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

Friday, July 30

Bunk'd - "Moose Queens and Possum Kings" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Destiny needs someone old enough to enter the Summer Moose Queen Pageant, she enlists Parker and Ava for help.

Gabby Duran & the Unsittables - "A Song of Gabby & Susie" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Gabby teams up with her bitter rival, Susie, to masquerade as best friends to win a contest to meet her favorite book author.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 26)

Friday, July 30

  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Watch Chelsea on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Molly Ringwald (The Facts of Life/Townies) - Molly talks about The Kissing Booth 3 on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney chats about Touch Me with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Dove Cameron (Schmigadoon!/Liv and Maddie) - Dove appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jay Pharoah (White Famous/Champaign ILL) - Jay talks about his role in the new Netflix series Resort to Love on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Don Johnson (Kenan) - Don appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Nicole Byer (Loosely Exactly Nicole) - Nicole is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Julie Andrews (Julie) - Julie appears on a repeat of The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael appears on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen is a guest on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tia Mowry (Family Reunion/Instant Mom/The Game/Sister, Sister) - Tia whips up the perfect breakfast for kids, overnight oats in the shape of Elmo, on a repeat of Access Daily, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March-July)

Fuller House - The Complete Series Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Re-Release) Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Re-Release)

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)
04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series
05/11 - Dead to Me - Season Two
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 Re-Release)
07/27 - Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Re-Release)
08/03 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

07/29 - Sarah Silverman Hosting David Letterman Produced TBS Series; More Stars Joining And Just Like That...
07/28 - Game Show Network Announces New Original Series; Retta Hosting New HGTV Show
07/27 - Fox Fall 2021 Premiere Dates; B.J. Novak's The Premise to Premiere on FX on Hulu
07/26 - Damon Wayans Jr. to Host Frogger; Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens Getting All-Star Guests
07/25 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 26, 2021)
07/24 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Manifest Cancellation Being Reconsidered; American Housewife Sold for Broadcast Syndication
07/23 - Fri-Yay: 2021 Emmy Nominations Heavy on New Comedies, Light on Traditional Sitcoms; That Damn Michael Che Gets a Second Season
07/22 - Lifetime Announces Justina Machado TV Movie; ABC News to Focus on Superstars
07/21 - HBO Max's Love Life Season 2 Announces Cast; Kevin Hart and Jason Biggs Host Back-to-Back Shows on E!
07/20 - Peacock's Superfan Episodes of The Office; The Other Two Season 2 Launch Date on New Network HBO Max
07/19 - Melrose Place Reunion on Fox's New Fantasy Island; Tacoma FD Returns Sept. 16 on truTV
07/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 19, 2021)
07/17 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Jerry O'Connell Joins the Conversation on The Talk; Norman Lear Sitcoms Arrive on Amazon Prime Video and IMDb TV
07/16 - ABC Fall 2021 Premiere Dates Includes The Wonder Years; Paramount+ Renews iCarly
07/15 - Norman Lear Classics to Stream on Amazon Prime Video and IMDb TV; Cristela Alonzo to Host Hidden Temple on The CW
07/14 - 73rd Emmy Awards Nominations; Showtime Orders Vanessa Bayer and Molly Shannon Comedy
07/13 - Emmy Awards Slated for Sep. 19, CBS Fall Premiere Dates; Remembering Charlie Robinson - Mac from Night Court
07/12 - Huge Star Joining Season 5 of Search Party on HBO Max; Late Night Talk Show Pause with Sam Jay to Return
07/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 12, 2021)
07/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Casting News for Night Court Reboot; Rutherford Falls Renewed for Second Season
07/09 - Fri-Yay: CNN's History of the Sitcom Looks Like a Treat for Sitcom Fans; Rutherford Falls Renewed for 2nd Season; Remembering Suzzanne Douglas of The Parent 'Hood
07/08 - COZI TV Acquires 3rd Rock from the Sun and Quincy, M.E. This Summer; The Standups to Return to Netflix After Long Hiatus
07/07 - AnTENna TV's Birthday Party Continues on July 10; HBO Max's Our Flag Means Death Adds More to Cast
07/06 - Netflix Cancels 4 Sitcoms Including Kevin James Series; HBO Max's Pretty Little Liars Casts Two Leads
07/05 - Happy 4th of July; Limited Edition Younger Vinyl Soundtrack Coming July 16; Seinfeld Soundtrack Released
07/04 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 5, 2021)
07/03 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Cancels Several Sitcoms; Telma Hopkins Cast in NBC Dark Dramedy Pilot
07/02 - Fri-Yay: Modern Family is a Perfect Holiday Weekend Binge; Spike Lee to Open NBA Finals
07/01 - The Simpsons and Marvel Join Forces on Disney+; Netflix Orders Catherine Tate Comedy Series
06/30 - Two Season 2 Premieres This August: Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens on Aug. 18; Work in Progress on Aug. 22
06/29 - HBO Max Picks Up Season 2 of Made for Love; Discovery Is Growing with Jim Belushi