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

Wednesday, February 1

Abbott Elementary - "Holiday Hookah" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
On the last day of school before winter break, Janine is convinced by her friend to go to a popular Hookah Club where she runs into unexpected colleagues. Elsewhere, Jacob crashes Barbara and Melissa’s traditional holiday dinner and in the process begins to learn the true meaning of Christmas.

Abbott Elementary - "Read-A-Thon" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The competition heats up between Melissa and Janine as their classrooms go head-to-head in a read-a-thon sponsored by a local pizza shop. Both teachers encourage their students to hit the books hard but face some unexpected obstacles on their path to pizza glory. Meanwhile, Jacob and Gregory join forces and attempt to get their student-podcasting club off the ground.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 30)

Wednesday, February 1

  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Watch Nick on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Harrison Ford (Shrinking) - Harrison appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Natasha Lyonne (Poker Face/Russian Doll) - Natasha is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Adam Pally (Indebted/Making History/The Mindy Project/Happy Endings) - Adam will be on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenny Slate (The Great North/Big Mouth/Married/Bob's Burgers) - Jenny appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • D. L. Hughley (The Hughleys/Double Rush) - D. L. guest hosts Comedy Central's The Daily Show at 11pm.
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph (Abbott Elementary/Fam/Instant Mom/Moesha/It's a Living) - Sheryl is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Alan Cumming (Schmigadoon!) - Alan appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your local listings.
  • Jay Ellis (Insecure/The Game - Jay will be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew is a guest on The Jennifer Hudson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Urie (Shrinking/Younger/Partners) - Michael talks about the new Apple TV+ Shrinking on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.
  • Abby Quinn (Mad About You) - Abby will be on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:50am.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - NBC's Today catches up with Terry in the 9am hour.


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

Abbott Elementary - The Complete First Season Frasier - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Ghosts - Season One The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Christmas Collection Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

10/04 - Mr. Mayor - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) (DVD)
10/04 - The Munsters - Marineland Carnival with The Munsters TV Cast
10/18 - Abbott Elementary - The Complete First Season
11/08 - Frasier - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
11/08 - Young Rock - Season Two (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/15 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Seven / The Complete Season Eight
11/22 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/29 - Ghosts - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
12/06 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Christmas Collection
12/13 - And Just Like That... - The Complete First Season
12/13 - Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
01/03 - Andy Richter Controls the Universe - The Complete Series (2023 Release)
01/27 - Master of None - Season Three / The Complete Series
More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

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01/30 - Paramount+ Series Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Launches Feb. 16; Remembering Lisa Loring of The Addams Family
01/29 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 30, 2023)
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01/27 - NBC Celebrates Carol Burnett's 90th Birthday in April; Fox Renews The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob's Burgers for 2 Seasons Each; Remembering Yoshio Yoda of McHale's Navy and Carole Cook of The Lucy Show
01/26 - CBS Renews Bob Hearts Abishola for Season 5; Marc Maron HBO Special Premieres February 11
01/25 - BUZZR Wigs Out for Laughs on Friday; The CW's Comedic Launches
01/24 - CBS Renews The Neighborhood for Season 6; Lifetime's New February Ripped from the Headlines Movies Starring Chrishell Stause and Samantha Mathis
01/23 - OWN Acquires Insecure Starting in February; Season 2 of Bel-Air Gets Tatyana Ali to Recur
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01/21 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Night Court a Success for NBC; South Park Season 26 Premiere Date Set
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01/15 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 16, 2023)
01/14 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Pair of Popular Broadcast Sitcoms Renewed for Third Season; Malcolm in the Middle Movie in the Works?
01/13 - TCA Winter 2023 Press Tour: FX; NBC Alters Midseason 2023 Schedule
01/12 - TCA Winter 2023 Press Tour: ABC/Freeform; Antenna TV's Designing Women Super Belle Special
01/11 - All in the Family Coming to MeTV; 80th Golden Globe Winners
01/10 - SAG Nominations Live on Instagram Live; Remembering Earl Boen of It's a Living and Adam Rich of Eight Is Enough
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01/08 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 9, 2023)
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01/06 - SNL Announces Guest Hosts, Including Aubrey Plaza; Paramount+ Orders Series Starring Nicole Kidman
01/05 - Stop-Motion Animated Series Shape Island Premieres January 20 on Apple TV+; ABC's New Year's Eve Coverage is Still Rockin'
01/04 - Full House Removed from MeTV; Return to Outer Banks for Season 3 on February 23 on Netflix
01/03 - getTV Acquires Magnum, P.I.; Game Show Network's Newest Game Show
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