Sunday, August 31, 2008

TV Rebels: Monty Python's Flying Circus

Since it is Labor Day weekend, our ratings report is off this week. Stay tuned next week for the return of that...as today we will give you a TV Rebels column!

It's time for another edition of TV Rebels. We originally had special permission to publish the first 6 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 authors Lou Orfanella and Oscar De Los Santos...and as we mentioned in April, we have now gotten rights to 6 additional essays (for a total of 12!), so we will be bringing you one each month until at least November! Upcoming TV Rebel columns coming soon are about Rod Serling and Desi Arnaz. The book is in the works and will be released in 2009.

So without further adieu, we bring you the ninth essay of TV Rebels:

Monty Python's Flying Circus: "-and now for something completely different!"
by contributing author Kelly L. Goodridge

It was 39 years ago when Monty Python's Flying Circus and the satirical comedy of six men known as the "Pythons" altered the face of television comedy. John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, and Graham Chapman, all Pythons and graduates of Oxford and Cambridge, created a kind of side-show television circus sketch comedy that commented on, questioned and poked fun at life. Monty Python's Flying Circus is known for its ingenuous brand of "Pythonesque" humor and for subverting the standard formats that other sitcoms deemed necessary in the late 1960s. The show includes satire, farce, sarcasm and parody, and is difficult to categorize, especially with sketches such as "The Funniest Joke in the World," the "Dead Parrot" sketch, "The One-Man Wrestling Match," and "The Ministry of Silly Walks." Michael Mills, BBC's Head of Comedy, initially gave the Python team thirteen 30-minute shows, the first of which aired on BBC-1 on October 5, 1969. However, 44 more episodes followed and aired over four seasons. The show was produced by John Howard Davies and the first 39 episodes were titled Monty Python's Flying Circus, but the final six episodes, which aired without Cleese, were called Monty Python (The Museum of Broadcast Communications). Although the final episode aired on Dec. 5, 1974, the television series and five Monty Python films have a cult following today (The Pythons Autobiography By The Pythons).
Originally, the comedy series was to be called "Baron Von Took's Flying Circus," after a comment made by Mills. However, Barry Took, the comedian that is credited as "London's Longest Laugh," and who Mills coined "Baron Von Took" brought the Pythons to the BBC and suggested the show unite two teams of young writers -- Michael Palin and Terry Jones alongside John Cleese and Graham Chapman (BBC News "Took: Comedy with a Twist"). "The content of Monty Python's Flying Circus was designed to be disconcerting to viewers who expected to see typical television fare" (The Museum of Broadcast Communications). The show's humor is evidenced in each of the comedic actors' ability to play diverse roles and characters, including women. In addition, each Python also refined character traits such as "Captain Fantastic," off the wall language accents and trademark lines such as Cleese's "You bastard!" The show's sketches are loaded with innuendo and risqué humor, sight gags, disrespect for authority and animation merged with live action. Gilliam's arrangement of cut-out art and skewed scale set against surrealist landscapes offered something new. Gilliam asserts, "Nobody had ever seen anything like it and I was animator. Just like that" (The Pythons Autobiography By The Pythons 119).
Rather than following traditional sketch format, the Pythons were innovators and rebels of sorts with their jokes and sketches, which have had a lasting effect on the medium (Saturday Night Live and SCTV). In fact, The BBC credits Monty Python's Flying Circus as "one of the most popular comedy series ever" (BBC News "Took: Comedy with a Twist"). At any rate, the television series was a precursor to their films and if the official Monty Python website, Pythonline.com is any indication -- the show impacted and continues to impact culture. Pythonline offers "The Daily Python" news, books, audio recordings, clothing, toys, a 16 DVD boxed set of "The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus" with all 45 television episodes, as well as DVD's of their films -- And Now For Something Completely Different (1971), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974), Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979), Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1982), and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983). The website also includes the "Latest Global Python Sightings" and appearances of the Pythons (with the exception of Graham Chapman, who died of cancer in October 1989), polls for visitors to take where one can select their favorite movie or "Vote for the Top Ten Monty Python Skits of all time!!", as well as a link to buy tickets for their current musical hit comedy Spamalot on Broadway or in Las Vegas, London, or Melbourne.

Works Cited
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and
Michael Palin with Bob McCabe. The Pythons Autobiography By The
Pythons
. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, First St. Martins Griffin ed.,
November 2005.
Pythonline.com, the official Monty Python website. <http://pythonline.com/>.
BBC News. "Took: Comedy with a Twist." <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1903971.stm>. Sunday, March 31, 2002.
Hammill, Geoff. "Monty Python's Flying Circus: British Sketch Comedy/Farce/Parody/Satire Series." The Museum of Broadcast Communication (mbc). <http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/M/htmlM/montypythobn/montypython.htm>.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Blog DVD Review: Eli Stone: The Complete First Season (Sept. 2)

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the mini-DVD review...but wait! We're renaming the weekly mini-DVD review now to the weekly "Blog DVD Review." Sometimes our mini-DVD reviews are a bit long and we can't help it because we have a lot to share with you. I laugh sometimes, because sometimes the mini ones are longer than our normal full reviews for sitcoms. So effective today the mini-DVD review is now called the Blog DVD Review...it'll be the same concept, but just a new name. Bookmark the old label to see our past mini-DVD reviews because now we're using the new label for blog DVD reviews.
This week on the Blog DVD Review we take a look at ABC Studios/Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Eli Stone: The Complete 1st Season. Eli Stone is about a lawyer (Jonny Lee Miller) with a special gift of seeing visions of the future, but he has a brain aneurysm that medically says that is the reason why he is zoning out with visions. Is science correct or do you have faith? This show is so great and anything with Natasha Henstridge in it is worth watching! See my mini-DVD review of Eli Stone: The Complete 1st Season:

Eli Stone: The Complete 1st Season (Buena Vista, $39.99) brings the first season of the new legal drama with lots of comedy, music, science, law and faith on DVD for the first time! Follow Eli Stone on his quest for answers in this exciting and upbeat comedic drama. Basically the plot in a nutshell...Eli Stone is discovered to have an inoperable brain aneurysm which is causing hallucinations, according to his brother, Dr. Nathan Stone. However, he visits an acupuncturist named Dr. Chen, and he suggests that his hallucinations are actually divinely inspired visions of the future. These visions often predict future cases and events and are always right, leading Eli to go back and forth in his faith. Is he a prophet? One will have to keep watching and have faith in this series.
The series will air Tuesdays at 10PM, following Dancing with the Stars: The Results, on ABC this coming season and stars Jonny Lee Miller as Eli Stone, Natasha Henstridge as Taylor Wethersby, Loretta Devine as Patti Dellacroix, Matt Letscher as Nathan Stone, Sam Jaeger as Matt Dowd, James Saito as Dr. Chen, Julie Gonzalo as Maggie Dekker, Jason Winston George as Keith Bennett, and Victor Garber as Jordan Wethersby. With special appearances by singer George Michael as himself. Among the specials guests are Tom Cavanagh and Katey Sagal.
This first season is very good. 13 episodes aired this past mid-season during the writers' strike and followed Lost, so the show certainly got sampled. The great Greg Berlanti has done it again and I heavily enjoy his other shows such as Brothers & Sisters and Dirty Sexy Money. Some classic episodes include the series pilot, "Faith," where Eli begins having hallucinations (many of which involve singer George Michael) that may either be linked to a medical condition, or the bizarre chance that he is a modern-day prophet.In "Something to Save," after performing a song in the courtroom, Eli's capabilities to practice law have come under scrutiny and he appears before the State Bar of California for a hearing to determine whether he's fit to practice law. In "Heal the Pain," Eli's new position at the law firm means that he does not have an office, a secretary or the power to take cases. Eli has a vision of an earthquake in San Francisco, so Dr. Chen helps Eli realize that the quake is in the region where his client is planning on building a shopping mall by evicting the residents from their home, in "Praying for Time." In my very favorite episode of the series thus far, "Waiting for that Day," Eli has a vision of traveling in a car when all of a sudden an earthquake hits the Golden Gate Bridge...does it actually happen? Those episodes really stand out, but they are all very good. In the season finale, "Soul Free," Eli goes in for an operation to remove his aneurysm, but it doesn't go as planned and Nathan is left with a difficult decision. The episodes run usually close to 43 minutes or just above...unedited of course with all the great music intact. There are about 8 or 9 chapter stops per episode. The video is digitally mastered and is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This is from the 2007-08 season, so it had better be good.
Packaging has a a thin outer box that you can remove from the top or bottom. The outer box has the same cover and back as the case inside...I hate when they give us an outer thin box that is pointless. On the front cover we have a nice blue sky with clouds setting with Eli's head from the back side, and the show logo on his head...the back cover has information on the set and has some screen shots from episodes and a nice shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. There is also a section detailing the series and set, a special features box inside a briefcase with technical specifications also. Opening the case, we get two inserts (one for other ABC Studios DVDs and one for Blue-ray DVDs). There are only two panels, the left side holds discs one & two and the right side holds discs three & four...and they are overlapping. The left side, you have to remove disc two to get to disc one, I hate that. Each disc is in a blue color and has artwork that fits the show and Eli's illusions. Disc one has episodes 1-4 with artwork of a San Francisco Trolley. Disc two has episodes 5-8 and has artwork of a WW1 biplane. Disc three has episodes 9-12 and has artwork of the ocean on the Hawaiian beach with surfboards. Disc four has episode 13 and the bonus features with artwork of the Golden Gate Bridge. When you remove the discs, the left panel has disc-by-disc breakdown and three screenshots. The right side has the list of bonus features and three more screenshots.
The menu screen starts by showing us a law office (it looks like Dowd's office to me) and then we are behind the desk where see a flat screen monitor and on that monitor we see the menu options! How clever! But before I get to that, there is nice music playing in the background...it's the song "Feeling Good" which was hear in the season finale sung by the cast. You know, it starts off with the words, "Birds flying high, you know I feel..." Catchy! The options on the main menu are Play All, Episode Selection, Set Up, Bonus Features (discs three & four only), and Sneak Peeks (disc four only). But before the main menu screen comes on disc one, we get some auto sneak peeks of other DVDs: Private Practice, Samantha Who, Grey's Anatomy and Lost. Sneak Peeks option is only found on disc four on the main menu and has previews of many titles like Desperate Housewives Season 4 DVD and ABC promos of the new season of Eli Stone (Fall 2008) and Lost (2009). Set Up section takes us to the phone in that law office and the options on that menu are on the phone screen! We have the option of subtitles in English, French or Spanish. The Episodes option gives us the episode number, title and a screenshot all on a nice yellow folder type document. Bonus Features option is only on discs three & four and it has all the extras listed on a white filler paper style. All of the sub-menus have nice video transitions and different background music.
Moving on the bonus features. Two episodes get the audio commentary treatment, first on disc three is "I Want Your Sex," by reators/Executive Producers Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim, Executive Producer Chris Misiano and Actors Jonny Lee Miller, Natasha Henstridge, Victor Garber, & Sam Jaeger and Writers Leila Gerstein and Wendy Mericle. We also get an audio commentary track for the finale "Soul Free," on disc four from Creators/Executive Producers Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim and Actors Jonny Lee Miller, Natasha Henstridge, Matt Letscher & Sam Jaeger, Exec. Producer/Director Chris Misiano and Writers Andrew Kreisberg and Courtney Kemp Agboh. Wow! I never have seen that many people on one track. It was a crowd to listen, but still informative!
The next extra is an Extended Pilot Episode that runs 45:56, so we get nearly three more minutes of new footage. We also have optional commentary on this episode, that I recommend. Commenting are Creators/Executive Producers Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim and Actors Jonny Lee Miller, Natasha Henstridge & Sam Jaeger and Director Ken Olin.
Then we have seven deleted scenes that are always interesting to see. Then we have three featurettes that are very good. First one is, "Turning a Prophet: The Creation of Eli Stone" (12:13) and it tells us everything we need to know and has interviews with Berlanti, Guggenheim, Miller, George Michael, Jaeger, Julie Gonzalo, Letscher, Loretta Devine, Jason George, Henstridge, Garber, and James Saito. Then we have "Acting on Faith: Eli & George Michael" (4:33) where we learn from Berlanti, Guggenheim, Jaeger, Henstridge, Garber and George Michael himself on how he got attached and what he brings. Then we have a neat visual effects featurette titled "Creating Vision: The Effects of Eli Stone" (5:35) where we see how the cool effects are done in CGI and how the actors have to deal with it. Discussing it are producers, actors, visual effects department, and other crew members: Guggenheim, Miller, Berlanti, Peter Vasquez, Timothy L. Lonsdale, David Petrarza and Tony Ocampo. We're not done yet...then we have "Inside the Firm: The Natasha Henstridge Tour" (4:58). The lovely luscious Natasha Henstridge gives us a tour of the set and does a good job. She is amazing and does this on her break from shooting. Finally, we have some "Eli Oops!" (3:28)...yes, bloopers! See all the swearing, goofs and play on the set!
I highly recommend this series and set. It is such a well-written and acted show that is greatly presented. The show got better and better it seemed to me as the episodes progressed, and that is a sign of greatness. The show only had 13 episodes and this DVD gives us 4 discs and tons of quality extras. ABC Studios did a marvelous job and I only have minor complaints that are not worth mentioning again. Catch up or discover the magic of Eli Stone with this DVD and hurry before the second season premieres October 14 at 10/9 central on ABC. Because... "Its a new dawn, It's a new day, Its a new life,
For me. And I'm feeling good..." You gotta have faith, so have faith in me and order the DVD below!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4.5/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Official Website
Eli Stone TV.com Page

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Nick at Nite September 2008; WGN Changes; Tulsa Gets RTN This Fall; Calling Bob Newhart Fans!

We finally can release the Nick at Nite September 2008 highlights! We knew the details more than two weeks ago, but finally some of the details finally got confirmed. There will be changes to the regular schedule once again...but there are plenty of highlights, including "plenty" of Benny! Grandparent's Day may be less than a week away, but that doesn't mean you can't spend this Labor Day with the mother of all annoying grandmothers. Join Nick at Nite for a full night of George Lopez episodes featuring your favorite Benny episodes...it will be plenty of Benny indeed! The Plenty of Benny marathon airs from 9pm-4am on Labor Day (September 1).
Then it's time to go back to the gym and get ready for the original movie Gym Teacher: The Movie, but first spend an hour of physical activity with your favorite Nick at Nite sitcoms leading up to the movie ... with episodes of Family Matters, Fresh Prince, George Lopez and Home Improvement! Let's Get Physical Week airs Sunday, Sept. 7 through Thursday, Sept. 11 from 9-10pm each night.
After that week-long stunt, Nick at Nite and Nickelodeon invite you for the world premiere of original movie Gym Teacher: The Movie on Friday, September 12 at 8pm. The movie stars Nathan Kress (Nick's iCarly), Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), and Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy). Dave Stewie was America's hope for the Gold in the 1988 Seoul Olympics until he ran face first into the vault. His failure made him a national joke, and he quickly faded into obscurity. Stewie rebuilt his life from the ashes of humiliation to become a gym teacher, but his Olympic competitiveness never left him. Let’s just say that NASA scientists take their job less seriously than Dave takes his job of molding the physical fitness of young people. So when the President announces a national gym class fitness competition, Dave knows that this is his opportunity to redeem himself by leading his class of athletes to triumph.
Launching September 15 on Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite is My Family's Got GUTS. They will air two 10-episode tournaments. My Family's Got GUTS is an extreme sports competition series that brings families together where every member of the team -- from the smallest to the strongest -- plays a vital role and works together to complete each challenge. Each episode will feature a host (Ben Lyons), and three teams of four players (two adults and two kids) who gather in the Extreme Arena to compete against each other in four rounds of events inspired by today's extreme sports.
Coming Sunday, October 5 on Nick at Nite it is the The Worldwide Fido Awards. More on that soon.
View the full Nick at Nite September 2008 highlights.

Well we gave you all not one but two updates on WGN America's fall schedule already...and now here comes update three. Just a few edits, but they are good ones. Starting September 8, weekdays at 4pm ET will now be Becker instead of a full-hour of Funniest Pets & People. Funniest Pets & People will still air at 4:30pm ET, though. Then on Sundays starting Sept. 14 from 5-6pm ET will now be Coach instead of the previously scheduled Funniest Pets & People. Coach will sitll air Saturdays 7-8pm ET later in the fall starting October 4...so good news for Coach fans. Don't forget the Coach marathon tonight and tomorrow! The other changes are minor and involves a few weekend shifting of Scrubs, Reno 911! and Corner Gas, not big deals.
I really advise you all to see the full updated WGN America Fall 2008 line-up.

Retro Television Network (RTN) announced that Allbritton Communications will add a fourth RTN affiliate, now in Tulsa, OK. The new affiliate will launch this fall on a digital stream of KTUL-TV, the local ABC affiliate. I told you the new affiliate announcements will start to get rolling now!

Calling all Bob Newhart fans! You can find a "Behind the Scenes" of Bob's new show called The Challenge starring Bob Newhart now online at Vimeo! Also, check out Lloyd Garver's blog entry at Strike.TV. The Challenge will be featured when their first slate is released on September 8. So, sign up at Strike.TV to be kept in the loop!

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

BET September Programming Includes Smart Guy; 5 More RTN Stations to Launch in Early 2009; Network Notes

This September BET will launch Judge Karen and Judge Hatchett, as we previously announced, but they will also launch a new sitcom! Since Diff'rent Strokes and a few others leave after this Friday (don't forget the Strokes farewell marathon this Friday from 9am-6pm!), a sitcom void was needed. BET has acquired the rights to air the '90s sitcom Smart Guy from Buena Vista! T.J. Henderson (Tahj Mowry) is a high school sophomore. He isn't just a regular one though. He is a ten-year old tenth grader! After being promoted to high school, T.J. deals with the usual problems of fitting in as a genius, while being a little kid in a big school. Also stars Jason Weaver, Omar Gooding and Essence Atkins. The sitcom was last seen in reruns on The Disney Channel from 1999-2003 with a marathon appearance in fall 2004 for back to school. The series originally ran from 1997-99 on The WB.
BET will launch Smart Guy on Saturday, September 6 with a marathon of the first 10 episodes from 11am-4pm before moving to its regular airing of weekdays at 5:00pm & 5:30pm ET/PT after The Steve Harvey Show starting Monday, September 8.
Other BET portions of the schedule will include Girlfriends airing from 9-10am weekdays starting September 1 and starting September 22 BET will launch Judge Karen at 10am and Judge Hatchett at 10:30am. Back-to-back Hell Date will air in the 11am hour, as the morning "Blackbuster" 10am-12pm movie will be gone. Steve Harvey and Smart Guy round out the daytime weekday series schedule from 4-6pm. Music and rap programming will primarily air elsewhere weekdays, however 11pm and 11:30pm will now will be Judge Karen and Judge Hatchett as well starting Sept. 22. The midnight "Blackbuster" movie follows, as A Different World will now only air sometimes in the 3am hour.
As for weekends, there will be no changes until the weekend of Sept. 27 when Romeo! shifts from the 11am hour to the 9am hour, while Just Jordan remains in the 10am hour, and two hours of Smart Guy airs from 11am-1pm starting Sept. 27 on Saturdays. On Sundays, starting Sept. 28, Judge Karen will air from 1-2pm, no other changes will be made.
Stunts for the month include a marathon of sister station TV Land's original series Family Foreman starring George Foreman on Sunday, Sept. 14 from 1-4pm featuring all six episodes.
Check out the generic BET September Fall 2008 schedule, if you want to see it in a list form.

Retro Television Network (RTN) announced that it has entered into an agreement with New Age Media to launch RTN affiliates in five new markets.
The new affiliates will air on digital streams of WQMY in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania; WPXT in Portland, Maine; WTLH in Tallahassee, Florida; analog station WYPN-CA in Gainesville, Florida; and a new television station in Columbus/Tupelo, Mississippi. The RTN affiliations are anticipated to sign on in early 2009.
These are the first announcements of new RTN affiliates since RTN was sold to Luken Communications...but the first of many to come, so stay tuned!

It's time for another round of network notes! NBC has announced it has picked up nine additional episodes of its sophomore drama Chuck (Mondays, 8-9 p.m. ET) to provide the series with a full-season 22-episode order for 2008-09. The new season launches Monday, September 29.
Fox has announced that Hole in the Wall, the body-bending, global game show, will now air a special preview episode on Sunday, Sept. 7 from 8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT following Fox's first NFL doubleheader of the season and as previously announced on Tuesday, Sept. 9 from 9:35-10:00 PM ET/PT following the series premiere of Fringe on FOX. Hole in the Wall will have its one-hour series premiere Thursday, Sept. 11 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on Fox and will air in that slot thereafter. Fox has still not announced what will air Sunday, Sept. 14 from 9:35-10pm following the Fringe pilot encore.
And finally, like I predicted, the season finale of ABC's High School Musical: Get in the Picture will now air on Monday, September 8, 2008 from 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT and not September 15 as previously reported. The finale will lead-in to the previously announced CMA special from 9-11PM ET/PT. As a result of that change, The ABC Monday Movie of the Week Batman Begins will now air on Monday, September 15, 2008 from 8:00-11:00 PM ET/PT.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Network Fall 2008 Preview TV Specials; More New York Locals Fall 2008 Updates

Well the fall 2008 TV season is upon us and that means it is time to watch the network Fall 2008 preview specials! As we do every year, we will let you know when these fall preview specials will air. See our Fall 2007 one from last year.
First up is ABC. Last season ABC had three fall preview specials specially designed for their affiliates and abc.com. One of the three last year was for ABC's then new Wednesday line-up. This year ABC will be focusing on that night as they relaunch the night with the same shows but due to the strike, all three of those shows haven't aired since the end of 2007. This year's special, titled The ABC Wednesday Night Starter Kit, gives us a recap and preview of what is to come on Pushing Daisies, Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money. This half-hour special has started airing already on local ABC affiliates since the weekend of August 15. Check local listings for time and day in your area. If you're in the NYC market, WABC will air it this Saturday (August 30) at 2:30PM. So what if your local ABC affiliate aired this special already and you missed it? Not to worry the ABC cable networks will air it, too. SOAPnet will air it a few times...on Saturday, August 30 at 4:30PM, Saturday, September 13 at 4:30PM and Friday, September 26 at 5:00AM. ABC Family Channel will also air it on Thursday, Sept. 4 (early Sept. 5) at 12:30AM ET/PT. So plenty of chances to watch this, but if you still somehow miss it, it is online on AOL Video. As of now, ABC will not air this special itself, though. They will also as of now not air a full preview special previewing new series, but that could change. We will let you know if it does happen. Finally, ABC.com has a Starter Kit of everything you need to know about your favorite ABC shows in order to catch up in time for the new season. Shows include Dirty Sexy Money, Samantha Who, Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters.

Moving on to NBC, they also will do an affiliate special. Their affiliate special has not aired yet anywhere, so no one has seen it yet. Titled NBC Primetime Preview special, the special premieres this weekend, weekend of August 30. Zachary Levi of Chuck hosts this half-hour special that will preview NBC's new series and returning series. If you're in the NYC market, WNBC will air it twice: Saturday, Sept. 6 at 5:00AM and Sunday, Sept. 7 at 12:00PM. Like ABC's special, NBC will air this special on their cable networks as well. CNBC will air it on Monday, September 1 at 12:30PM and Sunday, September 7 at 8:00PM. USA Network will air it on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 2:30PM and Saturday, Sept. 13 at 10:00AM. Sci Fi Channel will air it later in the month on Sunday, Sept. 21 at 11:00PM and Thursday, September 25 at 3:30PM. Like ABC, as of now, NBC does not plan to air this special on the network itself.

CBS will have a fall preview special this year! Last year they didn't have one at all. This year CBS will air one and in primetime on CBS, too. Titled, CBS Fall Preview, this special will give viewers an exciting preview of CBS's 2008-09 primetime programming. The special will air on Friday, September 5 at 9:00PM ET/PT following the Stand Up To Cancer special airing on ABC, NBC and CBS. Following the special CBS will an encore episode of The New Adventures of Old Christine at 9:30.

As of now, this year Fox is not scheduling a primetime preview special on Fox itself, but the affiliate special is still airing. Titled, Fox Fall Preview Special, this special takes a look at what is to come to Fox this season. It will begin airing this weekend, so be on the lookout. In the NYC market, WNYW will air it this Saturday night at 1:00AM and again on Sunday (Aug. 31) at 3:00PM, both in place of M*A*S*H airings. Now, Fox does have a slot open on Sunday, Sept. 14 at 9:35PM-10:00PM, so I wouldn't be surprised if this special actually airs on Fox in that slot. We'll let you know, but for now check your listings!

Finally, The CW is also doing an affiliate special and the special has started airing already. Titled, CW Fall 2008 Preview, this special is a preview of new series and returning favorites, including 90210, Gossip Girl, Privileged and Stylista. The special is hosted by Privileged stars Anne Archer and Joanna Garcia with Bob Saget introducing the MRC Sunday block that include series such as Valentine (with Christine Lakin, Autumn Reeser, etc) and his own sitcom Surviving Suburbia. The special will be airing quite a lot it seems. In NYC, WPIX will air it this Friday (Aug. 29) at 5:00PM, Saturday, August 30 at 7:30PM and Sunday, August 31 at 4:30PM. Check local listings in your area, as it doesn't seem The CW will air this on the network itself.

Last week we did a story on what is coming up on local stations in the New York market and we didn't have the full weekday schedule for WNBC and WPIX just yet...but now we do! First up is WNBC. Their 11am-5pm schedule will be revamped on weekdays. We already told you new talk show The Bonnie Hunt Show is coming to 2pm and back-to-back half-hours of Deal or No Deal will air at 4pm, but we guessed at other slots, and we were primarily right! NBC soap Day of Ours Lives is indeed on the move to its old 1pm slot again, while Martha Stewart Show moves to 11am. In the 12pm hour now since Crosswords is on production hiatus is Style by Jury and Inside the Box, from the same studio...Program Partners. Finally, WNBC will air Monk on Sunday nights at 12:35am replacing Showtime at the Apollo, which is gone. Take a look at the full WNBC Fall 2008 schedule.
As for WPIX, we told you Judge Karen starts Sept. 8 weekdays 1-2pm and how the CW Daytime line-up will change on Sept. 22, but we were not sure if the sitcom line-up from 5-8pm and 11pm-4am would change...and guess what? It will a bit! Starting Sept. 22, in the 5pm hour now will be My Wife & Kids at 5pm (coming from 5:30pm) and George Lopez moves from late nights at 1:30am to a much better 5:30pm slot! George is doing very well in syndication and on cable on Nick at Nite, so expect to see it in better time slots on local channels this fall if your local channel was airing it in a late night slot this season. So, According to Jim which was airing at 5pm, will be on the move to late nights at 1am. The 1am slot replaces Frasier which slides to 1:30am where George Lopez was. Now if you get WPIX's digital station LATV, you can watch George Lopez's secondary airings at 6:30pm! That started a few weeks ago, so tune in. Everything else on weekdays primarily remains intact. Weekend additions is Star Trek and Stargate Atlantis, as we mentioned previously, on Saturday nights from 12-2am...sliding Chappelle's Show to 2-3am. Then starting Nov. 1, new first-run syndicated series Legend of the Seeker joins WPIX on Saturday nights at 8 and 9pm. It'll be like Xena and Hercules all over again! anyway, view the full WPIX Fall 2008 schedule.
We have a lot of members on our message boards and they are posting various schedules for other markets like Boston, Fort Wayne, Sacramento, New Orleans and others, so if you want to help and post your market, head on to our message board!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ABC Orders 5 Additional Series for Mid-Season; TBS Orders House of Payne Spin-Off; Network Notes

ABC is adding five new series to its slate of programming for the 2008-09 season. The series include three new dramas, Castle, Cupid and The Unusuals, and two new comedies, Better Off Ted and Single With Parents. The President of ABC Entertainment Stephen McPherson says that these are the initial pick-ups, but there are a number of other pilots they feel will also get the go ahead in some form moving forward (either for mid-season like these five or for fall 2009). Still very much in the running are dramas Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas, The Prince of Motor City, and possibly Good Behavior and In The Deep (David Hemingson project), with comedies like Never Better, Bad Mother's Handbook, and Significant Others (aka Fourplay) also in the mix. I personally hope The Prince of Motor City gets picked-up in some form.
Anyway, these 5 additional series will be added for mid-season and will join previously announced mid-season entries, like the animated comedy The Goode Family, The Untitled Ashton Kutcher/Tyra Banks Reality Project and the ABC premiere of Scrubs, along with returning series According to Jim, The Bachelor, Lost and ABC News' Primetime: What Would You Do.
Castle is is a comedic crime procedural about a famous mystery novelist, Nick Castle, who has gotten bored with his success and stars Nathan Fillion as Castle, Stana Katic as Beckett, Molly Quinn as Alexis, Susan Sullivan as Martha, Monet Mazur as Gina and Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Capt. Montgomery.
Cupid is a romantic dramedy about Trevor, a larger than life character who may or may not be the Roman god of love Cupid, sent to earth to bring couples together and stars Bobby Cannavale as Trevor, Sarah Paulson as Claire, Rick Gomez as Felix and Camille Guaty as Lita.
The Unusuals is a unique comedic procedural set in a New York police precinct. As a cop it helps to have a twisted sense of humor, because every moment could be your last, and the series stars Amber Tamblyn as Det. Casey Schraeger, Jeremy Renner as Det. Joe Walsh, Terry Kinney as Sgt. Harvey Brown, Kai Lennox as Det. Ed Alvarez, Harold Perrineau as Det. Leo Banks, Adam Goldberg as Det. Eric Delahoy, Monique Gabriela Curnen as Det. Allison Beaumont and Joshua Close as Henry Cole.
Better Off Ted is a satirical office comedy featuring a successful but morally conscious man, Ted, who runs a research and development department at a morally questionable corporation, Veridian Technologies and stars Jay Harrington as Ted, Andrea Anders as Linda, Portia de Rossi as Veronica, Jonathan Slavin as Phil, and Malcolm Barrett as Lem.
Single with Parents is a comedy about Lou, a woman in her mid-30s who is determined to have her own life despite her crazy blended family getting in the way and stars an all-star cast of Alyssa Milano as Lou, Annie Potts as Elizabeth, Beau Bridges as Joe, Amanda Detmer as Sasha, Meagan Fay as Nancy and Eric Winter as Charlie.
Read the Press Release for more on these five pick-ups. For more on ABC's pilots in development read the full pilots in development and view photos of the casts of these potential series.

After bringing his unique style to TBS with the enormously popular sitcom Tyler Perry's House of Payne, Tyler Perry is preparing to add to his successful track record with a spin-off based on characters of his popular play and hit movie, Meet the Browns. TBS has ordered 10 episodes of the new sitcom, which comes to the network also from Debmar-Mercury and is slated to premiere in January 2009. As he does for House of Payne, Perry is once again serving as executive producer and director, as well as occasionally writing for the series.
Meet the Browns stars David Mann as Leroy Brown, a character who earlier this year was featured in Perry's hit film of the same name. He has also appeared in several episodes of House of Payne. Perry's new series begins after Brown inherits a dilapidated house from his deceased father.
House of Payne began in 2006 with a 10-episode experiment in select markets that produced strong ratings, leading TBS to order a full-fledged series with an unprecedented 100 episodes. House of Payne will be available for off-network syndication this fall as well airing on local stations such as WWOR in New York and WCIU in Chicago.
We will certainly have more in the future about Meet the Browns on TBS.

CBS is moving the season premiere of Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden to Thursday, Sept. 25 now with a two-hour premiere from 8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT, marking the first-ever two-hour premiere for any edition of the long-running hit series.
The premiere of Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden was originally announced for Thursday, Sept. 18 from 8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT.
The premiere of Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden, which will also be the first edition broadcast in high definition, will be followed by a rebroadcast of last season's CSI cliffhanger finale at 10:00 PM ET/PT.
CBS made this move because they decided to launch CSI and new drama The Eleventh Hour on Oct. 9 due to a Presidential Debate on Oct. 2. So a void was needed on the first Thursday of the season, which is Sept. 25.
Meanwhile, as CBS moves Survivor back a week, The CW is moving new reality series Stylista up a week! It will now launch Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 9:00 PM (rather than Oct. 29, as previously announced). The CW is airing 90210 repeats in the slot, behind America's Next Top Model, in the weeks beforehand.
Finally, ABC is scheduling new and expanded Wipeout episodes. On Tuesday, September 9, an all-new Wipeout will air in the special 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT slot. Wipeout will still also air and be all-new in its regular 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT slot as well on that date...so two new episodes on that date! As a result, the Tuesday, September 2 episode at 8PM will be a repeat now against the premiere of The CW's 90210, but tonight (August 26) is still all-new as the hilarious series returns from the Olympic break...tune in! Also, the Wipeout season finale (previously scheduled for Sept. 9, 8-9pm) is now scheduled to air as a 90-minute episode on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 now from 8:00-9:30 PM ET/PT followed by an interesting 90-minute special Primetime: UFO's...Seeing is Believing from 9:30-11:00 PM ET/PT. On Sept. 9, the two new Wipeout episodes will go face-to-face with Fox's launch of the 95-minute Fringe and 25-minute Hole in the Wall and on Sept. 16 the 90-minute Wipeout will face the season premiere of Fox's House and the first half-hour of Fringe and the season premiere of NBC's The Biggest Loser. It'll be tough but Wipeout will likely face the task well. As a result, the season finale of High School Musical: Get in the Picture is now on Monday, September 15, 2008 in its normal 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT time period and not two-hours on a special night (Sept. 16) like previously reported, so three more weeks to go for the ratings dud unless it gets pulled before then. ABC should move the next three episodes to Fridays. We will keep you up to date on our message board if it gets pulled or moved.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Lifetime Adds Originals in October; Dancing with the Stars Season 7 Stars Includes Sitcom Stars McGinley and Leachman

We gave you Lifetime's fall line-up which starts Sept. 2, but now we have details on October. There are no regular schedule changes, but two original series are launching. First, the original Lifetime sitcom Rita Rocks, which we previously said was launching in December. Now it will launch October 20! Rita Rocks launches with a five-episode stunt the week of October 20 airing Monday, October 20 through Friday, October 24 at 8:30PM ET/PT following Reba. Then new episodes will air in their regularly scheduled timeslot on Tuesdays at 8:30PM ET/PT beginning Tuesday, October 28. 13 episodes have been ordered, so it will air for 8 more weeks starting Oct. 28. In Rita Rocks, Nicole Sullivan stars as Rita, an overworked wife and mother in the middle of a full blown identity crisis. Trying to maintain romance with her husband Jay (Richard Ruccolo), juggling the demands of her nine-year-old daughter Shannon (Kelly Gould), disciplining her defiant, teenage daughter Hallie (Lauren Collins) and her ever-present boyfriend Kip (Raviv Ullman), and being passed over for a promotion at work; Rita is at her wit's end. In search of "youthful" Rita, she dusts off her old guitar and forms a garage band with her nosey postal carrier Patty (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and unemployed neighbor Owen (guest-star Ian Gomez), in the hopes of putting that spark back in her life.
The first five-episodes will re-air Monday, October 27 through Friday, October 31 at 9:30AM ET/PT following The Golden Girls. The same week, the five-episode, half-hour special programming event, Lisa Williams (wt), will premiere on Monday, October 27, 2008, and will air for five consecutive weekdays on Lifetime at 11AM ET/PT following specially placed Wife Swap at 10AM ET/PT. English clairvoyant Lisa Williams returns to Lifetime in a new five-episode special programming event, Lisa Williams (wt) an updated version of her Lifetime series Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead. The reformatted show marks Lisa's first television appearances since she began a tour of sold-out appearances throughout the country, as well as book-signings for her well-received autobiography. Lisa Williams (wt) will further explore Lisa's unique abilities as a clairvoyant-medium. Each taped episode will feature Lisa doing live one-on-one readings in a studio and in impromptu meetings with people she is drawn to out on the street. Will & Grace follows at 11:30AM.
In other original programming news, Twenty half-hour episodes have been ordered of Mom's Cooking, a unique cooking show that takes daughters inside their mom's kitchen to learn how to cook their favorite recipe from childhood, and will premiere in December 2008, Monday through Friday on Lifetime. Finally, another five-episode, half-hour special programming event, Untitled Fat Friends Project, will premiere in January 2009 will air for five consecutive weekdays on Lifetime. The series follows friends Anna Lloyd (30, Pasadena, CA), Lydia Moody (25, Los Angeles, CA), Megan Stewart (29, Anaheim, CA), Shawna McClellan (27, Anaheim, CA) and Morgan Lancaster (30, Monrovia, CA), as they attempt to loose weight together. We'll have details soon on both.
Finally, we forgot to mention last time Wife Swap will also air Tuesdays at 9PM when it launches next week. Still no details if new current episodes of Desperate Housewives will be repurposed on Lifetime in another slot other than its upcoming weekdays at 8am and 12pm slot. When the deal was announced a few years ago, it was said Lifetime would have repurposing rights as well.

The new cast for the seventh installment of Dancing with the Stars was announced this morning by Tom Bergeron on Good Morning America on ABC. It will be a season of surprises in what promises to be the biggest and most demanding season ever as thirteen celebrities take the ballroom floor on the hit series Dancing with the Stars, which returns with a three-night premiere event (Monday, Sept. 22 8-10pm, Tuesday, Sept. 23 9-11pm, and Wednesday, Sept. 24 8-9pm). The thirteen stars include the legendary film/TV star Cloris Leachman (the oldest star ever on the show) and sitcom veteran Ted McGinley. Other TV related stars are the youngest star ever on the show Cody Linley, TV soap legend Susan Lucci, and reality TV beauty Kim Kardashian. Full list of stars is below.
For the first time ever, all thirteen teams must prepare two routines for the first week of competition, one of which they'll perform on Monday night. The judges will score the performances on Monday while the viewers cast their votes for their favorites. Only twelve will have the chance to showcase their second dance on Tuesday. In dramatic style on Tuesday's show, one couple will be eliminated as the remaining contestants perform their second dance of the season. The judges will score the dances on Tuesday and the viewers will once again cast their votes before a second duo is dismissed Wednesday on a special night.
Dancing with the Stars then will regularly air Mondays 8-9:30pm and the Results Show Tuesdays 9-10pm after the premiere week. The thirteen stars for this season are:

* Lance Bass (singer, N Sync) with first time professional Lacey Schwimmer
* Toni Braxton (singer, "Un-Break My Heart") with professional Alec Mazo
* Brooke Burke (model/actress, Wild On!) with professional Derek Hough
* Rocco DiSpirito (chef, The Restaurant) with professional Karina Smirnoff
* Maurice Greene (athlete, sprinter) with two-time champion professional Cheryl Burke
* Kim Kardashian (model/actress, Keeping Up with the Kardashians) with reigning professional champion Mark Ballas
* Cloris Leachman (legendary actress, Phyllis on Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Facts of Life) with first time professional Corky Ballas (father of Mark Ballas)
* Cody Linley (teen actor, Hannah Montana) with two-time professional champion Julianne Hough
* Susan Lucci (soap actress, All My Children) with professional Tony Dovolani
* Misty May-Treanor (athlete, beach volleyball) with professional Maksim Chmerkovskiy
* Ted McGinley (sitcom actor, Married with Children, Happy Days, Hope & Faith) with first time professional Inna Brayer
* Jeffrey Ross (stand-up comic) with professional Edyta Sliwinska
* Warren Sapp (athlete, NFL star with Buccaneers/Raiders) with professional Kym Johnson

Maurice Greene will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday night on ABC late night.
Professionals Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Alec Mazo return after taking the sixth season off. As there are three new professionals (Lacey Schwimmer, Inna Brayer, and Mark Ballas' dad Corky Ballas), some ones from last season will not be on this season, Jonathan Roberts, Anna Trebunskaya, Louis van Amstel and Fabian Sanchez. Some of the professionals from previous seasons remain missing still, Ashly DelGrosso, Nick Kosovich, Jesse DeSoto, Elena Grinenko, Brian Fortuna, Andrea Hale, and Charlotte Jørgensen.
View the full press release for details on the seventh season stars of Dancing with the Stars!

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: Heroes - Season 2 (Aug. 26)

Our regular weekly ratings report will return next week.

Welcome to a special Sunday edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we look at Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Heroes - Season 2. Watch the Emmy nominated show and experience all the new and exciting twists of the astonishing series in this 4-disc set that includes every gripping season two episode. Rejoin the epic phenomenon as Heroes - Season 2 arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on August 26, 2008. See my mini-DVD review of Heroes - Season 2:

Heroes - Season 2

Heroes: Season 2 (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, $39.98)

This 4-disc set includes all 11 episodes from the second season which ran from September-December 2007. The second season premiered on NBC on September 24, 2007. New characters this season included Dania Ramirez as Maya Herrera, Shalim Ortiz as Alejandro Herrera, David Anders as Adam Monroe/Takezo Kensei, Kristen Bell as Elle Bishop and Dana Davis as Monica Dawson. Joining the main cast this season were Zachary Quinto as Sylar and James Kyson Lee as Ando Masahashi.

The packaging of this set is, once again, very stylish. The outer slip cover has a black background and an embossed Heroes title logo. The holofoil cover art has a photo of 10 cast members (none of the new characters) and the city in the background. On the back of the slip cover, there is a synopsis of the set and a listing of the special features. The main digipak packaging slides out from the left of the outer slip cover. The Heroes logo is on the front of the digipak. Opening the digipak, the episodes and special features for discs one and two are listed. There are two of the comic-style drawings at the bottom. Discs three and four information are listed on the back of the packaging. Inside the digipak, there are blue-tinted photos of the cast members. The discs have a blue background and the Heroes logo on them.

The anamorphic menus are attractive and easy to navigate. They open with a series of video clips in 3 different circles/bubbles. Some instrumental score from the series is played in the background for about a minute before it loops. At the bottom of the screen, there are options for "Play All," "Chapter Index," "Bonus Material" and "Languages." When you select Chapter Index, it takes you to a sub-menu where there is a still image from the episode in a circle. A partial Heroes logo is in the background. Discs 1-3 have 3 episodes, while disc 4 has 2. You can play the episodes by themselves, view the deleted scenes or listen to the commentary from this menu. On the Languages menu, there are different invividual photos of the cast members. You can turn on the English SDH, French or Spanish subitles in this section. More photos of the cast members can be found on the Bonus Material menus. Chapter stops are available within the episodes but no separate scene selection menus are offered. When you first insert disc 1, there are Previews which you can play or skip directly to the main menu.

Moving on to the video and audio quality, the excellence is continued. The set is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colors are vibrant and clean. The picture is very sharp and detailed. Some of the night time scenes can look a little grainy, but that can be expected. Overall, the lighting is excellent and the outdoor scenes are beautifully shot. These episodes look even better than how they were originally broadcast. All of the episodes appear to be unedited, running around 41-43 minutes in length. They have the "Previously On" Heroes openings as originally broadcast. The first episode of the second season was a bit extended and ran 52 minutes, 33 seconds. There is nothing on the packaging to indicate that any of the original music had to be replaced. The audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. I didn't notice any major problems on the episodes I've watched so far. The dialogue is at a good volume and easy to understand. I love the music score by Wendy Melvoin & Lisa Coleman and other sound effects that are used in the episodes. Subtitles are available in English, French and spanish. The bonus features are not rated and not all are subtitled.

There is a nice mixture of special features spread out over the 4 discs. The best extras are the audio commentaries by the cast and crew on all 11 episodes. I haven't had a chance to listen to all of them yet, but they offer a lot of interesting trivia and behind the scenes details. Other special features include 17deleted scenes, Heroes Season 2 "A New Beginning" featurette, Takezo Kensei: Sword Saint featurette, The Drucker Files featurette, Genetics of a Scene featurette, season 3 sneak peek, Generations alternate ending, Inside the Alternate ending of Generations, Untold Stories that never aired, NBC.com featurettes and a gallery of Tim Sale's screen art.

Here is a breakdown of the special features by disc:

Disc 1
------
1. Four Months Later...
Deleted Scenes - I Too Have a Special Ability (2:20); Petrellis Don't Deserve to be Saved (2:26)
Audio Commentary with Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring, Co-Executive Producer Jeph Loeb and Series Star Coleman

2. Lizards
Audio Commentary with Executive Producer Allan Arkush, Series Star Greg Grunberg and Co-Executive Producer Michael Green

3. Kindred
Audio Commentary with Episode Director Paul Edwards, Co-Executive Producer JJ Phillbin and Series Star Zachary Quinto

Heroes Season 2 "A New Beginning" (14:40) - Tim Kring introduces us to the theme of "extraordinary people trying to live normal lives." Go behind the scenes with the cast and crew to see what it's like coming back to a hit show and also meet new Heroes as they share anecdotes about filming the second season. Interviews include Masi Oka, Hayden Panettiere, Jack Coleman, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Ali Larter, Sendil Ramamurthy, Zacharay Quinto, Milo Ventimiglia, David Anders, Dania Ramirez, Shalim Ortiz, Kristen Bell, Nicholas D'Agosto, Dana Davis, Noah Gray-Cabey and Executive Producer/Director Allan Arkush. This is sort of a preview of the second season and doesn't really detail what happened later in the season. There probably won't be anything new for die-hard fans, but it will provide a good overview for new watchers.

