10 Facts About Former Child Star Paul Petersen

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1.  Born September 23, 1945, Paul Petersen started out at age ten as a Mousketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club.  (He was fired – by Disney himself – apparently for punching a casting director who kept calling him “mouse.”) 28111579

2.  He gained much more attention playing Donna Reed’s son, Jeff, from 1958-1966 on The Donna Reed Show. More

10 Facts About Grampa Simpson of “The Simpsons”

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1.  Grampa Simpson’s real name is Abraham J. Simpson.  (What does the J stand for?  Dunno.  And I doubt if Grampa does either.) Abe_Simpson

2.  He is a veteran of both World War I and World War II.  (Don’t ask how.  This is a cartoon.) More

10 Facts About Mike Nichols

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1.  Mike Nichols was born November 6, 1931 in Berlin.  (Happy b-day!)

2.  He became part of the Compass Players (a predecessor of Second City) in 1955, joining Elaine May, Paul Sills, Shelly Berman and Del Close in the endeavor.  Nichols & May launched as a comedy due in 1958. More

10 Facts About Amy Farrah Fowler (“The Big Bang Theory”)

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1.  The Big Bang Theory’s neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler is played by Mayim Bialak, who is herself a neuroscientist.  (Sometimes casting is easy, right?)

2.  Dr. Fowler is paired in a relationship with Dr. Sheldon Cooper on the show, although Cooper has been loath to acknowledge her as his “girl friend.”  (Of course, Sheldon is loath to acknowledge many things.) More

10 Facts About IFC’s “Portlandia”

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1.  The surreal satirical sketch comedy started on Independent Film Channel on January 21, 2011.

2.  Or maybe it all started in 2005, when Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen started making sketches for the internet.

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10 Facts About Milhouse of “The Simpsons”

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1.  His last name, if you don’t know, is Van Houten; his middle name?  Mussolini.  (Parents, remember to THINK before naming your children.)

2.  He learned Italian from his yearly visits to his grandmother in Tuscany; her “forceful” learning methods also started Milhouse on the long road of bed wetting.

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10 Facts About USA Networks’ “Psych”

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1.  It premiered on the USA cable network on July 7, 2006.  The debut episode was the highest rated scripted basic cable series premiere for 2006.  (I watched it.  Always glad to do my part.  Even if Mr. Nielsen doesn’t even know I’m alive.)

2.  Creator Steven Franks’ band the Friendly Indians plays the series’ theme song, “I Know You Know” – but it has also been re-created in different styles (Christmas, Bollywood, Twin Peaks-esque, doo wop) for particular episodes.  (And it’s not like I haven’t let Mr. Nielsen know about my interest.  Fan letters.  Christmas cards.  A box of chocolates now and then.)

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10 Facts About “Family Guy”

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1.  Premiered January 31, 1999.  Some show called Super Bowl apparently preceded it.

2.  One of the few shows to be “brought back to life” (and one of the even fewer to be brought back successfully).   It was cancelled in 2002 – but demand brought it back on May 1, 2005, and it’s been running happily since.  (Thank God for online petitions and DVD sales.)

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10 Facts About ABC’s “Modern Family”

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1.  Debuted on September 23, 2009. More

10 Facts About the Emmy Awards

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1.  The first Emmy Awards were presented at the dawn of commerical television, on January 25, 1949.  The very first Emmy (Outstanding Television Personality) was awarded to ventriloquist Shirley Dinsdale (who?). More