Monday, April 27, 2009

Remembering Bea Arthur, Kim Weiskopf; Hallmark Channel, WE tv, TV Land, Me-Too All To Air Tributes for Bea

Today we will cover everything Bea Arthur (with a tribute to Kim Weiskopf as well). As you all I'm sure know by now, Bea Arthur has died. Beatrice Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star in the hit shows Maude and The Golden Girls and who won a Tony Award for the musical Mame, died Saturday (April 25). Arthur died peacefully at her Los Angeles home with her family at her side. She had cancer but that is the only detail we know. Arthur first appeared in the landmark comedy series All in the Family as Edith Bunker's outspoken, liberal cousin, Maude Finley. She proved a perfect foil for blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor), and their blistering exchanges were so entertaining that producer Norman Lear fashioned Arthur's own series, known of course as Maude. Maude scored with television viewers immediately on its CBS debut in September 1972, and Arthur won an Emmy Award for the role in 1977. The show ended in 1978, as Bea thought it was time for the show to end after six seasons. Then came The Golden Girls from 1985-1992, and it was another groundbreaking comedy, finding surprising success in a television market increasingly skewed toward a younger, product-buying audience. She played Dorothy Zbornak, one of four older friends living in Miami. The show moved to CBS in 1992-93 and was titled The Golden Palace, but Bea didn't sign on for it. Bea did guest star in a two-part episode. In 2003, Lifetime reunited the cast for the special The Golden Girls: Their Greatest Memories. And in 2008, the cast reunited again on the 2008 TV Land Awards accepting the Pop Culture Award.
Even before television, Bea had a major career in plays on Broadway. Arthur's biggest Broadway triumph came in 1966 as Vera Charles, Angela Lansbury's acerbic friend in the musical "Mame," directed by Tony-winning director Gene Saks, who was also her husband of 28 years. They divorced in 1978. During 2001 and 2002 she toured the country in a one-woman show of songs and stories, ... And Then There's Bea.
In between Maude and The Golden Girls, Bea had a failed sitcom. In 1983, she starred in the ABC sitcom Amanda's, an Americanized version of John Cleese's hilarious Fawlty Towers. She was cast as owner of a small seaside hotel with a staff of eccentrics. It lasted a mere 10 episodes, with three episodes unaired.
She was also in films. Among the movies she graced were That Kind of Woman (1959), Lovers and Other Strangers (1970), Mel Brooks' The History of the World: Part I (1981), For Better or Worse (1995). Her TV movies include the ABC TV movie My First Love in 1988 and the NBC TV movie P.O.P. in 1984.
Among her guest appearances on television are the The Golden Girls spin-off Empty Nest, Ellen, Beggars & Choosers, Dave's World, a.k.a. Pablo, Laugh-In, and she appeared on a rare special recap episode of Soap as an "angel." In recent years, Arthur made guest appearances on shows including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Futurama and Malcolm in the Middle. The latter was very popular.
Bea will certainly be missed by millions and millions fans around the world. TV Land has created a 30-second on-air and online promo remembering her. TV Land will air both of her appearances on All in the Family on Tuesday and Wednesday at 9am, the episodes "Cousin Maude's Visit" on Tuesday and the back-door "Maude" pilot that aired as an All in the Family episode on Wednesday. Too bad TV Land isn't airing regular Maude episodes as a tribute. Me-Too in Chicago will air Maude, though! All this week in the 9-10pm CT hour, Me-Too Chicago airs "Remembering Maude: A Tribute to Bea Arthur." View the episode schedule. Lucky fans in Chi-town.
Hallmark and WE tv air The Golden Girls regularly multiple times a day. Hallmark will pay tribute to Bea with a Memorial Day marathon and WE tv pays tribute to Bea tonight and Thursday, see below for more details on both. Watch a video celebration of her life and career. Bea lived a long life and was 86.

Hallmark Channel has announced it will pay tribute to legendary star Bea Arthur with an all-day Golden Girls "Memorial Day Marathon" on Monday, May 25 from 6:30am-2:30am, featuring episodes focusing on Arthur's character Dorothy Zbornak, a gruff, wise-cracking divorcée who shared her Miami home with her mother and two loopy friends. Golden Girls plays daily on Hallmark Channel: Monday-Friday, 8-10 a.m., 7-9 p.m., 12-2 a.m., Saturdays 6-9 a.m., and Sundays 8:30-10 a.m. View their press release. UPDATE: We get marathons SOONER now on Hallmark! At the Studio City, CA home of Hallmark Channel, fans of the classic comedy Golden Girls flooded the network's Viewer Services department today with parenthetical appreciation for the channel's announcement of a Memorial Day Tribute to Bea Arthur. The qualifier to the announcement included these sentiments: more, sooner, please. And now Hallmark has listened! Hallmark Channel responded by hand-selecting the "Best of the Dorothy Zbornak Episodes" which begin running Tuesday, April 28 (7-9pm) and continue, Wednesday, April 29 (7-9pm), and Thursday, April 30 (7-9pm) in the normal Golden Girls timeslots, but also on Sunday, May 3 (8:30am-3am) a full day event is planned! This is all in addition to the previously announced Memorial Day marathon on, Monday, May 25 (6:30am-2:30am.). We don't have episode info yet for the Memorial Day stunt, but Hallmark has released the 5 day stunt episodes for this week! Thank you for being a friend, Hallmark!
WE tv airs the show weeknights from 5-7pm ET, with primetime marathons from 6pm-12am on Monday nights, so that includes tonight. They also air the show sometimes on Thursday late nights. WE tv announced today two special nights of programming to honor Bea Arthur. "WE Remember Bea" will feature a marathon of favorite The Golden Girls episodes both Monday, April 27 from 5pm-12am ET and Thursday, April 30 from 9:30pm-1am ET. The acclaimed actress, known for her quick wit and willingness to embrace controversial issues was the centerpiece of the comedic series, which won more than 38 awards during its run. "WE Remember Bea" will be comprised of episodes which center on Bea Arthur's colorful character Dorothy Zbornak and key related storylines from the series. See the episode info for tonight's marathon.
WE tv already had a scheduled Golden Girls Memorial Day marathon from 10am-6am, so we have two networks airing a marathon on The Golden Girls on May 25.

We also have lost Kim Weiskopf, a TV comedy writer whose credits included Three's Company and Married...with Children, died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday (April 22) at his home in Encino. He launched his career in the early 1970s, with longtime writing partner Michael S. Baser, he wrote for series such as One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Melba, Carter Country, We Got It Made, and Good Times, the latter show leading to their first staff-writing position.
The writing duo went on to write and produce three seasons of ABC's Three's Company before being hired to create the TV series 9 to 5 for ABC, which was based on the movie. They then developed an updated, syndicated version of the '70s series What's Happening!! called What's Happening Now!!, though he had never worked with the original series.
Weiskopf's also wrote and produced for Rachel Gunn, R.N., Full House and Married...with Children, without Baser. Kim appeared in interviews for the E! True Hollywood Story episodes of both Three's Company and Married...with Children. He had an uncredited appearance on Married...with Children on an episode playing Lucky the Dog in a 1996 episode.
He is going to be missed, especially by fans of Three's Company and Married...with Children. Kim was 62.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour: CBS; More Bush Speech Updates; DejaView in Canada Adds More Sitcoms

Today it is CBS's turn at the TCA Winter 2009 press tour. At the executive session, CBS chief Nina Tassler said an additional episode of The Mentalist could be ordered, and they are not going to move the show to Sundays at 10pm, despite it airing there this coming week after the AFC Championship Game. In other news, CBS has officially canceled last summer's Swingtown, which is not a surprise. CBS is moving forward with the NCIS spin-off and plans to do a backdoor pilot within NCIS this spring. CBS is also planning on a variety show or special starring musician John Mayer for this year. Fox is also developing a variety show hosted by the Osbourne family later this year.
After the executive session, panels for upcoming murder mystery drama Harper's Island and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson followed. CBS focused mainly on Showtime and other ventures after that. After the Showtime Executive Session, which we won't cover, Showtime's United States of Tara, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, The L Word, Tracy Ullman's State of the Union, The Tudors, and Nurse Jackie had panels. Wow, a lot...more than CBS itself.
There was also a presentation on TV.com, which is owned by CBS Interactive. CBS Interactive went you on a guided tour of the leading online destination for video and community, including a look at new and future developments for the site. Speaking of TV.com, be sure to check out their great videos! My personal favorite is their interview with CBS's Kaley Cuoco, who is quite frankly wearing something very stunning! They also have Full Episodes of TV series, so check it out!
Stay tuned tomorrow for NBC's portion of the TCA tour and ABC on Friday!

Yesterday we gave you updates on CBS and Fox's plan for Thursday, as President Bush will have his farewell address at 8pm ET for 15 minutes, messing up all the network's plans. ABC will have to preempt Ugly Betty as a result, just like Fox is doing with Bones. After the President's address, ABC will air a repeat of Scrubs at 8:15/7:15c, joined in progress, followed by another repeat of Scrubs at 8:30/7:30c. Both repeats will likely be repeats of last night's episodes. So, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice will still be all-new and air on time everywhere. I think ABC decided on this so they can have a 15 minute head start on CSI in the east and central, as CBS is delaying programming to those zones by 15 minutes. As for mountain and pacific time, ABC will air two repeats of Scrubs in their entirety. View the ABC schedule for Thursday in all time zones, if you're confused in what I'm saying. In other ABC schedule news, they will preempt Samantha Who? once again this coming Monday (Jan. 19). This is the second week in a row that will happen, as this past Monday (Jan. 12), the sitcom didn't air either. Why? Because The Bachelor is doing very well in its two-hours and is very compatible with new series True Beauty at 10pm. Honestly, I don't think Samantha Who? will return to 9:30pm on Mondays anytime son. I think either it will return when Dancing with the Stars returns in March OR it will be paired with Scrubs on Tuesdays starting next month. We'll keep you up to date. ABC is up at the TCA tour on Friday, and we should find out then maybe, along with ABC's other mid-season sitcom plans (In The Motherhood, The Goode Family, Better Off Ted).
As for NBC's Thursday plans, they will air a repeat of My Name is Earl after Bush's address at 8:15/7:15c, joined in progress. Then at 8:30pm, they will move the new My Name is Earl episode that was scheduled at 8pm ET/PT to 8:30pm, preempting Kath & Kim totally. As for mountain and pacific zones, you all will get the full repeat of Earl then the new one following it.

The Canada cable station DejaView, which features lots of classic TV, has changed their schedule a bit. Their last change was in the fall. They have added North of Sixty (Canadian series), One Day at a Time, Silver Spoons, Mad About You, but have also removed My Secret Identity, Maude, Charles in Charge, Facts of Life, Kate & Allie. The Canadian series North of Sixty airs weekdays at 7am, 10am, and 11pm, all replacing My Secret Identity. It also airs weekends at 6am and 11pm, replacing My Secret Identity. One Day at a Time airs now weekdays at 4pm, 9pm, and 3am, all replacing Good Times, which slides down a half-hour replacing Maude, so Maude is gone totally. The other new series have joined the weekend schedule with Silver Spoons airing back-to-back episodes at 10am and 4am, 10am hour replacing Charles in Charge and 4am hour replacing Facts of Life/Kate & Allie. Mad About You airs on weekends back-to-back at 1pm and 2am.
DejaView's key shows continues to be Three's Company, Cosby Show, All in the Family, Who's the Boss? and Roseanne.
View the full new DejaView winter 2009 schedule.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: Perry Mason 50th Anniversary Edition; Solomon's Final Rant: Good Times Not a Spin-Off of Maude

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the mini-DVD review and Solomon's Weekly Rant! First up, is the mini-DVD review. Today we take a look at CBS DVD's Perry Mason - 50th Anniversary Edition. Perry Mason of course is the very popular law series. The series stars the great Raymond Burr. See skees53's mini-DVD review of Perry Mason - 50th Anniversary Edition:

Perry Mason - 50th Anniversary Edition (CBS DVD, $49.98) brings you some of the best episodes of one of the most popular courtroom dramas on television along with plenty of special features on a four-disc set. The series premiered in 1957 on CBS and ran through 1966, making it one of the most successful series of its time. The "meat of the set" so to speak would be the episodes, and on this set, we have the twelve "best" episodes of the series (as chosen by the producers of the DVDs), beginning with the 1960 episode "The Case of The Wary Wildcater," where a woman accuses an oil entrepreneur of killer her sister, and then she is in turn accused of killing him when he is murdered. A clump of fake hair could solve the mystery in "The Case of the Treacherous Toupee," where Robert Redford guest stars. Before he was Batman, Adam West guest stars in "The Case of the Barefaced Witness."
A man may have gone crazy in "The Case of the Counterfeit Crank," but is he crazy enough to commit murder? Leonard Nimoy guest stars in "The Case of the Shoplifter's Shoe." Can Perry prove that a woman that has already been convicted is actually innocent? Find out in "The Case of the Deadly Verdict."
Did you know that Perry Mason was in color? Well it was... but only for one episode... in "The Case of the Twice Told Twist." In "The Case of the Dead Ringer," Raymond Burr plays the bad guy AND Perry Mason in the same episode. The set ends with the final episode, "The Case of the Final Fadeout," where Dick Clark guest stars.
The set comes in a very nice package with two double slimcases, with four discs. As has been the case on previous Perry Mason releases, the video and audio are preserved nearly to perfection, with virtually no flaws to be found... even the one color episode looks amazing! Closed-captioning is also available.
While there aren't any episode commentaries, there ARE video introductions from Barbara Hale on each and every episode... and much, much more. In fact, Disc 4 is nothing BUT special features. It begins with the 1985 movie Perry Mason Returns, which was the first (in a long line of MANY) Perry Mason TV movies of the week. Did you ever want to see what the cast was like when trying out for their roles? Find out in the Talent Tests. In fact, you even get to see actors from the show try out for parts they didn't even get. In "The Case of Erle Stanley Gardner," we get to find out about the history behind the creator of the series.
There are two interviews of Raymond Burr by Charlie Rose from the 1980s, as well a much older "Person to Person" interview. There are brand new interviews on the set from Barbara Hale, Arthur Marks, and Anne Nelson. You can see the entire cast play n the game show "Stump the Stars" on one of the special features. William Talman, while dying of lung cancer, gives a special anti-smoking message (that was taped just before he died) on another feature. And finally, there are some syndication promos and a photo gallery. Oh, and did I mention that except for the last two, all of these special features have an introduction by Barbara Hale?
I think that the verdict is very clear on this set... you'll want it. Normally I'm not a big fan of "best of" sets, but normally such sets don't include this many (and such great) special features. Now CBS DVD needs to get moving on more season sets... and perhaps give us some special features like these on one of those! This is better than those!
-- Reviewed by skees53
(5/5 stars)

To purchase this DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Perry Mason TV.com Page


After launching June 2, 2007, Solomon's Weekly Rant is coming to an end after today's column. No, the rant is not canceled, but Solomon wants to go out on top. We enjoyed the rant each Saturday for the last 10 months and he is welcome to come back to do special features for us on the blog whenever we have some time. He of course will still remain an active members on our message boards, so you can still speak to him there. He will leave us today with his final rant that will feature some great thoughts and insight on why Good Times was not a spin-off of Maude. He has constantly said this on our message boards but this will be the first time he has actually written up something officially on this. You'll want to read this...because dare I say it, he could be right!

Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, April 19, 2008
"Why Good Times is NOT a Spin-Off of Maude"
By Solomon Davis

I have said this many times but now I'm actually writing it up for the whole world to see. Good Times is not a spin-off of Maude, damnit. You may think I'm crazy but I have some hard facts to prove this. First, isn't it obvious that the name of Florida's husband is different on both shows? On Maude his name is Henry and on Good Times it changed to James. So if Good Times was a spin-off why wouldn't they have kept the same name for the husband? And it was also obvious that the wife's name was supposed to be changed on Good Times since her husband had a different name on the show. So someone screwed up the naming the characters for Good Times and that's one reason that it can't be a spinoff... all about the names.

Fine you may think the producers might have messed up on the first argument I mentioned. But secondly, the location of Good Times along with the situation of the family lets you know it's not a spinoff. On Maude, the husband had a stable job as a fireman in upstate New York and on Good Times he was working at a car wash and living in the projects section of Chicago. On the last episode ("Florida's Goodbye") they appeared on Maude, they said Henry got a job promotion...so from a fireman to working at a car wash is a promotion? And the last time I checked Chicago is no where near upstate New York which means that Good Times is its own show and not a spinoff. Plus how could a family have moved from upstate New York and then be living in the projects in Chicago? Not a spinoff of Maude, that's why.

Third, the executive producer of Good Times, Allan Manings, stated in a 1974 issue of Ebony Magazine that it's not really a spin-off because Florida Evans was one character on Maude and that character was changed & re-developed for the NEW SHOW called Good Times. If anyone would know, it would be the executive producer of the show that knows whether it was a spinoff or not. The early scripts from Good Times are not connected at all to the final scripts of Maude. Once again, no spinoff.

And my last point, which will really show that Good Times was not a spinoff, is the airdate for the debut of Good Times in 1974. In some markets, CBS aired Good Times on February 1, 1974 and the last episode with the characters on Maude was aired on February 5, 1974. Did they move to Chicago and go back to upstate New York in a week? So if Good Times was supposed to be connected to the last episode of Maude then why would some CBS affiliates air the debut episode of Good Times before the last episode of Maude? And I know some CBS stations aired the launch of Good Times on February 8, 1974 but for the ones that didn't, made it obvious for the last time, that Good Times was never ever a spinoff of the show Maude. The characters were BASED on Maude but not the same exact ones! I hope everyone hears that lound and clear! I don't want to hear that on TV anymore that Good Times was a spin-off of Maude! You hear that E! True Hollywood Story, Entertainment Tonight, Biography, TV Land, and most of all Norman Lear? I hope you all see this!


Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.

Labels: , , ,

Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

Monday, October 15, 2007

AOL Video Adds Archie Bunker's Place, What's Happening Now!!, etc.; Nick at Nite Schedule; Fox Cuts Mid-Season Sitcom In Half

AOL's Funnybone channel, a channel dedicated to classic Sony comedies, has now added Archie Bunker's Place, What's Happening Now!!, Over the Top, Maude, & Square Pegs all in the last month or less. You can also watch newly added episodes of Just Shoot Me, Benson, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, What's Happening!!, and Married...with Children.
The Archie Bunker's Place episodes are the most unique since they are third season episodes, and of course that season not on DVD yet. Among the episodes you will see is the first pilot for Gloria that has been in the syndication package for Archie Bunker's Place. Other episodes include an episode with Reggie Jackson and an episode with Don Rickles. The What's Happening Now!! and Maude episodes are from the first season, which are on DVD already. Over the Top and Square Pegs are not on DVD yet, so they will be fun to see!

A new Nick at Nite schedule starts tonight. Yes, another one. Full House is back to start off each night, while an overnight marathon featuring shows like Fresh Prince, Roseanne, Cosby Show, and Full House from 3-6am will be on everynight. Click HERE for details.

Fox has cut the episode order for its midseason sitcom The Return of Jezebel James from 13 to 7 episodes, including the pilot. Fox says because it has a tight midseason schedule. Among the shows Fox has coming are returning hits 24 and American Idol along with newbies Unhitched, Canterbury's Law and New Amsterdam.
The sitcom stars Parker Posey as a New York book editor who realizes she wants a baby -- and asks her estranged sister (played by Lauren Ambrose) to carry it.
In other Fox news, Fox is expected to pick-up Back to You this week for a full season order. No doubt they will air it a few times at least after Idol to boost the show. Fox also might pick up a few extra scripts of struggling drama K-Ville. Why?

Tune in tonight to the premiere of the sitcom Samantha Who? at 9:30pm et/pt only on ABC! See our review from Saturday if you haven't already! Be good, Sam!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

Friday, June 29, 2007

Canada Stations Adds Rare Classics This Fall; Biggest Flintstones Marathon Ever on Boomerang

If you are one of our readers in Canada, then you'll love today's blog! We get quite a few hits from Canadians each day, so those of you are in for a treat today as we will detail fall schedules for some of Canada's biggest classic TV cable channels including TV Land Canada and DejaView!
On TV Land Canada, everything old is new again! New to the TV Land Canada schedule this September is Fantasy Island; Hart to Hart; Love, American Style; and It's Garry Shandling's Show. Also returning to TV Land Canada this fall are: Dallas, Happy Days, Lassie, 21 Jump Street, Petticoat Junction, Joanie Loves Chachi and Wiseguy.
None of those new shows are airing anywhere on cable in the U.S. currently.
We have the full schedule posted. To take a look, please click HERE.
Now let's move on to my personal favorite, DejaView! Starting September 10, they will be adding lots and lots of new shows! Coming to weekdays are: My Secret Identity, Roseanne, Cosby Show, Good Times, Maude, Miami Vice, and Magnum P.I.! On the weekends they will add: The Ropers, Three's a Crowd, Who's the Boss?, The Facts of Life and Square Pegs! Boy I would kill to have this channel. So many rare shows. Shows that will return include classic '70s sitcoms Three's Company and All in the Family. To view the full schedule, I urge you to click HERE!
Sister station TVtropolis, which was known as Prime some years back, will also add some new series. They have moved away from classic TV a bit, putting them on sister net DejaView, but they will still have some classics! First they will add Family Guy and Fresh Prince to the line-up. Returning are Mad About You, Grace Under Fire, The Nanny, Frasier, Seinfeld, Beverly Hills 90210, and Married...with Children. So not much new and not really anything that old.
SUN TV in Canada will also add some new shows. They will add My Secret Identity (wow, this sitcom will be on two channels there!) Wonder Woman, Incredible Hulk, America's Funniest Home Videos, among others. Leave it to Beaver will remain on the fall line-up! View the fall schedule HERE.
We haven't yet obtained CTS TV's Fall 2007 schedule. Currently they air shows like Facts of Life, Happy Days, Full House, Step by Step, and Fresh Prince. No idea what will leave and what will come yet. We'll try to let you know, when we do.

Back to the U.S., the station called Boomerang, will air a huge Flintstones marathon this 4th of July! It is so big that every single episode will air, and it will be commercial free!
Programming an Independence Day tribute it has never before attempted, Boomerang, Cartoon Network's 24-hour commercial-free sister network, brings true fireworks to the Fourth of July holiday weekend with a first-time presentation of every episode of television's first prime time animated series, The Flintstones, including its original pilot, entitled "The Flagstones." The three-and-a-half-day marathon-THE FLAGTONES TO THE FLINTSTONES, featuring all 166 episodes without commercial interruption-will kick off at 6 a.m. (ET) on Wednesday, July 4, and culminate on Saturday, July 7 at 5 p.m. In addition, Boomerang VOD offerings in July also will reflect the FLAGSTONE TO FLINSTONES theme to present several all-time favorite episodes via a "Flintstones Fourth of July" tab for the VOD menu.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook