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 (Sunday, April 20)

Bob's Burgers - "Ambergris" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT)
Gene, Louise, and Tina discover a seaweed-covered object at the beach that turns out to be a large hunk of Ambergris - an extremely valuable, but illegal, by-product of whale poop that is used in high-end perfumes. But Louise tries to cheat Gene and Tina out of the profit she hopes to make by selling the treasure on the black market. Meanwhile, Bob and Linda deal with their psychologically unstable landlord who is building them a new bathroom.

American Dad - "Poltergasm" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Francine's "Poltergasm" starts to haunt the Smith household when she is unsatisfied by Stan in the sack, and Roger must conjure a medium named Zelda Rubinstein to help eliminate the ghost. Meanwhile, Hayley introduces her new boy-toy, Mauricio (guest voice Diego Luna), to the family.

The Simpsons - "Married to the Blob" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Comic Book Guy realizes his comics are nothing if he can't share them with anyone. Then he meets Kumiko, a Japanese woman writing an autobiographical manga, and he seeks out Homer's advice on how to date her, ending happily for everyone.

Family Guy - "Life of Brian" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Stewie and Brian travel back to 17th century Jamestown, via Stewie's time machine, they encounter too many close calls with altering the course of mankind. Stewie decides to destroy his time machine, but immediately regrets his decision when an unthinkable event happens and he is unable to go back in time.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 21) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Monday, April 21

  • Courteney Cox (Cougar Town/Friends) - Watch Courteney The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jimmie "J.J." Walker (Good Times) - Jimmie appears on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Hears Afire) - Billy Bob is a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George stops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher) - Ari visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Marlon Wayans (The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon is a guest on @midnight at midnight on Comedy Central.
  • Bob Saget (How I Met Your Mother/Full House) - Bob is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) - Joseph appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Community) - Tune in to see Gillian on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Paul Scheer (The League) - Paul is a guest on a repeat of The Pete Holmes Show at midnight on TBS.
  • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Brooklyn Decker, Majandra Delfino and Zoe Lister-Jones (Friends with Better Lives) - The women of Friends with Better Lives are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. Zoe will also be on Pop Sugar Now on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.
  • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Andre will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Kirstie Alley (Kirstie/Veronica's Closet/Cheers) - Kirstie throws down a figure-friendly chicken dinner on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Ted Lange (The Love Boat) - Ted is a guest on a repeat of The Better Show, so check your local listings.
  • Brittany Daniel (The Game/That '80s Show) - Brittany shares her story of triumph over non-Hodgkins lymphoma on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Beau Bridges (The Millers) - Beau appears on The Queen Latifah Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Toni Collette (United States of Tara) - Toni will be on HuffPost Live.
  • Thomas Haden Church (Wings) - Thomas is a guest on HuffPost Live.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Hot Properties/The Knights of Prosperity) - Sofia visits ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.
  • James Van Der Beek (Friends with Better Lives/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - James will be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly hosts the Plugged In panel on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Christine Lakin Step by Step) - Christine will be on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am all this week.