On the Red Carpet: The TV Land Awards 2011

As someone who has just celebrated a birthday (Don’t you dare ask which one but presents are kindly accepted.), I like to think that I’m not getting older but I’m becoming more “vintage” — like an expensive wine (not “vintage” like in musty old clothes sold at some offbeat consignment shop).  I like the word “vintage” because it has a really classy ring to it. And you know I like to keep it classy…You can stop laughing now.

I think I’m beginning to digress…When am I ever going to learn that it’s not always about me?…

I don’t know where you can get vintage wine but if you have an appetite for vintage programming, look no further than cable television’s TV Land.

TV Land is home to classic programs whose timeless appeal extends across generations and whose programs serve as models for the channel’s new slate of original programming such as the hit series Hot in Cleveland and Retired at 35.

At New York City’s Jacob Javitz Center, TV Land paid homage to vintage television’s finest at the TV Land Awards 2011, the network’s annual event now in its ninth year.  The ceremony will air on Sunday, April 17 at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific.

Honorees include the casts of The Cosby Show (The Impact Award), Family Ties (Fan Favorite Award), The Facts of Life (Pop Culture Award) and Welcome Back Kotter (35th Anniversary Award).  Perennial host Regis Philbin befittingly receives The Legend Award. And multi-platinum record selling soul song stylists Darryl Hall and John Oates receive the Music Icon Award.

Viewers of the TV Land Awards 2011 will get to see the great Liza Minelli kick off the night with a performance of her classic song “New York, New York”.

Who will be bestowing these honors? The evening’s presenters include Barbara Walters, Stevie Wonder, Ben Stiller, Glee’s Jane Lynch, the ladies of Hot in Cleveland, Jane Leeves, Valerie Bertinelli and Wendie Malik, and the crazy, catty (and surprisingly pretty cool — more on that later) cast of The Real Housewives of New York City.

Yours truly, a.k.a. me, had the wonderful opportunity of working the other side of the TV Land Awards 2011 red carpet and capturing the happenings as the stars made their way along that esteemed piece of real estate.

Michael J. Fox and Tracey Pollan on the red carpet at the TV Land Awards 2011 (photo: Carla Ray Thompson)

Family Ties cast member Michael J. Fox ( “Alex P. Keaton”) and his lovely wife, Tracy Pollan.

Regis Philbin on the red carpet at the TV Land Awards 2011 (photo: Carla Ray Thompson)

Regis Philbin, accompanied by his wife joy, was wonderfully animated and funny, shaking hands and talking to reporters all along the red carpet.

The cast of "The Facts of Life" on the red carpet at the TV Land Awards 2011 (photo: Carla Ray Thompson)

The Facts of Life cast sans Kim Fields (“Tootie”). She arrived a bit later.

Sonja Morgan, "The Real Housewives of New York City" on the red carpet at the TV Land Awards 2011 (photo: Carla Ray Thompson)

Sonja Morgan of The Real Housewives of New York City was gracious enough to pose for me. Her dress, from Cache, was purchased over 10 years ago, before she had her daughter…Vintage?…Perhaps.

Keshia Knight Pulliam on the red carpet at the TV Land Awards 2011 (photo: Carla Ray Thompson)

A very grown up Cosby kid, Keshia Knight Pulliam, who we all remember as little Rudy Huxtable.  In the spirit of “Where are They Now?”, Keshia stars in the TBS comedy, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne  as “reformed con artist” Miranda Lucas-Payne.

Raven-Symone on the red carpet at the TV Land Awards 2011 (photo: Carla Ray Thompson)

A slimmed down Raven-Symone will be starring in the upcoming ABC Family comedy, The Great State of Georgia…If you are wondering why she has kind of a pinched look on her face, sistah said that her feet hurt. I could relate.

Kim Fields on the red carpet at the TV Land Awards 2011 (photo: Carla Ray Thompson)

Kim Fields who played the rollerskate-wearing, braces-wearing, Tootie on The Facts of Life.

Alex McCord, "The Real Housewives of New York City", and Simon van Kempen on the red carpet at the TV Land Awards 2011 (photo: Carla Ray Thompson)

Alex McCord of The Real Housewives of New York City with her man Simon van Kempen. Alex, who was wearing a dress by Robin Brouillette, described the series as a “21st century real life soap opera”.

Jill Zarin, "The Real Housewives of New York City", and Bobby Zarin on the red carpet at the TV Land Awards 2011 (photo: Carla Ray Thompson)

Real Housewife of New York Jill Zarin (with her hubby Bobby)  informed us that she now has a bedding line at Bed, Bath and Beyond, aptly called, Jill Zarin Bedding…I will leave it at that…Oh, if you are wondering about the look, it’s an homage to the 50’s housewife. Jill’s giving us a little Lucille Ball.

John Travolta on the red carpet at the TV Land Awards 2011 (photo: Carla Ray Thompson)

Before he was “The Dapper Don” in the upcoming John Gotti biopic, before was the hit man in black in Pulp Fiction,  and even before he danced his way into our hearts in Grease and Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta was a”sweathog” on the comedy series Welcome Back Kotter.

David Alan Basche (with Alycia Reiner) on the red carpet at the TV Land Awards 2011 (photo: Carla Ray Thompson)

In no small part due to overwhelming popularity of the TV Land original series, Hot in Cleveland and the great first season showing of Retired at 35, TV Land is rapidly expanding their slate of original programming which will include the show The Exes starring David Alan Basche, Donald Faison (“Scrubs”) and Wayne Knight.  Slated to premiere in Winter 2011, the series is about three divorced men — roommates — who live in an apartment across the hall from their divorce attorney, played by Kristen Johnston (3rd Rock from the Sun).

Basche plays the “neat guy” and said the series, is “funny and not stupid” and that the script was so well-written, he was sold on doing the role by page 3.

Interesting fact about Basche: He lives in Harlem with his family. Not so interesting fact about me: I lived in Harlem too.

To see more TV Land 2011 red carpet photos, click here.


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