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!


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

The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five

03/03 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now... In Living Color! (Blu-ray)
03/07 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - Mama's Family - Mama's Favorites
03/07 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series - Flashback Edition (Blu-ray)
03/07 - What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - You Me Her - Season One
03/14 - Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season
03/14 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Season Two
03/21 - Master of None - Season One
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
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, April 25

The Middle - "Trip and Fall" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Trashy neighbor Rita Glossner (Brooke Shields) talks an apprehensive Frankie into taking a road trip to an unknown destination; Mike takes an embarrassing fall at the quarry and has to deal with even more embarrassment when OSHA is called in to investigate; and Sue attempts to convince Axl to end his estrangement with the family after learning their true feelings about April.

American Housewife - "The Otto Motto" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Taylor keeps quitting school activities, Greg says that Katie, quite the quitter herself, sets a poor example. He challenges her to finally learn French after quitting lessons so long ago, so she reluctantly enrolls in a college class.

Speechless - "S-I-- SICK D-A-- DAY" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Maya gets sick, Jimmy is forced to be the mom of the house, and Dylan becomes Kenneth’s replacement for JJ when Kenneth also gets sick. Jimmy ends up doing well with Maya’s normal duties, but he tries to keep it from her to avoid her feeling bad. Meanwhile, JJ protects Dylan from a boy she’s interested in. And despite its illness, the family bands together and pulls an all-nighter to finish Ray’s school project.

Imaginary Mary - "In a World Where Worlds Collide" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Alice freaks out when her friends want to meet Ben. But when an outing with everyone goes surprisingly well, Alice wants to meet Ben’s friends. However, Ben is hesitant but devises a plan that will impress Alice; but later, he makes a surprising admission.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Last Ride" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
In what could be their last case as partners, Jake and Charles go to great extremes to apprehend a local bike thief. Terry shockingly isn’t in the lead for “Mr. Nine-Nine” (the detective who has solved the most cases), leaving Rosa determined to boost his ego. Meanwhile, Amy spends some precious time with Holt.

The Mick - "The Implant" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Sabrina tells Mickey she wants to augment her figure, so Mickey decides the best way to dissuade her from doing so is to do a test-run in public. Meanwhile, Jimmy takes Chip and Ben to a baseball game to teach them how to be more masculine.

Great News - "Pilot" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Katie (Briga Heelan), a frustrated cable news producer, is horrified when her mom, Carol (Andrea Martin), gets an internship at "The Breakdown." Despite Katie's best efforts, Carol is instantly beloved by the entire office, including blowhard veteran anchor Chuck (John Michael Higgins). But when Katie hits a roadblock while producing a big story, she realizes that maybe having a mom at work isn't such a bad thing.

Great News - "Bear Attack" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Katie (Briga Heelan) tries to set workplace boundaries with Carol (Andrea Martin), but when a big story about an escaped bear lands in her lap, her mom can't help but meddle. Meanwhile, Greg (Adam Campbell) tries to get Chuck (John Michael Higgins) and Portia (Nicole Richie) to do a little friendly banter at the end of the show.

The Detour - "The Mule" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Robin and Nate live out their action movie fantasies as they make their way to the kids, who are actually doing fine without them.

The Detour - "The Ass" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
The family reunites, but this time Robin makes a huge mistake.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 24)

Tuesday, April 25

  • Amanda Peet (Brockmire/Togetherness/Bent) - Catch Amanda on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. She also appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Patton Oswalt (The Goldbergs/The King of Queens) - Patton stops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Kal Penn (We Are Men/How I Met Your Mother) - Kal is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Sanaa Lathan (Family Guy/The Cleveland Show/LateLine) - Sanaa stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Reid Scott (Veep/My Boys) - Reid visits Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Arden Myrin (Working) - Arden appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Hank Azaria (Brockmire/The Simpsons/Free Agents) - Hank is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Andrea Martin (Difficult People/Working the Engels) - Andrea visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • John Leguizamo (The Brothers Garcia) - John guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Patti will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Andrea Martin (Great News/Difficult People/Working the Engels) - Andrea talks about Good News on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and in the 10am hour.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Jason Jones (The Detour) - Jason talks about The Detour on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Ross Lynch (Austin & Ally) - Ross opens up about his new movie My Friend Dahmer on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Tim Daly (Wings) - Tim is a guest on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Peter Engel (Producer of Saved by the Bell/California Dreams/Hang Time) - Peter dishes about his new memoir I Was Saved by the Bell on the The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Trial & Error/Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Danny DeVito (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia/Taxi) - Danny appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.