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 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 (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 9

Last Man Standing - "Help Wanted" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Since losing her teaching job, Vanessa has been spending her time hovering over the family, and it’s driving everyone nuts. Over at Kristin and Ryan’s house, Ryan and Kyle are wrapped-up in a zombie face-off to determine who knows the most about zombies and how to survive an apocalypse. Unable to land a new gig, Vanessa becomes discouraged, but Mike does everything he can to get her back doing what she loves.

Dr. Ken - "Ken's Apology" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Ken wants to apologize to a patient for missing an important medical detail, Pat advises against it, and the situation gets out of hand. Meanwhile, D.K. shakes things up at Dave’s parent/teacher conference.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 5)

Friday, December 9

  • Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Watch Olivia on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tom Papa (Come to Papa) - Tom is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Crazy Ones) - Sarah whips up a delicious treat on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Richard Kind (Spin City/Mad About You) - Richard is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - Jennifer appears on Chelsea on Netflix.