News of the Week: Norman Rockwell, New Network Names, and National Moldy Cheese Day

Rockwell painting predicted to sell for millions in auction next month, plus big TV news this week.

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Norman Rockwell Painting to Be Sold

Norman Rockwell Visits a Country Editor Norman Rockwell May 25, 1946
Norman Rockwell Visits a Country Editor
Norman Rockwell
May 25, 1946

What would you do with an extra $10-15 million?

That’s how much the National Press Club expects to get when they sell the Norman Rockwell painting “Norman Rockwell Visits a Country Editor”. Rockwell painted the picture for the May 25, 1946, issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell gave the original painting to the club in the early ’60s, but the board of directors discovered that the painting’s value had increased so much that it no longer made sense for them to hold on to it, due to insurance and security costs. They want to sell it to pay for various programs they have.

For the past year the painting was on loan to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It’s now at Christie’s, where it will be auctioned off on November 19.

ABC Family Is Now … Freeform?

It’s not uncommon for some cable channels to change their name. TV Guide Network became Pop; Discovery Health became OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network); HDNet became AXS; and SOAPnet became, of all things, Disney Junior. But at least those names made sense. I’m not sure about this one.

ABC Family, which airs shows like The Fosters and Pretty Little Liars, is changing its name to Freeform. But it actually isn’t the first name change for the channel. It started in the late ’70s as CBN (the Christian Broadcasting Network), then it became The Family Channel, then Fox Family Channel, and then ABC Family in 2001. The new name launches in January.

But I’m not really sure what Freeform is even supposed to mean. The channel says they’re doing it to attract younger viewers, because I guess younger people like … free- form jazz? Yup, that’s what I hear all the kids like these days, Snapchat and free-form jazz. They probably could have named it Pickles, and it would have made as much sense. But #Freeform makes for a snappy hashtag.

Tom Hanks Finds Student I.D.

Is there any limit to how nice Tom Hanks can be? (Answer: No.)

The Bridge of Spies star found the I.D. of a Fordham University student in Central Park. Now, a lot of people would have just left it there or given it to someone else to worry about, but Hanks himself tweeted a picture of the I.D. and gave the student, Lauren, a heads up that he had it:

The senior has been talking to many media outlets, including CBS and E! Online and revealed that she doesn’t even have a Twitter account. But one of her teacher’s saw it and showed it to her. According to E!, Lauren has contacted Hanks via his Facebook page but hasn’t heard back yet. She has already spent $20 on a new I.D. but hopes to get her money back when she gets the old one from Hanks (or as he signs his tweets, “Hanx”). Let’s hope she actually gets to meet him and also gets an autograph and picture taken with him.

Everything Old Is New Again


You know you’re getting old when they start remaking TV shows that were on when you were an adult.

We already know that Full House is coming back (as Fuller House on Netflix) and Boy Meets World became Disney’s Girl Meets World and a new X-Files will hit Fox in January, but now we’re going to have a new version of the ’80s action show MacGyver too. The director of the pilot is going to be James Wan, who helmed Furious 7 and was trying to get a big-screen MacGyver made for years. Henry Winkler, who co-produced the original will also be on hand for this one. Since it’s CBS I’m sure it will have to follow a certain formula, so expect MacGyver to be paired with a sexy female partner and they banter back and forth. Also, there will be forensics involved. Let’s hope that Richard Dean Anderson gets at least a cameo in the new series. Maybe he can be the dad to a new MacGyver like John Wesley Shipp plays dad to a new Flash.

If that’s not enough nostalgia for you, 20th Century Fox is doing a reboot of The A-Team; CBS is updating Nancy Drew (this time she’s an NYC cop!); and Fox is doing a series based on Lethal Weapon, which makes sense because, well, every action show on TV seems to be a version of Lethal Weapon. ABC is doing a TV version of the John Candy movie Uncle Buck, which already had a short-lived TV version in 1990 with Kevin Meany. So I guess this is a reboot of a remake (though I’m sure they hope you don’t remember that first TV version).

If they’re taking requests for shows that should come back, may I suggest Sports Night?

Hey, What Happened to the Mary Tyler Moore Statue?

Back in April we told you about the odd Lucille Ball statue that was scaring people because it looked more like a character from The Walking Dead than America’s favorite comedienne. Now comes word that TV Land’s statue for another sitcom icon has been removed.

The statue of Mary Tyler Moore that was standing at the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis since being created by TV Land back in 2001 is in storage. It shows Mary in her famous “throwing her hat in the air” pose from the opening credits of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But it has been in storage since construction began at the mall earlier this year, and so far there are no plans to bring it back once construction is completed. TV Land doesn’t want to move it to another location and the network says it’s going to stay in an undisclosed storage facility until the mall is finished in 2017. But the mall is going to have its own design and artwork and there might not be a place for it.

I don’t understand why the city and TV Land can’t find a place for the statue of someone who is probably the most famous citizen to ever live (fictionally) in that city, but if they can’t find a place I’ll happily take it off their hands. It would look great next to my television.

Today Is National Moldy Cheese Day


A day to celebrate moldy cheese? Why not National Stale Potato Chips Day or National Stuff You Left in the Back of the Fridge and Now You Don’t Know What It Is Day? Actually, mold is an important part of some cheeses, especially cheese like blue cheese, so it’s not as crazy as it sounds (here are recipes for Stuffed Celery and Festive Fall Salad, both of which include blue cheese).

But the name. The name is what gets me. Couldn’t we just call it National Cheese Day?

No, because that’s June 4. Not to be confused with National Cheese Lovers’ Day, which is January 20. Got all that?

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Columbus Day (October 12)
The Pledge of Allegiance was first recited on Columbus Day in 1892. Read about how the pledge has changed, and the story of its author.

Thanksgiving Canada (October 12)
In the U.S. it falls on the fourth Thursday in November (thanks to FDR), but for our neighbors to the north, turkey day is always the second Monday in October.

Nikita Khrushchev’s speech at the U.N. (October 12, 1960)
Read about the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis — includes a link to 1962 article from the Post covering the Cold War as it happened.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower born (October 14, 1890)
You’ve always wanted Eisenhower’s recipe for barbecue sauce, right? Here it is.

Chuck Yeager breaks sound barrier (October 14, 1947)
The retired brigadier general and pilot (nicknamed “the fastest man alive”) is 92 and has an official website.

P.G. Wodehouse born (October 15, 1881)
I’ve always wanted to read more of this celebrated British author. This Random House site dedicated to Wodehouse is a good place to start.

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  1. ABC Family is probably changing their name to Freeform to ditch the ‘family’ name and restrictions that went with it. Hopefully it’s not going to do a Miley Cyrus type morph from ‘Hannah Montana’ to who/what (?) she is now.

    MacGyver was/is an excellent action show. The proposed new series looks more like a ‘prequel’ to the original, plus it has Henry Winkler behind it, so I’d be willing to give it a chance.

    As far as doing a ‘Lethal Weapon’ series goes, there have been 10’s of thousands of feature films done since 1987 that are mix and match clones of it having made it a parody of itself years ago. The 2010-? version of the unwatchably bad (yet successful) ‘Hawaii 5-0’ is basically a TV version of ‘Lethal Weapon’ anyway complete with the bromance, car chases, darting drawn guns, explosions etc. It’s ‘Hawaii 5-0’ in name only, with a cut down version of the famous theme song being the only link to the 1968-’80 series.

    Sadly, the opposite happened in 2011 with the short-lived ‘Charlie’s Angels’ that was cancelled that Fall after only about 5 episodes. Although a fan of the original 1976-’81 series that premiered when I was 19, the remake was actually a better show.

    Both series’ were products of their times. The latter series was criticized for the very things it should have been praised for: having 3 beautiful women that were reformed criminals realistically much better equipped to fight crime than the original 3 with police desk jobs. The Bosley character was cleverly reinvented in a useful form as a younger male ‘angel’ who assisted the women on the spot when a man was needed.

    It cleverly retained many of the aspects of the original show which were not dated and updated those that were as mentioned. This was a revival done right and was not appreciated. To put it another way, the 19 year old me loved the Farrah bathing suit poster as it was. The present day me prefers the other ‘rejected’ takes of the same poster where her head is not tilted back, and her smile is toned down. A smaller (10 x 13) of THAT version framed I wouldn’t feel self conscious about having on my office wall.

    Hopefully Mary Tyler Moore’s statue will resurface, and a beautiful statue of Lucille Ball will surface; speaking of a NEEDED remake!


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