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 TVShowsonDVD.com 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 (June/July)

The League - Season 7 - The Final Fantasy Maude - The Complete Fifth Season Workaholics - Season Six Two Guys and a Girl - The Complete Series Family Matters - The Complete Seventh Season

06/14 - Ballers - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
06/14 - The League - Season 7 - The Final Fantasy
06/14 - The League - The Complete Series
06/14 - Maude - The Complete Fifth Season
06/14 - Survivor's Remorse - The Complete Second Season
06/21 - Workaholics - Season Six
06/24 - The Monkees - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
06/28 - Two Guys and a Girl - The Complete Series
07/08 - The Monkees - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/12 - Grady - The Best of Grady
07/26 - Family Mattters - The Complete Seventh Season
07/26 - Where's Huddles? - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, July 27

The Goldbergs - "Lucky" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Barry begs Murray to get a dog, and when they finally do, Barry is disappointed to find the dog would rather spend more time with Murray than with him. Meanwhile, Erica and Lainey plan a girls-only sleepover… without Beverly. But when Erica finds out she wants to join them, it puts a rift in their mother-daughter relationship.

The Goldbergs - "Double Dare" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Adam and Emmy are ecstatic their favorite TV game show “Double Dare” is hosting auditions at their school. But when Adam secretly asks Pops to be his partner, and Emmy secretly asks Handsome Ben, the two get into a fight. Meanwhile, Murray and Barry are upset the Philadelphia Eagles have been losing until superstitious Barry becomes convinced Beverly is their good luck charm to change things around.

Modern Family - "The Storm" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A huge thunder storm brings wide power outages and the whole family congregates at Jay and Gloria’s to use their generator, but Jay has one foot out the door desperately trying to make it to a reunion with some old Navy buddies. Meanwhile, Phil tries to be the hero and redeem himself after a very embarrassing public panic attack earlier, but only causes more headaches for everyone. Mitch and Cam grasp at straws trying to salvage Lily’s birthday party where the most popular girl at school is in attendance, and Haley turns up the seduction efforts with Andy.

black-ish - "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Gun" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After a break-in down the block, Dre talks about getting a gun, and Bow is not comfortable with the idea. Which leads everyone to debate — there are many different ways to protect your family, but what’s the “best” way? Jack and Diane are shocked that they have been living in the house unprotected, Junior sets off on a quest to protect the family from the real threat, cyber terrorism, and Zoey has Pops teach her the art of Karate to defend herself.

Young & Hungry - "Young & Matched" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Josh and Gabi attend a speed dating event; Elliot tries to bond with Keisha.

Baby Daddy - "Condom Conundrum" (Freeform, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Ben's condom stash is ruined; Ben, Tucker and Danny fear their girlfriends might be pregnant.

Best Friends Whenever - "Epic Girl's Day" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The girls decide to take Daisy on an official ``Epic Girls' Day'' at the mall since she might be here longer than expected.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 25)

Wednesday, July 27

  • Andy Garcia (Ballers) - Watch Andy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • John Cho (Selfie/Kitchen Confidential) - John visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also talks about Star Trek Beyond on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Dave Franco (Scrubs/Do Not Disturb) - Dave drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kathryn Hahn (Happyish/Transparent) - Kathryn is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight. She will also be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Georgia King (Vice Principals/The New Normal) - Georgia appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - NeNe is a guest on Chelsea on Netflix.
  • Jim Jefferies (Legit) - Jim appears on Chelsea on Netflix.
  • Joe Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Joe is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Bernadette Peters (Mozart in the Jungle/All's Fair) - Bernadette visits LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Christina Milian (Grandfathered) - Christina is a guest on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Mike Epps (Uncle Buck/Survivor's Remorse) - Mike appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Mila Kunis (That '70s Show/Family Guy) - Mila is a guest on Popcorn with Peter Travers on ABC News.
  • Jason Biggs (Mad Love/Drexell's Class) and Ashley Tisdale (Clipped/The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) - Jason and Ashley talk about their new film Amateur Night on the AOL Build Show at 2pm. Ashley will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. Jason will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Rob Reiner (All in the Family) - Rob is a guest on The Place for Politics on MSNBC at 11am.