|NOTES OF INTEREST
“Law & Order” and “Mission: Impossible” Actor Steven Hill Dies at 94
Steven Hill, who is remembered for his starring roles in the first season of “Mission: Impossible” on CBS and NBC’s long-running “Law & Order” from 1990 to 2000, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. He was 94. No specific cause of death was announced.
Born Solomon Krakowsky on Feb. 24, 1922 in Seattle, Washington, Hill’s acting debut came in 1950 opposite Hedy Lamarr in theatrical “A Lady Without Passport.” For the rest of the 1950s and 1960s, he co-starred in B-movies such as “The Goddess,” “Kiss Her Goodbye,” “A Child is Waiting” and “The Slender Thread.” Early guest roles on television included anthology-themed “Actor’s Studio,” “Theater of Romance,” “Suspense” and “Starlight Theater.”
Although “Mission: Impossible” ran for seven seasons, Hill refused to abide by the production schedule that required working on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, being an Orthodox Jew. He was replaced after season one by Peter Graves and ultimately went on a sabbatical from acting from 1967 to 1977, working on a variety of jobs including selling real estate in New York.
Hill returned to acting in 1977, initially with a guest role on short-lived drama “The Andros Targets.” But it was his 10-season role as District Attorney Adam Schiff on “Law & Order,” which resulted in two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, that made him a weekly fixture on the small screen.
“Steven was not only one of the truly great actors of his generation, he was one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. He is also the only actor I’ve known who consistently tried to cut his own lines,” “Law & order” creator Dick Wolf said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Hill was married twice. He was with his first wife, Selma Stern, from 1951 to 1964 and fathered four children with her. He had another five children with his second wife, Rachel, whom he married in 1967.
OWN to Air Upcoming Daytime Talker “T.D. Jakes”
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has acquired the rights to air daytime talk show “T.D. Jakes” from Tegna Media and T.D. Jakes Enterprises. Debuting locally on Monday, Sept. 12 in approximately 70 affiliate stations (following a successful four-week test-run on Tegna stations in Atlanta, Minneapolis and Cleveland last summer), OWN will air “T.D. Jakes,” hosted by the well-known pastor and best-selling author, in the Monday through Friday 6 p.m. ET hour beginning on Sept. 19.
Produced by 44Blue Productions, EnLight Productions and T.D. Jakes Enterprises, the talk show is currently filming in Los Angeles with Ianthe Jones serving as showrunner.
Michael Strahan Sells Drama “Hobbs” to ABC
Michael Strahan is expanding into the world of scripted dramas. The “Good Morning America” and $100,000 Pyramid” host has sold a drama called “Hobbs” to ABC, the tale of a former Heisman Trophy winner named Tommy Hobbs who joins the Miami police force after not being drafted by the NFL. The network has given the potential drama a script commitment. Michael Caleo (“The Sopranos,” “Rescue Me”) will executive produce and write the script along with Strahan.
Comet Acquires Original “The Mystery Science Theater 3000”
Sinclair Television Group and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (“MGM”), partners in the recently launched science fiction digital broadcast network, Comet, have announced a license agreement for episodes of the original “Mystery Science Theater 3000” (MST3K) from Shout! Factory. In addition, the classic Japanese Godzilla feature films from 1954 – 1975 have also been added to the upcoming roster of programming.
“Mystery Science Theater 3000,” which is being revived on Netflix, launched in 1988 on KTMA-TV in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its national broadcast life began in 1989 on the Comedy Channel (later to become Comedy Central), where it ran for seven seasons. The show’s final three seasons aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. More than 190 episodes were aired and a feature film was produced in 1996.
In addition to “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” Comet will begin airing numerous new shows and films including, “Jeremiah,” Thursdays beginning September 1, “Poltergeist: The Legacy,” beginning September 5, “Dead Like Me,” starting September 6, and the original The Outer Limits on September 7.
Sarah Paulson (“The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story”) is joining the cast of new Ryan Murphy anthology “Feud” as Oscar-winning actress Geraldine Page in the FX series about the legendary battle between movie stars Joan Crawford (Susan Sarandon) and Bette Davis (Jessica Lange). Also appearing will be Catherine Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland.