Tuesday, February 02, 2021

New Sonic Series Coming to Netflix; Remembering Dustin Diamond, Hal Holbrook and Sitcom Producer Allan Burns

Sonic Prime

Netflix, SEGA of America, Inc. ("SEGA"), and WildBrain announce a new animated Sonic the Hedgehog series, Sonic Prime, set to premiere worldwide in 2022. The 24-episode animated adventure for kids, families, and long-time fans draws upon the keystones of the brand and features the "Blue Blur" of video game fame in a high-octane adventure where the fate of a strange new multiverse rests in his gloved hands. Sonic's adventure is about more than a race to save the universe, it's a journey of self-discovery and redemption. The series will be animated at WildBrain's Vancouver studio, and SEGA and WildBrain will jointly participate across production, distribution and licensing. Man of Action Entertainment, creators of Ben 10 and the characters and team in the Academy Award-winning feature Big Hero 6, have been brought on as showrunners and Executive Producers for the series.


Dustin Diamond

Actor Dustin Diamond, who was best known for his role as Samuel "Screech" Powers throughout the Saved by the Bell franchise, has died. He died on February 1 in Florida from small-cell lung carcinoma. He had been diagnosed with the disease in early January. Mr. Diamond was only 44.

Good Morning, Miss Bliss

Diamond first played the role of Samuel "Screech" Powers in the 1988-1989 Disney Channel sitcom Good Morning, Miss Bliss. It aired for one season and 13 episodes. The series focuses on the life of junior high school teacher Miss Carrie Bliss (Hayley Mills) at John F. Kennedy Junior High in Indianapolis. Samuel "Screech" Powers was an awkward nerd with a crush on Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies). It also starred Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Max Battimo, Heather Hopper, T.K. Carter, Joan Ryan and Dennis Haskins.

Saved by the Bell

Good Morning, Miss Bliss was retooled as Saved by the Bell. It premiered on August 20, 1989, and aired on Saturday mornings on NBC. The reformatted series follows a group of high school friends and their principal at the fictional Bayside High School in Los Angeles. It ran for four seasons and 86 episodes. The cast included Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley, Lark Voorhies, Leanna Creel (1992-1993) and Dennis Haskins.

Saved by the Bell: The College Years

NBC aired the spin-off series Saved by the Bell: The College Years starting on May 22, 1993. It aired in primetime for one season and 19 episodes from 1993 to 1994. The series revolves around the six characters getting into trouble each week at the fictitious California University (Cal U), under the watchful eye of Mike Rogers (Bob Golic), their resident adviser. The cast included Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Mario Lopez, Anne Tremko, Kiersten Warren, Patrick Fabian and Holland Taylor (1994).

After the cancellation of Saved by the Bell: The College Years, Diamond continued to play the role of Screech in Saved by the Bell: The New Class starting in the second season. The series follows a new group of students at Bayside High School. Screech returns to Bayside High initially on a work-study program, and later as Mr. Belding's assistant. It ran for 7 seasons and 143 episodes on NBC. He appeared in 67 episodes.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included It's a Living, The Wonder Years (2 episodes), The Munsters Today, Getting By, Hang Time (2 episodes) and Off Centre.

Diamond later did stand up comedy. He appeared on Weakest Link in 2001, Celebrity Boxing 2 in 2002, Celebrity Fit Club in 2007-2008 and Celebrity Big Brother in 2013. In 2009, he published an inside story of the show's cast and crew, from his point of view, titled Behind the Bell. He was an executive producer for the TV movie The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story, which aired on Lifetime on September 1, 2014.

Mr. Diamond did a great job of playing the funny and memorable role of Screech. He appeared as Screech for nearly 13 years across 12 seasons of the Saved by the Bell franchise. We thank him for the laughs and entertainment he brought us. He will be greatly missed.

Share your memories on our Saved by the Bell message board. View photos in our galleries.


Hal Holbrook

Emmy-winning actor Hal Holbrook, who starred as Evan Evans in Evening Shade, has died. He died on January 23 at his home in Beverly Hills, California. Mr. Holbrook was 95.

Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook

Holbrook had a recurring role as Reese Watson in nine episodes of the CBS sitcom Designing Women from 1986 to 1989. Reese Watson was a widowed and successful Atlanta attorney who was Julia Sugarbaker's (Dixie Carter) love interest. Holbrook was married in real life to Dixie Carter from 1984 until her death in 2010.

Evening Shade

He starred as Evan Evans in the 1990-1994 CBS sitcom Evening Shade. Evan Evans was the father of Ava Evans Newton (Marilu Henner). He was the publisher of the local newspaper, The Evening Shade Argus. The series also starred Burt Reynolds, Ossie Davis, Charles Durning, Elizabeth Asheley, Michael Jeter, Jay R. Ferguson, Melissa Martin (1990-1991), Candace Hutson (1991-1994), Jacob Parker, Charlie Dell and Ann Wedgeworth.

Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included Becker, Good Morning Miami and Hope & Faith.

Holbrook starred as Sen. Hayes Stowe in the 1970-1971 NBC political drama The Bold Ones: The Senator. He won an Emmy Award for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series for the role. He had a recurring role as James Dempsey in the NBC series The Event from 2010 to 2011. Some of his other television credits included The Brighter Day, The Name of the Game, The Outer Limits (2000), Family Law, The West Wing, The Sopranos, NCIS, ER, Sons of Anarchy, Bones, Grey's Anatomy and Hawaii Five-0.

He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Ron Franz in Into the Wild (2007). Some of his other film credits included All the President's Men (1971), Julia (1977), The Fog (1980), Creepshow (1982), Wall Street (1987), The Firm (1993), Hercules (1997) and Men of Honor (2000).

He was interviewed for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television on July 11, 2017.

Mr. Holbrook was a wonderful actor who won Emmys five times. He had so many incredible roles during his long career. He will be deeply missed.

Share your memories on our Evening Shade message board. View photos in our galleries.


Allan Burns

Emmy-winning screnwriter and producer Allan Burns, who was the co-creator of The Munsters, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, has died. He died at his home in Los Angeles, California, on January 30 from Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia. Mr. Burns was 85.

Burns and Chris Hayward created The Munsters, which aired for 2 seasons on CBS from 1964 to 1966. The series starred Fred Gwynne, Yvonne DeCarlo, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick, Beverly Owen (1964) and Pat Priest.

They later created the short-lived 1965-1966 NBC sitcom My Mother the Car. He wrote six episodes of the series. The series starred Jerry Van Dyke, Ann Sothern (voice), Maggie Pierce, Cindy Eilbacher, Randy Whipple and Avery Schreiber.

Burns and James L. Brooks created The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970. The popular CBS sitcom ran for 7 seasons and 168 episodes from 1970 to 1977. Burns and Brooks won Emmys for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 1971 and 1977. The Mary Tyler Moore Show won for Outstanding Comedy Series three years in a row in 1975, 1976 and 1977. Burns wrote eight episodes of the series. The cast included Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight, Valerie Harper (1970-1974), Cloris Leachman (1970-1975), Georgia Engel (1972-1977) and Betty White (1973-1977).

Burns and Brooks created the spin-off series Rhoda. The CBS sitcom ran for five seasons and 110 episodes from 1974 to 1978. The cast included Valerie Harper, Julie Kavner, David Groh (seasons 1-3), Nancy Walker (seasons 1-2, 4-5), Harold Gould (seasons 1-2, 4-5), Ron Silver (seasons 3-4), Ray Buktenica (seasons 3-5), Kennth McMillan (seasons 4-5) and Lorenzo Music (voice only).

He won his first Emmy in 1968 for his work on the CBS sitcom He & She. He wrote 10 episodes of the series from 1967 to 1968. Some of his other sitcom writing credits included Get Smart (11 episodes), Love, American Style (2 episodes), Room 222 (4 episodes), Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers (co-created with James L. Brooks), Rhoda, The Duck Factory, Eisenhower and Lutz (also the creator and directed one episode), FM (also the creator) and Cutters.

His producing credits included Room 222, Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers, Rhoda, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the Duck Factory, Eisenhower and Lutz, FM and Cutters.

Some of his other television writing credits included The Bullwinkle Show, Dudley Do-Right and George of the Jungle. Burns, Brooks and Gene Reynolds created the 1977-1982 CBS drama Lou Grant. He worked as an executive producer on the series from 1977 to 1978.

He was interviewed for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television on February 18, 2004.

Mr. Burns was a six-time Emmy winner. We thank him for his work on many classic sitcoms such as The Munsters, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda. He will be greatly missed.


Jamie Tarses

Television producer and executive Jamie Tarses, who was the president of ABC Entertainment from 1996 to 1999, has died. She died on February 1 in Los Angeles, from complications from a stroke she had suffered in the fall of 2020. Ms. Tarses was 56.

Tarses worked as a casting director for Perfect Strangers from 1987 to 1988. She helped develop Friends, Mad About You, Frasier, NewsRadio and Caroline in the City while working at NBC.

She was the president of ABC Entertainment from 1996 to 1999, the first woman and one of the youngest people to hold such a post in an American broadcast network.

Tarses was co-producer of the 2006-2010 TBS sitcom My Boys. Some of her other sitcom producing credits included Mad Love, Mr. Sunshine, Happy Endings, Men at Work, Marry Me, Your Family or Mine, The Mayor and Champaign ILL.

Ms. Tarses helped develop and produce many sitcoms during her career. We thank her for the sitcoms she brought us. She will be deeply missed.


Marc Wilmore

Television writer, producer, actor, and comedian Marc Wilmore, who worked on The PJs, The Simpsons and F Is for Family, has died. He died on January 30 from COVID-19 complications. Mr. Wilmore was 57.

Wilmore provided the voice of Walter Burkett for the 1999-2001 Fox/WB animated sitcom The PJs. He also wrote two episodes and worked as an executive story editor for 41 episodes.

Some of his other voice acting credits included The Simpsons and F Is for Family. He appeared in a 2000 episode of Manhattan, AZ.

Some of his other writing credits included Harry and the Hendersons, The Simpsons (12 episodes) and F Is for Family (3 episodes). He worked as an executive producer on The Simpsons and F Is for Family.

He was a regular cast member of the sketch comedy series In Living Color for the show's final season. He also worked on the series as a writer for 54 episodes from 1992 to 1994.

Mr. Wilmore was an Emmy winner in 2008 for his work on The Simpsons and a 10-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee. He was the brother of comedian Larry Wilmore. We thank him for his work on many television series. He will be greatly missed.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Wednesday, February 28

The Conners - "Shrinks Don't Talk and Kids Don't Sing" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mark adjusts to his first day of college as a commuter student; meanwhile, Becky gets into a disagreement with Beverly Rose’s music teacher over a song.

Not Dead Yet - "Not Polite Yet" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Lexi combines the first two floors of the newsroom, leaving Nell to share a cubicle with T.J., a popular sportswriter who’s friends with everyone … except her.

Abbott Elementary - "Breakup" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Barbara’s church choir uses the gym for rehearsals, Ava notices tensions in the group. Jacob’s eagerness for a full social calendar worries Gregory. Melissa and Janine investigate a new substitute.

That Girl Lay Lay - "Lay Lay Goes Away-Way" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Needing a best friend to talk to, Sadie wishes that phone avatar Lay Lay was real and could help teach her how to stand out; when Lay Lay is magically brought to life, the two friends learn that when they are together, they can accomplish anything.

That Girl Lay Lay - "Out the App 2: E-Lay-Lay-tric Boogaloo" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Needing a best friend to talk to, Sadie wishes that phone avatar Lay Lay was real and could help teach her how to stand out; when Lay Lay is magically brought to life, the two friends learn that when they are together, they can accomplish anything.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 26)

Wednesday, February 28

  • Bob Odenkirk (The Larry Sanders Show) - Watch Bob on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Carrie Preston (Crowded/Happyish/Emeril) - Carrie is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She talks about Elsbeth on CBS Mornings some time between 7-9am.
  • Austin Butler (Ruby & the Rockits/Zoey 101/Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide) - Austin appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenny Slate (The Great North/Big Mouth/Married/Bob's Burgers) - Jenny is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Fred Armisen (Los Espookys/Forever/Final Space) - Fred sits in with The 8G Band on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Fortune Feimster (Kenan/Bless the Harts/Champions) and Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Fortune and Tig are guests on After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Son of Zorn/Suburgatory) and Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Broad City/Baby Boom) - Cheryl and Susie are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 10pm on Bravo
  • Zendaya (K.C. Undercover/Shake It Up) - E! News has an interview with Zendaya at 11pm on E!.
  • Alan Cumming (Schmigadoon!) - Alan is joining Drew and Ross Mathews at the Drew'ss News desk to discuss headlines like the Romy and Michele's High School Reunion sequel in the works and the American alternative to the Irish exit on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kim Fields (The Upshaws/Living Single/The Facts of Life/Baby, I'm Back) - Kim discusses her wellness retreat and the upcoming new season of Netflix's The Upshaws on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Vivica A. Fox (Mr. Box Office/Getting Personal/Arsenio/Out All Night) and Michael Beach (The Game) - The cast of Soul Food reunite and discuss Hulu's new Black Stories Always on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.
  • Diane Farr (Splitting Together/Like Family/The Job) - Diane discusses the CBS drama series Fire Country on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.


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


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

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02/26 - Hulu Orders Chad Powers Starring Glen Powell; Netflix's Mindy Kaling Produced Comedy Rounds Out Cast
02/25 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 26, 2024)
02/24 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Frasier Reboot Gets Second Season; Jimmy Kimmel Hints at End of Talk Show
02/23 - Paramount+ Renews Frasier for Season 2; Netflix Orders Series from Maid Showrunner
02/22 - 30th SAG Awards Presenters Announced; Jay Pharoah Heads to Fox
02/21 - SNL Loads Up for Next 3 Weeks; Tig Notaro Prime Video Special
02/20 - Brittany Snow to Star Opposite Malin Akerman in Starz Series; Dennis Quaid Joining Paramount+
02/19 - Rewind TV's 227 on 2/27 Marathon; Dolly Parton's Pet Gala with Special Guests
02/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 19, 2024)
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02/16 - TCA Winter 2024 Press Tour: The CW; Girls5eva Season 3 Premieres March 14
02/15 - TCA Winter 2024 Press Tour: Peacock, Syfy and NBC
02/14 - Survival of the Thickest Gets 2nd Season; Roma Downey and Ted McGinley Set to Star on Prime Video
02/13 - Netflix Announces Adam Sandler Special; Tyler Perry Gets Another Series
02/12 - TCA Winter 2024 Press Tour: ABC, Disney, Hulu, FX
02/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 12, 2024)
02/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: FX Sticking with Binge Drop for The Bear; Peak TV Declared to Be "Over"
02/09 - More Stars for Netflix's No Good Deed; ID Premiering Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV; Remembering Carl Weathers
02/08 - Apple TV+ Comedy Series Palm Royale Has Star Power; Katt Williams Gets New Netflix Comedy Special
02/07 - Hallmark Movies & Mysteries to Rebrand as Hallmark Mystery; Fox Renews Animal Control for Season 3 Ahead of Season 2 Launch
02/06 - COZI TV's The Many Loves of Frasier Crane Marathon; Netflix Announces Cast for Ted Danson Comedy
02/05 - Lopez vs Lopez Airing in April on NBC; Apple TV+ New Peanuts Special on February 16
02/04 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 5, 2024)
02/03 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Curb Your Enthusiasm Really Ending After 12 Seasons; Season Two Premiere Date Set for Lopez vs Lopez
02/02 - Extraordinary Season 2 This March on Hulu; Great American Family Sets Hosts for Gala
02/01 - Colin from Accounts Returning to Paramount+; Weakest Link Days of Our Lives Special
01/31 - Hulu Black History Month Includes Timeless Classics; BUZZR Celebrates Black History Month, Too
01/30 - Good Times 50th Anniversary Marathons on get.; Password Returns for Season 2 on NBC
01/29 - Antenna TV's I Wish for an I Dream of Jeannie Valentine's Day Marathon; Malin Akerman Headlining Starz Drama
01/28 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 29, 2024)
01/27 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Jon Stewart Set to Return to The Daily Show Once a Week; Ted McGinley to Star in Prime Video Series