Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Remembering the Legendary Garry Marshall; Terry Crews Set for an Adventure

Garry Marshall

Actor, director, producer and writer Garry Marshall, who created Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy, has died. He died on July 19 at a hospital in Burbank, California due to complications of pneumonia after suffering a stroke. Mr. Marshall was 81.

Marshall's career began as a writer for Tonight Starring Jack Paar in 1960. He moved to Hollywood in 1961, where he teamed up with Jerry Belson as a writer for television. He wrote episodes of The Danny Thomas Show, The Bill Dana Show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Hank, The Lucy Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

The first sitcom he created and produced was Hey, Landlord, which aired for one season on NBC in 1966-1967. The series stared Will Hutchins, Sandy Baron, Pamela Rodgers, Miko Mayama and Michael Constantine. He also directed and guest starred in an episode.

Marshall and Belson developed and adapted The Odd Couple for television in 1970. The popular series, which starred Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, ran for five seasons on ABC until 1975. Myrna Turner, Oscar's secretary, was played by Garry's sister, Penny Marshall. He directed six episodes, wrote seven episodes and appeared in several episodes in various roles.

He created and produced The Brian Keith Show (titled The Little People during its first season), which aired for two seasons on NBC from 1972-1974. The series starred Brian Keith, Shelley Fabares, Victoria Young and Nancy Kulp.

In 1972, he created with Thomas L. Miller the short-lived CBS sitcom Me and the Chimp. The series starred Ted Bessell, Anita Gillette, Scott Kolden and Kami Kolter.

He wrote an episode of Love, American Style titled "Love and the Television Set" (later retitled "Love and the Happy Days" for syndication), which featured Ron Howard, Marion Ross and Anson Williams, that served as the pilot episode of Happy Days. The episode aired on aired on ABC on February 25, 1972.

Happy Days would become a series on January 15, 1974. The popular series aired on ABC for 11 seasons from 1974-1984. The series starred Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Tom Bosley, Marion Ross, Anson Williams, Donny Most and Erin Moran. Marshall directed the second season episode, "Haunted." He wrote two episodes of the series. He also appeared in two episodes as a drummer.

Several successful spin-offs would be launched from Happy Days. Laverne & Shirley aired on ABC for eight seasons from 1976-1983. The series starred Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, Eddie Mekka, Phil Foster, David L. Lander, Michael McKean and Betty Garrett. Garry directed two episodes. He also appeared uncredited as a drummer in two episodes.

Marshall's son, Scott, wanted to see an alien character on Happy Days. This led to the appearance of Mork (Robin Williams) in the season five episode "My Favorite Orkan." Mork & Mindy aired for four seasons on ABC from 1978-1982. The series also starred Pam Dawber, Conrad Janis, Elizabeth Kerr, Tom Poston, Jay Thomas and Gina Hecht. Marshall directed an episode in 1980.

Other Happy Days spin-offs included Blansky's Beauties, Out of the Blue and Joanie Loves Chachi (starring Scott Baio and Erin Moran). Marshall directed an episode of the short-lived Blansky's Beauties, which starred Nancy Walker, Lynda Goodfriend, Johnny Desmond, Eddie Mekka and Scott Baio.

He created and produced the short-lived sitcom Who's Watching the Kids in 1978. The series aired for one season on NBC. It starred Caren Kaye, Lynda Goodfriend, Scott Baio, Tammy Lauren, Marcia Lewis, Larry Breeding, Lorrie Mahaffey, Jim Belushi, Shirley Kirkes and Elaine Bolton.

In 1979, he created and produced with Dale McRaven the sitcom Angie. The series aired for two seasons on ABC from 1979-1980. It starred Donna Pescow, Robert Hays, Doris Roberts, Debralee Scott, Sharon Spelman and John Randolph.

Marshall, Mark Rothman and Lowell Ganz created the short-lived 1979 ABC sitcom Makin' It, which starred David Naughton, Greg Antonacci, Denise Miller and Ellen Travolta. He served as an executive producer of the 1982-1983 sitcom The New Odd Couple.

Garry Marshall in The Odd Couple

In addition to his work as a director, producer and writer, he also appeared as an actor. He appeared in 24 episodes of Murphy Brown from 1994-1997 as Stan Lansing, the micro-managing network president. Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included The Simpsons (voice in two episodes), Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Father of the Pride (voice), According to Jim, Louie, Two and a Half Men, Liv and Maddie, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Hot in Cleveland. He played Oscar Madison's (Matthew Perry) father, Walter Madison, in an episode of The Odd Couple in April 2016. He also served as a consultant on the remake.

