“Our Gang” theatrical short “Three Smart Boys” was released in 1937. Ironically, the plot involved Spanky (Spanky McFarland) and Alfalfa (Carl Switzer) staging a phony epidemic to get out of school. For a look, click here…Seven series of note concluded: “The Bionic Woman” starring Lindsay Wagner and NBC’s “Columbo,” starring Peter Falk, in 1978; NBC’s “Night Court” in 1992; CBS’ “Knots Landing” in 1993; “Cheers” spin-off “Frasier” in 2004; “Smallville” on The CW in 2011; and ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” in 2012. “The Bionic Woman” began on ABC and ended on NBC; while “Smallville” originally aired on The CW. “Frasier,” meanwhile, is the longest running sitcom spin-off in the history of television…“America’s Funniest People” debuted as a special on ABC in 1990. It returned as a companion show to parent “America’s Funniest Home Videos” the following fall, and aired for four seasons…Delta Burke made her final appearance on CBS’ “Designing Women” in the fifth season finale in 1991…The voice guest cast on Fox’s animated “The Simpsons” in 1993 was Elizabeth Taylor, Johnny Carson, Bette Midler, Hugh Hefner, Luke Perry, Barry White and the Red Hot Chili Peppers…Johnny Carson did his last TV appearance in 1994 on “The Late Show With David Letterman.“ He died on January 23, 2005…Jane Pauley exited NBC’s “Dateline” as co-anchor in 2003…The last time CBS aired the live “Survivor” season finale in New York was in 2012. Kim Spradlin was named the sole survivor…Actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty for her part in the U.S. college admissions sCheers” spin-off “Frasier” in 2004; “Smallville” on The CW in 2011; and ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” in 2012. “The Bionic Woman” began on ABC and ended on NBC; while “Smallville” originally aired on The CW. “Frasier,” meanwhile, is the longest running sitcom spin-off in the history of television…“America’s Funniest People” debuted as a special on ABC in 1990. It returned as a companion show to parent “America’s Funniest Home Videos” the following fall, and aired for four seasons…Delta Burke made her final appearance on CBS’ “Designing Women” in the fifth season finale in 1991…The voice guest cast on Fox’s animated “The Simpsons” in 1993 was Elizabeth Taylor, Johnny Carson, Bette Midler, Hugh Hefner, Luke Perry, Barry White and the Red Hot Chili Peppers…Johnny Carson did his last TV appearance in 1994 on “The Late Show With David Letterman.“ He died on January 23, 2005…Jane Pauley exited NBC’s “Dateline” as co-anchor in 2003…The last time CBS aired the live “Survivor” season finale in New York was in 2012. Kim Spradlin was named the sole survivor…Actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty for her part in the U.S. college admissions scandal in 2019. She served 11 days in jail in October.
Celebrity Birthdays: Actor Harvey Keitel (“Pulp Fiction”) is 81; Singer Stevie Wonder is 70; “The Waltons” star Leslie Winston is 64; NBA great Dennis Rodman is 59; talk show host Stephen Colbert is 56; Hootie & the Blowfish’s Darius Rucker is 54; “Girls” star Lena Dunham is 34.
Syndication Scorecard – Top 10 Household Ratings: Week of April 27
First-Run and Off Network
1. “Jeopardy” (CBS Television Distribution – CTD): 7.0 AA (average audience) rating
2. “Family Feud” (Debmar-Mercury): 6.9
3. “Wheel of Fortune” (CTD): 6.5
4. “Judge Judy” (CTD): 6.2
5. “The Big Bang Theory” (Warner Bros.): 3.3
6. “Inside Edition” (CTD): 2.8
7. “Entertainment Tonight” (CTD): 2.7
8. “Hot Bench” (CTD): 2.2
9. “Live with Kelly and Ryan” (Disney-ABC) and “Last Man Standing” (Disney-ABC): 2.1 each
Streaming Services Increase During the Pandemic
According to Justwatch.com, streaming service usage since March 17 is on the double-digit percent rise in usage across Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and Hulu. Take a look…
NEW PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENTS
Netflix Orders DC Drama “Sweet Tooth”
Netflix has greenlit eight one-hour episodes of “Sweet Tooth” based on characters from DC from Team Downey and Warner Bros. Television. Developed by producer/director Jim Mickle, with Beth Schwartz (“Arrow,” “D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow”) as executive producer and co-showrunner. “Sweet Tooth” follows the adventure of Gus — part deer, part boy — who leaves his home in the forest to find the outside world ravaged by a cataclysmic event. He joins a ragtag family of humans and animal-children hybrids like himself in search of answers about this new world and the mystery behind his hybrid origins.
“Sweet Tooth” stars Christian Convery (“Beautiful Boy”), Nonso Anozie (“Game of Thrones”), Adeel Akhtar (“The Big Sick”), and Will Forte (“The Last Man on Earth”), with James Brolin (“Life in Pieces”) as the voice of the narrator.
The CW Greenlights “Kung Fu” Reboot and Drama “The Republic of Sarah”
The CW, which normally would be presenting its fall programming line-up to advertisers, marketers and members of the media community in New York City tomorrow, has confirmed two new dramas: a new version of martial arts drama “Kung Fu” and drama “The Republic of Sarah.” The two series join the already confirmed pickups of “Superman & Lois” and the reboot of “Walker, Texas Ranger” with “Supernatural” star Jared Padelecki.
“Kung Fu” from executive producer Greg Berlanti revolves around a young Chinese American woman who drops out of college and goes on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice, all while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her. “The Republic of Sarah” revolves around a high school teacher who, faced with the destruction of her town at the hands of a greedy mining company, utilizes an obscure cartographical loophole to declare independence and lead a young group of misfits as they attempt to start their own country from scratch.
RENEWALS AND CANCELLATIONS
FXX Renews Comedy “Dave” for Season 2
FXX has greenlit “Dave” for a second season. Debuting on March 4, the series stars a fictionalized version of Lil Dickey and is centered on a suburban neurotic man in his late tenties who has convinced himself that he’s destined to be one of the best rappers of all time. Now he must convince his closest friends, because with their help, he might actually convince the world.
“Dave” concluded its 10-episode first season on April 29.
TV AND DIGITAL UPDATES
“Survivor: Winners at War” Castaway Odds for the Season Finale
The conclusion to “Survivor: Winners at War,” an instant classic season of the long-running competition series, airs this Wednesday, May 13. Reality TV podcaster Bobby Goodsby becomes “Survivor” oddsmaker for this article and lays out the chances for each of the remaining castaways heading in to the finale. To chime in with your picks, click here
2020 NFL Regular Season Weekly TV Schedule on Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN, and NFL Network
The National Football League (NFL) announced on Thursday, May 7 its 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule for 2020, which (tentatively) runs from September 10, 2020 through January 3, 2021. For a look, click here
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Lifetime will premiere unscripted special “Once Upon a Quarantine” on Wednesday, May 20 at 9 p.m. ET. Featuring four couples who have been self-filming since the crisis hit, the hour offers an intimate “fly on the wall” look at how these couples are facing major life milestones – from pregnancies and changes in birth plans to quarantine weddings and border barriers separating fiancés – all while living life under lockdown.
Animated PBS Kids series “Hero Elementary” will debut on Monday, June 1. The logline: “Hero Elementary” is a school for budding superheroes, where kids learn to master their innate powers, like flying and teleportation, while exploring science along the way. The launching series will give children ages 4 to 7 important tools to help them solve problems by encouraging them to think and act like scientists, igniting their natural curiosity. The series also showcases character and social-emotional concepts such as kindness, empathy, and commitment to working together to solve problems.
The filmed version of the Broadway production of musical “Hamilton” will be available for streaming on Disney+ on Friday, July 3. Producers for “Hamilton,” the film of the original Broadway production, include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeffrey Seller, andthomas Kail, who also directs. The logline: The film is a leap forward in the art of “live capture” which transports its audience into the world of the Broadway show in a uniquely intimate way. Combining the best elements of live theater, film, and streaming, the result is a cinematic stage performance that is a wholly new way to experience “Hamilton.”
“Room 104” returns for its fourth and final season Friday, July 24 at 11 p.m. ET on HBO. Created by Mark and Jay Duplass (HBO’s “Animals.” and “Togetherness”), the late-night, half-hour anthology series returns with 12 new episodes, each telling a unique and unexpected tale of the characters who pass through a single room of a typical American chain motel. While the setting stays the same, every episode of the series features a different story, with the tone, plot, characters, and even the time period, changing with each installment.
ON THE AIR TONIGHT
Season finales: “The Goldbergs,“ “Schooled,” “Single Parents” and “American Housewife” on ABC; “Survivor” on CBS; “Celebrity Ghost Stories” on A+E…For the listing of available programs for Wednesday, May 13, click here