Sunday, September 30, 2007

Week 1 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did

Week 1 numbers (first four nights of the season, Mon-Thu):

Households: ABC: 9.6/15.1; CBS: 8.5/13.4; NBC: 6.0/9.5; Fox: 5.1/7.8; The CW: 2.0/3.1; MNT: 0.7/1.1.
Total Viewers: ABC: 14.51 million; CBS: 13.49 million; NBC: 9.53 million; Fox: 8.17 million; The CW: 3.1 million; MNT: 1.01 million.
Adults 18-49: ABC: 4.6/12.1; CBS: 4.1/10.7; NBC: 3.9/10.4; Fox: 3.2/8.2; The CW: 1.4/3.5; MNT: 0.4/1.1.

Analysis: We're back with an all-new season! The 2007-08 season has begun and most of the shows debuted this past week. The season's top new shows both came on during Wednesday at 9pm, one winning in HH/viewers and one in 18-49. Through the first four days, ABC has the lead in all categories, with CBS second, NBC in third and Fox in fourth. NBC's numbers are a tad below because they haven't counted the Heroes premiere in the ratings yet, so I'm calling NBC in 2nd really in 18-49 or at least tied for second with CBS. It's still third in HH/viewers. NBC will count the Saturday encore of Heroes with the Monday premiere, in a new Nielsen option. I think that is cheating. Basically NBC is wiping out the Saturday encore and Nielsen is letting them just add on to the Monday numbers, making that higher than it really was. I wonder if any other networks will try that this season?
Monday was the first night of the 2007-08 season and it was all ABC thanks to the big return of Dancing with the Stars. The 90-minute season premiere, featuring the women dancers only, did an impressive 21.25 million and a 5.8/15 in 18-49. The season premiere of The Bachelor followed with its usual numbers, 9.23 million. Next up was CBS with its comedies and CSI: Miami. The Big Bang Theory did 9.52 million and built on How I Met Your Mother's 8.12 million for a decent debut, but it'll need to do this all the time to survive. Two and a Half Men and Rules of Engagement followed with decent numbers (13.58 and 12.23 million). While Men was down, Rules did hold much of that. The season premiere of CSI: Miami did 15.08 million, while that is down from usual numbers, it was still #1 at 10pm. NBC followed with two new dramas surrounding Heroes. Heroes' final numbers are not available because of what I mentioned earlier, but it was on par with last season's average (13-14 million and a 5.7 18-49). Chuck opened the night with a modest 9.21 million, building a bit in its second half - a good sign. Journeyman did 9.16 million, while similar to Chuck, it had some bleeding in the second half, so it might have a long journey in its future. Fox was a distant fourth with Prison Break continuing to fall (7.41 million) and the second episode of K-Ville was down big from its premiere, to just 6.13 million. The CW aired repeats of their Monday sitcoms.
Tuesday, again it was ABC and Dancing with the Stars foxtrotting for a win. It was the men's turn and they did 18.51 million for 90-minutes. Boston Legal's season premiere followed with 10.3 million, on par with the usual numbers it gets in viewers. Fox jumped to second on this night thanks to the return of House. 18.31 million tuned in for the season premiere, while that was down from last year's premiere (which was at 8pm compared to this year's 9pm), it did do a 7.8/19 18-49 rating. Bones opened the night off with a third place 8.4 million finish. CBS was a close third with its trio of dramas. The always reliable NCIS opened the night off with 13.89 million, followed by The Unit which disappointed to 10.7 million , and the series premiere of Cane did decent with 11.21 million, but saw some bleeding in the second half. NBC was fourth with The Biggest Loser 2-hour show doing 6.62 million, followed by the Law & Order: SVU premiere at 12.12 million, but that was off by a lot from last year. The CW got so-so numbers with Beauty & the Geek and series premiere of Reaper...2.98 and 3.28 million.
Wednesday again it was ABC with the special night and time of Dancing with the Stars, this time the Results. Bye bye to Josie, as 16.81 million tuned in for the hour results show at 8pm. The series premiere of Private Practice got off to a good start with a first place 14.41 million and a second place 5.2 18-49 rating, a bit disappointing, but it wasn't expected to be like Grey's Anatomy. The series premiere of Dirty Sexy Money did 10.44 million, for second place. CBS and NBC battled for second, but CBS edged the peacock for 2nd in HH/viewers. Week two of Kid Nation plummeted to just 7.62 million for third place, but veteran dramas Criminal Minds and CSI: NY did well and were consistent doing 12.66 and 12.72 million. NBC opened the night with Deal or No Deal doing a below average 9.05 million, followed by the series premiere of Bionic Woman at a second place 13.91 million and an impressive first place finish in 18-49 with a 5.7 rating. The battle between the two new dramas at 9pm will be something to watch this week...who will hold up and will CBS's veteran drama be a factor? At 10pm NBC aired Life's premiere and it did pretty good with 9.95 million, but it faltered quite a bit at 10:30. I see major bleeding this week. Fox was fourth with the disappointing numbers for Back to You and 'Til Death, both dropping over 20% from last week's premieres to 7.47 and 6.2 million. Kitchen Nightmares also dropped quite a bit in week 2 and only managed 5.42 million. The CW had its usual showing of Top Model at a decent 4.9 million, but the second week of Gossip Girl was terrible at just 2.48 million.
Thursday it was CBS on top, but the previous three nights' winner, ABC, was not far behind. CBS opened with Survivor: China at 14.14 million, while #1 still, but down from last season. The season premiere of CSI did 25.22 million for first place, thanks to the Sara cliffhanger. Without a Trace came back to its old slot and did 16.68 million, down from what it did before in this slot...by a lot too. Nevertheless, it won its slot. ABC opened the night with Ugly Betty doing a solid 11.16 million, for second place. Grey's Anatomy followed with 20.93 million, down about 4 million from last season's massive premiere, though it did win in 18-49 with a big 8.8/21 18-49 rating, for #1 for the week. The series premiere of Big Shots followed with a second place finish of 11.1 million...it needs to stay around this and not drop like Six Degrees did each week last year, or we could see the same goodbye. NBC was a distant third with the one-hour episodes of My Name is Earl and The Office doing 8.66 and 9.65 million, but The Office was EXCELLENT in 18-49 with a 5.1/12 rating, the best sitcom showing in that age group. ER closed the night with a tepid 9.92 million, down even a lot from last year. Fox had a forgetful Thursday with 5th Grader doing just 7.48 million, down a ton from last spring. Don't Forget the Lyrics forgot the ratings, with 5.32 million, down a lot from the previous week...the competition got to them. Smallville got a nice season premiere on The CW with 5.18 million, followed by an encore of Reaper at 2.58 million.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday, but it was down big from what it was doing last year. NBC was a close second, but it also was down big, especially Deal or No Deal. ABC was a distant third and Fox again fourth.
Saturday numbers are not available yet. But it should be all low.
Tonight are the season premieres for ABC Sunday and they should win the night, but CBS and NBC will be close, too. Fox will do well in young adults.
As for the week, ABC should hang on in HH, viewers and 18-49. Friday and Saturday numbers were all low for all, but the big three will rebound tonight. NBC will pass CBS for second in 18-49 thanks to the NFL game tonight. This week last year, CBS was first in HH, viewers, with ABC first in 18-49. Will it be a clean sweep for ABC? We'll find out.


Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of September 17-23)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) - 9.5 million for the season premiere, but its strength was the 4.7 18-49 rating.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - 7.82 million for the season premiere, a kind of a big drop from the lead-in.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 1-hour star Wars episode impressed with 10.81 million, but an even more impressive 5.6 18-49 rating!

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - The season premiere did an OK 8.12 million, but the competition was stiff.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 9.52 million is nothing major, but it built on everything from the lead-in, making it a great debut. 3.7 18-49 is decent.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 13.58 million...but not as good as it usually did last season, but against Dancing and Heroes, that is not bad at all, still #1 in viewers for sitcoms.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 12.23 million for its season premiere, nice retention from the lead-in.
  • CW Monday Comedies: Chris, Girfriends, The Game. All repeats with Chris the highest at 1.83 million. Season premieres tomorrow.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Back to You (fox) - 2nd episode did 7.47 million, drop of over 2 million from its premiere. Will it continue to drop or has it stabilized?
  • 'Til Death (ABC) - 6.2 million, the lowest of the first-run sitcoms this week.
Thursday Sitcoms
  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - The one-hour Free Earl season premiere did a decent 8.66 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating, for third in its slot.
  • The Office (NBC) - Building on the lead-in, the one-hour premiere did 9.65 million and an even more impressive 5.1 18-49 rating, building on the lead in by 1.3 points.
Friday Sitcoms
None.

Saturday Sitcoms
None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are new episodes of Fox's animated comedies.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Office, Big Bang Theory, My Name is Earl, and The Rules of Engagement were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Back to You) or just plain old terrible ('Til Death).

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

ABC Fall Pilot Review: Carpoolers - Premieres October 2; Solomon's Weekly Rant: The Premiere Delay of New Fall Shows

Carpoolers

Carpoolers - Tuesdays at 8:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres October 2 at 8:30PM ET/PT

Four guys who carpool to work every day come to savor their commute as the only safe time to commiserate about jobs, families – and secrets. Even though "what happens in the carpool stays in the carpool," they'll go beyond the boundaries of this fast-moving commuter confessional to get involved in each other's lives and develop friendships.
The character details follow:

Gracen (Fred Goss, ABC's Sons & Daughters) is the unofficial leader of the carpool pack. As a professional mediator, he thinks he's a problem solver, but more often he's a causer. He seeks fairness in an unfair world, and so finds himself in the middle of situations because he’s compelled to be there. In the pilot, Gracen is stunned to learn that his wife makes more money than he does, which sets his resolve to assert his manly authority.

Laird (Jerry O'Connell, Crossing Jordan) is Gracen's playboy dentist neighbor and best friend. He thinks his life is an unending quest for stories – and women. In the middle of a messy divorce, he allows himself to live a little and taunts the other carpoolers with the freedom of his near-single status. He would never admit that he secretly misses marriage. Laird constantly leads the carpoolers into adventures, but once there, he isn't sure what to do.
Meet Laird, a dentist and recent divorce turned womanizer who was left with nothing intact but his libido. Laird's best friend, Gracen, is a mediator, a voice of reason, and the unofficial leader of the pack. Then there's self-sacrificing Aubrey, with a brood of kids and a stay-at-home couch-potato wife, and newlywed Dougie, the carpool neophyte who's willing to risk his life to save a coveted parking space for the team.

Aubrey (Jerry Minor, Arrested Development) is a sweet but intense pushover at the bottom of the family food chain. The daily ride has become the only peaceful time in his life. Forty-five minutes, two times a day – he needs the carpool the most. Always quick to come to the carpoolers' aid, he believes in the brotherhood almost to a fault. Only the carpoolers know he’s boiling inside, because "in the carpool lane, no one can hear you scream."

Dougie (Tim Peper, Guiding Light) is the eager newlywed. He doesn’t know all the rules of the Carpooler Society, often breaks them, and has to have the ways of the world explained to him by his tribal elders, the three other carpoolers. He and his wife, Cindy, are the perfect modern couple, but as you get to know them, you start to see their cracks. Dougie is the guy who seems to have it all together, yet he’s drawn to the carpoolers for a little excitement. The carpoolers will both instigate problems for Dougie and help him deal with the realities of life to come.

Cast Details:

Fred Goss as Gracen, Jerry O'Connell as Laird, Jerry Minor as Aubrey, Tim Peper as Dougie, Allison Munn as Cindy, with Faith Ford as Leila, and T.J. Baker as Marmaduke

Fred Goss (Gracen Brooker) is steeped in the entertainment business, as an actor, director, writer, producer and editor. As an actor, Goss starred in ABC's critically acclaimed Sons & Daughters. Along with his writing partner, he also created, wrote and served as executive producer and show runner on the series. In addition he directed the pilot, as well as four other episodes. Goss starred in Bravo's cult classic, Significant Others, and has also appeared in The Man Show and South Park. His first appearance in a TV comedy was on the hit series ALF.

Faith Ford (Leila Brooker) has five Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for her ten-year portrayal of reporter Corky Sherwood on Murphy Brown. More recently she starred for three seasons in the ABC hit comedy series Hope & Faith, with Kelly Ripa, and co-starred opposite Vin Diesel in Touchstone Pictures' The Pacifier. She also starred for two seasons as Shelly Kilmartin, a probation officer who is the object of Norm MacDonald's affection on the ABC series Norm. Between Murphy Brown and Norm, Ford headlined her own series, Maggie Winters. She was a regular on the series Popcorn Kid and a recurring character on thirtysomething, before meeting Murphy Brown executive producer Diane English.

Jerry O'Connell (Laird) starred as Detective Woody Hoyt on Crossing Jordan. Other television credits include starring in Sliders, the movie What the Deaf Man Heard and the miniseries The '60s. Jerry O'Connell is quickly emerging as one of Hollywood's most versatile and sought after talents, especially in the movies.

Jerry Minor (Aubrey) is a former cast member of Saturday Night Live and HBO's Mr. Show with Bob and David, Minor was also in the cast of the groundbreaking but short-lived 4-camera sitcom for HBO, Lucky Louie, as Louis CK's African-American neighbor who suffered Louie's clumsy attempts at friendship. Minor has appeared on such television shows as Arrested Development, The Awful Truth with Michael Moore, and on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Trigger Happy TV and Crank Yankers. He also makes regular guest appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Tim Pepper's (Dougie) television credits include a recurring role on Conviction, plus guest starring on Law & Order, Guiding Light and As the World Turns.

Alison Munn (Cindy) was most recently a series regular on What I Like About You, and is also known for her recurring role as Crazy Caroline on That '70s Show. She had recurring roles on St. Sass and Now and Again, with additional TV credits in Charmed, JAG, Boston Public, Inside Schwartz and Law & Order: SVU.

T.J. Miller (Marmaduke Brooker) performs improvisation, sketch and stand-up comedy and is currently a member of Green Company of the Second City National Touring Companies. He performs improvisation with the house team Bullet Lounge at IO, stand-up at numerous comedy venues in Chicago, as well as sketch comedy with the group Heavy Weight. He even eats most of meals standing up.


Pilot Plot:

I have received the first two episodes of the series. The first episode, "Pilot," airing Oct. 2, Gracen wonders aloud how his lovely "house flipper" wife, Leila, can afford to buy a $200 designer toaster and how his deadbeat son, Marmaduke, who struts around the house in nothing but his jockeys and a smile, suddenly lands an internet job making more than his dad. By the end of the day, the guys have their mission: to steal back the respect Gracen deserves by any means necessary.
"Pilot" was written by Bruce McCulloch and directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.
Guest starring are Troy Evans as Mr. Heggie, Taylor Parks as Aubrey's daughter, Drew Matthews as Aubrey's son, Stephanie Reibel as woman, Scott Thompson as rich carpooler #1, Eddie Goins as rich carpooler #2, Irene White as Sue, Stephen T. Brophy as Ted and Andrew Cherry as Rikki.

The second episode I received is airing October 9 and is titled "Laird of the Ring." Laird pretends to be married to impress a girl who's into married men, Dougie believes Aubrey is having an affair when he sees him sneaking into a motel, and Marmaduke suspects that Laird is his father.
"Laird of the Ring" is written by Bruce McCulloch and directed by Joe Russo.
Guest starring are Sasha Barrese as Holly, Irene White as Sue Henzel, Stephen T. Brophy as Ted Henzel, Byron Field as brokeback guy, Vince Pavia as delivery guy, Jordan Robinson as Aubrey's kid #1, Khamani Griffin as Aubrey's kid #2 and Jay Jay Ellis as Aubrey's kid #3.


Analysis:

This show is surprisingly funny. I was shocked when ABC had picked-up this show, but after seeing the pilot, I am not surprised. It is a hoot and the cast is great. The pilot has a lot of laughs. The singing in the car while going to work is hilarious. Aubrey especially. Both episodes I have seen, start off with singing in the car. It might sound corny, but it is a riot. Another ongoing joke is, while driving, they are on a highway for "Carpoolers Only," and we see they are the only ones in that lane. While that is unrealistic, but it is supposed to be funny, as it is a joke. The plot of the pilot basically is to introduce us to the characters. Gracen, Laird, and Aubrey are about to get a new member of the Carpooler team in Dougie. He is their new guy and he has to sacrifice for the team in finding parking spots. He gets hit by cars so much. Even in episode two, he gets hit by cars, but in that episode he wasn't saving a parking spot. The other plots of the first episode is Gracen thinking his wife makes more money than him, and his son getting a new job. His son is a very oddball character. He is always in his underwear...even for an online job interview. I love the Aubrey character. He is hilarious. He sounds girly. He has like a 1,000 kids and his wife is now a fat couch potato who doesn't do anything but sit in front of the TV. We never see her face. She is like the new Nanny from the Muppet Babies! Except on this show, instead of seeing the Nanny's legs, we just see her stomach side. Aubrey does all the housework from doing the laundry to making cookies, while his wife watches her favorite TV shows.

I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who carpool to go to work. So they could probably understand what these characters go through. The second episode is not as funny to me as the pilot. While it is interesting, it doesn't have as many laughs. Basically Laird borrows Gracen's wedding ring for a girl who is into only married men. Gracen's wife of course finds out right away that Gracen's wedding ring is missing. There are two sub-plots a well. Dougie sees Aubrey going into a motel for two days in a row right after coming to work. He thinks he is cheating on his overweight lazy wife. Is he? And Gracen's son Marmaduke, the dummy he is, thinks Laird is actually his father.


Conclusion:

As I said, this is surprisingly funny. The show will be following Cavemen on Tuesday nights on ABC. Cavemen has a lot of buzz and the premiere will certainly be sampled. So, let's hope they stick around for this show's premiere, too.

All the characters are developed by the first two episodes. We know nearly all of them by the end of the pilot. Cindy, Dougie's wife, is the only character that is not really needed yet. Everyone has a big role for the show. Both men and women will like this show, especially the men who carpool to work. Fred Goss was so great on the single camera comedy Sons & Daughters. He is great in this single camera comedy, too. The difference is, this sitcom would appeal to everyone, as Sons & Daughters was way too smart for some people. Faith Ford is always good in a sitcom, Jerry O'Connell is pretty funny as the sex-craved Laird and I just love Aubrey as the girly heterosexual man with millions of kids and the fat lazy wife. The funny thing is, Aubrey's kids are all different on each episode so far. As for improving the show, they should continue to make it silly and funny. I know it might be hard to top the pilot, but with this cast, it can be done. Episode 2 was not as good as the pilot. Future episodes better be good, as the show is an underdog to succeed in the ratings. Rebecca Romijn will guest star as Laird's wildly sexy and free-spirited ex-wife, "Joannifer," who returns to his life determined to get him back in upcoming episodes. I can't wait to see that! But before that, watch the pilot...and you'll be surprised how funny it really is!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funniness: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/29/07

Discuss the show after you watch it on Tuesday on our message board.

Related Links:

  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Carpoolers Photo Gallery


    No publication or website will be reviewing the new and updated pilot of Cavemen. ABC has not and will not send the pilot out before it premieres. So we will all have to watch on Tuesday and find out how it is.
    I saw the unaired pilot this summer, but they completely redid it and changed some characters even. So reviewing that would be pointless. That pilot was not that good, just average. Here's hoping the new pilot is much much better.


    Solomon's Weekly Rant
    Saturday, September 29, 2007
    "The Premiere Delay of New Fall Shows"
    By Solomon Davis

    I will never understand why certain networks choose to air the series premiere of their new shows close to or in the month October.. There shouldn't even be a delay if the new show was already summarized in the Fall Preview edition of TV Guide in early September. The Big Bang Theory just premiered on this past Monday (Sept. 24) on CBS after the show was previewed in TV Guide in early September. So why does there need to be a gap in between the summary of the new show in TV Guide and the premiere date of the show? If the show was previewed in TV Guide it should be premiering the following week. The new show called, Samantha Who? won't air on ABC until October 15 which is actually two weeks before November. So that's almost 8 weeks of waiting after reading about the show in TV Guide during early September. So should we be more annoyed with TV Guide for its early reviews of new shows or the networks for their future fall premiere dates?

    The Fall Preview edition of TV Guide always comes out the week after Labor Day which previews the news shows are on the network schedule for the new TV season. So if the TV Guide fall preview comes out in the 2nd week of September, why are they including the preview for new shows that premiere in October? I mean couldn't they just wait until the last week of September to preview new shows like Carpoolers, Pushing Daises, and Caveman? No they would rather have us enjoy the summary of a new show starting in October and wait days to see whether we will like the show. So TV Guide definitely plays a bigger role in the premiere delay of new shows. Which means it's time for someone at TV Guide to use their brain and come out with a preview for new shows a week before they premiere. It really makes more sense to have a TV Guide edition with previews of certain new shows closer to the premiere date instead of summarizing all the shows in one issue. The way TV Guide introduces these new TV shows is like a newspaper in the month of July including back to school clothes advertisements with school starting 7 weeks after the date of the paper.

    My TV Highlight of the Week: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - Joy Behar asking Barbara Walters on The View, "did you sleep with Fidel Castro?" Walters replied, "are you nuts? I wonder if she asked Joy was she nuts because she asked her about Castro or because she asked her on the air?
    My TV Lowlight of the Week: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - Tiki Barber almost dropping a salsa dancer on the boring fourth hour of the Today Show.

    Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

    DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.

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    Friday, September 28, 2007

    The CW Fall Pilot Review: Aliens in America - Premieres October 1; TV Land Keeps The Brady Bunch

    Aliens in America

    Aliens in America - Mondays at 8:30PM ET/PT on The CW
    Premieres October 1 at 8:30PM ET/PT

    Aliens in America is the story of Justin Tolchuk, a 16-year-old that is all alone in the world, that has a mother that gives him the perfect present to get out of his loner rut--an exchange student. The only problem is that his mother doesn't realize that the Nordic exchange student that they are getting is a Pakistani kid named Raja, who is going to be a true "alien in America." The series explores how this relationship will (and sometimes won't) work out for the Tolchuk family, with mother Franny fearing Muslims, father Gary just being happy because they get paid for having an exchange student living in the house, sister Claire who is just kind of there, and Justin and Raja, who may have a friendship to gain from this experience.

    Cast Details:

    Adhir Kalyan as Raja Musharaff, Dan Byrd as Justin Tolchuk, Amy Pietz as Franny Tolchuk, Lindsey Shaw as Claire Tolchuk, Scott Patterson as Gary Tolchuk

    Essentially, the show has been cast with a bunch of unknowns--but then again, how many truly great sitcoms have had stars that were well-known BEFORE the series started? The series stars Dan Byrd as Justin and Adhir Kalyan as Raja, both of whom are relatively unknown. Amy Pietz, who had a role on Caroline in the City (does anybody even remember this series?) in the 90s plays mother Franny, while Scott Patterson, formerly of Gilmore Girls, plays father Gary. Lindsey Shaw plays the role of Claire; Shaw previously had a role on the Nickelodeon series Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.


    Pilot Plot:

    I have received the first two episodes. The first episode introduces us to the series and what it is all about--which is basically the family getting Raja as their Nordic exchange student (Nordic because he came from Pakistan through a Nordic country before he got into the United States). The family is basically in shock about who their exchange student is, particularly since they live in a small Wisconsin town where people that are different are automatically assumed to be terrorists, but when Gary sees the dollars that he gets for having Raja in the house and Franny sees how Justin is making his first true friend, these stereotypes fly out the window.

    In the second episode, "No Man is an Island," Raja tells the entire class that if he was stuck on a desert island with only one thing, it would be his best friend Justin--which of course leads the whole class to think that they are a homosexual couple. But things backfire when Justin turns to Claire for advice on how to make Raja stop embarassing him... but you'll have to watch the show to see how that turns out.


    Analysis:

    The show isn't laugh out loud funny, but it isn't intended to be that type of sitcom anyway. Actually, it reminds me a LOT of The Wonder Years in the style that it is done, with the show having Justin narrating just about everything that happens within the episode as if he was telling the story about what is happening. It is obvious that the producers here are trying to create a well-written series here that has funny moments along the way. But if the series wants to last, they need to create some good scripts, and I'm not sure how far they'll be able to go with that in a series with a premise like this. Many of the "fish out of water" sitcoms of the past (think of Perfect Strangers, ALF, and others) used quite a few funny moments, and even though they did have decent scripts, they may not have always (though sometimes could have) been scripts that could stand alone without many funny moments and a laugh track (something that this series does NOT have).

    The show uses a lot of stereotypes about Muslims (as well as other groups) too, which makes it a bit politically incorrect, and honestly most people would not say actually say (and hopefully not believe, but certainly some will) a lot of the stuff that is said in the show. But of course, it is just a sitcom and you can't take it all that seriously. Besides, despite all of the stereotypes, it shows how incorrect a lot of the stereotypes are, and that is what many sitcoms about stereotypes often do. Plus, the point of the show is just to enjoy it and not make anything of the stereotypes, which makes me wonder why I just wasted away this paragraph talking about it.


    Conclusion:

    Really, this isn't a bad show, and it seems like the perfect fit for a younger audience, which is exactly what The CW is after. In fact, if it weren't for the political incorrectness that the show exhibits a LITTLE bit (which isn't too much), this show could almost fit in on a network such as Nickelodeon, as it reminds me of some of the early '90s sitcoms that the network aired (and the style that they appear to be trying to return to). I'd give this show about two weeks to last on any other network, not because it is a bad show (it is actually decent), but because it will be hard for the right audience to find it. But given that this will air on The CW and right after Everybody Hates Chris, I'd give this show a fighting chance.


    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

    Watchability: 4/5
    Funniness: 2.5/5
    Overall: 3.5/5

    -- Reviewed by Skees53 on 09/28/07

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Monday on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • The CW Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Aliens in America Photo Gallery


    The other day we mentioned we will let you know if The Brady Bunch will be staying past the two weeks it was slated for. And the answer is...YES. It will continue to air Tues-Fri at 11am the week of Oct. 16 and beyond. It starts airing of course starting Oct. 2 Also, the week of Oct. 15 will see an additional Brady airing, at 4:30am every night!
    There are some other minor changes starting Oct. 15, including an Andy Griffith Tuesday block from 8-10pm, replacing Cosby Show and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will move from Tuesdays at 11 to Saturdays at 11! Good morning TV Land, indeed!
    Full list of changes for that week can be found here.

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    Thursday, September 27, 2007

    Some Nick at Nite Changes for the Week; Florence Henderson Back on the 'Brady' Set

    Nick at Nite has extended the marathon of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for another two nights. The marathon was slated to end after tonight, but now will continue on Friday and Saturday from 12am-5am ET/PT. Also, due to this change, tomorrow George Lopez will air 10-11pm then Home Improvement from 11-12. And finally, the Home Improvement marathon on Sunday is a bit longer how. Originally slated for 9pm-3:30am, now it will be 9pm-5am. An 8 hour event!

    Agion, a global leader in naturally safe antimicrobial solutions for healthcare, has launched the That's Revolting! viral video site (www.ThatsRevolting.com) starring Florence Henderson, America s favorite TV mom. Shot on the original (but reconfigured) set of the classic '70s TV sitcom that made Henderson an American icon, That's Revolting! features Henderson as the mom in a whacked family that s inadvertently passing microbes to each other in a series of over-the-top comedic videos. Florence also plays the perennially cheerful host, who urges web viewers to Spot the Germs before family members get ill with everything from Flesh Eating Bacteria to Salmonella. It's fun for the whole family!

    Tonight NBC will have one-hour season premieres of their two best sitcoms...My Name is Earl and The Office. The smart laughter starts at 8/7 central on NBC.
    Also returning tonight at 8/7 central is the one-hour comedy Ugly Betty on ABC leading into the #1 scripted show Grey's Anatomy.
    The only new show that will premiere tonight is Big Shots at 10/9 central on ABC. I have seen the pilot, so I'll give you my take. The series is like a male Desperate Housewives. We have four male leads, just like how we have 4 female leads on DH. Michael Vartan, Christopher Titus, Joshua Malina and Dylan McDermott star in this all-star cast. All four are high profile New York CEO's and have some women trouble. Vartan's character, James, learns a secret about his wife. Titus' character, Brody, is happily married...or is he? Malina's character, Karl, is having an affair. And McDermott's character, Duncan, is divorced but is about to be hit with a scandal involving a transvestite hooker. Can these four men balance between the boardroom and bedroom? This show is a dream come true for those upscale viewers!
    The show has funny moments and some serious juice, but is not as good as Desperate Housewives yet. I think following Grey's Anatomy, this show will certainly be sampled, and I'm sure many (especially the women) will stick to see Vartan and McDermott. It is not bad of a pilot, but the series needs to get better for viewers to stick. Try it for at least 3 weeks, then make your decision...don't do the "one and done." Many did that for Brothers & Sisters, and now that show is among the best shows out there in quality.

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    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Fox Pulls First Series of the Season; TV Land Details Beaver's 50th, More TVL Notes

    Fox has "pulled" the first show of the season. Friday reality show Nashville has been pulled after just 2 airings. The series debuted terribly, and did even worse last Friday getting barely 2 million viewers, for last place. Fox will air encores of K-Ville the next two Fridays. After that the baseball playoffs will take over, and Fox says following that Nashville will return. Sureeee. I highly doubt that.

    TV Land celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of television's beloved family sitcoms, Leave It To Beaver with a 24 hour marathon beginning on October 6th at 8:00PM ET/PT concluding on Sunday, October 7th at 8:00PM ET/PT. The marathon includes the rarely-seen 1957 pilot entitled "It's a Small World" that features Jerry Mathers as the Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver; Paul Sullivan as Wally and Barbara Billingsley and Max Showalter as the parents June and Ward Cleaver.
    In the weeks leading up to the October 6-7th marathon, TV Land.com will be the home to all things Leave It To Beaver. The site will feature the best of Leave It To Beaver clips along with streaming the original 1957 pilot, "It's A Small World" as well as four bonus episodes chosen by TVLand.com users. In addition to the exclusive video content, tvland.com offers its users a chance to win the series on DVD. Finally, the site will be filled with a special photo gallery and a mind-bending Leave It To Beaver trivia game.
    In addition, TV Land just announced that the 50th Anniversary of Leave it to Beaver marathon extends into Monday, October 8 from 11:00am-5:00pm. Gee, Wally!
    One other note, for the week of Oct. 8 only, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, will air on Saturday, October 13 at 11:00p instead of Tuesday the 9th at 11, with the movie Rain Man following at 12:00a.

    If you have noticed on the bottom of last Wednesday, Sunday and Monday's blog that I mentioned when the sitcoms are airing. I'll try to do this for the rest of the season. Tonight it is week two for Back to You and 'Til Death. It all starts at 8/7 central on Fox.
    Also tonight we have four new dramas premiering. Two of them are going to be huge in Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money. Now we are not doing full fledge reviews of them, like we are for every sitcom, but I'll give my opinions on the pilots here. The opener for Private Practice is pretty good. It starts off with Addison telling Dr. Webber that she is leaving Seattle to go to Los Angeles. Then we see her in her new house and she is dancing in the nude. A very hilarious scene. There are not many funny stuff in the first episode, we have some great drama though. The highlight of the first episode is when a man dies while trying to donate sperm, and a huge battle goes on to try to get that sperm...you'll have to see what I mean. Also, Addison's friend Naomi hired Addison without consulting any of the other doctors, which makes them all pretty ticked. Will they welcome Addison? You'll see. So far not as good as Grey's Anatomy, but Kate Walsh s great as always. Should debut big tonight!
    Following that we have the premiere of Dirty Sexy Money! The rich family called the Darlings have it all. The great Donald Sutherland plays the rich father and he is as evil as he could be. He hired Nick George, played by Peter Krause, to represent his family as the family lawyer, something his father used to do for them. This family gets in all sort of trouble, and Nick has no life now besides them. There is also a nice mystery on what happened to Nick's dad. Did Mr. Darling have anything to do with it? We shall find out. This series will be a 21st century Dynasty and it comes from the people who created the wonderful Brothers & Sisters. It is like Brothers & Sisters on crack. Tune in tonight for both of these dramas back-to-back starting at 9/8 central only on ABC!
    The other two new series are on NBC, also starting at 9/8 central. Bionic Woman and Life. Bionic should debut decently, but I think it will drop a lot after that. Life is my pick for the first scripted series cancelation.

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    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    TV Land Brings Back Brady Bunch...For Now, Nick at Nite Notes; TBS Gets Earl Window; More Notes

    This might be just for two weeks, but The Brady Bunch is coming back to TV Land. The Brady Bunch has been added to the schedule airing Tues-Fri at 11am starting Tuesday, October 2. It might be just for weeks of Oct. 1 and 8 (replacing a second Green Acres), as Designing Women is slated to still launch Tues-Fri at 11am starting Oct. 15. We will keep you up to date. As the theme song starts, "here's a story," this certainly is a story to watch!
    Meanwhile, if you haven't noticed, but since Saturday, Nick at Nite has added a last minute Fresh Prince of Bel-Air marathon. It is a 6 night marathon that will run through Thursday. 11pm-5am each night (Saturday it was 12-5am). Home Improvement and George Lopez are still kicking off each night. And speaking of Home Improvement, it will get a 9pm-3:30am marathon this Sunday (Sept. 30).

    We've mentioned before that TBS has gotten the 5-days a week syndication rights to the NBC sitcom My Name is Earl starting Fall 2009, but now we have some more good news. Starting this April, they can air the series back-to-back one night a week, like they do with shows like House of Payne. So Earl will get a sneak peek a full 1 1/2 years before its syndication launch!

    Emmy voters have spoken and now viewers have a chance to catch up on the NBC Emmy Award-winning comedy 30 Rock, when Bravo airs a six episode mini-marathon on Sunday, September 30th from 1:00 4:00 PM ET/ PT. Six sure-to-become classic episodes of the critically acclaimed comedy will include fan favorites featuring Paul Reubens as a bizarre foreign prince, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) getting set up on a blind date with a lesbian, and Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) becoming an NBC page for a day. 30 Rock is told through the comedic voice of Fey playing Liz Lemon, who heads the variety show TGS while clashing with the ever-meddling head honcho Jack Donaghy.
    30 Rock, with special guest star Jerry Seinfeld, premieres Thursday, October 4th at 8:30 PM ET/PT on NBC.
    And finally, Firebrand TV is finally rescheduled on ION. It will start Monday, Oct. 22 airing weeknights at 11pm. Full details, click HERE.

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    Monday, September 24, 2007

    TV One Schedule Changes, November Highlights; Remembering Alice Ghostley

    TV One has been postponed the sitcom Good News until later in the season, so we will see filler programming in the previously announced slots for Good News. Programming such as 2 hour mini-marathons of All of Us and Wanda at Large. Good News was going to air Sundays 7-8pm starting Oct. 7. Also, TV One has added two more Saturday marathons! All of Us on Oct. 6 and Roc on Oct. 27. The stars shine on TV One as they present an All of Us sitcom marathon chock full of celebrity guest stars dropping in to add to the family fun. Celebrity sightings for the all-day event include Beyonce, Boris Kodjoe, Will Smith, Allen Payne, Patti LaBelle, Tyra Banks, Serena Williams, Fantasia, Paula Abdul, Keyshia Cole, Ruben Studdard, Cedric the Entertainer, and Vivica A. Fox from 12-8pm on Oct. 6.
    On Saturday, October 27 beginning at 1pm, TV One presents the 'Roc with You' marathon, TV One's first ever marathon celebration of the most memorable episodes of the ground-breaking Charles Dutton sitcom Roc. Guest stars for the marathon event include Samuel Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Tommy Davidson, and 90's girl-group sensation EnVogue.
    Now let's move on to TV One November. On Saturday, November 3 beginning at 12 Noon, TV One kicks off three weeks of Saturday afternoon marathons celebrating its "Month Of Martin." First up, on Nov. 3, romance is in the air as TV One presents an all-day love-a-thon featuring the romance and wedding of Martin & Gina on the sitcom Martin. Take a look back at how it all began and how the ups and downs of their relationship ultimately ended at the altar in a beautiful Caribbean wedding. On Saturday, November 10 beginning at 12 Noon, a marathon of Martin episodes featuring the girls Gina and Pam and their wacky escapades through the dating scene, navigating friendships, and career choices all while trying to remain true to each other. This all-day marathon keeps the laughs coming while letting the ladies shine. An encore version begins at 2am. Finally, on Saturday, November 17 beginning at 12 Noon, Martin's boy Tommy takes center stage in a Martin marathon featuring episodes focusing on Tommy dealing with relationships, his secret job, and his long standing friendship with Martin. Viewers can watch and see how Tommy keeps his cool while remaining the one in the group with the voice of reason in hysterical situations. An encore version will air beginning at 4am.
    As far as the regular November schedule is concerned, beginning on Monday, November 5, TV One adds The PJs to the back to back laugh attack lineup in the 9:30pm weeknight timeslot. The show, created by Golden Globe winning actor/producer Eddie Murphy (who provides Stubbs' voice), follows the adventures of the Stubbs family and the others in the building, animated through a process called 'Foamation’. The show will also air in the late night 12:30am timeslot on weeknights as well.
    Thanksgiving Weekend brings four days of special programming. Thanksgiving Marathon on Thursday, November 22 from 9am-12pm, episodes of All of Us, Martin, Good Times, and Parent'hood, followed by a Soul Food movie marathon from 12pm-9pm. On Friday, November 23, TV One presents Roots all day from 6am-6am. On Saturday, November 24 beginning at 12 Noon, let the good times roll as TV One presents the Good Times family sitcom marathon. As viewers are spending time with their families during this family holiday weekend, they can also spend time with the Evans family and relive those special moments that make family so special in our hearts while the antics of JJ and the crew will keep viewers laughing the day away. This 10 hour marathon event will have an abbreviated encore version beginning at 2am. On Sunday, November 25 beginning at 2pm, TV One continues their family themed weekend with an All of Us sitcom marathon. Blended families are the focus of this sitcom starring Duane Martin and LisaRaye McCoy as divorced parents who are still both involved in raising their son amidst their own love lives and career issues that cause unpredictable and hilarious situations for all involved. An encore version airs beginning at 1am.
    For the complete October changes click HERE. And for the November schedule and highlights, click HERE!

    SitcomsOnline mourns the loss of sitcom actress Alice Ghostley. She was of course most remembered for her roles on Bewitched and Designing Women. On Bewitched she played Esmeralda and on Designing Women she played Bernice (which she earned an Emmy nomination in 1992). She passed away on Friday at her home in Studio City after a long battle with colon cancer and a series of strokes. Ghostley had lots of film work too, including major movies such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Graduate, Gator and Grease. But it was television where she made her mark, especially sitcoms. She co-starred in the sitcoms Captain Nice, Small Wonder and Mayberry R.F.D (as Cousin Alice). She has guest starred on many sitcoms such as playing the ditzy social worker Mrs. Dodds on Good Times and playing Mama's boss Mrs. Turner on What's Happening!! Her other guest starring sitcom credits include Car 54 Where Are You?, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, Get Smart, He & She, The Farmer's Daughter, The Mothers-in-Law, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Odd Couple, Hogan's Heroes, Temperature Rising, Here We Go Again, Love American Style, The New Gidget, Big Eddie, Maude, One Day at a Time, Chico and the Man, Gimme a Break!, Stir Crazy, What's Happening Now!!, Punky Brewster, The Golden Girls, Daddy Dearest, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Dharma & Greg, and a recurring role on Evening Shade.
    Alice will certainly be missed, as she has certainly made herself known in the television world. She was one of the best character actresses out there and we will always remember her. She was 81.

    Don't forget to tune in tonight to the CBS Monday sitcom line-up with three season premieres and the series premiere of The Big Bang Theory at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. You saw our review on Friday, and it has some great laughs. Sheldon (a new sitcom sidekick), played by Jim Parsons, says funny stuff.

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    Sunday, September 23, 2007

    Mini-DVD Review: What About Brian - The Complete Series (Sept. 25); Summer Week 17 Sitcom Ratings

    Welcome to a special Sunday edition of mini-DVD reviews! If you are looking for our weekly sitcom ratings, you'll still find that today, but it will be below this. Today we take a look at Buena Vista Home Entertainment's What About Brian: The Complete Series. What About Brian is a drama from the producers of Lost & Alias (J.J. Abrams among them), that sees relationships from a circle of friends, with Brian the only one not having a steady relationship. This show is addictive and quite possibly has the hottest cast ever, counting the guest stars and recurring characters. See my mini-DVD review of What About Brian: The Complete Series:

    What About Brian: The Complete Series (Buena Vista, $59.99) brings the first and second seasons (unfortunately it is the complete series) of a witty and seductive ABC drama starring Barry Watson! We step into a middle of a circle of friends who experience the world from the inside out. Brian and his friends lean on each other as their relationships become more intense and they discover that the truth that stings can sometimes be your salvation. Both the first and second seasons saw a lot of cast members come and go, but here are all the stars: Barry Watson as Brian Davis, Matthew Davis as Adam Hillman, Sarah Lancaster as Marjorie Seaver, Rick Gomez as Dave Greco, Amanda Detmer as Deena Greco, Rosanna Arquette as Nicole Varzi, Raoul Bova as Angelo Varzi, Jason George as Jimmy, Amanda Foreman as Ivy, Jessica Szorh as Laura, and Tiffany Thiessen as Natasha Drew. Recurring are Krista Allen as Bridget Keller, Rachelle Lefevre as Heather, William Devane as Michael Davis, and Stacy Keibler as Stephanie. And with guest stars such as Amy Jo Johnson as Car Girl.
    Packaging on this DVD is great and different for a Buena Vista set. We have an outer box (like usual) but it holds three slim cases inside (usually BV sets have a digipak). Anyway, the box cover has a cast photo, that was added on because some of these cast members never appeared at the same time. They are either sitting on a sofa or standing by it. We have Nicole & Angelo, Natasha, Jimmy & Ivy, Brian, Adam & Marjorie, and Dave & Deena. It is a great looking cover art. The back of the box has synopsis of the series and set, along with a list of bonus features and some nice small photos. As I mentioned, inside the box are three slim cases. We also have two inserts for other BV DVDs and how to save and get money back. We don't get an actual episode booklet, like other BV DVDs, but don't worry...we get episode details on the back of the slim cases! Slim case one holds disc one, which is season one (episodes 1-5) and has a photo of Brian, Marjorie and Adam on the front cover. Slim case two holds discs two (episodes 6-10) and three (episodes 11-15) and has a photo of Deena, Dave & Nicole. The last slim case holds discs four (episodes 16-20) and five (episodes 21-24) and has a photo of Ivy, Jimmy, and Natasha. As I mentioned, the back of each slim case details the episodes on that case, with episode #, title, and a description of the episode. We get three screenshots also on each slim case. Disc art is is same style as the packaging...disc one has a photo of Brian, Marjorie & Adam. Disc two has Deena & Dave. Disc three has Nicole and again Brian. Disc four has Ivy & Jimmy. And disc five has Adam again and Natasha. I wish they added characters like Laura, Stephanie and Bridget to the disc art, too.
    This series is excellent. You don't know what you missed. Now is your chance to find out. It is so addictive and steamy. The episodes generally run around 43 minutes. The lowest is 39:43, but it just ran short originally. There are about 7-8 chapter stops for each episode, but the pilot has 6. The video is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The show never looked better or sounded better. I had forgotten the first season never had an opening theme. We do hear the closing theme, "Under the Sun" or something. First time I've heard that, since ABC doesn't show the ending theme. Season two had an opening theme, the catchy "Calling All Friends" theme. The closing theme for this season is an instrumental version of that.
    The menu screen starts by showing us nice clips with some background music in the background. Disc one has an auto trailer for the Hottest TV Shows before the menu starts. Play All, Episode Selection, Set up are the options on each disc. Audio Commentary and Sneak Peeks are on disc one only. Bonus Features option is on disc three. Each sub-menu has more background music from the show. The Episodes section has the episode number and title...very simple. Set Up gives us the option to have Subtitles...English, French or Spanish. We can also Register our DVD. Sneak Peeks has a look at other BV DVDs like Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy.
    Moving on to the bonus features. Disc one has Audio Commentary on the "Pilot" from Creator/Writer Dana Stevens. She also gives commentary on the last disc, for the series finale "What About Calling All Friends." We also have an unaired episode as a bonus. The episode is titled "What Happens in Vegas." It was supposed to be the finale for season one, so episode 6, but it was scrapped. It lefts off from where Adam sees Brian and Marjorie yelling. Creator Dana Stevens gives us a 30 second intro to this episode then the 40:04 episode follows. Very cool to finally see this, as I knew they had shot this but scrapped it. Then we have a 13:04 featurette titled "Calling All Friends: The Story of What About Brian." This is very informative and we hear from the cast and crew. This is a must watch for fans. Finally, we have "What About 3: The Season That Never Was." It runs 3:31 and Barry Watson and Matthew Davis give a comical insight if there was a season three, also creator Dana Stevens gives us details on what might have happened.
    I really hope you buy this DVD. This show was very underrated and shouldn't go unnoticed. If you are a fan, you must buy this. If you never saw it, give it a try. You'll be hooked. So, calling all friends and people I met on the way down, and people I don’t even know, I really wish you buy this DVD! It even has Stacy Keibler on the final 6 episodes, how much more hotter can we get?
    -- Reviewed by Pavan
    (4/5 stars)

    To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
    Amazon.com

    Related links:
    SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
    Official Website
    What About Brian TV.com Page


    Tomorrow is the official start of the new season! So next Sunday we will be back with sitcom numbers for the first full week and the return of the network four day ratings and our analysis! Here are the summer week 17 (Sept. 17-23) sitcom numbers:

    Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of Sept. 10-16)
    • None.
    Monday Sitcoms
    • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 5.95 million for a repeat, up from previous week, gearing up for the season premiere tomorrow!
    • Old Christine (CBS) - 6.04 million for a repeat, up from last week. See you in mid-season!
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 10.84 million for a repeat, up from the previous week...we should get 13-15 million tomorrow for the season premiere, but the competition might not let it.
    • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 8.05 million for a repeat, up quite a bit from last week...wonder if the season premiere can muster 10-11 million tomorrow?
    • Everybody Hates Chris, Girlfriends, The Game (The CW) - Repeats of these sitcoms did all under 2 million with Girlfriends the highest at 1.75 million. Season premieres are Oct. 1.


    Tuesday Sitcoms

    • None
    Wednesday Sitcoms
    • According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes - 3.9 and 3.81 million for 2 repeats, down a bit from previous week, as it was up against originals on Fox. See you in January, Jim.
    • Back to You (Fox) - The first new sitcom of the season did a 6.0/10 HH, 9.48 million, 3.1/10 18-49. While that is good stuff, it was a disappointment because of all the hype the show got. 12 million would have been better. 'Til Death's premiere last season did 8.82 million, so it wasn't all that up from that.
    • 'Til Death (Fox) - With an actual lead-in, the show did OK, with 7.76 million for the season premiere. 4.9/8 HH and 2.7/8 18-49 rating.

    Thursday Sitcoms

    • My Name is Earl (NBC) - A one-hour encore did a prelim 5.2 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating.
    • The Office (NBC) - A one-hour encore did a prelim 5.0 million, but built on 18-49 to a 2.4.
    Friday Sitcoms
    • None.
    Saturday Sitcoms
    • None
    Tune in tonight on Fox for The Simpsons, King of the Hill & Family Guy.

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    Saturday, September 22, 2007

    Mini-DVD Review: The Bronx is Burning (Sept. 25); Solomon's Weekly Rant: Surprise Ending to Back to You Pilot; Emmitt Smith on ESPN

    It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for mini-DVD reviews and Solomon's Weekly Rant! First up of course is the mini-DVD review. This week we take a look at ESPN Home Entertainment's The Bronx is Burning. The Bronx is Burning is the eight episode mini-series that aired on ESPN this summer focusing on the 1977 season of the Yankees and what was going on at that time that summer. This show is well acted and got better with each episode. See my mini-DVD review of The Bronx is Burning:

    The Bronx is Burning (ESPN, $39.92) brings the events of summer 1977 to DVD, in the form of The Bronx is Burning! New York City was in a crisis that summer of '77, they were paralyzed by a blackout, political strife, and the Son of Sam killing spree, so the Big Apple was burning. Rising out of this, came the New York Yankees...they signed Reggie Jackson and the trouble and turmoil started, but in the end they won a world championship. This is a true story of how the New York Yankees single-handedly helped to raise the spirits of a city in a time of darkness and uncertainty. Based on the best-selling novel by Jonathan Mahler, this historic 8-part dramatic mini-series captures the summer of 1977 like never before. John Turturro stars as Yankees Manager Billy Martin, Oliver Platt as demanding owner of the Yankees George Steinbrenner, and Daniel Sanjata plays the slugger Reggie Jackson.
    Packaging on this DVD is decent. We have an outer box that we slide out to get to the case. I really think we don't need that outer box, because the case is good enough. Plus the outer box has the same exact cover art and back art as the case. Anyway, the cover has the three main stars of this mini-series (Reggie, Martin, and The Boss). It is a great looking cover art. The back of each has synopsis of the series and set, along with a list of bonus features and some nice photos from the mini-series. When we open the case, we see an insert for other ESPN products on the left, on the right we see a holder for disc one. Then like a book, we can turn it and on the back of that holder is disc two. Disc three is on the right side. Each disc has a nice blue background with a different exterior shot of New York City. Disc one also has a photo of The Boss (same as the cover art), disc two has Billy Martin (same as the cover art), and disc three has Reggie (same as the cover art). First half of the mini-series is on disc one and the second half is on disc two, while disc three has bonus features.
    This mini-series is excellent. You will have to watch all eight to understand it. The episode run-time is all over the place, but I assure it is unedited. I'll list all the run-times in order: 42:04, 44;22, 41:55, 43:10, 39:57, 44:18, 36:34, 39:02. There are about 6 chapter stops for each episode. The video is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This is from this past summer, so it has to be good.
    The menu screen starts by showing us nice clips with the theme in the background. It is really neat. The Episodes are listed right on the main menu for discs one and two. There are some Bonus Features on disc one, they are also listed right on the main menu. Disc three has all bonus features, and again, they are listed right on the main menu screen.
    Moving on to those bonus features. Disc one has Player Bios and '77 Yankee Statistics. The Player Bios are of George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson. They all run two minute each or so, and the text is in a scrolling video. The stats are divided into different categories: Batting Stats, Pitching stats, ALCS Box Scores, World Series Box Scores, Schedule & Results. The Box Scores are like the bios, a scrolling video text that run a but over a minute each. The Schedule & Results is the games for the entire 1977 season, find out who the Yankees beat and loss to. That also is in a scrolling video that runs under 3 minutes.
    We have all the rest on disc three. First up is Deleted & Extended Scenes. Approx. 10 1/2 minutes of these. We have 5 scenes and we can also have option commentary on them by executive producer Gordon Greismer. Then we have some Webisodes of The Bronx is Burning. We have 7 of them and they run about 1 1/2 minutes each. Cool stuff. Then we have some Interviews. We have an interview with George Steinbrenner that runs 10:03, an interview with Reggie Jackson that runs 8:36, an interview with Billy Martin's son Billy Martin Jr. that runs 10:32, and John Turturro the actor who played Martin in the movie, running 6:47. Then we have a nice On the Set Featurette that is very detailed and runs 22:26. Finally, we have Stories of '77...Fenway Dugout Brawl that runs 6:30 and Sport Magazine Article that runs 6:20. Find out the scoop from these two huge stories.
    I highly recommend this mini-series and DVD. The Yankees overcame a lot in '77 and so did the city of New York. While this is entertaining, it was also a true story. I urge you all to watch this, especially if you are a fan of sports. And if you've watched it on ESPN, you should get the DVD, because you learn more facts and insight from the great bonus features. Like the classic Roots mini-series of that time, this is also eight episodes. This could be our Roots for this generation! Let's hope the Yankees of 2007 can repeat what the Yankees of '77 did...win a championship.
    -- Reviewed by Pavan
    (4/5 stars)

    To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
    Amazon.com

    Related links:
    SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
    Official Website
    The Bronx is Burning TV.com Page


    In addition to our sitcom ratings of the week tomorrow on the blog, we will have a special Sunday edition of Mini-DVD Reviews, we will take a look at the What About Brian DVD!


