Monday, January 25, 2021

New Walker, Texas Ranger Scores Big for The CW; Remembering Gregory Sierra of Sanford and Son and Barney Miller, Broadcasting Legend Larry King

Walker

Walker, Texas Ranger is back and still drawing an audience! The CW's new drama Walker scored the network's largest audience for a new series premiere (prelim 2.43 million) since the debut of DC's Legends of Tomorrow five years ago (1/21/2016). Additionally, Walker earned the largest audience for any premiere on The CW since the fourth season debut of The Flash on 10/10/17. Thursday night's Walker debut saw The CW best total viewer delivery in the Thursday 8:00-9:00pm time period since just over four years (since 12/01/2016), and the single most watched episode of any show on the network since 1/30/18 - almost 3 years ago. Walker saw its total audience remain stewdy in the 8:30pm half hour (2.444 million v. 2.417 million) and retained 100% of its viewership in key demos from 8:00pm to 8:30pm. Walker outdelivered NBC's Superstore head-to-head in total viewers and tied the series with a 0.4 Adults 18-49 rating.

Walker, a reimagining of the long-running series Walker, Texas Ranger, stars Jared Padalecki (Supernatural) as Cordell Walker, a widower and father of two with his own moral code, who returns home to Austin after being undercover for two years, only to discover there's harder work to be done at home. He'll attempt to reconnect with his creative and thoughtful son (Kale Culley, Me, Myself and I) and his headstrong, somewhat rebellious teenaged daughter (Violet Brinson, Sharp Objects) and navigate clashes with his family - an ADA brother (Keegan Allen, Pretty Little Liars) who stepped in during Walker's absence, his perceptive mother (Molly Hagen, Herman's Head) and his traditional rancher father (Mitch Pileggi, The X-Files). Walker's former colleague is now his Ranger Captain, (Coby Bell, The Game). Walker finds unexpected common ground with his new partner (one of the first women in Texas Rangers' history) played by Lindsey Morgan (The 100), while growing increasingly suspicious about the circumstances surrounding his wife's death. The show also stars Jeff Pierre as Trey Barnett.


Gregory Sierra

Actor Gregory Sierra, who was known for his roles as Julio Fuentes in Sanford and Son and as Detective Sergeant Chano Amengual in Barney Miller, has died. He died after a long battle with cancer on January 4 in Laguna Woods, California. Mr. Sierra was 83.

Sierra guest starred as Paul Benjamin, a Jewish radical working to stop antisemitism in the neighborhood, in an unusually dramatic episode of All in the Family titled "Archie Is Branded" in 1973. His other early sitcom guest appearances included The Flying Nun (4 episodes), The Bill Cosby Show and Dusty's Trail.

Some of his early drama guest appearances included It Takes a Thief, Medical Center, The High Chapparal, Mod Squad, Alias Smith and Jones, Mission: Impossible (3 episodes), The Waltons, Ironside, Banacek, The Streets of San Francisco, Kung Fu, Hawaii Five-O, McCloud and Gunsmoke (3 episodes).

Sanford and Son - Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson and Gregory Sierra

He had a recurring role as Julio Fuentes, the Puerto Rican neighbor of Fred G. Sanford (Redd Foxx) who befriends Lamont (Demond Wilson), in 12 episodes of the NBC sitcom Sanford and Son from 1972 to 1975. Fred often makes insulting ethnic jokes about Julio and openly wishes he would return to Puerto Rico, despite the fact that Julio is originally from New York City.

Barney Miller

Sierra starred as Detective Sergeant Chano Amengual in the first two seasons of the ABC sitcom Barney Miller from 1975 to 1976. Chano is a dauntless, beleaguered Puerto Rican detective, who is very emotionally attached to his job; as such, he has a habit of getting worked up when things go awry and, when this happens, he tends to explode in rapid Spanish should it happen. No explanation was given for his character's absence at the start of season three. The ensemble cast included Hal Linden, Max Gail, Ron Glass, James Gregory, Abe Vigoda, Jack Soo, Barbara Barrie, Steve Landesberg and Ron Carey.

He starred as Dr. Tony Menzies in the short-lived 1978 ABC sitcom A.E.S. Hudson Street. Dr. Menzies was the harried chief resident of the run-down Adult Emergency Service (A.E.S.) hospital on Hudson Street, on the lower west side of Manhattan. The series also starred Rosanna DeSoto, Stefan Gierasch, Susan Peretz, Ralph Manza, Ray Stewart, Bill Cort and Allan Miller.

Sierra had a recurring role as Carlos "El Puerco" Valdez in 12 episodes of the fourth and final season of the ABC sitcom Soap from 1980 to 1981. El Puerco was an anti-communist revolutionary who initially kidnaps Jessica Tate (Katherine Helmond), but later falls in love with her.

He appeared as Commandante Paco Pico in the short-lived 1983 sitcom Zorro and Son. The Western sitcom also starred Henry Darrow, Paul Regina, Richard Beauchamp, Bill Dana, Barney Martin, John Moschitta, Catherine Parks and Pete Leal.

Sierra starred as Luis Alvarez, the barber father of John Alvarez (Greg Giraldo), in the short-lived 1996 ABC sitcom Common Law. The series also starred Megyn Price, David Pasquesi, Carlos Scott and Diana-Maria Riva.

Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included It's a Living, Gloria, You Again?, The Munsters Today, Growing Pains, City, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Golden Palace, Nurses, Kirk and Ellen.

He appeared as Lieutenant Lou Rodriguez, Sonny Crockett's (Don Johnson) boss, in four episodes of the NBC police drama Miami Vice in 1984. He starred as Liutenant Victor Maldonado in the short-lived 1988 NBC science fiction series Something Is Out There.

Sierra's later drama guest appearances included Hill Street Blues (4 episodes), Hart to Hart, Simon and Simon, Airwolf, Cagney & Lacey, Falcon Crest, Magnum, P.I, MacGyver, The X-Files, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (2 episodes), Murder, She Wrote (6 episodes) and Walker, Texas Ranger.

Some of his film credits included Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1972), Papillon (1973), The Towering Inferno (1974), The Prisoner of Zenda (1979), The Trouble with Spies (1987), Deep Cover (1992), Honey I Blew Up the Kid (1992), Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993) and Vampires (1998).

Mr. Sierra was a talented and versatile character actor. He was very funny and memorable in his roles in Sanford and Son and Barney Miller. He will be greatly missed.

Share your memories on our Sanford and Son and Barney Miller message boards. View photos in our galleries.

Larry King

Television and radio host Larry King, who hosted Larry King Live on CNN for 25 years, has died. He died on January 23 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He had had been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19. Mr. King was 87.

King was a WMBM radio interviewer in the Miami area in the 1950s and 1960s. He gained prominence beginning in 1978 as host of The Larry King Show, an all-night nationwide call-in radio program heard on the Mutual Broadcasting System.

He started hosting the CNN nightly interview television program Larry King Live on June 3, 1985. The program ran for 20 seasons and over 6,000 episodes until it ended on December 16, 2010. It became the longest-running television show hosted by the same person, on the same network and in the same time slot. He won a Peabody Award in 1992, an Emmy in 1999 and ten Cable ACE Awards for Best Interviewer and for Best Talk Show Series. He later hosted Larry King Now on Ora TV, Hulu and RT America from 2012 to 2020.

Larry King and Tracy Morgan - 30 Rock

King made many television guest appearances, in which he usually played himself. Some of his sitcom guest appearances included The Larry Sanders Show, Coach, Bonnie, Murphy Brown (2 episodes), Spin City, Frasier, Arli$$, Fat Actress, 30 Rock and 1600 Penn. He provided his voice in two episodes of The Simpsons and two episodes of Gravity Falls. He played himself in episodes of Law & Order: Trial by Jury in 2005, Law & Order: Criminal Intent in 2006 and The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story in 2016.

His film credits included Ghostbusters (1984) and Enemy of the State (1998). He voiced Bee Larry King in the 2007 computer-animated comedy film Bee Movie.

He was interviewed for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television. The three-part interview was conducted on October 29, December 2, 2009 and February 16, 2010.

Mr. King was a true broadcasting legend. He conducted over 50,000 interviews during his illustrious career. He will be deeply missed.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, October 20

The Goldbergs - "An Itch Like No Other" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
With Beverly’s encouragement, Mr. Glascott moves in next door to the Goldbergs and slowly goes from friendly neighbor to cluelessly intrusive. Adam and Murray become increasingly disgruntled while Beverly comes up with a plan to occupy Mr. Glascott’s time with a new friend, Mr. Woodburn. Meanwhile, Barry lands in urgent care with a case of poison ivy in a compromising area – his rear end. Erica and Geoff are called to task to take care of Barry and his ridiculous demands – inadvertently testing their parenting skills and patience with one another.

The Wonder Years - "The Lock In" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Dean is reluctant to attend the annual church lock-in until Kim tells him it’s where she got her first kiss. He enlists his friends to help him pair up with Keisa, but his plans are thwarted when he instead gets paired up with the pastor’s daughter, Charlene.

The Conners - "Trucking Live in Front of a Fully Vaccinated Studio Audience -- East Coast" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Lights, Camera, Action: “The Conners” is going live for both the East and West Coast broadcasts of the season four premiere episode. This iconic TV family continues to deal with the current pandemic while navigating breakups and newfound sobriety, all while planning an upcoming wedding.

Home Economics - "Giant Jenga, $120" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Tom spirals when Connor dates a woman who broke his heart at summer camp. Then, family game night becomes an all-or-nothing competition between Marina and Denise.

Superstar - "Robin Williams" (ABC, 10:00PM ET/PT)
The new episode recounts his life through Robin Williams’ own voice, describing “the spark of madness” which defined his life. From his early days in the San Francisco Bay Area comedy scene to his meteoric rise on “Mork & Mindy,” the one-hour special explores the experiences that made Williams into a one-of-a-kind talent and reveals what gave voice to the characters in his mind. It also chronicles the creative force driving critically acclaimed films like “Good Will Hunting” and “Dead Poets Society,” as well as fan favorites such as “Aladdin.” The special explores his personal struggles, including substance abuse and depression, and his battle with Lewy Body Dementia before his tragic death in 2014. “Superstar: Robin Williams” features interviews with famous comedians and actors who knew and admired Williams, including Margaret Cho, Howie Mandel, Lewis Black, Jimmie Walker, Paula Poundstone, Gina Hecht and Pauly Shore, as well as Barry Levinson, director of multiple films starring Williams including “Good Morning, Vietnam.” The program also contains interviews with Williams from the ABC News archives, in which he opens up about his life and the highs and lows of his distinguished career.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 18)

Wednesday, October 20

  • Rami Malek (The War at Home) - Watch Rami on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Issa Rae (Insecure) - Issa appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Hearts Afire) - Billy Bob is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jamie Foxx (Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!/The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick is a guest on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Leah Remini (Kevin Can Wait/The Exes/Family Tools/The King of Queens/Fired Up) - Leah guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace/Ned & Stacey) - Debra talks about her latest project: how self-care can change the world on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Ron Howard (Arrested Development/Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) and Clint Howard (Gung Ho) - Ron and Clint discuss their new book, The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family, on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Amy Sedaris (No Activity/BoJack Horseman/Strangers with Candy) - It's a TV exclusive with sister and brother duo Amy and David Sedaris appearing together for the first time on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) - Jeremy talks about FBI on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • David Eigenberg (Sex and the City) - David talks about NBC's Chicago Fire on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick talks about Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June-October)

Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)

