Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hallmark Dumps The Good Wife; Remembering Ben Starr Co-Creator of The Facts of Life, Silver Spoons

The Good Wife

The Hallmark Channel has pulled The Good Wife completely from its line-up effective today (Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014). The series started a few weeks ago by airing weekdays from 6-10pm but after just a week it was reduced to 8-10pm and now it is gone completely. The Waltons will now air in primetime from 8-10pm, so its 2-4pm airings will be replaced by Home Improvement. Hallmark will replace the 6-8pm Home Improvement block with the return of Little House on the Prairie. Classic '70s and '80s family dramas from 6-10pm trump over The Good Wife in the ratings for Hallmark it seems. Hallmark has a quick axe usually on shows that do not deliver in ratings, but for a big acquisition like this, it might have been too quick to pull. We'll let you know if and when it returns to the line-up. The rest of the Hallmark Channel weekday schedule will remain as is, with I Love Lucy from 5-8am, The Golden Girls from 8-10am, a new and encore of Home & Family from 10am-2pm, the aforementioned Home Improvement from 2-4pm, The Brady Bunch from 4-6pm into the classic dramas from 6-10pm (Little House & The Waltons). Comedies will rule in late night still with Frasier from 10pm-12am, The Golden Girls from 12-2am, Cheers from 2-3am, and more Frasier from 3-5am.


Ben Starr

Television writer and producer Ben Starr, who helped create The Facts of Life and Silver Spoons, has died. He died on January 19 at his home in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure. Mr. Starr was 92.

Starr's early sitcom writing credits included Duffy's Tavern, My Hero, I Married Joan, The Ray Milland, December Bride, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and Bachelor Father. He wrote 40 episodes of Mister Ed from 1961-1963. Other sitcoms he wrote multiple episodes of included My Favorite Martian, Petticoat Junction, The Brady Bunch, Chico and the Man and All in the Family.

He worked as a writer and producer for Diff'rent Strokes from 1978-1982. He was instrumental in inadvertently coining the famous "Whatchu talking 'bout Willis?" catchphrase by Gary Coleman. The line was originally written as "What are you talking about, Willis?" before Coleman gave his classic delivery. He was interviewed in the E! True Hollywood Story specials on Diff'rent Strokes and Dana Plato in 1998 and 1999. In 1979, he helped develop the spin-off series The Facts of Life with Howard Leeds and Jerry Mayer. The popular series aired on NBC for 9 seasons and 209 episodes. Starr later helped create Silver Spoons with Leeds and Martin Cohan in 1982. The series, starring Ricky Schroder, Joel Higgins and Erin Gray, aired for five seasons (four on NBC and one in first-run syndication).

The Archive of American Television conducted an extensive interview with him on November 9, 2009. Survivors include three children and three grandchildren and nephew Andy Kaplan, who heads international channels for Sony Pictures TV. We thank him for bringing us the classic 1980s sitcoms The Facts of Life and Silver Spoons. He will be greatly missed.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February)

The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series Girls - The Complete Fourth Season Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series Togetherness - The Complete First Season

02/16 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series
02/16 - The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series
02/16 - Girls - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
02/16 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series
02/16 - Togetherness - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, February 12

Bunk'd - "Luke's Back" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Luke gets some summer school help from Ravi and reunites with his siblings; Camp Kikiwaka and its rival engage in a turf war.

Girl Meets World - "Girl Meets Commonism" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Auggie experiences an existential crisis while trying to figure out what he wants to be; Farkle and Maya are caught cheating on a test and must face the school honor board.

Love Thy Neighbor - "Second Thoughts" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Troy discusses her marriage troubles with Hattie.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 8)

Friday, February 12

  • George Clooney (The Facts of Life/Roseanne) - Watch George on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) - Raymond appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) - Sarah appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) - Jack is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Christine Taylor (Hey Dude) - Christine talks about Zoolander 2 on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy/American Dad!/The Cleveland Show) - Seth discusses his Grammy nomination on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Anders Holm (Workaholics/The Mindy Project) - Anders is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show/Malcolm & Eddie) - Malcolm-Jamal discusses his role as Al Cowlings in FX's American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson on Access Hollywood Live (check your local listings) and on the AOL Build Show at 12pm.
  • Bailee Madison (Trophy Wife) - Bailee discusses her shows Good Witch, Once Upon a Time, and attending Fashion Week for the first time on the AOL Build Show at 2:30pm.
  • Meagan Good (Mr. Robinson/Raising Dad/Cousin Skeeter) - Meagan is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Dakota Johnson (Ben and Kate) - Dakota talks about How to Be Single on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She also appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi can be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM Hits 1 at 8am.