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.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, January 17

The Goldbergs - "The Hooters" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Adam tries to be funny in class but ends up distracting his woodshop teacher, who nearly injures himself when his tie is cut off so Murray grounds him. Meanwhile, Geoff and Beverly try to become more cultured so Erica will remain close when she decides she wants to attend a Phillip Glass concert but, in the end, they learn something surprising about Erica’s taste in music. 80s band Hooters makes a special appearance.

Speechless - "D-I-- DIMEO A-C-- ACADEMY" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After a dust-up with Lafayette High, Maya runs to JJ’s rescue and launches her own school out of the DiMeo home. Her program becomes a true DiMeo affair when Ray and Dylan enroll and Jimmy joins the faculty. Meanwhile, Kenneth sets out to prove to his ex-wife that he’s living a successful life.

Modern Family - "In Your Head" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Luke goes missing after a night out in a sketchy neighborhood, Manny, Phil and Gloria team up to track him down. Meanwhile, Haley is desperate to land an interview with the creator of a popular lifestyle website and interrupts Alex during one of her college classes. Alex’s professor, Arvin Fennerman (Chris Geere), then proceeds to try and give Haley a piece of his mind.

American Housewife - "The Anniversary" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Katie and Greg dislike Taylor’s new boyfriend, so they attempt to use reverse psychology to drive a wedge between them, which later backfires. After Spencer’s over-the-top vision for Oliver’s first date with a girl from his ballet class bombs, Greg helps Oliver make up for it with a romantic gesture.

grown-ish - "Starboy" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Zoey makes a deal to tutor a star basketball player, hoping to get a letter of recommendation.

Alone Together - "Road Trip" (Freeform, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Esther's ulterior motive threatens to derail Benji's fun-filled birthday celebration.

K.C. Undercover - "The Gammy Files" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A high-school math whiz trains to be an undercover spy.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 15)

Wednesday, January 17

  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Watch Ricky on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Nicole Sullivan (Disjointed/$#*! My Dad Says/Rita Rocks/The King of Queens) - Nicole appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ed Helms (The Office) - Ed is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Lena Waithe (Master of None) - Lene visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Molly Shannon (Divorce/Kath & Kim/Cracking Up) - Molly stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • J. K. Simmons (Growing Up Fisher/Family Tools) - J. K. drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce/Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Esther Povitsky (Alone Together) - Esther is a guest on Good Mythical Morning with Rhett & Link on YouTube.
  • Burt Reynolds (Evening Shade) - Burt will be on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Vanessa Lachey (Truth Be Told/Dads) - Vanessa and Nick Lachey are guests on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


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

The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season Living Single - The Complete Third Season Alice - The Complete Sixth Season One Day at a Time - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Second Season

11/07 - American Dad! - Volume 12
11/07 - Family Guy - Season Fifteen
11/07 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season
11/14 - D.C. Follies - The Complete Series
11/21 - Living Single - The Complete Third Season
11/24 - Grandfathered - Season 1
12/05 - Alice - The Complete Sixth Season
12/05 - One Day at a Time - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Simpsons - The Eighteenth Season
12/05 - South Park - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
12/12 - Fuller House - The Complete Second Season
12/19 - South Park - The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11
01/09 - Girlfriends - The Complete Series
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest