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Spin-Off Copies? No, These 9 Shows Were Real Hits!

April 15th, 2014 4:00pm EDT
The Simpsons
Remember what it was like when you were dedicated to one show only, you never missed an episode and hoped your favorite characters (or personalities) would get their turn in the spotlight? Well that did happen to these classic spin-offs, who found their niche in television history and rightly remain some of the most unique and diverse group of programming ever made for television.

1. "The Simpsons"

(Spun off of "The Tracey Ullman Show")

"The Simpsons" was a cartoon short utilized in the series "The Tracey Ullman Show" during its run from 1987-1990. The show took on a life of its own i...

Actor Danny Wells dies at 72

December 5th, 2013 3:20am EST
The Jeffersons
Actor Danny Wells has passed away at the age of 72.

The Canadian actor, whose real name was Jack Westelman, passed away on 28 November (13) in Toronto, Canada.

No more details about his death were known as WENN went to press.

Wells starred in a plethora of TV series throughout his five decade career in the business, playing Charlie the bartender in The Jeffersons and Luigi in the TV adaptation of popular Nintendo video game franchise Super Mario Brothers, alongside wrestler-turned-actor Lou Albano.

Wells also appeared in TV shows such as Columbo, The A-Team and Kojak, and films includin...

'The Voice' Recap: Made-Up Horns, TV Themes And A Rugrat

September 25th, 2013 8:30am EDT
The Voice
With the "how's it going to be?!" of the premiere out of the way, The Voice is now focused on picking more artists for its four Season 5 teams. BFTV is dialed in to tell you who made the cut in the next two hours, and of course, what the coaches said and did to keep us in our chairs.

Things start with a little more chat between our coaches (with Christina saying what we've all been thinking: "Is it now called The Blake Shelton Show?") before we meet 16-year-old Jacquie Lee, who tells herself to "say hi to Adam" before her performance of Amy Winehouse's "Back To Black." While Adam likes the...

'Cheers' Tops Poll Of Best TV Theme Songs

April 18th, 2013 8:25pm EDT
Two decades after the last episode of Cheers, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" still resonates as the best TV theme song, according to readers of TV Guide Magazine. The mag asked readers to help them find the 60 best themes since the dawn of television, and some of the choices may surprise you.

Of course, Cheers' theme being on the list isn't too much of a shocker - it was actually featured in several other shows on the list as a joke or reference and some of its episodes are considered the best of all time. TV Guide also rated the show the 18th greatest in a recent list.

The Mary Tyle...

Investigators Determine No Autopsy Needed For 'The Jeffersons' Star Sherman Hemsley

July 26th, 2012 9:34am EDT
Sherman Hemsley
No autopsy is planned for 'The Jeffersons' star Sherman Hemsley who passed away Tuesday at his house in El Paso, Texas. Medical experts decided against carrying out an autopsy on Sherman Hemley's body after ruling his cause of death as natural causes.

Stars including Josh Duhamel, Kevin Smith, Denise Richards and Lenny Kravitz flocked to to pay tribute to the 74-year-old The Jeffersons star.

On Wednesday Annabel Salazar, chief medical investigator for the El Paso County Office, confirmed the reports. Not giving any specifics Salazar stated, "Hemsley's cause of death is "most d...

Celebrity Fans Pay Tribute To 'Jeffersons' Star Sherman Hemsley

July 25th, 2012 9:01am EDT
Sherman Hemsley
Following his death on Tuesday, many celebrities paid tribute to "The Jeffersons" star Sherman Hemsley, including Josh Duhamel, Kevin Smith, Denise Richards and Lenny Kravitz.

Hemsley died at his home in El Paso, Texas, from apparent natural causes. He was most famous for his role as George Jefferson in sitcom "All in the Family" and spin-off series, "The Jeffersons," which featured a predominantly black cast.

Kravitz, whose late mother Roxie Roker was Hemsley's co-star on "The Jeffersons," wrote, "Rest in peace Sherman Hemsley. You are legendary. Your contribution changed the fabric of A...

'The Jeffersons' Star Sherman Hemsley Dies At 74

July 24th, 2012 9:40pm EDT
Sherman Hemsley
Iconic TV star Sherman Hemsley passed away Tuesday at his home in El Paso, Texas. He was 74.

According to the star died of natural causes and was discovered by his nurse, who thought he was sleeping when she realized something was amiss and called the authorities.

Hemsley was best known for his role as fiery New York City dry cleaners operator George Jefferson on The Jeffersons. The show was a spinoff of All In The Family, which Hemsley joined two years after producer Norman Lear "discovered" him on Broadway and held the role for him until his run in the play "Purlie" ended.

The ...

