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

Tuesday, December 12

The Middle - "The Christmas Miracle" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Christmastime, and Frankie and Sue are devastated after Axl informs them that he’s not going to church this year because he’s beginning to question his faith. Meanwhile, Mike goes to war with the Glossner kids after they keep defacing his new, giant inflatable snowman; and Brick goes all out in an attempt to wrap his first present for a planned Christmas Yankee Swap.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Do You Hear What I Hear?" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As head of the HOA Christmas committee, Jessica threatens to cut the neighborhood caroling this year due to last year’s rocky performance. However, Deirdre says that her friend Holly (Paula Abdul), who teaches “Performance and Movement,” will help get everyone into tip-top, melodic shape. Meanwhile, Marvin becomes suspicious of Honey when she goes to see “Titanic” at the movies without him; Nicole develops her first girl crush and struggles with how to get her attention.

black-ish - "Sugar Daddy" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Dre is diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and after talking to Pops, he’s resolved to curing himself. Things come to a head at the Stevens & Lido holiday party. Meanwhile, Jack is convinced that baby Devante hates him, so he enlists Junior and Diane’s help.

The Mayor - "Grey Christmas" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After visiting a homeless shelter on Christmas Eve, Courtney realizes things for the needy could be improved and pledges to make it a joyous Christmas that every family deserves. But when he learns he doesn’t have the budget to deliver on his promise, Courtney loses hope and his holiday spirit which leads to a magical “It’s A Wonderful Life” moment that makes him realize he has the gift needed to pull off a Christmas miracle.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Game Night" / "The Favor" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Rosa asks for Jake's help to deliver important information to her parents, but their plan goes awry when they assume the two are in a relationship; Seamus Murphy comes back to redeem an ethically questionable favor owed by Capt. Holt.

Teachers - "Let It Flow" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Ms. Cannon discovers that one of her students is an artistic prodigy. Mrs. Adler and Ms. Watson take the mini-society competition to a new level.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 11)

Tuesday, December 12

  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Catch Tom on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about The Post on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/30 Rock) - Jane appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ari Graynor (I'm Dying Up Here/Bad Teacher) - Ari is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Niecy Nash (The Soul Man/Getting On/Do Not Disturb/Reno 911!) - Niecy visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Bill Pullman (1600 Penn) - Bill stops by Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Miles Brown (black-ish) - Miles appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana talks about Fox's A Christmas Story Live! on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Noah Galvin (The Real O'Neals) - Noah talks about Dear Evan Hansen on the BUILD Series at 4pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December)

The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season Living Single - The Complete Third Season Alice - The Complete Sixth Season One Day at a Time - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Second Season

11/07 - American Dad! - Volume 12
11/07 - Family Guy - Season Fifteen
11/07 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season
11/14 - D.C. Follies - The Complete Series
11/21 - Living Single - The Complete Third Season
11/24 - Grandfathered - Season 1
12/05 - Alice - The Complete Sixth Season
12/05 - One Day at a Time - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Simpsons - The Eighteenth Season
12/05 - South Park - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
12/12 - Fuller House - The Complete Second Season
12/19 - South Park - The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest