Monday, April 27, 2009

Remembering Bea Arthur, Kim Weiskopf; Hallmark Channel, WE tv, TV Land, Me-Too All To Air Tributes for Bea

Today we will cover everything Bea Arthur (with a tribute to Kim Weiskopf as well). As you all I'm sure know by now, Bea Arthur has died. Beatrice Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star in the hit shows Maude and The Golden Girls and who won a Tony Award for the musical Mame, died Saturday (April 25). Arthur died peacefully at her Los Angeles home with her family at her side. She had cancer but that is the only detail we know. Arthur first appeared in the landmark comedy series All in the Family as Edith Bunker's outspoken, liberal cousin, Maude Finley. She proved a perfect foil for blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor), and their blistering exchanges were so entertaining that producer Norman Lear fashioned Arthur's own series, known of course as Maude. Maude scored with television viewers immediately on its CBS debut in September 1972, and Arthur won an Emmy Award for the role in 1977. The show ended in 1978, as Bea thought it was time for the show to end after six seasons. Then came The Golden Girls from 1985-1992, and it was another groundbreaking comedy, finding surprising success in a television market increasingly skewed toward a younger, product-buying audience. She played Dorothy Zbornak, one of four older friends living in Miami. The show moved to CBS in 1992-93 and was titled The Golden Palace, but Bea didn't sign on for it. Bea did guest star in a two-part episode. In 2003, Lifetime reunited the cast for the special The Golden Girls: Their Greatest Memories. And in 2008, the cast reunited again on the 2008 TV Land Awards accepting the Pop Culture Award.
Even before television, Bea had a major career in plays on Broadway. Arthur's biggest Broadway triumph came in 1966 as Vera Charles, Angela Lansbury's acerbic friend in the musical "Mame," directed by Tony-winning director Gene Saks, who was also her husband of 28 years. They divorced in 1978. During 2001 and 2002 she toured the country in a one-woman show of songs and stories, ... And Then There's Bea.
In between Maude and The Golden Girls, Bea had a failed sitcom. In 1983, she starred in the ABC sitcom Amanda's, an Americanized version of John Cleese's hilarious Fawlty Towers. She was cast as owner of a small seaside hotel with a staff of eccentrics. It lasted a mere 10 episodes, with three episodes unaired.
She was also in films. Among the movies she graced were That Kind of Woman (1959), Lovers and Other Strangers (1970), Mel Brooks' The History of the World: Part I (1981), For Better or Worse (1995). Her TV movies include the ABC TV movie My First Love in 1988 and the NBC TV movie P.O.P. in 1984.
Among her guest appearances on television are the The Golden Girls spin-off Empty Nest, Ellen, Beggars & Choosers, Dave's World, a.k.a. Pablo, Laugh-In, and she appeared on a rare special recap episode of Soap as an "angel." In recent years, Arthur made guest appearances on shows including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Futurama and Malcolm in the Middle. The latter was very popular.
Bea will certainly be missed by millions and millions fans around the world. TV Land has created a 30-second on-air and online promo remembering her. TV Land will air both of her appearances on All in the Family on Tuesday and Wednesday at 9am, the episodes "Cousin Maude's Visit" on Tuesday and the back-door "Maude" pilot that aired as an All in the Family episode on Wednesday. Too bad TV Land isn't airing regular Maude episodes as a tribute. Me-Too in Chicago will air Maude, though! All this week in the 9-10pm CT hour, Me-Too Chicago airs "Remembering Maude: A Tribute to Bea Arthur." View the episode schedule. Lucky fans in Chi-town.
Hallmark and WE tv air The Golden Girls regularly multiple times a day. Hallmark will pay tribute to Bea with a Memorial Day marathon and WE tv pays tribute to Bea tonight and Thursday, see below for more details on both. Watch a video celebration of her life and career. Bea lived a long life and was 86.

Hallmark Channel has announced it will pay tribute to legendary star Bea Arthur with an all-day Golden Girls "Memorial Day Marathon" on Monday, May 25 from 6:30am-2:30am, featuring episodes focusing on Arthur's character Dorothy Zbornak, a gruff, wise-cracking divorcée who shared her Miami home with her mother and two loopy friends. Golden Girls plays daily on Hallmark Channel: Monday-Friday, 8-10 a.m., 7-9 p.m., 12-2 a.m., Saturdays 6-9 a.m., and Sundays 8:30-10 a.m. View their press release. UPDATE: We get marathons SOONER now on Hallmark! At the Studio City, CA home of Hallmark Channel, fans of the classic comedy Golden Girls flooded the network's Viewer Services department today with parenthetical appreciation for the channel's announcement of a Memorial Day Tribute to Bea Arthur. The qualifier to the announcement included these sentiments: more, sooner, please. And now Hallmark has listened! Hallmark Channel responded by hand-selecting the "Best of the Dorothy Zbornak Episodes" which begin running Tuesday, April 28 (7-9pm) and continue, Wednesday, April 29 (7-9pm), and Thursday, April 30 (7-9pm) in the normal Golden Girls timeslots, but also on Sunday, May 3 (8:30am-3am) a full day event is planned! This is all in addition to the previously announced Memorial Day marathon on, Monday, May 25 (6:30am-2:30am.). We don't have episode info yet for the Memorial Day stunt, but Hallmark has released the 5 day stunt episodes for this week! Thank you for being a friend, Hallmark!
WE tv airs the show weeknights from 5-7pm ET, with primetime marathons from 6pm-12am on Monday nights, so that includes tonight. They also air the show sometimes on Thursday late nights. WE tv announced today two special nights of programming to honor Bea Arthur. "WE Remember Bea" will feature a marathon of favorite The Golden Girls episodes both Monday, April 27 from 5pm-12am ET and Thursday, April 30 from 9:30pm-1am ET. The acclaimed actress, known for her quick wit and willingness to embrace controversial issues was the centerpiece of the comedic series, which won more than 38 awards during its run. "WE Remember Bea" will be comprised of episodes which center on Bea Arthur's colorful character Dorothy Zbornak and key related storylines from the series. See the episode info for tonight's marathon.
WE tv already had a scheduled Golden Girls Memorial Day marathon from 10am-6am, so we have two networks airing a marathon on The Golden Girls on May 25.

We also have lost Kim Weiskopf, a TV comedy writer whose credits included Three's Company and Married...with Children, died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday (April 22) at his home in Encino. He launched his career in the early 1970s, with longtime writing partner Michael S. Baser, he wrote for series such as One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Melba, Carter Country, We Got It Made, and Good Times, the latter show leading to their first staff-writing position.
The writing duo went on to write and produce three seasons of ABC's Three's Company before being hired to create the TV series 9 to 5 for ABC, which was based on the movie. They then developed an updated, syndicated version of the '70s series What's Happening!! called What's Happening Now!!, though he had never worked with the original series.
Weiskopf's also wrote and produced for Rachel Gunn, R.N., Full House and Married...with Children, without Baser. Kim appeared in interviews for the E! True Hollywood Story episodes of both Three's Company and Married...with Children. He had an uncredited appearance on Married...with Children on an episode playing Lucky the Dog in a 1996 episode.
He is going to be missed, especially by fans of Three's Company and Married...with Children. Kim was 62.
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Sunday, April 20)

Bob's Burgers - "Ambergris" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT)
Gene, Louise, and Tina discover a seaweed-covered object at the beach that turns out to be a large hunk of Ambergris - an extremely valuable, but illegal, by-product of whale poop that is used in high-end perfumes. But Louise tries to cheat Gene and Tina out of the profit she hopes to make by selling the treasure on the black market. Meanwhile, Bob and Linda deal with their psychologically unstable landlord who is building them a new bathroom.

American Dad - "Poltergasm" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Francine's "Poltergasm" starts to haunt the Smith household when she is unsatisfied by Stan in the sack, and Roger must conjure a medium named Zelda Rubinstein to help eliminate the ghost. Meanwhile, Hayley introduces her new boy-toy, Mauricio (guest voice Diego Luna), to the family.

The Simpsons - "Married to the Blob" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Comic Book Guy realizes his comics are nothing if he can't share them with anyone. Then he meets Kumiko, a Japanese woman writing an autobiographical manga, and he seeks out Homer's advice on how to date her, ending happily for everyone.

Family Guy - "Life of Brian" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Stewie and Brian travel back to 17th century Jamestown, via Stewie's time machine, they encounter too many close calls with altering the course of mankind. Stewie decides to destroy his time machine, but immediately regrets his decision when an unthinkable event happens and he is unable to go back in time.

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 Collette (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.
  • Christine Lakin Step by Step) - Christine will be on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am all this week.