Friday, December 31, 2010
New Year's Eve 2010 and New Year's Day 2011 TV Marathons; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 3, 2011)
Some of the major TV stunts we mentioned already were ABC Family's two day America's Funniest Home Videos marathon from 11am-11pm today and 7am-1am tomorrow to start the year. Laughs is certainly the way to go! New multicast network Antenna TV launches later tonight with The Three Stooges airing through tomorrow and then Benny Hill. Meanwhile, the Me-TV Network showcases a "Day of Firsts" with first episodes of their series on New Year's Day. Local station in Chicago has a Three Stooges marathon today and an Andy Griffith Show marathon tomorrow to ring in the new year. TV Land has a Hot in Cleveland marathon from 8pm-11pm on New Year's Day followed by a special at 11pm. TV One will ring in the new year with Martin on New Year's Day Saturday for 24-hours starting at 6am. We mentioned that WPIX in New York will of course have their annual The Honeymooners marathon starting at 12 midnight tonight. CMT has a nice marathon weekend in store with The Dukes of Hazzard today, Dallas on New Year's Day and Green Acres on Sunday--all starting at 2pm ET! Yeehaw! BET says hello to 2011 with a New Year's Day marathon of The Game starting at 11am on Saturday and continues on Sunday (Jan. 2). Sister network Centric will have an In Living Color marathon today beginning at 6am and an A-Team marathon tomorrow starting at 11am on New Year's Day. IFC launches The Larry Sanders Show with a marathon tomorrow on New Year's Day starting at 6am. And ION gives us a marathon of Without a Trace starting at 3pm. All of these were mentioned on our regular news posts.
Some of the stuff we have not mentioned include another marathon of The Three Stooges, this time on AMC on New Year's Day starting at 9am. GMC has an All-Star marathon of 227 on New Year's Day starting at 9am with guest stars galore. A&E spends New Year's Eve with Criminal Minds for the last day of the year starting at 8am. USA Network has a House marathon starting 6am today and a NCIS marathon on New Year's Day, while Sleuth spends the last day of the year today with a Monk marathon starting at 6am. Syfy has its annual Twilight Zone marathon today starting at 8am and continues on New Year's Day as well! Reality wise, Chiller has a Fear Factor marathon on New Year's Day beginning at 6am. Universal HD will air a marathon of the short-lived drama Life is Wild starring Leah Pipes starting at 6am today. And it may be Friday today, but spend New Year's Eve with a marathon of Saturday Night Live from 7am-2am on VH-1! BBC America says hello to 2011 with a Doctor Who marathon on Saturday starting at 6am. TNT has a Law & Order marathon to start off 2011, while SOAPnet has an One Tree Hill marathon to kick-off the new year tomorrow. Animation wise, Boomerang has a Tom & Jerry marathon on New Year's Day starting at 6am. Good fun!
Other notable TV marathons include ABC's V block tomorrow night from 8pm-11pm and Discovery Channel will air The Deadliest Catch marathon today from 9am-11pm. Movie wise, AMC has the Back to the Future trilogy movie marathon starting at 10:30am this morning! Chiller has a Zombie movie marathon all-day today, while Encore has a Jaws movie franchise marathon today going on now through end of the day tomorrow. Hallmark Channel continues to air Christmas movies this weekend. Lifetime has a best of 2010 movie marathon starting at 11am with Sundays at Tiffany's. TCM has New Year's Eve with the Marx Brothers starting at 8pm. On Comedy Central, it's National Hangover Day tomorrow starting at 10:30am with funny movies.
Check out a full New Year's marathon list from our friends at TVTango.com.
It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars (but we won't cover movie stars like Tom Hanks or John Travolta, since they won't be talking about their past sitcoms likely), so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
For the week of Jan. 3-7, 2010, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!
Monday, January 3, 2011
- Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Everybody Loves Raymond/Back to You) - Watch Patty on the return of all-new episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:06am on ABC.
- Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Catch Ron on an all-new Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC at 11:35pm.
- Lisa Kudrow (Friends/The Comeback) - Catch Lisa on a new Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS at 12:37am.
- Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) - Watch Ray on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
- Zachary Levi (Less than Perfect) - Watch a repeat of Zachary on Conan on TBS at 11pm.
- Matt LeBlanc (Episodes/Friends/Joey/Top of the Heap/Vinnie & Bobby) - Catch Matt on an all-new Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:06am on ABC.
- Bob Saget (Full House/Raising Dad/Surviving Suburbia/Weeds) - Watch a repeat of Bob on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Cloris Leachman (Raising Hope/Phyllis/Mary Tyler Moore Show/Facts of Life) - Cloris will be on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show so check your listings or watch on BET at 12am.
- Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Out of Practice/Arrested Development/Monty) - Watch Henry on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS at 12:37am.
- Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family) - Watch Rico on an all-new The Ellen DeGeneres Show...check listings.
- Roseanne Barr (Roseanne) - Watch Roseanne on LIVE! with Regis & Kelly so check listings.
- Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Watch Jim on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC at 11:35pm.
- Mila Kunis (That '70s Show/Family Guy) -Watch Mila on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS at 12:37am.
- Michael J. Fox (Family Ties/Spin City) - Watch a repeat of Michael on ABC's The View at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Matt LeBlanc (Episodes/Friends/Joey/Top of the Heap/Vinnie & Bobby) - Watch Matt on LIVE! with Regis & Kelly so check your listings.
- Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Doogie Howser MD) - Watch Neil co-host with Kelly Ripa on LIVE! with Regis & Kelly this morning, so check listings.
- Tina Fey (30 Rock/SNL) - Watch a repeat of Tina on ABC's The View at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Barbara Billingsley (IMDB / Wikipedia), who of course played June Cleaver in the 1950s-1960s sitcom Leave it to Beaver, died October 16, 2010 after a long illness at her home in Santa Monica, California. 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. Ms. Billingsley was 94.
Barry Blitzer (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Veteran television writer Barry Blitzer, who wrote for classic TV shows such as Get Smart and The Flintstones, died on January 27, 2010 in Santa Monica, Calif from complications after abdominal surgery. Blitzer shared a Writers Guild nomination in 1968 for Get Smart, with co-writer and frequent collaborator Raymond Brenner. He wrote for comedies including The Phil Silvers Show, Gomer Pyle, Andy Griffith Show, The Love Boat, Hot L Baltimore, Too Close for Comfort, McHale's Navy, Filthy Rich, Small Wonder, and Good Times.
In addition to The Flinstones, Blitzer also wrote episodes for other Hanna Barbera cartoons like The Jetsons, The Flinstone Kids, The New Yogi Bear Show, and Top Cat, as well as children's programs including Land of the Lost. He was also the last surviving member of the group of writers who shared a 1956 Best Comedy Writing Emmy for The Phil Silvers Show (for the episode, "You'll Never Get Rich").
He was also a story editor for the animated versions of Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley (The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang and Laverne & Shirley in the Army), along with writing episodes for The Partridge Family animated series Partridge Family 2200 AD. Mr. Blitzer was 80.
Tom Bosley (IMDB / Wikipedia) was a warm and comforting presence on American TV sets for decades. Bosley, best known as the often flustered but always fatherly Howard Cunningham on Happy Days, died on October 19, 2010 in Palm Springs, CA. Bosley died of heart failure at a hospital and also had lung cancer.
Bosley earned a place as one of the most memorable dads in TV history as the hardware store owner, father to Richie (Ron Howard) and Joanie Cunningham (Erin Moran) and landlord to Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler) on the long-running sitcom. He played well with his TV wife Marion Ross as well. The sitcom was set in the '50s/60s but aired on ABC from 1974-1984. The series became the #1 show on television by its third season.
Angela Lansbury played Bosley's unfaithful wife in the 1964 Peter Sellers film The World of Henry Orient. Then decades later, from 1984 to 1988, Bosley played a recurring role in Lansbury's long-running TV series, Murder, She Wrote, as folksy Sheriff Amos Tupper. Bosley also played the crime-solving priest in television's The Father Dowling Mysteries, which ran from 1989 to 1991 on ABC.
But it was his fame from Happy Days that lead him to serve as a pitchman for GLAD trash bags along with other products on commercials. Among his many appearances on other TV series include Diagnosis: Unknown, The Law and Mr. Jones, Car 54 Where Are You, Route 66, Ben Casey, The Defenders, The F.B.I., Get Smart, The Virginian, The Mod Squad, Bonanza, Marcus Welby MD, The Bill Cosby Show, Night Gallery, Bewitched, Mission: Impossible, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, The New Temperatures Rising Show, Medical Center, Maude, The Paul Lynde Show, Love American Style, McMillan & Wife, The Love Boat, Streets of San Francisco, Joanie Loves Chachi, Finders of Lost Love, Hotel, Out of this World, Burke's Law, The Drew Carey Show, Boy Meets World, Early Edition, Walker Texas Ranger, ER, Family Law, Touched by an Angel, It's All Relative, Still Standing, One Tree Hill, Family Guy, That '70s Show, and more. He was also a regular on the short lived 1969-70 CBS comedy The Debbie Reynolds Show and the 1972 CBS sitcom The Sandy Duncan Show. He then voiced the character of Harry Boyle on the animated comedy Wait Till Your Father Gets Home from 1972-74 and after that of course came Happy Days. There were a few Happy Days reunion retrospectives as well. Happy Days Reunion Special in 1992 and Happy Days: 30th Anniversary Reunion in 2005, which both aired on ABC. Mr. Bosley was 83.
Stephen J. Cannell (IMDB / Wikipedia) - The bestselling novelist and Emmy-winning TV producer of hits like The A-Team, The Rockford Files and 21 Jump Street, died at his Pasadena home of complications of melanoma on September 30, 2010. Earlier in his career, he wrote for iconic series including Adam-12, Mission: Impossible and It Takes a Thief before founding Stephen J. Cannell Productions in 1979, a company that churned out classic action adventure series The Rockford Files, Baretta, Black Sheep Squadron, The A-Team, Riptide, The Greatest American Hero, Hunter, Hardcastle and McCormick, Stingray, Wiseguy, 21 Jump Street, Silk Stalkings, Renegade, The Commish, Profit and so many more.
Cannell most recently served as Producer and Creative Consultant for the big-screen adaptation of The A-Team and has appeared as himself in episodes of the current ABC television series, Castle, where he joined fellow authors James Patterson and Michael Connelly as one of Castle's (Nathan Fillion) poker buddies. He was also a producer for Castle and appeared on a season two DVD bonus feature. Mr. Cannell was 69.
Dixie Carter (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Television, film and stage actress Dixie Carter died on April 10 in Houston, TX from complications of endometrial cancer. She is probably best known for her role as interior decorator Julia Sugarbaker on the 1986-1993 CBS sitcom Designing Women. The series also starred Delta Burke, Annie Potts, Jean Smart, Meschach Taylor, Julia Duffy, Jan Hooks and Judith Ivey.
Carter made her professional stage debut in a Memphis production of Carousel in 1960. In 1963, she moved to New York City and got a part in a production of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. After taking a break from acting, she had a role on One Life to Live in 1974. From 1974-1976, she appeared on the daytime soap opera The Edge of Night as Assistant District Attorney Olivia Brandeis Henderson. Her first sitcom role was in On Our Own from 1977-1978 on CBS. The series also starred Lynnie Greene, Bess Armstrong and Gretchen Wyler. Later she appeared on the short-lived ABC sitcom Out of the Blue which lasted for 8 episodes. In 1982-1983, she appeared as Carlotta Beck on the CBS sitcom Filthy Rich. One of her co-stars was Delta Burke. The series was created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason who went on to create Designing Women and cast her in that. Her next major role was as Maggie McKinney, the girlfriend and later the wife of Philip Drummond, on Diff'rent Strokes for 28 episodes from 1984-1985. When the show moved to ABC for the final season in 1985-1986, she was replaced by Mary Ann Mobley. In 1986, the long-running Designing Women began and produced 163 episodes over 7 seasons. Her real-life husband, Hal Holbrook, had a recurring role as her boyfriend, Reese Watson, on the show. They were married on May 27, 1984.
She had several other television roles after the series ended. In 1999-2000, she appeared as Peaches in 9 episodes of Ladies Man with Alfred Molina, Sharon Lawrence and Betty White. From 1999-2002, she played Randy King on the legal drama Family Law. Her last major TV role was as Gloria Hodge, the surly mother-in-law to Marcia Cross's Bree and mother of Kyle MacLachlan's Orson on Desperate Housewives. She was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her seven-episode stint in 2007. Some of her other television credits included Cassie & Co., Bret Maverick, Best of the West, Quincy, M.E., The Greatest American Hero, Lou Grant, Crazy Like a Fox, Christy, Diagnosis: Murder, Fired Up and Hope & Faith. Ms. Carter was 70.
Martin Cohan (IMDB / Wikipedia), the co-creator of classic sitcoms Silver Spoons and Who's the Boss?, died May 19, 2010 in Pacific Palisades, CA, of complications from large cell lymphoma.
Mr. Cohan started his career as a stage manager/assistant director at ABC after graduating from Stanford University. He worked under Mike Nicholls on Catch-22. During the 1970's Cohan moved over to sitcoms and wrote for shows such as All in the Family, The Odd Couple, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, The Partridge Family, Flying High, Diff'rent Strokes, Hello Larry, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, for which he won a Writers Guild Award. He also wrote, produced and directed episodes of The Bob Newhart Show.
In the '80s, Mr. Cohan created Tony Danza-Judith Light sitcom Who's the Boss with his partner Blake Hunter in 1984. The show would run for eight seasons on ABC and introduced us to Alyssa Milano. He also composed the theme song for the sitcom. Mr. Cohan was 77.
Gary Coleman (IMDB / Wikipedia) was admitted to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah on May 26, 2010 in critical condition after falling down the stairs at his home in Santaquin and hitting his head, possibly after another seizure, and suffering an epidural hematoma. According to a hospital spokesman, Coleman was "conscious and lucid" the next morning, but his condition subsequently worsened. By mid-afternoon on May 27, Coleman was unconscious and on life support. He died at 12:05 pm MDT May 28, 2010.
Gary was of course best known for his role of Arnold Jackson-Drummond on the hit sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, that ran from 1978-86 on NBC/ABC. He made his mark on this sitcom and became one of the most well-known faces on all of television at the time. Coleman became the most popular fixture of the show, enhanced by his character's catchphrase "What'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" At the height of his fame on Diff'rent Strokes, he earned as much as $100,000 per episode. Before he was on Diff'rent Strokes, Gary guest starred with memorable appearances on The Jeffersons and Good Times. His other guest appearances include Medical Center, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Facts of Life, Silver Spoons, Simon & Simon, Amazing Stories, 227, Married with Children, Martin, Unhappily Ever Ater, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Homeboys in Outer Space, The Jamie Foxx Show, Parent'hood, The Naked Truth, Wayans Bros., Shasta McNasty, The Simpsons, The Hughleys, The Drew Carey Show, The Rerun Show, Son of the Beach, My Wife & Kids, Baby Bob, The Parkers, and more.
Gary also starred on his own short-lived animated series The Gary Coleman Show in 1982. He starred in many TV movies in the early '80s including The Kid from Left Field, Scout's Honor, The Kid with the Broken Halo, Jimmy the Kid, The Kid with the 200 I.Q., and Playing with Fire.
Gary has had many troubles over the years. Besides his health problems, he has had marriage problems (he even appeared on Divorce Court), financial problems, and was in trouble with the law for multiple items including assault and domestic abuse. We won't go much into detail of his problems, but you can read that on RadarOnline. Gary also ran for governor of California in 2003's infamous recall election, coming in 8th place out of 135 candidates. Mr. Coleman was only 42.
Robert Culp (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Actor, screenwriter and director Robert Culp died on March 24, 2010. He was on a walk when he fell and struck his head outside his Los Angeles home. It was later determined that he collapsed and died due to a massive heart attack.
Culp is probably best known for his role as special agent Kelly Robinson on I Spy, the 1965-68 NBC espionage series that co-starred Bill Cosby. The groundbreaking series combined humor and adventure and was the first American television drama to feature an African-American actor (Cosby) in a lead role. In addition to acting, Culp wrote seven of the episodes, one which he directed. He earned an Emmy nomination for the writing of one of the episodes. All three years he was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series, but lost each time to Cosby. "I was the proudest man around," he said in a 1977 interview. In 1987, he once again reunited with Cosby on an episode of The Cosby Show playing Dr. Cliff Huxtable's old friend Scott Kelly. His name was a combination of their I Spy characters' names. In 1994, they re-teamed for the two-hour CBS TV movie, I Spy Returns.
He began his television career with a role on Trackdown, a 1957-1959 western series in which he played Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman. His guest starring television roles included The Dupont Show with June Allyson, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Outer Limits, Target: The Corruptors!, Empire, Bonanza, Columbo and The Name of the Game. From 1981-1983, he co-starred with William Katt as tough FBI agent Bill Maxwell on The Greatest American Hero. Several episodes were also written and directed by him. He would reprise the role in a voice-over on the stop-motion sketch comedy Robot Chicken. In addition to his television work, he also appeared in a number of theatrical films. His best known role was probably in the critically acclaimed Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. Other film roles included The Castaway Cowboy, Golden Girl, Turk 182!, PT 109, The Raiders, Sunday in New York, Hannie Caulder, Hickey & Boggs (with Billl Cosby) and The Pelican Brief as a U.S. President.
His sitcom roles included guest appearances on Who's the Boss?, The Golden Girls, The Nanny, Wings and Cosby. Culp also had a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond as Warren Whelan – Debra Barone's father and Ray's father-in-law. Mr. Culp was 79.
Nancy Dolman (IMDB / Wikipedia) was a Canadian comic actress and singer. She was most notable for her recurring role as Annie Selig Tate on the ABC sitcom Soap. She also appeared in her husband Martin Short's 1985 cable television special Martin Short: Concert for the North Americas. She died of natural causes on August 21, 2010, in Pacific Palisades, California. Ms. Dolman was 58.
Allyn Ferguson (IMDB / Wikipedia) was an American composer, best known for the themes for 1970s television programs Barney Miller and Charlie's Angels, which he co-wrote with Jack Elliott. Together with Eliott, he created scores for episodes of Banacek, Fish, Police Story, Starsky and Hutch, S.W.A.T. and The Rookies. He died of natural causes on June 23, 2010, at his home in Westlake Village, California. Mr. Ferguson was 85.
John Forsythe (IMDB / Wikipedia), the handsome, smooth-voiced actor who made his fortune as the scheming oil tycoon in ABC's primetime soap Dynasty and the voice of Charlie on ABC's Charlie's Angels died in Santa Ynez, CA on April 1, 2010 from complications of pneumonia
Despite his distinguished work in theater and films, Forsythe's greatest fame came from his role as Blake Carrington in the 1981-89 primetime ABC soap opera Dynasty. Forsythe lent dignity to the tale of murder, deceit, adultery and high finance, which often brought Carrington into conflict with his flashy, vengeful former wife, Alexis Colby, played to the hilt by Joan Collins. Dynasty returned in 1991 with a two-hour reunion movie on ABC. In 2006, CBS produced a retrospective special. Forsythe appeared with Dynasty co-stars Linda Evans, Joan Collins, Pamela Sue Martin, Al Corley, Gordon Thomson and Catherine Oxenberg in Dynasty Reunion: Catfights & Caviar.
Forsythe was an important part of another hit series without being seen. From 1976 to 1981 he played the voice of Charlie, the boss who delivered assignments to his beautiful detectives via telephone in Charlie's Angels. Forsythe reprised his role as Charlie for the film version of Charlie's Angels in 2000 and its sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle in 2003, but then retired from acting.
Earlier in his TV career, he had a sitcom titled Bachelor Father. In the sitcom he played a Hollywood lawyer who cared for his teenage niece, which lasted from 1957 to 1962, appearing successively on CBS, NBC and ABC. He also starred on the comedy To Rome with Love for CBS from 1969-71 and The John Forsythe Show for NBC from 1965-66.
In 1992, three years after Dynasty, Forsythe returned to series television starring in Norman Lear's sitcom, The Powers That Be for NBC, co-starring Holland Taylor, Peter MacNicol, Valerie Mahaffey and David Hyde-Pierce. The show was canceled after only one season.
Among his other TV work he played Blake Carrington for a few episodes in the Dynasty spin-off series The Colbys, and also guest starred on series such as The Love Boat, Medical Story, Police Story, and Studio One. Mr. Forsythe was 92.
Mickey Freeman (IMDB / Wikipedia) was an American character actor who appeared as a regular on The Phil Silvers Show (Sgt Bilko) as Pvt. Fielding Zimmerman. Born as Irving Freeman, he was the last surviving male regular cast member from the series. He also appeared on episodes of Naked City and The Lloyd Bridges Show. He died on September 28, 2010. Mr. Freeman was 93.
Carl Gordon (IMDB / Wikipedia) was an American actor who entered the acting profession later in life and was best known for his role in the Fox TV series Roc, in addition to a wide range of roles in film, on stage and television as a character actor. Starring Charles S. Dutton as Roc Emerson, the show included Gordon in the role of the title character's father Andrew, an "irascible, sharp-tongued retired train porter". His other sitcom appearances included Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Malcolm & Eddie and Whoopi. He died on July 20, 2010, at his home in Jetersville, Virginia due to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Mr. Gordon was 78.
Phil Gordon (Gulley) (IMDB / Wikipedia) passed away on June 15, 2010 in Mobile, Alabama. He was an American character actor and dialect coach, most known for his work in television. Gordon's work included roles on The Beverly Hillbillies (as Jasper 'Jazzbo' Depew and other characters), Green Acres and Petticoat Junction. He worked closely on the Dragnet series with Jack Webb. He also hosted a children's variety shows in New Orleans and Mobile in the 60's. Mr. Gordon was 94.
Harold Gould (IMDB / Wikipedia), a veteran character actor who played Martin, Valerie Harper's father on Rhoda and Miles, Betty White's boyfriend on The Golden Girls died September 11, 2010 of prostate cancer. Over five decades, he made scores of appearances on shows such as The Donna Reed, Dennis the Menace, Route 66, Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Twilight Zone, Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mister Ed, Perry Mason, Jack Benny, Hazel, That Girl, Get Smart, The Fugitive, The Flying Nun, I Dream of Jeannie, Here Come the Brides, Hogan's Heroes, Columbo, Mannix, The Partridge Family, New Dick Van Dyke Show, Lotsa Luck, Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five-0, SOAP, The Love Boat, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Rockford Files, Webster, Night Court, Empty Nest, Dallas, Dinosaurs, Lois & Clark, Felicity, The King of Queens, Touched by an Angel, Judging Amy, Cold Case, and most recently Nip/Tuck.
He played the father, Howard Cunningham, in a 1972 segment of Love, American Style, titled "Love and Happy Days," which led to the series Happy Days. But before the series went into production, Gould went abroad to do a play, and Tom Bosley was cast for the series role and the rest is history. Mr. Gould was 86.
William Harris passed away suddenly on October 15, 2010, at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut. He worked in the entertainment industry on numerous television and film productions such as Moonlighting and Mad About You. He was married to Mary Cadorette, best known for playing John Ritter's live-in girlfriend, flight attendant Vicky Bradford on the short-lived 1984 Three's Company spinoff, Three's a Crowd. Mr. Harris was 62.
Kip King (IMDB / Wikipedia) was an American film, television and voice actor. He was the father of American television sketch comedian Chris Kattan. King was probably best known for voicing Tailor Smurf in the 1980s television cartoon series The Smurfs. Long associated with Hanna-Barbera, King provided the voice of Shecky in The Biskitts (1983). He was also in the voice casts of The Little Rascals and Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (both 1982), Tom & Jerry Kids (1990), and Droopy, Master Detective and the Flintstones TV special I Yabba-Dabba Do! (both 1993).
His many sitcom appearances included Bachelor Father, Barney Miller, Bosom Buddies, Diff'rent Strokes, Mister Ed, My Favorite Martian, One Day at a Time, Out of This World, Small Wonder, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Facts of Life and The Munsters Today. He died on July 15, 2010, after a long illness. Mr. King was 72.
Andrew Koenig (IMDB / Wikipedia), an actor best known for his role as Richard "Boner" Stabone in the 1980's television series Growing Pains, was found dead in Vancouver on February 25, 2010. His death was announced by the Vancouver police at a news conference in the downtown park where his body was found. Andrew's father, the actor Walter Koenig, said his son "took his own life."
From 1985 to 1989 Andrew had a recurring role as a friend of Mike Seaver (Kirk Cameron) on the hit ABC sitcom Growing Pains. He also guest starred on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, My Two Dads, 21 Jump Street, My Sister Sam, & Adam-12 . He also worked as a film editor and wrote and directed short films. His father played the part of Pavel Chekov on the original Star Trek.
Growing Pains star Alan Thicke (Dr. Jason Seaver) had this to say about Andrew: "Andrew's light shone brightly on the Growing Pains set. His skill and humor and friendship were important elements in our extended family. May his own family now find comfort in their memories of the good times with this very special young man." Mr. Koenig was only 41.
Steve Landesberg (IMDB / Wikipedia) passed away on December 20, 2010 from colon cancer. He may have been best known for his role as the intellectual and sometimes annoying Detective Sgt. Arthur Dietrich on the long-running 1970s ABC cop comedy Barney Miller (1975-82), but younger audiences knew him too -- for a slew of recent parts such as the doctor on the 2008 hit movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Landesberg appeared in dozens of TV shows as a guest star, his curly haired, bespectacled face easily recognizable. He also played Det. Arthur Dietrich on an episode of the Barney Miller spin-off Fish in 1977. Among the older series he appeared on were The Rockford Files, 9 to 5, Mr. President, Pearl, Harry and the Hendersons, Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, Cosby, Dave's World, Conrad Bloom, Twice in a Lifetime, Law and Order and The Golden Girls. Recent credits included The Cleaner, Everybody Hates Chris, Ghost Whisperer, Just Jordan, That '70s Show and American Dad!
His last regular role was on the Starz short-lived drama Head Case from 2007-09. He also lent his voice to animated fare such as Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law, Capitol Critters and an episode of ABC's Dinosaurs. As mentioned his film work included Forgetting Sarah Marshall and also Wild Hogs and Leader of the Band. Mr. Landesberg was 74.
Janet MacLachlan (IMDB / Wikipedia) was an American character actress who had roles in such television series as The Rockford Files, Alias and The Golden Girls. Her many other sitcom appearances included Mary Tyler Moore, Love Thy Neighbor, Barney Miller, What's Happening!!, Good Times, All in the Family, Archie Bunker's Place, Punky Brewster, Amen and Murphy Brown. She died on October 11, 2010 at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Los Angeles. Ms. MacLachlan was 77.
Allan Manings (IMDB / Wikipedia) was a television producer and comedy writer.
He was best known for his work in co-creating with his wife actress Whitney Blake the Norman Lear-developed show, One Day at a Time, as well as serving as producer (and later executive producer) of the Norman Lear/Bud Yorkin/Tandem show Good Times. Prior to this, he worked as a writer and script supervisor on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In in the 1960s, for which he received an Emmy. Sitcom writing credits included Leave it to Beaver, Petticoat Junction, McHale's Navy Please Don't Eat the Daisies and The Mothers-in-Law. He died on May 12, 2010, in Beverly Hills, California of a heart attack in addition to a case of esophageal cancer for which he was receiving medical treatment. Mr. Manings was 86.
Rue McClanahan (IMDB / Wikipedia) passed away on June 3, 2010 after a massive stroke. 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.
Ms. McClanahan was 76.
Caroline McWilliams (IMDB / Wikipedia), accomplished actress and director best known for her role on the ABC '80s sitcom Benson, passed away peacefully at her home in Los Angeles on February 11, 2010 from multiple myeloma.
Her career included numerous feature television roles, starting with her breakthrough role as Janet Mason on Guiding Light and followed by regular roles on Benson, Nearly Departed, and Beverly Hills 90210. On Benson she played Marcy Hill, the Governor's sectary, during the series' first few seasons (1979-81). She also recurred on Benson's parent show SOAP but as a different character - as Sally - the secretary for Richard Mulligan's character Burt. Her other TV credits include guest stints on Another World, Barney Miller, Kojak, Quincy ME, The Incredible Hulk, Hill Street Blues, Night Court, St. Elsewhere, Cagney & Lacey, The Cavanaughs, Sisters, Home Improvement, Suddenly Susan, Lois & Clark, Murphy Brown, and Judging Amy (her last role). During her time on Benson, she appeared on the primetime version of Family Feud with the cast of Benson going up against the cast of One Day at a Time and she also appeared on The Battle of the Network Stars in 1980 on the ABC Team. Ms. McWilliams was 64.
Leslie Nielsen (IMDB / Wikipedia), who traded in his dramatic persona for inspired bumbling as a hapless doctor in the 1980 movie Airplane! and the accident-prone detective Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun trilogy (1988, 1991, 1994), died on November 28, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in his sleep in a hospital after complications from pneumonia.
While Nielsen was know for movies and TV dramas, he appeared on sitcoms as well. He played Detective Frank Drebin first in the 1982 TV comedy series, Police Squad, which trashed the cliches of Dragnet and other cop shows. Despite good reviews, ABC canceled it after only four episodes to low ratings. The series aired Thursdays at 8pm and was paired with Bosom Buddies. The remaining two episodes were aired in the summer of 1982. Years later, CBS aired reruns of the short-lived comedy in the summer of 1991 when the film The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear came out in theatres. Nielsen was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 1982 for the role. Of course 6 years later the series turned into The Naked Gun film trilogy. Police Squad has been available on DVD since 2006. After Police Squad, he had another sitcom on ABC titled Shaping Up in mid-season 1984 lasting only 5 episodes despite being paired with Three's Company on Tuesdays at 9:30pm.
Earlier in his career he was a regular on dramas. The Swamp Fox on ABC in 1959, The New Breed on ABC in 1961, Peyton Place on ABC in 1964, Bracken's World on NBC in 1969, The Protectors on NBC in 1969, and the mini-series Backstairs at the White House on NBC in 1979.
He has also guest starred on many sitcoms such as The Farmer's Daughter, M*A*S*H, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, 227, Who's the Boss?, The Golden Girls, Evening Shade, Herman's Head, Day by Day, and Flesh 'n' Blood. He was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for Day by Day. He also guest starred on many dramas like Lights Out, Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Route 66, The Fugitive, Daniel Boone, Wagon Train, The Defenders, The Virginian, Ben Casey, The Wild Wild West, Dr. Kildare, Bonanza, It Takes a Thief, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Gunsmoke, The Big Valley, Night Gallery, Medical Center, The Mod Squad, The FBI, Barnaby Jones, The Streets of San Francisco, Hawaii Five-0, Ironside, Kojak, The Rookies, Lucas Tanner, Kung Fu, Cannon, Columbo, SWAT, Vega$, Hotel, Finders of Lost Love, Murder She Wrote, Highway to Heaven, Father Dowling Mysteries, Due South, and many more.
He has appeared in many TV movies as well such as Chance of a Lifetime in 1981 on NBC opposite Betty White, Cave-In! on NBC in 1983, The Wonderful World of Disney: Safety Patrol in 1998 for ABC and The Wonderful World of Disney: Santa Who? in 2000 for ABC. Mr. Nielsen was 84.
Merlin Olsen (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Professional football star, broadcaster and actor Merlin Olsen was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2009 and had battled cancer before passing away at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California on March 11, 2010.
Olsen began his football career at Utah State University where he was a three-year leterman as defensive tackle. He was a three-time Academic All-American and won the Outland Trophy after his senior season. Following his time at Utah State, he went on to play his entire 15-year career (1962-1976) with the Los Angeles Rams. He was named NFL Rookie of the Year in 1962, was First-team All-Pro in 1964 and 1966-70, and was elected to the Pro Bowl 14 times - missing it only his final season. In 1982, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Following his playing career, he teamed with Dick Enberg on NBC's NFL broadcasts throughout the 1980's. They also did the Rose Bowl together from 1980-1988. In 1989, he worked with Charlie Jones. For the 1990-1991 seasons, he moved to CBS and teamed with Dick Stockton.
His acting career began in 1977 when he played Michael Landon's sidekick and farmer Jonathan Garvey on Little House on the Prairie. In 1981, Olsen moved on to star in the series Father Murphy, playing a kind-hearted frontiersman in that show, which lasted until 1983. He also had the lead role in the short-lived Aaron's Way that ran in 1988 on NBC. His sitcom roles included appearances on Petticoat Junction in 1970 and The Brian Keith Show in 1972.
He also starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom Fathers and Sons that ran for 4 episodes in 1986. In addition to his television acting work, he was the commercial spokesman for FTD Florists for many years.
Mr. Olsen was 69.
Michael Pataki (IMDB / Wikipedia) was an American character actor. Pataki had appeared in numerous television productions, from the black and white days of Playhouse 90, The Twilight Zone, and My Favorite Martian, to early color shows like The Flying Nun, Bonanza and The Green Hornet. Pataki was also a regular on The Amazing Spider-Man, and had a re-occurring role on McCloud as well. One of his most famous roles was as "Korax", the loudmouthed Klingon who started the bar fight in "The Trouble with Tribbles" episode of Star Trek.
He also played Governor Karnas on the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Too Short a Season" and George Liquor in the episodes of The Ren and Stimpy Show entitled "Dog Show" and "Man's Best Friend." He was also the voice of "The Cow" in Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures (along with many other secondary characters). Michael Pataki played a guest spot on Happy Days Season 4 as Count Malachi, one half of the Malachi Brothers. He was made famous on Happy Days for his line "Let the Pigeons Loose". His many other sitcom appearances included Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers, All in the Family, Barney Miller, Alice, Phyl & Mikhy, WKRP in Cincinnati, and Laverne & Shirley. He died from cancer on April 15, 2010 in North Hollywood, California. Mr. Pataki was 72.
Ann Prentiss (IMDB / Wikipedia) was an American actress and the younger sister of actress Paula Prentiss. Her best known part was in the TV series Captain Nice, where she played Carter Nash's girlfriend, Sgt. Candy Kane. Her other sitcom guest appearances included Get Smart, Hogan's Heroes, The Courtship of Eddie's Father and Love, American Style. In 1988 she provided the voice of Bag in My Stepmother Is An Alien. Prentiss was convicted in a Santa Monica, California court, in 1997, of making terrorist threats, assault with a firearm, battery and solicitation to commit murder of her brother-in-law Richard Benjamin and her father. She was sentenced to 19 years in jail for the crimes. She passed away on January 12, 2010. Ms. Prentiss was 70.
Aaron Ruben (IMDB / Wikipedia), a comedy writer, producer and director whose five-decade career included producing The Andy Griffith Show for the first five seasons and creating the spin-off series Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., died on January 30, 2010 of complications from pneumonia at his home in Beverly Hills. He devoted much of his later life to being a court-appointed advocate for abused and abandoned children
In the early 1950s, he was a writer on specials starring Danny Thomas, Ed Wynn and Eddie Cantor. He wrote for The Milton Berle Show, Caesar's Hour and The Phil Silvers Show, where he also began directing.
Ruben then moved on and produced The Andy Griffith Show from 1960 to 1965 and also wrote and directed some of the episodes of the popular CBS series. He also did Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. as executive producer. Gomer aired on CBS from 1964 to 1970 and was the No. 2 top-rated program in the Nielsen ratings for the 1965-66 season. He then teamed up with Carl Reiner and co-wrote and co-produced The Comic, a 1969 movie directed by Reiner about the rise and fall of a silent film comedian starring Dick Van Dyke.
In the 1970s, Ruben was the initial producer of Sanford and Son, the hit 1972-77 series starring Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson for which Ruben wrote many early episodes. Among his other credits as a producer, executive producer or write is The Headmaster, C.P.O. Sharkey, Teachers Only, Too Close for Comfort, The Stockard Channing Show, and The New Andy Griffith Show. Mr. Ruben was 95.
Patricia (Pat) Stevens (IMDB / Wikipedia) was an American actress and voice actor. She is perhaps best known for her recurring role as Nurse Baker on M*A*S*H and her role as the second voice of the popular character Velma Dinkley during the same period (1976 to 1979), leaving the show mid-way through Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo. Her other sitcom appearances included The Girl with Something Extra, Karen and The Bob Newhart Show. She was born in Linden, New Jersey and became a teacher in her later years. She died May 26, 2010, after a long battle with breast cancer in Rutland, Massachusetts. Ms. Stevens was 64.
Eleanor Taffner helped bring Three's Company and The Benny Hill Show to the American public through her company DLT Entertainment. Taffner launched TV distributor D.L. Taffner in the early '70s with her husband, Donald. The couple later changed the company's name to Taffner Enterprises as they began focusing on TV and stage production. DLT distributed ABC sitcom Three's Company, and its spinoff Three's a Crowd, and Too Close for Comfort. She passed away from natural causes on September 15, 2010 in New York. Ms. Taffner was 79.
Bernie West (IMDB / Wikipedia) was an Emmy-winning screenwriter and producer who worked on the classic sitcoms All in the Family, The Jeffersons and Three's Company. He was part of the famous trio of producers known as "NRW" (Nicholl-Ross-West). Mr. West won his Emmy in 1973 for writing, with Mickey Ross, the "Bunkers and the Swingers" episode on All in the Family. He received two other nominations as a producer for his work on All in the Family and Three's Company. In 1971, he and Ross submitted a script for All in the Family to Norman Lear and began what Bernie referred to as his first steady job. They worked on the CBS sitcom from 1971-74, where they were writers, script consultants, story editors and eventually, with Don Nicholl, producers. West and Ross created the character of Maude, played by Bea Arthur, on a 1972 episode of All in the Family that spun into another long-running CBS series. And he and his partners worked on the 1974 pilot script of NBC's Chico and the Man.
Nicholl, Ross and West (NRW) later wrote and produced for The Jeffersons, which ran for 10 years (1975-1985), and then Three's Company for eight seasons (1977-1984). Other series included The Dumplings (1976) and two spin-offs of Three's Company: The Ropers (1979-80) and Three's a Crowd (1984-85). Don Nicholl passed away in 1980, while Mickey Ross passed away last May (2009), so now all three members of NRW are no longer with us.
Before Mr. West was producing, he was acting. Among his early acting credits were appearances on The Garry Moore Show, Dixon of Dock Green, The Arthur Murray Show, The Jack Paar Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Phil Silvers Show, Car 54, Where Are You? and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. He also was on an episode each of All in the Family and What's Happening Now!! years later. He died on July 29, 2010 at his Beverly Hills home of complications from Alzheimer's disease. Mr. West was 92.
Myles Wilder (IMDB / Wikipedia) was a television comedy writer and producer. He wrote for many sitcoms, including Bachelor Father, The Patty Duke Show, McHale's Navy (receiving 2 Emmy nominations), The Lucy Show, The Doris Day Show, Gomer Pyle, My Three Sons, The Brady Bunch, Get Smart and Diff'rent Strokes. In the animation field, he oversaw the writing and production of Inch High Private Eye and Hong Kong Phooey. He died April 20, 2010 of complications from diverticulitis in Temecula, California. Mr. Wilder was 77.
Gloria Winters (IMDB / Wikipedia) was an actress most noted for playing the niece, Penny King, in the 1950s-1960s American television series Sky King. She broke into television playing daughter Babs Riley in the first season of the sitcom The Life of Riley (1949 to 1950), starring Jackie Gleason and Rosemary DeCamp. The show then switched networks and was recast. She died of complications from pneumonia at her home on August 14, 2010. Ms. Winters was 78.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
The Me-TV Network and the local station in Chicago Me-Too (WMEU) will celebrate the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 with some marathons and stunts! The Me-TV Network will air a marathon of first episodes in a stunt called "Day of Firsts" on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011. The first episodes marathons begins at 11am ET with Perry Mason. Other first episodes include The Streets of San Francisco, The Big Valley, Hawaii Five-O, Hogan's Heroes, Happy Days, Family Affair, The Brady Bunch, The Beverly Hillbillies, Gomer Pyle, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cheers, M*A*S*H and Taxi. The 12-hour marathon concludes at 11pm ET. The Me-TV Network is available now nationally, but as of now is only in Chicago, Milwaukee and South Bend. We hope to bring you some affiliate news in 2011, so stay with us, as it isn't easy.
Moving on to local station Me-Too in Chicago, Three Stooges fans in Chicago can ring in the new year on Me-Too with a 12-hour "Stooge-A-Palooza" marathon on Friday, December 31, 2010 beginning at noon CT. The marathon will be hosted by Rich Koz, who will also host a midnight countdown from Chicago's original Stooge headquarters! Each title was selected by Rich, who wanted to air episodes that are fan favorites. Plus, watch throughout the marathon for special segments with Rich, featuring his wit and wisdom about the Stooges! Ring in 2011 with Rich and The Stooges! Meanwhile, turn to Me-Too on New Year's Day for The Andy Griffith-thon, beginning at 11 AM CT on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011 for timeless Mayberry classics! From Aunt Bee's pickles to Barney's single bullet, these are some of the most popular titles in the series. The 12-hour marathon will conclude at 11pm CT. The Andy Griffith Show is regularly scheduled weekdays at 12 & 12:30 PM CT and Stooge-A-Palooza is regularly scheduled Saturday evenings at 7:00 PM, both on Me-Too Chicago. Me-Too Chicago can be seen on WCIU-TV 26.4, Comcast Chicago 247/358, RCN 22, WOW 171 and U-verse 23.
Stay tuned tomorrow for our annual sitcom actor and other notable TV deaths in 2010, as we pay tribute to these stars/producers one more time.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The only other stunt is a George Lopez marathon on Saturday, Jan. 22 from 10pm-5am ET/PT. Since it is the holiday season, we do not have full descriptions on both stunts yet. We will keep you posted on that on our message board (see link in a bit). One other note is that on Sunday, Jan. 30, Nick at Nite will premiere the 1986 movie Pretty in Pink starring Molly Ringwald from 8pm-10pm.
View more details and discuss Nick at Nite January 2011 on our message board!
As we announced nearly two months ago, TV Land will have a New Year's Day primetime marathon of Hot in Cleveland. They officially announced it today. TV Land has the perfect remedy to recover from all of those New Year's Eve festivities – laugh it all away with the hottest ladies on television and watch hilarious episodes of the #1 sitcom on cable, TV Land's Hot in Cleveland. The network will host a special Hot in Cleveland New Year's Day marathon on January 1, 2011 from 8:00PM to 12:00AM ET/PT. From Melanie's close call reunion with her ex-husband to Victoria’s secret Japanese commercial and Elka and Max's first date, viewers will get to re-live the series' funniest moments all over again. Six of the ten episodes from the first season will air. The "Hot" Marathon concludes with a "Behind the Hotness" special, featuring brand new cast interviews plus hilarious bloopers and clips showcasing unforgettable guest star appearances by iconic personalities such as Tim Conway, Joe Jonas, Huey Lewis, Susan Lucci, Carl Reiner and more. Viewers will also get a glimpse of the much-anticipated second season which premieres on January 19, 2011 at 10:00PM ET/PT.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Starting next week, Jan. 3, weekdays from 1pm-4pm has changed from the original plan as well as Sundays from 7am-1pm. Weekdays in the 1:00pm hour will now be Father Knows Best not originally scheduled Burns & Allen. At 2:00pm, Dennis the Menace is now scheduled instead of Hazel. At 2:30pm another Dennis the Menace will air instead of The Farmer's Daughter. At 3:00pm Hazel is on instead of Father Knows Best. And at 3:30pm we get another Hazel instead of Dennis the Menace. To recap the weekday 1pm-4pm changes, Farmer's Daughter and Burns & Allen are no longer scheduled and we get more Father Knows Best, Hazel and Dennis the Menace. The rest of the weekday schedule that was originally planned will remain intact.
As mentioned, Sundays 7am-1pm will also change starting Jan. 9. Another block of The Three Stooges will air from 7am-10am replacing an hour each of Showcase 39, All-Star Theatre, and Circus Boy. From 10am-1pm we get an hour each of Father Knows Best, Dennis the Menace and Hazel as they will now also air on Sundays now! This means The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok and Iron Horse are not premiering. We will let you know when those three, and also the two sitcoms on weekdays, will premiere as soon we get the information! Fans of Father Knows Best, Dennis the Menace and Hazel are certainly happy though, as they are now getting much more airtime! Stay with us as usual for further information!
Keep on discussing Antenna TV on our message board!
Centric will make some schedule changes beginning next week. After having a special Christmas Day marathon, Sister Sister will now join the regular schedule on Jan. 3. Sister Sister has been airing on and off on sister network BET. It also currently airs on the cable network GMC every Saturday morning/afternoon. The sitcom starring Tia & Tamera Mowry, will air weekdays at 12:00pm & 12:30pm. Leading into Sister Sister will be the Centric premiere of the 2003 reality series Starting Over at 11am.
There are other schedule changes as well, such as The Unit joining the schedule airing weekdays in the early hour of 5am, following The A-Team at 4am. Miami Vice remains at 6am, along with another The A-Team at 7am. Among the other changes include another hour of In Living Color being added, weekdays in the 5pm hour and another hour of The A-Team weekdays at 11pm.
To recap, weekdays looks like this: Miami Vice at 6am, The A-Team at 7am, Centric Hits from 8am-10am, Soul Train at 10am, Starting Over at 11am, back-to-back episodes of Sister Sister, The Steve Harvey Show, and The Cosby Show from 12pm-3pm. Then from 3pm-5pm, we still have the Flick Centric movie, followed by back-to-back episodes of In Living Color at 5pm. At 6pm, it is an encore of The Steve Harvey Project, followed by back-to-back episodes of The Jamie Foxx Show and The Cosby Show from 7-9pm leading into an original episode of The Steve Harvey Project at 9pm. The 10pm hour remains In Living Color, with The A-Team now at 11pm, and more The Jamie Foxx Show in the 12am hour. The Cosby Show remains in the 1am hour, but now the Flick Centric movie starts at 2am leading into The A-Team and The Unit from 4-6am.
Weekends will have mostly marathons or stunts with some regular airings such as Sister Sister, The Cosby Show, In Living Color, and The Jamie Foxx Show airing in early evening, primetime and/or late night.
We apologize for the delay today in posting today's blog, as we were buried in the blizzard (or snow-icane, whatever you want to call it). 31.8 inches reported in my area!
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Total Viewers: N/A
Adults 18-49: N/A
Week 14 (Dec. 20-26) Analysis: Week 14 is Christmas week and there were only some originals this week. We don't have final ratings for Thursday this week due to the Christmas holiday. Repeats galore, so we'll skip the first four night averages as it doesn't really matter this week. Last week, week 13, had CBS again take first in HH/viewers but they were second again in 18-49. NBC took home a rare first place 18-49 finish for the second straight week with limited competition and they were second in HH/viewers as well. ABC was third in HH/viewers fourth in in 18-49, while Fox was fourth in HH/viewers and third in 18-49.
Monday it was a very slow night with very few originals, but with mixed results. ABC aired the Skating with the Stars: The Finals episode and did terrible with 3.37 million and an even worse 0.5 18-49 rating, for series lows. Keep in mind though ABC was preempted in many markets such as Chicago and Minneapolis for NFL simulcast. At 9pm ABC aired a two-hour Castle repeat and it built each half-hour doing did 4.08 million and a 0.7 18-49 rating, with many preemptions due to NFL simulcast. CBS was in repeats with its comedies and Hawaii Five-0. At 8pm, a repeat of How I Met Your Mother started it off with 6.35 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, which is good for a repeat. At 8:30, a repeat of Rules of Engagement did 6.08 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, as it gets ready for a move to Thursdays in late February. Two and a Half Men followed with a repeat of its own doing 9.22 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, which is solid for a repeat. At 9:30, Mike & Molly was a repeat and did 7.35 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, good but maybe should have been a little higher. A repeat of Hawaii Five-0 at 10pm did 7.67 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating, which is OK. Fox preempted House and Lie To Me and went with two episodes of new game show Million Dollar Money Drop, as 8pm did 5.31 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating and 9pm did 5.33 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating. Decent showings, as Fox would have been lower for repeats. NBC had a lower Monday than the previous week. Yes, Chuck, The Event were still preempted but the finals of The Sing Off was a bit disappointing as it was going up but the finale dropped to 8.61 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, off from previous week. Then at 10pm, NBC preempted Chase for a special preview episode of upcoming sitcom Perfect Couples and only mustered 3.56 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating. Could that be a bad omen for the series premiere on Jan. 20? I think so, as the episode on this night was brutal. A repeat of The Office followed and did only 2.22 million and a 0.9 18-40 rating. The CW was next with a repeat of 90210 doing 1.03 million and a 0.4 18-49 rating. Gossip Girl followed with a repeat registering just 770,00 viewers and a 0.3 18-49 rating.
Tuesday had CBS and NBC on top with low ratings. Starting with CBS, they had a repeat of NCIS open the night off with 12.25 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, total viewers is amazing for a repeat but the 2.2 18-49 is low compared to that. At 9pm, NCIS: Los Angeles was a repeat and did 11.28 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, which is a good retention. And finally CBS aired a repeat of The Good Wife and did 6.72 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating. Not your normal CBS style repeat. For ABC, the finale of Skating with the Stars aired and did 3.41 million and a 0.8 18-49 rating, which is bad. I don't think you'll see this again next year, unless they get top notched stars, which I doubt during the holidays. At 9pm, a repeat of No Ordinary Family at a special extraordinary time did 3.15 million and a 0.8 18-49 rating, which was off some from previous week. At 10, Detroit 1-8-7 was a repeat too and did 4.6 million and a 0.9 18-49 rating, as this was up some from previous week. Good sign? Fox had a repeat of Glee do 4.07 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, which was down a lot from previous week's repeat. Next Raising Hope and Running Wilde were preempted for the second straight week, as Fox aired night two of Million Dollar Money Drop and did 5.57 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, which was on par with night one and on par with a Glee repeat from previous week. NBC started off well with a holiday episode of Minute to Win It doing 7.04 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, down a bit from previous week. Then from 9-11pm NBC aired a repeat of last year's SNL Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas and did decent with 6.02 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating, enough for them to win the night in 18-49. Slow night! NBC's Parenthood was preempted again. The CW was in repeats with One Tree Hill below a million at 960,000 viewers and a 0.4 18-49 rating, but Life UneXpected was worse at just 730,000 viewers and a 0.2 18-49 rating. Ouch.
Wednesday it was the slowest night yet, with just Fox in new mode. Well actually CBS was new a 8pm and started the night off with the annual special 12th Annual Home for the Holidays at only 3.83 million and a 0.7 18-49 rating, off quite a bit from last season. Veteran drama Criminal Minds was next with a repeat and did 6.89 million and a 1.5 A18-49 rating, seems lower than usual but it was 2 days before Christmas Eve. At 10pm, The Defenders was a repeat and did 5.58 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating, which I thought would have been worse. ABC was in repeats with its Laugh On comedy block and had The Middle open the night with 5.99 million and 1.5 18-49 rating, up some from previous week's repeat. Better With You was next with a repeat of its own doing 4.96 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, great retention and up some from previous week's repeat. ABC seems to be patient with this show and it is paying off, I think, as the episodes are even better now. At 9pm, ABC has Modern Family of course with a repeat doing 5.86 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, which is good but off a tick from previous week. Still solid. Cougar Town was preempted for a repeat of CMA Country Christmas from 9:30-11 only doing 4.15 million and a 1.0 rating. NBC aired a burn off episode of Undercovers at 8pm doing 4.21 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating, for new lows but they beat CBS in the slot. Then NBC aired two repeats of Law & Order: SVU, as 9pm did 5.02 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating, while 10pm repeat did 6.57 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating, but off a bit from previous week at 10. As a reminder, Law & Order: Los Angeles will not return until February on NBC, but on Tuesdays at 10 now. Fox started off with a new episode of Human Target at 5.75 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, down some from previous week. Then at 9pm, night three of Million Dollar Money Drop did 4.79 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, for its lowest showing, but it still built from the lead-in in 18-49, which isn't good news for Human Target. The CW had more repeats, this time with Hellcats, with 8pm doing 1.38 million and a 0.6 18-49 rating, while 9pm did 1.22 million and a 0.5 18-49 rating. Both airings beat all of the Monday and Tuesday series repeats.
Thursday was the night before Christmas Eve and final ratings are not available yet so we will use prelim ratings. ABC opened the night with the second airing of the classic special Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas doing solid for a second run at a prelim 6.19 million and a prelim 1.7 18-49 rating. Then from 8:30-11pm ABC aired the big screen movie of the same name starring Jim Carey and did decently with a prelim 6.56 million and a prelim 2.1 18-49 rating. Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice were preempted. CBS opened with a repeat of The Big Bang Theory doing a prelim 8.37 million and a prelim 1.9 A18-49 rating, which is good for a repeat. Then a repeat of $#*! My Dad Says followed with a prelim 6.94 million and a prelim 1.6 18-49 rating, which is actually decent retention. Next, CSI was a repeat and did a prelim 7.8 million and a prelim 1.4 18-49 rating, off from previous week. A repeat of The Mentalist did a prelim 8.84 million and a prelim 1.5 18-49 rating, also off some from previous week. Fox preempted Bones and Fringe for the week-long finale of Million Dollar Money Drop doing a prelim 4.54 million and a prelim 1.3 18-49 rating at 8pm. 9pm was a bit better at a prelim 5.2 million and a prelim 1.7 18-49 rating. For the only original of the night, it wasn't top of the night either. NBC was in repeats as Community did just a prelim 2.39 million and a prelim 0.7 18-49 rating, then a repeat of 30 Rock did a prelim 2.64 million and a prelim 0.8 18-49 rating, both terrible. At 9pm The Office was also a repeat and did a prelim 2.79 million and a prelim 1.0 18-49 rating, which is below average. Outsourced was next and a repeat as well doing a prelim 2.39 million and a prelim 0.8 18-49 rating. At 10, NBC went with two more repeats of The Office to close the night doing a prelim 2.39 million and a prelim 0.9 18-49 then at 10:30pm it did a prelim 2.53 million and a prelim 1.0 18-49 rating. The CW was next with a repeat of Vampire Diaries doing a prelim 1.1 million and a prelim 0.4 18-49 rating, followed by a repeat of Nikita doing a prelim 1.4 million and a prelim 0.5 18-49 rating, interesting that it built from the lead-in.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available as usual, but Christmas Eve (Friday) was so low rated, with NBC winning in 18-49 thanks to It's a Wonderful Life. Saturday was Christmas Day and ABC easily won the night with the movie Transformers doing very well.
Tonight ABC's regular Sunday of AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters is preempted for the classic The Sound of Music from 7-11pm! It should do decent, as this is the fourth straight night of movies on ABC. NBC will not have the NFL tonight as the Eagles/Vikings game from Philly has been canceled and will now air on NBC on Tuesday night. NBC has not yet announced as of this writing, what will air from 8-11pm tonight. CBS has repeats following 60 Minutes. Fox has the NFL overrun leading into animation repeats from 8-10pm. With no NFL tonight, NBC will not win the night. Fox should win the night with the NFL overrun, with CBS in second likely. ABC and NBC will follow.
As for the week (week 14), since NBC didn't have the NFL tonight, not sure who will win the low-rated week. It is anyone's game this week. And for the coming week (week 15), we have another slow week coming as we approach 2011. More repeats and specials!
Week 14 How the Sitcoms Did
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 13 -- Dec. 13-19)
- The Simpsons (Fox) 3 episodes - A repeat at its normal time of 8pm did 5.02 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating. The latter rating was good. There were also repeats leading into the regular repeat. A 7pm repeat did only 2.66 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating, but that was missing some of the country due to a NFL overrun. America was fully on board by 7:24pm and the show jumped to 4.14 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating. A repeat at 7:30pm only 4.24 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, up some from its previous week airing in this slot.
- The Cleveland Show (Fox) - A repeat did 4.36 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating.
- Family Guy (Fox) - A repeat at 9pm did 4.94 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating, which seems below normal.
- American Dad! (Fox) - preempted.
- Running Wilde (Fox) - preempted.
- How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A repeat did 6.35 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, which is decent for a repeat but lower than a repeat from two weeks ago.
- Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 6.08 million for a repeat and a 1.9 18-49 rating was good retention.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 9.22 million is great as is its 2.4 18-49 rating, but seems lower than normal.
- Mike & Molly (CBS) - 7.35 million for a repeat and a 18-49 rating of 1.9, is good but could have been better.
- Perfect Couples (NBC) - NBC decided to preview the upcoming sitcom with an airing after the finale of The Sing-Off at 10pm, however this backfired big time. The episode, which wasn't even the pilot episode, did only 3.56 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating. Not good at all!
- The Office (NBC) - Following the embarrassing premiere of the new sitcom, a repeat of this sitcom only did 2.22 million and a 0.9 18-49 rating
- Raising Hope (Fox) - preempted.
- Running Wilde (Fox) - preempted.
- The Middle (ABC) - ABC Laugh on Wednesday was in repeats. A repeat did 5.99 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, which was up some from previous week's repeat.
- Better with You (ABC) - A repeat did 4.96 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, 100% retention and also up some from previous week.
- Modern Family (ABC) - A repeat did 5.86 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating at 9pm, off a tenth week-to-week but good for a repeat.
- Cougar Town (ABC) - preempted.
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - No final Thursday ratings are available yet. A repeat at 8pm did a prelim 8.37 million and a prelim 1.9 18-49 rating, which is good for a repeat especially on the night before Christmas Eve.
- S#*! My Dad Says (CBS) - A repeat did a prelim 6.94 million and a prelim 1.6 18-49 rating, also decent for repeat.
- Community (NBC) - A repeat only mustered a prelim 2.39 million and a prelim 0.7 18-49 rating. Kind of expected though.
- 30 Rock (NBC) - A repeat did just a prelim 2.64 million and a prelim 0.8 18-49 rating.
- The Office (NBC) 3 episodes - A repeat of this show at 9pm did a prelim 2.79 million and a prelim 1.0 18-49 rating, not too good. Two more repeats aired in the 10pm hour, with the first one doing a prelim 2.39 million and a prelim 0.9 18-49 rating and the 10:30pm repeat doing a prelim 2.53 million and a prelim 1.0 18-49 rating.
- Outsourced (NBC) - A repeat in its 9:30 slot did a prelim 2.39 million and a prelim 0.8 18-49 rating...down a bit from previous week's repeat.
- Community/30 Rock (NBC) - Two more repeats aired and both did bad. Prelim ratings have 1.48 million and a 0.3 18-49, followed by 1.46 million and a 0.3 18-49 for the latter. Not good even for Christmas.
Airing tonight (Sunday) are Fox's animated comedies from 7-10 with repeats.
Summing it up. Repeats of Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Mike & Molly, Modern Family, Rules of Engagement were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as repeats of Better With You, The Middle) or just plain old terrible (such as Perfect Couples, Community).
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Digital Digest: Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales DVD Review; The Dukes - The Complete Series DVD Review
It's Christmas week so our news is very slow this week. But we do have two items of note, the first from MPI. We mentioned in the past that Here's Lucy - Season Four is forthcoming, but now, thanks to TVShowsOnDVD.com, we have a release date! Look for the fourth season of the series on DVD on March 29, if everything goes as planned.
Next, we go over to Warner Home Video. As we already know, they will be completing the series Dallas on DVD in just a few weeks with their release of Dallas - The Complete Final Season, but what about the Dallas movies? It turns out that Warner will be releasing those as well, at a later date. Look for Dallas - The Movie Collection on April 12. It will include Dallas: The Early Years, Dallas: J.R. Returns, Dallas: The War Of The Ewings, and Dallas Reunion: Return To Southfork.
Amazon.com has some new offerings available to watch on demand, including episodes of Growing Pains and Perfect Strangers! You can now watch season 2 and season 3 of Growing Pains, and a "best of" collection of episodes from Perfect Strangers! When you purchase these, you can view these in streaming form online, or you can download them to your PC. We will do your best to keep you updated on any new series that become available to view on demand.
UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW
Tuesday (December 28) brings very little to DVD (as it is a holiday week), but there are two items of note, including Warner Home Video's A Charlie Brown Valentine, and Showtime's United States of Tara - The Second Season. We'll have a review of A Charlie Brown Valentine sometime in the upcoming weeks.
Since it is a slow news week and because we know you are probably all dying to spend those gift cards that you will be receiving today, why not figure out where to get the best bang for your buck on your favorite series on DVD and Blu-ray? We have one big sale of note this week, but as always, we remind you that there is almost always something good going on at Big Lots! Big Lots still has at many stores nationwide a lot of CBS Home Entertainment titles of classic series, although they are now a little bit more, at $10.
We focus this week on one of the nation's leading big box general merchandise retailers, Target, as their ad for next week features many great deals on some more contemporary television hits. If you are headed for the "bulls eye store" next week, you'll find several TV series at great prices. The most expensive ones in tomorrow's ad (which is good all week) at $19.99 and include the latest seasons of Grey's Anatomy, Lost, and Modern Family, as well as the first season of True Blood. At $14.99, you can get most of the released seasons of hit series such as Castle, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, and True Blood - The Complete Second Season (kind of odd that season 2 is cheaper than season 1!). But the best deals are at $9.99, and include Entourage, Parenthood (cheapest I have ever seen this one), and Weeds! Check out a complete scan of the Target ad at DVD Talk. Of course, if you don't want to deal with the crowds, amazon.com usually price matches all of Target's prices, and in fact, as of now, they are already price matching many of the items.
BLOG FEATURE REVIEW
'Tis the season for the cheer and charm of the Peanuts kids - and this delight special offers five segments full of unforgettable moments. Snoopy works as a bell-ringer to raise money and tries making peace with the ferocious cat next door. Linus strives to strike the right tone in his letter to Santa - and his friendship with an indecisive girl at school. Sally's idea about gift giving and the identity of Santa may be unusual - but her strange notion about how to obtain a Christmas tree surprisingly does the job. Lucy tries awfully hard to be nice...and still coax everyone around her to buy her presents. Charlie Brown and Sally wait up for Santa (a surprisingly short man), who spreads Christmas gift cheer further than they had thought. Make merry! So, without further adieu read our DVD review of Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales.
DVD Review: Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales
Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales (Warner, $14.98) brings us the 2002 ABC produced special on DVD for the first time. We also get a classic bonus special, Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown? that is available on DVD for the first time as well. That is the 24th special and it aired on CBS in 1983.
In Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales, we get five short vignettes that was produced by ABC so they can air it with the half-hour classic A Charlie Brown Christmas. Every year since 2002, ABC airs the classic special in its original unedited form, followed by this 2002 produced product with five holiday vignettes. The vignettes are titled: "Happy Holidays from Snoopy," "Yuletide Greetings from Linus," Season's Greetings from Sally," "Peace on Earth from Lucy" and "Merry Christmas from Charlie Brown." Watch and see what they are about! I hinted at it in the review preview. In Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown?, we have Charlie Brown and his friends facing a possible departure of Linus and Lucy as they must move because their father gets transferred to a job in another town. What will happen?
Let's take a look at the runtimes and number of chapter stops for each special:
1. Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales (17:51, 5 chapters)
2. Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown? (24:15, 4 chapters)
Let's now move on to the packaging. It's the same as all the previous sets like these. We get a very thin keep case, that is movie style. The cover art is a snow blue type color and has a artwork of Snoopy ice skating in the snow. The title of the set is on top. The bottom says, we have a bonus Peanuts TV special and a Snoopy Peanuts logo is present. To the back we go, we get a nice shot of Charlie Brown with Snoopy, Linus and Lucy. The back also has details on the two specials and a list of bonus features (which is the bonus special). When we open the case, there is no artwork inside, so it is just plain black, like usual. The disc is on the right panel with artwork of Snoopy and a snowman. Once again the background color is a snow blue type color.
The menu screen has options of Features, Trailers, and Languages. We get that snow blue background again along with the same artwork as the cover art, with the theme song playing in the background. For Languages, we just have an option for English. For subtitles we have English or French. The Features section have the two specials listed by title, we can also select Play All to play them consecutively. Finally, Trailers has previews of Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown and Peanuts '70s Collection. There are also auto-trailers before the main menu for other Peanuts holiday sets.
