Tuesday, December 25, 2012
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.
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.
New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November/December)
10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/04 - The Exes - Seasons 1 & 2
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/06 - Kenan & Kel - The Best of Seasons 3 & 4
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dharma & Greg - The Complete Season 2
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/02 - The Simpsons - The Seventeenth Season (Blu-ray) 12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - Family Guy - Volume 13
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Friday, November 28
Jessie - "Jessie's Aloha Holidays with Parker and Joey" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Parker and Joey Rooney join Jessie and the Ross kids in planning a tropical Christmas at the clan's Hawaiin villa; Jessie reunites with an old friend.
Friday, November 28
- Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls) - Watch Kat on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
- Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig visits LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your local listings.
- Shia LaBeouf (Even Stevens) - Shia is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City) - Kim shares why she's having the best sex of her life now and being happily single in the city on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
- Laurence Fisbburne (black-ish) - Laurence is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 2am on BET.
- Jenny McCarthy (Two and a Half Men/Jenny) - Jenny appears on a repeat of the Better Show, so check your local listings.
- Emeril Lagasse (Emeril) - Emeril gives great ideas for your Thanksgiving leftovers on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
- Norman Lear (Producer of All in the Family/Sanford and Son/The Jeffersons/Good Times) - Norman chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - Marlo is a guest on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
- John Ratzenberger (Cheers) - John will be on Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel.