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

Tuesday, October 16

The Conners - "Keep on Truckin'" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before.

The Kids Are Alright - "Pilot" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Lawrence, the prodigal eldest Cleary son, returns home from the seminary and breaks the news to his family that he’s dropping out for good, leaving Mike and Peggy upset and wondering why. Meanwhile, Timmy decides he wants to audition for a children’s theatre production but when Peggy finds out where it’s being held she forbids him from participating. Elsewhere, Eddie tries to keep his girlfriend a secret after Frank finds out and tries to blackmail him.

black-ish - "Gap Year" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
After dropping Junior off at college, Dre and Bow are beside themselves when they find him back at home announcing his decision to take a gap year. Meanwhile, Jack and Diane begin to question whether they should still be sharing a room.

Splitting Up Together - "Sign Language" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
The morning after Lena and Martin sleep together, Lena searches for signs that they are or aren’t meant to be a couple. Their relationship is put to the test after she organizes a romantic beach getaway and it becomes apparent what’s meant to be. Meanwhile, Arthur and Camille trail Lisa Apple, hoping to determine if she is pregnant with Martin’s baby. Elsewhere, Maya struggles to decide if she should tell her new boyfriend, Frank, about her pregnancy.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 15)

Tuesday, October 16

  • John Krasinski (The Office) - Catch John on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Eric is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick/Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Kathryn stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. She will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa drops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm. She also talks about Can You Ever Forgive Me? on the BUILD Series at 12pm.
  • Jane Curtin (3rd Rock from the Sun/Kate & Allie) - Jane visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Laurence Fishburne (black-ish) - Laurence chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Nathan Fillion (Two Guys and a Girl) - Nathan talks about The Rookie on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Katy Mixon (American Housewife/Mike & Molly) - Katy is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Sara Gilbert (The Conners/Roseanne/Bad Teacher/The Big Bang Theory and John Goodman (The Connners/Roseanne/The Trouble in Normal, Ohio) - Sara and John are guests on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • John Leguizamo (The Brothers Garcia) - John appears on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Heather Dubrow (Stark Raving Mad) - Heather is a guest on People Now at 12pm.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace visits NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Fran Drescher (Happily Divorced/The Nanny/Living with Fran) - Fran talks about hosting Cancer Scchmancer's Master Class Health Summit on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Analeigh Tipton (Manhattan Love Story) - Analeigh talks about her movie Better Start Running on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


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

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season Step by Step - The Complete Second Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season

09/04 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season 12
09/04 - Mom - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Superstore - Season Three
09/04 - Young Sheldon - The Complete First Season
09/11 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season (Blu-ray)
09/11 - The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - People of Earth - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - Community - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
09/18 - Step by Step - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fourth Season
09/25 - Blondie - The Complete 1957 Television Series
09/25 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season
10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest