Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Universal HD Short-Lived Series for June/July 2011 Includes Aliens in America; Remembering Jeff Conaway of Taxi

Universal HD has a weekly block on Friday nights from 9pm-11pm called "Universal HD Rediscovered" and they will be adding some new ones this summer! First up, the drama Clubhouse returns to the block and will replace drama Wolf Lake starting Friday, June 3 at 9pm. Then a week later on Friday, June 17, the short-lived Fox sitcom Life on a Stick from 2005 (13 episodes, 8 unaired) will replace the 2003 series A Minute with Stan Hooper (13 episodes) at 10pm. And then the final change will be in the last-hour starting Friday, July 22 at 10:30pm, as The CW sitcom Aliens in America from 2007-08 (18 episodes) will replace the short-lived In-Laws from 2002-03 (15 episodes). It's great to see Universal HD continue to air short-lived sitcoms every Friday night. I personally am hoping they air something like The Knights of Prosperity, Crumbs and The Class soon. Something older, like from the 90s or earlier would be nice, too, but they seem to focus on the sitcoms of the last decade. To my knowledge, Life on a Stick and Aliens in America are premieres on Universal HD, so watch! Previously airing this year were comedies such as Out of Practice, Andy Richter Controls the Universe and The Bad Girls Guide. So as soon as every episode airs, they move on to another series.
Universal HD airs the '70s classic Charlie's Angels weekdays at 7pm & 2am and also in marathon blocks such as on every other Wednesday from 8am-6pm. They also air the '80s drama T.J. Hooker every weekday at 6pm & 3am and those every other Wednesday marathon blocks from 8am-6pm. Also airing on this network are The Unit, Hack, Nash Bridges and sitcoms Hogan's Heroes and Becker. The latter two still air on Fridays from 8am-12pm. Movies and some airs of Law & Order: SVU, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent round out the schedule. There is nothing new to the line-up besides the additions to the Universal HD Rediscovered block.

Actor Jeff Conaway, best known for his roles in the movie Grease and the TV sitcom Taxi, has died. He was found unconscious on May 11 after suffering from pneumonia with sepsis. Conaway was placed in a medically induced coma at Encino Tarzana Medical Center and never recovered. His family took him off life support on May 26 and he died the following day at the age of 60.

Conaway appeared in the Broadway musical Grease for several years in different roles, including the lead male character, Danny Zuko. In 1978, he played Zuko's (John Travolta) buddy Kenickle in the movie Grease. He made his film debut in the 1971 romantic drama Jennifer on My Mind. Other film credits for him included Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Jawbreaker, Ghost Writer, and Do You Wanna Know a Secret?.

Conaway's television career began in 1975 when he appeared on two episodes of Happy Days as Rocko. In 1978, he was cast as the vain, struggling, but goodhearted actor Bobby Wheeler in Taxi. Conaway left the series after the third season in 1981 due to reported drug abuse. He received two Golden Globe nominations in 1979 and 1980 for his role. Some of his other regular television roles were on the 1983 short-lived fantasy-spoof series Wizards and Warriors, the 1985 drama Berrenger's, a stint on the soap The Bold and the Beautiful in 1989-90, and the sci-fi series Babylon 5 from 1994-1999. His sitcom guest appearances included Mary Tyler Moore, Who's the Boss?, The Love Boat, Hope & Gloria, and George & Leo.

In early 2008, he appeared on the VH1 reality series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew for two seasons. He had battled drug and alcohol addiction for many years. Mr. Conaway is survived by his sisters, Michelle and Cara. He will be deeply missed.

What are your favorite Bobby Wheeler episodes/moments? Discuss them here.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, August 24

The Big Bang Theory - "The Separation Agitation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Howard and Bernadette have a hard time leaving Halley in day care when Bernadette returns to work. Also, Bert (Brian Posehn) introduces the gang to his new girlfriend, Rebecca (April Bowlby).

Kevin Can Wait - "Quiet Diet" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Donna says she’ll send Kevin to the Mets Fantasy Camp if he lowers his cholesterol, Chale secretly coaches Kevin through a juice cleanse.

Great News - "The Red Door" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Carol (Andrea Martin) is excited when Chuck (John Michael Higgins) asks her to wait for the cable guy at his townhouse, until Chuck gives an ominous warning that tests her curiosity. Meanwhile, Portia's (Nicole Richie) phone gets hacked and Katie (Briga Heelan) struggles not to read her private emails.

The Guest Book - "Story Six" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Federal agent Trina books the mountain cabin to protect valuable witness Blake, but Blake has his own ideas on how to escape the people who are after him.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 21)

Thursday, August 24

  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Catch Jim on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Laura Linney (The Big C) - Laura appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Lamorne Morris (New Girl) - Lamorne is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Jane Lynch (Angel from Hell) - Jane stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Timothy Simons (Veep) - Timothy visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Will Arnett (Arrested Development/The Millers/Up All Night/Running Wilde) - Will drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Tig is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin James (Kevin Can Wait/The King of Queens) - Kevin appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Miriam Shorr and Peter Hermann (Younger) - Miriam and Peter are guests on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • John Corbett (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/United States of Tara/Lucky) - John talks about All Saints on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.