Category Archives: Television

House of Cards Returns Feb. 14

One often best shows not on television will be available on Netflix on February 14, 2014. The anticipated second season of the hit series House of Cards will release 13 new episodes. What remains unclear is whether the show will return for a third season as the series was written as a 26 episode mini-series. I cannot wait to binge-watch every episode because we all know that a house of cards will eventually come crashing down.


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One Reason NOT to Subscribe to Hulu Plus


The other day, I saw a commercial for Hulu Plus. The theme of the commercial was “Five reasons to subscribe to Hulu Plus.” They listed five reason, all of which are valid. However, no matter how true the five reasons may be, there is one reason not to subscribe to Hulu Plus: COMMERCIALS. When I watch Hulu for free, I expect to see ads, but if I am paying $7.99 a month, I expect the shows to be presented ad-free. All the major networks put their videos online for free a day or two after they air. They are ad supported because they are free. But if I am going to watch the same show on Hulu Plus, a service I have paid for, I expect an ad free experience.

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Top Gear Returns for Season 20

Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 1.33.33 PM

Top Gear, the world’s most popular automotive program, will return to BBC 2 in the United Kingdom on Sunday, June 30. This will be the show’s 20th season. In the United States, Season 20 will debut on Monday, July 8 on BBC America. Judging from the preview images on Top Gear’s website, we can expect a review of the new Jaguar F-Type, a race involving an Audi, Ferrari, and McLaren, and there will be a new reasonably priced car. To hold you over until the new season begins, you may view a slew of teaser photos by clicking here.

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Allan Arbus (1918-2013)


Allan Arbus, best known for his role as Dr. Sidney Freedman on M*A*S*H, passed away on Friday, April 19 at the age of 95.

Arbus was born February 18, 1918 in New York City. He married Diane Nemerov in 1941 and the pair become well known photographers. Arbus also served as a photographer for the Army Signal Corps during World War II. The two developed a thriving photography business, but the business was closed in 1956. After the closure, Diane gained fame for her photography of marginalized people, and Arbus continued to work in fashion photography, but he also began to act. The couple separated in 1959 and divorced in 1969. Following their divorce, Arbus moved to Los Angeles to continue acting. Diane committed suicide in 1972, and Arbus married Mariclare Costello in 1976.

Arbus is best known for his reoccurring role as Dr. Freedman in M*A*S*H, in which he made 12 appearance. But he appeared in a number of movies and television shows with his last appearance coming in 2001. His film credits include Coffey and Crossroads. He also appeared in a number of popular television shows including Taxi, Starsky & Hutch, Matlock, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

For me and legions of other M*A*S*H fans, Arbus will be long remembered as the witty psychiatrist, Dr. Freedman. He has always been described by his fellow actors as a very nice and hardworking man. Arbus was such a convincing actor, that Alan Alda recalled talking with him between takes on M*A*S*H about psychology. Alda recalled, “I was so convinced that he was a psychiatrist I used to sit and talk with him between scenes. After a couple months of that I noticed he was giving me these strange looks, like ‘How would I know the answer to that?’”

Allan Arbus is survived by his wife, Mariclare, and three daughters, Amy and Doon form his from marriage and Arin from his second.

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30th Anniversary of M*A*S*H Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen


On this day in 1983, the series finale of M*A*S*H aired on CBS. The episode, entitled Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen, was a fitting end to the series as it documented the end of the war. The two and half hour episode was watched by a record setting audience, and still holds the record for largest percentage of the American viewing audience.

M*A*S*H has long been my favorite television series, and its finale is one of the greatest series finales ever produced. It was a fitting end to a series that lasted three times longer than the Korean War. If you get a chance, catch a rerun of M*A*S*H today or this weekend and enjoy one of most iconic television series ever produced.

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TV Land to Celebrate M*A*S*H Anniversary

On September 17, 1972, M*A*S*H debuted on CBS and had a dismal first season. The show escaped cancellation and went on to deliver eleven successful seasons, win countless awards, and close with a record breaking series finale. Throughout the month of September, TV Land will break away from its “original” programming and have a series of M*A*S*H marathons throughout the month. The first of these marathons was yesterday. Also set to air this month are the 20th and 30th Anniversary shows as well as the pilot episode and the finale, “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen.”

During the week of September 17, I will post a series of M*A*S*H articles and videos to celebrate the anniversary of my favorite television series.

