Monday, August 30, 2021

Remembering the Legendary Ed Asner of The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Cobra Kai Season 5 Ordered Before Season 4 Premiere

Ed Asner

Emmy-winning actor Ed Asner, who was best known for his role as Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off series Lou Grant, has died. He died of natural causes at his home in the Tarzana neighborhood of Los Angeles on August 29. Mr. Asner was 91.

Asner made his television debut on Studio One in 1957. Some of his early television guest appearances included Route 66, Naked City, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Untouchables, Dr. Kildare, The Outer Limits, The Defenders, Mr. Novak, Slattery's People, Profiles in Courage, Gunsmoke, The Fugitive, The Invaders, Judd for the Defense, The F.B.I., Ironside, The Name of the Game, Mod Squad, Hawaii Five-O, Police Story and Insight. His early sitcom guest appearances included The Farmer's Daughter, Please Don't Eat the Daisies and Here Come the Brides.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

He starred as Lou Grant on the 1970-1977 CBS sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which ran for 7 seasons and 168 episodes. Lou Grant was the tough but lovable boss of Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore). He was the producer (later executive producer) of WJM-TV's Six O'Clock News in Minneapolis. Asner won the award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Comedy three times in 1971, 1972 and 1975. He won two Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actor – Television in 1972 and 1976. Asner appeared in the 1974 episode of Rhoda titled "Rhoda's Wedding." The Mary Tyler Moore Show also starred Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight, Valerie Harper (1970-1974), Cloris Leachman (1970-1975), Georgia Engel (1972-1977) and Betty White (1973-1977).

Lou Grant

Asner continued to play the Lou Grant character on the 1977-1982 CBS newspaper drama Lou Grant. The spin-off series ran for 5 seasons and 114 episodes. Lou Grant works as city editor of the fictional Los Angeles Tribune daily newspaper called the Los Angeles Tribune, a job he takes after being fired from WJM-TV in Minneapolis at the end The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Asner received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1978 and 1980. He became the first person to win an Emmy Award for both Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for portraying the same character. He won two Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama in 1977 and 1979. Asner later appeared as Lou Grant on Roseanne in 1996.

He starred as Sam Waltman on the short-lived 1985 ABC sitcom Off the Rack. Sam Waltman was the gruff co-owner of a Los Angeles (New York in the pilot episode) garment factory. The series also starred Eileen Brennan, Pamela Brull, Claudia Wells, Cory Yothers, Dennis Haysbert and Sandy Simpson.

Asner had a recurring role as George Lahti in 12 episodes of the first season (1992-1993) of the CBS sitcom Hearts Afire. George Lahti was the cantankerous father of Georgie Anne Lahti (Markie Post). The first season cast included John Ritter, Justin Burnette, Clark Duke, Billy Bob Thornton, Wendie Jo Sperber, Doren Fein, Beth Broderick, George Gaynes, Beah Richards and Adam Carl.

Thunder Alley

He played Gil Jones on the 1994-1995 ABC sitcom Thunder Alley. Gil Jones was a retired stock car driver who operated Thunder Alley, a specialty racing garage in Detroit. The series also starred Diane Venora (Season 1), Robin Riker (Season 2), Kelly Vint, Lindsay Felton, Haley Joel Osment, Jim Beaver and Ritch Brinkley (Season 1).

Ask Harriet

Asner appeared as Marshall "Old Man" Russell on the short-lived 1998 Fox sitcom Ask Harriet. Russell was the owner of the New York Dispatch. The series also starred Anthony Tyler Quinn, Willie Garson, Patrick Y. Malone, Lisa Waltz, Julie Benz, Jamie Renée Smith and Damien Leake.

The Closer

He starred as Carl "Dobbs" Dobson on the short-lived 1998 CBS sitcom The Closer. Carl was the crusty saracastic creative director of an advertising agency. The series also starred Tom Selleck, Penelope Ann Miller, David Krumholtz, Hedy Burress and Beverly Andolini.

Center of the Universe

Asner starred as Art Barnett on the short-lived 2004-2005 CBS sitcom Center of the Universe. Art Barnett was the combative father of John Barnett (John Goodman). He was married to Marge (Olympia Dukakis). The series also starred Jean Smart, Diedrich Bader, Melinda McGraw and Spencer Breslin.

Working Class

He starred as Hank Greziak on the short-lived 2011 CMT sitcom Working Class. Hank Greziak was the father of single mom Carli Mitchell (Melissa Peterman). The series also starred Steve Kazee, Patrick Fabian, Lachlan Buchanan, Courtney Merritt and Cameron Castaneda.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included D.C. Follies, Dinosaurs (voice), Mad About You (3 episodes), Soul Man, Maggie Winters, Arli$$, Dharma & Greg, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Ellen Show, Andy Barker, P.I., The Sarah Silverman Program, The Middle, Hot in Cleveland, The Crazy Ones, Men at Work, Mom, Dead to Me (5 episodes), Modern Family and Grace and Frankie (2 episodes).

Asner starred as Principal Joe Danzig in the 1987-1988 NBC drama The Bronx Zoo. He played Walter Kovacs on the second season of the CBS legal drama The Trials of Rosie O'Neill from 1991 to 1992. He had a recurring role as Wilson White in six episodes of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

Some of his other drama guest appearances included Highway to Heaven, The Practice, The X-Files, Touched by an Angel, ER, The Dead Zone, The Line, CSI: NY, Royal Pains, Hawaii Five-O (2012), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Glades, Chasing Life, The Good Wife, Criminal Minds, Forgive Me, Bones, Cobra Kai, MacGyver (2018) and Blue Bloods.

Asner was also known for his extensive voice work. Some of his voice credits included Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Fish Police, Batman: The Animated Series, Gargoyles, Spider-Man, The Boondocks, Freakazoid, The New Adventures of Zorro, Superman: The Animated Series, The Simpsons, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show. He was the voice of Carl Fredricksen in the 2009 Pixar animated film Up.

He won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series for his role as Axel Jordache in the 1976 ABC miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man. His other Emmy Award was for Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Drama Series for his role as Capt. Thomas Davies in the 1977 ABC miniseries Roots.

Asner played John Wayne's adversary Bart Jason in the 1966 Western film El Dorado. He played Santa Claus in the 2003 film Elf.

He was interviewed for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television on June 2, 2010.

Mr. Asner was a true TV legend. His seven Primetime Emmy Awards are the most of any male actor. He was wonderful as Lou Grant for 12 seasons on both series. His character was gruff but lovable. The role won him five Emmy Awards. He was a talented and versatile actor. We thank him for the many laughs and the entertainment he brought us during his legendary career. He will be greatly missed.

Share your memories on our The Mary Tyler Moore Show message board. View photos on in our galleries.


Cobra Kai

Netflix has renewed Cobra Kai, the series continuation of the iconic The Karate Kid film franchise, for a fifth season with production set to start in Atlanta this fall. Produced by Sony Pictures Television, Cobra Kai is written and executive produced by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg via their production company, Counterbalance Entertainment. Will Smith, James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett executive produce for Westbrook Entertainment along with Susan Ekins. Ralph Macchio and William Zabka also serve as executive producers. The first three seasons of Sony Pictures Television's Cobra Kai are now streaming with Season 4 premiering in December 2021. Cobra Kai takes place over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament with the continuation of the inescapable conflict between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka).

Cobra Kai - Ed Asner


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, September 26

The Simpsons - "The Star of the Backstage" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A musical comes to life in Springfield as Marge stages a revival of her beloved high school show -- but her wonderful memories are threatened by the return of a rival from the past.

The Great North - "Brace/Off Adventure" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Judy embarks on a journey after getting some unexpected news from the dentist.

Bob's Burgers - "Manic Pixie Crap Show" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Louise must pay a debt to Millie by attending the Pixie Princess Promenade; a bouquet in the shape of a dog forces Linda to confront her past.

Family Guy - "LASIK Instinct" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
With her vision waning, Lois elects to get LASIK surgery but exploits her new disability for monetary gain; Peter, Chris and Stewie must partake in all the activities with Doug that his father neglects.

Wellington Paranormal - "Mobots" (The CW, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Officer Minogue meets Officer O'Leary's mom when they use her house for a stakeout to investigate why a mass quantity of obsolete electronics goes missing.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 20)

Friday, September 24

  • Jennifer Aniston (Friends/Muddling Through/Ferris Bueller/Molloy) - Watch Jennifer on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. She will also be on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Dave "Lil Dicky" Burd (Dave) - Dave appears on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Hannah Einbinder (Hacks) - Hannah is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Phil Dunster (Ted Lasso) - Phil appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Liza Koshy (Liza on Demand) - Liza chats about My Little Pony on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Arsenio Hall (Arsenio) - Arsenio guest hosts The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Damon Wayans Jr. (Happy Together/New Girl/Happy Endings) - Damon talks about Peacock's Frogger on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June-September)

Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

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 Release)
07/27 - Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - The Neighborhood - Season Three
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Deluxe Edition (100 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Standard Edition (50 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/24 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season 2
09/07 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
09/21 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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08/10 - Fri-Yay: A.P. Bio Quietly Continues Its Daring Humor on Peacock; Remembering Producer/Writer Irma Kalish, Michael Constantine of Room 222 and Art Metrano of Joanie Loves Chachi
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09/02 - Freeform's 31 Nights of Halloween Schedule; MeTV Network and Decades Remember Ed Asner
09/01 - The Game Returns Nov. 11 on Paramount+; New Bel-Air Series Announces Casting of Will Character
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08/30 - Remembering the Legendary Ed Asner of The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Cobra Kai Season 5 Ordered Before Season 4 Premiere
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