Thursday, December 01, 2005

In Memoriam: Wendie Jo Sperber and Macon McCalman; Mid-Season for FOX and NBC

We have lost two sitcom stars this week. First, Wendie Jo Sperber lost her life on Tuesday after an eight year battle with breast cancer. Sperber is best remembered as playing Michael J. Fox's character's sister in the Back to the Future films, but she also co-starred in many sitcoms including with Tom Hanks in Bosom Buddies, Private Benjamin, Women in Prison, Babes, and with John Ritter and Billy Bob Thornton in season one on Hearts Afire. She also has guest starred on many sitcoms such as Designing Women, Parker Lewis Can't Loose, Married...With Children, Murphy Brown, and Will & Grace. Even with breast cancer, she continued to work landing guest appearances on multiple episodes on the John Ritter sitcom 8 Simple Rules.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, the actress became an advocate for cancer care. In 2001, she founded the weSPARK Cancer Support Center, which provides free emotional support, information and social activities for individuals and families affected by cancer.
Sperber helped unveil and promote a breast cancer stamp for the U.S. Postal Service in 1998. Ms. Sperber was 46 years old.

We have also lost sitcom veteran Macon McCalman. The name might not sound familiar, but he has been around for a long time. He never starred in a sitcom as a regular but he had many guest appearances on many sitcoms. You might remember him as Janet Wood's father on Three's Company and before that he played the boss hitting on Chrissy also on Three's Company, he also played the racist club president on an episode of Diff'rent Strokes, he played a dentist on Perfect Strangers where chaos happened after Larry & Balki visited, and you might remember him as the minister who married Eunice and Dutch on Soap. He also visited shows like Lois & Clark, Maude, The Jeffersons, The Bob Newhart Show, Family Ties, Newhart, Designing Women, Fresh Prince, The Wonder Years, and Cheers. What a resume he had. He retired from the business in 1997 after having a heart attack. "The ultimate character actor" died Tuesday after having a series of strokes over the years. "Sonny" was 72 years old.

FOX has announced its mid-season schedule and American Idol results show will stay put on Wednesdays after all. Among the changes include the moving of Wednesday sitcoms That '70s Show and Stacked to a tough Thursday at 9 p.m. slot. FOX will also air a reality show with celebrities ice skating, titled Skating with Celebrities. You'll see Todd Bridges of Diff'rent Strokes on this! For the full line-up for FOX mid-season, click here.
NBC has also released their mid-season line-up and they will return to a four comedy night on Thursdays, but Joey will not be on it! NBC says Joey will return in March. The next installment of The Apprentice will too. New sitcom Four Kings will air Thursdays at 8:30 p.m., with Will & Grace moving to 8 p.m. and My Name is Earl and The Office will move from Tuesdays to Thursdays. And Scrubs returns on Tuesday nights for a full-hour! For the full line-up for NBC mid-season, click here.
Meanwhile ABC has quietly removed the repeat broadcasts for Hot Properties on December 16, 23 and 30 and replaced it with original episodes. So, this is good news as ABC will indeed air all 13 episodes of this series. The next episode will air December 9--so tune in!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Sunday, March 3

The Simpsons - "AE Bonny Romance" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Groundskeeper Willie is kidnapped to Scotland, Bart and the Simpsons follow, only to be faced with Homer's worst nightmare.

Krapopolis - "The Majors" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
There is a major god opening on Mt. Olympus, and Deliria decides to mentor the nerdy minor god Salt for the spot as a way to spite her rival, Athena; Krapopolis residents start moving to the wilderness to get away from the excess poop problem.

The Great North - "Ready Mayor Won Adventure" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Honeybee wins interim Lone Moose mayor over Wolf, who starts overstepping during Honeybee's one day term; the rest of the Tobins start capitalizing on their new family member's political power.

Grimsburg - "The Flute-itive" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Flute enters the Grimsburg Miniature Competition and is accused of murdering the judge after he disqualifies him; Flute tries to clear his name; Stan joins his school's Trauma Club.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 26)

Friday, March 1

  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Watch Jesse on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Esther Povitsky (Dollface/Alone Together) - Esther appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Billy Eichner (Friends from College/Difficult People/Parks and Recreation), Nico Santos (Superstore) and Pete Holmes (How We Roll/Crashing) - Billy, Nico and Pete are guests on a repeat of After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Sarah Paulson (Leap of Faith) - Sarah appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Punkie Johnson (Love Life) - Punkie is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Reba McEntire (Reba/Malibu Country) - Drew is chatting with legendary singer Reba McEntire in Las Vegas about singing at the Super Bowl and how far she's come to be where she is now on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/A.U.S.A./Scrubs) - Scott talks about The Girls on the Bus on ABC's Good Morning America some time between 7-9am.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November-March)

Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Father Knows Best - The Complete Series The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

11/07 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Sixth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/14 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
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)

That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

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


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