Saturday, December 31, 2011

Digital Digest: 2012 Sitcoms on DVD Preview

Welcome to the very last post you'll ever see on Digital Digest (and on this blog) for the year 2011! Of course, today is Saturday, so we're here for Digital Digest just as we are each and every week. But just like last year, we also have our seventh annual Sitcoms on DVD Preview, where we look ahead at what is on the horizon for 2012. But before we get there, we have an abbreviated version of our usual news and preview of Tuesday's releases (abbreviated because there just isn't anything new out there this week). Let's get going!


We mentioned a few weeks ago that My Living Doll would be coming to DVD in 2012 from MPI, but now we have a few more details, courtesy of You can expect the two disc set containing eleven episodes of the series on February 28.

Rules of Engagement has had somewhat of a storied broadcast history, often being placed (temporarily) in bizarre timeslots and being used as a midseason replacement, and it has had a similar history on DVD. But now, Rules of Engagement - The Complete Fifth Season is heading to DVD, only it will be a manufacture-on-demand product. Look for the release on February 21 from

For fans of manufacture-on-demand DVDs, though, there is some more great news from Warner Archive. It appears that the sixth season of Night Court is on the way, but no date is known, yet. We'll have more on this once we know more about it, although given the way Warner Archive releases DVDs, this could be released literally at any time, within a matter of days, weeks, or months. In any event, we can't wait!


Tuesday (January 3) only has one release, Universal's Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Season Five. We hope to have a review of this set soon.


Perfect Strangers Online ( - We've mentioned this site many times in the past, and it is not pure coincidence. Perfect Strangers Online enjoys an unofficial, but amicable relationship with, and both sites do some cross-promoting with each other rather often. But we thought we'd go one step further this week and tell you about all of the great content that you can find on this website. While you will certainly find all of the basic information that you need about Perfect Strangers, the website does a great job of going much further in-depth and giving you the information that can only be found with careful and diligent research.

As an example of some of the content that you can find on there, there is a dictionary that gives you some definitions of some of the words from the Mypos language--which of course, as any fan would know, is certainly not a language that can be translated by any other website! You can also find articles, print ads, fan fiction, and much more on the website. Of course, no website would be complete without an episode guide, and this site not only has one, but it has very thorough details for the episodes. Honestly, there is enough content on this site that we could break it into several Click of the Week segments, but instead, you can just go there and explore it on your own--just don't get lost!

That is all for Digital Digest for this week... until next time, keep it digital! But until then, we have our special annual supplement, our seventh annual Sitcoms on DVD Preview!


Welcome to our Seventh Annual Sitcoms on DVD Preview Issue! We will take a look at some of the releases that have been officially announced or rumored to be coming to DVD in 2012. Then we will offer some of our own predictions and shows that are on our wish list.

Making their debut on DVD in 2012 will be Happily Divorced and My Living Doll. We should also see some of this season's new hit sitcoms, such as 2 Broke Girls, New Girl, Suburgatory and Last Man Standing released in the fall. Hopefully we will have news on many more new releases in the upcoming months.

Returning favorites that have been announced include Dennis the Menace, Family Matters, Hazel, Here Come the Brides, Here's Lucy, Hey Dude, Meet the Browns, Nurse Jackie, Rules of Engagement, That '70s Show (on Blu-ray), Webster and Weeds

The links below go to where you can pre-order these titles at some nice discounts. We are an affiliate of and receive a commission for each sale. Please consider ordering through our links. Thanks for your support!

January 2012:

Dennis the Menace - The Final Season (Season Four)

01/10 - Dennis the Menace - The Final Season (Season Four)

The FINAL SEASON, all 38 original uncut episodes in a 5-disc set, first time available on any home entertainment format! Airing on CBS from '59-'63, Dennis the Menace is a TV series based on the popular and iconic Hank Ketcham comic strip of the same name. The show follows the lives of the Mitchell family: Henry, Alice, and their only child, Dennis. Dennis is an energetic, well meaning, but trouble prone boy and sometimes a mischievous child. He often tangles with peace-and-quiet-loving neighbor, George Wilson. Stars: Jay North, Herbert Anderson, Gloria Henry. From Shout! Factory (News)

Webster - Season Four

01/17 - Webster - Season Four (Shout! Select)

After Seasons One-Three were regular retail releases sold in stores, Season Four will be a Shout! Select online exclusive from Shout! Factory. It should also be available from some Amazon Marketplace sellers at some point. All 23 episodes from the fourth season will be included. Guest stars include Ron Reagan (son of President Ronald Reagan), Geoffrey Scott, legendary musical group The Four Tops, and boxing champ "Iron" Mike Tyson. (News)

Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns - Season 4 - Episodes 41-60

01/24 - Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns - Season 4 - Episodes 61-80

You never expect the guy in the loud, mismatched leisure suit to have sage advice. But Mr. Brown has a knack for stirring up controversy and then stumbling upon the higher road. Must be those neon patent-leather shoes that light the way! Cast: David Mann, Tamela Mann, Lamman Rucker, Denise Boutté, Juanita Jennings. Director: Tyler Perry and others (including Kim Fields, Alfonso Ribeiro, Mark Swinton, Chip Fields).

Lionsgate Entertainment's 3-Disc set has a running time of 440 minutes and has a $29.98 SRP. (News)

Hey Dude - Season 2

01/31 - Hey Dude - Season 2

Yippee-kai-aie! Shout! Factory is set to release all 13 episodes of Hey Dude: Season 2 on DVD on January 31! In Season 2, city-born rancher Benjamin Ernst (David Brisbin) and his herd of teenagers return to the Bar None Ranch for another summer of desert dustups and adventures, which include a plane crash, ghost stories, romantic turmoil, a treasure hunt and even an alien sighting.

Hey Dude Stars Christine Taylor as lifeguard Melody, David Lascher as senior staff member Ted, Kelly Brown as horse trainer Brad, Joe Torres as Hopi Indian native Danny, Debrah Kalman as ranch hand Lucy and Josh Tygiel as Ernst's son Buddy.

Hey Dude ran on Nickelodeon from 1989-1991, and has since become a cult sitcom favorite. So wrangle your boots, bandanas and cowboy hats, because the Bar None Ranch is open for business in Hey Dude Season 2!

Produced by CineTel Films, Hey Dude has been sub-licensed for home video distribution to Shout! Factory by Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon. (News)

Leave it to Beaver - 20 Timeless Episodes

01/31 - Leave it to Beaver - 20 Timeless Episodes

One of the most popular series in TV history, Leave it to Beaver (1957-1963) stood out from the flock during TV's golden age. While many contemporary shows were star-driven vehicles in which the kids were merely supporting players, Beaver's action centered on the children: seven year Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver and his 12-year-old brother Wally. Though the show went off the air in the '60s, it continues to charm new generations even today. This incredibly valued 2-disc set with great content and a low price will be irresistible to "impulse" shoppers. Featuring 20 favorite and beloved episodes starring Jerry Mathers, Barbara Billingsley, Hugh Beaumont, and Tony Dow. From Shout! Factory. (News)

February 2012:

02/07 - Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide - Season 3

The long delayed Season 3 finally arrives on DVD from Alliance Films Media of Canada. It's available for pre-order from . It should be available from Amazon Marketplace sellers in the U.S. after it is released. (News)

Family Matters - The Complete Second Season

02/14 - Family Matters - The Complete Second Season

Get your geek on with Steve Urkel, the ultimate nerd and annoying neighbor of Carl and Harriette Winslow and their multigenerational Chicago clan. Urkel's irrepressible spirit, not-so-smooth moves, and undying love for Laura Winslow cause the family constant aggravation and occasional delight. And whether he's burning down the café where he works, sharking the local pool hall, or proving the existence of Santa, the Urkman's got what it takes to turn any situation into memorable family fun. What was hilarious and heart-warming then is classic comedy now in all 25 Season Two episodes of Family Matters! Warner Home Video's 3-DVD set has a MSRP of $29.98 . (News)

Hazel - The Complete Second Season

02/21 - Hazel - The Complete Second Season

Oscar and Emmy Award-winner Shirley Booth returns as Hazel, the sassy and energetic live-in maid who runs her employers’ household with a little havoc, a lot of style and lot more laughter!

Based on the original cartoons in The Saturday Evening Post, Season Two finds Hazel mixing it up at a bowling tournament, looking for a missing mailman, joining a protest against a developer and contemplating a marriage proposal from an old flame!

Starring Academy Award-winner Shirley Booth (Best Actress, Come Back, Little Sheba, 1952) with Don DeFore (The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet), Whitney Blake (Strange Homecoming), Bobby Buntrock (The Virginian) and Maudie Prickett (Andy Goes Wild). All 32 original episodes.

Shout! Factory's 4-disc set has a SRP of $34.93 . Guest stars include Harold Gould, Forbidden Planet's Robby the Robot, Jamie Farr, James Doohan, Dick Sargent, and William Schallert. No special features will be included. (News)

Nurse Jackie - Season Three

02/21 - Nurse Jackie - Season Three (Blu-ray)

Still high and mighty! Emmy winner Edie Falco stars in the third season of Showtime's hit series about a drug-addicted nurse in a New York City hospital. The Showtime hit series "Nurse Jackie" ended season two with the ugly truth closing in on super-nurse Jackie Peyton. Jackie's best friend and husband put the pieces together about her pill-popping ways and confronted her about her addiction. But if the people in her life think one little intervention is going to stop her, they don't know Jackie. The great white liar returns for another hilarious season of 12 episodes. (News)

Special Features:

• Cast and Crew Commentaries
• "Inside Akalitus" Featurette, highlighting the career of Anna Deavere Smith
• "Jackie's Guys" Featurette with Paul Schulze and Dominic Fumusa
• Gag Reel
• Deleted Scene

02/21 - Rules of Engagement - The Complete Fifth Season

TV's funniest cast is back and better than ever in the hilarious fifth season of RULES OF ENGAGEMENT. Married couple Audrey (Megyn Price) and Jeff (Patrick Warburton) run into surprising hurdles while attempting to have a baby via a surrogate. Meanwhile, Adam (Oliver Hudson) and Jennifer (Bianca Kajlich) are still planning their wedding - with a little help from Timmy (Adhir Kalyan). Eternal bad boy Russell (David Spade) continues his shenanigans as a single guy on the prowl, but may have finally met his match. Guest stars include Sara Rue, Jaime Pressly, Joan Collins, and Criss Angel. Newly remastered.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing the fifth season, but it won't be available in stores. This will be a manufactured on demand DVD-R release that will be available at various online sites, including . (News)

Weeds - Season Seven

02/21 - Weeds - Season Seven (Blu-ray)

New York, New High! After serving 3 years in the joint, the onetime suburban soccer mom is making a fresh start in New York City and going back to doing what she does best...selling pot. But when some old friends return, they could send everything up in flames. Season 7 of this critically acclaimed series reaches new highs and is more addictive than ever. Includes all 13 episodes and is loaded with special features! Season 7 guest stars include Jennifer Jason Leigh and Martin Short. Cast: Mary-Louise Parker, Kevin Nealon, Justin Kirk, Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould. Director: Jenji Kohan. (News)

Special Features:

• Cast and Crew Commentaries
• "Uncle Andy’s Tricks of the Trade" mockumentary with Andy's wisdom and advice for fans.
• "Puff Puff Pass" Q&A with Jenji Kohan, Justin Kirk and Kevin Nealon
• "Born Botwin" featurette with Hunter Parrish and Alexander Gould discussing how their characters have inherited their dubious nature.
• Gag Reel
• Deleted Scenes
• Multi Screen Comparisons

Here Come the Brides - The Complete Second Season

02/28 - Here Come the Brides - The Complete Second Season

All the romance and adventure of the classic TV show is back! Set in the mid-nineteenth century, this classic TV series - which ran on ABC prime-time for 2 seasons from '68-'70 - revolves around The Bolt brothers (Brown, Sherman and Soul) who own a mountain and logging camp in the rugged landscape of Seattle. As the area's only employer, the brothers borrow money and head east to bring back a shipload of lovely ladies to boost morale. But if any of the women leave Seattle within a year, the Bolts lose their mountain to the man that lent them the money. Stars: Robert Brown, Bobby Sherman, David Soul, Joan Blondell. Producers were inspired by the hit movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; this Season 2 DVD was heavily requested by fans on message boards and Shout Factory site! Shout! Factory's 6-disc set contains the final 26 episodes of the series and has a SRP of $44.99 . (News)

Here's Lucy - Season Five

02/28 - Here's Lucy - Season Five

The legendary queen of television comedy, Lucille Ball, is joined by her real-life daughter, Lucie Arnaz, in her third long-running sitcom success.

Ball plays Lucille Carter and Arnaz plays her daughter Kim. Lucy works for her brother-in-law, played by Gale Gordon, who owns Carter's Unique Employment Agency, leading Lucy into endless predicaments and hilarious hijinks.

The complete fifth season of HERE'S LUCY (CBS-TV) features all 24 episodes uncut and digitally remastered for superior quality, plus a wealth of new and never-before seen special features.

Guest stars include Don Knotts, Donny Osmond, Eva Gabor, Joe Namath, Petula Clark, Lloyd Bridges, Ruth Buzzi, Robert Cummings, Totie Fields, Ricardo Montalban, Elsa Lanchester, Jim Bailey, John Davidson, Craig Stevens and Desi Arnaz, Jr. From MPI Home Video. (News)

March 2012:

Happily Divorced

03/06 - Happily Divorced - Season One

Meet Fran Lovett (Fran Drescher), an L.A. florist whose husband Peter (John Michael Higgins) came out of the closet, but couldn't afford to move out of the house. Now after 18 years of marriage, Fran is back on the singles scene looking for Mr. Right… and so is Peter! Can they remain "Happily Divorced" while juggling new relationships, and living under the same roof?

TV Land and Paramount Home Entertainment's release will include all 10 episodes on 2 discs (approx. 220 minutes). They will be in widescreen video, with English 5.1 Surround Sound, and English subitles. Special features will include cast interviews, a "Cancer Schmancer" PSA, and more. (News)

Fan Favorites

03/06 - Cheers - Fan Favorites: The Best of Cheers
03/06 - Frasier - Fan Favorites: The Best of Frasier
03/06 - Happy Days - Fan Favorites: The Best of Happy Days
03/06 - Hogan's Heroes - Fan Favorites: The Best of Hogan's Heroes
03/06 - The Honeymooners - Fan Favorites: The Best of The Honeymooners
03/06 - The Odd Couple - Fan Favorites: The Best of The Odd Couple

CBS Home Entertainment is releasing these single-disc sets. They will contain 8 episodes of each series and run roughly 200 minutes. (News)

03/06 - That '70s Show - Season 1 (Blu-ray)

Mill Creek and Casey Werner are releasing Season 1 in high definition on Blu-ray. It will include new special features that are unique to the Blu-ray set. (News)

My Living Doll - The Official Collection - Volume One

03/20 - My Living Doll - The Official Collection - Volume One

Iconic actress Julie Newmar may be best-known as the original feline villain Catwoman in the 1960s Batman television series. However, her cult-classic, small-screen career was cemented with the CBS-TV sitcom MY LIVING DOLL.

Newmar portrays Rhoda the robot, a top-secret project of the U.S. government's space program, who is placed under the supervision of agency psychiatrist Dr. Bob McDonald, played by Robert Cummings (The Bob Cummings Show/Love That Bob).

Bob moves the beautiful Rhoda into his apartment and begins the task of training her how to function in the human world while keeping her secret from being discovered, a situation complicated by his interfering sister (Doris Dowling) and his love-sick neighbor Peter (Jack Mullaney).

This collection offers 11 complete episodes of MY LIVING DOLL which have not aired on television in decades and make their official DVD debut. A wealth of special features is also included. From MPI Home Video. (News)

Other Sitcoms Expected on DVD in 2012:

Car 54, Where Are You? - According to information posted on our message board, Season 2 is coming in February from Shanachie Entertainment.

Tyler Perry's House of Payne - Volume 9 was scheduled for a January 24 release, but there is no listing for it on yet.

My Favorite Martian - Season 3 is in the works for a U.S. release from MPI Home Video and Chertok Productions. Many new special features are planned. It could be available in the spring.

The New Adventures of Old Christine - As we first reported in the 12/24 Digital Digest, Warner Archive is working on a manufactured-on-demand release for Season 5.

Night Court - As we first reported in today's Digital Digest, a manufactured-on-demand release for Season 6 is on the way from Warner Archive.

Special thanks to the fine folks at for the artwork and information in compiling this preview. Thanks also to our own Skees for our weekly Digital Digest. Preview compiled by Todd.

2012 Predictions and Wish List:

These are my 2012 predictions and opinions only. Some of them probably have slim to no chance of ever being available, but I still have them on my wish list. None of these titles have been officially announced.

Some current shows that I expect to see more seasons of or debut on DVD (some are already available for pre-order) include The Big Bang Theory, Community, Cougar Town, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Game, Happy Endings, Hot in Cleveland, How I Met Your Mother, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Last Man Standing, The League, Melissa & Joey, The Middle, Mike & Molly, Modern Family, New Girl, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Raising Hope, Suburgatory, 30 Rock, Two and a Half Men, 2 Broke Girls and Up All Night.

Classic Shows Predictions and Wish List:
According to Jim - Seasons 3-5 were released in 2011. Could we see the final 3 seasons released in 2012?
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - A project is ongoing by Sam Nelson to get the show restored and complete on DVD.
Alice - A Christmas episode was released on the Classic TV Christmas Collection in 2010. I think it would be an ideal on demand title from Warner Archive.
Archie Bunker's Place - We could start seeing more seasons now that All in the Family has been completed.
Becker - The series seems to be stalled, with the last release in January 2010.
Blossom - I'm surprised that it hasn't been available as a Shout! Factory Select title like Mr. Belvedere. Seasons 1-2 were released way back in January 2009. Mill Creek released a "best of" set in October 2010.
The Bob Newhart Show - The Complete Fifth and Sixth Seasons are available for pre-order on . Will they finally be released this year?
Brooklyn Bridge - There were rumors of a release in 2010 by the show's creator Gary David Goldberg, but it never materialized.
California Dreams - Only Season 5 remains to be released.
Coach - Season 4 was released in March. Maybe we'll see another season this year.
The Courtship of Eddie's Father - Season 1 was released in September by Warner Archive. Hopefully we'll see the remaining two seasons this year.
Designing Women - Season 5 was released this month. Only Seasons 6-7 are left to be released to complete the series.
Diff'rent Strokes - Shout! Factory picked up the rights to The Facts of Life and released 2 seasons in 2010. I hope they do the same with this show.
8 Simple Rules - We are still waiting for the third and final season.
The Facts of Life - Seasons 4 and 5 were released in 2010. Shout! Factory is releasing many lesser known series, so it has to be a rights issue between them and Sony.
Family Matters - Season 2 is finally coming in February. Hopefully it won't be that long of a wait for more Urkel and company.
Family Ties - Season 5 was released way back in March 2009. This series appears to be stalled, but let's hope CBS DVD/Paramount have some interest in releasing the rest of the series.
Fish - Shout! Factory included the first season in the Barney Miller - The Complete Series release. It would be great to see the second season as well.
George Lopez - It remains a big draw on cable, but only Seasons 1-2 have been released on DVD.
Growing Pains - The second season and two reunion movies were released in 2011. Hopefully Warner Home Video will continue to show us that smile.
Happy Days - Season 5 was released way back in December 2008, but it seems many CBS DVD/Paramount series have been stalled. The new Fan Favorites: The Best of Happy Days release could be a good sign.
Hazel - If Season 2 sells well, maybe we'll see more seasons later this year.
Here's Lucy - Only the sixth season will be left to complete the series after season five is released in February.
The Hogan Family - Music clearance issues seem to be the reason for no DVD releases at this point.
Hope & Faith - Season 1 was released several years ago, but we are still waiting on Seasons 2-3 from Lionsgate.
I'm Dickens...He's Fenster - It seems likely we'll see the second volume of this lost gem sometime in 2012.
It's Your Move - It would make an ideal 3-disc set from Shout! Factory. A cult classic that would be a popular release.
Laverne & Shirley - Another stalled series from CBS DVD/Paramount. Season 4 was released way back in April 2008.
Less Than Perfect - Season 1 was released in September 2010. Hopefully this underrated series will have more seasons available in 2012.
The Lucy Show - Only the sixth season is left to complete the series.
Mad About You - Seasons 6-7 are still needed to complete the series.
Mama's Family - A Christmas episode was released on the Classic TV Christmas Collection in 2010. Season 2 would be nice to see through Warner Archive.
Mr. Belvedere - We're just waiting on Seasons 5-6 to complete the series.
Mister Ed - Season 5 was released as a Shout! Select title in 2011. Only Season 6 remains to complete the series.
Mork & Mindy - Mork calling CBS DVD... come in CBS DVD... We only need the fourth season to complete the series.
My Three Sons - Only Seasons 1-2 have been released. Unfortunately, many CBS DVD/Paramount series have been stalled for years.
My Two Dads - Only the third season remains to be released to complete the series.
My Wife and Kids - Only Seasons 1-2 have been released.
Night Court - Season 6 is in the works. We'll only need Seasons 7-9 after that to complete the series.
Out of This World - Volume 1 was released in Germany in November. Will we see a U.S. release at some point?
Parker Lewis Can't Lose - Seasons 1 and 2 have been released. We're just waiting on the third season to complete the series.
Perfect Strangers - Warner Bros. has a "best of" collection available on the On Demand service at . This could be a good sign that we'll eventually see the second season on DVD or maybe as part of WBShop's on demand store. We desperately need more Balki!
The Phil Silvers Show/Sgt. Bilko - We're still waiting on the second season.
Please Don't Eat the Daisies - I remember watching this series and The Coursthip of Eddie's Father on WWOR. It would be a nice release for Warner Archive.
Rhoda - It's frustrating to be missing only one season for a number of series.
Silver Spoons - It would make a great Shout! Factory Select title.
Small Wonder - Seasons 1-2 have been released. Seasons 3-4 are still needed to complete the series.
Welcome Back, Kotter - An episode was released on the Classic TV Christmas Collection in 2010. The remaining seasons would be fantastic to see.
Webster - Seasons 1-4 were released at a brisk pace. Only Seasons 5-6 are left to complete the series.
The Wonder Years - The first season had only six episodes. It could be given a trial run. Music licensing rights are a major issue, but hopefully a company like Shout! Factory could work on this set. It has been the #1 most requested unreleased show at by a wide margin for many years. While we wait for the DVD, you can watch it on The Hub, Netflix and .

What are your predictions for 2012? Which new releases are you most excited about? What are your most wanted unreleased sitcoms? Post your comments on our Facebook page.

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Eve 2011 and New Year's Day 2012 TV Marathons; Sitcom Stars On Talk Shows (Week of January 2, 2012)

Welcome to a special New Year's style edition of the News Blog! As we end 2011 and start 2012 this weekend, today we will give you a marathon recap on TV tomorrow and on Sunday (New Year's Eve and New Year's Day)!
Some of the major TV stunts we mentioned already were TBS' New Year's Eve The Big Bang Theory marathon from 7pm-12am on Saturday to close out 2011. Laughs is certainly the way to go! Antenna TV has a New Year's Eve marathon of Burns & Allen and Jack Benny Program beginning at 3am Saturday and lasting into Sunday morning at 8am. On New Year's Day, they will have a The Three Stooges marathon starting 8am and running to 12 midnight, as the network celebrates its first birthday! Meanwhile, the MeTV Network showcases a That Girl launch marathon on New Year's Day from 11am-5pm on Sunday. Bounce TV will launch Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids with a special "Hey! Hey! Hey! It's New Year's Day" Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012 starting at Noon ET. TV Land has a Murder, She Wrote launch marathon from 2pm-8pm on New Year's Day. TV One will ring in the new year with its annual Martin marathon on New Year's Eve starting at 1pm and lasting into the night. We mentioned that WPIX in New York will of course have their annual The Honeymooners marathon starting at 12 midnight on Saturday night through 6pm on Sunday with 38 of the classic 39 episodes.

ABC has a nice six episode marathon of the number one new drama Once Upon a Time from 4-6pm ET (2-4pm PT) and in primetime from 7-11pm ET/PT. Get hooked! INSP has a Little House on the Prairie launch marathon on New Year's Day starting at 1pm and Happy Days will also join the line-up starting Jan. 2! The Hub will air a Batman marathon on New Year's Eve from 11pm-6am. Holy what an ending to 2011, Batman! And ION gives us a New Year's Day George Lopez marathon starting at 1pm and running through 3am. All of these were mentioned on our regular news posts.

