Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Remembering the Legendary Robin Williams; Teen Choice Awards Winners in Television

Robin Williams

Oscar-winning actor and stand-up comedian Robin Williams, who rose to fame as the alien Mork in Mork & Mindy, has died. He was found unresponsive at his home in Marin County, California, on August 11 and was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the Marin County's coroner's office, the probable cause of death was asphyxiation. Mr. Williams was 63.

Williams' television career began in 1977 with two appearances in the NBC comedy variety series The Richard Pryor Show. His other early television guest appearances included Laugh-In, Eight is Enough and America 2-Night. He first appeared as Mork in the fifth season episode of Happy Days titled "My Favorite Orkan," which aired on ABC on February 28, 1978. After the success of the appearance, Williams was given his own spin-off series.

Pam Dawber and Robin Williams - Mork & Mindy

Mork & Mindy premiered on ABC on September 14, 1978. Williams played the alien Mork from the planet Ork. He met the pretty Mindy McConnell (Pam Dawber) after he landed in a giant egg-shaped spacecraft near Boulder, Colorado. Mork was known for putting on his suit backwards. He would often wear rainbow suspenders later in the series. The crazy character would sit in a chair upside down. He had a hand gesture similar to Mr. Spock's Vulcan salute from Star Trek combined with a handshake. His catchphrases were "Shazbot" (an Orkan profanity) and "Na-Nu Na-Nu," which meant goodbye in the Orkan language. Williams was known for improvising much of his dialogue and physical comedy.

The series became an instant hit in the first season when it finished tied in third place with Happy Days in the Nielsen ratings. The series was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series. Robin Williams received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 1979. Some changes to the stories and cast were made in the second season. It was also moved to a different night and timeslot. The show never recovered in the ratings. Williams' idol Jonathan Winters was brought in the final season as Mork and Mindy's child, Mearth. They still had a nice run for four seasons and 95 episodes. Williams also appeared as Mork in the premiere episode of the ABC sitcom Out of the Blue. He returned as Mork in the sixth season Happy Days episode titled "Mork Returns." He also voiced the character in the animated series the Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour in 1982-1983.

Williams had guest appearances in many television series. His comedy guest appearances included The Larry Sanders Show, Friends, Life with Bonnie, Wilfred and Louie. Some of his other television credits included Faerie Tale Theatre, SCTV Network, Pryor's Place, Saturday Night Live and L.A. Doctors. He won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for Carol, Carl, Whoopi and Robin in 1987 and Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for ABC Presents: A Royal Gala in 1988. In 1995, he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor for his role as Robert Ellison, a grieving widower and father, in the episode "Bop Gun" of Homicide: Life on the Streets. He received another Emmy nomination in 2008 for Outstanding Guest Actor for his role as Merritt Rook in the episode "Authority" of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

The Crazy Ones

In 2013, Williams returned to a series regular role in the CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones. He played Simon Roberts, a father who works with his daughter (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) in a Chicago advertising office. The series also starred Richard Wolk, Hamish Linklater and Amanda Setton. Despite good reviews and respectable ratings, it was canceled after one season.

He was also known for his stand-up comedy. He had three HBO comedy specials in the late 1970s and 1980s: Off the Wall (1978), An Evening with Robin Williams (1982), and Robin Williams: Live at the Met (1986). He later appeared on HBO in his one-man show called Robin Williams: Live on Broadway in 2002. In 2009, he had a 26-city tour titled "Weapons of Self-Destruction".

Williams had roles in more than 75 films. He received Academy Award nominations for his work in Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society and The Fisher King. In 1998, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Sean Maguire, a psychiatrist who helps a genius (played by Matt Damon) realize his potential, in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting. He won Golden Globe Awards for his roles in Good Morning, Vietnam, The Fisher King and Mrs. Doubtfire. Some of his other acclaimed films and financial successes included Popeye, The World According to Garp, Awakenings, Hook, Jumanji, The Birdcage and Night at the Museum. Other film highlights included Moscow on the Hudson, Flubber, Patch Adams, What Dreams May Come, Bicentennial Man, Insomnia and One Hour Photo. He provided his voice in Aladdin, FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Robots and Happy Feet. For a complete listing of his credits, please visit his IMDB page.

Survivors include his wife Susan Schneider; son Zachary with his first wife Valerie Verladi; and daughter Zelda, who's also an actress, and son Cody with his second wife Marsha Garces.

Mr. Williams was a gifted actor and comedian. He was a comic genius and amazing talent. There will never be another actor quite like him. When we first saw him as Mork on Happy Days, we knew he was destined for stardom. We thank him for the joy and laughter he brought us over the years. He will be greatly missed. We lost him far too soon. Na-Nu Na-Nu our friend.

Robin Williams as Mork

Share your memories on our Mork & Mindy message board. View photos in our galleries.

MeTV remembered the legendary Robin Williams last night (August 11) by airing his first appearance ("My Favorite Orkan") as Mork on Happy Days. Tonight (August 12) they will air his second appearance ("Mork Returns") at 8:30. Mork & Mindy is currently off the air. It aired most recently on The Hub Network.

ABC will air a retrospective tonight (August 12) on 20/20 titled "The Life and Death of Robin Williams" at 10pm ET/PT. Stay with us for updates on any other tributes.




Teen Choice Awards

Teen Choice 2014 aired live on FOX from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday. This year, teens logged on to teenchoiceawards.com and cast more than 164 million votes in support of their favorite celebrities from film, television, music, sports, digital and fashion. Hosted by Modern Family's Sarah Hyland and Teen Wolf's Tyler Posey, the special also honored Selena Gomez with the Ultimate Choice Award. Bella Thorne and Cameron Dallas presented the "Choice Candie's Style Icon" award to actress, singer and dancer Zendaya for her red carpet style and bold fashion choices. Actress Odeya Rush scored the "Olay Fresh Effects Breakout Star Award," which was presented by MKTO and Cody Simpson. The award is a special accolade celebrating a fresh face who is poised to "break out" from the pack and showcase her best, beautiful work. Not surprisingly, the younger skewing TV series and stars were among the winners including Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf. See the full TV list below:

Choice TV Show: Drama "Pretty Little Liars"
Choice TV Actor: Drama Ian Harding, Pretty Little Liars
Choice TV Actress: Drama Lucy Hale, Pretty Little Liars
Choice TV Show: Fantasy/Sci-Fi The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Show: Comedy The Big Bang Theory
Choice TV Actor: Comedy Ross Lynch, Austin & Ally
Choice TV Actress: Comedy Lea Michele, Glee
Choice TV: Animated Show The Simpsons
Choice TV: Reality Competition Show The Voice
Choice TV: Reality Show Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Choice TV Villain Dylan O'Brien, Teen Wolf
Choice TV Reality Personality - Male Adam Levine, The Voice
Choice TV Reality Personality - Female Shakira, The Voice
Choice TV Male Scene Stealer Tyler Hoechlin, Teen Wolf
Choice TV Female Scene Stealer Candice Accola, The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Female Breakout Star Sasha Pieterse, Pretty Little Liars
Choice TV: Male Breakout Star Brett Dalton, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Choice TV: Breakout Show Faking It
Choice Summer TV Show Wipeout
Choice Summer TV Star: Male Tyler Blackburn, Pretty Little Liars
Choice Summer TV Star: Female Ashley Benson, Pretty Little Liars


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, June 19

The Middle - "Hecks vs. Glossners: The Final Battle" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
It’s the Orson showdown of the century when the Hecks – along with the Donahues and Bill Norwood – wage a war against the Glossners after they steal Sue’s car.

The Middle - "Thank You for Not Kissing" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Dr. Fulton (Dave Foley) calls Frankie and Mike into his office to inform them that Brick and Cindy have been making out all over school, Frankie tasks Mike into having a talk with his son to discuss dating etiquette. Meanwhile, Sue attempts to work up the gumption to give Sean the snow globe and confess how much she likes him; and after discovering a box full of unfinished thank you notes for gifts received over the years, Frankie orders Axl to finish and mail them all out.

black-ish - "Juneteenth" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Johnsons go to Jack and Diane’s school play about Columbus Day, and Dre is dismayed by the historically inaccurate way that the holiday is portrayed. He feels like there aren’t enough black holidays, so he enlists Aloe Blacc at work to help him create a catchy song to raise awareness for a holiday worth celebrating, Juneteenth.

black-ish - "Dog Eat Dog World" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The family is divided over the idea of getting a dog after Dre and Bow promise Jack they can get one after he gets Straight A’s – and he does! Meanwhile, Bow’s brother Johan is in town and he doesn’t get the warm welcome he expects from Ruby.

Younger - "The End of the Tour" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Liza faces complications on the Marriage Vacation book tour. Kelsey and Zane head to D.C. to court a speechwriter’s prospective memoir.

Teachers - "Of Lice and Men" (TV Land, 10:34PM ET/PT)
Ms. Bennigan wrestles with how far she’s willing to go sexually with Hot Dad, while Ms. Cannon learns how to drive in the midst of an apocalyptic lice outbreak at Fillmore.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 18)

Tuesday, June 19

  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Catch Martin on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Michael Ian Black (The Jim Gaffigan Show/Ed) - Michael stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Tracy Morgan (The Last O.G./30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Michael visits LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce/Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Jennifer Lawrence (The Bill Engvall Show) - The Ellen DeGeneres Show has the best moments from the biggest stars in Season 15, so check your local listings.
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace/Ned & Stacey) - Debra is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Marlon Wayans (Marlon/The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon drops by Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) - Brian is a guest on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • BD Wong (All-American Girl) - BD talks about the off-Broadway production of The Great Leap on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June)

Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season Step by Step - The Complete First Season Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest