Thursday, July 11, 2024

ABC Fall 2024 Premiere Dates; Remembering Doug Sheehan of Day by Day and Clueless and Benji Gregory of ALF

Abbott Elementary

ABC announced premiere dates for the network's action-packed fall, featuring previously announced fan-favorite series, high-octane new dramas and The Bachelor franchise's newest iteration. This news comes on the heels of the network closing out the 2023-2024 season as No. 1 in entertainment among Adults 18-49 for the fifth consecutive season, marking the longest winning streak in over 10 years. Monday Night Football returns for select weeks beginning Sept. 9 (New York Jets at San Francisco 49ers). Then, on Monday, Oct. 7, beloved game shows join the lineup with Pat Sajak's final spin hosting Celebrity Wheel of Fortune leading into Elizabeth Banks-hosted Press Your Luck.

From Oscar®-nominated writer Drew Goddard and starring Kaitlin Olson, freshman crime procedural High Potential joins ballroom sensation Dancing with the Stars on Tuesdays, kicking off Sept. 17. The Golden Bachelorette makes its debut Wednesday, Sept. 18 with two-hour episodes for the first few weeks, with new leading lady Joan Vassos; and a new season of Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning comedy Abbott Elementary joins the night Oct. 9 at 9:30pm, followed by the ABC News Studios docuseries Scamanda. Then, from executive producer Ryan Murphy and starring Joshua Jackson and Don Johnson, highly anticipated new drama Doctor Odyssey debuts Thursday, Sept. 26 at 9pm, alongside 9-1-1 and the longest-running primetime medical drama in television history, Grey's Anatomy.

A new season of ABC News' 20/20 premieres Friday, Sept. 20, and season 16 of Shark Tank dives into the night starting Oct. 18. America’s Funniest Home Videos celebrates its monumental 35th season beginning Sunday, Sept. 29, before The Wonderful World of Disney world television premiere of the live-action The Little Mermaid. Additional films to debut this season include the world television premieres of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and Haunted Mansion, as well as the broadcast premiere of Hocus Pocus 2. Airdates and additional movies to be announced at a later date. As previously announced, new seasons of returning dramas The Rookie and Will Trent will debut midseason (January), along with the celebratory farewell season of legacy comedy The Conners. Also returning midseason are American Idol, The Bachelor, Celebrity Jeopardy! and What Would You Do?, while Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, from executive producer Reese Witherspoon and hosted by world-renowned organizing duo Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit, is also set to debut. These premiere dates will be announced at a later date.

Doug Sheehan

Actor Doug Sheehan, who starred as Brian Harper on Day by Day and as Mel Horowitz on Clueless, has died. He died at his home in Big Horn, Wyoming, on June 29. Mr. Sheehan was 75.

Day by Day

Sheehan starred as Brian Harper on the 1988-1989 NBC sitcom Day by Day. The show centers on Brian and Kate Harper (Linda Kelsey), a married couple with two successful careers (Brian as a stockbroker, Kate as a lawyer) and a teenage son named Ross (Christopher Daniel ("C.B.") Barnes). They open a daycare center in their home. The series also starred Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Courtney Thorne-Smith and Thora Birch.

Doug Sheehan - Clueless

He starred as Mel Horowitz on the UPN sitcom Clueless for seasons 2 and 3 (1997-1999). Mel Horowitz is Cher Horowitz's (Rachel Blanchard) rich, widowed lawyer. He replaced Michael Lerner, who played Mel Horowitz during the first season (1996-1997), which aired on ABC. The cast included Stacey Dash, Donald Adeosun Faison, Elisa Donovan, Sean Holland, David Lascher (season 1), Twink Caplan (season 1), Wallace Shawn (season 1), Heather Gottlieb (season 1) and Julie Brown.

Melissa Joan Hart and Doug Sheehan - Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Sheehan played Edward Spellman, Sabrina Spellman's (Melissa Joan Hart) father, in two episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included Cheers, Alice, Dear John and Style & Substance.

His first major role was as Joe Kelly on the daytime soap opera General Hospital from 1979 to 1982. He was nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for the role in 1982.

He starred as journalist Ben Gibson on the CBS primetime soap opera Knots Landing from 1983 to 1987. Ben Gibson was the second husband of Valene Ewing (Joan Van Ark).

Some of his other television guest appearances Charlie's Angels (1978), Kaz, MacGyver (1990), Columbo (1993), Promised Land, Diagnosis: Murder, Passions (6 episodes as Mr. Davis) and That Was Then.

Mr. Sheehan was a talented and versatile actor. Day by Day is a funny show with a great cast, which should have had a longer run. It should be available on DVD or streaming. He will be greatly missed.

Benji Gregory

Actor Benji Gregory, who starred as Brian Tanner on ALF, has died. On June 13, Gregory and his service dog, Hans, were found dead inside a car at a Chase Bank parking lot in Peoria, Arizona. However, news of his death was not publicly disclosed until July 10, when the cause of his death was still under investigation. His sister Rebecca said he had suffered from depression, bipolar disorder and a sleep disorder and said he likely died of a heatstroke after falling asleep in his car. Mr. Gregory was only 46.


He starred as Brian Tanner on the 1986-1990 NBC sitcom ALF. The title character, called ALF (an acronym for "Alien Life Form") but whose real name is Gordon Shumway, crash-lands in the garage of the suburban middle-class Tanner family. Brian Tanner is the middlest son of the Tanner family. He is nicknamed 'B' by the rest of the cast. The cast included Paul Fusco (performed and voiced ALF), Max Wright, Anne Scheeden, Liz Sheridan, John LaMotta, Josh Blake, Anne Meara (1987) and Jim J. Bullock (1989-1990).

Fenster Hall

Gregory appeared as an orphan named Dash in two episodes of Punky Brewster. The final episode in Season 1, titled "Fenster Hall" (aired March 31, 1985), was a failed attempt to create a spin-off of Punky Brewster.

He played Brian in a 1991 episode of Murphy Brown. Some of his other television guest appearances included The A-Team, T.J. Hooker, Amazing Stories and The Twilight Zone (1985). Some of his voice credits included Pound Puppies, Fantastic Max and Back to the Future: The Animated Series (as Biff Tannen Jr.).

He played Harry Carlson, Jr. in Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986). He supplied the voice of Edgar the Mole in the animated feature Once Upon a Forest (1993), which would be his final acting role.

Mr. Gregory was a good child actor. After leaving the acting industry, he served a stint in the U.S. Navy after graduating from school. He enlisted in 2003 and became an aerographer's mate. During his naval career he was assigned to the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). In 2005, he received an honorable medical discharge from the Navy. We thank him for his work on television and in films and for his service in the Navy. He will be sorely missed.

Jamie Kellner

We also remember television executive Jamie Kellner. He was a founding president of Fox Broadcasting and founded The WB network. He died from cancer on June 21 in Montecito, California. Mr. Kellner was 74.

Kellner was present at the establishment of the Fox Broadcasting Company and held the position as chairman of 20th Century Fox Television from 1986 to 1993. Among the shows that emerged during his seven years at Fox were The Simpsons, Married... with Children, Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000), Melrose Place and In Living Color.

He then spent seven years at the helm of The WB Television Network. He helped launch the new broadcast network in 1994. During his tenure, he began by championing urban sitcoms such as The Wayans Bros., The Parent 'Hood and Sister, Sister, but eventually steered the network in the direction of teen and family-oriented dramas. 7th Heaven, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls, Dawson's Creek, Felicity and Charmed all premiered during his presidency.

Kellner was made head of Turner Broadcasting System in 2000, officially succeeding Ted Turner in March 2001. He was chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a division of Time Warner which includes TBS, TNT, and Cartoon Network from 2001 to 2003. He was the chairman of station ownership group ACME Communications, a post held from the company's founding until its folding in 2016.

We thank him for the television shows be brought us at Fox, The WB and Turner. He will be missed.

Jonathan Axelrod

Television producer and screenwriter Jonathan Axelrod worked on Dave's World. He died in Los Angeles on June 13. Mr. Axelrod was 74.

He was executive producer on the 1993-1997 CBS sitcom Dave's World. The series is based on the writing of Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry. The show focuses on the daily trials and tribulations of columnist Dave Barry (Harry Anderson) and his wife, Beth (DeLane Matthews), along with their sons, Tommy (Zane Carney) and Willie (Andrew Ducote).

Some of his other sitcom producing credits included Can't Hurry Love, Brother's Keeper, Movie Stars and Some of My Best Friends. He was one of the writers of the 1972 comedy film Every Little Crook and Nanny.

We thank him for his work on Dave's World and other sitcoms. He will be missed.

Susan Buckner

Actress Susan Buckner starred as Lucy Davis on When the Whistle Blows. She died on May 2 in Miami, Florida. Ms. Buckner was 72.

When the Whistle Blows

Buckner starred as Lucy Davis on the short-lived 1980 ABC sitcom When the Whistle Blows. The series revolves around a group of construction workers – four males (Norm, Buzz, Randy and Hunk) and one female (Lucy) – for the "Tri-State Construction Company" in Los Angeles and their search for fun both on and off the job. It was filmed single-camera style and without a laugh track. The cast included Doug Brown, Philip Brown, Tim Rossovich, Dolph Sweet, Alice Hirson, Gary Allen, Noble Willingham and Sue Ane Langdon.

She appeared as one of The Krofftettes who performed synchronised swimming routines on the 1976-1997 ABC variety show The Brady Bunch Hour.

Buckner played Kim Patterson in a 1979 episode of The Love Boat. Some of her other television guest appearances included Police Woman, Switch, Starsky & Hutch, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (3 episodes) and B.J. and the Bear.

She portrayed high school cheerleader Patty Simcox in the 1978 summer blockbuster Grease, starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. She starred as Vicky Anderson in the 1981 slasher film Deadly Blessing.

Ms. Buckner was crowned Miss Washington in 1971 and in September went on to become a top ten finalist in the Miss America 1972 pageant. We thank her for her work on television and in films. She will be deeply missed.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Monday, July 22

Bob Newhart: A Legacy of Laughter

Bob Newhart: A Legacy of Laughter (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)

CBS announced a new Entertainment Tonight special, Bob Newhart: A Legacy of Laughter, to air Monday, July 22 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on-demand for Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers, or on-demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs)*.

Hosted by Entertainment Tonight’s Nischelle Turner, this one-hour tribute honors the late comedian with a look back at his 70-year career, featuring never-before-seen interviews, and his final interview from his home in Los Angeles. The special takes an in-depth look at his journey from accountant to comedian to Hollywood icon, with rare behind-the-scenes footage of Bob on the set of his sitcoms and feature films, from the Entertainment Tonight vault. Included are new and archival interviews with some of Bob’s closest friends and co-stars, including Jim Parsons, Will Ferrell, Reese Witherspoon, Jason Bateman and Michael Weatherly. The show takes an intimate look inside Bob’s personal life and his marriage to the love of his life, Ginnie, with newly revealed stories about how he changed American culture through comedy.

Bob starred as Chicago psychologist Robert Hartley on the CBS television series The Bob Newhart Show from 1972 to 1978, and then as Vermont innkeeper Dick Loudon on Newhart from 1982 to 1990, also on the Network. He had two other sitcoms on CBS in the 1990s, Bob and George and Leo. Bob played the recurring role of Professor Proton on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory from 2013 to 2018, for which he received his first Primetime Emmy Award.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 22)

Monday, July 22

  • Lamorne Morris (Woke/New Girl) - Lamorne guest hosts Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Sebastian Maniscalco (Bookie) - Watch Sebastian on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Love/Community) - Gillian appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Ryan Reynolds (Two Guys and a Girl) and Hugh Jackman (Human Resources) - Ryan is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. E! News has interviews with Ryan and Hugh at 11pm on E!. They also talk about Deadpool & Wolverine on ABC's Good Morning America some time between 7-9am. Ryan appears on Live with Kelly and Mark, so check your listings.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony stops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Keanu Reeves (Swedish Dicks) - Keanu appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jesse Plemons (No Activity/Bent) - Jesse is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Joe Mantegna (The Simpsons/Soap) and Laci Mosley (iCarly/Single Parents/Florida Girls) - Joe and Laci are guests on a repeat of After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken drops by Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen at 10:01pm on Bravo.
  • Elizabeth Gillies (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll/Victorious) - Elizabeth talks about Spread on CBS Mornings some time between 7-9am.
  • Sutton Foster (Younger) and Michael Urie (Krapopolis/Partners) - Sutton and Michael talk about Once Upon a Mattress on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Rob Delaney (Catastrophe) - Rob talks about Deadpool & Wolverine on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Nat Wolff (The Naked Brothers Band) - Nat and Lucy Hale are telling Drew all about their new rom-com Which Brings Me to You on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.

New on DVD/Blu-ray

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series Check It Out! - The Complete Series The Jeffersons - The Complete Series (2024 Release) Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Series (2024 Release)

02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One
03/12 - Ghosts (UK) - The Complete Series
03/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 3 (Blu-ray)
03/12 - Rick and Morty - Season 7 (Blu-ray Steelbook) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
04/03 - Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series (VEI)
04/08 - Check It Out! - The Complete Series (VEI)
05/21 - Frasier (2023) - Season One
06/11 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series (2024 Release)
06/11 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Series (2024 Release)
07/05 - Letterkenny - Season 12 (Final Season)
07/30 - Ted Lasso - The Richmond Way (The Complete Series) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
09/17 - Bewitched - The Complete Series - 60th Anniversary Special Edition (Blu-ray)
09/24 - Friends - The Complete Series (4K Ultra HD)
09/24 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Series
10/08 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Twelfth Season / The Complete Series

More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

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07/18 - 76th Primetime Emmy Nominations; Frasier Returns September 19
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