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 (October/November/December)

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

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


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, November 20

The Big Bang Theory - "The Champagne Reflection" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon says a tearful goodbye to “Fun with Flags.” Also, Leonard, Howard and Raj look for something significant in a dead professor’s research, and Bernadette is shocked to learn her co-workers’ true feelings from Penny.

Mom - "Forged Resumes and the Recommended Dosage" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
While Christy tries to get to the bottom of Violet's erratic behavior, Bonnie attempts to get a job. Kevin Pollak returns as Alvin.

Two and a Half Men - "Thirty-Eight, Sixty-Two, Thirty-Eight" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Walden and Alan meet a birth mother who’s considering them to adopt her baby. Maggie Lawson guest stars as a social worker helping Walden and Alan adopt a child.

The McCarthys - "Supporting Jackie" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Jackie gets a list from her doctor of the things she can’t do now that she’s pregnant, her family tries to show support and avoid doing them too.

Bad Judge - "The Cat's Out of the Bag" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Rebecca’s (Kate Walsh) rocker ex-husband Keith (guest star Jim Jefferies) re-appears in her life to let her know of the death of an old friend. With Gary’s (Ryan Hansen) help, Rebecca realizes she still carries anger toward her ex and is able to successfully let the past go. Tedward (Tone Bell) sees the courtroom as the perfect way to meet recently single women, but realizes he has gone too far when a convict’s girlfriend thinks he’s “Mr. Right.”

A to Z - "H Is for Hostile Takeover" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Andrew (Ben Feldman) begins to realize his choices are heavily influenced by his friends, specifically Stu (Henry Zebrowski) and Zelda (Cristin Milioti). With Zelda’s encouragement, Andrew confronts Big Bird (Christina Kirk) about his stand on Wallflower’s new business strategy, but his plan backfires when Big Bird promotes a young assistant Jordan (guest star Alex Wyse) in his position. Meanwhile, in an effort to have something all his own, Andrew tries to find a hobby he doesn’t share with his friends.

Instant Mom
- "Drill Team" (Nick at Nite, 8:00PM ET/PT)
In order to help Aaron with his fear of the dentist, Stephanie agrees to get checked out as well, despite being afraid herself. When she discovers their new dentist is someone from her past, she becomes even more scared.

See Dad Run - "See Dad Fire Original Katie...Again" (Nick at Nite, 8:30PM ET/PT)
David's former co-star who he fired from the show becomes Joe's slightly unhinged Spanish tutor. When Joe's grades suffer, David gets her a job on Amy's soap opera, where things go from bad to worse. Guest Star: Daniella Monet.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 17) (All times ET unless noted)

Thursday, November 20

  • Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies) - Catch Stephen on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He talks about Hello Ladies 2 on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Watch Mayim on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Lisa Kudrow (The Comeback/Friends) - Lisa chats on Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Allison Williams (Girls) - Allison visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Allison Janney (Mom) - Allison drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move) - Jason is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin chats and performs on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She is a guest on HuffPost Live at 3:10pm.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney weighs in on the latest Hot Topics and talks about her upcoming shows at The Venetian in Las Vegas on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Emeril Lagasse (Emeril) - Emeril co-hosts Rachael Ray for their Thanksgiving two-day event, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Urie (Partners) - Michael will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna discusses Pitch Perfect 2 on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Chelsea is a guest on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York between 7-10am.
  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.