Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mary Tyler Moore Show Reunion on Hot in Cleveland, Also Renewed for Season 5; Episodic Reviews: New Girl - "Chicago" Airing Tonight on Fox and The New Normal - "About A Boy Scout" Airing Tonight on NBC



TV Land announced that the ladies of Hot in Cleveland will soon be getting some special visitors in town as Mary Tyler Moore, Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman reunite with their co-star of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Betty White and recurring star Georgie Engel. In the episode, Elka (Betty White) and Mamie Sue (Georgia Engel) decide to get their bowling team back together, aptly named GLOB: the Gorgeous Ladies of Bowling. The team, which includes Elka, Mamie Sue, Diane (Moore), Peg (Leachman) and Angie (Harper), had a falling out decades ago after their championship season went to their heads. This is the first time in over 30 years (since 1977) that the five former female castmates will be reunited on the sitcom stage. Mary Tyler Moore previously appeared on Hot in Cleveland as Elka's cellmate in a season two episode, but this will be a different character. Gavin MacLeod and Ed Asner are the only ones missing in this reunion episode (though Asner guest starred last year on the sitcom). The Mary Tyler Moore Show reunion episode is taping in front of a live audience on Friday, April 5 at the CBS Studio Center in Studio City, CA and will also guest star Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family). It's going to be bittersweet with Valerie Harper going through terminal brain cancer. It's so great they will reunite one last time. It is slated to air sometime in August, and we will let you know when exactly at a later date. As we all know, Hot in Cleveland returns for its remaining season four episodes with a LIVE (in the east) episode on Wednesday, June 19 at 10pm ET. The sitcom has 12 more episodes to air in season four.



In more Hot in Cleveland news, we are getting a season five as well! TV Land has renewed the sitcom for a fifth season and it will being it to a milestone mark. The 24-episode order brings the series to a total of 104 episodes, surpassing 100 episodes. This past January, CBS Television Distribution announced that it has sold Hot in Cleveland to TV stations in 92% of the United States for a September 2014 launch. Now these stations can expect at least 104 episodes to air five days a week beginning in Fall 2014. The fifth season will start taping this Fall and will likely start airing in early 2014 and be split up in two halves of 12 episodes again.



On the next...New Girl:
By: Todd

Fox's Tuesday adorkable sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel airs Tuesday nights at 9:00pm and we have just watched the next episode that airs tonight (March 26). We have special guest appearances by Emmy Award winner Margo Martindale and Nick Kroll. In the episode airing tonight, "Chicago," Jess (Zooey Deschanel), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lamorne Morris) accompany Nick (Jake Johnson) back to his hometown when his father suddenly dies. Once there, Jess realizes just how responsible Nick can be when she meets Nick's boisterous family members, including his mom, Bonnie (Martindale); his younger brother, Jamie (Kroll); and his cousin from Boston, Bobby (guest star Bill Burr). Meanwhile, Winston helps Schmidt get over his fear of death and Jess pulls out all the (musical) stops when she helps throw a wake fit for a king.

Jess brings in some balloons from a guy she bought in a van. Nick gets a call from his mom that his dad has died of a heart attack in Chicago. After inhaling helium, they try to console him with their changed voices. The gang travels to Nick's hometown of Chicago for the funeral. Nick's mom asks him to make the funeral plans. Nick's father wanted a funeral like Elvis had, complete with an Elvis impersonator. Nick is asked to write the eulogy for his father, but he is busy making other arrangements and asks Jess to write it. Meanwhile, Schmidt tells Winston that he can't go to the funeral because he is scared of death. Winston later pretends to be dead in a casket to help get over his fear. Jess talks to Jamie and Bobby to gather more information on Walt for the eulogy. Nick continues to make phone calls. He later brings back a drunk guy to appear as the Elvis impersonator. Bobby learns that a chain that Walt is wearing may be his father's and tries to reclaim it. After the Elvis impersonator passes out, it's up to Jess to step in and help out. Nick remembers his father with a heartfelt speech. Everybody later joins together and sings. That's how Walt would have wanted it. As the episode closes, we learn that Nick's brother has plans that may lead to another family gathering in the future.



Tonight's episode has a more serious tone than usual. It's a somber and emotional storyline, but they added just the right amount of comedy to lighten the mood. Dennis Farina had appeared as Nick's charming con artist father, Walt, in an earlier episode in January. We meet more of Nick's wild and crazy family in this episode. His mother, brother and cousin are expertly played by guest stars Margo Martindale (Emmy winner from Justified), Nick Kroll and Bill Burr. Nick's mother isn't the biggest fan of Jess at the start and is skeptical of Nick's relationship with her, but she eventually warms up and accepts her. The awkward exchanges between them are very funny. Kroll and Burr are hilarious as his younger brother and cousin. They have some good scenes with Jess and Schmidt. It's hard to imagine that Nick is the responsible and mature person of the family. Also appearing in the episode is 94-year-old Ellen Albertini Dow as Old Auntie Ruth. She has a couple of fun one-liners. Hopefully we see Nick's family again under better circumstances down the road. The main cast is given a chance to show more of their dramatic side in the episode. Other highlights include Schmidt trying to get over his fear of death, Jess' support of Nick and her singing, and Nick's heartfelt speech about his father. New Girl is wrapping up its sophomore season with a strong batch of episodes. B



On the next...The New Normal:
By: Todd

NBC's Tuesday freshman comedy produced by Ryan Murphy airs Tuesday nights at 9:30pm and we have just watched the next episode that airs tonight (March 26). John Stamos returns for another episode. In the episode airing tonight, "About A Boy Scout," despite Bryan's (Andrew Rannells) concerns, David (Justin Bartha), a former Eagle Scout, jumps at the chance to chaperone a Boy Scout overnight with his friend’s son. His skills earn him the respect of the other fathers and scouts, but when one father disagrees with his lifestyle, David's Boy Scout membership is revoked. Elsewhere, Rocky (NeNe Leakes) is helping Goldie (Georgia King) sort out her secret crush on Brice (guest star John Stamos).

David brings his friend's son, Danny, home after a hike in the canyon. He is an Eagle Scout for life and wants his son to one day be one, despite their stance excluding gays. David is offered the opportunity to chaperone a camping trip. Bryan later suggests that they have a scout meeting at their home. David introduces Bryan to the troop. Bryan later reads a letter that David's membership is revoked. David talks to the leaders to see who reported him, but nobody will tell him who contacted the organization. One of the fathers eventually admits to David that he was the one who called the office and tells him why he doesn't want David to be his role model because of his lifestyle. David thanks for him for his honesty. He later tells the troop he can't be their leader, but that he will continue to fight for change. In the secondary story, Rocky attends a Loveaholics meeting and talks to Brice. She also helps Goldie deal with her secret crush on Brice.



The New Normal hasn't been afraid to tackle many social issues in its rookie season. Tonight's storyline about the Boy Scouts and their ban on gay members and leaders has been in the news quite a bit lately. The show isn't preachy the way they present the topic. They provide both sides of the debate. When the father tells David why he reported him to the organization, David thanks him for his honesty and vows to continue to fight for change. It's an interesting and well presented episode, but there just aren't many laughs. There is more of a serious tone in this comedy. The secondary story of Rocky talking to Brice about Goldie is less interesting and just seems like filler. Ellen Barkin is noticeably absent from the episode. I'm not sure what happened to her this week. There are internet rumors that she was fired from the show. After a strong start that led to a full season renewal, the show has struggled in the ratings in recent weeks. They continue to set series lows. The show was already on the bubble, so the downward spiral can't be helping their chances. It's possible that next week's two episodes will be the end of the series. C


New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)

American Dad! - Volume 11 Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One

12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, January 21

The Thundermans - "Better Off Wed" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The kids learn that Dr. Colosso ruined their parents' wedding years earlier, and want to recreate Hank & Barb's dream day as their anniversary gift. However, Dr. Colosso remains a threat, and they must keep their plans a secret.

Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn - "Keeping Up with the Quadashians" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After binge watching their favorite reality TV show, the Quads decide their lives are every bit as "reality TV" worthy, and decide to make a show of their own. Guest Stars: Maddie Ziegler, Mackenzie Ziegler

School of Rock - "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" (Nickelodeon, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Tomika and Zack work on a love song together, leading to a moment that will change their friendship forever. Summer and Lawrence hang out together for the first time, and Freddy helps Mr. Finn with a problem.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 23)

Saturday, January 21

  • Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show/Cosby) - Phylicia will be featured on Oprah: Where Are They Now? at 10pm ET/PT on OWN.
Sunday, January 22
  • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - Catch NeNe on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, January 23
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Watch Allison on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) and Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Arrested Development/Out of Practice) - William and Henry are guests on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Jade Catta-Preta (Manhattan Love Story) - Jade is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Wendi McClendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Tika Sumpter (The Game) - Tika appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Justina Machado (One Day at a Time) - Justina will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry and Rebecca Romjin talk about Love Locks on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. Jerry will also be on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT and on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Retta (Parks and Recreation) - Retta talks about Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.