A comedy series that began life as a variety show sketch and a TV movie before spinning off into a success story of its own is returning to TV.
MeTV announced that it will begin airing “Mama’s Family” on Jan. 4, 2016. The show began as a recurring sketch on “The Carol Burnett Show,” which was then featured in the CBS TV movie “Eunice” in 1982.
The original comedy series aired for two seasons on NBC in 1983 and 1984, then ran another four seasons in syndication before wrapping in 1990. The sitcom starred Vicki Lawrence and Ken Berry.
“Returning to broadcast television for the first time since 2008, ‘Mama’s Family’ episodes will air back to back weeknights beginning at 6:00 and 6:30 pm ET/PT,” MeTV announced. “The family comedy will lead MeTV’s weeknight lineup including ‘M*A*S*H,’ ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ ‘Happy Days,’ ‘Laverne & Shirley’ and ‘Carol Burnett and Friends.'”
Along with guest appearances by Burnett, the all-star cast and roster of guests on “Mama’s Family” included Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Harvey Korman.
“‘Mama’s Family’ enjoyed success on network TV and was the highest-rated sitcom in first-run syndication during its run. Now the extended dysfunctional Harper clan brings their timeless misadventures along with Mama’s trademark snappy retorts and one-of a-kind brash wisecracks to MeTV viewers,” the announcement notes.
Lawrence, who plays Mama Thelma Harper on the show, says in the announcement: “I am so excited that ‘Mama’s Family’ is now a part of the MeTV lineup. It is an honor to be included among the best, favorite TV shows of all time. For all my fans who have been asking me when we will be on TV again, here comes January. Wake up and smell the coffee…again!”
Neal Sabin, Vice Chairman of Weigel Broadcasting Co., adds: “’Mama’s Family’ has consistently been among the most requested programs to add to our schedule. Our loyal MeTV audience can’t seem to get enough of ‘The Family’ on ‘Carol Burnett and Friends.’ Vicki Lawrence’s portrayal of Mama Harper is memorable and is very MeTV.”