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)!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April/May)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, May 27

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 29)

Monday, May 29

  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Watch Bryan on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Patton Oswalt (The Goldbergs/The King of Queens) - Patton is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Mayim appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project) - Ike appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenna Elfman (Imaginary Mary/Courting Alex/Accidentally on Purpose/Dharma & Greg) - Jenna is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky visits LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Keesha Sharp (Are We There Yet?/Girlfriends) - Keesha appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • The Love Boat Cast - The cast of The Love Boat reunites on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Mike Epps (Uncle Buck/Survivor's Remorse) - Mike is a guest a repeat of Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.