Thursday, April 21, 2011

BET 2011 Upfront; Remembering Sol Saks and Jon Cedar

We mentioned details on BET's plans for comedy last Friday, but now BET officially announced plans to renew The Game and Let's Stay Together for next season and the new comedy Reed Between the Lines premiering this fall.
We won't repeat ourselves, but we do have more details and casting for the upcoming new comedy. In Reed Between the Lines, Alex is an English professor. Carla's a psychologist. Theirs is quite the contemporary blended Black family, and the couple's hands are beyond full parenting teenage twins and an outspoken 7-year-old daughter. Watch as the couple navigates modern family life and marriage with warmth, wit and humor. Tracee Ellis Ross (Girlfriends), Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show), Anna Maria Horsford (Amen) and Melissa De Sousa (The Best Man) star in this new BET original scripted comedy series.

Sol Saks, a veteran comedy writer who created the classic ABC sitcom Bewitched, died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia on April 16 in Los Angeles at the age of 100. He began his career as a radio actor as a child. Saks would later write for radio comedies such as Duffy's Tavern and early television sitcoms including My Favorite Husband, Mr. Adams and Eve and I Married Joan. In addition to his writing work for radio and television, he wrote the screenplay for Cary Grant's final film in 1966, the comedy Walk, Don't Run. In 1985, he wrote The Craft of Comedy Writing.
In 1964, he created the long-running and successful Bewitched for ABC. According to harpiesbizarre.com, Saks drew inspiration for the story about a witch who weds a mortal man from two films: I Married a Witch (1942), starring Fredric March and Veronica Lake, and Bell Book and Candle (1958), with James Stewart and Kim Novak. He would write only the pilot episode of the series that was titled, "I, Darrin, Take This Witch, Samantha."
You can view an extensive 2009 interview with Saks at the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television at www.emmytvlegends.org . We thank Mr. Saks for bringing us the classic Screen Gems sitcom Bewitched. Unfortunately, Bewitched is currently off the TV Land schedule. He will be missed.

Veteran character actor Jon Cedar died April 14 at Providence Tarzana Medical Center in Los Angeles after a brief battle with leukemia. He was 80.
His career began as a youngster on the stage. He would travel across the country with his family and appear off-Broadway and in national tours in shows including The Deputy and South Pacific.
Cedar is probably best known for his regular role as the lovable Corporal Langenscheidt on the 1965-71 sitcom Hogan's Heroes. He played one of Sergeant Schult'z guards. Some of his many television guest appearances included Ben Casey, Mission: Impossible, Cannon, Barnaby Jones, Kojak, Starsky and Hutch, The Rockford Files, The Incredible Hulk, The Greatest American Hero, Dynasty, Hardcastle and McCormick, Diff'rent Strokes, Moonlighting, Murder, She Wrote, and Matlock. He wrote, produced and appeared in the 1978 Tony Curtis film The Manitou. Some of his other feature film roles included Foxy Brown, Death Hunt, Capricorn One and Murder in Mind.
Cedar is survived by his actor brother George, actress daughter, Loren Thompson, his producer son, Michael Cedar, and his longtime companion, Elynore Leigh. Mr. Cedar will be missed.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, September 3

The Big Bang Theory - "The Skywalker Incursion" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Leonard and Sheldon are invited to speak at UC Berkeley, they take a detour to try to meet an idol. Also, when Bernadette and Howard battle over the fate of his Dr. Who TARDIS, Raj and Amy offer to settle the dispute with a game of ping pong.

Mom - "Patient Zero and the Chocolate Fountain" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Christy and Bonnie’s contentious relationship makes them unwelcome guests wherever they go.

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll - "Hard Out Here for a Pimp" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Johnny sets Gigi up with a boy her own age. Bam and Rehab come up with a new music genre.

Married - "Mother's Day" (FX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Lina bails on her Mother's Day brunch.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 31) (All times ET unless noted)

Thursday, September 3

  • Jason Sudeikis (The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Catch Jason on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Liz Gillies (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/Victorious) - Liz visits Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie) - Dove is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/A.U.S.A.) and Joshua Malina (Sports Night) - Scott, Joshua and the cast of Scandal are guests on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Nealon (Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Dennis Haysbert (Off the Rack/Just the Ten of Us) - Dennis will be on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Avan Jogia (Victorious) - Avan appears on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jillian Rose Reed (Awkward) - Jillian drops by Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Paul Scheer (The League/Fresh Off the Boat/The Hotwives) and Rob Huebel (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) - Paul and Rob are guests on People Chatter.