Monday, October 18, 2010

GMC Acquires 227; Remembering Barbara Billingsley, A TV Legend

The Gospel Music Channel (GMC) never changed their schedule in fall 2010, so we didn't report anything for them this fall. However, we knew of a sitcom they acquired, but they never actually put it on the schedule, so we couldn't tell you about it. We can now reveal what that sitcom is! GMC has acquired the rights to the '80s sitcom 227 from The Program Exchange! The Marla Gibbs sitcom will not join the regular schedule just yet, though, but it will get a mini-marathon this coming Saturday (Oct. 23) from 2pm-6pm on GMC. We have their schedule through the end of the month and this is the only sighting for the Jenkins family. The block of eight episodes will air after the regularly scheduled Sister, Sister Saturday block. The 227 episodes airing are: "Honesty," "Mary's Brother," "Family Hero," "The Refidgerator," "Do You Love Me?," "Pilot," "The Sidewalk Sale," and "A Letter to the President." Yes, that's the first 8 episodes in original airdate order. The pilot didn't originally air on NBC until episode 6, even though it was produced first. Let's hope 227 gets added to the regular schedule very soon, because "there's no place like a cable home, child, and I mean no place!"
As for the rest of the GMC schedule, there is nothing different to report. No sitcoms except Amen are airing on weekdays and Sister, Sister is airing on Saturdays. The weekday schedule remains as this: Highway to Heaven at 10am, GMC Movie at 11am, more Highway to Heaven at 1pm, Promised Land at 2pm, Sue Thomas F.B.eye at 3pm, Doc at 4pm, Dr. Quinn Medicine Women at 5pm, 6pm, 7pm & 8pm. From 9pm-11pm, Movies air Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. On Wednesdays two episodes of Doc air and on Thursdays we get two episodes of Early Edition. Late nights from Mon-Thurs have back-to-back Amen episode at 11pm then a Gospel Music break at 12am, with more Amen in the 1am hour. 227 would sure fit in well with Amen! Saturdays have a Sister, Sister block starting at 10am usually running into various times in the late afternoon. Movies air on Sundays. Still no word on if and when Joan of Arcadia, Cosby, and Christy will return.

We leave you with some sad news. Barbara Billingsley, who of course played June Cleaver in the 1950s-1960s sitcom Leave it to Beaver, died Saturday (Oct. 16) after a long illness at her home in Santa Monica. When the show debuted in 1957 on CBS, Jerry Mathers, who played Beaver, was 9, and Tony Dow, who portrayed Wally, was 12. Billingsley's character, the perfect stay-at-home mom, was always there to gently but firmly nurture both through the ups and downs of childhood. The show moved to ABC for its remaining seasons. Barbara's TV husband Hugh Beaumont, who played Ward Cleaver, died in 1982.
After Leave it to Beaver left the air in 1963 on ABC, Billingsley largely disappeared from public view for several years. She resurfaced in 1980 in a hilarious cameo in the big screen movie Airplane! playing a demure elderly passenger not unlike June Cleaver. She returned as June Cleaver in a 1983 TV movie, Still the Beaver, that costarred Mathers and Dow and portrayed a much darker side of Beaver's life. In his mid-30s, Beaver was unemployed, unable to communicate with his own sons and going through a divorce. Wally, a successful lawyer, was handling the divorce, and June was at a loss to help her son through the transition. "Ward, what would you do?" she asked at the site of her husband's grave.
The movie revived interest in the Cleaver family, and the Disney Channel launched The New Leave It to Beaver as a series in 1985. That series took a more hopeful view of the Cleavers than the TV movie, with Beaver winning custody of his two sons and all three moving in with June. Years later in 1997, Universal made a Leave it to Beaver theatrical film with a new generation of actors. Billingsley returned for a cameo, however, as Aunt Martha.
She has guest starred on many series over the years as well. She has appeared on The Abbott & Costello Show, The Danny Thomas Show, Mork & Mindy, Silver Spoons, Murphy Brown, The Love Boat, Empty Nest, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Hi Honey I'm Home, Amazing Stories, Baby Boom and had a memorable comic turn opposite fellow TV moms June Lockhart of Lassie and Isabel Sanford of The Jeffersons on Roseanne in 1995. Her last role was on an episode of My Name is Earl in 2007.
Besides Leave it to Beaver and The New Leave it to Beaver, she was a regular on a few other series as well. Many remember her as the voice of the nanny on the '80s animated series The Muppet Babies, as we never saw the face of the nanny (or her name). Before she was June Cleaver, she had two short-lived sitcoms. The CBS sitcom in 1955 titled Professional Father and the 1956-57 CBS sitcom The Brothers.
Barbara will be DEEPLY missed. She was a TV icon for her role of June Cleaver. We will let you know of any on-air tributes to her. Hopefully TV Land or RTN air a Leave it to Beaver marathon. It would be nice if someone aired Still the Beaver/The New Leave it to Beaver as well, as that hasn't been seen anywhere in YEARS. And for those fans of her as the nanny on Muppet Babies, maybe The Hub or some network will air that? We will definitely let you know...so stay with us. Barbara lived a long life and was 94.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March)

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series Bewitched - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek) Maude - The Complete Series WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete First Season (Shout! Factory) The Donna Reed Show - Season 2 (MPI Home Video)

