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"The Essentials" and "Private Screenings" - are these series still active?


princessjulia
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I'm a new TCM viewer, and i just heard the news about Robert Osbourne (rest in peace)

 

I moseyed on over to the tribute webpage and read his bio where they mentioned that he hosted two TCM series: "The Essentials" on Saturday nights and "Private Screenings" in which he interviewed classic movie stars.

 

I'm wondering: are these series still actively aired (with the current hosts)? I can't find a clear answer on the forums.  :unsure:

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No there haven't been any Private Screenings for quite some time, although Ben hosted a few events like last summer with Jerry Lewis. The Essentials was supposed to continue with Sally Field & Robert but he was too ill to film a new season last spring. No announcement as to whether it will continue with Ben or another host.

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No there haven't been any Private Screenings for quite some time, although Ben hosted a few events like last summer with Jerry Lewis. The Essentials was supposed to continue with Sally Field & Robert but he was too ill to film a new season last spring. No announcement as to whether it will continue with Ben or another host.

 

I hope they decide to continue both series!

 

and "Essentials" usually had celebrity guests if i'm not mistaken? (or is it just "guest programmer" blocks that do that?)

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For the last several years, TCM has presented an annual one-hour special consisting of an interview with a special guest movie star which was recorded at the TCM Classic Film Festival the year before.  My impression is that TCM takes one full year to prepare these so that they can insert clips from the various movies that are referenced in the interviews during the show.  (It must take time to get all the permissions that are required.)  Plus, they can then use the show as sort of a cross-promotion for the current year’s film festival.  Normally Robert was doing these interviews, but when he bowed out of the Film Festival others would take his place.  Here’s a quick list of the shows I am aware of:

2011 - Robert interviews Louise Rainer in 2010
2012 - Robert interviews Peter O’Toole in 2011
2013 - Robert interviews Kim Novak in 2012
2014 - Robert interviews Eva Marie Saint in 2013
2015 - Robert interviews Alan Arkin in 2014
2016 - Edoardo Ponti interviews his mother Sophia Loren in 2015
2016 - Ben Mankiewicz interviews Norman Lloyd in 2015 (shown later in the year)

So in a way this has taken the place of the Private Screenings interviews.

In 2014 there was also a true "Private Screenings" episode which was a tribute to Robert Osborne.

The next TCM Film Festival is coming up at the end of the first week of April, and TCM is staying consistent with the schedule showing an interview with Faye Dunaway on Monday, April 3, as recorded at the 2016 festival. (I believe Ben did this interview.)

 

I find these shows to be really well done, so I am very much looking forward to it.

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   Ironically it was only about 2 days ago I was thinking about who would truly be the finest replacement for Osborne-(Mankiewicz is ok, but not in the same league)

 

But, at present I forget who it was?

 

 

Certainly not Tiffany Vasquez

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Just wanted to add here that TCM has announced a tribute to Robert Osborne on March 18th and 19th where they will be showing many of the Private Screenings episodes as well as the TCM Classic Film Festival interviews that I described below.

 

A fitting tribute and a tremendous opportunity to catch up on these great programs!

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