Friday, February 29, 2008

TV Rebels: That Girl; Network Notes: Scrubs to ABC?, Family Guy Spin-Off?, Quarterlife to Bravo?

It is time for our monthly TV Rebels essay! We have gotten special permission to publish at least 6 different essays on TV shows and actors that will be featured in the upcoming book TV Rebels: 100 People and Programs That Shaped the Medium by author Lou Orfanella. The book is still in the works and will be released in 2009.

So without further adieu, we bring you the third column of TV Rebels:

That Girl: It's Not a Man's World Anymore
Before Mary Tyler Moore tossed her hat into the Minneapolis wind, before Murphy Brown changed secretaries like other people change underwear, before Carrie sought sex in the city, Ann Marie climbed aboard the suburban commuter train from Brewster, New York to seek fame, fortune, and romance in the big city.
A young single girl living on her own in Manhattan and trying to make it in show business may seem like pretty tame fare in the twenty-first century, but when Marlo Thomas debuted as That Girl in 1966, television was still a man's world. From Father Knows Best's Margaret Anderson to Leave it to Beaver's June Cleaver, a woman’s place was in the home, or perhaps in a case like Our Miss Brooks, in the classroom. But on her own on in a New York City apartment? Not in TV Land. The men went to work and the women stayed home cooking up schemes to trick their men or getting into predicaments from which their men could rescue them.
During its five year run on ABC, That Girl did not necessarily tackle feminist issues head on or include ground breaking storylines. There were the traditional sitcom trappings. Ann gets her toe stuck in a bowling ball. Ann meets "special guest star" Ethel Merman. Ann takes a temporary job and chaos ensues. The program did however present a young girl who was not afraid to embrace life with little more that ambition and self-assuredness. Sure, there was a dichotomy of sorts to Ann Marie. Her father, restaurateur Lou Marie (Lew Parker) was always hovering nearby overprotecting and offering advice and boyfriend magazine writer Don Hollinger (Ted Bessell) would bail her out of jams, yet through it all, Ann did things on her terms and spoke her mind. That represents the turning point for the modern TV woman.
In That Book About That Girl Stephen Cole sites That Girl as a conduit of sorts between the traditional female lead television character and the contemporary. "...Ann and her crew forged a place in the hearts of American television viewers. She wasn't Lucy (of I Love Lucy) and she wasn't Margie (of My Little Margie). She was something new and contemporary. One part Doris Day, two parts Jean Arthur, and all parts Marlo Thomas. She was the bridge to Murphy Brown (1988-1998) and all other modern women in the sitcoms of today. She was Ann Marie. That Girl!" (13)
Speaking in an online interview with Lynn Sherr, Marlo Thomas discussed the influence of her Ann Marie character on television history. "I think That Girl made a journey through Kate and Allie (single moms), Cagney and Lacey (women working in traditionally male roles), Murphy Brown, who was the first imperfect woman hero on television (she had a drinking problem, she yelled at people who worked for her, she had a baby out of wedlock), and now the young women on Friends. I think that all of those women are links in a chain of the depiction of females on television ("That Girl").

Works Cited
Cole, Stephen. That Book about That Girl. Los Angeles: Renaissance Books, 1999.
"That Girl was a Pioneer." That Girl on the web. May 2002. 28 July 2007 http://thatgirltv.com/interview.html


