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September 2003

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This is a collection of old news and obituaries from the Morty's TV News page.  Dates, where shown, represent the date the story was originally posted on the web site.  Because these are old stories, links within the stories may no longer be active. For current news and schedules, click here.  
 
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Ellen Idelson Comedy Writer Dies at 42

[September 30, 2003]  Ellen Idelson TV comedy writer died September 19 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of cancer. She had suffered from Crohn's disease throughout her life.

Idelson  whos writing credits include: "Boy Meets World,"  "Will & Grace", "Suddenly Susan", "Caroline In the City", "Dream On" and "Ellen", who helped produce the series "Grosse Pointe" and "Danny"

A critically praised actress, Idelson appeared in small theaters, including the Mark Taper Forum, and in productions of Theatre West and the Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival. She performed in sketches on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno and had a leading role in the independent film "Moose Mating." Idelson also helped found Los Angeles Theatresports, serving as artistic director.

Idelson's  is the daughter of comedy writer Bill Idelsen and actress Seemah Wilder.  Bill Idelson is a legend of classic TV comedy, writing for "Get Smart," "M*A*S*H,"  "Gomer Pyle USMC," and scores more, as well as playing Herman Glimsher on "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

Beaver's Pal Whitey Dies at 54

Fafara in 1960

Fafara in 2000

[September 30, 2003]  Stanley Fafara, the actor who played Beaver's buddy "Whitey" on "Leave It to Beaver"  died September 20th following complications from a surgery last month. He was 54.

Fafara had been admitted to the hospital in late August for surgery on an intestine constricted by a hernia. He suffered complications from the surgery, including a blood clot in his leg and underwent two more operations, which weakened an already frail body.

The former child actor had come a long way since he talked his pal Beaver into climbing into a giant billboard bowl of soup in 1961.  After his acting career ended, working as a roofer, waiter and janitor and eventually as a drug dealer.  In the years that followed he would become addicted to drugs and alcohol, deal cocaine, break into drugs stores, and contract hepatitis C.  Fafara had been clean and sober since 1995. 

The surgeries strained his liver and kidneys, all of which shut down during the past several weeks. On Saturday, he slipped into a coma, and the life-support machines were removed.

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" Week on Trio!

[September 26, 2003] Tuesday, October 7 through Monday, October 13 Trio! will air "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"  at various times throughout the day. 

Episodes airing:  #1 Revenge,  #48 Crack of Doom   #78 The Dangerous People, #39 Momentum, #77 Little Sleep.  Each week in October they have a "Halloween" (as in scary) type of series. They also have "Gun,"  "Kolchak: The Night Stalker," and "The Ernie Kovacs Show" for other weeks.  Complete Schedule Here

Three's Company on DVD

[September 25, 2003] It's here!  All six episodes from the debut season Three's Company: Season One   Disc includes "A Man About the House," "And Mother Makes Four," "Roper's Niece," "No Children, No Pets," "Jack the Giant Killer," and "It's Only Money"--are included in this collection. 132 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English.  This item will be released on November 11, 2003.  Pre-order it today (you're not charged until it is shipped to you).   Since the first season was short, the price of this disc is under $15! 

Gordon Jump Tribute on TV Land

[September 23, 2003]  TV Land Kitschen Gordon Jump Tribute Friday, Sept. 26 & Sat. Sept. 27, 12-2am E/P each night. In memory of Gordon Jump, who passed away on Monday at the age of 71, TV Land dedicates this weekend's "TV Land Kitschen" block to "WRKP in Cincinnati" episodes featuring Gordon Jump as station manager Arthur Carlson.

Friday, Sept. 26 12:00 am., Episode #8, Turkeys Away
12:30 a.m., Episode #15, Mama's Review
1:00 a.m., Episode #18, Young Master Carlson
1:30 a.m., Episode 25, Carlson for President Saturday,

Sept. 27 12:00 a.m., Episode 31, Patter of Little Feet
12:30 a.m., Episode 51, The Baby
1:00 a.m., Episode 52, Bah, Humbug
1:30 a.m., Episode 65, A Simple Little Wedding

Gordon Jump of WKRP Dies at 71

[September 22, 2003] Los Angeles  Actor  Gordon Jump died today at age 71.  Best known as "The Big Guy,: Author Carlson of "WKRP in Cincinnati,"   in real life, Gordon Jump once was with WIBW radio in Topeka. Before he was discovered in Hollywood, he was a lecturer for Forest Lawn cemetery. Then followed a variety of roles in little theaters, and later bit parts on most of the major television shows, including "Green Acres," "Daniel Boone," "Get Smart" and "The Partridge Family."

When WKRP ended in the early '80s, Jump returned to making guest appearances on other shows. Between 1991 and 1993, he reprised his role of Carlson on "The New WKRP in Cincinnati". In 1989, Jump found steady work playing the "Lonely Repairman" in TV commercials for Maytag appliances until he retired from the role in July and actor Hardy Rawls took over.  In addition to television, Jump also made occasional film appearances. His dramatic roles included a part in the TV movie "Ruby and Oswald," about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes."

Jump was under hospice care and suffered from a condition called pulmonary fibrosis, leading to heart or respiratory failure. He's believed to have died at his home in Coto de Caza.

Tributes to John Ritter

[September 14, 203] Both TV Land and Nick at Nite  will air programming that shows the talents and pays tribute to John Ritter.  On line memorials like this one, A Tribute to John Ritter are also starting to appear. 

"Nick @ Nite John Ritter in Three's Company Tribute"

Monday, September 15 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. E/P
9:00PM 001 - A Man About The House - In order to convince their landlord, Mr. Roper, that there is nothing going on between them and their new male roommate, Chrissy and Janet tell him that Jack is gay.
9:30PM 003 - Roper's Niece Roper feels convinced that his niece will be safe going out with Jack, and Jack would rather be with Janet and Chrissy celebrating Janet's birthday, until he sees the niece.
10:00PM 025 - -Jack in the Flower Shop All work no play makes Jack an angry boy when Janet hires him to work for her and acts like a tough boss.
10:30PM 035 - The Fast Jack gets caught in an exasperating willpower contest with Chrissy to determine whether he can give up women for longer than she can give up food.
11:00PM 055 - Jack on the Lam Jack Tripper, a chef for all seasons, turns out to be quite a dish himself when he disguises himself as roommate Chrissy to skirt FBI
agents on his trail.
11:30PM 060 - Jack the Ripper It's no more "Mr. Nice Guy" after Jack learns how to get his way with Chrissy and Janet.
12:00AM 071 - Mighty Mouth Chrissy and Janet's effort to get Jack into prime physical condition succeed beyond their wildest expectations when their voluptuous.
12:30AM 081 - Upstairs, Downstairs, Downstairs Jack finds himself in a state of panic when he juggles three gourmet dinners in three different apartments.
1:00AM 082 -...And Justice for Jack - Jack's first day behind the grill at a diner heats up hilariously when his attractive boss tries to spice up her life.
1:30AM 086 - Room at the Bottom Jack has to do a lot of double-talking when, on his first night as busboy at a posh French restaurant. The gang comes to dinner
expecting him, to be the head chef.
2:00AM 096 - Teacher's Pet While teaching at his old cooking school, Jack finds himself in a stew when Dean Traver's voluptuous niece, Betty Jane, cooks up a
seductive plan to win an "A".
2:30AM 102 - Honest Jack Tripper When Jack's never-ending schemes to endear himself to a beautiful women totally backfire, he decides to forego his little white lies for honesty.
3:00AM 121 - Jack's 10 Jack adopts a new image and changes his career plans to please an affluent woman who'd like to marry him.
3:30AM 135 - Jack Gets His Jack is conned into renting a small restaurant - only to discover that it's a run-down disaster.
4:00AM 155 - The Money Machine Jack receives $1,000 by mistake from an automated cash machine. He hides it in the couch for the weekend but when the Bank
Security arrives to collect the money, it is nowhere to be found.
4:30AM 159 - Grandma Jack - Jack believes he has won a baking contest that is open only to women. Disguised as "Grandma Tripper," he goes to collect the check and
learns that he is a finalist and must bake his cookies  for the company's executives to win the prize.
5:00AM 169 - Jack Takes Off Jack offers to model for a beautiful art teacher and finds himself nude in front of her classroom when Furley walks in. Jack begs  Furley not to tell, but the secret is out when a nude  portrait of Jack appears at the Regal Beagle.
5:30AM 172 - Cupid Works Overtime Jack meets an  attractive stewardess, Vicky Bradford; but between her  father and her dates, she doesn't seem to have time
for Jack. Janet announces her engagement to Philip, while Jack is jealous and lovesick

TV Land Tribute:
"John Ritter Tribute"
Sunday, September 14
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. E/P

9:00 AM Bob Newhart 052 - Sorry, Wrong Mother: Howard Borden is about to introduce his son to Ellen and tries to remold her into an image the boy will like.
9:30 AM Three's A Crowd 001 - Pilot: Description is not available
10:00 AM Three's Company 056 - Stanley, the Ladies' Man: Stanley Roper invites his former tenants, Jack, Janet and Chrissy to a surprise disco party he is planning for his wife, Helen, and asks the two girls to give him secret lessons to prepare for the event.
10:30 AM Three's Company 073 - Handcuffed: When an absent-minded policeman leaves his handcuffs at the trio's apartment, Chrissy and Jack playfully slap the cuffs on each other and then discover there's no key.
11:00 AM Starsky and Hutch 015 - Hostage, The: Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) and Hutch(David Soul) try to save the lives of a young armored car driver and his captive wife, both of whom will be killed after a fortune in cash has been delivered
12:00 PM Hawaii Five-O 7616 - Dealer's Choice: - Blackmail Description is not available
1:00 PM Mary Tyler Moore Show, The 129 - Ted's Wedding: A quiet luncheon Mary hosts for Ted and Georgette turns into a spontaneous wedding.
1:30 PM Rhoda 042 - Attack On Mr. Right: Rhoda drills Brenda on the finer points of life, such as how to land a man, when Brenda's Mr. Right seems to be taking her for granted.
2:00 PM The Waltons 007 - Sinner, The: A young minister visiting the Waltons gives unrelenting
sermons against the wicked sinner until he accidently gets drunk while drinking what he thinks is the
Baldwin sister's home remedy.
3:00 PM Wings 147 - Love Overboard: Casey's husband returns to Nantucket and tells her that he left her for two years because he was broke. This story doesn't turn out to be true because Antonio sees a yacht in the harbor named "Princess Casey." Casey and Brian go to the harbor and find out that her husband is living a luxurious life.
3:30 PM Hooperman 003 - Don We Now Our Gay Apparel:
Description is not available
4:00 PM The Cosby Show 166 - TOTAL CONTROL: Basketball coach Ray Evans (guest star John Ritter) and his wife Alicia have devised the perfect game plan for the birth of their first child. Baby book in hand, the over-anxious couple prepares for any contingency. Their practice sessions run like clockwork. But when the first contractions begin, Ray falls apart! Worse, three hours into labor, a stressed-out Alicia turns on him - blaming Ray for "her condition." Crushed, Ray bails out. It takes a whole lot of coaching from Cliff to get him off the bench and back into the game!
4:30 PM Three's Company 056 - Stanley, the Ladies' Man: Stanley Roper invites his former tenants, Jack, Janet and Chrissy to a surprise disco party he is planning for his wife, Helen, and asks the two girls to give him secret lessons to prepare for the event. 
5:00 PM TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV - 2003 Special
7:00 PM Love Boat, The 002 - Oh, Dale!/The Man Event/A Tasteful Affair: In "Oh, Dale" John Ritter plays a rejected suitor hot on the trail of the girl he loves, who happens to be a heartless fortune-seeker named Joann (Jennifer Shaw). When Joann boards ship to be with wealthy Peter Pringle (Mark Thomas), Dale (John Ritter) is forced to masquerade as a woman because the
only cabin available on ship must be shared with Susan (Tovah Feldshuh) -Matters are complicated when Dale, in drag, catches the Captainos eye. In "The Main Event," Maurice and Stella Marshall (Sherman Hemsley and LaWanda Page) attempt to salvage their stony 23 year marriage by taking a second honeymoon. Enroute to dinner with the Captain, they get stuck in the ship's elevator and rediscover each other. "A Tasteful Affair" stars Jaclyn Smith as Jeanette Brad-ford, a neglected young wife on a solitary cruise, tailed by a handsome private eye, Dennis Kingsley (Dennis Cole).
But detective Dennis has trouble arranging professional and emotional priorities when he falls for the lady whose husband has hired him to catch Jeanette in a compromising situation.
8:00 PM Mary Tyler Moore Show, The 129 - Ted's Wedding: A quiet luncheon Mary hosts for Ted and Georgette turns into a spontaneous wedding.
8:30 PM Rhoda 042 - Attack On Mr. Right: Rhoda drills Brenda on the finer points of life, such as how to land a man, when Brenda's Mr. Right seems to be taking her for granted.
9:00 PM Three's Company 008 - Jack Looks for a Job: Jack, realizing he can't meet his obligations to pay his share of the rent, gets a pert-time modeling job only to find out that he's expected to pose nude.
9:30 PM Hooperman 003 - Don We Now Our Gay Apparel: Description is not available
10:00 PM The Cosby Show 166 - TOTAL CONTROL:  Basketball coach Ray Evans (guest star John Ritter) and his wife Alicia have devised the perfect game plan for the birth of their first child. Baby book in hand, the over-anxious couple prepares for any contingency.  Their practice sessions run like clockwork. But when the first contractions begin, Ray falls apart! Worse, three hours into labor, a stressed-out Alicia turns on him - blaming Ray for "her condition." Crushed, Ray bails out. It takes a whole lot of coaching from Cliff to get him off the bench and back into the game!
10:30 PM Wings 147 - Love Overboard: Casey's husband returns to Nantucket and tells her that he left her for two years because he was broke. This story doesn't turn out to be true because Antonio sees a yacht in the harbor named "Princess Casey." Casey and Brian go to the harbor and find out that her husband is living a luxurious life.
11:00 PM Mannix 192 - Hardball: Description is not available
12:00 AM Starsky and Hutch 015 - Hostage, The: Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) and Hutch(David Soul) try to save the lives of a young armored car driver and his captive wife, both of whom will be killed after a fortune in cash has been delivered
1:00 AM Three's Company - The Loan Shark
1:30 AM Three's A Crowd 001 - Pilot: Description is not available
2:00 AM The Waltons 007 - Sinner, The: A young minister visiting the Waltons gives unrelenting
sermons against the wicked sinner until he accidentally gets drunk while drinking what he thinks is the Baldwin sister's home remedy.
3:00 AM Bob Newhart 052 - Sorry, Wrong Mother: Howard Borden is about to introduce his son to Ellen and tries to remold her into an image the boy will like.

Larry Hovis, Actor and Comedian

[September 12, 203] Larry Hovis, actor and comedian died Tuesday of cancer.  Hovis is best known for his role as Sgt. Andrew Carter on the long-running TV show "Hogan's Heroes",  and who also played a soldier, a private, on "Gomer Pyle USMC,"  Hovis appeared on  episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show,"  and also wrote and performed on  "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In."  

Hovis started out as a vocalist, singing with his sister Joan, then joined a quartet called the Mascots. They appeared on the television show "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts." While Larry was earning his degree in philosophy at the University of Houston, he was signed to Capitol Records were he recorded the album, My Heart Belongs to Only You.    After "Hogan's Heroes was canceled in 1971, Hovis performed on such TV programs as "The Doris Day Show," "Adam-12," "Chico and the Man," "Holmes and Yoyo," "Alice," and others.  Behind the scenes Larry produced several game shows, including "Liar's Club," in which he was also a panelist from 1976 to 1978.  In 1989 Hovis was fired when it was discovered that he was staging "reality" on the series  "Totally Hidden Video" that he produced.  Recently  Hovis was a professor, teaching drama at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.  Hovis was 67.

Tributes to John Ritter

[September 12, 203] TV Land and Nick at Nite will pay tribute to John Ritter with two programming specials airing Sunday and Monday. The TV Land salute which kicks off Sunday at 9 am/ET and lasts through the evening will showcase Ritter's work on such sitcoms as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Cosby Show, Rhoda, Starsky & Hutch, The Waltons and The Bob Newhart Show. Nick at Nite, meanwhile, will air a Three's Company marathon beginning Monday at 9 pm/ET and continuing through Tuesday at 6 am/ET. Full schedule will be released soon. www.tvland.com/obits/ritter/

A tribute to John Ritter will fill the hour on Tuesday, September 16 rather than last season's "8 Simple Rules" season finale: ABC 8:00 PM-9:00 PM SPECIAL EDITION OF PRIMETIME: A TRIBUTE TO JOHN RITTER (WORKING TITLE) This will be worth taping. As well as this weekend's Entertainment Tonight Weekend, which will also be a 1 hour tribute to John Ritter.

Friday, September 12: "Remembering Ritter"  Actress Suzanne Somers discusses the sudden, shocking death of her "Three's Company" co-star John Ritter. Also, actor Richard Kline discusses his memories of the actor-comedian. Tune in to Larry King Live at 9:00PM on CNN

Also, A&E will re-air the Bio: Tonight A&E Network will honor the lives of Johnny Cash
and John Ritter.  Biography: Johnny Cash, 8-9pm ET/PT Biography: John Ritter, 9-10pm ET/PT

Television Comedy Legend John Ritter Dies

[September 12, 203]  By RYAN PEARSON, Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES - John Ritter, whose portrayal of the bumbling but lovable Jack Tripper helped make the madcap comedy series "Three's Company" a smash hit in the 1970s, died of a heart problem after falling ill on the set of his new TV sitcom. He was 54.

Ritter became ill Thursday while working on ABC's "8 Simple Rules ... For Dating My Teenage Daughter," said Susan Wilcox, his assistant of 22 years. The show became Ritter's TV comeback vehicle.   Full Details

Also:  "20/20" is doing a tribute tonight.  "ET" will have the full story tonight.  And TV Land will do a tribute on Sunday and Nick@Nite on Monday night.
 

 

 
 

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