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 (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, October 25

The Middle - "Halloween VIII: The Heckoning" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Halloween approaches, Frankie is taken aback when she discovers that, if the circumstances ever arose where she and Mike got divorced, the kids would all choose to live with Mike. Meanwhile, Sue tries everything in her power to get her room back from Brick, and having to be so nice around girlfriend April all of the time leads Axl to lash out at his family.

American Housewife - "Westport Zombies" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie, jealous of Taylor’s friendship with neighbor Viv (Leslie Bibb), reluctantly competes in the Westport Halloween “Zombie Run” after she finds out they’ll both be running. Meanwhile, Greg and Anna-Kat get a little too much in character for the “zombie” part of the run’s obstacle course.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Louisween" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Louis’ favorite holiday, and he makes every attempt to scare Jessica into the Halloween spirit, but she is buried in her word processor, drafting her first horror novel. Meanwhile, Emery and Evan debate costume choices, and Eddie and his crew are excited to party with high schoolers at Nicole’s house.

The Real O'Neals - "The Real Halloween" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Halloween arrives, or what Kenny refers to as “the gay Super Bowl,” he plans to go to Boystown to watch the festive costume parade. In an effort to prevent Kenny from attending, Eileen agrees to let him throw his own Halloween party at home. Eileen’s tolerance is ultimately tested when Kenny recruits Stuart and his gay friends to join the big party, and he makes a BIG costume change. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Shannon plan to pull off an epic Halloween prank.

Atlanta - "Junteenth" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Why my Auntie trying to make me go to one of these bougie Junteenth parties again? I don't like them sadity people and I'm gonna miss my shows. Le sigh.

Family Time - "Head of House" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When the Stallworths have an unexpected visitor, they learn of a vicious crime that took place in their home years ago.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Tuesday, October 25

  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Catch Will on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Friends) - Matt is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Skylar Astin (Ground Floor) - Skylar is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman/Veronica's Closet/The Larry Sanders Show) and David Koechner (Another Period/Hank/The Office) - Mary and David are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love) - Jamie Lee is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Erinn Hayes (Kevin Can Wait/Guys with Kids/Worst Week) - Erinn plays a celeb guessing game with Rach, who’s serving up no-fail make-your-own takeout, on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth/Ink) - Mary joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Cheryl Hines (Son of Zorn/Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Cheryl is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on the AOL Build Show 4pm.
  • Don Rickles (C.P.O. Sharkey/Daddy Dearest) - Don is a guest on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Nico appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.