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.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (August)

The Jeffersons - Season Eight Maude - The Complete Second Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fourth Season Mike & Molly - The Complete Fifth Season Welcome Back, Kotter - The Final (Fourth) Season

08/04 - The Comeback - The Complete Series
08/04 - I Love Lucy - Ultimate Season 2 (Blu-ray)
08/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - Season Three
08/11 - The Jeffersons - Season Eight
08/11 - Maude - The Complete Second Season
08/11 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fourth Season
08/11 - The Jeff Foxworthy Show - The COmplete Series (Mill Creek)
08/18 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Fifth Season
08/18 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Final (Fourth) Season
08/25 - King of the Hill - The Complete 11th Season
08/25 - The Mindy Project - Season Three
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, August 4


The Last Man on Earth - "Alive in Tucson" / "The Elephant in the Room" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH chronicles the life and adventures of an average guy – and humanity’s last hope – who discovers what life is like when no one is telling you what you can and cannot do. The year is 2020, and after a deadly virus has swept the planet, only one man is left on earth: Phil Miller (Forte). He used to be just an average guy who loved his family and hated his job. Now, in his RV, Phil searches the country for other survivors. He has traveled to every city, every town and every outpost in the United States, Mexico and Canada, and has found no one. As he returns to his hometown of Tucson, Phil comes to the realization that he is almost certainly the last living being on the face of the earth. Then, Phil meets Carol, who may be the last woman on earth. At the very least, she’s the most annoying woman on earth. As Phil arrives at the painful realization that the fate of the world rests with them, Carol demands they wed before repopulating the earth.


Clipped - "The Gambler" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
When the guys learn that Buzzy is gambling with the money he'd set aside for his mother's medication, A.J. and Mo decide to lose a poker game to him on purpose, but it isn't as easy to convince Ben to do the right thing. Danni, Charmaine, and Joy make up the Doyle Sisters for a wedding and discuss what makes for a strong marriage, which causes Joy questions her relationship with Bart.


Playing House - "Hello, Old Friend" (USA Network, 10:00PM ET/PT) (Season Premiere)
Maggie, Emma and Charlotte pose for an awkward family picture; Bruce and his mother prepare a traditional family recipe.

Playing House - "Sleepless in Pinebrook" (USA Network, 10:30PM ET/PT)
The Property Brothers make over Maggie's body; Emma creates an online dating profile for Maggie; Bruce and Zach spend time with Charlotte.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 3) (All times ET unless noted)

Tuesday, August 4

  • Don Rickles (C.P.O. Sharkey/Daddy Dearest) - Catch Mr. Warmth on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Craig Robinson (Mr. Robinson/The Office) - Craig appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC, on the AOL Build Show and on SI Now.
  • Michael Ian Black (The Jim Gaffigan Show/Ed) - Michael is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Josh Charles (Sports Night) - Josh visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Denis Leary (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/The Job) - Denis stops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Judy Greer (Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided) - Judy appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ron Funches (Undateable) - Ron is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Tom Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) - Tom will be on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Jessica St. Clair (Playing House/Best Friends Forever/In the Motherhood) and Lennon Parham (Playing House/Best Friends Forever/Accidentally on Purpose) - Jessica and Lennon talk about Playing House on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. Jessica will also be on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother) - Jason talks about the film The End of the Hour on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly) - Billy talks about how he almost walked away from Hollywood before landing the leading role on his hit sitcom and what really happened at his first shoot with co-star Melissa McCarthy on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tim Bagley (Mr. Robinson/Web Therapy/Will & Grace) - Tim talks about his new series Mr. Robinson on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Jerrod Carmichael (The Carmichael Show) - Jerrod appears on the AOL Build Show.
  • Brandy Norwood (The Game/Moesha) - Brandy talks about her incognito NYC subway performance and her exciting new role on Broadway's Chicago on a repeat of Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • David Alan Grier (The Carmichael Show/Life with Bonnie/DAG) - David is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace talks about her new book Dancing Through Life: Steps of Courage and Conviction on Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel sometime between 6-9am. She also guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.