News of the Week: New TV Shows, Sweater Weather, and a Strawberry Fool

Everything Old Is New Again

A woman sitting behind a television set. The screen is displaying a call pattern.

If you find yourself confused this fall, not knowing what year it is, you probably won’t be alone.

This week saw the annual Upfronts, the time of year when the TV networks unveil their new fall shows for advertisers and viewers. A lot of the shows are new versions of things we’ve seen before, including a reboot of MacGyver; an action-drama called Timeless that looks a lot like the ’60s series Time Tunnel; TV versions of the movies Lethal Weapon, The Exorcist, Training Day, and Time After Time (yes, more time travel); and for some reason, a show based on the early career of TV therapist Dr. Phil. He’ll be played by Michael Weatherly, who left NCIS this week after 13 seasons. If you liked The Good Wife, maybe you’ll be interested in the spinoff show starring Christine Baranski, which will be on CBS streaming service, CBS All Access.

Here are the new shows coming to ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, The CW, and TBS/TNT. By the way, Supergirl is leaving CBS but isn’t canceled; it’s moving to The CW, because it’s a better fit with existing shows like The Flash and Arrow. But CBS isn’t giving up on sci-fi. The new Star Trek is coming next year, and like The Good Wife spinoff, will be seen on CBS All Access. Maybe these shows will finally get viewers to pay for digital in a big way.

The shows that are going away? They include Nashville, Castle, The Grinder, The Mysteries of Laura, and CSI: Cyber. Here’s a complete list of the shows that won’t be coming back next season and the ones that have been renewed. Hopefully, your favorite show wasn’t canceled, though if CSI: Cyber was your favorite show … ahem.

The Catch, the ABC show I told you about a few weeks ago, was renewed for a second season. So I’m happy.

How to Embarrass a Meteorologist

What happens when viewers of a local news broadcast send in e-mails because they don’t like what the female meteorologist is wearing? Well, this:

I would think that if the station had a real problem with the dress that Liberte Chan was wearing and wanted to do something about it, they’d talk to her about it after she was finished, off-camera. But I guess if they did it that way, this whole thing wouldn’t have gone “viral.”

At least they’re not asking us what color the dress is.

RIP Morley Safer, Julius La Rosa, Bill Backer

Morley Safer passed away yesterday. This is rather surprising news because it comes less than a week after his retirement from CBS and a special 60 Minutes tribute that aired last Sunday. CNN’s Brian Stelter is reporting that one of the reasons for that special tribute was because Safer had been in poor health recently. Safer worked for CBS for over 50 years and was the longest-running correspondent on 60 Minutes. He was 84.

Julius La Rosa was a singer, and a lot of people will remember him for songs like “Eh, Cumpari” and “Domani.” But he was also involved in one of the big radio controversies in 1953. La Rosa was a regular on Arthur Godfrey’s show and became a big star. Maybe too big. Godfrey thought that La Rosa had become ungrateful and actually fired La Rosa live on the air. It didn’t sound like a nasty firing. Godfrey tried to say that La Rosa had grown beyond the show and it was time for him to be on his own, but he actually didn’t like that La Rosa had hired an agent and “lost his humility.” Here’s audio of the incident:

The firing actually helped La Rosa, as the public seemed to side with him. He went on to guest host The Perry Como Show and appear on shows like The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show. He had his own show from 1955 to 1957, and was even nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in 1980 for his role on Another World. La Rosa died in Wisconsin last week at the age of 86.

Bill Backer? He was one of the advertising giants of the ’60s and ’70s, sort of the real-life Don Draper of Mad Men. His name might not be familiar to you but his most famous commercial song will be. It was featured in the series finale of the show:

Backer passed away last week at the age of 89. He worked on ad campaigns for companies like Quaker Foods, Xerox, Philip-Morris, Miller Beer (“Miller Time”), and Lowenbrau (“Here’s to good friends, tonight is kind of special”).

Centipede: The Movie

Centipede for the Atari 2600 cartridge
CTR Photos /

When I was in my late teens, my best friend and I were addicted to the video games Centipede (and Millipede, its sister game) and Asteroids. We’d go to the arcade or bowling alley and play those games for hours. God only knows how many quarters we pumped into those machines.

Now we’ll be able to experience Centipede in theaters, as they’re making a big-screen version of the game. It will be done by Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films in partnership with Atari. I don’t know how well this movie will do. Movies based on video games are tricky. Sure, Lara Croft was big, but we all remember Adam Sandler’s Pixels. Or maybe we don’t.

They’re making a Missile Command movie, too, though that seems to lend itself to a big-screen action flick a little more readily than Centipede. I’m surprised they haven’t made a movie based on Asteroids, though maybe that’s what Armageddon was.

A Light in the Night

Have you ever gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and you’re tired and you turn on the bathroom light and get all disoriented because the light is too bright and you wish you could just leave the light off yet still go to the bathroom?

OF COURSE NOT. But that didn’t stop someone from inventing something for that very scenario. Introducing The Bowl Light (and a similar product, The GlowBowl). That’s right, it’s a light you put inside your toilet bowl! So you can actually leave the light off yet still do what you need to do!

This is the solution to a problem that doesn’t even exist. If you have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you deal with the brightness for a few minutes. (And I don’t even want to discuss how dirty this light could get.)

One of the main selling points for this product is that it “lights up without waking you up.” Yeah, because who wants to actually be awake when they go to the bathroom?

How to Make a Strawberry Fool

May is National Strawberry Month, so here’s why you should brush your teeth with them. But you want a recipe too, right? How about a Strawberry Fool? This New York Times video shows you how to make it, and it’s pretty simple. The only ingredients are strawberries, cream, sugar, and vanilla.

Oh, and a bowl of some sort. You need a bowl to put it in. And it doesn’t even need to have a light in it.

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Norman Rockwell’s first Post cover (May 20, 1916)

Boy with Baby Carriage, Rockwell’s first Post cover, was the start of a long relationship that yielded 322 cover images over four decades. We’re marking the centennial with “100 Days of Norman Rockwell,” highlighting a different Rockwell cover every weekday for the next 20 weeks.

Richard Nixon becomes first U.S. president to visit Moscow (May 22, 1972)

In this Saturday Evening Post piece, Peter Bloch explains why Nixon was … a great President!

Bonnie and Clyde killed (May 23, 1934)

Here are nine facts you might not know about the infamous duo.

Ralph Waldo Emerson born (May 25, 1803)

This site has a complete list of the poet and essayist’s works.

Star Wars opens (May 25, 1977)

I remember being really excited as an 11-year-old to see the film, but who could have guessed the impact it would still have 40 years later?

John Wayne born (May 26, 1907)

Here’s what Joan Didion wrote in The Saturday Evening Post after meeting The Duke when she was 9 years old.

Its a Small World ride opens (May 28, 1966)

The Disneyland/Disney World ride can also be found at Disney parks in Tokyo, Paris, and Hong Kong.