Friday, February 02, 2018

Fri-Yay: One Day at a Time Season 2 is a Warm Delight; Remembering Louis Zorich from Mad About You

It's time for another edition of Fri-Yay! That means we will take a look back on some sitcom happenings in recent days or weeks or other fun sitcomy stuff. It's a sitcom lover's paradise! Happy Fri-Yay!

One Day at a Time

by Vincent

Last year, One Day at a Time was one of the most surprisingly wonderful shows of 2017. In a year of seemingly endless reboots and navel-gazing at TV's past, One Day at a Time was perhaps the only remake that took its original series and made it feel current rather than being obsessed with the past. With an all new cast and little actual ties to the original series other than in structure, One Day at a Time transcended the label of "sitcom remake" and became a wonderful sitcom in its own right. By tackling social issues such as sexuality, mental illness, and veterans' rights in a way that also had a strong focus on character and never felt cloying, One Day at a Time felt truly special.

So it means a lot when I say One Day at a Time's second season may even be an improvement on its already excellent debut season. The series is slightly less serialized in its second season, making it feel even more like the past Norman Lear shows it's inspired by (Lear is an executive producer of the series, after all) - and yet, the lack of structure (although the season does have some structure, certainly more than most, say, '70s Lear sitcoms did) allows the show to put its characters through many varieties of situations that inform who they are and their own personal choices. The series also digs deeper into its characters this year - we learn more about their past and their journeys, even for characters like Schneider who have mostly been presented as comic relief. And yet, even through all of this, One Day at a Time always felt happy and joyous, even when dealing with some pretty intricate and heavy topics. Frankly, One Day at a Time feels a little bit like the sitcom version of a warm hug. It's comforting and makes you feel better even when things are rough. What could be better in our current society?

Oh, and yes, it has a live studio audience. No, it's not distracting. Please don't let that turn you off of this incredible show.


Louis Zorich

Actor Louis Zorich, who was best known for his role as Paul Reiser's father, Burt Buchman, in Mad About You, has died. He died in his sleep on January 30 in New York City. Mr. Zorich was 93.

Brooklyn Bridge

Zorich starred as Jules Berger in the 1991-1993 CBS dramedy Brooklyn Bridge, which was set in the middle 1950s in Brooklyn. He was married to Sophie Berger (Marion Ross) and was the grandfather of Alan Silver (Danny Gerard). The Gary David Goldberg created series also starred Amy Aquino, Peter Friedman, Matthew Louis Siegel, Adam LaVorgna, Jenny Lewis, Jake Jundef, Aeryk Egan and David Wohl. It won a Golden Globe for Best Television Comedy or Musical and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1992.

Paul Reiser and Louis Zorich - Mad About You

He appeared in the recurring role as Burt Buchman in 70 episodes of the NBC sitcom Mad About You from 1993 to 1999. He was married to Sylvia (Cynthia Harris) and was the father of Paul (Paul Reiser). His signature line when he visited Paul and Jamie's (Helen Hunt) apartment was "It's me, Burt! Burt Buchman--your father!" The series also starred Anne Elizabeth Ramsay, Leila Kenzie (1992-1998), Richard Kind (1992-1993, occasional 1994-1999) and John Pankow.

Some of his television guest appearances included Encounter, Hudson's Bay, Cannonball, Naked City, Route 66, Kojak, Ryan's Hope, The Equalizer, Spenser: For Hire, Kate & Allie and Law & Order.

Survivors include his wife, actress Olympia Dukakis; their three children, Peter, Stefan and Christina; and nephew, Chris Zorich (former NFL player).

Mr. Zorich was a fine actor. He was very good as the family patriarch in Brooklyn Bridge. It would be great to revisit that series on DVD one day. It was always fun when he stopped by to visit on Mad About You. He will be greatly missed.

Hugh Wilson

We also remember director, writer and television showrunner Hugh Wilson. He was the creator of WKRP in Cincinnati and Frank's Place. He died on January 14 in Charlottesville, Virginia, from lung cancer and emphysema. Mr. Wilson was 74.

Wilson created WKRP in Cincinnati for CBS in 1978. The series was based upon his experiences working in advertising sales at Top 40 radio station WQXI in Atlanta. The popular sitcom ran for four seasons from 1978 to 1982. It starred Gary Sandy, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson, Richard Sanders, Frank Bonner, Jan Smithers, Tim Reid and Howard Hesseman. The catchy theme song was written by Wilson and performed by Steve Carlisle. Wilson also wrote 14 episodes, provided the story for three episodes and directed two of the episodes.

He later created the sequel series, The New WKRP in Cincinnati, which aired for two seasons in first-run syndication from 1991 to 1993. The series starred Gordon Jump, Richard Sanders, Frank Bonner, Mykelti Williamson, Tawny Kitaen and French Stewart. Howard Hesseman appeared in a recurring role.

In 1986, he created the short-lived NBC sitcom Easy Street. The series starred Loni Anderson, Jack Elam, Lee Weaver, Dana Ivey, James Cromwell and Arthur Malet.

Wilson worked with Tim Reid again in the critically acclaimed, but short-lived dramedy Frank's Place. The series aired on CBS for one season in 1987-1988. It also also starred Robert Harper, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Francesca P. Roberts, Frances W. Williams, Virginia Capers, Tony Burton, Charles Lampkin, Lincoln Kilpatrick, William Thomas Jr. and Don Yesso. Wilson also worked as writer s and directed seven episodes of the series. He won an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series" in 1988.

He created the short-lived 1989-1990 CBS sitcom The Famous Teddy Z. The series starred Jon Cryer, Milton Selzer, Jane Sibbett, Alex Rocco, Tom La Grua, Erica Yohn and Josh Blake.

His other directing credits included The Tony Randall Show (also a producer), Easy Street and The Famous Teddy Z. He directed the films Police Academy, Burglar, Guarding Tess, The First Wives Club, Blast from the Past and Dudley Do-Right.

Some of his other sitcom writing credits included The Bob Newhart Show, The Tony Randall Show and The Famous Teddy Z.

The Archive of American Television conducted an extensive interview with him on November 26, 2015.

Survivors include his wife, five children and four grandchildren.

We thank Mr. Wilson for the great sitcoms he brought us over the years. He will be missed.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, February 15

Fresh Off the Boat - "Cupid's Crossbow" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
On Valentine’s Day, the mood is anything but romantic as Jessica competes with Louis to see who can give Evan the best advice on how to celebrate with new girlfriend, Sicily. Meanwhile, Eddie asks Honey for help to find out who his secret admirer is after he’s passed a love note on a Cattleman’s delivery run.

Speechless - "J-I-- JIMMY V-A-L-VALENTINE" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
JJ’s love-match with Izzy becomes a cage match with Kenneth. Maya and Jimmy dismiss Valentine’s Day as a holiday for suckers until they find a way to profit from it. Unable to find a date to a prepaid romantic night out, Ray brings Dylan.

Last Man Standing - "The Best Man" / "Sibling Quibbling" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Chuck and Carol decide to renew their vows; Mike plans to take his officiating to the next level.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 11)

Friday, February 15

  • Tracy Morgan (The Last O.G./30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Watch Tracy on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Rosie O'Donnell (Gimme a Break!) - Rosie appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. He talks about Fox's The Masked Singer and Netflix's You Complete Me, Ho on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) - Brian appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris talks about The Enemy Within on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Cavemen/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings. Jerry and his wife Rebecca Romijn talk about the 2019 American Rescue Dog Show on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Henry Winkler (Barry/Out of Practice/Happy Days) - Henry stops by The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Lori Loughlin (Fuller House/Hudson Street/Full House) - Lori talks about When Calls the Heart on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Dan Cortese (What I Like About You/Veronica's Closet) - Dan is part of the panel on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Daniel Radcliffe (Miracle Workers) - Daniel is a guest on Couch Surfing at 8am.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February)

Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season

01/08 - Family Guy - 20 Greatest Hits
01/22 - Fuller House - The Complete Third Season
01/22 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season (WBShop.com)
01/29 - Ballers - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
01/29 - Crashing - The Complete Second Season
01/29 - The Game - The Complete Series
01/29 - Kidding - Season One
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest