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 (April/May/June)

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
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
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, July 21

Raven's Home - "Baxter's Back!" (Disney Channel, 10:00PM ET/PT) (Series Premiere)
Booker enlists Levi and Tess to help him convince Nia of his newfound abilities to see into the future; Raven's latest vision involves a family disagreement that leads her to meddle in her kids' life at school.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 17)

Friday, July 21

  • Kevin Bacon (I Love Dick) - Watch Kevin on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He talks about Lifetime's Story of a Girl on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith (A Different World), Queen Latifah (Living Single), Regina Hall (Grandfathered) and Tiffany Haddish (The Carmichael Show) - Jada, Queen Latifah, Regina and Tiffany chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. Tiffany will also be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. Jada will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Kate Walsh (Bad Judge/The Drew Carey Show) - Kate discusses her new movie Girls Trip on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory/8 Simple Rules) - Kaley appears on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Drake Bell (Drake & Josh) - Drake is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie) - Dove appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Jake Johnson (New Girl) - Jake is a guest on a repeat of Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.