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 (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, December 11

The Simpsons - "The Nightmare After Krustmas" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Krusty tries to impress his daughter as they spend Christmas with the Simpsons. Meanwhile, Reverend Lovejoy seeks converts after church attendance plummets, and Maggie is haunted by a spooky Christmas toy.

Son of Zorn - "The War on Grafelnik" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Torn between Edie’s Christmas and Zorn’s Grafelnik – the Zephyrian holiday of revenge – Alan realizes he can play his parents off each other to get better presents.

Family Guy - "How the Griffin Stole Christmas" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Peter is asked to fill in for the mall Santa, until he gets drunk on the power when he realizes that Santa can get away with anything. Meanwhile, Stewie and Brian crash holiday office parties for the free food, drama and women.

The Last Man on Earth - "If You're Happy and You Know It" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Carol is bummed about Gail’s absence, so Tandy tries to cheer her up with the honeymoon vacation they never had. Meanwhile, Lewis finds new success with his pursuits in aviation and Melissa is contained.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now in Living Color - (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Spread the holiday cheer with “The Dick Van Dyke Show – Now in Living Color!,” a new one-hour special featuring two newly colorized back-to-back classic episodes of the beloved 1960s series, to be broadcast Sunday, Dec. 11 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Series creator and co-star Carl Reiner personally supervised the colorization of the episodes.

The special features the groundbreaking episode “That’s My Boy??” and “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” which ranked #8 on TV Guide’s list of the “100 Greatest TV Episodes of All-Time.” Both episodes were written by Bill Persky & Sam Denoff. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set – at the beginning and end of the hour – with no interruption between the episodes.

In “That’s My Boy??,” as Rob and Laura host a dinner party with a few friends, Rob recalls the hectic days after their son Ritchie was born, when he was sure the hospital had given him and Laura the wrong baby. The episode, originally broadcast on Sept. 25, 1963, was the third season premiere.

In “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” Laura Petrie blurts out a top secret on a national television quiz show, revealing that comedian Alan Brady wears a toupee. The episode, which was the show’s fifth and final season premiere, was originally broadcast on Sept. 15, 1965. “Coast to Coast Big Mouth” won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 1966.

Bizaardvark - "Agh, Humbug" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Bernie gets bummed about not being invited to the Vuuugler-only holiday party, so the gang tries to turn him into an overnight online star so that he can attend, too.

Best Friends Whenever - "Revenge of the Past" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Shelby gets trapped in the 16th century after trying to save Daisy from marriage, so the friends join forces to help rescue her.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 12)

Monday, December 12

  • Jennifer Lawrence (The Bill Engvall Show) - Watch Jennifer Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Bryan is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He also chats about the film Why Him? on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Olivia is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. She joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Matthew Perry (The Odd Couple/Go On/Mr. Sunshine) - Matthew stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Will talks about Collateral Beauty on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Out of Practice/Arrested Development) - Henry will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) - Megan is a guest on the AOL Build Show at 4pm.
  • Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) - Kathy appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.