Turner Classic Movies

Burt Reynolds: A life of mistakes and grand triumphs

(There are two versions of this story, but this is the national one. For the Lansing State Journal, the story focuses on Burt Reynolds' Lansing roots. This is the second version, which I sent to other papers.)

By Mike Hughes

Burt Reynolds' life
will flash before us, one more time.

We can spend the weekend on Osborne's great movie ride

There was a gentle, time-capsule feeling to Robert Osborne. He had a feel for old Hollywood; during at least one awards ceremony, he waited outside with his friend Bette Davis, because she couldn't spend that much time without a cigarette.

Osborne died recently at 84 and Turner Classic Movies will devote the entire weekend to him. Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Robert Osborne was a
man of persistent elegance.

Hollywood's silent minority: People with disabilities

Television can get silly at times -- as you'll notice via recent blogs on Golden Globes and Nina Turtles. Still, it can also be dead-serious. Please catch my recent blog on "Half the Sky," which runs Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 1-2) on PBS. Also, here's the story I sent to papers, about a cable series with movies about the disabled:



Fate stepped in early, choosing
Larwence Carter-Long's career.

Summertime starpower: From Elvis to Kate to Warren William (?)

The whole notion of a summer "dog days" has disappeared from TV. Almost every network -- even CW -- is introducing something in August; TNT and USA are busy and HBO has television's best show ("The Newsroom").

Then there are the annual events -- "Shark Week" starts Monday (Aug. 13) on Discovery, "Summer Under the Stars" continues all month on Turner Classic Movies. Here's a story I sent to papers about TCM's month in general and Elvis night (Thursday, Aug. 16) in particular:


Yes, people do still watch TV together (maybe)

Summers are stuffed with TV choices -- including the year's best show, HBO's "The Newsroom." Still, it's good to see Turner Classic Movies offering an alternative -- movies (billed as "Essentials Jr.") that might be watched as a family. Here's the story I sent to papers, interviewing Bill Hader ("Saturday Night Live"), who hosts:


Liz: Good actress, great movies

It's easy to focus on the character quirks of Elizabeth Taylor, who died today of heart failure at 79. She was, apparently, a good and decent person (one of the first in Hollywood to champion AIDS victims) and a bizarre person.

Still, let's focus on something else: She became a good actress who was in some truly great movies. Proof of that will come April 10, when Turner Classic Movies has an all-day Liz-athon.