Moving on to some news. There are reports all over the place (Hollywood Reporter, Variety, TV Guide, etc), that ABC is close to picking up 18 episodes of Scrubs for next season. The comedy is in its 7th season currently and has aired on NBC all 7 seasons. NBC has promoted this as the final season but they might not air an actual series finale because of the strike and that it might go right to DVD instead. ABC Studios produces the series and they are mulling a deal to bring the show to ABC next season. NBC is upset and has threatened legal action because they say they have first rights. I think this is a ploy by ABC Studios to bring the show back...and it looks to be working because no one thought Scrubs would be back next fall, and now it seems like it will, whether it is on NBC or ABC! And if it does return, YES Zach Braff will be a part of it. We shall have more on this for sure, so come on back.
Fox is developing a spin-off of Family Guy based on the Cleveland character. The show will be titled Cleveland. If it makes it on air, it could be paired with Family Guy on Sunday nights or for sure somewhere on the Sunday schedule. This could be bad news for American Dad or King of the Hill. Fox is also developing a spin-off of Prison Break based on women in prison. I am thinking that they will introduce it next season on Prison Break, which will likely be the last season of Prison Break (if renewed, that is), and if it hits, Fox will make that into a series. More to come I'm sure.
Finally, NBC announced yesterday they have pulled Quarterlife after just one airing (it didn't even have a 'quarter' of its 6 episode order aired!), now one of their cable networks will air the remaining episodes...Bravo. Bravo will air the remaining five episodes later this season.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our review of the upcoming new Fox sitcom Unhitched, which launches Sunday at 9:30pm.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, October 20

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXX" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Milhouse is trapped in another dimension; dead Homer's spirit tries some new bodies on for size; Selma finds love in an unlikely place.

Bless the Harts - "Cremains of the Day" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Violet, David and Leonard take Wayne on a ghost hunt to cure his fear of ghosts; Jenny and Betty honor Jenny's late father on his favorite holiday.

Bob's Burgers - "Big Trouble in Little Tina" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Things get spooky when Tina dissects a pig in science class; Bob and Linda battle a giant ball of ear wax.

Family Guy - "Disney's The Reboot" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After the network decides it is time to reboot the series, three versions of the reboot are shown to a focus group, which produces some surprising feedback.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 14)

Friday, October 18

  • Chris O'Dowd (Family Tree/The IT Crowd) - Watch Chris on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Kal Penn (Sunnyside/Deadbeat/We Are Men) - Kal appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America is a guest on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Regina King (227) - Regina visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Julie Andrews (Julie) - Julie speaks about her book Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Sean Hayes (Will & Grace/The Millers/Sean Saves the World) - Sean guest hosts The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Pam Grier (Bless This Mess) - Pam drops by The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Sara Gilbert (The Conners/Roseanne/Living Biblically/Bad Teacher) - Sara appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (The Office/Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine) and Jenna Fischer (Splitting Up Together/The Office) - Angela and Jenna talk about the Office Ladies Podcast on ABC's GMA 3: Strahan, Sara & Keke at 1pm.
  • Kal Penn (Sunnyside/Deadbeat/We Are Men) - Kal visits Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Marcus Scribner (black-ish) - Marcus appears on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • William Jackson Harper (The Good Place) - William can be heard on The Morning Mashup on SiriusXM.
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Hearts Afire) - Billy Bob talks about Goliath on Couch Surfing at 8am.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (August/September/October)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Six Young Sheldon - The Complete Second Season My Three Sons - The Fourth Season - Volume One Modern Family - The Complete Tenth Season Life with Lucy - The Complete Series

08/06 - Caroline in the City - The Third Season
08/06 - Caroline in the City - The Fourth Season
08/13 - I Love Lucy - Colorized Collection
08/13 - Leave it to Beaver - Seasons One and Two
08/20 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Six
08/27 - Baskets - The Complete Season Four
08/27 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Thirteenth Season
09/03 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 9th Season
09/03 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fifth Season
09/03 - The Goldbergs - The Complete Sixth Season
09/03 - Single Parents - The Complete Season One
09/03 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Second Season
09/04 - What We Do in the Shadows - The Complete First Season
09/10 - American Dad! - Volume 14
09/10 - The Jetsons - The Complete Original Series (Blu-ray) (WBShop.com)
09/11 - My Three Sons - The Fourth Season - Volume One
09/11 - My Three Sons - The Fourth Season - Volume Two
09/17 - Friends - The Complete Series (25th Anniversary)
09/17 - Modern Family - The Complete Tenth Season
09/19 - Angel from Hell - The DVD Edition
10/08 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series
10/08 - Life with Lucy - The Complete Series
10/16 - Our Miss Brooks - Season 1 - Volume 1
10/16 - Our Miss Brooks - Season 1 - Volume 2
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

