TV Land Awards Puts Spotlight on Classic Shows and Stars
Walking out on stage at the Gibson Amphitheater at Universal Studios, producer Michael Levitt gave a pep talk to an audience packed with classic TV stars. Prior to the taping of the TV Land Awards, Levitt thanked the showbiz veterans “for giving us so much happiness. You gave us the shows that we remember so fondly. And I love that, for two hours, we get the opportunity to revisit the shows we hold near and dear to our hearts. Especially in these turbulent times, it’s nice to go back to those kinder, gentler days.” Then he and his team proceeded to present a smooth-running TV spectacular that was just what the doctor ordered— since host Neil Patrick Harris (now starring in CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother”) once played the teenage doc on “Doogie Howser, M.D.”
There were a lot more “medical professionals” among the honorees, since the cast of “ER” was there for TV Land’s Icon Award, and “M*A*S*H” alumni showed up for the Impact Award.
The tremendous turnout of “ER” performers included Anthony Edwards, who launched the show, and Angela Bassett, who was in charge of the emergency room for the finale. Plus, Linda Cardellini, Alex Kingston, Kellie Martin, Mekhi Phifer and the familiar faces of the nurses who were there from the beginning, Yvette Freeman, Lily Mariye and Ellen Crawford.
The creative team and cast of “M*A*S*H” were on hand to be honored for creating an impact. There was Alan Alda, Mike Farrell, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swit, William Christopher, Allan Arbus and “nurse” Kellye Nakahara, plus producer Larry Gelbart.
One of the sweetest moments of the night happened when I was talking with Mike Farrell and asked him which classic TV show had an impact on his life. “I enjoyed watching ‘The Donna Reed Show’ when I was young, and I noticed a pretty girl on it,” he revealed. “And I thought someday that I’d love to marry that girl. And I did.” Beaming by his side was Mike’s lovely wife Shelley Fabares, who played Donna Reed’s daughter.
On the red carpet, it was fun to see the stars of some of the most popular TV shows. And it was a special joy to see so many of the stars looking great and holding up as well as their classic shows. That was especially true for the stars of “Knots Landing,” which celebrated its 30th anniversary. The cast went parading by looking like time stood still. The original “desperate housewives” from “Knots,” Donna Mills, Michele Lee, Joan Van Ark, Michele Phillips and Lisa Hartman, all looked drop-dead gorgeous.
Sid and Marty Krofft were honored with the Pop Culture Award; “Home Improvement” was named Fan Favorite; “Two and a Half Men” was named Future Classic; Don Rickles got the Legend Award; and Julia Louis Dreyfus received the Lucille Ball Legacy of Laughter. The Innovator Award went to “Married with Children” and Dr. Phil called it a show that proves “father does not know best.” David Faustino reported, “We had the time of our lives,” while Katey Sagal noted, “Everyone was trying to take us off the air but we were just trying to make people laugh.”
Getting serious, Tom Selleck accepted the Hero Award for “Magnum, P.I.,” along with his co-stars Larry Manetti and Roger E. Mossley. Selleck explained that “Magnum” was the first to offer a positive portrayal of Vietnam veterans. And he made a heartfelt plea to keep all our veterans in our thoughts and appreciate their service and sacrifice. Selleck is a class act.
Earth, Wind and Fire rocked the finale of the show with their hits, with the classic stars getting up to groove to the beat. Afterwards, many lingered to reminisce about all the wonderful shows and bygone days. Some enjoyed relaxing in the celebrity lounge that had fabulous fashions and treats. Getting the most attention from the stars were the all-weather designer boots and accessories from DAV. The eco-friendly Simple Shoes provided some kicks, along with the Big Feet Pajama Company. The Kroma skin care and makeup was putting smiles on a lot of famous faces. And Primo Active Wear got the biggest laughs with motivational messages on its tees, such as “First one up wins!” Well, what if we stay up to watch Nick at Nite?