Monday, February 23, 2015

Life Goes On on Home & Family

Check out the latest reunion of a beloved TV clan:  on today's episode of The Hallmark Channel's fun, informal talk show Home & Family, it's the cast of Life Goes On, the groundbreaking 1989-93 ABC drama centered on the Thacher family, and particularly on their son Corky, living with Down Syndrome.

Life Goes On stars, L-R:
Kellie Martin, Chris Burke, Patti LuPone
For their interview on today's show, the actor who played Corky, Chris Burke, is reunited with his TV mother and sister Patti LuPone and Kellie Martin.  LuPone gets teary after not having seen Burke for years.  But for Burke and Martin this is not so much a reunion; because Chris currently lives in New York, where he works for the National Down Syndrome Society, he has been spending this visit to L.A. staying with Martin and her family.

If like me, you're a fan of the show, you'll love this reunion, with Chris revealing the process by which he won the role, Kellie pulling out an old pair of Becca's very '80s glasses, and the whole cast attempting a singalong of the show's theme song, The Beatles' "Ob-La-Di" -- but not quite remembering the words.

And for good measure, there's another classic TV star, Happy Days' Henry Winkler, on today's show as well, charming and funny as he discusses his series of Here's Hank books, wherein the hero, like Henry himself, has dyslexia.

On today's Home & Family, L-R:
Matt Iseman, Henry Winkler, Brooke Burns
Mark Steines, Patti LuPone, Kellie Martin, Chris Burke
Later in the show, there's a fun segment where Home & Family hosts Mark Steines, Matt Iseman and Brooke Burns (subbing for the vacationing Cristina Ferrare) play a game based on Happy Days trivia.  I won't tell you who wins -- but let's just say that, while Mr. Winkler makes sure to tell Patti LuPone early on how much he loved her in Evita, it soon becomes clear that Patti was too busy on Broadway in the '70s and '80s to have watched much TV.

"I watched you..." the former Fonz tells her, feigning insult.

Home & Family
The Hallmark Channel
Today, Monday Feb 23
10 AM Eastern / 9 AM Central

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Home & Family Hosts the Amazing Race

Home & Family hosts Mark Steines and Matt Iseman
with The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan
Seven years ago this spring, I was lucky enough to be able to accompany the cast and crew of The Amazing Race 13 on the show's first leg, to the beautiful city of Salvador, Brazil.  That first night, as the cast members spent a miserable night in mosquito tents in a muddy jungle, I was even luckier, in that I had a great meal with the show's executive producer Bertram van Munster, and went back to my fluffy hotel bed in the city's Rio Vermelho section.

Writing that story was one of my favorite experiences of my career, not just for the free travel but also because I got to witness the truly amazing machinery of The Amazing Race in action.  The amount of pre-planning and coordination required to produce the show is truly dizzying, and yet season after season, the show stays compelling and fresh -- particularly now with the twist it delivers with its 26th edition, which will air its special 90-minute season premiere next Wednesday, February 25 on CBS.  (9:30 PM Eastern / 8:30 Central)

L-R, Home & Family hosts Mark Steines and Matt Iseman
with Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan and contestants
Laura Pierson, Tyler Adams, Jenny Wu and Jelani Roy
In the new season, many contestants are paired "blind date" style, with partners they've never met.  This morning, on the Hallmark Channel's talk show Home & Family, Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan and four such blindly-matched contestants, Laura Pierson, Tyler Adams, Jenny Wu and Jelani Roy, recounted for hosts Mark Steines and Matt Iseman their Race experiences, from the casting process through that moment when the starting gun was fired and beyond.  It looks like another great season, and my DVR is all set for this coming Wednesday.

Check out the clip below of this morning's Home & Family segment:

Home & Family
Airs Weekdays 10AM/ 9AM Central
The Hallmark Channel

The Amazing Race 26
Premieres Wednesday, February 26 at 9:30 PM Eastern / 8:30 PM Central

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Talk to the Last Man on Earth

During last night's episode of Empire, Fox promoted its upcoming comedy The Last Man On Earth -- but the network isn't relying on just the old-fashioned way to bring eyeballs to Will Forte's new show.

Fox has gone far beyond just on-air promos, and has posted flyers in major American cities with "Phil Miller"'s Tucson-area phone number.  The phone number went live this past Monday, Feb. 9, and will be active through Sunday, March 1.  So try giving Phil a call -- and you just may end up talking live with Will Forte himself.

Today, the network announced a second fun promo for LA-area residents, the Last Man on Earth "Twitter vending machine."  From Feb. 16 thru 20, take a photo of yourself with the vending machine at the Hollywood & Highland shopping complex, tweet a photo using the #LastStuffonEarth hashtag, and you'll get a DM with a code that will win you a prize, including a possible $250 American Airlines gift certificate.

You can check out the show when it premieres on Fox on Sunday, March 1, with back-to-back episodes at 9PM Eastern/8PM Central.  

Below, the press release from Fox with full details of both promotions.  Have fun!

What/How:    After fans follow @LastManFOX, they will take a picture at THE LAST MAN ON EARTH TWITTER VENDING MACHINE in Los Angeles, Tweet using #LastStuffOnEarth and they will receive a Direct Message with a code that can be used at the vending machine to redeem their prize!
Items may include: Fans have the possibility of receiving a $250 American Airlines gift card, Twinkies, Slim Jims, Raisins, Flashlights, Sweat Bands, First Aid Kits and Tennis Balls.
Where:    Hollywood and Highland Center (Between Sephora and Oakley/Forever 21)
6801 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
When:    February 16 – February 20,  11:30 AM – 7:30 PM daily
FEB. 9 - MARCH 1 – Flyers will be posted around the Los Angeles area.  When viewers call the number that is on the flyer, they will hear a message from THE LAST MAN ON EARTH’S Will Forte in character as Phil Miller.  There is also a chance when a fan/viewer calls they will actually get to speak with Will!   


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Catch me tonight on "The Story Behind: Will & Grace"

In 2003, I got an offer I couldn't refuse, to write the official companion book to NBC's groundbreaking sitcom Will & Grace.  Already obsessed with the show, I felt like Jack McFarland, when he was hired by his idol Kevin Bacon.

Tonight at 9PM Eastern/8 Central on Pop TV (formerly the TV Guide Network), catch me in The Story Behind:  Will & Grace, wherein I was honored to join members of the show's cast and crew to tell some fun behind-the-scenes tales.

For more info, including to find Pop TV on your cable/satellite system, go to

Below, a sneak peek at tonight's episode: