The Top 10 TV Facts

Posted Jun 24, by Michael Hofer

Countless sitcoms today use the multiple camera, adjoining set setup that was first made by Desi Arnaz, producer of I Love Lucy. While popular comedies like The Office, Modern Family, and Community don't use this setup, others like How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, and The Big Bang Theory still do. Arnaz and his cameraman Karl Freund are credited with the development of that setup still used today, as well as the production style associated with it in which all the sets are adjacent to one another. This helped to enable every station around the country to broadcast high quality images of I Love Lucy. Arnaz is also credited with inventing the live studio audience setup. Though he was told it would be impossible to allow an audience onto a sound stage, he worked with Freund to design a set that could allow for an audience and filming, while adhering to fire and safety codes. Arnaz also pushed the envelope for making the network let him show Lucille Ball while she was pregnant. Back then the CBS network felt pregnant women should not be on television, but the priest, rabbi, and minister Arnaz consulted all said it was fine. (Source)

In 1995 Oprah Winfrey hired McGraw's legal consulting firm CSI to prepare for the Amarillo Texas beef trial. He had started the company with lawyer Gary Dobbs in 1990. Previously, he was a clinical psychologist. He kept his Texas license for practicing psychology until 2006 when he officially retired it. Winfrey was so impressed with McGraw from the trial, though, that she invited him on her show. She began inviting him on the show weekly as a "Relationship and Life Strategy Expert" in 1998. In 1999, McGraw released his first book, Life Strategies, and then wrote three more in the following years. He also wrote workbooks to complement his books. In September 2002, McGraw formed Peteski Productions and launched his own syndicated talk show airing daily, Dr. Phil, produced by Harpo Studios. It is an advice show that tackles different problems people face in their lives. The California Board of Psychology decided in 2002 that McGraw didn't need a license, because his show involves entertainment rather than psychology. (Source)

Jason Alexander is forever immortalized as George Costanza, Jerry Seinfeld's best friend, in the hit 90s sitcom Seinfeld. Costanza is neurotic, so neurotic that he starts seeing a shrink for awhile. He's also misanthropic, thinking anything good that happens to him will bring him punishment from God. He overanalyzes everything and his shortcomings make him loveable and somehow very honest. It makes him go through girlfriends like crazy. Over the course of 9 seasons, Costanza has 43 girlfriends. At one point he gets engaged and tries that out, but it ends disastrously. His relationships last a very short while before they crash and burn, too, or fizzle out. George's parents are Frank and Estella, who he lives with for awhile. He says he lost his virginity to Ms. Stafford, his homeroom teacher. Jerry humors his need to over express himself and overanalyze things. By the end of the series, George is womanless.


Aimee Osbourne is a writer for Nylon Magazine who, in 2002, opted out of being on the MTV reality series "The Osbournes." Aimee decided to have no involvement in the show that, at the time, was the highest viewed one on MTV. This meant that whenever she was in the house, the cameras weren't allowed to record. She still appeared with her family on a few occasions, but never on the show. Usually, when family photos were on camera, her face would be blurred out. Even since the show finished airing in 2005, she has remained largely out of the public eye. She was seen on 20/20 with her whole family when Sharon was diagnosed with colon cancer, and was involved with her family during the 30th Annual Music Awards, but never spoke about her family until December 2003. Then, she criticized MTV, claiming they were making her father a "laughing stock." She appeared again with her family in 2006 for A&E's Biography series, and was a guest on Piers Morgan's show Life Stories in 2009. Today, she is still active in the fashion industry.


George Reeves was always cautious when interacting with children who were fans of Adventures of Superman, because on multiple occasions they thought he was really Superman and tried to test his invulnerability. Most often, kids would come up to him and try assaulting him, but what one kid did really blew away the rest. At one appearance in costume, George Reeves greeted a young boy who quickly pulled a pistol out and pointed it at him. The boy had taken the pistol, a Luger, from his home. It had belonged to his father, who had brought it home after World War II. He wanted to shoot Superman to see if he was really invulnerable like on the TV show. Reeves didn't want to say he wasn't really Superman, because it would have ruined the entire appearance and possibly upset the child. He managed to get out of it by convincing the child if he shot him, the bullet could bounce off him and hurt someone else.


The creator and artist of Scooby Doo was Iwao Takamoto. Takamoto did a bit of research before creating the beloved character of children and adults alike. He spoke with a breeder of Great Danes who informed him of what a show-ready pedigree Great Dane would look like. Takamoto, of course, took this information into consideration, but he probably used the information the opposite way of how the breeder might have expected him to use it. Instead of making Scooby, a perfect show dog, he gave Scooby several characteristics opposite of the show standards. Scooby was given completely the wrong colorization as well as a humped back, bowed legs, and small chin. Since Scooby is a cartoon, he was also given some unrealistic characteristics. For example, Scooby's tail has far more capabilities than any real dog's tail would have. He can use it to hang from or even press buttons. Scooby's face is also "malleable," which means that it could be adjusted in unnatural way to communicate emotion. He also has only one pad on the sole of his feet, which is inaccurate, but make Scooby easier to draw.


Michelle Duggar, from the TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting, is 45 and has been pregnant 21 times. If you do that math, it would be 15 years and 9 months of pregnancy. If you know much about the Duggars, though, you know things didn't turn out that way. The Duggars have had two miscarriages and one premature baby, which amounts to a little bit over 14 years of pregnancy- still almost a third of her life. Why so many kids? Basically it's because of the couple's decision to embrace the Christian "Quiverfull" idea of promoting procreation and seeing children as gifts from God. Their decision to follow the movement was spurred by both their faith and their negative experience with birth control, which may have led to their first miscarriage. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are the heads of a very conservative Christian family. The two met when Jim Bob was visiting Michelle after she had recently become a Christian, and they have been married for 28 years. The family practice a very fundamentalist way of life, including viewing only wholesome family entertainment, keeping modest appearances, homeschooling, and practicing courting instead of dating. Though it might seem like 19 kids and such a devotion-requiring lifestyle would make for a pretty exhausted parent, Michelle Duggar was actually named Mother of the Year in 2004. Regardless of what your feelings are on the fundamentalist Christian lifestyle, I think we can all agree that Michelle Duggar's current life is a step above what Nadya Suleman "the Octomom" is doing these days


On 9/11, MacFarlane was scheduled to return to LA on AA Flight 11 from Boston. Suffering from a hangover from the previous night's celebrations, and with an incorrect departure time from his travel agent, he arrived at the airport sometime around 7:30 and was unable to board the flight as the gates had been closed. 15 minutes after departure the flight was hijacked, and at 8:46 a.m. Was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.


This surprising revelation was made in the audio commentary included with the episode "Plankton!" On the DVD boxset of the show's first season. The disc does not establish which characters match up with each sin, but as an avid Spongebob fan, I believe the comparisons are fairly straightforward:

1. Greed (Mr. Krabs) - this is by far the most obvious comparison that can be made. The avarice of Eugene Krabs is made painfully clear throughout the series. He is constantly thinking of ways to turn a profit, even if it involves taking advantage of his friends or putting them in harmful situations! In one episode, he sings a song called "If I Could Talk to Money"...and there's even a wiki page devoted to compiling all of his greedy plans!

2. Envy (Plankton) - another no brainer. With all of Krabs' wealth and good fortune, there has been an equal amount of hard luck and failure for his archrival, Sheldon Plankton. Plankton owns a struggling restaurant called "The Chum Bucket" and is consumed with the desire to achieve the success of his adversary. His life's goal is to steal the Krabby Patty formula from his Krabs and drive his primary competitor out of business.

3. Sloth (Patrick) - the guy lives under a rock for crying out loud! If that isn't enough to convince you, in the episode "Big Pink Loser" Patrick is given an award for 'doing absolutely nothing longer than anyone else'. He then proceeds go back under his rock to protect his title.

4. Pride (Sandy) - the fact that Sandy Cheeks is from Texas alone should almost suffice for this one. She is a squirrel that is very proud of her heritage, so much so that in one episode she nearly moved back home! Sandy also takes a great deal of satisfaction in being the only land critter living down in Bikini Bottom among all the fishy folk. Though generally a good-natured individual, Sandy is quick to spout off about the greatness of the Lone Star state or to show off her athleticism in a karate match or a weightlifting contest.

5. Wrath (Squidward) - Squidward Tentacles has no qualms about expressing his negative outlook on life, whether it be by describing how much he hates his job at the Krusty Krab or through outward disdain for his two obnoxious neighbors. He is portrayed as a general failure who refuses to acknowledge his own personal flaws. This constant self-denial manifests itself in a sarcastic sense of humor and resentment toward the society that doesn't 'appreciate' his creativity and clarinet...erm..."skills".

6. Gluttony (Gary) - now this one's a bit trickier. Those who have watched a great deal of the series will have noticed a number of jokes about Spongebob having to remember to feed his pet snail. To be honest, Gary doesn't do a whole lot besides eating and meowing, and the meowing is often due to the fact that he is hungry. Once when Spongebob hadn't fed his pet, Gary is shown eating parts of their couch! In another episode, Gary runs away from home because Spongebob forgot to feed him for a while. Another time when Spongebob had amnesia, Gary ate a year's supply of snail food and became morbidly obese! This proves beyond a doubt that when left to his own devices, Gary would rather do nothing but eat.

7. Lust (Spongebob) - our final analogy is probably the least apparent because we typically think of 'lust' in a sexual sense. However, the alternative definition for lust is simply "a passionate desire for something". In this sense of the word, it cannot be denied that our absorbent yellow friend is an extremely lustful creature. Spongebob has a lust for life that is incomparable to most other cartoon characters - he yearns for the affections of both friend and foe alike, is eager to please, and will often stop at nothing to complete a task.

Most people would immediately guess, House, ER, or Grey's Anatomy, yet the answer almost universally agreed upon by those in the medical field is Scrubs! Yes this show is a sitcom with humor that occasionally seems to be written for 12-year-old boys, yet when it comes down to it, it is most similar to what real life doctors experience. Why? There are several reasons. Doctors say shows such as House and ER are completely inaccurate because they always center around an extremely climactic case that would only occur in real life several times in an entire career, while Grey's Anatomy is simply an epic romance dressed in medical clothes. Scrubs is accurate because it focuses on the events that occur in between the big hitter cases and the relationship between doctors and accurate and normal patients. They say the show truthfully portrays the training a doctor goes through and even the environment in the show is similar to what you can expect at a real life hospital!


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