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, April 19)

Mike & Molly - "Molly Unleashed" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Molly finds herself at a crossroads with her career, she makes a huge decision. Brian Baumgartner guest stars as Molly’s union rep, James.

The Millers - "Pilot" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Nathan and his sister, Debbie, are upset when their parents announce they’re divorcing after 43 years of marriage. However, that’s nothing compared to the panic they feel when Carol, their intrusive mother, announces that she’s moving in with Nathan, while Tom, their easily distracted father, is moving in with Debbie.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 21) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Monday, April 21

  • Courteney Cox (Cougar Town/Friends) - Watch Courteney The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jimmie "J.J." Walker (Good Times) - Jimmie appears on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Hears Afire) - Billy Bob is a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George stops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher) - Ari visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Marlon Wayans (The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon is a guest on @midnight at midnight on Comedy Central.
  • Bob Saget (How I Met Your Mother/Full House) - Bob is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) - Joseph appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Community) - Tune in to see Gillian on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Paul Scheer (The League) - Paul is a guest on a repeat of The Pete Holmes Show at midnight on TBS.
  • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Brooklyn Decker, Majandra Delfino and Zoe Lister-Jones (Friends with Better Lives) - The women of Friends with Better Lives are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. Zoe will also be on Pop Sugar Now on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.
  • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Andre will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Kirstie Alley (Kirstie/Veronica's Closet/Cheers) - Kirstie throws down a figure-friendly chicken dinner on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Ted Lange (The Love Boat) - Ted is a guest on a repeat of The Better Show, so check your local listings.
  • Brittany Daniel (The Game/That '80s Show) - Brittany shares her story of triumph over non-Hodgkins lymphoma on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Beau Bridges (The Millers) - Beau appears on The Queen Latifah Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Toni Colette (United States of Tara) - Toni will be on HuffPost Live.
  • Thomas Haden Church (Wings) - Thomas is a guest on HuffPost Live.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Hot Properties/The Knights of Prosperity) - Sofia visits ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.
  • James Van Der Beek (Friends with Better Lives/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - James will be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly hosts the Plugged In panel on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.