Thursday, July 07, 2011

Seven Questions with Richard Kline of Three's Company; NBC Fall 2011 Premiere Dates

We have a very exciting interview for you today. We have an interview with classic TV star Richard Kline (Larry from Three's Company) about his brilliant career and his role many sitcoms, including Three's Company. We get answers to various questions that you will all want to know about, including his take on today's sitcoms, what game show he would love to do, if he would do a Three's Company movie/reunion and if he would do Dancing with the Stars! As always with all of our interviews, it is in Seven Questions form. So let's first tell you a little bit about Richard Kline (as if you didn't know!).

Richard Kline

Richard Kline grew up New York City, attended Queens College and has a Masters in Theatre from Northwestern University. He is known to millions of TV watchers as 'Larry' on the classic sitcom Three's Company. He recently toured the country as The Wizard of Oz in the National Company of Wicked. Previous to that he appeared on Broadway in David Mamet's November directed by Joe Mantello. He is a veteran of stage. After serving as a lieutenant in Vietnam, Richard made his professional debut at the prestigious Lincoln Center Repertory Company in 1971. His many television credits include Gilmore Girls, Judging Amy, That '70s Show, NYPD Blue, Dream On, L.A. Law, Mary Tyler Moore, and Maude.
As a director, Richard won the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for his direction of Noel Coward's Present Laughter. He has also directed Bruce Davison, Burt Reynolds and Billy Connolly in their television series. Currently Richard, his wife Beverley and their two cats, live in West Orange, NJ. His daughter Colby is an actress/singer living in Los Angeles.

Richard Kline

"Seven Questions with Richard Kline"

SitcomsOnline: It is an honor interviewing you! Three's Company is my favorite TV series of all-time, so this is extra special to me! TV audiences have been watching you on TV since the '70s and I think just about everyone who watches TV, film or theater have seen you in something. But it is Three's Company of course that has been etched into everyone's brain when they think of Richard Kline. What was it about the character of Larry Dallas that people just love and how did the character become a regular on the show in late season two after that memorable guest appearance in season one (on the episode "No Children, No Pets")?
Richard Kline: In cast introductions at our live tapings, Larry was introduced as the "used car salesman with a heart of gold." There's an oxymoron if there ever was one except that it was true. Larry was never overtly mean or criminally conniving, he just had a fixation on women and money which pretty much explains the driving force behind most heterosexual males in the '70s and '80s...OK in the history of the world. I think there was some glee in how Larry got Jack in or out of trouble, but bottom line I think you knew he would do anything for Jack, the girls and Mr. Furley if they asked.

SitcomsOnline: Your career in television is very impressive. Besides Three's Company, you were a series regular on sitcoms like It's a Living, Inside Schwartz, His & Hers, and you have also made many guest appearances on many TV sitcoms and dramas over the years like The Ropers, Three's a Crowd, Maude, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Silver Spoons, One Day at a Time, Love Boat, Family Matters, Step by Step, Hunter, Matlock, Columbo, That '70s Show, Sabrina and many many more. I have seen many of these and you are always spot on! What were your favorite ones and some memorable experiences from these guest appearances?
Richard Kline: I had great in-house training watching Bea Arthur and the rest of the Maude cast, which I did three times. My most memorable guest role was in the show St. Elsewhere...highly dramatic with the background being I was a Vietnam vet, which of course, I was in real life.

SitcomsOnline: What people may not know about you is that you also direct sitcoms. You've directed sitcoms like Harry and the Hendersons, Evening Shade and more (I also remember you were supposed to direct the pilot of John Ritter's 1992-95 series Hearts Afire when it was called Capitol Hill). What is it about directing that is appealing to you? It seems many sitcom actors like to direct, as we saw with Scott Baio, Jim Belushi, Larry Joe Campbell, among others. You also teach in your acting workshop, so I think it is great that you are sharing your skills and wisdom with aspiring actors!
Richard Kline: Directing is appealing because you are in control and responsible for more than yourself (as an actor). Your creativity expands beyond that and with professional actors to direct you collaborate with them on finding the ultimate piece of business or line readings that bring the comedy home. I love working with non-pros as well to see the progress they make class after class (in my acting workshop).

Richard Kline

SitcomsOnline: I have to mention game shows as well. You were a fixture on game shows in the '80s doing just about every game show like Password, $100,000 Pyramid, and Hollywood Squares. What drew you to these and is there one game show you always wanted to do? You are very smart so I can see why you wanted to showcase your knowledge and skills!
Richard Kline: I was a contestant on the then $10,000 Pyramid in 1974 when it filmed in New York. It was always my wish to appear on it once I became a "celebrity" and I did the show seven or eight times. I would REALLY like to do Jeopardy! but I'm afraid I would take all their money!

SitcomsOnline: It is unlikely a Three's Company reunion would ever take place on TV now since John Ritter is no longer with us and of course Suzanne still not speaking with Joyce. But would you do a retrospective with Joyce DeWitt, Priscilla Barnes and Jenilee Harrison reuniting and talking about the series and John Ritter as we near the 35th anniversary of the series next spring? Or perhaps make a cameo in a Three's Company feature film which is supposedly in the works starring James Franco, after his "concept art" short film at Sundance this year (which you screened)? You could certainly still play Larry, I think! But who would be your second choice?
Richard Kline: I would work with James Franco anytime. I think without John, the Ropers, Don Knotts, and a no show Suzanne, any kind of reunion would be ill-advised.

SitcomsOnline: What do you think of the current sitcoms and what are your favorites? Do they compare to the sitcoms like Three's Company and others from that era? It seems more of the comedies these days are going to single-camera, instead of the traditional studio audience multi-camera sitcoms. As a sitcom teacher and veteran of comedy, what do you think?
Richard Kline: Like most, if not all of the dramatic shows in recent years, single camera shows just look better--the digital technology, the lighting and the expertise of the directors. Four camera, video-taped shows of the '70s and '80s had a certain "look" that now can only be described as "nostalgic." My favorite current sitcoms are Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, early episodes of 30 Rock, and How I Met Your Mother.

Richard Kline

SitcomsOnline: What is next for Richard Kline? We love your cameos in the Adam Sandler films and can't wait for the next one in Jack & Jill this fall! I know you were in a Fox drama pilot this past development season, you also do a lot theater (like Wicked, City of Angels and November), and teach in your sitcom acting workshop, but any chance of a return to sitcoms as a regular or perhaps doing Dancing with the Stars? Larry Dallas had moves, so I'm sure you would be great at it! You could put on the Larry Dallas fro and yell "Jack-o" while doing a cha-cha-cha!
Richard Kline: *Interview drops pretense and gets carried away (LOL).* Inquiries are in to Dancing with the Stars. I am doing a musical this fall (October) directed by David Hyde Pierce (Frasier) and starring Tyne Daly!

Our thanks to Richard Kline. We are very grateful he gave some of his time just for us! We wish him continued success in his top-notch career. For more information on Richard Kline, continue to stay with us for info and don't forget to view his official website. And if you're interested in getting into the acting business, you will want to take Richard Kline's Acting Workshop. You'll learn a lot from a veteran of comedy! Anyway, stay tuned right here on the blog for continued news and updates for Richard and everything Three's Company!

We will soon have a special Seven Questions interview with Richard's Three's Company co-star Joyce DeWitt (Janet)! I will be seeing Joyce's off-Broadway play on Saturday and we will chat then. And don't forget to enter our contest to win two free tickets to see this play! One of you lucky readers out there will get to meet Joyce DeWitt (Janet from Three's Company) very soon! Joyce is now starring in the off-Broadway play Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage and one lucky fan will win two tickets to go and see the play and meet Joyce after the show! So if you're in the NY-NJ-CT area and can easily get to New York City, please enter our contest on Facebook and let us know why you want to come and see the play and tell us one thing you love about Joyce DeWitt! Entries end Friday, July 22 at 11:59pm ET! So enter today!
Joyce DeWitt in Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage


Moving on to some news, NBC has announced its Fall 2011 premiere dates, as they were the only ones who haven't yet. The premiere begin Tuesday, September 13 with new episodes of Parenthood at 10:00pm -- following the final performance episode of America's Got Talent. On Wednesday, September 14, the new comedies Up All Night and Free Agents will debut following the season finale of America's Got Talent at a special time in the 10:00pm hour. Both series will then premiere in their regular time periods with their second original episodes on Wednesday, September 21 in the 8:00pm hour. The rest of the premieres are mostly during premiere week (Sept. 19-25), with The Sing-Off launching its new season on Monday, Sept. 19 from 8-10pm leading into new drama The Playboy Club at 10:00pm. We mentioned Parenthood launches its new season on Sept. 13, but Tuesday reality series The Biggest Loser will launch a week later on Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 8-10pm. On Wednesday, Sept. 21, the two new comedies open the night on its normal night and time leading into the season premieres of Harry's Law at 9pm and Law & Order: SVU at 10pm.
Thursday, Sept. 23 has the comedy block returning with season premieres of Community, Parks & Recreation and The Office leading into new comedy Whitney at 9:30pm and new drama Prime Suspect at 10pm. All of the Friday series will not launch until Friday, October 21 with the season premiere of Chuck leading into new series Grimm at 9pm. Dateline will air at 10pm, but it will be two-hours to start the season from 9-11pm, with something undetermined airing at 8pm. More to come at a later date, I'm sure. Saturdays will feature encore of dramas starting Sept. 24 with encores of Harry's Law, Prime Suspect and Law & Order: SVU. And Sundays in the fall of course will have Sunday Night NFL Football beginning Sunday, Sept. 11.
We will have our day-by-day schedule soon, but for now view the press release.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 14

Fresh Off the Boat - "Cousin Eddie" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The battle begins between mother and son when Eddie informs Jessica that he wants to spend Christmas with friend Nicole in New York. But Jessica insists that tradition prevails and he needs to spend the holiday with the family, so he does everything within his power to try and get her to crack and allow him to go. Meanwhile, Louis and Evan do their best to try and help an overwhelmed Emery decide on which one of his numerous friends to invite to the family’s Christmas Eve dinner.

Speechless - "J-I-- JINGLE T-H-- THON" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
A Christmas tree fire leads Maya to tell a small lie with big consequences. Meanwhile, Ray struggles to live in Pepper’s shadow as Dylan twists the knife, and JJ encourages Kenneth to stand up to his sisters (guest stars Niecy Nash and Lisa Leslie).

I Love Lucy - "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Pioneer Women.” Both were colorized with a nod to the 1950s period in which they were filmed. The main titles and end credits are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet, and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS on Christmas Eve, 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Long thought to be lost, the program was rediscovered by CBS in 1989.

In “Pioneer Women,” Lucy and Ethel’s hopes of joining the posh Society Matrons’ League leads to a bet with their husbands over which sex – the men or the women – had it harder living in a bygone era. They select the turn of the last century, and as Lucy and Ethel start to bake their own bread and churn their own butter, the men become acquainted with straight-blade shaving and riding home from work on horseback. They all have some “‘splainin’” to do when two ladies from the Society Matrons’ League stop by for an unexpected visit.

“Pioneer Women” was originally broadcast on March 31, 1952, and became an immediate viewer favorite.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - "The Dick Van Dyke Show -- Now in Living Color!" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The special features the season one episode “Where Did I Come From,” written by Carl Reiner, and the season four episode “Never Bathe on Saturday,” also written by Reiner. 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.

The Emmy Award-winning series starred Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as television comedy writer Rob and his wife, Laura Petrie; Larry Matthews as their son, Ritchie; Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie as Buddy Sorrell and Sally Rogers, co-writers on the fictional “The Alan Brady Show”; Carl Reiner as Alan Brady; Richard Deacon as Mel Cooley; Jerry Paris as Dr. Jerry Helper; and Ann Morgan Guilbert as Millie Krumbermacher Helper.

In “Where Did I Come From,” 6-year-old Ritchie asks his parents the inevitable “where did I come from?” question, and they recall the days before his birth. The episode was first presented on Jan. 3, 1961 during the series’ first season.

In “Never Bathe on Saturday,” the Petries’ romantic second honeymoon becomes a disaster when Laura’s toe gets caught in a bath spout. The episode was first presented on March 31, 1965, during season four.

Last Man Standing - "The Gift of the Mike Guy" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Vanessa helps the family realize the importance of its long-standing holiday family traditions.

The Cool Kids - "Margaret Dates the Zodiac Killer" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Margaret begins dating Karl, a fellow resident who may or may not be the "Zodiac Killer."

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 10)

Friday, December 14

  • Karen Gillan (Selfie) - Watch Karen on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. She talks about The Party's Just Beginning on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Tony Shalhoub (Wings/We Are Men) - Watch Tony on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle, Laura Linney (The Big C) and Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Bryan, Laura and Nick make special guest appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bill Burr (F Is for Family/Townies) - Bill is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Romany Malco (Weeds/Blunt Talk) - Romany is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick/Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Kathryn talks about the film Private Life on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Minnie Driver (Speechless/About a Boy) - Minnie is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Leah Remini (Kevin Can Wait/The Exes/Family Tools/The King of Queens/Fired Up) - Leah visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (The Office/Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Hotwives of Orlando) - Angela and her husband Joshua Snyder serve up monkey bread and chocolate peppermint cupcakes on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless) - Vanessa talks about Second Act on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Elliott (Schitt's Creek/Get a Life) - Chris talks about Clara's Ghost on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Tia Mowry (Instant Mom/The Game/Sister, Sister) - Tia talks about Hallmark Channel's A Gingerbread Romance on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings/Step by Step) - Christine is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection Alice - The Complete Eighth Season Step by Step - The Complete Third Season

10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 6th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 7th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 8th Season
10/02 - Ghosted - The Complete First Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Community - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/23 - Alice - The Complete Eighth Season
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Two
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Three
10/31 - The Bad News Bears - The Complete Series - All 26 Episodes
11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest