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.
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Friday, July 25
Jessie - "Space Out" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Ravi scores a trip to outer space for his birthday with Jessie and the Ross kids; when Ravi remains on Earth, the trip takes a startling turn.
Girls Meets World - "Girl Meets Father" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
It's time for the Matthews' annual trip to Coney Island for roller coasters and family bonding; this year, Riley would rather go to the school dance; while processing his daughter's adolescence, Cory also deals with giving Maya an ``F.''
Dog with a Blog - "Pod People From Pasadena" (Disney Channel, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Avery's been chosen to create a float for the town parade and enlists her father's help; after watching a movie, Chloe's convinced that her family has been taken over by aliens and that the float is a spaceship.
Friday, July 25
- Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Watch Chris and the rest of the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry is a guest on Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.
- John Stamos (Full House/Jake in Progress) - John appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
- Mike Vogel (Grounded for Life) - Mike stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
- Mary McCormack (Welcome to the Family) - Mary is part of the guest panel on a repeat of Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
- Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is part of the guest panel on a repeat of Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
- Kelsey Grammer (Partners/Frasier/Cheers) - Kelsey chats about his upcoming FX series Partners on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
- Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Judy Greer (Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided) and Nat Faxon (Married/Ben and Kate) - Judy and Nat talk about their new FX series Married on Wake Up on Taylor on SiriusXM Stars Channel 109 sometime between 7-10am.
- Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman) - Mary Lynn is a guest on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:35am. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. Finally, she is a guest on Arise TV at 3pm.
- Fran Drescher (The Nanny/Happily Divorced) - Fran will be on HuffPost Live.