Friday, July 19, 2024

Remembering TV Legend Bob Newhart, TV Bad Girl Shannen Doherty of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed, and Doogie Howser TV Dad James B. Sikking

Bob Newhart

Emmy-winning actor and comedian Bob Newhart, who starred as Bob Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show and as Dick Loudon on Newhart, has died. He died from complications of several short illnesses at his home in Los Angeles, California, on July 18. Mr. Newhart was 94.

Newhart starred on the 1961-1962 NBC comedy variety show The Bob Newhart Show. The show was awarded the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Humor (now known as the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series) in 1962. It also won a Peabody Award in 1961. Regulars included Mickey Manners (1961), Joe Flynn, Jackie Joseph, Andy Albin, Dan Sorkin, Ken Westfall (1961), Jack Grinnage (1961), Ken Berry (1962) and Paul Weston and His Orchestra.

The Bob Newhart Show

He starred as Dr. Robert "Bob" Hartley on the 1972-1978 CBS sitcom The Bob Newhart Show. The show centers on Robert "Bob" Hartley, a Chicago psychologist, his work and home life, with his supportive, though occasionally sarcastic, wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette), and their friendly but mildly pesky neighbor, airline navigator Howard Borden (Bill Daily). The series also starred Peter Bonerz as Dr. Jerry Robinson, Bob's friend, an orthodontist, and Marcia Wallace as Carol Kester, Bob and Jerry's receptionist. In 1977, the show received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series. The entire cast assembled for the one-hour clip show The Bob Newhart Show: The 19th Anniversary Special in 1991, which finds the show's characters in the present day. Newhart and Wallace reprised their roles in a 1994 episode of Murphy Brown. Newhart reprised Hartley twice in the February 11, 1995, episode of Saturday Night Live.


Newhart starred as Dick Loudon on the 1982-1990 CBS sitcom Newhart. The series stars Newhart and Mary Frann as an author and his wife who own and operate the Stratford Inn in rural Vermont. Dick Loudon is also the host of a local television show, Vermont Today, where he interviews an assortment of bizarre and colorful guests. The show was nominated for 25 Emmy Awards but never won. The cast included Tom Poston, Jennifer Holmes (1982-1983), Steven Kampmann (1982-1984), Julia Duffy (1983-1990), Peter Scolari (1984-1990), William Sanderson, Tony Papenfuss and John Voldstad. Recurring cast members included Thomas Hill, William Lanteau, Rebecca York (1983-1984), Jeff Doucette (1983-1988), Fred Applegate (1984-1987), Ralph Manza (1984-1990), Linda Carlson (1984-1987), Todd Susman (1984-1990), José Ferrer (1985-1987), Priscilla Morrill (1985-1989), Melanie Chartoff (1987-1990), Kathy Kinney (1989-1990) and David Pressman (1989-1990).


He starred as Bob McKay on the 1992-1993 CBS sitcom Bob. Bob McKay is a greeting card artist who discovers a comic book he created is getting revived. He is the creator of the 1950s comic book superhero Mad-Dog. The series, which aired for two seasons, also starred Carlene Watkins, Cynthia Stevenson, John Cygan (season 1), Andrew Bilgore (season 1), Timothy Fall (season 1), Ruth Kobart (season 1), Betty White (season 2), Jere Burns (season 2), Eric Allan Kramer (season 2) and Megan Cavanagh. Recurring cast members included Lisa Kudrow, Tom Poston (season 1), Dorothy Lyman, Dick Martin and Christine Dunford (season 1).

George & Leo

Newhart starred as George Stoody on the 1997-1998 CBS sitcom George & Leo. Newhart and Hirsch starred as the respective title characters, widely divergent men who become in-laws when their children get married. The cast inclued Jason Bateman, Bess Meyer (episodes 1-7), Robyn Lively (episodes 9-22) and Darryl Theirse.

