When TCM host – the soul of the network, really – Robert Osborne passed away last month, one of the many holes left in his wake was The Essentials, TCM’s excellent showcase of films hand-picked as particularly important or influential by actors and filmmakers of note. Now, the network has announced the show’s next season of guests, and a new host: Alec Baldwin, who is no stranger to the series or its departed host.
Osborne began hosting The Essentials, with a rotation of co-hosts, in 2006. His previous collaborators included Molly Haskell, Carrie Fisher, Rose McGowan, Sally Field, Drew Barrymore – and Baldwin, who stepped in as co-host in 2008 and stayed on for three seasons.
When the series returns next month, Baldwin will fly solo, but with the help of some very friendly celebrities: this year’s guests include his 30 Rock co-star Tina Fey and David Letterman (Baldwin made more than 50 appearances on Letterman’s late-night shows), along with Exorcist and French Connection director William Friedkin. Here’s the schedule of hosts and films:
May 6 – The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
May 13 – East of Eden (1955)
May 27 – No Time for Sergeants (1958)
June 16 – The Big Sleep (1946)
June 24 – Rear Window (1954)
July 1 – The Lady Eve (1941)
July 8 – The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
August 5 – Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
August 12 – The Quiet Man (1952)
August 19 – The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
September 2 – 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
September 23 – The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Baldwin also interviewed Osborne back in 2012 on his Here’s The Thing podcast; you can listen to that (lovely) interview here: