• 81
    Midsomer Murders

    Midsomer Murders

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    ITV
    Welcome to the Midsomer Murders guide at TV.com. This English crime drama series, based on books by Caroline Graham, is filmed mostly in the villages and towns of the rural counties of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. John Nettles played Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby of Causton CID, a laconic, down-to-earth detective who faced many ingenious and remarkable murders — usually several in each episode — amid the eccentric denizens of Middle England. Barnaby's partners in detection were Sergeants Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey), Dan Scott (John Hopkins) and Ben Jones (Jason Hughes). Other regulars included Tom's wife Joyce (Jane Wymark) and his daughter Cully (Laura Howard). In 2011, Nettles left the show, and Tom Barnaby was replaced by his cousin, DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon). Midsomer Murders has been sold to more than 200 countries around the world. The show is made by Bentley Productions for ITV.moreless
  • 82
    Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

    Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

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    CBS (ended 1998)
    Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman was a show that focused on Dr. Mike, a woman doctor in a time when that was unheard of. It started with her journey to Colorado Springs to be the town's physician after her father's death in 1868. The show focused around the town that she loved, treated and it also focused on the three children, Matthew (Chad Allen), Colleen (Erika Flores, later Jessica Bowman) and Brian Cooper (Shawn Toovey), whom she had to raise after their mother died from a rattle snake bite. In the later years, the show focused on Dr. Mike and Sully (Joe Lando) who got married and had a daughter towards the end of the shows successful run. There have been two movies made for television, and fans are gathering together in an effort that a third Dr. Quinn movie be produced.moreless
  • 83
    Agatha Christie's Poirot

    Agatha Christie's Poirot

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    ITV (ended 2013)
    Welcome to the Poirot guide at TV.com. This is a British series which brings to life Agatha Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, played by David Suchet, whose sleuthing for the purposes of this series belongs in the mid-1930s. Based in London, with the very English Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) as his Dr Watson, Poirot's field of operations ranges around the world. The series has strong story lines, good production and acting, and a real period flavour. Poirot won two BAFTA awards in 1990, then had more BAFTA nominations as Best Drama Series in 1991 and 1992. All of Agatha Christie's seventy-two Poirot stories were produced with David Suchet as Poirot, and the show has been broadcast in more than one hundred countries around the world.moreless
  • 84
    Saved by the Bell

    Saved by the Bell

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    NBC (ended 1993)
    Saved By the Bell focused on Zack Morris and his friends: Samuel "Screech" Powers, Kelly Kapowski, Jessie Spano, A.C. Slater and Lisa Turtle. They had adventures and funny moments at Bayside High School in Palisades, California. They often tried to fool the gullible principal, Mr. Richard Belding, but also sometimes got advice from him. They regularly hung out at a burger joint called "The Max," which was owned in the first season by a magician named Max.

    As the years went by, they had adventures and relationships that lasted a long time. In the third season, the gang spent the summer at Malibu Sands, an exclusive beach club owned by Mr. Carosi, and his daughter Stacey Carosi, whom Zack fell in love with.

    The final season saw the arrival of a new cast member, Tori Scott, who took the place of Kelly and Jessie when Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley left the show in mid-season. The show ended with the gang graduating and heading off to college in the spin-off series Saved by the Bell: the College Years. There was also another spin-off to this show called Saved by the Bell: TNC.

    Saved By the Bell began as a short-lived comedy/drama series named Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which focused on teacher Miss Bliss and her students at John F. Kennedy Junior High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. After the show was cancelled by the Disney Channel, NBC picked up 4 of the characters (Zack, Screech, Lisa and Mr. Belding) and turned it into a new Saturday morning series called Saved by the Bell, which became more of a comedy concentrating on the antics of the students and was re-located to Bayside High School in Pacific Palisades, California.moreless
  • 85
    King of the Hill

    King of the Hill

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    FOX (ended 2010)
    Hank is a true Texan, who loves everything Texas, and hates most things non-Texan. He is a propane gas salesman in the fictional town Arlen, Texas. Hank is often besieged by the idiosyncrasies of society and often has to be the "hero". He has a wife Peggy who starts off as a Substitute Spanish Teacher, but picks up other jobs along the way, a son Bobby, who seems to be the polar opposite of Hank, and a live-in (for the first few seasons) niece-in-law Luanne Platter, who at times can be an airhead. Hank spends a great deal of time in front of his fence drinking beer with his odd friends, divorcee military barber Bill Dauterive, paranoid Dale Gribble (with an obsession with Government conspiracy theories) and gibberish spouting Boomhauer.


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  • 86
    Charlie Rose

    Charlie Rose

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    PBS
    This talk show has no frill involved. Just a round oak table and intelligent discussion as journalist Charlie Rose engages newsmakers, celebrities, and authors each night.
  • 87
    Gilligan's Island

    Gilligan's Island

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    CBS (ended 1967)
    Gilligan's Island centered around a group of people who were stranded on an uncharted deserted island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. They all were on a boat tour, which found itself in the middle of a storm leading them to crash on an island! Those stranded include, Gilligan, the Skipper, a millionaire (Thurston Howell III) and his wife (Lovey Howell), a movie star (Ginger Grant), a professor (known as "The Professor"), and Mary Ann. Gilligan was the first mate on the boat, the SS Minnow. Most episodes dealt with the castaways trying to get off the island, but their attempts seemed to always be foiled by Gilligan. Broadcast History- Sept 1964-Sept 1965, CBS Sat 8:30-9:00 Sept 1965-Sept 1966, CBS Thurs 8:00-8:30 Sept 1966-Sept 1967, CBS Mon 7:30-8:00moreless
  • 88
    Dallas

    Dallas

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    CBS (ended 1991)
    In the ranks of prime-time dramas, this was one of the biggest. Dallas, the saga of the Ewing Family, began as a five part mini-series in 1978. Throughout its thirteen seasons, many actors passed through the gates of Southfork. In the late 1960's, Peyton Place was a nighttime serial drama success-a novelty at the time. But since then, no P.M. show had caught the soap opera crowd's attention… until Dallas. The show first went on the air for a five week run in early 1978, and then fell into a Saturday nighttime slot later that year. Ratings were fair, but they were nothing compared to when the show moved to Friday nights, when the ratings well didn't run dry for a long, long time. The Ewing family lived at the sprawling South Fork ranch, in hoity-toity Braddock County just outside Dallas. Like any good power family, there was a matriarch and patriarch, and three sons- this core group, their extensive romantic relations, and the Barnes clan of rival oilers were all Jacobs needed to create a self-contained histrionic world of intrigue, dysfunction and passion. Borrowing from Romeo and Juliet, the youngest Ewing boy, Bobby, fell for a beautiful Barnes girl. And with a nod to the biblical Cain and Abel, Bobby and older brother J.R. didn't exactly play nice with each other like you might expect brothers to. Whereas J.R. was nearly a hundred percent scoundrel, Bobby had discernable streaks of honesty and integrity…but that patented Ewing viciousness certainly reared its head once in a while. The South Fork ranch housed Jock and Miss Ellie, the king and queen of South Fork, J.R. and long-suffering wife Sue Ellen, and Bobby and Pamela…though why they all lived under one roof demands a little poetic license, because money certainly wasn't a problem, and it wasn't like there was a whole lot of binding inter-family harmony. Here's just a taste of the drama devices that ensued: insane asylums, car accidents, affairs, illegitimate children, gunfights, fistfights, catfights, lies, drinking problems (both real and imagined), poufy 80's hairstyles for the ladies and best of all, notorious season finale cliffhangers. The most famous, of course, came at the end of the 1979-80 season, when a mysterious late-night intruder shot J.R. in the chest while he was toiling away at the office one night. The resulting "Who Shot J.R.?" publicity raced around the globe, because by that time, Dallas was an international hit in just about every developed country in the world. Odds on the shooter's identity were figured, bets were placed, and theories were construed– since there were about fifteen possible candidates, fans and pundits were kept very busy indeed. Don't read the next part of this sentence if you want to remain one of the few of-age humans who doesn't know whodunit… it was Kristin, J.R.'s scorned sister-in-law and recent romantic entanglement. Dallas was conceived as a show that had plenty of sex and romance for the female audiences, and a lot of cowboy posturing and business intrigue for the male viewers. The formula worked, because by the early 1980's, it was one of the most popular shows in TV history. There were magazine covers galore, a spin-off named Knots Landing about Gary, the middle Ewing son who wasn't seen or heard from much during proceedings at South Fork, and primetime serialization imitators like Dynasty and Falcon Crest. So for the show that kicked off the nighttime drama trend that's status quo today, we tip those ten-gallon hats and breathe a secret sigh of relief that J.R. was just a fictional character who couldn't manipulate us in real life. Because let's be honest, that guy could have taken most of us down. CBS Broadcast History: April 2, 1978- April 30, 1978----Sundays----10:00-11:00 P.M. September 23, 1978- October 14, 1978----Saturdays----10:00-11:00 P.M. October 15, 1978- January 14, 1979----Sundays----10:00-11:00 P.M. January 26, 1979- November 27, 1981----Fridays----10:00-11:00 P.M. December 4, 1981- May 17, 1985----Fridays----9:00-10:00 P.M. September 27, 1985- May 16, 1986----Fridays----9:00-10:00 P.M. September 26, 1986- May 13, 1988----Fridays----9:00-10:00 P.M. October 28, 1988- March 9, 1990----Fridays----9:00-10:00 P.M. March 16, 1990- May 11, 1990----Fridays----10:00-11:00 P.M. November 2, 1990- December 21, 1990----Fridays----10:00-11:00 P.M. January 4, 1991- May 3, 1991----Fridays----9:00-10:00 P.M.moreless
  • 89
    Cops

    Cops

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    Spike TV
    Now known as the original reality series, COPS hit the airwaves in early 1989, putting camera crews in police cars all across the United States. Adopting the Cinema Verité style of documentary filming, COPS uses no narration, depending completely on the police officers and the footage shot as it happens to tell the story. Each COPS camera crew consists of a camera operator and a sound mixer. The officer is mic'd with a wireless mic directly to the camera and the sound mixer captures the suspects, witnesses and other officers with a boom mic. Multiple crews can be stationed in one area as well as crews working different cities across the country at the same time. Still one of the most popular television shows on the air, COPS moved from the FOX network to Spike TV in the fall of 2013, keeping it's original 8pm time slot on Saturday nights.moreless
  • 90
    The Early Show

    The Early Show

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    CBS (ended 2012)
    The Early Show has aired on CBS since 1999, often competing with other network morning news shows, Good Morning America and The Today Show, which are also from New York City. Bryant Gumbel, Jane Clayson, and Mark McEwen hosted The Early Show from inception until they left the show in October 2002. The show is currently anchored by Harry Smith, Julie Chen, Russ Mitchell, Maggie Rodriguez, and Dave Price.moreless
  • 91
    NYPD Blue

