Stars Who Jump From the Big Screen to the Small Screen Don’t Always Land on Their Feet

While it is not uncommon for stars to transition from television to movies–think about Robin Williams, Sally Field, Melissa McCarthy, and Tom Hanks–it is less likely to see stars move from the big screen to the small screen.  Jane Fonda has transitioned to television in Frankie and Grace and Fred MacMurray did it with My Three Sons.  For most stars, the move has not worked out very well. Let’s look at a few stars who tried to make the conversion.

That Wonderful Guy – Jack Lemmon (1949)

Neil Hamilton (best known as Commissioner Gordon on Batman) plays Franklin Westbrook, a conceited drama critic who dislikes almost everything. Jack Lemmon plays Harold, a Midwesterner who thinks working for Westbrook will help him become worldly and give a boost to his acting career. His girlfriend is played by his real wife Cynthia Stone. The episodes revolved around his romantic and business adventures in New York City.  Perhaps Westbrook panned the show because it was cancelled after three episodes.

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Heaven for Betsy – Jack Lemmon (1952)

Three years later, Lemmon gave it another try. In this show, Lemmon plays Peter Bell, a toy store buyer. His wife Cynthia again played his wife Betsy. The series was based on a sketch “The Couple Next Door” that Lemmon and his wife played regularly on the Frances Langford/Don Ameche Show. Each episode lasted 15 minutes, and it told about the newlyweds’ struggles in New York City. Instead of three episodes, this series lasted three months.

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Honestly Celeste – Celeste Holm (1954)

After playing Ado Annie in Oklahoma, Holm tried her hand at television. She plays Celeste Anders, a Minnesota college professor living in Manhattan, who is getting journalism experience working for the NY Express. Celeste wrote stories ranging from modern art to underprivileged families. She also dated the publisher’s son Bob Wallace, played by Scott McKay. After three months, she was sent back to school in Minnesota. What was most surprising about this failure was that Norman Lear (who would go on to create dozens of shows) and Larry Gelbart (who later created M*A*S*H) were both part of the writing staff.

 

Going My Way – Gene Kelly (1962)

Bridging television and movies, Gene Kelly redid Bing Crosby’s movie from 1944 for the small screen. Kelly is Father Chuck O’Malley, a progressive priest assigned to the slums of New York. Father Fitzgibbon played by Leo G. Carroll is a cantankerous, old priest. Dick York was his boyhood pal Tom Colwell who ran the community center. Mrs. Featherstone (Nydia Westman) played the rectory housekeeper. The list of guest stars on the show was very impressive, but after a year, the network told Kelly to keep going and cancelled the show.

 

The Bing Crosby Show – Bing Crosby (1964)

I guess Bing decided if Gene Kelly could enter television with his old movie, he might also give it a try. He plays Bing Collins a former singer. He is now an electrical engineer married to Ellie (Beverly Garland) with two daughters Janice (Carol Faylen), 15, and boy crazy and Joyce (Diane Sherry), 10, who had a high IQ. It lasted one season. Not surprisingly, this series also attracted a lot of big-name guest stars including Frankie Avalon, Jack Benny, Dennis Day, Joan Fontaine, and George Gobel. Apparently, Garland had a thing for engineers because she would marry aeronautical engineer Steve Douglas on My Three Sons.

 

Mickey – Mickey Rooney (1964)

Mickey plays Mickey Grady who leaves the Coast Guard to manage a posh hotel, Newport Arms in California, with his wife Nora (Emmaline Henry) and two young boys. His real son plays one of his sons on the show. Sammee Tong plays the hotel’s manager. The former supervisor has left a lot of problems for Mickey. The show was cancelled in January airing only 17 episodes.

 

One of the Boys – Mickey Rooney (1982)

After vowing never to work on television again, Rooney tried it again 18 years later. Now he plays 66-year-old Oliver Nugent, rescued from a nursing home by his grandson Adam Shields (Dana Carvey). Adam is a college student who takes him in. Adam’s roommate, Jonathan Burns (Nathan Lane) is not so happy about the situation. Oliver looks for a job and lands one singing in a restaurant. Also appearing in the cast was Scatman Crothers who sang with Oliver and had also left the nursing home.  A young Meg Ryan played Adam’s girlfriend Jane. The show debuted at 18th place in the ratings but by within a month it had dropped to 68th. Even with this cast, the show was cancelled after an unlucky 13 episodes.

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Jimmy Stewart Show – Jimmy Stewart (1971)

Jimmy Stewart jumped to the small screen with great anticipation and excitement by viewers. He  played anthropology professor Jim Howard. Howard teaches at Josiah Kessel College, started by his grandfather.  His house is full with his wife, his son Peter, Peter’s wife Wendy, and his grandson Jake. He also has a young son Teddy, who happens to be the same age as his grandson. His friend Luther Quince often stops by to eat and give advice. Jim talks to the audience during the show and wishes them love, peace, and laughter at the end of each episode. Even beloved Jimmy Stewart was unable to save this show which was cancelled after one season.

 

The Doris Day Show – Doris Day (1968)

Doris Day was the most successful actor moving from film to television. However, I think the reason she managed to keep her show on the air for five seasons was because she changed the format so often that CBS did not realize it was the same show.  In 1968, Day is Doris Martin, a widow with two kids. She moves from the city to Mill Valley, CA to live on her father’s ranch.

The second season she commutes to San Francisco after accepting a job as an executive secretary to Michael Nicholson (MacLean Stevenson), the editor of Today’s Magazine. Rose Marie was Myrna Gibbons and Denver Pyle again played her father Buck Webb.

In 1970, Doris and the kids move to an apartment over an Italian restaurant run by Kaye Ballard and Bernie Kopell. Billy De Wolfe was her neighbor. Now Doris is writing feature stories for the magazine.

When the show returned the next fall, Doris was single and a reporter for a magazine. Her new boss was Cy Bennett (John Dehner) and she had a boyfriend Peter Lawford but later her boyfriend turned into Patrick O’Neal. There was no restaurant.

By 1973, the network caught up with all the changes and cancelled the show.

 

It was interesting that so many actors failed in television when they were such celebrated movie stars. The radio stars seemed to have better luck making the transition. Jack Benny and Burns and Allen had long-lasting and popular shows. It’s hard to imagine actors like Ryan Gosling, Amy Adams, Julia Roberts, or Ben Affleck bombing on a television series today.

I think for now I will continue to choose to watch Pillow Talk, Move Over Darling, Harvey, The Philadelphia Story, Some Like It Hot, Singing in the Rain, and Hope and Crosby’s Road movies and set aside the television DVDs these stars appeared in.

The Amazing, But Much Too Short, Career of Richard Deacon

Richard Deacon, 1960s

Richard Deacon was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1921, but most of his adolescence was spent in Binghamton, New York. When he was only 11, he contracted polio. He took up dancing to build up his leg muscles.

Deacon’s first career choice was to become a doctor.  He was working as an orderly at the Binghamton Hospital when World War II began. He tried to join the Navy; they suggested he try the Army.  He did and joined the medical corps.

After the war, he studied medicine at Ithaca College but soon switched to acting. He studied drama for a couple of years and was the actor in residence at Bennington College.  After spending some time in New York, he headed to California to look for work.  After paying his dues as a bartender, he finally got a break and was offered a role in a film.

When he first began his career, Helen Hayes advised him to become a character actor as opposed to a leading man.  It was great advice, and he was one of the most beloved and prolific actors during the golden age of television. During his career, he appeared in 66 movies on the big screen, guest starred on 92 different television shows, and starred in six series.

In the 1950s, he appeared in 48 television shows including Burns and Allen, The Life of Riley, Bachelor Father, and the Gale Storm Show.  He had regular roles in two sitcoms.

The Charles Farrell Show debuted in 1956. Farrell played himself as the manager of the Palm Springs Racquet Club, a resort he actually owned and operated. It was a summer replacement for I Love Lucy and only lasted 12 episodes. Richard played Sherman Hall.

 

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In 1957, he got another chance at being a regular in a sitcom, Date with the Angels starring Betty White. Deacon played Roger Finley.  This show lasted one year.

 

Richard continued his productive acting career, appearing in 43 shows in the 1960s.  He could be seen in a wide range of shows including Bonanza, The Rifleman, My Three Sons, Make Room for Daddy, Perry Mason, The Donna Reed Show, The Twilight Zone, Mr. Ed, I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, The Munsters, and The Addams Family. He was also appearing in a number of films during this decade. He appeared in four sitcoms on a regular basis during the ’60s.

 

Leave It to Beaver aired from 1957-1963. Deacon played Fred Rutherford, father of Clarence, or Lumpy, Rutherford, Wally’s friend. During the 6 seasons it was on the air, Fred was in 63 episodes.

 

Part way through the series, he was offered another regular role, that of Mel Cooley on The Dick Van Dyke Show.  From 1961-1966, he brightened the screen in 82 shows, putting up with his brother-in-law’s bullying and Buddy Sorrel’s belittling. Deacon had high praise for everyone connected with The Dick Van Dyke Show.

One day Morey Amsterdam was goofing around with Richard and said he didn’t think his hair had fallen out, he thought it had imploded and fallen into his brain, clouding his thinking.  Carl Reiner came running on the set and said to add that dialogue to the show.  From then on, there was an insult fest between Buddy Sorrell and Mel Cooley. When the writers were trying to come up with a comeback from Mel to Buddy, Reiner asked Deacon how he would respond to someone who continued to torment him.  Deacon replied, “Yeecchh!” and his trademark phrase was invented.

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Bud Molin, Dick Van Dyke Show film editor described Deacon as “the funniest human being on the face of the earth.” Carl Reiner said it was a joy to have him around and everyone on the show loved him.

Deacon, Leonard, Reiner, Paris

The Dick Van Dyke Show was one of the best shows ever written. It won the Outstanding Comedy Emmy in 1963, 1964, and 1966. After the cast of the Dick Van Dyke Show decided to end the show on its own terms, leaving the air with its quality reputation intact, Deacon was offered another sixties role.

 

Phyllis Diller had a fantastic cast on her show, The Pruitts of South Hampton, or The Phyllis Diller Show as it became known in syndication. This was about a formerly wealthy family who found out they owed $10,000,000 in back taxes.  They try to appear that they still have their wealth, while living in very reduced circumstances.  The cast included Louis Nye, John Astin, Reginald Gardiner, Paul Lynde, Gypsy Rose Lee, Billy De Wolfe, John McGiver, and Marty Ingels in addition to Diller and Deacon.  I don’t know how this show did not succeed, but it was taken off the air after only one year. Diller and Deacon continued to work together both on an episode of Love, American Style and in the production of Hello Dolly in the 1969-1970 season.

 

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Once the Diller show was canceled, Deacon was offered a role on The Mothers-In-Law starring Kaye Ballard and Eve Arden. Deacon took over the role of Roger Buell mid-way through the series. The concept was two families who didn’t necessarily get along were neighbors whose children  married so they had to find ways to get along and keep the peace.

 

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After the show was cancelled, he continued to stay busy with his acting career.  He also appeared in 17 episodes of Match Game and several Family Feud episodes.

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Deacon was a life-long bachelor.  He was a closeted gay man who had to keep his sexual orientation secret to keep his options open to work for companies like Disney. He was also a gourmet chef.  In the 1980s, he hosted a Canadian cooking show about microwave cooking, writing a book that sold almost two million copies. He spent a lot of his spare time working with SYNANON, an agency that helped teenage drug addicts.

On the night of August 8, 1984, he was suffered a heart attack in his Beverly Hills home. He was rushed to Cedars Sinai Hospital, where he died later that night. He was 63 years old.

