Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lifetime Picks-Up Original Sitcom; Three Original Bill Cosby Sweaters Up for Auction; Remembering Bill Dial

Marking a significant expansion of original programming, Lifetime Television has ordered 13 episodes of the half-hour comedy, Rita Rocks, from Media Rights Capital (MRC). Premiering this fall, the series stars all comedy veterans Nicole Sullivan (The King of Queens, MADtv), Richard Ruccolo (Joey, Two Guys and a Girl) and Tisha Campbell-Martin (My Wife and Kids, Martin).
In the series, Sullivan stars as Rita Clements, unfulfilled by her harried life as a married working mom, regains her identity by recreating her glory days as a musician in a garage band. The series will premiere this fall as part of a one-hour comedy block with the top-rated Reba repeats. Rita Rocks is Lifetime's first original sitcom in a decade.
Rita Rocks joins an array of original programming airing on Lifetime this fall, broadening its leadership in all genres, including Original Movies, Original Series and Reality Series. Lifetime Original Movies are the #1 rated among women. Beginning in September, the star-studded slate of original movies includes: Sex & Lies in Sin City starring Mena Suvari and Matthew Modine; Coco Chanel"starring Shirley MacLaine, Barbara Bobulova and Malcolm McDowell; Living Proof executive produced by Neil Meron, Craig Zadan and Renee Zellweger, and starring Harry Connick, Jr.; Killing Mr. Kissel starring John Stamos and Flirting with 40 starring Heather Locklear.
Lifetime's most-watched series in its history (which is airing originals currently), Army Wives, will return with more original episodes in November, including a special two-hour season finale. And premiering this November, the hit reality competition series Project Runway with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn moves to Lifetime.

You have a chance to own three popular sweaters Bill Cosby wore on The Cosby Show as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable! Mr. Cosby is auctioning them on eBay for a good cause. These three sweaters were worn on The Cosby Show by Bill Cosby between seasons 3-8. It will come with a dated and hand signed letter from Mr. Cosby himself authenticating this. It will also come with a separate letter from the sweater designer, Koos Van Den Akker, indicating that he made this sweater for Bill Cosby for The Cosby Show.
Bill Cosby's sweaters have never before been made available to the public. The sweaters were custom made by Koos Van Den Akker, and only his designer label appears with no size marking indicated. They are approximately size large. The one-of-a-kind sweaters were specifically designed for Bill Cosby and are collages primarily composed of woolens and cottons.
All proceeds from the sale of these legendary Heathcliff Huxtable sweaters will benefit the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation. The non-profit educational organization was established in 1997 by the Cosby family to continue the legacy and life's work of Ennis Cosby, who was about to begin his doctoral studies in education at the time of his death.
Jimmy Kimmel is promoting the sweaters by wearing each of the three sweaters on three nights, last night, tonight and tomorrow night on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, late nights on ABC. He wore sweater #2 from the auction last night. Check Jimmy modeling them out, as he wears them for the entire show! To bid on these items, head on over to eBay:
Sweater #1
Sweater #2
Sweater #3
This is your chance to own a piece of Cosby Show history and help out a good cause at the same time! The Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation is dedicated to fulfilling the goals and dreams of Ennis Cosby. The Foundation equips teachers, parents and students with the practical information and educational tools needed to understand and address the needs of all learners before they experience the corrosive effects of frustration and failure. The Foundation was established in 1997 by Bill and Camille Cosby as a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Finally we leave you today with news that Bill Dial has passed away. He died of a heart attack on Monday, June 2 in South Carolina, where he moved to after retiring from the business in 2001. Bill was most known as a writer, producer, and actor on the hit sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. He wrote five episodes for this series during its first season (1978-79), the most famous of which was his first, entitled "Turkeys Away." He guest starred on the series even for a few episodes playing the station's beer-drinking engineer, Bucky Dornster.
After WKRP, he wrote and/or produced series such as Harper Valley P.T.A., Legmen, Simon & Simon, E.A.R.T.H. Force, Evening Shade, and some TV movies. In 1991, Dial returned to his claim to fame as an executive producer and writer on The New WKRP in Cincinnati, a follow-up series to the 1970s sitcom. The New WKRP aired in first-run syndication for two seasons. His later credits included writing and producing Time Trax, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Team Knight Rider, Sliders, Legend, and Spike TV's 18 Wheels of Justice. He will be missed, especially by WKRP fans. WKRP in Cincinnati can be seen nationally on cable Sunday evenings on WGN America and Monday nights on AmericanLife TV. Mr. Dial was 66.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, July 26

Bad Teacher - "The Bottle" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Meredith’s venue for her 30th birthday party falls through, she plots a takeover of Kim’s student teacher exam celebration. However, once the party is underway, her lies start to unravel as she tries to keep her rich friends from her old life separate from her new co-workers.

Bad Teacher - "What's Old Is New" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Staff and students are all focused on standardized test day when Meredith and Principal Carl’s attentions are diverted by the arrival of their ex-spouses, making them question whether they want second chances with their former loves. Steven Weber Guest Stars as Meredith’s Ex-Husband Ray; Niecy Nash Guest Stars as Principal Carl’s Ex-Wife Carla.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 28) (All times ET unless noted)

Sunday, July 27

  • Fran Drescher (The Nanny/Happily Divorced) - Fran talks about her battle with cancer, meeting the love of her life, and her latest role on Broadway on Oprah: Where Are They Now? at 9pm on OWN.
Monday, July 28
  • Will Arnett (The Millers/Up All Night/Arrested Development) - Watch Will on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Rachelle Lefevre (Life on a Stick/Big Wolf on Campus) - Rachelle visits on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/Carpoolers) - T.J. is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Marlon Wayans (The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Roseanne Barr (Roseanne) - Roseanne appears on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi talks about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Keke Palmer (True Jackson, VP) - Keke interviews Queen on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly/Love, Sidney) - Swoosie is a guest on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Don Rickles (C.P.O. Sharkey/Daddy Dearest) - Mr. Warmth appears on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Anthony joins the Plugged In panel on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.