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 (February)

The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series Girls - The Complete Fourth Season Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series Togetherness - The Complete First Season

02/16 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series
02/16 - The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series
02/16 - Girls - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
02/16 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series
02/16 - Togetherness - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, February 7

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXVI" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
In an encore of the annual fright fest Halloween episode, Sideshow Bob finally kills Bart, only to reanimate him; Homer wakes up with short-term memory loss; and Lisa, Bart, and Milhouse get super powers from radiation.

Bob's Burgers - "Sliding Bobs" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bob notices that he has started to lose his hair. In a wave of nostalgia, Linda reminisces about Bob’s mustache and how it made her fall for him years ago. Meanwhile, the kids tell their own versions of the story of how their parents met.

The Simpsons - "Halloween of Horror" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Lisa becomes scared at the Krustyland Halloween Horror Night, Homer is forced to take down his Everscream Terrors decorations. Halloween pop-up employees seek vengeance on Homer for causing them to lose their jobs, and rob his house while Homer and Lisa hide out in the attic. Homer and Lisa light up their stored holiday decorations to attract attention and stand up to the intruders.

Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life - "How to Survive Your Loveable Jackass" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After sales for their hangover cure are slower than expected, the guys decide to take part in a drug trial for quick cash, but their plans are unexpectedly derailed by Paul Abdul (guest-starring as herself). Meanwhile, Kelly faces an awkward situation after spending time with Leslie and Josh.

Family Guy - "Pilling Them Softly" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Stewie is diagnosed with ADD and prescribed Adderall, which Brian takes to write a 2000-page proposal to pitch to author George R.R. Martin at a book convention. Meanwhile, Quagmire and Peter compete, Iron Chef-style, to determine which of them gets to keep his new cooking show.

Bordertown - "Borderwall" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bud fights to get a border wall constructed using confiscated drug money, only to have the wall destroy the economy, leaving him jobless. He then begins smuggling immigrants under the wall to make ends meet.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 8)

Sunday, February 7

  • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - Catch Tina on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert after the Super Bowl on CBS.
  • Adam DeVine (Modern Family/Workaholics) - Adam is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden on CBS.
Monday, February 8
  • Brie Larson (United States of Tara/Raising Dad) - Watch Brie on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Rebel Wilson (Super Fun Night) - Rebel visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Fred Savage (The Grinder/Working/The Wonder Years) - Fred appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Community) - Gillian is a guest on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm. She also talks about Love on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Keke Palmer (Scream Queens/True Jackson, VP) - Keke appears on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore at 11:30pm on Comedy Central.
  • David Koechner (F Is for Family/Hank/The Office) - David will be on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Kevin Nealon (Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Jim Jefferies (Legit) - Jim is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) - Ray stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family) - Julie visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Ben Feldman (Superstore/A to Z/Living with Fran) - Ben discusses Superstore on The Meredith Vieira Show (check your local listings) and on People Now.
  • Rachael Harris (Surviving Jack/My Boys/Notes from the Underbelly) - Rachael talks about Deadpool on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri takes viewers behind the scenes of the Super Bowl on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Rhea Seehorn (Whitney/I'm with You) - Rhea talks about Better Call Saul on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Britt Lower (Man Seeking Woman) - Britt is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.