10 years ago, ‘Family Guy’ delivered the ultimate ‘Star Wars’ parody with ‘Blue Harvest’

There are broad "Star Wars" parodies, and then there are insider-y "Star Wars" parodies, and then there's a near-perfect mix of the two: The "Family Guy" episode "Blue Harvest," which aired 10 years ago today. According to the DVD's bonus features, the project came about when Lucasfilm approved all of "Family Guy's" "Star Wars" parodies and Seth MacFarlane and company figured why not ask if they could do a whole episode?

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TV shows lost to history: ‘Cupid’ (1998-99)

When I think of Rob Thomas' TV shows, "Veronica Mars" and "iZombie" immediately spring to mind, but that leaves out what might be his best show: "Cupid" (1998-99, ABC). Remarkable for Thomas' first creator/executive producer credit, this 14-episode series (plus one never-aired episode) deserves a spot on the short list of great TV shows about romance, and unfortunately it's also on the short list of shows that are heartbreakingly lost to history.

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TV shows lost to history: ‘FreakyLinks’ (2000-01)

"FreakyLinks" (2000-01, Fox) was neither great nor terrible, but it has an important place in television history, which is why it's a shame it hasn't been preserved on DVD. (It has been rerun on Chiller, but not regularly enough to break out of the "lost to history" label.) The first faux-found-footage series in TV history, it exists entirely because of the success of the surprise 1999 movie hit "The Blair Witch Project."

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TV shows lost to history: ‘Miss Match’ (2003)

"Miss Match" (2003, NBC) ranks toward the top of the list of shows that were destined to be sure-fire hits yet somehow weren't. Alicia Silverstone was Entertainment Weekly's Fall TV Preview cover girl, the show was the magazine's pick for Best New Drama ("Arrested Development" was the Best New Comedy, if you're curious) and it was the only scripted show specifically about romance on TV that season.

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TV shows lost to history: ‘Young Americans’ (2000)

Perhaps more so than any other TV show lost to history, "Young Americans" (2000, The WB) benefits from a rewatch. Although I watched the whole eight-episode run in the summer of 2000, I never embraced it.

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The ‘Kolchak’-‘X-Files’ connection: Just how similar are these two shows?

Today, it's impossible to talk about "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" (1974-75, following TV movies in 1972 and 1973) without talking about "The X-Files" (1993-present). While this annoys some "Kolchak" fans, they have to admit that "The X-Files" has helped keep the "Kolchak" cult afloat – indeed, "The X-Files" is mentioned in the first sentence on the back of the "Kolchak" DVD collection.

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One-season wonders: ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’ (1974-75) and the TV movies (1972-73)

Like most people who weren't around when it was on the air, I was inspired to check out "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" (1974-75) – and its preceding TV movies, "The Night Stalker" (1972) and "The Night Strangler" (1973) – because I'm an "X-Files" fan. "Kolchak" is often cited as the biggest inspiration and influence behind Chris Carter's landmark show.

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Watching and reviewing the classics: ‘Family’ Season 1 (1976)

Any discussion of the continuum of family dramas in TV history has to include the aptly named 1970s series "Family." Although the premise is simple – it's about a family of five in Pasadena – a quick investigation into the show's genesis suggests it was original at the time: Producers Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg came up with the idea of an hour-long drama centered on the emotional life of a family, then playwright Jay Presson Allen wrote the pilot episode and Mike Nichols ("The Graduate") also joined the team.

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TV shows lost to history: ‘James at 16’ (1978)

Although it's still technically the same show, just with a new name, the 10 episodes known as "James at 16" (1978, NBC) divert from the 11 previous episodes known as "James at 15" enough to be analyzed separately.

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TV shows lost to history: ‘James at 15’ (1977-78)

If not for "Dawson's Creek," I might not know "James at 15" (1977-78, NBC) existed. Somewhat obsessed with "DC" at its inception, I picked up Andy Mangels' unauthorized Kevin Williamson biography "From Scream to Dawson's Creek" (2000). In it, Williamson reveals he was heavily influenced by the show and wanted to make a "James at 15" for the 1990s.

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