Monday, December 31, 2007

Day 57: WGA's Strike; New Year's Eve/Day Marathons; According to Jim Returns Tuesday

Today is indeed day 57 of the strike. Late on Friday the WGA struck an independent deal with Worldwide Pants to bring writers back for CBS' The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson starting January 2. Here is the statement the WGA released:
"The Writers Guild has reached a binding independent agreement today with Worldwide Pants that will allow Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson to return to the air with their full writing staffs. This is a comprehensive agreement that addresses the issues important to writers, particularly New Media. Worldwide Pants has accepted the very same proposals that the Guild was prepared to present to the media conglomerates when they walked out of negotiations on December 7.
Today's agreement dramatically illustrates that the Writers Guild wants to put people back to work, and that when a company comes to the table prepared to negotiate seriously a fair and reasonable deal can be reached quickly.
It's time for NBC-Universal to step up to the plate and negotiate a company-wide deal that will put Jay Leno, who has supported our cause from the beginning, back on the air with his writers."

New Year's Eve and Day gets a lot of marathons every year and this year is no different. We mentioned WPIX in New York will air a Honeymooners marathon tonight starting at midnight...in Boston WSBK will air a Three Stooges marathon. As for nationwide, we also mentioned The Drew Carey Show launches on ION Television tonight at 7/6 central with a marathon until 11pm ET. TV Land will re-launch The Beverly Hillbillies with a marathon starting tonight and lasting all day tomorrow.
As for other marathon, Sci-Fi Channel will do its annual The Twilight Zone marathon which has already started today at 8am and it will last until 10pm tomorrow, then again from 11pm-6am late on Tuesday. The entire first season of 10 Items or Less will air tonight on TBS and five episodes of South Park on Comedy Central to ring in the new year tonight. TNT has a Law & Order marathon which has started today at noon and will last until 10pm Tuesday. A Law & Order: Criminal Intent marathon has started today on USA Network and on New Year's Day a Monk marathon will start at 6am...a 21-episode run of the defective detective, including run-ins with a psychic and Dale the Whale, and trips to the circus, a ballgame and Mexico. Bravo has a Project Runway marathon today and a Biggest Loser marathon tomorrow with a 10-show block opens with the contestants facing the challenge of navigating up and down the aisle of a moving railroad car. Spike TV will have a 14 episode marathon today of CSI. On SOAPnet it is the Serial Bowl V: One Tree Hill Marathon...13 hours of the teen drama starting at 11am. VH1 will have an America's Next Top Model-thon starting tonight at 10pm. On GSN, we will have a marathon of the 100,000 Pyramid with host Dick Clark, and of course we will all ring in the new year with Dick Clark on ABC tonight at 11:35pm with Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.

We have gotten a lot of searches on this, so I will indeed mention it. According to Jim will be back in 2008 on ABC with new episodes starting January 1, 2008. We got searches on "According to Jim's new season, "According to Jim 2008, "According to Jim winter 2008, "According to Jim mid-season 2008," etc. It will air Tuesdays at 9 on ABC. On January 1, two back-to-back new episodes will air starting at 9/8 central, including a spoof on Bruce Almighty, titled "Jim Almighty," with Lee Majors as God!

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

In Memoriam: Sitcom Actor Deaths in 2007

Today we pay tribute to the sitcom actors, producers, writers and composers who passed away in 2007. We've lost stars from Barney Miller, Bewitched, Charles in Charge, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Joey Bishop Show, The Munsters, Newhart, and many more that are greatly missed. They are listed in alphabetical order. The links go to their Internet Movie Database entry where you can view a full list of their credits.

Joey Bishop

Joey Bishop - Joey Bishop was the stone-faced comedian who found success in nightclubs, television and movies but became most famous as a member of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack. He was the group's last surviving member. On television he had his own sitcom in the '60s titled The Joey Bishop Show that ran from 1961-1965 on NBC then ABC. He had a talk show by the same name, which was more popular, that aired on ABC and the announcer was Regis Philbin! Regis had this to day about Mr. Bishop: "It was the thrill of my life to be chosen by Joey as the announcer for his talk show on ABC back in the '60s. It was my introduction to the highly competitive late night show world. It was also an introduction to a show business I had never known: the Rat Pack era, the amazing talents of those performers who I probably never would have befriended without Joey. We walked every day before the show up Vine Street to Hollywood Boulevard and back to our studio for nearly three years. I learned a lot about the business of making people laugh. He was a master comedian and a great teacher and I will never forget those days or him." Bishop guest starred on TV series such as Chico and the Man, Get Smart, Trapper John M.D., and Murder, She Wrote. He also filled-in many times for Johnny Carson as guest host on The Tonight Show. Mr. Bishop passed away on October 17, 2007, at the age of 89.

Roscoe Lee Browne

Roscoe Lee Browne - Character actor Roscoe Lee Browne was an Emmy & Tony Award Winning Actor who is best probably known for his sitcom work. He guest starred on series like Barney Miller and The Cosby Show, both of which he earned Emmy nominations (in fact he won for The Cosby Show). Audiences probably remember him most for his regular role as Saunders (the butler who replaced Benson) on the last two seasons of Soap. He also guest starred on an episode of Benson, but not as Saunders. Or they might remember his role with Archie Bunker in the elevator on an episode of All in the Family. He also guest starred as the original teacher, the one who substitute Mr. Moore (Howard Hesseman) replaced on Head of the Class. Mr. Browne died of cancer on April 11, 2007, at the age of 81.

James T. Callahan

James T. Callahan - James T. Callahan was best known for playing Walter Powell on the sitcom Charles in Charge. On the show, Callahan played Walter Powell, a retired Navy man he referred to as the "blustery old grandfather" in a 2000 People magazine interview. When CBS canceled Charles in Charge after one season in 1985, Callahan joined the cast for the syndicated version, which ran from 1987 to 1990. The role was a favorite that brought him wide recognition. Between 1959 and 2007, Callahan appeared in more than 120 films and television shows. He got his start in guest starring stints on westerns such as The Californians, Two Faces West, and Have Gun Will Travel. His first sitcom appearance was in 1960 on an episode of Dennis the Menace. He co-starred in two short lived sitcoms Wendy and Me in 1964 and The Governor & J.J. in 1969. His long list of TV guest shots include Perry Mason, Combat!, The Twilight Zone, Dr. Kildare, Ben Casey, My Favorite Martian, The Fugitive, The FBI, Adam-12, Marcus Welby MD, M*A*S*H, Love American Style, Barnaby Jones, Cannon, Police Story, The Rockford Files, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Dallas, The Ropers, Bosom Buddies, Lou Grant, Benson, Alice, Simon & Simon, Quincy ME, Remington Steele, Little House on the Prairie, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Newhart, Growing Pains, Doogie Howser MD, Highway to Heaven, The Golden Girls, Nurses, Harry and the Hendersons, Picket Fences, Hope & Gloria, Caroline in the City, Cybill, The Practice, 7th Heaven, ER and Medium. Wow...what a list and that is just a partial one! Mr. Callahan died at the age of 76 on August 3, 2007.

Ron Carey

Ron Carey - Ron Carey, the short and puckish comedic actor, was best known for his role as Officer Carl Levitt on the hit sitcom Barney Miller. He was also a member of Mel Brooks' troupe in films such as High Anxiety and Silent Movie. The 5-foot-7 Carey became a semi-regular on ABC's Barney Miller in 1976, the second year of the sitcom that starred Hal Linden, and remained with the show until it ended in 1982. The Newark, NJ native also co-starred in the series Lucky Luke in 1993. He also had a role in the short-lived ABC sitcom produced by John Ritter called Have Faith in 1989. He also was on two short lived sitcoms in the '70s--The Montefuscos (1975) for NBC and The Corner Bar (1972-73) for ABC. He guest starred on sitcoms such as Benson, Alice, New Love American Style. Carey, probably not known by many by his name, certainly will be remembered by his role on Barney Miller by sitcom fans. Mr. Carey died of a stroke on January 16, 2007, at the age of 71.

Bob Carroll

Bob Carroll, Jr. - Sometimes credited as Bob Carroll, he wrote on all of Lucille Ball's sitcoms: I Love Lucy, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, and Life with Lucy. He also wrote for classic sitcoms such as Alice, The Mothers-in-Law, The Paul Lynde Show, and the short-lived sitcom Dorothy. Mr. Carroll died at the age of 88 on January 27, 2007, in Los Angeles after a brief illness.

Stan Daniels

Stan Daniels - Stan Daniels was an Emmy-winning TV writer and producer who worked on two of the most acclaimed comedies of the 1970s, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Taxi. Daniels won eight Emmys during his long television career, including three as co-creator and executive producer of Taxi and three as a writer on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He directed episodes of the 80s comedy Dear John as well. Mr. Daniels died of heart failure April 6, 2007, at the age of 72.

Yvonne De Carlo

Yvonne De Carlo - Yvonne De Carlo was best known for the role of wife Lily Munster on the hit '60s sitcom The Munsters. She was also quite known for her role as Charlton Heston's wife in the movie epic The Ten Commandments. She also played Lily Munster in the 1966 movie Munster, Go Home; The Munsters' Revenge in 1981; and in a cameo appearance in the 1995 TV movie revival Here Come the Munsters. De Carlo was an actress who acted in the 1940s even in various movies. Her other TV credits include guest spots on Bonanza, Fantasy Island, Murder She Wrote, Dream On, and Death Valley Days. She even had a small role in the highest rated mini-series of all time, Roots, playing a slave owner's wife. Ms. De Carlo passed away of natural causes at the age 84 on January 8, 2007.

Alice Ghostley

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). 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 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. Ms. Ghostley passed away at the age of 81 after a long battle with colon cancer and a series of strokes on September 21, 2007.

George Greeley - George Greeley was a pianist, conductor, composer, and arranger who wrote the theme music for television's My Favorite Martian. He wrote the musical themes and underscores for My Favorite Martian, starring Ray Walston and Bill Bixby, and My Living Doll, starring Robert Cummings and Julie Newmar. He also wrote background music for The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Nanny and the Professor. La-La Land Records recently released an excellent My Favorite Martian soundtrack cd. Mr. Greeley passed away on May 26, 2007, at the age of 89.

Dabbs Greer

Dabbs Greer - Dabbs Greer was an American character actor who performed many diverse supporting roles in film and television for about 50 years. Greer had a prominent continuing role in the NBC TV series Little House on the Prairie as Reverend Alden from 1974 to 1983. Often cast as a minister, he performed the marriages of Rob and Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show and of Mike and Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch, and he tended to the spiritual needs of the townfolk in fictional Rome, Wisconsin, as Reverend Henry Novotny in Picket Fences. Mr. Greer died at the age of 90 on April 28, 2007, after a battle with kidney and heart disease.

Merv Griffin

Merv Griffin - Merv Griffin was known for his talk show The Merv Griffin Show that ran from 1962-1986 and for creating the hit game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Merv appeared as himself on several sitcoms like Sanford & Son, The Golden Girls, Hope & Gloria, and Newhart. He also produced the new Lifetime series Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead. He was recently seen on TV Land Moguls as the host, appeared on TV Land's ALF's Hit Talk Show, and appeared on Fat Actress. Mr. Griffin died of prostate cancer at the age of 82 on August 12, 2007.

Richard Jeni

Richard Jeni - He was an American stand-up comedian and actor. Jeni first received recognition through a series of Showtime stand-up specials and frequent appearances on The Tonight Show. The show was well-received and Jeni would return for two more shows, going on to receive a CableACE Award for one of his HBO specials. Jeni would also star on the short-lived UPN sitcom Platypus Man and appeared in the Jim Carrey film The Mask. In 2004, Jeni was ranked #57 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time. Mr. Jeni died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on March 10, 2007, at the age of 49.

Jillian Kessner-Graver - She was an American actress and historian who worked with her late husband, Gary Graver, to preserve the work and legacy of director Orson Welles. She was best known as an actress for playing Fonzie's girlfriend, Lorraine, on Happy Days. She also appeared on a number of television shows, including Three's Company, The Rockford Files, The Ropers and Mork & Mindy. Ms. Kessner-Graver died on December 5, 2007, at the age of 58 of a staph infection.

Charles Lane

Charles Lane - He was a prolific character actor whose bespectacled face and crotchety persona made him instantly recognizable to generations of movie-goers. Lane, whose career spanned more than 60 years, appeared in such film classics as It's a Wonderful Life, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and Twentieth Century. He also had a recurring role as the scheming railroad man, Homer Bedloe, on the 1960s TV sitcom Petticoat Junction and appeared often on television's I Love Lucy. He was especially fond of his role in the I Love Lucy episode in which Lucy Ricardo gave birth to her son, Little Ricky. Papa Ricky (Ball's real-life husband, Desi Arnaz) was all nerves while Lane, as a fellow expectant father, was the picture of calm. "This old guy was expecting his 10th child or something, and this nervous young man was expecting his first," Lane recalled in 2005. "It was a marvelous scene, and Desi was a fine actor." His many other sitcom appearances included Topper, Dear Phoebe, The Real McCoys, Bachelor Father, Dennis the Menace, The Lucy Show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Beverly Hillbillies and Bewitched. Mr. Lane passed away at the age of 102 on July 9, 2007.

Tom Poston

Tom Poston - The Emmy Award Winning actor is best remembered for his roles on The Bob Newhart Show, Mork & Mindy and Newhart. In his early career he guest starred on sitcoms such as The Phil Silvers Show before winning the Emmy in 1959 for his role on The Steve Allen Show. After that he guest starred on series such as Get Smart and The Good Guys before landing the role of Cliff "The Peeper" Murdock on The Bob Newhart Show. After his run on that show he guest starred on series such as Alice, CHiPs and was a regular on two short lived sitcoms On the Rocks & We've Got Each Other. In 1979 he got the role of Franklin Delano Bickley on the hit sitcom Mork & Mindy, starring Robin Williams. His next big role was of George Utley in the sitcom Newhart, reuniting him once again with Bob Newhart. Mr. Poston would reunite one more time with Bob in the sitcom Bob for a few episodes. He was also a regular in the Fox sitcom Good Grief in 1990 and more recently on NBC's short lived sitcom Committed. He guest starred in many many sitcoms in the 80s, 90s and 2000s. He had recurring roles on the ABC sitcoms Grace Under Fire and Coach. He also had a few memorable guest appearances as Mr. Looney (that's Loon-ay!) on the ABC sitcom Family Matters. The man was everything, more sitcom guest credits include Becker, Cosby, 8 Simple Rules, Dharma & Greg, Dream On, George & Leo, Home Improvement, Just Shoot Me, Malcolm & Eddie, Murphy Brown, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, That '70s Show, The Love Boat, The Simpsons, Will & Grace and reunited with his wife Suzanne Pleshette in the NBC sitcom Good Morning, Miami. He was last seen in late 2006 on an episode of the Disney Channel sitcom, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Mr. Poston passed away after a brief illness on April 30, 2007, at the age of 85.

Charles Nelson Reilly

Charles Nelson Reilly - Reilly was famous for being one of the celebrity panelists on the '70s game show Match Game. He also appeared on The Tonight Show many times. He wore his trademark giant glasses and colorful suits with ascots on Match Game and Hollywood Squares. The actor appeared on many sitcoms as well. He appeared on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir from 1968-70. He guest starred on The Patty Duke Show, Car 54 Where Are You?, The Farmer's Daughter, Nanny and the Professor, Here's Lucy, Arnie, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Love American Style, Charles in Charge, Evening Shade, The New WKRP in Cincinnati, Family Matters and The Drew Carey Show. He had done a lot of TV voice work such as SpongeBob SquarePants. Mr. Reilly died from complications from pneumonia at the age of 76 on May 25, 2007.

Will Schaefer - He was an American composer nominated for both an Emmy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize for his work. He wrote background music for a number of popular television shows and composed over 700 commercials. Schaefer returned to composing themes for television after the Korean War with Gunsmoke and The Phil Silvers Show. In following decades, he would compose background music for many popular television programs including I Dream of Jeannie, The Flintstones, The Flying Nun, Hogan's Heroes, The Jetsons and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Mr. Schaefer passed away from cancer on June 30, 2007, at the age of 78.

Sidney Sheldon

Sidney Sheldon - He was an American writer who won awards in three careers—a Broadway playwright, a Hollywood TV and movie screenwriter, and a best-selling novelist. His TV works spanned a 20-year period during which he created I Dream of Jeannie (1965-70), Hart to Hart (1979-84), and The Patty Duke Show (1963-66), but it was not until after he turned 50 and began writing best-selling novels such as Master of the Game (1982), The Other Side of Midnight (1973) and Rage of Angels (1980) that he became most famous. Mr. Sheldon died from complications arising from pneumonia at the age of 89 on January 30, 2007.

Brett Somers

Brett Somers - She was the popular Match Game panelist. Over the years she guest starred on many classic TV shows such as The Love Boat, Barney Miller, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Odd Couple, Love American Style and more. Ms. Somers passed away from stomach and colon cancer at the age of 83 on September 15, 2007.

Miyoshi Umeki

Miyoshi Umeki - Miyoshi Umeki 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. 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 sitcoms Mister Ed and The Donna Reed Show. Ms. Umeki died of cancer complications at the age of 78 on August 28, 2007.

Sigrid Valdis and Bob Crane

Sigrid Valdis - Sigrid Valdis played Col. Klink's sexy blond secretary on Hogan's Heroes and married the show's star, Bob Crane. Valdis played Hilda for five seasons on Hogan's Heroes, the 1965-71 CBS situation comedy about Allied prisoners in a World War II German POW camp. She and Crane were married on the TV show's set in 1970. She didn't have many other credits, but she did guest star on Wild Wild West and Kraft Suspense Theatre. Ms. Valdis died from lung cancer at the age of 72 on October 14, 2007.

Dick Wilson

Dick Wilson - Dick Wilson was known to millions as the long-time Charmin bath tissue pitchman. Wilson portrayed grocer Mr. Whipple and made "Please don't squeeze the Charmin" a household phrase. Wilson appeared as Mr. Whipple in more than 500 spots for Charmin from 1964 through 1985 (click here to view one of them). After a 14-year hiatus, Wilson reprised the role in 1999 to introduce a new version of Charmin. In 2001, Procter & Gamble, maker of Charmin, presented Wilson with a lifetime achievement award to commemorate his contribution to the brand. Wilson's television credits include Captain Gruber on Hogan's Heroes, Assistant Mayor Dino Boroni on McHale's Navy, a popular recurring character on Bewitched as a drunk, and other roles in Alice, The Bob Newhart Show, Adam-12, Love American Style, Get Smart, I Dream of Jeannie, The Flying Nun, Gidget, My Favorite Martian, Perry Mason, The Hero, That Girl, The Don Rickles Show, The Rifleman, Fantasy Island, Quincy M.E., The Rockford Files, Arrest & Trial, Petticoat Junction, Maude, The Partridge Family on the Bewitched spin-off Tabitha, and many more. Wilson is survived by his wife Meg, three children (which includes Perfect Strangers co-star Melanie Wilson) and three grandchildren -- all located in the Los Angeles area. Mr. Wilson passed away at the age of 91 on November 19, 2007.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: The Bronx is Burning: World Championship Limited Edition; Solomon's Weekly Rant: Drew Carey Show, Celebrity Apprentice, Bryant Gumbel

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. Yes, we did a review on this a few months ago, but now just in time for the holidays ESPN is releasing a World Championship Limited Edition set that has two extra discs filled with extras! 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: World Championship Limited Edition (ESPN, $59.95) brings the mini-series on DVD once again, but with more extras and cool stuff! Bronx is Burning in a nutshell...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.
This set is nearly the same as original set that came out in September, except for the huge box, two discs worth of extras, 1977 championship photo, and a 1977 championship cap! So we won't cover anything that was covered before, so please refer to our past review for our review on the first three discs and the original packaging.
Packaging on this limited edition set has a huge outer box that holds the digipak case and the cap inside. In the original packaging we had an outer box but it was thin and similar to the case...and the case a snap case rather than digipak. The 1977 cap inside the box is very cool...it has the Yankee logo with 1977 Champions in red. Also the ESPN logo is on one of the sides. When we open the digipak, we see an insert for other ESPN products and also a very thin 1977 World Series Championship photo of the Yankee team. It isn't really anything major and it like a piece of paper, rather than a high quality photograph. Oh well, better than nothing. As for the digipak, it has three sections...the first section all the way on the left holds disc one, discs two & three are in the middle section, and discs four & five are on the right section. Same artwork for the first three discs are used from the original set...same contents of course, too. Discs four and five are new and both have artwork of pinstripes and a white color scheme.
I will only talk about discs four and five. The menu screen design and navigation is the same as the first three discs, which is very high class and cool. Now if you all remember, on the original set we already had a lot of extras...now we get two full discs more of them!
On disc four we have something sports fans will love...actual highlights and a game from the past. We get highlights for each game of the 1977 World Series. All 6 games feature long highlights from the original ABC broadcast featuring Keith Jackson, Howard Cossell, and Tom Seaver. In addition, we get to relive the entire original game 6 broadcast from ABC which the Yankees clinched the 1977 championship as Reggie Jackson hit 3 home runs! 2 great hours worth of a classic game!
Finally, on disc five we get more interviews and back stories. First up is "The Bronx is Burning Anecdotes," these are 38:47 worth of interviews from the actual people from that era. ESPN interviewed stars like Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner, Lou Piniella, Willie Randolph, Graig Nettles, Fran Healy and more! These are in like 33 short interview clips each last like 1-2 minutes each. Next up we have classic news features titled, "Archival News Features." The first one is about Reggie Jackson Signing with the Yankees...that runs 1:35. The next one is about the Reggie Jackson Handshake Controversy...that runs 2:56. The final one is a sad one, the Therman Munson Tragedy...that runs 10:42. The final piece of extras are under the "More Stories of '77" title. We had some of these on disc three, but now we get more! The stories features are: Mr. October (6:25), Son of Sam (15:37), The Mayoral Race (6:56), and The Blackout (6:12).
I highly recommend this mini-series and DVD. If you have the original set, then you might want to get this one, too...for the extras and cap. If you're a Yankee fan, then this is a must, otherwise you can just keep the original set. If you have not bought the original set, then try and get this one, as it has more goodies. 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. Reg-gie! Reg-gie! Reg-gie!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
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Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, December 29, 2007
"Special Treatment for Drew Carey on ION; Celebrity Apprentice?; Terrible Bryant Gumbel"
By Solomon Davis

The Drew Carey Show has been added to ION Television for 2008 and for some reason it will get very special treatment on December 31. It will get treatment that other shows like Alice and Who's the Boss? never received which is confusing because I thought all shows added to the schedule would get the same treatment. Instead, ION will air a marathon of The Drew Carey Show on New Year's Eve and they never did this in 2007 for Alice or Who's the Boss. So I guess those programmers at ION are HUGE fans of The Drew Carey Show. But it is really not surprising at all that the "Incredibly Odd Network" would end the year of 2007 on such an "odd note."

NBC has completely destroyed The Apprentice this season with this new celebrity crap. Why change it into a Celebrity Apprentice when the appeal of the show was seeing young professionals working hard to get hired by Mr. Trump? So what will be the fun part of The Apprentice now since it's all celebrities? If Trump fires a celebrity it won't be the same because that person will still be famous. So what is NBC trying to accomplish with this stupid idea? I will tell you that the one thing they accomplished was losing me as a fan because I no longer have the desire to watch this new garbage NBC has thrown together. NBC has put the nail on the coffin for this series. The show would have just been better off in the same pile with the other 2007 TV show failures.

Bryant Gumbel's style of play-by-play announcing on the NFL Network sounds like he is reading from a script. He is extra dry, dull, and doesn't have a excitable bone in his body. He should only be allowed to do play by play if PBS started airing NFL games next season. I am going to barf tonight when he announces the Patriots/Giants game, in which the Pats will go for the 16-0 record. Please Gumbel go back to morning TV shows like The Early Show and leave sports announcing to the real professionals...even your brother Greg Gumbel is better.

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, December 28, 2007

Day 54: WGA's Strike; Honeymooners 2008 New Year's Marathon on WPIX; RTN Comes to Providence, RI

Well today is day 54 of the strike. 54...wow...but this is not fun like Studio 54. Unfortunately there is no end in sight right now for this strike. Fox's late night talk show on Saturdays, Talk Show with Spike Feresten, will now also return on the air with new episodes without writers starting Saturday, Jan. 12. I know what you're all thinking...Fox has a late night talk show on Saturdays? Still no word yet if Letterman or Ferguson will return on the air next week. I doubt the independent deal to get writers for those shows will be done in time and they will be on the air next week I bet without writers. Leno, O'Brien and Kimmel return on-air this Wednesday without writers.


2008 starts next week and we all know what WPIX (CW11, formerly known as WB11) in New York will do to celebrate it! Yes, the annual Honeymooners New Year's Marathon!
Ring in the New Year with Ralphie Boy! A holiday tradition, the CW11/WPIX will air a marathon of 30 classic Honeymooners episodes (mix of the classic 39 and lost episodes!) beginning Monday, December 31 at midnight...just as we enter 2008. The CW11/WPIX will air 15-hours of hamana-hamana-hamana hijinks with Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason), Ed Norton (Art Carney), Alice Kramden (Audrey Meadows) and Trixie Norton (Joyce Randolph). The WPIX Honeymooners Marathon runs from midnight to 5am on New Year's Eve night (with a break for the CW11 Morning News from 5-9am) and returns at 9am on New Year's Day all the way until 7pm! For the complete schedule of episodes and to discuss this news, click HERE!
CW11/WPIX-TV is your home for The Honeymooners, with the marathon tradition beginning in 1976, and airing on New Year's Eve annually since 1996.

Retro Television Network (RTN) announced that it will partner with Media General to bring RTN programming to Providence, RI. The new affiliate, which is the 5th Media General station to sign with RTN, will launch early next year on a digital stream of WJAR, the NBC affiliate in Providence.
Among the shows they will see are Ron Howard and Henry Winkler in Happy Days, James Garner in Rockford Files, Peter Graves in Mission: Impossible, Jack Lord in Hawaii 5-0, Clint Eastwood in Rawhide, David Janssen in The Fugitive, Lorne Greene and Michael Landon in Gunsmoke and Raymond Burr in Perry Mason and Ironside.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Day 53: WGA's Strike; TV Land February Highlights; George Lopez Marathon on Nick at Nite Friday

Today is day 53 of the writers' strike. Nothing new to report at all, as of now. The days after Christmas are always so slow. News will probably pick-up starting Jan. 2.

Well we wanted to give you TV Land February 2008 highlights last week, but we decided to hold it because one stunt still has a lot of TBD (to be determined) slots. I'll get to that in a bit. As we know Just Shoot Me launches on TV Land with a weekend marathon on Jan. 26-27 from 9pm-6am on both nights. The TV Land February schedule will start Jan. 28 with the addition of Just Shoot Me. The show will air weekday mornings at 8:30am, every night at 12 & 12:30am, and in the Thursday four in a row marathons from 9-11pm. Other changes include All in the Family being removed, an additional Three's Company being added to weekdays at 11am, The Munsters, Green Acres, and Addams Family are off of weekdays and only on weekends now. Brady Bunch will only be 4:30am now every morning.
Friday movies for the month include The Breakfast Club, Flashdance and Moonstruck.
TV Land is celebrating Valentine's Day with a "Ricky Loves Lucy Valentine's Day Event." Watch four episodes of I Love Lucy on Feb. 10 and again on Feb. 14 as Lucy and Ricky as they experience their happiest times together. Witness their vow renewal, celebrate the announcement and birth of their baby and toast them as they celebrate their wedding anniversary.
Now the stunt I have a lot of TBD slots is the "Big '80s Weekend." We still have a lot of TBD slots, but I decided to post this today anyway. This will air the weekend of President's Day--Saturday, Feb. 16, Sunday, Feb. 17 and Monday, Feb. 18. Right now only movies have been slated, but there could be some '80s series in there as well, along with some '80s retrospectives maybe. As soon as we know, we'll let you know! As of now slated are '80s movies such as National Lampoon's Class Reunion, Flashdance, The Breakfast Club, The Jerk, and Sixteen Candles. Three's Company and Designing Women are also slated for Monday, Feb. 18 to start off that day's block. Don't be surprised if we see series such as Knight Rider, The A-Team, and Miami Vice pop-up in here or '80s retrospectives. It is going to be a totally radical '80s weekend! We will confirm as soon as we know the TBD slots...check out the link below for the schedule SO FAR.
TV Land will have another Movie Week, the week of Feb. 25! Showtime is every night at 8p, starting with Monday's showing of Steve Martin as the lovably naive Navin Johnson in The Jerk. Tuesday, Gary Busey stars as the rock pioneer in The Buddy Holly Story. Wednesday, Molly, Emilio, Ally, and the rest of the Brat Pack star as a diverse group of teens stuck in Saturday morning detention in The Breakfast Club. Thursday, Clint Eastwood stars as a conflicted secret service agent in In the Line of Fire. Rounding out the week is Sixteen Candles starring Molly Ringwald as she deals with forgotten birthdays and secret crushes.
For COMPLETE February details, click HERE!

Nick at Nite will preempt its regular programming on Friday (December 28) to bring a marathon of one of its newest and highest rated sitcoms...George Lopez! This will be the first marathon for the show. The series launched in September and has been airing every night from 10-11pm. The series is doing excellent for the network and is doing much better in its slot against what aired last year. The show is also one of cable's top performers in 18-49 in primetime, not to mention total viewers. George Lopez marathon starts 10pm on Friday and will run until 5am (Fresh Prince will close the night from 5-6am). The marathon will have no repeats, so you can stay up all-night to watch new episodes all-night long!
Marathon episodes are:
10:00PM #73 "George Buys a Vow"
10:30PM #4 "Max's Big Adventure"
11:00PM #104 "George's House Has Two Empty Wombs" (Stacy Keibler guest-stars)
11:30PM #105 "George Nieces Needs a Media Room"
12:00AM #107 "Sabes Gay, It's George's Fantasy Episode"
12:30AM #108 "George Thinks Vic's Fiance Is Lion About Being A Cheetah" (Stacy Keibler guest-stars)
1:00AM #109 "George Helps Angie's Wha-Positive Self Image"
1:30AM #110 "George's Grave Mistake Sends Him To a Funeral, Holmes"
2:00AM #111 "George Joins the Neighborhood Wha-tcha and Raises the Vigilante"
2:30AM #112 "George Is Maid To Be Ruth-Less" (Barbara Eden guest-stars)
3:00AM #113 "George Is Lie-able for Benny's Unhappiness" (Jerry Springer guest-stars)
3:30AM #29 "Dubya, Dad, and Dating, Part 1" (Jimmie Walker guest-stars)
4:00AM #30 "Dubya, Dad, and Dating, Part 2" (Jimmie Walker guest-stars)
4:30AM #33 "Carmen's Dating"

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Day 52: WGA's Strike, TV4U.com Adds More Classic TV

Yeah our writers' strike counter has returned after 5 days off. We are on day 52 of the strike and in the eighth week of the strike now. If you all recall, David Letterman's production company Worldwide Pants was set to meet with the WGA on Friday to negotiate an independent deal so that both his late night show on CBS and Craig Ferguson's late night CBS show could return with writers. No deal was made yet, but it seems both shows could be back on the air next Wednesday (Jan. 2) with or without writers. No new date has been set for the WGA and Worldwide Pants to resume talks. The WGA released this statement:
"Representatives from Worldwide Pants and the Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of America, East met today. A lively exchange of information took place. The WGAW and WGAE will not comment further."

TV4U.Com, the 42 channel free internet TV broadband network, is now offering 2,000 classic TV shows from the past 60 years. Recent additions of Stoney Burke, Assignment Underwater, Your Hit Parade, Jimmy Durante Show, Paul Winchell Show, and The Alan Young Show have helped to reach this milestone.
TV4U.Com offers 42 channels of free internet TV in categories such as comedy, drama, variety, westerns, sports, and action. The Henderson, Nevada based company owns a library of more than 10,000 classic TV shows.
TV4U.Com presents TV shows from the first 60 years of commercial television, from the Dumont Network of the 1940's to programming produced today. Shows are ad supported and can be watched free - and on demand - by viewers.
Other new shows recently added to TV4U.Com includes Joe Pyne, Who Do You Trust?, Meet Corliss Archer, Our Miss Brooks, Life of Riley, Lights Out!, Captain David Grrief, and The Morey Amsterdam Show. Many of these shows have not been seen on TV for decades.
In 2008, TV4U.Com plans to add an additional 3,000 shows, which would bring the fledgling broadband network to 5,000 offerings for TV viewers.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from SitcomsOnline; New Pre-Strike Episodes Left for All Series

It is Christmas Day and we would like to wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas from all of here at SitcomOnline! Thanks for taking the time out to visit us today. As usual, there are tons of marathons out there such as TV Land's Merrython, TBS' A Christmas Story marathon, ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas programming continues, and many more holiday movies on other networks such as Lifetime.

As we all know there is a writers' strike going on and it is affecting all scripted programming on television. We have compiled a list for you, so you know how many episodes are left for your favorite shows...our Christmas present to you! So in case anyone is asking, "how many Grey's Anatomy episodes are remaining," now you can tell them!

Here is a list of new episodes remaining before repeats fully take over (unless the strike ends soon). All of these episodes will air starting in 2008 (meaning, the earliest Jan. 1). In parenthesis I have the date when the first new one airs in 2008:

ABC
According to Jim - at least 7 episodes (Jan. 1)
Big Shots - 5 episodes (Jan. 10)
Boston Legal - 4 episodes (Jan. 1)
Brothers & Sisters - 3 episodes (Jan. 13)
Carpoolers - 7 episodes (Jan. 8)
Cashmere Mafia - 7 episodes (Jan. 6)
Cavemen - 7 episodes (not scheduled yet)
Desperate Housewives - 1 episode (Jan. 6)
Dirty Sexy Money - 3 episodes (not scheduled yet)
Eli Stone - 13 episodes (Jan. 31)
Grey's Anatomy - 1 episode (Jan. 10)
Lost - 8 episodes (Jan. 31)
MEN IN TREES - 11 episodes (Feb. 27)
Notes from the Underbelly - at least 6 episodes (Jan. 14)
October Road - 8 episodes (Jan. 7)
Private Practice - 0 or 1 episode (not scheduled yet)
Pushing Daisies - 0 episodes
Samantha Who? - 3 episodes (Feb. 4)
Ugly Betty - 3 episodes (Jan. 10)
Women's Murder Club - 1 episode (Jan. 4)
- Unscripted series such as America's Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Wife Swap, Supernanny, Dance War, Dancing with the Stars, Just for Laughs, Oprah's Big Give, 20/20 and The Bachelor will have full seasons.

CBS
The Big Bang Theory - 0 episodes
Cane - 0 episodes
Cold Case - 2 episodes (Jan. 6)
Criminal Minds - at least 1 episode (not scheduled yet)
CSI - 1 episode (Jan. 10)
CSI: Miami - at least 1 episode (not scheduled yet)
CSI: NY - 3 episodes (not scheduled yet)
Ghost Whisperer - at least 1 episode (Jan. 11)
How I Met Your Mother - 0 episodes
Jericho - 7 episodes (Feb. 12)
Moonlight - 1 episode (Jan. 11)
NCIS - at least 1 episode (not scheduled yet)
New Adventures of Old Christine - at least 8 episodes (Feb. 4)
NUMB3RS - 2 episodes (not scheduled yet)
Rules of Engagement - 0 episodes
Shark - 1 episode (not scheduled yet)
Two and a Half Men - 0 episodes
The Unit - 0 episodes
Welcome to the Captain - 6 episodes (Feb. 4)
Without a Trace - 2 episodes (Jan. 10)
- Unscripted series such as 48 Hours Mystery, 60 Minutes, Amazing Race, Big Brother, Survivor, and The Power of 10 will have full seasons.

NBC
30 Rock - 1 episode (Jan. 10)
Bionic Woman - 0 episodes
Chuck - 2 episodes (not scheduled yet)
ER - 3 episodes (Jan. 3)
Friday Night Lights - 6 episodes (Jan. 4)
Heroes - 0 episodes
Journeyman - 0 episodes
Las Vegas - 8 episodes (Jan. 4)
Law & Order - TBD episodes (Jan. 2)
Law & Order: SVU - 4 episodes (Jan. 1)
Life - 0 episodes
Lipstick Jungle - at least 7 episodes (Feb. 7)
Medium - 9 episodes (Jan. 7)
My Name is Earl - 1 episode (Jan. 10)
The Office - 0 episodes
Quarterlife - 6 episodes (Feb. 18)
Scrubs - 4 or 5 episodes (Jan. 24)
- Unscripted series such as 1 vs. 100, American Gladiators, Deal or No Deal, Celebrity Apprentice, The Biggest Loser, and Dateline will have full seasons.

Fox
24 - 8 episodes (not scheduled yet)
American Dad - likely a full season (Jan. 6)
Back to You - 2 episodes (March 12)
Bones - 3 episodes (Feb. 22)
Canterbury's Law - at least 6 episodes (April 11)
Family Guy - likely a full season (Jan. 13)
House - 3 episodes (Feb. 3)
King of the Hill - likely a full season (Jan. 6)
K-Ville - 1 episode (not scheduled yet, if ever)
New Amsterdam - 7 episodes (Feb. 22)
Prison Break - 5 episodes (Jan. 14)
Return of Jezebel James - 7 episodes (March 7)
The Simpsons - likely a full season (Jan. 6)
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - at least 9 episodes (Jan. 13)
'Til Death - 3 episodes (March 7)
Unhitched - 7 episodes (March 2)
- Unscripted series such as American Idol, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, America's Most Wanted, Cops, Don't Forget the Lyrics!, Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, Moment of Truth, and When Women Rules the World will have full seasons.

The CW
Aliens in America - 3-7 episodes (not scheduled yet; only 13 were ordered, 10 have aired, but reports are 17 episodes will be produced)
Everybody Hates Chris - 12 episodes (not scheduled yet)
The Game - 0 episodes
Girlfriends - 0 episodes
Gossip Girl - 2 episodes (Jan. 2)
Life is Wild - 3 episodes (Jan. 6)
One Tree Hill - 12 episodes (Jan. 8)
Reaper - 2 episodes (not scheduled yet)
Smallville - 6 episodes (not scheduled yet)
Supernatural - 4 episodes (not scheduled yet)
- Unscripted series such as America's Next Top Model, Beauty and the Geek, Crowned, CW Now, Pussycat Dolls, and WWE Smackdown will have full seasons.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve Greeting; RTN Comes to Augusta, GA and Jackson, MS

Thanks for taking the time out on this Christmas Eve 2007 to come join us for some sitcom news. We will continue to bring you news every single day during the holiday and through the New Year, so if you can, please join us. Then you can get back to your families the rest of the day! Don't forget to leave out the milk and cookies for Santa tonight!

Retro Television Network (RTN) recently announced that it has entered into agreements with Media General to bring RTN programming to Augusta, GA and Jackson, MS. The new affiliates will launch early next year on a digital stream of WJBF, the ABC affiliate in Augusta, and WJTV, the CBS affiliate in Jackson.
Viewers in Jackson and Augusta, as part of RTN's 'Primetime All the Time' lineup, will enjoy watching James Garner in The Rockford Files, Bob Crane in Hogan's Heroes, Raymond Burr in Ironside, Robert Young in Marcus Welby, M.D. and Michael Douglas in Streets of San Francisco, as well as many more hit shows!
Media General currently airs RTN on its NBC affiliate in Savannah, GA (WSAV) and its CBS affiliate in Myrtle Beach/Florence, SC (WBTW).

Have a Merry Christmas and don't forget to join us tomorrow, if you can.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Week 13 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did

Week 13 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Thu):

Households: CBS: 6.6/10.9; NBC: 5.1/8.3; Fox: 4.2/6.8; ABC: 3.9/6.4; The CW: 1.2/2.9; MNT: 0.8/1.3
Total Viewers: CBS: 10.12 million; NBC: 7.73 million; Fox: 6.61 million; ABC: 5.92 million; The CW: 1.65 million; MNT: 1.18 million.
Adults 18-49: CBS: 2.7/7.7; NBC: 2.6/7.3; Fox: 2.2/6.3; ABC: 1.9/5.2; The CW: 0.7/2.0; MNT: 0.5/1.3.

Analysis: Week 13 so far is the lowest rated week of the season, we have tons of repeats and of course Christmas is near. Through Thursday, CBS had new episodes of CSI: Miami, The Unit, Cane. NBC aired a week-long stunt called Clash of the Choirs, which has done modestly. They also had the finale of Biggest Loser 4 and the final two airings of the low rated Journeyman. ABC also had a week-long stunt called Duel, with the finale coming up tonight at 8. The only other thing new was Notes from the Underbelly, October Road, and Boston Legal, but all three were lower than normal. While Fox had new showing of its Thursday reality shows and the terrible K-Ville. Last week CBS won the top spot in all categories: HH, viewers, and 18-49. NBC was second in HH, viewers, and 18-49. With Fox third and ABC fourth.
Through the first four days of this week, CBS has a lead in all categories in week 13 with NBC second, Fox in third and ABC again uncharacteristically in fourth. Repeats of course don't do as good as new episodes, most of ABC's shows are serialized, and they do even worse in repeats.
The day by day analysis will return when the holiday season is over and we are sort of back to more new than repeats.
As for the week, CBS will win in HH, viewers and likely in 18-49, NBC will be second, with a close finish for first place in 18-49...it could be NBC or CBS. ABC will be in the fourth spot unless their Sunday does pretty good, which is likely with The Santa Clause 2. As for this week...Merry Christmas...repeats ahoy!


Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of December 10-16)

  • Aliens in America (The CW) - A repeat did just 860,000 viewers, up 30k from the previous week.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) - A new episode did 9.54 million and an impressive 4.5 18-49 rating.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - 7.42 million for a new episode.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - A repeat did 8.27 million and a 4.1/10 18-49 rating...good stuff for a repeat, and up from previous week.
  • American Dad (Fox) - 6.96 million for a new episode, up from previous week a bit.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 6.44 million for a repeat...previous week was a new one.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 6.65 million for a repeat...built from lead-in's repeat.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) 2 episodes - 11.1 million tuned in for a repeat at 9, slightly down from previous week....and at 9:30 another repeat did 11.28 million, more than what Rules does obviously.
  • Notes from the Underbelly (ABC) - Terrible 3.19 million for a new episode...it was preempted in some markets like Chicago for the NFL game, though.
  • CW Monday Comedies: Chris, Aliens in America, Girlfriends, The Game. All were repeats ... Chris led the block with 1.86 million, Aliens did 1.42 million, Girlfriends did the lowest with 1.38 million, and The Game only did 1.41 million.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • According to Jim (ABC) - A repeat at 9:30 did 4.36 million, down from previous week at 9:30.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Back to You (Fox) - 4.63 million for a repeat, a bit up from previous week.
  • Til Death (Fox) - A repeat did 5.09 million, up a million from previous week...and built from the lead-in...wow.
Thursday Sitcoms
  • The Office (NBC) - An encore from 10-11pm did 4.59 million.
Friday Sitcoms
  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms
  • None.


Airing tonight (Sunday) is a repeat of Aliens in America on The CW at 7:30, and Fox's animated comedies are preempted, but one Simpsons will air at 7.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men was impressive for the week (and they were two repeats!). Everything else was OK (such as How I Met Your Mother repeat, The Big Bang Theory repeat) or just plain old terrible (According to Jim repeat, Notes from the Underbelly).

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation - The Seventh Season; Solomon's Weekly Rant: Flavor of Love, Christmas Story, Bowl Games

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for mini-DVD reviews and Solomon's Weekly Rant! First up, are the mini-DVD reviews. Today we head out west to Las Vegas for C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation: - The Seventh Season. C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation stars William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Gary Dourdan, George Eads, Jorja Fox, Paul Guilfoyle, Eric Szmanda and Robert David Hall.

C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation - The Seventh Season

C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation - The Seventh Season (Paramount Home Video/CBS DVD, $89.99)

Follow the evidence... again and again. Winner of the People's Choice Award for "Favorite Television Drama" three years in a row. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation comes to DVD in this special collection that contains all 24 episodes from Season Seven - including Grissom's hunt for the notorious Miniature Killer.

This 7-disc set contains all 24 episodes from the seventh (2006-07) season and a number of audio commentaries and special features. The episodes are presented in Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) enhanced for 16:9 tvs with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio. It has a total running time of 17 hours, 25 minutes. The attractive packaging features parts of William Petersen's and Marg Helgenberger's faces. At the top of the box, there is an embossed CSI logo. Las Vegas' skyline is in the center in a hologram type effect. The inside case is in a book fromat that you can flip through to get to the discs. There is a photo of Helgenberger, Szmanda, Guilfoyle and Doyle on the cover and Eads, Fox, Petersen and Hall on the back. I'm not sure why William Petersen is barefoot. They are walking across a street. A content locator lists the episodes by disc and the special features. Each disc features a different photo of one of the cast members and the show logo.

The menus are very slick looking and easy to navigate. They have a montage of video clips, with some instrumental music playing in the background. Options are available for Episode Selection, Set Up, Previews (only on Disc 1), and Special Features (only on Disc 7). On the Set Up menu, you can choose either Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround or Spanish 2.0 Surround. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes. As you would expect from such a recent show, the video and audio quality is outstanding. The show looks stunning. This is the first time that the show has lacked "Complete" in the title. The episodes have running times of 41-44 minutes in length. There is nothing on the packaging to indicate that any of the music has been changed. While the episodes are numbered by their production order, they are presented in the order of their original airdates.

An impressive amount and variety of special features are included. There are 7 audio commentaries available on 5 of the discs. Producers, Writers, Directors and supporting cast members provide some behind the scenes details and trivia on the episodes. Executive Produer/Writer Naren Shankar and Co-Executive Producer/Director Ken Fink provide commentary on "Built To Kill, Part 1." It's a bit unusual there is no commentary on the second part of the episode. Director Richard Lewis and Writer Dustin Lee Abraham comment on "Fannysmackin." Director Martha Coolidge and Make-Up Effects Artist Matthew Mungle discuss "Living Legend." Executive Producer/Writer Naren Shankar and Co-Executive Producer/Writer do the commentary on "Sweet Jane." Director Richard Lewis, Writer/Techinical Advisor Richard Catalani and Producer Carol Mendeloshn provide their insights on "Law of Gravity." "Lab Rats (aka "While the Cat's Away") features Director Brad Tanenbaum, Writer Sarah Goldfinger, Wallace Langham (David Hodges), Jon Wellner (Henry Andrews), Liz Vassey (Wendy Simms), Sheri Rappaport (Mandy Webster) and Archie Kao (Archie Johnson). This was a fun one with so many people on it. Executive Producer/Writer Naren Shankar and Co-Executive Producer/Director Ken Fink do their third commentary on "Living Doll."

Disc 7 has the 6 featurettes. These add up to over 90 minutes of bonus material. There is a "Play All" button or you can watch these individually. Here is the breakdown:

Inside "Built To Kill" (9:02) - This featurette focuses on the Cirque du Soleil show that was featured in the season premiere. It includes interviews with Supervising Producer Ken Fink, "KA" Company Manager Calum Pearson. Writer David Rambo, "KA" Production Manager Ray Forton, "KA" Stage Performer Sarah Harding, "KA" Stage Manager Stacey A. Myers, Marg Helgenberger, "KA" Performer Daniel Power and Louise Lombard. They talk about how they got the idea for the episode and how the "KA" members didn't want to be portrayed as, the storyline and how it was shot. There is some behind the scenes footage and they show various parts of the stage. The Cirque du Soleil show looks very cool. I'd like to see one of their performances someday.

Miniature Murders (13:48) - This featurette focuses on the miniature serial killer, which was a story arc that stretched the entire season and even into the current season. Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Co-Executive Producer Doug Petrie, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Marg Helgenberger, William Petersen, Supervising Producer Sarah Goldfinger, Production Designer Daniel Novotny, Set Designer Rob Sissman, Miniature Supervisor Craig Currie, Prop Supervisor James Schexnaydre, Director Ken Fink, Co-Producer David Rambo, Graphic Artist Daphne San Jose, 2nd Unit Director Brad Tanenbaum and Director Jeffrey Hunt. They talk about the evolution of the idea and the history involved with a woman who created some, how this was the first time they had a season long story arc for the first time, how the miniatures were built and lit, why they made 2 versions of each miniature, how they used different camera angles and the casting of Natalie. The miniatures were so incredibly detailed. They did some amazing work.

Who Are You? Inside "Living Legend" (14:45) - This focuses on the episode of the same name. Interviews include Co-Executive Producer Doug Petrie, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Roger Daltrey, Director Martha Coolidge and Special F/X Make-up Artist Matthew Mungle. They talk about the original idea for the story, how twist after twist was written into the episode, guest star Roger Daltrey, the theme song by The Who and how they always wanted to get Daltrey as a guest star since the beginning of the series, and how they did the disguises and prosethic make-up for the 4-5 roles that Daltrey played.

Las Vegas: The Real Crime Solvers (18:25) - All of the recent C.S.I. DVD releases have had similar segments like this one. In this featurette, Robert David Hall (Dr. Robbins) visits the Clark County Crime Lab in Las Vegas. He interviews Captain David O'Leary, Kimberly Brockman, Mark P. Burry, Thomas Melville, Kellie McGauthier, Julie Marschner, Frances E. Beaudette, Dinnah Caluag, Alice Maceo and Dr. Gary Telgenhoff. Various topics are covered as he visits the different departments, including toxicology, controlled substances, DNA, firearms, latent finger prints and autopsy. The segment closes with Robert David Hall talking to some real crime scene investigators: Randy McLaughlin, Yolanda McCleary, Jeff Smink and Kristin Gammas. He asks some good questions throughout this segment. It is interesting to hear their opinions of the show. The coroner is a lot like the Dr. Robbins character. He has the same sense of humor.

The Evolution of C.S.I. Season 7 (25:47) - This is the longest and most in-depth featurette on the set. Interviews include Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, William Petersen, Paul Guilfoyle, Jorja Fox, Robert David Hall, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads, Liev Schreiber, Louise Lombard and Eric Szmanda. They talk about how the show has evolved, how they've tried new things every season, the look of the show, visual effects, William Petersen's sabbatical to do a play, Grissom and Sara's relationship, the casting of Liev Schreiber and the show's unpredictability. I found the Keppler storyline and his character very interesting. You would never know that Jorja Fox would be leaving the show early in the current season.

Smoke & Mirrors: Directing Feature Television (16:31) - This featurette looks at the direction on the show. Interviews are included with the following directors: Ken Fink, Richard Lewis, Jeffrey Hunt, Brad Tanenbaum, Alec Smight, Michael Slovi and Martha Coolidge. They talk about their directorial styles, how they try to challenge themselves, how they try to create the look of feature films, how the show has evolved over the years, the look of the show and the shooting schedules. A typical episode takes 8 1/2 to 9 days to film.

A playable demo for the CSI: Hard Evidence PC game is also included.

Final Comments: It was a season of firsts for C.S.I. They had never done a story arc that stretched across an entire season. It was a bit disappointing that the miniature killer storyline wasn't concluded until the current season, but the whole idea was unique and entertaining. I think part of the show's success is because they are continually evolving it and coming up with fresh ideas. While this set is a bit on a pricey side, there are 7 audio commentaries and over 90 minutes of special features. The original C.S.I. is definitely the most popular in the C.S.I. franchise, so I guess it makes sense that they get the best treatment on DVD.

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller
(4.5/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation CBS.com Official Site
C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation TV.com Page



Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, December 22, 2007
"Yet Another Flavor of Love Marathon; Too Many Christmas Story Airings; Bowl Games on NFL Network?"
By Solomon Davis

Both seasons of Flavor of Love have been seen several times on VH1 and now another marathon is scheduled for Sunday, December 30? How much of Flavor Flav do we really need to see on VH1 in one year? I thought Flavor of Love was a thing of the past since the spin-off I Love NY has already completed 2 seasons. Why is VH1 going backward and airing Flavor of Love all over again? I can see airing a Flavor of Love 3 but to see more airings of the first two seasons again after the 30th will just make me wanna puke.

Why in the world is TBS airing the same Christmas movie back to back on Christmas Eve and on Christmas? A Christmas Story is airing at 8pm and 10pm on Christmas Eve (and all day on Christmas, which I won't rant about since who watches TV on Christmas Day?) and I just can't figure why they would not air a different movie at 10pm, since the same movie will air all day on Christmas Day anyway. They should premiere the movie on Christmas Eve at 8pm, then air other holiday movies the rest of the night and their Christmas Story marathon on Christmas Day from like 10am-8pm instead of this 24 hour airings thing. There are tons of Christmas Movies they can air on Christmas Eve but they want to show the same holiday movie all evening and all day on Christmas Day? This seems like something TV Land would do and I have to say I'm very surprised at such a stupid programming decision by TBS. TBS should get holiday programming tips from Hallmark since that channel is airing All I Want for Christmas at 8pm and A Grandpa for Christmas at 10pm on Christmas Eve.

Why is college football's Texas Bowl being aired on the NFL Network on Friday, December 28? It is not Houston Texans vs. Dallas Cowboys, which is the real "Texas Bowl," so this does not belong on this network. When I purchased the NFL Network through Comcast I was told it is the 24-hour NFL Network. So why would a College Football Bowl Game be seen if it is supposed to be 24-hour NFL programming?? No wonder everyone is complaining about this channel. They make you buy it for an extra price and not many people have it and the stupid NFL schedules games on here on Thursday and Saturday nights late in the season. This Bowl Game is what you call misleading customers who they think are purchasing a NFL network and then realized they purchased the "All-Football Network" instead. Change your name already! Maybe they will air local high school football championship games next.

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, December 21, 2007

Day 47: WGA's Strike; SitcomsOnline.com Interactive: Your Top Sitcom Christmas Episodes; Nick at Nite's Family Initiative

We are in day 47 of the strike. Two more late night talk shows will go back in production without writers now. This time Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. "We would like to return to work with our writers. If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence. We continue to hold out hope for a swift resolution to the current stalemate that will enable the shows to be complete again," the network said in a statement.
They will go on without writers on Monday, Jan. 7. The WGA was not pleased by the decision: "Comedy Central forcing Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert back on the air will not give the viewers the quality shows they've come to expect. The only way to get the writing staffs back on the job is for the AMPTP companies to come back to the table prepared to negotiate a fair deal with the Writers Guild."
In scheduling news, ABC has indeed moved the last new pre-strike episode of Grey's Anatomy to Thursday, Jan. 10. Literally within minutes of that move, NBC moved Celebrity Apprentice's premiere back to Jan. 3 to avoid Grey's. What a cat and mouse game! NBC is so scared. I hope ABC doesn't move Grey's back to Jan. 3 now. The Donald is dead anyway just as his hair has been dead for years.

After a long lay-off our special feature SitcomsOnline.com Interactive is back! In the past we have asked for similar sitcom plot episodes and what sitcoms you would want to see on ION Television. Since we are very close to Christmas, we will ask you sitcom fans to list your top sitcom Christmas episodes. It could be just two, or 5 or even as high as 10. Make sure you name the show and episode title. If you don't know the episode title, please describe what happened in the episode. For example: Three's Company: "Three's Christmas," Perfect Strangers: the one where Larry can't go home for Christmas, and Diff'rent Strokes: "Santa's Helper."
We are trying to see which holiday episode is the most liked. So, let's get your favorite Christmas episodes ready and post them HERE!
We'll start this now and end it by next Friday, and we'll post the most liked ones here next week!

Just in time to make those New Year's resolutions, Nick at Nite announces the launch of "Kick One, Pick One" (KOPO), the network's new pro-social campaign to encourage families to eat smarter, get fit and spend more time together. Bowing Jan. 1, KOPO is an on-air, online and grassroots initiative campaign that continues Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group's legacy of empowering its audiences with information and tools to help better their lifestyles and communities.
The campaign launches on-air Jan. 1 with funny and fact-filled PSAs and time-anchored lower thirds (graphics at the bottom of the TV screen) communicating KOPO's goals for the New Year: activity, nutrition and togetherness. Additional spots, focusing on breaking a bad habit in 21 days, are scheduled to debut on-air and online throughout 2008. The campaign will run into the fall of 2008, leading up to Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group's annual Worldwide Day of Play celebration. Worldwide Day of Play is a global celebration of kids' and families' KOPO accomplishments for the year.
for complete details, click HERE!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Day 46: WGA's Strike; SAG Awards Nominations; TV Land's New Year's Marathon

Well it is day 46 of the strike, and we have a lot of news to report...no nothing on the strike ending unfortunately. First, CBS has announced that the 34th Annual People's Choice Awards "will go on" on Tuesday, January 8, 2008, but it will NOT be live, instead it will be taped. Winners will make their thank-you speeches and then answer questions from fans in pre-shot segments. Queen Latifah, who already was on board to host, will be a part of the new format.
David Letterman's Worldwide Pants production company said it will have a meeting Friday with the WGA to pursue a side deal that would allow his company's two late-night CBS shows, The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, to return to the air Jan. 2 WITH writers. Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel's shows will return on the air Jan. 2 but WITHOUT writers. More to come on Letterman, I'm sure.
Yesterday NBC announced they have moved the premiere of Celebrity Apprentice to Jan. 10, now ABC has counteracted. ABC will move to series premiere of Cashmere Mafia out of the Thursday, Jan. 3 10pm slot to Sunday, January 6 at 10pm following the last pre-strike episode of Desperate Housewives, in which we will find out the outcome of the tragic tornado. The all-new Brothers & Sisters originally slated for this night will be moved to Jan. 13...and after that only two new pre-strike episodes will remain, and they will likely air Jan. 20 and Jan. 27 all following special two-hour episodes of reality hit Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. After its special Sunday premiere, Mafia will then still move to its regular night of Wednesdays at 10 starting Jan. 9. As for Jan. 3, ABC still has the last new pre-strike episode of Grey's Anatomy scheduled, but they could move it to Jan. 10 instead. ABC has already pulled a new episode of Ugly Betty for Jan. 3 in favor of a repeat and also have put a Desperate Housewives repeat that night at 10pm...which will be the tornado episode, so viewers can get ready for the conclusion on Sunday. The new Ugly Betty previously planned for Jan. 3 will air Jan. 10 now. After that airing only two pre-strike episodes will be left for Betty, and will likely air Jan. 17 and 24 because on Jan. 31 ABC has slotted a Lost clip show leading into the season premiere of Lost at 9pm on Jan. 31. Also, ABC has announced the last Women's Murder Club pre-strike episode will air Friday, Jan. 4 at 9pm, instead of the previously announced Cashmere Mafia pilot encore. Desperate Housewives encores looks like will air for the rest of the month on Fridays at 9, following Grey's Anatomy repeats at 8.

The 14th Annual Screen Actor Guild Awards (SAG) nominees were announced today. Leading the pack were The Sopranos, Ugly Betty and 30 Rock with 3 nominations each. Among the networks, ABC lead with 11 nominations. The awards will air Sunday, Jan. 27, on TNT and TBS at 8 PM ET/PT.
Here are the main TV nominees:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
JAMES GANDOLFINI / Tony Soprano – The Sopranos (HBO)
MICHAEL C. HALL / Dexter Morgan – Dexter (Showtime)
JON HAMM / Don Draper – Mad Men (AMC)
HUGH LAURIE / Dr. Gregory House – House (FOX)
JAMES SPADER / Alan Shore – Boston Legal (ABC)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
GLENN CLOSE / Patty Hewes – Damages (FX)
EDIE FALCO / Carmela Soprano – The Sopranos (HBO)
SALLY FIELD / Nora Walker – Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
HOLLY HUNTER / Grace Hanadarko – Saving Grace (TNT)
KYRA SEDGWICK / Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson – The Closer (TNT)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
ALEC BALDWIN / Jack Donaghy – 30 Rock (NBC)
STEVE CARELL / Michael Scott – The Office (NBC)
RICKY GERVAIS / Andy Millman – Extras (HBO)
JEREMY PIVEN / Ari Gold – Entourage (HBO)
TONY SHALHOUB / Adrian Monk – Monk (USA)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE / Samantha Newly – Samantha Who? (ABC)
AMERICA FERRERA / Betty Suarez – Ugly Betty (ABC)
TINA FEY / Liz Lemon – 30 Rock (NBC)
MARY-LOUISE PARKER / Nancy Botwin – Weeds (Showtime)
VANESSA WILLIAMS / Wilhelmina Slater – Ugly Betty (ABC)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Boston Legal, ABC
The Closer, TNT
Grey's Anatomy, ABC
Mad Men, AMC
The Sopranos, HBO

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
30 Rock, NBC
Desperate Housewives, ABC
Entourage, HBO
The Office, NBC
Ugly Betty, ABC

For the complete TV portion nominees and to discuss the nominees, click HERE!

TV Land has formally announced The Beverly Hillbillies' Best Dang New Year's Marathon. TV Land rings in 2008 with 27 hours of non-stop Clampett wackiness and Granny's unforgettable colloquialisms during "The Beverly Hillbillies Best Dang New Year's Marathon" beginning Monday, December 31, at 6:00PM (all times ET/PT). Viewers will be "happier than a cat at a fish fry" with episodes like "Jethro Goes to School" in which Max Baer, Jr. (Jethro) also plays Jethro's twin sister, Jethrine, in drag, and an appearance by the late Sharon Tate in "Possum Day" as Miss Hathaway's dark- headed assistant at the Commerce Bank.
As part of this celebration, TVLand.com will stream full episodes starting December 31, with weekly updates. The website will feature character bios, a comprehensive episode guide, and photo gallery.
TVLand.com visitors will also be able to test their 'hill-folk' knowledge with The Beverly Hillbillies trivia game. Schedule can be found here.
We will post TV Land February shortly, we are just awaiting some details on a President's Day Weekend event that looks like will be pretty good...it will be called "Big '80s Weekend" and it looks like will have '80s TV Shows and '80s Movies! Details hopefully by tomorrow. Come on back.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Day 45: WGA's Strike; ION Drew Carey Show Contest; RTN's 40th Affiliate: Phoenix

Today is day 45 of the writers' strike. The Los Angeles City Council's Housing, Community, and Economic Development Committee will conduct a hearing on the economic impact of the Writers Guild of America strike on the local and regional economy. Issues discussed will include the history of bargaining and the issues at stake in this strike. It was slated today Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 7:30 AM PT.
Rejected for a Writers Guild of America waiver, the Golden Globes now are scheduled to be picketed by the WGA, assuming the guild is still on strike by the time of the telecast on Jan. 13. Dick Clark Productions, producer of the Globes telecast, fears many actors won't cross the picket line to attend the event. The Oscars could also be impacted on Feb. 24, if the strike lasts that long.
In schedule news, NBC will move the premiere of The Celebrity Apprentice from Jan. 3 to Jan. 10, so it doesn't have to go head-to-head vs. ABC's Grey's Anatomy. Like that will work...The Donald is so over already. Meanwhile, NBC will give viewers an expanded season finale of new live competition show Clash of the Choirs from one-hour to two hours on Thursday, December 20 from 8-10 p.m. ET.

ION Television today announced that it is celebrating the launch of The Drew Carey Show on ION Television with a "Bring in the Drew Year With a Smile" promotion, sponsored by Crest Whitestrips. The contest will be promoted beginning New Year's Eve, and will officially begin on January 1, 2008. Viewers will get to vote for their favorite smiles from members of The Drew Carey Show cast, and enter for a chance to win a trip for four anywhere in the US that will "make you smile."
To enter the contest, viewers will need to watch The Drew Carey Show on ION Television during the first few weeks of 2008, and vote for their favorite smile from Drew, Mimi or Lewis on ION's Web site (www.ionline.tv). The grand prize package includes roundtrip airfare, deluxe hotel accommodations and spending money.
The contest will be heavily promoted during a special "Drew Year's Eve" marathon of back-to-back shows, which will launch The Drew Carey Show from 7-11 pm (ET) on New Year's Eve. On New Year's Day, the series will join ION Television’s primetime lineup, with episodes airing Mondays through Thursdays at 9 and 9:30 pm (ET).

Retro Television Network (RTN) announced today that it will partner with Londen Media Group to bring RTN programming to Phoenix, the nation's 12th largest television market. The new affiliate will launch next year on KAZT-DT, bringing the network's total number of affiliates to 40. Phoenix viewers will enjoy RTN's 'Primetime All The Time' lineup of hit shows, including Get Smart, Hogan's Heroes, Hawaii 5-0, A-Team, Mission: Impossible and the original Knight Rider!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day 44: WGA's Strike; ION, The N Schedule Updates; Wife Swap Reruns to Lifetime

It is day 44 of the writers' strike. As expected, Jimmy Kimmel will join Leno and Conan with new episodes on Jan. 2. New episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live return to air Wednesday, January 2 on ABC. "Though it makes me sick to do so without my writers, there are more than a hundred people whose financial well-being depends on our show. It is time to go back to work. I support my colleagues and friends in the WGA completely and hope this ends both fairly and soon," said host Jimmy Kimmel.
Meanwhile, NBC will air USA Network shows Monk and Psych Sunday nights beginning in March. No timeslots were announced as of yet. The episodes airing on NBC will be repurposed episodes from USA. If you all remember, Monk aired on ABC some years back in the summer as repeats.

We have some schedule notes! ION Television has made some minor changes. For tonight, Diagnosis Murder: "Murder Two" (Matlock cross-over) will air from 9-11pm rather than the holiday movie Mary Christmas. It seems this will the last scheduled airing for Diagnosis Murder, as it is no where to be found after this. Next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (Dec. 25-27), ION will remove 48 Hours at 10pm and start Who's the Boss? a week early in its new time period from 10 and 10:30pm. Who's the Boss? will remain at 9-10pm on these three days as well!
Yesterday we gave you The N's new 24/7 launch schedule. We didn't mention when Saved by the Bell will air regularly, because we were not 100% sure. I guessed it would be sometime between 5-8pm and 10pm-1am...and guess what I am right. Weekdays 6-7pm and 11pm-12am! It will also air on weekends from 7-8pm and 11pm-12am. But before all that... six-hour marathon celebrating the best episodes from the hit series will air on Monday, January 14 from 6pm-12am. Everything is now updated with the full schedule and also highlights for the month...click HERE to view!

Marking the network's first ever major off-net reality acquisition, Lifetime Television has obtained the exclusive off-network rerun rights from Disney-ABC Domestic Television for the popular, critically acclaimed ABC series Wife Swap, beginning in October 2008.
Wife Swap, which premiered in 2004, takes viewers into the intimate heart of the American family home. Each week, two wives from two very different families exchange husbands and children (but not bedrooms) to experience another woman's life. The show will enter its fourth season on ABC this season (Wednesdays at 8 starting Jan. 2, 2008).

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Day 43: WGA's Strike; The N's 24/7 Launch Schedule, Saved by the Bell Coming

We are now on day 43 of the strike. It looks like the strike could be over soon. David Letterman could strike a deal with the WGA via an independent deal to bring his show back on-air. Letterman's studio is called Worldwide Pants, and the production company produces his show on CBS and Craig Ferguson's late night CBS show. Other major studios could work out independent deals with the WGA, too. This would mean we might get some of our favorite shows back on air with new episodes! Let's hope this happens, and if it does, maybe this will bring total resolution to the strike.
Meanwhile, NBC has announced that The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brien will both return to the line-up with new episodes starting Wednesday, January 2! Both shows will not have any writers for these shows, unless of course they make an independent deal with the WGA. Even if they don't, both shows will go on without writers. Here are their statements:
Jay Leno - "This has been a very difficult six weeks for everybody affected by the writers' strike. I was, like most people, hoping for a quick resolution when this began. I remained positive during the talks and while they were still at the table discussing a solution The Tonight Show remained dark in support of our writing staff. Now that the talks have broken down and there are no further negotiations scheduled I feel it's my responsibility to get my 100 non-writing staff, which were laid off, back to work. We fully support our writers and I think they understand my decision."
Conan O'Brien - "For the past seven weeks of the writers' strike, I have been and continue to be an ardent supporter of the WGA and their cause. My career in television started as a WGA member and my subsequent career as a performer has only been possible because of the creativity and integrity of my writing staff. Since the strike began, I have stayed off the air in support of the striking writers while, at the same time, doing everything I could to take care of the 80 non-writing staff members on Late Night.
Unfortunately, now with the New Year upon us, I am left with a difficult decision. Either go back to work and keep my staff employed or stay dark and allow 80 people, many of whom have worked for me for fourteen years, to lose their jobs. If my show were entirely scripted I would have no choice. But the truth is that shows like mine are hybrids, with both written and non-written content. An unwritten version of Late Night, though not desirable, is possible - and no one has to be fired.
So, it is only after a great deal of thought that I have decided to go back on the air on January 2nd. I will make clear, on the program, my support for the writers and I'll do the best version of Late Night I can under the circumstances. Of course, my show will not be as good. In fact, in moments it may very well be terrible. My sincerest hope is that all of my writers are back soon, working under a contract that provides them everything they deserve."
No word yet if ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live will follow, but he likely will.

The N takes a monumental step forward on New Year's Eve as the network moves onto new channel space and expands from a 12-hour programming block into a 24-hour teen network, beginning Monday, Dec. 31, at 6:00 a.m. (ET). The newly 24/7 network will feature a daytime block of hit TEENick programming and will welcome new shows to its nighttime schedule of originals including Queen Bees, The N's Student Body and The Assistants, among others. To celebrate its expansion, The N will count down "24 Reasons to Love The N in 2008" in a 12-hour programming marathon premiering Monday, Dec. 31, at 12:00 p.m. (ET).
"24 Reasons to Love The N in 2008" will be hosted by Degrassi's Aubrey Graham, Shenae Grimes and Cassie Steele, along with TEENick's Lil' JJ of Just Jordan and Malese Jow and Raja Fenske of Unfabulous. The marathon takes a look back at favorite episodes from the network’s five-year history and gives viewers a sneak-peek at upcoming programming for 2008 including the season return of Degrassi: The Next Generation which premieres on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 8:00 p.m. (ET); the return of the original teen comedy, About A Girl on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 8:00 p.m. (ET); the February premiere of Degrassi in Kenya, a new half-hour documentary special featuring cast members from the hit series; and the season return of the critically acclaimed series, South of Nowhere, premiering April 2008. At 11:30 p.m. (ET), the marathon concludes with a half-hour special revealing the number-one reason to love The N in 2008 along with the debut of the network's first on-air screening party.
With a brand-new 24-hour schedule for teens, The N will roll out the return of Degrassi (Season Seven) and South of Nowhere (Season Four); three originals and two acquired series in 2008. Saved by the Bell will begin airing on Monday, Jan. 14 and the award-winning That 70's Show will begin airing in June. The N will also debut two new reality series, Queen Bees and The N's Student Body, both scheduled to premiere in summer, 2008 as well as a new scripted comedy, The Assistants, in the fall. Additionally, popular favorites from the TEENick line-up including Kenan & Kel, Unfabulous and Just Jordan will join The N's new daytime schedule.
The schedule also has sitcoms such as Moesha, One on One, A Different World, and Growing Pains in the midday line-up. While primetime has the TEENick shows, Degrassi, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Saved by the Bell will not join the line-up for the launch week (week of Dec. 31), but the show will launch on Jan. 14, as mentioned earlier. Between 5-8pm (Degrassi and Kenan & Kel) and 10pm-1am (Fresh Prince and Kenan & Kel) there are a block of two shows airing three times each...if I were to GUESS, Saved by the Bell will get in sometime in those slots...say 7-8pm and 10-11pm? They can easily have those two shows airing three times each be cut down to two times and add in two Saved by the Bell airings. I'll find out and will let you all know. And before I get the questions, yes TBS will still air Saved by the Bell weekday mornings from 7-9am.
For the COMPLETE launch schedule for The N 24/7, click HERE!
So what about Noggin? That was the channel The N shared a channel with. Noggin will also get a new 24/7 channel. Their schedule and details can be found on this thread.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Week 12 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did

Week 12 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Thu):

Households: CBS: 7.8/12.5; NBC: 6.0/9.6; Fox: 4.5/7.1; ABC: 4.2/6.7; The CW: 2.0/3.1; MNT: 1.0/1.6
Total Viewers: CBS: 12.12 million; NBC: 9.21 million; Fox: 6.92 million; ABC: 6.22 million; The CW: 2.89 million; MNT: 1.56 million.
Adults 18-49: CBS: 3.4/9.3; NBC: 2.9/8.0; Fox: 2.4/6.4; ABC: 2.1/5.7; The CW: 1.3/3.4; MNT: 0.4/1.1.

Analysis: Week 12 has been filled tons of repeats. CBS has had the most new episodes this week, which included all of Wed-Fri, and a dash of new airings Monday with CSI: Miami and even How I Met Your Mother. NBC is airing more Deal or No Deal, which is why it has been doing decent actually. They aired 5 five hours worth from Mon-Wed. ABC has had tons of repeats, with only Pushing Daisies new and the new Monday sitcoms and October Road. While Fox also has been repeat filled except for Thursday reality shows, Kitchen Nightmares and the terrible K-Ville. Last week CBS won the top spot in all categories: HH, viewers, and 18-49. ABC was second in HH, viewers, and 18-49. With NBC third and Fox fourth.
Through the first four days of this week, CBS has a lead in all categories in week 12 with NBC second, Fox in third and ABC uncharacteristically in fourth. Repeats of course don't do as good as new episodes, most of ABC's shows are serialized, and they do even worse in repeats.
The day by day analysis will return when the holiday season is over and we are sort of back to more new than repeats.
As for the week, CBS will win in HH, viewers and 18-49, NBC will be second, with a close finish for second place in 18-49...it could be NBC or even Fox if the NFL overrun does big. ABC will be in the fourth spot for the first time this season. It'll be a better week this week for ABC, as the repeats will be replaced by the game show Duel, which will do better obviously. NBC won't do as good without Deal or No Deal, as Clash of the Choirs looks to be dud. New scripted programming this week: CSI Miami on CBS and Notes from the Underbelly and October Road on ABC tomorrow; CBS Tuesday; Criminal Minds and CSI NY on CBS Wednesday; and burn-offs of K-Ville on Fox (Mon) and the final two episodes of the canceled Journeyman (Mon and Wed) on NBC.


Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of December 3-9)

  • Aliens in America (The CW) - A repeat did just 830,000 viewers, down 50k from the previous week.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) - A repeat did 7.57 million...not bad.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) 3 episodes - Two repeats in the 7pm hour did only 3.46 and 4.58 million, while a new episode at 8:30 couldn't hold or build on the lead-in and did 6.58 million.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - A repeat did 7.9 million and a 3.9/9 18-49 rating...good stuff for a repeat.
  • American Dad (Fox) - Like King, only did 6.51 million...and this was a new one also.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - I thought this show was done with new episodes, but was wrong...one final episode they had finally aired and did 8.3 million...not bad.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - Since the lead-in was new, a repeat of this show spiked up to 7.37 million, more than the previous week's 6.41 million.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 11.49 million tuned in for a repeat, slightly down from previous week.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 9.34 million tuned in for an encore, also slightly down from previous week, but same retention percentage from lead-in basically.
  • Samantha Who? (ABC) - Last new episode until February did just 6.71 million...better to save them then waste them in December.
  • Notes from the Underbelly (ABC) - Just 4.5 million...down from previous week's 5 million and the season premiere's 7.45 million, which was a series high excluding the pilot.
  • CW Monday Comedies: Chris, Aliens in America, Girlfriends, The Game. All were new ... Aliens did a terrible 1.84 million and The Game did 2.42 million and led the block.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes - Two repeats did 5.89 and 5.45 million from 9-10pm...OK. Should haven done better, but they have repeated last season's episodes so many times already.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Back to You (Fox) - I think everyone knows now it is repeats, just 4.19 million.
  • Til Death (Fox) - Only 4.09 million for a repeat.
Thursday Sitcoms
  • The Office (NBC) - An encore from 8-9pm did 5.71 million.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - A new episode at a special time of 9pm did 5.58 million...maybe the show should follow The Office?
Friday Sitcoms
None.

Saturday Sitcoms
  • None.


Airing tonight (Sunday) is a repeat of Aliens in America on The CW at 7:30, and Fox's animated comedies are a mix of new and repeats.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men and Rules of Engagement were impressive for the week (and they were repeats!). Everything else was OK (such as Samantha Who?, The Office repeat) or just plain old terrible (Back to You, Notes from the Underbelly).

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: C.S.I.: Miami - The Fifth Season; Solomon's Weekly Rant: Sports Talk and Just Shoot TV Land

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for mini-DVD reviews and Solomon's Weekly Rant! First up, are the mini-DVD reviews. Today we travel south to sunny Miami for C.S.I.: Miami - The Fifth Season. C.S.I.: Miami stars David Caruso, Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez, Khandi Alexander, Jonathan Tigo, Rex Linn and Eva La Rue.

C.S.I.: Miami - The Fifth Season

C.S.I.: Miami - The Fifth Season (Paramount Home Video/CBS DVD, $64.99)

Lead Criminalist Horatio Caine (David Caruso) is targeted by adversaries old and new in the fifth season of CSI: Miami. As the danger grows for Caine, he and the rest of his team - Calleigh (Emily Procter), Eric (Adam Rodriguez), Alexx (Khandi Alexander), Ryan (Jonathan Togo), Frank (Rex Linn), and Natalia (Eva La Rue) - must go the limit to solve their biggest cases yet.

This 6-disc set contains all 24 episodes of the fifth (2006-07) season. The episodes are featured in Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio. It has a running time of 17 hours, 28 minutes. The attractive packaging features a holofoil photo of David Caruso wearing his trademark sunglasses on the cover. Some palm trees and the Miami skyline can be seen in the background. The inside case is in a book format that you can flip through to get to the discs. There is a photo of Procter, Alexander and Rodriguez on the front and Linn, Togo, La Rue and Caruso on the back. Each disc features a different photo of one of the cast members and the show logo. The menus are also very stylish and easy to navigate. They have a montage a video clips, with some instrumental music playing in the background. Options are available for Episode Selection, Set Up, Previews (only on Disc 1), and Special Features. On the Set Up menu, you can choose either Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround or Spanish 2.0 Surround. Closed captioning is availble for all of the episodes. As you would expect from such a recent show, the video and audio quality is outstanding. This is the first time that the show has lacked "Complete" in the title. The episodes have running times of 41-44 minutes in length. There is nothing on the packaging to indicate that any of the music has been changed.

There is an impressive amount and variety of special features included. There are 5 audio commentaries available on the first four discs. They all provide some interesting trivia and behind the scenes details on the making of the episodes. Director Sam Hill, Co-Executive Producer Sunil Nayar and Brian O'Neill (Locations Manager) provide commentary for the season premiere, "Rio." Director Sam Hill, Adam Rodriguez and Carey Meyer (Production Designer) do the commentary for the 100th episode, "Death Pool 100." Jonathan Togo, Writer Corey Miller and Larry Detwiler (Visual Effects) sit down for the commentary on "Death Eminent." Eva La Rue and Writer/Consultant John Haynes provide the commentary on "Darkroom." Director Karen Gaviola and Gonzalo Menendez (Clavo Cruz) do the commentary on "Man Down."

Five interesting and entertaining featurettes on the creating of the episodes add up to around one hour of bonus content. Here is the breakdown:

"Rio Grand: CSI: Miami Goes to Rio" (Disc 1 - 8:43) - This featurette includes interviews with Co-Executive Producer Sunil Nayar, Adam Rodriguez, Executive Producer Ann Donahue, Producer Sam Hill, Producer Don Tardino, David Caruso (archival footage), Producer/Director Joe Chappelle and Location Manager Brian O'Neill. They talk about the process and how they scouted locations, how they wrote the story, how they told the audience that they were in Rio, and whether or not they were allowed to bring guns into the country.

"If Looks Could Kill: Special F/X Makeup" (Disc 2 - 13:38) - This featurette includes interviews with Department Head Make-up Cheri Montesanto, Executive Producer Ann Donahue, Special Effects/Make-Up Matt Smith. They talk about how they create the beauty looks and dead wounds, various visual effects, how various scenes were shot (body blows up from gases, collapsing of lung, giant stomachs, guy gets his head severed, guy gets his legs blown off).

"Turning Up the Heat: The Look of CSI: Miami" (Disc 4 - 9:38) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer Ann Donahue, Director of Photography Eagle Egilsson, Director of Photography Charles Mills, Production Designer Carey Meyer, Art Director Roland Rosenkranz and Colorist Mark Wilkins. They talk about how they try to distinguish the show from Vegas, the shooting at the lab and on location, how they use a lot of color (orange and greens) on the sets, and how they do the color correction. They are able to create a colorful, rich, sexy and wet look. CSI: Miami has always had the coolest look of the CSI series in my opinion.

"Dressing The Part" (Disc 5 - 5:57) - Costume Designer Andrea Federman is interviewed in this featurette. She talks about how they have to sell that the show is in Miami. Each character gets one outfit per episode. She talks about the various looks of the different characters this season and shows off some of the clothes in a closet.

"The Real MDPD with Jonathan Togo" (Disc 6 - 25:29) - This featurette includes interviews with Jonathan Togo, Capt. Bill Press - CSI Bureau, Criminalist 2/DNA Adriana Kristaly, Forensic Artist Samantha Steinberg, Criminalist Supervisor/Firearms CSI Adrian Nunez, CSI Bureau - Frederick Van Loan, CSI Kit and Van Special Patrol Bureau/Marine Patrol Sgt. Marvin Freels, Special Patrol Bureau/SRT Lt. James Tietz, and Special Patrol Bureau/SRT Sgt. Raymond Melcon. Jonathan Togo tours the SRT training center and lab. He goes to each area and the specialist in that area details their job. He asks some interesting questions and is very familiar with the terminology. This was a very interesting and informative segment.

A playable demo for the CSI: Hard Evidence PC game is also included.

Another excellent season and DVD release for CSI Miami. This is one series that may have started a little slow but has improved each season. They always keep it fresh with a variety of cases and storylines. Some memorable episodes this season were "Going Under," "Darkroom," "Throwing Heat," "No Man's Land" and "Just Murdered." With the writer's strike, now is a good time to catch up any episodes that you may have missed. If you've already seen the episodes, the commentaries and special features will give you new insights on the making of the show.

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller
(4.5/5 stars)

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Related links:
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CSI: Miami TV.com Page

Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, December 15, 2007
"Petrino: The Coward; The Mitchell Report: On 24/7; Just Shoot TV Land"
By Solomon Davis

How can Bobby Petrino call himself a professional the way he jumped ship on the Atlanta Falcons earlier this week to coach a college football team? He is a classless punk who should never be allowed to apply for a janitor position in the NFL because you just don't run out on a organization like that when you are the head coach. If he had a ounce of class, he would have never left a note for the organization to read he was not returning because real men don't do things like that. He is nothing but a coward since he wasn't man enough to resign face to face after signing a contract. There was only 3 games left in the Falcons horrible season and he runs away like a scared little girl. So I wonder how the the players for the Arkansas Razorbacks feel to know they will be coached by a classless punk like Petrino? This man is no doubt the weasel of the year and should not be coaching anywhere even if it's college football.

The Mitchell Report was the breaking sports news on Thursday during, and on the 6pm SportsCenter, do you believe it lasted the entire hour? It preempted the regularly scheduled shows like Around the Horn and PTI. I mean was it really necessary to talk about this story for 60 minutes and nothing else? You would think after 45 minutes it would be time to start talking about another sport but ESPN just was non-stop with this steroid story and it became the absolute worst hour of my sports watching life. Not only that but the 24/7 ESPNews Network was covering the story non-stop from the time it broke at 2pm and made me feel like baseball was the only sport in America. Why does ESPN have to go
overboard when it comes to major sports news? Man I wish FoxSports Net had a 24 hour sports network so I could ignore ESPN at times like this.

Well it's clear that TV Land is going FORWARD instead of in looking in the past when it comes to acquiring new shows each year. The shows just seem to keep getting newer each year and once 2008 starts TV fans will be treated to the show Just Shoot Me. The show launches in late January and will air every night at midnight for an hour. Just another TV show that has nothing to do with Classic TV and for some reason TV Land is starting off a New Year with Garbage. No one should be surprised if TV Land picks up Will and Grace in January of 2009 since shows close to this decade seem to be their main objective every year.

My Weird TV Moment of the Week:
Monday, December 10, 2007: During the Monday Night Football game, Atlanta Falcons owner was asked if would he take Michael Vick back after he gets out of Prison and his response was: "As long as Michael Vick keeps himself in shape and stay away from the "fried chicken and french fries." He should have said hot 'dogs.'

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, December 14, 2007

Day 40: WGA's Strike; ABC's Strike Schedule; NCIS Reruns to USA Network; Nick at Nite Holiday Changes; RTN Coming to the Tri-Cities Area in Tennessee

We are now on the big 4-0 of the strike...that's day 40. We have some bad news. The WGA has filed a complaint against the AMPTP. It is getting ugly and I don't think we will get this straighten out anytime soon. Hopefully a Christmas miracle can happen. Anyway, here is more on the complaint. The WGA says: Today the WGA filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the AMPTP for its refusal to bargain in good faith with the WGA. It is a clear violation of federal law for the AMPTP to issue an ultimatum and break off negotiations if we fail to cave to their illegal demands.
We are in the midst of the holiday season, with thousands of our members and the membership of other unions out of work. It is the height of irresponsibility and intransigence for the AMPTP to refuse to negotiate a fair agreement with the WGA. We reiterate our demand that the AMPTP immediately return to the negotiations, rather than going on vacation, so that this town can be put back to work.
The DGA announced today that it may commence negotiations with the AMPTP in January. The DGA has to do what is best for its membership, and we will do what is best for ours. We wish them well, but they do not represent writers. Our strike will end when the companies return to negotiations and make a fair deal with the WGA.
The AMPTP responded to the WGA complaint by saying: The WGA's filing of a complaint with the NLRB reminds us of the old lawyers' adage: When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When the law is on your side, argue the law. And when you don't have either the law or the facts on your side, you pound the table. The WGA has now been reduced to pounding the table, and this baseless, desperate NLRB complaint is just the latest indication that the WGA's negotiating strategy has achieved nothing for working writers.
It is getting very ugly. Not good.

ABC's strike schedule (AKA January schedule, AKA mid-season schedule) is out! ABC will premiere four new series between Jan-Mar, Cashmere Mafia, Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann, Eli Stone and Oprah's Big Give, in addition to the premiere of the much anticipated fourth season of Lost on Thursday, January 31 at 9:00 p.m. Just for Laughs, According to Jim and Carpoolers return to Tuesday in January. Wife Swap and Supernanny return, this time on Wednesdays. The megahit Dancing with the Stars returns March 17 on Mondays and Tuesdays. Off the line-up because of the strike are Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, and Dirty Sexy Money. Cavemen is not returning. Men in Trees will take a break and not come back until Feb. 27, and move to Wednesdays at 10 when Cashmere Mafia's run completes. For a full list of the schedule, look below:
MONDAY (JAN)
8:00 p.m. Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann
9:30 p.m. Notes from the Underbelly
10:00 p.m. October Road
MONDAY (FEB)
8:00 p.m. Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann
9:00 p.m. Samantha Who?
9:30 p.m. Notes from the Underbelly
10:00 p.m. October Road
MONDAY (MAR)
8:00 p.m. Dancing with the Stars
9:30 p.m. Samantha Who?
10:00 p.m. The Bachelor

TUESDAY
8:00 p.m. Just for Laughs
8:30 p.m. Just for Laughs
9:00 p.m. According to Jim
9:30 p.m. Carpoolers
10:00 p.m. Boston Legal
TUESDAY (MAR)
8:00 p.m. Just for Laughs
8:30 p.m. Just for Laughs
9:00 p.m. Dancing with the Stars the Results Show
10:00 p.m. Boston Legal

WEDNESDAY
8:00 p.m. Wife Swap
9:00 p.m. Supernanny
10:00 p.m. Cashmere Mafia - MEN IN TREES beginning Feb 27

THURSDAY (JAN)
8:00 p.m. Ugly Betty
9:00 p.m. Grey's Anatomy
10:00 p.m. Big Shots (after special premiere of Cashmere Mafia on Jan 3)
THURSDAY (FEB)
8:00 p.m. Ugly Betty
9:00 p.m. Lost
10:00 p.m. Eli Stone

FRIDAY
8:00 p.m. Drama encores
9:00 p.m. Drama encores
10:00 p.m. 20/20

SUNDAY (MAR)
7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos
8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00 p.m. Oprah's Big Give
10:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives
For MUCH more info click HERE!!

USA Network has announced it will start airing reruns of the CBS drama NCIS starting in January. It was announced a few years ago that USA Network had bought the off-network rights of the show starting in 2008. USA will air it Wednesday nights at 9:00pm and 10:00pm starting Jan. 2. It won't air as a daily strip for awhile, since it is just starting. Maybe in the fall at earliest. NCIS is replacing Law & Order: SVU on Wednesday nights. SVU will still air in its other slots.
From Donald P. Bellisario, an acclaimed producer, comes NCIS, a hit spin-off of JAG (which airs on USA Network 6-8am weekday mornings), that brings us the inner workings of the government agency that investigates all crimes involving Navy and Marine Corps personnel, regardless of rank or position. Starring: Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette.

In other news, Nick at Nite has edited their Christmas marathon for this Sunday a bit. They removed the holiday episodes of Roseanne and Cosby Show. They will air holiday episodes from 9pm-12am of their usual line-up of Home Improvement, George Lopez, and Fresh Prince instead. In addition, the holiday hour of 11pm next week will now be back to just Fresh Prince...so again Roseanne and Cosby Show get snubbed. For more details, click on our December highlights by clicking HERE.

RTN has announced a new affiliate...our friend Greg Brobeck (aka snowpeck) is very happy, because this is his market. Retro Television Network (RTN) announced today that it will partner with Holston Valley Broadcasting Corporation to launch RTN programming on a digital stream of WKPT-TV, Tri-Cities' ABC affiliate. The new affiliate will begin airing RTN programming on December 21 on WKPT-DT, Tennessee's first digital television station, and will also be available over-the-air on WOPI-CA, Channel 9.
Greg found out that we can look for Matlock, Hawaii 5-0, Magnum, P.I. in primetime with the following in daytime and late night: Perry Mason, Ironside, Rockford Files, Get Smart, Kojak, The Untouchables, Mission Impossible, The Fugitive, Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, Happy Days, Love American Style. And on weekends: Bonanza, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Wild Wild West, Emergency, Knight Rider, A-Team, Afred Hitchcock.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day 39: WGA's Strike; ION Television January Highlights; 65th Annual Golden Globes Nominees

Today is day 39 of the strike. Still no word on ABC's strike schedule/line-up. The day is not over yet, so if they release it, we will bring it to you. The WGA did announce today their nominations for the 60th WGA Awards. Among the nominees are The Sopranos (Drama), The Office (Comedy), Pushing Daisies (New Series), and Lost (Writing in Drama). View the full list of their nominations here.

ION Television released their January line-up today. To launch the new year, ION will party all night and give us a marathon of party episodes of its newest acquisition, The Drew Carey Show with a "Drew" Year's Eve Party Marathon! The marathon airs 7-10pm on Monday, December 31. After the marathon the show will air Mon-Thurs at 9:00 & 9:30PM as we announced before. So what will happen to Who's the Boss? since that show airs currently in that slot. ION will still air the show, but they will move it to Mon-Thurs at 10:00PM & 10:30PM, replacing two airings each of 48 Hours and Diagnosis Murder. Murder will be off the line-up again, but 48 Hours will move to Saturdays at 6:00PM replacing the NFL Game of the Week highlights, as the NFL season will be over by then. Other highlights include the weekend RHI Movies (Fri-Sun 7-11pm)...movies this month include Robert Ludlum's Apocalypse, Voyage of the Unicorn, Aftershock: Earthquake in New York, The Deliverance of Elaine, Dying to Love You and Journey To The Center Of The Earth.
As always, keep it with us for any changes or additions to the line-up. Click HERE to view the January schedule and highlights! Happy Drew Year!

The 65th Annual Golden Globes Awards nominees have been announced! HBO lead with 18 nominations. ABC lead the broadcast nominees with 11, followed by NBC with 6, Fox with 2 and CBS with just 1. The telecast airs Sunday, Jan. 13 on NBC. Here are the major nominees:

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
30 Rock (NBC)
Californication (Showtime)
Entourage (HBO)
Extras (HBO)
Pushing Daisies (ABC)
COMMENTS: Ugly Betty and Weeds were in it last year, but snubbed this year.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who? (ABC)
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty (ABC)
Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)
Anna Friel, Pushing Daisies (ABC)
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds (Showtime)
COMMENTS: No Housewives is surprising.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)
Steve Carell, The Office (NBC)
David Duchovny, Californication (Showtime)
Ricky Gervais, Extras (HBO)
Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies (ABC)
COMMENTS: The love for Pushing Daisies continues!

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Big Love (HBO)
Damages (FX)
Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
House (Fox)
Mad Men (AMC)
The Tudors (Showtime)
COMMENTS: Mad Men and The Tudors are a surprise. I would have went with Lost, Brothers & Sisters or Heroes.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Patricia Arquette, Medium (NBC)
Glenn Close, Damages (FX)
Minnie Driver, The Riches (FX)
Edie Falco, The Sopranos (HBO)
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace (TNT)
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer (TNT)
COMMENTS: Cable rules here...just 2 of the 7 are from broadcast. Arquette doesn't even long on here. Hunter is a surprise.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Michael C. Hall, Dexter (Showtime)
Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC)
Hugh Laurie, House (Fox)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, The Tudors (Showtime)
Bill Paxton, Big Love (HBO)
COMMENTS: Again cable driven except for one nomination.

Since the nominees for supporting actors/actresses in Comedy and Drama are mixed in with TV movies, I won't give them all, but here are the TV players (see link below for full list):
Ross Bryne, Damages (FX)
Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Jamie Pressly, My Name is Earl (NBC)
Ted Danson, Damages (FX)
Kevin Dillon, Entourage (HBO)
Jeremy Piven, Entourage (HBO)
William Shatner, Boston Legal (ABC)
Donald Sutherland, Dirty Sexy Money (ABC)

For the FULL list of television nominees and to discuss this, click HERE.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Day 38: WGA's Strike; ABC's Strike Schedule; New Knight Rider Movie on NBC in February

Well it is day 38 of the strike. We are awaiting ABC's strike schedule starting in January which is supposed to be revealed this afternoon, and as of 3:45pm ET...still nothing. As soon as it is posted, we will bring it to you. Keep refreshing or coming back!
UPDATE: ABC has told me they probably won't release the schedule today. So, when they do (likely tomorrow), I'll pass it on to you all. Sorry.
We do have a little note for you. Week two of Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann is scheduled to air as a 90-minute episode now on Monday, January 14, 2008 from 8:00-9:30 PM ET/PT. The premiere on Jan. 7 will be two-hours, 8-10pm.
The AMPTP sent a new letter out today. I urge you to read it. Click HERE to read it.

Knight Rider, NBC's iconic 1980s television classic that became a runaway success, comes roaring back to life on the network with an updated sequel that will air as a two-hour movie event on Sunday, February 17 from 9-11 p.m. ET.
The movie stars Justin Bruening, Deanna Russo, Sydney Tamiia Poitier and Bruce Davison. In addition, David Hasselhoff -- who starred in the popular lead role as Michael Knight for four seasons during the original series -- returns as the same character in a special guest-star appearance. Will Arnett will provide the voice of KITT.
As the original story resumes, the new KITT (this time the Knight Industries Three Thousand) is absolutely the coolest car ever created: its supercomputer capable of hacking almost any system; its weapons systems efficient; and its body -- thanks to its creator's work and nanotechnology -- is capable of actually shifting shape and color. Plus, its artificial intelligence makes it the ideal crime-fighting partner: logical, precise and possessing infinite knowledge. It is the ultimate car -- and someone will be willing to do anything to obtain it.
Sarah Graiman is a 24-year old Ph.D candidate at Stanford University, following in her genius father Charles' (Davison) footsteps. But when men attempt to abduct her, Sarah receives a mysterious call from KITT warning her that he's a creation of Charles, who also invented the first KITT 25 years ago -- and that her father is in serious danger.
Sarah and KITT track down her best friend from childhood, Mike Tracer (Bruening), a 23-year-old ex-Army Ranger, whom Sarah hasn't seen since he left home at 18. Having served in Iraq, Mike is now jaded and lost and initially resistant. Eventually he agrees to help Sarah and the two set out to discover who's behind the attempt to procure KITT and find Charles. Along the way, Carrie Rivai (Poitier) plays the agile yet tough FBI agent who has a long-standing friendship with Charles and Sarah. Due to those ties, she is brought into the mix to help in the search.
Can't wait!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Day 37: WGA's Strike; ABC Benches Big Shots in December; TV Land Reminds Us of the Merrython

Today is day 37 of the strike. The AMPTP sent a memo out late last night "setting the record straight." Click HERE to view that and to see what the facts are according to them. We'll keep you in the loop if we hear anything more. It looks very bad right now.

ABC is pulling Big Shots from the schedule for at least the rest of this month. Two new episodes were scheduled on Dec. 13 and 20, while an encore of the pilot was scheduled for Dec. 27. Instead, Private Practice is scheduled to air repeat telecasts on Thursdays, December 13, 20 and 27, 2007 at 10:02 PM ET/PT. Private Practice is also scheduled to air in its regular Wednesday, 9:00 PM ET/PT slot.
ABC might be saving episodes of Big Shots for later in the year due to the strike. So we might not have seen the last of it! 5 episodes remain in the can.
In other ABC schedule news, the premiere of game show Duel next Monday will be 90 minutes now from 8:00-9:30pm, thus a new episode of Samantha Who? will now be saved. At least 3 episodes will remain to air in the new year of the hit sitcom.
Still no news on ABC's strike schedule. I expect it to be announced as early as tomorrow...so stay tuned! Everyone is getting anxious!

Jingle Bells ring when TV Land rolls out a collection of classic Christmas episodes during TV Land's 8th Annual Merry-thon. The twenty-four hour celebration begins Monday, December 24 through Tuesday, December 25 from 5:00pm - 5:00pm (ET/PT): features some of America's favorite television families including -- The Ingalls, The Jeffersons, The Bunkers, The Bradys, and more. Tune in as the Ingalls recall their fondest memories of Christmases past, Louise help George find the father he never knew, Cindy ask Santa for help and Edith and Archie feast on a holiday dinner. Click HERE for the full line-up!

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Day 36: WGA's Strike; Minor TBS Schedule Change; ION Not Airing Kung Fu

It is now day 36 and there seems to be no end in sight for this strike. Late on Friday, we received this statement from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers: "We're disappointed to report that talks between the AMPTP and WGA have broken down yet again. Quite frankly, we're puzzled and disheartened by an ongoing WGA negotiating strategy that seems designed to delay or derail talks rather than facilitate an end to this strike. Union negotiators in our industry have successfully concluded 306 major agreements with the AMPTP since its inception in 1982. The WGA organizers sitting across the table from us have never concluded even one industry accord. Their Quixotic pursuit of radical demands led them to begin this strike, and now has caused this breakdown in negotiations. We hope that the WGA will come back to this table with a rational plan that can lead us to a fair and equitable resolution to a strike that is causing so much distress for so many people in our industry and community."
And the WGA told us this on Friday: "Today, after three days of discussions, the AMPTP came back to us with a proposal that included a total rejection of our proposal on Internet streaming of December 3. They are holding to their offer of a $250 fixed residual for unlimited one year streaming after a six-week window of free use. They still insist on the DVD rate for Internet downloads. They refuse to cover original material made for new media. We remain ready and willing to negotiate, no matter how intransigent our bargaining partners are, because the stakes are simply too high. We were prepared to counter their proposal tonight, and when any of them are ready to return to the table, we're here, ready to make a fair deal."
I don't care who to believe. I just want this over NOW! ABC will be releasing their January strike schedule this week. We will let you know when that happens! So come on back!

TBS has made some minor schedule changes effective Monday, December 24. Many viewers have complained about the constant airings of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on many channels (Nick at Nite, The N, and TBS), well now you might be just a little bit relieved. TBS is moving the show out of 3-4pm weekdays into 9-10am weekdays. I guess that is a start. TBS is wishing us a Merry Christmas by doing this...their present to us. With this change, the morning movie will go from 9-11am to 10am-12pm, thus the Home Improvement block will be shifted from 11am-1pm to 12pm-2pm which will move Yes, Dear from 1-2pm to 3-4pm. Say that ten times fast. Click HERE to view the changes and to discuss them. These changes are only for the cable TBS...not Peachtree TV in Atlanta and Canada.

In other scheduling news, ION Television was slated to bring back Kung Fu to Saturday nights at 6pm starting Dec. 15, but that will not happen anymore. NFL Game of the Week highlights will continue to air the rest of the month until the NFL season is over. So maybe Kung Fu will return in January? We will let you know. We should have January this week, if all goes well. So you'll want to come on back for that! The only thing announced is The Drew Carey Show weeknights 9-10pm.

It is still early in the day...if we have more news, we will return for sure.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Week 11 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did

Week 11 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Thu):

Households: CBS: 6.9/10.8; ABC: 5.8/9.1; NBC: 5.6/8.7; Fox: 4.7/7.2; The CW: 1.7/2.6; MNT: 0.7/1.1
Total Viewers: CBS: 11.03 million; ABC: 8.89 million; NBC: 8.69 million; Fox: 7.23 million; The CW: 2.58 million; MNT: 1.1 million.
Adults 18-49: CBS: 3.3/8.4; ABC: 3.2/8.1; NBC: 3.1/8.0; Fox: 2.4/6.1; The CW: 1.1/2.9; MNT: 0.4/1.0.

Analysis: Week 11 has been filled with more repeats than new episodes, so all numbers are down but NBC. NBC is airing more Deal or No Deal, which tells you NBC's regularly scheduled programs are doing bad. It is sad when a week in December beats ratings from sweeps. Last week ABC won the top spot in all categories: HH, viewers, and 18-49. CBS was second in HH and viewers, but 4th in 18-49. NBC and Fox battled for third in HH and viewers, with NBC winning in HH and Fox in viewers. In 18-49, NBC nipped by Fox for second, but it was a distant second as ABC took a big lead for first.
Through the first four days of this week, CBS has a lead in all categories in week 11 with ABC second, NBC in third and Fox in fourth.
On Monday with no more Dancing with the Stars, the night gets much weaker overall. CBS was actually first with repeats of its comedies and a repeat of CSI: Miami. A repeat of The Big Bang Theory did 6.41 million, down from the previous week's repeat, a repeat of How I Met Your Mother did 6.3 million, so Big Bang built on it. Two and a Half Men and Rules of Engagement repeats followed with great numbers for repeats, 11.88 million for Men and 9.78 million for Rules ... nice. CSI: Miami encore followed with 9.69 million, I think repeats usually do better than that? NBC was next, lead by Heroes at 11.06 million and a 5.0 18-49, down from previous week...and this week was the finale (until the strike is over)...so disappointing indeed. Chuck opened the night with 8.41 million, on par from previous week. Life on a special night closed the night with 6.48 million, a bit up from Journeyman the previous week. Without Dancing, ABC was not as good obviously, another airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas kicked the night off decently with 8.52 million. Samantha Who followed with 7.16 million and a 2.9/6 18-49 rating...both series lows, for the second straight week...the 9pm timeslot might not be good or we need some Dancing...hopefully Dance Wars: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann can spark it back up in January. I am guessing that show will do solid, at least 10 million or more. Notes from the Underbelly followed with 5.0 million, not good, down nearly 2 1/2 million from the premiere a week before. And the badly placed October Road at 10pm did just 4.94 million...again put it on after Grey's Anatomy like last season where it did a solid 10 million each week. Fox kicked off with a repeat of House at 8.35 million, up from previous week's repeat by a million, and ended with a new K-Ville at a horrific 4.82 million...kill this show already...a repeat of Bones a week before did nearly 2 million more! The CW aired repeats of their Monday sitcoms, with Aliens in America doing just 1.59 million and The Game did 1.9 million, the best of the block.
On Tuesday again with no Dancing, the night is much weaker. CBS aired the holiday classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at 8pm and did 14.55 million and an even more impressive 5.1 18-49 rating. The always reliable NCIS followed with a repeat at a special time of 9pm and did 11.09 million, which was more than The Unit's 10.56 million the previous week...and that was NEW! Cane was preempted, thank god says CBS, for a special Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and did an OK 7.48 million...this should be on another channel...maybe it is too young for CBS. NBC was next with another two-hour The Biggest Loser from 8-10 doing 8.32 million, up over a million from previous week now that the competition has gotten easy, followed by Law & Order: SVU at 11.73 million, down from previous week. Fox's huge hit House was a repeat and did 10.46 million and a 3.7 18-49 rating, not bad for a repeat, and a Bones repeat started the night off with a solid 8.17 million. ABC started off with a holiday repeat of America's Funniest Home Videos doing 7.48 million leading into an encore of Grey's Anatomy on a special night doing just 5.72 million! Boston Legal returned with a new episode and did a decent 8.62 million. The CW had Beauty & the Geek and Reaper do 2.49 and 2.62 million for new episodes.
Wednesday saw NBC take the night thanks to that game show Deal or No Deal. The game-show aired from 8-10pm and did a solid 11.33 million, sure beats whatever airs at 8pm and Bionic Woman each week. At 10pm NBC's Life did 7.63 million, up from previous week, thanks to a much better lead-in. ABC started the night off with the holiday special Santa Claus is Comin' to Town and did a very impressive 9.34 million. Pushing Daisies will return this coming week.. Private Practice followed at 9pm and did 10.4 million and 3.8 18-49 rating and ABC closed the night off with the addictive Dirty Sexy Money doing 6.74 million. CBS saw Kid Nation do 7.1 million, and repeats of veteran dramas Criminal Minds and CSI: NY did well and were consistent doing 9.2 and 10.37 million. Fox aired repeat episodes of Back to You, 'Til Death and Kitchen Nightmares, doing 5.53, 5.01 and 5.32 million each. The CW had Top Model at 4.63 million, while Gossip Girl did 2.44 million...both down from previous week.
Thursday saw CBS win, nipping ABC. CBS opened with Survivor: China at 13.86 million. A new CSI followed with 18.8 million and a new Without a Trace did 12.68 million. ABC opened the night with a new Ugly Betty doing a 9.37 million. A new Grey's Anatomy followed with 17.78 million (and an impressive 7.1 18-49 rating, maybe good enough to win the week) and the annual special Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People of 2007 followed with 11.31 million and a first place finish with a 4.4 18-49 rating. Fox's 5th Grader did a solid at 8.69 million and Don't Forget the Lyrics followed with 6.74 million. NBC started with comedies, My Name is Earl opened the night with 7.38 million, 30 Rock did just 5.84 million, an encore of The Office followed with 4.99 million and Scrubs has dropped every week since it returned, and this week was no different doing just 4.85 million. ER closed the night with 8.15 million, a season low once again...and this was episode #300. A repeat of Smallville on The CW did 2.81 million, followed by a repeat of Supernatural at 2.04 million.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but NBC won Friday thanks to what else, Deal or No Deal at 8pm for a first place finish. CBS preempted Ghost Whisperer for the classic Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns and were OK. 10pm's NUMB3RS was also pre-empted for a two-hour special Movies Rock, which did pretty bad. ABC was lead by Women's Murder Club at 9pm and 20/20 was first at 10.
Saturday saw ABC win the night thanks to the Jim Carrey holiday movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas, doing 7 million..
As for tonight, ABC Sunday is all-new tonight but without Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters...but ABC does have the Mitch Albom movie For One More Day...these movies always do good! I saw the movie already from a pre-screening, and it is fantastic! If you read the book, you'll love this just as much. CBS will do decent with its regular lineup, with a boost from the NFL overrun, and NBC will do solid business for the NFL game. Fox's animated comedies are repeats but 8:30 & 9:30 and those are shows are the weak links. It is hard to say which network will win tonight. CBS, ABC or NBC can win it. It'll be close.
As for the week, CBS will likely win in HH, viewers and 18-49, ABC will be second, with a close finish for second place in 18-49...it could be ABC or even NBC if the game does very well. NBC will be in the third spot in HH/viewers, with Fox in fourth. More repeats (CBS comedies, Grey's Anatomy) and holiday specials (Shrek the Halls, Winnie the Pooh) this week, with a little mix of new episodes (CSI, Samantha Who, Pushing Daisies)...be on the look out!


Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of November 26-December 2)

  • Aliens in America (The CW) - A repeat did just 880,000 viewers, up 80k from the previous week.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) - A repeat at a special time of 8:30 did an OK 6.7 million out of the BCS Selection Show which did 11.2 million
  • Family Guy (Fox) - A repeat did 7.05 million.
  • American Dad (Fox) - Just 5.72 million for a new episode, but the lead-ins were repeats...so that doesn't help this show which is lead-in dependent.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 6.3 million tuned in for a repeat...its repeats from here on out thanks to the strike.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 6.41 million tuned in for a repeat, down from the previous week's repeat episode.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 11.88 million tuned in for a repeat, it also will be repeats from now on.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 9.78 million tuned in for an encore.
  • Samantha Who? (ABC) - 7.16 million tuned in for a new episode ... not bad, but down from its numbers all season.
  • Notes from the Underbelly (ABC) - Just 5 million...down from previous week's 7.45 million, which was a series high excluding the pilot.
  • CW Monday Comedies: Chris, Aliens in America, Girlfriends, The Game. All were repeats and under 2 million.. Aliens did a terrible 1.59 million and The Game did 1.9 million and led the block.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Cavemen (ABC) - Nothing until January...According to Jim repeats air this week...at least a sitcom will air!
  • Carpoolers (ABC) - Nothing until January...According to Jim repeats air this week...at least a sitcom will air!

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Back to You (Fox) - The word of the week: repeat. 5.53 million for an encore.
  • Til Death (Fox) - 5.01 million for a repeat.
Thursday Sitcoms
  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - 7.38 million for a new episode...up from previous week's numbers.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - 5.84 million for a new episode...on par with previous week.
  • The Office (NBC) - An encore episode did 4.99 million...down from previous week's repeat by a million
  • Scrubs (NBC) - 4.85 million for a new episode and lost viewers from the lead-in, which was a repeat.
Friday Sitcoms
None.

Saturday Sitcoms
  • None.


Airing tonight (Sunday) is a repeat of Aliens in America on The CW at 7:30, and Fox's animated comedies are a mix of new and repeats.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men and Rules of Engagement were impressive for the week (and they were repeats!). Everything else was OK (such as Samantha Who?, My Name is Earl) or just plain old terrible (Scrubs, Notes from the Underbelly).

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

TV Rebels: The Dick Van Dyke Show; Solomon's Weekly Rant: Disappearing Tuesday Sitcoms on ABC; Frank TV Airs Too Late; Morning Show Wedding Dance

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for mini-DVD reviews and Solomon's Weekly Rant! But wait! This Saturday we won't have the regular mini-DVD review as we have a special for you! However don't worry, Solomon's Weekly Rant is still on in its regular day and spot.
We have gotten special permission to publish at least 6 different essays on TV shows that will be featured in the upcoming book TV Rebels: 100 People and Programs That Shaped the Medium by author Lou Orfanella. The book is still in the works and will be released in 2009. Once a month, each month (for the next six months at least) we will bring you one of his excerpts from his pending book. So, this is a little exclusive and will help you prepare for the book coming in 2009!
But first here is a little about Lou: Lou Orfanella's latest book is the fiction collection In a Flash: Twenty-One Short, Short Stories. In Excursions: Poetry and Prose he brings together many genres of literature including the direct address, fiction, collaborative writing, and a novella in poems. He is the author of the poetry collections Streets of New York, Allurements and Lamentations, Composite Sketches, The Last Automat, Permanent Records, How I Happened and Summer Rising, River Flowing and the work of nonfiction Scenes from an Ordinary Life: Getting Naked to Explore a Writer's Process and Possibilities. He contributed chapters to the books Reel Rebels, When Genres Collide, and Rationales for Teaching Young Adult Literature. His columns, essays, articles, reviews, and poems have appeared in many national and regional publications. He holds degrees from Columbia University and Fordham University and teaches writing at Western Connecticut State University and English in the Valhalla, New York school district. He has presented dozens of public readings of his work and offers individual and group workshops on topics including poetry, fiction, memoir, journalism, and family history. He can be contacted at LORFANELLA@hotmail.com.

So without further adieu, we bring you the first column of TV Rebels:

The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Sophisticated Ensemble Comedy
Two years before the 1961 premiere of The Dick Van Dyke Show veteran television writer Carl Reiner had created a series for himself called Head of the Family. The pilot failed to sell but was seen by producer Sheldon Leonard who suggested a casting change for the lead role. Although young comic and daytime TV host Johnny Carson was considered, the role of Rob Petrie went to the multifaceted entertainer Dick Van Dyke who had gained national recognition via his Broadway and motion picture performances in the musical Bye Bye Birdie. While Van Dyke's name graced the title of the series, it was an ensemble that relied as much on co-stars Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, Richard Deacon, and occasionally Reiner as it did on the headliner himself. Additionally, it leaned on a more sophisticated humor than most of the comedies to that point.
Situations comedies had generally been produced as pure family fare with an attempt to cram in as many quick laughs as possible. Entertain the kids, don't offend the adults, and don't require too much thinking on the part of the audience. "Dick Van Dyke was the first sitcom that was rated A-for Adult. Rob and Laura Petrie were sensible, grown-up people. They were funny and they did funny things. They were not the Burnses, who were zany and did zany things. Nor were they madcap Margie and her foolish father or the warbling Partridges. Laure and Rob Petrie were not silly people. They didn’t act; they behaved. They were substantial-more so than Donna and the rest of the Stones. That's just it: the Petries weren't stone, they were...clay. They were like real people. Real people who made jokes, but weren't jokes." (Mitz 181). The Dick Van Dyke Show helped television grow up a bit.
A major change brought about by The Dick Van Dyke Show involved the way writers looked at their audiences. Audiences were given credit for more intelligence than had been the case in the past. While most sitcoms focused on a main character cooking up schemes and finding him or herself in ridiculous situations and took place primarily in one venue, be it the home or workplace, here in an almost literary style, Rob Petrie had both work and family lives and it was assumed that audience could accept the two "plot" lines. Sight gags and slapstick pratfalls were part of Van Dyke’s repertoire of comedic techniques, but were not, as was the cast with so many previous comedies seen as essential to getting a laugh from the audience. Good writing and intelligent dialogue were trusted to lead to the payoff. Another sign of growth was the deeper character development that was afforded others in the cast. What was happening to, and thought about by, wife Laura and coworkers Buddy and Sally was as significant as what Rob was experiencing.
"The show's unique blend of wit and warmth would prove beyond any argument that a situation comedy could be sophisticated and urbane-and still deliver a sizable audience. In the space of only five years, Carl Reiner and his company of actors, writers, and fellow producers had succeeded in creating a work of such consistent intelligence and invention that it would set a new standard for quality television-a standard that still serves as a benchmark for prime-time comedy to this day. As few television shows had done before, and very few have done since, The Dick Van Dyke Show would forever alter the way we watch television." (Waldron 300).

Works Cited
Mitz, Rick. The Great TV Sitcom Book. New York: Perigee, 1983.
Waldron, Vince. The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book. New York: Hyperion, 1994.

Stay tuned next month for another installment of TV Rebels as we take a look at the legendary Norman Lear! Should be fun!


Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, December 8, 2007
"Disappearing Tuesday Sitcoms on ABC; Frank TV Airs Too Late; Morning Show Covers Wedding Dance"
By Solomon Davis

What's up with the disappearance of Caveman AND Carpoolers on Tuesday nights? It seems like its one preemption after another with no new episodes in sight. Are the ratings that bad for both shows? It's easy to just do a time slot change instead of leaving both shows in the timeslot to fail. ABC just go ahead and make the announcement that the two shows are not coming back because I already saw that next Tuesday in the 8pm Hour they will be preempted again for holiday airings of Shrek the Halls and Winnie the Pooh & Christmas, Too. The only thing the specials are doing is making viewers forget all about the the two comedies which is probably their plan anyway so they can have a reason to pull both shows.

Why does TBS have to put Frank TV in the 11pm slot on Tuesdays? I mean for me it conflicts with local news and SportsCenter on ESPN and even the re-airing is after 1am in the morning. How bout having Frank TV air between 8pm and 10pm and CUT DOWN some of the encores of Family Guy? Family Guy is on from 8pm to 10pm and I'm sure Frank TV being a new show can fit somewhere in there. I mean does TBS want people to see the show or not? But they do label it as a late night TV show.

There was a clip of a recently married couple on YouTube dancing at their wedding reception and the mornings shows like Good Morning America and The Early Show wanted to keep showing them dancing OVER and OVER. Who cares that they were dancing at their wedding reception? And did the wedding couple really need to be interviewed by the Early Show just because they were dancing and acting silly? The Early Show can't find any other story to talk about and have to discuss YouTube videos of married couples dancing to rap music? Is that all it takes to get a interview on TV these days? Clearly the DUMBEST feature story of the year. Maybe I should record a video for this blog with me laughing at Emmit Smith on ESPN while I eat nachos. I wonder if The Early Show would interview me?

My Weird TV Moment of the Week:
Thursday, December 6, 2007: During the Bears/Skins game on the NFL Network, a fan ran out of the stands and attacked a player on the field and NFL Network immediately CUT away from the situation. WHY?? Security Had already tackled him so what did NFL Network think was going to happen?


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, December 07, 2007

Day 33: WGA's Strike; Wayans Bros. to Develop VH1 Sitcom Starring Family Matters Star; RTN Comes to Charlotte

Today is day 33 of the strike. This week has been very quiet in terms of the outcomes. Last Friday a deal was proposed and the WGA quickly rejected it. The latest details were issued on Wednesday by the WGA. Click HERE to view their statement. We'll keep you updated. Also if any other networks plan to change the schedules. ABC has yet to announce anything really for January, while NBC, Fox, and CBS have.
The WGA have announced that nominations for outstanding achievement in television and radio writing during the 2007 season for the upcoming 2008 Writers Guild Awards will be released on Thursday, December 13. The 2008 Writers Guild Awards are slated to be held on Saturday, February 9, 2008, simultaneously at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles and the Hudson Theatre at the Broadway Millennium Hotel in New York City.

VH1 has given the green light to a new pilot from Keenen Ivory, Marlon and Shawn Wayans for their new comedy, The Life and Times of Marcus 'Felony' Brown. The premise surrounds burgeoning, hard core, East Coast rapper Brown (Darius McCrary, Eddie Winslow from Family Matters) who blows up after his debut album goes platinum and heads to Los Angeles to record the follow up. Along for the ride are his self-hyping hype man, E-Z (Vince Green); jet-setting manager, Cash (Jon Abrahams); and hard-partying bodyguard, Tiny (Marcello Thedford). Affion Crockett plays Seville, Marcus' personal barber, while Toni Trucks is Tia, Marcus' assistant.
Marlon and Shawn Wayans developed the pilot with producing partner Rick Alvarez. The three will serve as executive producers along with Keenen Ivory Wayans. The pilot just wrapped principal photography.

Retro Television Network (RTN) announced today that it will be adding a second Capitol Broadcasting Company station as an RTN affiliate. RTN will launch on a digital stream of WMYT (My-12) in Charlotte, NC, the nation's 25th largest television market, in 2008. The 'Primetime All The Time' line-up, including Perry Mason, Rockford Files, Hawaii Five-0, Magnum P.I. and Mission: Impossible, will hit the airwaves of Charlotte shortly.

Come on back tomorrow for an exclusive. We have gotten special rights to publish some great classic TV essays that will be coming out in 2009 on a nice book by author Lou Orfanella!

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Day 32: WGA's Strike; Classic TV Sitcom Holiday Episodes in Toledo!

It is now day 32 of the strike. Frankly I'm getting tired of saying what day it is. I just want this to be over already! Well anyway, we have more schedule news because of the strike. NBC has confirmed their January schedule now. The other day we gave you most of it and now it is all confirmed! Here you go:
Mondays - 8pm American Gladiators, 9pm Deal or No Deal, 10pm Medium
Tuesdays - 8-10pm The Biggest Loser, 10pm Law & Order: SVU
Wednesdays - 8pm Deal or No Deal, 9pm Law & Order: Criminal Intent, 10pm Law & Order
Thursdays - 8pm Comedy Repeats, 9pm Celebrity Apprentice, 10pm ER (Lipstick Jungle takes over in Feb)
Fridays - 8pm 1 vs. 100, 9pm Friday Night Lights, 10pm Las Vegas
Saturdays - Repeats
Sundays - Mix of Specials
So, Medium is returning to its old Monday at 10pm slot. Deal or no Deal returns to Mondays, but it moves to 9pm. Mondays at 8pm starting Feb. 18 will be the reality series The Baby Borrowers, as American Gladiators' six-week run will conclude by then. Sunday specials include The 65th Annual Golden Globes Awards" broadcasting live on Sunday, January 13 from 8-11 p.m. ET, The Guinness Book of World Records - Live! featuring a live death-defying stunt on Sunday, January 27 from 9-11 p.m. ET and Top 100 Most Outrageous Moments on Sunday, February 10 from 9-11 p.m. ET. Don't be surprised to see Dateline pop-up Sundays at 7 or even two-hour Deal or No Deal episodes from 7-9pm Sundays. If that is the case, we have Deal on three nights (Sun, Mon, Wed).
Meanwhile Fox has picked-up more episodes of Don't Forget the Lyrics! Fox has ordered 13 additional episodes of the musical game show. The series, hosted by Wayne Brady, cranks up the volume with all-new episodes Thursdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT and encore episodes airing Fridays at 8:00 PM ET/PT on Fox.

Attention Toledo, Ohio! Classic TV fans will be VERY happy this holiday season as WTVG (ABC13) will give you fans a treat this holiday season with classic holiday episodes of sitcom favorites! Starting this Saturday, fans can tune in from 1-3PM on Saturday afternoons on ABC13 for Christmas episodes of classic sitcoms. Dec. 8 we will see holiday showings of Bewitched, Dennis the Menace, Father Knows Best and The Flying Nun. On Dec. 15 we will see more holiday classics with Bewitched, Dennis the Menace, Father Knows Best and this time The Monkees. And the final holiday airings will be on Dec. 29 and we will see yet more Bewitched, Dennis the Menace, The Partridge Family and another Bewitched. You lucky people in Toledo you! Hopefully they do more of this and let's hope other stations across the nation learn from this and follow!
In Toledo? Or love the fact they are airing classic sitcom holiday episodes? Discuss this with us HERE!

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Day 31: WGA's Strike; I Love Lucy, Honeymooners, Three Stooges Video Games?

Well it is day 31 of the strike. Nothing new to report really. If the strike does not end before December 14, the Television Critics Association will cancel their winter press tour. Yes, we won't have a TCA Winner Press tour this year because of the strike. So this is another reason to hope the strike ends soon!
Meanwhile, if the strike lasts long, you can expect CBS to air some Showtime shows as scripted programming, such as Dexter. Series like Tudors or Weeds even can make it, but heavy editing will be needed. NBC could also go and get some scripted programming from one of its cable networks such as USA Network and air series like Burn Notice, Monk or even Sci Fi's Battlestar Galactica.

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Beanbag Studios is developing some classic TV video games such I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, and The Three Stooges. It's an intriguing strategy to differentiate Beanbag Studios' games from the rest of the pack, but it's anyone's guess as to whether nostalgia will indeed attract casual gamers who are usually older than the average gaming demographic.
In the first Lucy game, scheduled for release this month, gamers are faced with a number of challenges, including answering trivia questions and rearranging video clips so they are in the correct order. Subsequent games -- including I Love Lucy Slots, The Three Stooges Pinball, and The Honeymooners Bowling -- will be available between year-end and April.
While Beanbag's first games will be based on classic TV licenses, Steve Bergenholtz (President) insists Beanbag isn't locked into that strategy. In fact, he is currently talking to a movie studio about a 10-title movie deal. But he is also seeking out other classic TV licenses, which he describes as a huge opportunity for the licensor's to "take their properties off the shelf, dust them off, and bring them into the video games arena ... which makes our licensing their titles a win-win for them and for us."
Sounds cool! I hope these sell well so we get more classic TV titles as video games!

Random thought: For those of you who watched October Road on Monday, have you heard of the sexual position the Pablo Picasso? Apparently Ikey and Owen's wife did that position a lot.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Day 30: WGA's Strike; CBS and NBC Revise Schedules

It is now day 30 of the strike. Talks will resume today, so if we have any details we will share it with you. Carson Daly returned to his talk show last night with new episodes. Daly said this on the show last night:
"If I had not been back on the air tonight, 75 members of my loyal staff and crew were going to get laid off. You either come back, or they're laid off. I said, 'Let's turn the lights on, I'm gonna come back.' It's that simple." He added, "I miss my writers." None of this is written—clearly! I don't know what we're gonna do, moving forward the rest of the week. But I'll figure it out."
Meanwhile, ABC will now stop paying the non-writing staff of Jimmy Kimmel Live. And as Conan and Leno, Jimmy will pay them from his own pocket. David Letterman's production company is paying his and Ferguson's non-writing staff.

CBS has announced its plans for January and February. Because of the strike, they will bring back Big Brother for its ninth season. This series usually only airs in the summer for them. The series will air Tuesdays at 9, Wednesdays at 8 and Sundays at 8 starting Tuesday, Feb. 12. But before that, CBS will bring back the summer game show Power of 10, hosted by Drew Carey, on Wednesday, January 2, airing Wednesdays at 8pm for 6 weeks before Big Brother takes the slot. On Monday, January 28 CBS will launch two sitcoms--a new one and a returning one. The new one is The Captain, a single camera about a wildly eclectic group of people whose lives are intertwined through the place they all call home, a fabled Hollywood apartment building, El Capitan, which they've dubbed "The Captain." It stars Fran Kranz, Chris Klein, Jeffrey Tambor, Raquel Welch, comedian Al Madrigal, Valerie Azlynn and Joanna Garcia. It will take the place of The Big Bang Theory, which would have been repeats anyway, Mondays at 8:30pm. Also launching Jan. 28 is the third season of The New Adventures of Old Christine, the critically acclaimed comedy about a divorced working mom trying to juggle motherhood, work and dating, starring Emmy Award winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The show will air at 9:30pm on Mondays replacing repeats of The Rules of Engagement. CBS will replace Cane, Tuesdays at 10 with a movie (Jan. 15) and two airings of 48 Hours Mystery (Jan. 22 and 29) before the second season of Jericho takes over on Feb. 12. The movie is a three-night, six-hour event airing Sunday, Jan. 13, Tuesday, Jan. 15 and Wednesday, Jan. 16 from 9-11pm titled Comanche Moon. The 16th season of Survivor launches on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 8pm. Crime repeats will likely air in January in the slot.
CBS will continue to air rebroadcasts of its popular comedies and dramas in their regular time periods including How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men and CSI: Miami on Monday; NCIS on Tuesday; Criminal Minds and CSI: NY on Wednesday; CSI and Without a Trace on Thursday; Ghost Whisperer, Moonlight and NUMB3RS on Friday; and Cold Case and Shark on Sunday. 60 Minutes will also continue to air Sundays. CBS has also completed production on episodes of the game show Do You Trust Me. A scheduling announcement will be made at a later date.
For a full list of CBS airdates for January and February, click HERE!