Some of the stuff we have not mentioned include: BET says hello to 2012 with its annual New Year's Day marathon of The Game starting at 11am on Sunday through 11pm. Sister network Centric will have an A-Team marathon Saturday starting at 11am on New Year's Eve and it will last all day and night and will end early Monday morning at 6am. GMC has its regular 227 block from 2pm-7pm on Saturday, followed by Cosby from 7pm-1am. On New Year's Day starting at 1pm, GMC will have a Candid Camera marathon from 1pm-9pm. Another marathon of The Three Stooges, this time on IFC and on New Year's Eve starting at 6pm through 6am. TV Guide Network will have a Samantha Who? marathon on New Year's Day from 11am-5pm. A&E spends New Year's Day with The Sopranos for the first day of the year starting at 7am. USA Network has a NCIS New Year's Eve marathon starting at 10am and a Law & Order: SVU marathon on New Year's Day starting at 6am, while Cloo spends the last day of the year with a Monk marathon starting at 6am and the first day of the year with Psych. Syfy has its annual Twilight Zone marathon today starting at 9am on Saturday and continues on New Year's Day as well into Monday morning at 6am! Reality wise, Chiller has a Fear Factor Australia marathon on New Year's Eve beginning at 6am.

AMC has a Walking Dead marathon on New Year's Eve from 11am-1am. Universal HD will air Charlie's Angels marathon starting at 11am tomorrow. House joins Oxygen with a marathon on New Year's Day from 8am-3am. BBC America says hello to 2012 with a Absolutely Fabulous marathon on Sunday starting at 7am. TNT has a Law & Order marathon to start off 2012, while SOAPnet has an One Life to Live marathon to kick-off the new year on Sunday from 10am-12am. MTV has a Jersey Shore marathon, but what a bore that is, while TeenNick has a marathon of The Amanda Show. Animation wise, Boomerang has a Tom & Jerry marathon on New Year's Day starting at 6am. Good fun!

Other notable TV marathons and specials include ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 40th Anniversary special tomorrow night from 8pm-10pm, followed by its annual specials at 10pm and 11:30pm. Movie wise, Spike TV has the Jaws movie marathon on Saturday and the Stars Wars marathon on Sunday! Hallmark Channel continues to air Christmas movies this weekend. LMN has a viewer's choice "Pick a Flick" movie marathon starting at 12pm on New Year's Eve through 4am.
Check out a full New Year's marathon list from our friends at

It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars, so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
For the week of January 2-6, 2012, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! All times listed are Eastern. So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

Monday, January 2, 2012
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - Watch Tina on a repeat of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi) - Whoopi visits The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Penny Marshall (Laverne & Shirley) - Penny stops by The Rosie Show at 7pm on OWN.
  • Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - Marlo will be on Today on NBC beween 7-9am ET/PT.
  • Jenny McCarthy (Jenny) - Jenny appears on Today on NBC between 7-9am ET/PT.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
  • Will Arnett (Up All Night/Arrested Development) - Catch Will on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Mindy Kaling (The Office) - Mindy drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show) - Drew appears onThe Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Tracey Gold (Growing Pains) - Tracey visits ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am ET/PT.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Ellie Kemper (The Office) - Watch Ellie on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa visits the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - Catch Tina on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12am on ABC.
  • Laura Prepon (That '70s Show) - Tune in to see Laura on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah visits ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am ET/PT.
Friday, January 6, 2012
  • David Cross (Arrested Development) - Watch David on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12am on ABC.
  • Laura Prepon (That '70s Show) - Laura appears on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kirstie Alley (Cheers/Veronica's Closet) - Kirstie is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

In Memoriam: Sitcom Actor and Other Notable TV Deaths in 2011

Today we pay tribute to the sitcom actors, directors, writers, producers and creators who died in 2011. We've lost stars from The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, All in the Family, It's a Living, Laverne & Shirley, M*A*S*H, Taxi, and many more who are greatly missed. Other notable TV deaths that we covered on the blog this year have also been listed. They are listed in alphabetical order. Visit the IMDB and Wikipedia links for a full listing of their credits and other biographical information.

Frances Bay

Frances Bay (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Character actress Frances Bay, best-known for playing quirky, elderly women on film and television, died at Providence Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, California on September 15, 2011, after being diagnosed with pneumonia.

Bay made appearances in more than 150 films and television shows in a career that she began in her mid-50s. Her first film appearance was a small part in the 1978 comedy Foul Play. One of her first major television roles was as Grandma Nussbaum, the grandmother of Fonzie, on Happy Days. Another memorable role for her was as Mabel Choate on Seinfeld. In the famous episode titled The Rye, she is mugged by Jerry for her loaf of marbled rye bread. She would return in The Cadillac and the series finale. Her many other sitcom appearances included The Jeffersons, Family Ties, Cheers, The Golden Girls, Newhart, ALF, Who's the Boss?, Empty Nest, The Hughleys and Hannah Montana. She was still active as of last season with appearances on The Middle as the silent Aunt Ginny. Some of her drama television appearances included Hart to Hart, The Dukes of Hazzard, Flamingo Road, Cagney & Lacey, T.J. Hooker, Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, Hunter, Matlock, Twin Peaks, Charmed and Grey's Anatomy. Her film roles included The Karate Kid, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Big Top Pee-wee, In the Mouth of Madness and Happy Gilmore. Ms. Bay was 92.

Doris Belack

Doris Belack (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Doris Belack was an American character actress of stage, film and television. She died on October 4, 2011, in New York City. Belack appeared in soap operas, such as One Life to Live, Another World, The Edge of Night and The Doctors. Belack played the lead role in the short-lived television sitcom called Baker's Dozen as "Florence Baker", the no-nonsense captain of an undercover anti-crime unit of the NYPD. Other television credits for her included Barney Miller (as a replacement for Florence Stanley for one episode as Mrs. Fish), Family Ties, The Golden Girls (as Dorothy's sister Gloria), Sisters, Cosby, Law & Order and Sex and the City. Ms. Belack was 85.

Jon Cedar

Jon Cedar (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Veteran character actor Jon Cedar died on April 14, 2011, at Providence Tarzana Medical Center in Los Angeles after a brief battle with leukemia. His career began as a youngster on the stage. He would travel across the country with his family and appear off-Broadway and in national tours in shows including The Deputy and South Pacific. Cedar is probably best known for his regular role as the lovable Corporal Langenscheidt on the 1965-71 sitcom Hogan's Heroes. He played one of Sergeant Schultz's guards.

Some of his many television guest appearances included Ben Casey, Mission: Impossible, Cannon, Barnaby Jones, Kojak, Starsky and Hutch, The Rockford Files, The Incredible Hulk, The Greatest American Hero, Dynasty, Hardcastle and McCormick, Diff'rent Strokes, Moonlighting, Murder, She Wrote, and Matlock. He wrote, produced and appeared in the 1978 Tony Curtis film The Manitou. Some of his other feature film roles included Foxy Brown, Death Hunt, Capricorn One and Murder in Mind. Mr. Cedar was 80.

Jeff Conaway

Jeff Conaway (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Actor Jeff Conaway, best known for his roles in the movie Grease and the TV sitcom Taxi, died on May, 27, 2011, at Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center in Encino, CA. He died of various causes, including pneumonia and encephalopathy attributable to drug overdoses.

Conaway appeared in the Broadway musical Grease for several years in different roles, including the lead male character, Danny Zuko. In 1978, he played Zuko's (John Travolta) buddy Kenickle in the movie Grease. He made his film debut in the 1971 romantic drama Jennifer on My Mind. Other film credits for him included Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Jawbreaker, Ghost Writer, and Do You Wanna Know a Secret?.

Conaway's television career began in 1975 when he appeared on two episodes of Happy Days as Rocko. In 1978, he was cast as the vain, struggling, but goodhearted actor Bobby Wheeler in Taxi. Conaway left the series after the third season in 1981 due to reported drug abuse. He received two Golden Globe nominations in 1979 and 1980 for his role. Some of his other regular television roles were on the 1983 short-lived fantasy-spoof series Wizards and Warriors, the 1985 drama Berrenger's, a stint on the soap The Bold and the Beautiful in 1989-90, and the sci-fi series Babylon 5 from 1994-1999. His sitcom guest appearances included Mary Tyler Moore, Who's the Boss?, The Love Boat, Hope & Gloria, and George & Leo. In early 2008, he appeared on the VH1 reality series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew for two seasons. He had battled drug and alcohol addiction for many years. Mr. Conaway was 60.

Jackie Cooper

Jackie Cooper (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Jackie Cooper was an American actor, television director, producer and executive. Mr. Cooper died after a short illness on May 3, 2011, in Santa Monica, California. Cooper was the first child actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for his role in the 1931 film Skippy. In 1929, he joined the Our Gang series produced by Hal Roach and appeared in 15 of the comedies. He starred in two popular sitcoms, NBC's The People's Choice from 1955-1958 with Patricia Breslin and CBS's Hennesey from 1959-1962 with Abby Dalton. On Hennessey, he also was the producer and primary director. Cooper was the vice president of program development at Columbia Pictures Screen Gems TV division from 1964-69. He helped sell sitcoms such as I Dream of Jeannie, Gidget, and The Flying Nun. As a director, he worked on M*A*S*H and The White Shadow, winning Emmy Awards in 1974 and 1979. One of his most known later movie roles was as Daily Planet editor Perry White in the Superman film series. Mr. Cooper was 88.

Madelyn Pugh Davis

Madelyn Pugh Davis (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Madelyn Pugh Davis, who with her writing partner Bob Carroll Jr. made television history in the 1950s writing Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's landmark situation comedy I Love Lucy, died on April 20, 2011, in Bel Air, CA after a brief illness.

Pugh began her career as radio writer for NBC and later CBS, where she met Bob Carroll Jr. Their professional partnership lasted more than 50 years and together they would write some 400 television programs and roughly 500 radio shows. They began writing for Lucille Ball's radio show, My Favorite Husband, which they worked on for 2 1/2 years along with head writer Jess Oppenheimer. Pugh and Carroll would later create a vaudeville act for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, which became the basis for the pilot episode of I Love Lucy. During the six season run of the show, they received two Emmy Award nominations but they never won. Their other Lucille Ball television credits included writing episodes of The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show (aka The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour) and Life with Lucy.

Some of their other television writing credits included The Paul Lynde Show, Dorothy, Those Whiting Girls and The Tom Ewell Show. In 1967, they created and wrote The Mothers-in-Law for Desi Arnaz Productions. For seven years, they were executive producers and occasional writers for the long-running sitcom Alice on CBS. They received a Golden Globe Award for one of their scripts in 1979. Their film credits included Forever, Darling and Yours, Mine and Ours. In 2005, she released her memoirs titled Laughing with Lucy: My Life with America's Leading Lady of Comedy. You can view an extensive two-and-a-half-hour interview with Madelyn Pugh Davis and Bob Carroll, Jr. from November 1997 at the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television at . Ms. Pugh Davis was 90.

Sam Denoff

Sam Denoff (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Sam Denoff was an American Emmy Award-winning writer and television producer. He died of complications from Alzheimer's disease on July 8, 2011, at his home in Los Angeles. Denoff wrote some of The Dick Van Dyke Show's most memorable episodes, including "That’s My Boy???," "Bupkis" and "Coast-to-Coast Big Mouth." With his long time collaborator Bill Persky he wrote and created the television show That Girl starring Marlo Thomas. His other credits included Good Morning, World, Lotsa Luck and Harry and the Hendersons. You can view an interview with him at the Archive of American Television. Mr. Denoff was 83.

Don Diamond

Don Diamond (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Don Diamond was an American radio, film, and television actor who portrayed "Crazy Cat", the sidekick and heir apparent to Chief Wild Eagle on the popular 1960s television sitcom, F Troop. Diamond died due to heart failure in Los Angeles, CA on June 19, 2011. Other television roles for him included El Toro in The Adventures of Kit Carson and Corporal Reyes on Zorro. Some sitcom guest appearances for him included The Gale Storm Show, My Favorite Martian, The Patty Duke Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, That Girl, Get Smart, Here's Lucy, The Flying Nun, One Day at a Time, Chico and the Man, WKRP in Cincinnati and Newhart Mr. Diamond was 90.

Charles S. Dubin

Charles S. Dubin (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Charles S. Dubin was an American film and television director from the early 1950s to 1991. Dubin died of natural causes on September 5, 2011, in Brentwood, CA. He directed more episodes of the popular 1970s television comedy M*A*S*H than anyone else. Other directing credits for him included Father Dowling Mysteries, Matlock, Too Close for Comfort, Hotel, Lou Grant, Kojak, Hawaii Five-O, Ironside, Medical Center, Sanford and Son and Room 222. You can view an interview with him at the Archive of American Television. Mr. Dubin was 92.

Bill Erwin

Bill Erwin (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Character actor Bill Erwin, whose nearly seven-decade Hollywood career included his memorable role as the grumpy old man on television's Seinfeld, died on December 29, 2010, at his home in suburban Los Angeles' Studio City. He died of natural causes.

Erwin's Hollywood career dates back to 1941, when he appeared in the movie You're in the Army Now. His scores of credits include guest roles on The Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke, I Love Lucy, The Danny Thomas Show, Leave it to Beaver, Bachelor Father, The Andy Griffith Show, Mister Ed, Maverick, The Fugitive, Mannix, Perry Mason, My Three Sons, The Jeffersons, Dallas, The Waltons, Eight is Enough, Here Come the Brides, Mayberry R.F.D., Get Smart, The Golden Girls, Highway to Heaven, Moonlighting, Growing Pains, Just the Ten of Us, Punky Brewster, Married with Children, Full House, E/R, The Dukes of Hazzard, Wagon Train, The Rifleman, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, Who's the Boss?, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Mad About You, Michael Richards Show, The Drew Carey Show, Grace Under Fire, Suddenly Susan, Cybill, Living Single, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, The John Larroquette Show, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest, Quantum Leap, So Little Time, Just Shoot Me!, The West Wing, Monk, The King of Queens, Everwood and his last TV appearance in 2006 on My Name is Earl. But his old man character Sid Fields on Seinfeld, which got him an Emmy nomination in 1993, is perhaps his most memorable role. The only series he was a regular in was the short-lived CBS 1979 sitcom Struck by Lightning with Richard Stahl. The series lasted just 3 episodes. Mr. Erwin was 96.

Peter Falk

Peter Falk (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Peter Falk, best known for his role as Lieutenant Columbo in the television series Columbo, died at his Beverly Hills, CA home on June 23, 2011. The cause of death was revealed as cardiorespiratory arrest, with pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease as underlying causes.

Falk played the squinty, rumpled detective Columbo for over 30 years in primetime television from 1968-2003. The Columbo character first appeared on TV in a 1968 ninety-minute pilot titled Prescription: Murder. Columbo was part of the NBC anthology series, The NBC Mystery Movie (1971-1978), where it would rotate with McCloud and McMillan & Wife. Steven Spielberg directed and Steven Bochco wrote the premiere Columbo episode in 1971. It returned occasionally on ABC with one or two TV movies a season from 1989 to 2003. The final Columbo movie aired on January 30, 2003. Falk won four Emmy Awards for his iconic role.

His early television appearances included Robert Montgomery Presents, Studio One, Kraft Television Theater, New York Confidential, Naked City, Have Gun, Will Travel, Decoy, The Law and Mr. Jones, and Target: The Corruptors. Falk's first lead TV role was in the 1965-66 drama The Trials of Mr. O'Brien. He appeared in numerous films, including Murder, Inc. (Oscar nominated), Pocketful of Miracles (Oscar nominated), Robin and the 7 Hoods, The Great Race, The In-Laws and The Princess Bride. Mr. Falk was 83.

Bill Foster (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Bill Foster was an American television director known for his work with sitcoms. He died of cancer on February 2, 2011, in Los Angeles, CA. His career spanned more than 50 years. His directing credits included 12 episodes of Sanford and Son, 43 episodes of Benson, 36 episodes of Amen and 23 episodes Full House. Other sitcom credits included episodes of Chico and the Man, What's Happening!!, You Again?, and Marblehead Manor. He directed the 1967 pilot episode of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, which earned him the only Emmy nomination of his career. In 1971 and 1972, he directed the Primetime Emmy Awards. Mr. Foster was 78.

