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ALF (NBC 1986-1990, Max Wright, Anne Shedeen)

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Long before Third Rock From the Sun (but long after My Favorite Martian), there was ALF. Not your average Alien Life Form, Alf—a wisecracking, 229-year-old furball—became part of the Tanner family when he accidentally crashed his spaceship into their garage. Stranded on Earth after his home planet of Melmac (where he was known as Gordon Shumway) exploded, Alf lived in Los Angeles with Willie, Kate and their kids, Lynn and Brian.

Although very human-like in his behavior, Alf did have some uniquely Melmackian habits, including his desire to eat the family cat, Lucky. Alf, though abrasive and crass (and cat-hungry), loved the Tanners and they loved him. Willie, a mild-mannered social worker, was often frustrated by his visitor but continually bailed him out of trouble like he was an extra-terrestial Steve Urkel. The kids were the most sympathetic, with youngster Brian seeing Alf as the galaxy’s best playmate and teenage Lynn seeing Alf as a cute little orange furry guy (Alf kind of had the hots for her, but you know humans and their alienist prejudices).

Explaining that your tenant is from another planet can be tricky, so the Tanners chose to hide Alf from all visitors, including next-door neighbors Trevor and Raquel Ochmonek. But if TV and movies have taught us anything, it’s that nobody can hide a wisecracking orange alien from an inquisitive prepubescent boy, and the Ochmonek’s twelve-year-old nephew Jake proved that theory on ALF. The only other semi-regular was Willie’s brother Neal, who occasionally appeared in ALF’s last season.

ALF

The producers had wished to keep the mechanics of Alf’s movement a secret, but it was eventually disclosed that a puppet was used in stationary scenes and diminutive actor Micah Maestros suited up as the alien for walking scenes. Series co-creator Paul Fusco provided Alf’s voice.

As often happens with series whose fates are unknown, the last episode of Alf was not intended as a series-ender, and it left the title character’s fate in question. Alf, who was on his way to colonize another planet with fellow Melmackians Skip and Rhonda (the latter his ex-girlfriend), was captured by a federal military investigative unit. The orange guy’s fate remained in doubt for several years, but a 1996 TV-movie, Project: ALF, tied up the loose ends and put fans’ minds at rest.

ALF may have had one of the most unusual sitcom premises of the 80’s, but the kids dug it. Two cartoon spin-offs were born in its wake, and that big, ridged alien snout found its way onto countless toys spawned from this otherworldly sitcom.

production details
USA / NBC- Alien Productions Inc / 101x30m-e 1x60m-e / Broadcast 22 1986 – 18 June 1990

Creators: Paul Fuscho, Tom Patchett / Executive Producers: Tom Patchett, Bernice Brillstein / Producer: Paul Fuscho

cast
MAX WRIGHT as Willie Tanner
ANNE SCHEDEEN as Kate Tanner
ANDREA ELSON as Lynn Tanner
BENJI GREGORY as Brian Tanner
PAUL FUSCO as Alf’s Voice
JOHN LA MOTTA as Trevor Ochmonek
LIZ SHERIDAN as Racquel Ochmonek
JOSH BLAKE as Jake Ochmonek
J.M.J. BULLOCK as Noel Tanner (1989-1990)

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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Christmas Reunion, A (Lifetime 2015, Catherine Hicks, Denise Richards)

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A Christmas Reunion Lifetime

In A Christmas Reunion a Madison Avenue executive, Amy, discovers an unusual Christmas surprise when she inherits her Aunt’s hometown bakery. The real surprise comes when she learns the other half of the bakery was left to her long-ago boyfriend, Jack.

Unresolved personal issues resurface between them, as the exes return home to co-manage the store, along with its traditional holiday cookie bake-off.

cast
Denise Richards as Amy Stone
Patrick Muldoon as Jack Evans
Jake Busey as Dylan Carruthers
Catherine Hicks as Aunt Linda
Parker Stevenson as Don Dupree
Patricia De Leon as Janette Crowder
Jon Briddell as Luke Crowder
Robert R. Shafer as Frank O’Brien
Anna Barnholtz as Chloe
John Colton as Steve Evans
Sandra Evans as Shari
Brody Fitzgerald as Young Jack Evans
Michael Gaglio as Earl Pratt, Sr.
Gib Gerard as Earl Pratt, Jr.
Joyce Greenleaf as Helen

crew details
Director: Sean Olson
Writers: Margaret Base, Mary Glenn, Sam Irvin, Sean Olson, Peter Sullivan, Michael Varrat

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Lifetime – Hybrid
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: 13 December 2015

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TV

Final Vision (ID 2017, Scott Foley, Dave Annable)

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Final Vision ID

Final Vision is a twisted psychological thriller and a true-crime drama based on the longest running criminal case in U.S. history. It’s the story of Jeffrey MacDonald (Foley), a handsome, Ivy League-educated U.S. Army Green Beret doctor, who was convicted of brutally murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters in the middle of the night.

Told through the eyes of best-selling author Joe McGinniss (Annable), who was approached by MacDonald to write a book about his personal nightmare as he was about to go to trial.

cast
Scott Foley as Jeffrey MacDonald
Dave Annable as Joe McGinniss
John Doman as Bernie Segal
Lochlyn Munro as Wade Smith
Jessica Harmon as Colette MacDonald
Caroline Aaron as Leslie Sterling
Primo Allon as MP Sergeant
Julia Maren Baker as Kimberly MacDonald
Julia Benson as Nancy McGinniss
Baylee Breen-Wood as Kristen MacDonald
April Cameron as Nurse at St. Mary’s
Aaron Craven as James Blackburn
Bruce Dawson as Doctor
Parveen Dosanjh as Woman at Party
Lane Edwards as Brian Murtagh

crew details
Writer: Denis O’Neill
Director:  Nicholas McCarthy
Executive Producers: Angela Bromstad, Christine Connor, Linda Berman S

production details
Country:  USA
Network and Production Companies: ID – Lincoln Square Productions
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From:  Sunday 10 December 2017

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