Thursday, October 11, 2012

Remembering Webster's Alex Karras; First Cancelation of Fall 2012: CBS Drama Made in Jersey

Alex Karras

Actor and former NFL player Alex Karras, who starred as George Papadapolis in Webster, has died. Karras died at his Los Angeles, California home in the morning hours on October 10 of complications from kidney failure. He had suffered from a variety of health problems in recent years, including dementia, heart disease and stomach cancer. Mr. Karras was 77.

Karras' acting career begain in 1968 when he played himself in the film adaptation of Paper Lion. He made many television guest appearances in series such as Daniel Boone, Love American, Style, The Odd Couple, McMillian & Wife and M*A*S*H. In 1974, he played thug Mongo in the Mel Brooks' comedy film Blazing Saddles. His character knocks out a horse with a single punch in a memorable scene. He played Hans Brumbaugh in the 1978-1979 NBC miniseries Centennial. Karras' television movie credits included Hardcase, The 500 Pound Jerk, Babe (a 1975 biopic where he met his wife Susan Clark), Mad Bull, Jimmy B. & André, Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story, Masada and Made in America. His theatrical film credits included Victor Victoria, Porky's and Against All Odds.

Karras played the lovable George Papadapolis, a former professional football player turned sportscaster, in the hit sitcom Webster. The series was about a couple who adopts a recently orphaned 7-year-old child named Webster. Karras starred with his real-life wife Susan Clark and Emmanuel Lewis. ABC aired the series for four seasons from 1983-1987 before it moved into first-run syndication for the final two seasons from 1987-1989. A total of 150 episodes were produced. Karras and Clark were among the producers of the series through their Georgian Bay Entertainment production company.

He played college football at the University of Iowa from 1956-1957. Karras was a first team All-American in 1956. In 1957, he helped his team win the Rose Bowl and received the Outland Trophy for the best interior lineman. He finished as the runner-up in voting for the Heisman Trophy. The Detroit Lions drafted him 10th overall in the first round of the NFL draft in 1958. He was one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the league during his 12 seasons in the league from 1958-1962 and 1964-1970. Karras was named to Pro Bowl team four times in 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1965. He was also named to the 1960s All-Decade NFL team. Following the end of his career, he later worked on ABC's Monday Night Football broadcast team with Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford for three seasons from 1974-1976.

Karras' survivors include his wife, Susan Clark; his sons George, Alex Jr. and Peter; and daughter, Katie. He was a talented man on and off the field. While he was one of the most fearsome players in football, he was a gentle giant on screen as an actor. We loved his work on Webster. It's very sad that he had dealt with so many health problems in recent years. He will be greatly missed.

Share your memories of Alex Karras here. Visit our Webster fan site for all things Webster.


Made in Jersey

CBS has pulled its new Friday drama Made in Jersey after just two airings. This is the first official cancelation of the 2012-13 season. The drama only mustered a 0.8 adults 18-49 rating last Friday in week two, after premiering to just a 1.1 adults 18-49 rating the week prior. CBS will move CSI: NY to the hour effective immediately this Friday (Oct. 12). CSI: NY was airing in the 8pm hour and also was struggling. Drama repeats will air for the next three weeks at 8pm (NCIS on Oct. 12 and 26 and Hawaii Five-0 on Oct. 19). CBS will launch the new season of Undercover Boss on Friday, Nov. 2 at 8pm. It will be opposite Kitchen Nightmares on Fox in terms of reality, as ABC's Shark Tank will be moving to 9pm on that night.

No word if CBS will air the remaining episodes that were already in the can. It is not known how many were completed in production. The series starred Janet Montgomery, Erin Cummings, Kristoffer Polaha, Kyle MacLachlan, Megalyn Echikunwoke and Toni Trucks. Will more series that are struggling be pulled soon too? Some candidates include The Mob Doctor, Animal Practice, Partners and sophomore comedy Up All Night. Stay with us, and also stay with us for any full season pick-ups (that's what we like to tell you more about, of course)!


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