Anne Francis

Anne Francis (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Anne Francis died on January 2, 2011, at a retirement home in Santa Barbara, CA. The cause was complications of pancreatic cancer. Ms. Francis had surgery and chemotherapy after she learned she had lung cancer in 2007.

She was recurring on ABC's My Three Sons as bowling alley waitress Terri Dowling in 1971, but it was her title role on the ABC crime drama Honey West in 1965 that made her a name. She was nominated for an Emmy and won a Golden Globe for the role. She was a movie star in the '50s and '60s but when her movie career declined, Ms. Francis became active in television. She appeared in dozens of series, including Mission: Impossible, Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Route 66, Rawhide, The Untouchables, Cannon, Columbo, Charlie's Angels, Riptide, Simon & Simon, Fantasy Island, Dallas, CHiPs, Quince ME, Hawaii Five-0, The Love Boat, Crazy Like a Fox, Hardcastle and McCormick, Matlock, Jake and the Fatman, The Golden Girls, Murder She Wrote, Burke's Law, Wings, Home Improvement, The Drew Carey Show, Nash Bridges, Fantasy Island 99, and her last role in 2004 on Without a Trace. She wasn't known for sitcoms, but she was quite a popular TV actor, mainly in dramas. Ms. Francis was 80.

Betty Garrett

Betty Garrett (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Betty Garrett, a veteran actress who started her career on such MGM musicals as On The Town and Take Me Out to the Ballgame, but is more known for her television work on All in the Family and Laverne & Shirley died on February 12, 2011, at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center of an aortic aneurysm.

Garrett was best known on TV for her roles on two popular 1970s sitcoms, as landlady Edna Babish on Laverne & Shirley and as Archie Bunker's neighbor Irene Lorenzo on All in the Family. In 1975, she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress on Television for All in the Family. She has also guest starred on many other series such as The Fugitive, The Love Boat, Mr. Merlin, Murder, She Wrote, The Golden Girls, Harts of the West, The Good Life, Townies, Union Square, Boston Public, Becker (for which she was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2003) and Grey's Anatomy in 2006. Ms. Garrett was 91.

Peter Hobbs

Peter Hobbs (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Character actor Peter Hobbs, who straddled stage and screen, died on January 2, 2011, at his home in Santa Monica, CA following a short illness. In his 50-year showbiz career Hobbs played Captain McLean in the original Rialto version of Teahouse of the August Moon from 1953-56. He also was featured in Billy Budd, Joan of Lorraine as well The Life of Reilly and The Russian People. Frequently portraying authority figures like doctors, lawyers and judges on TV he played Peter Ames in Secret Storm from 1954 to 1962 and had recurring roles on The F.B.I., The Odd Couple, Barney Miller, Knots Landing and Lou Grant.

He also guested on many series such as Perry Mason, The Joey Bishop Show, The Farmer's Daughter, Mister Ed, Donna Reed Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, Good Morning World, The Big Valley, Bonanza, Marcus Welby, Mannix, Dan August, It Takes a Thief, Doris Day Show, Bridget Loves Bernie, The Mod Squad, The Rockford Files, Barnaby Jones, Starsky & Hutch, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mrs. Columbo, Rhoda, Kojak, Fish, Streets of San Francisco, All in the Family, Happy Days, M*A*S*H, The White Shadow, Remington Steele, The Dukes of Hazzard, Dynasty, Hart to Hart, St. Elsewhere, Gloria, Hill Street Blues, Dallas, One Day at a Time, Incredible Hulk, Little House on the Prairie, Quincy M.E., 9 to 5, Private Benjamin, Riptide, Crazy Like a Fox, Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, Family Ties, Newhart, Hunter, The Colbys, The Paper Chase, The Bronx Zoo, Day By Day, Who's the Boss?, L.A. Law, Amen, Empty Nest, Princesses and True Colors. Mr. Hobbs was 92.

Jeffrey Hodes (IMDB) - Comedy writer and producer Jeffrey Hodes died suddenly from cancer-treatment related complications on September 14, 2011. Hodes had cancer but was in remission and was getting ready for a bone marrow transplant when he developed breathing problems. An MRI showed blood in his brain. After a day in intensive care, he was taken off life support.

Hodes and his wife and writing partner, Nastaran Dibai, worked together on a number of sitcoms over the years. Their writing credits included Flesh 'n' Blood, Living Single, The Preston Episodes, The Nanny, Jesse, 3rd Rock from the Sun, According to Jim, Hope & Faith, Rita Rocks and the first season finale of Happily Divorced. They served as producers on Living Single, The Nanny, Jesse, 3rd Rock from the Sun, According to Jim and Happily Divorced. The pair helped develop a comedy project for ABC last year with Kelly Ripa and her husband Mark Consuelos. Mr. Hodes was in his 40s.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Len Lesser, the veteran character actor best known for his scene-stealing role as Uncle Leo on Seinfeld, died of cancer-related pneumonia in Burbank, CA on February 16, 2011. He appeared in about 15 episodes as Seinfeld's uncle on the long running sitcom starting in the second season all the way to the series finale.

Lesser's lengthy list of television credits included parts on Gunsmoke, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Dragnet, Love on a Rooftop, The FBI, My Favorite Martian, Honey West, Ben Casey, Get Smart, That Girl, The Munsters, The Monkees, The Rockford Files, The Bill Cosby Show, All in the Family, Kojak, Medical Center, The Bob Newhart Show, Bonanza, Ironside, Enos, Quincy, Remington Steele, Simon & Simon, Falcon Crest, Airwolf, thirtysomething, Babes, Boy Meets World, The John Larroquette Show, Caroline in the City, Mad About You, Smart Guy, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Son of the Beach, Rock Me Baby, Just Shoot Me!, Quintuplets, Cold Case, ER, 'Til Death, and Everybody Loves Raymond, which featured Lesser in a recurring role as the arm-shaking Garvin. He most recently appeared on the ABC's Castle in 2009. Mr. Lesser was 88.

Sid Melton

Sid Melton (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Sid Melton was an American actor known for his roles as incompetent carpenter Alf Monroe in the CBS sitcom Green Acres and as Uncle Charlie Halper, proprietor of the Copa Club, in Make Room for Daddy and its spin-offs. Melton died from pneumonia on November 2, 2011, in Burbank, CA. Some of his other television credits included It's Always Jan, The Golden Girls, Captain Midnight, Dragnet, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., I Dream of Jeannie and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Mr. Melton was 94.

Marian Mercer

Marian Mercer (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Marian Mercer, an American actress and singer, passed away from complications of Alzhheimer's disease on April 27, 2011, in Newbury Park, California. One of her best known roles was as the humorless restaurant hostess, Nancy Beebe, on the ABC and later syndicated sitcom It's a Living. Her many sitcom guest appearances included Love, American Style, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Archie Bunker's Place, Phyl & Mikhy, Mama's Family, Benson, The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, Dave's World, Working, and Suddenly Susan. She was a regular as Kay Fox on The Sandy Duncan Show in 1972 and on Foot in the Door as Mrs. Griffin in 1982. In 1991, she played Martha Benedict on the short-lived Sunday Dinner. She portrayed Grace Bailey on Home Free, starring Matthew Perry, in 1993. Ms. Mercer was 75.

Harry Morgan

Harry Morgan (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Veteran and Emmy-winning character actor Harry Morgan, best known to television audiences as M*A*S*H's Col. Sherman T. Potter, died peacefully in his sleep at his home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles on December 7, 2011. His daughter-in-law Beth Morgan said that he had recently been treated for pneumonia.

Morgan's career in film and TV spanned from 1942 to 1999. He appeared in mostly supporting roles in more than 100 films. In 1942, he made his screen debut (as Henry Morgan) in To the Shores of Tripoli. Other early films included The Ox-Bow Incident, Wing and a Prayer, Dragonwyck, The Big Clock, High Noon, Bend of the River, Thunder Bay, The Glenn Miller Story, The Far Country and Strategic Air Command. Some of his later film roles from the 1960s and 1970s included Inherit the Wind, How the West Was Won, John Goldfarb, Please Come Home, Frankie and Johnny, The Apple Dumpling Gang, Support Your Local Sheriff!, Support Your Local Gunfighter!, Snowball Express, The Shootist and The Wild Wild West Revisited. In 1987, he reprised his Bill Gannon character in a supporting role in Dragnet.

His television career began in the early 1950s with guest appearances on several series, including The Doctor and The Lone Wolf. His first regular televison role was as Pete Porter on December Bride, which aired on CBS from 1954-1959. He would later play the same character in the spinoff series Pete and Gladys from 1960-1962. Morgan would be a regular as various characters on The Richard Boone Show in 1963-64. In 1964-65, he co-starred with Dennis Weaver on the NBC series Kentucky Jones. His next well-known role was as Officer Bill Gannon on Dragnet from 1967-70. He would work again for his Dragnet co-star Jack Webb on The D.A. in 1971-72 and on the western Hec Remsey in 1972-74.

In 1974, he guest starred on M*A*S*H as spaced-out Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele in the episode "The General Flipped at Dawn." He received an Emmy nomination for his performance. When McLean Stevenson left the show at the end of the third season, Morgan was brought in to replace him as Colonel Sherman T. Potter. In 1980, he received an Emmy award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. He also directed 8 episodes of the series. Morgan would reprise his role in the short-lived 1983-84 spinoff series, AfterMASH. In 1986, he co-starred with Hal Linden on Blacke's Magic on NBC. He later starred in the short-lived You Can't Take It with You in 1987. Some other sitcom guest appearances for him included The Partridge Family, The Love Boat, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, The Simpsons, Grace Under Fire and 3rd Rock From the Sun. His final sitcom role was a guest appearance on Love & Money in 1999.

You can view an interview with him from April 14, 2004 at the Archive of American Television. Mr. Morgan was 96.

David Nelson

David Nelson (IMDB / Wikipedia) - David Nelson, who starred on his parents' popular sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, died on January 11, 2011, in Century City, CA from complications of colon cancer. Nelson was the last remaining member of the Nelsons TV family, which included actor/bandleader Ozzie, his singer wife, Harriet Hilliard and his teen idol brother Rick. The show originated on radio in 1952 as Here Come the Nelsons, then ran for 320 episodes on television on ABC from 1952 to 1966 as The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet with some of the story lines taken from the stars' own lives. David Nelson also directed and produced numerous episodes of the show throughout its run. The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet was shot in the Nelson family home in the Hollywood foothills, which remains a popular attraction for visitors on Hollywood celebrity bus tours. His other television credits included Hondo, The Love Boat, The D.A., and TV movies High School USA and A Family For Joe. Directing credits included Goodnight Beantown, Adam-12, O.K. Crackerby!, and Ozzie's Girls. Mr. Nelson was 74.

Uncle Frank Potenza

Frank Potenza (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Frank Potenza, known as Uncle Frank on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, died of cancer on August 23, 2011. Jimmy Kimmel's real-life uncle worked as a security guard and was a cast member on the show since the show debuted in 2003. ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! said in a statement that Potenza was "beloved by his co-workers and considered an uncle to all." It also said that "his kindness and humor will be missed by everyone he touched." Uncle Frank is the second member of the security guard staff and "The Worst Team on Television" to die. Veatrice Rice (Miss V), who played the quiet but foul-mouthed on-air security guard, died on January 21, 2009, after a battle with cancer.

Uncle Frank was a Brooklyn, NY native and Korean War veteran. He worked as a New York City police officer for twenty years, ten years as a private security guard in Las Vegas, and seven years as an usher at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan. When his nephew Jimmy Kimmel got his own show in 2003, he was asked to move to Los Angeles to work with him. He appeared in many comedy bits and was a regular sidekick over the years. His ex-wife, Conchetta "Chippy" Potenza, appears semi-regularly on the show and did a series of segments with him called "Uncle Frank and Aunt Chippy's Adventures." In late 2009, he suffered a stroke and didn't appear on the show from December 2009 through March 2010 (except for the seventh anniversary show on January 26, 2010). He would appear less frequently when he returned. In 2004, he appeared on an episode of According to Jim as Uncle Frank. Mr. Potenza was 77.

Peggy Rea

Peggy Rea (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Character actress Peggy Rea known for her many roles in television series, and a number of films, died at her home in Toluca Lake, CA on February 5, 2011. She died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Among her recurring roles in television were as Olivia Walton's cousin, Rose Burton, on The Waltons, as man chasing-Lulu Hogg on The Dukes of Hazzard, as Ivy Baker (the mother of Suzanne Somers' character) on the first season of Step by Step, and as Brett Butler's mom (Jean Kelly) on Grace Under Fire.

Peggy also appeared in such television programs as I Love Lucy, Family Affair, The Good Guys, Gidget, The Patty Duke Show, Hazel, Sergeant Bilko, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Adam-12, Medical Center, Ironside, The Doris Day Show, Mannix, All in the Family, Quincy M.E., Charlie's Angels, Maude, Sanford, One Day at a Time, The Odd Couple, Love American Style, Marcus Welby, M.D., Mathnet, Burke's Law, Monsters, The Golden Girls, MacGyver, and Meego. Ms. Rea was 89.

Sol Saks

Sol Saks (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Sol Saks, a veteran comedy writer who created the classic ABC sitcom Bewitched, died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia on April 16, 2011, in Los Angeles. He began his career as a radio actor as a child. Saks would later write for radio comedies such as Duffy's Tavern and early television sitcoms including My Favorite Husband, Mr. Adams and Eve and I Married Joan. In addition to his writing work for radio and television, he wrote the screenplay for Cary Grant's final film in 1966, the comedy Walk, Don't Run. In 1985, he wrote The Craft of Comedy Writing.

In 1964, he created the long-running and successful Bewitched for ABC. According to, Saks drew inspiration for the story about a witch who weds a mortal man from two films: I Married a Witch (1942), starring Fredric March and Veronica Lake, and Bell Book and Candle (1958), with James Stewart and Kim Novak. He would write only the pilot episode of the series that was titled, "I, Darrin, Take This Witch, Samantha." You can view an extensive 2009 interview with Saks at the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television at . Mr. Saks was 100.

Sherwood Schwartz

Sherwood Schwartz (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Sherwood Schwartz, writer and creator of two beloved sitcoms from the 1960s and 1970s, Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch, died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on on July 12, 2011.

Schwartz's entertainment career began as a writer of jokes for Bob Hope's radio program, The Bob Hope Show, in 1939. He would go on to write for other radio programs in the 1940s, including The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and The Alan Young Show. His television career began as a writer for I Married Joan, The Red Skelton Show (winning an Emmy Award in 1961) and My Favorite Martian. In 1964, he created Gilligan's Island, which starred Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Tina Louise, Russell Johnson and Dawn Wells. The show followed the comic adventures of seven castaways as they attempted to survive and ultimately escape from the island where they were shipwrecked. Although the show aired for only 3 seasons and 98 episodes on CBS from 1964-1967, it became a cult classic in syndication. Two animated series (The New Adventures of Gilligan and Gilligan's Planet) and three TV reunion movies (Rescue from Gilligan's Island, The Castaways on Gilligan's Island and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island) were later produced. In 1966, he created the science fiction sitcom It's About Time, which dealt with two astronauts being sent back into prehistoric days.

His next big success came with The Brady Bunch. The 1969-74 ABC sitcom starred Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland, Susan Olsen and Ann B. Davis. The series revolved around a large blended family when a widow with three daughters marries a widower with three sons. Although the show was never a huge ratings or critical hit during its original primetime run, it became a cultural phenomenon in syndication over the years. The success of the show would lead to the animated series The Brady Kids, a variety series called The Brady Bunch Hour, the TV movie The Brady Girls Get Married and TV series The Brady Brides, A Very Brady Christmas TV movie, the TV dramedy The Bradys, and two theatrical movies. Schwartz's other television writing, creating and producing credits included Dusty's Trail (starring Bob Denver), Big John, Little John, Harper Valley PTA and Together We Stand. On March 7, 2008, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

You can watch an extensive interview with him from September 17, 1997 at The Archive of American Television. Read his farewell letter to family and fans here. Mr. Schwartz was 94.

Patricia Smith

Patricia Smith (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Patricia Smith was an American actress who appeared in film and television roles from the early 1950s through the 1990s. She died in Los Angeles of heart failure on January 2, 2011. She had a regular role as Charlotte Landers on The Debbie Reynolds Show and a recurring role as Margaret Hoover during the first season (1971-72) of The Bob Newhart Show. Some of her other television credits included The Fugitive, The F.B.I., The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones and Quincy M.E.. Ms. Smith was 80.

