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 (September)
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Tuesday, September 1
Fresh Off the Boat - "Home Sweet Home-School" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Louis and Jessica clash over how to raise the kids and how to run the restaurant. When the boys get straight A’s in school, Jessica decides that their school must be too easy and takes it upon herself to give them more homework and tutor them after class. She takes the same strict approach at the restaurant (no extra croutons for anyone!), so it’s up to Louis to get her to lighten up on everyone.
Fresh Off the Boat - "Fajita Man" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Eddie is so desperate for a new video game named after his idol, Shaq, he goes to work at the restaurant. He expects special treatment since he’s the boss’s son, but is in for a surprise when Louis is determined to make him work hard for the money. Meanwhile, Jessica decides to look for a job of her own.
Fresh Off the Boat - "License to Sell" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Jessica puts off taking the exam for her real estate license because she fears she isn’t good enough to compete with Orlando’s top realtor. Eddie looks to Louis for advice on how to win over older girl Nicole (guest star Luna Blaise), but puts his own spin on his dad’s suggestions.
Fresh Off the Boat - "Success Perm" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Family rivalry spirals out of control when Jessica’s sister, Connie, and her far more affluent husband come to visit. The Huangs try to convince everyone they’re doing great financially, when nothing could be further from the truth. Meanwhile, Eddie is excited to be reunited with his cousin Justin, who introduced him to hip hop, until he learns the kid has moved on to grunge.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Mole" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
There’s a mole in the precinct and Holt and Jake need to find out who it is before Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch (guest star Kyra Sedgwick) gets wind of it. Meanwhile, Terry and Rosa visit a “silent” disco to uncover new leads for their new drug task force.
The Last Man on Earth - "She Drives Me Crazy" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Phil is flabbergasted as Todd and Melissa’s relationship continues to develop right in front of him.
Playing House - "Kimmewah Kup" (USA Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Maggie and Emma's girls weekend is interrupted by an unexpected visitor; the women battle their old nemeses.
Tuesday, September 1
- Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/30 Rock) - Catch Tituss on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Steve Byrne (Sullivan & Son) - Steve is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Tyler Labine (Animal Practice/Mad Love/Sons of Tucson) - Tyler will be on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Ming-Na Wen (The Single Guy) - Ming-Na Wen appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
- Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo is a guest on People Chatter.
- Lake Bell (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp/How to Make It in America) - Lake is tentatively scheduled to appear on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Tate Donovan (Partners) - Tate is tentatively scheduled to appear on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Ashley Tisdale (Clipped/The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) - Ashley joins the Chew Crew on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa will be on KTLA Morning News on KTLA in Los Angeles in the 9am hour.