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Few TV tributes planned for Robin Williams this week

By Amy Robinson, A&E/Teen Editor
ABC photo
On Friday night, The Hub Network will air the “Happy Days” episode that introduced Mork to the world. It’s the only tribute to Robin Williams that TV networks currently have planned.

Of all the celebrities tweeting and speaking out about Robin Williams’ death this week, “Glee” star Chris Colfer’s was one that really stood out to me. It said, in part, “You know someone is special when the whole world considers them family.”

On Monday night, a friend of mine concluded a status on the topic, wherein he’d listed more than a dozen of Williams’ beloved roles, with the question, “Was it even possible to not like Robin Williams?”

Tributes continue to pour in from actors and others in the entertainment industry, and the Emmys are already preparing a memorial for their Aug. 25 broadcast.

Which is why I’m surprised — and saddened — at TV’s current lack of plans to honor to the comedic legend.

On Tuesday, ABC aired a “20/20” special about his life and death, and at 9 p.m. Friday, The Hub Network has back-to-back airings of the “Happy Days” episode that introduced Mork to the world.

But that’s it.

Checking network schedules and press websites as well as other TV news sites, I found no plans for any sort of larger tribute to him like, say, airing marathons of “Mork & Mindy” or some of his films.

I can remember when music legends died — most recently Michael Jackson and Whitney Huston — MTV would pre-empt all or part of the day’s programming to air blocks of the artist’s videos. Sure, in this Internet age, we could find them all on YouTube ourselves, but there was something about knowing that others were watching the same thing at the same time and mourning together that was comforting.

Even if we don’t personally know these icons who die, we feel like we do. That’s why they’re so legendary. And uniting to take comfort in their work is cathartic.

In a statement released after his death, Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider, said in part, “As he is remembered, it is our hope that the focus will not be on Robin’s death but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

So, let’s do that. This weekend, even if TV doesn’t do it, pay your own tribute to Robin Williams.

Have a movie marathon (or several — you could do family-friendly films, comedies only, dramas only, movies based on books). Binge-watch all the “Mork & Mindy” you can find online. Maybe introduce friends and family to his movies you love that they haven’t seen, or check out some that you haven’t seen yourself.

What better way to celebrate Robin Williams’ legacy than to further spread the joy he gave to all of us?

And, as cannot be said enough, if you are struggling with depression like Williams did and feeling suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

*****

Series premieres: “Worst Thing I Ever Did,” 10 p.m. today, ID (true crime); “Dora and Friends: Into the City,” 8 p.m. Monday, Nickelodeon (“Dora the Explorer” spin-off); “Wicked Tuna: North vs. South,” 10 p.m. Monday, National Geographic (“Wicked Tuna” spin-off in the Outer Banks); “Atlanta Exes,” 9 p.m. Tuesday, VH1 (ex-wives of A-list celebrities); “Epic Ink,” 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, A&E (an Oregon tattoo specializing in pop culture portraits).

Season premieres: “Braxton Family Values,” 9 p.m., and “SWV Reunited,” 10 p.m. today, WE; “Four Weddings,” 9 p.m. Friday, TLC; “Too Cute,” 8 p.m. Saturday, Animal Planet; “Deadly Affairs,” 9 p.m. Saturday, ID; “Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off,” 8 p.m., and “The Great Food Truck Race,” 9 p.m. Sunday, Food Network; “America’s Next Top Model,” 9 p.m. Monday, CW; “Time Team America,” 8 p.m. Tuesday, PBS; “Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda,” 10 p.m. Tuesday, ID; “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles,” 9 p.m. Wednesday, Bravo; “Preachers of L.A.,” 10 p.m. Wednesday, WE.

Season finales: “Gang Related,” 9 p.m. today, Fox (possible series finale); “Last Comic Standing,” 9 p.m. today, NBC; “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” 9 p.m., and “Leah Remini: It’s All Relative,” 10 p.m. today, TLC; “NY Med,” 10 p.m. today, ABC; “Funniest Wins,” 10 p.m. Friday, TBS; “Bikinis & Boardwalks,” 9 p.m. Saturday, Travel Channel; “Botched,” 10:30 p.m. Sunday, E!

Midseason finales: “Switched at Birth,” 8 p.m., and “The Fosters,” 9 p.m. Monday, ABC Family; “Perception,” 10 p.m. Tuesday, TNT; “Suits” (which was just renewed for season five), 9 p.m. Wednesday, USA.

TV movie: “How to Build a Better Boy,” 8 p.m. Friday, Disney (starring China Anne McClain).

Of note: Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley is the client on “Treehouse Masters,” 10 p.m. Friday, Animal Planet; the “American Ninja Warrior” finals begin, 9 p.m. Monday, NBC; “Extant” doubles up on episodes this week and next, airing at 9 and 10 p.m. Wednesday on CBS.

Reach Amy Robinson at flipside@wvgazette.com, or follow@thegazz on Twitter.


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