BBC revives Comedy Playhouse with 'Over to Bill'

This Spring will see two brilliant returns to the telly. Not so coincidentally, brilliance will collide when Doug Naylor’s Over to Bill launches as one of three pilots scheduled for the revival of the BBC’s Comedy Playhouse strand. Comedy Playhouse began in 1961 and ran until 1975 as an anthology series which served as the […]

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R.I.P. – Frank Thornton (a.k.a. Captain Peacock)

Sadly, this is getting all-too frequent these days. Most recently was the passing of Richard Briers and, now, the passing of the great Frank Thornton at age 92. Known to us all as simply Captain Peacock and, more recently, Truly Truelove in Last of the Summer Wine, Frank Thornton rivaled Richard Briers for who had […]

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An IT Crowd U.S. remake? Why, grandfather, why?

Well, it has been several weeks since my last rant against U.S. producers trying to re-make British comedy genius. Please don’t insert “But, look at The Office…” here. As I’ve said repeatedly, it’s a short list with The Office, Steptoe and Son and Till Death Do Us Part. Not bad for over 40 years of […]

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Happy 70th, Penelope! And, we open the mailbag

You Look Marvelous Today is Penelope Keith’s 70th birthday. Billy Crystal’s character, Fernando Lamas, couldn’t have said it better. You look marvelous. With a long public television history dating back to the days of Good Neighbors and To the Manor Born right through to her recent efforts serving as host for both The Funny Ladies of […]

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The Great American Re-make Debate

Ok, I’ve spent enough time and effort recently ranting about the sad state of American re-makes of classic British comedy over the years that, to be fair, I should highlight the two series in modern history that have been considerably better than their British counterparts in my opinion. Admittedly, we’re talking 40+ years ago so […]

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