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 (June)

Ballers - The Complete First Season The League - Season 7 - The Final Fantasy Maude - The Complete Fifth Season Workaholics - Season Six Two Guys and a Girl - The Complete Series

06/14 - Ballers - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
06/14 - The League - Season 7 - The Final Fantasy
06/14 - The League - The Complete Series
06/14 - Maude - The Complete Fifth Season
06/14 - Survivor's Remorse - The Complete Second Season
06/21 - Workaholics - Season Six
06/24 - The Monkees - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
06/28 - Two Guys and a Girl - The Complete Series
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, July 2

Angel from Hell - "Angel Probation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Amy is required to perform 10 good deeds to earn her angel powers back after losing them by cheating at a game.

Angel from Hell - "Angel Appreciation Day" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Amy must play guardian angel to both Allison and Brad after Allison accidentally kills Brad’s angel, a honey bee. Actress and singer Laura Bell Bundy guest stars as Becky, the host of a shopping network featuring Allison and Marv’s line of skin care products.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 4)

Monday, July 4

  • Will Arnett (Arrested Development/The Millers/Up All Night) - Watch Will on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Shiri Appleby (Sunday Dinner) - Shiri appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ed O'Neill (Modern Family/Married with Children) - Ed is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) - Josh appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mary Elizabeth Ellis (The Grinder/It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia/Perfect Couples) - Mary is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) - Cedric guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Jessie T. Usher (Survivor's Remorse) - Jessie appears on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12:07am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Susie is a guest on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Deon Cole (Angie Tribeca/black-ish) - Deon appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House/Full House) - Jodie guest co-hosts a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Sayeed Shahidi (Uncle Buck) - Sayeed visits Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Donald Faison (The Exes/Scrubs) - Donald is a guest on a repeat of Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • The Cast of Ugly Betty - The cast of Ugly Betty reunites on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.