Mary Rodgers Guettel, who followed gently in the footsteps of her famous father, Richard Rodgers, when she helped turn the Hans Christian Andersen tale of The Princess And The Pea into the musical that launched Carol Burnett’s career, died Thursday of heart failure in New York. She was 83.
In addition to Once Upon A Mattress, Rodgers also earned fame as the author of Freaky Friday, a young readers’ novel in which a teen switches bodies with her mother. Rodgers adapted the 1972 book for the 1976 film starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster. It was remade for TV in 1995 with Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffman starring and again as a 2003 feature film with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. Read More »
It’s always fun when attending a live trophy-show ceremony in Washington to try to figure out which controversial bits will get cut for the subsequent broadcast on TV. Last night’s awarding of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to TV veteran Carol Burnett in Washington was filled with gags tied to the recent government shutdown. But PBS won’t air the ceremony until November 24, at which point the lines may seem stale — or still too controversial for PBS, which relies on Washington to provide a good-ish chunk of its financing. Lines to watch for while watching the November 24 broadcast:
Burnett: “This is very encouraging. I mean it was a long time in coming, but I understand because there are so many people funnier than I am, especially here in Washington. With any luck, they’ll soon get voted out, and I’ll still have the Mark Twain Prize.”
Tina Fey: “Enough politics. We are here tonight to celebrate the First Lady of American Comedy, Ted Cruz.” Read More »
Comedy icon Carol Burnett and her Carol Burnett Show pal Tim Conway will guest star together on TV Land’s Hot In Cleveland for an episode airing in August. Conway appeared in the show’s first season and will reprise his role as Elka’s (Betty White) ex Nick, who has his sights set on Penny (Burnett), Victoria’s (Wendy Malick) mother and a local children’s TV show legend/puppeteer. The sitcom’s summer season debuts June 19 with a live episode airing at 10 PM ET and live-to-tape three hours later at 10 PM on the West Coast.
Emmy-winner Allison Janney will guest star for five episodes on Showtime’s Masters Of Sex as University Provost Barton Scully’s (Beau Bridges) wife Margaret. The West Wing alum also stars in Chuck Lorre’s CBS fall comedy pilot Mom opposite Anna Faris. Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan head the cast of the 1960s-set drama as real life sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. The series is adapted from Thomas Maier’s book Masters Of Sex: The Life And Times Of William Masters And Virginia Johnson, The Couple Who Taught America How To Love. John Madden directs the pilot which … Read More »
Bob Banner Associates has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Carol Burnett and her Whacko Inc. seeking an accounting of revenues from The Carol Burnett Show, spinoff show Mama’s Family (suit refers to it as Mama’s House) and reunion specials. BBA’s suit (Banner himself died in 2011) says the company and Burnett and her Whacko are co-owners of the copyrights to the first five seasons of the show. According to the suit (read it here) Banner and Burnett entered an agreement in 1967 which continued until 1972. During that time, according to BBA, closing credits identified BBA as co-owner of the copyright with Burnett. “Sometime in 1969″, the suit says, Burnett’s company Burngood Inc filed its first copyright registration solely in Burnett’s Burngood company name (later absorbed by Whacko) with no mention of BBA. The series continued until 1979. The series subsequently was edited into half-hour episodes entitled Carol Burnett And Friends. The show and reunion episodes have been distributed in syndication and via home-video licenses to Columbia House, Guthy-Renker and Time Life. The spinoff Mama’s Family also continues in syndication and home video distribution.
BBA says it has received no accounting or compensation for exploitation of the episodes in question. Additionally, according to the suit, Burnett has never clearly repudiated BBA’s co-ownership. BBA charges Burnett/Whacko with breach of fiduciary duty, unfair business practice and seeks a full accounting of revenue and profits plus damages, interest and court costs.
Carol Burnett will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Cinematographers Guild’ 49th annual Publicists Awards Luncheon, which will be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 24, 2012. Previous recipients of the award include George Burns, Lew Wasserman, Warren Beatty, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, Julie Andrews, Harrison Ford, Robert Zemeckis and last year’s honoree Sylvester Stallone.
The Paley Center’s 29th annual PaleyFest: The William S. Paley Television Festival, will take place from March 2-14 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. FX’s new drama American Horror Story will serve as the gala opening, Modern Family will close out the festival, with Mad Men also on tap for a session.
Chris Coelen’s Kinetic Content, producer of the upcoming game/reality shows You Deserve It on ABC and Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, has promoted Emma Conway to Executive Producer in charge of Development. Additionally, Zach Green (American Chopper, Survivor) is joining the company as Executive Producer.
Disney has released the official trailer for its February 17, 2012 U.S. opening of The Secret World of Arrietty. The Studio Ghibli production is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi from a screenplay by the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa. It’s based on the novel The Borrowers by Mary Norton. Voice cast for the English-language version: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, David Henrie, Moises Arias.