The Big Bang Theory - Jim Parsons, Bob Newhart and Johnny Galecki

He played Professor Proton (Arthur Jeffries) in six episodes of the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory from 2013 to 2018. Professor Proton (Arthur Jeffries) is the star of a fictional in-universe science show that Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) watched as children. Newhart won his first Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2013. He appeared as the character in three episodes of Young Sheldon from 2017 to 2020.

Hot in Cleveland - Bob Newhart and Betty White

Newhart appeared as Bob Sr., Bob's (David Foley) father and the father-in-law of Joy Scroggs (Jane Leeves), in the series finale of Hot in Cleveland in 2015. Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included Captain Nice, The Don Rickles Show, It's Garry Shandling's Show, Everybody Loves Raymond and Committed. He voiced himself in a 1996 episode of The Simpsons.

In 2003, he guest starred as Ben Hollander in three episodes of ER in a rare dramatic role that earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, his first in nearly 20 years. He had a recurring role as Morty Flickman, the on-again/off-again boyfriend of Sophie (Lesley Ann Warren), Susan Mayer's (Teri Hatcher) mother, in three episodes of Desperate Housewives in 2005. Some of his other television drama credits included The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, NCIS and The Librarians (3 episodes).

He appeared on The Dean Martin Show 21 times and on The Ed Sullivan Show seven times. He was one of the initial three co-hosts of the variety show The Entertainers in 1964, with Carol Burnett and Caterina Valente. He guest-hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 87 times. He hosted Saturday Night Live in 1980 and 1995.

Newhart's 1960 comedy album The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart was the first comedy album to make number one on the Billboard charts and peaked at number two in the UK Albums Chart. It won two Grammy Awards in 1961 for Album of the Year and Best New Artist. The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart remains the 20th-best-selling album in history. A follow-up album, The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back!, was released six months later and won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Performance – Spoken Word that year.

He starred as Papa Elf in Elf (2003). Some of his other film credits included Catch-22 (1970), Cold Turkey (1971), First Family (1980) and In & Out (1997). He also voiced Bernard in the Disney animated films The Rescuers (1977) and The Rescuers Down Under (1990).

He was interviewed on May 29, 2001 in Westwood, California, and on June 15, 2001 in Bel Air, California, for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television.

Mr. Newhart was a TV and comedy icon. He was very funny and memorable as Bob Hartley and Dick Loudon. He was always a great late night guest. His deadpan delivery and dry sense of humor were fantastic. We thank him for the many laughs and for the entertainment that he brought during his legendary career. He will be greatly missed.

The Catch Comedy Binge Honors Bob Newhart

Catchy Comedy will celebrate legendary actor Bob Newhart with a special Catchy Weekend Binge presentation of The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart and Bob TV Series. The tribute begins Saturday, July 20 at 12 noon ET/PT on Catchy Comedy. The special Binge will continue all weekend through Monday, July 21 at 6:00 am ET/PT.

Shannen Doherty

Actress Shannen Doherty, who starred as Brenda Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210 and as Prue Halliwell on Charmed, has died. She died from breast cancer at her home in Malibu, California, on July 13. Ms. Doherty was 53.

Little House on the Prairie: A New Beginning

Doherty had a recurring role as Jenny Wilder in 18 episodes of the ninth and final season (1982-1983) of the NBC Western historical drama Little House on the Prairie. Almanzo (Dean Butler) and Laura (Melissa Gilbert) take in their niece, Jenny Wilder, when Almanzo's brother dies and raise her alongside their daughter, Rose. She returned in the three post-series movies in 1983 and 1984.

Our House

She starred as Kris Witherspoon on the 1986-1988 NBC drama Our House. The series centers on the Witherspoon family and the challenges they face adjusting to life with three generations living in the same house. 15-year-old Kris aimed to become an Air Force test pilot someday. The cast included Wilford Brimley, Deidre Hall, Chad Allen, Keri Houlihan and Gerald S. O'Loughlin.

Beverly Hills 90210

Doherty starred as Brenda Walsh on the Fox teen drama from 1990 to 1994. The initial premise of the show was based on the adjustment and culture shock that twins Brandon (Jason Priestley) and Brenda Walsh experienced when they and their parents, Jim (James Eckhouse) and Cindy (Carol Potter), moved from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Beverly Hills, California. Doherty was fired from the series at the end of the fourth season in 1994.


She starred as Prue Halliwell on The WB's fantasy drama Charmed from 1998 to 2001. The series initially focuses on the three Halliwell sisters, Prue, Piper (Holly Marie Combs), and Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) who are witches. Prue is the eldest sister who initially receives the power to move objects with her mind by channelling telekinesis through her eyes. Doherty also directed three episodes during the second and third seasons. She was was allegedly fired by producer Aaron Spelling after the third season after he received an ultimatum from Milano because of their on-set and off-set tensions between them.

Doherty had a recurring role Alexandra Hudson in 11 episodes of the 2004-2005 Fox drama North Shore. Alexandra Hudson is Walter Booth's (Christopher McDonald) supposed illegitimate child by a secretary – thus making her Nicole's (Brooke Burns) half-sister.


She reprised her role as Brenda Walsh in seven episodes of the first season (2008-2009) of The CW's teen drama 90210. She played herself in the short-lived 2009 Fox comedy-drama BH90210. The series focuses on the original cast members of Beverly Hills, 90210 — Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, and Shannen Doherty — playing heightened, fictionalized versions of themselves. The cast also served as executive producers.

Doherty guest starred with Christina Applegate and Robyn Lively in a 1985 episode of The New Leave it to Beaver. She appeared with other Beverly Hills, 90210 stars in a 1992 episode of Parker Lewis Can't Lose.

She had several attempts at starring on a sitcom. In 1984, she starred with Richard Kline, Shelley Fabares and Dana Kimmell in the CBS pilot episode of His and Hers. In 1997, she was cast with Orlando Jones and William Ragsdale as hip young private investigators in Los Angeles in the Fox sitcom pilot Faster Baby, Kill! It wasn't picked up as a series. In 2005, she starred as Denise Johnson in the unaired pilot of the UPN sitcom Love, Inc.. The series was originally developed as a vehicle and sitcom debut for Doherty under the working title Wingwoman. Though picked up by UPN, Doherty was removed from the project at the request of the network due to her poor reception by preview audiences. She was replaced by Busy Philipps.

Some of her other television guest apperances included Father Murphy (2 episodes), The Phoenix, Voyagers!, Magnum, P.I. (1983), Airwolf, Highway to Heaven, 21 Jump Street, Life Goes On and Heathers (3 episodes). She appeared as a stranded motorist on Riverdale as part of a tribute to Luke Perry, who died in 2019.

She starred as Maggie Malene in the 1985 teen movie comedy Girls Just Want to Have Fun alongside Helen Hunt and Sarah Jessica Parker. She played Heather Duke in the 1988 teen black comedy film Heathers. In 1995, she starred as Rene Mosier in Kevin Smith's buddy comedy film Mallrats. She had a cameo as herself in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001).

Ms. Doherty was very good and memorable in her television dramas over the years. She could play good girl and bad girl roles equally well. Our House is a somewhat forgotten family drama, which should be available on DVD or streaming. We thank her for her work on television and in films. She bravely battled cancer since 2015. She will be deeply missed.

James B. Sikking

Actor James B. Sikking, who starred as Lt. Howard Hunter on Hill Street Blues and as Dr. David Howser on Doogie Howser, M.D., has died. He died of complications from dementia at his home in Los Angeles, California, on July 13. Mr. Sikking was 90.


Sikking starred as Geoffrey St. James on the short-lived 1979 NBC sitcom Turnabout, which was based on a 1931 novel of the same title by Thorne Smith. The plot was about a husband and wife who found themselves inhabiting each other's bodies. The series also starred John Schuck, Sharon Gless, Richard Stahl, Bobbi Jordan and Bruce Kirby.

Hill Street Blues

He starred as Lt. Howard Hunter on the 1981-1987 police drama Hill Street Blues. Initially a Sergeant, he is promoted to (or perhaps merely re-written as) Lieutenant early in season 1 without mention. Hunter is the commander of the Emergency Action Team (EAT, or "EATers"), who loves to postulate and theorize about the degeneration of society. In 1984, Sikking's performance earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

Doogie Howser, M.D.

Sikking starred as Dr. David Howser on the 1989-1993 ABC medical comedy/drama Doogie Howser, M.D.. Dr. David Howser is Doogie Howser's (Neil Patrick Harris) father. He's a Vietnam War MASH veteran with a family practice. The cast included Max Casella, Belinda Montgomery, Lawrence Pressman, Mitchell Anderson (1989-1991), Kathryn Layng, Lisa Dean Ryan (1989-1992), Lucy Boryer (1989-1992), Markus Redmond (1990-1993), Rif Hutton (recurring from 1990-1993) and Robyn Lively (recurring from 1991-1993).

He starred as Capt. Stan Jonas on the 1997-1998 CBS police drama Brooklyn South. The focus for Brooklyn South was the 74th Precinct in Brooklyn. The series won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Television New Dramatic Series in 1998.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included O.K. Crackerby!, My Favorite Martian, My Mother the Car (2 episodes), Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Here Come the Brides (2 episodes), The Bob Newhart Show, The Doris Day Show (3 episodes), M*A*S*H, Room 222 (2 episodes), Who's the Boss? and Curb Your Enthusiasm (2 episodes).

Sikking played Jim Hobart, an alcoholic surgeon, on the ABC soap opera General Hospital from 1971 to 1976. Some of his other television guest appearances included Perry Mason, Combat! (2 episodes), Rawhide, The Outer Limits (2 episodes), The Fugitive (3 episodes), Run for Your Life (2 episodes), The Invaders, Bonanza (2 episodes), Adam-12, Night Gallery (2 episodes), Mission: Impossible (2 episodes), Mod Squad (3 episodes), The Rookies (2 episodes), Mannix (2 episodes), Cannon (2 episodes), Delvecchio (3 episodes), The Feather & Father Gang (2 episodes), The Rockford Files (2 episodes), Hawaii Five-0 (2 episodes), Charlie's Angels (2 episodes), Hunter (3 episodes) and The Guardian (2 episodes)

He voiced General Gordon on the The WB's 1998 animated science fiction series Invasion America. Some of his other voice credits included Batman Beyond (2 episodes) and Rocket Power (2 episodes).

Sikking starred as FBI Director Denton Voyles in the 1993 American legal thriller film The Pelican Brief. Some of his other film credits included Ordinary People (1980), The Competition (1980), Outland (1981), The Star Chamber (1983), Up the Creek (1984), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Narrow Margin (1990), Fever Pitch (2005) and Made of Honor (2008).

James B. Sikking

Mr. Sikking was a solid and dependable actor. He was best known for his yeoman work as hard-charging, hardheaded SWAT leader Lt. Howard Hunter on Hill Street Blues. We thank him for his work on television and in films. He will be sorely missed.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Saturday, July 20

Mind Your Business - "Choices" (Bounce TV, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Alfonso must make a major career decision while Lucielle's son comes home with a big confession.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 15)

Friday, July 19

  • Kumail Nanjiani (Only Murders in the Building/Bless the Harts/Silicon Valley) - Kumail guest hosts a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Scheer (Black Monday/Fresh Off the Boat/The League) - Watch Paul on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Joey King (Bent) - Joey appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Chris Redd (Kenan/Disjointed) - Chris is a guest on a repeat of After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan) and Rachael Harris (Surviving Jack/In the Motherhood/Notes from the Underbelly) - Brooke and Rachael are guests on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Kerry Washington (UnPrisoned) and Delroy Lindo (UnPrisoned) - Kerry and Delroy talk about UnPrisoned on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.

