TV Espresso: News Items for Friday, November 18, 2011

Star Trek sequel underwayThis is a new site feature that we’re trying out and are interested to hear what you think about it. It’s kind of your quick morning shot of classic television, served in easy-to-digest bite-size pieces.

Today, we have news briefs about Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island, the Growing Pains reunion movies, an international version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, updates on the Star Trek and Smurfs movie sequels, and a Baywatch castmember’s health problems.

Gilligan’s Island
She may seem like the girl next door but don’t mess with Mary Ann. Actress Dawn Wells is suing Hair Solutions By Me, Inc. for allegedly breaching their contract. She was supposed to be the spokesperson for “Effortless Extensions” but the Wells’ lawsuit claims appearances weren’t arranged for her and her PR and marketing ideas were ignored. The contract was supposedly illegally terminated last November and Wells believes the company owes her at least $70,000.

Growing Pains
In 1992, after seven seasons on ABC, Growing Pains said goodbye to primetime. The Seaver clan (Alan Thicke, Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold, Jeremy Miller and Ashley Johnson) returned however in two made-for-TV reunions — The Growing Pains Movie (2000) and Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers (2004). The regular series DVDs haven’t been a big success but the Warner Archive is releasing the two movies beginning December 6th as part of their manufacture-on-demand (MOD) program. For now, they can only be purchased via

Whose Line Is It Anyway?
UK-based Hat Trick International and Miditech have made a deal to bring the improv TV show to India. Whose Line started as a radio program in the UK before moving to television. The American version, hosted by Drew Carey and featuring comics like Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie, ran for eight seasons and 220 episodes on ABC. Hat Trick’s Paul Cohen said, “The potential for Whose Line in India is huge, both through television and live events as the comedy market in India expands… We look forward to seeing Whose Line on Indian screens in 2012.”

Star Trek
The sequel to the 2009 blockbuster feature film is scheduled to start shooting on January 15th. The project has been underway for some time and co-writer/producer Roberto Orci notes that they are currently working on the third draft of the script. Much of the design work for the film has been completed already and ILM has already started working on some of the space effects shots. Enterprise interiors and other set dressings are still in storage from the 2009 feature. Director JJ Abrams and his team are currently picking shooting locations. A Hawaii locale is being considered for a jungle plant setting and a Los Angeles museum will stand in for a “famous Star Trek location.”

The Smurfs
Sony Pictures is planning to shoot the upcoming sequel to The Smurfs in Montreal. This will allow the studio to take advantage of Quebec’s all-spend tax credit and additional digital media tax incentives for live action/CG hybrids. The Smurfs 2 has an August 2, 2013 release date and Jordan Kerner is returning as producer.

Michael Newman, the real-life lifeguard and actor who played “Newmie” on Baywatch, has revealed that he’s been battling Parkinson’s disease for the past five years. He first noticed that he had a tremor in his left hand and that ultimately led him to getting diagnosed. Now 55 years old, Newman is a father of two, resides in Pacific Palisades and sells real estate. He hopes that advances in stem-cell therapy research will mean new treatments for people with the disease.

1980: Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters debuted on NBC. The variety show lasted two seasons.

1987: Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter (Joan Collins) and Sean Rowan (James Healey) are married on Dynasty. He later tried to kill her.

1989: Thelma Frye (Anna Maria Horsford) and Rev. Reuben Gregory (Clifton Davis) are finally married on Amen.

2001: ABC aired the Facts of Life Reunion TV movie which brought Charlotte Rae, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn, and Lisa Welchel back together.

2003: Connie McDowell (Charlotte Ross) and Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) are married on NYPD Blue.

What do you think? Do you think you’ll see the Star Trek or Smurf sequels? There were three TV weddings on this date, do you remember attending… er, watching any of them?

Canceled and renewed TV show

7 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. SY says

    Baywatch was a great show. Michael Newman He’s awesome
    I feel bad for him that he has the disease . I’m praying for him .

  2. Beth Coccaro says

    Re: Star Trek – they did cast it amazingly well, but JJ Abrams better stay away from time travel this time – it’s become his crutch for plot resolutions and I’ve grown tired of it.

    Captain Kirk’s serial number is SC937-0176 CEC – I take my Trek seriously.

  3. Bethany says

    First of all, LOVE THE NEW FEATURE!!! I agree that they might get lost in the ratings updates and that a new catagory button would help with that.

    As far as do I plan to see the movies? The Smurfs movie was the BEST 3D movie I have ever seen. When they get sucked into the portol that carries them to our world, I actually could see debris coming from behind my head. I have NEVER seen 3D like that in my life. The story was entertaining, good for all ages, and really brought back memories of my own childhood, as I am of the generation that made them so popular in the first place (at least here in the US, France is a whole different story) So I would eagerly be wating to go see the sequal. If they could make it 1/2 as good as the first one, it would be worth viewing at a full price theater (I personally saw the 1st one at the Mall of America, and it made it that much more fun.) I was not exactly excited to see the Smurfs movie, but since I am a mother, I did see it, and plan to buy it as well. Totally suprising!!!!

    As far as the new Star Trek movie, I watched the shows (every incarnation) and have seen all of the movies, probably will see the new one. However I am not the world’s biggest fan, and it won’t be a priority to me. But I know that there are PLENTY of Trekkies, and Trekkers out there who will be climbing the walls until its release. I think they did cast it amazingly well, and have the opertunity for a long franchise future.

    I was never a fan of Baywatch, back when it was on I was working and going to school so much I just never caught it much. But I do feel for Michael Newman. That disease is so aweful, and it robs you slowly and steadily of what most of us take for granted. I wish him all the best, and really appreciate you informing us of his condition. Maybe his fame will help the cause of finding a cure, or at the very least help someone out there who is suffering to get the treatment they need.

  4. Kat says

    It’s a good idea, but likely to get lost in your “2011-12 TV Season Ratings” feature’s daily updates. Maybe re-arrange the site so that “Ratings” are a separate category in your top menu, right after News and Features? That way, the more interesting stuff (your giveaways and such) don’t get lost in the shuffle on the main page of Features. Your “Ratings” top page could list by season archives (2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12) and allow people to click on the season they’d like to see; the next page would list the ratings pages for that season for all the shows on that season.

    Excited for a Star Trek sequel, but why they had to ever make a Smurfs sequel is beyond me.

    Best of luck to Newman, I really hope they find a cure or a really good treatment for that disease soon.

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