Would you believe that 5 Utahns are on a reality show / contest?
More TV by the Numbers – “It’s always nice in Philadelphia” sets a record (sort of), and the “Walker” star has been on TV for 21 years.
There are five – count them, five – Utahns on the new Disney + “Foodtastic” series. Which just might be Beehive State’s best in any reality show / competition… sort of.
We have seen more Utahns on “So You Think You Can Dance” several times. This show hosted auditions in Salt Lake City over four different seasons, so it’s no surprise. In Season 4, in 2008, there were four Utahns among the finalists.
“Foodtastic” has no finalists. The 11 episodes are each stand-alone – teams of contestants create Disney-themed “extravagant stage pieces” and “larger-than-life sculptures” from food.
Three Utah women – Amy Goff of Huntsville, Kyle Holt of Clinton and Jessica Villeneuve of American Fork – compete as a team (the Slayers) in the episode “Toy Story: Toy Doctor to the Rescue”.
Two other Utahns – Catrina Jones from Payson and Aaron Reimschiissel from Highland – are members of the Slicing and Dicing team in the episode “Cars: Back on the Track”.
All 11 episodes will begin airing on Disney + on Wednesday.
“It’s always nice” needs an asterisk
At FX, they’re a little giddy about “It’s always nice in Philadelphia.” Now in its 15th season, “Sunny” has surpassed “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” as the longest-running live-action comedy in television history.
But the “oldest” record needs at least one asterisk. Including its 15th eight-episode season, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” produced 161 episodes. It’s not quite 11 per season – the most ever produced in a single season was 15.
There were 435 episodes of “Ozzie & Harriet” (1952-66), an average of 29 per season. This show produced up to 39 episodes per season and never less than 25. Its 161st episode aired before the end of season 5.
It was, of course, a very different world in the ’50s and’ 60s. A lot of shows produced 30 or more episodes per season – and the quality wasn’t great. This is not a slam against “Ozzie & Harriet”, which entertained a lot of people for a very long time. But if the sons of the main characters, Ricky and David, hadn’t grown up – they were 12 and 15 when the show debuted – it would have been hard to tell one season from another.
And you could argue that “It’s Always Nice in Philadelphia” has only matched “Ozzie & Harriet” as the longest-running live-action comedy – if you count “Ozzie’s Girls.” This syndicated 1973-74 series was a sequel to – a continuation of – “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet”. The Nelson boys had grown up and moved, and their parents felt a bit lonely. So they rented a room to two young women who were attending university, becoming their surrogate parents.
It only lasted one 24-episode season because Ozzie Nelson’s health began to decline. (He died of liver cancer in 1975 at the age of 69.) But it was, in everything but the name, the 15th season of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”
• “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” airs Wednesdays on FXX – 8 pm and 8:30 pm on Dish and DirecTV; 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Comcast. The episodes also air on Hulu.
• Some episodes of “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” are broadcast for free on Tubi and Pluto. Some episodes are also available on Amazon Prime.
He’s 39 and he’s been on TV for 21 years
There have been a number of actors who have bounced from series to series, remaining TV sets for years. Jared Padalecki has been a regular or semi-regular on a TV series for 21 years in a row, which is pretty amazing considering he’s 39.
In 2000, when he was just 18, Padalecki made his debut in “Gilmore Girls”. He appeared in 61 episodes of this WB series in its first five seasons, playing Rory’s boyfriend (Alexis Bledel), again, again, Dean. (He reprized that role in Netflix’s cover of “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” in 2016.)
Padalecki went straight from “Gilmore Girls” to another WB series – “Supernatural,” which ran for 15 seasons and 327 episodes from 2005 to 2020. (The WB merged with UPN in 2006, becoming the CW.)
Two months after the last episode of “Supernatural” aired in November 2020, Padelecki returned as the star of “Walker”. Season 1 of this series – a reboot of “Walker, Texas Ranger” – ended in August; Season 2 began in October.
It’s been 22 consecutive seasons over 21 years with three different characters in 412 episodes (and more) of three different prime-time TV series by an actor who won’t be 40 until July 2022. And it’s amazing.
“Walker” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW / Ch. 30. The episodes air for free the next day on cwtv.com and the CW app. The first season episodes air on HBO Max.