Monday, December 16, 2013

Seven Questions with Lisa Whelchel of The Facts of Life; The CW Midseason 2013 Schedule

Today we have a special "Seven Questions" interview with the very likeable & nice Lisa Whelchel, who of course played Blair Warner on the hit '80s sitcom The Facts of Life from 1979-88. In 2012, she tied for second place and was voted fan favorite on Survivor: Philippines. This month (Dec. 13), she now co-stars in Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, in theatres nationwide. She is also promoting a new workout DVD: Lisa Whelchel's Everyday Workout for the Everyday Woman. It is the first workout DVD from the popular Facts of Life star, Survivor runner-up, author, and mom of three. With the help of her trainer, Lisa leads two inspiring and accessible total-body workouts geared towards beginners with a friendly, encouraging vibe and modifications for ALL levels plus useful personal training tips. The DVD is from Acacia and can be ordered today (since Dec. 3).

We talked to her about the The Facts of Life experience obviously, her Survivor experience, what motivated her to make this workout DVD, if she keeps in touch with her Facts of Life co-stars, how she almost took a role on Hello, Larry instead, and getting back in the acting game, including wanting to get back on a sitcom. Calling all studios and networks, Lisa wants to be on a sitcom! TV Land? ABC? Anyone? Lisa is busier than ever, so let's get right to another installment of "Seven Questions!"

"Seven Questions with Lisa Whelchel of The Facts of Life"

Lisa Whelchel 2013

SitcomsOnline: Hello Lisa! Thanks for talking to us. We're longtime fans of yours and The Facts of Life is one of our favorite sitcoms ever! You look amazing at age 50 (which you don't look AT ALL, by the way), so what is your secret of staying and looking young?
Lisa Whelchel: I love it (about Facts of Life)! Thank you very much (about looking great)! I don't think I can take credit for it. I just have good genes. My mom looks young, my grandmother looked young. That's pretty much it (laughs).

Lisa Whelchel's Everyday Workout for the Everyday Woman

SitcomsOnline: And now you have this workout DVD out in stores since Dec. 3! Can you tell us how the idea came about for your workout DVD (Lisa Whelchel's Everyday Workout for the Everyday Woman)?
Lisa Whelchel: Yeah, I was approached by Acacia after being on Survivor. I guess they figured I was in pretty good shape for my age and that maybe I can help other women my age get in shape but I wasn't initially interested in the idea because I thought I was the last person in the world who should make an exercise DVD because I don't enjoy exercise. Then I thought maybe I can make an exercise DVD for women's who don't enjoy exercising then maybe I could pull it off.

Lisa and Jeff Probst

SitcomsOnline: You were incredible on Survivor: Philippines as well last year (we thought you were going to win it!). America fell in love with you all over again it seems after watching you on Survivor! If you didn't participate on that show, do you think you still would have worked on making the workout DVD?
Lisa Whelchel: Thank you. Probably not, yeah I think that's how they approached me. I did really work hard to get in shape for Survivor. That show was a million times harder than it looks and that I thought it would be. The elements were tougher...the 17 days of straight rain, the rats, and the bugs...you know, the hunger, all that was harder and even more than that just the emotional conflict of playing the game once you really care about people was a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be as well. And I do think Denise deserved it (to win). She played a good game!

Facts of Life Cast

SitcomsOnline: You know we're a sitcom website so we have to mention The Facts of Life! What was it about Blair Warner that you liked the most? And what qualities did you two share and didn't share?
Lisa Whelchel: Well I think the thing I liked about her the most was probably the qualities we didn't share and yet I got an opportunity to (laughs) act that way. You know, I think I would have gotten into trouble if I acted like Blair. My mother would've just punished me (laughs) or grounded me in some way but I got to...let all that kind of, you know, spoiled attitudes come out in the part and it was actually really fun.

SitcomsOnline: Would Blair Warner actually make a fitness DVD you think? I just don't see her working out like that. Are the types of workouts on your DVD so easy that even Blair can do them?
Lisa Whelchel: No, I don't think so (making a fitness DVD)...although she might be more inclined to do my DVD than Jillian Michaels because I think Jillian Michaels actually makes you sweat to the point that your mascara might run and my workout DVD doesn't. So you can grip it and glow, without sweating.

Lisa Whelchel credit

SitcomsOnline: The Facts of Life cast has reunited a few times (a TV movie in 2001 and at the 2011 TV Land Awards), but other than that - do all of you still keep in touch regularly? If you had to pick one person, who is the one that you're the closest to? Can you also share with us how you almost passed on Facts of Life originally for Hello, Larry? You made the right call!
Lisa Whelchel: I keep in touch with all of them, although we're spread out all over the country, so we rarely all get together at the same time and since Nancy McKeon and I have both been living in Texas for the last, you know many years, I've had more opportunities to spend time with her. Yeah, I guess in the second season of Hello, Larry the older sister was let go because of a drug problem so they had to recast her and I auditioned and got the part but it was the same time that I also auditioned for the pilot of The Facts of Life so I had to choose. And I chose the Facts of Life. I think so, too (about her decision). I agree.

Lisa Whelchel and Nancy McKeon 2011 TV Land Awards

SitcomsOnline: Finally, you're back in the acting game! We can't wait to see you in Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas! Tell us about your experience on that movie and returning to acting in general. We need you back on our TV screens weekly, preferably on a sitcom (TV Land would be good). Any word on that? And thanks for your time--we truly appreciate it! Best of luck!
Lisa Whelchel: I agree totally! You know what, yesterday, my whole family went out to dinner and I went around the table and I said, 'if we were sitting here this time next year, Christmas 2014, you know, what would you like to say that you're thankful that happened?' So everyone went around and some of them said different things and I said 'I would like to say I'm thankful that I finally got to be on another sitcom' so that's probably my biggest thing on my Christmas wish list this year. You know what, I certainly consider anything that looks it was going to be funny and good quality and not terribly filthy (laughs). But I love being on the Tyler Perry movie because it is kind of like a 90-minute '80s sitcom. It is a lot of broad humor and so much fun and it has a good message at the end. And would you tell everybody at Sitcoms Online how much I appreciate, you know, their love and support and I'm very grateful for them!



We definitely appreciate Lisa for taking the time to give us an interview to talk about her workout DVD, her sitcom experience and what she is up to now. She is so very nice and as everyone can tell from reading this interview, she's so humble. We wish her the best and we will continue to see her on TV/movies for many years to come. That'll do it for this installment of "Seven Questions," stay tuned next time for another brand new interview! But first, don't forget to check out Lisa Whelchel all over the web and social media. Follow her everywhere!

Purchase Lisa Whelchel's Everyday Workout for the Everyday Woman on DVD from Amazon.com .






The CW

The CW announced its midseason schedule, including the premiere of two new dramas, Star-Crossed and The 100, and the second cycle of the hit comedy/improv series Whose Line Is It Anyway? In February, the futuristic story of an alien/human romance begins with the premiere of Star-Crossed on Monday, February 17 at 8:00pm ET, leading into another epic romance, Beauty and the Beast. The current Monday 8pm timeslot holder, Hart of Dixie, following a brief hiatus will return with a new night and time on Fridays at 9:00pm ET, beginning March 21. In March, the human race returns to planet Earth in the post-apocalyptic adventure drama, The 100, which will premiere on Wednesday, March 19 at 9:00pm ET, following hit drama Arrow. As a result, The Tomorrow People will transport to its new night and time on Mondays at 9:00pm ET, beginning March 17, following fellow new series Star-Crossed. After the March 10 telecast, Beauty and the Beast will go on hiatus and will return to the schedule with original episodes at a date to be announced.

The hit comedy/improv series Whose Line Is It Anyway? will be back with a second cycle on Friday, March 21 with new episodes at 8:00 and 8:30pm ET. Subsequent weeks will feature original episodes at 8:00pm and encore episodes at 8:30pm. Encore episodes from the first season of Whose Line Is It Anyway? will air Fridays at 8:00pm and 8:30pm from February 14 through March 14 to get ready for the new season. Currently airing in the Friday at 8pm slot is The Carrie Diaries, but that will end its season on Jan. 31 after its 13th episode. No word yet if that will be back after this season, so stay tuned. Stay with us for any continued updates on The CW in midseason!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, May 22

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Kerry Washington joins “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons,’” the live sitcom special coming from late-night host Jimmy Kimmel and television icon Norman Lear. Washington is set to play Helen Willis in the special, airing live WEDNESDAY, MAY 22 (8:00-9:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. This historic event will take viewers down memory lane, recreating an original episode from each of the Emmy® Award-winning series “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.” This legendary night of television will be hosted by Lear and Kimmel, directed by 10-time Emmy winner James Burrows and produced by Sony Pictures Television.

Previously announced stars include Woody Harrelson (Archie Bunker), Marisa Tomei (Edith Bunker), Jamie Foxx (George Jefferson), Wanda Sykes (Louise Jefferson), Ellie Kemper (Gloria Stivic), Will Ferrell (Tom Willis), Justina Machado (Florence Johnston), Ike Barinholtz (Meathead), Sean Hayes (Mr. Lorenzo), Amber Stevens West (Jenny Willis Jefferson), Jovan Adepo (Lionel Jefferson), Anthony Anderson (Uncle Henry), Stephen Tobolowsky (Mr. Bentley) and Jackée Harry (Diane Stockwell).

All About "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After the star-studded live sitcom special “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons,’” “Nightline” will take a special look at the cultural and historical significance of the two iconic series. Participants in the live sitcom special along with modern-day comedians, television stars and journalists reminisce about each show’s groundbreaking impact and legacy.“Nightline” Presents “All About ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons’” airs WEDNESDAY, MAY 22 (9:31–10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network.

The prime-time special features interviews with “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” creator Norman Lear; host and executive producer Jimmy Kimmel and stars Anthony Anderson, Ike Barinholtz, Jackée Harry, Ellie Kemper and Kerry Washington; comedians and actors Raven-Symoné, David Alan Grier, Lil’ Rel and John Amos; original “The Jeffersons” cast member Marla Gibbs; and journalists Deborah Roberts, Chris Connelly, Marc Lamont Hill and Joe Levy.

What We Do in the Shadows - "The Orgy" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Tensions run high as the vampires prepare to host the Biannual Vampire Orgy.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 20)

Wednesday, May 22

  • John Travolta (Welcome Back, Kotter) - Watch John and his daughter Ella Bleu on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Kaitlyn Dever (Last Man Standing) - Kaitlyn appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She also talks about Booksmart on the BUILD Series at 1pm.
  • John Lithgow (Trial & Error/Twenty Good Years/3rd Rock from the Sun) - John stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Beanie Feldstein (What We Do in the Shadows) - Beanie is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She also talks about Booksmart on the BUILD Series at 1pm.
  • Elizabeth Banks (Scrubs/30 Rock) - Elizabeth visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Bradley Whitford (Happyish/Trophy Wife) - Bradley drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Billy Ray Cyrus (Still the King) - Billy Ray appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Logan Browning (Dear White People/Meet the Browns) - Logan is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Lisa Kudrow (Friends/The Comeback/Web Therapy) - Lisa stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Tracy Pollan (Family Ties) - Tracy appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - Eric chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin talks about The Secret Life of Pets 2 on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and in the 10am hour and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jenny Slate (Married/Parks and Recreation) and Patton Oswalt (A.P. Bio/The Goldbergs/The King of Queens) - Jenny and Patton talk about The Secret Life of Pets 2 on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Ed Asner (Dead to Me/Center of the Universe/Thunder Alley/The Mary Tyler Moore Show) - Ed and his son Matt are guests on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


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

Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season Alice - The Complete Ninth Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season Evening Shade - The Complete Collection Perfect Strangers - The Complete Seventh and Eighth Seasons

03/05 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
03/12 - Alice - The Complete Ninth Season (WBShop.com)
03/26 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
04/02 - Archer: Danger Island - The Complete Season Nine
04/09 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fifth Season
04/12 - Evening Shade - The Complete Collection
04/16 - The Big C - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
05/07 - Baskets - The Complete Season Three
05/13 - My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume One
05/13 - My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume Two
05/14 - The Donna Reed Show - Seasons 1-5
05/14 - Petticoat Junction - Seasons 1-3
05/28 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Seventh and Eighth Seasons
05/28 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

05/22 - Los Espookys Premieres June 14 on HBO; NBC's 5th Annual Red Nose Day Special Brings Out the Stars
05/21 - Nightline Primetime Special Profiles All in the Family & The Jeffersons; Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader Premieres June 10 on Nick
05/20 - Comedy Central Heads to the South Side This July; Catch the Big Bang Finale Again Tonight
05/19 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 20, 2019)
05/18 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Broadcast Network Fall Lineup at a Glance; Rick & Morty Returns in November
05/17 - Fri-Yay: Big Bang Ends With No Hype?; ABC to Air Farrah Fawcett Documentary
05/16 - The CW Upfront 2019-20: Fall 2019 Schedule; Notes from TBS and TNT Upfront
05/15 - CBS Upfront 2019-20: Fall 2019 Schedule; Remembering Doris Day and Tim Conway
05/14 - ABC Upfront 2019-20: Fall 2019 Schedule; Disney Channel Sets Premiere Dates for Raven's Home and Bunk'd
05/13 - Fox Upfront 2019-20: Fall 2019 Schedule; Antenna TV's Father Knows Best Father's Day Marathon
05/12 - NBC Upfront 2019-20: Fall 2019 Schedule; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 13, 2019)
05/11 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Looking at Sitcom Cancellations Ahead of Upfronts; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Returning for Interactive Special
05/10 - Fri-Yay: Upfronts 2019: Questions for Sitcoms; getTV Celebrates All in the Family Ahead of ABC Live Special
05/09 - More Pre-Upfront Pick Ups from NBC, ABC and The CW; Fox Schedules BH90210
05/08 - NBC Picks Up 2 Series Before Upfront; FX Gets 2nd Season of What We Do in the Shadows
05/07 - AXS TV's The Very VERY Best of the 70s; Who Do You Think You Are? Returns to NBC with More Celebs
05/06 - Kevin Hart Bounce Series Debuts Tonight; Set Sail with Kimmy Schmidt
05/05 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 6, 2019)
05/04 - Pluto TV Adds Special Versions of Popular Viacom Channels; Perfect Strangers to Finish on DVD
05/03 - Fri-Yay: Ramy Gets 2nd Season on Hulu; ABC Orders black-ish and Spinoff mixed-ish for 2019-20
05/02 - Hulu 2019 Upfront; Suits and Spinoff to Air Back-to-Back
05/01 - Fox Gets Unique Fred Savage Series; BH90210 Gets Shannen Doherty for Revival
04/30 - CBS Announces Big Bang Special on Finale Night; Showtime Gets 2nd Season of Black Monday with Don Cheadle
04/29 - Disney Channel's Just Roll With It Premieres in June; Alyssa Milano Launches Podcast
04/28 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 29, 2019)
04/27 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Santa Clarita Diet and Wrecked Both Cancelled; Remembering Dallas Actor Ken Kercheval
04/26 - Fri-Yay: Status of Sitcoms on Disney+; Gabriel Iglesias Sitcom Launches June 21 on Netflix
04/25 - Lifetime's Book to Screen Titles in June; The CW Renews Four More for 2019-20
04/24 - MeTV Network Brings Back The Dick Van Dyke Show; The Detour Returns for Season 4 in June
04/23 - Antenna TV's Hazel Mother's Day Marathon; Netflix Celebrates Laugh-In's 50th Anniversary
04/22 - Last Man Standing Renewed for Season 8; NBC Moves Tuesday Series Timeslots