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 (October/November/December)

2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series Hot in Cleveland - Season Five Sgt. Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show - The Complete Series
Family Ties - The Complete Series Happy Days - The Sixth Season The Jeffersons - The Complete Series Mister Ed - The Complete Series Mork & Mindy - The Complete Series

10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - TARGET="_blank">Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, October 21

Selfie - "Nugget of Wisdom" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Eliza accepts Henry’s challenge to do something helpful over the weekend and reluctantly offers to babysit Charmonique’s young son on a Saturday night. Little does she know that young Kevin has a lot to teach her about having fun.

Manhattan Love Story - "It's Complicated" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Dana and Peter continue to enjoy New York and each other, but when they realize they still haven’t had sex, both decide tonight’s the night following a sexy and swanky dinner at an upscale oyster restaurant. But when the couple finds their reservation is pushed, Dana and Peter head elsewhere, not knowing that their romantic evening is about to go from intimate dinner to disaster. Meanwhile, Amy and David spend an evening babysitting and make a decision that will impact their future forever.

Marry Me - "Move Me" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jake (Ken Marino) moves into Annie’s (Casey Wilson) apartment and she begins to feel the pinch of having to share her space with someone. She confesses her claustrophobia to her dads Kevin 1 (Tim Meadows) and Kevin 2 (Dan Bucatinsky) but her stress continues to mount. Meanwhile, Gil (John Gemberling) discovers an all-you-can-eat buffet where he can eat for one low price all day – as long as he never leaves the restaurant.

About a Boy - "About a House for Sale" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
In an effort to fix his money problems, Will (David Walton) is advised to sell his house in San Francisco. Faced with his impending absence away from Fiona (Minnie Driver) and Marcus (Benjamin Stockham), Will focuses all of his energies into finding Marcus a new best friend. Meanwhile, Sam (guest star Adrianne Palicki) flies out to help Will pack up the rest of his belongings, only to discover a few surprises when she arrives.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 20) (All times ET unless noted)

Tuesday, October 21

  • Krysten Ritter (Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - Catch Krysten on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Dana Carvey (One of the Boys) - Dana visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Cristin Milioti (A to Z/How I Met Your Mother) - Cristin stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ty Burrell (Modern Family/Back to You/Out of Practice) - Ty is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls) - Kat appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
  • Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) - Sarah drops by ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family) - Julie is a guest on HuffPost Live at 2:30pm.
  • Eric Andre (2 Broke Girls/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - Eric appears on HuffPost Live at 3:00pm.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Hot Properties/The Knights of Prosperity) - Sofia will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Ken Marino (Marry Me/Party Down) - Ken talks about Marry Me on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • B.J. Novak (The Office) - B.J. is a guest on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 2am on BET.
  • Tori Spelling (Mystery Girls) - Tori will be on Big Morning Buzz on VH1 at 9:00am.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil can be heard on Morning Mash-Up on SiriuxXM Hits 1 channel 2 at 8:15am.
  • Jim Gaffigan (My Boys/Welcome to New York - Jim shares some of his favorite food adventures, and dishes on what it's like raising five kids in a New York City apartment on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.