Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Remembering TV Legend Valerie Harper, TV Tributes Scheduled; ABC Shifts Reef Break Finale to Friday, Sept. 13

Valerie Harper

Emmy-winning actress Valerie Harper, who starred as Rhoda Morgenstern in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off Rhoda, has died. She died on August 30 in Los Angeles. She had battled leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare condition in which cancer cells spread into the meninges, the membranes surrounding the brain, since March 2013. Ms. Harper was 80.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show Cast

Harper starred as Rhoda Morgenstern, the best friend and upstairs neighbor of Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore), in the CBS sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show from 1970 to 1974. Rhoda worked as a window dresser at the fictional Hemphill's department store. Harper appeared in a total of 92 episodes of the series. She was a regular in seasons 1-4 and appeared as a guest star in seasons 6-7. She won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 1971, 1972 and 1973. The series also starred Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight, Cloris Leachman (1970-1975), Georgia Engel (1973-1977) and Betty White (1973-1977).

Rhoda Cast

She continued her role as Rhoda Morgenstern in the spin-off series Rhoda, which aired on CBS from 1974 to 1978. Rhoda was desperately looking for a husband. She moves from Minneapolis back home to New York City. She soon meets and marries Joe Gerard (David Groh). Harper won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the role in 1975. The series also starred Julie Kavner, Nancy Walker (1974-1976, 1977-1978), Harold Gould (1974–1976, 1977–78), Ron Silver (1976-1978), Ray Buktenica (1977-1978), Kenneth McMillan (1977-1978) and Lorenzo Music (voice only as Carlton the Doorman).

Harper and Moore reunited in the 2000 ABC TV movie Mary and Rhoda. The two-hour made-for-TV movie also starred Elon Gold, Christine Ebersole, Bethany Joy Lenz and Marisa Ryan. Harper and Moore reunited with the other women of The Mary Tyler Moore Show - Cloris Leachman, Betty White and Georgia Engel - in the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland. The episode was titled Love Is All Around and aired on September 4, 2013.

Valerie Cast

She starred as Valerie Hogan in the first two seasons (32 episodes) of the NBC sitcom Valerie from 1986 to 1987. Valerie Hogan was a mother trying to juggle her career with raising three sons with an absent airline pilot husband. The family lived in Oak Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. The series, which was later renamed Valerie's Family and The Hogan Family, also starred Sandy Duncan (1987-1991), Jason Bateman, Danny Ponce, Jeremy Licht, Josh Taylor, Edie McClurg, Steve Witting (1987-1991), Tom Hodges (1986-1989), Christine Ebersole (1986), Judith Kahan (1986-1987), Josie Bissett (1990-1991), Angela Lee (1990-1991) and John Hillerman (1990-1991).

Harper held out in a contract dispute for more money, a larger piece of the syndication revenues and more creative control of the series after the second season. Her husband, Tony Cacciotti, was one of the executive producers. Lorimar eventually fired her from the series. She sued for being wrongfully fired and was awarded $1.4 million plus 12.5 percent of the show's profits. The character of Valerie Hogan was killed off in an auto accident. Sandy Duncan joined the series as Michael Hogan's divorced sister Sandy Hogan, a high school counselor. The series was renamed Valerie's Family for the third season and The Hogan Family for seasons four through six (the last season airing on CBS).

City Cast

She next starred as Liz Gianni in the 1990 CBS sitcom City. Liz Gianni was the city manager for The Department of City Services of an unnamed American city. The series also starred Todd Susman, Tyra Ferrell, Stephen Lee, Sam Lloyd, Liz Torres, Mary Jo Keenen, James Lorinz, LuAnne Ponce (Danny Ponce's sister) and Shay Duffin. She did an interview with David Letterman on February 13, 1990.

Harper starred as Rita Stone in the short-lived 1995 CBS sitcom The Office. Rita Stone was a divorcée and a 19-year veteran of a secretarial pool at the executive office of a package design company in Chicago called Package Inc. The series also starred Dakin Matthews, Debra Jo Rupp, Lisa Darr, Kristin Dattilo-Hayward, Kevin Conroy, Andrea Abbate and Gary Dourdan.

Some of her sitcom guest appearances included Love, American Style (she also co-wrote an episode with her then-husband Richard Schaal), The Love Boat, Sex and the City, That '70s Show, Three Sisters, Less Than Perfect, Committed, 'Til Death, Melissa & Joey and 2 Broke Girls. She voiced various characters in eight episodes of The Simpsons and two episodes of American Dad!.

Harper made drama guest appearances in Columbo, Missing Persons, Touched by an Angel, Promised Land, Melrose Place, Family Law, Desperate Housewives, Drop Dead Diva and Signed, Sealed, Delivered. She competed as a contestant in Season 17 of Dancing with the Stars in 2013.

She received Golden Globe Award nominations for her roles in Freebie in the Bean (1974) and Chapter Two (1979). Some of her other film credits included The Last Married Couple in America, Blame It on Rio, Golda's Balcony and Shiver.

Harper began her career on Broadway as a dancer. She made her debut in the musical Take Me Along in 1959. She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as Tallulah Bankhead in the play Looped in 2010. Some of her other theater credits included Wildcat, Subways Are for Sleeping, Something Different, All Under Heaven and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife.

She was interviewed for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television on February 26, 2009.

