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 (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, August 22

The Mick - "The Mess" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Mickey’s attempts at disciplining the kids are ignored, she decides to shed her “cool aunt” persona and lay down the law.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Monster in the Closet" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Pimento and Rosa decide to pick up where they left off and get married, so the whole squad preps a perfect wedding under Amy’s careful direction. Pimento enlists Jake and Gina to hunt for his grandmother’s ruby earrings for Rosa to wear in the ceremony, but the universe has other plans for them.

Wrecked - "Nerd Speak" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
As the ship sinks, the survivors try to escape.

Still the King - "Vernon's Single" (CMT, 1:00AM ET/PT)
Vernon discovers his manager has given his new single to another recording artist to perform.

Still the King - "Who's Your Daddy?" (CMT, 1:30AM ET/PT)
It's Debbie and Ronnie's big wedding day, but when Debbie's water breaks on the altar, Vernon races against the clock to be there for the birth.

In The Cut - "Party Things" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jay and Smitty see dollar signs when an enthusiastic lawyer convinces them their complaints can result in big cash settlements; Kenny reconnects with Angelique, but it's her new boyfriend, Conrad, that is interested in a relationship with Kenny.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 21)

Tuesday, August 22

  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Catch Jim on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later/Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) - Michael appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Maya Rudolph (Up All Night) - Maya is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Topher Grace (That '70s Show) - Topher appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Jake Smollett (On Our Own) - Jake takes store-bought ramen to the next level on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Spencer Sutherland (Still the King) - Spencer dishes on playing a young Billy Ray Cyrus on Still the King on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Mindy Sterling (Con Man/A.N.T. Farm) - Mindy talks about Syfy's Con Man on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • John Corbett (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/United States of Tara/Lucky) - John talks about All Saints on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. He can also be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 11am.