Thursday, October 11, 2012

Remembering Webster's Alex Karras; First Cancelation of Fall 2012: CBS Drama Made in Jersey

Alex Karras

Actor and former NFL player Alex Karras, who starred as George Papadapolis in Webster, has died. Karras died at his Los Angeles, California home in the morning hours on October 10 of complications from kidney failure. He had suffered from a variety of health problems in recent years, including dementia, heart disease and stomach cancer. Mr. Karras was 77.

Karras' acting career begain in 1968 when he played himself in the film adaptation of Paper Lion. He made many television guest appearances in series such as Daniel Boone, Love American, Style, The Odd Couple, McMillian & Wife and M*A*S*H. In 1974, he played thug Mongo in the Mel Brooks' comedy film Blazing Saddles. His character knocks out a horse with a single punch in a memorable scene. He played Hans Brumbaugh in the 1978-1979 NBC miniseries Centennial. Karras' television movie credits included Hardcase, The 500 Pound Jerk, Babe (a 1975 biopic where he met his wife Susan Clark), Mad Bull, Jimmy B. & André, Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story, Masada and Made in America. His theatrical film credits included Victor Victoria, Porky's and Against All Odds.

Karras played the lovable George Papadapolis, a former professional football player turned sportscaster, in the hit sitcom Webster. The series was about a couple who adopts a recently orphaned 7-year-old child named Webster. Karras starred with his real-life wife Susan Clark and Emmanuel Lewis. ABC aired the series for four seasons from 1983-1987 before it moved into first-run syndication for the final two seasons from 1987-1989. A total of 150 episodes were produced. Karras and Clark were among the producers of the series through their Georgian Bay Entertainment production company.

He played college football at the University of Iowa from 1956-1957. Karras was a first team All-American in 1956. In 1957, he helped his team win the Rose Bowl and received the Outland Trophy for the best interior lineman. He finished as the runner-up in voting for the Heisman Trophy. The Detroit Lions drafted him 10th overall in the first round of the NFL draft in 1958. He was one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the league during his 12 seasons in the league from 1958-1962 and 1964-1970. Karras was named to Pro Bowl team four times in 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1965. He was also named to the 1960s All-Decade NFL team. Following the end of his career, he later worked on ABC's Monday Night Football broadcast team with Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford for three seasons from 1974-1976.

Karras' survivors include his wife, Susan Clark; his sons George, Alex Jr. and Peter; and daughter, Katie. He was a talented man on and off the field. While he was one of the most fearsome players in football, he was a gentle giant on screen as an actor. We loved his work on Webster. It's very sad that he had dealt with so many health problems in recent years. He will be greatly missed.

Share your memories of Alex Karras here. Visit our Webster fan site for all things Webster.


Made in Jersey

CBS has pulled its new Friday drama Made in Jersey after just two airings. This is the first official cancelation of the 2012-13 season. The drama only mustered a 0.8 adults 18-49 rating last Friday in week two, after premiering to just a 1.1 adults 18-49 rating the week prior. CBS will move CSI: NY to the hour effective immediately this Friday (Oct. 12). CSI: NY was airing in the 8pm hour and also was struggling. Drama repeats will air for the next three weeks at 8pm (NCIS on Oct. 12 and 26 and Hawaii Five-0 on Oct. 19). CBS will launch the new season of Undercover Boss on Friday, Nov. 2 at 8pm. It will be opposite Kitchen Nightmares on Fox in terms of reality, as ABC's Shark Tank will be moving to 9pm on that night.

No word if CBS will air the remaining episodes that were already in the can. It is not known how many were completed in production. The series starred Janet Montgomery, Erin Cummings, Kristoffer Polaha, Kyle MacLachlan, Megalyn Echikunwoke and Toni Trucks. Will more series that are struggling be pulled soon too? Some candidates include The Mob Doctor, Animal Practice, Partners and sophomore comedy Up All Night. Stay with us, and also stay with us for any full season pick-ups (that's what we like to tell you more about, of course)!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, July 3

The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now in Living Color! - (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
CBS will honor the memory of legendary actor, producer, director, writer, comedian and Emmy Award winner Carl Reiner with THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW – NOW IN LIVING COLOR! A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO CARL REINER, featuring two colorized back-to-back classic episodes of the beloved 1960s series, Friday, July 3 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. As series creator and co-star, Carl Reiner personally supervised the original colorization of the episodes.

The special features “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” which ranked #8 on TV Guide’s list of the “100 Greatest TV Episodes of All-Time,” and “October Eve,” which Mr. Reiner considered to be one of the series’ funniest episodes. Both were written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff.

In “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” Laura Petrie blurts out a top secret on a national television quiz show, revealing that comedian Alan Brady wears a toupee. The episode, which was the show’s fifth and final season premiere, was originally broadcast on Sept. 15, 1965. “Coast to Coast Big Mouth” won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 1966.

In “October Eve,” a painting of Laura returns to haunt her when, despite her having posed fully clothed, the artist (played by Carl Reiner) takes the liberty of “undraping” her. The episode was first presented on April 8, 1964, during season three.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 29)

Friday, July 3

  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Watch Kevin on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:35am on ABC.
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - Tina appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Laura Dern (Enlightened) - Laura is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mark Duplass (Togetherness/The Mindy Project/The League) - Mark appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa guest hosts a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Brett Gelman (Camping/Fleabag/Love/Married/Go On) - Brett appears on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Tika Sumpter (mixed-ish/The Game) - Tika talks about the season finale of mixed-ish and her latest project helping new moms on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Peter Gallagher (Grace and Frankie/The Secret Lives of Men) - Peter talks about Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist and Grace and Frankie on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March/April/May/June)

Martin - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season The Good Place - The Final (Fourth) Season Head of the Class - The Complete First Season Modern Family - The Eleventh and Final Season

02/04 - Martin - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
02/11 - Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season (WBShop.com)
02/18 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/25 - Better Things - The Complete Third Season
03/17 - Crashing - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/07 - Cheers - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
04/14 - Police Squad! - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/14 - The Righteous Gemstones - The Complete First Season
04/21 - Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season (WBShop.com)
05/05 - Kidding - Season 2
05/19 - The Good Place - The Final (Fourth) Season
05/19 - The Good Place - The Complete Series - Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
05/26 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
05/26 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Series
06/02 - Work in Progress - Season 1
06/09 - Head of the Class - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
06/09 - Letterkenny - Seasons 3 & 4
06/09 - Modern Family - The Eleventh and Final Season
06/23 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Third Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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