Monday, November 18, 2013

FXX Acquires The Simpsons Cable Rights Beginning in Aug. 2014; Remembering Shirley Mitchell, Last Surviving Recurring Adult Cast Member of I Love Lucy

The Simpsons

After a vigorous bidding war which resulted in what is believed to be the biggest off-network deal ever, FXX has secured the exclusive cable, VOD and non-linear rights to The Simpsons, the longest-running comedy series in television history. Beginning in August 2014, through its landmark deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television, FXX will become the cable network home for all seasons of The Simpsons, excluding seasons airing in their first run on Fox. FXNOW, the soon-to-be-launched mobile viewing app of FX Networks for its authenticated subscribers, will be the exclusive non-linear home for all seasons of The Simpsons, excluding seasons airing in their first run on Fox. FXX and FXNOW will get subsequent seasons of The Simpsons as new seasons begin their first run on Fox. For example, beginning in August 2014 FXX will have access to 24 seasons (530 episodes) of the series. Beginning in September of 2014, FXX will have access to the 25th season of The Simpsons, when season 26 debuts on Fox.

Terms were not disclosed, but it is expected FXX paid $1.5 million per episodes. That's well over $800 million for the current library of episodes. FXX will likely air 18 episodes a week, similar to Modern Family on USA Network and The Big Bang Theory on TBS. We're not sure how many years the contract will go for, but obviously it is multi-year deal for at least four years (probably much more). This will be the first EVER cable home for The Simpsons. It entered broadcast syndication over 19 years ago (in 1994) and still is going strong. Stay with us for continued updates as we get closer to August 2014. We'll have the complete information then!


Shirley Mitchell

Actress Shirley Mitchell, who appeared in many 1950s and 1960s sitcoms, has died. She died of heart failure on November 11 in Westwood, California. Ms. Mitchell was 94.

Mitchell appeared in three episodes of the third season of I Love Lucy in 1953-1954. She played Marion Strong, a friend of Lucy Ricardo who had a funny laugh. She was the last surviving recurring adult cast member of the series. She was interviewed in the 2003 documentary The Desilu Story and the E! True Hollywood Story for I Love Lucy in 2005.

Shirley Mitchell

She appeared as Kitty Devereaux, a secretary for Bentley Gregg (John Forsythe), in Bachelor Father in 1958-1959. In 1960-1962, she appeared in thirteen episodes of Pete and Gladys as Janet Colton, the wife of George Colton (Peter Leeds). She played Opal Clampett, the wife of Jake Clampett, in two episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies in 1962. She appeared as the next-door neighbor Marge Thornton in Please Don't Eat the Daisies on NBC from 1965-1967. She portrayed Kate Bradley's cousin, Mae Belle Jennings, on Petticoat Junction in four episodes in 1967-1968. She made four guest appearances as a nurse and as Oliver's old friend Wanda in Green Acres from 1967-1971.

Her other sitcom credits included I Married Joan, Where's Raymond?, It's a Great Life, The Real McCoys, Leave it to Beaver, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Angel, Mister Ed, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Make Room for Daddy, My Three Sons, The Mothers-in-Law, and The Doris Day Show. In the 1970s, she appeared in The Odd Couple, Apple's Way, Chico and the Man, Three's Company and Alice. In 1990, she made her final sitcom guest appearance in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Her television drama credits included Dragnet and Perry Mason. She voiced Laurie Holiday in the 1972 Hanna-Barbera cartoon series, The Roman Holidays.

Survivors include her two children, Scott and Brooke, and sister-in-law, the Oscar-nominated Sunset Blvd. actress Nancy Olson. Her children were with her husband from 1946-1974, Dr. Julian Frieden. She was later married to composer Jay Livingston from 1992 until his death in 2001. She was a talented and funny character actress. Her Marion Strong character with the cackling laugh was very memorable on I Love Lucy. She was also great as the neighbor in Please Don't Eat the Daisies, which will hopefully be available on DVD someday. Ms. Mitchell will be greatly missed.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, June 18

Mom - "Charlotte Brontë and a Backhoe" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bonnie locks horns with Jill’s “inner strength” coach, Miranda (Kristin Chenoweth). Also, Christy struggles to bounce back after being rejected from law school.

Man with a Plan - "Battle of the Sexists" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Adam and Andi try to get back in their neighbors’ good graces after no one shows up to their potluck.

Andi Mack - "Truth or Truth" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the power goes out in Shadyside, a day of fun and games sheds light on unexpected revelations.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 18)

Monday, June 18

  • Jermaine Fowler (Superior Donuts) - Watch Jermaine on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Alison Brie (GLOW/Community) - Alison appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Louie Anderson (Baskets/Life with Louie/The Louie Show) - Louie stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Vanessa Bell Calloway (Rhythm & Blues) - Vanessa is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Bianca Lawson (Goode Behavior/Saved by the Bell: The New Class) - Bianca is a guest on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Heather Dubrow (Stark Raving Mad) - Heather drops by Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Melissa Peterman (Baby Daddy/Working Class/Reba) - Melissa guest co-hosts Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim talks about Hotel Transylvania 3 on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Craig T. Nelson (Coach) - Craig cooks with Clinton Kelly on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Katie O'Brien and Katy Colloton (Teachers) - Katie and Katy talk about Teachers on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June)

Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season Step by Step - The Complete First Season Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest