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, March 3

The Goldbergs - "Mr. Ships Ahoy" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As William Penn’s new Quaker Warden, Beverly is thrilled to have co-workers for the first time and sets out to make them all love her. To her dismay, it’s more difficult to win them over than she anticipated, as her reputation of being a difficult school parent precedes her. Meanwhile, Geoff competes in the “Mr. Ships Ahoy” beauty pageant to prove to Erica that he can be seen as desirable by other women.

American Housewife - "The Guardian" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie and Greg secretly put Kathryn (Wendie Malick) through a series of tests to see if she would make a good guardian for Anna-Kat in the unlikely event something should happen to them. Meanwhile, after tracking down J.D.’s (Jake Choi) potential egg donors, Tami (Holly Robinson Peete) and Katie scheme to learn more about them.

The Conners - "A Stomach Ache, a Heartbreak and a Grave Mistake" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Mark is stressed out and feeling sick, convinced he has COVID-19. Meanwhile, Becky and Harris team up to confront Josh who has been “ghosting” Harris; and when Jackie visits Roseanne’s grave, she finds an appalling headstone right next to it and sets out to make it right.

Call Your Mother - "Feelings" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jean and Danny’s relationship grows complicated emotionally and physically as they try to resist their feelings for one another until his divorce is final. As Celia is moving into Freddie’s apartment, Freddie is disappointed to learn that Celia plans to keep her place as a backup plan, causing some hard conversations between the two.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 1)

Wednesday, March 3

  • Ben Schwartz (Space Force/Parks and Recreation) - Watch Ben on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. He will also be on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Annaleigh Ashford (B Positive) - Annaleigh appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 3:30am on Bravo.
  • Kyra Sedgwick (Call Your Mother) - Kyra is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Arsenio Hall (Arsenio) - Arsenio talks about Coming 2 America on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) and Dax Shepard (Bless This Mess) - Kristen and Dax are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jermaine Fowler (Superior Donuts) - Jermaine will be on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Awkwafina (Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens) - Awkwafina appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Hillary Duff (Younger/Lizzie McGuire) - Hillary talks about My Brave Little Girl on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.


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

The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Schitt's Creek - The Complete Collection Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series

10/13 - The Jetsons - The Complete Series (Diamond Collection)
10/13 - Our Cartoon President - Season Two
10/23 - Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - The Complete Collection
10/27 - The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
10/27 - Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
11/10 - Letterkenny - Seasons 5 & 6
11/10 - The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
11/10 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Collection
11/17 - Carol's Second Act - The Complete Series
11/17 - Robbie - Season 1
11/24 - Corporate - Season 1
11/26 - Man with a Plan - Season Four
12/01 - The Neighborhood - Season Two
12/15 - Avenue 5 - The Complete First Season
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)

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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