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Everything I read about Richard Deacon painted him as a gracious, friendly, very funny man who was caring and kind.  He had an amazing career, with 180 acting credits within a 30-year period.  The legacy he left was a rich and full acting life. Pretty good for a guy who chose to be a character actor and turned down two offers to do a show that he would star in.

 

 

 

 

Just When You Think It Can’t Get Any Weirder, It Does

Although I love The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family, there are a lot of shows on television today that make me shake my head.  It’s amazing what is airing when you scroll through the channels:  Vanilla Ice Goes Amish, I Cloned My Pet, Doomsday Preppers, and these are some of the best reality shows out there.  However, when I researched sitcoms from the classic era, I also found a lot of weird concepts there also.  Let’s take some time to look at a few of them.

 

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Boss Lady (1951)

Lynn Bari was Gwen Allen, owner and operator of Hillendale Homes Construction Co. which was owned by her father.  While this show would not seem unusual at all today, back in 1951 it was not common to see a woman the boss of a construction crew. This show began on the Dumont network and then switched to NBC for twelve episodes, running as a summer replacement from July to September 1952.

 

 

 

Where’s Raymond? (1953)

Believe it or not, this was a musical sitcom.  Ray Bolger (who had sang and danced as The Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz) was a song and dance man named Ray Wallace living in Pelham, New York. He had a girlfriend named Susan (Marjie Millar) and a business partner Peter (Richard Erdman). Verna Felton from December Bride was his understudy’s mother-in-law. The show lasted 2 ½ years on ABC.

 

 

 

The People’s Choice (1955)

Ok, pay attention, because the basis of this show is confusing. Socrates (Sock) Miller played by Jackie Cooper is a Bureau of Fish and Wildlife Orinthologist studying to be a lawyer.  Honestly! He has car trouble one day and is picked up (and picked up) by the mayor’s daughter Mandy who thinks he should be on the city council. Sock decides to be a lawyer to support Mandy.   In the finale to year one, the two elope and conceal their marriage for the entire second season.  When the show came back for a third year, the mayor finds out about the marriage, Sock gets his law license, and Sock’s free-loading pal Rollo (Dick Wesson) moves in with the couple.  Now Sock is managing a real estate development. Just when you thought it could not get more confusing, Sock’s basset hound Cleo would do tricks and comment directly to the audience about situations occurring on the show. LSD had not even become a social problem yet, so it was not responsible for this show, so I’m not sure how this crazy mess stayed on the air for 104 episodes.

 

 

 

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Dick and the Duchess (1957)

Dick Starrett (Patrick O’Neal) is a claims adjuster in London.  There are some exciting scenarios to provide interest. He meets and marries Jane (Hazel Court) a duchess. She becomes his wife and assistant, although she still expects to live in the manner she has become accustomed to.  She humorously gets involved in his investigations. The network must not have thought she was that funny helping out because  CBS cancelled it after 25 episodes.

 

 

 

Mr. Ed (1961)

Let me say, I do not put Mr. Ed in the same category as Dick Van Dyke Show, That Girl, or Bachelor Father, but I don’t mind catching an episode or two now and then.  When looking at strange concepts for show, this one does have to go into the mix.

When the creator asked Young to appear in the show, he turned him down twice. A pilot was made without him. It did not sell, so producers Arthur Luben and Al Simon decided to enter it directly into syndication, and Young then agreed to take on the role. It was very successful, so CBS bought it.

Wilbur Post (Alan Young) is a married architect. Wilbur and his wife Winnie (Connie Hines) bought their house with a horse included. Their neighbors were played by Edna Skinner and Larry Keating. What no one else realized (including his wife), was that Wilbur was the only human who could understand Ed and talk with him.  Ed was quite the character; he was a hypochondriac; a voracious reader; a playboy, or play horse; loved Carl Bernstein and wanted to decorate his stable in Chinese modern.

The voice of Ed was a highly guarded secret until the show ended in 1967 when it was revealed to be Rocky Lane. Ed was played by Bamboo Harvester, a palomino. One interesting fact about this show is that it has been seen in 57 different countries.

 

 

 

My Mother the Car (1965)

This is another one of those shows you roll your eyes about.  Dave Crabtree (Jerry Van Dyke) lives in LA.  He wants to buy a new station wagon, and when he goes shopping, he realizes his mother’s voice is coming through the radio of a 1928 Porter.  Ann Sothern provides his mother’s voice. Of course, he buys the car which irritates his family, but they don’t know his secret. He also has to deal with a car connoisseur who wants to buy the car for his collection. Maybe it’s a Freudian slip, but I’m a bit offended that a mother is portrayed as an old jalopy as opposed to a new, sleek car, but I digress. This show was only on the air for a year and then the radio was turned off.

 

 

 

 

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The Second Hundred Years (1967)

Here is the premise of this one:  In 1900, 33-year-old Luke Carpenter (Monte Markham) is prospecting for gold in Alaska.  An avalanche occurs, and he is buried alive and frozen.

In 1967, Luke’s son Edwin, who is 67, is told that his father has been found alive.  Dad looks 33, but his identity and past has become a top-government secret.  He is released into the custody of Edwin (Arthur O’Connell) and grandson Ken (also Monte Markham). Luke has a hard time adjusting to life in the 1960s. I know you are surprised, but the show was cancelled after 30 episodes.

 

 

My World and Welcome to It (1969)

This show was based on James Thurber’s writings. The show was set in Connecticut where John Monroe (William Windom) was a cartoonist for Manhattanite Magazine. He was intimidated by his wife Ellen (Joan Hotchkiss). To escape his boring and nagging life, he escapes into a secret world where his cartoons come alive and he is a king. He drifted between real and fantasy lives. NBC cancelled the show after a year, but CBS picked it up and aired it from May-September of 1972. So, the presence of LSD does explain the writing on this one. What it doesn’t explain is that this show won two Emmys in 1970 : Outstanding Continued Performance by and Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Comedy Series. The competition for comedy included Love American Style, Room 222, The Bill Cosby Show, and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.

 

 

 

The Roller Girls (1977)

Meet the Pittsburgh Pitts, an all-women roller derby team, owned and managed by Don Mitchell (Terry Kiser). The Pitts were pretty but useless when it came to roller derby. James Murtaugh played the team’s announcer Howie Devine. After four episodes, the network agreed this really was the pits and it was cancelled.

 

 

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Apple Pie (1978)

This show aired for one episode – I thought they used to call that a movie. (A couple sources say 2 episodes, perhaps a mini-series.) The show is set in Kansas City, Missouri. A hairdresser named Ginger Nell Hollyhock (Rue McLanahan) is lonely and decides to advertise in the local paper for a family. She ended up with a con artist, Fast Eddie (Dabney Coleman), a tap-dancer daughter, a son who wanted to fly just like birds do, and a grandfather figure (Jack  Guilford).

 

So, when you think you’ve seen it all before, you probably have. I would not be the least surprised to read that in the fall there will be a reality show that features a roller derby team, or a woman who advertised for a family in the personal ads, or an insurance adjustor married to royalty.

I do have to say that both Dick and the Duchess and My World and Welcome To It  seem to have some die-hard fans who appreciate the shows  I guess I should watch a few more episodes.

Listen up you sitcom developers; if you think you have a concept that’s a bit too far out there, it will probably be a big hit. After all, who would have guessed a show about an alien from Ork who traveled in an egg, and gave birth to a 79-year old man would score high ratings?

We Are Previewing the Preview of Fall 2017 New Shows

Traditions have always been important to me.  Apart from holiday rites and rituals that make celebrating more meaningful, I have other seasonal customs. I always wear lilac perfume the first day of spring, I have a snowman I bought at 20 that comes out the first snowfall of each year, and I like to celebrate my birthday on the actual date.

When I think about the traditions that were part of my childhood, two things come to mind immediately.  There were two days I looked forward to every year.  One was the day the Sears Wish Book came in the mail.  We would pour through the catalog, planning our Christmas list for Santa and looking at all the unusual decorations they featured.

The other day was the day the TV Guide September Preview came out.  With the same anticipation we had in paging through the Christmas catalog, we would read about all the new shows debuting on the three major networks.  I picked out my favorites and marked down when each one would begin.

I know I could still go to the store and buy the TV Guide that previews the fall shows, but it is not the same. There are no longer three networks; there are hundreds, and even though many of them don’t feature new fall shows, it is still hard to find a spot where you can preview everything that is being produced.

Looking at some of those years and the shows that began each fall, I picked three seasons that featured some long-lasting, classic shows.

1960 – While I did not preview any of these shows since I was not born yet, I included this season because it featured The Andy Griffith Show, My Three Sons, and Pete and Gladys.  Who knew back then that almost 60 years later, an entire town would be devoted to The Andy Griffith Show, drawing thousands of visitors yearly. Talk about long-lasting!  My Three Sons is one of my favorite shows.  It continued on the air until 1972, so I literally grew up with the Douglas boys. I only got to know Pete and Gladys through reruns, but it was one of those shows that sparked my interest in older sitcoms.

 

1965 – I was only 4 when these shows debuted, but I have spent most of my life watching them.  September of 1965 introduced us to Get Smart, F-Troop, Gidget, Green Acres, Hogan’s Heroes, I Dream of Jeannie, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, and The Smothers Brothers – eight shows that continue to be watched by viewers.  I Dream of Jeannie went to reruns as soon as the show was cancelled, and has never not been on television since 1965 – pretty amazing.  Turn on ME TV or Antenna TV and you can still watch most of these series.

 

1970 – The late 60s and early 70s featured the shows I lived for.  I read about the stars in Tiger Beat and other magazines.  We had slumber parties around the Friday night line-up of shows.  In 1970, we saw the beginning of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Odd Couple, The Partridge Family, and Nanny and the Professor.  We still discuss the significance of Mary Tyler Moore and the way the show featured single women.  The Odd Couple just saw the remake of the second or third series since the original debuted. When I watch an episode of The Partridge Family, I am ten again and have not a care in the world, except that I can’t find a way to meet Keith who I know is just waiting for me. I have not watched Nanny and the Professor since my youth but I do remember watching every week then.

So here we are 47 years later, and I have to search the internet just to find a full listing of new shows coming out.  It’s not the same as sitting down with the glossy issue, knowing I can do the crossword puzzle later.  We have hundreds of networks, not three.  Yet some things remain the same.

In reviewing the new shows, I still only came up with 7 that looked interesting to me.  I don’t see the This Is Us of 2017. What I did see were a lot of legal and medical dramas.  I wonder why can’t the networks figure out that one or two well-written shows about the medical and legal fields are great, but 32 of them glaze our eyes over.

I loved the fresh approach of Trial and Error last year, and I will continue watching that show, but I’ll pass on the Trial and Error-Wannabees I see coming out this year.  Again, creativity and originality are more important than another rollout of a successful show already on the air. I also get tired of shows that call themselves sitcoms like Two Broke Girls, but have no humor, just a lot of crude language and not much originality.  Would you eat at their restaurant?

So, with all that being said, here are the shows that are piquing my interest this fall. I copied the series descriptions directly from the preview site on Entertainment Weekly: http://ew.com/tv/2017/04/21/fall-tv-pilots-2017/.

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  1. The Trustee

In this fun, female buddy cop dramedy, a driven but stubborn detective finds unlikely help from her precinct’s trustee, a larger than life ex-con finishing out her prison sentence doing menial tasks for the police department. Though these two have completely opposing views on crime and punishment, a highly entertaining and successful partnership is born.

Team: Jay Scherick and David Ronn will write and executive-produce with Elizabeth Banks and Michael Engler.

Cast: Meaghan Rath, Micheal Cudlitz, Laverne Cox, Gail Bean, Lance Gross, L. Scott Caldwell, Trevor Lerner, Berto Colon, Tim Kang, David Warshofsky.

I may be placing more hope in this show that I should, but I am still in mourning over Rizzoli and Isles ending, so I am looking for a replacement.

 

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  1. Household Name

This multi-camera comedy follows a family who has an opportunity to buy the house of their dreams but under extremely abnormal circumstances: They must live with the previous owner, an eccentric, larger-than-life actress (Carol Burnett).

Team: Michael Saltzman will write and executive-produce with Amy Poehler, Brooke Posch, Carol Burnett, Dave Becky, and Michael Pelmont.

Cast: Carol Burnett, Timothy Omundson, Matt Oberg, Mary Holland, Zoe Anne Pessin, Maverick Thompson.

How can you not be excited about a show starring Carol Burnett.  I admit, I will give this one several chances and the benefit of the doubt just to watch her.

 

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  1. The Mayor

After an outspoken, idealistic rapper runs for office as a publicity stunt and actually gets elected, he surprises everyone (including himself) when he has a natural knack for the job and slowly transforms City Hall.

Team: Jeremy Bronson will write and executive-produce with Daveed Diggs, Jamie Tarses, and James Griffiths.

Cast: Brandon Michael Hall, Lea Michele, Bernard David Jones, Marcel Spears, Yvette Nicole Brown, David Spade.

This show is going to be great or a total flop.  Let’s check it out and see which way it goes.

 

  1. Splitting Up Together

Based upon the original Danish series created by Mette Heeno, Splitting Up Together is the story of a couple whose relationship is reignited by their divorce.

Team: Emily Kapnek will write and executive-produce with Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman, Mette Heeno, Mie Andreasen, and Hella Joof.

Cast: Jenna Fischer, Oliver Hudson, Lindsay Price, Olivia Keville, Bobby Lee, Diane Farr, Van Crosby, Sander Combs, Geoff Pierson, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, Kelsey Asbille.

I am putting faith in Ellen DeGeneres that this one will be a hit.  I am also looking forward to Jenna Fischer and Oliver Hudson pairing up.

 

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  1. Perfect Citizen

After his involvement as a whistleblower in an international scandal, the former General Counsel for the NSA (Noah Wyle) embarks on a new career at a storied law firm in Boston, facing the reality that while half the country thinks he’s our greatest patriot, the other half thinks he’s a traitor.

Team: Craig Turk will write and executive-produce with Ridley Scott, David Zucker, and Paris Barclay.

Cast: Noah Wyle, Shanley Caswell, Kristin Chenoweth, Stephanie Szostak, Adrienne Warren, Lenny Platt, Brian Stokes Mitchell.

I am a big Noah Wyle fan and never watched The Librarians although I had good intentions, so I am going to watch this one.  The plot intrigues me.

 

  1. Life Sentence

When a young woman diagnosed with terminal cancer finds out that she’s not dying after all, she has to learn to live with the choices she made when she decided to “live like she was dying.”
Team: Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith will write and executive-produce with Bill Lawrence, Oliver Goldstick, Jeff Ingold and Lee Toland Krieger.
Cast: Lucy Hale, Dylan Walsh, Jayson Blair, Gillian Vigman, Brooke Lyons, Elliot Knight, Carlos PenaVega.

This plot also has me creating story lines in my mind.  It could be an interesting concept or another Two Broke Girls.  Let’s hope for the first option.

 

  1. Will & Grace (straight-to-series)

A 12-episode revival of the long-running Emmy-winning comedy, which will reunite Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullally.

Team: Original series creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan will act as showrunners and executive producers, while prolific director James Burrows, who directed every episode of the show during its initial eight-year run, is on board to direct and executive-produce.

Cast: Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally.

Based on the writing from the original and the cast chemistry between these four stars, I can’t imagine not liking this show.  I’m not sure if the 12 episodes is a first taping or if that is all we will get. 

Let me know what shows you plan on checking out this fall.  In January, I’ll let you know how I think the shows panned out and which ones may or may not be back next fall. Happy fall preview week!