10/19 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Sunnyside Becomes First Casualty of 2019-2020 TV Season; Our Miss Brooks Arrives on DVD
10/18 - Fri-Yay: Is It Time to Lower Our Expectations for Sitcom Ratings?; Antenna TV's Dennis the Menace Thanksgiving Weekend Marathon
10/17 - Raven's Home Gets 4th Season on Disney; Nick Orders More All That Episodes
10/16 - Sunnyside Pulled, Will & Grace Back Early; CBS All Access Comedy Returns for Season 3
10/15 - Sarah Silverman Returning to HBO with Late Night Series; Craig Ferguson to Host ABC Game Show
10/14 - ABC Gears Up for Halloween with Specials and Sitcom Episodes; truTV Comedy Returns for Season 5
10/13 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 14, 2019)
10/12 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Walker, Texas Ranger Reboot in the Works; South Park Banned in China
10/11 - Fri-Yay: Another Netflix Original to End as BoJack Horseman Announces Final Season; TNT Sets Halloween Supernatural Marathon
10/10 - Daily Show Correspondent Gets Comedy Special; Fox Gets Jenna Dewan for Dance Show
10/09 - Remembering TV Legend Diahann Carroll; Marvel and Hulu Bring New Series
10/08 - Search Party Moving to HBO Max for Seasons 3 and 4; Disney Gets More Gabby Duran & the Unsittables
10/07 - 2019 New York Comic Con Round Up
10/06 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 7, 2019)
10/05 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Cherie Johnson to Reprise Role in Punky Brewster Sequel; Pop TV Renews Florida Girls
10/04 - Fri-Yay: New Sitcoms: First Week Impressions; Pop Goes Back to Florida for Poverty Sitcom
10/03 - The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show Coming Soon to Netflix; Family Time Returns for Season Seven
10/02 - Visit Schitt's Creek Pop-Up; Viacom Networks Finish 2018-19 Strong
10/01 - HGTV Goes Behind the Brady Bunch Build; LMN Sets 25 All-New TV Movies This Fall
09/30 - Freeform Says Everything's Gonna Be Okay with New Comedy; HBO Max Teams Up with Ellen for 4 Projects
09/29 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 30, 2019)
09/28 - SitcomsOnline Digest: thirtysomething Reboot in the Works; Decades Celebrates Brady Bunch 50th Anniversary
09/27 - Fri-Yay: Primetime Emmy Results for Comedy; AFV Gets 30th Anniversary Special
09/26 - Seinfeld Moving from TBS to Viacom Networks in 2021; Tell Me a Story Returns Dec. 5 with New Cast
09/25 - NBC Fall Pilot Review: Sunnyside - Premieres Thursday (Sept. 26); CBS Fall Pilot Review: Carol's Second Act - Premieres Thursday (Sept. 26)
09/24 - NBC Fall Pilot Review: Perfect Harmony - Premieres Thursday (Sept. 26); CBS Fall Pilot Review: The Unicorn - Premieres Thursday (Sept. 26)
09/23 - CBS Fall Pilot Review: Bob Hearts Abishola - Premieres Monday (Sept. 23); ABC Fall Pilot Review: mixed-ish - Premieres Tuesday (Sept. 24)
09/22 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 23, 2019)
09/21 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Reboots for The Office and Even Hogan's Heroes?; The Boondocks Returning for Two New Seasons on HBO Max
09/20 - Fri-Yay: Primetime Emmy Predictions for Comedy; Paramount Heads to Paris for New Comedy
09/19 - Pop TV Renews Schitt's Creek for Sixth and Final Season, Fifth Season Marathon to Air on Sept. 21; HBO Max Revives The Boondocks