Thursday, January 17, 2013

Remembering Conrad Bain, Antenna TV Pays Tribute with Maude, Diff'rent Strokes Marathons; Betty White's 2nd Annual 90th Birthday Special on Feb. 5

Veteran actor Conrad Bain, who played Phillip Drummond in Diff'rent Strokes and Dr. Arthur Harmon in Maude, has died. He died of natural causes on January 14 at a retirement home in Livermore, California. Mr. Bain was 89.

Conrad Bain was born on February 4, 1923, in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. His career began as a stage actor in a Connecticut production of Dear Ruth in 1947. Bain's other theatre credits included The Iceman Cometh, Candide, Advise and Consent, An Enemy of the People, Uncle Vanya and On Borrowed Time.

Bain's television career began in 1952 with an appearance in Studio One. His early television guest appearances included The Defenders, The Trials of O'Brien and N.Y.P.D.. In 1966, he played Mr. Wells, the town innkeeper, in Dark Shadows. He appeared in four episodes in the first two seasons before his character was killed off by werewolf Chris Jennings. In 1970, he appeared as Dr. Charles Weldon #1 in The Edge of Night. Bain's film credits in the 1960s and 1970s included Madigan, A Lovely Way to Die, Coogan's Bluff, I Never Sang for My Father, Bananas, The Anderson Tapes, Up the Sandbox and C.H.O.M.P.S.

Maude

In 1972, he landed his first starring television role in Maude. The All in the Family spin-off aired for 6 seasons on CBS from 1972-1978. The series starred Bea Arthur, Bill Macy, Adrienne Barbeau, Rue McClanahan and Esther Rolle (1972-1974). Bain played the role of Dr. Arthur Harmon, Maude and Walter Findlay's next-door neighbor and the best friend of Walter. Arthur was initially a widower in the series, but he later started dating Maude's best friend, Vivian (Rue McClanahan), at the beginning of the second season. Their characters were married in the middle of the season in February 1974. His identical twin brother, Bonar Bain, played his twin brother Arnold in the 1977 episode Vivian's Surprise.

Diff'rent Strokes

Bain's best known role was as Phillip Drummond in Diff'rent Strokes. The popular sitcom ran for 8 seasons on NBC from 1978-1985 and ABC from 1985-1986. Philip Drummond was the wealthy father of daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato) and adopted sons Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Willis (Todd Bridges). Their family lived in an apartment on Park Avenue in Manhattan. He was the president of the huge conglomerate Trans Allied, Inc. Bain also appeared as Mr. Drummond in The Facts of Life pilot episode and the crossover episodes with Hello, Larry. In 1996, he reprised his role and appeared with Gary Coleman as prospective buyers of the mansion in the final episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. He reunited with Coleman and Bridges in March 2003 at the TV Land Awards to present the award for "Funniest Food Fight."

Following the end of Diff'rent Strokes, he appeared in the 1987-1988 Fox sitcom Mr. President. He played the affable Charlie Ross, who was the loyal Chief of Staff to President Samuel Arthur Tresch (George C. Scott). In 1990, he played the role of Grandpa in the film Postcards from the Edge. He had been retired from acting since 1996, except for a stage role in Ancestral Voices in 2000.

Survivors include three sons, one daughter and his identical twin brother, Bonar Bain. Conrad was married to Monica Sloan from 1945 until her death in 2009. Jennifer Bain had this to say TMZ about her father: "He was an amazing person. He was a lot like Mr. Drummond, but much more interesting in real life. He was an amazing father." Mr. Drummond was one the greatest dads in TV history. Gary Coleman may have been the big star of the show, but Bain was the glue who held everything together. He had many hilarious lines and scenes. He will be greatly missed.

Share your memories on our Diff'rent Strokes and Maude message boards. View photos in our Diff'rent Strokes and Maude photo galleries.


Antenna TV will pay tribute to Conrad Bain by airing a marathon of some of his finest work on episodes of both of his long-running series. They will air "A Tribute to Conrad Bain" this Saturday (January 19, 2013) from 1-8pm ET, with eight episodes each of Maude (1-4pm ET) and Diff'rent Strokes (4-8pm ET). View the episode info for this tribute marathon. We will let you know if any other network or station is planning a tribute.


Betty White

Seven-time Emmy Award winner Betty White will be celebrating her 91st birthday in style as a star-studded line up of special guests pays tribute to one of the world's most beloved entertainers in Betty White's 2nd Annual 90th Birthday Special, airing Tuesday, February 5 at 8pm ET on NBC in her Off Their Rockers timeslot. Blake Shelton, Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hayes, Rico Rodriguez, Lily Tomlin and Sarah Silverman will honor America's comedy sweetheart, along with Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States. Also on hand to deliver birthday wishes will be Vicki Lawrence -- reprising her popular title role from Mama's Family -- Katie Couric and White's Hot in Cleveland co-stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick, as well as Zachary Levi, Larry King and Kate Flannery. The evening will include special performances - including Shelton singing a tailor-made musical number for the birthday girl - as well as comedy and clips that perfectly capture the irreverent tone, spirit and comedic flair that are the hallmark of White's extraordinary career.

At 91 years old, White is one of the funniest and busiest actresses in Hollywood, currently starring on NBC's Betty White's Off Their Rockers and TV Land's sitcom Hot in Cleveland. With a career that has spanned more than 60 years, the star of classic series like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Golden Girls has created unforgettable roles in television and film. She has also authored seven books and won numerous awards, including those for her lifelong work for animal welfare.
The first Betty White's 90th Birthday aired last year on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 as a 90-minute special and delivered solid ratings averaging 13.86 million viewers and a 2.7 18-49 rating.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 2

Last Man Standing - "Precious Snowflakes" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mandy chooses local-celebrity Mike as the speaker for her business school’s graduation. After learning that the school requires his speech to be PC and micro-agression free, Mike decides whether or not to play by the rules. Meanwhile, Eve’s friend Cammy (Sarah Gilman) is home from college, bragging about how fantastic her new life has been, leaving Eve feeling slightly fruitless and discouraged.

Dr. Ken - "D.K's New Girlfriend" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When D.K. overhears Allison complain about him overstaying his welcome, he decides to move in with his girlfriend of three weeks. Meanwhile, Pat wants Dave to pretend he’s his adopted son; and Allison is convinced Molly wants to talk about something when she suggests they do a spa day, but the tables turn when Molly is the one doling out the advice.

I Love Lucy - "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures.” Both were colorized with a vintage look, a nod to the 1950s period in which the shows were filmed. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS in December 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Thought to be lost, CBS rediscovered the episode in 1989.

In the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures,” Lucy’s lifelong dream of appearing in a motion picture seems to have come true when Ricky arranges for her to play a showgirl in a new musical. Unfortunately, the enormous feathered headdress she is expected to wear as she descends a staircase proves to be too cumbersome. After numerous mishaps on the stairs, the musical’s frustrated director (Lou Krugman) decides to make a change.

“Lucy Gets in Pictures” was originally broadcast Feb. 21, 1955, and was an immediate favorite not only of viewers, but of Lucille Ball herself. She restaged the famous headdress scene, again with Krugman, in the 1962 CBS special, “Opening Night,” and in 1965 in a slightly modified form, this time with actor Danny Thomas, in her second CBS series, “The Lucy Show.”

Liv and Maddie: Cali Style - "Cali Christmas-a-Rooney" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Maddie gets upset that she can't be in Wisconsin for Christmas, so Liv helps cheer her up.

Girl Meets World - "Girl Meets a Christmas Maya" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As Christmas approaches, Riley gets excited to celebrate her favorite holiday, but for Maya, the holidays only bring back unhappy memories from her childhood.

Bunk'd - "How the Griff Stole Christmas" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The holidays arrive at Camp Kikiwaka with everyone in good spirits -- except for Griff.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 28)

Friday, December 2

  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Watch Chelsea on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Andrew Rannells (Girls/The New Normal) - Andrew is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men/The Powers That Be/Bosom Buddies) - Holland chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall stops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Scott Patterson (Aliens in America) - Scott is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Quinn (Bunk'd) - Kevin appears on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Miss Piggy (The Muppets) - NBC's Today catches up with Miss Piggy in the 10am hour.
  • Gaby Hoffmann (Transparent/Someone Like Me) - Gaby appears on Chelsea on Netflix.