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

Tuesday, May 22

Roseanne - "Knee Deep" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Roseanne’s knee gets worse so Dan is forced to a make an important work decision; but when a major storm hits Lanford, their fortunes change for the better. Later, Darlene realizes she has to go back to her first passion … writing.

The Middle - "A Heck of a Ride: Part One" / "A Heck of a Ride: Part Two" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After nine hilarious and heartfelt seasons, a Heck leaves the nest as the family takes a road trip to Denver, where Axl will start his new job – and new life away from home.

Splitting Up Together - "Heat Wave" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Lena and Martin choose to share the house for the summer while the children are away at camp despite Lena’s reservations, but both soon realize it might not be the worst idea. Meanwhile, they collectively agree to throw their annual backyard piƱa colada party where they will celebrate their independence from their children. Elsewhere, a friendly face returns back home and Martin can’t help but see it as a sign.

The Last O.G. - "That Backslide" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Left reeling from the error of his ways, Tray goes into a tailspin and turns to Bobby for support.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 21)

Tuesday, May 22

  • Chris Hardwick (Guys Like Us) - Catch Chris on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) - Thomas appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Cristin Milioti (A to Z/How I Met Your Mother) - Cristin is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Last O.G./The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) - Cedric visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia talks about the series finale of The Middle on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings. Mychael Symon cooks with Patricia on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • David Spade (The Mayor/Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - David appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Geena Davis (The Geena Davis Show/Buffal Bill) - Geena is a guest on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Nolan Gould (Modern Family) - Nolan talks about Modern Family on Chatter on PeopleTV at 8pm.
  • Dan Fogler (Man Up!) - Dan talks about his new book Brooklyn Gladiator on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Will Arnett (Arrested Development/The Millers/Up All Night) and Tony Hale (Arrested Development/Veep) - Will and Tony talk about Arrested Development on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) - William is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Love/Community) - Gillian talks about her new film Ibiza on the BUILD Series at 5pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April/May)

Atlanta - The Complete First Season Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season One Day at a Time - Season Two Perfect Strangers  - The Complete Third Season Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Final (Eighth) Season

03/06 - Atlanta - The Complete First Season
03/06 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season
03/13 - The New Adventures of Old Christine - The Complete First Season
03/27 - One Day at a Time - Season Two
04/03 - Ballers - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/03 - 90's Sitcom (Just Shoot Me!/The Larry Sanders Show/Wings) Starter Set - Season 1 & 2 Bundle
04/10 - Vice Principals - The Compelte Series
04/17 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Third Season
05/08 - Dear White People - Season 1
05/08 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Final (Eighth) Season
05/29 - I'm Dying Up Here - Season 1
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest