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-O.

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 on January 30. No cause of death has been announced. 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

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


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

Freeform Spring and Summer 2021 Updates; discovery+ Gets Back to the Future Expedition
03/01 - 78th Golden Globe Winners; Soleil Moon Frye Hulu Documentary Premieres March 12
02/28 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 1, 2021)
02/27 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Paramount+ Sets Bold Plans; No Third Season for Twilight Zone
02/26 - Fri-Yay: CBS's Mom Announces End, Marking Another End of An Era for Sitcoms; Hulu Orders More Shrill and Love, Victor
02/25 - Frasier Revival Coming to Paramount+, While Final Season of Younger to Premiere on Paramount+; The CW Spring 2021 Schedule
02/24 - TBS Comedy Chad Launches April 6; Netflix Drama Raising Dion Adds to Cast
02/23 - Norman Lear Sets Two Series for IMDb TV; Nick Jonas to Pull Double Duty on SNL This Saturday
02/22 - Jamie Foxx Returns with Multi-Camera Sitcom; Mythic Quest Season 2 Launches in May
02/21 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 22, 2021)
02/20 - SitcomsOnline Digest: South Park Plans Second Pandemic Special; Mom Coming to an End After Eight Seasons
02/19 - Fri-Yay: Young Rock Delivers Promise for Sitcom Ratings; The Moodys Returns April 1 on Fox Replacing Call Me Kat
02/18 - CBS Renews 2 Comedies, Cancels Mom and Drama NCIS: New Orleans; Peacock Bulks Up on Original Series
02/17 - Punky Brewster Gets WWE Stars; DuckTales to End with 90-Minute Series Finale
02/16 - NBC Midseason Pilot Review: Young Rock - Premieres Tonight (Feb. 16); TBS Version of Wipeout Premieres April 1
02/15 - Netflix Sitcom The Crew Starring Kevin James Launches; Sex and the City Now Remastered on HBO Max
02/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 15, 2021)
02/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Brooklyn Nine-Nine Coming to an End; Chappelle's Show Returns to Netflix
02/12 - Fri-Yay: Brooklyn Nine-Nine Ending After 8 Seasons; HBO Max Orders Comedy from Issa Rae
02/11 - HBO Max Orders Animated Comedies; Peacock Reunites The Best Man Franchise Into Limited Series
02/10 - NBC Sets March 25 for Superstore Finale; Search Party Renewed for 5th Season
02/09 - COZI TV's The Office Valentine's Day Marathon; HBO Max's Jean Smart Comedy Announces Casting
02/08 - The Jetsons Coming to the MeTV Network; Lana Condor to Star in Netflix Comedy Series
02/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 8, 2021)
02/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: More Guest Hosts Lined Up for Jeopardy; Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Reboot?
02/05 - Fri-Yay: Has the Sitcom Revival Bubble Finally Burst?; NBC Announces Rest of Spring 2021 Schedule
02/04 - 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominees; The CW Renews 12 Dramas for 2021-22
02/03 - New Sitcom Joining AMC Network's Streaming Service; Antenna TV Valentine's Day Marathon and Birthday Celebration Continues
02/02 - New Sonic Series Coming to Netflix; Remembering Dustin Diamond, Hal Holbrook and Sitcom Producer Allan Burns
02/01 - Report: Antenna TV Launching New Secondary Companion Network; Season Premiere of New Amsterdam Premieres March 2 on NBC
01/31 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 1, 2021)
01/30 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Reboots in the Works for The Wonder Years and Kate & Allie; Saturday Night Live Finally Sees Ratings Success After 46 Years