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 (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, October 28

Bunk'd - "Treehouse of Terror" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Zuri, Jorge and Tiffany enlist the support of an unexpected camper to help restore an abandoned treehouse, so they can use it as a new hangout; Emma and Lou and Ravi and Xander get competitive during a friendly game of billiards.

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Do What You Gotta Do" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Joseph experiences an episode of sexual frustration due to Leslie's vow of chastity.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Friday, October 28

  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - Watch John on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew visits on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about The Price is Right on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine?/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky stops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Colin Hanks (Life in Pieces) - Colin joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch/Clarissa Explains It All) - Melissa looks back at her earliest memories on Clarissa Explains It All – and says she was really bossy on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Damon Wayans (My Wife and Kids) - Damon is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.