TV Icons Are Put to Work in TV Land's Back to the Grind Premiering Wednesday, July 18
Original Series Features Loni Anderson, Erik Estrada, Marla Gibbs, Sherman
Hemsley, Betty White, Mark Curry, Jimmie Walker, Harry Anderson, Bea Arthur
and Ed Begley Jr. Performing the Jobs Their Characters Held
NEW YORK, June 11 -- What happens when Sherman Hemsley
spends the day sweating it out at a real dry cleaning establishment? Can
Loni Anderson really hack it as a receptionist at a top radio station? And
does the courtroom listen when Harry Anderson starts hitting the gavel?
Viewers will find out when TV Land airs Back to the Grind, a new original
series premiering Wednesday, July 18 at 10:30 p.m. This half-hour series
challenges iconic TV performers to actually work in the jobs their TV
characters held on shows like The Jeffersons, Night Court and WKRP in
Cincinnati. Other performers featured in the series include Erik Estrada,
Marla Gibbs, Betty White, Mark Curry, Bea Arthur, Ed Begley Jr. and Jimmie
Walker. The series is executive produced by Michael Levitt and Eugene Pack.
"Back to the Grind blends popular TV personalities with fun, real life
situations inspired by the plotlines of some of the best loved TV shows
ever made," states Sal Maniaci, Senior Vice President of Development and
Production, TV Land. "This is a light-hearted, entertaining look at
performers that our audience knows and loves."
The series gives celebrated actors a fresh opportunity to reminisce,
while taking on some real "work" challenges. From Betty White reliving her
"Sue Ann Nivens" character's job as a cooking show host on The Mary Tyler
Moore Show to Erik Estrada trying to fight crime with the real CHIPS
Academy and more, the stars interact with the "real people" who do their TV
jobs for a living.
The episode rollout is as follows (all times are ET/PT):
LONI ANDERSON AND ERIK ESTRADA
July 18, 2007, 10:30 p.m.
In the premiere episode of Back to the Grind, Loni Anderson (WKRP In
Cincinnati) spends a day and a night working in live radio. She starts as a
receptionist at a top radio station, then tries her hand at being a traffic
reporter, a "hip hop" DJ, and she finally ends her day by screening calls
at "Loveline," where she ends up on air with sex/love expert Dr. Drew
Pinsky. Also in this episode, Erik Estrada (CHIPS) attempts to work the
streets with the actual California Highway Patrol, but first, he has to get
his motorcycle license -- and attend the CHIPS Academy which proves not to
be an easy task for the star.
MARLA GIBBS & SHERMAN HEMSLEY
July 25, 2007, 10:30 p.m.
In this "Jefferson" themed episode, two stars from that classic sitcom
attempt to do the jobs they did on the show for real -- Marla Gibbs finds
herself working with the Merry Maids and eventually tries her hand as
housekeeping supervisor at one of LA's swankiest boutique hotel. Meanwhile,
Sherman Hemsley spends a day sweating it out at a real dry cleaners --
taking orders, ironing, pressing and eventually delivering the clothes in
the company van.
BETTY WHITE & MARK CURRY
August 1, 2007, 10:30 p.m.
Betty White attempts to host her very own cooking show for real -- like
she did in her Emmy-Award winning role as "Sue Ann Nivens" on The Mary
Tyler Moore Show. The only problem is that she hates spending time in the
kitchen. Plus, Hanging With Mr. Cooper star Mark Curry is given the
challenge of coaching an actual high school basketball team to a game day
victory or defeat.
JIMMIE WALKER & HARRY ANDERSON
August 8, 2007, 10:30 p.m.
Like his character "JJ" on Good Times, Jimmie Walker tries his hand as
a painter and takes real art classes -- painting nude models -- eventually
displaying his self-portrait at an art gallery showing. He's in for a
surprise when a special guest star shows up to buy his "artwork." Then,
Night Court's Harry Anderson punches in at a New Orleans courthouse for a
day -- attempting to learn what it takes to really be a judge. Only Harry
Anderson would somehow manage to officiate a real life wedding during his
tenure as a judge.
BEA ARTHUR & ED BEGLEY, JR.
August 15, 2007, 10:30 p.m.
She played a tutor on the Golden Girls, but now Bea Arthur takes on one
of the greatest roles of her illustrious career -- teaching and tutoring
college SAT prep classes to a group of feisty teenagers! Then, St.
Elsewhere's Ed Begley, Jr. recreates his TV job by working at St. Joseph's
hospital for a day -- with tasks ranging from manning the information booth
to serving lunches to patients and even conquers his biggest fear -- taking
Beginning July 5, TVLand.com will feature sneak peeks of the series and
classic scenes from Good Times and The Jeffersons. When the show premieres
on July 18, fans can log on to watch interviews with TV icons Erik Estrada,
Betty White and more, exclusive footage from the series and full episodes.
Michael Levitt is a veteran television producer whose recent projects
include network specials reuniting the casts of three long running series:
Knots Landing Reunion: Together Again (CBS), The Happy Days' 30th
Anniversary Reunion (ABC) and Dallas Reunion: The Return To Southfork
(CBS). Among his other projects, in 2003, Levitt co-created and served as
executive producer for The TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV. Now
in its fifth installment, Levitt presides as executive producer over the
show. Over the past ten years,
Levitt has also served as Executive Producer on the Billboard Music
Awards as well as producer of the Teen Choice Awards (Fox) and Scream
Awards (SpikeTV). Most recently, Levitt Executive Produced Simon Cowell's
Celebrity Duets for Fox and Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants for CW.
Eugene Pack is the executive producer and creator of Bravo's critically
acclaimed comedy special Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words based
on his long-running comedy stage hit and the executive producer of the CMT
series Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making The Team, now in its second
season. He is an Emmy-Award nominated writer (America: A Tribute to Heroes)
for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Program. In
addition, he is the writer and performer of the one man comedy show
Undisputed: My Night With the Queen of Soul. Producing credits include
Countdown to the Emmys (NBC), The Food Network Awards, and the VH1 comedy
pilot Signs of Life. His other recent writing credits include A Home For
The Holidays (CBS), Fashion Rocks (CBS), Academy of Country Music Awards
(CBS) and The NFL Opening Kickoff (ABC).
About TV Land
Now seen in over 90 million U.S. homes, TV Land is dedicated to
building the ultimate Baby Boomer entertainment brand on all platforms.
Armed with a slate of new original programming, newly acquired Classic TV
and movies, multiplatform content and Cause Change, a new pro-social
initiative, the network is uniquely positioned to cater to America's 78
million Baby Boomers, the first generation of Americans who grew alongside
television. TV Land's program mix features hit originals, popular dramas,
sitcoms, westerns and Retromercials. TV Land's roster includes hits like
All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Andy Griffith Show and several others.
Furthering the network's commitment to develop original programming that
complements its roster of acquisitions, the network regularly showcases
original series and specials like I Pity The Fool, Sit Down Comedy with
David Steinberg, TV Land Myths and Legends, Generation Boom, TV Land
Confidential and the upcoming original series High School Reunion.
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world's leading creators of programming and content across all media
platforms. MTV Networks, with 135 channels worldwide, owns and operates the
following television programming services -- MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2,
VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV,
CMT, NOGGIN/THE N, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL
SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these
networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its
audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than
200 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless
and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements,
joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming
services can be seen worldwide.
SOURCE TV Land