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EMMYS: Additional In Memoriam Tributes Aim To Keep Viewers Interested

With trophy shows so dull these days — owing in large measure to the current trend toward laundry-list acceptance speeches delivered by Hollywood luminaries more frightened of forgetting to thank their agent, manager, publicist and spouse than of boring to death tens of millions of viewers — the broadcasting networks struggle to find ways to make sure the gowns are not the most interesting part of the broadcast. This morning, CBS and the TV Academy announced that, in addition to what has become the traditional In Memoriam segment, this weekend’s Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast will also include special tributes to recently deceased industry figures. For better or worse, death does well at trophy shows because viewers will pick watching beautifully decked-out celebrities having an actual genuine moment over beautifully decked-out celebrities thanking agents and lawyers any day. LL Cool J’s heartfelt prayer for the Whitney Houston — who had died the day before — followed by Jennifer Hudson’s moving performance of Houston signature song “I Will Always Love You” sent the 2012 Grammycast skyrocketing in the ratings, also on CBS.

Related: EMMYS: Expanded Tributes Set For Gandolfini, Monteith, Others

Sadly, death has been a big story in the TV industry since the last Emmy ceremony, including the unexpected deaths of James Gandolfini and Cory Monteith. In Sunday’s special tributes, Edie Falco will remember her Sopranos co-star and Jane Lynch will remember her Glee colleague. Michael J. Fox, starring in a new NBC comedy, will pay tribute to Family Ties producer Gary David Goldberg. Robin Williams, starring in a new CBS comedy, will remember friend/mentor Jonathan Winters, and Rob Reiner will fete his longtime All In The Family castmate Jean Stapleton. Read More »

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Michael J. Fox On The Passing Of Gary David Goldberg

By | Monday June 24, 2013 @ 12:25pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Michael J. Fox was a fresh-faced 20-year-old Canadian actor when he was cast in NBC’s comedy series Family Ties. Series creator Gary David Goldberg initially was not sold on Fox but quickly embraced him and then got him to topline his next series, Spin City. Both shows had long runs and turned Fox into a TV icon. Today, Fox is reflecting on the death of another TV great, Goldberg, who passed away yesterday at age 68, leaving behind his wife Diana and two grown daughters.

With a full heart I say goodbye to my mentor, benefactor, partner, second father and beloved friend, Gary David Goldberg. He touched so many with his enormous talent and generous spirit. He changed my life profoundly. Love to Diana and all of Gary’s family.

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R.I.P. Gary David Goldberg

By | Sunday June 23, 2013 @ 9:50pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Gary David Goldberg, creator of Family Ties and Brooklyn Bridge and co-creator of Spin City, died early this morning at his house in Montecito, CA after a long battle with brain cancer. He passed away two days before his 69th birthday.

Related: Michael J. Fox On The Passing Of Gary David Goldberg

Goldberg, who was born in Brooklyn, NY, used his personal life as inspiration for hit Family Ties, in which he based the parents on himself and his wife, and for Brooklyn Bridge, in which he payed homage to his grandmother Jenny. Earlier in his TV career, which spans three decades, Goldberg worked on The Bob Newhart Show, M*A*S*H* and Lou Grant. He won two Emmy Awards, one for Family Ties and one for Lou Grant, two Golden Globes, two WGA Awards, six Humanitas Prizes and a Peabody.

In 1995, then-27-year-old Bill Lawrence got his first shot at his own show, co-creating Spin City with Goldberg. “Everyone has a mentor (or two hopefully) that touches his/her life,” Lawrence wrote on Twitter. “Gary Goldberg passed away today. Wish I had thanked him more.Read More »

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