Monday, January 21, 2008

Day 78: WGA's Strike; Remembering Allan Melvin, Suzanne Pleshette, and More

Today is day 78 of the strike. Since today is a holiday, as we celebrate the great Dr. Martin Luther King, we don't have much news. We do know that ABC is bringing back the classic '80s fun series Circus of the Stars sometime this season. The show featured celebrities performing circus-type acts. The original aired on CBS as a series of 19 specials from 1977 to 1994. NBC is also developing its own circus show titled Celebrity Circus and will air it this summer. CBS and Fox are also working on similar series...wow, the writers' strike has caused this? One is enough. No need for three copycats!
The writers are still looking through the deal the Directors got. Let's hope they at least get back to the bargaining table. They haven't been there since early December.

As we mentioned yesterday, we will have full tributes today on all the sitcom passings. We will start with Allan Melvin.
Veteran actor Allan Melvin died in his home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles, on Thursday, from cancer. He appeared on many sitcoms over the years but two characters stand out--he played Sam the butcher, the boyfriend of Alice the housekeeper, on The Brady Bunch and he also played the character Barney, Archie's friend, on both All in the Family and the continuation series Archie Bunker's Place. Melvin broke into the acting business on the '50s sitcom The Phil Silvers Show as the character Cpl. Henshaw, the right-hand man to Sgt. Ernie Bilko. Among his sitcom guest shots include Green Acres, Love American Style, Mayberry RFD, The Dick Van Dyke Show, My Favorite Martian, Gomer Pyle USMC, Make Room for Daddy, McHale's Navy, and The Andy Griffith Show. Melvin also did A LOT of work in cartoons. He was the voice of Magilla Gorilla in the Hannah-Barbera series. Additionally, he played the voice of Bluto on the cartoon series Popeye. Among the other many voice-overs he did over the years were on such animated series such as TaleSpin, DuckTales, The Flintstones, Smurfs, and many more. While his name is not a household name, everyone that is a TV fan knows who he was and he will certainly be missed. Let's hope TV Land does a little tribute at least with episodes of The Brady Bunch and All in the Family at least. The fine folks at Retro Television Network have been running a nice tribute spot for Allan and they have shared it with us for you all to see. Click HERE to view the tribute spot. Mr. Melvin was 85.

We are also mourning the loss of a TV legend today. Veteran actress Suzanne Pleshette has passed away. She was best known for her role as Bob Newhart's wife on television's long-running The Bob Newhart Show in which she earned two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She died Saturday, just days before she was to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Pleshette underwent chemotherapy for lung cancer in 2006 and she died of respiratory failure at her Los Angeles home. The beautiful, husky-voiced actress had a prolific TV career in such series in guest roles such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Ben Casey, The Fugitive, Love American Style, Gunsmoke, Courtship of Eddie's Father, Bonanza, 8 Simple Rules, Good Morning Miami and Will & Grace. She earned an Emmy nomination for her guest role on Dr. Kildare in 1962. She reunited with Bob Newhart on his '80s series in the series finale of Newhart in 1990. The series finale of Newhart was among the best of all-time with a shocking plot. She also appeared on Broadway and in films, such as the popular Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds. She was also nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role in the CBS TV movie Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean which won its timeslot in the ratings. She married Tom Poston of Newhart in 2001 after knowing him for over 30 years. Unfortunately Tom passed away last year just months after she started chemotherapy. She will certainly be missed by the world of classic TV and her fans. She was gone way too soon. Let's hope TV Land does a big tribute for her as she appeared on one of the most famous sitcoms of all-time and one of the best series finales of all-time. Ms. Pleshette was just 70 years old and just days away from her 71st birthday (Jan. 31).

One of our readers named Frank informed us yesterday that we had missed the passing of Mala Powers back in June. We are sorry we missed this, but we will do a little tribute right now. Though certainly not a well-known name or a big time sitcom character actor, she was on Hazel for a season and appeared on Bewitched, Bob Cummings Show and Here Comes the Bride. Her work was mainly in TV dramas such as guest shots on Charlie's Angels, Ironside, Daniel Boone, Wild Wild West, Dr. Kildare, Perry Mason, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, Rawhide, Surfside 6, Maverick, Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, Bonanza, and Wagon Train. So she was on quite a bit of 50s and 60s dramas, especially westerns. Mala died in June of complications from leukemia. She was 76 at the time of her death.

While we're at it, John Stewart has passed away on Saturday of a stroke. No, not of The Daily Show, but the one who wrote The Monkees song "Daydream Believer." He was mainly a song-writer. He was 68.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, August 16

Marlon - "Pilot" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Exes Marlon (Marlon Wayans) and Ashley (Essence Atkins) try a friendly divorce for their children's sake, but things get tricky when Ashley decides to date again. Marlon struggles to keep a sponsor for his online channel, The Marlon Way.

Marlon - "Cleaning Out the Closet" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Ashley (Essence Atkins) is shocked to learn that Marlon (Marlon Wayans) has a storage unit crammed full of things from when they were married and challenges him to have a yard sale to part with it all.

Swedish Dicks - (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Ingmar's daughter, Sarah, helps the guys get a case at an advertising agency to find out who is stealing secret data; the undercover job takes a turn when Ingmar and Axel's client makes a fatal decision; Sun works on the firm's marketing strategy.

Swedish Dicks - (Pop, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Haunted by the ghost of his former stunt buddy, an unstable Ingmar makes an embarrassing mistake; Axel takes it upon himself to infiltrate a cult.

Younger - "The Gelato and the Pube" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Liza receives a great opportunity at work, but there’s a catch. Josh meets someone new. Maggie ruffles some feathers.

Odd Mom Out - "Dadderall" (Bravo, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Faced with an impossible work deadline on the night of his Dad's Committee Night Out, Andy takes stimulants; Jill and Vanessa learn the cruel definition of Med Spa as they visit their college friend, Ollie, at his new venture.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 14)

Wednesday, August 16

  • Zach Galifianakis (Baskets) - Watch Zach on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Lake Bell (Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later/How to Make It in America/Childrens Hospital) - Lake appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Marc Maron (GLOW/Maron) - Marc is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Andrew Dice Clay (Dice/Hitz/Bless This House) - Andrew stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
  • Carl Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • James Van Der Beek (What Would Diplo Do?/Friends with Better Lives/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - James appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - Eric chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin performs Smile off her new album, The Art of Elegance, and faces her fear of crawfish on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Tasha Smith (Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse/The Tom Show/Boston Common) - Tasha will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET. She will also be on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:45am.
  • Ben Falcone (Joey/A to Z) - Ben talks about his new book, Being a Dad Is Weird, on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Brandy (Moesha/The Game/Thea) - Brandy talks about Chicago on Broadway on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Peter Serafinowicz, Griffin Newman and Brendan Hines (The Tick) - Peter, Griffin and Brendan talk about Amazon's The Tick on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.