Here is the press release from TV Land with the schedule for the month:


August 31, 2012 – New York, NY – TV Land will honor the 40th anniversary of the iconic television series “M*A*S*H” with a month-long celebration this September, it was announced today by the network. The celebration will kick off on Sunday, September 2, with the airing of “M*A*S*H: 30th Anniversary Reunion” and a day-long marathon on Labor Day – Monday, September 3 – from 8am to 6pm ET/PT. Programming will also include the 20th reunion special, “Memories of M*A*S*H,” on Sunday, September 9, as well as the pilot and three-hour finale of the sitcom on Sunday, September 16. “M*A*S*H” will air on weekdays all during the month of September (check the schedule page on

Based on the 1970 Robert Altman film of the same name, “M*A*S*H” revolves around life at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, where wounded and sick soldiers are treated. The show centers around Dr. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce (Alan Alda) and Dr. “Trapper” John McIntyre (Wayne Rogers), two brilliant surgeons often preoccupied with attractive nurses, practical jokes and merry-making, all while disregarding military decorum. Their relaxed approach is a source of consternation for other medical staffers including Dr. Frank Burns (Larry Linville) and Lt. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan (Loretta Swit), whose secret love affair is no secret. Lt. Colonel Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson) is the camp commander who gives “Hawkeye” and “Trapper” free reign, further irritating Burns and “Hot Lips.” Lt. Blake is aided by the nervous, yet efficient, Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly (Gary Burghoff). Other show regulars include Corporal Max Klinger (Jamie Farr), a doctor’s aide in the operating room who wears women’s clothing in hopes of being discharged and Father Francis Mulcahy (William Christopher), who runs an orphanage and serves as the unit’s chaplain.

Check out the “M*A*S*H” Facebook page here:

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About TV Land

TV Land is the programming destination featuring the best in entertainment on all platforms for consumers in their 40s and 50s. Consisting of original programming, classic and contemporary television series acquisitions, hit movies and a full-service Web site, TV Land is now seen in over 98 million U.S. homes.

About Viacom

Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB) is home to the world’s premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms in more than 160 countries and territories. With approximately 170 media networks reaching more than 600 million global subscribers, Viacom’s leading brands include MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, BET, CENTRIC, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, Nick at Nite, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV Land, Spike TV and Tr3s. Paramount Pictures, America’s oldest film studio and creator of many of the most beloved motion pictures, continues today as a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. Viacom operates a large portfolio of branded digital media experiences, including many of the world’s most popular properties for entertainment, community and casual online gaming.

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Piece of Titanic found by PBS’s History Detectives

Did you watch last night’s episode of History Detectives on PBS? If not, you missed an incredible story.

As a historian, I have watched History Detectives for years. This season, its 10th, History Detectives has undergone a refresh, but the central theme remains: investigating history. For those not familiar with the show, the public is encouraged to submit stories and objects related to history that they are unsure about. The show sends an expert to research the story/object. Sometimes the story is confirmed and sometimes it is not, but either way, the public is educated about historical events through the show’s research.

History Detectives has found some incredible objects in the past including an original signature from Abraham Lincoln and a piece of Amelia Earhart’s airplane (the Electra she crashed in Hawaii on her first attempt to circumnavigate the globe). Last night, History Detectives may have found one of the most interesting pieces history.

The story began with as simple picture frame and competing family stories. The frame is carved from wood from a shipwreck, but two cousins could not agree on which shipwreck. They both knew grandfather was an engineer aboard a transatlantic cable laying vessel, but they agreed on little more. One believed that their grandfather was aboard a vessel that came to rescue of the Lusitania and the other believed he was a part of the recovery effort following the sinking of the Titanic. It was up to History Detectives to see who, if either, was correct.

Elyse Luray was sent to investigate. She began by having the wood examined by and dendrochronologist. Dendrochronology is the use of tree rings to date wooden objects. The tree rings in the frame were measured and compared to samples of wood from Ireland (where Titanic was built) and Scotland (where Lusitania was built). The piece matched the patterns of Ireland, and it appeared the Titanic was more likely.

History Detectives was able to prove that the cousins’ grandfather was aboard the Minia from January to June 1912 and would have taken part in the recovery effort after the Titanic disaster. They were also able to locate a relative of another member of the Minia‘s crew who had a similarly carved frame (although not nearly as large and likely from a different type of wood). A visit to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Canada sealed the deal. They had another frame on display and could prove that it was carver aboard the Minia that likely carved both frames from wood off the Titanic.


Grand Staircases highlighted in Red – CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

So what part of the ship was the wood from? The incredible suggestion came from Titanic historian and artist Ken Marcshall. Marschall noticed the slight arc of the wood and the groves on its underside. He suggested that this piece of wood was likely from a bannister of the Grand Staircase. But the Titanic had two Grand Staircases. History Detectives did not explain this fact well enough, but was likely a piece of the bannister from the Aft Grand Staircase because it was near the section of the ship that split in two.

I was exciting by this episode and found myself staring at this piece of the Titanic and imaging what it would have been like for Titanic‘s passengers that night. This is an important find because no pictures of Titanic‘s Grand Staircases exist. All the images of the Grand Staircase that are available are of the Olympic’s Grand Staircase. Because of this find, we now know how the bannister was carved, the type of wood used (Oak), and the color of the wood. This is truly an incredible find, and the episode reminded me of why I became a Historian.

Please take the time to watch the episode and witness this find for yourself (it is the first story on the episode). I am unable to embed the episode into this post, but you can watch the full episode HERE.

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