Category: TV

Behind the Scenes on the Making of “Tulsa King” with Sly Stallone and Tyler Sheridan

I am so stoked for Tulsa King.  Everything that we see makes the show look great.

TULSA KING follows New York mafia capo Dwight “The General” Manfredi (Sylvester Stallone), just after he is released from prison after 25 years and unceremoniously exiled by his boss to set up shop in Tulsa, Okla. Realizing that his mob family may not have his best interests in mind, Dwight slowly builds a “crew” from a group of unlikely characters, to help him establish a new criminal empire in a place that to him might as well be another planet. The series also stars Andrea Savage (“I’m Sorry”), Martin Starr (“Silicon Valley”), Max Casella (“The Tender Bar”), Domenick Lombardozzi (“The Irishman”), Vincent Piazza (“Boardwalk Empire”), Jay Will (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), A.C. Peterson (“Superman & Lois’) with Garrett Hedlund (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”).

The series will be executive-produced by Sheridan, Winter, Stallone, David C. Glasser, Ron Burkle, Bob Yari, David Hutkin and Allen Coulter. Braden Aftergood is also set to executive-produce.

Stream the new series on November 13, exclusively on Paramount+.

GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S “CABINET OF CURIOSITIES” – The Trailer is Here!

GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S “CABINET OF CURIOSITIES” – The Trailer is Here!

Guillermo Del Toro – The master of horror – gives a First Look at some of the twisted nightmares and violent delights from his new anthology series.

Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities is a collection of sinister stories, told by some of today’s most revered horror creators – including the directors of The Babadook, Splice, Mandy, and many more.

“Better Call Saul” by Nate Gonzales!

Once a week Joblo.com posts Awesome Art We’ve Found Around the Net.  As you can imagine, they post awesome art that they, well, you get the idea.

I always enjoy seeing what JoBlo has found because with each post they list the artist’s name and a link to more of his/her art.  If you check it out you’ll discover amazing artists like Nate Gonzales who did the piece above.

RIP: Gene Lebell

Ivan Gene Lebell, martial artist, actor, stuntman, professional wrestler, and real life tough guy passed away in his sleep on August 9, 2002, at the age of 89.

Gene Lebell began training in wrestling and judo before the age of ten.  After earning his black belt, Mr. Lebell went to Japan to further his training.  When he returned to the US, he competed in the Amateur Athletic Union National Judo Championships, winning the heavyweight title at the age of 22.  In 1963, Mr. Lebell agreed to fight a boxer who claimed he could beat any martial artist.  Gene Lebell choked him out in the fourth round.  Using his martial arts training it was easy for Gene Lebell to transition into professional wrestling where he often was used as an enforcer during big matches.

Gene Lebell’s reputation as a martial artist brought him to the attention of Hollywood where he got work as both a stuntman and actor.  With over 250 stunt credits and over 150 acting credits on his resume, odds are you’ve seen Gene Lebell on television or feature films.

Television appearances include: The Jack Benny Program; The Munsters; Gomer Pyle; The Man from UNCLE; Mission Impossible; The Green Hornet; Batman; The Wild, Wild West; Mannix; The Rockford Files; Kung Fu; Kojak; The Six Million Dollar Man; Starsky & Hutch; Knight Rider; The Fall Guy; Walker, Texas Ranger; Married with Children; The X FIles; More Wild, Wild West and The Shield.

Feature Films include: Blacula; Walking Tall; Earthquake; The Towering Inferno; The Killer Elite; Rocky;  Every Which Way But Loose; The Jerk; Raging Bull; Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid; City Heat; Remo Williams; Rush Hour; Runaway Train; Rocky IV; Die Hard 2; Marked for Death; The Last Boy Scout; Waterworld; Strange Days and Spider-Man 2.

There’s a famous story that when Gene Lebell was working on a Steven Seagall film, the star said that due to his martial arts training, no one could choke him out.  Mr. Lebell took exception to the statement.  Seagall allowed Gene Lebell’s  to place him in a chokehold to prove his point.  Steven Seagall not only lost consciousness but also control of his bowels.  While Steven Seagall denies this ever happened, there are others who claimed to have been there and seen it happen.

Gene LeBell was a man’s man, a 10th degree Black Belt; and appeared in some of my all-time favorite movies and television shows.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.

RIP: Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John, singer and actress, passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer.  Ms. Newton-John was 73.

When she was just 14, Olivia Newton-John began singing professionally in small coffee shops.  Not long after she began  appearing on Australian television shows.  In 1965 she won a talent contest and the following year traveled to Great Britain where she recorded her first single, “Till You Say You’ll Be Mine”.  In 1971, Ms. Newton-John’s first solo album, If Not For You was released.  This was the first of 26 albums she would release over the course of her long career.

The mid-70s was a sweet spot for Olivia Newton-John.  She had ten number one singles including:  “I Honestly Love You” (1974); “Have You Never Been Mellow” (1975); “Please Mr. Please” (1975); “Something Better to Do” (1975);  “Let It Shine”/”He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” (1976); “Come on Over” (1976) and “Don’t Stop Believin'” (1976) .

In 1978, Ms. Newton-John co-starred with John Travolta in Grease which became the number one movie of the year.  The Grease soundtrack also went to number one and spawned three singles.  In 1980, Olivia Newton-John co-starred in the cult favorite Xanadu with Gene Kelly and Michael Beck.  Ms. Newton-John easily transitioned to making music videos (a relatively new art form at the time) and had one of the most popular with her “Physical” release.  For the rest of her career, Ms. Newton-John easily transitioned from acting to singing as she took on projects that interested her.  She was also an activist who supported environmental and animal causes as well as cancer research.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Olivia Newton-John’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Clu Gulager

Clu Gulager passed away last night from natural causes.  He was 93 years old.

After a two year stint in the US Marine Corp, Mr. Gulager attended Northeastern State University in Oklahoma.  He later transferred to Baylor University where he graduated.

Mr. Gulager’s career began with guest appearance on the television series Omnibus.  He would continue with tv guest appearances until he landed a co-starring role as Billy the Kid in The Tall Man series which ran for 75 episodes.  Mr. Gulager’s first feature film appearance was a co-starring role in The Killers with Lee Marvin.  Mr. Gulager spent the rest of his career alternating between television and feature film roles.

Television appearances included: Wanted Dead or Alive; Have Gun – Will Travel; The Untouchables; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Wagon Train; The Alfred Hitchcock Hour; Dr. Kildare; The Name of the Game; The F.B.I.; The Glass House (movie); Medical Center; Bonanza; Mannix; The Wonderful World of Disney; Kung Fu; Ironside; McCloud; Cannon; The Streets of San Francisco; Police Story; Hawaii 5-0; Knight Rider; Magnum PI; The Fall Guy; and Walker, Texas Ranger.

Some Clu Gulager’s feature films include: The Killers; The Last Picture Show; McQ; Shaft; Get Christie Love; A Force of One; The Return of the Living Dead; A Nightmare on Elm Street 2; The Hidden; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Vic and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

I am a Clu Gulager fan.  He would pop up in many, many of the television shows I watched as a kid.  Mr. Gulager also co-starred in The Glass House a television movie that was ahead of it’s time for the portrayal of life in a prison.  Clu Gulager also starred in Vic, a short directed by Sage Stallone.  Mr. Gulager continued to appear in television shows and movies throughout his career making everything that he appeared in better.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Clu Gulager’s family, friends and fans.

