There is other media news besides the Olympics and the Television Critics Association Press Tour – including a new morning show for the new i101 and the return of a bad Scooby-Doo reboot. And we once again mourn the loss of a television great – in fact two of them.
– Sherman Hemsley, who is best known as George Jefferson on The Jeffersons, died on July 24 at the age of 74 of natural causes. Hemsley played the obnoxious character for eleven seasons on the All in The Family spin-off, which ran from January 18, 1975 to June 22, 1985, and was a longtime staple on CBS’ Sunday night lineup (and also of WGN-TV’s lineup, as The Jeffersons was a phenomenal syndication success.) Hemsley also starred in the hit sitcom Amen (1986-91) and appeared on UPN’s Goode Behavior. In recent years, Hemsley retired from acting and moved to El Paso, Tex., where he passed away last week.
– Also passing away on the same date was Chad Everett, who was best known for playing Dr. Joe Gannon on the CBS series Medical Center, which ran from 1969 to 1976 (admittingly, yours truly has never seen this show, as Medical Center has rarely aired in the Chicago market after its run ended.) Other series Everett has appeared in recent years include Melrose Place, Cold Case, and Touched By An Angel. He was 75.
– The opening ceremonies of the XXX Olympiad from across the pond in London drew the biggest audience ever for an opening ceremony – 40.7 million viewers tuned in Friday night for the festivities, up 2.2 percent from the 1996 Atlanta games (39.8 million viewers), and up 16.6 percent from four years ago (Beijing, 34.9 million.) Despite the good number, many viewers on social media platforms complained about the inane commentary being uttered from the vastly overrated Matt Lauer and from Meredith Vierra. And while their banter was unbearable…
– Introducing the first – and likely the last morning personality for the new i101 – it’s Pete McMurray, who is shifting from morning drive at WLUP-FM to WIQI-FM in the same capacity (both stations are owned by WLUP and WIQI.) McMurray is being paired with Jane Monzures, who is currently host of WGN-TV’s Living Healthy Chicago. Don’t expect a lot of talk from these two: the show is expected to focus on music, and not so much on talk. WIQI’s format is a “Gen-X” format, which leans on ’90’s pop hits (more or less.) No word on when the new show will start.
Replacing McMurray at WLUP is former Cleveland radio personality Maxwell (didn’t WCKG have personality from Cleveland named Rover? How’d that work out?)
– Cartoon Network has finally returned Scooby-Doo, Mystery Incorporated to the schedule after a year off the air. But in a rather odd move, new episodes of the reboot of the classic Saturday morning animated series is being stripped in a weekday 1 p.m. (CT) time period, after Scooby aired on a weekly basis in prime access and primetime periods in its first season, drawing solid numbers. The bottom line is, Cartoon’s current programming in primetime (Level Up, Regular Show, etc.) is performing so well, the cable net didn’t want to tamper with its success.
So Scooby is now competing against the likes of… Maury? (in the Chicago area.) I guess Cartoon Network reformatted the show to see who can solve the mystery of who got Daphne pregnant (I’m looking for you, Fred…) Anyhow, this seems to be nothing more than a summer burn-off, and you can forget Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated coming back for a third season.
And for the record – yours truly is no fan of the new version.
– Finally, on a local message board last week, someone suggested South Side native Jenny McCarthy as a afternoon drive host on an FM radio station. Draw your own conclusions, ladies and gentlemen… but all you have to do is just add Jim Belushi as a co-host and you have a sure fire ratings winner!