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.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April/May/June)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 27

The Big Bang Theory - "The Geology Elevation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Bert (Brian Posehn), a Caltech geologist, wins the MacArthur Genius fellowship, Sheldon is overcome with jealousy. Also, Wolowitz finds an old remote control Stephen Hawking action figure he invented. Stephen Hawking returns to guest star as himself.

Life in Pieces - "I'll Be Home for Christmas... Maybe" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Kevin gets into the Christmas spirit when he volunteers to help Mott (Chris Roach) and his seven kids prepare for the holidays while his wife’s away, leaving Donna (Erinn Hayes) high and dry until Kyle (Gary Valentine) swoops in to help her. Jackie Sandler guest stars as Mott’s wife, Cindy.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 24)

Thursday, July 27

  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) - Catch Billy on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Jill Kargman (Odd Mom Out) - Jill is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Love/Community) - Gillian visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Niecy Nash (Getting On/The Soul Man/Reno 911!) - Niecy stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Brett Gelman (Married/Go On) - Brett appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • The Cast of Veep - Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, Matt Walsh, Kevin Dunn, Gary Cole and Sam Richardson are guests on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kelsey Grammer (Frasier/Cheers) - Kelsey drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Nico guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Betty Gilpin (GLOW/Nurse Jackie) - Betty talks about GLOW on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ernie Hudson (Grace and Frankie/The Last Precinct) - Ernie is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace and her daughter, Natasha, see how well they really know each other on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Jake T. Austin (Wizards of Waverly Place) - Jake talks about The Emoji Movie on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Brian Sacca (Wrecked) - Brian talks about Wrecked on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph (Instant Mom/Moesha/It's a Living) - Sheryl will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Jason Alexander (Seinfeld/Listen Up!/Bob Patterson) - Jason is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.