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Old Jobs, New Show

Jun 20, 2007  •  Post A Comment

TV Land is putting some favorite classic TV characters back to work.
Remember Harry Anderson, who played the judge on “Night Court?” Now in TV Land’s “Back to the Grind,” Mr. Anderson will serve as a judge in a New Orleans court and officiate at a wedding.
Or picture Sherman Helmsley of “The Jeffersons” really working up a sweat in a dry-cleaning store.
The half-hour series, which debuts July 18, also features stars from “WKRP in Cincinnati,” ”Mary Tyler Moore,” “CHiPs,” “Good Times,” “Maude” and “St. Elsewhere.”
“This is a light-hearted, entertaining look at performers that our audience knows and loves,” said Sal Maniaci, senior VP of development and production at TV Land.
It’s one of the original shows on TV Land designed to attract viewers in the baby boomer demographic.
The series also gives actors a chance to reminisce, as Betty White reliving her Sue Ann Nivens character’s job as a cooking-show host on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and Erik Estrada trying to fight crime in a visit to the real California Highway Patrol Academy.
The first episode features Loni Anderson of “WKRP in Cincinnati” working at a radio station, first as a receptionist, then as a traffic reporter, disc jockey and call screener, as well as sitting in as a guest on “Loveline” with Dr. Drew Pinsky. It also covers Mr. Estrada getting his motorcycle license and doing his turn at the academy.
Later in the season, an episode features Bea Arthur of “Maude” and Ed Begley Jr. of “St. Elsewhere.” Ms. Arthur attempts to teach college SAT prep classes to a group of teenagers, while Mr. Begley works at St. Joseph’s Hospital, manning the information booth, serving lunches and taking blood.
Beginning July 5, TVLand.com will feature sneak peeks at the series and classic scenes from “Good Times” and “The Jeffersons.” When the show premieres, fans can log on to watch interviews with Mr. Estrada and Ms. White.
The series is executive produced by Michael Levitt and Eugene Pack.
This article is part of TVWeek.com’s Media Planner newsletter, a weekly source of breaking news, trend articles, profiles and data about media planning edited by Senior Editor Jon Lafayette.

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