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 (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

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
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, September 21

The Big Bang Theory - "The Long Distance Dissonance" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The gang is concerned when Sheldon’s former admirer, Dr. Ramona Nowitzki (Riki Lindhome), resurfaces while Amy is away at Princeton.

Mom - "A Few Things and a Hawaiian Funeral" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy and Jill take Emily to see her biological mother, Natasha (Missi Pyle), in rehab where they make a surprising discovery, and Bonnie watches Adam’s dog while he’s out of town.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Recollection Dissipation" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon pushes himself to the limit when he collaborates on projects with Leonard and Wolowitz as well as Amy on the same day. Also, Bernadette is nearing the end of her maternity leave and must return to work.

Mom - "Lockjaw and a Liquid Diet" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy tries to help when Bonnie gets into trouble with the IRS but, realizing she’s in over her head, she encourages Bonnie to seek help from her newfound brother, Ray (Leonard Roberts).

The Guest Book - "Story Nine" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Jacob, an Amish kid on Rumspringa, follows the signs to God's Country and ends up at the cabin, where he is convinced God is directing him to meet the love of his life in any way possible.

Better Things - "Rising" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam clears her head.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 18)

Thursday, September 21

  • Dave Franco (Scrubs/Do Not Disturb) - Catch Dave on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory/Young Sheldon) - Jim appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kaitlin Olson (The Mick/It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) - Kailtin is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1:45pm.
  • Kyle MacLachlan (Sex and the City) - Kyle visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Amy Landecker (Transparent/The Paul Reiser Show) - Amy stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Minnie Driver (Speechless/About a Boy) - Minnie chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Essence Atkins (Marlon/Mr. Box Office/Are We There Yet?/Half & Half/Smart Guy) - Essence appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and Zach Woods (Silicon Valley/Playing House/The Office) - Kumail and Zach are guests on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Pamela Adlon (Better Things/The King of Queens/The Facts of Life) - Pamela appears on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
  • Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) - Peter is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.