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

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