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Ben Stiller Show, The (Fox-HBO 1992, Janeane Garafolo, Bob Odenkirk)

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Emmy, schmemmy. Comedian Stiller’s sketch comedy show, which won an Emmy for comedy writing after its cancellation, is another fine example of how critical praise and cult status can’t save a show if there aren’t enough people in the cult.

Axed by Fox after just 12 episodes (and a “lost” 13th installment that aired later on Comedy Central), the quirkily clever series costarred Janeane Garofalo, Andy Dick and Bob Odenkirk, who added original comedy bits, hilarious TV parodies and playful slaps at celebs like Tony Robbins, Kevin Costner and Woody Allen.

From “Melrose Heights, 902102402” and “Amish Studs” to “Cops in Egypt” and “America’s Most Suspicious” (hosted by Danny Bonaduce), no television entity was safe from the Stiller gang’s satire. Of course, given that both Melrose Place and Beverly Hills, 90210 were staples of the Fox lineup at that time, perhaps The Ben Stiller Show ruffled too many feathers.

Still, many of the sketches proved memorable, including riffs on musicians like Bono and Bruce Springsteen, whom Stiller once hilariously parodied in a Sesame Street-like skit called “Counting with Bruce Springsteen.”

Among the best original material were “Low-Budget Tales of Clichéd Horror,” “Bad Twist Ending Theater” and “The Pig Latin Ariety-Vay Ectacular-Spay,” which was the best of the cast’s many Pig Latin-themed shorts.

Funny stuff–until the atings-ray ailed-fay to attract an arge-lay ase-bay of iewers-vay.

production details
USA / Fox-HBO / 13×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 27 September 1992 – 31 January 1993

cast
Ben Stiller
Andy Dick
Janeane Garofalo
Bob Odenkirk
John F. Donohue
Danny Bonaduce

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TV

Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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TV

Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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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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