Thursday, January 15, 2009

TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour: NBC; Remembering Ricardo Montalban and Steven Gilborn

Today it is NBC's turn at the TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour. You know network TCA tours usually start in the morning (8 or 9am PT) and run through the evening with dinner/party, but as usual, the lately strange NBC has to mess with that. They are skipping the morning (no breakfast or lunch!) and starting at 2pm PT. Cost cutting NBC, indeed. Cheap...they will have a cocktail reception though tonight. Up first is the executive session. Among the items announced are: ER has been ordered for 3 more episodes, giving it a total of 23 episodes for its last season. The two-hour series finale will now be on Thursday, April 2 from 9-11pm instead of March 12. Earlier on that night, a one-hour retrospective will air from 8-9pm ET leading into the two-hour send-off. The following week, April 9, new police drama Southland takes over the ER slot now for 6 episodes. The series comes from ER showrunner John Wells. Previously NBC had slotted Kings to air after ER ends, but now Kings is going to be moved to Sundays at 8PM leading into Celebrity Apprentice starting March 15. On March 1, NBC will air a new special called SNL Short Films (wt) from 7-9pm leading into the Celebrity Apprentice premiere. The untitled Amy Poehler comedy will also launch April 9, airing at 8:30pm replacing Kath & Kim, which has been cut to only 17 episodes and likely will be done for good. New cooking reality series Chopping Block is the series that will air Wednesdays at 8pm starting March 11 (through April 29), following the conclusion of Knight Rider on Feb. 25. Celebrated chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White (UK's Hell's Kitchen) serves up in this new original cooking competition series, in which the British Michelin star chef offers 16 neophyte hopeful chefs/restaurateurs working in pairs a chance to compete in America's greatest restaurant challenge for their chance to open their own Manhattan restaurant. Howdie Do It will air Fridays at 8pm through March 27 now instead of Feb. 20. And a Kung Fu Panda special called Secrets of the Furious Five will air on Thursday, Feb. 26 in the 8pm half-hour.
NBC also announced that 30 Rock, The Office and The Biggest Loser are all safe for next season (2009-10).
Panels followed with the cast and crew of The Untitled Amy Poehler Comedy, MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, The Last Templar, Southland, and Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.
The Amy Poehler comedy stars Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones and comes from Greg Daniels and Michael Schur. The Last Templar is an NBC miniseries airing Jan. 25-26 starring Mira Sorvino, Scott Foley and Victor Garber and comes from Robert Halmi, Sr. And as mentioned above, Southland is the series from ER's John Wells that will air Thursdays at 10pm after ER ends April 2. Among the stars are Tom Everett Scott, Regina King, Ben McKenzie, and Kevin Alejandro. It will be a police show set in Los Angeles.

Today we will also remember two stars who have passed on...Ricardo Montalban and Steven Gilborn. Ricardo Montalban, the suave leading man who was one of the first Mexican-born actors to make it big in Hollywood and who was best known for his role as Mr. Roarke on ABC's Fantasy Island, has died. Montalban died Wednesday (Jan. 14) morning at his Los Angeles home of complications related to old age. Beginning in the mid-1950s, he made the first of many TV appearances. In addition to his role as Chief Satangkai in the 1978 ABC miniseries How the West Was Won, he appeared in the Dynasty spinoff The Colbys on ABC in the late 1980s. More recently, he did a voice on the Disney Channel's animated series Kim Possible. He has also appeared on an episode or two of Family Guy, The Brothers Garcia, The Golden Palace, Chicago Hope, Dream On, Murder She Wrote, Police Story, Hawaii Five-0, Here's Lucy, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and many more! He was also a fixture on the game show Win, Lose or Draw in the late '80s. But it was Fantasy Island that created his lasting image in front of the Hollywood cameras. Elegantly attired in a white suit and black tie, Montalban created such an iconic -- albeit somewhat kitschy -- figure that he often reprised the character insubsequent films and television shows.
While making Fantasy Island" Montalban also gave one of his best movie performances -- as Khan Noonian Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), a follow-up to a beloved 1967 Star Trek television episode, "Space Seed," that also featured Montalban. Among his other movie credits include Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, and Cannonball Run II.
So, Montalban will be deply missed and we will always remember him saying "Welcome to Fantasy Island." Mr. Montalban was 88.
We have also lost Steven Gilborn. Gilborn is a great character actor that has appeared on many sitcoms and TV series. He is best known for playing the father of Ellen DeGeneres' character on Ellen. He died of cancer in North Chatham, N.Y., on Jan. 2. Gilborn also played the math teacher on The Wonder Years and appeared on MANY sitcoms and TV shows including Rodney, According to Jim, Out of Practice, Complete Savages, 8 Simple Rules, Damages, The Bernie Mac Show, Still Standing, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Malcolm in the Middle, Two Guys and a Girl, NYPD Blue, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Get Real, Action, Maggie Winters, The West Wing, The Practice, Living Single, Boy Meets World, NewsRadio, Mad About You, ER, Empty Nest, Coach, Lois & Clark, Hearts Afire, Dream On, Blossom, Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Vegas, L.A. Law, The Torkelsons, The Golden Girls, Matlock, Knots Landing, Perfect Strangers, Who's the Boss?, Kate & Allie, Columbo and Law & Order. Since 1983 he has been on about everything as you can see. His film credits include Nurse Betty, Doctor Doolittle, The Brady Bunch Movie, The Night Shift and the TV movie The Dreamer of Oz. He has been on so many TV series and movies, that nearly everyone saw him in something at one point. He will be deeply missed. Mr. Gilborn was 72.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November/December)

2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series Hot in Cleveland - Season Five Sgt. Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show - The Complete Series
Family Ties - The Complete Series Happy Days - The Sixth Season The Jeffersons - The Complete Series Mister Ed - The Complete Series Mork & Mindy - The Complete Series

10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - TARGET="_blank">Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, October 21

Selfie - "Nugget of Wisdom" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Eliza accepts Henry’s challenge to do something helpful over the weekend and reluctantly offers to babysit Charmonique’s young son on a Saturday night. Little does she know that young Kevin has a lot to teach her about having fun.

Manhattan Love Story - "It's Complicated" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Dana and Peter continue to enjoy New York and each other, but when they realize they still haven’t had sex, both decide tonight’s the night following a sexy and swanky dinner at an upscale oyster restaurant. But when the couple finds their reservation is pushed, Dana and Peter head elsewhere, not knowing that their romantic evening is about to go from intimate dinner to disaster. Meanwhile, Amy and David spend an evening babysitting and make a decision that will impact their future forever.

Marry Me - "Move Me" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jake (Ken Marino) moves into Annie’s (Casey Wilson) apartment and she begins to feel the pinch of having to share her space with someone. She confesses her claustrophobia to her dads Kevin 1 (Tim Meadows) and Kevin 2 (Dan Bucatinsky) but her stress continues to mount. Meanwhile, Gil (John Gemberling) discovers an all-you-can-eat buffet where he can eat for one low price all day – as long as he never leaves the restaurant.

About a Boy - "About a House for Sale" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
In an effort to fix his money problems, Will (David Walton) is advised to sell his house in San Francisco. Faced with his impending absence away from Fiona (Minnie Driver) and Marcus (Benjamin Stockham), Will focuses all of his energies into finding Marcus a new best friend. Meanwhile, Sam (guest star Adrianne Palicki) flies out to help Will pack up the rest of his belongings, only to discover a few surprises when she arrives.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 20) (All times ET unless noted)

Tuesday, October 21

  • Krysten Ritter (Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - Catch Krysten on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Dana Carvey (One of the Boys) - Dana visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Cristin Milioti (A to Z/How I Met Your Mother) - Cristin stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ty Burrell (Modern Family/Back to You/Out of Practice) - Ty is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls) - Kat appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
  • Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) - Sarah drops by ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family) - Julie is a guest on HuffPost Live at 2:30pm.
  • Eric Andre (2 Broke Girls/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - Eric appears on HuffPost Live at 3:00pm.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Hot Properties/The Knights of Prosperity) - Sofia will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Ken Marino (Marry Me/Party Down) - Ken talks about Marry Me on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • B.J. Novak (The Office) - B.J. is a guest on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 2am on BET.
  • Tori Spelling (Mystery Girls) - Tori will be on Big Morning Buzz on VH1 at 9:00am.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil can be heard on Morning Mash-Up on SiriuxXM Hits 1 channel 2 at 8:15am.
  • Jim Gaffigan (My Boys/Welcome to New York - Jim shares some of his favorite food adventures, and dishes on what it's like raising five kids in a New York City apartment on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.