    NYPD Blue

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    ABC (ended 2005)
    "This police drama contains adult language and scenes with partial nudity. Viewer discretion is advised." The potential images those words created alone caused more controversy for this series, before it had even premiered. The "Bible Belt" was up in arms and no-one had even seen an episode. In most of those southern states the local ABC affiliates refused to carry the show, which was a shame because aside from a "little" bare flesh and a couple of harsh words, they missed out on a quality television show. Of course it wasn't long before they realized it really was no big deal. Late during the first season, Steven Bochco said during an acceptance speech at the 20th Annual People's Choice Awards: "In spite of those who seek to legislate what we can and cannot see on our own television sets in the privacy of our own homes. NYPD Blue has succeeded because the American people, properly so, prefer to judge for themselves." At those awards the show was voted "favorite new television dramatic series" and "favorite television dramatic series" the first year it was eligible. The show has been nominated for and won numerous awards. Check out this IMDb link for more information. Most notably the series has been nominated for an Emmy 84 times and has won 20 of those times and Dennis Franz has claim to four of those statues. Before this series, some of the stars had an affiliation with Steven Bochco from his previous highly acclaimed series Hill Street Blues. David Caruso had guest starred in two episodes and during the 3rd season, Dennis Franz guest starred as Det. Sal Benedetto in 5 episodes and was killed off in his last appearance. Franz officially joined the cast in that show's 6th season as Lt. Norman Buntz and stayed with the show until it ended. Then the Buntz character was brought back for a short-lived comedy series called Beverly Hills Buntz the following season. This series didn't last because it was erratically scheduled as a fill-in and then couldn't build an audience. James McDaniel also appeared in a Hill Street Blues episode and then also appeared in Steven Bochco's attempt at something new, a musical police drama called Cop Rock. When Caruso left early on in the series, another Bochco veteran was called upon; Jimmy Smits who played Victor Sifuentes on Bochco's L.A. Law was brought in to play new detective Bobby Simone. While other actors have left with big screen ambitions, two actors have left the series to move onto other Bochco created programs. In 1996 there was an attempt to launch a comedy that featured as one of the characters in the ensemble PAA John Irvin played by Bill Brochtrup. Public Morals only aired one episode and was pulled. I would hesitate to call it a spin-off, since only one (at that time) minor character from this series appeared on it, but I suppose an argument could be made. After all, Dennis Franz did take his Norman Buntz character from Hill Street Blues to Beverly Hills Buntz, a comedy series that lasted much longer than Public Morals did. Bill Brochtrup returned back to the 15th and made several guest appearances before becoming a full cast member in the 6th season. In 2001 Kim Delaney left this series (with a loophole that would allow her to come back) to star in Philly. That series wasn't too long lived and Det. Russell has subsequently returned for a guest spot or two. While this cast has undergone a rotation of lead actors, Dennis Franz was the glue that held this series together. Most of the show's run was at Tuesdays at 10pm ET on ABC. The show was simulcast in HDTV. With the 2000-2001 TV season, the show became ABC's first regularly scheduled entertainment series to be broadcast in high definition. First air date: September 21, 1993 Last air date: March 1, 2005 Original air time: Tuesday 10:00:00 pm (Eastern)moreless
  • 92
    Arthur

    Arthur

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    PBS
    Arthur Read, the spectacular bespectacled aardvark stars in this children's series about growing up. Typical childhood problems such as bratty siblings, schoolyard bullies and classroom cliques are addressed by this popular program. Arthur's eighteenth season has come to a close. However, watch for repeats again soon on your local PBS station. And keep watching for more details on upcoming episodes of the program. Currently, Arthur is the second longest-running North American animated series (behind The Simpsons), now with seventeen seasons and counting. Developed from Marc Brown's beloved books, Arthur reminds us all of how it feels to be 8 years old. Just like your average kid, Arthur overcomes the dreaded obstacles of third-grade life, such as his tough teacher Mr. Ratburn, bullies, and mountains of homework. At home, Arthur must face the pint- terror also known as his sister Dora Winifred, or D.W. for short. Everything between these two is a struggle; who gets control of the television remote, who can play their Crazy Bus CD, whose hobbies are dumber, that's a baby show...Will Arthur ever win one of these pointless arguments? Probably never, because not only is D.W. fiercely independent, she's also very smart. But despite it all, Arthur and D.W. are still brother and sister, and when they're not arguing, they can accomplish great things together.

    Keeping Arthur sane are his helpful friends --- an assortment of colorful animal cohorts who always provide sound advice and a few laughs too. They are: Francine Frensky (a tomboy who would rather play sports than go to the mall), Buster Baxter (an enthusiastic gourmand), Alan "The Brain" Powers (a bona-fide 3rd grade genius, who even writes computer programs in his spare time), Muffy Crosswire (the rich girl with a real heart of gold), and Sue Ellen Armstrong (a traveler of the world and geography expert). Arthur can also sometimes be seen with Fern Walters (a soft-spoken musician with semi-hidden goth interests), Binky Barnes (acts like a bully, but enjoys pastimes such as ballet and clarinet), George Nordgren/Lundgren (a somewhat shy moose who be truly entertaining when he tries), Prunella (who supposedly has psychic powers and is actually in the fourth grade) and Jenna Morgan (a rarely seen cat-girl.) And of course, who could forget Pal, Arthur's lovable, loyal pet pooch?

    Arthur airs on PBS every weekday and on some stations on weekends --- check local listings for time. Or, go to the PBS Kids' Arthur schedule to find out which episode is airing in a city near you.

    A large number of Arthur stories have been released on DVD and video. Many episodes are also available in book form. There are also a wealth of Arthur-related promotions and products, so keep an eye on the news and check online merchants such as eBay and Amazon, and your local stores. You can also check your local library for Arthur books.

    Theme Song

    Every day when you're walkin' down the street,
    Everybody that you meet, Has an original point of view...
    - Chorus: And I say "Hey!" (Hey!) What a wonderful kind of day! (Day!)
    If we can learn to work and play,(Play!) And get along with each other... -
    You've got to listen to your heart, Listen to the beat, Listen to the rhythm, the rhythm on the street,
    Open up your eyes, Open up your ears, Get together and make things better, By working together
    It's a simple message, and it comes from the heart, Believe in (believe in yourself...) 'Cuz that's the Place to START!
    - And I say "Hey!" (Hey!) What a wonderful kind of day! (Day!)
    If we can learn to work and play (PLAY!), And get along with each other (Hey!)
    What a wonderful kind of day Hey! What a wonderful kind of day...
    Hey! The series won 7 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Children's Animated Program, Outstanding Children's Animated Program, Outstanding Sound Mixing - Special Class, Outstanding Children's Animated Program, Outstanding Sound Mixing - Live Action and Animation, Outstanding Children's Animated Program and Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program.moreless
  • 93
    Wheel of Fortune

    Wheel of Fortune

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    Wheel of Fortune is in its 26th season (2008-2009 Season) with Pat Sajak & Vanna White. Wheel debuted in 1982.Wheel of Fortune has been renewed through the 2011-2012 season.