Ms. Harper was wonderful as Rhoda Morgenstern. Rhoda was one of the best sidekick characters of all time. She won a total of four Emmy Awards for the role. We thank her for the many laughs and entertainment she brought us during our long career. She fought a courageous battle with cancer. She will be deeply missed.

Share your memories on our The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda and The Hogan Family message boards. View photos in our galleries.

MeTV Remembers Valerie Harper

MeTV Network pays tribute to the career of beloved actress Valerie Harper with a special presentation of select episodes from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, airing on MeTV this Sunday, September 8th beginning at 5:00pm ET/PT through 8:00pm ET/PT.

Sunday, September 8, 2019 (All Times are Eastern/Pacific)

5:00pm-5:30pm: The Mary Tyler Moore Show – "Rhoda, The Beautiful"
Rhoda enters a beauty contest but continues to put herself down.

5:30pm-6:00pm: The Mary Tyler Moore Show – "Is a Friend in Need"
Rhoda loses her job, but Mary doesn't tell her about an opening at WJM.

6:00pm-6:30pm: The Mary Tyler Moore Show – "A Girl's Best Mother Is Not Her Friend"
Rhoda's mother visits with the intention of being her daughter's best friend.

6:30pm-7:00pm: The Mary Tyler Moore Show – "Where There's Smoke, There's Rhoda"
Mary and Rhoda are best friends, but can they be roommates too?

7:00pm-7:30pm: Rhoda – "Rhoda's Wedding Part 1"
Rhoda's wedding day has finally arrived and is filled with mishaps.

7:30pm-8:00pm: Rhoda – "Rhoda's Wedding Part 2"
Complications may ruin Rhoda's wedding day.

Antenna TV honored Valerie Harper this past Sunday (September 1) from 1pm-10pm ET with a special marathon of Valerie (aka The Hogan Family). The series airs regularly late Sunday/early Monday at 3am ET/12am PT.

Decades will present a special tribute to Valerie Harper all week beginning Monday, September 9. Stay with us for further updates.


Reef Break

Due to the Democratic Candidates Presidential Debate being extended to three hours on Thursday, Sept. 12, ABC has shifted the finale for summer drama Reef Break to the next night on Friday, Sept. 13 at 9pm (instead of Thurs, Sept. 12 at 10). In the finale, sultry and tough cookie Cat Chambers (Poppy Montgomery) is on the run and fearing for her life and freedom. Hearts are broken and futures are uncertain as Cat faces her toughest case yet - to clear her own name. La La Anthony guest stars as Regina O'Casey in the season finale of ABC's Reef Break, Friday, Sept. 13 from 9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT, on ABC. (TV-PG, SV) Episodes can also be viewed the next day on ABC.com, the ABC app and Hulu.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Monday, July 22

Bob Newhart: A Legacy of Laughter

Bob Newhart: A Legacy of Laughter (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)

CBS announced a new Entertainment Tonight special, Bob Newhart: A Legacy of Laughter, to air Monday, July 22 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on-demand for Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers, or on-demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs)*.

Hosted by Entertainment Tonight’s Nischelle Turner, this one-hour tribute honors the late comedian with a look back at his 70-year career, featuring never-before-seen interviews, and his final interview from his home in Los Angeles. The special takes an in-depth look at his journey from accountant to comedian to Hollywood icon, with rare behind-the-scenes footage of Bob on the set of his sitcoms and feature films, from the Entertainment Tonight vault. Included are new and archival interviews with some of Bob’s closest friends and co-stars, including Jim Parsons, Will Ferrell, Reese Witherspoon, Jason Bateman and Michael Weatherly. The show takes an intimate look inside Bob’s personal life and his marriage to the love of his life, Ginnie, with newly revealed stories about how he changed American culture through comedy.

Bob starred as Chicago psychologist Robert Hartley on the CBS television series The Bob Newhart Show from 1972 to 1978, and then as Vermont innkeeper Dick Loudon on Newhart from 1982 to 1990, also on the Network. He had two other sitcoms on CBS in the 1990s, Bob and George and Leo. Bob played the recurring role of Professor Proton on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory from 2013 to 2018, for which he received his first Primetime Emmy Award.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 22)

Monday, July 22

  • Lamorne Morris (Woke/New Girl) - Lamorne guest hosts Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Sebastian Maniscalco (Bookie) - Watch Sebastian on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Love/Community) - Gillian appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Ryan Reynolds (Two Guys and a Girl) and Hugh Jackman (Human Resources) - Ryan is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. E! News has interviews with Ryan and Hugh at 11pm on E!. They also talk about Deadpool & Wolverine on ABC's Good Morning America some time between 7-9am. Ryan appears on Live with Kelly and Mark, so check your listings.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony stops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Keanu Reeves (Swedish Dicks) - Keanu appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jesse Plemons (No Activity/Bent) - Jesse is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Joe Mantegna (The Simpsons/Soap) and Laci Mosley (iCarly/Single Parents/Florida Girls) - Joe and Laci are guests on a repeat of After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken drops by Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen at 10:01pm on Bravo.
  • Elizabeth Gillies (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll/Victorious) - Elizabeth talks about Spread on CBS Mornings some time between 7-9am.
  • Sutton Foster (Younger) and Michael Urie (Krapopolis/Partners) - Sutton and Michael talk about Once Upon a Mattress on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Rob Delaney (Catastrophe) - Rob talks about Deadpool & Wolverine on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Nat Wolff (The Naked Brothers Band) - Nat and Lucy Hale are telling Drew all about their new rom-com Which Brings Me to You on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.


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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