06/08 - The Critic - The Complete Series
06/08 - Fuller House - The Fifth and Final Season
06/08 - Fuller House - The Complete Series
06/08 - Our Cartoon President - Season 3
06/15 - The Office - Season 1 (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
06/15 - Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/07 - No Activity - Season 2
07/13 - The Unicorn - Season 2
07/20 - Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season
07/27 - Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - The Neighborhood - Season Three
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Deluxe Edition (100 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Standard Edition (50 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/24 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season 2
09/07 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
10/19 - Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

10/20 - Fox Announces Special Post NFL January Premieres; TBS Comedy Wipeout Returns in January for Season 2
10/19 - One Final Family Reunion on Netflix; Apple TV+ Announces Premiere Date for Harriet the Spy
10/18 - GAC Family Acquires Classic Sony Sitcoms; Remembering Betty Lynn from The Andy Griffith Show
10/17 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 18, 2021)
10/16 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Could a Looming Strike Shut Down TV Production?; GAC Family Acquires Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Silver Spoons, and More
10/15 - Dickinson Final Season Date Announced; Superstar: Robin Williams to Air Next Week (Oct. 20)
10/14 - Antenna TV's Bewitched 24-Hour Halloween Marathon; Rewind TV's Sabrina Witch-O-Ween Marathon
10/13 - Head of the Class Reboot Premieres Nov. 4, Guest Stars Robin Givens; The Bear Coming to FX
10/12 - CBS Picks Up First 2 New Series for Full Seasons; On My Block Spinoff Series Cast Set
10/11 - Netflix Orders That '90s Show Featuring Red and Kitty; Nash Bridges Movie Premieres Nov. 27 on USA Network
10/10 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 11, 2021)
10/09 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Orders That '70s Show Spinoff Featuring Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith; Nash Bridges Revival Movie Premiere Date Set
10/08 - Fri-Yay: CBS’s Ghosts Is the Most Interesting New Comedy of the Year; Insecure to Hold Festival for Final Season
10/07 - Mini Desperate Housewives Reunion on Hallmark Christmas Movie; The Kids Tonight Show Premieres Oct. 14
10/06 - And Just Like That... We Get a Premiere Date; The CW Holiday Specials Schedule
10/05 - New Peanuts Holiday Special on Apple TV+, PBS to Air Classic Holiday Specials; COZI TV Acquires Heartland
10/04 - Disney Channel Orders Season 5 of Raven's Home; Freeform Picks Up Phoebe Robinson Comedy
10/03 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 4, 2021)
10/02 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 11 Premiere Date Set; Lori Loughlin Returns to TV Role
10/01 - Fri-Yay: The Fall 2021 Sitcom Line-up Is Pretty Bare; Bounce Renews Johnson for Season 2
09/30 - It's a Wonderful Lifetime Expands with 35 New Movies; Hulu & Lifetime Acquire Castle
09/29 - Curb Your Enthusiasm Returns Yet Again; Archer Returning for Lucky Season 13 on FXX
09/28 - Nick at Nite Acquires Mike & Molly; NBC Orders Night Court to Series
09/27 - MeTV Network Halloween Schedule; HBO Max Renews The Other Two for Third Season
09/26 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 27, 2021)
09/25 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Night Court Reboot Gets Series Order; Season Premiere Date Set for The Orville
09/24 - Fri-Yay: Ted Lasso Wins Big at The Emmys; CBS Expands Ghosts Premiere to One-Hour; Remembering Willie Garson of Sex and the City, Director Jay Sandrich
09/23 - TBS, TNT and truTV Launch Fall-O-Ween, a Programming Block of Halloween Classics; HBO Max Comedy from Mindy Kaling Debuts November 18
09/22 - Paramount+ Renews Rugrats for 2nd Season; Eva Longoria Producing Disney Sci-Fi Comedy
09/21 - Family Guy, King of the Hill, The Cleveland Show and Futurama Joining FXX; HBO Max's Ten Year Old Tom Details
09/20 - 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards Winners; Turner Celebrates Latinx Heritage Month with George Lopez, Tacoma FD and More