Wednesday, July 01, 2015

WGN America Turns Primetime Into Prime Crime; Remembering Jack Carter and Writer-Producer Chris Thompson

When WGN America expands its burgeoning slate of high-quality original programming this fall with its "Prime Crime" lineup, it will become the exclusive cable home for two of TV's biggest hit dramas, Elementary (as we announced) and Person of Interest (which we also announced). The two popular procedurals, which will join fan-favorite Blue Bloods on weeknights in prime, will give viewers a binge-worthy opportunity to watch these series from the very beginning, diving into the cases and capers that unfold. In Elementary, Jonny Lee Miller (who plays Sherlock Holmes) and Lucy Liu (who plays Dr. Watson) are a modern-day crime solving duo that cracks the NYPD's most impossible cases; and in Person of Interest, Michael Emerson (in the role of billionaire Harold Finch) and Jim Caviezel (as CIA operative John Reese) prevent violent crimes before they happen with the help of an advanced surveillance system known as "The Machine." Taraji P. Henson, who currently stars in Empire, is a regular in the first four seasons of the series. In the teaser campaign the four main characters face off for the first time in a quick-witted test of who's the better twosome and why. Representing the two most significant acquisitions across cable in 2015, Elementary and Person of Interest continue WGN America's transformation as an entertainment destination with popular originals, including breakout hit Salem, critically lauded Manhattan and upcoming dramas Underground and Outsiders, both premiering next year.


Jack Carter

Actor, comedian and host Jack Carter has died. He died on June 28 at his home in Beverly Hills, California, of respiratory failure. Mr. Carter was 93.

Carter was the first host of the variety series Cavalcade of Stars on the DuMont Network in 1949-1950. The show appeared under the banner of Saturday Night Revue, a package of two variety shows on a single evening. He hosted his own variety series titled The Jack Carter Show on NBC in 1950-1951.

He made more than 40 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. Some of his other television appearances included Texaco Star Theatre, The Colgate Comedy Hour, Stage Show, The Jack Paar Tonight Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Dean Martin Show and The Merv Griffin Show.

The Love Boat - Ted Lange and Jack Carter

Carter's sitcom guest appearances in the 1960s included Hennesey, Make Room for Daddy, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ensign O'Toole, The Joey Bishop Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mister Roberts, The Lucy Show, I Dream of Jeannie and Julia. His guest appearances in the 1970s included The Partners, Love, American Style, Bridget Loves Bernie, The Odd Couple, Big Eddie, Sanford and Son, The Love Boat, Carter Country and Archie Bunker's Place. He directed two episodes of Here's Lucy in 1971.

His later sitcom guest appearances included Gimme a Break!, Dream On, Kirk, Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Something So Right, Living Single, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Just Shoot Me!, Parks and Recreation, New Girl, Rules of Engagement and Go On. He played Arthur Spooner in the original unaired pilot of The King of Queens, but he was replaced by Jerry Stiller and his scenes were re-shot.

Survivors include his wife, Roxanne, whom he married in 1971; sons Michael Carter and Chase Carter; daughter Wendy Carter; and grandchildren Jake and Ava.

Zendaya, Chris Thompson and Bella Thorne

Television writer, producer and director Chris Thompson has died. He died in actor Tim Curry's home on June 26 in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles after a long illness. Mr. Thompson was 63.

Thompson's writing career began with episodes of Blansky's Beauties and Sirota's Court. He worked on Laverne & Shirley as a writer, story editor, executive script consultant, director and producer. In 1980, he created Bosom Buddies with Robert L. Boyett and Thomas L. Miller. He also worked as a writer on nine episodes and directed four episodes of the Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari sitcom.

He was the creator of The Naked Truth, Action, Ladies Man and the Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up!, which starred Zendaya and Bella Thorne. His other sitcom writing credits included Hard Knocks (Showtime), The Larry Sanders Show, Dave's World, House Rules, The Naked Truth, Action, Ladies Man and Shake It Up!. He worked as a producer on The Larry Sanders Show, The Naked Truth, Action, I'm with Her and Shake It Up!.

We thank them for the laughs they brought us over the years. They will be deeply missed.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, February 22

The Big Bang Theory - "The Proton Regeneration" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon goes head-to-head with Wil Wheaton for the role of the new Professor Proton. Also, Penny steps in to take care of Halley when Bernadette and Wolowitz both wind up on bed rest.

Young Sheldon - "An Eagle Feather, A String Bean, and an Eskimo" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Sheldon moves to Dallas to attend a school for gifted children, the family struggles to cope with his absence.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Geology Methodology" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon and Bert collaborate on a research project, despite Sheldon’s embarrassment. Also, Penny and Bernadette coach Koothrappali on how to navigate his relationship with Ruchi (Swati Kapila).

Mom - "Fish Town and Too Many Thank You's" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bonnie is suspicious when her brother, Ray (Leonard Roberts), returns from rehab and strikes up a friendship with Adam, and Christy and Bonnie have a brush with the law when they take Ray’s fancy car for a joy ride.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 19)

Thursday, February 22

  • Christine Baranski (Cybill/Welcome to New York/Happy Family) - Catch Christine on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Constance Zimmer (Entourage/Good Morning, Miami) - Constance appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail is a guest on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Mo'Nique (The Parkers) - Mo'Nique discusses her headline-making fight for pay equality on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce/Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah stops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Shiri Appleby (Girls/Sunday Dinner) - Shiri talks about UnREAL on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • David Arquette (In Case of Emergency/Double Rush/Parenthood) - David drops by ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He opens up about marriage and fatherhood and gives a sneak peek at his new documentary Survivors Guide to Prison on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings. He will also be on the BUILD Series at 11am.
  • The Cast of Andi Mack - Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Sofia Wylie, Joshua Rush and Lilan Bowden discuss their special one-hour episode Cyrus' Bash-Mitzvah! on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Lori Loughlin (Fuller House/Hudson Street/Full House) - Lori appears on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Joel dishes on his new Netflix show on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • James Brolin (Life in Pieces) - James talks about Hallmark Channel's Royal Hearts on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Saffron Burrows (Mozart in the Jungle) - Saffron talks about Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


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

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
01/09 - Girlfriends - The Complete Series
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest