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 (February)

The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series Girls - The Complete Fourth Season Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series Togetherness - The Complete First Season

02/16 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series
02/16 - The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series
02/16 - Girls - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
02/16 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series
02/16 - Togetherness - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, February 13

The Thundermans - "He Got Game Night" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Hank raises the stakes of family game night to a new high, and each member of the family will do whatever it takes to win the grand prize.

Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn - "Three Men and a Mae B." (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
With Mom away for the weekend, Dawn finds herself in the middle of a secret crush quadrangle when each of the boys reveals they have started to look at Mae in a different light, and must run a tricky game of interference.

Bella and the Bulldogs - "The Outlaw Bella Dawson" (Nickelodeon, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bella gets a long-awaited message from Charlie that would take their relationship to the next level, but before she can answer she is forced to spend the day with Zach Barnes, confusing her feelings even further.

100 Things to Do Before High School - "Master a Thing Thing!" (Nickelodeon, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Inspired by the fact that it takes 10,000 hours to master something, the gang decides to master their own things. But when the reality of this lofty goal sinks in, they must learn the valuable lesson of never giving up.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 15)

Monday, February 15

  • David Spade (Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - Watch David on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig drops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jason Sudeikis (The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Jason appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry is a guest on a repeat of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Jim Jefferies (Legit) - Jim appears on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Kevin Nealon (Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin is a guest on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Allison Williams (Girls) - Allison stops by LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Brandy Norwood (Zoe Ever After/The Game/Moesha) - Brandy chats about Zoe Ever After on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Fran Drescher (The Nanny/Happily Divorced) - Fran plays accomplice to co-host Clinton Kelly during a mystery ingredient party on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Fred Savage (The Grinder/Working/The Wonder Years) - Fred chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) - William discusses his new book Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and in the 10am hour.
  • Giacomo Gianniotti (Selfie) - Giacomo is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Alison Brie (Community) - Alison visits ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • The Cast of The Facts of Life - It's a special Facts of Life Reunion with cast members including Charlotte Rae, Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields and Geri Jewell on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT. Lisa Whelchel cooks a Mexican corn bread; DIY blinged roller skates; how to achieve Blair's fabulous hair from The Facts of Life; a prep school inspired fashion show; singer Gloria Loring performs The Facts of Life theme song; how to make a personalized DIY diary.