Tuesday, July 17, 2012

TV Land Moves Retired at 35 to Wednesdays; Remembering William Asher, Director of Classic TV Series Like I Love Lucy and Bewitched

Retired at 35

TV Land premiered the second season of sophomore sitcom Retired at 35 three weeks ago (June 26), but on Tuesday nights instead of the normal Wednesday original night. As a result, the sitcom has not done well in the ratings for its first three episodes of the season. In its defense, the series has been airing on an island surrounded by repeats. It makes it look like a burn-off, as the series was also delayed a few times in premiering its second season. TV Land will give it a better chance starting this week. It will not air tonight (Tuesday at 10), but instead will move to Wednesdays following new episodes of The Soul Man and The Exes. Now because of that move, Retired at 35 is no longer in primetime, since it will be airing Wednesdays at 11pm.
The new season brought a new cast member as Marissa Jaret Winokur joined the show. In Retired at 35, after 37 years of marriage, Alan Robbins (George Segal) and his wife Elaine (Jessica Walter, Arrested Development) are expected to cruise into retirement and live out their days happily ever after. However, they get an unexpected surprise when their uptight and overworked son David (Johnathan McClain), sick of the NYC rat race, decides to move in with them in their active-adult community. David finds himself dealing with his overzealous parents as well as his sister Amy (Marissa Jaret Winokur), who, while successful in business, has made less than impressive choices in her love life. Among the guest stars this season include Robin Givens (Head of the Class), John Ross Bowie (The Big Bang Theory), Melissa Peterman (Baby Daddy) and Daneel Ackles.
After these three very low rated airings (all at a series low 0.1 adults 18-49 rating), perhaps a third season is not in the cards unless it does pretty well on Wednesdays at 11. That might be a tough task as The Soul Man and The Exes slipped in week two: The Soul Man from a 0.6 to a 0.3 adults 18-49 rating and The Exes from a 0.4 to a 0.2 adults 18-49 rating. However, there was a week off in between for the 4th of July, but TV Land should have premiered both sitcoms a week or two earlier when they had repeats on June 13 and June 20.

In related news, Nick at Nite has pulled the airings of All That and Kenan & Kel after only three weeks. They both started airing Mon-Thurs in the 8pm hour on June 25, but Nickelodeon has now replaced them with back-to-back episodes of the original series VICTORiOUS as of last night. There will be no other schedule changes on Nick at Nite, which means VICTORiOUS is being brought in to help out struggling Nick at Nite original drama Hollywood Heights, which has only mustered a 0.1 adults 18-49 rating in recent airings in its 9pm time period. The series was ordered for 80 episodes, and they are about only a little over 25% done with that.


We now have some sad news. Todd will report on the passing of TV director and producer William Asher.

William Asher

Legendary director and producer William Asher, best known for his work on I Love Lucy and Bewitched, has died. Asher died July 16 at a board and care facility in Palm Desert, California, of complications from Alzheimer's disease. Mr. Asher was 90.

Asher's career in television began as a writer and director for a filmed anthology series called Invitation Playhouse. He later started working for CBS Studios. His first directed TV pilot became Our Miss Brooks, which starred Eve Arden and aired on CBS from 1952-1956. In 1952, he was asked by Desi Arnaz to direct a few episodes of the second season of I Love Lucy. Asher went on to direct over 100 episodes of the series, including the classic Job Switching episode where Lucy and Ethel work at a candy factory. In 1955, he was nominated for the DGA award for the Lucy's Mother-in-Law episode. His other early directing credits included Racquet Squad, Big Town, The Danny Thomas Show, General Electic Theater, The Colgate Comedy Hour, December Bride, Sally, The Thin Man, Fibber McGee and Molly, The Twilight Zone, and The Patty Duke Show, which he co-created with writer Sidney Sheldon.

His best known work was as a producer and director of Bewitched. Asher produced the 1964-1972 ABC sitcom, starring his then-wife, Elizabeth Montgomery. He directed over 130 episodes of the series. Asher received four Emmy nominations for his work on the show, winning once in 1966 for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy. Some of his other sitcom directing credits included Gidget, The Paul Lynde Show, The New Temperatures Rising, Operation Petticoat, Tabitha, Alice, The Bad News Bears, Private Benjamin, and Harper Valley. He also directed a couple of TV reunion movies - I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later in 1985 and Return to Green Acres in 1990. His film credits as a director and writer included three popular beach-blanket movies starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello - Muscle Beach Party, Bikini Beach, and Beach Blanket Bingo.

