Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hallmark Dumps The Good Wife; Remembering Ben Starr Co-Creator of The Facts of Life, Silver Spoons

The Good Wife

The Hallmark Channel has pulled The Good Wife completely from its line-up effective today (Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014). The series started a few weeks ago by airing weekdays from 6-10pm but after just a week it was reduced to 8-10pm and now it is gone completely. The Waltons will now air in primetime from 8-10pm, so its 2-4pm airings will be replaced by Home Improvement. Hallmark will replace the 6-8pm Home Improvement block with the return of Little House on the Prairie. Classic '70s and '80s family dramas from 6-10pm trump over The Good Wife in the ratings for Hallmark it seems. Hallmark has a quick axe usually on shows that do not deliver in ratings, but for a big acquisition like this, it might have been too quick to pull. We'll let you know if and when it returns to the line-up. The rest of the Hallmark Channel weekday schedule will remain as is, with I Love Lucy from 5-8am, The Golden Girls from 8-10am, a new and encore of Home & Family from 10am-2pm, the aforementioned Home Improvement from 2-4pm, The Brady Bunch from 4-6pm into the classic dramas from 6-10pm (Little House & The Waltons). Comedies will rule in late night still with Frasier from 10pm-12am, The Golden Girls from 12-2am, Cheers from 2-3am, and more Frasier from 3-5am.


Ben Starr

Television writer and producer Ben Starr, who helped create The Facts of Life and Silver Spoons, has died. He died on January 19 at his home in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure. Mr. Starr was 92.

Starr's early sitcom writing credits included Duffy's Tavern, My Hero, I Married Joan, The Ray Milland, December Bride, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and Bachelor Father. He wrote 40 episodes of Mister Ed from 1961-1963. Other sitcoms he wrote multiple episodes of included My Favorite Martian, Petticoat Junction, The Brady Bunch, Chico and the Man and All in the Family.

He worked as a writer and producer for Diff'rent Strokes from 1978-1982. He was instrumental in inadvertently coining the famous "Whatchu talking 'bout Willis?" catchphrase by Gary Coleman. The line was originally written as "What are you talking about, Willis?" before Coleman gave his classic delivery. He was interviewed in the E! True Hollywood Story specials on Diff'rent Strokes and Dana Plato in 1998 and 1999. In 1979, he helped develop the spin-off series The Facts of Life with Howard Leeds and Jerry Mayer. The popular series aired on NBC for 9 seasons and 209 episodes. Starr later helped create Silver Spoons with Leeds and Martin Cohan in 1982. The series, starring Ricky Schroder, Joel Higgins and Erin Gray, aired for five seasons (four on NBC and one in first-run syndication).

The Archive of American Television conducted an extensive interview with him on November 9, 2009. Survivors include three children and three grandchildren and nephew Andy Kaplan, who heads international channels for Sony Pictures TV. We thank him for bringing us the classic 1980s sitcoms The Facts of Life and Silver Spoons. He will be greatly missed.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, February 21

The Conners - "Moms and Rats" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Bev experiences moments of clarity and reflection and asks Jackie to spend the day together in Chicago. Elsewhere, Darlene finds a rat in her home but refuses to let Ben kill it.

Not Dead Yet - "Not in the Cards Yet" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Lexi, Duncan, Sam and Dennis attend an award ceremony for several SoCal Independent editing nominations. Meanwhile, Nell steps into babysit Sam’s daughter, Tilly, who doesn’t seem interested in hanging out with her “fun Aunt Nell.”

Abbott Elementary - "Smoking" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
After a student is caught smoking, the Abbott staff come together to revamp the outdated drug policy. Meanwhile, Janine tries to prep the new substitute teacher for her class but finds it challenging to give up her former role.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 19)

Wednesday, February 21

  • Jeff Goldblum (Search Party) - Watch Jeff on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Tyler James Williams (Abbott Elementary/Go On/Everybody Hates Chris) - Tyler appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Ariana DeBose (Schmigadoon!) - Ariana is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Emma Stone (The Curse) - Emma appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Do Not Disturb/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity), Arden Myrin (Working) and Mary Lynn Rajskub (Rob Riggle's Ski Master Academy/How to Be a Gentleman/Veronica's Closet/The Larry Sanders Show) - Jerry, Arden and Mary are guests on a repeat of After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kyle Richards (Down to Earth) - Kyle appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 3am on Bravo. She also talks about The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Sam Waterston (Grace and Frankie) - NBC's Today catches up with Sam in the 9am hour.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah is joining Drew to talk about the 30th anniversary of Living Single and playing a special round of Final Five with questions from former co-star Erika Alexander on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.


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

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

11/07 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Sixth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/14 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One

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

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


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