Saturday, June 24, 2006

SitcomsOnline Remembers TV Legend Aaron Spelling; DVD News Regarding Sony and VEI

Mr. Aaron Spelling, the amazing producer, passed away yesterday at his home after suffering a stroke on Sunday. Mr. Spelling has produced over 200 movies and TV shows. He is probably one of the greatest TV producers of all time, if not the greatest. He got his first major hit in 1963 for the ABC crime drama Burke's Law. Then the hits kept rolling with Daniel Boone and The Mod Squad. The Mod Squad was the first series in the Danny Thomas/Aaron Spelling umbrella. Unfortuantely they didn't have another hit in that production company. They made some TV movies, though. Then the '70s began and Aaron Spelling was just about to become a giant. He signed an exclusive contract with ABC. He joined Leonard Goldberg to form Spelling-Goldberg Productions. They produced a lot of TV movies for ABC. Hit shows they produced were The Rookies, SWAT, Starsky & Hutch and Family. In 1976 they made two big hits, the TV series Charlie's Angels and the big TV movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble starring John Travolta. Then more ABC hit TV shows came a long such as The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. By then it was like whatever they produced was a hit. Next came Vega$. They finally found two series that didn't work Friends (no, not that one!) in 1979 and The San Pedro Beach Bums in 1978. But they quickly rebounded with a hit called Hart to Hart. His ABC success continued in 1981 with the primetime soap Dynasty. More hits rolled-in as T.J. Hooker with William Shatner and Heather Locklear came along, along with Matt Houston. He tried to produce their first sitcom in 1983 called At Ease, but it didn't work. But he produced another hit drama that year for ABC called Hotel. In 1984 he didn't find success with Glitter and Finders of Lost Love--both lasted one season. Dynasty continued to do well and 1985 they spun-off The Colbys. In 1986 he tried again to do a sitcom and brought in TV legend Lucille Ball to star in Life with Lucy. It also didn't last. With Dynasty ending and Spelling couldn't find any more hits, as Nightingales failed in 1989, he tried movies, such as Soapdish. Then he found success on another network, Fox, in Beverly Hills, 90210...a teen drama. At the same an era of his hits for ABC ended, a new one was born with teen dramas. In 1992 he found another hit for Fox called Melrose Place. That same year he launched three other dramas, but they all didn't last. In 1994, he tried to relaunch Burke's Law on CBS, but it only lasted a season. That same year he launched two other dramas, such as Models Inc., but they didn't last. With Melrose and 90210 still going strong, Spelling still had two hits at least. University Hospital also didn't work. In 1996 he pitched two dramas for the new WB network. Savannah and 7th Heaven. 7th Heaven became a hit, while Savannah was gone. Also that year he launched a drama for NBC called Malibu Shores and Kindred for Fox but they didn't last. It seemed like he was having a lot of failed dramas...something unheard of for him, but at least a lot of his shows made it on the air! He tried his game on an NBC daytime soap next called Sunset Beach. It was pretty popular and lasted 2 years. He tried to launch other hits such as a revival of The Love Boat, this time on UPN, but it lasted just a season. Pacific Palisades, Buddy Faro, Rescue 77 and Safe Harbor didn't work either. Over the years he produced big screen movies for his past shows such as Charlie's Angels and The Mod Squad. He procuded many reunion movies for Hart to Hart. He found his next hit in 1998 with Charmed. After that he tried a lot of series that didn't work in the ratings: Titans, All Souls, Deep Cover, Kingpin, 10-8, Summerland, Queens Supreme, and Clubhouse. Yes, the man was made of magic. It is unheard of to have all these shows even make it on the air. It seemed in the the 70s and 80s all his shows that made it on the air were hits. In the 90s and now he had his fair share of hits, too. He still has 7th Heaven on the air, but Charmed ended its run this past season.
Let's hope TV Land pays tribute to him in someway. He even guest starred on an episode of Burke's Law back in 1964 on the episode "Who Killed Julian Buck?" That would be nice to see. He was also on a 1955 episode of I Love Lucy, so TV Land could air that, too. He wrote the episode of The Rookies titled "Blue Christmas." TV Land should air that, too. So, if I were them I'd air that episode of Burke's Law, I Love Lucy, The Rookies...along with his major hits that are not on TV: Starsky & Hutch, The Mod Squad, Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Vega$, Hart to Hart, Matt Houston, Hotel, SWAT, TJ Hooker, Family...maybe an episode of the short-lived Life with Lucy to go along with I Love Lucy. And maybe throw in the TV-movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. They should do a nice 24-hour tribute at least. I think I came up with 18 hours right there. I will certainly let you know if TV Land or any other network do tributes.
Mr. Spelling will certainly be missed and his shows will live on forever on TV and DVD. He was 83.

Moving on to DVD news. Sony Pictures Home Enterainment will release two shows starring Meredith Baxter on Sept. 5. The one year wonder Bridget Loves Bernie. The sitcom starred Meredith Baxter, David Birney and Audra Lindley. Also, they will release the first two seasons of the family drama Family, which of course was produced by Aaron Spelling. Full details will be out on on Monday when Sony officially announces it.
Also, VEI, the Canadian home entertainment company, has told us they have delayed The Stockard Channing Show set to the fall at the earliest. Why? Because they are working on bringing us better masters. That is a good reason and should be worth the wait. They have also let me know they are working on season 2 of the sitcom Gimme a Break! It should be out before year's end! And maybe shortly after that they will bring us season 3 of Kate & Allie! No idea if Universal will release these before VEI, but VEI seems like they will release them. Stay tuned for further updates.

New on DVD/Blu-ray (October)

Bewitched - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) The Facts of Life - Season Seven My Favorite Martian - The Complete Series Grace Under Fire - The Complete Collection

10/06 - Bewitched - The Complete Collection
10/06 - Grace Under Fire - The Complete Collection
10/06 - Happyish - Season One
10/06 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/06 - Party Down - The Complete Series
10/06 - South Park - The Complete Eighteenth Season (Blu-ray)
10/20 - C.P.O. Sharkey - Mr. Warmth: The Ultimate Don Rickles TV Collection
10/20 - The Facts of Life - Season Seven
10/20- King of the Hill - The Complete 13th Season (Blu-ray)
10/20 - My Favorite Martian - The Complete Series
10/20 - Nurse Jackie - Season Seven ((Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, October 9

Last Man Standing - "Ping-pong" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Vanessa tries to educate Eve on why she should be more on board with having a woman president. Meanwhile, after Ed mentions to Mike that he hasn’t seen his own daughter for years, Mike and Mandy try to figure out what they have in common.

Dr. Ken - "The Seminar" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When the office celebrates a promotion for Clark, Ken is oblivious since he lives in his own's the last straw for Clark dealing with Ken's selfish ways. Clark writes a fake complaint comment card about Ken, so he's forced to attend a training seminar for better bedside manners, which leaves Allison at home to have dinner with Ken's parents.

Undataeable - "A Will They Walks Into a Bar" / "A Won't They Walks Into a Bar" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Danny (Chris D'Elia) decides to interfere as Justin (Brent Morin) and Candace (Bridgit Mendler) are on the verge of making things official. Burski (Rick Glassman) surprises everyone that when he announces he has a girlfriend. Meanwhile, Leslie (Bianca Kajlich) decides it's time to change up her look.

Girl Meets World - "Girl Meets Rah Rah" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Riley really wants to be a cheerleader; when the tryouts begin, she's determined to make the squad.

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "The Results" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Angela's mammogram results are in; she stresses out all day.

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Richard's Break" (OWN, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Keisha brings a man to C-Sports while Richard is working late; Richard loses his head.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 5) (All times ET unless noted)

Friday, October 9

  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Watch Whoopi on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Ravi Patel (Grandfathered) - Ravi appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Judy Greer (Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided) - Judy is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ted Danson (Cheers/Becker) - Ted appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place) - Selena is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tim Daly (Wings) - Tim discusses the second season of Madam Secretary on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin is in the house on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso takes the AOL BUILD stage to discuss his new gig as the host of the hit ABC series America’s Funniest Home Videos on the AOL Build Show. He will also be on HuffPost Live at 3pm.
  • Malin Akerman (Sin City Saints/Trophy Wife) - Malin talks about Final Girls on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Mario Cantone (Sex and the City) - Raven-Symone takes on Mario in a soul food cook-off on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Maura Tierney (NewsRadio) - Maura is a guest on People Now.
  • Fran Drescher (The Nanny/Happily Divorced) - Fran chats on Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.
  • The Cast of Dr. Ken - Ken Jeong, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Dave Foley and Suzy Nakamura are guests on The Real, so check your local listings.