The "30 Rock" star has signed on to serve as co-host alongside Robert Osborne of TCM's Saturday night showcase slot "The Essentials." Baldwin's a movie buff who will undoubtedly have a lot to say -- in typically animated fashion -- about the featured pics. Upcoming titles getting the "Essentials" treatment include "Rocky" (March 14); "Cat Ballou" (March 21); "Ben Hur" (March 28); and "Take the Money and Run" (April 4). Also, John Lithgow has been tapped to host TCM's "The Essentials Jr." family film showcase, to run June-August.
TCM also has a slew of specials and themed programs set to commemorate its 15th year on the air, a milestone it will reach on April 14. Among the highlights is the tribute to docu filmmaker Morris Engel. If you haven't seen his 1953 quasi-docu "The Little Fugitive," about a little boy's solo adventure on Coney Island, set your DVR. It's an under-appreciated gem.
BRITISH INVASION – Friday, April 3, beginning at 8 p.m. (ET)
Music wasn’t the only form of entertainment invading America from across the pond in the 1960s. British New Wave cinema landed on these shores as well. TCM will celebrate the era with such films as John Schlesinger’s Billy Liar (1969), starring Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie; Karel Reisz’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1961), with Albert Finney; and Lindsay Anderson’s This Sporting Life (1963), starring Richard Harris and Rachel Roberts.
FAKE REALITY: TCM CELEBRATES MOCKUMENTARIES – Saturday, April 4, beginning at 8 p.m. (ET)
TCM celebrates the delicate art of fake documentaries with this sterling collection of comedies. The evening will feature Woody Allen’s Take the Money and Run (1969), Albert Brooks’ Real Life (1979), Christopher Guest’s Best in Show (2000) and Rob Reiner’s This is Spinal Tap (1984).
TCM SALUTES MORRIS ENGEL – Wednesday, April 8, beginning at 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Acclaimed still photographer Morris Engel delved into filmmaking in the 1950s, creating three remarkable independent features that are rarely shown today. TCM will premiere all three films – The Little Fugitive (1953), Lovers and Lollipops (1955) and Weddings and Babies (1958) – in this special tribute.
TCM’S 15th ANNIVERSARY – FAN PROGRAMMERS – Monday, April 13, through Friday, April 17
To celebrate the network’s 15th Anniversary (April 14), TCM has selected some of its biggest fans from around the country to serve as Guest Programmers. Each fan will join TCM host Robert Osborne to introduce a movie chosen from TCM’s unparalleled vault of films, with titles including such popular fare as Gone with the Wind (1939), Singin’ in the Rain (1952), The Maltese Falcon (1941) and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), as well as lesser-known gems like So Long at the Fair (1950) and Those Lips, Those Eyes (1980). The fans include people of all ages, from a 14-year-old who loves classic films and a 27-year-old working for the Austin Film Society to a 51-year-old who works in historical preservation in Las Vegas and a 69-year-old who was chosen because of his frequent contributions to TCM’s online message boards. The special event will mark the first time TCM has invited a group of everyday viewers to appear on-air with Osborne.
FUNNY LADIES: THE MOVIES’ FEMALE CLOWNS – Monday, April 20, through Friday, April 24, beginning at 8 p.m. (ET)
TCM pays a week-long tribute to the women who have made moviegoers bust a gut laughing through the years, from the 1920s through the 1980s. The week will feature a who’s who of comedic women, including Patsy Kelly (Kelly the Second), Zasu Pitts (The Ruggles of Red Gap), Margaret Dumont (A Night at the Opera), Marie Dressler (Dinner at Eight), Rosalind Russell (The Women), Mae West (My Little Chickadee), Billie Burke (Topper), Eve Arden (Stage Door), Gracie Allen (Mr. and Mrs. North), Fanny Brice (Everybody Sing), Marjorie Main (Feudin’ Fussin and A-Fightin’), Betty Hutton (The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek), Martha Raye (Monsieur Verdoux), Judy Holiday (Born Yesterday), Carol Burnett (Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed?), Lucille Ball (The Long, Long Trailer), Nancy Walker (World’s Greatest Athlete), Goldie Hawn (Seems Like Old Times) and Lily Tomlin (All of Me).
STARRING DENZEL WASHINGTON – Thursday, April 30, beginning at 8 p.m. (ET)
TCM salutes one of the most popular and acclaimed actors working today with this collection of outstanding films. The evening will begin with the film that won him his first Oscar®, Glory (1989). Next up is the gripping legal drama Philadelphia (1993), followed by A Soldier’s Story (1984) and The Mighty Quinn (1989).
RACE AND HOLLYWOOD: LATINO IMAGES IN FILM – May
As it has done in the past with African-American, Asian and gay images in film, TCM is going to spend the month of May examining LATINO IMAGES IN FILM. This extensive festival will feature movies from Hollywood, from the past to the present, showing the progression of how Latino characters and culture are depicted in cinema.
Joining Robert Osborne in hosting the festival will be Chon Noriega, professor of critical studies and associate director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center.
THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR – June
Each August, TCM pays tribute to the greatest movie stars of all time with Summer Under the Stars. Expanding on that theme, the network will devote each night in June to celebrating a great film director. Among the filmmakers featured will be Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan), Martin Scorsese (GoodFellas), John Ford (Stagecoach, The Quiet Man); Frank Capra (It Happened One Night, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington); Woody Allen (Hannah and Her Sisters, Interiors); Francois Truffaut (Jules & Jim, The 400 Blows); Orson Welles (Citizen Kane, The Lady from Shanghai); Alfred Hitchcock (Notorious, Rear Window); Billy Wilder (Sunset Blvd., Double Indemnity); George Stevens (Shane, A Place in the Sun); Norman Jewison (In the Heat of the Night, Fiddler on the Roof); and George Cukor (Born Yesterday, My Fair Lady).
TCM GOES TO THE MOON WITH BUZZ ALDRIN – Monday, July 20, beginning at 8 p.m. (ET)
Legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin will join Robert Osborne to introduce an evening of movies commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Aldrin will introduce such lunar classics as A Trip to the Moon (1914), For All Mankind (1989), The Right Stuff (1983), Marooned (1969) and Capricorn One (1978).
1939 – July
It is called Hollywood’s Golden Year, when the artistic visions of directors and producers and the money interests of the studios came together in a way that has never been duplicated since. It is little wonder that in such a year, 10 films earned Oscar nominations for Best Picture, including winner Gone with the Wind and fellow nominees The Wizard of Oz, Wuthering Heights, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Stagecoach, Dark Victory, Of Mice and Men, Love Affair and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. It was also a year that saw such amazing productions as Gunga Din, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. TCM celebrates the Golden Year with a month-long festival in July.
SUMMER UNDER THE STARS – August
TCM struts its stuff each August with this annual celebration, with each day dedicated to one of Hollywood’s most enduring personalities. Assembled from the network’s library of more than 5,000 films, this one-of-a-kind festival is an opportunity for viewers to enjoy a varied selection from each star’s body of work, uncut and commercial free.
BERNARD HERRMANN – September
From the suspense of Alfred Hitchcock to the marvels of Ray Harryhausen, Bernard Herrmann spent years as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after film composers. His lush and sometimes experimental scores have made movie fans scream with delight over the shower scene in Psycho (1960), sit on the edge of their seats while Sinbad fights a sword-wielding skeleton in The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958), relish in the cinematic artistry of Citizen Kane (1941) or dance to the demonic jig in The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941).
FRANK CAPRA – December
The creator of one of the holiday season’s most memorable films – It’s a Wonderful Life (1947) – gets a special December tribute with this month-long festival. Capra is known for his Americana vision, a combination of folksiness, down-home values and the everyman winning against powerful forces. TCM will feature such Capra classics as Best Picture Oscar winner It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Meet John Doe (1941), State of the Union (1959) and his final film, Pocketful of Miracles (1961). The network will also feature a collection of Capra’s wartime documentaries.