Meanwhile NBC has announced its Wednesday plans. NBC will lawyer-up on Wednesday nights as the Emmy Award-winning Law & Order resumes with a two-hour season premiere event on Wednesday, January 2 from 9-11 p.m. ET, and will continue on Wednesdays starting January 9 in its old 10:00 p.m. ET timeslot preceded by this season's network broadcast premiere of Law & Order: Criminal Intent at 9:00 p.m. ET in its return to NBC that night. Original episodes air on sister cable network USA Network on Thursdays. So to recap, this is how NBC will look this January, as of now:
Mondays - 8pm American Gladiators, 9-11pm TBD
Tuesdays - 8-10pm The Biggest Loser, 10pm Law & Order: SVU
Wednesdays - 8pm Deal or No Deal, 9pm Law & Order: Criminal Intent, 10pm Law & Order
Thursdays - 8pm Comedy Repeats, 9pm Celebrity Apprentice, 10pm ER (Lipstick Jungle takes over in Feb)
Fridays - 8pm 1 vs. 100, 9pm Friday Night Lights, 10pm Las Vegas (the latter two is not confirmed yet, but is likely in January at least)
Saturdays - Repeats
Sundays - TBD
NBC still has Medium, Dateline, and new reality series Amne$ia and The Baby Borrowers yet to be scheduled.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Day 29: WGA's Strike; ION Holiday Highlights; Hallmark January Schedule

We are now on the 29th day of the strike. Negotiations resume tomorrow. Let's hope the WGA gets a deal they can't pass up this time. Jay Leno of NBC's Tonight Show will now pay the salaries of the non-writing staff for this week. Previously it was announced he would not and they would be laid off. Classic Leno episodes air again this week with guests like Michael Jordan from 1996.
In other news, ABC will place an encore episode of Grey's Anatomy this Tuesday at 9pm. This encore is the episode that aired on Thanksgiving night. It is part one of a two-part episode about an ambulance crash, titled "Crash into Me." Part 2 airs this Thursday at 9. Catch up this Tuesday if you missed it! It is very good! This change means repeat episodes of According to Jim will not air 9-10pm this Tuesday, but ABC will now air it on Dec. 18. It will still air Dec. 11 as planned.

As we promised we will give you the ION holiday highlights today. It is still not 100% complete, but we will share it anyway. If you browse our message boards, you've seen it already. Everyday is Christmas on ION, you can catch at least one holiday event each night. Among the items you will see this week are include a holiday episode of Alice, the movie Santa Trap, holiday episodes of Amen, and the movie The Night They Saved Christmas! In upcoming weeks you'll see more Alice and Amen holiday episodes, holiday episodes of Mama's Family and Who's the Boss? and special encores of the original movie Hogfather as well!
Click HERE to see the full holiday highlights and the rest of December's programming!

A few days back we gave you details on Hallmark's new acquisitions. Today we have the January schedule and it features one of those shows...7th Heaven and the renewed series Touched by an Angel. 7th Heaven will take the 1pm and 2pm slots on weekdays replacing Matlock. Matlock will air movie episodes on Sundays, but the regular series is on a break...not to worry because it has been renewed until 2011. 7th Heaven will also air Saturday mornings at 9am and 10am. Touched by an Angel gets the weekdays at noon slot, replacing one of the Murder, She Wrote airings.
For the full schedule and highlights, click HERE!

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Week 10 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did

Week 10 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Thu):

Households: ABC: 8.4/13.0; CBS: 7.7/11.8; Fox: 5.5/8.2; NBC: 5.1/7.8; The CW: 1.9/2.8; MNT: 0.8/1.3.
Total Viewers: ABC: 13.3 million; CBS: 11.99 million; Fox: 8.88 million; NBC: 7.93 million; The CW: 2.74 million; MNT: 1.25 million.
Adults 18-49: ABC: 4.1/10.2; CBS: 3.4/8.5; Fox: 3.3/8.1; NBC: 3.1/7.8; The CW: 1.3/3.1; MNT: 0.5/1.2.

Analysis: We're back after a week off! Week 10 is nearly done...and sweeps ended on Wednesday...holiday season time has begun! Last week CBS won the top spot in HH and viewers, just nipping by ABC. In 18-49, ABC was first, with NBC and CBS tied for second. NBC was third in viewers and HH and Fox was 4th in all categories. Through the first four days of this week, ABC has a lead in all categories in week 10 with CBS second, Fox and NBC are way back, with Fox with the slight edge.
Monday it was all ABC thanks to Dancing with the Stars. Part 1 of the season finale did an impressive 24.23 million and a 6.0/15 in 18-49, both obviously from the previous week, that lead into the new time of 9pm for Samantha Who doing 11.69 million and a 3.7/8 18-49 rating...both series lows, but if it can do these numbers or close to it, ABC will be pleased. Notes from the Underbelly's season premiere followed with 7.45 million, not bad, but not great either. And the badly placed October Road at 10pm did just 5.43 million...put it on after Grey's Anatomy like last season where it did a solid 10 million each week. Next up was CBS with its comedies and CSI: Miami. A repeat of The Big Bang Theory did 7.34 million, on par with the previous week's repeat, a new How I Met Your Mother did 7.91 million, just a bit down from previous week. Two and a Half Men and Rules of Engagement followed with great numbers, 15.26 million for Men and 11.58 million for Rules which was a repeat...both up from previous week. CSI: Miami followed with 15.58 million, up from previous week. NBC was in third, lead by Heroes at 11.89 million and a 5.3 18-49, up from previous week. Chuck opened the night with 8.42 million, up from previous week. Journeyman closed the night with 6.05 million, on par with the previous week. Fox kicked off with a repeat of House at 7.35 million and ended with a repeat of Bones with 6.32 million...you know it is bad when two repeats beat new episodes of Prison Break and K-Ville from the previous week. The CW aired their Monday sitcoms, with Aliens in America doing just 1.88 million, up a bit from the previous week and The Game did 2.8 million, the best of the block.
Tuesday, it was all ABC. ABC started off with the classic holiday special A Charlie Brown Christmas doing a solid 13.55 million leading into the season finale of Dancing with the Stars: The Results at 24.88 million! Congrats to Helio! Boston Legal will return this week. Fox's huge hit House did 16.97 million and a 7.0 18-49 rating (both down from previous week) and Bones started the night off with a solid 9.68 million. The always reliable NCIS opened the night off for CBS with 17.04 million. The Unit followed with 10.56 million and Cane did 6.48 million, down from previous week. NBC was fourth with another two-hour The Biggest Loser from 8-10 doing 7.28 million, followed by Law & Order: SVU at 12.29 million. The CW had Beauty & the Geek and Reaper do 2.52 and 2.23 million.
Wednesday it was a battle between CBS and ABC. CBS saw Kid Nation do 7.12 million, and veteran dramas Criminal Minds and CSI: NY did well and were consistent doing 16.23 (season high maybe) and 14.19 million (up from previous week). ABC started the night off with two holiday specials...an all-new one and a classic. The all-new one was Shrek the Halls, and did a very impressive 20.83 million and a 7.1 18-49 rating! Old faithful How the Grinch Stole Christmas followed with big numbers as well...doing 18.53 million and a 6.8 18-49 rating. A special 9pm episode of Pushing Daisies did a solid 9.99 million (wasn't that episode so good?). Private Practice returns this coming week, and ABC closed the night off with Dirty Sexy Money doing 7.04 million...below normal. NBC opened the night with the annual Christmas at Rockefeller Center doing 8.87 million, Bionic Woman fell to 5.93 million, as the fall in every episode continues. At 10pm NBC's Life did 6.28 million and built on the lead-in again. Fox aired two new episodes of 'Til Death and an all-new Kitchen Nightmares, doing 5.74, 6.22 and 7.03 million each. The CW had Top Model at a dominant 5.04 million (and second in the 8pm hour in 18-49 with a 2.4 rating!), while Gossip Girl did 2.93 million.
Thursday saw CBS win, as ABC was in repeats. CBS opened with Survivor: China at 13.57 million. A repeat of CSI followed with 12.33 million and a repeat of Without a Trace did 9.76 million. ABC opened the night with a repeat of Ugly Betty doing a 6.15 million. A repeat also of Grey's Anatomy followed with 8.69 million and an all-new episode of Big Shots followed with just 5.29 million. NBC started with comedies, My Name is Earl opened the night with a below normal 6.62 million, 30 Rock did just 5.82 million, an encore of The Office followed with 5.9 million and Scrubs has dropped every week since it returned, and this week was no different doing just 5.91 million. ER closed the night with 8.71 million, a season low. Fox's 5th Grader did a solid at 8.97 million and Don't Forget the Lyrics followed with an above average 8.72 million. A repeat of Smallville on The CW did 2.73 million, followed by a repeat of Supernatural at 1.87 million.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but ABC won Friday thanks to the holiday airing of A Polar Express starring Tom Hanks. NBC had a solid outing for Deal or No Deal at 8pm for a first place finish. CBS preempted Ghost Whisperer. 10pm's NUMB3RS was a repeat and ABC preempted Women's Murder Club.
Saturday saw ABC win the night thanks to the Big-12 College Football Championship.
ABC Sunday is all-new tonight with the big tornado episode of Desperate Housewives and the wedding on Brothers & Sisters...look for season highs! CBS will do decent but probably below normal with its Hallmark movie from 9-11pm and NBC will do solid business for the NFL game. Fox's animated comedies are repeats but 9:30 and the NFL overrun will help. ABC is the network to beat tonight.
As for the week, ABC will likely win in HH, viewers and 18-49, CBS will be second, with a close finish for second place in 18-49...it could be CBS or even NBC if the game does very well. Fox and NBC will battle for the distant third spot in HH/viewers, with NBC probably winning thanks to the NFL. Imagine if ABC Thursday was all-new this week...they could have really dominated the week...even so, they will still win the week. They should have put the Thanksgiving new episodes for this past Thursday and aired a movie on Thanksgiving like Meet the Fockers or something.


Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of November 19-25)

  • Aliens in America (The CW) - A repeat did just 800,000 viewers, down from the previous week.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) 3 episodes - A repeat at 7:30 and 8:30 and a new one at its normal 8pm slot...repeats did 5.6 and 8.58 million, as a new one in between did 9.01 million, down from previous week's 10.56 million.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - A low rated repeat at 7pm did just 3.9 million.
  • Family Guy (Fox) 2 episodes - 9.52 million tuned in for a new episode at 9pm, down from previous week's 10.55 million...a repeat at 9:30pm did a decent 8.45 million...better than the usual American Dad new episode.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 7.91 million tuned in, down from the previous week.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 7.34 million tuned in for a repeat, on par really with the previous week's repeat episode.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 15.26 million tuned in...could be a season high, as Dancing with the Stars was not on this half-hour for the first time this season. 13.91 million and 14.12 million tuned in the previous two weeks. Repeats start now...bad timing.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 11.58 million tuned in...up from the previous week's 11.48 million, which was all-new...wow. Repeats from now on until the strike is resolved.
  • Samantha Who? (ABC) - 11.69 million tuned in for a new episode in its new time of 9pm, head to head vs. Two and a Half Men...it held up well, but down from previous week's 14.38 million which was at 9:30....at least Sam won't have to face any more originals of Men head to head.
  • Notes from the Underbelly (ABC) - The season premiere did 7.45 million...not bad, really on par with last season's numbers...hopefully it can do better with repeats airing against it in December.
  • CW Monday Comedies: Chris, Aliens in America, Girlfriends, The Game. Not doing that well at all. Aliens did a terrible 1.88 million, but up from previous week, The Game did 2.8 million up from previous week and led the block.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Cavemen (ABC) - Preempted for A Charlie Brown Christmas, will not be on the schedule until at the earliest in January now.
  • Carpoolers (ABC) - Preempted for A Charlie Brown Christmas, will not be on the schedule until at the earliest in January now.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Til Death (Fox) 2 episodes - Two new episodes did 5.74 and 6.22 million...way below its usual showing for this season...maybe because its lead-in was not on?
Thursday Sitcoms
  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - Just 6.62 million for a new episode? Wow.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - 5.82 million for a new episode...it seems way too low.
  • The Office (NBC) - An encore episode did 5.9 million...building on its lead in even and that was all-new!
  • Scrubs (NBC) - 5.91 million for a new episode and actually the second highest rated show for NBC's comedy block this week.
Friday Sitcoms
None.

Saturday Sitcoms
  • None.


Airing tonight (Sunday) is a repeat of Aliens in America on The CW at 7:30, and Fox's animated comedies.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, Samantha Who?, and Rules of Engagement were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as How I Met Your Mother, Notes from the Underbelly) or just plain old terrible (Aliens in America, 'Til Death 8p).

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: Futurama - Bender's Big Score!; Solomon's Weekly Rant: Same 'Ole Merrython; TV One Is So Selective; Same TNT NBA Promos

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for mini-DVD reviews and Solomon's Weekly Rant! First up, are the mini-DVD reviews. Today we take a look at 20th Century Fox's Futurama - Bender's Big Score!. Futurama - Bender's Big Score! is a direct to DVD movie featuring the hit Fox animated series. See skees53's mini-DVD review of Futurama - Bender's Big Score!:

Futurama - Bender's Big Score! (20th Century Fox, $29.99) proves once again that animated Fox sitcoms don't die, but instead they just take on a new life elsewhere. This direct-to-DVD movie doubles as what will be the first episode of the new season of the series (which has been "on hiatus" for the past four years) as new episodes return to the airwaves sometime next year, this time on Comedy Central. All of the old characters that we knew and loved from the original airing of the series are back for this DVD, proving that a little time off doesn't always mean that everything is going to change.
The movie itself brings back the typical and bizarre plots that we have all come to know and love about Futurama. The movie begins with the Planet Express Corporation is taken over by scammers, thanks to the entire crew falling for a bunch of e-mail scams that they receive. Bender even ends up opening a virus infected e-mail, which of course considering Bender himself is a computer, he can be infected by the virus--and is. In fact, the virus that the scammers gave him cause Bender to turn on his crew when the scammers decide to fully take advantage of the crew. Matters only get worse when it is discovered that Fry has a tattoo of Bender on his butt that has a time travel code, which the virus-infected Bender uses to essentially destroy the past. How will it all turn out? The only way to know is to watch the movie for yourself... I don't want to spoil the whole plot! Guest stars in the movie include Sarah Silverman, Mark Hamill, Coolio, and even Al Gore.
The movie itself is presented in widescreen and the audio is presented in Dolby Digital surround sound. This being released by 20th Century Fox means that special features were not neglected. In fact, there are some very nice special feature on the DVD, starting with a commentary from Matt Groening and the stars of the show. Next, we have Futurama Returns!, an animated comic book reading about the story of how Futurama returned--is is mostly meant to be humorous. And if you really want to see something that is supposed to be a joke, you have to see the next special feature, Everybody Loves Hypnotoad. Basically, this is billed on the set as the TV hit of the future. It features 23 minutes of Hypnotoad blinking his eyes. Nothing else, at all. We have some animated storyboards of deleted scenes included on the set. Next, we have an animated promo for the movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." It even has a video commentary on it from Al Gore and Matt Groening. All of those math geeks out there will love the special feature "Bite My Shiny Metal X," which features an actual professor of mathematics giving a lecture about the math references in Futurama. There is a copy of the original script of the movie that you can read along with on the screen. And finally, there are some character and design sketches. Wow! That is a lot of special features!
Any Futurama fan MUST own this DVD, it would be foolish not to. Even if you are just a casual fan, you will definitely want this DVD. It will air on Comedy Central eventually anyway, but it won't be as impressive as this DVD for certain. This shiny metal DVD is definitely worth buying!
-- Reviewed by skees53
(5/5 stars)

To purchase this DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Futurama TV.com Page


Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, December 1, 2007
"Same 'Ole Merrython; TV One Is So Selective; Same TNT NBA Promos"
By Solomon Davis

Why does TV Land feel the need to start the Merrython today when it is the same type of Merrython that's been aired the last 7 years? It's not like it's nothing NEW and EXCITING just the SAME and PLAIN shows. I have no idea why TV Land was in a rush to show a full day of Christmas episodes from the TV shows already on their schedule. Do us all a favor TV Land and save this CRAP for the weekend before Christmas and stop pretending you are doing us TV fans a favor. TV Land has scheduled another Merrython Dec. 24, but yes same shows they always air.

Even though TV One is a cable channel geared toward African Americans, that doesn't mean that they have to be so SELECTIVE with the shows they put on their schedule. It's very strange that black sitcoms like The Jeffersons, Benson, Gimme a Break! and Diff'rent Strokes have not been added to TV One since day one of the network. And no that one day marathon of Gimme a Break! to promote the Season 1 DVD does not count! Why does it have to be only true black sitcoms like Good Times, 227, Roc, Eve, and Martin? I really hope this strange selection process of TV one shows changes in the future so TV fans can see sitcoms like Webster, CPO Sharkey, Getting By, and Anthony Anderson before he was in All About the Andersons in the sitcom Hang Time.

The new NBA season is in progress and when watching a NBA game on TNT you see the same commercials from last season. Why are NBA fans still watching all those Charles Barkley and Dwayne Wade commercials from last season? TNT has to know fans are sick of seeing Wade begging Barkley's to be in his T-Mobile Fave 5. Then you have that "3-2-1 and the crowd goes wild" commercial. That's the commercial with people pretending they are taking a last second shot before the buzzer sounds. Is it because Barkley is a TNT studio analyst that us fans have to continue seeing old cell phone commercials featuring Barkley? Seeing him in the studio at halftime and after the game is more than enough.

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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