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Mork and Mindy (ABC 1978-1982 with Robin Williams and Pam Dawber)

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”This is Mork calling Orson… Come in, Orson…”

One of the more unusual episodes of Happy Days was “My Favorite Orkan,” telecast in February of 1978. In this episode, Richie was visited by Mork, an alien from outer space who wanted to kidnap him. Mork was portrayed by Robin Williams, then just a little-known comedian with a gift for offbeat, manic improvisation. That gift translated into a unique Happy Days performance, and audiences loved it. The network decided to give Mork his own spin-off, which began airing in September of 1978.

Mork & Mindy began as Mork was sent from his home planet of Ork to Boulder, Colorado, for the purpose of studying Earthlings and their strange concept of “emotions.” Since Orkan customs were the direct opposite of Earth customs (sitting on one’s head instead of one’s bottom, for example), Mork’s behavior tended to make most Earthlings think he was as nutty as a Snickers bar. However, he did manage to befriend Mindy, who worked at her father’s music store. She let him take up residence in the attic of her apartment and became his guide to earthbound customs and emotions.

Mindy’s father Fred provided most of the comedic tension, grousing about his daughter’s living arrangement with Mork. Other characters introduced in the first season included Cora, Mindy’s wisecracking grandmother, and Mr. Bickley, the perpetually grumpy downstairs neighbor who designed greeting cards for a living. The cast was rounded out by Exidor, a self-proclaimed prophet who discovered his belief that aliens were coming to Earth was true when he met Mork, and by the off-screen voice of Orson, to whom Mork reported at the end of every episode.

Audiences flocked to the show, fascinated by the unpredictable comedic stylings of Williams, making Mork & Mindy a tremendous early hit. Mork’s Orkan expressions “nanu, nanu” (a way of saying hello) and “shazbot” (an Orkan profanity) became national catch phrases. However, the show’s momentum was slowed by a number of decisions made for the show’s second season: its time slot was changed, several supporting characters were dropped from the show, and the new episodes tried to embrace “relevant” themes in their scripts instead of sticking to the first season’s slapstick-based format. Things started out suitably wacky with a two-part season opener in which Mork shrank down to subatomic size and entered the world inside a tablecloth, but the ratings soon plummeted, leaving the creators scrambling to save the show.

Fred was reinstated for the third season, and episodes returned to more straightforward style of storytelling. New characters were also added: Nelson Flavors was Mindy’s cousin and an aspiring politician, and Remo and Jean were a brother-sister duo who relocated to Boulder so Jean could attend medical school. Remo supported them by opening a New York-style deli that became the new hangout on the show. Mindy got a job as a newscaster at a local TV station for a new boss, Mr. Sternhagen.

However, these additional changes could not resurrect the show’s early success, and one last attempt was made to save it. Mork married Mindy and visited Ork for their honeymoon. Mork became pregnant (the male half of the couple has the babies on Ork) and gave birth to a child named Mearth. Since all Orkans age from elderly to infancy, young Mearth was born into the full-grown body of comedian Jonathan Winters. Williams, who considered Winters an important early influence on his style of comedy, developed a unique chemistry with his new co-star, who acted every bit the oversized baby. But even this comic interplay wasn’t enough to return the show to its original level of success, and after a penultimate three-parter featuring Mork, Mindy and Mearth’s cross-time flight from an evil Neptunian, Mork & Mindy was canceled in August of 1982 after 95 episodes.

After the show ended, it was resurrected in a cartoon format as part of a Saturday morning series called The Mork & Mindy/Laverne and Shirley/Fonz Hour. All the voices for this cartoon were provided by the members of the Mork & Mindy cast, keeping the shazbots coming for at least one more season of rainbow-suspendered wackiness.

Release History
9/14/78 – 8/12/82 ABC
 Sub Categories
comedy
 Network
ABC
 Studio
Paramount Television
 Cast
Mork Robin Williams
Mindy McConnell Pam Dawber
Fred McConnell (1978-79, 1980-81) Conrad Janis
Cora Hudson Elizabeth Kerr
Remo DaVinci (1979-81) Jay Thomas
Jean DaVinci (1979-81) Gina Hecht
Nelson Flavor (1979-81) Jim Staahl
Franklin Delano Bickley Tom Poston
Mearth (1981-82) Jonathan Winters
Miles Sternhagen (1981) Foster Brooks
Exidor Robert Donner
Orson Ralph James
Eugene Jeffrey Jacquet
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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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