Yesterday we got word that the great Joey Bishop has passed away. Joey Bishop is of courser the stone-faced comedian who found success in nightclubs, television and movies but became most famous as a member of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack. He was the group's last surviving member. Peter Lawford died in 1984, Sammy Davis Jr. in 1990, Dean Martin in 1995, and Sinatra in 1998. Bishop died Wednesday night of multiple causes at his home in Newport Beach.
On television he had his own sitcom in the '60s titled The Joey Bishop Show that ran from 1961-1965 on NBC then ABC. He had a talk show by the same name, which was more popular, that aired on ABC and the announcer was Regis Philbin! Regis had this to day about Mr. Bishop: "It was the thrill of my life to be chosen by Joey as the announcer for his talk show on ABC back in the '60s. It was my introduction to the highly competitive late night show world. It was also an introduction to a show business I had never known: the Rat Pack era, the amazing talents of those performers who I probably never would have befriended without Joey. We walked every day before the show up Vine Street to Hollywood Boulevard and back to our studio for nearly three years. I learned a lot about the business of making people laugh. He was a master comedian and a great teacher and I will never forget those days or him."
Bishop has guest starred on TV series such as Chico and the Man, Get Smart, Trapper John M.D., and Murder, She Wrote. He has also filled-in many times for Johnny Carson as guest host on The Tonight Show.
He was a legend and will truly be missed by many. Mr. Bishop was 89.
CBS has given full season orders to its freshman comedy The Big Bang Theory and the drama The Unit. The Big Bang Theory becomes the first new comedy to receive a full season pickup. The new sitcom, a key newcomer to CBS's Monday comedy block, is averaging 8.97 million viewers, 4.3/10 in adults 25-54 and 3.6/09 in adults 18-49 in its Monday (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) time period. The Big Bang Theory has built on its How I Met Your Mother lead-in by +8% in households, +10% in adults 25-54, +9% in adults 18-49 and +10% in viewers. Veteran drama The Unit had only a 13 episode order coming into the season, but CBS has decided to give it the full 22 episode order after delivering its best ratings since February this past Tuesday.
ABC has given a full season pick-up to the Grey's Anatomy spin-off, Private Practice. Practice is the season's top new show in 18-49 and second in total viewers (to Samantha Who?, which only has aired one episode thus far).
Finally, Sony has announced a few things today. First, The Monkees is now on Comcast OnDemand's Tubetime service, joining other Sony classics such as Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, What's Happening!!, and Who's the Boss?
In other Sony news, this time we move over to the online area. As you all know, MySpace.com has a Minisode Network featuring classic Sony shows in a different way. The minisodes are not excerpts or clip jobs; they are edited in a way that compresses the story lines and enables the viewers to follow the plots from beginning to end in 4-6 minutes, rather than 30-60 minutes.
Starting on Monday, the mini-episodes will become available on a channel on Crackle, a Sony Web site, that will be sponsored by Pepsi-Cola. A 15-second ad for Pepsi-Cola will appear before each minisode. The channel is part of a campaign for a retro-look design for Pepsi packages, to go on sale next month, that will celebrate the venerable logos, slogans and commercial jingles for the brand. Bewitched will join the Minisode Network lineup as of Monday, along with shortened episodes of I Dream of Jeannie and The Jeffersons. Sony Pictures Television will also expand the network to two Web sites, AOL and Joost, where the minisodes will be sponsored by Honda. The bite-size shows also will begin running — without commercials, for now — on V Cast, the mobile video service from Verizon Wireless.
So will it still be on MySpace? Not sure, but my guess is, yes. So these three shows will join shows like Diff'rent Strokes, Silver Spoons, What's Happening!!, The Facts of Life, Who's the Boss?, Charlie's Angels and even Ricki Lake.