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.

New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

The Goldbergs - The Complete Second Season The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eighth Season black-ish - The Complete First Season Modern Family - The Complete Sixth Season Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete First Season

09/01 - The League - The Complete Season Six
09/01 - New Girl - The Complete Fourth Season
09/08 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Two
09/08 - The Goldbergs - The Complete Second Season
09/08 - Mr. Belvedere - Season Four
09/15 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eighth Season (Blu-ray)
09/15 - Family Guy - Season 13
09/18 - black-ish - The Complete First Season
09/22 - The Cosby Show - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
09/22 - C.P.O. Sharkey - The Complete Season 2
09/22 - Cristela - The Complete First Season
09/22 - Good Times - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
09/22 - King of the Hill - The Complete 12th Season
09/22 - The Last Man on Earth - The Complete First Season
09/22 - Modern Family - The Complete Sixth Season
09/22 - The Nanny - Season Four
09/22 - The Partridge Family - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
09/29 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete First Season
09/29 - Mom - The Complete Second Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, October 6

The Muppets - "Bear Left Then Bear Write" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Fozzie takes things a little too far when Kermit offers him advice and Nick Offerman steps in to help the gang. Meanwhile, Christina Applegate guests on “Up Late,” and brings Miss Piggy a sweet surprise that doesn’t go over well and Pepe, Rizzo and Liam Hemsworth try to help Gonzo out with his online dating situation.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Shaquille O'Neal Motors" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
It’s Louis and Jessica’s wedding anniversary and Louis plans a romantic evening out – to the car dealership. Meanwhile, Evan and his “friends” help Eddie buy The Hot Dogger, a hot dog-shaped water slide.

Grandfathered - "Dad Face" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
While Jimmy struggles to adjust to his newfound family, Gerald surprises him with plans for the family’s first trip to the beach, which excites everyone – except Jimmy. When he decides to bail on the outing in favor of a glamorous pool party nearby, he drags Gerald along, leaving Vanessa and Sara with a chance to get to know one another, for better or for worse.

The Grinder - "A Hero Has Fallen" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After the exciting and victorious Krantz case, Sanderson & Yao gets flooded with cases. Dean, in his usual fashion, wants them to pick the next big case. Stewart disagrees, but he realizes that telling Dean he can’t do something only will make him want to do it more. Soo Stewart decides to encourage Dean and the plan backfires. Meanwhile, Dean inspires Debbie to go for a promotion at work using a “big dog” approach, which puts her job in jeopardy.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 5) (All times ET unless noted)

Tuesday, October 6

  • Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - Watch Eric on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Reiser (Mad About You/The Paul Reiser Show) - Paul drops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Chris Parnell (Suburgatory/30 Rock) - Chris visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Max Greenfield (New Girl/Modern Men) - Max is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens) - Abigail appears on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am, on The Meredith Vieira Show (check your local listings) and on Chatter.
  • Emeril Lagasse (Emeril) - Emeril joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. He can also be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM Hits 1 at 9:50am.
  • Jason Rogel (Kevin from Work) - Jason stops by Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Christina Milian (Grandfathered) - Christina talks about Grandfathered on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Kel Mitchell (Game Shakers/Kenan & Kel) - Kel shares details of his new sitcom on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.