The Essentials (TCM)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Essentials is a weekly film showcase on the American cable and satellite television network Turner Classic Movies spotlighting a specific movie and containing a special introduction and post-movie discussion.


The Essentials began airing in April 2001, and was originally hosted by Rob Reiner.[1] Reiner was succeeded by Sydney Pollack[2] who was succeeded by Peter Bogdanovich.[3] In May 2006, hosting duties were taken over by Robert Osborne and Molly Haskell. Carrie Fisher replaced Haskell when The Essentials returned for its new season in March 2007 following its annual "31 Days of Oscar" festival.[4][5] Rose McGowan replaced Fisher for the 2008 season starting in March after the 2008 "31 Days" festival.[6] On October 23, 2008, TV Guide reported that Alec Baldwin would replace McGowan for the 2009 season.[7] He remained on the program through the 2011 season. In March 2012, Drew Barrymore took over the role of co-host for the program's twelfth season.[8][9] In March 2015, Barrymore was replaced by Sally Field for the program's fifteenth season.[10] The program did not have a 2016 season due to Osborne's health problems. Osborne died in March 2017, and in April, TCM announced that Alec Baldwin would take over as the principal host. The 2017 season will begin on May 6, with David Letterman, Tina Fey & William Friedkin appearing as Baldwin's guest hosts.[11]

Films featured on The Essentials[edit]

The year in parentheses indicates when the film was originally released.

Essentials, Jr.[edit]

A spin-off showcase, Essentials, Jr., aired in the summer months of 2007 through 2014, on Sunday nights at 8 pm ET. The featured films were chosen for their appeal to families with young children. The original host was Tom Kenny; he was replaced for the second season by co-hosts Abigail Breslin and Chris O'Donnell. John Lithgow hosted the 2009 and 2010 seasons. The program was hosted from 2011 through 2014 by Bill Hader of Saturday Night Live fame.[12][13][14][15]


  1. ^ John Dempsey, "TCM enlists Reiner for pic series", Variety, January 14, 2001.
  2. ^ Bridget Byrne, "Pollack lays out 'Essentials' of moviegoing", Associated Press in Chicago Sun-Times, April 4, 2003  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  3. ^ Bridget Byrne, "Bogdanovich Channels 'The Essentials'", Associated Press, March 8, 2005 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  4. ^ Hal Boedeker, "Carrie Fisher fills essential role for Turner Classic Movies", The Buffalo News, March 15, 2007  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  5. ^ Todd Leopold, "Carrie Fisher's 'Essential' new job",, March 9, 2007.
  6. ^ Phil Villarreal, "Essentially Rose", Arizona Daily Star, February 28, 2008  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  7. ^ Alec Baldwin to Co-Host TCM's The Essentials" TV Guide. October 23, 2008. Retrieved on October 24, 2008.
  8. ^ "Hosts". TCM Presents: The Essentials. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  9. ^ Bobbin, Jay (February 29, 2012). "Drew Barrymore on co-hosting TCM's 'Essentials': 'I just wanted to make it happen'". Zap 2 It. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Hosts". TCM The Essentials. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Maureen Lee Lenker, "Alec Baldwin to replace the late Robert Osborne as The Essentials host", Entertainment Weekly, April 18, 2017.
  12. ^ Bill Hader Joins Turner Classic Movies This Summer as Host of TCM ESSENTIALS JR. Turner Classic Movies press release (May 4, 2011). Retrieved on May 21, 2011.
  13. ^ "'SNL' funnyman Bill Hader returns as host of TCM movie series". LA Times. June 1, 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  14. ^ Gray, Ellen (June 1, 2011). "SNL funnyman makes some serious picks for TCM". Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  15. ^ "Meet the Hosts". TCM The Essentials Jr. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 

External links[edit]