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TV

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. (CBS 1964-1969, Jim Nabors, Frank Sutton)

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“Well, goooooooollllllllllllly!!! Shazam!”

Jim Nabors was an all-around entertainer whose gifts extended to comedy, acting, and music. In the latter pursuit, he was especially successful: he recorded 28 albums, including five that went gold and one that went platinum. But to many, his most memorable and enduring legacy was his performance in the title role of the television sitcom Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

The Gomer character originated on the The Andy Griffith Show, where he was Mayberry’s na’ve but good-natured gas station attendant. After only one season on that show, Gomer became so well-liked that CBS decided to give him his own spin-off. Thus, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. was born.

In the new show, Gomer gave up Mayberry and his job for a career in the peacetime United States Marine Corps. Almost instantly, the hapless Gomer ran into trouble with his immediate superior, Sgt. Vince Carter. Carter didn’t believe anyone could be so na’ve and was convinced that Gomer was out to make him look foolish. However, he became protective of Gomer once he discovered that this was how Gomer really was.

Just the same, Carter had a short temper and frequently found himself getting exasperated with Gomer. Their comedic interplay was a major source of laughs on the show, perhaps best displayed in the episode ‘I’m Always Chasing Gomers,’ in which Gomer accidentally got trapped on the plane taking Carter home for a vacation. Carter was thus forced to take Gomer home with him, and Private Pyle unintentionally drove the man to his breaking point as he turned the vacation into a comic farce.

Gomer’s fellow recruit, Private Duke Slater, was a girl-chaser and an aspiring nightclub comic with a talent for doing impressions. Colonel Gray was the base’s commanding officer, and Sergeant Charley Hacker was the mess sergeant, who often made bets with Carter that involved Gomer. One of the most amusing characters was Lou Ann, Gomer’s girlfriend: she was an aspiring singer who happened to have an atrocious singing voice.

Gomer Pyle USMC

Episodes usually revolved the antics that ensued when Gomer’s trusting nature got him into unusual situations. Some of the more memorable predicaments that Gomer got into included accidentally recruiting a bank robber for the Marine Corps (“Gomer The Recruiter”) and letting a group of hippies talk him into re-painting a Marine vehicle in psychedelic colors (“Flower Power”). However, Gomer’s good humor helped him get out of even the worst jams.

The show ran for five seasons on CBS before being cancelled in September of 1969. The same season it was cancelled, the network began re-running episodes in its daytime lineup. This continued until 1972, which gives a pretty good representation of the character’s enduring popularity. The show is still avidly watched by fans today in syndication and will always be remembered for the mixture of innocent charm and flawless comic timing that Jim Nabors brought to his performance.

The first 30 episodes were filmed in black and white.

production details
USA / CBS – Ashland / 150×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 25 September 1964 – 19 September 1969

cast
Jim Nabors as Private Gomer Pyle
Frank Sutton as Sgt. Vincent Carter
Ronnie Schell as Duke Slater
Allan Melvin as Sgt. Hacker (1965-69)
Forrest Compton as Col. Gray (1965-70)
Barbara Stuart as Miss Bunny Wilson
Elizabeth MacRae as LuAnn Poovey
Roy Stuart as Corporal Chuck Boyle (1965-68)
Ted Bessell as Pvt. Jim Purcell (1965)
Ted Bessell as Pvt. Frankie Lombardi (1966)
Forrest Compton as Lt. Benson (1964)
William Christopher as Private Lester Hummel
Tommy Leonetti as Corporal Nick Guccinello (1964-65)
Larry Hovis as Larry Gotschalk
Tol Avery as JD Poovey (1967)
Kathleen Freeman as Mrs. Carter (1969)
Enid Markey as Grandma Pyle (1967)

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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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BBC 2 Logo

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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TV

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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