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.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, December 18

Kevin Can Wait - "The Might've Before Christmas" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
While Vanessa and the Gable family gather around the Christmas tree, Vanessa and Kevin reminisce about their first patrol together.

Man with a Plan - "Adam Gets Neighborly" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Adam and Andi try to get back in their neighbors’ good graces after no one shows up to their potluck. Sherri Shepherd and Tim Meadows guest star as Joy and Rudy Randall, the Burns’ new neighbors.

Superior Donuts - "Electile Dysfunction" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Arthur suddenly decides to run against Fawz in a local election, his campaign manager, Franco, tries to help his boss bring home a win. Also, Tush and Randy realize they crossed paths long before the donut shop, and the encounter was hardly sweet.

9JKL - "It Happened One Night" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Josh and Nick coach their friend Luke (Tone Bell) on how to amicably break up with his girlfriend, Sydney (Ginger Gonzaga), so that it won’t jeopardize Josh’s spot in her coveted spin class. Also, Judy and Harry invite their rivals, Dick (Fred Willard) and Lenore (Christina Pickles) Stevenson, over to play bridge, and Andrew and Eve celebrate their anniversary with their own gift-giving tradition.

Tarantula - "Pajattery" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Echo discovers Paja's secret and decides to share it with the rest of the Tarantula residents, with unforeseen consequences.

Tarantula - "Frog Flog" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
A rift develops in their friendship when Echo and Booty build their own hot springs.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 18)

Monday, December 18

  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Watch Jim on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Anna Faris (Mom) - Anna appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mark Hamill (The Texas Wheelers) - Mark is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jenny Slate (Married/Parks and Recreation) - Jenny appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Bill Pullman (1600 Penn) - Bill stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Laura Dern (F Is for Family/Enlightened) - Laura is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Patti performs the holiday classic Don't Save It All For Christmas Day on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Monty/Out of Practice) - Henry drops by Access Hollywood Live and Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Leslie Odom Jr. (Big Day) - Leslie is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Jenifer Lewis (black-ish) - Jenifer chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy/American Dad!/The Cleveland Show) - Seth appears on the BUILD Series at 5pm.


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

The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season Living Single - The Complete Third Season Alice - The Complete Sixth Season One Day at a Time - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Second Season

11/07 - American Dad! - Volume 12
11/07 - Family Guy - Season Fifteen
11/07 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season
11/14 - D.C. Follies - The Complete Series
11/21 - Living Single - The Complete Third Season
11/24 - Grandfathered - Season 1
12/05 - Alice - The Complete Sixth Season
12/05 - One Day at a Time - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Simpsons - The Eighteenth Season
12/05 - South Park - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
12/12 - Fuller House - The Complete Second Season
12/19 - South Park - The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest