Monday, October 27, 2014

ABC Cancels Manhattan Love Story; Remembering Marcia Strassman of Welcome Back, Kotter

Manhattan Love Story

After four airings, ABC has canceled new comedy Manhattan Love Story due to low live+same day ratings and bad DVR returns. The Tuesday series starring Analeigh Tipton and Jake McDorman had been airing at 8:30pm following fellow new comedy Selfie. ABC had already planned to preempt both Selfie and Love Story this coming Tuesday for the Halloween special The Great Halloween Fright Fight. The following Tuesday (Nov. 4), ABC will air two brand new episodes of Selfie at 8 & 8:30pm. ABC has not announced yet what will fill Love Story's timeslot come Nov. 11, but it could be a mix of new and repeats of Selfie until further notice. It is unclear how many Love Story episodes have been produced to-date, but 13 episodes were ordered and will not be completed, obviously. At least 7 have been produced as far as we know, so at least three episodes are available to burn-off should ABC ever air it again. Stay with us for continued updates.


Marcia Strassman

Actress Marcia Strassman, who was best known for her role as Julie Kotter in Welcome Back, Kotter, has died. She died on October 24 of breast cancer at her home in Sherman Oaks, California. Ms. Strassman was 66.

Strassman's early television guest appearances included The Patty Duke Show and Ironside. She had a recurring role as Nurse Margie Cutler in six episodes of the first season of M*A*S*H in 1972-1973. Other guest appearances in the early 1970s included Love Story, Police Story, Marcus Welby, M.D. and City of Angels.

Welcome Back, Kotter - Marcia Strassman

She landed the breakout role of Julie Kotter, Gabe Kotter's (Gabe Kaplan) wife, in Welcome Back, Kotter in 1975. The popular ABC sitcom ran for four seasons and 95 episodes from 1975-1979. It also starred John Travolta, Robert Hegyes, Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs, Ron Palillo and John Sylvester White. Julie and Gabe had twin girls Rachel and Robin in the third season. She worked as a secretary and later as a substitute teacher at Buchanan High after Gabe was promoted to vice-principal. Strassman was interviewed in the Truth Behind the Sitcom Scandals 5 and the E! True Hollywood Story on Welcome Back, Kotter in 2000.

Her other starring roles included the short-lived NBC sitcom Good Time Harry in 1980. She played a reporter named Carol Younger in the series which starred Ted Bessell and Eugene Roche. She co-starred as Alicia Rudd, Dennis Booker's (Richard Grieco) boss, in the 21 Jump Street spin-off series Booker on Fox in 1989-1990. She appeared as the mom Martine Beznick in the 2000-2001 Nickelodeon sitcom Noah Knows Best. In 2003, she starred as Nancy Sterngood in the Sci-Fi Channel series Tremors.

Some of her other sitcom guest appearances included The Love Boat, At Ease, E/R, I Married Dora, Phenom, Odd Man Out and Twenty Good Years. Her television drama appearances included Fantasy Island, Time Express, The Rockford Files, Magnum, P.I., Shadow Chasers, Stingray, Amazing Stories, Civil Wars, Sweet Justice, Touched by an Angel, Murder, She Wrote, Highlander, L.A. Heat and Baywatch. She had a recurring role as Meredith in Providence in 2001-2002. In 2004, she had a recurring role as Sergeant Laura Wynn in four episodes of Third Watch.

She was also well known for her role as Diane Szalinski in the the 1989 feature film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; its 1992 sequel Honey, I Blew Up the Kid; and the 1994 3-D film spin-off Honey, I Shrunk the Audience!, which was shown at several Disney theme parks through mid-2010.

Jan Hooks - Designing Women

We also remember actress and comedian Jan Hooks. She was best known for her work on Saturday Night Live for five seasons and her starring role on the final two seasons of Designing Women. She died on October 9 of cancer at her home in Woodstock, New York. Ms. Hooks was 57.

Hooks joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1986. One of her best known characters was Candy Sweeney of "The Sweeney Sisters." Her sister Liz was played by Nora Dunn. Hooks' notable impressions included Bette Davis, Ann-Margret, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Sinéad O'Connor, Jodie Foster, Tammy Faye Bakker, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kitty Dukakis, Diane Sawyer and Hillary Rodham Clinton. She continued to make cameo appearances on the show until 1994.

She left Saturday Night Live after five seasons in 1991 to join the cast of Designing Women. Creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason had asked her to join the series after Jean Smart left. Hooks starred as Carlene Dobbler in the final two seasons of the show from 1991-1993. Carlene was Charlene's (Jean Smart) dim-witted, newly divorced younger sister.

Jan Hooks - 3rd Rock from the Sun

She had a recurring role as Victoria Marie "Vicki" Dubcek, the daughter of Ms. Dubcek (Elmarie Wendel) and Harry's (French Stewart) on-and-off girlfriend, in 3rd Rock from the Sun from 1996-2000. Hooks received an Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series" for the role in 1998. She provided the voice of Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon in The Simpsons in six episodes from 1997-2002. Her final television appearances were two episodes of 30 Rock in 2010 as Verna Maroney, the mother of Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski).

Some of her other television roles and appearances included Not Necessarily the News, Dear John, The Martin Short Show, The Dana Carvey Show, Hiller and Diller, Providence, Futurama (voice), Primetime Glick and Game Over (voice). Her film credits included Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Wildcats, Batman Returns, Coneheads, Simon Birch and Jiminy Glick in Lalawood.

We thank these talented and funny women for the laughs they brought us over the years. They will be deeply missed.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, May 25

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Kerry Washington joins “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons,’” the live sitcom special coming from late-night host Jimmy Kimmel and television icon Norman Lear. Washington is set to play Helen Willis in the special, airing live WEDNESDAY, MAY 22 (8:00-9:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. This historic event will take viewers down memory lane, recreating an original episode from each of the Emmy® Award-winning series “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.” This legendary night of television will be hosted by Lear and Kimmel, directed by 10-time Emmy winner James Burrows and produced by Sony Pictures Television.

Previously announced stars include Woody Harrelson (Archie Bunker), Marisa Tomei (Edith Bunker), Jamie Foxx (George Jefferson), Wanda Sykes (Louise Jefferson), Ellie Kemper (Gloria Stivic), Will Ferrell (Tom Willis), Justina Machado (Florence Johnston), Ike Barinholtz (Meathead), Sean Hayes (Mr. Lorenzo), Amber Stevens West (Jenny Willis Jefferson), Jovan Adepo (Lionel Jefferson), Anthony Anderson (Uncle Henry), Stephen Tobolowsky (Mr. Bentley) and Jackée Harry (Diane Stockwell).

All About "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After the star-studded live sitcom special “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons,’” “Nightline” will take a special look at the cultural and historical significance of the two iconic series. Participants in the live sitcom special along with modern-day comedians, television stars and journalists reminisce about each show’s groundbreaking impact and legacy.“Nightline” Presents “All About ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons’” airs WEDNESDAY, MAY 22 (9:31–10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network.

The prime-time special features interviews with “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” creator Norman Lear; host and executive producer Jimmy Kimmel and stars Anthony Anderson, Ike Barinholtz, Jackée Harry, Ellie Kemper and Kerry Washington; comedians and actors Raven-Symoné, David Alan Grier, Lil’ Rel and John Amos; original “The Jeffersons” cast member Marla Gibbs; and journalists Deborah Roberts, Chris Connelly, Marc Lamont Hill and Joe Levy.

Game Shakers - "Bug Tussle" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After Dub goes to Vegas and leaves Trip behind, the Game Shakers take Trip to Dub's awesome apartment to show him a good time.

Game Shakers - "Why Tonya" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The Game Shakers are approached by a fan who demands that they make changes to one of their games.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 20)

Friday, May 24

  • Dana Carvey (One of the Boys) - Watch Dana on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He talks about The Secret Life of Pets 2 on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • The Cast of The Big Bang Theory - Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch are guests on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bill Hader (Barry) - Bill appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kathryn Newton (Gary Unmarried) - Kathryn is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Adam Scott - Adam appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • John Travolta (Welcome Back, Kotter) - John and his daughter Ella Bleu are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House/Hollywood Darlings/Full House) - Jodie guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Logan Browning (Dear White People/Meet the Browns) - Logan stops by The Real, so check your local listings. She will also be on the BUILD Series at 5:30pm
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Bryan talks about Broadway's Network on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Jackée Harry (Tyler Perry's The Paynes/The First Family/Sister, Sister/227) - Jackée talks about Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta on ABC's Strahan & Sara at 1pm and on People Now at 12pm.
  • Justin Long (F Is for Family/Ed) - Justin talks about Life is Short with Justin Long on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Beanie Feldstein (What We Do in the Shadows) and Kaitlyn Dever (Last Man Standing) - Beanie and Kaitlyn talk about Booksmart on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Alexa & Katie/Good Morning, Miami/Saved by the Bell) - Tiffani is in the kitchen on Pickler & Ben, so check your local listings.


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

Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season Alice - The Complete Ninth Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season Evening Shade - The Complete Collection Perfect Strangers - The Complete Seventh and Eighth Seasons

03/05 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
03/12 - Alice - The Complete Ninth Season (WBShop.com)
03/26 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
04/02 - Archer: Danger Island - The Complete Season Nine
04/09 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fifth Season
04/12 - Evening Shade - The Complete Collection
04/16 - The Big C - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
05/07 - Baskets - The Complete Season Three
05/13 - My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume One
05/13 - My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume Two
05/14 - The Donna Reed Show - Seasons 1-5
05/14 - Petticoat Junction - Seasons 1-3
05/28 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Seventh and Eighth Seasons
05/28 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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05/01 - Fox Gets Unique Fred Savage Series; BH90210 Gets Shannen Doherty for Revival
04/30 - CBS Announces Big Bang Special on Finale Night; Showtime Gets 2nd Season of Black Monday with Don Cheadle
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