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.


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

Thursday, September 29

Superstore - "Back to Work" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jeff (recurring guest star Michael Bunin), the district manager from corporate, tells the Cloud 9 employees he is going to be around for the day to see what can improve in the store. Amy (America Ferrera) tries to impress him with a perfect day, but a workplace accident threatens her plan. Meanwhile, Glenn (Mark McKinney) tries to come off as a tough boss in front of Jeff, Jonah (Ben Feldman) attempts to help an unyielding Dina (Lauren Ash) win over the employees she betrayed in the strike and Mateo (Nico Santos) discovers something about Jeff in his pursuit to win him over.

The Good Place - "Jason Mendoza" (NBC, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Eleanor (Kristen Bell) faces her toughest test yet in her attempt to remain in hiding. Meanwhile, Michael (Ted Danson) enlists Tahani (Jameela Jamil) to help a fellow neighbor fulfill her true purpose.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Earworm Reverberation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon has a revelation when he realizes why a song was stuck in his head. Also, Amy invites Dave (Stephen Merchant) over for dinner despite their previously awkward date, and Wolowitz and Koothrappali become obsessed with a fan of their band, “Footprints on the Moon.”

Kevin Can Wait - "Pilot" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Kevin James stars as a newly retired police officer looking forward to spending carefree, quality time with his wife and three kids, only to find he faces tougher challenges at home than he ever did on the streets.

Better Things - "Woman Is the Something of the Something" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam gets really looked at.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 26)

Thursday, September 29

  • Judith Light (Transparent/Phenom/Who's the Boss?) - Catch Judith on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Tim Meadows (Son of Zorn/Marry Me/The Michael Richards Show) - Tim appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
  • Max Greenfield (New Girl/Modern Men) - Max drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community), Dave Foley (Dr. Ken/NewsRadio) and Suzy Nakamura (Dr. Ken/Go On) - Ken, Dave and Suzy are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight. Ken will also be on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • January Jones (The Last Man on Earth) - January stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce/Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men/The Powers That Be) - Holland talks about The Front Page on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Guys with Kids) - Jamie-Lynn is a guest on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.