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 (March)

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series Bewitched - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek) Maude - The Complete Series WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete First Season (Shout! Factory) The Donna Reed Show - Season 2 (MPI Home Video)

03/03 - CHiPs - The Complete Third Season
03/10 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series
03/10 - Hey Dude - The Complete Series (Walmart Exclusive)
03/10 - Petticoat Junction - Family Favorite Episodes
03/17 - Bewitched - Season 5 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Bewitched - Season 6 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Bewitched - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Maude - The Complete Series (Shout! Factory)
03/17 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete First Season (Shout! Factory)
03/17 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Second Season (Shout! Factory)
03/24 - The Donna Reed Show - Season 2 (MPI Home Video)
03/31 - Silicon Valley - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
03/31 - Veep - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, March 31

Fresh Off the Boat - "Blind Spot" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jessica's college boyfriend, Oscar Chow (guest star Rex Lee), comes to visit. She’s a bit miffed that Louis isn’t a little more jealous….but she’s got a blind spot and is completely oblivious to the fact that Oscar is gay. Meanwhile, Eddie goes to great lengths to get out of the school science fair.

New Girl - "The Right Thing" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jess crashes a funeral, hoping to delete a “sext” she recently sent to the deceased. Then, Schmidt’s mom, Louise (Nora Dunn), arrives in town for a visit to demand he write thank-you notes for his bar mitzvah gifts, and Winston is desperate to be off-duty friends with his police partner, Aly (guest star Nasim Pedrad).

Weird Loners - "Weird Pilot" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Find out what happens when a high-strung romantic, a serial womanizer, a free-spirited heartbreaker and a sheltered man-child are unexpectedly thrust into a Queens, NY, townhouse.

Undataeable - "An Imaginary Torch Walks Into a Bar" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
ustin's (Brent Morin) world is rocked when Nicki (guest star Briga Heelan) returns to Detroit and announces that she's engaged. To prove that he is cool with her moving on, Justin offers up the bar for her engagement party and Danny (Chris D'Elia) helps him make an important realization. Meanwhile, Burski (Rick Glassman) his miguided pursuit of Leslie (Bianca Kajlich), but Candace (Bridgit Mendler) helps the gang see his romantic side.

One Big Happy - "Crushing It" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
On a group trip to the gym, Lizzy (Elisha Cuthbert) spies her secret crush, Kate (guest star Erinn Hayes) and with the help of Luke (Nick Zano ), and Prudence(Kelly Brook), she initiates a conversation that leads to some plans for group bowling. Later, Luke and Prudence help get Lizzy an appointment with the best OB-GYN in the city and Lizzy is ecstatic - until they arrive to a big surprise. Meanwhile, Prudence realizes that Lizzy's pregnancy is making her feel left out and Leisha (Rebecca Corry) helps her explain her feelings to Luke.

Cougar Town - "Mary Jane's Last Dance" TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Grayson is determined to prevent Jules from running her birthday, but it will it be possible when everyone has major changes in their lives?

Sirens - "Six Feet Over/Under" (USA Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
When Johnny's father goes into a coma, his mother places bets on the time of his death; the guys suffer an ear worm.

Younger - "Pilot" / "Liza Sows Her Oates" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
"Pilot" - 40-year-old Liza (Sutton Foster) passes herself off as 26 to land a job in the field of her dreams. Now she just has to make sure no one discovers her secret. Also stars Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar, Nico Tortorella and Miriam Shor.
"Liza Sows Her Oates" - As she settles into her new 26 year-old life, Liza is tasked with marketing an older writer to a younger audience. Although she has a perfect date with Josh, she tries to convince herself to aim for someone more age-appropriate.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 30) (All times ET unless noted)

Tuesday, March 31

  • Josh Gad (The Comedians/1600 Penn/Back to You) - Catch Josh on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about The Comedians on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. He can be heard on The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick on Sirius OutQ channel 106 sometime between 7-11am.
  • Thomas Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) and Matthew Perry (The Odd Couple/Go On/Mr. Sunshine/Friends) - Thomas and Matthew are guests on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) - Aubrey appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Rick Glassman, Bianca Kajlich and Ron Funches (Undateable) - Rick, Bianca and Ron are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Chris D'Elia (Undateable/Whitney) - Chris visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on the AOL Build Show.
  • Mario Cantone (Sex and the City) - Mario joins Meredith to chat about the hottest celebrity beauty treatments and if they could be right for you on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Hilary Duff (Younger/Lizzie McGuire) - Hilary joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristn discusses On the 20th Century on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Elisha Cuthbert (One Big Happy/Happy Endings) and Nick Zano (One Big Happy/What I Like About You) - Elisha and Nick talk about One Big Happy on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. Nick can be heard on Wake Up with Taylor on Sirius Stars channel 109 sometime between 6-9am. He will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) - Peter talks about American Odyssey on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Debi Mazar (Younger/Entourage/Working) - Debi can be heard on The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick on Sirius OutQ channel 106 sometime between 7-11am.
  • Sutton Foster and Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Sutton and Nico talk about TV Land's Younger on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Mo'Nique (The Parkers) - Mo'Nique is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Raven-SymonĂ© (That's So Raven/Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/The Cosby Show) - Raven-SymonĂ© guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Caroline Rhea (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) - Caroline guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Kal Penn (We Are Men/How I Met Your Mother) - Kal appears on VH1's Big Morning Buzz Live at 9am.