Thursday, June 03, 2010

BREAKING: Rue McClanahan Passes Away at 76; ION Television Edits June

We have another sad story to report. Rue McClanahan has passed away. Rue passed away at 1am this morning (Thursday, June 3, 2010) after a massive stroke, People Magazine reports. Earlier this year, she suffered a minor stroke while recovering from bypass surgery. She also had undergone treatment for breast cancer in 1997.
One of her first memorable appearances on television was appearing on an episode of Norman Lear's All in the Family. She was in the classic episode "The Bunkers and the Swingers" playing a swinger. That guest appearance made Lear cast her on Maude, one of the spin-offs of All in the Family. On Maude she played Vivian Cavender Harmon for 6 years, from 1972-1978. Following her run on the CBS hit, she had a short-lived sitcom for ABC in 1978 called Apple Pie, based on the play Nourish the Beast. Then in 1983, she recurred on the popular sitcom Mama's Family, playing Aunt Fran Crowley. After her stint on that series, she was one the four stars on the popular NBC comedy The Golden Girls that ran from 1985-1992. This is the sitcom that probably made her a name and has given her a cult status. That character of Blanche Devereaux is among the most famous sitcom characters of all-time. She won an Emmy in the category Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1987 for this role. She was also nominated three other times. She was even nominated three times for a Golden Globe. After the run of that series, a follow-up series titled The Golden Palace, aired for one season in 1992-93. Everyone returned to that series but Bea Arthur, though she did guest star once. Her other TV starring credits include The WB drama Safe Harbor, which only lasted 10 episodes in 1999.
Rue has appeared on so many other TV series over the years in guest roles such as the aforementioned All in the Family, Grandpa Goes to Washington, Mannix, Supertrain, Lou Grant, Here's Boomer, Trapper John, M.D., Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Small & Frye, Alice, Newhart, Gimme a Break!, Charles in Charge, Crazy Like a Fox, Cover Up, Murder She Wrote, Nurses, Boy Meets World, Burke's Law, Promised Land, Murphy Brown, Columbo, Ladies Man, Touched by an Angel, Wonderfalls, Whoopie, Hope & Faith, King of the Hill, Law & Order, and most recently on Meets the Browns. Wow!
Rue's death now means that only Betty White is the only one living from the cast of The Golden Girls. Bea Arthur passed away in 2009 and Estelle Getty in 2008. In fact, Betty White was the oldest of the four, too. Rue McClanahan was the youngest of the four. Rue will be DEEPLY missed.
UPDATE: WE tv will air a Golden Girls marathon titled "Best of Blanche" on Friday (June 4) from 5pm-1am ET/PT. View Episode info for the marathon. Check out the WE tv tribute page. WE tv regularly airs the sitcom weekdays from 5-7pm & 11pm-1am, with a Monday night marathon from 8pm-11pm mixed in.
The Hallmark Channel will air Blanche themed episodes of The Golden Girls all next week (June 7-11) in its regular slots of weekdays 9am-11am & 11pm-1am. View Episode info for these.
Me-TV in Chicago will air a Maude marathon in memory of Rue on Sunday (June 6) from 4pm-7pm CT. View Episode info for Me-TV's stunt. Too bad we don't have Maude airing nationally!
Ms. McClanahan was 76.

It was just last Friday when we gave you the highlights for ION Television June 2010 and now they have changed their schedule a bit. Since CBS has canceled Ghost Whisperer and it is off their schedule, ION Television will air it 5 days a week now starting Monday (June 7). The drama will air weekdays at 6pm and 7pm, replacing an hour of Family Feud and Criminal Minds. This means Family Feud will slide from 5-7pm to 4-6pm, as M*A*S*H is now off of the weekday line-up, but will remain on weekend afternoons. Everything else is pretty much the same as it is now, but Wednesdays and Fridays at 11pm will now be Criminal Minds instead of Ghost Whisperer, so Minds airs now every weekday at 11 (in addition to all of its other slots). And finally movies will air in primetime on Saturdays, as Ghost Whisperer 3-hour block moves to late afternoons/early evenings, with times varying.
View the FULL and UPDATED schedule for ION Television June 2010.


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

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 2

Last Man Standing - "Precious Snowflakes" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mandy chooses local-celebrity Mike as the speaker for her business school’s graduation. After learning that the school requires his speech to be PC and micro-agression free, Mike decides whether or not to play by the rules. Meanwhile, Eve’s friend Cammy (Sarah Gilman) is home from college, bragging about how fantastic her new life has been, leaving Eve feeling slightly fruitless and discouraged.

Dr. Ken - "D.K's New Girlfriend" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When D.K. overhears Allison complain about him overstaying his welcome, he decides to move in with his girlfriend of three weeks. Meanwhile, Pat wants Dave to pretend he’s his adopted son; and Allison is convinced Molly wants to talk about something when she suggests they do a spa day, but the tables turn when Molly is the one doling out the advice.

I Love Lucy - "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures.” Both were colorized with a vintage look, a nod to the 1950s period in which the shows were filmed. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS in December 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Thought to be lost, CBS rediscovered the episode in 1989.

In the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures,” Lucy’s lifelong dream of appearing in a motion picture seems to have come true when Ricky arranges for her to play a showgirl in a new musical. Unfortunately, the enormous feathered headdress she is expected to wear as she descends a staircase proves to be too cumbersome. After numerous mishaps on the stairs, the musical’s frustrated director (Lou Krugman) decides to make a change.

“Lucy Gets in Pictures” was originally broadcast Feb. 21, 1955, and was an immediate favorite not only of viewers, but of Lucille Ball herself. She restaged the famous headdress scene, again with Krugman, in the 1962 CBS special, “Opening Night,” and in 1965 in a slightly modified form, this time with actor Danny Thomas, in her second CBS series, “The Lucy Show.”

Liv and Maddie: Cali Style - "Cali Christmas-a-Rooney" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Maddie gets upset that she can't be in Wisconsin for Christmas, so Liv helps cheer her up.

Girl Meets World - "Girl Meets a Christmas Maya" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As Christmas approaches, Riley gets excited to celebrate her favorite holiday, but for Maya, the holidays only bring back unhappy memories from her childhood.

Bunk'd - "How the Griff Stole Christmas" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The holidays arrive at Camp Kikiwaka with everyone in good spirits -- except for Griff.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 28)

Friday, December 2

  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Watch Chelsea on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Andrew Rannells (Girls/The New Normal) - Andrew is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men/The Powers That Be/Bosom Buddies) - Holland chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall stops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Scott Patterson (Aliens in America) - Scott is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Quinn (Bunk'd) - Kevin appears on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Miss Piggy (The Muppets) - NBC's Today catches up with Miss Piggy in the 10am hour.
  • Gaby Hoffmann (Transparent/Someone Like Me) - Gaby appears on Chelsea on Netflix.