilson --  a television pioneer in his own right who is celebrated for his work on Dallas' public television affiliate, Kera -- died on Friday after a battling Alzheimer's disease for years.

Luke confirmed the news to The Dallas Morning News. Robert was 75 years old.

Among Robert's career highlights was launching the TV career of PBS journalist Jim Lehrer, who created and hosted the award-winning nightly series, Newsroom. He also brought Monty Python's Flying Circus to American TV for the first time.

News: Owen Wilson Reveals Father's Alzheimer's Diagnosis -- 'It's a Rough Thing'

Owen, 48, opened up about his father's battle with Alzheimer's disease in August 2015 during an interview with Guide Live.

"It's one of those things where if somebody had said 10 years ago, when my dad and I were joking around, having a putting match, that this is the position your dad's going to be in, where he basically
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Robert Wilson Dies: Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson's Father Was 75

Robert Wilson Dies: Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson's Father Was 75
Robert "Bob" Wilson, father of actors Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson, has died at age 75. The former TV executive passed away Friday after a battle with Alzheimer's disease, Luke told The Dallas Morning News. Robert, whose nickname was Bob, served as president of public Dallas TV and radio stations Kera-tv and Kera-fm in the '60s and '70s and then co-created the news program Newsroom with TV colleague Jim Lehrer. The latter went on to anchor the hit show PBS NewsHour. Robert also helped bring Monty Python's Flying Circus to the U.S.—Kera-tv was the first channel to air the popular British comedy series. Robert is survived by Owen, his two...
See full article at E! Online »

Monty Python’s Terry Jones Diagnosed With Dementia

Monty Python’s Terry Jones Diagnosed With Dementia
Director and Monty Python star Terry Jones has been diagnosed with dementia, a statement on the BAFTA Cymru website confirmed.

A representative for Jones, whose most recent film work was as a co-writer on the 2105 picture “Absolutely Anything,” said the actor has primary progressive aphasia, a variant of frontotemporal dementia.

“This illness affects his ability to communicate and he is no longer able to give interviews,” the representative said.

Born in Wales, Jones is one of the five living members of iconic British comedy group Monty Python, whose first big success was the surreal and irreverent TV show “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” which ran from 1969 to 1974.

The Pythons went on to make several films including “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” a farcical medieval romp based on the legend of King Arthur and his knights of the round table, and “Monty Python’s The Life of Brian,”a story
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Doomwatch: revisiting a UK 'sci-fact' classic

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Ground-breaking, intelligent, prescient 1970s drama Doomwatch, now out on DVD, is a British television classic...

Playing on the public's fear that 'this could actually happen', Doomwatch had a veneer of credibility unusual in the escapist television drama landscape of the late 60s/early 70s. This spring sees the most comprehensive haul of Doomwatch episodes released on DVD for the first time. The nickname for the "Department for the Observation and Measurement of Scientific Work", the series first appeared on BBC1 on Monday 9th February 1970 at 9.40pm. It followed half an hour of comedy from Kenneth Williams, which must have surely heightened its dramatic impact.

The series would run in tandem with the early Jon Pertwee era of Doctor Who; the first episode made its debut two days after part two of Doctor Who And The Silurians. The two shows undoubtedly shared a synergy of ideas - not to mention cast and crew.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Fawlty Towers: Hotel that Inspired John Cleese Series to Be Demolished

The Torquay hotel that inspired John Cleese and Connie Booth to create Fawlty Towers is being demolished. The Guardian reports that retirement flats will be built in its place. Cleese and Booth starred in the BBC Two sitcom with Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs. Fawlty Towers ran for two non-concurrent series (seasons) in 1975 and 1979.

The Monty Python comedy group (aka The Pythons) reportedly stayed at Torquay's Gleneagles Hotel in the early '70s, while shooting Monty Python's Flying Circus. Flabbergasted by the rude behavior of then-owners Donald and Beatrice Sinclair, most of the team moved on. Booth and Cleese, who were married at the time, stayed on to study the couple's behavior. Per The Guardian, Cleese described Mr. Sinclair as "the most wonderfully rude man I have ever met."

Read More…
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

What Is Seeso? If You Love Comedy and Have $3.99, It Might Be Your New Favorite Thing

What Is Seeso? If You Love Comedy and Have $3.99, It Might Be Your New Favorite Thing
Evan Shapiro's resume includes everything from a stint at the Public Theater to serving as president of IFC TV and Sundance TV, but in 2014 he moved to NBC to begin building the product now known as Seeso, a subscription digital channel tailor-made for comedy nerds. Read More: Fake Werner Herzog Unveils a Fake Secret Society in Teaser For Real Streaming Service 'SeeSo' That razor focus is by design, as Shapiro explained to Indiewire during a sit-down at the Seeso offices earlier this fall. Launching in beta today (December 3), Seeso features an epic amount of library content, including many niche British comedies, the entire run of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" and all 41 years of "Saturday Night Live." But it's also launching with a number of original series, including sketch comedy series "The Ucb Show" — an exclusive clip of which (featuring Noel Wells) can be seen above. Below, Shapiro explains how
See full article at Indiewire Television »

Looking back at Mr. Show With Bob & David

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As Bob Odenkirk and David Cross reunite for Netflix's W/Bob & David, we revisit the pair's original comedy series, Mr. Show...

“Hey, everybody! It's Bob and David!”

This Friday, Netflix will release four episodes of W/Bob & David, a new sketch show that reunites the cast of HBO's ground-breaking comedy series Mr. Show With Bob & David. For comedy fans of all stripes, this is unspeakably good news.

Mr. Show ran for 30 episodes (plus two clip show specials) between 1995 and 1998. It didn't set the world alight in terms of audience figures, but its weird and wonderful stylings mark it as a forerunner to shows like The Sarah Silverman Show, Portlandia, Key & Peele, Inside Amy Schumer and Tim & Eric Awesome Show! Great Job. To many of the alternative comedians currently working and coming up, Mr. Show is nothing short of the American answer to Monty Python's Flying Circus.

In
See full article at Den of Geek »

12 Things We Learned From Terry Gilliam's Wild Memoir

12 Things We Learned From Terry Gilliam's Wild Memoir
Over the past half-century, Terry Gilliam has lived several lifetimes — first as the mastermind behind the surrealistically satirical animations on Monty Python's Flying Circus and then as a filmmaker with an unparalleled, singular imagination. His oeuvre contains everything from literary flights of fancy (Jabberwocky) and kid-friendly fantasies (Time Bandits) to dystopian epics (Brazil and Twelve Monkeys), kaleidoscopic romps (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) and the occasional slightly warped drama (The Fisher King, Tideland).

Now 74, Gilliam looks back on his life achievements, as well as
See full article at Rolling Stone »

NBC to Launch Comedy Streaming Site, SeeSo

NBC has just announced they're getting into the online streaming business with SeeSo, a new comedy streaming service.

The site will follow the paid subscription models of other popular streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu Plus. But this one's a little cheaper. For $3.99 a month, NBC says SeeSo will offer a variety of comedy options from licensed series such as Monty Python's Flying Circus to original material and exclusive content.

In addition, the site will feature original playlists from guests and monthly video recommendations. SeeSo will launch in December for invited beta users and in January for everyone.

From NBCUniversal Executive Evan Shapiro:

Big streaming services have created a paradox of choice — they're great if you know exactly what to watch, but if you aren't in the middle of a binge, the search can be near endless. By
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

'Time Bandits' TV Show in the Works with Terry Gilliam

'Time Bandits' TV Show in the Works with Terry Gilliam
Every big name movie director has slowly, but surely, made the exodus to television. And next to fall in line is acclaimed filmmaker Terry Gilliam. He's not going to come quietly when he does, though. And he has some mighty big plans for the small screen. One of those plans is to turn his 80s cult hit Time Bandits into a TV show. He also has plans for a series that is likened to The Fisher King.

Time Bandits may be one of the most interesting and unique time travel movies of all time, and it certainly has no identifiable comparison. For years, diehard fans have wanted a sequel to the 1981 adventure, which follows a young boy who accidentally joins a band of dwarves as they jump from time-period to time-period looking for treasure to steal. For a while, it sounded like a remake might happen, but the original movie is so crazy,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Absolutely Anything review

From Monty Python's Terry Jones comes Absolutely Anything, starring Simon Pegg. The late Robin Williams steals the show, though...

Absolutely Anything has been on comedy fans' radars for a long time. Terry Jones' first directorial effort since 1996's The Wind In The Willows is touted as a zany sci-fi comedy with shades of Douglas Adams and Monty Python's Flying Circus, with a cast that includes Jones' fellow Pythons, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Michael Palin, alongside other comedy stars like Simon Pegg, Eddie Izzard, Joanna Lumley and Robin Williams.

Alas, the material doesn't live up to the star calibre, nor the literally limitless potential suggested by the title. Loosely based on H.G. Wells' fantastical comedy short story The Man Who Could Work Miracles, the film begins when a group of power-crazed aliens (voiced by the Pythons) discover a probe with information on Earth's culture and decide
See full article at Den of Geek »

From Actor to "Action!", Exploring the Debuts of 19 Actors-Turned-Directors

Over the course of film history, we've seen plenty of long-time actors step behind the camera to take up their directorial ambitions. Clint Eastwood did it. Mel Gibson did it. George Clooney did it. What do these three have in commonc Well, for starters, they are all men, so there's that. Further, they are all white, but more on that later. More to the point of the article, these men all eased into their directorial careers by starring in their respective debuts, using their presence on screen to help market their talents off it. And with his feature directorial effort The Water Diviner, which hits limited theaters this week, Russell Crowe is just the most recent addition to a growing list of actors who have decided to try their hand behind the camera. Like Eastwood, Gibson, and Clooney before him, the Best Actor winner stars in his first feature as director,
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Michael Palin: 12 things you might not know about the Monty Python star

Michael Palin Cbe has achieved that rare feat of being not only a man of multiple trades - actor, comedian, writer, presenter and political campaigner - but a master of them all.

Best known for being one sixth of iconic comedy group Monty Python, Palin has carved a hugely successful and varied career in showbusiness.

His achievements range from winning the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor in 1989 for his role in A Fish Called Wanda, to travelling across the world in 80 days, to reuniting with his fellow Pythons for a hugely anticipated series of live Monty Python shows last year.

In the name of getting to know one of Britain's most famous men a little better, we headed to BAFTA HQ on Tuesday night (March 17) for the latest in BAFTA's live strand A Life in Television. Host David Walliams certainly extracted a host of fascinating facts about Palin's life (and
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

The 'Saturday Night Live' story told through its sketches

  • Hitfix
The 'Saturday Night Live' story told through its sketches
On the eve of its 40th anniversary special (though the anniversary itself isn't until October), what is left to say about "Saturday Night Live"? There have been multiple books written about the show, several documentaries, countless essays — riding the never-ending roller-coaster between "Saturday Night Dead" and "Saturday Night Lives Again!" — best-ofs, worst-ofs, and every other kind of list you can think of. I don't know that anything I write over the next few pages will provide new insight into one of the most influential comedy shows ever made, but I wondered if you could tell the story of the show — through good times and bad, through revolutions and evolutions and retrenchments — by looking at its sketches. I wound up picking 21 in all: some among the show's most famous, some obscure but important. These aren't meant as a definitive breakdown of the best "SNL" ever had to offer, but as a
See full article at Hitfix »

John Cleese swears on The One Show: Watch the on-air gaffe

John Cleese has to be considered a television veteran at this point, considering all of his years working on Monty Python's Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers.

So you can imagine the shock and horror of The One Show staff when Cleese let a profanity fly during a live broadcast on Tuesday (December 9).

Cleese could not resist using the phrase "little bastard" during a One Show game while discussing a troubled student from his teaching years.

After being admonished for his profanity, he joked: "Can I say, 'little illegitimate chap'?"

Watch the clip above to see Alex Jones and Matt Baker's embarrassed reactions.

The naughty language gaffe was a change for Cleese, following a recent Ofcom investigation into a lack of swearing in the televised broadcast of Monty Python's final show.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Original 'Ghostbusters' Reunite for EW Magazine Cover and Video

Original 'Ghostbusters' Reunite for EW Magazine Cover and Video
Despite Bill Murray's reluctance to jump back into character for the now dead Ghostbusters 3, he has no problem pulling on an overcoat adorned with the iconic logo for EW's latest reunion issue, appearing alongside former cast mates Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver and Ernie Hudson.

In what has become an anticipated annual tradition, EW has once again gathered the casts of quite a few fan favorite TV shows and movies, reuniting ensembles that span decades. Also included on the cover are Mean Girls stars Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey, The Fabulous Baker Boys themselves, Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges, who appear alongside their leading lady Michelle Pfeiffer. And Sports Night duo Peter Krause and Josh Charles.

Also appearing inside the issue will be the men of Monty Python's Flying Circus, the women of Little House on the Prairie, the cast of beloved 90s series Sisters, and the gang from Napoleon Dynamite.
See full article at MovieWeb »

John Cleese to premiere newly-found At Last the 1948 Show episodes

The BFI has confirmed that two lost episodes of pre-Monty Python sketch show At Last the 1948 Show have been re-discovered.

The first and last-ever episodes of At Last the 1948 Show were recently discovered on reels of 16mm film in the private collection of the late David Frost.

Frost executive produced the ITV sketch show in 1967 and 1968, with future Python members John Cleese and Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman, future Goodie Tim Brooke-Taylor and Aimi MacDonald in the cast.

Cleese will be presenting the episodes at BFI Southbank in London on Sunday, December 7 as part of the BFI's annual Missing Believed Wiped. These shows have not been seen in full since their original broadcasts.

BFI television consultant Dick Fiddy said: "This latest recovery is a crucial find. It represents a key moment in the history of British television comedy featuring the combined talents of some of its greatest exponents.

"These gifted comedians,
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

The Dead Parrot voted top Monty Python sketch by UK public

The Dead Parrot has been voted the UK's favourite Monty Python sketch.

The skit, featuring John Cleese as a frustrated customer attempting to get his money back from stubborn pet salesman Michael Palin, first aired in December 1969.

Monty Python Live (Mostly) review: Flying out on a high

It was voted the most popular moment by 45% of the 2,000 British adults surveyed, who were asked to choose their top Monty Python sketch from a list of over 35 scenes.

Coming in at second place was The Lumberjack Song (28%), which ended up being released as a single in 1975.

In third place was The Ministry of Silly Walks, which received votes from 23% of respondents.

The top ten favourite Monty Python sketches are as follows:

Dead Parrot – 45%

The Lumberjack Song – 28%

The Ministry of Silly Walks – 23%

The Spanish Inquisition – 16%

Spam – 15%

Four Yorkshiremen – 12%

Nudge Nudge – 11%

Fish slapping dance – 8%

The Restaurant sketch (dirty fork) – 7%

The killer joke – 6%

Narrowly missing
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Natalie Anderson is a royal family fan

John Cleese has blasted the BBC for not understanding comedy. The Monty Python and 'Fawlty Towers' legend doesn't think his comedy troupe's famous sketch show, 'Monty Python's Flying Circus', would survive on BBC today because commissioning executives have no experience in writing or producing comedy. He told Time Out magazine: ''What has happened since my time is that a very simple process, which worked wonderfully well at the BBC, has been lost. In those days the departmental heads were very trusting of their producers. ''What happens now is you have a new species, a 'commissioning editor', who, as far as I can make
See full article at Virgin Media - TV »

Monty Python's Terry Gilliam Calls Reunion 'Depressing'

Monty Python's Terry Gilliam Calls Reunion 'Depressing'
Terry Gilliam is reportedly having a hard time getting excited about reuniting with the other members of the pioneering comedy troupe Monty Python. "I find it depressing that we’re getting back together again," he said in a recent interview with the London Evening Standard. "We worked so hard to get careers beyond it, to get to this stage, and now we’re being dragged back again."

Who Are the 50 Funniest People Right Now?

After the group's final performance together in 1980, Gilliam – the American-born member of the group who made
See full article at Rolling Stone »
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