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When Things Were Rotten (ABC 1975 with Richard Gautier and Dick van Patten)

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“Once upon a time when things were rotten,
Not just food, but also kings were rotten…”

Young funnymen-in-training in the mid-70’s knew there were four magic words that made anything a must-see: “A Mel Brooks spoof.” After busting a gut through Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles in 1974, we knew that the Mel Brooks name was a mark of comic gold. Thus, it was with no small amount of expectant glee that Brooks fans tuned in for ABC’s When Things Were Rotten, a spoof of the Robin Hood legend.

In Brooks’ skewed view of English history, Prince John was still a corrupt tyrant, but Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men were no honored citizens either. Robin wasn’t so much evil as he was less-than-bright and weighed down by a tremendous ego. The Merry Men—Friar Tuck, Alan-a-Dale, Little John and Renaldo (who had a decidedly un-merry twin brother named Bertram)—were classic doofuses, though they did have the good sense to dress up as a conga band to spring Robin from jail in the series opener.

Like most Mel Brooks comedies, When Things Were Rotten was more than willing to trade historical accuracy for a good laugh. Whether it was Prince John’s plan to turn Sherwood Forest into a housing development, a nearly-forced marriage between Maid Marian and a Sheik olive oil baron, or the aforementioned conga band, the show frequently tried to work contemporary comedy into its Crusades-era setting.

Unfortunately, there weren’t enough young funnymen-in-training to keep When Things Were Rotten on the air for more than a few months. The show was a critical favorite, but low ratings meant early cancellation. Brooks fans had to be content to follow their parody guru back to the silver screen, where the writer/director/actor eventually refurbished his TV project as the 1993 feature Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

“So when other legends are forgotten,
We’ll remember back when things were rotten,
Yay for Robin Hood!”

Release History
9/10/75 – 12/24/75 ABC
 Sub Categories
comedy
 Network
ABC
 Studio
Paramount Television
 Cast
Robin Hood Richard Gautier
Friar Tuck Dick Van Patten
Alan-a-Dale Bernie Kopell
Renaldo Richard Dimitri
Bertram Richard Dimitri
Sheriff of Nottingham Henry Polic II
Maid Marian Misty Rowe
Little John David Sabin
Prince John Ron Rifkin
Princess Isabelle Jane A. Johnston
 
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TV

You Can’t Fight Christmas (TV One 2017, Brely Evans, Andra Fuller)

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You Can't Fight Christmas TV One

You Can’t Fight Christmas begins with the annual holiday decorating of the Chesterton Hotel by interior design expert Leslie Major (Evans). She is hard at work managing the transformation when she meets and develops a crush on the hotel owner’s handsome grandson, Edmund James (Fuller). Soon she discovers that Edmund and his uptight business partner, Millicent (White), have secret plans.

They intend to completely revamp the hotel into an upscale business resort once Edmund inherits it from his grandfather. Scheming Millicent also has plans for Edmund that involve a wedding ring.

Is he ready to take their partnership to the next level? Can Leslie save the hotel and its Christmas legacy? Will Edmund find his Christmas spirit?

You Can’t Fight Christmas also features appearances by Travis Winfrey (Single Ladies), Porsha Coleman (Hollywood Today Live), and cross-over appearances by Ash and Davis Jr.

cast
Brely Evans as Leslie Major
Andra Fuller as Edmund James
Persia White as Millicent Williams
Porscha Coleman as Belinda King
Travis Winfrey as Kevin Boudreaux
Nathan Davis Jr. as Thomas Wallace
Dedrick Bonner as Darren Rollins
Matthew Jones as Arnold Willis
Larry Poindexter as Jasper
Richard Gant as J. J. James
Marla Gibbs as Beverly Lawrence
Erica Ash as Regina Young
Ava Elise Farmer as Brie Wallace
Nicholas Anthony Reid as Waiter
Glen Marzillo as Tony

crew details
Director: Kenny Young
Writer: Marnie Martin
Producers: Elizabeth Cullen, Sean Dwyer

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: TV One – Poke Productions
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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TV

Royal Christmas Ball, A (ION 2017, Tara Reid, Ingo Rademacher)

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Royal Christmas Ball ION

Dateless for the Christmas ball, 39-year-old bachelor, King Charles of Baltania, tracks down his American college sweetheart, only to discover Allison has never been married, yet raised a 17-year-old daughter, Lily, who mathematically might be Charles’ biological princess.

cast
Tara Reid as Allison
Ingo Rademacher as King Charles
Mira Furlan as Rosa
Haley Pullos as Lily
Faune Chambers Watkins as Eva
Mykel Shannon Jenkins as Sam
Marc Anthony Samuel as Marcus
Christian Olivo as Victor
Miles Burris as Emile
Kennedy Lea Slocum as Taylor
Claire Cohen as Lorena
David Meza as Waiter
Cesar Cipriano as Florist
Stan Bly as Paparazzi
Brian Nolan as Paparazzi

crew details
Director: David DeCoteau
Writer: Suzanne Dunn
Story: Jeffrey Schenck, Peter Sullivan

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: ION – Hybrid Films
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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Runaway Christmas Bride (ION 2017, Cindy Busny, Travis Milne)

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Runaway Christmas Bride ION 2017

A runaway bride, Kate, making herself scarce for the holidays, meets a ski patrol rescuer, Jason, at a resort. Her December days begin to brighten, until her parents and jilted fiancé, Alex, show up at the mountain to reset the wedding for Christmas.

cast
Cindy Busby as Kate
Travis Milne as Jason
Christos Shaw as Mike
Karen Kruper as Lily Paulson
Mark Milburn as Alex Atkins
Bruce Dawson as Rick Atkins
Roz Murray as Kim Atkins
Trent Pryor as Wedding Rehersal Guest
Holly James as Wedding Guest

crew details
Director: David DeCoteau
Writer: Brian Skiba

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: ION – Odyssey Media
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Saturday 9 December 2017

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