Friday, February 29, 2008

TV Rebels: That Girl; Network Notes: Scrubs to ABC?, Family Guy Spin-Off?, Quarterlife to Bravo?

It is time for our monthly TV Rebels essay! We have gotten special permission to publish at least 6 different essays on TV shows and actors 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.

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

That Girl: It's Not a Man's World Anymore
Before Mary Tyler Moore tossed her hat into the Minneapolis wind, before Murphy Brown changed secretaries like other people change underwear, before Carrie sought sex in the city, Ann Marie climbed aboard the suburban commuter train from Brewster, New York to seek fame, fortune, and romance in the big city.
A young single girl living on her own in Manhattan and trying to make it in show business may seem like pretty tame fare in the twenty-first century, but when Marlo Thomas debuted as That Girl in 1966, television was still a man's world. From Father Knows Best's Margaret Anderson to Leave it to Beaver's June Cleaver, a woman’s place was in the home, or perhaps in a case like Our Miss Brooks, in the classroom. But on her own on in a New York City apartment? Not in TV Land. The men went to work and the women stayed home cooking up schemes to trick their men or getting into predicaments from which their men could rescue them.
During its five year run on ABC, That Girl did not necessarily tackle feminist issues head on or include ground breaking storylines. There were the traditional sitcom trappings. Ann gets her toe stuck in a bowling ball. Ann meets "special guest star" Ethel Merman. Ann takes a temporary job and chaos ensues. The program did however present a young girl who was not afraid to embrace life with little more that ambition and self-assuredness. Sure, there was a dichotomy of sorts to Ann Marie. Her father, restaurateur Lou Marie (Lew Parker) was always hovering nearby overprotecting and offering advice and boyfriend magazine writer Don Hollinger (Ted Bessell) would bail her out of jams, yet through it all, Ann did things on her terms and spoke her mind. That represents the turning point for the modern TV woman.
In That Book About That Girl Stephen Cole sites That Girl as a conduit of sorts between the traditional female lead television character and the contemporary. "...Ann and her crew forged a place in the hearts of American television viewers. She wasn't Lucy (of I Love Lucy) and she wasn't Margie (of My Little Margie). She was something new and contemporary. One part Doris Day, two parts Jean Arthur, and all parts Marlo Thomas. She was the bridge to Murphy Brown (1988-1998) and all other modern women in the sitcoms of today. She was Ann Marie. That Girl!" (13)
Speaking in an online interview with Lynn Sherr, Marlo Thomas discussed the influence of her Ann Marie character on television history. "I think That Girl made a journey through Kate and Allie (single moms), Cagney and Lacey (women working in traditionally male roles), Murphy Brown, who was the first imperfect woman hero on television (she had a drinking problem, she yelled at people who worked for her, she had a baby out of wedlock), and now the young women on Friends. I think that all of those women are links in a chain of the depiction of females on television ("That Girl").

Works Cited
Cole, Stephen. That Book about That Girl. Los Angeles: Renaissance Books, 1999.
"That Girl was a Pioneer." That Girl on the web. May 2002. 28 July 2007 http://thatgirltv.com/interview.html


Moving on to some news. There are reports all over the place (Hollywood Reporter, Variety, TV Guide, etc), that ABC is close to picking up 18 episodes of Scrubs for next season. The comedy is in its 7th season currently and has aired on NBC all 7 seasons. NBC has promoted this as the final season but they might not air an actual series finale because of the strike and that it might go right to DVD instead. ABC Studios produces the series and they are mulling a deal to bring the show to ABC next season. NBC is upset and has threatened legal action because they say they have first rights. I think this is a ploy by ABC Studios to bring the show back...and it looks to be working because no one thought Scrubs would be back next fall, and now it seems like it will, whether it is on NBC or ABC! And if it does return, YES Zach Braff will be a part of it. We shall have more on this for sure, so come on back.
Fox is developing a spin-off of Family Guy based on the Cleveland character. The show will be titled Cleveland. If it makes it on air, it could be paired with Family Guy on Sunday nights or for sure somewhere on the Sunday schedule. This could be bad news for American Dad or King of the Hill. Fox is also developing a spin-off of Prison Break based on women in prison. I am thinking that they will introduce it next season on Prison Break, which will likely be the last season of Prison Break (if renewed, that is), and if it hits, Fox will make that into a series. More to come I'm sure.
Finally, NBC announced yesterday they have pulled Quarterlife after just one airing (it didn't even have a 'quarter' of its 6 episode order aired!), now one of their cable networks will air the remaining episodes...Bravo. Bravo will air the remaining five episodes later this season.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our review of the upcoming new Fox sitcom Unhitched, which launches Sunday at 9:30pm.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

ABC Family Changes Their Minds; No Reunion on Today Friday; ABC Picks Up Reality Series For 2008-09; NBC Pulls Quarterlife

A few weeks ago we announced a few changes for ABC Family starting in March. One of them was Sabrina, the Teenage Witch leaving the 2-3pm weekday slot in favor of Step by Step...but looks like ABC Family has decided not to do that, as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch will remain in that slot. All the other changes we mentioned will still be on, though. Sorry Step by Step fans! The show will still air weekdays at 9am, though!

NBC's "Together Again" reunions on Today has come to an end today with the Knots Landing reunion. Remember we mentioned we would announce what reunion will take place on Friday, as they didn't announce it yet? Well looks like they couldn't book anyone, so there will no reunion on Friday unfortunately. We mentioned they had listed a Taxi reunion in the advanced listings, but it seems they couldn't book them. Hopefully we get more "Together Again" installments in the future...and when they do, you'll know here first!

ABC Entertainment announces early pick-ups of alternative series for next season (2008-09), including America's Funniest Home Videos, Dancing with the Stars, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Supernanny and Wife Swap.
No surprises here, as all are doing very well in the ratings. I'm surprised no early pick-up was announced for Dance War and The Bachelor, but I think those will return anyway. I think Oprah's Big Give will also do huge this week and that will return next season.
These alternative series pickups join the scripted series pickups already announced a few weeks back.

Finally, after just one airing, NBC has pulled new drama Quarterlife from the schedule. The show premiered on Tuesday at 10pm on a special night and time and did just a 2.2 HH rating and 3.13 million viewers. That is pathetic even when a repeat airs. The show was slated to air Sundays at 9, but that is not happening. NBC will schedule a repeat of Deal or No Deal this Sunday at 9 to go up against ABC's premiere of Oprah's Big Give. Then repeats of Law & Order will air for the rest of the month on Sundays at 9.

We shall be back with more, if anything breaking happens. Don't forget to come back this weekend for our pilot review of Unhitched and tomorrow for our monthly classic TV essay!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

ABC Adds New Sitcom Miss Guided; TV Guide Reports According to Jim Close To Be Renewed; CMT Acquires Two Reality Series

ABC's new midseason sitcom Miss Guided now has a premiere date! It will launch following the second part of Dancing with the Stars' season premiere on Tuesday, March 18. It will air 10:30pm, before moving to Thursdays 8 and 8:30pm starting March 20. The show completed 7 episodes before the strike happened so it will air for three Thursdays atleast. Who knows maybe this could be a surprise hit. The show had a lot of buzz and positive feedback during upfront season last May.
The new ABC half-hour comedy series Miss Guided stars Judy Greer (27 Dresses) from actor/producer/writer Ashton Kutcher (That '70s Show) and Emmy Award-winning director Todd Holland (Malcolm in the Middle, The Larry Sanders Show), which takes on high school's annoying tendency to repeat itself. In the premiere episode, Becky Freeley (Judy Greer) returns to her alma mater as a guidance counselor after having finally conquered the awkward, traumatic world of high school. With her orthodontia and teenage insecurities a distant memory, Becky deftly navigates the uncertainties of troubled students and an often troubling faculty, she is certain of one thing – her desperate attraction to hot mechanic-turned-Spanish-teacher, Tim (Kristoffer Polaha). Now that Becky might finally get the upper hand in life and love, she is shocked to discover that the newly hired English teacher is none other than her high school nemesis Lisa Germain (Brooke Burns). Lisa is a smart, stunning beauty and, suddenly, Becky is forced to relive her past and compete for Tim's affection.
We will have a full review of this sitcom closer to premiere date. Stay tuned this weekend for our pilot review of the new Fox mid-season sitcom Unhitched, which premieres this Sunday on Fox.

Meanwhile, TV Guide is reporting that long running ABC sitcom According to Jim could be renewed for next season (2008-09 season). The show is currently airing new episodes Tuesdays at 9PM through March 11. The show will still tape 6 post-strike episodes this season for air at a later date, as we mentioned last week. We will keep you up to date on that and when the renewal news becomes official by ABC.

They are not sitcoms, but they are off-network acquisitions, and everyone is interested in what networks buy in syndication, especially on our website, CMT has picked-up repeats of the reality series Nanny 911 and Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy. CMT will broadcast episodes of the series during the day, with repeats appearing in the early evening. Both reality series have been on hiatus on Fox for awhile now, and no idea if new episodes will continue. Trading Spouses will premiere March 3 at noon and 1 p.m., with repeats at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., while Nanny 911 will debut March 4 in the same time slots. So, Trading Spouses will air Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and Nanny 911 on Tuesdays & Thursdays.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Launch Schedules for Me-TV Milwaukee and Me-Too Chicago; WWE SmackDown Moves to MyNetworkTV

As we mentioned previously, Me-TV, a local channel airing classic TV in Chicago, will now launch in Milwaukee starting March 1! And today we have the full launch line-up for, and you'll see it here first! Among the programs airing weekdays are Green Acres, Happy Days, Cheers, Bewitched, Gilligan's Island, My Favorite Martian, Leave it to Beaver, The Honeymooners, Roseanne, I Love Lucy and Hawaii Five-0. Airing on weekends are programs like Petticoat Junction, Knight Rider, Mork & Mindy, Laverne & Shirley, Superman, Batman, Star Trek, and many more! The schedule is a bit similar in style to Me-TV in Chicago's schedule.
Remember Milwaukee digital television viewers will be able to receive Me-TV over the air on digital channel 58.3. Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications will also carry Me-TV on the digital tier of their cable systems serving Southeastern Wisconsin. So without further adieu, here is the FULL launch schedule for Me-TV Milwaukee! Certainly a classic TV paradise!
Moving on to Me-Too in Chicago. As we mentioned previously, Me-Too will be a spin-off station of Me-TV Chicago. Like Me-TV Chicago, Me-Too will air the original network versions of the timeless classics whenever possible. This means longer program segments and fewer commercial breaks. Many of the shows have not aired in these formats since the original network runs. Like Me-TV Chicago, Me-Too will showcase many dramas that have not been seen in decades including a "Noir at Night" Sunday night block, "Super Sonic Sunday" afternoon block, and "Saturday Night Pajama Party" block.
Beginning March 1, 2008, Chicago viewers will now have two choices for classic television programming: Me-TV on WWME-TV, Broadcast Channel 23 and Me-Too on the newly renamed WMEU-TV, Broadcast Channel 48.
Among the programs Me-Too will carry on weekdays are Webster, The Monkees, Partridge Family, The Facts of Life, I Love Lucy, Who's the Boss?, The Jeffersons, All in the Family, Star Trek, The A-Team and more! And on weekends we will see even more programs such as What's Happening!!, That's My Mama, Gimme a Break!, The Munsters, Square Pegs, One Day at a Time, The Brady Bunch, Gidget, Flying Nun, Knight Rider, Batman and many more!
Chicago just got even better with yet another classic TV channel. Nearly every other city in the nation has none and they have two! So here is the launch schedule for Me-Too Chicago!

MyNetworkTV and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) have announced a new broadcast television home for WWE SmackDown, scheduled to debut in Fall 2008.
The two-hour television program will be presented weekly on MyNetworkTV. WWE SmackDown will feature a star-studded cast of WWE Superstars, including Edge(R), Rey Mysterio(R), Batista(R), MVP, Kane(R) and Undertaker(R), as well as present all the action, excitement, drama and great athleticism that have made it for nine years one of the most popular programs among males on broadcast television, and one of the top ten English language prime time programs among Hispanic households.
The program currently airs on The CW on Friday nights and does close to 5 million each week.

Oh and Happy Birthday to Todd (owner and founder of SitcomsOnline). Hope you have a good one! If we have more news, we will return...so try to check in later tonight.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Network Notes, Includes More According to Jim; WPIX Brings Back Honeymooners; Oprah Talks to Shatner and Winkler

We have some network notes for you today. ABC announced its post-strike schedule and series already, but now we could have two more series return this season with new episodes! ABC will have 6 more According to Jim episodes this season! 12 episodes were shot of the sitcom before the strike ended now 6 more will be shot following the strike (taping resumes March 7)! So, the show will fullfill its 18 episode order for the season. Currently, the show is airing Tuesdays at 9PM on ABC but after March 11, the show will be on the move to another timeslot, as Dancing with the Stars: The Results will take over in that slot. By March 11, 11 of the 12 episodes would have aired. We will let you know when ABC will air the remaining episodes of the season when they announce it. This will likely be the final episodes, so be sure to tune in to Jim and the gang. And as a heads-up, this week the show will announce a major storyline plot...so tune in!
The other ABC show that could return this season with new episodes following the strike is the new hit drama Women's Murder Club. The drama has been a decent hit on Friday nights and ABC has found a new showrunner and thus 3 new episodes will be produced and could be on the air by April. No word when they will launch yet, but I am assuming it will remain Fridays at 9, as ABC certainly needs help 8-10pm on Fridays as repeats of other series are doing nothing there. We will let you know as soon as ABC announces!
Moving on to NBC, they have all but confirmed that Las Vegas will not return this season with new episodes or next season. So, the finale that aired a few weeks ago, could be the series finale. NBC also will not return new series Bionic Woman and Journeyman, as we stated previously. However, we might have some good news for the struggling Lipstick Jungle. NBC has ordered 6 more scripts, so that is a good sign. Maybe NBC will order those scripts to episodes and have it air in the summer, as NBC is going for a 52-week season rather than Sept-May only.

Last week we announced what will happen to WPIX, WWOR and WNYW in New York when Everybody Loves Raymond moves from WPIX to WWOR. There was one TBA timeslot that I couldn't announce until today. The TBA slot was for Sunday nights from 1-2am on WPIX. So, the TBA slot will be...The Honeymooners!
For over 30 years, the WPIX-TV (CW11) has been New York's home for The Honeymooners. Now, the CW11 will begin a year-long Honeymooners Viewer's Choice Hour to run every Sunday night. See all 108 episodes of hamana-hamana-hamana hijinks with Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason), Ed Norton (Art Carney), Alice Kramden (Audrey Meadows) and Trixie Norton (Joyce Randolph) in a weekly viewer's choice hour commencing Sunday, March 16 from 1-2 am.
Beginning on March 7, Honeymooners fans can visit CW11.com to vote for their favorite episodes. Each week, the two episodes with the most votes will air in the Viewer's Choice Hour on the CW11 on Sunday nights.
Can't remember the title of your favorite episode? CW11.com will feature a short clip from all 108 Honeymooners episodes (with title, cast and summary information) on the voting page. Each week, viewers can log on and vote for the two episodes they want to see on air that weekend. On Sunday nights at 1am the CW11 will air back-to-back-episodes of the top two vote-getters. Once an episode has aired it will be removed from the polls and all episodes will air only once.
Great news and start voting on March 7! To discuss this news with other fans, click HERE!

Oprah gave us a Cosby Show kids reunion a few weeks ago, and she has talked to classic TV stars such as Phylicia Rashad and Valerie Bertinelli about their current projects in the past few days, but now she will have a legends episode with two classic TV legends and a music legend tomorrow (Tuesday, February 26, check local listings for time and channel in your area).
Here is what Oprah says: Our viewers have been asking for him, and now he's rocking out on our stage. It's rock legend Rick Springfield! Watch as Rick makes one unsuspecting fan's big dream come true! Then, Oprah chats with one of the most recognized people on planet Earth, beloved TV icon William Shatner (Star Trek)! He shares what it has meant to him to be loved by millions as Captain Kirk and how he has been able to reinvent himself again and again over his half-century career. Plus, Oprah talks to TV's "coolest" legend..."The Fonz!" Henry Winkler (Happy Days) talks about his place in TV history and how he has managed to use his celebrity to help children with learning disabilities.

Stay tuned tomorrow for some big news (everyday is a big day now it seems, Oprah must be proud of us)...the launch schedules for ME-Too in Chicago and ME-TV in Milwaukee! Lots of Classic TV!

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Week 22 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did

We don't have final ratings averages for Thursday yet, so we can't do our first four nights numbers, sorry. Just at a glance through Thursday, it seems of course Fox is #1, then NBC, CBS and ABC. We will confirm next week and on the boards. We have everything else today though.

Week 22 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Thu):

Households: N/A
Total Viewers: N/A
Adults 18-49: N/A

Analysis: Week 22 so far has seen Idol score big for Fox, with two-hour events on Tuesday & Wednesday and the special Thursday results show. Like I mentioned on the top, we don't have final averages through Thursday, but expect it to be Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, in that order through Thursday. Last week, week 21, Fox was number one all categories. NBC was second in all categories. ABC was third in 18-49, while CBS was third in HH and viewers.
On Monday, NBC was on top. NBC has moved back Deal or No Deal to its old 8pm timeslot and did very well with 16.95 million, up from 13.15 million the previous week at 9pm. Then NBC aired the new reality series, My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad at a disappointing 9.81 million, and even more erosion at 9:30. Medium closed the night off with a below average 8.45 million. CBS was next with a mix of repeats and new episodes. Sitcom repeat of Two and a Half Men lead the night with 12.45 million (up from previous week), besting the new episodes of The Captain and Old Christine, a CSI: Miami repeat closed the night with 9.51 million, up from previous week (and #1 in its timeslot). ABC was next with the two-hour Dance War finale doing a solid 9.16 million, which was the same number from previous week, followed by the disappointing numbers for October Road at just 4.26 million, but up a bit from previous week. Fox aired its Prison Break (season finale) & Sarah Connor Chronicles block and did OK with 7.37 and 8.1 million...the latter dropped once more. The CW had a repeat of Gossip Girl doing 1.2 million, down from previous week a bit, and the season premiere of Pussycat Dolls at 1.77 million.
On Tuesday, Fox was on top thanks to a two-hour Idol at 29.01 million, slightly down from previous week's two-hour episode. NBC aired a two-hour Biggest Loser at 8.07 million, up from previous week and a Law & Order: SVU repeat followed with 9.28 million, also up from previous week. CBS was third with a repeat of NCIS at 10.85 million, down from previous week, followed by the Tuesday edition of the disappointing Big Brother 9 at just 5.39 million (down from previous week) and the show that should have never came back, Jericho at 5.86 million, down a lot from the season premiere previous week. ABC had two episodes (new/repeat) of Just for Laughs start the night off with 4.46 million (down from previous week), followed by a repeat with 4.63 million (down again from previous week)...a new According to Jim followed with 4.85 million (down a bit from previous week) and a new Carpoolers only managed 3.97 million, but that was up a bit from previous week. ABC closed the night off with Boston Legal at 7.43 million, up a bit from previous week. The CW aired a repeat of Reaper at just 1.77 million and all-new One Tree Hill did 2.85 million, both down from previous week.
On Wednesday, it was all Fox again. American Idol did 28.88 million for a two-hour episode. NBC started the night off with another Deal or No Deal at 9.03 million (down about 2 million from previous week), the NBC airing of USA Network's Law & Order: Criminal Intent did 7.71 million (down also from previous week), followed by the original Law & Order at 10.86 million, up a bit from previous week. ABC's Wife Swap did 5.42 (up a bit from previous week), followed by Supernanny at 5.88 million (down about 3 million from previous week, but it didn't face Idol previous week) and Cashmere Mafia closed the night off with 4.78 million for its final episode. CBS continues to struggle with Big Brother 9 at just 5.22 million, down from previous week, repeats of Criminal Minds and CSI: NY followed with 7.15 and 7.3 million, both down from previous week. The CW had premiered another season of Top Model at a decent 3.81 million (but Idol affected it for sure) a repeat of Pussycat Dolls' season premiere did 1.84 million, which was better than its Monday premiere!
On Thursday, Fox was on the map as American Idol aired its first results show on a special night and did 23.37 million followed by a series high for Don't Forget the Lyrics! at 12.43 million. Lost continues to do well for ABC, Lost enhanced repeat started the night off at 8pm (we don't have numbers for repeats on this night yet), followed by an all-new episode at 13.65 million and a 5.7 18-49 rating (both slightly down from previous week), and Eli Stone closed the night with 7.19 million, down from previous week. CBS started the night off with Survivor: Micronesia at 12.66 million, down from previous week thanks to Idol, followed by repeats of CSI and Without a Trace which we don't have final ratings for yet. NBC started the night with two repeats of My Name is Earl not doing much, Celebrity Apprentice followed with 8.07 million (down from previous week), followed by the bad Lipstick Jungle at just 5.72 million, down from previous week.
Like usual, no Friday finals yet. NBC's 1 vs. 100 season finale was bested at 8pm by a Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular special. CBS' Ghost Whisperer was moved to 9pm and a repeat was only 4th place, while a House repeat won the hour for Fox. NBC's premiere of new game show Amn$sia limped out of the gate and lost steam in its second half. The 10pm hour belonged to ABC's 20/20 which did the best in the demos for the night and second in viewers behind Price. On Saturday, Fox won with its usual line-up, while NBC got basically nothing for the encore of My Dad is Better Than Your Dad at 8pm.
Tonight will be ABC with the win, as the Oscars will rule and likely get over 40 million. I don't think it will be enough to win the week thanks to Fox having 5 hours of Idol this week. CBS's Big Brother is going to fall even further tonight...60 Minutes at 7 will do good, but repeats of Cold Case and Showtime's Dexter will likely do bad out of Brother. NBC has a Law & Order: Criminal Intent marathon, which could beat CBS from 8-11pm and Fox has repeats of its animated comedies following NASCAR coverage, so they should get a bump.
As for the week, Fox will win in HH, viewers and 18-49. ABC will be second, followed by NBC and CBS in 4th...wow!
This coming week...February sweeps closes on Wednesday, look for ABC to do well tomorrow for A Raisin in the Sun.


Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of February 11-17)

  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) 2 episodes - Two repeats did 700,000 and 1.07 million...both down from previous week
  • Aliens in America (The CW) - Repeat went below 1 million, 920,000.
  • Girlfriends (The CW) - A repeat did 860,000 viewers...not good, but up a tick from previous week.
  • The Game (The CW) - A repeat did 790,000 viewers...not good and down from previous week.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) - A new episode did 7.77 million, seems below normal
  • King of the Hill (Fox) 2 episodes - A repeat at 7:30 did just 5.06 million, and a new episode at 8:30 did 6.45 million, up a bit from previous week.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - A new episode did 7.29 million, has to be below normal since a repeat at 9:30 previous week did the same.
  • American Dad (Fox) - Ouch just 5.35 million for a new episode. New sitcom Unhitched takes over March 2 for a few weeks.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 6.02 million for a repeat...down a million from previous week.
  • Welcome to The Captain (CBS) - 5.34 million for a new episode, down a lot from previous week, not good at all...
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 12.45 million tuned in for a repeat...up from previous week's repeat.
  • Old Christine (CBS) - A new episode did 9.4 million, down from previous week.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • According to Jim (ABC) - A new episode did 4.85 million, down slightly from previous week. Whenever it faces Idol head-to-head it suffers it seems. With no Idol it does 6-7 million.
  • Carpoolers (ABC) - Just 3.97 million, but up a bit from previous week.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • None.
Thursday Sitcoms
  • My Name is Earl (NBC) 2 episodes - Two repeats aired...no finals yet, but they were fourth in their timeslots.
Friday Sitcoms
  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms
  • None.


Airing tonight (Sunday) is sitcom repeats on The CW from 7:30-10, and Fox's animated comedies are also repeats from 8-10.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men repeat and a new Old Christine were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as How I Met Your Mother repeat) or just plain old terrible (Welcome to The Captain, Carpoolers).

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: The Smurfs - Season 1, Volume 1 (Feb. 26); Solomon's Weekly Rant

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 week we take a look at Warner Home Video's The Smurfs: Season 1, Volume 1. The Smurfs of course is the classic Saturday morning animated series about those little blue people. Smurftastic!. See my mini-DVD review of The Smurfs: Season 1, Volume 1:

The Smurfs: Season 1, Volume 1 (Warner, $26.98) brings us the classic Saturday morning animated series that lasted nearly a decade, on DVD for the first time and the episodes are remastered. The long wait is over...The Smurfs are on DVD for the first time ever! They're finally here! Handy, Hefty, Grouchy, Brainy, Lazy, Dreamy, Smurfette, Papa Smurf and more of your favorite little blue people bring you the greatest show on Smurf. It's Season One, Vol. 1 of The Smurfs, the Emmy-winning animated series [Outstanding Children's Entertainment Series 1982-83] that delighted Saturday morning cartoon fans for nearly a decade. Of course, where Smurfs are, you'll also find evil wizard Gargamel and his cat Azrael - plus monsters, dragons and trolls - keeping the Smurfs on their tiny blue toes throughout 19 cartoon escapades. Ready for adventure, laughs and enchantment? Abso-Smurfly!
Let's now move on to the packaging. We have a thin outer box that holds a very thin digipak case. The front cover of both the box and case are the same, we see the land of Smurf in the background in a nice and blue sky with Papa Smurf and Smurfette featured, while the other Smurfs are at work. The cover is red and blue. The title of the show is on the top, with a mention below that that this is Season One, Volume One! To the back of the box we go, we get a nice synopsis of the series, along with a list of the special features in a mushroom. We see one of the Smurfs sleeping below a tree with the evil Gargamel watching. When we open the case, we get more colorful backgrounds. On the left we have a disc-by-disc breakdown of what we can expect episode title wise and extras wise. The left also has a nice blue sky background with Gargamel after two Smurfs in the grass. On the right side, we see both discs...overlapping each other, ugh...I hate that. Both discs are in a white background with four Smurfs characters on each disc. When you remove both discs from the case, you can see a nice background of the land of Smurf, with nearly all of the Smurfs. The back of the case has another nice background with a blue sky and Smurfette being romanced by a Smurf, Romeo & Juliet style.
The menu screens are very nice. We see the land of Smurf in the background with Gargamel approaching. It is very colorful. The catchy theme is playing in the background. Auto trailer for Looney Tunes starts off disc one before the main menu comes. Options for the main menu are: Play, Episodes, Trailers (disc 1 only), Languages , Special Features (disc 2 only). Trailers has five other things to preview from the Warner library. Languages has an option to turn on English subtitles. Episodes have a list of episodes obviously. Now the packaging listed disc two as being double-sided, but it is not. Very strange.
The video and audio is tremendous. The Smurfs never looked better. The packaging states that the episodes are remastered I am very impressed. Warner did a great job on this once again, but not as good as the Charlie Brown remastering, but still good. Originally season one was an hour long show on Saturdays with three mini episodes in the hour, however after about 2-3 episodes they started to repeat one of the mini episodes from the previous week the following week so they can cover the full hour. So it makes no sense on this DVD to have some repeats of a mini episode, so Warner has removed the repeats. The first two episodes on the set are 47:40 and 47:42 and have 3 chapter stops each, for each mini episode. After that, NBC started to repeat a mini episode. The episodes usually lasted approx. 12 min, 12 min, and 24 min or so for the full hour. Episode 3 on this set is 35:42 with 2 chapter stops, which means only 2 mini episodes are here...so no repeat from the previous week. The 4th episode is 23:37 and has one chapter stop, which means just one episode. On to disc two, episode 5 is 34:12 and has no opening or closing theme. The next episode is 24:30 and has no closing. The rest of the episodes run 35:42, 35:40, 25:32, and the bonus episode runs 24:22. I don't know how they could have handled this, but they are splitting season one in half (meaning in two volumes), so they could have just left the repeats in there so we could get the original NBC versions. I know that would be weird to have repeats, but why split them up in two volumes anyway? I would have rather have season 1 in full without the repeats on 4 or 5 discs...that would work the best and it would have fit. The show has like 9 seasons, splitting them up in two volumes per season would be too much.
As for special features, we get the bonus episode (The Smurfs' Springtime Special), as I mentioned earlier. We also get a Smurfs Music Video that runs 1:27. It is not really an extra. Warner could have done so much better than that. Their animation sets usually have great audio commentaries which is missing here.
I highly do recommend this set for any Smurfs fan and classic animation in general. I'm sure many of us grew up with this classic. I know I loved watching this in the 80s...and I still love it. The set is good, but it could have been so much better. The extras are lacking and the episode situation is a mixed bag...I don't know how I would have handled it, but one thing for sure is I would not have split the season in two volumes. Also, I didn't like inside the case it mentioned disc two is double-sided, which it isn't. Other than that, the episodes are great and look great, too. I can't wait until volume two so we can finish off the first season. Then let's hope the sales are very high (I think they already are as this set is very high in the rankings on Amazon) so we can get the remaining seasons each on one volume instead of two. So click below to order this DVD, if you haven't already. You better hurry before that Gargamel sees you and his lazy cat Azrael. Smurf to it!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
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Related links:
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The Smurfs TV.com Page
The Smurfs Official Page


Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, February 23, 2008
"Malcolm Airs More Than Strokes; Too Early for DTV Switch Notice; Amen Returns to TV One"
By Solomon Davis

I applauded BET this past week for adding Diff'rent Strokes to their program schedule but then I noticed something odd. I noticed that the sitcom Malcolm & Eddie, another show that BET just added, has six airings a day while Diff'rent Strokes only has 2 airings. So why does that show get all this great treatment and it was added at the same time as Diff'rent Strokes? I see no reason why Diff'rent Strokes can't have a repeat airing of the morning episodes which would still be less than six airings a day. I'm very confused as to why BET would treat one of its new acquisitions much better than the other. especially since I think Malcolm & Eddie is nothing but a UPN reject from the 1990's which is definitely not on the entertainment level as Diff'rent Strokes. I am happy they are adding Sanford and Thea to weekends, though!

The last time I checked February 17, 2009 was a year away and from the way the media has been talking about television switching to digital you would think today is January 23, 2009. Why all the hype about DTV now when the switch is 12 months away? It would make more sense to talk about DTV in the Fall 2008 but to see all those commercials about it in early 2008 is just crazy, not to mention the commercials were airing in Fall 2007 as well. Everyone understands that this will be a major move in television but can we just wait until the next TV season to remind everyone that the switch to digital is approaching? The strange thing about all of this is someone who doesn't have cable or a converter box on February 18, 2009 will still be able to get one of those things on February 19, 2009 to watch TV so what is the big deal?

TV One hasn't changed at all since it started and going by their recent TV show change they have no intention on ever changing. Why in the world would they bring back a TV show to their schedule next month that they already had? TV One is actually bringing back Amen next month from hiatus which is no where near a sexy TV show acquisition of what BET just did. TV One fans have seen Amen already and it's time for something new now since this network just completed 4 years as a cable channel. Yeah, The Hughleys are coming in April, but what about bringing on The Jeffersons or something? Thank goodness for the network called BET since that station has the ability now to make TV fans feel thankful for having cable service and not the "ripped off" feeling you get from watching that joke of a station called TV One. This channel is definitely qualified to be on the basic cable package since it doesn't have much to offer TV fans on a year by year basis.

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, February 22, 2008

BET Schedule Updates, Sanford Marathon Planned; TV One Revises Programming in March; RTN Comes to D.C.; CBS Brings Classic TV to Online

TGIF! It is a busy (and snowy in NY) Friday here on the blog, as we have quite a lot of stories today!
First we still start with BET. As you recall, we announced on Monday that BET is now airing Diff'rent Strokes and Malcolm & Eddie weekdays and they will bring out short-lived series Sanford and Thea on weekends starting March 1. Now we have some updates for you. We have gotten word that Diff'rent Strokes will also air Saturdays 9-10am, in addition to its weekdays 9-10am slot. It will start airing on Saturdays next Saturday (March 1). However, the Saturday airings will be two repeats from earlier in the week, mostly from the previous Monday's airings earlier in the week. We mentioned the show could air 3-4pm starting next week, but that won't be the case, it will only air 9-10am. Malcolm & Eddie will also air on Saturdays, at 10-11am and 4-5pm. It won't air 11pm-12am, though, that will be only Mon-Fri, while its other slots will be Mon-Sat. A Girlfriends marathon is tomorrow, that is why we are not getting both of these shows tomorrow.
We mentioned that Sanford and Thea will join the weekend line-up late night on Saturday, March 1, which is technically early Sunday morning, airing 2:30am and 3:00am respectively. They will encore later in the day on Sunday at 11:30am and 12pm. Yeah, so we knew that already, but now we have learned that BET will have an all-day San"forward" Marathon on Saturday, March 8 from 10am-11pm just in time for Daylight Savings, as we move our clocks one-hour ahead later that night as we spring forward, or should I say San"forward." And get this, all 26 episodes of Sanford will air back-to-back all day! What a dream come true for Sanford fans! Get those TiVo's, DVR's and VCR's or whatever you use rolling because this is your chance to get every single episode in one shot! Now I have an idea for BET, when we move our clocks back in the fall, we should have a Diff'rent "back"Strokes marathon as we move our clocks one-hour back doing a backstroke. Just a thought! Anyway, BET is certainly looking bright now sitcom wise and we hope they continue this! Be sure you have some chips, nachos, and more snacks ready for this very rare marathon on March 8!

Moving on to another African American network, TV One, we have some changes in store for March. We announced March highlights already, but there are a lot of edits to it now. The TV One premiere of the action series Day Break has be postponed until Sunday, March 16. On Saturday, March 15, and Sunday, March 16, both at 8pm, Taye time is finally here as the weekend with Taye Diggs is now this weekend instead of March 8 and 9 as TV One premieres the Cool Factor and How Stella Got Her Groove Back starring Taye, Angela Bassett, and Whoopi Goldberg. An encore airing is scheduled for Sunday, March 16 at 12am following the premiere of Day Break from 10pm-12am. The weekend with Taye Diggs continues on TV One Sunday, March 16 at 10pm with the TV One premiere of the recent ABC action series Day Break starring Taye Diggs as a law enforcement officer framed for murder. The series will premiere with two back-to-back episodes to air at 10pm and 11pm and will premiere episodes on Sundays at 10pm.
On Saturday, March 22 beginning at 1pm and lasting to 10pm, it's time to get your praise on as the sitcom Amen returns to TV One back by popular demand with an all-day 'Best of Deacon Frye' marathon to give viewers a special treat before it returns to the regular schedule on weekdays at 6am & 6:30am beginning on Monday, March 24th replacing Roc on the TV One schedule, which will be off the line-up now.
Finally, The Hughleys: "All in the Family Launch Marathon" previously announced for Tuesday, April 1 will now air as a two-day weekend marathon on Saturday, April 5 & Sunday, April 6 starting at 1pm both days for this '90s sitcom. We will have more on The Hughleys' regular slots in the April highlights coming soon! Stay tuned for that!

Retro Television Network (RTN) announced that it will partner with Allbritton Communications to bring RTN programming to Washington, D.C. The new affiliate will launch late this year on a digital stream of Washington, D.C.'s ABC affiliate, WJLA-TV.
Allbritton began airing RTN's "Prime Time All the Time" lineup today on a digital stream of WSET-TV (Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA). RTN is scheduled to launch later this year on a digital stream of WHTM-TV (Harrisburg-Lancaster, PA).

CBS Interactive announced that it will begin offering Television Classics from the CBS (Paramount) Library, which is one of the largest television programming libraries in the entertainment business, online and across the CBS Audience Network. The initial lineup includes full-length episodes of Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, MacGyver, Hawaii Five-0 and Melrose Place, with more programs and clips to be added in the coming months. The distribution of Television Classics across the CBS Audience Network follows the same open, non-exclusive strategy that CBS has been using for its content online for the last nine months. All content is ad-supported, free to the consumer, and available immediately.
The initial programming lineup for Television Classics on CBS.com and across the CBS Audience Network includes full episodes the following:
Star Trek (original series) - Seasons 1, 2 and 3
The Twilight Zone - Seasons 1 and 2
MacGyver - Season 1
Hawaii Five-0 - Season 1
Melrose Place - Season 1
Let's hope they add some sitcoms as well, and some sitcoms that lasted awhile and haven't been aired on TV lately, such as Dear John and Webster. Series such as Family Ties, Cheers, The Love Boat, would also be nice to have.

It's only noon ET and we already have a lot of stories, but if anything breaking happens, we will break in. So come on back!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

NBC's Today Reunites Classic TV Casts: Happy Days, Growing Pains, Newhart and More; Raymond Moves to Fox Stations in March

There have been some TV reunions already this month (Cosby Show kids on Oprah and Family Ties on Today). But now we will get much more! NBC's Today will bring America's favorite classic television show casts together again starting Saturday, February 23 and continuing through Friday, February 29. "Together Again" reunions will air each day sometime during the 8:00 a.m. hour of Today.
On Saturday, February 23, Weekend Today's Amy Robach will interview the cast of Growing Pains. Kirk Cameron, Joanna Kerns, Alan Thicke, Jeremy Miller, and Tracey Gold will talk about their experience as the Seaver family in the classic 1980's sitcom.
On Sunday, February 24, Peter Alexander interviews the cast of Newhart. Bob Newhart, Julia Duffy, Peter Scolari, William Sanderson, Tony Papenfuss, and John Voldstad are reunited for the first time on television as a full cast.
Happy Days are here again on Monday, February 25 when Henry Winkler, Ron Howard, Marion Ross, Tom Bosley, Erin Moran, Don Most, and Anson Williams are reunited live in the studio.
On Tuesday, February 26, the cast of the classic sitcom One Day at a Time with Bonnie Franklin, Valerie Bertinelli, Mackenzie Phillips, and Pat Harrington together again live in the studio. Valerie Bertinelli returns later in the show (9am hour) to discuss the book "Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time." Gary Coleman is also interviewed in the hour.
Candice Bergen, Faith Ford, Charles Kimbrough, and Joe Regalbuto will be live in studio 1A on Wednesday, February 27 to talk about their time on Murphy Brown.
On Thursday, February 28, Michele Lee, Joan Van Ark, and Donna Mills stop by to talk about one of the longest-running primetime dramas in network history, Knots Landing.
Friday's reunion will be announced soon...Taxi was originally planned this week, so it could be that. We will let you know.
Get those VCR's and DVR's ready at 8am for the next 7 days starting Saturday! To discuss these reunions, click HERE!

The hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond is one of the top sitcoms in off-network syndication. In many markets it airs on a Tribune station. That will change starting March 17, though. The show will be on the move in many markets from Tribune stations to Fox-owned stations. For example, in New York City the show airs currently at 6:30pm and 12am every weeknight on WPIX (CW11), a Tribune station. It will be moving to WWOR (My9), a Fox-owned station, in New York. If you all recall, something similar happened to Seinfeld some years back when it moved from Tribune to Fox-owned stations (in NY that was WPIX to WNYW). The Fox-owned deal for Raymond runs from March 2008 to September 2013.
So how will this Raymond move affect New York? Obviously this will affect WPIX and WWOR, since they are the ones removing and adding Raymond. But this will also effect WWOR's sister station, WNYW (Fox5), as some series will migrate from WWOR to WNYW, and vice versa. First off, WWOR will add Raymond every weeknight at 6:30pm and 12am (the same slots WPIX aired it). The show will also be available in HD! Raymond will also air Saturdays at 6:30pm. WPIX will replace Raymond at 6:30pm with Friends, so it will air back-to-back from 6-7pm now. Friends' late slot will now be gone though as Sex and the City, Will & Grace, Frasier, and George Lopez will move to an half-hour or hour earlier. Joining WPIX's late night line-up are classic sitcoms The Odd Couple and The Jeffersons in the 2am hour...both are now back after a short break! WNYW's changes include moving the 2nd run of TMZ on TV from noon to midnight and adding the second run of Bernie Mac, which was on WWOR. WWOR will air the first run of Bernie Mac now at 4:30pm instead of 6:30pm.
To see a FULL list of the changes on WWOR, WPIX and WNYW, I really urge you to click HERE!

Our big week continues tomorrow with more big news, including a follow-up on our BET schedule story and some TV One changes. You will not want to miss this!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

ABC's Post Strike Schedule; CBS Swaps 'Bang' and 'Mother's' Slots; NBC Announces Classic TV Streaming Episodes

ABC has saved their post-strike schedule for last, but it is well worth the wait! ABC will return television's biggest hit shows, including Boston Legal, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Samantha Who? and Ugly Betty. Returning first is the hit new comedy Samantha Who? with 6 new episodes (three of those are from pre-strike episodes, so three more new ones will be shot). The show returns Monday, April 7 at 9:30pm following Dancing with the Stars, which will be two-hours on March 24 and March 31 (season premiere on March 17 is 90-minutes). Boston Legal returns next with 6 all-new post-strike episodes also starting Tuesday, April 8 at 10pm. The megahit Desperate Housewives returns on Sunday, April 13 at 9pm for the first of five original episodes and a special two-hour finale (so, seven hours total). What will this mean for Oprah's Big Give? That reality show will launch on March 2 and was supposed to be for 8 weeks (lasting through its April 20 airing), so maybe ABC will move the last two episodes into the 8pm slot giving Extreme Makeover: Home Edition a well deserved two-week break (as the show has done very well in two-hour episodes this season)? We will find out and let you know. The other Sunday hit Brothers & Sisters returns with four all-new post-strike episodes a week later, on Sunday, April 20 at 10pm. The bit Thursday shows will return on April 24 with 5 all-new episodes each for Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy. Lost will move to its new 10:00pm time period on that very same day (Thursday, April 24), with five weeks of original episodes. Lost will end its 8-week run at 9pm, which are the pre-strike episodes, on Thursday, March 20. Three of this season's top hits, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money will return next season with all-new episodes.
Everything else not mentioned scripted wise, is in limbo and has no status yet, which includes According to Jim, Cavemen, Carpoolers, Women's Murder Club, Big Shots, October Road, MEN IN TREES, Cashmere Mafia, Eli Stone, and Notes from the Underbelly. A few of these could return next season...having the best shot is Women's Murder Club and MEN IN TREES. According to Jim always seem to have some life, so it could also return.

CBS's hit freshman comedy The Big Bang Theory will lead off CBS's Monday comedy block when it moves to Mondays at 8:00PM, beginning March 17 when it returns with all-new episodes. This means, How I Met Your Mother, which was airing at 8:00PM, will shift to The Big Bang Theory's former Monday 8:30PM time period when it returns with new episodes on the same night.

NBC Digital Entertainment and NBC Universal Cable Entertainment announced that they are streaming vintage television content on their entertainment websites. Full episode streaming of classic, fan-favorite series including The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Kojak, Miami Vice, the original Battlestar Galactica, The A-Team and Emergency! will be offered on NBC.com, SCIFI.com, ChillerTV.com and SleuthChannel.com beginning this month.

Here is a full list of shows on each website:

NBC.com
The A-Team
Emergency!
Night Gallery
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
Miami Vice
Battlestar Galactica
(1978)
Buck Rogers

SCIFI.com
Battlestar Galactica (1978)
Buck Rogers
Tek War
Night Gallery


ChillerTV.com
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
Swamp Thing
Tremors
Crow
Night Gallery


SleuthChannel.com
Kojak
Miami Vice
Simon & Simon
The A-Team
Night Gallery


Still to come this week on the blog...full details on Classic TV Reunions happening next week and how the move of Everybody Loves Raymond from Tribune stations to Fox stations will affect New York City.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fox Post-Strike Line-Up; Boston Legal Coming To ION Television; Gary David Goldberg Interview

Fox has ordered many of its current series back to production following the writers' strike and has announced airdates for spring 2008. Among the series slated to return are Bones, Back to You, 'Til Death and House. 24 will also return to conclude production on its seventh season, but the Emmy-winning series starring Kiefer Sutherland will not premiere until January 2009, allowing the drama to once again run 24 episodes consecutively. Fox's animated series, including American Dad, Family Guy, and The Simpsons, are also returning to production on future episodes.
Here is a recap of what we can expect: Back to You still has two pre-strike episodes left and they will air next week (Feb. 26 and 27 after Idol). The show will then return to close the season with new episodes starting Wednesday, April 16 at 8:30 PM ET/PT every Wednesday at 8:30. 'Til Death has one pre-strike episode left and it will air Tuesday, March 25 following Idol. Post-strike episodes will start on Wednesday, April 16 at 8:00 PM ET/PT every Wednesday at 8:00. Bones will return will all-new episodes on Monday, April 14 airing Mondays at 8. House returns with new episodes on Monday, April 28 moving to a new night of Mondays at 9.
Other premieres are new mid-season entries such as new sitcom Unhitched on Sunday, March 2 at 9:30pm. New drama New Amsterdam will get a special preview airing Tuesday, March 4 at 9 after Idol and again after Idol on Thursday, March 6 before moving to its normal night and time of Mondays at 9 on March 10 (before House takes over in late April). On that same night (Monday, March 10), new drama Canterbury's Law will premiere at 8:00pm (before Bones takes over in mid-April). New sitcom The Return of Jezebel James will debut Friday, March 14 at 8 p.m. for a one-hour premiere before moving to 8:30pm the following week. Finally, returning reality series Hell's Kitchen will air after Idol on Tuesdays at 9 starting April 1. Reality series such as Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, The Moment of Truth, and Don't Forget the Lyrics! will continue on without any problems.
There you have it...Fox's plans for the rest of the season. Status on the future of shows like Prison Break and Sarah Connor Chronicles are up in the air until upfront most likely in May. Expect one of them at least to return next season, if not both. K-Ville is 99.9% gone for good.
We now only have ABC left for an official announcement of their plans. Stay tuned for that!

ION Television announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Twentieth Television to air the David E. Kelley hit television series, Boston Legal, on ION Television, beginning this Fall. The agreement marks a milestone in the network's commitment to popular and diverse entertainment.
The acquisition will join M*A*S*H in the line-up this Fall. ION recently launched The Drew Carey Show and will launch Baywatch next month in a plan of popular and diverse entertainment.
Will they be expanding by the fall since they have announced so many new shows? We shall find out...so let's hope they do. Don't judge them until they announce a schedule.
Boston Legal has regularly been a top 20 program on ABC and draws one of the most affluent audiences in television. Kelley and Bill D'Elia are executive producers. The series, which premiered October 3, 2004, currently is in its fourth season on ABC and is produced by David E. Kelley Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television.

Our good buddy Eric from JustMyShow.com continues to get noteworthy guests for his show. On Feb. 5, Emmy winning producer Gary David Goldberg celebrated the release of his new autobiography "Sit, Ubu, Sit" by taking part in a panel discussion at the Paley Center alongside cast members of his most successful shows. But before he spoke to his sold out audience, he sat down with Just My Show to talk about his seven years as creator and executive producer of Family Ties.
You can listen to the very interesting podcast by clicking HERE!

We have a big week planned this week on the blog...so you will want to check in everyday. Big stuff!

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Monday, February 18, 2008

BET Adds Diff'rent Strokes, Malcolm and Eddie, Sanford, Thea; Remembering David Groh

Happy President's Day! We salute this holiday with some great sitcom news! I'm not sure if many of you know, but BET does air some sitcoms currently. They air Jamie Foxx Show, Wayans Bros., and In Living Color on weekdays and The Parkers and Girlfriends in blocks and marathons. Now more sitcoms are coming! BET will add the classic '80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes to their line-up starting TOMORROW (Tuesday, Feb. 19). The show will air weekday mornings at 9:00am and 9:30am. Catch Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson from the beginning as BET will bring you the show in order starting with the first episode. This is not confirmed yet, but starting the week of Feb. 25 the show could also air at 3:00pm and 3:30pm, but we will let you know if that is the case. It won't air in that slot this week, we know that...so catch it in the mornings! Now the world don't move!

Also joining BET's weekday line-up tomorrow is the '90s sitcom Malcolm & Eddie. Don't miss the hilarious adventures of Malcolm McGee and his roommate Eddie Sherman...starring Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Eddie Griffin. The show will air right after Diff'rent Strokes in the mornings at 10:00am and 10:30am. It will also air at 4:00pm and 4:30pm, with an encore of the morning airings at 11:00pm and 11:30pm. As with Diff'rent Strokes, you can catch this show in order starting from the very first episode.

So what will happen to BET's other sitcoms because of this? You can catch The Jamie Foxx Show weeknight at midnight-1am and The Wayans Bros. from 3-4am weeknights. While In Living Color will air on weekends in a weekend block with two other new additions (see below). Girlfriends and The Parkers can still be seen in marathons and special blocks. Upcoming marathons for them include: The Parkers will get a President's Day marathon today from 10am-7pm, as BET promises to keep you laughing 9 hours straight with The Parkers BET marathon. Tune in for laughs from funny lady, Mo'Nique. Girlfriends will get a 12-hour marathon this Saturday (February 23) from 9am-9pm.

I mentioned earlier that the sketch comedy In Living Color will move to weekends only now. This change will happen the weekend of March 1. I believe one episode will air with an encore each weekend. Kicking off the weekend block is the BET return of the short-lived 1980 sitcom, Sanford. BET aired reruns of this short-lived sitcom in the past and now it makes its return! Redd Foxx brought back the irascible Watts junkman, Fred Sanford three years after leaving Sanford and Son. With Lamont away in Alaska, Fred was still trading barbs with Aunt Esther, along with a new cast of characters, including his roly-poly business partner Cal and a wealthy widow named Evelyn. 26 episodes were created. You can catch Sanford on BET late nights on Saturdays at 2:30am starting March 1 with an encore on Sunday mornings at 11:30am. Following Sanford, it is another short-lived sitcom and another show from BET's past, Thea! The short-lived 1993 ABC sitcom makes its return on BET with its 22 episodes. The show is about a widow that keeps her four kids in line with discipline and lots of love while holding down two jobs. It was the first series for Brandy Norwood and stars Thea Vidale. Thea will air Saturday nights at 3:00am and Sunday afternoons at 12 noon.
Following Sanford and Thea on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons is the aforementioned In Living Color at 3:30am on Saturday nights and 12:30pm Sunday afternoons.

BET is certainly getting better and we will keep an eye on them. All of its newest acquisitions (Diff'rent Strokes, Malcolm & Eddie, Sanford, Thea) are from Sony Pictures Television, which is a sign maybe they have some sort of deal with them. Let's hope more sitcoms join. If we have any updates, we will bring them to you, but for now discuss this great news HERE!


We leave you today with some sad news. David Groh best known for his role on the 1970's TV sitcom Rhoda as Rhoda's husband, died of kidney cancer last Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Groh became an instant celebrity in 1974 when he starred as the easygoing Joe Gerard opposite Valerie Harper's neurotic Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show spin-off. But by the third season of Rhoda the couple divorced and he was off the show. He has also guest starred on other series (mainly dramas) such as Police Story, Fantasy Island, Trapper John MD, Buck Rogers, Hotel, Simon & Simon, Kate & Allie, Hunter, LA Law, Spenser: Fore Hire, Room for Two, Sisters, Jake and the Fatman, Melrose Place, Baywatch, Law & Order, VIP, Walker Texas Ranger, and was a regular on Black Scorpion. On daytime TV he played D.L. Brock on General Hospital in the 80s. Groh appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon's Chapter Two and in Twilight of the Golds in 1993. He also had film roles in Two-Minute Warning (1976) and A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich (1978), among others. One of his last roles was a guest appearance on the sitcom Girlfriends.
David will certainly be missed by fans of Rhoda and other programs he appeared in. Mr. Groh was only 68.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Week 21 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did

Week 21 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Thu):

Households: Fox 8.9/13.7, NBC 6.0/9.5, CBS 5.6/9.0, ABC 4.6/7.2, The CW 1.5/3.2, MyNetworkTV 0.9/1.4
Total Viewers: Fox 15.36 million, NBC 9.48 million, CBS 8.88 million, ABC 6.95 million, The CW 2.16 million, MyNetworkTV 1.36 million
Adults 18-49: Fox 6.3/15.8, NBC 3.2/8.2, CBS 2.6/6.8, ABC 2.4/6.1, The CW 0.9/2.3, MyNetworkTV 0.5/1.4

Analysis: Week 21 so far has again seen Idol score big for Fox, especially the two-hour event on Tuesday. Fox is on top thus far this week through Thursday in all categories and will be most likely after the end of tonight, when the week ends. NBC and CBS are battling for second in HH, viewers, and 18-49, while ABC could be in that mix after tonight's powerful two-hour Home Makeover. Last week, week 20, Fox was number one all categories. CBS was second in all categories. ABC was third, while NBC was fourth across the board.
On Monday, NBC was on top. NBC aired a 90-minute American Gladiators and it did 8.82 million, while Deal or No Deal also followed with a 90-minute episode and did a solid 13.15 million. Waste of a game show (if you can even call it that), no one will ever win a million. CBS was next with a mix of repeats and new episodes. Sitcom repeat of Two and a Half Men lead the night with 11.9 million, besting the new episodes of The Captain and Old Christine, a CSI: Miami repeat closed the night with 8.56 million. Fox aired its Prison Break & Sarah Connor Chronicles block and did OK with 7.84 and 8.32 million...the latter keeps dropping. ABC success with Dance War doing a solid 9.16 million for 90-minutes, before the bottom fell off with Notes from the Underbelly (probably the last scheduled airing) doing 4.15 million, followed by a season low for October Road at just 4 million. It is too bad it is dying, as Road is a good show. The CW had a repeat of Gossip Girl doing 1.26 million and two new episodes of Girlfriends at 1.69 and 1.98 million. Those were probably the last episodes ever for the show, as the show will be ending this season.
On Tuesday, Fox was on top thanks to a special two-hour Idol at 29.96 million. CBS was a distant second with a repeat of NCIS at 11.38 million, followed by the launch of Big Brother 9 at just 6.88 million and the season premiere of Jericho at 7.08 million, not too good. NBC aired a two-hour Biggest Loser at 7.4 million and a Law & Order: SVU repeat followed with 8.34 million. ABC had two episodes (new/repeat) of Just for Laughs start the night off with 5.07 million, followed by a repeat with 4.78 million...a new According to Jim followed with 4.91 million and a new Carpoolers only managed 3.9 million. ABC closed the night off with Boston Legal at a 7.25 million. The CW aired a repeat of Reaper at just 1.97 million and all-new One Tree Hill did 3.16 million.
On Wednesday, it was all Fox again. American Idol did 24.75 million. The free-falling Moment of Truth followed with 14.01 million, as it has dropped each episode. NBC started the night off with another Deal or No Deal at 11.07 million, the NBC airing of USA Network's Law & Order: Criminal Intent did 9.06 million, followed by the original Law & Order at 10.22 million. ABC's Wife Swap did 5.18, followed by an impressive showing from Supernanny at 8.8 million and Cashmere Mafia closed the night off with 5.31 million.. CBS didn't find any success with the second night of Big Brother 9 at just 5.65 million, that must have made the repeats of Criminal Minds and CSI: NY go below normal, as they did 7.62 and 7.74 million. The CW had another Top Model Exposed and a repeat of One Tree Hill at 1.41 and 1.04 million.
On Thursday, Lost continues to do well for ABC, as Valentine's night shaved some ratings off of everything. Lost enhanced repeat started the night off at 8pm with 6.21 million, followed by an all-new episode at 13.76 million and a 5.8 18-49 rating, and Eli Stone closed the night with 7.46 million. CBS started the night off with Survivor: Micronesia at 13.18 million, followed by a repeat of CSI at 10.87 and a repeat of Without a Trace closed the night off with 9.65 million. NBC started the night with yet another Deal or No Deal (they said it was Valentine's themed) at 12.18 million, Celebrity Apprentice followed with an above average 9.11 million, followed by week two of Lipstick Jungle at just 6.0 million. Fox was off the map as Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? and Don't Forget the Lyrics! were preempted for the 39th Annual NAACP Awards at just 3.85 million.
Like usual, no Friday finals yet, but CBS, NBC and Fox had something to smile about. NBC's 1 vs. 100 was the highest rating at 8pm, followed closely by a repeat of CBS' Ghost Whisperer. At 9pm a House repeat won the hour for Fox in the demos, while a CBS music special won in viewers. The 10pm hour was very close with NBC, ABC and CBS, as Las Vegas' two-hour finale edged away. On Saturday, Fox won with just 6.5 million or so.
Tonight will be ABC with the win, lead by the two-hour Home Makeover. The wild card is NBC's Knight Rider movie, it could do decent or bomb. American Gladiators will have its finale before Knight Rider, so it could get a nice sampling in young adults. But a finale that started at 7pm? That might not be a good idea. CBS will do well with 60 Minutes, but will Big Brother rebound at all for its third outing? Cold Case is all new at 9pm, followed by the CBS debut of Dexter, which will probably not draw as much as CBS would usually do at 10pm. Fox should get a boost in 18-49 with its animation, as they are all-new. My predictions for tonight HH/Viewers: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox. 18-49: ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS.
As for the week, Fox will win in HH, viewers and 18-49. The battle for second is up in the air. I predict CBS second in HH/Viewers, NBC second in 18-49, while ABC is third in 18-49 and viewers.
This coming week...February sweeps continues, as The Oscars will close the week with 40 million viewers next Sunday.


Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of February 4-10)

  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) 2 episodes - Two repeats did 770,000 and 1.23 million.
  • Aliens in America (The CW) - Now that it gets a solid lead-in, a repeat on a Sunday did over 1 million, at 1.14 million.
  • Girlfriends (The CW) - A repeat did 850,000 viewers...not good.
  • The Game (The CW) - A repeat did 900,000 viewers...not good, but built from the lead-in.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) - A repeat did 6.84 million following the NFL Pro Bowl.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - A new episode did 6.06 million...not good, but it had a repeat as its lead-in.
  • Family Guy (Fox) 2 episodes - A repeat built on its lead-in and did 6.55 million and another repeat built on that with 7.29 million.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 7.06 million for a repeat...not good, but not bad either.
  • Welcome to The Captain (CBS) - 7.03 million for its second episode, held mostly everything from the lead-in, but not really good. Down just under a million from its premiere.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 11.9 million tuned in for a repeat...how is this so rewatchable? Very good.
  • Old Christine (CBS) - A new episode did 9.89 million, up from previous week's season premiere.
  • Girlfriends (The CW) 2 episodes - Two all-new episodes did 1.69 and 1.93 million, not too good, but it followed a drama repeat rather than sitcoms.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • According to Jim (ABC) - A new episode did 4.91 million. Whenever it faces Idol head-to-head it suffers it seems. With no Idol it does 6-7 million.
  • Carpoolers (ABC) - Just 3.9 million, but it is pretty funny.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • None.
Thursday Sitcoms
  • None.
Friday Sitcoms
  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms
  • None.


Airing tonight (Sunday) is sitcom repeat on The CW from 7:30-10, and Fox's animated comedies are all-new from 8-10.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men repeat and a new Old Christine were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Welcome to The Captain, How I Met Your Mother repeat) or just plain old terrible (Girlfriends, Carpoolers).

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (Feb. 19); Solomon's Weekly Rant: Cavemen; Oprah and Cosby Show; Roger Clemens Coverage

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 week we take a look at Warner Home Video's It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown. It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown of course is the classic holiday special about Easter. This series always gave us classic holiday specials for just about every holiday. See my mini-DVD review of It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown:

It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown - Remastered Deluxe Edition (Warner, $19.98) brings us the classic 1974 Easter-themed episode on DVD once again, but this time digitally remastered...and it is really worth it! Plus in addition to Easter, we also get the Arbor Day special. Spring is certainly in the air.
If you have never seen this special, it is about Linus who tries to tell everyone that the Easter Beagle will take care of everything during Easter. Will he be right? You'll have to see yourself. We also get the classic 1976 special It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown. In that story we have baseball season starting and Arbor Day upon us. The gang goes eco-friendly and plant trees...but do they over do it?
Let's now move on to the packaging. We have a thin outer box that holds a very thin case, that is movie style. I never understood the reason for the thin box that holds a thin case...what's the point? Also, both the back and front of each is exactly the same, except the box is shinier. The cover is purple in color, and has Charlie Brown, Linus, and Snoopy with easter eggs. The title of the easter special is on the top, with a mention that this is a remastered deluxe edition! The bottom tells is we also get a bonus TV special...Arbor Day. To the back we go, we get a nice synopsis of the Easter special, along with a list of the special features. Easter eggs are flying all over as we see Lucy, Snoopy and the little yellow bird...Woodstock. When we open the case, we get black background all over, very plain, but of course the disc is inside. The disc is in purple and has Sally and Snoopy playing with yes, Easter eggs.
The menu screen has options of Features, Special Features, and Languages. We get a light blue background this time, not the purple we were used to already, with the theme song playing in the background. It is so catchy. Oh yes, before the main menu begins we get auto trailers for Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown and The Wiggles. Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown came out on DVD with a remastered version last month, but unfortunately we didn't get a copy for review. Anyway back to the menu, when we select something, we see an egg as a pointer. For Languages, we can have either English, Espanol, or Portugues. For subtitles we have those three again and also Chinese, Korean, and Thai...wow! The Features section has the two specials listed, we can also select Play All to play both back-to-back. Finally, Special Features lists the extra (more on that below) and Trailers.
The video and audio is tremendous. It has never looked better or sounded better ever. I am very impressed. Warner did a great job on this. Easter special runs 25:02 and has 5 chapter stops, which you an use via your DVD remote. The Arbor Day special runs 25:05 and has 4 chapter stops. Both specials look amazing...especially the Easter one. Kudos once again to Warner. Here is hoping they do more...I kind of wish I had gotten Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown.
As for special features, we get a nice featurette! It is titled "In Full Bloom: Peanuts at Easter" and runs 15:32. We find out lots of behind-the-scenes details and cool facts for the Easter special from members of the Schulz family and more. Interviewed are Lee Mendelson (Producer), Phil Cousineau (Author), Stephen Pastis (Cartoonist), Cathy Guisewhite (Cartoonist), Jean Schulz (Charles Schulz's wife), and Craig Schulz (Charles Schulz's son).
I highly do recommend this set for any Charlie Brown-Peanuts fan and classic animation in general. I have never seen a classic animated program look this good on DVD ever. Warner really needs to remaster every special for this wonderful franchise and put it on DVD. We got 3 specials on the Valentine's DVD and two more here on the Easter DVD. Let's hope Christmas, Thanksgiving is next, but I just wonder if Warner has the rights to all these now or does Paramount have some still? So I know it is still the middle of February, but it is never too early to think of the spring and Easter (but I am a fan of winter)...so I urge you to buy this DVD before little Woodstock beats you to it! And he can't even talk right!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, February 16, 2008
"Cavemen Didn't Get Enough Time; Oprah's Audience Get Cosby Show DVDs; Roger Clemens Story On All-Week"
By Solomon Davis

Why is the new sitcom Caveman not returning when the show wasn't really given a fair chance to grab viewers? The show only aired 4 times in October and twice in November and it's GONE? 7 unaired episodes remain. ABC knows that this wasn't a typical TV season with the strike going on and it is mind boggling that they still decide to not bring back the show this season. Lots of people need more than 6 episodes to determine whether or not they like a show and pulling a show after only 6 airings is a joke. The show was just starting to turn around and become interesting before it was pushed to the side for those classic Charlie Brown holiday specials. All I have to say is ABC gave this show the "red-headed step child" treatment and it's really a shame the show could be gone for good.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing at the end of Oprah this week when she had The Cosby Show kids reunion on earlier this week which falls into the "HUH?" category? The crowd was given both seasons 7 and 8 on DVD while everyone else in the country will have to wait until April 8 when it is officially out. She couldn't give the crowd anything else besides that? Now the rest of The Cosby Show fans have 7 more weeks until they we get those DVDs because we weren't apart of Oprah's audience. I mean this really sucks because season 6 on DVD was so unwatchable because of the Olivia focused episodes and knowing those people will be watching season 7 this month before me makes me want to puke. Oprah could have given away the single-disc "best of DVD" that is already out, not the DVD's that I can't see until April. This is what I get for even watching Oprah because if I hadn't, I would have not known about this unfair news.

I know it's real easy to just change the channel when you don't want to hear or watch a certain story on a particular network and that's exactly what I did this week. I made every effort to stay away from the Roger Clemens steroid story on ESPN but that still didn't work because it interrupted regular scheduled programming on ESPNews at 6:30pm. That's when the repeat of Pardon the Interruption comes on and because of this Roger Clemens mess all week I didn't get to see PTI on Wednesday night. I wish this story will just go away because even though it's a major sports story, ESPN acts like there are no other sports to discuss in the sports world and just made the 6pm SportsCenter, "ClemensCenter" all-week long and right now I don't know what hate I more, the story or ESPN.

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, February 15, 2008

ION March 2008 Highlights; CW Announces Post-Strike Returns; CBS Renews 11 Shows for 2008-09 Season

We told you before that Baywatch is coming to ION Television in March 2008, but we didn't have the full month's highlights yet. Now we do. There will be no other changes, so Baywatch will start March 3 at 10pm, airing Mon-Thurs. If anyone is wondering, they will be going in production order, but will be starting with Season 3...which is the first season with Nicole Eggert and Pamela Anderson. They will skip the two-part season premiere it seems, as they will start with the episode "Rookie of the Year." No other changes will be made to the line-up, as of now, so we can expect back-to-back Wayans Bros, Alice, Mama's Family and Drew Carey Show from 6-10pm Mon-Thurs leading into Baywatch at 10pm. RHI will continue to air Fri-Sun from 7-11pm with movies and mini-series such as Merlin, Arabian Nights, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
We will keep you up to date if anything changes, but for now click HERE for the March highlights where you can also discuss the programming.

The CW is now the third network (joining CBS and NBC) to officially announce plans of what series will return this season with new episodes following the end of the writers' strike. Everybody Hates Chris and Aliens in America already completed production before the strike started and still has episodes left over. So, they will launch first. Chris has 12 new episodes left (for a total of 22 this season), while Aliens has 8 left (for a total of 18 this season). Both will return Sunday, March 2. CW will return their highest rated sitcom The Game on March 23 with an expected 9 new episodes. Production will be underway soon. It is not good news however for long-running sitcom Girlfriends. The CW has announced it will not return, which the show will now end after 8 long seasons. CW could plan a series finale or a special for its final airing. One Tree Hill still has about 5 pre-strike episodes left still, but 6 new ones will be produced and will start on April 14, which is a Monday, so it seems the show will move to Mondays at 9. The current batch of new episodes, aka: the pre-strike episodes, will air Tuesdays at 9 still. Smallville will return Thursday, April 17 with 5 new episodes. I believe a few episodes before the strike also remain to air...the show will air a total of 20 episodes this season. Rookie drama Gossip Girl will return with 5 new episodes starting Monday, April 21. The show had been in repeats since early January because it ran out of episodes. Another rookie drama, Reaper will return to air on Tuesday, April 22 with 5 new episodes. The show has aired 9 so far and a few pre-strike episodes still remain and will air in its upcoming Thursday at 9 slot before moving to Tuesdays at 9 with post-strike episodes. Finally, Supernatural will return with 4 new episodes starting Thursday, April 24. This coming Thursday (Feb. 21) Supernatural will be all-new for its last pre-strike episode before goina on hiatus until April 24.
We will bring you ABC and Fox's plans as soon as they are "officially" announced.

Meanwhile, CBS has renewed 11 series for next season in a move that will return 10 hours of the network's primetime schedule and eight of the top twenty scripted series on television. Cold Case, Criminal Minds, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Ghost Whisperer, NCIS, Numb3rs, Two and a Half Men, Without a Trace and the Freshman Comedy The Big Bang Theory join previously announced Survivor and The Amazing Race as series returning next season (2008-09).
The jury is still out on shows like How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Old Christine, Shark, The Unit, Moonlight, and Jericho for next season, but we could expect a few of these to indeed return.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

NBC Announces Post-Strike Returning Series, Next Season Renewals; Fox Summer 2008 Plans

Yesterday we gave you CBS' return dates for new post-strike episodes with the number of new episodes expected. Now NBC has released their returning series, but they didn't release how many new episdodes we can expect like CBS did.
NBC will resume the broadcast of many of its scripted series in April with new original episodes following the settlement of the Writers Guild of America strike, including The Office, 30 Rock, My Name Is Earl, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, among other programs.
For the Thursday sitcoms, My Name Is Earl will return with a one-hour episode on Thursday, April 3; the Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock will begin on Thursday, April 10; likewise, the Emmy-winning The Office also resumes with new episodes on Thursday, April 10; and Scrubs will come back with original episodes beginning Thursday, April 10 as well.
Thursday drama ER also will come back on Thursday, April 10 with new episodes following the complete run of Lipstick Jungle, which concludes on March 20. Celebrity Apprentice will conclude on March 27.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will return with fresh episodes on Tuesday, April 15. Law & Order resumes with more original episodes on Wednesday, April 23. Meanwhile, Medium (Mondays, 10-11 p.m. ET) continues in originals.
NBC has not announced what they will do with Las Vegas and Friday Night Lights yet. Journeyman and Bionic Woman seem like they won't return ever. While Chuck, Life, and Heroes were renewed for next season but will not return this season. I was surprised by the Life renewal.
We will keep you up to date of further developments for NBC. We still will have details on ABC, Fox, and The CW, when they announce their plans.

But in a strange move, Fox has already announced plans for its summer slate. So You Think You Can Dance will kick off the summer season on Thursday, May 22 and Wednesday, May 28 from 8-10pm on both nights. Then it will air Thursdays at 9 and Wednesdays 8-10pm. Then reality series When Women Rule the World(working title), will debut with a special two-hour premiere Monday, June 2 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT before the series will air in its regularly scheduled time period beginning Monday, June 9 at 9:00 ET/PT.
All-new episodes of Fox favorites The Moment of Truth, Hell's Kitchen, Cops and America's Most Wanted will continue through the summer. The Moment of Truth will continue with all-new episodes, but it will be airing Thursdays at 8:00PM ET/PT starting June 12. After premiering Tuesday, April 1 at 9:00 PM ET/PT Hell's Kitchen will continue to heat up, while counting down to the winner, with all-new episodes on Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
Fan favorite Bones continues airing encores on Mondays at 8:00 PM ET/PT all summer, and House moves to Tuesdays at 8:00 PM ET/PT with encores starting May 27. Second runs of Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? will join encores of Sunday night's animated comedies starting June 1 at 7PM.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Writers' Strike Officially Over; CBS Announces Post-Strike Returning Series; Remembering Ron Leavitt

The writers' strike is officially over! The membership of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) voted overwhelmingly in favor of lifting the restraining order and ending their 100-day strike that began on Nov. 5. 3,775 writers turned out in Los Angeles and New York to cast ballots or fax in proxies, with 92.5% voting in favor of ending the work stoppage.
WGAW and WGAE members will next vote to ratify the tentative three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The membership ratification vote will be conducted by mail and also at membership meetings on February 25, 2008.

CBS has announced return dates for new episodes of nearly all of its returning scripted series! Between 4-9 episodes for each series will be produced immediately for air. The first returning series with new episodes will be the Monday sitcoms on March 17. We will see 9 new episodes each of How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men starting March 17. Old Christine will not be going back into production it seems, but it still has a handful of episodes left from before the strike. The other CBS Monday sitcom Rules of Engagement will be back with 6 new episodes starting April 14. What about Welcome to the Captain? Only 6 were ordered and they will all air by March 10. Slim chance it returns next season.
Moving on to the dramas, CSI: Miami will have the most for dramas and will return Monday, March 24 with 8 new episodes. Sunday drama Cold Case will air for 5 new weeks starting March 30. The other Sunday drama Shark is expected to produce 4 new episodes, but it is unclear when they will air, if at all this season. Wednesday dramas Criminal Minds and CSI: NY return April 2 with 7 new episodes. Thursday dramas CSI and Without a Trace will each have 6 new episodes each starting April 3. Moving on to Fridays, Ghost Whisperer and NUMB3RS will return April 4 for 6 new episodes and rookie Moonlight will return April 11 with the first of 4 new episodes. Finally, the Tuesday dramas will only see Navy NCIS return on April 8 with the first of 7 new episodes. The Unit will not return this season and Cane will also not. Only a slim chance Cane will return at all. CBS will continue to use Big Brother, Showtime's Dexter, and Jericho to fill the void of no The Unit, Shark, and Cane. Yet to premiere mid-season drama Swingtown is resuming production, but when it will air is still a question mark.

Hopefully ABC, NBC, Fox and The CW will release something similar soon. When they do, we will bring it to you for sure.

Finally we leave you today with some sad news. Ron Leavitt, a TV writer and producer who co-created the successful Fox sitcom Married With Children, has died. He died Sunday of lung cancer at his home in Los Angeles. He and Michael G. Moye co-created the hit sitcom. Michael also served as the show's executive producer and helped write nearly 150 episodes. He even appeared in some episodes as a one-liner, usually the character of Jack Dallas.
He was a major player in sitcoms behind the scenes. He wrote for series such as Busting Loose, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and The Bad News Bears. He wrote the pilot episode for the hit '80s sitcom Silver Spoons. He was also a producer of sitcoms such as Unhappily Ever After, Laverne & Shirley, The Jeffersons and It's Your Move. Ron also was the creator of two short-lived Married with Children spin-offs, Top of the Heap and Vinnie & Bobby, both of which starred a pre-Friends Matt LeBlanc. Ron was last seen on the short lived 2004 WB sitcom The Help as a writer and director.
Fans of sitcoms, especially Married with Children, will miss Ron, but his work will live on forever. Ron will be missed. He was 60.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

ABC Picks Up 9 Series for Next Season; ION Picks Up M*A*S*H; ABC Family March Changes

The strike will most likely officially end today after the vote...no doubts. We will keep you up to date on it certainly. Today is day 100.
ABC Entertainment announced pickups for nine of its most popular shows, returning broadcast television's most successful fall series. ABC Entertainment ordered episodes of Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Dirty Sexy Money, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, Samantha Who? and Ugly Betty.
On average during Fall 2007 (10 complete weeks: 9/24-12/2/07), ABC was the No. 1 network among Adults 18-49 (3.9/10), delivering the top position in the key young adult sales demo on 7 of the first 10 weeks of the season and ranking No. 1 during the November Sweep for the third consecutive year. In addition, ABC claimed eight of the Top 20 highest-rated TV shows among young adults during the fall, including five of the Top 10 freshman series.
Now these 9 are not the only ones returning, these 9 are just the early pick-ups. Missing are Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor, America's Funniest Home Videos, Boston Legal, Women's Murder Club, among others. Most of those, if not all, could also be back next season. Cavemen, Carpoolers, Notes from the Underbelly, October Road, Big Shots are in danger...and possibly Cashmere Mafia. Jury is still out on Eli Stone, but it needs to pick up in the ratings more.

ION Media Networks, Inc. today announced it has entered into an agreement with Twentieth Television to air the television series, M*A*S*H, on ION Television starting this Fall. The agreement marks the latest addition of programming to the ION network's primetime lineup. This comedic drama melds humor, social, political commentary and often heart-wrenching plotlines to provide ION's broad audience with a perennial favorite that redefined the boundaries of television programming.
More details will come closer to the premiere, but it is not certain yet if local broadcast channels will lose rights to the show this fall when ION launches it, since ION is technically a broadcast channel. TV Land and Hallmark Channel air the show on cable and will continue to do so, as this deal is not exclusive.

Since Family Matters' contract is expiring at the end of this month on ABC Family (it will move to Nick at Nite in June), they will make changes to ther March line-up. Sister, Sister will move to both Family Matters hours (Mon-Sun 7-8am and Mon-Fri 1-2pm). Sabrina, the Teenage Witch will lose its weekdays 2-3pm slot and move to every morning 8-9am. Step by Step will return to afternoons and air weekdays 2-3pm, which will be in addition to its 9am slot. And finally, weekends from 10am-12pm will be a block of Grounded for Life, with sometimes early movies in there.
To view these changes and to discuss this, click HERE!

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Strike Update; ME-TV Coming to Milwaukee, Chicago to Launch ME-Too; RTN Coming to Illinois

Well we all know the strike is just about over. Yesterday I mentioned that they had a press conference. So what happened in it? They announced a vote will be held on Tuesday. A yes vote means they are voting to end the strike immediately; a no vote means they are voting to continue the strike during the ratification process.
So the strike has unofficially ended, but it won't be official until after this vote. It is widely expected that the WGA members will indeed vote yes on the new deal and the writers would return to work Wednesday.
So today is technically still day 99 of the strike. And tomorrow is day 100, the last day technically of the strike. How cool is it that this will all end officially on day 100. We will have more on the vote and more details this week.

You all know about ME-TV in Chicago. The local Chicago station (WWME-23) that airs classic TV, well now the same people will bring ME-TV in Milwaukee! ME-TV will launch in Milwaukee March 1 with a lineup that will include programs such as I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Lost in Space.
ME-TV in Milwaukee will be on a new digital subchannel on Channel 58.3 (WDJT). In addition to being available over the air at 58.3, it will have a spot on the Time Warner and Charter digital lineups. For the record, Channel 58's less-than-full power sister channel, WMLW-TV - Channel 41 over the air and Channel 7 on Time Warner Cable - airs at 58.2.
Stay tuned right here on the News Blog for the launch schedule for this new ME-TV station in Milwaukee! We will be the first to post it, I'm sure.

Sticking with ME-TV, ME-TV in Chicago is still going strong. It just launched its new Chill with Me winter line-up and added shows such as Gilligan's Island and My Favorite Martian. Now, WWME (ME-TV Chicago) has announced it intends to add classic reruns to WFBT-Ch. 48 and rename it WMEU-TV beginning March 1. WWME-23 has called itself ME-TV. WFBT-48 will call itself ME-Too.
Besides being broadcast and carried by some area cable providers, the channels also will be available on digital sub-channels belonging to sister station WCIU-Ch. 26, WCIU-DT 26.2 and 26.3 respectively.
Between ME-TV and ME-Too, more than 100 different series will be aired! Having ME-Too will allow development of targeted blocks of programming for different demographics. It also will create a classic program stream when sports preempts regularly scheduled shows.
Among the shows we will see will be a Saturday night "pajama party" lineup will feature sitcoms Square Pegs, Silver Spoons, Facts of Life, The Monkees, The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family. Also we can expect a Sunday "Noir at Night" block of Route 66, Naked City, 77 Sunset Strip and Boris Karloff's Thriller.
Let's hope ME-TV and ME-Too expand to more cities. It would be nice to have at least a ME-TV in most markets...Chicago and Milwaukee are very lucky! I hope we get one in New York!
As we said about ME-TV Milwaukee's launch schedule, stay tuned right here on the News Blog for the launch schedule for Chicago's ME-Too! We will be the first to post it, I'm sure.

Meanwhile, something similar to ME-TV is of course Retro Television Network. RTN is now well over in 50 different markets and growing each day! Retro Television Network announced that it will partner with GOCOM Media of Illinois to bring RTN programming to Champaign/Springfield/Decatur, IL. The network will launch early next year on one of the digital streams of WRSP/WBUI.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Writers' Strike 99.9% Over Now!

We don't have our usual ratings report because we do not have final averages through the first four nights and also final numbers for Wednesday and Thursday programs yet. So I decided to preempt our weekly ratings feature, but don't worry we hope to have it next week.

I'm sure many of you have read that the writers' strike is basically over now. It won't be official until probably tomorrow, but it is very likely that the WGA members will vote for this new deal and thus the strike will end. Many writers are expected to be back to work this coming week. The WGA released: The Writers Guild of America will hold a press conference today, Sunday, Feb. 10, 12 Noon, at WGAW headquarters to update the media on important developments related to contract negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP companies.

We will have much more details on that conference and more this coming week on what we hear and what shows will return. Expect all the big hits (Grey's Anatomy, CSI, Desperate Housewives) obviously to return this season with like 4-7 episodes each. Some new shows could return (Back to You, Samantha Who, Big Bang Theory), but most of them will not until the fall. Some new shows could be gone for good anyway (Bionic Woman, Big Shots).
TV Guide has a rundown on most shows' fate for this season and beyond. View that HERE.

So hope you all join us this week as we get much more news and the official statement! It will be a pleasure not saying what the day of the strike it is. I got used to doing it, but will be happy not do it anymore! Welcome back to our favorite shows!

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: Jackie Gleason: Genius at Work; Solomon's Weekly Rant: Nick at Nite Changes; Weird ION; Barkley Needs To Go from TNT

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 MPI Home Video's Jackie Gleason: Genius at Work. Jackie Gleason: Genius at Work gives viewers a look back at one of the pioneers of television, Jackie Gleason, and his popular television series, The Jackie Gleason Show. See skees53's mini-DVD review of Jackie Gleason: Genius at Work:

Jackie Gleason: Genius at Work (MPI, $19.98) gives viewers a look back at one of the pioneers of television, Jackie Gleason, and his popular television series, The Jackie Gleason Show. The documentary is a 55 minute special that was produced for public television in 2005.
Many classic TV fans tend to remember Jackie Gleason's character of Ralph Kramden and the television series, The Honeymooners, but this retrospective tells much more about Jackie Gleason's television work, and how his show was much more than just The Honeymooners. Of course, that is an important part of his work, but there is much more. This documentary isn't like most other documentaries though. Instead of getting a bunch of interviews with a few clips in between, we mostly get a bunch of clips with a few interviews in between... which allows us to actually see first hand the work of Gleason without it being totally covered with views from people that are merely fans of his work. Who actually remembers Rudy the Repairman? What about Joe the Bartender? Or Fenwick Babbitt? In this documentary, you actually get a chance to see sketches from these characters, and not just brief clips either, but instead full length sketches as they were intended to air. Jeff Garlin hosts the documentary with Marilyn Taylor Gleason (Jackie Gleason's widow) also providing her own views on her husband's show... a show that she herself performed on at times.
The DVD isn't totally without special features either. We get excerpts (too bad it isn't the full thing, we actually only get about 15 minutes total) from the episode of The Jackie Gleason Show celebrating his 25th anniversary in show business. Honestly, it was a little boring to watch (an actual episode of the series that wasn't celebrating the anniversary would have been more interesting to watch), but we get more insight on Jackie Gleason's varying characters in the excerpts that we have from this episode.
This is a great DVD that fans of Jackie Gleason are sure to appreciate, and even if you aren't that big of a fan of "the great one," it still allows you to see a side of Jackie Gleason that gets omitted in these days where we all think Jackie Gleason was nothing more than Ralph Kramden. I would have liked to have seen more from these other characters, but what we have here gives a great "sampler platter" for all those that are even slightly interested.
Also out on DVD soon, The Color Honeymooners - Volume 2. See our review.
-- Reviewed by skees53
(4/5 stars)

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Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, February 9, 2008
"Nick at Nite Changes; Weird ION; Barkley Needs To Go from TNT"
By Solomon Davis

What is with all these sudden changes on the channel called Nick at Nite?? It seems like the network is becoming unpredictable in a bad way with the way the program schedule suddenly switches up without warning. Earlier this week the programming manager changed the overnight schedule while he was driving home in his car and that's why the Tanner family was on my TV screen at 3am in the morning instead of Will Smith. No heads up or anything... just a new programming schedule so someone who may have wanted to record a show at 3am while they were sleeping would have recorded Full House instead. Not only that but the original plan by Nick at Nite to launch Family Matters in March has now been moved to June right at the start of the summer season. Maybe Nick at Nite's next sudden move can be to have a preschool theme marathon with The Cosby Show and Full House airing back to back all night hosted by Raven Symone and the Olsen twins so we can see episodes featuring Olivia and Michelle Tanner. It will be like Nick Jr. at night.

ION has decided to make a change on its schedule. They will replace a sitcom with a drama? Why can't the network have a separate day for dramas and keep the weekly primetime schedule the way it is with all sitcoms? No but ION decides to replace Who's the Boss with Baywatch at 10pm starting in March when they could have easily put another 80's sitcom in that slot or a sitcom from any other decade. Baywatch is more of a Saturday evening type of program... not something that you would watch during the week in primetime. This show will not last long in that slot and maybe then ION will not make a change like this in the future. Replacing Who's the Boss with Baywatch is like TV Land replacing Sanford and Son with Hawaii Five-0. I bet in the month of April ION's next acquisition will be Beverly Hills, 90210 and it will replace Alice in the 7pm hour.

I can no longer stomach the speech of Charles Barkley on the TNT halftime show. Barkley has become a total bore when watching that show because he takes forever to get to the point when he is analyzing a game. He speaks very slow and sometimes stutters andeven the host Ernie Johnson gets impatient and wants Barkley to hurry up and get to the point he is trying to make. It's clear that Barkely just like to hear himself talk and he doesn't realize he is slowing the show down and putting the viewers to sleep. I just wish he would stop talking like he is home on the phone instead of on live TV because he is destroying the watchability of the halftime show. However, he is at least better than Emmitt Smith on ESPN. He doesn't know how to use words at all. Time to go back to speech class for him.

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, February 08, 2008

Day 96: WGA's Strike; ION Adds More Drew; Bewitched Fan Fare 2008

Today is day 96 of the wriers' strike. And it could be the last official day of the strike, as this thing could end tomorrow, and on Monday I will not be saying day 99 most likely. We will have full details if this ends.
Meanwhile, The CW has announced that it will not bring back WWE Smackdown! after this season. So the weekly series will be looking for a new home next season.

ION Television will be getting ready for Baywatch on March 2, but before that they will make a schedule change. On Feb. 18 - for two weeks - ION will give us two more Drew Carey Show episodes per night! It will air 10 and 10:30 p.m. those two weeks, holding the slot for Baywatch. This means Who's the Boss? will be off the line-up starting the 18th. Next Thursday will be its last airing for now.
Drew will of course still air in its 9 and 9:30 p.m. slot those two weeks and beyond.
We will have full March highlights next week. So come back for that.

This year's Bewitched Fan Fare will be held at the Victory Theater Center in Burbank, California from June 25-28.
Some of the special events include tributes to Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery (who recently was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame) and producer William Asher, as well as a history of the Warner Brother's Ranch (where Bewitched's exterior scenes were filmed for its entire 8-year run), a "Cosmos Cotillion", presentation of the first annual Bewitched Fan Fare Appreciation Award, and appearances by some very special guests.
Seats are limited, and those interested in attending Bewitched Fan Fare 2008 can get more information at www.TheBewitchedCollector.com. Registration cost is $65 per person and provides admission to all Fan Fare events, except those which may require an additional outside admission fee. All airfare, lodging, meals, etc. are the sole responsibility of attendee, unless otherwise stated.
Bewitched Fan Fare is a worldwide organization with members from all over the Cosmos, providing an annual convention loaded with fun, games and magic to witches and mortals alike since 2000 (BC). The 2006 Bewitched in Salem (MA) Convention was the biggest yet, attracting worldwide media attention.
Bewitched Fan Fare 2008 is a Bewitched Collector Production, in association with Victory Theatre Center.
Contact Mark Simpson - 253.383.8331 or Email BewitchedFanFare@aol.com for more details.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Day 95: WGA's Strike; Family Ties Reunion on Today; Nick at Nite News; RTN Adds Maryland Affiliate

Well today is day 95 of the strike. Some shows are actually getting ready to go back into production, which a sure sign the strike will end soon for sure. The big hits like Grey's Anatomy, House, Desperate Housewives, CSI will all for sure return to the air, but some new shows like Dirty Sexy Money, Pushing Daisies, Moonlight could be held back until the fall for more promotional push. Traditional sitcoms like Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Back to You could be back on the air the earliest, as it doesn't take much time for them to get back to work...we could see them back on-air in mid-late March.
As far as single camera sitcoms go, The Office has scripts ready already, so it can get on the air as fast as the traditional sitcoms. Samantha Who has three episodes left, it is a question mark though if ABC will hold on to those until the fall or get back into production right away and get in more episodes for this season. With Dancing with the Stars returning, it makes sense to get Samantha back in production ASAP for this season.
We will certainly know much more when the strike officially ends, on what will return and what won't.

The cast of NBC's Family Ties all gathered for the first time in 18 years on Thursday on NBC's Today show to help promote a new memoir, titled "Sit, Ubu, Sit," by the creator of the iconic 1980's television sitcom, Gary David Goldberg. Joining Gary David Goldberg were Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter, Justine Batemen and Tina Yothers.
"Had it not been for this book, we would not have had this reunion. This is the first time in about 18 years that we have all been on the same piece of real estate at the same time," said Michael Gross.
You can read more about this reunion that took place this morning, and watch the entire video of it by clicking HERE!
And don't forget the third season is on DVD next week. See our review for details on it and how to order! Sha la la la!

Updating our story from yesterday on Nick at Nite's overnight changes, they will indeed make these changes for the rest of the month at least rather than just this week. So, we will see a pattern of Full House, Roseanne and Cosby Show in the overnights. So Fresh Prince will be just 11pm-12am, joining Home Improvement and George Lopez in primetime, while the other three shows are for late owls.
For the schedule of the overnights, click HERE!

Yet more RTN news! Retro Television Network (RTN) announced today that it will launch an RTN affiliate in Salisbury, MD. The network will begin airing on WRDE in the 4th quarter of this year on the station's digital channel. The station is currently being acquired by XBC Broadcasting, LLC, pending FCC approval.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Day 94: WGA's Strike; New Sitcom Pick-Ups; Nick at Nite Overnight Changes

Today is the 94th day of the strike. No news to report, but there are some sitcom news to report.
MyNetworkTV has ordered 13 episodes of C To The B Productions and Qtopia Entertainment's new half-hour comedy, Under One Roof. Starring Flavor Flav, the series is scheduled to debut in the Spring of 2008.
Flav plays Calvster Hill, an ex-convict that moves in with his wealthy, conservative brother, Walter (Kelly Perine). Calvster subsequently turns the Hill family's life upside down, parading his old prison cronies through the house; teaching his nephew Walter Jr. to be a gangsta rapper; and butting heads with Walter's snooty wife, Ashley. The series is currently in production in Toronto, Canada and licensed by C To The B Productions and Qtopia Entertainment to MyNetworkTV.
Since the series is written by Canadian writers, this show will have no effect from the strike.
Meanwhile, NBC has announced a series pickup of the American adaptation of the Australian hit comedy series Kath & Kim, starring Molly Shannon (NBC's Saturday Night Live) and Selma Blair (Legally Blonde).
6 episodes have been picked-up, but not word when it could start airing. I would guess the fall. It is a series adapted from Australia's hit comedy of the same title, is a look into the minutiae of middle-class suburbia that digs deep into the daily lives of Kath, a cheerful, forty-something divorcee, and her self-absorbed daughter, Kim. It's the love and hate, push and pull, of the dysfunctional relationship only a mother and daughter could share.

It finally looks like the every night marathon of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on Nick at Nite in the late nights could be gone...at least for this week. Last night Full House aired from 2-6am, and it appears at least for this week, there will be no Fresh in the overnights. In addition to Full House on Tuesday night, we get Roseanne tonight from 2-5:30am, The Cosby Show on Thursday night from 2-6am, more Full House on Friday night from 3-6am, more Roseanne on Saturday night from 2-6am, and more The Cosby Show on Sunday night from 1:30am-6am.
I will let you know as soon as I do what will happen next week...but my guess is it will be the same as this week, with Fresh Prince on Monday nights from 2-6am. No schedule changes will be made from 9pm-2am.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Day 93: WGA's Strike; Perfect Strangers DVD; RTN Coming to Rio Grande Valley

We are now on day 93 of the strike. We are closer and closer each day for this thing to end. The WGA has set membership meetings for this Saturday in Los Angeles and New York to inform their members on the latest developments in negotiations with the producers and perhaps give the industry an idea of how close the strike is to being settled.
WGA chairman John Bowman said neither the negotiating committee nor the WGA boards will "take action on the contract until after the membership meetings." So it doesn't seem we'll get an announcement on the end of the strike this week...but maybe early next week? Pray!

The Perfect Strangers DVD is out today! Warner Home Video is finally releasing this series on DVD and we get the complete first and second seasons on DVD TODAY! Order it if you haven't already by clicking HERE! We just got the DVD today unfortunately for review, so I am working hard to get this review up for you all by the end of today. This is an extra special review, because so many have waited so long for this day, that I must let you all know about the DVD. But please order it...so we can be assured of all seasons on DVD in the near future.
Come on back for a link to our review...you'll find the link to it on the message boards, the main page of the website, the DVD reviews page, and right here on the blog on our DVD Pick of the Week! And my good friend Linda Kay, who runs PerfectStrangers.TV has put up her review already! Like everything she does, it is a great read. What a nice detailed review with lots of images. Check out her review on her website. I'm off now to finish this review up...check back!

UPDATE: Perfect Strangers - The Complete First and Second Seasons DVD Review

RTN keeps on growing guys! Yet another announcement today! Retro Television Network (RTN) announced today that it will bring RTN programming to Harlingen/Weslaco/Brownsville/McAllen, TX (Rio Grande Valley). The new affiliate is scheduled to air later this year on a digital stream of the market-leading ABC affiliate, KRGV.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Day 92: WGA's Strike; ION Touts Its Ratings for RHI and Drew Carey; 5 More RTN Affiliates

Today is day 92 of the strike. Rumors are swirling that this will be resolved very soon. An announcement could come as soon as this week! I bet nothing will come officially until Wednesday or Thursday at the earliest (as right now the main stories are the high-rated Super Bowl and Super Tuesday primaries). If the strike does end this week, production on many shows could be back up and running by the end of the month or early March for sure and we could start getting new episodes of our favorite scripted shows by the end of March or early April! Good news indeed!
Don't forget to tune in to the new CBS sitcom Welcome to the Captain premiereing tonight at 8:30pm, and then an hour later at 9:30pm it is the season premiere of Old Christine!

The RHI mini-series Journey to the Center of the Earth starring Ricky Schroder (NYPD Blue, Silver Spoons), Victoria Pratt (Day Break) and the legendary Peter Fonda, garnered significant ratings success with its Sunday, January 27 debut on ION Television. According to Nielsen Media Research data, the two-hour original television movie, a dynamic new adaptation of the classic tale by Jules Verne executive produced by Robert Halmi, Sr. and Robert Halmi, Jr., was seen in more than 1.1 million households and attracted over 1.6 million total viewers. The mini-series is the fifth original production from RHI Entertainment to air on ION, also generated the highest delivery among key demographics of RHI content on ION since its start. The Sunday night RHI Movie Weekend block has shown continued growth versus the fourth quarter, boosting households by 112 percent and more than doubling in every demographic category. RHI programming airs on ION Fri-Sun from 7-11pm.
Meanwhile, ION Television saw a ratings boost on Monday, January 28, as The Drew Carey Show delivered a 0.6 HH rating, doubling its four-week average of 0.3 HH since its launch on New Year's Day. In its 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. timeslot, the Emmy-nominated series captured 622,000 households (close to 1 million total viewers), and delivered a 73 percent increase in adults 25-54 and a 141 percent increase in women 25-54 in comparison to its average performance since its launch. After somewhat a slow start, hopefully it can keep this up as ION will add Baywatch right after it starting March 3.

Retro Television Network has announced that it will partner with White Knight Broadcasting to bring RTN programming to Shreveport, Louisiana (KSHV-DT) and Baton Rouge, Louisiana (KZUP-CA). The network will launch late this year in both markets. Also, under the terms of the agreement, RTN programming will also air an additional four to seven hours a day on Shreveport's My Network affiliate, KSHV.
In addition, they will launch an RTN affiliate in Wichita/Hutchinson, Kansas. The network will begin airing in the second quarter of this year on KGPT, a Great Plains Television Network station.
Finally, they will launch RTN affiliates in two South Dakota markets, Sioux Falls and Rapid City. In Sioux Falls, the network will begin airing in March on KAUN, a station owned by J.F. Broadcasting that currently airs ION Television. In Rapid City, RTN programming will launch this summer on a digital stream of KOTA, the local ABC affiliate that is owned by Duhamel Broadcasting.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Week 19 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did

Week 19 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Thu):

Households: Fox 9.9/15.0, CBS 5.7/8.8, ABC 5.4/8.4, NBC 5.3/8.4, The CW 1.4/2.1, MyNetworkTV 0.9/1.4
Total Viewers: Fox 17.25 million, ABC 8.49 million, CBS 8.44 million, NBC 8.24 million, The CW 2.1 million, MyNetworkTV 1.41 million
Adults 18-49: Fox 6.6/16.6, ABC 3.0/7.8, NBC 2.9/7.4, CBS 2.1/5.5, The CW 0.9/2.2, MyNetworkTV 0.6/1.4

Analysis: Week 19 so far has again seen Idol score big for Fox, although it was down once again from previous week...the Super Bowl will air tonight on Fox and crush everything once again. Fox is obviously on top by big this week in all categories and will even be higher after tonight. CBS, ABC and NBC are battling for a distant second in HH, viewers, and 18-49. Fox will for sure win the week thanks to Idol and the Super Bowl, no doubt. Last week, week 18, Fox was number one all categories. CBS was second in HH and viewers, while NBC was second in 18-49. NBC was third in HH and viewers, while ABC was third in 18-49. CBS was fourth in 18-49 and ABC fourth in HH and viewers.
On Monday, all of the big 4 aired Bush's State of the Union address from 9-10 followed by a half-hour analysis, so lots of preemptions. ABC had the highest rated hour of the night with an abbreviated 60 minute Dance War doing a solid 9.45 million, down slightly from previous week. NBC aired American Gladiators and it did 8.6 million, down from previous week by over a million. CBS was in repeat mode for its sitcom as Mother did 7.33 million and Men at a special time did 9.6 million. Fox aired an encore of Sarah Connor Chronicles which did 5.99 million. The CW had a Gossip Girl special from 8-9:30 doing 1.72 million and a repeat of Aliens in America at 1.58 million. The battle of the 10:30 sitcom repeats after the State of the Union went to CBS, see below.
On Tuesday, Fox was on top thanks to Idol's 28.22 million, down from previous week. An all-new episode of House followed with 22.56 million, obviously a season high. CBS was a distant second with a repeat of NCIS at 11.77 million, very solid on par from previous week...followed by a repeat of The Unit at 6.93 million, down from previous week and a new 48 Hours Mystery at 7.86 million, up from previous week. NBC aired a two-hour Biggest Loser at 8.33 million, down from previous week and a Law & Order: SVU repeat followed with 9.29 million. ABC had two repeats of Just for Laughs start the night off with 5.03 million, slightly up from previous week, another repeat followed with 4.71 million, up from previous week's repeat...a new According to Jim followed with 5.7 million, down from previous week and a new Carpoolers only managed 3.84 million, down from previous week. ABC closed the night off with a repeat of Boston Legal at a 5.24 million. The CW aired a repeat of Reaper at just 1.55 million and all-new One Tree Hill did 2.79 million...down from previous week.
On Wednesday, it was all Fox again. American Idol did 25.57 million, once again down from previous week. The second showing of Moment of Truth followed with 17.64 million, way down from the premiere, but still great. NBC started the night off with a repeat of Deal or No Deal at 9.68 million, down about 4 million from previous week as it was a repeat, the NBC airing of USA Network's Law & Order: Criminal Intent did 8.89 million, up a bit from previous week, followed by the original Law & Order at 11.1 million, up from previous week. ABC's Wife Swap did 5.78, followed by the two-hour encore of last season's Lost finale at an impressive 8.47 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating. CBS started off slow with two repeats of Old Christine at 4.89 and 4.75 million, but up from the now removed Power of 10. Repeats of Criminal Minds and CSI: NY did 8.74 and 7.3 million...seems below normal. . The CW had a new showing of Crowned and a repeat of One Tree Hill at 1.42 and 910,000...Crowned is not doing good, down again from previous week.
On Thursday, Lost is back and ABC won the night. Sure ABC's big gun of Grey's Anatomy is now off-air because of the strike, but ABC has put Lost on Thursdays and the premiere dominated. A clip show even won the 8pm hour with an impressive 13.16 million, followed by the season premiere at a dominant 16.14 million and a 6.7 18-49 rating, and the series premiere of Eli Stone did well with 11.14 million. Fox was second thanks to Idol's promotion for sure, as Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? and Don't Forget the Lyrics! did 10.56 and 10.97 million, the latter did unusually high it seems CBS started the night off with a repeat of CSI: NY at a solid 8.67 million, followed by a repeat of CSI at 11.69, down from previous week, and a repeat of Without a Trace closed the night off with 10.18 million, also down from previous week. NBC started the night with the repeats of My Name is Earl and The Office at 5.27 and 4.45 million, a two-hour Celebrity Apprentice followed with 7.82 million, down from previous week and it got slaughtered at 9pm by ABC.
Like usual, no Friday finals yet, but CBS, NBC and Fox had something to smile about. NBC's 1 vs. 100 had the highest rating at 8pm, followed closely by a repeat of CBS' Ghost Whisperer. At 9pm a House repeat won the hour for Fox,. The 10pm hour was very close as ABC, CBS and NBC did decent enough for a Friday. On Saturday, it was a dead night like usual. Cops had the highest 18-49 rating in the low 2's.
Tonight will be all Fox with the Super Bowl (I know...any idiot can tell you that). Will this Super Bowl beat the 1982 record of a 49.1 rating? Or the highest total viewers of 94.08 million which was in 1996? We shall find out soon! Who will be second tonight is the story. Usually movies do the best, and ABC has one from 9-11pm with Meet the Fockers.
As for the week, Fox will win in HH, viewers and 18-49. The battle for second is up in the air. I predict CBS second, ABC third and NBC fourth.
This coming week...has CBS premiering a new sitcom (see yesterday's blog for a review) and returning Old Christine tomorrow night. Will the Super Bowl help any of Fox's shows go up a bit? We shall see. Lost and Eli Stone are a must watch this Thursday...let's see how much it will hold in the ratings from previous week. And finally, the strike could end this week, so it could be a very happy week!


Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of January 21-27)

  • Aliens in America (The CW) - A repeat did 880,000 viewers...nearly doubling the viewers from previous week when it was against the NFC Championship game on Fox.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - A new episode did a below average 7.45 million and a 3.65 18-49 rating. A repeat followed and did better actually 7.57 million and a 3.7 18-49 rating.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - A repeat built on its lead-in and did 7.72 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating, not bad for a repeat.
  • American Dad (Fox) - A new episode did just 6.16 million.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 7.33 million for a repeat...up a bit from previous week's repeat of 7.13 million.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 9.6 million tuned in for a repeat...down from previous week by 2 million, but it aired at 8:30 on this night.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - A special 10:30pm repeat did 5.16 million, the best of the 10:30 sitcom repeats on this night.
  • Samantha Who (ABC) - A special 10:30pm repeat did 3.8 million, the second best of the 10:30 sitcom repeats on this night.
  • The Office (NBC) - A special 10:30pm repeat did 3.65 million, the third best of the 10:30 sitcom repeats on this night.
  • CW Monday Comedies: Aliens in America. All preempted but a repeat of Aliens at a special time of 9:30pm did 1.58 million.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • According to Jim (ABC) - A new episode did 5.7 million, down from previous week's season high of 6.28 million.
  • Carpoolers (ABC) - Just 3.84 million, down from previous week's 4.92 million.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Old Christine (CBS) - Two repeats at a special night and time did 4.89 and 4.75 million.
Thursday Sitcoms
  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - A repeat did OK with 5.27 million.
  • The Office (NBC) - A repeat did just 4.45 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 as Fox airs the Super Bowl.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men repeat was impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as According to Jim, How I Met Your Mother repeat) or just plain old terrible (The Office repeat, Carpoolers).

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

CBS Mid-Season Pilot Review: Welcome to The Captain - Premieres February 4; Solomon's Weekly Rant

Today instead of our regular Saturday Mini-DVD Review we have a pilot review for a new sitcom premiering Monday on CBS! We still have Solomon's Weekly Rant right below the review, so not to fret!

Welcome to The Captain Cast

Welcome to The Captain - Mondays at 8:30PM ET/PT on CBS
Premieres February 4 at 8:30PM ET/PT

Welcome to The Captain is a comedy 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." Josh (FRAN KRANZ, The TV Set), is a Hollywood whiz kid whose filmmaking career has hit a wall. Just when Josh is about to move back to New York, his accountant-to-the-stars best friend, Marty (CHRIS KLEIN, American Pie), convinces him to move into his legendary apartment building. Among the eccentric tenants are Uncle Saul (Emmy Award nominee JEFFREY TAMBOR, Arrested Development), a former Three's Company writer who is the building's self-proclaimed expert on anything and everything; Charlene (Golden Globe Award winner RAQUEL WELCH, The Three Musketeers), the femme fatale who welcomes Josh in her own seductive style; Jesus (comedian AL MADRIGAL), a gossipy doorman who knows all the residents' most tantalizing secrets, and Astrid (VALERIE AZLYNN, Two and a Half Men) a flighty, aspiring young actress. Josh is most taken with the earthy, beautiful Hope, (JOANNA GARCIA, Reba), an aspiring acupuncturist who enlists him as a practice patient. The folklore of this fabled apartment building always continues to grow and, as each dweller quickly learns, the walls never stop talking.
The single-camera comedy, shot in Los Angeles, premieres Monday, Feb. 4 (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS. The series was created by John Hamburg and is executive produced by Hamburg, Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen for CBS Paramount Network Television.

Cast Details:

Fran Kranz as Josh Flum, Chris Klein as Marty Tanner, Jeffrey Tambor as Uncle Saul Fish, Joanne Garcia as Hope, Raquel Welch as Charlene Van Ness, Valerie Azlynn as Astrid, and Al Madrigal as Jesus.

Fran Kranz (Josh) is best known for his performance in the feature film The TV Set. A graduate of Yale University, Kranz has played a series of memorable roles in feature films. He also has extensive theatre credits. He is new to the television industry and impressively is the lead in this new sitcom.

Chris Klein (Marty) began his acting career in the critically acclaimed film Election. His performance garnered him a Chicago Film Critics nomination for Most Promising Newcomer and the film received a nomination for Best Picture at the Independent Spirit Awards. He went on to star as Chris 'Oz' Ostreicher in the raucous comedy American Pie and reprised his role in American Pie 2 the following year. Klein has featured roles in upcoming films and has done a lot of movies previously. This is Klein's first regular role in a television series.

Jeffrey Tambor (Saul) is a television veteran and has starred on television in the hit series The Larry Sanders Show and the critically-acclaimed and Emmy Award-winning Arrested Development, for which he received two Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Also, he had three guest roles on the sitcom Three's Company (for which his character on this show was a writer for), and he also had a co-starring role on the spin-off The Ropers. He also recently starred in the short-lived sitcom 20 Good Years opposite John Lithgow. Tambor just wrapped production on two films Hellboy 2 and Superhero, which will be released this year. His other feature film credits include How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Dolittle, There's Something About Mary, and many others.

Raquel Welch (Charlene) has millions of movie fans who first glimpsed her statuesque beauty in the science fiction classic One Million Years B.C., after which she secured a place for herself as the reigning sex symbol of the '60s and '70s. She has starred in over 45 films and won a Golden Globe for best actress in The Three Musketeers. She also acted on the stage with a remarkable performance in the hit Broadway musical Woman of the Year, which led her to a starring role in Victor/Victoria.

Joanna Garcia (Hope) was born and raised in Tampa, Fla. and first began performing at the age of 10 when she auditioned for a local theater production and earned the lead role. From there she was discovered by Nickelodeon, who cast her in the television series Are You Afraid of the Dark? Garcia attended the University of Florida, but after her freshman year she moved to Los Angeles and landed a role in the 1999 John Ritter CBS television movie Holy Joe on her first day in town. She went on to co-star the hit series Reba, playing Reba's daughter, Cheyenne Montgomery. Her other television credits include Party of Five, Freaks and Geeks and Boston Public. Her feature film credits include American Pie 2 (with co-star Chris Klein) and Not Another Teen Movie.

Valerie Azlynn (Asterid) was born and raised in New London, Conn. She moved to New York to pursue a career as an actress and built a resume performing in the theatre and singing with a reputable Opera Company in Manhattan. Her previous television credits include a recurring role in the CBS drama CSI: NY, as well as the CBS comedies Two And A Half Men and How I Met Your Mother. Her feature film credits include Poseidon, Bewitched and Constantine, and will be seen in the upcoming films Tropic Thunder and Hancock.

Al Madrigal (Jesus) has been called "dynamic" by the New York Times, and his flair for storytelling has established him as one of the nation's premiere stand-up comedians. He won the "Jury Award for Best Stand-up Comedian" at the 2004 HBO Comedy Festival. Madrigal can regularly be seen on television in his own half-hour Comedy Central Presents special, as well as his frequent guest spots on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Madrigal continues to headline comedy clubs and theatres around the country.

Pilot Plot:

We have received the first two episodes of this sitcom, "Pilot" and "Weekend at Saul's."

In the premiere episode, "Pilot" (airing Feb. 4 at 8:30), Josh Flug, a one-time Hollywood hot shot, is persuaded by his friend, Marty, to move into the El Capitan apartment building, dubbed "The Captain" by its residents. With its eccentric group of tenants, he realizes this is the fresh start he needs.
Directed by: John Hamburg
Written by: Executive Producer John Hamburg

Episode 2: "Weekend at Saul's" (airing Feb. 11 at 8:30) - When Josh invites Hope to stay at his apartment for the weekend, Uncle Saul convinces him that it is a bad move, and persuades him to stay at his weekend retreat in order to make her jealous.
Directed by: Mark Mylod
Written by: Executive Producers Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen
Guest Stars: Michael Weston as Brad and Christine Woods as Claire

Analysis:

This sitcom is actually pretty interesting. It is basically about a one-time Hollywood writer named Josh moving into The Captain hotel that is filled with ex-Hollywood stars. He was persuaded by his friend Marty, who seems very crazy, to move in to the hotel. Marty himself lives in the hotel as well. We also have Saul Fish, who likes to be called "Uncle Saul," living here. He was once a writer for four seasons on Three's Company, which he likes to call "T. Co." There are a lot of Three's Company references (such as #1 in the Nielsen's, Suzie Somers and Mrs. Roper). Then we have the front-desk attendant/doorman Jesus (not pronounced Hesus), who eavesdrops a lot and gossips about everyone. He and Saul are a good comedy team. Then we have the sexy older woman Charlene, was on either Knots Landing or Falcon Crest, no one can remember which. She seduces Josh but it is Uncle Saul who has a crush on her. Then we have Josh's love interest, Hope, an aspiring acupuncturist who enlists him as a practice patient...and Josh falls in love, but he later finds out she has a boyfriend in New York. Then finally we have Astrid, a flighty, aspiring young actress, who Marty tried to set-up Josh with, but she is too dumb for Josh.

That's all the characters in a nutshell. It really is an interesting show and after two episodes, I'll continue to watch this show. The pilot has us all meeting the characters while episode two is more about Josh's pursuit of Hope. I really like all the pop culture references here...we get Three's Company, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing, Alice, Weekend at Bernie's, and more. It is so funny that Tambor's character Saul was a writer on Three's Company because Tambor guest starred on three episodes of that show and also starred in the spin-off, The Ropers. Very clever. Let's hope Joyce DeWitt or Suzanne Somers can guest star in the future. Saul and Jesus are clearly the funniest on the show. Marty is also not too shabby. Saul also says he had a thing going with Linda Lavin of Alice...funny stuff.
One of the funniest lines is in the pilot with Saul saying Charlene has a tush like a buttery chardonnay.

Conclusion:

This is certainly a watchable sitcom. With the strike, we don't have as many options as we would have before scripted wise, so it might get a decent sampling. What will hurt is that it will follow repeats of How I Met Your Mother. Another thing working against this show is that it is in a single-camera sitcom. CBS is not known for these at all. In fact, all of their sitcoms are traditional style. NBC or ABC is more known for these. Little is expected of this sitcom, so it could surprise. With the strike still going, there is a chance this could be picked-up in the fall for more than 6 episodes, since a pilot season could be washed away.

I liked the show. It is charming and has a romantic feel to it. Will Hope & Josh get together? With the help of Saul and Jesus, it could happen. Or will Marty ruin it by staying in Josh's apartment even more? Marty has his own apartment, but one of his girlfriends is now living there. He is certainly girl crazy, but more crazy in general, too. It is smartly written, which is not CBS's style. I'm not sure if it is funnier than The Big Bang Theory, which is probably CBS's smartest sitcom as of now, but this one is the smartest after two episodes. Maybe I am thinking that because it is single-camera. Fans of shows in a hotel, like Hotel, Faulty Towers, Over the Top, and so many others (wow this has been done a lot, hasn't it?), will like this show. Let's hope it gets laugh-out-loud funny!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 02/02/08

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

Related Links:

  • CBS.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Welcome to The Captain Photo Gallery


    Solomon's Weekly Rant
    Saturday, February 2, 2008
    "Annoying Auditions on American Idol; Lifetime Original Gone Without Notice; Miami Heat Still on National TV?"
    By Solomon Davis

    Every season around this time American Idol fans have to watch all the auditions that are not funny anymore just so we can get to the real part of the show. When will the American Idol producers realize that 75% of these people who are auditioning only want to be seen on TV and have no intention of becoming the next American Idol? Seems like everyone these days wants to follow in the footsteps of that god awful William Hung from three years back and purposely try to make a fool of themselves so they can be discovered. It's time to cut these auditions down since most of these clowns only come on the show to act a fool not show they have singing talent which is what the show is supposed to be about.

    The last time I checked there was a new show on Lifetime called Matched in Manhattan and now it's gone? It was airing right after the god awful show How to Look Good Naked and it just vanished off the schedule completely. Lifetime couldn't give the show at least a month? Why just yank the show off so quickly when most people were probably getting into the show? And to make things worse How to Look Good Naked is on for a FULL HOUR now while Matched in Manhattan is no longer on the schedule. How to Look Good Naked is nothing but a sneaky rip-off of TLC's What Not to Wear. I'm done with Lifetime original programming since this is the second time they did this to me.

    I know the Miami Heat has Dwayne Wade and the team was expected to be a contender this season but they are not and it's no reason for their games to be on ESPN, ABC, or TNT. The Heat record is 8-38 and the NBA expects NBA fans to still be excited to watch a horrible team like that on their day off? The NFL doesn't have a problem canceling games if a certain team has a horrible record so why can't the NBA do the same? The last time I checked I thought networks were interested in HIGH RATINGS and not still airing the games of a losing team on national TV because they have a NBA All-Star.

    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, February 01, 2008

    Day 89: WGA's Strike; NATPE Notes, Fall 2008 Syndication Preview; Classic TV Trading Cards

    Well it is now day 89 of the strike. No announcements yet of the happenings at the informal meetings. New scripted programming can still be found on the networks these days even though most shows have gone dark in airings. Returning series such as Lost, Medium, Brothers & Sisters, Boston Legal, Men in Trees, According to Jim, Girlfriends, Everybody Hates Chris, October Road, and The New Adventures of Old Christine have some episodes still left to air. While new series are still coming like last night's premiere of Eli Stone, the upcoming premiere of Lipstick Jungle, Cashmere Mafia, Sarah Connor Chronicles,, and the new sitcom Welcome to the Captain. We will have a full review of Welcome to the Captain here tomorrow, so come on back. The sitcom premieres CBS Monday at 8:30pm.
    So don't stop watching TV because the strike is going on. There are still a lot of scripted shows still on the air with new episodes. But yes we would like the strike to end so we can get most of our favorites back on the air.
    Meanwhile, Fox has picked-up 13 more episodes of the reality show The Moment of Truth. Now the show will have 25 episodes for this season.

    NATPE's annual syndication conference ended yesterday. No real notes are in as of yet, as this has been a quieter than usual NATPE. It certainly started strong with tons of updates the first day or two, but it ends with a whimper. But as promised, we will preview for you all the new entries for syndication in Fall 2008! Here is a tentative list:

    Fall 2008 Syndication
    Off-Network Daily Sitcoms
    Tyler Perry's House of Payne (Debmar-Mercury)

    Off-Network Weekend Dramas
    Boston Legal (20th Century Fox)
    CSI: NY (CBS Television Distribution)
    Desperate Housewives (Disney/ABC Studios)
    Lost (Disney/ABC Studios)
    Monk (NBC Universal)

    Off-Network Weekend Reality
    American Chopper (Debmar-Mercury)
    Cribs (Litton Entertainment)
    Gladiators 2000 (MGM)
    Pimp My Ride (Litton Entertainment)
    Storm Stories (Litton Entertainment)

    First-Run Daily Talk Shows
    The Bonnie Hunt Show (Warner Bros.)
    The Doctors (CBS Television Distribution)
    The Donald Trump Show * (20th Century Fox)
    Godfrey Live * (Radar Entertainment)
    Teen Talk with India Oxenberg * (Radar Entertainment)
    Untitled Steve Harvey Project * (20th Century Fox)

    First-Run Daily Court Shows
    Family Court with Judge Penny (Program Partners)
    Judge Karen (Sony Pictures Television)
    Star Witness * (Radar Entertainment)

    First-Run Daily Game Shows
    Deal or No Deal (NBC Universal)
    Trivial Pursuit: America Plays (Debmar-Mercury)

    First-Run Weekend Shows
    Terry Goodkind's Wizard's First Rule (Disney/ABC Studios)

    * - Not a firm go yet, and no buys as of yet.

    We will update you with clearances and if the projects with not a firm go yet are cleared. So keep checking back!

    Sports legends aren't all you'll find in your packs of trading cards this year as Donruss taps into the world of Hollywood and pop culture to create a one-of-a-kind card set that captures the flavor of Americas rich and storied show biz history. Over 100 personalities are featured in Donruss Americana with more than 50 signing autographs and contributing memorabilia to the unique product.
    Decorated actor Larry Hagman, who played notorious oil baron J.R. Ewing in Dallas as well as Anthony Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie appear in Donruss Americana as both personas, including a dual-autograph card with Jeannie co-star Barbara Eden.
    Gilligan's Island stars Russell Johnson (The Professor) and Dawn Wells (Mary Ann) are also featured in Americana with a dual-autograph card, individual common cards, and authentic personally worn shirt piece card (Dawn Wells only). Bob Denver (Gilligan) hasn't been forgotten as he is part of the Hollywood Legends basic subset and rare material swatch subset.
    More recent TV pop stars such as Married with Children's Ed O'Neill (Al Bundy) and Katey Sagal (Peggy Bundy) tag up in the Co-Stars Signature Series as well as the Co-Star Material Series sets. Both stars are individually represented in the common card set along with David Faustino (Bud).
    Each 5-card pack sells for $40 and guarantees collectors either one autograph or memorabilia card in each pack. For more information visit your local hobby shop or www.Donruss.com.

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