Chuck Lorre To Be Inducted Into TV Hall Of Fame

November 30th, 2011 11:34am EST
Chuck Lorre
Two And A Half Men creator Chuck Lorre will bid farewell to a rocky 2011 when he is inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame next year.

Lorre was embroiled in a very public fall-out with his show's lead star Charlie Sheen, who was fired from the hit sitcom earlier this year.

The series made an impressive comeback with Ashton Kutcher in September, when its debut pulled in a record-breaking 28.7 million viewers.

Now it has been announced the writer, who also came up with hits The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly, will become an Academy of Television Arts & Sc...

New Lenny Kravitz Song Inspired By President Obama Hatred

August 24th, 2011 2:21pm EDT
Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz's stirring new track Black White America was inspired by American racists who threatened to kill Barack Obama if he became U.S. President.

The Are You Gonna Go My Way singer was appalled by one TV documentary he saw shortly after Obama announced his intention to run for the White House - and it brought up all kinds of mixed emotions about his own mixed-race upbringing.

Appearing on late night talk show Tavis Smiley, he explains, "There was a group of people somewhere in Middle America saying that this was not America to them and that this was absolutely disgusting, and wha...

Watching Me On TV: Reflections About Blacks in Prime Time Past

February 23rd, 2011 10:40am EST
The Cosby Show
I’m not old, but I am mature. I’m not in the let’s-go-clubbin’-this-Saturday-night set, but I’m still in the coveted demographic that advertisers like. I’m old enough to remember when vampires were scary—not hot. And I do have those wonderful memories of big, boxy television consoles with three major networks and some local stations with really bad programming. Color television shows were a major big deal, so much so that announcers would actually let you know—“The F.B.I.— in color!” That was probably because not a lot of folks had a color TV set. It’s also cool to see how the physical tele...

5 TV Shows That (Maybe?) Should Be Made Into Movies

June 10th, 2010 9:13am EDT
5 TV Shows That (Maybe?) Should Be Made Into Movies
Turning classic TV shows into big screen movies seems to be the current forte in Hollywood. Sometimes they work (The Brady Bunch Movie, Mission: Impossible, Charlie’s Angels). Oftentimes they don’t (Bewitched, The Dukes of Hazzard, I Spy, The Honeymooners). In honor of yet another classic TV show being made into a movie (The A Team hits theaters this Friday, June 11), here are five classic TV shows that should have their own big screen adaptations – with all new casts, of course – sometime in the near future. Maybe.

Happy Days: Although set in 1950s and 1960s America, this classic sitcom r...

'Community' Recap:'Home Economics'

November 6th, 2009 9:43am EST
After a nearly perfect Halloween episode, this week's Community feels like a bit of a let down. Jeff appears topless right away, revealing himself to be living out of his car. Again, this show continues to mime the various aspects of the community college experience, this time the compromises one makes with his pride. Jeff still wants to be a superficial lawyer with a lavish condo and a Lexus, but in order to become a real person, someone Britta would date, he'll have to set his sights lower.

He moves into Abed's dorm (yes, some larger community colleges have dorms), where he learns the ...

Tara Reid Pulls Out Of 'Pie'

April 15th, 2009 8:25am EDT
Tara Reid
Tara Reid has pulled out of the latest American Pie sequel after negotiations surrounding her return to the franchise broke down, according to reports.

Her comeback was expected to be finalized on Friday, but sources tell movie news website a deal could not be done in time. Reid, who recently spent time in rehab for a drinking problem, was expected to reprise her Vicki Lathum character from the first two American Pie films for a seventh film, called Book of Love.

Original American Pie star Eugene Levy has signed on for the new film, alongside crooner Wayne Newton a...

Tara Reid To Star In Seventh 'American Pie' Movie

April 11th, 2009 11:29am EDT
Tara Reid
Tara Reid is going back to school to reprise her American Pie character Vicki Lathum in the sex comedy franchise's seventh movie "Book Of Love."

Reid, who is on the comeback trail after spending the beginning of the year in rehab, played Lathum in the first two Pie films.

Original American Pie star Eugene Levy will also be part of the new film, alongside crooner Wayne Newton and TV favorite Sherman Hemsley from The Jeffersons, according to

See more photos of Tara here!

(This news article provided by World Entertainment News Network)

Truth, Justice and Gordon Shumway: 'Diff'rent Strokes'

January 7th, 2009 11:15am EST
The Jeffersons
(TJAGS weekly column) "How is New York?" This, coming from my mother, is a very loaded question. To say she was not entirely supportive of my decision to move from the Midwest to New York City five years ago would be a bit of an understatement. To her, it would be like any reasonable adult explaining they have decided to move to the planet Neptune.

Forgoing any attempt at a substantial answer--which might as well involve me trying to explain the challenges of sustaining life on what is primarily a gas planet--I sheepishly, as always, respond, "Umm… good?"

What exactly does that q...

The Demise of the Black Sitcom

August 13th, 2008 9:15am EDT
The Bernie Mac Show
African Americans have come a long way in a relatively short time in the entertainment industry. From Hattie McDaniel becoming the first black actor to win an Academy Award in 1939 to the trailblazing success of Sidney Poitier in the 1960s, African Americans have consistently broken through show business barriers on the march towards equality. As Frederick Douglass once said, "Without struggle, there is no progress."

Over the years, progress was certainly made in Hollywood, especially on the small screen. In fact, the year 1990 saw a great influx of black talent on television. That...

The Most Memorable TV Wives

June 27th, 2008 9:00am EDT
They say that behind every great man is a great woman. But what if the woman is determined to step out of the man's shadow? On television, we have seen a many marriages weather the storm-be it separation, unemployment, or just plain bad choices. And most of the time, it's the husband who screws up. Remember when Homer bought a gun? When Al Bundy decided to hunt for gold? The fact that Archie Bunker was a racist or that Peter Griffin fought chickens? It's evident that a good wife will deal with lot foolishness.

Sometimes, though, it is the wives who carve out their niche on telev...

The Fall Of The Great American TV Theme Song

March 13th, 2008 2:30pm EDT
Green Acres
What happened to it? A catchy, sing-a-long theme song used to be part of the fun of watching a show. A great theme song could get you excited and in the mood to watch a show. Sometimes the theme song was the best part of a bad show. A theme song that caught your attention could get you to check out a show you weren't normally watching.

Theme songs used to tell what the show was about, like The Brady Bunch. The opening was the only way viewers knew the show was about a stepfamily. We would never have known WHY Gilligan and the gang were on the island or HOW those Hillbillies made it to...

'Married... With Children' Creator Ron Leavitt Has Died

February 13th, 2008 11:33am EST
Married... With Children
Married... With Children creator Ron Leavitt has died of lung cancer. He was 60. The writer/producer passed away at his home in Sherman Oaks, California on Sunday.

Married... star Ed O'Neill says, "He had a very original way of thinking in terms of comedy. He was a brilliant comedic writer."

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947, Leavitt graduated with a degree in journalism from the University Of Miami and started his career as a reported in Florida.

In 1977, he started to write for the Adam Arkin TV sitcom Busting Loose.

Leavitt went on to produce shows including Lav...

TV Land To Air Classic Christmas Episodes Dec. 24 & 25

December 24th, 2007 8:00am EST
All in the Family
Jingle Bells ring when TV Land rolls out a collection of classic Christmas episodes during TV Land's 8th Annual Merry-thon. The 24-hour celebration airs Monday, December 24 through Tuesday, December 25 from 5:00pm - 5:00pm (ET/PT).

The marathon will feature some of America's favorite television families including -- The Ingalls, The Jeffersons, The Bunkers, The Bradys, and more.

Tune in as the Ingalls recall their fondest memories of Christmases past, Louise help George find the father he never knew, Cindy ask Santa for help and Edith and Archie feast on a holiday dinner.


Celebrity Birthdays, August 29

August 29th, 2007 3:00am EDT
Carla Gugino
Happy Birthday to Simple Plan bassist David Desrosiers (1980), actress Carla Gugino (1971), singer Me'Shell NdegeOcello (1969), Cocteau Twins singer Elizabeth Fraser (1963), actress Rebecca De Mornay (1962), King of Pop Michael Jackson (1958), TV host Robin Leach (1941), film directors Joel Schumacher and William Friedkin (1939), actor Elliott Gould (1938), Arizona senator John McCain (1936), singer Dinah Washington (1924; d. 1963), musician Charlie Parker (1920; d. 1955), "The Jeffersons" star Isabel Sanford (1917; d. 2004), actor George Montgomery (1916; d. 2000), and "Casablanca" actress...

New TV on DVD, March 27

March 27th, 2007 8:00am EDT
The Shield
The Shield centers on a tough, crime-infested L.A. police precinct and an elite team of troubleshooters headed by hard-bitten Detective Vic Mackey. Season five is on DVD. Also in stores: season four of 7th Heaven and season six of Full House and The Jeffersons.

Celebrity Birthdays, February 1

February 1st, 2007 3:00am EST
Lisa Marie Presley
Happy Birthday to Outkast half Big Boi (1975), Jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman (1969), comedian Pauly Shore (1968), rock royalty Lisa Marie Presley (1968), martial arts actor Brandon Lee (1965; d. 1993), "B" movie star Sherilyn Fenn (1965), "Lost In Space" actor Bill Mumy (1954), Heartbreaker Mike Campbell (1950), "Doctor Who" actress Elisabeth Sladen (1948), Mr. Jefferson Sherman Hemsley (1938), SNL alum Garrett Morris (1937), Everly Brothers half Don Everly (1937), gospel singer George Beverly Shea (1909), and "Gone With The Wind" star Clark Gable (1901; d. 1960).

Tune In To TV Land's 'Merry-Thon'

December 24th, 2006 9:00am EST
Good Times
TV Land presents 24 hours filled with merriment and holiday cheer when the network rolls out a collection of heart-warming Christmas episodes during TV Land's 7th Annual Merry-Thon beginning Sunday, December 24 from 6:00 p.m. through Monday, December 25 at 6:00 p.m. (all times ET/PT).

The marathon features classic TV's most-loved friends and families enjoying the holiday season as cousin Naomi joins the Evans Family for Christmas on Good Times, The Jeffersons' George and Tom discover a brand new joy, Andy and Barney decide to throw a holiday party at the jail on The Andy Griffith Show...

'The Jeffersons' Star Mike Evans Dies of Cancer

December 23rd, 2006 10:33am EST
The Jeffersons
The Jeffersons and All In The Family star Mike Evans has died after a battle with throat cancer. He was 57. The North Carolina-born actor died at his mother Annie Sue Evans' home in Twentynine Palms, California on December 14, his niece Chrystal Evans confirmed.

After studying acting at Los Angeles City College, Evans landed the role of Lionel Jefferson in 1970s comedy show "All In The Family," and then spin-off "The Jeffersons" in 1975. Evans left The Jeffersons for four years to star in sitcom Good Times, which he created and co-wrote with Eric Monte, but returned in 1981.

In ...

Celebrity Birthdays, August 29

August 29th, 2006 3:00am EDT
Michael Jackson
Happy Birthday to Simple Plan bassist David Desrosiers (1980), actress Carla Gugino (1971), singer Me'Shell NdegeOcello (1969), Cocteau Twins singer Elizabeth Fraser (1963), actress Rebecca De Mornay (1962), King of Pop Michael Jackson (1958), tv host Robin Leach (1941), film directors Joel Schumacher and William Friedkin (1939), actor Elliott Gould (1938), Arizona senator John McCain (1936), singer Dinah Washington (1924; d. 1963), musician Charlie Parker (1920; d. 1955), "The Jeffersons" star Isabel Sanford (1917; d. 2004), actor George Montgomery (1916; d. 2000), and "Casablanca" actress...

New TV on DVD, August 15

August 15th, 2006 8:00am EDT
The first season of HBO's historic drama Rome is now on DVD. The first season follows Julius Caesar's rise to dictatorship, his subsequent fall, and his assassination. Also on DVD: the complete series of Surface, season four of Hogan's Heroes and Full House, season five of The Jeffersons and 3rd Rock From the Sun, and season eight of The Simpsons.

At a Loss for Summer Programming? Check Out TV Land

May 18th, 2006 4:33pm EDT
TV Land will feature a Little House on the Prairie marathon
TV Land is in high gear as it kicks off the summer with new originals, the addition of favorites such as The Jeffersons, classic marathons such as Little House and the Prairie, and other programming throughout August. Over the course of the summer, the network will premiere brand new episodes of “TV Land's Top Ten” and unveil the new series "My First Time."

In addition, the network will showcase movies such as Grease, Caddyshack and "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three's Company."

Below is a detailed list of summer programming for TV Land:

TV Land's Top Ten (s...

Check Out 'William Shatner in Concert' This March on TV Land

February 15th, 2006 8:00pm EST
William Shatner
TV Land will air a new episode of "Living in TV Land" on Wednesday, March 22, with "Living in TV Land: William Shatner in Concert." The program offers an intimate look at Emmy Award-winner and pop culture icon William Shatner as he walks viewers through television's first "musical-reality hybrid show" combining musical performances with segments exploring the reality of his every day life.

TV Land will air an encore presentation of this episode on Wednesday, March 29, in its regularly scheduled timeslot of 10 p.m., and the series will air as half-hour installments through May 3, 2006.

Franklin Cover From 'The Jeffersons' Passes Away

February 10th, 2006 10:37am EST
The Jeffersons
The Jeffersons actor Franklin Cover has died of pneumonia. He was 77. He was best known for playing George and Louise Jefferson's white neighbor Tom Willis in the interracial sitcom. During his long acting career, which spanned six decades, Cover starred in the theatre and on film, as well as the small screen.

In "The Jeffersons," George's (Sherman Hemsley) wrath was targeted towards new neighbors Tom and Helen Willis (Franklin Cover, Roxie Roker), an interracial couple with a daughter named Jenny (Berlinda Tolbert). As outraged as George was over the fact that Helen "sold out" and mar...

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