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Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.


Deborah Harter Williams

by Deborah Harter Williams


As we consider Father’s Day, it is obvious the role that fathers have played in a staple of television comedy: Father Knows Best, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, Parenthood, Modern Family. But they are also integral to many a plot twist and emotional conflict driving drama as well, particularly in the crime and spy genre.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


Who could be more perfect than Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly to play the iconic leads forever etched in our minds as Cagney & Lacey, which aired for seven seasons on CBS from March 1982 to May 1988.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


What are they thinking those television execs? What flights of fantasy run through the minds of the would-be producers of future shows? Where do they get their ideas?
Well, here it is – pilot season – an eclectic mix of new, old, out-there, and you’ve-got-to-be-kidding. Watch for diversity and big screen faces.

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Spring Forward TV Viewers

IN THE March 19 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andDeborah Harter Williams,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Deborah Harter Williams


There are still new shows coming up for the Spring Season – or whatever we call the perpetual new season that is now television. And by television, I mean everything from Network, to Cable, to Netflix, and those other streamers. Here’s a preview of new shows coming up in the next month, plus a peek at some of the pilots vying to be future series.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


Ah, January – the disappointments of the fall season are behind us and once again new series are on the offing. Here are a few that have piqued anticipation.

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Raymond Burr – More than Mason

IN THE November 28 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andDeborah Harter Williams,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Deborah Harter Williams


Raymond Burr was Perry Mason (and vice versa) for most of my life, and more than half of his. In the series and the later movies, he made the role his own from 1957 to his death in 1993. He once said that the downside of the Perry Mason role was that it put everything else he had done in shadow.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


The scene fades up on a simple line-drawing* of Alfred Hitchcock’s rotund profile (the word rotund seems to have been invented to describe Hitchcock, imagine finding this caricature next to the word in the dictionary); The “Funeral March of a Marionette” plays, and Hitchcock emerges in silhouette from the right side of the screen. Walking to the center of the frame his bulk fills in the caricature. He turns to the camera and says – “Good Eeevening.”

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by Deborah Harter Williams


Fluff up your pillows, lay in some snacks—here are some tempting new shows kicking off and spinning off next week.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


Even if you saw the show only once, you would remember him: Lieutenant Theo Kojak, tough, bald, well dressed, smoker of small cigars, fan of Tootsie Roll Pops, famous for the signature line, “Who loves ya, baby?” It was an unforgettable character, brought to the screen by Telly Savalas in October 1973, and he was larger than life for five seasons and five TV movies. Thirty-five years after the show ended, and 19 years after the death of Savalas, Kojak was still listed by TV Guide as number 22 on its “50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time” list.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope is variously described as cranky, driven, overweight and middle-aged, and that’s from the people who love her. Vera is based on the books created by author, Ann Cleeves, and is brought to small screen life by actress Brenda Blethyn.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


Jane and Lily as seniors? Seriously funny.
The success of the Netflix show Grace and Frankie starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin might have audiences rethinking the nature of old on television. Comedy is a time-honored way to challenge assumptions and G & F take on age and same sex marriage right out of the box. Add on interracial adoption and any number of semi-sacred cows with just enough I-can’t-believe-they-said-that to remind us that we’re not watching your grandmother’s broadcast television.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


There is currently a big push to get girls interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and creating positive role models on television looks like one way to do it. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has an oft repeated principle “If you can see it you can be it.” Here are women scientists you might have seen on television over the past 50 years.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


Jane Marple has been portrayed onscreen by a cadre of fine actresses. The world has been blessed with a veritable, murmuration of Marples. Or would that be a murder of Marples? Or perhaps a marvelization of Marples, because it is quite marvelous to have so many characterizations to choose from.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


Sunday March 1 10:00 p.m. – Battle Creek – CBS
Tagline – Not Your Ordinary Cop Show
Mismatched law enforcement partners are nothing new, but this version takes a unique geographical turn and lands in Battle Creek, Michigan. It’s referred to as a “vibrant city of 50,000” but the local cops are scraping the bottom of their budget, which means that the battery in the Taser may or may not work when needed.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


1968, The Mod Squad, a trio of undercover “hippie” cops, “One black, one white, one blonde.”
Williams played Linc Hayes with an Afro and dignity. What could have been played for laughs turned out to be groundbreaking for its black co-lead and the socially relevant stories of drugs, race, and the Vietnam War.
From 2003-2007 Williams solved crimes on a much quieter level as Philby Cross, ex-government spy on Hallmark’s Mystery Woman.

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Longmire Resurrection

IN THE December 13 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andDeborah Harter Williams,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Deborah Harter Williams



It’s a new day in Absaroka County, with the old sheriff still in town but coming from another network.
Television is fickle. The show that is the darling one season gets thrown on the slagheap the next. Even the highly rated are not immune; Murder She Wrote, as many of us remember, was cancelled while still in the top 10. Latest on the chopping block—the A&E mystery/western, Longmire.

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