Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from SitcomsOnline; Remembering Jack Klugman from The Odd Couple, Quincy M.E.

Merry Christmas everyone! We hope you are enjoying the holiday whether you celebrate it or not. Thanks for taking a bit of your time out today for visiting. And also thanks for continuing to visit everyday, as we enter our eighth year of everyday posting! As a reminder, don't forget to follow us on Twitter and like SitcomsOnline on Facebook. We welcome your thoughts, opinions and discussions! So join in on the action on both of those! We are everywhere--SitcomsOnline.com, the message board, right here on the blog, Twitter, Facebook, and more! It's certainly "all sitcoms, all the time!" Merry Christmas and god bless us everyone, as Tiny Tim would say!


Jack Klugman

Onto a bit of sad news, yesterday (December 24, 2012) we lost actor Jack Klugman. He is of course best known to sitcom fans as Oscar Madison on the hit '70s sitcom The Odd Couple, based on the Neil Simon play and film of the same name. The series ran on ABC from 1970-75 and Klugman co-starred with Tony Randall, who played Felix Unger. The series was of course about two divorced men living together -- a neat freak and a slob -- Klugman played Oscar Madison, the slob sportswriter to Tony Randall's overly fussy Felix Unger. The sitcom got solid ratings and received critical acclaim. Klugman won two Emmys for this role (and was nominated three other times) and a Golden Globe, not bad for a man whose first drama teacher told him he was better suited to be a truck driver. The show ran just for five years, but has lived on for decades in syndication. Klugman's co-star Randall passed away in 2004 at age 84. In 2005, Klugman published Tony And Me: A Story of Friendship, a book about his long friendship with Randall which began in 1955 (15 years prior to Odd Couple) when they both appeared on an episode of the CBS series Appointment with Adventure. For Klugman, no cause of death was mentioned, however he battled throat cancer for many years, losing his voice as a result of a 1989 surgery. He spoke in a rasp thereafter.

The Odd Couple

After The Odd Couple ended, Klugman went on to play another iconic TV character in the NBC drama Quincy, M.E. from 1976-83. In that series, Klugman became just as iconic playing the relentless Los Angeles medical examiner with a talent for forensics. He was nominated four times for an Emmy for this show, but never won. He actually got his start in show business in 1950 and by 1954 he was on the soap opera The Greatest Gift. He had various guest appearances on series in the '50s such as in Gunsmoke, Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchock Presents, and appeared in major movies like 12 Angry Men (1957), playing juror No. 5; Days of Wine and Roses (1962), starring opposite Jack Lemmon; and Goodbye Columbus (1969), based on the novella by Philip Roth, starring Ali MacGraw and Richard Benjamin. He won his first Emmy Award in 1964 for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in the series The Defenders.

He starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom Harris Against the World in the 1964-65 season. After Quincy, he starred with a then-unknown John Stamos in the short-lived sitcom You Again? on NBC from 1986-87. Some of his other TV appearances were on The Virginian, Naked City, The Fugitive, Ben Casey, I Dream of Jeannie, The F.B.I., Love American Style, The Love Boat, Diagnosis Murder, Brother's Keeper, The Outer Limits, Third Watch, Crossing Jordan and Presido Med. He also appeared on many game shows like Match Game, Hollywood Squares, Password Plus, and $25,000 Pyramid. In 1993, he reunited with Tony Randall for the TV-movie The Odd Couple: Together Again, but this time on CBS. He was married to Brett Somers (Match Game), who also guest starred as his ex-wife Blanche in The Odd Couple, from 1953 until her death in 2007 (though they separated in 1974, they never divorced). His survivors include their two sons, Adam Klugman and David Klugman, and two grandchildren. In 2008, he married his longtime girlfriend Peggy Crosby, the ex-wife of Bing Crosby's son, Phillip Crosby.

The Archive of American Television conducted an extensive two-and-a-half hour interview with Klugman in 2004 that you can watch. Mr. Klugman will be deeply missed by fans of The Odd Couple and Quincy, M.E. for sure and all of his other work. We will keep you up to date of any on-air tributes for him. The Odd Couple is coming back to MeTV Network starting December 31, weeknights at 10pm, as we previously reported. So a best bet marathon for that series will be from them. In New York City, local independent station WLNY-TV (10/55) already had planned a marathon of The Odd Couple on New Year's Eve beginning at 12 midnight lasting through New Year's Day at 9pm. Now that marathon gets bittersweet with the passing of Klugman. We'll keep you up to date of any on-air tributes (hopefully someone will air Quincy which was last on Hallmark in 2003-04), so stay with us! Mr. Klugman was 90.

Share your memories on our The Odd Couple message board. View photos in our The Odd Couple and Quincy, M.E. photo galleries.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February)

The Bob Newhart Show - Season Five The Bob Newhart Show - The Final (Sixth) Season Maude - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) The Wonder Years - Season Two Mama's Family - The Complete Sixth Season

02/03 - The Bob Newhart Show - Season Five
02/03 - The Bob Newhart Show - The Final (Sixth) Season
02/03 - Maude - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) / The Complete Series Available 3/17 (Shout! Factory)
02/03 - The Wonder Years - Season Two
02/10 - Mama's Family - The Complete Sixth Season
02/10 - Nurse Jackie - Season Six (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, February 27

Last Man Standing - "Kyle's Friend" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When a homeless man that Kyle has befriended goes missing, Mike uses his vlog to help track him down. Mandy is inspired by Kyle’s good deed and in her unique way, helps a young mother from the woman’s shelter.

Cristela - "Gifted and Talented" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Cristela is tutoring and rooting for Isabella to get into the “Gifted and Talented” school program, partly because Cristela did not get in as a child. When Isabella throws the exam because she’s afraid of hurting her brother’s feelings, tensions mount between Cristela and Natalia over the program and Natalia reveals a hurtful secret. Meanwhile at the office, after Maddie gets into another car accident, Trent decides to punish Maddie by sending her to the mail room, which provides a bit of a challenge for Maddie to grasp.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 23) (All times ET unless noted)

Friday, February 27

  • Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer (Broad City) - Watch Abbi and Ilana on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) - Catch Simon on The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Owen Benjamin (Sullivan & Son) - Owen appears on The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) - Kunal guest co-hosts The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) - Kathy is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jason Biggs (Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Jason visits LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Lana Parilla (Spin City) - Lana chats on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Anne Heche (Save Me/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Anne and the cast of USA Network's Dig give a sneak peak and share secrets from the highly anticipated new murder mystery mini-series on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Natalie Desselle-Reid (Eve/For Your Love/Built to Last) - Natalie guest co-hosts ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Ming-Na Wen (The Single Guy) - Ming-Na Wen will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani talks about getting ready for baby #2 to join her family and cooks on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings. She also talks about the Cooking Channel's Dinner at Tiffani's on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 9am.
  • Felicity Huffman (Sports Night) - Felicty is a guest on Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Nealon (Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Luis Guzman (How to Make It in America/Luis) - Luis is a guest on People Now.