The Throwback: A return to the world of 'Dark Shadows'
May 10th, 2012
12:32 PM ET

The Throwback: A return to the world of 'Dark Shadows'

It seems to go without saying that at this point, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton have a lot in common - not least of which being the eight movies they've worked on together.

Yet we can add another item to that list: Their affection for "Dark Shadows," the series they've turned into a movie arriving in theaters Friday.

It was actually Depp who brought the idea of a movie to Burton, as the actor's a noted fan of the original 1966-71 daytime TV series, and Burton shares his appreciation. They've also got plenty of company: for over 45 years, the show has had a fanbase that far outweighs other relatively short-lived soaps.

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The Throwback: Ray Harryhausen's 'Fantasy Scrapbook'
May 3rd, 2012
02:19 PM ET

The Throwback: Ray Harryhausen's 'Fantasy Scrapbook'

It's hard to think of today's action-packed blockbusters or fantasy/science-fiction films being made without computer-generated visual effects.

Can you imagine Andy Serkis performing as Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" franchise without a rendered mask that mirrors his facial expression?

As marvelous as the technology is, many of us remember a time when the creatures that existed only in our imaginations came alive on film after hours of painstakingly building and molding them ... by hand.

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The Throwback: 'In Living Color' honored as 'groundbreaking'
April 26th, 2012
02:11 PM ET

The Throwback: 'In Living Color' honored as 'groundbreaking'

"In the early days, TV was in black and white," Whoopi Goldberg said as she presented the Groundbreaking Award to the cast of "In Living Color" at the TV Land Awards earlier this month.

"But let's be honest," she went on. "It was really more white than black. But in 1990, a new show changed the face of television, not to mention comedy."

Created by actor/writer Keenen Ivory Wayans, the sketch comedy series "In Living Color" ran on Fox from 1990-1994, and "brought a new multiculturalism to the primetime variety genre, which basically means there was nothing like it on television anywhere," continued Goldberg.

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‘The Weight' of our ears: Take a load off … who?
April 20th, 2012
03:32 PM ET

‘The Weight' of our ears: Take a load off … who?

The late Levon Helm, who died Thursday, had a wonderfully distinctive voice, but his drawling delivery didn’t always make it easy to discern the words of The Band’s songs – which only added to the music’s charm.

Nevertheless, with Helm’s passing, an old debate has once again flared up: In “The Weight,” is the lyric “Take a load off, Annie” or “Take a load off, Fanny”? In our obituary of Helm, we went with “Annie,” but the CNN newsroom has divided into factions passionately defending one or the other.

The Internet, the world’s biggest game of Telephone, is little help. Some lyrics sites say the former; others go with the latter. The unofficial Band site goes with “Fanny," and has a terrifically detailed list of reasons why -  including an explanation featuring an old girlfriend and her pregnancy (or was it venereal disease?).

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The Throwback: 'Murphy Brown' honored with TV Land award
April 19th, 2012
02:06 PM ET

The Throwback: 'Murphy Brown' honored with TV Land award

When series creator Diane English pitched "Murphy Brown" to CBS back in 1988, the network was concerned the character wasn't likable enough.

Executives wanted her age to be 30 - or better yet, 25 - rather than 40, and they didn't like that, in the pilot, Murphy was fresh out of rehab. They also would've preferred that Heather Locklear take on the part.

But 10 years, 247 episodes and 93 assistants later (with a running gag on the show being that Murphy could never keep one), "Murphy Brown" remains beloved to this day. At last weekend's TV Land Awards, which will air on April 29, the series received the coveted Impact Award.

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The Throwback: 'Three Stooges' greatest hits (and pokes, and nyuks)
April 12th, 2012
12:47 PM ET

The Throwback: 'Three Stooges' greatest hits (and pokes, and nyuks)

The sultans of slapstick are back on the big screen. Well, kinda.

Hollywood's reboot of "The Three Stooges," starring Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso as Moe, Larry and Curly, respectively, hopes to recapture some of the magic that generations of fans have found discovering the original Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard.

One of those fans is Gary Lassin, who runs the Stoogeum, which houses "Stooges" memorabilia in Ambler, Pennsylvania.

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