New on DVD/Blu-ray

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series Check It Out! - The Complete Series The Jeffersons - The Complete Series (2024 Release) Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Series (2024 Release)

02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One
03/12 - Ghosts (UK) - The Complete Series
03/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 3 (Blu-ray)
03/12 - Rick and Morty - Season 7 (Blu-ray Steelbook) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
04/03 - Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series (VEI)
04/08 - Check It Out! - The Complete Series (VEI)
05/21 - Frasier (2023) - Season One
06/11 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series (2024 Release)
06/11 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Series (2024 Release)
07/05 - Letterkenny - Season 12 (Final Season)
07/30 - Ted Lasso - The Richmond Way (The Complete Series) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
09/17 - Bewitched - The Complete Series - 60th Anniversary Special Edition (Blu-ray)
09/24 - Friends - The Complete Series (4K Ultra HD)
09/24 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Series
10/08 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Twelfth Season / The Complete Series

More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Recent News Blog Posts

07/19 - Remembering TV Legend Bob Newhart, TV Bad Girl Shannen Doherty of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed, and Doogie Howser TV Dad James B. Sikking
07/18 - 76th Primetime Emmy Nominations; Frasier Returns September 19
07/17 - Fox Fall 2024 Premiere Dates; Apple TV+ Renews Loot for Season 3
07/16 - Survival of the Thickest Season 2 Adds to Cast; Phil Rosenthal Series Renewed by Netflix
07/15 - CBS Fall 2024 Premiere Dates; Disney Entertainment Television at San Diego Comic-Con 2024
07/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 15, 2024)
07/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Martin Prequel in the Works; Wendie Malick to Star in Season 3 of Night Court
07/12 - FX Premiere Dates; CBS Studios San Diego Comic-Con Plans
07/11 - ABC Fall 2024 Premiere Dates; Remembering Doug Sheehan of Day by Day and Clueless and Benji Gregory of ALF
07/10 - NBC Fall 2024 Premiere Dates; New Paramount+ Series with Billy Bob Thornton
07/09 - Futurama Trailer Released for Season 12; Will You Help Solve a Mystery? Unsolved Mysteries Volume 4 Drops July 31
07/08 - Hulu's How to Die Alone Premieres This September; Prime Video's Cross Launches This Fall
07/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 8, 2024)
07/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Skydance Media Reportedly Taking Over Paramount; Internet Archive Restores MTV News Archives
07/05 - Sitcom Stars Pair Up on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire; TV One Premieres Raising Fame
07/04 - Happy 4th of July; Antenna TV's McHale's Navy Red, White and Navy Independence Day Marathon
07/03 - Netflix Has Baby Fever Again; More Stars Join Sirens
07/02 - Cobra Kai's Final Season Begins July 18; Hell Yeah! Kite Man: Hell Yeah! Premieres July 18 on Max
07/01 - Remembering Martin Mull of Roseanne, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and More; Will Forte Joins Netflix's Upcoming Comedy The Four Seasons
06/30 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 1, 2024)
06/29 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Nancy O'Dell to Host New Daytime True Crime Series; NBC to Use AI Clips of Al Michaels' Voice for Olympics
06/28 - Hulu's Hit-Monkey Trailer Drops; Remembering Character Actor Bill Cobbs
06/27 - New Jersey's North to Shore Festival Brings Out the Stars; ABC's GMA Summer Concert Series 2024
06/26 - Fox Nation Taps Kelsey Grammer for Docudrama; Hallmark Channel's Kansas City Chiefs Christmas Movie
06/25 - Watch New Season of The Bear Earlier; NBC's 4th of July Fireworks Special Details
06/24 - Prime Video Orders Riz Ahmed Comedy; New Trio Join Only Murders for Season 4
06/23 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 24, 2024)
06/22 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Casting for Everybody Still Hates Chris; Homicide: Life on the Street Headed to Streaming
06/21 - The CW Fall 2024 Premiere Dates; Jimmy Kimmel Live! Guest Hosts for Summer
06/20 - Hallmark's Christmas in July Stunt; Starz's Power Book II: Ghost Final Season Premieres Strong
06/19 - Dark Side of the 90s Returns in July; Resident Alien Moving to USA Network