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, 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 . 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.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, March 23

Stuck in the Middle - "Stuck in a Mysterious Robbery" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the Bait N' Bite is robbed, the Diaz children use their resources to track down the culprit.

Bizaardvark - "Amelia's Perfectly Imperfect Volleyball Adventure" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After Paige convinces the volleyball coach to put Amelia on the team, the DIY diva's ego lands the volleyball team in a match against the state champions.

The Paynes - "Payneful Repairs" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Curtis and Ella learn some troubling news about Nyla.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 19)

Friday, March 23

  • Jim Jefferies (Legit) - Watch Jim on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Lena Waithe (Master of None) - Lena appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenna Fischer (Splitting Up Together/The Office) and Oliver Hudson (Splitting Up Together/Rules of Engagement) - Jenna and Oliver chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. They will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and the BUILd Series at 2:30pm.
  • Jamie Lee (Crashing) - Jamie appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Boris Kodjoe (The Last Man on Earth/Second Time Around) and Nicole Ari Parker (Second Time Around) - Boris and Nicole are guests on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Alexa & Katie/Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani stops by Access Live, so check your local listings. She shares her recipe for spiked hot chocolate on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Zach Braff (Alex, Inc./Scrubs) - Zach appears on Good Mythical Morning with Rhett & Link on YouTube.
  • Jay Pharoah (White Famous) - Jay creates something delicious with Carla Hall on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Mark Hamill (The Texas Wheelers) - Mark will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He can also be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella talks about Midnight Sun on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.