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 (January)
01/06 - The Cosby Show - Season 5 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - The Cosby Show - Season 6 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - The Cosby Show - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Girls - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
01/06 - Married with Children - Season Seven (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Married with Children - Season Eight (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Married with Children - Seasons Seven and Eight (Mill Creek)
01/13 - The Big House - The Complete Series
01/13 - Episodes - The Third Season
01/13 - The Facts of Life - The Complete Series (Shout! Factory
01/20 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Second Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Thursday, January 29
The Big Bang Theory - "The Anxiety Optimization" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
In the hopes of achieving a scientific breakthrough, Sheldon invites his friends to challenge him. Also, Wolowitz invents an embarrassing game about Raj.
Mom - "Kitty Litter and a Class Felony" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Christy does damage control when Bonnie acts out after the death of a loved one. Beverly D’Angelo Returns as Lorraine.
Two and a Half Men - "A Beer-Battered Rip-Off" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Alan breaks up with their social worker to get back together with Lyndsey, Walden worries it will affect Louis’ adoption.
The McCarthys - "The Ref" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Ronny dates Doug, a handsome ref who has a history of infuriating Arthur, Ronny invites him over for dinner to convince them he is a nice guy. Meanwhile, Katrina is worried Gerard is cheating on her when he begins acting suspicious.
Thursday, January 29
- Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Catch Mayim on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Alison Brie (Community) - Watch Alison on The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
- Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney guest co-hosts The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
- Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) - Simon appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS. He also discusses his new film We'll Never Have Paris on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
- Andrew Rannells (Girls/The New Normal) - Andrew is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Cedric the Entertainer (The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) - Cedric is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
- Megan Park (The Neighbors) - Megan discusses her starring role in the upcoming Hallmark Channel original movie A Wish Come True on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Robert Carradine (Lizzie McGuire) and Curtis Armstrong (Dan Vs.) - Robert and Curtis talk about what to expect in the new season of King of the Nerds on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The New Class) - Mario and his wife Courtney are guests on The Better Show, so check your local listings.
- Josh Molina (Sports Night) - Josh is a guest on SI Now.