    One of the most successful game shows in history, Wheel of Fortune actually is a version of the children's game Hangman (with a large carnival wheel and prizes added). The game show, which did modestly well in the 1970s, became a worldwide phenomenon in the 1980s through syndication and made household names out of its hosts, Pat Sajak and Vanna White. Simply put, the Wheel has never stopped spinning since its premiere as an NBC daytime show that winter day in January 1975. (Ironically, the series replaced Jeopardy!, which later in 1984 when it returned, became its current companion in syndication.)

    The rules of the game Three contestants -- at various times during the run, including a returning champion -- compete. The host announces a category to a mystery puzzle (person, place, thing, phrase, quotation, event, landmark, occupation, etc.). The puzzle was originally contained on a three-tier, 36-space board (in 1981, changed to a four-tier, 52-space board; and in 1997, an all-electronic four-tier, 52-space board).

    The contestant selected to go first (by blind draw before the show) spin a large horizontally-situated carnival wheel containing dollar amounts and other spaces (including Bankrupt, Lose a Turn and Free Spin). If the contestant landed on a dollar amount, he/she could guess a letter thought to be in the puzzle; if it appeared, they received the cash multiplied by the number of times it appears in the puzzle (ergo, if the player guessed "T" after landing on $250, and "T" appeared twice, they received $500). An incorrect guess or landing on a penalty space (Bankrupt or Lose a Turn) caused control of the wheel to pass to the next contestant.

    At any point, the contestant in control of the wheel could spin again, ask to buy a vowel (at which point $250 was deducted from their score, and only if they had at least $250) or attempt to solve the puzzle; very early in the show's run, a player had to land on a Buy a Vowel space in order to buy a vowel, but this idea was scrapped before Wheel completed its first month on the air. The Bankrupt space caused the player to lose his accumulated winnings for that round (though all previous winnings were considered safe -- hence, "Once you buy a prize, it's yours to keep").

    If the player correctly guessed the puzzle's solution, he/she got to keep their accumulated winnings. Any contestant solving the puzzle and not having at least $100 (later $200 and still later, $500) was spotted that amount "on the house." Early rounds typically had lower dollar values on the wheel ($500 as a top space on round 1 early in the run/Bob Goen version, later that was changed to $750), but increased in subsequent rounds ($1,000 and $2,000 for the later rounds, to increase the excitement; $1,250 when Bob Goen hosted).

    Originally, the winnings were used to "go shopping" (i.e., purchase prizes) in one of the three revolving rooms on the set -- each containing: * Furniture -- enough to fill any room in the house, from the living room and dining room to bedroom or game room. * Appliances -- large and small, enough to make that dream kitchen or efficient laundry room. * Things for outside -- everything from swimming pools and patio furniture to barbecues, lawn games and garden equipment. * Clothing -- for every occasion. * Trips -- to any place imaginable, domestic or foreign. And don't forget the luggage and camera outfits. * Electronics -- TVs, stereos and much more! The show was among the first to offer early versions of VCRs (c. 1976), home video game units (c. 1978, Atari) and satellite dishes (late-1970s). * Gift Certificates -- everywhere to restaurants (Bonanza, Dairy Queen), clothing outlets (Casual Corner) and any other store (Western Auto). * Food -- from steaks from the Iowa Beef Council and chocolates to items from the Dessert of the Month Club. * Overall comfort and fun -- from a central air conditioning system and pinball machines to hot tubs and pizza parties. * Miscellaneous items -- everything from magazine subscriptions and collections of LPs from a record label to those famous ceramnic dalmations. and MUCH more.

    There were other announced prizes, usually worth much more than in the revolving rooms. While some prizes offered during the early years were no doubt unusual (such as rare antiques and African masks), the favorite prize, of course, were the cars. In the daytime show, there were two or three available, usually, a sports model (such as a Chevrolet Camaro) and an economy model (a Chevrolet Monza), but there were also more upmarket family cars (the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme) and exotic foreign cars (a Lancia Beta coupe).

    Other top-ticket items proving popular were: * Other forms of transportation -- everything from boats, motorcycles and camping trailers. There was even, at one time, a 4-seat airplane and a motorhome available! * Furs -- before the animal rights groups got their way. * Jewelry -- everything from rings, necklaces, pearls, earrings, watches and much more!

    Starting in 1987 (primetime) and 1989 (daytime), the winner of a round received his accumulated bank in cash (thanks to beefs from contestants who had to pay steep taxes and preferred cash). During the shopping era, a contestant could elect to place any unused cash "on account" (which they could claim only upon winning a subsequent round AND avoiding the bankrupt space in the meantime); otherwise, unused winnings were placed on a gift certificate (usually to Gucci, Dicker and Dicker of Beverly Hills or another luxury shop seen on Rodeo Drive).

    If time ran short (signified by a series of "dings"), a "speed up" round was played, wherein the host gave the wheel one final spin, with vowels worth nothing and all consonants worth whatever the host landed on. The top-winning contestant after so many rounds completed within each show was the day's champion. In case of a tie, one of several things happened, depending on the year:

    * At first, all three players returned on the next show (even the third-place player). Everyone kept what they won on all shows. * Later, the two (or possibly all three) tied players played a one-round speedround to determine the champion. This format was used once the permanent bonus round was started.

    End Game - The Bonus Round At first, there was no bonus round, the top winner simply returned. Starting in 1981, the champion advanced to a bonus round, where they could select a prize (always worth $1,000 or more and signified with a gold star (or announced in some other way)) and, after choosing five consonants and one vowel, had 15 seconds to solve the puzzle.

    Prior to the bonus round becoming a permanent part of the game, there were several special weeks where bonus rounds were played. Games included (but not limited to):

    * 1975 hour-long format Bonus Round - Played during Wheel's short-lived 60-minute format, the day's overall winner selected one of four puzzles (labeled easy, medium, difficult and hard); the level of difficulty determined the prize (e.g., an easy puzzle may have been worth a TV-stereo console, while the difficult puzzle may have won the player a new Cadillac). The player then chose four consonants and a vowel and tried to solve the puzzle within 15 seconds. This is very similar to the current bonus round, except the level of difficulty did not necessarily correspond with the prize's value.

    * Any Prize in the House - The top winner simply chose a prize and they got it.

    * Star Bonus - By landing on a special token on the wheel, a contestant had the opportunity to advance to a special bonus round if they were one of the runners-up. That player could become champion by solving a puzzle and winning a prize that was worth more than the amount of the first-place player's lead. As with the 60-minute format's bonus round, the prize's value corresponded with the difficulty of the puzzle.

    This short-lived format wasn't always played, however, since the Star Bonus token sometimes wasn't landed on the entire show; the token could serve as insurance for a dominating player who wins the game (and possibly purchases the most-expensive prize, thereby making it unavailable for the opponents); or the expensive prize's value was not worth enough to cover the difference between the champion's winnings and his/her opponents.

    The rules of other games varied, but usually, the show had a bigger prize budget than during regular weeks.

    Changes through the years Many changes were made through the years, some very successful (luxury prizes in the syndicated version; $25,000 cash top bonus round prize), while others weren't (e.g., a "Doubler" token, which allowed contestants to double the potential value of the next spin; Rolf Benirschke as host of the daytime show; the infamous Megaword category, where a contestant had to correctly use the revealed word in a coherent sentence for an extra $500). Some of the more successful changes are detailed below.

    * For the syndicated version, decidedly luxury prizes were often advertised ("This $41,000 customized Cadillac Seville! "A $60,000 log cabin!" "A $25,000 trip around the world!"); plus a silver $5,000 space on the wheel's third round (replacing the $2,000 daytime show top space, though early syndicated shows had both the $2,000 and $5,000 spaces). Also, a bonus prize space was added in the second round of the syndicated show (and in 1987, a different bonus to the fourth round).

    * Meanwhile, in the daytime show, a "Jackpot" bonus space was added to the second round in 1987; it based at $1,000 and grew by $1,000 per show until claimed.

    * With the syndicated show's change to an all-cash format in 1987, the bonus round changed to having four (or sometimes, as many as six) grand prizes and $25,000 cash available as prizes. Originally meant to be a month-long promotion (the "Big Bonanza of Cash" before reverting to the tried-and-true post-puzzle shopping), this well-received format allowed more rounds – save for celebrity week gabfests, always at least four – to be played. Originally, the top wheel values were set thusly:

    - Round 1: $1,000. - Round 2: $2,500 (plus a bonus prize). - Round 3: $3,500. - Round 4-on: $5,000 (plus a bonus prize for Round 4 only, if time permits; sometimes, the bonus was used in Round 3 instead).

    This has since been changed, with the current setup as follows:

    - Round 1: $2,500, plus an $1,000 online shopping spree card that is placed on the wheel for the rest of the show a la the Free Spin, and may be picked up if a letter is correctly guessed. - Round 2: $3,500, plus a bonus prize, which remains on the wheel until a contestant picks it up. Until 2002, additional bonus prizes were placed on the wheel in subsequent rounds. – Round 3: $3,500, plus the Mystery Round spaces. - Round 4-on: $5,000, including the speed round.

    * During the 1988-1989 season, the contestant was given the six most popular letters -- R, S, T, L, N and E, and asked to select three more consonants and one vowel; the bonus round time limit was then shortened to 10 seconds.

    * Starting in 1989 (since $25,000 cash was far and away the most popular prize choice), the five grand prizes were placed in a blind draw, and could only be won once per week.

    * In 1996, the "returning champions" idea was scrapped, with a "Friday Finals" format instituted. Three new contestants appeared Monday through Thursday, with the week's top winners returning on Friday (regardless if they were their show's top winner) to play for a jackpot prize package. The latter format lasted only a couple of seasons before it, too, was scuttled.

    * In the 1990s, a Surprise space was added to the wheel, which was simply a prize that was announced only if won (usually a trip); this space has since been scrapped.

    * In the mid-1990s, a Jackpot round (third round initially, later the second round) allowed a contestant to claim an accumulating jackpot -- which based at $5,000 and accumulated with each dollar space landed on -- if they landed on a Jackpot space, correctly guessed a letter and solved the puzzle all in the same turn.

    * A few years after the jackpot round, a $10,000 space added to the wheel. The space was not multipliable; rather, it simply added $10,000 to the contestant's winnings if they solved the puzzle and avoided bankrupt. The space took up the center third of a standard wheel space, with two bankrupt spaces taking up the remainder (to add to the suspense). If the $10,000 part of the space was landed on and the contestant guessed correctly, it was placed face down in front of the contestant to read $10,000 (unlike the standard prize space, which was left face up).

    * "Toss Up" puzzles -- to determine who started the game -- were added prior to the first and fourth rounds, starting in the 2000-2001 season, each worth $1,000; a year later, two "Toss Up" puzzles were played, once before the contestant introductions and the second (now worth $2,000) to determine first round wheel control, with the pre-fourth round "Toss Up" now worth $3,000. If a contestant made an incorrect guess, he/she was out of the remainder of the puzzle; if all the letters were filled in or everyone guessed wrong, nobody won anything and wheel control began either with the left-most contestant or wherever it left off before.

    * During the 2000-2001 season, the "speed up" round was changed, wherein $1,000 was added to whatever dollar amount Sajak landed on. There was some cool music added, too.

    * Changes to the Bonus Round in October 2001. The contestant spun a mini- wheel containing 25 envelopes; Sajak removed the envelope; and win or lose, revealed the prize contained within (a car, $25,000 cash or a new top prize of $100,000; the top prize was contained in just one of the envelopes). In 2002-2003, more money amounts (one each of amounts between $30,000 and $50,000, each in $5,000 increments) were thrown into the mix. There have been at least five $100,000 winners and several others who have not been quite as fortunate.

    * Starting in 2002-2003, contestants who won nothing during the front game were given $500 just for playing (in addition to those lovely parting gifts).

    * A new Mystery space, added in the 2002-2003 season. Played in Round 3, two such spaces were placed on the wheel, with a $500 dollar value. Contestants landing on this space guessed a letter could either spin again or risk their accumulated bank, not knowing what's on the other side of the Mystery card. It could be Bankrupt or a new car (on occasion, it could be another prize, such as a $10,000 shopping spree). If it was a car, the contestant had to solve the puzzle and avoid the Bankrupt spaces to claim the car. The other Mystery space was then put out of play, becoming a regular $500 space. In September 2004, the values of the Mystery spaces dooubled to $1,000.

    A prize puzzle, added in the 2003-2004 season. One puzzle on each show (usually the second or third round) had some connection to a prize the contestant would win for solving the puzzle. For example, a contestant solving the puzzle "Check Your Local Listings" could win a plasma wall-screen television. The set underwent some revisions, too.

    Chuck and Susan and Pat and Vanna When the show started in 1975, Chuck Woolery was the host. For a brief time in the fall of 1979, Alex Trebek served as substitute host when Woolery took a leave of absence. In 1981, Woolery left for good when he was denied a pay raise (he wanted $500,000 per year, more than Merv Griffin was willing to offer. Chuck left, and Pat Sajak replaced him. Most of the Chuck Woolery episodes are hard to find, due to NBC's practice of destroying tapes from old shows. On the daytime version, ex-football star Benirschke on January 10, 1989, but he didn't work out too well. When the show moved from NBC to CBS, 6 months later, Bob Goen became the host, and was the host for two years (the show moved back to NBC in 1991 for 9 months). Pat Sajak still hosts the nighttime syndicated version.

    Susan Stafford was the original "letter turner." She was replaced by Summer Bartholemew on October 22, 1982, then Vicky McCarty three weeks later. (None of the Summer Bartholemew episodes exist due to NBC's practice of destroying tapes of old shows.) On December 13, 1982, McCarty left, and Vanna White became the new permanent hostess (BTW -- Vanna's first letter turned was a "T," in the puzzle "General Hospital"). As most game show fans know, this is not Vanna's first appearance on a game show. In June 1980, 2 1/2 years before her first appearance on Wheel of Fortune, America's favorite hostess was a contestant on The Price is Right in 1980, but she never left contestant's row (BTW – as a recurring joke, TPiR former icon/host Bob Barker always wondered aloud whatever became of her).

    Originally, Vanna rarely spoke on-camera (though she occasionally engaged in small talk with Pat at the end of the show); back then, Sajak would be introduced and then he would introduce Vanna, who always showed off a different dress or outfit (and for the record, no, she did NOT get to keep her clothes, which always come from the most glamorous of shops). However, as Vanna gained acclaim with the viewing audience, she talked more and more. Today, both Pat and Vanna walk out together and they always conversate after each program. Vanna often does the car prize descriptions prior to each bonus round.

    Charlie O'Donnell as the original announcer when Wheel of Fortune began. He left in 1982, and Jack Clark (who had earlier announced on occasion) took over full-time. Clark died of cancer in 1988 (Sajak offered a tribute to the long-time announcer in the 1988-1989 syndicated season premiere), and after a five-month stint by M.G. Kelly, O'Donnell returned, his trademark phrasing "WH-EEEEEEE-L OF FORTUNE" and "25 THOOOOOOOOOUSAND DOLLARS" intact.

    Retrospectives and going on the road Several tributes to the series have been shown through the years, most commonly as part of daytime talk shows and occasional bloopers specials. During its syndicated run, Wheel of Fortune has aired two retrospectives of its own - the first in November 1998, to mark its 3,000th show; and again in November 2003, when its 4,000th show aired, as part of a series of shows taped in New York.

    Speaking of which, Wheel of Fortune has gone "on the road" all over the country to tape shows. Among the first aired in November 1988, when the show taped from New York's Radio City Music Hall (legendary NBC announcer Don Pardo did voiceovers). Other cities have included (but are not limited to) Chicago, Nashville, Phoenix and Honolulu; and many of those episodes were part of special theme weeks (such as Best Friends Week) or have paired contestants with celebrities from a particular genre (e.g., NFL football players, country music stars).

    From Hangman to Wheel and everything in between The idea for the game show that eventually became Wheel of Fortune grew from a game known as Shopper's Bazaar. Two such pilots were produced – one in 1973 with Woolery as host, the other (from 1974) helmed by Edd Byrnes (best known as "Kookie" from the 1958-1964 detective drama, 77 Sunset Strip). The rules for the earlier pilot, hosted by Woolery, was quite different from the game we all came to know and love (e.g., a self-spinning wheel and the host pressing a button at the contestant's direction; prize money carried over to subsequent rounds and always "at risk;" etc.).

    The later pilot, hosted by Byrnes and a more talkative Stafford, was similar to what viewers first saw in 1975. When Merv Griffin Enterprises made their final plans to enter production in late 1974, a host had yet to be chosen. The story goes that Griffin's decision was made when he saw the producer's first choice, Byrnes, in the hallways prior to the taping of the first shows, repeating "A-E-I-O-U, A-E-I-O-U;" in an attempt to recall the vowels.

    It's the 60-minute Wh-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-l of Fortune In December 1975, a month after The Price is Right became a one-hour show, NBC experimented with an hour-long version of Wheel of Fortune.

    The game played thusly: Two sets of three contestants compete in three-round games each, as usual, with the returning champion playing in the second set of games. The top money winners of each three-round match met in a one-puzzle showdown for the right to advance to the bonus round (described above).

    The hour-long Wheel of Fortune lasted but a month, and returned to the 30-minute game we all came to love by the end of January 1976. BTW, several other NBC game show hits, including The Hollywood Squares, also briefly expanded to 60 minutes as part of the networks' promotion.

    Syndication Wheel of Fortune's phenomenal run in syndication almost never happened. As early as the fall of 1975, there was interest in producing a weekly nighttime show, but few syndicators were wanting to try and even fewer stations willing to buy, particularly because there were other powerhouse game shows airing (either Match Game PM or Family Feud, depending on the year) that were seen as insurmountable in the ratings.

    In 1983, King World Productions – a small-time distributor that had edited Our Gang shorts for television airing – took a chance on the show ... and it paid off royally! Airing on just 59 stations when the premiere aired Sept. 19, 1983, Wheel of Fortune (often pitted against latter-day Dawson's Family Feud) quickly soared in the ratings and within two years, was airing on nearly 200 stations and began its (thus far) permanent reign as the nation's top syndicated program. Jeopardy! rates second, with Friends reruns currently the shows' closest competitor.

    Wheel across the world (and (yuck) a kid's version, too) As Wheel of Fortune grew in popularity during the mid-1980s, countries all over the world began staging their own versions; each had their own "Pat and Vanna," and minor rules changes. Clips of these international versions are seen from time to time on the U.S. version.

    Also, a children's version of the program under the name Wheel 2000 also aired on CBS during the 1997-1998 season (with many modifications, see page for details).

    Merchandising Merchandise ... thy name is Wheel of Fortune. Even in the mid-1970s, there were two editions of the home game issued by Milton Bradley (complete with wheel, puzzle board and prize cards).

    But that was just the beginning, as by the mid-1980s, there were T-shirts, key chains, calendars and even an album of prize cue music featured on the show. Vanna merchandise also appeared, including her biography "Vanna Speaks."

    Home video games - from electronic hand-held units to cartridges and CD-ROMs for units that connect to TV - have also been highly popular (and have seen, in addition to subsequent editions with more puzzles and categories, special editions for children and sports fans).

    And through it all, one thing has not changed -- a vowel still costs you $250 (except during the Bob Goen network era/1989-91 CBS and 1991 NBC, when those A's, E's, I's, O's and U's cost just $100).moreless
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    The Hunger

    The Hunger

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    Showtime (ended 2000)
    An 30-minute anthology of horror stories, THE HUNGER, hosted by Terence Stamp in season 1, and David Bowie in season 2, premiered on Showtime on July 20, 1997. Created by Jeff Fazio. The show remided us of "The Twilight Zone" and "The Outer Limits," but it actually a much darker and adults-only type of show. The show centered mostly on the horror, combined with erotica and fantasy, followed by amazing segments with the hosts. The show had a few blanks, but overall it was a another anthology-series worth watching.moreless
  • 95
    The Waltons

    The Waltons

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    CBS (ended 1981)
    This is the story of the Waltons. The show takes place during the Depression and then during World War II. John & Olivia had eight kids, three girls and five boys. One of the boys died at birth; he was a twin to Jim-Bob. John and Olivia's children names are John-Boy, Jason, Mary Ellen, Erin, Ben, twins Jim-Bob & Joseph, and Elizabeth; Joseph died at birth. John's parents also lived with them - Esther and Zeb. The Waltons was based on the life of the Hamner family. Earl Hamner Jr. was the show's creator and narrator. This show was based on his life growing up.moreless
  • 96
    Angel

    Angel

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    The WB (ended 2004)
    "If you need help, then look no further. Angel Investigations is the best. Our rats are low..." "Rates!" "It says 'rats.' Our rates are low, but our standards are high. When the chips are down, and you're at the end of your rope you need someone that you can count on. And that's what you'll find here -- someone who will go all the way, no matter what. So don't lose hope. Come on over to our offices and you'll see that there's still heroes in this world." For over two centuries, Angelus was one of the most vicious vampires ever to walk the earth. Then he killed the wrong girl, and her grieving Gypsy family cursed him with the return of his soul, causing him to suffer remorse for all the hundreds of innocents that he had killed through the years. Now he goes by the name Angel, and he fights to protect the helpless from those who would prey upon them as he once did himself. After three years of living in Sunnydale, fighting alongside his girlfriend Buffy, Angel has moved to Los Angeles to continue the good fight. Aided by a few old friends and some new ones, Angel must take on vampires, demons, lawyers, and all of the other dark forces that Los Angeles has to offer.moreless
  • 97
    Will & Grace

    Will & Grace

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    NBC (ended 2006)
    Will & Grace is a hilarious series about two best friends. The twist is that Will is gay Grace is a straight interior designer. More than friends, but less than lovers, the two share a special bond and their personalities easily balance one another's. In addition to the stable Will and Grace, the show features Will's flamboyantly gay friend, Jack and Grace's sarcastic, spoiled, and boozy assistant, Karen.
    Will & Grace is the only series of such length (8 years) to have all of its episodes directed by the same director, in this case the talented James Burrows. Will & Grace is also one of the three series in which all of the main cast memebers won Emmy awards, with the other two shows being The Golden Girls, and All in the Family.
    Throughout its 8-year run, Will & Grace has been nominated for 83 Emmys, 24 Golden Globes, 14 SAG Awards and six People's Choice Awards. Among its 12 Emmy wins, the show won as Outstanding Comedy Series in 2000. In 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2006, it had more Emmy nominations than any other comedy series. Additionally, it's been nominated for an American Comedy Award, three GLAAD Media Awards and a Founders Award from the Viewers for Quality Television.
    NBC Broadcast History September 1998-November 1998 – Monday 9:30 December 1998-March 1999–Tuesday 9:30 April 1999-May 1999 – Thursday 8:30 September 1999-May 2000 – Tuesday 9:00 October 2000-January 2004 – Thursday 9:00 January 2004-April 2004 – Thursday 8:32 April 2004-September 2004 – Thursday 9:00 September 2004-December 2005 – Thursday 8:30 January 2006-May 2006 – Thursday 8:00moreless
  • 98
    Three's Company

    Three's Company

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    ABC (ended 1984)
    After two unsuccessful pilots, Three's Company was finally picked up by ABC in January 1977 for a first season of six episodes. After the show began to air in March, ratings were high and it became one of the highest-rated midseason show of its time. The show had a simple premise - Jack Tripper (John Ritter, a student at a local cooking college, wanted to move in with two girls, Janet Wood (Joyce DeWitt) and Chrissy Snow (Suzanne Somers). The only problem - the building's landlord, Mr. Stanley Roper (Norman Fell), who lives in the apartment below with his wife, Mrs. Helen Roper (Audra Lindley). In order for him to stay, he would have to pretend to be gay The series quickly gained a pop culture status, while maintaining the high ratings, being one of the top rated shows during its third and fourth seasons. The end of the third season saw the exit of Mr. and Mrs. Roper, who moved to a new townhouse community for The Ropers, the show's first spinoff. In came a new, and much different landlord, Mr. Furley (Don Knotts).

    During the hiatus before the fifth season, Suzanne Somers asked for a raise from $30,000 to $125,000 per episode. The producers refused, and Suzanne began to lie so she could be absent from work. Because ratings began to decline with lovable Chrissy's absence, the producers created a new character, Cindy Snow (Jennilee Harrison), who played Chrissy's cousin for the remainder of the season. At the same time, Suzanne Somers would tape short tag scenes for the end of the episode the day before the taping. She was fired by the end of the year.

    Starting off fresh during the sixth season, the producers decided to have Cindy go off to UCLA to study to become a veterinarian. So, Jack and Janet needed a new roommate. Along came Terri Alden (Priscilla Barnes), the smarter and beautiful blond who was a nurse at the local hospital. She would remain on the show for the next (and final) three years.

    Ratings began to fall during the eighth season (as they normally do), and the producers had made the decision to end the show, and create a spinoff, Three's A Crowd.

    Theme Song: Come and knock on our door ...
    We've been waiting for you ...
    Where the kisses are hers and hers and his,
    Three's company, too. Come and dance on on our floor...
    Take a step that is new ...
    We've a lovable space that needs your face,
    Three's company, too. You'll see that life is a ball again, laughter is calling for you ...
    Down at our rendez-vous,
    Three's company, too!
    moreless
  • 99
    Boys Over Flowers

    Boys Over Flowers

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    TV Tokyo (ended 1997)
    Boys over Flowers is the story of Makino Tsukushi, a 16 year old girl from the wrong side of the tracks who is a new student at Eitoku Gakuen, a very exclusive school that is attended by the richest of society's children. At first she choses to stay unknown for the remaining two years of her stay at the school. But her one and only friend gets in trouble with the F4 and Tsukushi stands up for her friend. She receives a red card and that's when all the confusion begins. The F4 are Hanazawa Rui 18, Nishikado Soujirou 18, Mimasaka Akira 18 and Doumyouji Tsukasa 17 who is the ringleader of the group. Tsukushi's unexpected resistance piques Doumyouji's interest. Her strength proves to be attractive to him, and he ends up having a crush on her, even though they are 'at war' with each other. Tsukushi, on the other hand, does not seem to be that impressed with the rich, arrogant Doumyouji, and instead finds herself attracted to another member of the F4, the quiet, sensitive violin player, Hanazawa Rui. This sets up an explosive triangle of love and hate relationships, as Tsukushi finds herself in the middle of a tug of war between Rui and Doumyouji. Tsukushi has to face the pressure of the school's rapidly shifting opinion of her, her status as a poor girl in a rich school, and her attraction to a cool but mysterious guy (Rui) while at the same time dealing with the advances of Doumyouji. If you should come across this series, I highly recommend checking it out!moreless
  • 100
    Xena: Warrior Princess

    Xena: Warrior Princess

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    (ended 2001)
    DEVELOPMENT: The series is a spin-off of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Xena first appeared in 3 Hercules episodes during the shows first season, "The Warrior Princess", "The Gauntlet" and "Unchained Heart", sometimes labled "The Xena Trilogy". In the first episode, Xena is an outlaw, but in the third, she joins Hercules to defeat Darphus, who had taken her army. Aware that the character of Xena had been very successful among the public, the producers of the series decided to create a spin-off series based around her adventures.subsequently revealed in flashback episodes.
    SERIES OVERVIEW: Xena, the warrior princess is bent on overcoming her dark and hateful past. She must save innocents to redeem herself, in the eyes of the world and to herself. She is aided along the way by best friend Gabrielle, a struggling bard who later turns warrior herself. Xena: Warrior Princess was a sometimes serious, often campy and an occasionally emotional rollercoaster ride of an action series.
    In addition to Xena and Gabrielle, the show also features a wide range of important recurring characters, including adversaries Ares (Kevin Tod Smith), Alti (Claire Stansfield) and Callisto (Hudson Leick), and trusted friends Salmoneus (Robert Trebor), Virgil (William Gregory Lee), Amarice (Jennifer Sky), Autolycus (Bruce Campbell), Eli (Tim Omundson) and Joxer (Ted Raimi).
    THEME: The voiceover during the theme is as follows: In a time of ancient gods, warlords and kings...A land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle. The power...the passion...the danger...Her courage will change the world.
    FILMING LOCATION: Xena: Warrior Princess was filmed on location in and around Auckland, New Zealand.
    SERIES ORIGIN: Spinoff from the series: Hercules, the Legendary Journeys.
    ANIMATED FILM: Xena and Hercules can also be seen in the animated film: Hercules & Xena: The Battle For Mount Olympus.moreless
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