03/03 - CHiPs - The Complete Third Season
03/10 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series
03/10 - Hey Dude - The Complete Series (Walmart Exclusive)
03/10 - Petticoat Junction - Family Favorite Episodes
03/17 - Bewitched - Season 5 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Bewitched - Season 6 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Bewitched - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Maude - The Complete Series (Shout! Factory)
03/17 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete First Season (Shout! Factory)
03/17 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Second Season (Shout! Factory)
03/24 - The Donna Reed Show - Season 2 (MPI Home Video)
03/31 - Silicon Valley - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
03/31 - Veep - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, March 31

Fresh Off the Boat - "Blind Spot" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jessica's college boyfriend, Oscar Chow (guest star Rex Lee), comes to visit. She’s a bit miffed that Louis isn’t a little more jealous….but she’s got a blind spot and is completely oblivious to the fact that Oscar is gay. Meanwhile, Eddie goes to great lengths to get out of the school science fair.

New Girl - "The Right Thing" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jess crashes a funeral, hoping to delete a “sext” she recently sent to the deceased. Then, Schmidt’s mom, Louise (Nora Dunn), arrives in town for a visit to demand he write thank-you notes for his bar mitzvah gifts, and Winston is desperate to be off-duty friends with his police partner, Aly (guest star Nasim Pedrad).

Weird Loners - "Weird Pilot" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Find out what happens when a high-strung romantic, a serial womanizer, a free-spirited heartbreaker and a sheltered man-child are unexpectedly thrust into a Queens, NY, townhouse.

Undataeable - "An Imaginary Torch Walks Into a Bar" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
ustin's (Brent Morin) world is rocked when Nicki (guest star Briga Heelan) returns to Detroit and announces that she's engaged. To prove that he is cool with her moving on, Justin offers up the bar for her engagement party and Danny (Chris D'Elia) helps him make an important realization. Meanwhile, Burski (Rick Glassman) his miguided pursuit of Leslie (Bianca Kajlich), but Candace (Bridgit Mendler) helps the gang see his romantic side.

One Big Happy - "Crushing It" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
On a group trip to the gym, Lizzy (Elisha Cuthbert) spies her secret crush, Kate (guest star Erinn Hayes) and with the help of Luke (Nick Zano ), and Prudence(Kelly Brook), she initiates a conversation that leads to some plans for group bowling. Later, Luke and Prudence help get Lizzy an appointment with the best OB-GYN in the city and Lizzy is ecstatic - until they arrive to a big surprise. Meanwhile, Prudence realizes that Lizzy's pregnancy is making her feel left out and Leisha (Rebecca Corry) helps her explain her feelings to Luke.

Cougar Town - "Mary Jane's Last Dance" TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Grayson is determined to prevent Jules from running her birthday, but it will it be possible when everyone has major changes in their lives?

Sirens - "Six Feet Over/Under" (USA Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
When Johnny's father goes into a coma, his mother places bets on the time of his death; the guys suffer an ear worm.

Younger - "Pilot" / "Liza Sows Her Oates" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
"Pilot" - 40-year-old Liza (Sutton Foster) passes herself off as 26 to land a job in the field of her dreams. Now she just has to make sure no one discovers her secret. Also stars Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar, Nico Tortorella and Miriam Shor.
"Liza Sows Her Oates" - As she settles into her new 26 year-old life, Liza is tasked with marketing an older writer to a younger audience. Although she has a perfect date with Josh, she tries to convince herself to aim for someone more age-appropriate.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 30) (All times ET unless noted)

Tuesday, March 31

  • Josh Gad (The Comedians/1600 Penn/Back to You) - Catch Josh on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about The Comedians on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. He can be heard on The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick on Sirius OutQ channel 106 sometime between 7-11am.
  • Thomas Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) and Matthew Perry (The Odd Couple/Go On/Mr. Sunshine/Friends) - Thomas and Matthew are guests on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) - Aubrey appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Rick Glassman, Bianca Kajlich and Ron Funches (Undateable) - Rick, Bianca and Ron are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Chris D'Elia (Undateable/Whitney) - Chris visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on the AOL Build Show.
  • Mario Cantone (Sex and the City) - Mario joins Meredith to chat about the hottest celebrity beauty treatments and if they could be right for you on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Hilary Duff (Younger/Lizzie McGuire) - Hilary joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristn discusses On the 20th Century on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Elisha Cuthbert (One Big Happy/Happy Endings) and Nick Zano (One Big Happy/What I Like About You) - Elisha and Nick talk about One Big Happy on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. Nick can be heard on Wake Up with Taylor on Sirius Stars channel 109 sometime between 6-9am. He will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) - Peter talks about American Odyssey on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Debi Mazar (Younger/Entourage/Working) - Debi can be heard on The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick on Sirius OutQ channel 106 sometime between 7-11am.
  • Sutton Foster and Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Sutton and Nico talk about TV Land's Younger on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Mo'Nique (The Parkers) - Mo'Nique is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Raven-SymonĂ© (That's So Raven/Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/The Cosby Show) - Raven-SymonĂ© guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Caroline Rhea (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) - Caroline guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Kal Penn (We Are Men/How I Met Your Mother) - Kal appears on VH1's Big Morning Buzz Live at 9am.