Monday, June 04, 2012

Season 2 Premiere of Melissa & Joey Returns Big; Remembering Richard Dawson and Kathryn Joosten

In its season 2 launch last Wednesday (May 30), ABC Family's original comedy Melissa & Joey ranked as cable's #1 program at 8 o’clock across its target females demos, Women 18-34 (409,000 viewers/1.2 rating), Women 18-49 (626,000 viewers/1.0 rating) and Females 12-34 (522,000 viewers/1.2 rating), and was the #2 cable program in the half-hour in Adults 18-34 (507,000 viewers/0.8 rating) and Viewers 12-34 (632,000 viewers/0.7 rating), behind only ESPN's highly rated NBA Playoff coverage, posting hefty gains over year-ago time period levels.
Compared to its season 1B average, which aired last summer from June 29 to Sept. 14, Melissa & Joey's season 2 premiere surged by double-digit percentages in target demos, including by 14% in Total Viewers (1.21 million vs. 1.06 million), by 22% in Adults 18-34 (507,000 vs. 414,000), by 41% in Women 18-34 (409,000 vs. 290,000), by 36% in Adults 18-49 (832,000 vs. 610,000), by 43% in Women 18-49 (626,000 vs. 437,000) and by 22% in Females 12-34 (522,000 vs. 429,000). Compared to its summer premiere last year (June 29), the sitcom was up a tenth in adults 18-49 (0.6 to a 0.7 adults 18-49 rating). Melissa & Joey also soared over year-ago comparable time period levels (6/1/11 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl), including by more than double in Adults 18-34 (+116% - 507,000 vs. 235,000), Women 18-34 (+166% - 409,000 vs. 154,000), Women 18-49 (+123% - 626,000 vs. 281,000) and Females 12-34 (+125% - 522,000 vs. 232,000).
In the sitcom, Mel (Melissa Joan Hart), local politician and a former wild child, and Joe (Joey Lawrence), her down-on-his-luck "manny," continue to work together to raise Mel's teenaged niece Lennox (Taylor Spreitler) and nephew Ryder (Nick J. Robinson). The sitcom is compared to past sitcoms such as Who's the Boss? and Charles in Charge. Back-to-back episodes will air once again this Wednesday (June 6) at 8:00 p.m. & 8:30 p.m. Come June 20, the sitcom will air regularly Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. as new sitcom Baby Daddy starring Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Derek Theler, Tahj Mowry, Chelsea Kane and Melissa Peterman will air at 8:30 p.m. We've seen two episodes for review of that comedy and is well done and funny, so make sure you tune in!

Moving on, we have two very sad news that happened this weekend. TV legend Richard Dawson and multiple Emmy-winner Kathryn Joosten both passed away. Next, Todd has the story and details the careers of these two memorable TV icons.

Richard Dawson

English-born American actor, comedian, game show panelist and host Richard Dawson has died. He was best known for his role as Corporal Peter Newkirk on the sitcom Hogan's Heroes, being a panelist on Match Game on CBS from 1973-1978, and being the original host of Family Feud from 1976-1985 and 1994-1995. Dawson died from complications of esophageal cancer on June 2, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. Mr. Dawson was 79.

One of Dawson's early television appearances (as Dick Dawson) was as dapper entertainer "Racy Tracy" Rattigan in a 1963 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Some of his other guest appearances included The Outer Limits, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Mr. Terrific, McCloud, Love, American Style, The Odd Couple, McMillan & Wife, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Angie and Mama's Family. In 1965, he landed the role as Cpl. Peter Newkirk. The popular war-related sitcom ran on CBS for six seasons from 1965-1971. His character with a cockney accent was known for phrases like "righto" and addressing Col. Hogan as "gov'nor." After Hogan's Heroes was cancelled, he was a regular performer on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In from 1971-1973. He was also a regular as Richard Richardson on the final season of the CBS sitcom The New Dick Van Dyke Show in 1973-1974. Dawson appeared in several films, including The Longest Day, King Rat, The Devil's Brigade and The Running Man as the memorable game show host and villain Damon Killian.

Dawson became best known to television audiences as a game show panelist and host. In 1972-73, he appeared as a panelist on the syndicated I've Got a Secret. After a year of that show, he was signed to be a regular on Match Game '73, which he stayed with until 1978. In 1974, he hosted the syndicated Masquerade Party. It featured regular panelists Bill Bixby, Lee Meriwether and Nipsey Russell. He was next hired to host Family Feud. It debuted on ABC's daytime schedule on July 12, 1976. Dawson would win a Daytime in 1978 for Best Game Show Host. The show became a huge hit during the daytime and also found success in syndication at night. He became known as The Kissing Bandit for kissing the show's female contestants. His "Survey says..." line became a national catchphrase. Dawson hosted both versions of Family Feud, until they were cancelled in 1985. In 1994-95, he returned to host the syndicated version of the show. He retired from show business in 1995, but he did return to narrate TV's Funniest Game Show Moments on Fox in 2000.

The Archive of American Television has a lengthy interview with him from December 1, 2010. Dawson is survived by his wife Gretchen Johnson and their daughter Shannon, as well as sons Mark and Gary from his first marriage to British actress Diana Dors. He also had five grandchildren: Lindsay Dors Dawson, Tyler Emm Dawson, Emma Rose Dawson, Walter "Melons" Dawson, and Lauren Dawson. We loved him as the host of Family Feud. It was appointment TV for many families during the height of its popularity. Those primetime specials with the casts of Three's Company, Barney Miller, The Jeffersons, WKRP in Cincinnati and Welcome Back, Kotter were classics. There have been many hosts of Family Feud over the years, but there was only one Richard Dawson. He was an amazing talent and true original. He will be deeply missed.

We'll keep you posted on any GSN or other tributes. What are your favorite Richard Dawson memories? Discuss them on our Hogan's Heroes or Game Shows message board.

Kathryn Joosten

Character actress Kathryn Joosten, best known as the crotchety, nosy neighbor Karen McCluskey on Desperate Housewives and the president's secretary on The West Wing, has died. Joosten died of lung cancer on the morning of June 2 in Los Angeles. Ms. Joosten was 72.

Joosten's first career was as a psychiatric nurse in Chicago. At the age of 42, she started acting in community theater. Next, she worked as a street performer at Disney in Orlando. In 1995, she decided to move to Hollywood. Many television guest appearances and recurring roles would follow. Her sitcom guest appearances included Family Matters, Grace Under Fire, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Roseanne, Murphy Brown, Seinfeld, Frasier, Just Shoot Me!, Home Improvement, Dharma & Greg, The Drew Carey Show, Scrubs and My Name Is Earl. In 1999, she landed the role of Mrs. Landingham, personal secretary to President Josiah Bartlet (played by Martin Sheen), in NBC's The West Wing. She appeared in thirty episodes during the first two seasons of the series before her character was killed off in a car crash. Her success on The West Wing led to many more roles in dramas, such as Ally McBeal, Providence, The X-Files, The Division, Judging Amy, Gilmore Girls, The Closer and Grey's Anatomy. She made five appearances as Ida Warren on General Hospital from 2002-03. Another recurring role was as Old Lady God in eight episodes of Joan of Arcadia.

In 2005, she began her longest-running role as Karen McCluskey on ABC's Desperate Housewives. She appeared in 89 episodes from the pilot until the series finale. Joosten appeared as a guest star during the first five seasons. She started to receive "also starring" and "starring" credits at the start of the sixth season. Joosten received three "Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series" Emmy nominations for the role in 2005, 2008 and 2010. She won in 2005 and 2008. Joosten was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2001. She was a strong advocate of lung cancer awareness and research. Joosten asked creator Marc Cherry that her character Karen suffer long cancer to call attention to the disease. She died twenty days after her character died of lung cancer in the series finale.

The Archive of American Television conducted an interview with her on May 9, 2012. She is survived by her two sons, Jonathan and Timothy, their wives Jeremy and Karissa, and two grandchildren, Jon Henry and Evan. Ms. Joosten got a bit of a late start in acting at the age of 42, but she made the most of it with many notable television roles. We loved her on Desperate Housewives. She played such a fun and memorable character who added so much to the show and stole many scenes with her humor. It was very courageous of her to bring her battle with lung cancer to the public and to the show to bring more awareness to the disease. She will be deeply missed.

What are your favorite Kathryn Joosten roles? Discuss them on our message board.

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

Saturday, October 22

Superstore - "Guns, Pills and Birds" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Amy (America Ferrera) assigns an uncomfortable Jonah (Ben Feldman) to the gun section of Cloud 9, Jonah abuses his right-to-refuse sale to anyone that causes concern, causing an open-carry protest to gather in the store. On principle, Glenn (Mark McKinney) attempts to purchase all of the store's morning-after pills, but finds himself in a moral dilemma when he can't afford them. Dina (Lauren Ash), Garrett (Colton Dunn) and Mateo (Nico Santos) hunt down a crow that has flown into the store.

The Thundermans - "Happy Heroween" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
It's a major Halloween storm outside, but inside Colosso keeps the family spooked by telling three scary stories that are sure to terrify even the bravest of superheroes.

School of Rock - "Welcome to My Nightmare" (Nickelodeon, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Mr. Finn's class decides to celebrate Halloween in school after Principal Mullins, who hates the holiday, goes home sick. When she returns sooner than expected, they have to scramble to keep her from finding out the truth.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Saturday, October 22

  • Jim J. Bullock (Too Close for Comfort) - Jim talks about touring the U.S. in Kinky Boots on Oprah: Where Are They Now? at 10pm ET/PT on OWN.
Sunday, October 23
  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Catch Patti on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, October 24
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Watch Ricky on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about Inferno on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) - Zooey is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Chiklis (Daddio) - Michael drops by Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Aya Cash (You're the Worst) - Aya talks about You're the Worst on the AOL Build ShoW at 2pm. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth/Ink) - Mary talks about The Last Man on Earth on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 12:30pm.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna talks about Good Girls Revolt on People Now at 8:30am.
  • James Brolin (Life in Pieces) - James is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.