Friday, February 29, 2008

TV Rebels: That Girl; Network Notes: Scrubs to ABC?, Family Guy Spin-Off?, Quarterlife to Bravo?

It is time for our monthly TV Rebels essay! We have gotten special permission to publish at least 6 different essays on TV shows and actors that will be featured in the upcoming book TV Rebels: 100 People and Programs That Shaped the Medium by author Lou Orfanella. The book is still in the works and will be released in 2009.

So without further adieu, we bring you the third column of TV Rebels:

That Girl: It's Not a Man's World Anymore
Before Mary Tyler Moore tossed her hat into the Minneapolis wind, before Murphy Brown changed secretaries like other people change underwear, before Carrie sought sex in the city, Ann Marie climbed aboard the suburban commuter train from Brewster, New York to seek fame, fortune, and romance in the big city.
A young single girl living on her own in Manhattan and trying to make it in show business may seem like pretty tame fare in the twenty-first century, but when Marlo Thomas debuted as That Girl in 1966, television was still a man's world. From Father Knows Best's Margaret Anderson to Leave it to Beaver's June Cleaver, a woman’s place was in the home, or perhaps in a case like Our Miss Brooks, in the classroom. But on her own on in a New York City apartment? Not in TV Land. The men went to work and the women stayed home cooking up schemes to trick their men or getting into predicaments from which their men could rescue them.
During its five year run on ABC, That Girl did not necessarily tackle feminist issues head on or include ground breaking storylines. There were the traditional sitcom trappings. Ann gets her toe stuck in a bowling ball. Ann meets "special guest star" Ethel Merman. Ann takes a temporary job and chaos ensues. The program did however present a young girl who was not afraid to embrace life with little more that ambition and self-assuredness. Sure, there was a dichotomy of sorts to Ann Marie. Her father, restaurateur Lou Marie (Lew Parker) was always hovering nearby overprotecting and offering advice and boyfriend magazine writer Don Hollinger (Ted Bessell) would bail her out of jams, yet through it all, Ann did things on her terms and spoke her mind. That represents the turning point for the modern TV woman.
In That Book About That Girl Stephen Cole sites That Girl as a conduit of sorts between the traditional female lead television character and the contemporary. "...Ann and her crew forged a place in the hearts of American television viewers. She wasn't Lucy (of I Love Lucy) and she wasn't Margie (of My Little Margie). She was something new and contemporary. One part Doris Day, two parts Jean Arthur, and all parts Marlo Thomas. She was the bridge to Murphy Brown (1988-1998) and all other modern women in the sitcoms of today. She was Ann Marie. That Girl!" (13)
Speaking in an online interview with Lynn Sherr, Marlo Thomas discussed the influence of her Ann Marie character on television history. "I think That Girl made a journey through Kate and Allie (single moms), Cagney and Lacey (women working in traditionally male roles), Murphy Brown, who was the first imperfect woman hero on television (she had a drinking problem, she yelled at people who worked for her, she had a baby out of wedlock), and now the young women on Friends. I think that all of those women are links in a chain of the depiction of females on television ("That Girl").

Works Cited
Cole, Stephen. That Book about That Girl. Los Angeles: Renaissance Books, 1999.
"That Girl was a Pioneer." That Girl on the web. May 2002. 28 July 2007 http://thatgirltv.com/interview.html


Moving on to some news. There are reports all over the place (Hollywood Reporter, Variety, TV Guide, etc), that ABC is close to picking up 18 episodes of Scrubs for next season. The comedy is in its 7th season currently and has aired on NBC all 7 seasons. NBC has promoted this as the final season but they might not air an actual series finale because of the strike and that it might go right to DVD instead. ABC Studios produces the series and they are mulling a deal to bring the show to ABC next season. NBC is upset and has threatened legal action because they say they have first rights. I think this is a ploy by ABC Studios to bring the show back...and it looks to be working because no one thought Scrubs would be back next fall, and now it seems like it will, whether it is on NBC or ABC! And if it does return, YES Zach Braff will be a part of it. We shall have more on this for sure, so come on back.
Fox is developing a spin-off of Family Guy based on the Cleveland character. The show will be titled Cleveland. If it makes it on air, it could be paired with Family Guy on Sunday nights or for sure somewhere on the Sunday schedule. This could be bad news for American Dad or King of the Hill. Fox is also developing a spin-off of Prison Break based on women in prison. I am thinking that they will introduce it next season on Prison Break, which will likely be the last season of Prison Break (if renewed, that is), and if it hits, Fox will make that into a series. More to come I'm sure.
Finally, NBC announced yesterday they have pulled Quarterlife after just one airing (it didn't even have a 'quarter' of its 6 episode order aired!), now one of their cable networks will air the remaining episodes...Bravo. Bravo will air the remaining five episodes later this season.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our review of the upcoming new Fox sitcom Unhitched, which launches Sunday at 9:30pm.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, July 15

Raven's Home - "Dress to Express" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Levi makes a documentary on how a person's individual style influences the perception of them, Nia, Tess and Booker each learn something new about themselves.

In The Cut - "The Honeymooners" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jay and Cheryl's honeymoon phase is short lived when Cheryl empties out her storage unit into their condominium; Kenny and Smitty become roommates for the weekend.

In The Cut - "Monster in Law" (Bounce TV, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jay meets Cheryl's mother for the first time; Kenny reunites with an old friend who goes from houseguest to burden.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 15)

Monday, July 15

  • Mike Epps (Survivor's Remorse/Uncle Buck) - Watch Mike on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Joel McHale (Community/The Great Indoors) - Joel stops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He also talks about Card Sharks on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ricky Gervais (After Life/The Office) - Ricky visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Laura Dern (F Is for Family/Enlightened) - Laura drops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Anna Faris (Mom) - Anna is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) - Kunal appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Harvey GuillĂ©n (What We Do in the Shadows) - Harvey is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Alan Alda (M*A*S*H) - Alan is in the house with rapid fire questions for Rach on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Seth Rogen (Undeclared) - Seth talks about The Lion King on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Vivica A. Fox (Mr. Box Office/Getting Personal/Arsenio/Out All Night) - Vivica talks about Lifetime's The Wrong Boy Next Door on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Fred Savage (What Just Happened??! with Fred Savage/Friends from College/The Grinder/Working/The Wonder Years) - Fred talks about What Just Happened??! with Fred Savage on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Drake Bell (Drake & Josh) - Drake is a guest on the BUILD Series at 12pm.


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

My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume One Perfect Strangers - The Complete Seventh and Eighth Seasons The Brady Bunch - 50th Anniversary The Brady-est TV & Movie Collection Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season Two The Good Place - The Complete Third Season

05/07 - Baskets - The Complete Season Three
05/13 - I'm Dying Up Here - Season 2
05/13 - My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume One
05/13 - My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume Two
05/14 - The Donna Reed Show - Seasons 1-5
05/14 - Petticoat Junction - Seasons 1-3
05/28 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Seventh and Eighth Seasons (WBShop.com)
05/28 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Second Season (Blu-ray)
06/04 - The Brady Bunch - 50th Anniversary The Brady-est Brady Bunch TV & Movie Collection
06/18 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season Two (Blu-ray)
07/09 - Broad City - Season 5
07/09 - Broad City - The Complete Series
07/17 - The Practice (1976) - The Complete Series
07/30 - The Good Place - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

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07/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 15, 2019)
07/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Reboot of The Flintstones in the Works (Again); Amazon Orders New Comedy Series
07/12 - Fri-Yay: The End of Friends on Netflix; Remembering Rip Torn of The Larry Sanders Show and Disney Channel Star Cameron Boyce
07/11 - Valerie Bertinelli to Host Food Network Series; Netflix Gets Katherine Heigl for Firefly Lane 07/10 - WarnerMedia Announces HBO Max for 2020 with Friends, Fresh Prince & More; IMDb Gets First Scripted Series
07/09 - COZI TV Schedules Two The Office Stunts; Adult Swim Picks Up New Seasons of Animated Comedies
07/08 - Comedy Central Closes Q2 Strong; Hallmark Channel June Weddings Stunt Scores in Ratings
07/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 8, 2019)
07/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: WarnerMedia Considering Reboots of TGIF Classics for New Streaming Service
07/05 - Fri-Yay: Netflix's One Day at a Time Revived By Pop TV; WarnerMedia OTT Gets Gremlins Series
07/04 - 2019 4th of July Marathons on TV
07/03 - ABC Fall 2019 Premiere Dates; Celebrate Seinfeld's 30th in NYC
07/02 - Mindy Kaling Produced Comedy on Hulu; HBO's The Righteous Gemstones Premieres Aug. 18
07/01 - Lil Rel Gets HBO Comedy Special; Loudermilk Season 3 Details
06/30 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 1, 2019)
06/29 - SitcomsOnline Digest: MyNetwork TV Releases Fall Lineup; 70s Danny Thomas Sitcom Coming to DVD
06/28 - One Day at a Time Revived by Pop TV and CBS; WGN America Acquires JAG Starting July 4
06/27 - Remembering Max Wright of ALF; The Office Reruns Move to NBCU Streaming in 2021
06/26 - Comedy Central Gets Friday Talk Show; The Goldbergs Actress Releases Music Video
06/25 - Fox Fall 2019 Premiere Dates; FX Sets Dates for Fall 2019 Schedule
06/24 - Barney Miller Summer Fridays on Antenna TV; Tyler Perry Studios Takes Over BET with New Series
06/23 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 24, 2019)
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06/21 - Fri-Yay: The Amazing Superstore Season 4 Finale; Netflix Has Healing Powers
06/20 - Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Returns with "Modern" Twist; Showtime Is Back to Life For New Comedy
06/19 - truTV Gets 2nd Season of Tacoma FD; I'm Sorry Gets Season 3 on truTV
06/18 - NBC Fall 2019 Premiere Dates; The CW Fall 2019 Premiere Dates
06/17 - Netflix Gets Funny with Pranks with Stranger Things Star; Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba Series Gets 2nd Season
06/16 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 17, 2019)
06/15 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Fall Premiere Dates for CBS; CBS and Viacom in Merger Talks Yet Again