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.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, August 1

Dog with a Blog - "The Mutt and the Mogul" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A wealthy businessman wants to buy Stan from the family and use him for his animal rescue campaign; Tyler, Avery and Chloe hire actors to play their parents and turn down the offer.

Girls Meets World - "Girl Meets the Truth" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Cory teaches a lesson on truth; in the aftermath, Riley and Maya feel bad about lying to Farkle about his acting; Maya contemplates keeping a locket she found.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 28) (All times ET unless noted)

Friday, August 1

  • Martin Lawrence (Partners/Martin) - Watch Martin on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Jenny Slate (Married/Parks and Recreation) - Jenny visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • John Stamos (Full House/Jake in Progress) - John appears on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith (A Different World) - Tune in to see Jada on a repeat of The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rachelle Lefevre (Life on a Stick/Big Wolf on Campus) - Rachelle is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda appears on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Wendi McClendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement) - Wendi joins the Chew Crew on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William chats and performs a song on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Pooch Hall (The Game) - Pooch is a guest on SportsNation at 3pm on ESPN2.
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph (Instant Mom/Moesha/It's a Living) - Sheryl will be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • The Wayans Brothers - Damon, Shawn, Marlon and Keenen are guests on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.