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Rockin’ Dave Clark Five doc will make you Glad All Over

- April 7th, 2014

The Dave Clark Five

No one else sounded like the Dave Clark Five, before or since.

That’s an accomplishment on its own, notwithstanding the substantial commercial success the Dave Clark Five enjoyed as part of the British Invasion in the 1960s. You can get a crash course in the band’s unique crash-and-bang style with the new documentary The Dave Clark Five and Beyond: Glad All Over, which airs April 8 and April 11 as part of the Great Performances series on most PBS affiliates (check local listings).

The doc includes interviews with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks, among many others. It was Hanks who passionately inducted the DC5 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

Clark kept the rights to the DC5 music catalogue through the decades, and while that meant the band didn’t get robbed like many of its British Invasion contemporaries, Clark’s devotion to sound quality nonetheless cost the band some cash.

“The reason I took the catalogue off the market was Epic Records made (the records) into electronic stereo, which was terrible,” Clark recalled. “So I thought I would clear the market of all the vinyl, and then when the CD market took off, we would bring it out.

“It was never a monetary thing with me. It’s being protective of one’s creativity. If the records had stayed on the market, you get your publishing income, you get your record royalties. Maybe people thought I was a bit crazy, but I did what I believed in, and I think that’s what I’ve tried to do all my life.”

As stunning as the Dave Clark Five’s output was – 14 top-20 singles in the U.S., plus a record 18 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show – this might be the most rare and remarkable thing of all:

“We never had one legal letter between us,” Clark said proudly, referring to the members of the group.

Talk about Glad All Over.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Dave Clark 5, montage

Take a Turn into Silicon Valley and play a Game of Thrones with the Veep; TV must-sees for the week

- April 5th, 2014

Dragon in Game of Thrones

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of April 6

1 Game of Thrones
Fourth-season debut: Veterinary medicine figured out “dog years” versus “people years. But what of “dragon years?” When do dragons become adults? I’m just waiting for Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) to turn loose those fire-breathers.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

2 Turn
Debut: Based on the book Washington’s Spies by historian Alexander Rose, this drama set in the 1770s tells the tale of fledgling new-world espionage as the American Revolution becomes a reality. With Jamie Bell, Heather Lind and Samuel Roukin.
When: Sunday on AMC

3 Silicon Valley
Debut: Created by Mike Judge (King of the Hill, Beavis & Butt-Head), this live-action series is about nerdy but brilliant high-tech dudes who are on the cusp of successes they couldn’t possibly handle. Sort of The Big Bang Theory on steroids.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

4 Veep
Third-season debut: Last time we saw VP Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), she had been handed an opportunity to run for president in the next election. But she doesn’t exactly connect with everyday voters a la Rob Ford, as we soon will see.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

5 The Dave Clark Five and Beyond: Glad All Over
Debut: Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks are among those saluting the DC5 in this new documentary. With 14 top-20 hits in the U.S., the DC5 appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show 18 times, more than any other British Invasion group.
When: Tuesday or Friday on most PBS affiliates

6 The Haves and the Have Nots
Canadian debut: Drama series from Tyler Perry is about a rich Georgia family and the servants who serve them. John Schneider – yes, from The Dukes of Hazzard – stars as a powerful judge and family patriarch who is leading a double life. Hey, who isn’t?
When: Tuesday on OWN

7 Jacked
Debut: Jeremy Patterson is the hurricane slayer. Well, no, he doesn’t stop hurricanes. But Patterson and his rag-tag team travel across the continent, raising hope by raising hurricane-damaged houses that many thought were beyond salvage. One inch at a time.
When: Monday on Discovery

8 Win, Lose or Draw
Canadian debut: A revamped version of the 1980s game show, this one is hosted by Justin Willman and features young and current Disney stars teaming up with kid contestants. This definitely is a more high-tech version than the original, though.
When: Monday on Family

9 Being Human
Series finale: It’s a wrap, folks, as this show has been cancelled. In the final episode, Sally (Meaghan Rath) makes a major sacrifice to stop her vision of Aidan (Sam Witwer) killing Josh (Sam Huntington) from coming true.
When: Monday on Space

10 Disaster Decks and Decked Out
Season-two/season-four debuts: One deck-based series wasn’t enough for Paul Lafrance. He needed two, with double episodes of each, airing back-to-back-to-back-to-back. This could lead to some crazy crossover episodes, with famous decks making guest-appearances on the other show.
When: Tuesday on HGTV

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

The new Cosmos is lucky there’s a Family Guy

- March 7th, 2014

Neil deGrasse Tyson

A new version of Cosmos is coming to, uh, Fox.

Actually, it’s coming to Fox as well as Global, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild in Canada. But the point is, does Cosmos really fit on the home of Family Guy?

Not so fast, Earthling. Seth MacFarlane has a hand in both shows.

“I had always been a fan of (the original) Cosmos, I had seen it as a child, and then when I was in high school I saw it again and was able to process it in even more depth,” explained MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy and one of the executive producers of the new Cosmos, which debuts Sunday, March 9.

“I met Neil (deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and author who hosts the new Cosmos and is pictured above) through an organization called the Science & Entertainment Exchange, and I found out he was working on a new Cosmos. I said that while the networks being considered to pitch to – National Geographic, Discovery Channel – are great networks, in a way you’re sort of preaching to the converted. Wouldn’t it be nice to broaden it even more?

“I thought there was a strong possibility that this particular regime at Fox, as creative and open-minded as they are, would be receptive. And sure enough, they were.”

So more than three decades after Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which was Carl Sagan’s iconic exploration of the universe as revealed by science, we have Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. The new 13-part series is meant to be a successor.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of crossover, actually, even from the animated shows (on Fox and Global) to Cosmos,” MacFarlane said. “The show is presented very much in the spirit of the original in that you can’t really call it a documentary. It’s more a journey. It’s certainly educational, but it plays with the flavour, we hope, of a feature film.”

But not Ted.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

The Oscars get Spun Out in Chicagoland; TV must-sees for the week of March 2

- March 1st, 2014

ellen-degeneres-leads-flashmob-in-2014-oscars-promo

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of March 2

1 Academy Awards
The 86th edition of the annual hardware handout will be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Scheduled performers include Bette Midler, Karen O, U2 and Pharrell Williams. What is this, the Grammys?
When: Sunday on ABC, CTV

2 Big Brother Canada
Second-season debut: Pack a bunch of young people into a confined space. What could go right? What could go wrong? Hosted again by Arisa Cox. And new this season is a Side Show following evictions.
When: Wednesday on Slice, Global

3 Bates Motel
Second-season debut: No, this isn’t a Downton Abbey spinoff with Mr. Bates starting his own business. Rather, it’s the return of a creepy Psycho prequel starring Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore.
When: Monday on A&E

4 Spun Out
Debut: Starring Dave Foley from Kids in the Hall, this sitcom is set at a dysfunctional PR agency. Hmmm, they never should have taken on Rob Ford as a client. Also with Rebecca Dalton and Holly Deveaux.
When: Thursday on CTV

5 Kirstie
Debut: Kirstie Alley plays a Broadway star suddenly faced with the son she gave up for adoption 26 years earlier, played by Eric Petersen. Not to be confused with Eric Peterson, a.k.a. Oscar on Corner Gas.
When: Friday on CTV

6 Seed
Second-season debut: Harry (Adam Korson) and “sperm recipient” Rose (Carrie-Lynne Neales) try to raise a baby in a platonic arrangement. Reminds me of Hermey in the Rudolph Christmas special: “Let’s be independent together.”
When: Thursday on City

7 Those Who Kill
Debut: It seems every second show on TV these days is about serial killers in some way, shape or form. Well, here’s another one, with Chloe Sevigny starring as a recently promoted Pittsburgh homicide detective.
When: Monday on A&E

8 Chicagoland
Debut: No, this isn’t yet another scripted series about cops or firefighters in the Windy City. It’s an eight-part documentary series, executive produced by Robert Redford, about real-life Chicago issues and politics.
When: Thursday on CNN

9 The Next Step
Season-two debut: The A-Troupe has won regionals, but the dancers are shocked to learn that prior to nationals they must re-audition with rivals from other studios. Bet those wimps on Fame never had to do that.
When: Friday on Family

10 Almost Human
Season finale: Years ago the father of Kennex (Karl Urban) put away a bad guy. Now new copycat murders are being committed. As always, Dorian (Michael Ealy) is there to help with his dreamy eyes.
When: Monday on Fox, Global

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Will Star-Crossed and Jimmy Fallon appeal to Generation Like? Must-sees for the week

- February 15th, 2014

Jimmy Fallon, Tonight Show, one

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of Feb. 16

1) The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Debut: Fallon becomes the sixth host in the history of this fabled late-night talk-show franchise, following Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and then Jay Leno again.
When: Monday on NBC, CTV Two

2) Generation Like
Debut: Many teens today truly don’t understand the term “selling out.” This doc examines how kids are more than willing to work tirelessly for free online to market products, such as movies, to other teens.
When: Tuesday on PBS

3) Star-Crossed
Debut: Aimee Teegarden and Matt Lanter star as teens trying to overcome the prejudices of their respective peoples. Oh, did I mention Lanter’s character is an alien? That’s kind of important to know.
When: Monday on CW

4) Lost Girl
Season-four finale: Bo (Anna Silk) is forced to make the toughest decision of her life if she hopes to stop evil from bringing destruction to her world. No Fae-king this time.
When: Sunday on Showcase

5) About a Boy
Debut: Following nightly Olympics coverage, this is a sneak peak of a new sitcom that ultimately will air Tuesdays, on NBC and Global. David Walton, Minnie Driver and Benjamin Stockham star.
When: Saturday on NBC

6) Darknet
Debut: This horror anthology series shows the lives of everyday people being interrupted by vivid instances of unexpected strangeness or violence. Just in case you weren’t stressed out enough already.
When: Friday on Super Channel

7) Castle
Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) take on the case of a high school mean girl who apparently was murdered by someone with telekinetic powers. More proof, thinking too much kills.
When: Sunday on CTV, Monday on ABC

8) Intelligence
Gabriel (Josh Holloway) and Cybercom investigate when artificial-intelligence scientists are infected and eventually killed by microscopic robots. That’s pretty much the scariest thing I’ve ever heard.
When: Monday on CBS, CTV

9) The Following
While Joe (James Purefoy) acclimatizes himself to his new surroundings, Emma (Valorie Curry) realizes that she is in dangerous company. Hey, if Emma’s scared, we all should be, too.
When: Monday on Fox, CTV

10) Shameless
Fiona (Emmy Rossum) goes to jail while Frank (William H. Macy) wakes up in the emergency room. Um, philosophically speaking, couldn’t all episodes of this series end up that way?
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Monday on Movie Central

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv