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

Wednesday, December 13

The Goldbergs - "We Didn't Start the Fire" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Erica tells Beverly she is going to spend the first night of Hanukkah with Geoff and his family, Beverly worries and starts a competition for who hosts the best Hanukkah party. Meanwhile, Barry seeks advice from Pops on how to be cool and suggests entering into the school’s talent show. However, when Pops hears Barry sing, he tries to stop him from performing, but will it be too late?

Speechless - "S-I--SILENT N-I-- NIGHT" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After leveraging JJ in an attempt to land a family dog, Dylan takes a vow of silence to better understand what it is to be her brother. Ray brokers a meeting between his girlfriend’s mother, Melanie (guest star Sarah Chalke), and Maya, only to realize they have a history. Jimmy drives Kenneth crazy by gaming a supermarket giveaway to score free Christmas turkeys.

Modern Family - "No Small Feet" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Claire lands a big opportunity for Pritchett’s Closets, Jay expects a little validation for his contribution; and Pam’s ex-boyfriend Bo (James Van Der Beek) shows up and Mitchell sees this as the perfect opportunity to get Pam out of the house. Meanwhile, Luke and Alex stumble upon a successful online business that finally gets them on their feet.

American Housewife - "Blue Christmas" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Doris goes into labor and Katie heads to the hospital to be with her, the Ottos struggle to be in the same place at the same time in order to open their Christmas presents together, as is the Otto family tradition. Meanwhile, Taylor coaches Oliver on the best way to ask out a crush, starting with the gift shop clerk.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 11)

Wednesday, December 13

  • Yvette Nicole Brown (The Mayor/The Odd Couple/Community) - Watch Yvette on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Alison Brie (GLOW/Community) - Alison is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Nick appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Michael Rapaport (Atypical/The War at Home) - Michael visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Rebel Wilson (Super Fun Night) and Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Rebel, Anna and the cast of Pitch Perfect 3 are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Diedrich Bader (American Housewife/The Drew Carey Show) - Diedrich appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) and Karen Gillan (Selfie) - Kevin, Karen and the cast of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Dan Aykroyd (Soul Man) - Dan talks about Crystal Head Vodka on the BUILD Series at 2:30pm.


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

The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season Living Single - The Complete Third Season Alice - The Complete Sixth Season One Day at a Time - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Second Season

11/07 - American Dad! - Volume 12
11/07 - Family Guy - Season Fifteen
11/07 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season
11/14 - D.C. Follies - The Complete Series
11/21 - Living Single - The Complete Third Season
11/24 - Grandfathered - Season 1
12/05 - Alice - The Complete Sixth Season
12/05 - One Day at a Time - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Simpsons - The Eighteenth Season
12/05 - South Park - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
12/12 - Fuller House - The Complete Second Season
12/19 - South Park - The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11
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