What do “Golden Age of Television” series The Arthur Murray Party, The Ernie Kovacs Show, Pantomime Quiz, Space Cadet, and Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour have in common?
They’re all TV classics, but the weird distinction these five series share is that each were broadcast, at one time or another, on all four major TV networks of the era: ABC, CBS, NBC, and DuMont. The Arthur Murray Party had a run on each of the four networks twice.
What incredibly popular TV series featured characters named Muriel, Karen, Eustace, and Francis…sort of?
It’s Friends (1994-2004). What, you thought it was about Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Joey, Monica, and Phoebe, falling in love and defining themselves in New York City? Well, you’re right. But so are we— “Muriel,” “Karen,” “Eustace,” and “Francis” are the middle names of those iconic TV characters. There’s Chandler “Muriel” Bing, Rachel “Karen” Green, Ross “Eustace” Gellar, and Joey “Francis” Tribbiani. As for Monica and Phoebe: Monica’s middle-name was never divulged during the run of the show, while Phoebe mentions that she doesn’t know hers.
Other than being Broadway stars of the last decade, what do Laura Benanti, Andrew Rannells, Josh Gad, and Megan Hilty have in common?
All are hugely successful in the realm of Broadway musical theater. Benanti is a four-time Tony Award nominee, winning for Gypsy in 2008. Rannells and Gad co-starred in The Book of Mormon and were both Tony-nominated. Hilty played Glinda in the long-running Wizard of Oz-based hit, Wicked. All four stars were able to capitalize on their stardom by signing on to star in TV series, all for NBC. But by mid-2013, every single one of those shows—Benanti’s Go On, Rannells’ The New Normal, Gad’s 1600 Penn, and Hilty’s Smash—were all cancelled.
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