Leonard B. Stern

Leonard B. Stern (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Legendary TV producer, director and writer Leonard Stern died of heart failure on June 7, 2011, at his home in Beverly Hills, CA. Stern was a writer and producer for such classic sitcoms such as The Honeymooners, The Phil Silvers Show and Get Smart. While working on The Honeymooners, he helped co-create the classic word game Mad Libs with his partner Roger Price.

Stern worked on a number of other sitcoms during his many years in the business. He was the creator of I'm Dickens, He's Fenster (1962-63), Run, Buddy, Run (1966-67), He & She (1967-68) and The Governor and J.J. (1969-70). Stern wrote, directed and produced other sitcoms such as Holmes & Yo-Yo, The Good Guys and Operation Petticoat. His work on TV detective dramas included McMillan and Wife and The Snoop Sisters. He was nominated for five Emmy Awards and won two for "Best Comedy Writing - Variety or Situation Comedy" for The Phil Silvers Show and "Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy" for Get Smart with Buck Henry. In addition, he won three Writers Guild of America Awards and a Peabody Award. Earlier in his career, he was a writer on The Steve Allen Show and Steve Allen's The Tonight Show. His film screenplays included Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion, Lost in Alaska, The Jazz Singer, Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town, Three for the Money, Just You and Me, Kid (also directed), Missing Pieces (also directed) and Target.

Our friends at Just My Show did a podcast interview with him back in 2006. You can also watch several video interviews with him at The Archive of American Television. Mr. Stern was 87.

Leonard Stone

Leonard Stone (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Leonard Stone was an American character actor who played supporting roles in over 120 television shows and 35 films. Stone died on November 2, 2011, at his home in San Diego after a brief bout with cancer. In 1966, he had a supporting role as Morton on the short-lived CBS sitcom The Jean Arthur Show starring Jean Arthur and Ron Harper. Some of his other television credits included Dragnet, The Outer Limits, Lost in Space, Camp Runamuck, The Donna Reed Show, Sanford and Son, M*A*S*H, One Day at a Time, Barney Miller, Quincy M.E., Night Court, Hill Street Blues, Falcon Crest, Simon & Simon, Sisters and L.A. Law. Mr. Stone was 87.

Edson Stroll

Edson Stroll (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Edson Stroll was an American television and film actor. Stroll died of cancer on July 18, 2011, in Marina del Ray, CA. He played Virgil Edwards (Gunner's Mate) on McHale's Navy. Other television appearances for him included How to Marry a Millionaire, Sea Hunt, The Twlight Zone, It's About Time, Murder, She Wrote, Hotel, Dynasty, Simon & Simon and Dallas. Mr. Stroll was 82.

Barbara Stuart

Barbara Stuart (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Barbara Stuart, an American actress, died
on May, 15, 2011, in St. George, UT. Her first television series role was playing Bessie, the secretary, on the syndicated The Great Gildersleeve, based on the classic radio show Fibber McGee and Molly and starring William Waterman. In 1969, she was cast as Wilma Winslow on The Queen and I, starring Larry Storch. She had a recurring role as Alice on Pete and Gladys on CBS. On Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., she played Miss Bunny, Sgt. Carter's girlfriend, in three episodes. Some of her other sitcom guest appearances included December Bride, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Bill Dana Show, The Joey Bishop Show, The Cara Williams Show, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, The Andy Griffith Show, Mister Roberts, The Farmer's Daughter, Three's Company, Taxi, and The New Love, American Style. Ms. Stuart was 81.

Don Taffner

Don Taffner (IMDB) - Donald Taffner Sr., a 40-year veteran of the television industry and an inventive executive who helped bring Three's Company, Too Close for Comfort and The Benny Hill Show to the American public, died on September 6, 2011, after a brief illness. His daughter, Karen Butler, spoke to the St. John's University newspaper The Torch and said that the doctors believe the cause of death was a "cataclysmic heart event, like an aneurysm or clot.”

Taffner and his wife, Eleanor, founded D.L. Taffner Ltd. in 1963. The couple later changed the name to Taffner Enterprises before it became known as DLT Entertainment. The company was originally formed to help international broadcasters looking for American television shows for their schedules, but they later started to sell overseas shows to the U.S. networks. They helped bring the ABC sitcoms Three's Company, its spinoff Three's a Crowd and Too Close for Comfort to American audiences. DLT Entertainment also brought us the 1985-88 Canadian sitcom Check It Out! which starred Don Adams; the BBC sitcoms My Family and As Time Goes By; and various cartoons that featured the Beatles, Crazy Cat, Barney Google and Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. In 1986, he received the International Emmy Founders Award "for setting new levels of creativity in the worldwide exchange of television programs." You can read more about his career and view a video interview at the Archive of American Television. Mr. Taffner was 80.

Clarice Taylor

Clarice Taylor (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Clarice Taylor, a television, film, stage and radio actress best known for her recurring role The Cosby Show as Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable's mother, Anna Huxtable, died on May 30, 2011. Ms. Taylor died at her home in Englewood, New Jersey from congestive heart failure.

Taylor and Earle Hyman (Russell Huxtable) played Cliff's parents in recurring roles for seven years on The Cosby Show. Interestingly enough, she first auditioned to play Phylicia Rashad's mother on the show. In 1986, Taylor and Hyman were both nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Comedy Series. For 14 years from the late 1970s until 1990, she had a recurring role on Sesame Street as Harriet, the grandmother of David. Her other television work included guest appearances on Ironside, Sanford and Son (as Cousin Emma), Nurse, Lady Blue, Spenser: For Hire and Due South. Her stage work included the role of Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North, in The Wiz. She won an Obie Award for her one-woman show, Moms. Film roles for her included Clint Eastwood's directorial debut in the thriller Play Misty for Me, Five on the Black Side and Sommersby. Ms. Taylor was 93.

Sada Thompson

Sada Thompson (IMDB / Wikipedia) - Sada Thompson was an American stage, film, and television actress who was best known television role was on Family where she played the matriarch Kate Lawrence. The role won her the 1978 Emmy Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and garnered her three nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama. She died of lung disease on May 4, 2011, in Danbury, CT.

Thompson received a total of nine Emmy nominations over her career. Her sitcom appearances included The Love Boat and Cheers. Some of her other television guest apperaances included Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, Lincoln, Father Dowling Mysteries, and Law & Order. Ms. Thompson was 83.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Monday, July 15

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Walkout" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
While Gemma is holding a fundraiser for a new school pool, Tina and the other teachers are being overworked. Meanwhile, Dave convinces Calvin to finally commit to doing physical therapy for his knee.

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Stand-Off" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Gemma and Tina are at odds with one another and Dave and Calvin try to bring them back together. Meanwhile, Marty is sick and not handling it well, so Malcolm fills in for him and goes to a baby class with Courtney.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 15)

Monday, July 15

  • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Anthony guest hosts Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Gina Rodriguez (Not Dead Yet) - Watch Gina on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Meagan Good (Cousin Skeeter/Raising Dad) - Meagan appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Julio Torres (Fantasmas/Los Espookys) - Julio is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Anna Faris (Mom) - Anna stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She also talks about Prime Video's My Spy: The Eternal City on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Danny Tamberelli (The Adventures of Pete & Pete), Lori Beth Denberg (The Steve Harvey Show) and Kel Mitchell (Game Shakers/Kenan & Kel) - Danny, Lori Beth and Kel are guests on After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Seth Rogen (Platonic/Undeclared) and Kristen Wiig (Palm Royale) - E! News has interviews with Seth and Kristen at 11pm on E!.
  • Jessica Capshaw (Odd Man Out) and Camilla Luddington (Californication) - Jessica and Camilla are guests on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Isla Fisher (Wolf Like Me) - Isla is telling Drew all about season two of Wolf Like Me, wanting to do a drama and embracing being a red head on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Dulé Hill (The Wonder Years) - Dulé brings the Tam Fam his thrilling new docuseries The Express Way with Dulé Hill, where he travels across the country to meet talented and inspiring artists, on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Flula Borg (Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin) - Flula talks about Prime Video's My Spy: The Eternal City on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.

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

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