There are five — count ‘em, five — Utahns on the new Disney+ series “Foodtastic.” Which just might be the most from the Beehive State on any one reality/competition show … sort of.
We’ve seen more Utahns on “So You Think You Can Dance” multiple times. That show held auditions in Salt Lake City in four different seasons, so that’s no surprise. In Season 4, back in 2008, there were four Utahns among the finalists.
“Foodtastic” doesn’t have finalists. The 11 episodes each stand alone — teams of contestants create Disney-themed “extravagant scene work” and “larger-than-life sculptures” out of 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 “Toy Story: Toy Doctor to the Rescue” episode.
Two other Utahns — Catrina Jones of Payson and Aaron Reimschiissel of Highland — are members of the Slicing and Dicing team in the “Cars: Back on the Track” episode.
All 11 episodes start streaming on Disney+ on Wednesday.
“It’s Always Sunny” needs an asterisk
At FX, they’re a little bit giddy about “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Now in its 15th season, “Sunny” has passed “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” as the longest-running live-action comedy in television history.
But the “longest-running” record needs at least a bit of an asterisk. Including its eight-episode 15th season, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” has produced 161 episodes. That’s not quite 11 per season — the most it ever produced in a single season was 15.
There were 435 episodes of “Ozzie & Harriet” (1952-66), an average of 29 per season. That show produced as many as 39 episodes a season and never fewer than 25. Its 161st episode aired before the end of Season 5.
It was, of course, a very different world in the 1950s and ’60s. A lot of shows were churning out 30 or more episodes per season — and the quality wasn’t great. That’s not a slam against “Ozzie & Harriet,” which entertained a lot of people for a very long time. But if the title characters’ sons, Ricky and David, hadn’t grown up — they were 12 and 15 when the show debuted — it would’ve been hard to tell one season from another.
And you could make the argument that “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” has only tied “Ozzie & Harriet” as the longest-running live-action comedy — if you count “Ozzie’s Girls.” That 1973-74 syndicated series was a sequel to — a continuation of — “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet.” The Nelson boys had grown up and moved out, and their parents were feeling a bit lonely. So they rented a room to a pair of young women who were attending college, becoming their surrogate parents.
It lasted only one, 24-episode season because Ozzie Nelson’s health began to fail. (He died of liver cancer in 1975 at the age of 69.) But it was, in everything but name, the 15th season of “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet.”
• “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” airs Wednesdays on FXX — 8 and 8:30 p.m. on Dish and DirecTV; 11 and 11:30 p.m. on Comcast. Episodes also stream on Hulu.
• Some episodes of “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” stream 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 bounced from series to series, remaining television fixtures for years on end. Jared Padalecki has been a regular or semi-regular on a TV series for 21 years in a row — which is pretty amazing, given that he’s 39 years old.
In 2000, when he was just 18, Padalecki debuted on “Gilmore Girls.” He appeared in 61 episodes of that WB series during its first five seasons, playing Rory’s (Alexis Bledel) on-again, off-again boyfriend, Dean. (He reprised that role in the Netflix revival “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 2005-2020. (The WB merged with UPN in 2006, becoming The CW.)
Two months after the final episode of “Supernatural” aired in November 2020, Padelecki returned as the star of “Walker.” Season 1 of that series — a reboot of “Walker, Texas Ranger” — ended in August; Season 2 began in October.
That’s 22 consecutive seasons over 21 years starring as three different characters in 412 episodes (and counting) of three different prime-time TV series by an actor who won’t turn 40 until July 2022. And that’s amazing.
“Walker” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW/Ch. 30. Episodes stream free the following day on cwtv.com and The CW app. First-season episodes are streaming on HBO Max.