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.


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

Friday, August 18

Raven's Home - "You're Gonna Get It" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Nia sneaks to school wearing makeup against Raven's wishes, she draws the attention of the eighth grade girls who invite her to hang out.

K.C. Undercover - "The Storm Maker" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
K.C. is tasked with tracking down a dangerous weather-controlling device on the same night as her homecoming dance.

Bizaardvark - "Frankie's Cheating Teacher" (Disney Channel, 9:00PM ET/PT)
An attempt to get Frankie's dad back into the dating scene goes horribly wrong when he snags a date with Frankie's English teacher.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 14)

Friday, August 18

  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - Watch T.J. on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Billy Eichner (Difficult People) - Billy is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/30 Rock) - Jane appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Jeff visits LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Jussie Smollett (On Our Own) - Jussie is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen is a guest on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Jason Jones (The Detour) - Jason appears on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Brandy (Moesha/The Game/Thea) - Brandy talks about Broadway's Chicago on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi performs on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Nat Wolff (The Naked Brothers Band) - Nat talks about Leap and Home Again on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Geena Davis (Buffalo Bill/The Geena Davis Show) - Geena talks about Marjorie Prime on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.