Thursday, May 26, 2016

Remembering Beth Howland, Vera from Alice; Another Period Renewed by Comedy Central

Beth Howland

Actress Beth Howland, who was best known for her role as Vera Gorman in Alice, has died. She died of lung cancer on December 31, 2015, in Santa Monica, California. As per her request, her death was not reported to the media until May 24. Ms. Howland was 74.

Howland's career began on stage on Broadway in 1959 with her role as Lady Beth in the Carol Burnett musical Once Upon a Mattress. She originated the role of Amy in the original Broadway cast of Stephen Sondheim's Company, in which she introduced the patter song Getting Married Today. Some of her other roles included the musicals Bye Bye Birdie, High Spirits, Drat! The Cat! and Darling of the Day.

Some of her early television guest appearances included Mary Tyler Moore (2 episodes), Love, American Style, Cannon, The Rookies, Bronk and Little House on the Prairie. She had uncredited roles in the films Li'l Abner (1958) and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1972).

Alice

Howland starred as Vera Louise Gorman (later Novak) in Alice. Vera was a neurotic, scatterbrained waitress at Mel's Diner in Phoenix. She was accident prone. Her scene with the exploding straws in the pilot episode was used in the opening credits. The shy Vera married policeman Elliot Novak (Charles Levin) in the eighth season.

The popular series ran for nine seasons on CBS from 1976-1985. It also starred Linda Lavin, Vic Tayback, Philip McKeon, Polly Holliday (1976-1980), Diane Ladd (1980-1981) and Celia Weston (1981-1985). Howland received four Golden Globe Award nominations for the role in 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983.

Some of her other television guest appearances included Eight Is Enough, The Love Boat (6 episodes), Comedy Factory, You Can't Take It With You, Murder She, Wrote, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Batman Beyond (voice), The Tick and As Told by Ginger.

She starred in television movies, including The Ted Bessell Show, You Can't Take It With You, The Wild Wacky Wonderful World of Winter and Agatha Christie's: A Caribbean Mystery. She appeared in the 1988 ABC Afterschool Special: Terrible Things My Mother Told Me.

Survivors include her husband, actor Charles Kimbrough of Murphy Brown fame, and her daughter, Holly Rowland, from her first marriage to actor Michael J. Pollard.

Ms. Howland was very funny as Vera. We wish someone would air Alice. It would also be great to have the remaining five seasons available on DVD. We thank her for the many laughs she brought us. She will be deeply missed.

Share your memories on our Alice message board. View photos in our galleries.


Another Period

Listen up peasants! The original ballers are back and here to stay. Comedy Central's turn-of-the-century historical and satirical scripted series, Another Period, has been renewed for a third season. The ten-episode second season, co-created by and starring Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome, directed by Jeremy Konner and executive produced by Ben Stiller's Red Hour, debuts on Wednesday, June 15 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Prior to season two's premiere, fans can indulge themselves as the Bellacourts' would by binging on the entire first season of Another Period, available on the Comedy Central App and cc.com starting June 8. Another Period tells the incredible story of the Bellacourt sisters, Lillian and Beatrice (played by Leggero and Lindhome), who are defined by their family's wealth and care only about becoming super famous - which is a lot harder in 1902 - and follows the insanely decadent and outrageous life of the Bellacourt coterie. Before others claimed their fame, they were the one American family who epitomized all that was spoiled, shameless and stupid - with more servants than relatives and days filled with money, sex, drugs... and more money.

During the second season, the Bellacourts and the poor souls under their servitude return for a whole new season full of excess and debauchery with Lillian and Beatrice seeking advice on how to rebrand, attempting to divorce their gay husbands, pursuing new male suitors, fighting infectious diseases and, of course, still trying to become famous. Servants from downstairs head upstairs, sex is attempted to be had for pleasure, political scandals play out, and illustrious characters from our nation's past - such as Albert Einstein, Teddy and Eleanor Roosevelt and Harriet Tubman - pay visit to Newport's first family. On Tuesday, June 14, the day before the Season Two linear premiere, Comedy Central will provide fans the opportunity to experience, firsthand, a dinner with the Bellacourts via a 360ยบ virtual reality video available through Comedy Central's Facebook page the and Another Period Facebook page.

Season Two episodes of Another Period will be available the same day they premiere via cc.com and the Comedy Central app and will be available next day on iTunes, Amazon Video, VUDU, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, and Verizon Multi-Screen.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, August 15

The Goldbergs - "Dinner with the Goldbergs" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Erica warns Geoff about going to dinner with her family to celebrate her birthday, but he insists. Upon arrival, it’s apparent this will be no ordinary dinner out: The family changes tables multiple times, Beverly sends her food back, Murray insists Adam order off the children’s menu and Barry wants to change his order, but it’s too late. By evening’s end, Geoff hits his breaking point.

American Housewife - "Midlife Crisis" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Katie takes Oliver out of school for a day to help loosen him up after Oliver suffers from a meltdown about something minor. Meanwhile, Anna-Kat takes Greg to the park to help him make new friends.

Modern Family - "Wine Weekend" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The family goes on a wine tasting trip and stays in Haley’s new boss’ country house where the only rule is: Don’t touch the tiara! Meanwhile, Gloria and Mitch are invited to a party at Oprah’s house but can’t bring anyone else.

American Housewife - "All Coupled Up" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Otto children are beginning to experience struggles in their love lives after jumping into the dating world: Oliver is forced to choose between his girlfriend and his friend Cooper who come from two different worlds; Greg must play the “bad cop parent” to halt the PDA between Taylor and Trip; and Anna-Kat tries to make her relationship with Franklin official, without his consent.

Alone Together - "Daypassers" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Benji and Esther snag a day pass to an upscale gym.

Alone Together - "Drama Story" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Benji realizes his former high school hasn't changed.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 13)

Wednesday, August 15

  • Tom Arnold (Roseanne/The Tom Show/Tom) - Watch Tom on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jerrod Carmichael (the Carmichael Show) - Jerrod stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Chris O'Dowd (Family Tree/The IT Crowd) - Chris visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He talks about Juliet, Naked on the BUILD Series at 3pm.
  • Regina Hall (Insecure/Grandfathered) - Regina appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ariana Grande (Sam & Cat/Victorious) - Ariana is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley) - Jimmy drops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Sanaa Lathan (Family Guy/The Cleveland Show/LateLine) - Sanaa chats on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jennifer Finnigan (Better with You/Committed/Student Bodies) - Jennifer appears on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Rob Lowe (The Grinder/Parks and Recreation) - Rob is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tony Rock (Living Biblically) - Tony appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Jason Ritter (The Class) - Jason is a guest on a repeat of Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Debby Ryan (Insatiable/Jessie/The Suite Life on Deck) - Debby talks about Insatiable's controversies on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) and Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Constance and Ken talk about Crazy Rich Asians on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Rev Run and Justine Simmons (All About the Washingtons) - Rev Run and Justine talk about All About the Washingtons on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Regina King (227) - Regina talks about Seven Seconds on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Melissa Carcache (Every Witch Way) - Melissa talks about her Hallmark Channel original movie Love at Sea on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Zach Braff (Alex, Inc./Scrubs) - Zach is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Alice - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season The Good Place - The Complete Second Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
07/03 - New Girl - The Final (Seventh) Season
07/10 - Alice - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - The Bill Engvall Show - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season
07/10 - The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season
07/17 - Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life - The Complete Series
07/17 - The Good Place - The Complete Second Season
07/17 - Son of Zorn - The Complete Series
08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest