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 (July)

Archie Bunker's Place - Season One (Mill Creek) Married with Children - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) Playing House - Season 1 Growing Pains - The Complete Fifth Season WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Third Season

07/07 - Archie Bunker's Place - Season One (Mill Creek)
07/07 - Barney Miller - The Final (Eighth) Season
07/07 - Married with Children - Season Eleven (Mill Creek)
07/07 - Married with Children - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
07/07 - The Michael J. Fox Show - The Complete First Season
07/07 - Playing House - Season 1
07/14 - Growing Pains - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
07/14 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Third Season
07/28 - Mama's Family - Mama's Favorites - Season 7
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, July 27


2 Broke Girls - "And the Cupcake Captives" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sophie’s wedding shower is interrupted by a hostage situation and Max and Caroline’s cupcake business gets unwanted attention when a tenant is arrested while wearing their company’s T-shirt.

Mike & Molly - "Cocktails and Calamine" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Molly is nervous about Mike attending a celebratory party her publisher puts on for her and Peggy.


Odd Mom Out - "The Truth Fairy" (Bravo, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Brooke and her entourage try to find out who has been too truthful with their children about the world; Jill lies to Vanessa about attending a $3,000-a-plate charity hat luncheon; Andy learns Lex's secret that could destroy the Von Webers.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 27) (All times ET unless noted)

Monday, July 27

  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Watch Ellie on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Joanna GarcĂ­a Swisher (Animal Practice/Better with You/Reba) - Joanna visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie) - Dove talks about the Disney movie Desendants on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am, on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael (check your listings), and on the AOL Build Show.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Katey Sagal (Married with Children/8 Simple Rules) - Katey appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Will Forte and Kristen Schaal (The Last Man on Earth) - Will and Kristen are guests on The Boris and Nicole Show on select Fox-owned stations, so check your local listings.
  • David Alan Grier (The Carmichael Show/Life with Bonnie/DAG) and
  • Loretta Devine (The Carmichael Show/The PJs/A Different World) - David and Loretta are guests on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.