The video and audio is tremendous once again, as it should be since this was produced in 2002. It looks HD even if this isn't Blu-ray. All of these specials are all so good ever since they started the Remastered Collection sets. They have never looked better or sounded better ever. I am very impressed yet again; what more can I continue to say about these digitally remastered sets? Warner continues to do a great job on this remastering of all these classic specials. And the main thing is that all of the specials are unedited! These sets are must buys for the video quality alone, as it is a major improvement over the VHS versions or anything you taped from TV in the last two decades.
As for special features, we get nothing here besides the bonus special. That is a disappointment since we usually get at least one featurette on a set.
I once again highly do recommend this set for any Charlie Brown-Peanuts fan and classic animation in general. Continue your collection, because we get two more specials that we never had on DVD before and all are remastered again. This is worth it! Though, I think Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales should have been on the A Charlie Brown Christmas set. The shorts are less than 18 minutes, so it really doesn't need its own DVD, I think. Oh well, at least we get a classic 1983 special for the first time. I'm still waiting for the '80s Peanuts collection, though. I hope they get those out soon. There are about 14 of those so it might need 2 volumes. Warner continues to do a wonderful job with the remastering (well 2002 one probably didn't need it). I just wish we had a behind the scenes extra for this set, like we had on the others. Let's hope they continue to release more Peanuts specials and eventually we get them all remastered in our personal libraries! Enjoy these 5 holiday shorts and the rarely seen Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown...but remember this is not going to be goodbye to Charlie Brown on DVD because I see more to come! Merry Christmas!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
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BLOG FEATURE REVIEW
In this fondly remembered animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Studios, Bo, Luke and Daisy Duke take their high-wheelin' country cruisin' around the world in a race against Boss Hogg for the family farm. No joshin' - the Dukes speed through France, Italy, Austria, Greece, England – you name it, the General Lee made tracks there! En route, Boss Hogg pulls the nastiest tricks ever, like blinding the boys with a fog machine, having them kidnapped and tricking them into a jewel heist. Why, that Hogg's as crooked as a dog's hind leg! But that won't stop the Dukes from fighting a fair fight and teaching that cheat a few tricks along the way. Y'all need to catch this 4-Disc, 20-Episode Complete Animated Series Collection from the time the pedal hits the metal all the way to the finish line! Here is our review of The Dukes - The Complete Series.
DVD Review: The Dukes - The Complete Series
by Greg Brobeck
The Dukes - The Complete Series (Warner Archive, $29.95) includes all 20 episodes of the animated spin-off of The Dukes of Hazzard on four discs. The series spanned two seasons in 1983 (it premiered mid-season in February on CBS, but was canceled by the end of the year, even though a second season of episodes premiered that fall). Animation was done by Hanna-Barbera.
The show features the original cast of the primetime series providing the voices, including Denver Pyle (Uncle Jesse), Catherine Bach (Daisy), James Best (Roscoe P. Coltrane), and Sorrell Booke (Boss Hogg). This however proves to be a major drawback during the first season, as this was the year of Tom Wopat (Luke Duke) and John Schneider's (Bo Duke) contract dispute. The two were replaced by Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer as Coy and Vance Duke, and provide the voices of those same characters during the first season of the animated series. Fans disliked the "replacement Dukes," ratings dropped, and eventually Wopat and Schneider were brought back, both in primetime and Saturday morning. The primetime show's ratings never recovered, and neither did the Saturday morning series, which was canceled after a brief second season.
The plot involves the Duke brothers (either set depending on which season) and Daisy competing in a race around the world to win enough money to keep Boss Hogg from foreclosing on the family farm. Boss Hogg also entered the race to both win the prize money himself, and keeps the Dukes from keeping the farm. Each episode featured the cast in a different exotic locale (Australia, India, Italy, Scotland, etc.) with the Dukes trying to win the race, while Boss Hogg and Roscoe schemed to keep them from doing so. Though, one episode ("A Dickens of a Christmas") broke from the norm, and featured the Dukes taking a break from the race and playing part in a Hazzard County version of A Christmas Carol with Boss Hogg as Scrooge. Uncle Jesse bookended each episode by reading letters from the Dukes.
In the handful of episodes I viewed before writing this review, I was actually surprised at the quality of the episodes. The storylines were probably slightly above average for cartoon series of that time, and were actually somewhat compelling. The show is far from being among the best of Hanna-Barbera's catalog, or even the best of the series they had on at the time, but if you want to spend a half-hour with an entertaining show that will allow your brain cells to relax, this is a good choice. Being from Warner Archive, this is a manufacture-on-demand (MOD) set on DVD-R's. Initially the first several sets sold were autographed by James Best, but those have sold out. The discs may not play in certain DVD players, or DVD drives, but work fine in all of mine.
The following is a list of the episodes which aired on CBS Saturday mornings. Episodes generally run slightly longer than 22 minutes, which was the average running time of a daytime or Saturday morning series of the time. The show has rarely been rerun, so I'm not sure if edited versions even exist:
1. "Put Up Your Dukes" - February 5, 1983 (22:19)
2. "Jungle Jitters" - February 12, 1983 (22:15)
3. "The Dukes of Venice" - February 19, 1983 (22:10)
4. "Morocco Bound" - February 26, 1983 (22:15)
5. "The Secret Satellite" - March 5, 1983 (22:18)
6. "The Dukes of London" - March 12, 1983 (22:19)
7. "The Greece Fleece" - March 19, 1983 (22:16)
8. "The Dukes in India" - March 26, 1983 (22:12)
9. "The Dukes in Uzbekistan" - April 2, 1983 (22:15)
10. "The Dukes in Hong Kong" - April 9, 1983 (22:21)
11. "The Dukes of Scotland" - April 16, 1983 (22:15)
12. "The Dukes Do Paris" - April 23, 1983 (22:13)
13. "The Dukes in Switzerland" - April 30, 1983 (22:16)
14. "Boss O'Hogg and the Little People" - September 17, 1983 (22:17)
15. "Tales of the Vienna Hoods" - September 24, 1983 (22:11)
16. "The Kid From Madrid" - October 1, 1983 (22:17)
17. "A Dickens of a Christmas" - October 8, 1983 (22:12)
18. "The Canadian Caper" - October 15, 1983 (22:18)
19. "The Dukes in Hollywood" - October 22, 1983 (22:31)
20. "A Hogg in a Foggy Bog" - October 29, 1983 (22:15)
Packaging is simple. As with all other multi-disc Warner Archive sets, this one comes in a clear multi-disc Amaray case with two moving pages that the discs are stored on. The outer packaging has a nice stock drawing from the series with the Dukes crossing the finish line in the General Lee with Boss Hogg and Roscoe not far behind. The show's logo is at the top in large orange letters, along with "Hanna-Barbera Classic Collection." Each disc has a drawing of the Dukes brothers and Daisy walking arm in arm, along with the show logo and a list of which episodes are on the disc. I don't know if this is indicative of Warner Archive's typical packaging techniques, but my review copy arrived in a bubble mailer, with the case cracked in several places and the case will not close.
Menus are very simple, as with other Archive releases, the Main Menu features a blue background with the words "Archive Collection" at the top. Your choices are Play All or Episode Selection. The latter choice lets you choose from a list of episodes displayed on your screen. Each is represented by a screen capture of that episode's title card. There are no options for audio or subtitles. Neither subtitles nor closed captions are on the set. Each episode includes one chapter mark, at about the halfway point. This is not very useful, and even if chapter marks at commercial breaks weren't possible, one every five minutes would be an improvement.
Video and audio are in good quality. Despite the fact that these are DVD-R's which have a smaller storage capacity than normal DVD's, colors are vibrant and the overall picture is clear. I have a small nitpick with the mono audio, however. Sound mixing seems to be a bit off--that is, in many episodes, the music and sound effect are louder than the dialogue and sometimes drown it out. I don't know if this is a problem with the original masters or with the DVD mastering. For closing logo enthusiasts, each episode maintains the H-B "swirling star" logo of the period, along with a period Warner Bros. logo.
There are no special features on this set of any kind. While I understand that MOD releases rarely have bonus features to keep costs down, perhaps interviews with the cast or animation crew members would have been a nice touch, perhaps even mentioning the major cast change between seasons. However, that topic was covered a great deal on the corresponding DVD sets of the primetime series, so maybe it wasn't necessary here.
Overall, I can recommend this series for fans of The Dukes of Hazzard and die-hard fans of Hanna-Barbera cartoons, but I really don't think I could recommend this set to casual animation fans, or those buying DVD sets for their kids. The series is a bit dated and a bit corny, but, for me at least, was fun to watch anyway. I can't help but feel that there are other shows in the Hanna-Barbera library that deserved release before this one, but it seems the folks at Warner Archive are trying to cash in on fans of The Dukes of Hazzard. Though I believe a release of the live-action spinoff Enos might have been a better route to go with that.
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This is our last Digital Digest of 2010 (our first year), and it'll be 2011 by the next time we see you... and the ringing in of 2011 means one thing that it has meant for years on the blog! Next week, we'll have our annual Sitcoms on DVD Preview! Since this is the first time we've done this since starting Digital Digest, we'll be incorporating it into Digital Digest this year for the first time. But we'll still have our regular news as well, and perhaps more. Also, in the upcoming weeks, look for reviews of upcoming and recent releases of series such as Mannix, Dragnet, and more. Until next year, keep it digital!