Remembering Garry Marshall

Garry Marshall, who passed away yesterday at the age of 81, was a prolific director, producer, writer, and actor in both television and movies. Here’s how to sample all his talents:


For the big screen, Marshall directed such titles as Pretty Woman (1990) and Beaches (1988). You can see them from $2.99 each at such services as Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and YouTube. Here’s The Princess Diaries (2001):


For Marshall’s biggest TV hits, tune in to over-the-air channel Me-TV. Tonight and every weeknight, you can catch Happy Days at 9 pm ET. Happy Days also runs Sundays at 3pm, when it’s followed by Laverne & Shirley. Then, at 10 pm Sunday, Me-TV airs the original version of The Odd Couple. For Mork & Mindy, wake up early or set your DVR to Antenna TV, which airs two episodes every weekday at 6 am. You can also stream episodes of all four series for free on Hulu – just go to Guidebox and search for the show of your choice. Here, Gary Marshall joins the Happy Days cast for a 1992 reunion special:


As a showrunner before the term was ever coined, Marshall knew how to deal with TV network executives. That experience certainly lent a degree of authenticity to probably his most visible acting role: playing network president Stan Lansing in 24 episodes of Murphy Brown, the hugely popular series that ran a full decade (1988-1998) on CBS. If you want to watch Murphy Brown today, however, your only option seems to be season one on DVD (you can buy it on Amazon for $13.50). Nobody’s  streaming the series, and we could find no national over-the-air channel that’s carrying it. For an explanation of this situation, check out Gizmodo’s “Why the Hell Can’t I Watch Murphy Brown Online?


Marshall started his TV career in the early 1960s, co-writing many popular shows with Jerry Belson. Here’s a 1964 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, which was nominated for a Writers Guild of America award:



About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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