“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” (2022) / Z-View

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (2022)

Director:  Akiva Goldsman (Ep.1); Maja Vrvilo (Ep. 2); Leslie Hope (Ep. 3); Dan Liu (Ep. 4); Rachel Leiterman (Ep. 5); Andi Armaganian (Ep. 6); Sydney Freeland (Ep. 7); Amanda Row (Ep. 8); Christopher J. Byrne (Ep. 9); Chris Fisher (Ep. 10)

Teleplay by:  Akiva Goldsman (Ep. 1 based on a story by Akiva Goldsman & Alex Kurtzman & Jenny Lumet); Henry Alonso Myers & Sarah Tarkoff (Ep.2); Akela Cooper & Bill Wolkoff (Ep. 3); Davy Perez & Beau DeMayo (Ep. 4); Henry Alonso Myers & Robin Wasserman (Ep. 5); Robin Wasserman & Bill Wolkoff (Ep. 6); Beau DeMayo & Sarah Tarkoff (Ep. 7); Akela Cooper & Onitra Johnson (Ep. 8); Davy Perez (Ep. 9); Henry Alonso Myers & Akiva Goldsman (Ep. 10)

Starring:  Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, Jess Bush, Melissa Navia, Christina Chong, Rebecca Romijn, Celia Rose Gooding, Babs Olusanmokun, Gia Sandhu and Paul Wesley.

Tagline:  None

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers…

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is the prequel to the original Star Trek series.  Set ten years prior to Star Trek, Strange New Worlds follows the adventures of the crew of the Enterprise under the command of Christopher Pike (Mount).  Characters from the original series (Spock, Nurse Christine Chapel, Nyota Uhura, T’Pring and Captain James T. Kirk) are joined by new crew members (Erica Ortegas, La’an Noonien-Singh, Una Chin-Riley).

I was a fan of the original Star Trek.  I never watched any of the other Star Trek television series until Strange New Worlds.  So I’m not a die hard fan of everything Star Trek, so believe me when I say that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is exceptional.  Everything from the production values of the sets, the cast, the direction and the music is spot on.  Star Trek: Strange New Worlds isn’t a copy of the original series, but instead a love letter to everything it strived to be.

The series is perfectly cast.  Anson Mount is amazing in his role, but so are Ethan Peck, Jess Bush, Celia Rose Gooding and Melissa Navia.  The series is well written with each major cast member displaying personality and the feel that they have a life beyond the scenes that they’re in.  If you’re a fan of the original series there are things that begin in Strange New Worlds that will reverberate in the original series (the relationship between Spock and Nurse Chapel; seeing Nyota Uhura’s growth into a Star Fleet officer, the romance that will fail between Spock and T’Pring, and more).

I loved every episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and cannot wait for season 2.  Star Trek: Strange New Worlds earns 5 of 5 stars.

RIP: Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols passed away last night from natural causes.  She was 89 years old.

Although best known for her role as Nyota Uhura on the original Star Trek television series, Ms. Nichols first became famous for her role in the play Kicks and Co.  This led to roles in a Chicago production of Carmen Jones and later a New York production of Porgy and Bess.  Nichelle Nichols also did singing and modeling jobs.

Prior to her groundbreaking role on Star Trek, Ms. Nichols began getting roles on television (The Lieutenant; CBS Repertoire Workshop; Payton Place; Tarzan) and theatrical films (Made in Paris; Mister Buddwing; Doctor, You’ve Got to be Kidding).  With her role on Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols became one of the first African-American women to be featured in such a prominent co-starring role on a television series.

When she was offered a role on Broadway, Ms. Nichols planned to leave the series.  However Martin Luther King, Jr. convinced her by saying, “…you cannot, you cannot (leave the show)…for the first time on television, we will be seen as we should be seen every day, as intelligent, quality, beautiful, people.”   Not only did Nichelle Nichols stay for the entire series, she voiced Nyota Uhura on Star Trek: The Animated Series, and returned for the Star Trek feature films (Star Trek; The Motion Picture; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek V: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country).

When Star Trek the series ended, and when she wasn’t making Star Trek feature films, Nichelle Nichols continued to act on television and feature films, worked with NASA to recruit minority and females, released two albums and did voice work for animation! Talk about multi-talented!

My first exposure to Nichelle Nichols was her role on Star Trek.  I can remember the controversy when she and William Shatner had one of the first interracial kisses on television.  I was just a kid, but thought, “What’s the big deal?  She’s a beautiful, smart women.  Kirk would be a fool not to kiss her.”  By all accounts Nichelle Nichols was as beautiful a person inside as out.  I’ve never heard a bad story about her.  Fans love her and rightly so.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nichelle Nichols family, friends and fans.

RIP: Burt Metcalfe

Burt Metcalfe died on Wednesday, July 27th at the age of 87.  Mr. Metcalfe was an actor, writer, director and producer.

Burt Metcalfe began his career as an actor with an uncredited role in The Bridges at Toko-Ri.  That was followed by roles on the tv series The Man Behind the Badge and General Electric Theater.  Mr. Metcalfe was then drafted and spent two years in the Navy.  Burt Metcalfe then resumed his acting career.  Some of his roles included parts on Gidget; Have Gun, Will Travel; Death Valley Days; The Twilight Zone; The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis; The Outer Limits; Perry Mason; The Fugitive and the James Bond film Diamonds are Forever.

Burt Metcalfe was recruited to serve as the casting agent for the television series M*A*S*H.  He was given the title Associate Producer.  Mr. Metcalfe would go on to serve as a writer, Associate Producer, Line Producer and Executive Producer of M*A*S*H.  In fact Burt Metcalfe was the only Producer to stay with the series for its entire run.  Mr. Metcalfe was nominated 13 times for Primetime Emmy Awards for his work as a writer on the series!  He even returned to serve as the executive producer for the M*A*S*H 30th Anniversary Reunion Special in 2002.

It’s interesting that Burt Metcalfe  was a successful actor but then transitioned to behind the camera work where he experienced even more success.  Mr. Metcalfe appears in one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, The Monsters are Due on Maple Street!

Ken Levine, who worked with Mr. Metcalfe as a writer on M*A*S*H has a nice write-up about him.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Burt Metcalfe’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Paul Coker Jr.

Paul Coker Jr. died on July 23, 2022 after a short illness his family has confirmed.  Mr. Coker was 93.

If you don’t know Paul Coker’s name, my guess is you would recognize his art.  Mr. Coker’s art regularly appeared in MAD magazine beginning in 1961 and continuing for decades.  He was known for his recurring cartoon Horrifying Cliches as well as film and television parodies which included Star Trek, Jurassic Park, Twister, and Frasier.  Mr. Coker also illustrated eight MAD paperbacks.

Even if you weren’t a reader of MAD magazine, you probably would remember Mr. Coker’s art from his work as a production designer on Rankin/Bass Specials which included: Frosty the Snowman; Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town; Here Comes Peter Cottontail; ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas; The Year Without a Santa Claus; Frosty’s Winter Wonderland and Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July to name just a few.

I loved Paul Coker’s work in MAD magazine.  I’m also old enough to remember watching Frosty the Snowman when it premiered.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Paul Coker Jr.’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Tony Dow

Tony Dow, best known for playing Wally Clever on the television series Leave It to Beaver, died today from complications caused by cancer.  Mr. Dow was 77.

Tony Dow earned the role of Wally Cleaver despite little acting experience.  Mr. Dow played Beaver’s older brother throughout the series run from 1957 to 1963.  He reprised the role in a television movie and the subsequent series The New Leave It to Beaver which ran from 1983 – 1989.

When the original Leave It to Beaver series ended, Mr. Dow continued to act making guest appearances on television series such as Dr. Kildare, My Three Sons and Never Too Young.  From 1965 – 1968, Mr. Dow served in the National Guard.  When Mr. Dow returned to acting he alternated between television and feature films.  Appearances include: Adam 12, Love American Style, The Mod Squad, Emergency, Death Scream, General Hospital, Kentucky Fried Movie, Quincy, Murder She Wrote, Knight Rider, The New Leave It to Beaver, Charles in Charge, Freddie’s Nightmares and Diagnosis Murder.

Mr. Dow also wrote an episode of The New Leave It to Beaver, directed episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Babylon 5, Get a Life and Coach.  He was also a producer on The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space and It Came from Outer Space II.  In addition Mr. Dow was an accomplished sculptor.

Had Tony Dow only played Wally Cleaver in his career, he would merit mention.  His portrayal of Wally Clever made such a huge impact on the many kids who watched the show.  I’m sure that parents would admonish their unruly children to be more like Wally.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tony Dow’s family, friends and fans.

“The End is Nye” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The poster and trailer for The End is Nye are clever.  This looks like a fun (if world-ending threats can be considered fun).  I’d watch if it was the last thing I did.  (See how I tied that into world-ending threats?)

The End is Nye sends Bill Nye into the most epic global disasters imaginable – both natural and unnatural – and then demystifies them using science to show how we can survive, mitigate, and even prevent them. Each stand-alone episode takes a hell-bent dive into the mystery and terror of one specific threat. Every catastrophe is abundant with thrills, but also offers hope and a way forward —a scientific blueprint for surviving anything that comes our way. The series is hosted and executive produced by Emmy Award winner and renowned science educator, engineer, author, and inventor Bill Nye. Each episode also features a brief cameo by longtime science advocate and series EP Seth MacFarlane.

RIP: Paul Sorvino

Paul Sorvino died yesterday at the age of 83.  No cause of death was given.

Paul Sorvino began his career acting on the stage.  He appeared in his first feature film in 1970 and his first television role took place a year later.  His talent was such that he was never out of work and alternated between stage, television and feature films for the rest of his career.

Feature films that were graced by Paul Sorvino include: The Panic in Needle Park, The Day of the Dolphin, The Gambler, Oh God!, Bloodbrothers, Reds, I the Jury, Dick Tracy, Goodfellas, The Rocketeer, The Firm and Nixon.

Television appearances include: We’ll Get By (13 episodes), The Streets of San Francisco,  Bert D’Angelo/Superstar (11 episodes), Moonlighting, The Oldest Rookie (14 episodes), Murder She Wrote, Law & Order (31 episodes), Star Trek: The Next Generation, That Championship Season (also directed), That’s Life (36 episodes), Still Standing (4 episodes), The Goldbergs, Bad Blood (6 episodes) and Godfather of Harlem (11 episodes).

When most folks think of Paul Sorvino his roles in Goodfellas or The Rocketeer most often come to mind.  For me, it’s his role as ‘Chubby’ De Coco in Bloodbrothers.  There’s a scene where Richard Gere is trapped in an apartment and guys are waiting to beat him up.  Gere calls his brother (Sorvino) who comes over charging up the stairs yelling that he hasn’t killed anyone since the war.  The guys waiting for Gere are scared off.  The scene cracked me up and made me take notice of Mr. Sorvino.  I was always happy to see his name show up in the credits of anything I was getting ready to watch.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Paul Sorvino’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Bob Rafelson

Bob Rafelson died yesterday at the age of 89 from lung cancer.

Mr. Rafelson was best known as a writer, director and producer.  Mr. Rafelson began his career in 1959 as a story editor on the tv series Play of the Week.  In 1962, Bob Rafelson began working as an associate producer for various movie and television production companies.  In 1965, Mr. Rafelson became friends with producer Bert Schneider and they formed Raybert Productions.  The first show that they sold was The Monkees!

The Monkees became an instant hit selling millions of records and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series!  Mr. Rafelson wrote, directed and produced many episodes of the series.  When the show ended, Bob Rafelson wanted to make a feature film with the group.  Mr. Rafelson and his friend, Jack Nicholson, co-wrote Head which starred The Monkees with appearances from Victor Mature, Teri Garr, Annette Funicello, Frank Zappa, Sonny Liston, Ray Nitschke, and Dennis Hopper.

Bob Rafelson’s next project was to produce Easy Rider starring Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper.  Mr. Rafelson followed that by producing and directing Five Easy Pieces. Bob Rafelson would go on to produce and direct for the remainder of his career.  Some of the films Bob Rafelson directed include: The King of Marvin Gardens, Stay Hungry, The Postman Always Rings Twice and Black Widow.

I was a huge Monkee fan and although I didn’t know it at the time, without Bob Rafelson, The Monkees would have never happened.  By all accounts, Bob Rafelson was a man who did what he wanted and was willing to take risks to see things done according to his vision.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bob Rafelson’s family, friends and fans.