Thursday, January 14, 2010

TCA Winter 2010 Press Tour: Cable Day 1; ABC Reportedly Launching Romantically Challenged Mondays Starting in April

The broadcast networks just finished their portion of the winter press tour, now it is time for cable. Today is the first of three days for everything cable. Up today are Discovery Networks, BET, lunch with TV Guide Network, Travel Channel, HBO, and evening reception with Discovery Networks.
Discovery Networks consisted of Discovery Channel, TLC, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, and Science Channel. Nothing of note for sitcom/TV fans here, but among the announcements were Discovery Channel's upcoming new series Life. While its award-winning and record-shattering predecessor, Planet Earth, provided the ultimate portrait of our planet, the 11-part series Life, narrated by Oprah Winfrey, is the definitive exploration of the adaptability and diversity of life on earth. Life tells astounding stories of the world's most spectacular, bizarre and fascinating behaviors, many of which were captured for the first time ever. The series premieres in late March on Discovery Channel.
Then BET is up. They were promoting its upcoming reality series The Family Crews, premiering Feb. 21. The Family Crews is a half-hour episodic reality series about Terry Crews and his amazing family. In reality, Terry's a former professional football player turned successful Hollywood actor. But, he's not your typical athlete or movie star. He's a family man who has been married to his wonderful wife, Rebecca, for 20 years this year. Together, they have five children, ranging from ages 3 to 22 years old. In the series, Terry will begin the process of transitioning from Everybody Hates Chris to becoming a bonafide action star.

Then at lunch TV Guide Channel has a festive buffet luncheon, including special Red Carpet-themed desserts and non-alcoholic cocktails. They are promoting their off-network premiere of Curb Your Enthusiasm. The series premieres on TV Guide Network March 10 and 11, 2010. Cheryl Hines (Cheryl David) discusses her role on one of the most ground-breaking shows on television, which has never before been seen on basic cable television. TV Guide Network's Red Carpet hosts Carrie Ann Inaba (Dancing with the Stars) and Chris Harrison (The Bachelor) join the luncheon festivities to kick-off Award Season 2010, as The Golden Globes airs this Sunday.
After lunch, the Travel Channel is up next announcing new series, America's Worst Driver, which takes viewers to America's most notorious driving cities where locals, nominated by their friends and family, will compete in various challenges, including obstacle courses and a destination challenge where their city streets become the drivers' worst nightmare.
HBO follows with many announcements. Among them are movie Temple Grandin starring Claire Danes premiering in February, Treme a new series coming in April starring Wendell Pierce, the special A Family Is A Family Is A Family: A Rosie O'Donnell Celebration launching Jan. 31, ten-part miniseries The Pacific from producers Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman premiering in March, Al Pacino stars in the film You Don't Know Jack premiering in spring, and The Ricky Gervais Show premieres Feb. 19, an animated version of the record-breaking podcasting series, the 13-episode half-hour comedy series is voiced by Ricky Gervais himself.

The day ends with a reception with Discovery Networks, as 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of Discovery Communications. The company is hosting a cocktail party that will capture the spirit and evolution of Discovery's networks throughout the past 25 years, while highlighting elements of current programming through interactive experiences.
Stay with us tomorrow for day two of the cable portion of the winter press tour.


ABC has reportedly put upcoming midseason multi-camera sitcom Romantically Challenged starring Alyssa Milano, Kyle Bornheimer, and Kelly Stables on Mondays at 9:30pm starting April 5. This is not official yet, but advanced press listings show Dancing with the Stars being reduced to 90-minutes (8-9:30pm ET/PT) starting April 5 through and including May 17. That is 7 weeks and Romantically Challenged has a 7 episode order and is the only new sitcom left for ABC, so it makes sense. I think that is what will happen it seems. TheFutonCritic is among the outlets reporting this as well, but until ABC actually schedules it, it isn't official. So stay with us whenever ABC announces.
Is this a good slot for Romantically Challenged? When do you think it should air? Please head on over to Twitter to follow us and then tweet us (@SitcomsOnline) what your thoughts of this move is. Should it air on ABC Comedy Wednesday instead? Or is Mondays following Dancing the better slot despite going head-to-head vs. The Big Bang Theory on CBS (Note: Big Bang will not be on at 9:30 the night Romantically Challenged supposedly launches)? I think it should air on Wednesdays instead, but at 9:30pm or 10pm instead (Ugly Betty should be done with its episode order by the end of March) of 8pm where currently repeats are airing. Tweet us!

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