Marshall was also a very successful film director. His biggest blockbuster was 1990's Pretty Woman, which starred Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. His other credits included Young Doctors in Love, The Flamingo Kid, Nothing in Common, Overboard, Beaches, Frankie and Johnny, Exit to Eden, Dear God, The Other Sister, Runaway Bride, The Princess Diaries, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Georgia Rule, Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve and 2016's Mother's Day.

The Archive of American Television conducted an extensive interview with him on August 28, 2000.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara, to whom he was married since 1963; son Scott, a film director; and daughters Lori, an actress and casting director, and Kathleen, an actress; a number of grandchildren; and sisters Penny Marshall, an actress and film director, and Ronny Hallin, a TV producer.

Mr. Marshall was a true legend. He created so many memorable sitcoms. He received five Emmy nominations for his work. There will likely never be another person that has four of the top five rated sitcoms on the air at the same time as he did with Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy and Angie in the 1978-79 season. We thank him for all of the laughs and many hours of entertainment he brought us over the years. He will be deeply missed.

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Terry Crews - Celebrity Adventure Club

Actor and former NFL player, Terry Crews, returns to his Michigan roots to champion a revitalized Motor City in Travel Channel's Celebrity Adventure Club. The second in a series of specials, this episode premieres on Saturday, July 23, at 10:00 a.m. ET/PT. In each hour-long feature, Travel Channel hands the camera to some of the world's biggest stars as they travel around the world on an intimate adventure of discovery and exploration. In this special, Crews kicks off his journey in his hometown Flint, Mich., where he reminisces about his childhood. Next, he visits two automotive companies in Detroit that have seen a major comeback -- General Motors, where he steps onto the assembly line to fasten some bolts, and Ford, where he test drives a 2016 Mustang convertible. He also meets up with baseball legend Willie Horton at Comerica Park to discuss Detroit's resilience and rising community. Terry Crews is a former NFL player, best-selling author of the memoir "Manhood" and an actor who has appeared in a number of primetime television and box office hits including Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and the Expandables franchise. Crews is also heavily invested in philanthropic endeavors, namely as a celebrity ambassador for the Polaris Project, which is a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, April 21

The Goldbergs - "The Dating Game" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Trying to move on from their breakup, Erica goes on a date with a guy from the coffee shop while Geoff ends up on an episode of “The Dating Game,” which winds up making things even more difficult for them both. Meanwhile, Beverly is thrilled to learn that Murray has spontaneously purchased a shore house until she realizes it’s not quite the luxury home she imagined.

Home Economics - "Bounce House Rental, $250" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Connor invites all the cousins over for an epic sleepover to cheer up his daughter, Gretchen. Meanwhile, Tom is determined to prove he can be a fun uncle too.

The Conners - "Cheating, Revelations and a Box of Doll Heads" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Mark is stressed and exhausted from studying for an important entrance exam so Darlene steps in to help, but her plan backfires.

Call Your Mother - "Save the Date" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After Danny’s divorce is finalized, he asks Jean to go out on an official first date with him, but things go awry on the date once Jean realizes it’s the same day as another special day in her life. Meanwhile, Freddie and Jackie fight over who should get to keep Jean’s old engagement ring.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 19)

Wednesday, April 21

  • Ed Helms (Rutherford Falls/The Office) - Watch Ed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory/Happy Family/Welcome to New York/Cybill) - Christine is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kevin James (The Crew/Kevin Can Wait/The King of Queens) - Kevin appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/A.U.S.A./Scrubs) - Scott will be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jane Levy (Suburgatory) - Jane is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Topher Grace (Home Economics/That '70s Show) - Topher appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony gives the scoop on his animated children's show and his role in the upcoming film about I Love Lucy on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January-April)

Corporate - Season 2 Fam - The Complete Series Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series Happy Together - The Complete Series Til Death - The Complete Series

01/22 - Corporate - Season 2
01/22 - Corporate - Season 3
02/02 - Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - The Complete Series (2021 Retail Release)
02/16 - Fam - The Complete Series
02/23 - Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series
03/02 - Blue Mountain State - The Complete Series
03/02 - Happy Together - The Complete Series
03/02 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-4 (DVD) (Blu-ray)
04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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