Over the past 10 years TV Land Awards has become known to be the best party of the year. The place where old friends are reunited and new ones are made. And this year, as the award show celebrates its 10th anniversary, I got exclusive access to rehearsals, backstage and even into the brilliant show itself that airs April 29 at 9PM/8C only on TV Land.
Celebrating the 10-year milestone I have put together the top ten moments from this years show that must be seen to be believed.
1- Watching this years host Kelly Ripa run through the show the afternoon before taping without a stitch of makeup on and wearing her Ugg boots you knew why she has the reputation of being the nicest women in show business. Laughing with the writers and even taking a moment for a little yoga on stage Kelly was going to kill as the shows host.
2- Unable to decide what to wear for the shows big opening number Kelly gets her great friend and often co-host of Live!, Carson Kressley, to help her dress as some of the most iconic women in the history of TV. Every outfit needs no introduction and yes- seeing Kelly as Lucy is priceless!
3- Once the puuuurfect costume has been selected Kelly literally flies onto the stage in what could be the most exciting opening number of any award show ever. Lets just say it’s a good thing Kelly isn’t afraid of cats… or heights!
4- It takes a legend to introduce a legend which is why Mr. John Legend took to the stage to introduce the Queen of Soul herself Miss Aretha Franklin who brought down the house with some of her biggest hits.
5- Every great award show needs a great house band and only TV Land could get the B-52’s to take the stage and get Katie Couric to dance the night away.
6- Reuniting the cast of Laverne And Shirley live on stage at the TV Land awards was a must see moment of the night and a reminder why this award show is so special. Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall were clearly emotional as they stood side-by-side and accepted the fan favorite award.
7- The Groundbreaking Award: In Living Color brought together so many of its past stars that the cast needed two tables to celebrate the night. Carrie Ann Inaba, David Alan Grier, Kelly Coffield Park, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Kim Wayans, Jim Carrey, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, T’Keyah Crystal, Keymah,Tommy Davidson, Deidre Lang, Laurieann Gibson, Lisa Marie Todd and Michelle Whitney Morrison all in one room together meant trouble and a lot of fun.
8- Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Paul Reuben’s told me he was most excited to meet Aretha Franklin at the hottest party in town and even had a very special word to describe the entire night. Watch & see what it was.
9- The One Day At A Time cast was overjoyed to be all back together and very grateful to be winning a special award. Arriving a little after the rest of her cast Valerie Bertinelli ran past the crews on the red carpet to hug them all.
10- The one award that our host Kelly Ripa insisted on handing out herself was to Murphy Brown. A show that she says had a huge impact on women and men around the world including Kelly. Candice Bergen, Diane English, Faith Ford, Grant Shaud, Joe Regalbuto and Charles Kimbrough seemed surprised at the thunderous applauds as the accepted the honor. Making just a certain Vice President the only person in American the only one to not be a real fan
Murphy Brown,” the winner of this year’s Impact Award, centered its show around a female 40-something, hard-hitting news anchor, or as creator Diane English put it, “Mike Wallace in a skirt.” Acerbic, still likable, and often controversial, she certainly didn’t resemble other sitcom characters at the time. In the pilot, Murphy (played by Candice Bergen, who won five Emmys in the role), a recovering alcoholic, returns to journalism after a stint at the Betty Ford Clinic. With the help of her co-workers on the news show “FYI” — stoic Jim Dial (Charles Kimbrough), perky Corky Sherwood (Faith Ford), neurotic Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto) and green-behind-the-ears producer Miles Silverberg (Grant Shaud), Murphy weathers the ups and downs of the news cycle, network politics and her personal life. As a role model, the character made an indelible impression on pop culture, the headlines of the day and journalism itself … even if she wasn’t actually real.
Relive the show with us as we look at 10 storylines from “Murphy Brown,” then see the cast reunite at the TV Land Awards, which TV Land will broadcast nationwide on April 29 at 9PM/8C.
“Murphy Kills a Judge
While questioning a corrupt — and suddenly silent — judge on “FYI,” Murphy continues to grill him mercilessly even though, as it turns out, he’s suffered a heart attack and died. (Season 1, Episode 18 - “The Unshrinkable Murphy Brown”)
A running gag throughout the series was Murphy’s inability to retain a decent secretary. For some reason, every secretary sent to her by HR turns out to be skittish, impertinent, not fluent in English or just plain incompetent. And then there was the one who talked to Satan.
The “FYI” cast is thrilled the network creates a sitcom based on Murphy’s life, and a famous actress (played by Morgan Fairchild) is signed to play Murphy’s character, “Kelly Green.” But Murphy isn’t so thrilled, especially when she’s asked to make a cameo appearance on the show. CBS anchor Connie Chung appears briefly as herself. (Season 2, Episode 4 - “TV or Not TV”)
When Murphy hires Eldin Bernecky (Robert Pastorelli) to repaint her house, she never imagines that he’ll stick around for years. But the painter with grand ambitions is there as Murphy’s constant muse, philosopher, friend and confidant, developing a crush on Corky and getting sidetracked with his penchant for elaborate murals. Pastorelli, who died of an overdose in 2004, was a regular for only six of the show’s ten seasons, but returned to make an appearance in the series finale.
Corky Gets Married
Corky reunites with former high school classmate Will Forrest — once a geek, now a lawyer — and, after a whirlwind courtship agrees to marry him, even after she realizes that her new name will be “Corky Sherwood-Forrest.” A highlight of the wedding: Murphy as a bridesmaid, wearing a frilly Southern belle dress with hoops. Corky later divorces Will and elopes with Miles. (Season 2, Episodes 26 and 27 - “Going to the Chapel”)
When Murphy gets pregnant, the father of the baby, her ex-husband Jake Lowenstein (Robin Thomas), tells her he can’t give up his lifestyle as a political radical to become a parent. Murphy decides to have the baby on her own, and she goes into labor while on the air, giving birth to a son and singing softly to him, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” (Season 4, Episode 26 - “Birth 101”)
Dan Quayle Feud
In 1992, then Vice President Dan Quayle was criticized (and praised) for giving a speech on family values in which he charged that it “doesn’t help matters when primetime TV has Murphy Brown … mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another ‘lifestyle choice.’” In response, “Murphy Brown” aired an episode with a special “FYI” segment celebrating the diversity of different types of families — and ended with a prank in which they dumped a truckload of potatoes on the vice president’s lawn, alluding to a gaffe in which Quayle, at an elementary school spelling bee, had corrected a student’s spelling of “potato” to “potatoe.” (Season 5, Episodes 1 and 2 - “You Say Potatoe, I Say Potato”)
The Staff Resigns
When the network pulls Jim’s expose on the tobacco industry, the anchor resigns in protest — and the rest of the staff ends up quitting to support him, until Miles stands up to the network and gets the story aired. (Season 8, Episode 17 - “Aftermath”)
Murphy develops breast cancer and spends the final season of the show getting treatment, which includes smoking medical marijuana — supplied by Jim — to relieve the effects of chemotherapy (an episode that drew conservative protests) and shopping for prosthetic breasts. Bergen was given an award by the American Cancer Society for her part in increasing breast cancer awareness. (Season 10)
While undergoing an operation for a tumor that might be malignant, Murphy has an anesthesia-induced hallucination in which she interviews God (Alan King) — contentiously, of course. Upon learning she is cancer-free, Murphy follows God’s advice not to retire and returns to her house to find Eldin, who has returned from Spain do some some more “touch-up” on her townhouse. Murphy’s last secretary was played by the divine Bette Midler. (Season 10, Episode 22 - “Never Can Say Goodbye, Part 2”)
If there’s one thing 2012’s TV Land Awards winners have in common, it’s a willingness to buck convention. This year we honor not one, not two, but three shows featuring strong female characters in “One Day at a Time,” “Murphy Brown” and “Laverne & Shirley.” Then there’s “In Living Color,” which shattered stereotypes with its cast of irreverent black comedians (plus Jim Carrey), and “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” which doesn’t resemble any other show before or since. Add Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin into the mix as winner of the Icon Award, and you’ve got an lineup of amazing shows and people that truly broke the mold.
Innovator Award: “One Day at a Time”
When “One Day at a Time” debuted in 1975, the families on most TV shows were “traditional,” with two married parents and a couple of adorable, rosy-cheeked kids. A sitcom about a divorcée (Bonnie Franklin) raising two rebellious teenage daughters (Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli) on her own wasn’t just rare for the time — it was practically subversive. “One Day at a Time” was ahead of the curve in addressing weighty topics such as birth control, suicide and teenage runaways; but it ran for nine successful seasons because it was funny, helped in no small part by the frequent drop-ins and double entendres of toolbelt-clad super Schneider (Pat Harrington).
Impact Award: “Murphy Brown”
At first, “Murphy Brown” seemed like another version of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”: a female-led sitcom set in a broadcast newsroom. But acerbic, recovering alcoholic, fortysomething news anchor Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen) became a powerhouse icon for the modern working woman, tackling work, current events and life issues — even unwed motherhood, once a TV taboo — with humor, toughness and grace … and of course, a little help from her news team and house painter Eldin. The show, which ran from 1988-1998, won two Emmys for Best Comedy and a record-setting five Emmys for Bergen.
Pop Culture Award: “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse”
One of those rare children’s shows that could be enjoyed by kids and adults — but in different ways — “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” introduced us to bow-tied man-child Pee-Wee Herman, played by the man once known as Paul Reubens. With his squeaky voice, cheery catchphrases, zany enthusiasm and assortment of friends both human (Cowboy Curtis, Miss Yvonne) and non-human (Chairy, Jambi the genie, Globey), Pee-Wee never lost his sense of childlike wonder, making his “Playhouse” a one-of-a-kind show that talked to kids, but never talked down to them. “I know you are, but what am I?”
Fan Favorite Award: “Laverne & Shirley”
They were gonna do it their way, yes their way … The irrepressible Laverne De Fazio and Shirley Feeney (Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams) debuted as Fonzie’s friends on “Happy Days,” but the roommates and Shotz Brewery co-workers made their dreams come true on their own show, which ran from 1976 to 1983. Though they were both (on and off again) single, Laverne and Shirley’s romantic lives never mattered so much as their quirks (Shirley loved her Boo Boo Kitty, Laverne loved her Pepsi and milk), their friends and neighbors (goofballs Lenny and Squiggy) and their sunny determination to “make it after all,” no matter how many comic misunderstandings or pratfalls it took.
Groundbreaking Award: “In Living Color” - The Cast
“In Living Color,” on the air from 1990 to 1994, was unlike any other show on TV. The sketch series was crass, hilarious and unafraid to offend, no matter who it lampooned — gays, the homeless, disabled people, African-Americans or fire marshals — and oh yeah, it featured an almost all-black cast busting stereotypes upside down and sideways. The launching pad for Keenen Ivory Wayan, Damon Wayans, David Alan Grier, Jamie Foxx and “token white guy” Jim Carrey, “In Living Color” brought a wild, off-color brand of humor (as well as cutting-edge hip-hop acts) to mainstream America, and it won the 1990 Emmy for Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series.
Groundbreaking Award: “In Living Color” - The Fly Girls
Some people watched “In Living Color” for its gut-bustingly funny sketches … but some people just watched it for the Fly Girls. Choreographed by Rosie Perez (herself a former “Soul Train” dancer), the Fly Girls punched up the show with their razor-sharp dance routines and eye-catching outfits, sometimes even appearing in skits. They weren’t too tough on the eyes, either. Winning the title of Most Famous Former Fly Girl would be a then-unknown singer and dancer named Jennifer Lopez, whose bodacious booty joined the show in its third season.
Host: Kelly Ripa
She got her big break on the ABC soap opera “All My Children,” playing Adam Chandler’s daughter Hayley Vaughan for 12 years (from 1990 to 2002). But since then, she’s left Pine Valley far behind. After an on-air audition process, she won the job of co-hosting “Live with Regis and Kelly” alongside Regis Philbin in 2001, and then took over sole hosting duties for the show (now called “Live! With Kelly”) when Philbin retired in 2011. With her girl-next-door appeal and ability to put guests at ease, it’s no wonder so many viewers love waking up to coffee and Kelly every morning.
Icon Award: Aretha Franklin
She isn’t just music royalty — she’s the Queen of Soul. In her 52-year career, Franklin has 18 Grammys, 20 No. 1 singles on Billboard’s R&B chart and 45 Top 40 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100. She was the first female artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in 1987). And despite some recent health issues, the 70-year-old is still going strong, releasing new albums and going out on tour. Is there any question she’s a cultural icon? Aretha, we have one word for you: respect.
House Band: The B-52s
“We were at a party,” the B-52s sang in their first hit, “Rock Lobster,” and they’re still at that same party an amazing 34 years later. Fronted by Fred Schneider, Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson, the band (whose name derives from the bouffant hairdos Pierson and Wilson used to favor) knows how to have a good time, and there are few better ways to fill a dance floor than to put their unbelievably catchy song “Love Shack” on and turn the volume way, way up. Tiiiin roof! Rusted.
Presenters: Katie Couric and Fran Drescher
Couric is a renowned American journalist, a special correspondent for “ABC News” and former anchor for “CBS Evening News” and NBC’s “Today”; she’ll soon host the syndicated talk show “Katie.” Drescher, who had early memorable roles in “Saturday Night Fever” and “This Is Spinal Tap,” shot to fame as “The Nanny” and now stars on TV Land’s “Happily Divorced.” Who better to present at the 2012 TV Land Awards than these two leading women of the small screen?
Tune in to the 10th Anniversary TV Land Awards on April 29 at 9PM/8C!
Thecast and show creator behind the cutting-edge and witty CBS series, “Murphy Brown” – Candice Bergen, Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto, Charles Kimbrough, Grant Shaud and Diane English – will be honored with the Impact Award at the TV Land Awards 10th Anniversary celebration, taping Saturday, April 14 at the Lexington Avenue Armory at Gramercy Park in New York City. Previously announced honorees include “In Living Color” (which now includes former Fly Girl Carrie Ann Inaba), “Laverne & Shirley,” “One Day At A Time,” “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” and Aretha Franklin. The “TV Land Awards” 10th Anniversary will air on Sunday, April 29 at 9PM/8C!
Additionally, TV Land announced presenters for the show, including esteemed journalist and news anchor Katie Couric and actress Fran Drescher, who will be on hand to pay homage to some of television and music’s biggest stars. More presenters will be announced in the coming days. In addition, three-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated music group The B-52s will set the mood for the evening, rocking out as the house band for the 10th anniversary show.
“Murphy Brown,” the recipient of this year’s Impact Award, infused hot topic current events and shined a light on real-life career and personal issues. The revolutionary show starred Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress Candice Bergen as title character Murphy Brown, a reporter for successful primetime news show “FYI.” With the help of her friends and co-workers – Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto), Corky Sherwood (Faith Ford), Jim Dial (Charles Kimbrough) and Miles Silverberg (Grant Shaud) – Murphy was a star journalist who truly had it all, even becoming a single mother later in the series. The show created some of the most memorable episodes with help from guest stars and fellow “TV Land Awards” honorees and presenters Aretha Franklin and Katie Couric. “Murphy Brown” aired on CBS from 1988 to 1998.
The TV Land Awards pays tribute to classic and contemporary luminaries of television, music and movies. The 90-minute telecast hosted by Kelly Ripa will feature exhilarating musical performances and will reunite some of the most iconic celebrity TV casts.