Monday, July 21, 2014

TCA Summer 2014 Press Tour: Fox, The CW; Remembering TV Legend James Garner

Fox

Yesterday it was Fox's turn at the TCA summer 2014 press tour. Among the key announcements were: this fall, Fox attracts an all-star lineup of guest voices on returning animated series American Dad!, beginning Sunday, Sept. 14 from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT, with two back-to back episodes; The Simpsons at 8:00PM ET/PT and a special one-hour broadcast of Family Guy from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT, premiering Sunday, Sept. 28; and Bob's Burgers, debuting Sunday, Oct. 5 at 7:30PM ET/PT. Jane Fonda, Willem Dafoe, Nick Offerman, Julie Bowen, Liam Neeson, Allison Janney, Kevin Kline, Zach Galifianakis, Kim Kardashian, Megan Mullally, Bill Hader, Aziz Ansari, Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key are among the guest voices featured this Fall on all four series. Meanwhile, Multiple Emmy Award winner Hank Azaria ( The Simpsons) has been cast as Bud Buckwald, the lead voice role on Bordertown, the new animated comedy from Family Guy's Mark Hentemann and Seth MacFarlane. Azaria joins the previously announced voice cast of Alex Borstein (Family Guy), Missi Pyle (Jennifer Falls), Judah Friedlander (30 Rock), Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow) and guest voice Efren Ramirez (Napoleon Dynamite). Among the panels were for new drama Gotham, new sitcom Mulaney, new drama Red Band Society, new drama Gracepoint, returning drama Sleepy Hollow, and a comedy panel with producers of The Simpsons, Family Gut, New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Mindy Project.

As for The CW, they were up on Friday. Among the key news was that they will keep bringing the funny with its hit improvisational comedy series Whose Line Is It Anyway?, ordering an additional 24 all-new, half-hour episodes to debut in 2015. A premiere date and time for the new cycle of episodes will be announced at a later date. The panels they had were for new dramas Jane the Virgin, The Flash, and returning drama Supernatural. Premium network Showtime then took over for the rest of the day in the afternoon. Stay with us for continued updates.


James Garner - 8 Simple Rules

Television and film actor James Garner, who starred as Bret Maverick in Maverick and as Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files, has died. He was found dead of natural causes at his Los Angeles home on July 19. Mr. Garner was 86.

James Garner - Maverick

Garner's television career began with appearances in Warner Brothers Presents, Zane Grey Theater, Conflict, Cheyenne and Sugarfoot. He got his big break in 1957 when he landed the role of professional gambler Bret Maverick in the western comedy series Bret Maverick. The series ran from 1957-1962 on ABC. It also starred Jack Kelly as his brother, Bart Maverick. Garner left the series after the third season due to a contract dispute. Roger Moore was brought in to play cousin Beau Maverick. Another brother, Brent Maverick, was played by Robert Colbert.

Garner and Kelly reprised their roles in the 1978 TV movie The New Maverick. Garner returned to the role again in the 1981-1982 NBC western Bret Maverick. The show was canceled after only one season despite decent ratings. He played Marshal Zane Cooper in the 1994 film adaptation Maverick, which starred Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster.

He starred in the 1971-1972 NBC western series Nichols. Garner played the motorcycle-riding anti-hero sheriff named Nichols. It was set in the fictional town of Nichols, Arizona, in 1914. The series also starred Neva Patterson, John Beck, Stuart Margolin, Margot Kidder and Alice Ghostley. It ran for one season and 24 episodes.

James Garner - The Rockford Files

Garner's next big television role was as private detective Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files. The popular detective drama ran for six seasons on NBC from 1974-1980. The series, which was created by Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell, also starred Noah Beery, Jr., Joe Santos, Gretchen Corbett and Stuart Margolin. Garner won an Emmy Award in 1977 for Best Actor. There were eight Rockford Files TV reunion movies made for CBS from 1994 to 1999.

In 1991, he starred in the NBC sitcom Man of the People. Garner played Jim Doyle, a con man chosen to fill an empty seat on a city council. The short-lived series, which ran for only 10 episodes, also starred Kate Mulgrew, Corinne Bohrer, Taylor Nichols, George Wyner and Romy Walthall.

He provided the voice of God in the 2000 NBC animated series God, the Devil and Bob. He had a recurring role as Hubert 'Hue' Miller in the final season of Chicago Hope in 2000. In 2002, he starred as Chief Justice Thomas Brankin in the CBS legal drama First Monday. The short-lived series, centered on the U.S. Supreme Court, also starred Joe Mantegna, Charles Durning, Randy Vasquez, Hedy Burgess, Christopher Wiehl and Joe Flanigan.

8 Simple Rules Cast with James Garner

Garner joined the cast of the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules after the sudden death of John Ritter in 2003. He played Grandpa Jim Egan, the father of Cate Hennessy (Katey Sagal), in the final two seasons of the series. Suzanne Pleshette appeared as his estranged wife, Laura.

He starred in more than 50 films. Some of his more notable credits included The Great Escape, The Americanization of Emily, Grand Prix, Victor Victoria, Murphy's Romance, My Fellow Americans, Space Cowboys and The Notebook. He received an Emmy Award nomination for his role opposite Sally Field in Murphy's Romance. For a complete listing of his credits, please visit his IMDB page.

The Archive of American Television conducted an extensive interview with him in 1999. Survivors include his wife, Lois, whom he married on August 17, 1956; his stepdaughter Kimberly; and his daughter Greta "Gigi" Garner.

Mr. Garner was a true legend on both the small and big screen. He was a very versatile and talented actor. We will forever remember him for his television roles as Bret Maverick, Jim Rockford and Grandpa Jim Egan. He will be greatly missed.

You can catch James Garner on television everyday. The Rockford Files airs regularly on the MeTV Network weekdays at noon and Sundays at 6pm. Maverick airs on COZI TV weekdays at 11am and on Encore Westerns at 2pm. And 8 Simple Rules airs weekdays at 12 & 12:30pm on ABC Family. Stay with us for updates on any tributes planned for him.

Share your memories on our Rockford Files message board. View photos in our galleries.


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

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

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
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, May 25

The Goldbergs - "Agassi" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Adam feels like he’s losing his best friend, Chad, so he attempts to join the tennis team.  When Chad picks Dave Kim as his partner, Adam vows to take him down with Barry in a tennis match, channeling Andre Agassi.  Meanwhile, with the help of Beverly, Erica deals with her post-break up depression just in time for Valentine’s Day.

American Housewife - "The Club" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Anna-Kat develops a fear of water and stops bathing, her therapist suggests the Ottos get her to go swimming. But can Katie get over own her fear of wearing a bathing suit in public at the Westport Country Club so she can help her kid out? Meanwhile Oliver gives his dad a style makeover after students at the college give Greg a low “jalapeƱo” score.

Modern Family - "Do It Yourself" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Feeling empowered after his successful do-it-yourself  project, Phil convinces Jay to co-invest in a property he has always wanted to develop. Meanwhile, Claire’s new obsession with a TV chef and her new love of cooking Sunday dinners hasn’t been as tasty as she thinks. Haley is the family’s only hope to add a little spice to the situation. At the Pritchett-Tucker house, Cam and Mitchell see that the family is too reliant on technology, so they attempt to teach Lily the importance of hard work, which ends disastrously. Back at the Pritchett’s, Jay feels replaced when he sees Gloria has hired Coach Gary (Payton Manning) to coach Joe and serve as a handy man.

Modern Family - "Heavy Is the Head" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Despite their lofty hopes, Phil and Jay’s property investment might turn out to be a bust, forcing Phil to rethink his original dream. Meanwhile, Cam lands in the hospital due to a head injury and refuses to have an MRI thanks to a traumatic incident with a well when he was a child. Determined to finally impress Claire and keep her from re-gifting her birthday present, Gloria surprises her with a day of luxury at the office. However, after Claire had to implement some rather harsh budget cuts at work, a massage at her desk may not be sending the right message.

black-ish - "Auntsgiving" (ABC, 10:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Pops’ older sister Almaviligerais unexpectedly arrives for Thanksgiving, much to everyone’s delight except Ruby, who can’t stand her ex-sister-in-law. While Bow and Dre go on their last vacation before the baby arrives, the kids try to figure out why Ruby hates Almaviligerais so much.

Speechless - "D-I-- DING" (ABC, 10:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After leaving a note behind Maya’s back, Ray takes sides against the family when Maya dings a nearby car.  Following through on a promise, Jimmy and Dylan share a moment, as father and daughter are on a search in the back room at the local supermarket while JJ teaches a rude customer a lesson, and a moonlighting Kenneth hides his side job from the DiMeos.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Emotion Detection Automation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon beta-tests an MIT invention after hearing it can help him read people’s emotions. Also, Leonard can’t hide his feelings when Penny announces her brother is coming to town, and Raj invites his ex-girlfriends over to give him dating advice. Laura Spencer, Katie Micucci, Alessandra Torresani and Katie Leclerc return as Raj’s ex-girlfriends.

Superior Donuts - "What's the Big Idea?" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Franco’s creative new donut flavors become bestsellers, Arthur tries to prove he’s still relevant by coming up with a unique one of his own. Also, Fawz works to dream up an inventive password in order to keep Maya and James from stealing his store’s WiFi.

Mom - "Sword Fights and a Dominican Shortstop" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy considers giving up her dream of becoming a lawyer when Bonnie’s ex-girlfriend, Jeanine (Rosie O’Donnell), offers her a lucrative job in real estate. Also, Adam is very curious about Bonnie’s past with women.

Life in Pieces - "Eyebrow Anonymous Trapped Gem" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Tim accidentally shaves off a huge chunk of eyebrow before an important photoshoot, he hopes Jen and Colleen’s grooming expertise can fix it. Also, when Gigi passes away, Greg makes an anonymous donation with the money she left him, but later realizes he wants to be recognized for it; John learns firsthand what Gigi’s life was like at the nursing home; and Joan honors her mother’s memory with unusual jewelry.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 22)

Thursday, May 25

  • Jada Pinkett-Smith (A Different World) - Catch Jada on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Laurie Metcalf (The Big Bang Theory/The McCartyhs/Roseanne) - Laurie stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Bryan appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Zach Woods (Silicon Valley/The Office) - Zach visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda Large) - Wanda appears on a repeat of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Whitney Cummings (whitney) - Whitney is a guest on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • The Cast of Veep - Julia Louis Dreyfus, Tony Hale, Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, Matt Walsh, Timothy Simons, Kevin Dunn, Gary Cole and Sam Richardson are guests on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect) - Sherri appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani kicks off summer with recipes that are included in People's Summer Grilling special issue on People Now at 8:30am.