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.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, March 21

The Goldbergs - "The Scrunchie Rule" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Beverly gets a glimpse into a soon-to-be empty nest, she replaces her kids with the Mellor brothers, nursing Coach Mellor back to health after falling off the rope climb. Meanwhile, Erica and her college roommate get on each other’s nerves in their dorm room, especially when Valley Erica puts a scrunchie on the door and kicks Erica out.

Speechless - "N-O-- NOMINEE" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
JJ travels to a film festival where he’s been nominated for an award but is upset when he learns the real reason he’s being honored. Jimmy stays home and struggles to protect Dylan from the truth about an impending eviction. And Ray takes an unlikely and painful route to basketball stardom in hopes of winning back Taylor.

Modern Family - "Wine Weekend" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The family goes on a wine tasting trip and stays in Haley’s new boss’ country house where the only rule is: Don’t touch the tiara! Meanwhile, Gloria and Mitch are invited to a party at Oprah’s house but can’t bring anyone else.

American Housewife - "It's Hard to Say Goodbye" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Katie and Greg struggle to help the kids accept loss as a family friend suddenly passes away and as their pet pig, Hans Gruber, must be returned to his natural habitat.

Schitt's Creek - "The Gesture" (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
David looks for a way to reconcile with Patrick after spending time away from him; Moira pitches the idea of a singles week event.

grown-ish - "Crew Love" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The crew prepares for Freshman Formal; Jazz revels in a new relationship.

Alone Together - "Property Management" (Freeform, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Benji and Esther get swept up in the allure of retirement life.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 19)

Wednesday, March 21

  • Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia/Luis) - Watch Charlie on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Monty/Out of Practice/Arrested Development) - Henry appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World) - Sabrina is a musical guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Keri Russell (Running Wilde) - Keri visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Drew appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kim Matula (LA to Vegas) - Kim stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Krysten Ritter (Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - Krysten appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Jay Pharoah (White Famous) - Jay drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings. He will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Mila Kunis (That '70s Show/Family Guy) - Mila appears The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jenna Fischer (Splitting Up Together/The Office) and Oliver Hudson (Splitting Up Together/Rules of Engagement) - Jenna and Oliver are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jussie Smollett (On Our Own) - Jussie visits The Wendy Williams Show and Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Jason Jones and Natalie Zea (The Detour) - Jason and Natalie are guests on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Eric Christian Olsen (The Loop) - Eric appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Louie Anderson (Baskets/The Louie Show/Life with Louie) - Louie opens up about his alcoholic father's rough childhood – and why he doesn't hold anything against him today on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Jason George (Eve) - Jason talks about Station 19 on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and the BUILD Series at 1pm.
  • Kyle MacLachlan (Sex and the City) - Kyle talks about Portlandia on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie) - Dove talks about Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the BUILD Series at 12pm.
  • Liv Hewson (Santa Clarita Diet) - Liv talks about Santa Clarita Diet on the BUILD Series at 4pm.