    Solomon's Weekly Rant
    Saturday, September 22, 2007
    "Surprise Ending to Back To You Pilot; Sports Analyst with a Speech Problem"
    By Solomon Davis

    The new Fox sitcom, Back To You is expected to be a huge hit this TV season (though it certainly wasn't a blockbuster in the ratings in its first episode) but I didn't really get that feeling from watching the pilot episode. The show featured two major sitcom stars, Kelsey Grammar and Patricia Heaton, who starred on hit comedies in the past and I guess Fox is banking on this happening with Back To You. The show was very watchable with some funny moments but I had no idea there was a surprise waiting for me before the show ended. After seeing so much of the newsroom during the episode, suddenly I saw the characters in a home scene which I think could have waited until episode three or four. The other surprise was seeing the 10 year old daughter appear and there was never any hint from the promos or the TV Guide review that a child would appear in the pilot episode. Not only that, the show became serious toward the end and no one wanted to see that in a pilot episode for a new comedy. Mainly because people were sampling this show to see if it was funny not to see serious scenes so early in the series. Maybe the future episodes will be better since there was so much hype by Fox before the premiere and hopefully I'm not saying, "Back To You Fox for another new sitcom" in mid-October.

    So because a guy played professional sports for 12 years and won a Dancing with the Stars trophy, that automatically makes him qualified to be a sports analyst on television? I always thought that in order to be a sports analyst on ESPN, you had to speak very clear and look comfortable on camera. Well that has not been the case with the new guy added to the ESPN set this season by the name of Emmitt Smith. This guy who has shown in just six weeks that he is not qualified to be a sports analyst because of his speech problem. He is always stuttering on camera when trying to make a point and that makes it hard for viewers to take him seriously as a analyst. He also tends to grin from ear to ear whenever he speaks and has no idea how goofy he looks on camera. It's not necessary for him to smile every time he opens his mouth which is something you never see from the analysts on other NFL pre-game shows. If Emmitt can't be articulate and speak without stuttering then why he is taking up space on the ESPN set? I know that by now the ESPN producers has probably learned that just because a person can dance doesn't mean they can speak clearly and make intelligent points on camera. It's only been six weeks for Emmitt Smith on the air and he may already be the worst sports analyst in ESPN History and needs to go now before he embarrasses himself anymore.

    My TV Highlight of the Week: Friday, September 21, 2007 - Joy Behar's appeared on Larry King Live and she played the interviewer at times.
    My TV Lowlight of the Week: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - The serious ending scene on the Back To You pilot.

    Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

    DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.

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    Friday, September 21, 2007

    CBS Fall Pilot Review: The Big Bang Theory - Premieres September 24

    The Big Bang Theory

    The Big Bang Theory - Mondays at 8:30PM ET/PT on CBS
    Premieres September 24 at 8:30PM ET/PT

    From creators Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady comes The Big Bang Theory, the story of two brainy best friends who could tell you anything you want to know about quantum physics -- but when it comes to dealing with everyday life here on Earth, they're lost in the cosmos.

    The Big Bang Theory is a comedy about brilliant physicists, Leonard and Sheldon, who are the kind of "beautiful minds" that understand how the universe works. But none of that genius helps them interact with people, especially women. All this begins to change when a free-spirited beauty named Penny moves in next door. Sheldon, Leonard's roommate, is quite content spending his nights playing Klingon Boggle with their socially dysfunctional friends, fellow Cal Tech scientists Wolowitz and Koothrappali. However, Leonard sees in Penny a whole new universe of possibilities... including love.
    The Big Bang Theory is executive produced by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady.

    Cast Details:

    Johnny Galecki as Leonard, Jim Parsons as Sheldon, Kaley Cuoco as Penny, Scott Halberstadt as Bobby, Simon Helberg as Wolowitz, Kunal Nayyar as Koothrappali, Frank Pacheco as Joey, Brian Wade as Kurt

    Johnny Galecki (Leonard) is perhaps best known to television audiences for his role as David in the long-running ABC comedy series Roseanne, for which he won a Young Artist Award. His television series credits also include a recurring role in My Boys and guest appearances in Hope & Faith and My Name is Earl.

    Jim Parsons (Sheldon) counts among his television credits a recurring role in the series Judging Amy and a guest-starring appearance in Ed.

    Kaley Cuoco (Penny) is perhaps best known to television audiences for her role as Bridget Hennessey in the John Ritter ABC series 8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter, for which she won a Teen Choice Award. Cuoco's other television credits include the series Ladies Man and Charmed and guest appearances in Prison Break, Complete Savages, 7th Heaven, My So-Called Life and Ellen, in which she played a young Ellen DeGeneres in flashbacks.

    Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz) has television credits that include guest-starring appearances on MADtv, Reno 911!, Joey and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

    Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh Koothrappali) will have his first regular role on a television series. He had a guest-starring role on CBS's Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service.


    Pilot Plot:

    Pilot (09/24/07) - When Leonard and Sheldon meet Penny, Leonard is immediately interested in her, but Sheldon feels his friend is chasing a dream he'll never catch.

    Written by: Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady
    Directed by: James Burrows
    Guest Stars: Brian Patrick Wade as Kurt and Vernee Watson as Althea


    Analysis:

    I only got to watch the pilot, but it was worth it! Usually when we do our pilot reviews we have 2-3 episodes to have a sample of. CBS didn't send us another episode, but that is fine. After watching the pilot, I think the show is actually funny. It is like a throwback to how sitcoms of the '80s were done. This is a multi-camera sitcom, and it might not be as hyped up as Fox's Back to You, I think this is the best traditional sitcom this fall. There are only two, and I liked the pilot of this one better than the Fox series. While the plot might sound, "been there, done that," it is enjoyable and has a lot of humor. The pilot runs a little over 23 minutes and the first scene to me is boring with just Leonard & Sheldon, but don't get discouraged. I thought to myself, "this better get better." And it did. It really picks up when the two geeks (Leonard and Sheldon) meet their new neighbor (Penny), who lives in the apartment down the hall.
    It is a mix of three shows to me. You get a bit of Weird Science, a bit of Beauty & the Geek and a slight bit of Three's Company (even though they don't all live together in one apartment).

    The show does need work to continue. The pilot is a good start, but it has to maintain the quality of humor and improve on some characters. I loved Kaley Cuoco on 8 Simple Rules. She was hilarious & beautiful on that show and her dialogue was great. On the pilot of this show she is beautiful too, but I don't even remember anything she really said because they make her a girl that only has looks. But I think they will improve on that in future episodes. They also have to improve on the two nerd friends of Leonard & Sheldon. They were like fillers in the pilot. When Leonard & Sheldon went to Penny's ex-boyfriend's house to try to get her stuff back, they just left Penny and their two friends in their apartment. That didn't make sense, but it is funny.
    The show has some neat guest stars coming, such as Sara Gilbert and Laurie Metcalf (who was wonderful this season on Desperate Housewives). That is like a mini-Roseanne reunion. All they need now is John Goodman and Roseanne herself. Hopefully we some 8 Simple Rules stars soon, too, like Amy Davidson, Martin Spanjers or Katey Sagal.


    Conclusion:

    The Big Bang Theory will be airing Mondays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS. Last season, the much hyped sitcom The Class aired in that slot, and it didn't do that well for a CBS sitcom. So in order for this series to do well, it will have to do better than that. 8-9 million will probably not do. If it can build on How I Met Your Mother, which is the lead-in for this show, CBS will be pleased and we will see this sitcom for another year at least.
    Todd reviewed Back to You earlier this week. I saw that pilot too and this one, and I think this one was better. Todd didn't see this one yet, but I'm sure he would like this one, too.

    Is this show too young and hip for CBS? Maybe. But it has How I Met Your Mother as its lead-in, so the young audience will be there. I personally think they should have aired it at 9:30 after Two and a Half Men for more exposure, but let's see how it does at 8:30 first.
    I urge you to tune in for the pilot at least. If you like older sitcoms from the '80s or something, you'll like this one. It is very "sitcomy" and is actually funny. It may not be as smart as sitcoms like 30 Rock and The Office, but I really prefer these types to those (and viewers do, too). Hopefully 10 million+ watch the premiere. It will have to at least build on the lead-in each week, in viewers, if not, for sure in adults 18-49. And you should be one of them who tunes in. To catch a sneak peek of the pilot, click HERE.


    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

    Watchability: 4.5/5
    Funniness: 4.5/5
    Overall: 4.5/5

    -- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/21/07

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Monday on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • CBS.com Official Site
  • The Big Bang Theory Fan Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • The Big Bang Theory Photo Gallery

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    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    ABC Full Episode Player Now Also on AOL.com; More Network Notes

    Dedicated to expanding its network and channel brands across multiple platforms and connecting viewers with their favorite shows anytime and anywhere, Disney-ABC Television Group and AOL today announced the availability of full-length episodes of popular primetime shows on AOL Video. Delivered via a co-branded version of ABC.com's Emmy-winning broadband player, full episodes of ABC programs are available today at http://video.aol.com and beginning next week will feature ABC's new fall lineup of programming. The agreement marks the first time ABC's primetime programming has been made available on a major portal and is also the first time a major portal has offered a full feature version of a broadcast network's online video player.
    Additionally, the two companies will team to offer select short form programming from ABC via an embedded short-form player, which will debut on AOL later this year. The short-form programming featured on the embedded player will include both original and derivative content from ABC.
    The same series that are offered on ABC.com the next day will also be on AOL.
    Combining sleek, modern design and user-friendly functionality with geo-targeting ability, the ABC.com broadband player on AOL will be co-branded with an "ABC.com on AOL" message alongside the local ABC affiliate's station ID based on the individual user's geographic location. Individual episodes viewed online will feature up to three interactive advertisements from one national sponsor, as well as an additional local ad insertion. ABC will continue to sell national advertising for the broadband player and local affiliates will continue to be responsible for local ad sales. Since the broadband player launched on ABC.com in September 2006, over 140 million episodes of ABC primetime series have been initiated by users, and to date, ABC affiliates covering 80% of the country have launched or are committed to launch the players on their own websites.

    It is a busy time of the year for networks as we near the launch of the new season. A few series have already had their series premiere, such as Kid Nation and Back to You. Both debuted last night and were neck and neck in the ratings. Look for our final ratings report for the night on our message board later tonight or tomorrow. And for sure on Sunday right here on the blog in our weekly round-up.
    CBS has just announced that it will encore the premiere of Kid Nation on Saturday at 8pm. The series premiered to an audience of 9.4 million viewers on Wednesday, winning its hour in Adults 18-49, children 2-11 and children 6-11. So if you missed it, catch it then. See what all the hoopla is about.

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    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    TV Land's CASA Stunt Full Details; Network Notes

    We mentioned this a lot already, but TV Land has issued yet another press release on the CASA Family Day. As part of its commitment to Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children(TM), TV Land will pre-empt regularly- scheduled programming and "go dark" on September 24 from 6pm to 7pm (ET/PT) to encourage families to dine together. Viewers tuning in to The Family Day Dinner Hour will see photos submitted to TVLand.com of various families sharing meals and spending time together. Packaged like a scrapbook, the hour will display montages of the photos along with Family Day graphics, all set to easy-listening Americana and Jazz music.
    To further promote Family Day, TV Land will air a two-hour block of classic family dinner-themed episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, Sanford & Son, and M*A*S*H on Sunday, September 23, from 8pm to 10pm (ET/PT).

    Fox has announced the premiere date for season 7 of 24. The innovative, addictive, Emmy Award-winning television series 24 resets the clock for Season Seven with a special two-night premiere event Sunday, Jan. 13 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT and Monday, Jan. 14 from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Fox.
    In keeping with Fox's commitment to airing original programming year-round, the intense season will unfold in 24's regular 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT time period beginning Monday, Jan. 14, and will continue to air all originals all season into June.
    NBC.com today announced the launch of its new service, "NBC Direct," which will allow users to download and view NBC's popular primetime and late-night entertainment programming on their desktops for up to one week after broadcast. This new feature provides yet another platform on which fans will be able to enjoy NBC Entertainment content.
    The first version of this new feature, which will begin beta testing in October, will allow users to download full length episodes for viewing on Windows based PCs. Each original episode will be licensed to users for viewing through "NBC Direct" for one week following broadcast and will then expire. The downloaded file will provide users with an improved overall viewing experience compared to traditional streaming video. The list of programs available at launch will include Heroes, The Office, Life, Bionic Woman, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
    Later in the beta launch, users will be provided the free subscription option that will allow them to pre-select their favorite NBC programs they want to watch. Those shows will be automatically delivered to their computers as soon as they are available after the original broadcast. The downloadable player will also have filtering technology, which will prevent it from playing any stolen copyrighted material.

    And finally, as a reminder the first two original sitcom airings of the new season start tonight with the series premiere of Back to You and the season premiere of 'Til Death. The laughs start at 8/7 central on Fox.
    Our final ratings for each night will return this week on our message boards (see General Sitcoms board)

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    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    RTN Renews Affiliates in Savannah and Myrtle Beach; Remembering Brett Somers

    Retro Television Network (RTN) announced today that Media General has renewed its RTN affiliations in Savannah, GA and Myrtle Beach/Florence, SC for another year. RTN, which originally launched in both markets in the fall of 2006, currently airs on a digital stream of WSAV, the NBC affiliate in Savannah, and WBTW, the CBS affiliate in Myrtle Beach/Florence.
    RTN is of course a television network that provides each affiliate a customized feed with hit classic TV shows. RTN is specifically designed to go on a broadcast digital channel and provides local broadcasters with a way to get ratings and successfully monetize their digital spectrum.

    Game show legend Brett Somers passed away on Saturday and GSN will honor her in style. She was the popular Match Game panelist and will be honored by GSN in an all-day marathon Saturday, September 22. The Somers' Match Game tribute will air from 9 AM to 4 PM ET on Sept. 22 and will feature some of the best moments from her years of work on one of America's all-time favorite game shows.
    Immediately following the marathon, GSN's original documentary THE REAL MATCH GAME STORY: BEHIND THE BLANK airs from 4 PM to 5 PM ET.
    Additionally, on Sunday night (Monday morning) September 23 at 3:30 AM ET, GSN will air an episode of Password from 1971 where she appeared with then-husband Jack Klugman, as the other celebrity guest.
    Over the years she has guest starred on many classic TV shows such as The Love Boat, Barney Miller, Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Odd Couple, Love American Style and more.
    For more on her passing and the GSN event, click HERE. You can also share your memories. Ms. Somers will be dearly missed! She was 83.

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    Monday, September 17, 2007

    Fox Fall Pilot Review: Back to You - Premieres September 19th; 59th Annual Emmy Awards Winners

    Back to You

    Back to You - Wednesdays at 8:00PM ET/PT on Fox
    Premieres September 19th at 8:00PM ET/PT

    In the ‘90s, the local TV news scene in Pittsburgh was dominated by one team: CHUCK DARLING (Kelsey Grammer) and KELLY CARR (Patricia Heaton). They had that elusive quality all news teams need: chemistry ... at least on-screen. Off-screen, Chuck was a bit of a self-centered womanizer, Kelly a bit of an uptight know-it-all. When Chuck grabbed the chance to move up to a larger market, no tears were shed.

    But after an embarrassing on-air tirade ended up on the Internet, Chuck found himself on the downswing career-wise. He even questioned whether his lifestyle of chasing women and living in hotels was as exciting as it used to be. So when he got the call to return to Pittsburgh, to reunite with Kelly and try to take the newscast back to No. 1, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse.

    Back in Pittsburgh, Chuck and Kelly reteam with familiar faces including MARSH McGINLEY (Fred Willard), the affable, endlessly inappropriate sports anchor, and GARY CREZYZEWSKI, pronounced Kre-shoov-ski (Ty Burrell), the perennially put-upon field reporter who always seems to get left out in the cold; and they have a few new coworkers: RYAN CHURCH (Josh Gad), the under qualified, overstressed news director, and MONTANA DIAZ HERRERA (Ayda Field), the perky, sexy, somewhat inept weather anchor. But perhaps the biggest change is that Kelly is now single mom to 10-year-old GRACIE (Laura Marano).

    There was magic between Chuck and Kelly once. Can they find it again?

    BACK TO YOU is created, written and executive-produced by Steven Levitan (“Just Shoot Me!,” “Frasier,” “Wings”) and Christopher Lloyd (“Frasier,” “The Golden Girls”). James Burrows is executive producer and director. The series is from Levitan/Lloyd Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television.

    Cast Details:

    Kelsey Grammer as Chuck Darling, Patricia Heaton as Kelly Carr, Fred Willard as Marsh McGinley, Ty Burrell as Gary Crezyzewski, Josh Gad as Ryan Church, Ayda Field as Montana Diaz Herrera, Laura Marano as Gracie Carr

    Kelsey Grammer (Chuck Darling) - Kelsey Grammer played the celebrated character "Dr. Frasier Crane" on three different television series ("Frasier," "Cheers" and "Wings") for 20 years, tying James Arness of "Gunsmoke" for the record of longest-running television character. He has won four Emmys, two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild Award for the role, and has received an unparalleled total of 16 Emmy award nominations, eight Golden Globe award nominations and 16 Screen Actors Guild award nominations.

    Patricia Heaton (Kelly Carr) - A talented actress whose career spans television, theater and film, Patricia Heaton has been honored with two consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and has been nominated for 11 Screen Actors Guild awards for her portrayal of "Debra Barone" on the top-rated series "Everybody Loves Raymond."

    Fred Willard (Marsh McGinley) - Willard has received three Emmy Award nominations for his role as Martin Mull's lover on "Roseanne" and his recurring role on "Everybody Loves Raymond." He also co-starred with Martin Mull in Norman Lear's innovative cult classic talk-show satire, "Fernwood 2Night." Willard had recurring roles on "Ally McBeal," "The Simpsons" and "Mad About You." In addition, he has made more than 50 appearances on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

    Ty Burrell (Gary Crezyzewski) - Through his ability to play roles ranging from classical Shakespeare to contemporary film, Ty Burrell is quickly establishing himself as a talented and versatile actor who has carved out a diverse career in movies, television and theater. On television, Burrell recently starred in the sitcom "Out of Practice" opposite Stockard Channing and Henry Winkler.

    Josh Gad (Ryan Church) - Josh Gad began his career in theater, graduating from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. He then turned his sights to comedy, joining the famed Groundlings Improv troupe and later founding his own group, the Lost Nomads Comedy Troupe. Previous screen credits include a guest role on "ER" and the independent feature "Watching the Detectives" with Lucy Liu.

    Ayda Field (Montana Diaz Herrera) - Once she decided upon acting as a career, things happened very quickly for Los Angeles native Ayda Field. On her way home from attending Duke University, she landed an audition on the daytime drama "Days of Our Lives." The audition blossomed into a recurring role on the series that ran over the course of a season. Field's additional television credits include the cable series "Arli$$," "Will & Grace," "Eve," "Blue Collar TV" and a recurring role on "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."

    Laura Marano (Gracie Carr) - Marano has recurring roles on the television show "Without a Trace," in which she plays Kate, the daughter of Emmy-Award winning actor Anthony LaPaglia's character, and in "Dexter" and "The Sarah Silverman Program." She has guest-starred on television shows including "Ghost Whisperer," "Medical Investigation," "Huff" and "Joan of Arcadia."

    Pilot Plot:

    1. Pilot (09/19/07) - After an embarrassing newscast tirade ends up on the internet on YouTube, Chuck returns to Pittsburgh to reunite with Kelly at the local network. The show opens with a funny flashback to 1996 where we see Chuck Darling leaving the station for greener pastures. He returns 10 years later and meets the young news director, Brian Church, and the rest of the team and his former co-anchor, Kelly. They swap anchor seats and shoot a promo. We are introduced to Kelly's daughter, Gracie.

    Written by: Steven Levitan & Christopher Lloyd
    Directed by: James Burrows
    Guest Stars: Spencer Knowles (Mail Boy), Adam Busch (Production Assistant), Michael Richard Robinson (Weatherman), Erin Ross (Darcy), Ayda Field (Montana Diaz Herrera)

    I also had the opportunity to view the second episode.

    2. Fish Story (09/26/07) - There's something fishy going on when Chuck tries to convince a dubious Kelly that he has a responsible, nurturing side. Meanwhile, Gary tries to regain his credibility in the field. He doesn't want to do a segment on tasers.

    Analysis:

    After watching the first two episodes, I think the show has a lot of potential. It is impossible to compare it to great newsroom sitcoms such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show or Murphy Brown with such a small sampling, but all of the pieces are here for a long and successful run. Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton are a dynamic duo that have instant chemistry. It is hard to believe they had never worked together before or that they had only met each other once prior to being cast. After playing Frasier Crane for 20 years, Kelsey Grammer gets the chance to play another character in the media. It is somebody who has a different personality than Frasier, but he's not 100% opposite that viewers won't recognize him. Patricia Heaton is beautiful and funny and gets to play a character that is the opposite of Debra Ramone. The supporting cast is very good. Fred Willard is hilarious as the zany and political incorrect sports anchor. He has some of the funniest lines, such as "I'm off - I still throw up before every show." I enjoyed Ty Burrell on "Out of the Practice." He has a funny scene in a taser segment in the second episode. Newcomer Josh Gad plays the young, sweaty news director. He reminds me a little bit of Chris Farley and his character is similar to the enthusiastic and neurotic Miles Silverberg character on Murphy Brown. As if we needed more of it with Patricia Heaton already on board, Ayda Field brings a lot of sex appeal as the weathergirl. She has some funny exchanges with Fred and Ty. Overall, the show just has some very funny writing and a good pace. The pop culture references to YouTube and ringtones in the first two episodes are hilarious. Back to You is filmed before a live studio audience with multiple cameras. There is no canned or added laughter here.

    There are a few things that they probably could improve on for future episodes. Although the show is set in Pittsburgh, you would hardly know it. There is the Pittsburgh skyline behind the anchor's desk, but there are very few references to the city. Marsh does mention the Penguins in a news story in the second episode. It would be nice to see some exterior shots of Pittsburgh in the transitions between scenes. The newsroom set looks like a real set, but it appears to be very tiny. Maybe newsrooms are like that in real life, but people are always bumping into each other on the set. Kelly's home is shown in the pilot, but it is not as nice as I would expect a lead anchor to own. The office that Kelly and Chuck share is featured in the second episode, but it doesn't look very big or as elaborate as I expected. I guess with the high salaries of the cast, they didn't have a lot of extra money to furnish those sets with props and items on the walls.

    Conclusion:

    Back to You will likely be one of the top two highest rated new sitcoms of the fall season. It would be very hard for me to see it failing with such an all-star cast and crew. It may not mark the full return of the multi-camera sitcom format, but it is a step in the right direction. Hopefully we will start to see more in this format that was so popular for the last 40-50 years. Many networks wanted it for their fall schedule. Fox gave it a blind thirteen-episode commitment in February after seeing the script.

    Can Grammer and Heaton find the magic of Frasier and Everybody Loves Raymond? It looks to be a funny show. When the cast looks like they are having fun and enjoy filming before a live audience, I think that will translate into a show that people will want to watch. Back to You should score an impressive debut. Fox has heavily promoted it, and there is a lot of buzz about it. It will be interesting to see how many viewers they can hold onto for the second episode and in week three when ABC's enchanting Pushing Daisies premieres. Hopefully Back to You is the start of a new golden era of the multi-camera sitcom.

    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

    Watchability: 4.5/5
    Funniness: 4.5/5
    Overall: 4.5/5

    -- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 09/17/07

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • FOX.com Official Site
  • Back to You Online
  • Back to You Anchorizer
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Back to You Photo Gallery

    Back to You



    And now I'll throw it back to you, Pavan...

    Here are the winners for the main categories at last night's Emmys.

    COMEDY SERIES
    30 Rock
    Entourage
    The Office
    Two and a Half Men
    Ugly Betty

    WINNER: 30 Rock

    DRAMA SERIES
    Boston Legal
    Grey's Anatomy
    Heroes
    House
    The Sopranos

    WINNER: The Sopranos

    LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
    Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
    Steve Carell, The Office
    Ricky Gervais, Extras
    Tony Shalhoub, Monk
    Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men
    WINNER: Ricky Gervais, Extras

    LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
    America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
    Tina Fey, 30 Rock
    Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
    Mary Louise Parker, Weeds
    WINNER: America Ferrera, Ugly Betty.

    LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
    James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
    Hugh Laurie, House
    Denis Leary, Rescue Me
    James Spader, Boston Legal
    Kiefer Sutherland, 24
    WINNER: James Spader, Boston Legal

    LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
    Patricia Arquette, Medium
    Minnie Driver, The Riches
    Edie Falco, The Sopranos
    Sally Field, Brothers and Sisters
    Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
    Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
    WINNER: Sally Field, Brothers and Sisters

    SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
    Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
    Kevin Dillon, Entourage
    Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
    Jeremy Piven, Entourage
    Rainn Wilson, The Office
    WINNER: Jeremy Piven, Entourage.

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
    Jenna Fischer, The Office
    Conchata Ferrell, Two and a Half Men
    Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
    Jaime Pressly, My Name is Earl
    Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men
    Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty
    WINNER: Jaime Pressly, My Name is Earl

    SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
    Michael Emerson, Lost
    Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos
    T.R. Knight, Grey's Anatomy
    Terry O'Quinn, Lost
    Masi Oka, Heroes
    William Shatner, Boston Legal
    WINNER: Terry O'Quinn, Lost.

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
    Lorraine Bracco, The Sopranos
    Rachel Griffiths, Brothers and Sisters
    Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy
    Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy
    Aida Turturro, The Sopranos
    Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy
    OUR PICK: Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy

    Full list of winners can be found HERE!

    COMMENTS: The surprises of the night was James Spader for Lead Actor in a Drama and Katherine Heigl for Supporting Actress in a Drama. Both were underdogs, but won! And it was nice that Sally Field got Lead Actress in a Drama and Terry O'Quinn for Supporting Actor in a Drama. Comedy wise, no surprises really, but Shalhoub didn't win finally for Lead Actor in a Comedy. Actually, Jamie Pressly of My Name is Earl was a bit of a surprise. It was a huge night for ABC. 5 wins for ABC in the above main categories. The Sopranos won for Best Drama, but didn't get any of the acting wins, which is a surprise.

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    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    Summer Week 16 Sitcom Ratings

    Just 8 days left until the start of the new season! So next Sunday will be the last of the summer. We will be back on Sept. 30 with numbers for the first full week! Here are the summer week 16 (Sept. 10-16) sitcom numbers:

    Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of Sept. 3-9)
    • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - 6.01 and 6.42 million for 2 repeats, much better than previous week's 3.85 million and 4.85 million ... thanks to the return of the NFL!
    • Family Guy (Fox) 2 episodes - 6.06 and 6.24 million for 2 repeats, again better than last week's 5.15 and 5.18 million.
    Monday Sitcoms
    • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 5.3 million for a repeat, up a bit from previous week
    • Old Christine (CBS) - 5.78 million for a repeat, a tad up from last week.
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 9.95 million for a repeat, up from the previous week.
    • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 7.52 million for a repeat, up quite a bit from last week.
    • Everybody Hates Chris, Girlfriends, The Game (The CW) - Repeats of these sitcoms did OK with the 8pm edition of Chris, the highest at 2.08 million.


    Tuesday Sitcoms

    • None
    Wednesday Sitcoms
    • According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes - 4.12 and 4.25 million for 2 repeats, down a bit from previous week.
    • 'Til Death (Fox) 2 episodes - Just 3.57 and 3.86 million for 2 repeats. Actually up from previous week!

    Thursday Sitcoms

    • My Name is Earl (NBC) - An encore did 5.03 million...not bad.
    • 30 Rock (NBC) - An encore dropped quite a bit from the lead-in to 3.97 million.
    • The Office (NBC) -The encore aired after Bush's speech in the ET/CT zones and did 3.84 million. Scrubs was pre-empted.
    Friday Sitcoms
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - Special Friday airing after the CBS Sneak Peek 2007 did an estimate 4.12 million, building on the special's 4.10 million. Numbers not final yet.
    Saturday Sitcoms
    • None
    Tune in tonight on Fox for The 59th Annual Emmy Awards.

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    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Our Emmy Awards Picks; Solomon's Weekly Rant: Nick at Nite's Double Airings of Its New Shows; The Unclassy Addition to The View

    Saturday mini-DVD reviews will be pre-empted today so we can bring you our Emmy Awards picks for the 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which will air tomorrow (Sun., Sept. 16) on Fox. Solomon's Weekly Rant will still be on today, see below.

    Here are our picks:

    COMEDY SERIES
    30 Rock
    Entourage
    The Office
    Two and a Half Men
    Ugly Betty

    OUR PICK: Ugly Betty. What a tough category, 30 Rock and The Office can also win, too.

    DRAMA SERIES
    Boston Legal
    Grey's Anatomy
    Heroes
    House
    The Sopranos

    OUR PICK: Grey's Anatomy. I think The Sopranos will not win like how Cheers didn't win in its final season.

    LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
    Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
    Steve Carell, The Office
    Ricky Gervais, Extras
    Tony Shalhoub, Monk
    Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men
    OUR PICK: Tony Shalhoub, Monk. Really anyone can win here but Sheen.

    LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
    America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
    Tina Fey, 30 Rock
    Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
    Mary Louise Parker, Weeds
    OUR PICK: America Ferrera, Ugly Betty. Huffman or Parker can win, but Ferrera is a huge favorite here.

    LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
    James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
    Hugh Laurie, House
    Denis Leary, Rescue Me
    James Spader, Boston Legal
    Kiefer Sutherland, 24
    OUR PICK: James Gandolfini, The Sopranos.

    LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
    Patricia Arquette, Medium
    Minnie Driver, The Riches
    Edie Falco, The Sopranos
    Sally Field, Brothers and Sisters
    Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
    Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
    OUR PICK: Edie Falco, The Sopranos. I'd want Sally Field, but no chance I think. Sedgwick can win, too.

    SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
    Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
    Kevin Dillon, Entourage
    Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
    Jeremy Piven, Entourage
    Rainn Wilson, The Office
    OUR PICK: Jeremy Piven, Entourage.

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
    Jenna Fischer, The Office
    Conchata Ferrell, Two and a Half Men
    Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
    Jaime Pressly, My Name is Earl
    Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men
    Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty
    OUR PICK: Jenna Fischer, The Office.

    SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
    Michael Emerson, Lost
    Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos
    T.R. Knight, Grey's Anatomy
    Terry O'Quinn, Lost
    Masi Oka, Heroes
    William Shatner, Boston Legal
    OUR PICK: Terry O'Quinn, Lost. Imperioli can also win, but give it to O'Quinn!

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
    Lorraine Bracco, The Sopranos
    Rachel Griffiths, Brothers and Sisters
    Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy
    Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy
    Aida Turturro, The Sopranos
    Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy
    OUR PICK: Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy. This is Oh's year, unless the Emmy people give Bracco one last hurrah.


    Solomon's Weekly Rant
    Saturday, September 15, 2007
    "Nick at Nite's Double Airings of Its New Shows; The Unclassy Addition to The View"
    By Solomon Davis

    Since the beginning of this month, Nick at Nite wanted viewers to know that they have added two new sitcoms by overloading the programming schedule with back-to-back episodes of Home Improvement and George Lopez everyday of the week. You would think that since these shows are currently in the introduction phase on Nick at Nite's schedule, that one airing a night would be the proper way to present the shows to new viewers. But the word "balanced" has never been a part of Nick at Nite's programming vocabulary just "overload." And let's say viewers started liking one of the new shows on the schedule, I'm sure they don't want to keep watching them over and over and lose the opportunity to see the shows they were already watching on Nick at Nite before September. That's why there should be a balance between the new shows and older shows on Nick at Nite's schedule so that a new viewer of the new additions can gradually get into the show. Seven airings a week is a nice way for someone to get into a new show instead of 27 airings which quickly leads to "STALE CITY." Nick at Nite's primetime schedule actually has the look of a closet filled with clothes with the two newest outfits in the front and the older outfits pushed to the back so that the newer outfits can be worn on more frequently during the week.

    The View, which airs on ABC's daytime schedule every Monday to Friday at 11am, has added a new person to the show which appears to be the biggest mistake of this television season. The unclassy addition to the show is Sherri Shepherd, a comic who loves to tell inappropriate jokes and has yet to show any kind of intelligence. I thought the purpose of her addition was so she could blend in with the other ladies during discussions not try and make everyone laugh every time she opens her mouth. Her most unlcassy moment was on Monday when she said that she took pole dancing lessons in the past because she had a dream of being a stripper. Now would an intelligent comic want to generate laughs from that kind of humor? Only a comic who is comfortable with looking like a fool would tell inappropriate jokes like that to hear laughs from the crowd. And what makes it so sad is that no one laughed at that ridiculous joke which made her look very stupid. Also it's obvious that Sherri is bored when the discussion is serious because she can't tell jokes and never adds anything to the conversation. Sherri should learn from Whoopi and Joy because she has yet to show the ability to be intelligent and funny in the same hour. Just because you are a comic doesn't mean you have to be silly all the time and not show your intelligent side. Which is why I feel The View should have added a woman who could contribute to intelligent conversation instead of adding a woman who is nothing but an unfunny clown who lacks class and intelligence.

    My TV Highlight of the Week: Monday, September 10, 2007 - Patricia Heaton saying to Kelly Ripa on Regis and Kelly, "I wonder what you did to get this job?"
    My TV Lowlight of the Week: Thursday, September 13, 2007 - As I mentioned, Sherri Shepherd's statement about taking pole dancing lessons because she had dreams of being a stripper when she was younger.

    Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

    DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.

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    Friday, September 14, 2007

    Perfect Strangers Joins ION Television in October; Peachtree TV Launch Schedule; TV Land Schedule Changes, Includes Return of Night Court

    It is schedules galore here on SitcomsOnline on a Friday! We have not one, not two, but three schedules to give you today! First up, we will start with ION Television! ION will FINALLY give us the show that I (and I know many other fans have been asking about)...Perfect Strangers! That's right Larry and Balki return to primetime and will air Mon-Thurs at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT starting October 1! And I'm not being ridiculous! You don't know how happy this makes me feel. This one is for you my good friend Linda (of PerfectStrangers.tv)!
    Since Perfect Strangers will air at 8:30 p.m., that means Mama's Family will be shifted to 7:30 and 8pm, instead of 8-9pm. Designing Women, which was 7-8pm will now just be a half-hour at 7pm. Diagnosis Murder will be leaving the line-up and will be replaced by another old faithful...Doc, Mon-Fri at 6pm.
    Then starting October 8, 48 Hours will join the line-up and will air Monday and Wednesday nights at 10PM. Tuesday nights will be Sue Thomas F.B.Eye and Thursday nights will be more Doc. This means starting Oct. 8 The Wonder Years will be off the line-up. Still no sign of the rescheduled Firebrand TV.
    For complete details on the schedule, including the RHI movies for the month, click HERE!

    Continuing our massive Friday of schedules, we move on Peachtree TV. Peachtree TV is of course the new WTBS in Atlanta. Their new call letters will be WPCH. Their launch schedule starts October 1 and will have sitcoms all day long! Among the highlights are Diff'rent Strokes from 8-9am, All in the Family from 9-10am, The Jeffersons from 11am-12pm, Sanford & Son from 12-1pm, and The Cosby Show from 2-3pm. New game show Temptation will air 10-11am, the only non-sitcom from 7am-8pm. Looking at that show's ratings, it will be gone soon anyway. In the Heat of the Night will air late nights and weekends, and America's Funniest Home Videos will air on weekends.
    Atlanta just got a bit better! They are not close to Chicago's ME-TV yet, but this is a start! To view the FULL schedules, I urge you to click HERE!

    Finally, the other day we told you the new regular schedule for TV Land November that was starting on Oct. 29. Guess what? It will start on Oct. 1 now! Everything will be the same as that schedule we gave you but the 8-10pm weekday marathons and Designing Women don't start until week of Oct. 15. And also Wednesday mornings 7-8am will be Night Court now instead of Gunsmoke! Until Designing Women comes, 11am will be an extra Green Acres and 1:45am will be an extra Three's Company.
    I urge you to click here to see the revised October schedule that will go into November as well!

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    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    TitanTV Acquires Jury Duty, New Series that Features Classic TV Jurors; WTBS Peachtree TV News; Alyssa Milano Goes Baseball!

    TitanTV Network, the first of its kind digital media platform designed to connect local media affiliates and their advertisers to the digital world, has acquired the exclusive broadband rights to Radar Entertainment's new daily syndicated strip series, Jury Duty. The series, featuring famed defense attorney Bruce Cutler and premiering on stations around the country on September 17, will be given free to its affiliate stations' Web sites delivered through the TitanCast player, which provides territorial exclusivity through its patented technology. The broadband version of the series will also be available on TitanTV.com.
    Jury Duty, which is presided over by high-profile attorney Bruce Cutler, features a jury of rotating celebrities and classic TV stars including Phyllis Diller, Ed Begley Jr., Bruce Vilanch, Paula Poundstone, Kevin Sorbo, Scott Hamilton, Dick Van Patten and Tiffany, among others. The series is cleared in over 85% of the U.S., including New York City (WPIX, weeknights at 4:30am).

    As we mentioned previously, WTBS, TBS's local broadcast platform in Atlanta, is about to undergo an extensive re-branding initiative and line-up change that will result in an entirely new local, independent station, completely separate from the national cable network. The newly re-branded Peachtree TV will launch on Monday, Oct. 1.
    Driven by an Atlanta-centric, hyper-local sensibility, Peachtree TV will feature nightly blockbuster prime-time movies and a daytime line-up packed with popular sitcoms targeted to Atlanta's local audience. In addition, Peachtree TV will bring local viewers 45 regular-season Atlanta Braves baseball games in 2008.
    While Peachtree TV takes over the local broadcaster position currently held by WTBS, TBS's national cable feed will become available to Atlanta's local cable and satellite customers, offering the network's signature comedy programming. On Oct. 1, TBS will move to Comcast channel 39 and Direct TV channel 247. TBS will remain on Dish Network channel 139.
    The channel's daytime line-up will feature a stable of sitcom hits, including the Atlanta syndication premieres of Family Guy and Still Standing, as well as such series as The King of Queens, The Cosby Show, Seinfeld, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Friends and Frasier.
    In Fall 2008, Peachtree TV's line-up will feature two shows that are currently attracting large audiences in the Atlanta market. The long-running and extremely popular talk show Montel, hosted by Montel Williams, will join the daytime line-up as a Peachtree TV exclusive in Atlanta. Also next year, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, which premiered this past summer on TBS and set an ad-supported cable record for the #1 sitcom telecast of all time, will premiere in local syndication in Atlanta on Peachtree TV. In 2009, The Office and My Name is Earl will join the line-up as Atlanta syndication premieres.

    Moving on to the national TBS, Alyssa Milano is coming to TBS...sort of. She will be covering baseball online for TBS Hot Corner on MLB.com
    TBS Hot Corner is a new broadband channel from Turner Broadcasting's TBS, which will be broadcasting the major league division series and the National League Championship Series for the first time this season.
    She will have a recurring role on the NBC sitcom My Name is Earl this fall and already has a popular blog on MLB.com and this year launched a baseball-themed clothing line.
    Beginning Sept. 17, Milano will contribute regular reports and features from major league stadia as teams race to make the playoffs. The reports will range from interviews with players, coaches and fans, to features on calorie counting at the park and the best in baseball attire.
    Baseball just got a bit hotter!

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    Wednesday, September 12, 2007

    Bush Speech Thursday at 9 to Delay Programming; TBS Reportedly Renews My Boys for Season 3

    The major networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC) plan to air President Bush's Address on Iraq including the democratic response Thursday at 9PM ET/PT. This will last about 25 minutes or so in total.
    ABC will just delay the encores of Grey's Anatomy and MEN IN TREEES by 25 minutes or so and air them immediately following the speech in the Eastern and Central time zones. Mountain and Pacific will air the entire primetime from 8-11pm, following the speech.
    CBS has not announced what they will do yet, but it will likely be similar to ABC and air CSI and Without a Trace on a delay in Eastern and Central time zones.
    FOX will not air an all-new episode of Don't Forget the Lyrics at 9:00pm now. Instead, a repeat of the show's premiere will air. The Eastern and Central time zones will join that in progress when Bush's speech ends. The Mountain and Pacific time zones, the speech will lead into a new Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (which will air at 8pm ET) and the repeat of Lyrics.
    NBC plans to move the 9:00pm repeat of The Office to 9:30, following the speech, instead of Scrubs, in the Eastern and Central time zones while Mountain and Pacific viewers will see both shows.

    TBS has reportedly renewed original sitcom My Boys for a third season. No official announcement has been made yet, but we will certainly let you know when they do. The reports are saying that 8 episodes have been ordered thus far. The second season finale aired on Monday night on TBS.

    We will have ION's October schedule probably tomorrow or Friday. So just a heads up. Check back with us!

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    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    TV Land November 2007 Highlights; Internet's TV4U.com Adds Classic Sitcoms Like The Lucy Show

    TV Land will have a new regular schedule this November that will take in effect on Monday, October 29! Among the highlights of the changes are the removal of Knight Rider and Little House on the Prairie from the regular lineup. Little House will get a Thanksgiving night stunt, though. Weeknights from 8-10pm will be marathons of sitcoms. Four episodes from series like Designing Women, Cosby Show, M*A*S*H, Good Times and Sanford & Son. We also have a big change to weekday late afternoons and early evenings! Sitcoms will rule from 4-8pm...and they include Cheers, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Good Times, and I Love Lucy. Lucy will air for a full hour from 6-7pm. Designing Women highlights the midday changes, airing at 11am.
    We also have sitcoms now from 5-8pm on Saturdays! Back-to-back episodes of Good Times, The Jeffersons and Sanford & Son.
    To see the FULL line-up that is starting in November, please click HERE!!
    Let's move on to the stunts for November. Friday Night Movies for the month include Young Frankenstein, Beaches and Saturday Night Fever.
    The members of 4077 maintained contact with the outside world through letters. Characters would write letters to their loved ones, thereby becoming the narrators for those episodes. They were shown the love as well during "mail call," where they would receive letters – some good, some bad, but all funny! That's right another mail call marathon for M*A*S*H from Nov. 10-11, 9p-1:30a both nights.
    Oprah. Heather Locklear. Homer Simpson. Regardless of age, TV genre or lifeform, there are select TV personalities whose work is timeless and whose popularity is endless due to the impact they have made through television. Entertainment Weekly and TV Land Present: The 50 Greatest TV Icons, counts down the iconic personalities who have made their indelible mark via the small screen on November 16 from 8-10p.
    And finally, as we mentioned earlier, celebrate Thanksgiving with your favorite frontier family! Join the Ingalls for this special 3-hour Thanksgiving feast, featuring a look back at the most memorable Little House on the Prairie moments in these heart-felt retrospective episodes. Along with the standard turkey and apple pie, you'll get a side of family love and great memories in Walnut Grove.
    Again, for more November insight, click HERE!

    TV4U, which presents free internet television on a 42 channel broadband network TV4U.Com, will provide seven channels of free internet TV programming to the new Classic TV service, which will be available in September exclusively on HP consumer notebook PCs and accessed through HP QuickPlay software. The service will allow HP viewers, thru their internet connection, to access all programming at no charge and offer the option to buy DVD or video download versions of the programs at popular prices. In all, more than 5,000 classic programs are being made available to HP consumer notebook PC users through this unique service.
    TV4U is programming seven HP Classic TV channels - Action, Comedy, Classic Commercials, Drama, Sports, Variety, and Western.
    Action programming includes Combat, Burke's Law, Peter Gunn, Sea Hunt, Flash Gordon, Dick Tracy, Robin Hood, Long John Silver, Ramar of the Jungle, Sky King, Zorro, Lassie, Fury and a wide collection of Kung Fu Classics.
    Comedy programming includes The Lucy Show, Dobie Gillis, Love That Bob, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Green Acres, Mothers in Law, Our Miss Brooks, Gomer Pyle, USMC, Topper, The Three Stooges, Petticoat Junction, Life of Riley and others.
    Classic Commercials includes the campiest, funniest and most nostalgic commercial spots produced in the history of TV. From the Miller Lite 'Taste Great Less Filling' to Maypo, to Mikey, to future stars just getting their start, each is a treat in its own right.
    Drama Channel includes Arrest and Trial, The Loretta Young Show, Four Star Theater, GE Theater with Ronald Reagan, Studio One, Dragnet, Mannix, Highway Patrol, Ellery Queen, Mike Hammer, Alfred Hitchcock, One Step Beyond and series from the Golden Age of Television as well as many early soap operas.
    Sports includes complete game action from some of the greatest sports events of the past 60 years. Muhammad Ali, Floyd Patterson, Pele, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Lawrence Taylor, Richard Petty and Isaiah Thomas are just some of the stars who will appear.
    Variety programming includes Hollywood Palace, Milton Berle, Red Skelton, Jack Benny, Mike Douglas, Liberace, plus a wide variety of classic game shows such as The Price is Right, Truth or Consequences, Break the Bank, Beat the Clock, Concentration and many more.
    Western Channel includes John Wayne movies, The Deputy with Henry Fonda, Sugarfoot, Stoney Burke, Shotgun Slade, The Rifleman, Jim Bowie, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and a wide variety of legendary spaghetti westerns with stars like Lee Van Cleef as well as Bonanza, Wagon Train, Rin Tin Tin, The Lone Ranger, Cisco Kid and Roy Rogers.

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    Monday, September 10, 2007

    TV Land Acquires Hillbillies and Hogan's Heroes; ION Acquires NFL Highlights Show; Reminder for George Lopez on Nick at Nite

    TV Land has announced today on their message boards the two shows that people have asked about that are supposed to be coming. Finally, I can talk about them. The Beverly Hillbillies joins the network this January, with an anniversary marathon tentatively planned for December. The show joins the already announced Just Shoot Me, which also is coming in January 2008.
    Then the other show people were wanting to know is Hogan's Heroes. The '60s sitcom will join the network in June 2008. As previously mentioned, Mad About You and Murphy Brown will come to the network in summer marathon form in July 2008, while Scrubs comes in Fall 2008.
    But before all that, Designing Women is coming to TV Land this October...weeknights at 9pm starting Oct. 15.
    We will have more on Hillbillies and Hogan's Heroes when available.

    ION Television announced today that it has secured the rights to air the NFL Films production, NFL Game of the Week, for the 2007 season. The highly-acclaimed highlights series will premiere on ION Television's nationwide broadcast network from 6:00-7:00 PM ET on Saturday, September 15, with the Giants-Cowboys game from Kickoff Weekend, which Dallas won 45-35. A new episode will air each week of the 17-week NFL regular season.
    Each week of the NFL season, NFL Game of the Week showcases that week's best game in a one-hour program, and tells the story of the game that viewers didn't see on the original broadcast. Presenting the action from a wide variety of angles, including specially-shot game footage, pre-game and post-game commentary and previously unheard sideline sound from players and coaches, Game of the Week brings fans closer to the action than ever before.
    NFL Films President Steve Sabol, a 36-time Emmy Award-winner, will continue to host the series, which premiered in syndication in 1965. It has aired on the NFL Network since 2003.
    In addition, ION Media Networks also has secured the rights to air a brand-new half-hour series from NFL Films, entitled Stories of the NFL, which will take a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of NFL players when they’re not on the field. Using NFL Films' original music, candid interviews, voluminous archives and award-winning cinematographers, these half-hour episodes will "reveal the hidden gems of the NFL." The season of 21 original half-hour programs will begin airing on ION Television in February 2008.

    George Lopez on Nick at Nite
    Just a reminder that George Lopez premieres tonight at 10pm ET/PT on Nick at Nite for a full hour and will air Sun-Thurs 10-11pm and 1-2am, on Fridays at 10:30pm, 12:30am and 2-3am and Saturdays 11pm-12am and 2-3am.
    The network will start with season 5 episodes and go in order from there. Also, on Saturdays and Sundays, the second episode of each night will start with season 3 and go in order from there. Weird.
    And finally, the show also launches in local syndication today. Check your local listings, because they have two rotations...the first run, which will go in order starting with the very first episode. And a second run which will start with season four and go in order from there. Again check your local listings.

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    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    Summer Week 15 Sitcom Ratings

    We haven't done the ratings in about 10 weeks, but we are now officially back, as we wind down summer and the fall nears. We will do the final three weeks of summer's sitcom ratings before coming back on Sept. 30 with numbers for the first week! Here are the summer week 15 (Sept. 3-9) sitcom numbers:

    Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of August 27-Sept. 2)
    • King of the Hill (Fox) - Just 1.71 million for a repeat, but it built on the 1.43 million for the low-rated fox Fall Preview Special.
    • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - 3.85 million at 8, and a decent 4.85 million at 8:30...both repeats
    • Family Guy (Fox) 2 episodes - 5.15 and 5.18 million for 2 repeats...so Fox built on each half hour...not bad.
    Monday Sitcoms
    • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 5.17 million for a repeat, on par with previous week's 5.25 million.
    • Old Christine (CBS) - 5.68 million for a repeat, on par also from previous week's 5.71 million. Remember this show won't return with new episodes until mid-season.
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 9.11 million for a repeat, down from the previous week's impressive 10.31 million for a repeat.
    • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 6.8 million for a repeat, but didn't hold the audience from the lead-in as well...previous week it did 7.62 million.
    • Everybody Hates Chris, Girlfriends, The Game (The CW) - Repeats of these sitcoms did all under 2 million this week with the 8:30 edition of Chris, the highest at 1.88 million.


    Tuesday Sitcoms

    • None
    Wednesday Sitcoms
    • According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes - 4.66 and 4.21 million for 2 repeats, on average better than the previous week's 4.31 and 4.3 million.
    • 'Til Death (Fox) 2 episodes - Just 3.09 and 3.07 million for 2 repeats. Why is this show coming back?

    Thursday Sitcoms

    • None- The NFL returns and pre-empts NBC repeats of sitcoms
    Friday Sitcoms
    • George Lopez (ABC) 2 episodes - 2.94 million and 3.34 million the previous week...final numbers for this week are not available yet, but prelim numbers show an average of 3.78 million for the encore of the 1-hour finale.
    Saturday Sitcoms
    • None
    Tune in tonight for Fox repeats of The Simpsons and Family Guy.

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    Saturday, September 08, 2007

    Mini-DVD Review: Brothers and Sisters - Season 1 (Sept. 18); Solomon's Weekly Rant: ION's Awful Weekends, NFL Network Glitch

    It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for mini-DVD reviews and Solomon's Weekly Rant! First up of course is the mini-DVD review. This week we take a look at Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Brothers and Sisters: The Complete 1st Season. Brothers and Sisters is of course the current ABC Sunday family drama starring Calista Flockhart and Sally Field. The show follows the Walker family, with the ups and downs of running a family business. This show is so great and even funny. See my mini-DVD review of Brothers and Sisters: The Complete 1st Season:

    Brothers and Sisters: The Complete 1st Season (Buena Vista, $59.99) brings the first season of the hit new family drama on DVD for the first time! We enter the complex world of the Walker family...who are of Irish-Jewish descent. Though they live very different and conflicting lives, the Walkers find unity under the family roof. Relationships bend but never break as they strive to find their own identities and embrace each other's differences. The series airs Sundays at 10PM on ABC and stars Calista Flockhart as Kitty Walker, Sally Field as Nora Walker, Rachel Griffiths as Sarah Walker Whedon, Ron Rifkin as Uncle Saul Holden, Balthazar Getty as Tommy Walker, Matthew Rhys as Kevin Walker, Dave Annabale as Justin Walker, John Pyper-Ferguson as Joe Whedon, Sarah Jane Morris as Julia, Kerris Dorsey as Paige Whedon, Emily VanCamp as Rebecca Harper, with Rob Lowe as Senator Robert McCallister, and Patrica Wettig as Holly Harper. With special guest star Tom Skeritt as William Walker.
    This first season is very good. It starts off slow in the first episode or two but it really makes its mark with the episode "Affairs of State." The great Greg Berlanti came in at that time and drastically made this show better. Some classic episodes include "Northern Exposure," "Mistakes Were Made," "The Other Walker," "Game Night," "Grapes of Wrath," and "Matriarchy." Those episodes really stand out, but they are all very good after episode 3. The episodes run usually in the 42-43 minute range...unedited of course. The pilot runs 41:36 as the lowest and the longest is 43:30. There are about 8 chapter stops per episode, though the pilot has 6. The video is digitally mastered and is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This is from the 2006-07 season, so it has to be good.
    Packaging has a nice white/lime outer box with head shots of the main cast on the front cover...the back cover has information on the set and has some screen shots from episodes and a nice family photo. There is also a section detailing the series and set, a lime-colored special features box with technical specifications also. Inside the box is a digipak case. The front of the digipak is the same as the box cover but the digipak cover has the head shots in a shadowy form...more lime. The back of the digipak has nice promotional photos of Sarah, Kitty and Nora. Opening the case once, we get a booklet holder on the left and three more promotional cast shots on the right (Joe, Kevin, Julia & Tommy). The booklet holder holds the episode guide booklet, with nice synopsis of each episode, along with nice photos on top of each page. We also get two other inserts for BVHE products. Opening the case once more, we get discs one and two in the middle, with three more cast shots of Justin, Holly, and Saul. Opening it one final time, now we see discs three and four, and discs five and six. The discs overlap, like most BV DVDs. Each disc is lime green and has two photos of cast members. Disc one has episods 1-4 with photos of Saul & Nora. Disc two has episodes 5-8 and has photos of Joe and Sarah. Disc three has episodes 9-12 and has photos of the Senator and Kitty. Disc four has episodes 13-16 and has photos of Tommy & Julia. Disc five holds episodes 17-20 and has photos of Kevin & Justin. Finally, disc six has episodes 21-23 and the bonus features with photos of Rebecca and Holly.
    The menu screen starts by showing us the stairs then it zooms in on to the wall by the stairs, where we see family portraits. It is really neat. Nice background music from the show is playing in the background. The options are Episodes, Bonus Features, Set Up, Play All. But before the main menu screen comes on discs one and six, we get some auto sneak peeks. Sean Peeks can also be found on disc six on the main menu. Set Up section has the option of subtitles in English, French or Spanish. Bonus Features are on discs 1, 2, 4 and 6. Disc 6 has all the actual extras, while the other discs have audio commentary. The Episodes option gives us the episode number and title to choose.
    Moving on the bonus features. Disc one has audio commentary on the episode "Affairs of State" by creator Jon Robin Baitz, executive producer Craig Wright, Patricia Wettig (Holly) and Matthew Rhys (Kevin). Disc two has audio commentary on the episode "Northern Exposure" by creator Jon Robin Baitz, writer David Marshall Grant, and write/producer Molly Newman. What a classic episode! Disc four has audio commentary on the episode "The Other Walker" by writer Alison Schapker, writer Monica Breen, producer Marc Guggenheim, Dave Annable (Justin), and Emily VanCamp (Rebecca). Another good episode to comment on. The final audio commentary is on disc six for the season finale "Matriarchy" from executive producer/director Ken Olin, executive producer Sarah Caplan, and Balthazar Getty (Tommy).
    That's just the commentaries! There is more on disc six! We have a very interesting and long featurette titled "Creating the Walker Family Tree" that runs 29 minutes. It has interviews with just about everyone involved. Then we have a short 6:13 featurette titled "Behind the Scenes with the Brothers." So catch up with Tommy, Kevin, and Justin here as they give us a tour of the set. Then we have a deleted episode titled "State of the Parties." This was supposed to be the original second episode. There is an introduction by creator Jon Robin Baitz explaining why they didn't use this episode. The episode runs 42:49 with the intro, and 42:03 without. It is interesting how different it is. We have another featurette titled "Family Business," that runs 4:34. Get a low-down on the Olin family, the real family behind the success of the series! We finally have 2:28 worth of Bloopers & Outtakes. Very fun to watch always.
    I highly recommend this series and set. It is such a well written and acted show. I look forward to it every Sunday on ABC and can't wait until the second season starts on Sept. 30. But before that buy this set and see what I'm talking about if you have never experienced this great drama. And if you have, you must own this set because it is just about everything you can imagine. So get your family together and watch this together, and the good part about it is that you don't have to have a family business to watch it!
    -- Reviewed by Pavan
    (5/5 stars)

    To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
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    Related links:
    SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
    Official Website
    Brothers and Sisters TV.com Page


    Solomon's Weekly Rant
    Saturday, September 8, 2007
    "ION's Awful Weekend Programming; Programming Glitch on the NFL Network"
    By Solomon Davis

    I never thought that a TV station would operate like a small coffee shop inside the building I work in during the week...open from Monday to Friday and closed on the weekends with an early departure on Fridays. That's the feeling you get from watching the programming on ION during the weekends. Just a programming schedule filled up with a bunch of paid programming and silly movies which can really be called end of the week "Fillers." There is not one sitcom on the schedule from Friday evening all the way to Monday, which is kind of odd since the sitcoms that air during the week, like Mama's Family and Who's the Boss?, do pretty well in the ratings for the network. The look of the weekend schedule just makes viewers think that if they rode pass the ION TV station in a car they would see a sign on the front door saying "closed until Monday." Maybe the programmers at ION feel 95% of America is outside partying like there is no tomorrow when the weekend arrives and like to save their weakest programs for the weekend. ION has to know that some people actually do like to stay home on the weekend and not paint the town red since it's Friday night. So until ION's weekend schedule changes to my liking, the word CLOSED should be displayed on the screen when viewers turn to the channel since ION programmers are wild party animals. However, just to note, the movies they air that I hate, do well on the network. Go figure.

    I spotted a programming glitch on the NFL Network recently and was trying to figure out what caused this sudden error. This had to be a glitch because there was a program on the NFL network called College Football Now and I was sure i had the right channel which really had me confused. Now even though college football is similar to pro football, it still does not belong on a channel called the NFL network because it's NOT the NFL. That's exactly why you would never see a program called College Basketball Now on the NBA TV channel since that channel is devoted to pro basketball...the NBA. I do know that some NFL fans like to watch college football on Saturdays but if they want to stay updated on what's going on in College Football they can tune into ESPN/ABC on Saturday nights when the entire day of college football is discussed in full detail. So it would be nice if the NFL Network can just go back to being a 24 hour NFL channel instead of slipping in college football programs because it would be very easy to just rename the channel "The Football Network." Something tells me that College Football program is a small step in the direction of the NFL network airing something called "High School Football Wrap Up" in the upcoming weeks.

    My TV Highlight of the Week: Thursday, September 6, 2007 - The return of the NFL season.
    My TV Lowlight of the Week: Wednesday, September 5, 2007 - Barbara Walters thinking Whoopi Goldberg went to a commercial break and asked, "Are we still on camera?" on The View.

    Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

    DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.

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    Friday, September 07, 2007

    Two and a Half Men Sweepstakes: Win a Trip to Malibu!

    Warner Home Video announced the launch of its Two and a Half Days in Malibu sweepstake, an interactive contest to get fans excited about the leading comedy on television, Two and a Half Men: The Complete First Season (see our DVD review), coming for the very first time on DVD on September 11.
    Fans of Two and Half Men can log on to http://warnervideo.com/twoandahalfmen for a chance to be the winning twosome to live the once-in-a lifetime, free-wheeling extravagant lifestyle of Charlie Harper in a Malibu Home coupled with VIP treatment, spa package and spending money. The sweepstake centers around users spreading the 'Two and a Half Men Hipster Card' to their friends (up to 5 per user/per day). The cards allow for users to be easily involved with their favorite show on television and share it with multiple friends.
    The Two and a Half Days in Malibu sweepstake remains true to the brand and is specifically designed to reward and engage long standing fans, who played a critical role in the show’s success.
    Good luck! Hopefully someone who reads this news from right here at Sitcoms Online wins!

    We'll be back later if we have more news. So try to come on back. TGIF!

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    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    New TV Book: Close-Ups: Conversations with Our TV Favorites; Remembering Courtship of Eddie's Father Star Miyoshi Umeki

    There will be a new TV book called Close-Ups: Conversations with Our TV Favorites coming out Oct. 22 by author Eddie Lucas. It features new and exclusive interviews with many classic TV stars. Stars including Marla Gibbs, Ernest Thomas, Alice Ghostley, Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow, and Haywood Nelson. We will for sure have a book review of this book in the coming weeks. So stay tuned to that. But for now, why don't you go look at the cover art, with more info on the official website.

    Actress Miyoshi Umeki, who won an Oscar for her performance (first Asian to ever win one) as the doomed wife of an American serviceman in Sayonara and later starred in the Broadway musical Flower Drum Song, has died of cancer on Aug. 28.
    Umeki also portrayed Mrs. Livingston, the housekeeper, in the ABC sitcom, The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1969-1972), which starred Bill Bixby and Brandon Cruz. In a 1969 Washington Post interview, Bixby called her "the best actress I've ever worked with." Her other TV credits include guest shots on sitcosm Mister Ed and The Donna Reed Show.
    She will be missed. She was 78.

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    Wednesday, September 05, 2007

    TV Land Officially Announces Bob Newhart 35th Anniversary Marathon; ION and ABC Notes

    TV Land celebrates a great milestone in television history this September -- the 35th anniversary of the iconic series The Bob Newhart Show. In an on-air and online tribute kicking off on Monday, September 10, the network pays tribute to this Emmy Award-winning series that set the tone for a generation of TV shows. On air, from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. (all times ET/PT), TV Land will showcase eight episodes personally selected by Newhart for being some of his favorites including "Blues for Mr. Borden," "Sorry Wrong Mother" and "Over The River & Through The Woods."
    TVLand.com will stream all eight of these episodes online from Monday, September 10 through Sunday, September 16. Fans logging on to TVLand.com will also be able to view rarely-seen-footage of Newhart and the cast of the show as they accept "The Icon Award" at the third annual TV Land Awards as well as classic TV Land and Nick at Nite promos for the show and more.
    Both tributes follow a celebration event hosted by TV Land and The Paley Center for Media (formerly The Museum of TV & Radio) in Beverly Hills on September 5.
    For COMPLETE details, click HERE.

    ION Television has delayed its launch of Firebrand TV. The show was set to air weeknights at 11pm starting Sept. 24, but it will be delayed. It might be delayed just for a week. We will know when the October schedule is in, which will be soon...so come on back for that. Time Life Music, which is the show currently airing in the slot, will air instead that week at 11pm.
    Firebrand TV is a first-of-its-kind multi-platform experience that gives consumers interactive access to their favorite brands, products and promotions. Firebrand programs only the best TV commercials as a reflection of pop culture in an environment rich with consumer touch points.
    Moving on to some ABC notes. ABC will let viewers catch up with Sunday's two best shows on Sunday, Sept. 23. At 9pm, ABC will air the special Desperate Housewives: Secrets, Lies and Suicide. Catch up on all the juicy moments from this past season, as the fourth season will premiere Sunday, Sept. 30 at 9pm! And at 10pm they will air Brothers & Sisters: Family Album. Members of the cast reflect on their favorite moments and recap the first season of this celebrated family drama, a week before the season premiere on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10pm.

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    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    AmericanLife Launches OnDemand Service; TBS Renews Bill Engvall Sitcom for Season 2; TV Land Family Day Pledge Launches

    AmericanLife TV Network is joining the video OnDemand universe, offering up 20 hours of programming per month to any of TVN Entertainment's more than 100 cable affiliates free of charge. The service launched yesterday. The network will have four different channels for OnDemand:
    Classic TV will feature such shows as Combat!, The Color Honeymooners and Mission: Impossible (in January).
    Caring and Sharing TV features American Family, The Dr. Bob Show and specials such as A Journey to Darfur with George Clooney.
    Cooking and Living TV features programming including This Food, That Wine, Embassy Chefs and Fixing Dinner.
    Lifestyle TV features Alive and Well, Flea Market Mania and Save Our House, Save Our Family.
    A quarter of the programming will be refreshed each week.

    TBS has ordered a second season of 10 episodes of its hit sitcom The Bill Engvall Show. In addition, Engvall will host Blue Collar Comedy: The Next Generation, a special to be shot at HBO and AEG Live's The Comedy Festival (TCF) at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for premiere on TBS Saturday, Nov. 17.
    The sitcom launched in July with one of ad-supported cable's Top 3 sitcom telecasts of all time and currently ranks right behind Tyler Perry's House of Payne on TBS as ad-supported cable's #2 sitcom among adults 18-49 for the year-to-date, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. The show casts Engvall as Bill Pearson, a family counselor whose own family is unpredictable, somewhat absurd and a little mixed up themselves. Nancy Travis (Becker) plays his wife, Susan, who is trying to make sure their three children turn out all right. Filling out the rest of the family, Jennifer Lawrence plays Bill and Susan's teenage daughter, Lauren, while their sons are played by Graham Patrick Martin as Trent, a sports and video game enthusiast, and Skyler Gisondo as Bryan, a musically talented neat freak with a pet snake. Tim Meadows co-stars as Bill's best friend. The show, which is produced by TBS, was created by Engvall and Michael Leeson, who served as executive producers with J.P. Williams and director James Widdoes.

    TV Land's Family Table: Share More Than Meals has teamed up with The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University to once again celebrate Family Day -- A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children(TM) on Monday, September 24, 2007. Beginning today, people committed to eating together on Family Day can go to FamilyTable.info to register participation for their family, friends and loved ones.
    The Family Table have set a goal of registering millions of Americans to pledge to have dinner as a family on September 24th and, hopefully, use Family Day as a catalyst to make family dinners a regular part of their lives.
    TV Land will go dark for an hour from 6-7pm on this day to urge families to go eat together. In addition, a special marathon of TV families eating together will air the night before.

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    Monday, September 03, 2007

    Labor Day Marathons; New Bug, Logo, Website for Nick at Nite Debuting Tonight

    Happy Labor Day everyone! Go enjoy the day outside, but if you must stay inside, I'm sure you'll like one of these marathons at least. Here is our usual holiday marathon look:
    Besides the Jerry Lewis Telethon, there are other marathons out there. Home Improvement week launches tonight on Nick at Nite.
    Spike TV will have a CSI marathon, while A&E will do a CSI: Miami marathon. Disney Channel will showcase the sitcom The Suite Life of Zach & Cody from 10am-8pm. TV One will have a Cedric the Entertainer Presents marathon starting at 12pm. G4 will do a Cops marathon starting at noon, while Oxygen will air the short lived drama Pasadena. ABC Family will present the first nine episodes from the second season of Kyle XY from 11am-8pm, leading up to the season finale at 8pm. TNT will present The Closer from 10am-9pm, leading up to a new episode at 9pm. FX will have a morning King of the Hill marathon followed by a Damages marathon from 3-8pm, a five-episode marathon that begins with the series pilot. USA Network started a Law & Order: SVU marathon at 6am that will run until 7pm. Hallmark looks for murder with a Murder, She Wrote marathon that starts at 8am. TV Land will present a two-part episodes of Gunsmoke marathon from 12-6pm. On Sci-Fi, it is a Dead Like Me marathon from 8am-6pm. SOAPnet goes to The O.C. with seven episodes about Summer explore her relationship with Seth, her high-school years and her transformation at college. Rachel Bilson stars.MTV will showcase America's Next Top Model from 9am-9pm. On Bravo, pro tennis player Mark Philippoussis goes for a love match in an eight-episode block of the dating-competition show Age of Love from 8am-4pm, followed by Top Chef, the culinary drama boils over in a block of six Season 3 episodes from 4pm-10pm. CourtTV will be patrolling the beach in Beach Patrol from 9am-6pm. BET will have a block of episodes of the faux reality dating show Hell Date from 9am-1:30pm featuring actors and actresses appearing as potentially perfect partners. E! will showcase Sunset Tan and Dr. 90210 from 8am-5pm. Discovery Channel will air an all-day marathon of Dirty Jobs from 9am-12am...wow. TLC will air the series Little People, Little World from 9am-8pm. History Channel will air The Universe from 8am-8pm. Animal Planet will showcase a daughter and father marathon, first up is Bindi the Jungle Girl from 8-11am, followed by her late father's classic series The Crocodile Hunter from 11am-8pm. On HGTV, seven episodes of the design competition Design Star will air starting at noon. First up: the contestants are chosen from thousands of applicants.
    Hope you found something at least! Movies are on TBS, Comedy Central, and Lifetime if you can't find anything.

    Nick at Nite will have a new logo. It looks similar to Nickelodeon's. Their website has changed it already, but the new look and bug will likely premiere tonight when Home Improvement launches on the network. So take a look on air and on the website!

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    Sunday, September 02, 2007

    Network Fall 2007 Preview TV Specials

    The Fall 2007 season is right around the corner, as it officially opens up on Sept. 24 (in 22 days!), and the networks have begin to air their annual fall preview specials! Let's start with ABC. ABC has created three new half-hour affiliate specials highlighting new and returning programming. Affiliates have week-long windows to air the specials exclusively. After that time period, ABC will begin airing them on ABC.com, ABC Family and SOAPNet.
    The first special is ABC Fall First Look: The New Wednesday! (local affiliate exclusive window was 8/11-17): Get a sneak peek at the incredible ABC dramas coming your way this fall on The New Wednesday, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money. The writers and editors of Entertainment Weekly share their insights on the all-new Wednesday lineup.
    You can catch this anytime at abc.com right now if your local ABC channel already aired it. ABC Family will air it at 11:59pm on Monday, Sept. 24.
    Next up is, ABC Fall First Look: Bigger Bolder Thursday! (local affiliate exclusive window was 8/18-24): Last season it was the biggest night on television, and this fall it's back, bigger and bolder! Get a sneak peek at ABC Thursdays with the editors of People Magazine. They'll share their thoughts on Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy and the all-new Big Shots, plus a sneak peek at Friday's Women's Murder Club.
    You can catch this anytime at abc.com right now if your local ABC channel already aired it. ABC Family will air it at 12:30am on Monday, Sept. 24 (early Sept. 25). WABC in NY will air it Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1:30pm.
    The final one is called, ABC Fall First Look: The New Funny! (local affiliate exclusive window was 8/25-9/2): Get primed for a fall filled with new laughter. The editors of TV Guide provide a sneak preview of the comedies coming your way this fall on ABC -- Samantha Who?, Carpoolers and Cavemen -- plus a look at the award-winning Ugly Betty.
    You can catch this anytime at abc.com after Sept. 2 if your local ABC channel already aired it. ABC Family will air it at 11:59pm on Monday, October 1. WABC in NY will air it Saturday, Sept. 15 at 2:30pm.

    CBS has not issued any information yet if they are going to have an actual half-hour Fall Preview special, but you can go to CBS.com and view clips of their new programs.

    NBC has aired its fall preview specials on its local affiliates, website and NBC owned cable channels. Greg Grunberg of the Emmy Award-nominated hit drama Heroes hosts The NBC Primetime Preview Show -- a 30-minute program showcasing an upfront look to be conveyed on a variety of media platforms beginning August 11 through September 23. The annual Fall program will be offered to NBC's 232 television stations (check local listings) as well as other channel entities such as USA, SCI FI, Bravo, UniHD, Chiller, mun2, MSNBC, CNBC, Sleuth, NBC2Go, on-demand and broadband. NBC stations can also run it on their websites while NBC.com will also run it as well. In addition, the program will be screened on selected United Airlines flights. It will be broadcast nationally on NBC on Saturday, September 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

    Summer is nearly over, but Fox is hotter than ever with an inside look at the new fall lineup. Hosted by Wayne Brady of Don't Forget the Lyrics!, this half-hour features exclusive clips from new and returning shows, including powerhouse dramas House and Prison Break and never-before-seen footage from the hot new series K-Ville and Back to You. Catch an exciting glimpse of the new season on Fox Fall Preview 2007 airing Sunday, Sept. 2 at 7:00PM ET/PT on Fox. That's tonight. If you miss it then, check your local Fox affiliates to see if they will be airing it at any other day and time. In NY, you can catch it again on WNYW on Sept. 8 at 1am and Sept. 9 at 1pm, among other days. Just check your listings.

    Moving on to The CW. It too has a half-hour special just for affiliates it seems. If you miss it on your local CW, you can catch it on your CW channel's website. Among the times it will air here in NY on WPIX are Sept. 4 at 2:30am and Sept. 9 at 10am. Titled, CW Fall Preview 2007, this half-hour special is hosted by Erica Durance of Smallville. So check your local listings!

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    Saturday, September 01, 2007

    CD Review: The Simpsons Tesitfy; Interview with Composer Alf Clausen; Solomon's Weekly Rant: Bob Newhart 35th Anniversary; Comcast's Tube Time

    Welcome to a special Saturday here at Sitcoms Online! Today we we will have a mini-review, but for a CD, instead of a DVD. We will be reviewing the new Simpsons CD from Shout! Factory titled The Simpsons Testify - A Whole Lot More Original Music From the Original Television Series. And that is not all! We have an interview with Alf Clausen, the composer that is behind all of this great music on the CD! See skees53's mini review of The Simpsons Testify - A Whole Lot More Original Music From the Original Television Series and his interview with Mr. Alf Clausen:

    The Simpsons Testify - A Whole Lot More Original Music From the Original Television Series (Shout!, $18.98) contains 41 musical tracks from one of the greatest series of all time, as selected by the award-winning music composer of the series, Alf Clausen. The CD contains music from 1999 all the way up through 2007, all tracks coming directly from the episodes (plus there are four tracks that were previously unaired on the series that are thrown in as a nice bonus). Fans of the series are certain to recognize many of the tracks, including "Ode to Branson," "They'll Never Stop the Simpsons," "Baby Stink Breath," "Homer & Marge," "Everybody Hates Ned Flanders," "Who Wants a Haircut?," and more songs and medleys from all of the great episodes from the past few seasons. Some of the songs even have well-known guests performing all or parts of a song, including Shawn Colvin, Los Lobos, Weird Al (performing "Homer & Marge," a great parody of John Cougar's "Jack & Diane"), David Byrne, The B-52's (parodying their own "Love Shack" with "Glove Slap"), Baha Men, and Rick Gervais.
    The CD includes a nice booklet (just like the DVDs of the series, you can't do anything for The Simpsons without a nice booklet) that gives listeners all of the information that they need to know about each and every track contained within the CD, including the episode each track was recorded for, the characters that are included in the song, and the artists that performed the song. And even more like the DVDs (with their introduction by Matt Groening), there is even an introduction from Alf Clausen at the beginning of the booklet--very nice!
    Honestly, it is hard to imagine what the series would be like without some of these great songs. It is almost bizarre to consider that musical tracks for a TV series could be this good, and in some cases (particularly "Homer & Marge" and "Everybody Hates Ned Flanders") can be addictive songs that you just can't get out of your head. The CD gives listeners an alternative method for listening to all of these great songs without having to watch the episodes on TV or wait for the DVDs to be released. Of course, the songs are nice to see with the original episode as well (the episode kind of helps to serve as a "video" for the music), but these songs are a rare exception in music created for a TV series where the music just by itself is excellent. For those that are interested in even more music from older seasons of the series, there are some other CDs out there that are similar to this, which are worth picking up if you are interested. But I have a feeling this will by no means be the last CD of this type--like they say in "They'll Never Stop The Simpsons," have no fears cause they'll have stories for years!
    -- Reviewed by skees53
    (5/5 stars)

    To purchase this CD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
    Amazon.com

    Related links:
    SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
    The Simpsons Official Website
    The Simpsons TV.com Page
    Official Website for the Legendary Alf Clausen
    Alf Clausen's Credits

    As part of this release, we were fortunate enough to be able to have Alf Clausen take a few minutes to talk to us, the composer that is behind all of this great music on the CD. The interview, conducted by skees53, is as follows:

    Sitcoms Online: I was reading about your education and training on your website and noticed that you had aspirations to become a music instructor. Yet instead, you became a composer for TV shows and movies, for many great series including The Simpsons. Did you ever anticipate going this route, particularly considering how music historically has not been part of TV shows?
    Alf Clausen: Well, it was interesting because I grew up in a small town in North Dakota, Jamestown North Dakota, and for the most part, folks in North Dakota don't know much about the music industry. So, when I grew up, I really didn't have any idea that one could make a living as a composer and arranger in television. Little by little, as I completed my education and started getting into the business, I discovered that one really could make a living doing that. From an early age of 17, I was fascinated with the way music was put together from the standpoint of composition and the standpoint of orchestration, and I fell in love with Henry Mancini's music. I was very much influenced by his film music and that is what kind of drew me into this in the first place. And little by little, it just started working and I discovered that I really could make a living doing this.

    Sitcoms Online: So pardon us if this sounds like a dumb question, but what exactly does a music composer do, particularly on a series like The Simpsons?
    Alf Clausen: Well, my duties are two-fold on The Simpsons. The first part is called the underscore composer, which means that I compose all of the original background music that you hear on the show. So I get together with the executive producer and we look at the episode every week and decide which spots are going to contain music and he gives me his read on the emotional content of every one of the music cues, and from that point on, it is my job to then compose the music according to the guidelines that he has given me, compose it to time so that it actually fits in the scene. It's my responsibility to decide what kind of orchestra I'm going to use (we have a 35 piece orchestra every week), make sure the musicians get called to show up at the right place and right time, make sure the studio is booked, make sure all of the music is composed, arranged, and copied, and that I show up the following Friday and record all of the music. I conduct the orchestra myself. We have a fairly large crew as well. My job is kind of like an executive position, making sure all of those pieces fall into place, and I turn in the music at the end of the recording session and it fits the show in the way they want it. The other part of my job is as the songwriter. I write all of the original songs for the show and the job is pretty much the same except that the timeline is different. I do those about 7-8 months before the show airs, and I write the songs to the lyrics that the writers have crafted, but I produce the demos of the songs, I produce the final tracks of the songs, and make sure they are all the way the producers want them.

    Sitcoms Online: I've noticed that you've done a lot of work with a lot of live-action series, yet The Simpsons is an animated series. How similar or different is this?
    Alf Clausen: Its really quite similar in scope and in process because my job as an underscore composer is to compose original music that supports the dialog and action on the screen, and that process is the same whether its a sitcom, a drama show like Moonlighting (which I did before I got on The Simpsons), whether its a feature film, etc., the process is basically the same. In television, what I like about it is the instant gratification part where I can look at an episode on Friday and record the music the following Friday, its mixed on Monday and Tuesday, and goes on the air on Sunday. Its a very quick turnaround as opposed to films where it can sometimes take years.

    Sitcoms Online: If The Simpsons hadn't come along or if it hadn't become the success that it is today, where do you think you would be in your career today?
    Alf Clausen: On the unemployment line. No, only kidding! Well, that is hard to know because I had a certain amount of success before coming to The Simpsons all the way back to being the musical director of The Donny and Marie Show on ABC in the early part of my career, which was a top 10 show on ABC, so I've had a very good career up to the point where I did The Simpsons. I was the composer on the Moonlighting series for four year, on the sitcom ALF (no relation), a lot of movies of the week, some feature film work, and all of the kind of stuff, so I'm sure that my career would have gone on and probably I would have ended up working in feature films more than television.

    Sitcoms Online: So basically just in a different direction?
    Alf Clausen: Yeah, it was interesting, because I'd never done animation before, and they'd asked me if I'd ever done animation when they interviewed me for this job, and I said no, but that didn't deter them and they liked my credentials and they liked my music and decided to hire me.

    Sitcoms Online: You never quite know what is going to come along in the future, so we don't know yet if The Simpsons will be what you are best known for, but if it is, would this be a legacy that you would be proud of?
    Alf Clausen: Oh, absolutely... absolutely! I'm VERY proud to tell my friends what I do for a living and for the most part, they say "oh my god, that's wonderful, what's it like not having to work for a living?" They think I have all of this fun on the show all the time. Then I have to very subtly inform them that I work a few more hours than they do every week because I put in 80-90 hours a week sometimes when I'm doing the score for a show.

    Sitcoms Online: It seems like it would be a great job, with The Simpsons being such a great show and everything.
    Alf Clausen: Oh well it is, and the peripheral part of it is wonderful as well, the chance to release a CD like this of my music, that is a real treat and this is the third one and the reception of the first two has been wonderful, and it looks like it will be for this one as well.

    We thank Mr. Alf Clausen for his time and wish him continued success. We are so honored we had a chance to interview him. A living legend indeed.


    Solomon's Weekly Rant
    Saturday, September 1, 2007
    "Why is TV Land Celebrating Bob Newhart 35th Anniversary?; Comcast's Tube Time is Behind Time"
    By Solomon Davis

    For years I thought that a TV show had to currently be on the TV Land's programming schedule to have an anniversary celebration. Especially since in the last 3 years there were no celebrations for shows like Rhoda, Chico and the Man, and The Jeffersons. None of those of shows were on TV Land at the time of their anniversary and received no type of recognition. But in ten days, TV Land is actually going to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of The Bob Newhart Show. And after checking the TV Land schedule, just like I thought The Bob Newhart Show wasn't on listed anywhere in the regular schedule. So why is this anniversary so special to TV Land when all the other great shows from that decade were not recognized at all? It's quite obvious to me that someone in control of TV Land programming is a huge fan of this show because of this special treatment for a show that hasn't been on TV Land's schedule in years. So after contacting TV Land and asking why was The Bob Newhart Show's 35th Anniversary was so special to them, they responded to me and gave me a very unacceptable answer. I was told that the Bob Newhart anniversary is being celebrated because it's one of the premiere sitcoms of all time. So if that's true then why isn't there a marathon scheduled for Maude's 35th Anniversary in the month of September? This is just another one of those TV Land programming curve balls once again thrown to viewers by the people at TVPlanet.

    Do the people at Comcast have any idea that there is a DVD release schedule on TVShowsonDVD.com? I don't think they do because if they did, Tube Time (On Demand service for classic TV from Sony) wouldn't need to be updated with the right sitcoms. By having the first seasons of Who's the Boss, Diff'rent Strokes, and The Facts of Life on Tube Time, means that Tube Time is "Behind Time." Why do viewers need to watch shows on Tube Time that they can buy on DVD? And what's even worse is that Tube Time also has What's Happening!! which is already complete on DVD which can also make Tube Time "Confused Time." Why not give us What's Happening Now!! instead? Comcast needs to really build a new department called research so that the right Sony shows can be featured OnDemand. If the people at Comcast had done any research, they would have viewers watching the third season of Diff'rent Strokes, the second season of Who's the Boss, and the fourth season of The Facts of Life. No one wants to watch TV shows that they own or can buy out of the stores because that is called a pointless TV viewing experience. So until Tube Time adds more updated TV shows to watch, they can just retitle Tube Time and have everyone click on "Behind Time" when they are in a TV season already on DVD watching mood.

    My TV Highlight of the Week: Monday, August 27, 2007 - Jay Leno returning back from vacation on The Tonight Show.
    My TV Lowlight of the Week: Monday, August 27, 2007 - ESPN airing the entire Michael Vick press conference over and over and over. Stop it!

    Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

    DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.

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