Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Remembering the Legendary Garry Marshall; Terry Crews Set for an Adventure

Garry Marshall

Actor, director, producer and writer Garry Marshall, who created Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy, has died. He died on July 19 at a hospital in Burbank, California due to complications of pneumonia after suffering a stroke. Mr. Marshall was 81.

Marshall's career began as a writer for Tonight Starring Jack Paar in 1960. He moved to Hollywood in 1961, where he teamed up with Jerry Belson as a writer for television. He wrote episodes of The Danny Thomas Show, The Bill Dana Show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Hank, The Lucy Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

The first sitcom he created and produced was Hey, Landlord, which aired for one season on NBC in 1966-1967. The series stared Will Hutchins, Sandy Baron, Pamela Rodgers, Miko Mayama and Michael Constantine. He also directed and guest starred in an episode.

Marshall and Belson developed and adapted The Odd Couple for television in 1970. The popular series, which starred Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, ran for five seasons on ABC until 1975. Myrna Turner, Oscar's secretary, was played by Garry's sister, Penny Marshall. He directed six episodes, wrote seven episodes and appeared in several episodes in various roles.

He created and produced The Brian Keith Show (titled The Little People during its first season), which aired for two seasons on NBC from 1972-1974. The series starred Brian Keith, Shelley Fabares, Victoria Young and Nancy Kulp.

In 1972, he created with Thomas L. Miller the short-lived CBS sitcom Me and the Chimp. The series starred Ted Bessell, Anita Gillette, Scott Kolden and Kami Kolter.

He wrote an episode of Love, American Style titled "Love and the Television Set" (later retitled "Love and the Happy Days" for syndication), which featured Ron Howard, Marion Ross and Anson Williams, that served as the pilot episode of Happy Days. The episode aired on aired on ABC on February 25, 1972.

Happy Days would become a series on January 15, 1974. The popular series aired on ABC for 11 seasons from 1974-1984. The series starred Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Tom Bosley, Marion Ross, Anson Williams, Donny Most and Erin Moran. Marshall directed the second season episode, "Haunted." He wrote two episodes of the series. He also appeared in two episodes as a drummer.

Several successful spin-offs would be launched from Happy Days. Laverne & Shirley aired on ABC for eight seasons from 1976-1983. The series starred Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, Eddie Mekka, Phil Foster, David L. Lander, Michael McKean and Betty Garrett. Garry directed two episodes. He also appeared uncredited as a drummer in two episodes.

Marshall's son, Scott, wanted to see an alien character on Happy Days. This led to the appearance of Mork (Robin Williams) in the season five episode "My Favorite Orkan." Mork & Mindy aired for four seasons on ABC from 1978-1982. The series also starred Pam Dawber, Conrad Janis, Elizabeth Kerr, Tom Poston, Jay Thomas and Gina Hecht. Marshall directed an episode in 1980.

Other Happy Days spin-offs included Blansky's Beauties, Out of the Blue and Joanie Loves Chachi (starring Scott Baio and Erin Moran). Marshall directed an episode of the short-lived Blansky's Beauties, which starred Nancy Walker, Lynda Goodfriend, Johnny Desmond, Eddie Mekka and Scott Baio.

He created and produced the short-lived sitcom Who's Watching the Kids in 1978. The series aired for one season on NBC. It starred Caren Kaye, Lynda Goodfriend, Scott Baio, Tammy Lauren, Marcia Lewis, Larry Breeding, Lorrie Mahaffey, Jim Belushi, Shirley Kirkes and Elaine Bolton.

In 1979, he created and produced with Dale McRaven the sitcom Angie. The series aired for two seasons on ABC from 1979-1980. It starred Donna Pescow, Robert Hays, Doris Roberts, Debralee Scott, Sharon Spelman and John Randolph.

Marshall, Mark Rothman and Lowell Ganz created the short-lived 1979 ABC sitcom Makin' It, which starred David Naughton, Greg Antonacci, Denise Miller and Ellen Travolta. He served as an executive producer of the 1982-1983 sitcom The New Odd Couple.

Garry Marshall in The Odd Couple

In addition to his work as a director, producer and writer, he also appeared as an actor. He appeared in 24 episodes of Murphy Brown from 1994-1997 as Stan Lansing, the micro-managing network president. Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included The Simpsons (voice in two episodes), Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Father of the Pride (voice), According to Jim, Louie, Two and a Half Men, Liv and Maddie, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Hot in Cleveland. He played Oscar Madison's (Matthew Perry) father, Walter Madison, in an episode of The Odd Couple in April 2016. He also served as a consultant on the remake.

Marshall was also a very successful film director. His biggest blockbuster was 1990's Pretty Woman, which starred Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. His other credits included Young Doctors in Love, The Flamingo Kid, Nothing in Common, Overboard, Beaches, Frankie and Johnny, Exit to Eden, Dear God, The Other Sister, Runaway Bride, The Princess Diaries, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Georgia Rule, Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve and 2016's Mother's Day.

The Archive of American Television conducted an extensive interview with him on August 28, 2000.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara, to whom he was married since 1963; son Scott, a film director; and daughters Lori, an actress and casting director, and Kathleen, an actress; a number of grandchildren; and sisters Penny Marshall, an actress and film director, and Ronny Hallin, a TV producer.

Mr. Marshall was a true legend. He created so many memorable sitcoms. He received five Emmy nominations for his work. There will likely never be another person that has four of the top five rated sitcoms on the air at the same time as he did with Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy and Angie in the 1978-79 season. We thank him for all of the laughs and many hours of entertainment he brought us over the years. He will be deeply missed.

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Terry Crews - Celebrity Adventure Club

Actor and former NFL player, Terry Crews, returns to his Michigan roots to champion a revitalized Motor City in Travel Channel's Celebrity Adventure Club. The second in a series of specials, this episode premieres on Saturday, July 23, at 10:00 a.m. ET/PT. In each hour-long feature, Travel Channel hands the camera to some of the world's biggest stars as they travel around the world on an intimate adventure of discovery and exploration. In this special, Crews kicks off his journey in his hometown Flint, Mich., where he reminisces about his childhood. Next, he visits two automotive companies in Detroit that have seen a major comeback -- General Motors, where he steps onto the assembly line to fasten some bolts, and Ford, where he test drives a 2016 Mustang convertible. He also meets up with baseball legend Willie Horton at Comerica Park to discuss Detroit's resilience and rising community. Terry Crews is a former NFL player, best-selling author of the memoir "Manhood" and an actor who has appeared in a number of primetime television and box office hits including Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and the Expandables franchise. Crews is also heavily invested in philanthropic endeavors, namely as a celebrity ambassador for the Polaris Project, which is a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April/May/June)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 20

The Big Bang Theory - "The Brain Bowl Incubation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After a successful experiment combining their genes, Sheldon will stop at nothing to convince Amy they should procreate. Also, Koothrappali is embarrassed to tell the gang what the new woman he’s dating does for a living.

Life in Pieces - "Awkward Bra Automated Ordained" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dinner gets awkward for Jen and Matt when they find themselves alone without Greg and Colleen. Also, Lark accidentally locks out Greg and Jen from the house, prompting Greg to install a complicated home automation system; Heather and Tim try to sneak wine into an ice skating show to get out of paying at the venue; and John and Joan agree to an impromptu wedding after Colleen mentions that she’s an ordained minister.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 17)

Thursday, July 20

  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - Catch T.J on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move) - Jason visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Abby Elliott (Odd Mom Out) - Abby appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Issa Rae (Insecure) - Issa stops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Kate Micucci (Raising Hope/The Big Bang Theory) - Kate is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith (A Different World) - Jada drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. She will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Regina Hall (Grandfathered) - Regina guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Tim Daly (Wings) - Tim is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Laura Linney (The Big C) - Laura talks about Netflix's The Big C on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Steve Guttenberg (Ballers) - Steve talks about HBO's Ballers on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Madison Iseman (Still the King) - Madison talks about CMT's Still the King on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.