The Archive of American Television conducted an extensive interview with him on March 31 and April 26, 2000. His survivors include his wife, Meredith, daughters Liane Sears and Rebecca Asher, sons Brian, Bill Jr., Robert and John, four step-children, nine grandchildren and eight step-grandchildren. Asher was married to actress Elizabeth Montgomery from 1963-1973. They had three children. He was married to actress Joyce Bulifant from 1976-1993. Mr. Asher was a true pioneer in the industry. He's considered the man who invented the sitcom. He was one of the most proflific directors in the early days of television. We thank him for bringing us sitcom classics like I Love Lucy and Bewitched. He will be deeply missed.

Post your condolences on our Bewitched message board.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March)

227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete First Season The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season

02/07 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - Sabrina Down Under
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 1 - School's Cool - Boy Crazy
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 2 - About a Family - Hangin' Out
02/07 - 227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek)
02/07 - Vice Principals - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
02/14 - Beavis and Butt-Head - The Complete Collection
02/14 - Grace and Frankie - Season Two
02/28 - Fuller House - The Complete First Season
03/03 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now... In Living Color! (Blu-ray)
03/07 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - Mama's Family - Mama's Favorites
03/07 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series - Flashback Edition (Blu-ray)
03/07 - What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - You Me Her - Season One
03/14 - Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season
03/14 - Unbrekable Kimmy Schmidt - Season Two
03/21 - Master of None - Season One
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, March 30

The Big Bang Theory - "The Collaboration Fluctuation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Leonard, Penny and Raj adjust to their new living arrangement, and Sheldon takes an interest in Amy’s work.

The Great Indoors - "Cubicles" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Jack can’t concentrate because of the millennials’ distracting juvenile behavior, Brooke installs cubicles in the bullpen.

Mom - "Black Mold and an Old Hot Dog" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Christy helps Jill adjust to being a new foster mother, and Bonnie has trouble convincing tenants that she’s a good building manager.

Life in Pieces - "Sleepover Dream Light Haze" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Matt and Colleen take a strong sleep aid, they start experiencing crazy sleepwalking adventures. Also, Greg gets upset when Jen reveals she had a sex dream about a member of the family; Tim regrets missing a slumber party when he was a kid so he insists on helping Sophia make it through a friend’s sleepover; and John installs a motion-sensor light in the yard that flashes repeatedly, keeping them up at night. Fortune Feimster returns as Colleen’s roommate, Dougie, and J.B. Smoove returns as John and Joan’s neighbor, Darryl.

Superstore - "Seasonal Help" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Much to Amy's (America Ferrera) dismay, Glenn (Mark McKinney) hires Amy's husband, Adam (guest star Ryan Gaul), for some extra help, exposing her in ways in which she is not prepared. Frustrated with the lazy, noncommittal temps, Jonah (Ben Feldman) and Garrett (Colton Dunn) start an employee draft to place bets on who will quit first while Glenn tries to find the perfect person to play Santa at the store for Christmas.

Powerless - "I'ma Friend You" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) learns that Jackie (Christina Kirk) is in need of some extra cash, she can't help but try and do what she can to help her out. Meanwhile, Van (Alan Tudyk) is on a witch hunt and has his eyes set on Teddy (Danny Pudi), Ron (Ron Funches) and Wendy (Jennie Pierson).

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 27)

Thursday, March 30

  • Matthew Perry (The Odd Couple/Go On/Mr. Sunshine/Friends) - Catch Matthew on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and the AOL Build Show at 4pm.
  • Louis C.K. (Louie/Lucky Louie) - Louie appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Regina King (227) - Regina stops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Marisa Tomei (A Different World) - Marissa is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Christine Baranski (Cybill/Happy Family/Welcome to New York) - Christine appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kristen Schaal (The Last Man on Earth/Bob's Burgers/Flight of the Conchords) - Kristen visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) - Adam drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Brooklyn Decker (Grace and Frankie/Friends with Better Lives) - Brooklyn is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen is a guest on a repeat of The Real, so check your listings.
  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) and Lisa Kudrow (Friends/The Comeback) - Alec and Lisa talk about The Baby Boss on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Katey Sagal (Superior Donuts/Married with Children/8 Simple Rules) - Katey discusses her new book Grace Notes: My Recollections on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Zach Braff (Scrubs) - Zach will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig is a guest on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.