Disc 2
------
4. The Kindness of Strangers
Audio Commentary with Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring and Series Stars Dana Davis & Adrian Pasdar

5. Fight or Flight
Deleted Scenes - Look, Yako - He Had It All Along (1:39); And She Hit Me Hard (1:28); I'm the Only Normal Person in this Family (:38); You Think I Don't Know You Hiro (2:06), Don't Thank Me Yet (:58)
Audio Commentary with Series Star Greg Grunberg and Executive Producer Greg Beeman

6. The Line
Deleted Scenes - So It Does Run in the Family (1:54); To Fight Alongside the Great Takezo Kensei (1:40); No More Tazer Kidnapping (1:33)
Audio Commentary with Co-Executive Producers Adam Armus & Kay Foster and Series Star Jack Coleman

Takezo Kensei: Sword Saint (23:48) - This featurette is divided into 5 chapters: The Battle of 12 Swords, The Trial of the Fire Scroll, The Trial of the Hidden Fortress, Kensei and the Dragon (Parts 1 and 2)) and The Mystery of Kensei. This is a History channel-style documentary on the character. It is pretty elaborate with a narrator, experts being interviewed, background music and a lot of drawings.

The Drucker Files (8:32) - This is a news report by Global News Interactive on Richard Drucker, the Godfather of the internet.

Disc 3
------
7. Out of Time
Deleted Scenes - Get Down From There (1:40); She Can Find Peter (1:03)
Audio Commentary with Episode Director Daniel Attias and Series Star Masi Oka

8. Four Months Ago...
Deleted Scenes - Happy Birthday, Micah (:50); There Is No Need to Cry, Child (1:11); I'm Not O.K. Do I Look O.K.? (1:43)
Audio Commentary with Series Star Milo Ventimiglia and Executive Producer Greg Beeman

9. Cautionary Tales
Deleted Scenes - I Will Bring Him to Justice (:20); I Laughed So Hard Chocolate Milk Came Out of My Nose (1:07)
Audio Commentary with Episdoe Director Greg Yaitanes and Series Stars Kristen Bell & Ashley Crow

Genetics of a Scene (23:14)
2. Lizards - Executive Producer/Director Allan Allan Arkush discusses the shooting of 17th century Japan and how they made it look rural. He talks about the cherry blossoms and the sword fight scenes with Eriko Tamura (Yaeko).
1. Four Months Later... - Executive Producer/Director Greg Beeman talks about how they shot the introduction of Maya and Alejandro. They shot it with a handheld camera and made it documentary style. Dania Ramirez is also interviewed.
8. Four Months Ago... - Executive Producer/Director Greg Beeman talks about the scene of Peter and Nathan flying out of New York and Peter exploding. He talks about the storyboards, how they shot it with green screen and how they did the digital burns.
11. Powerless - Executive Producer/Director Allan Arkush discusses the set of Isaac's loft which was turned into a lab. Zachary Quinto is also interviewed.

Disc 4
------
10. Truth & Consequences
Audio Commentary with Episode Director Adam Kane and Series Star Stephen Tobolowsky

11. Powerless
Audio Commentary with Executive Producer Allan Arkush and Composers Lisa Coleman & Wendy Melvoin

Season 3 Sneak Peek (8:37) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the third season premiere episode. Interviews include Dania Ramirez, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Ali Larter, Greg Grunberg and Jack Coleman.

Generations Alternate Ending - (17:59) This is from what turned out to be the final episode of the season. Because of the strike, they had to alter the ending and this shows what happens if Peter didn't catch the virus. This includes some temporary vfx. The alternate ending is called lost footage and they weren't able to repurpose it, as they are going with a different storyline at the start of season 3.

Inside the Alternate Ending of Generations (10:57) - Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring, Executive Producer Jeph Loeb and Co-Executive Producer/Writer Jesse Alexander discuss the alternate ending and detail episodes 11-13. They talk a little about what they were planning for the next 6-8 episodes. Episodes 11-13 had been shot. They talk about the viral outbreak idea and Maya's ability.

Untold Stories (12:13) - This is some footage of scenes that never aired. Like the alternate ending, there is some temporary sfx and scenes that were not finished. It is divided into 6 sections: Teaser (4:28), Act 1 (1:08), Act 2 (:32), Act 3 (2:08), Act 4 (:218), Act 5 (from episode 213) (1:41)

NBC.com Featurettes
Hotel Gurintihain Explosion (:43)
Maya y Alejandro Viral Video (2:31)
Nathan and Peter Brooklyn Cam (:34)

Tim Sale Gallery of Screen Art (2:02) - Screen art is shown with music being played in the background.

Previews (6:42)
Battle Star Galactica, Coach, Eureka, The Incredible Hulk, Murder She Wrote, Northern Exposure, Quantum Leap, The Rockford Files, The A-Team/Knight Rider/Magnum P.I.

Final Comments: This is a pretty nicely produced set, although it can't match the season 1 release. The highlights of this set are the audio commentaries on every episode by the cast and crew. Even if you've already seen all of the episodes, they will add some new insights into the making of the episodes. I also enjoyed the Genetics of a Scene featurette which went into some detail on how they made scenes from four different episodes.

I was a huge fan of the first season, but the show went into a bit of a sophomore slump in season two. A lot of this was because of the writer's strike. No other show as probably more affected. They were only able to produce 11 episodes. I also think they added a few too many new characters and the pace was too slow at the start of the season. It would have been very interesting to see how the second half of the season would have played out with the viral outbreak idea. We will never know now, since they are going into a different direction at the start of season three. Hopefully they can get some of the magic and excitement back of the first season. If you gave up on season two, maybe you will want to give season three another try. The promos have looked very good. Watch the season three premiere on NBC on September 22, 2008. Chime in!

-- Reviewed by Todd
(4/5 stars)

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

A Blu-ray version is also being released on the same day. Purchase it here.

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Heroes Official Site
Heroes TV.com Page
Heroes Internet Movie Database Page
Heroes Wikipedia Page

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: Perry Mason Season 3, Volume 1

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the mini-DVD review! Today we take a look at CBS DVD's Perry Mason: The Third Season, Volume 1. Perry Mason of course is the very popular law series. The series stars the great Raymond Burr. See skees53's mini-DVD review of Perry Mason: The Third Season, Volume 1:

Perry Mason: The Third Season, Volume 1 (CBS DVD, $49.99) brings order back to the courtroom with the first 12 episodes of the 3rd season of the courtroom drama of the 50s. The three-disc set contains even more of the attorney defending the most impossible of cases, with the defendant knowing that the judge is going to lower the boom on them and find them guilty as charged, except by some miracle, Perry finds that despite all evidence supporting the other side, his client is always innocent and he is able to prove that in a court of law.
There are many great episodes in this set, beginning with the first one, "The Case of the Spurious Sister," where a man's wife turns up dead after she tells him she is going to divorce him. So where do all fingers get pointed? A jeweler turns up dead after accusing a young woman of theft in "The Case of the Blushing Pearls." Perry has to defend, of all people, Paul Drake, in "The Case of Paul Drake's Dilemma." In "The Case of the Golden Fraud," a golden coin in a parking meter may play a part in one of Perry's cases. In "The Case of the Artful Dodger," a man is about to inherit a large sum of money, except a bunch of people turn up dead that he just so happens to be avoiding. Perry can't get a break from his cases, not even while on a hunting trip, as shown in "The Case of the Violent Village."
The video and audio quality on the episodes is, as usual, excellent. This has never been an issue on these sets, and isn't this time either. Closed-captioning can also be found on all of the episodes. A nice little feature, though probably unintentional, is the fact that many episodes have their original sponsorships on the closing credits, from Colgate. And CBS DVD has actually left the original CBS logo intact this time, although the CBS Television Distribution logo plays immediately after it. But there is bad news about the case. Unlike the previous sets that included the double slimcases, we now have the standard Amaray style case that CBS DVD seems to use for everything. It is simple packaging, but just seems so cheap to be using, particularly on a show as expensive as this one is on DVD.
Unfortunately, as has been the case with the previous sets, there are no special features, which is outright disappointing. Apparently they were able to find some nice special features for the 50th Anniversary release, so why couldn't they come up with more for the season sets? Commentaries, interviews, and other special features would have been nice. I find it ridiculous that CBS DVD continues to release this in half season sets. Although the first season had many episodes, there aren't as many in these later seasons, and it would be more practical to put them out as full season releases. Instead, CBS DVD chooses to continue releasing half seasons and putting full season prices on the sets. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with the quality of the episodes on the set, but is the set really worth as much as fans are paying to buy the series on DVD? Not really. But don't be fooled—this is a great show that fans of classic TV and courtroom drama are sure to enjoy.
-- Reviewed by skees53
(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Perry Mason TV.com Page

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: NCIS - The Fifth Season (Aug. 26)

Welcome to a special edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we we take a look at CBS DVD's Fifth Season of Navy NCIS. See Seth Thrasher's mini-DVD review of NCIS - The Fifth Season and:

NCIS - The Fifth Season (CBS, $55.98) is now on DVD. This season is marked by mysterious secrets among the team, an explosive showdown with an elusive arms dealer, and a shocking final episode that shouldn't be missed. The series starts Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum, Sean Murray, Cote de Pablo, and Lauren Holly. This set contains the 18 episodes of the 2008 Writers' Strike-shortened 5th season.
One thing I hope I'm made absolutely clear over the years is simply that I *love* this show. Judging by the ratings many others do to. What amazes me though is very rarely does a week go by where I don't hear someone throwing it under the bus and trying to group it in with shows like CSI, Law & Order, etc. Yes, there are elements of that to this series. But with NCIS especially there's so much more going on. This series is significantly more character driven, and seems far more willing to use recurring plot themes than many of those other shows. With the other series, you could insert just about any actor into the carefully crafted niches in the series framework, and tell the same stories. But in NCIS' first five series, this largely hasn't been true. Ziva is largely different from Kate, for example, in the show's one main cast replacement. Similarly, replacing any other character would have strong effects on the series. This makes me concerned about the plot twist at the end of this fifth season -- and I really hope they don't screw this up, as honestly anything more than a temporary tweak for story purposes might very well send me packing from the series.
What could be so big that it would even threaten to send me running--the 5th season finale. One cast member (Lauren Holly) made a permanent exit from the show, while three others (Michael Weatherly, Sean Murray, Cote de Pablo) all were "reassigned" as part of the ending of the episode. Whether this is a temporary change or a permanent one will be resolved in season six -- I think I've made clear my hope of the outcome (no, I haven't bothered to check for spoilers). Before that, though, you have a great season of episodes, including a great Gibbs-centric episode in "Requiem" that's kicked off when Gibbs is sought for help by the childhood friend of his deceased daughter.
In terms of the technical side of the set, the packaging is as always a box containing slimcases -- three cases holding five discs this season. The discs have taken on the silver standard look of Paramount/CBS releases. Menus are well-designed but static, with no music in the background. In regards to audio and video, a great thing about working with newer series is that the video quality and audio quality are great almost by default. This set is no exception -- the video looks flawless in its presentation. Color balance is nice and even, there are no compression artifacts, there are no problems in the transfer -- nothing. Audio is a crisp and clear 5.1 audio track. The usual CBS/Paramount disclaimer about edits appears on the bottom of the box, but the only missing footage I can find in the one episode I have for comparison, "About Face," is the Stay Tuned for Scenes from the Next NCIS tag at the end. In fact, excluding *it* the DVD version actually appears to have a longer runtime by a few seconds. More than likely, in an era of pre-negotiated DVD rights, that disclaimer is just for legal purposes. I highly doubt anything substantive is cut.
And since NCIS is a popular series currently airing on TV, that means more effort goes into the bonuses on a release. There are SIX special features, including cast and crew commentaries, a revisiting of the aforementioned episode Requiem, a featurette talking about NCIS Season 5 itself, a feature on the costumes and wardrobe for the series, plus a feature on what all goes into transforming Pauley Perrette into the Abby character, including all the wardrobe, makeup, hair, false tattoos, etc. All great stuff to sit through and watch/listen to. The commentaries in particular are a great addition to see. I always love seeing DVD releases with large numbers of special features.
I didn't want to devote too much time to it, but another positive of this DVD release is the lower MSRP. Whether due to an overall business strategy or the fact that this season has a couple fewer episodes, the MSRP is noticeably lower than with past releases. I've been a big opponent of overpricing DVD sets, so I applaud this change wholeheartedly.
For those of you reading this who are trying to decide whether to buy the set or not, I wholeheartedly encourage it. NCIS is a great character driven drama -- with comedic elements -- and would make a welcome addition to your TV on DVD library. And for fans of the series, while the presence of the Disclaimer of Doom is always troubling, I sincerely doubt you have anything to worry about. As such, this set is STRONGLY recommended.
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
(4.5/5 stars)

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

New York City Locals Fall 2008 Update; TV Land Airs Special CSI Promotion Stunt

Today we are giving you an update for New York City's local channels for Fall 2008. The number one market and the best market--New York! And I'm in that market! Anyway, we primarily are covering WNYW, WWOR and WPIX, though. Let's start with WNYW. WNYW is going to be adding just one new series on weekdays and that is a veteran court series coming over from WNBC. Judge Joe Brown will move from WNBC to WNYW and will air weekdays at 3pm. Other weekday changes for WNYW is the second run of Tyra Banks Show at 10am replacing Montel Williams, which has ended. WNYW or WWOR will not air the Best of Montel package being offered to stations this fall. At 12 noon TMZ's encore will air replacing Judge Hatchett's third-run. Now Judge Hatchett has also ended and will still be available in repeats this fall, and WNYW will air the repeats at 12:30pm. The next change is the aforementioned Judge Joe Brown at 3pm replacing two Judge Hatchett episodes. The next change is at 12 midnight, with Scrubs replacing the TMZ encore. Then at 12:30am That '70s Show slide up a half-hour as well, replacing Scrubs. Finally, two episodes of King of the Hill will air from 1-2am coming over from WWOR, replacing That '70s Show and Bernie Mac. As for weekends, WNYW will add a few series. E/I series Real Winning Edge and Whaddyado? will air in the Saturday 12pm hour replacing Beakman's World. American Idol Rewind is moving from WPIX to WNYW/WWOR this fall and WNYW will air it Saturdays at 4PM. Among off-network dramas, House will air on Saturdays at 5PM. Finally, family-friendly comedy series Bananas will join WNYW airing Saturday nights at 1am. Leaving the WNYW weekend line-up is the syndicated series Masterminds.

Moving on to WNYW's sister station, WWOR now. First off, they will add three new shows to the weekday line-up: Family Court with Judge Penny, Trivial Pursuit and the sitcom House of Payne. They will air a second episode of One on One now at 7:30am, so the sitcom will air 7:30am and 8am now. 7:30am airing replaces That '70s Show. That '70s Show will move to 8:30am, replacing Still Standing. While the 9am hour will now also have sitcoms, with Scrubs and Still Standing airing replacing People's Court, which slides to 10am replacing Divorce Court. And you guessed it, Divorce Court will move to the 11am hour replacing Judge David Young as he will go to 12 noon now replacing the secondary Tyra Banks Show run. As I mentioned, that secondary run is now on WNYW at 10am, but the first run of course is still 5pm on WWOR. Anyway, 1-2pm will see the new court series Family Court with Judge Penny replacing Montel Williams. At 2pm, back-to-back episodes of the new game show Trivial Pursuit will try to do better than the canceled Temptation. The next change doesn't happen until 6pm. King of Queens will move to 6pm and 6:30pm replacing Inside Edition & Everybody Loves Raymond. Airing in Queens' old slot of 7pm and 7:30pm will now be the sitcom House of Payne. Everybody Loves Raymond will now air back-to-back in the 12am hour, as the 12:30am airing will replace Malcolm in the Middle. Finally on weekdays, the 1-2am hour will be Bernie Mac and Malcolm in the Middle replacing King of the Hill, as we mentioned already that hour moves to WNYW now. As for weekends, they have quite a few series coming. American Idol Rewind will also air on WWOR airing Saturdays at 7pm. American Chopper will air Saturdays at 11pm. On Sundays, the weekend plays of House of Payne will air Sundays in the 5pm hour. Then airing at 6 and 7pm will be Boston Legal and House. Quite a few weekend series will leave WWOR: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Star Trek, and Girls Behaving Badly.

View the full WNYW and WWOR Fall 2008 Schedules to see the entire picture.

We now move on to WPIX. We don't have their full fall schedule just as of yet but we know what is coming and what is leaving. Their weekday line-up will not change much, but coming weekdays from 1-2pm will be new court series Judge Karen replacing the canceled Judge Maria Lopez. Then The CW Daytime line-up from 3-5pm has been altered starting Sept. 22 with All of Us, What I Like About You and Reba leaving in favor of new court series Judge Jeanine Pirro and veteran sitcoms The Jamie Foxx Show and The Wayans Bros.. These shows are not just WPIX, they will be on all CW affiliates under the CW Daytime brand from 3-5pm. Coming to WPIX on weekends are Star Trek (from WWOR) and Stargate Atlantis (also from WWOR). Later in the fall, starting Sept. 1, Saturdays at 8pm and 9pm will have the new first run syndicated series Legend of the Seeker from Disney-ABC Television. Leaving WPIX are Jury Duty, The Shield, Soul Train, and the old CW Daytime shows mentioned. We are not expecting any changes really to WPIX's weekday early evening sitcoms (5-8pm) or late night sitcoms (11pm-3am), but we will let you know as soon as we know on our message board.

As for other stations in New York, they don't usually make many changes. WNBC will probably make the most changes from the rest of the batch. This fall WNBC will be adding the new syndicated talk show The Bonnie Hunt Show airing at 2pm, which means Day of Our Lives could be on the move to another slot, perhaps 1pm. We don't have WNBC's full line-up yet. The syndicated version of Deal or No Deal will air at 4pm on WNBC. Judge Joe Brown is leaving the station as it moves to WNYW, so 3pm hour will be free and it is likely Ellen DeGeneres Show could move there. Martha Stewart's show currently airs at 1pm, so that could move to either 11am or 12pm. So maybe Paid Programming will finally leave WNBC at 11am? One would hope. Anyway, weekends on WNBC, Monk will be coming. As soon as we have the full WNBC fall line-up we will post it on our message board.
Moving on to WCBS, new syndicated talk show The Doctors, a spin-off of Dr. Phil, will air weekday mornings at 9am replacing encores of ET/The Insider. No other changes are likely to be made during weekdays. On weekends, CSI: NY is coming replacing CSI: Miami. WCBS also airs Maximum Exposure on weekends, and that will be leaving syndication, so WCBS can't air it this fall.
WABC, which has the number one line-up ratings wise in NYC and the nation, will not make any changes to its weekday line-up. However, on Saturdays they will add reruns of Lost on Saturday nights at 12:35am after Eyewitness News. ABC airs College Football in the fall from 8-12 or so, so that's why WABC's Eyewitness News usually starts at 12am rather than 11pm. Lost will replace the Saturday late movie. WABC also has gotten rights to NASCAR Angels and Storm Stories and will air them in various times on weekends.
Finally, WLNY-TV55, an independent station, will make a lot of changes to its weekend line-up. WLNY has a tendency to get secondary rights to shows already on other New York locals and that is the case here once again for everything I am about to mention. Their new weekend line-up, both Saturday and Sundays, will have Monk at 4pm, Boston Legal at 5pm, Law & Order: SVU at 6pm, CSI: NY at 7pm, Lost at 8pm and House at 9pm. That's a lot of great dramas there! We do not have their weekday line-up yet, but it'll likely see a change or two since The Nanny/Mad About You hour is leaving syndication this Fall. We will let you know as soon as we do on our message board.
Now I have mentioned the message board a lot already, and you can view our Fall 2008 Syndication thread where we post updates and you can also post updates. It's team effort as we have 9 pages so far and growing! So join in if you haven't already. And to see a list of all the shows coming to syndication this fall, view our Fall 2008 Shows post.


TV Land is going to have a special promotion one-time-only marathon of CSI on Saturday, September 13 from 10pm-1am. TV Land is a sister station of both CBS and Spike TV. CBS airs the show in first-run and Spike TV airs the show in reruns on cable. It'll be weird seeing CSI on TV Land that night, indeed. As of now it is only a one-time-only stunt, but perhaps they could air the series in reruns sharing it with Spike TV in the future? We shall see...but for now view the episode info for the stunt.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

WGN America Edits Sunday Schedule; Network Notes

Nearly three weeks ago we gave you WGN America's Fall 2008 schedule, but now there has been a slight change, nothing drastic but they are changing the schedule a bit on Sundays.
Originally there were no schedule changes in September on Sundays, but now WGN America will change Sundays starting Sept. 14 and a little bit more on Oct. 5, which was the original date of changes happening on Sundays. On Sept. 14 Whacked Out Sports will air at 1pm ET for an hour leading into Cubs baseball games at 2pm ET. After the game ends, Funniest Pets & People will now air in the 5pm ET hour leading into The Cosby Show now in the 6pm ET hour. The Outta Sight Retro Night will continue to air from 7-10pm ET (with WKRP, Newhart, and Honeymooners hours) followed by the WGN News at 9 at 10pm ET. Then more classic TV will be added as Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie will join the Sunday line-up earlier than planned and in a better slot too, Sundays in the 11pm ET hour for Bewitched and 12am ET hour for I Dream of Jeannie sliding Scrubs to 1am ET. Remember this is just Sundays. The weekday line-up starting Sept. 8 will remain the same as we previously announced, such as Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie in the 9am ET hour weekdays.
There will be no changes to Saturdays in September as we previously said. Saturdays will still change starting Oct. 4 as we originally mentioned, with changes such as Bewitched airing at 12 noon ET, I Dream of Jeannie at 1pm ET, NewsRadio at 6pm ET and Coach at 7pm ET. So nothing changed there. However, Sundays starting Oct. 5 will be altered just a tad now because of the changes on Sept. 14. Originally this is where the Sunday overhaul was going to take place, but now the changes will just be Whacked Out Sports kicking it off at 11am ET followed by a double dose now of The Beverly Hillbillies at 12 noon ET. The rest of the Sunday line-up is generally the same as the one that will start Sept. 14.
We will have much more on WGN America in the near future as they have classic TV marathons planned for all upcoming holidays starting with Halloween, so stay tuned!
For now, view the entire WGN America Fall 2008 Schedule so you see the new Sunday schedule and the rest of the schedule as well if you missed it!

Two-time Golden Globe winner Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time) is returning to the world of sitcoms. She has just signed to star in a new comedy pilot for TBS from writer/executive producer Dave Caplan, whose credits include TBS's highly popular sitcom The Bill Engvall Show, as well as past ABC sitcoms George Lopez and The Drew Carey Show. The as-yet-untitled sitcom centers on a single mother trying to run a business while raising two children. The premise of the show is inspired by events in Caplan's own life. Caplan wrote the pilot script and will serve as executive producer along with Original Film's Neal Moritz and Vivian Cannon. Bertinelli will also serve as producer. The project comes to TBS from Sony Pictures Television.
The Caplan project follows the life of a woman (Bertinelli) who manages to get through the day with surprisingly good humor despite very difficult circumstances: Her husband walks out, leaving her with two kids and a struggling lumberyard. It will take every ounce of energy she has to keep both her household and her business afloat, while facing obstacles at every turn. Stay tuned for more news on this!
Fox has announced the series premiere of new J.J. Abrams drama Fringe will premiere from 8pm-9:35pm now instead of 8-10pm on Tuesday, September 9. The 8pm-9:35pm premiere will still have very limited commercials. Airing for the last 25 minutes from 9:35-10pm will now be a special sneak peek of the new Fox reality series Hole in the Wall. Hole in the Wall is still scheduled to air in its regular Thursday night slot at 8-9pm starting on Sept. 11. Fox will encore the premiere of Fringe on Sunday, September 14 as well from 8pm-9:35pm, but the time slot after that is still to be determined, but it is likely Fox will show a Fall Preview Special there.
ABC is moving forward with its plans for a male-based Supernanny spinoff called Supermanny. The network will air a pilot episode of Supermanny in the fall. The spinoff's format will remain similar to the original, with a child-development expert lending a family in crisis some tough-love guidance. But instead of professional nanny Jo Frost leading the living-room intervention, gruff Chicago child therapist Mike Ruggles will step in.
Supernanny moves to Fridays at 9pm ET this fall on ABC and it is likely the Supermanny pilot will air in that slot sometime this season as a backdoor pilot.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

TV Land October 2008 Sees Many Changes; Show Coming on ION This September Is...NCIS

Late last week we mentioned that TV Land will change their line-up a bit in October, and now we know the full details! We mentioned a lot already 3rd Rock from the Sun will join the TV Land line-up and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is now eligible for daily play on TV Land rather than just once a week, and now we know when they will air!
First, 3rd Rock from the Sun will replace Cheers weekdays at 8:30am starting Wednesday, October 1. 3rd Rock will then get more slots the week after, starting October 6 airing weekdays (except Wednesdays/Fridays) at 10:00pm & 10:30pm after Scrubs. The show will also air Saturday nights at 1:00am & 1:30am. TV Land will officially welcome the band of alien explorers posing as a typical "family" of four to observe human nature and relationships on the planet earth the weekend of Oct. 11-12 with a 6-hour marathon on Saturday night, October 11 from 11:59pm-6am and a 4-hour marathon on Sunday, October 12 from 12p-4pm, starting with the pilot episode on Sunday.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will get a seven-day primetime marathon as it now will air daily on TV Land! It's a makeover takeover on TV Land. From Monday, September 29 to Sunday, October 5 from 9pm through 1am each night, don't miss a week-long primetime marathon of the popular series. From the "After The Storm" specials (Hurricane Katrina) to the 2-hour episodes and all the laughter and tears in between, TV Land brings you all the best that Ty and his gang of hardworking homebuilders have to offer. Don't forget the Kleenex. The series will then air weekdays at 7pm & 11pm, Mondays at 11am, and on weekends the special two-hour episodes will air Saturdays 8-10am & 8-10pm and Sundays 8-10am & 6-8pm.
Other schedule changes starting Oct. 6 are Andy Griffith Show shifting from 6-8pm to 5-7p, as it makes room for Home Edition at 7pm. So the 5-6pm Hillbillies hour is gone. As we mentioned 3rd Rock replaces M*A*S*H at 10pm, Home Edition also replaces M*A*S*H at 11pm, while M*A*S*H moves to 1-2am replacing Sanford & Son. The weeknight late night block will get a huge makeover. 2-3am hour will now be an episode each of Hogan's Heroes and Beverly Hillbillies replacing The Jeffersons. The I Love Lucy/Leave it to Beaver hour now moves from 5am to 3am replacing two episodes of Beverly Hillbillies. Then from 4-6am, the shows that were dropped return after a short break. That's Designing Women, Mad About You, Murphy Brown and Just Shoot Me from 4-6am weeknights. So, Three's Company and The Brady Bunch will be off the line-up after two months of airing. During weekends, the changes as we mentioned were two-hour Home Edition episodes 8-10am on both days, replacing Green Acres on Saturdays, which is now also off the line-up. Andy Griffith Show will shift from 9-10am Saturdays to 10-11am. Saturdays from 6-8pm will be a block of Cosby Show, followed by a two-hour Home Edition from 8-10pm, encores of Myths & Legends at 10, Scrubs Saturdays shifts to the 11pm hour, followed by Cosby Show at midnight and 3rd Rock in the 1am hour. On Sundays, the Home Edition 8-10am, Scrubs Sundays from 5-6pm, and another Home Edition from 6-8pm. No other changes on Sundays. See the full schedule link below if you get confused.
To the highlights, Myths & Legends will return for a second season starting Wednesday, October 8 with two all-new episodes! Then the next 6 Wednesdays one half-hour episode will air each Wednesday at 10pm. TV Land Myths & Legends promises to go behind the scenes to investigate the mysteries that have grown up around some of Hollywood's most memorable stars, TV shows, films and music. In a town called the Dream Factory, where reality collides with wild imagination, there's a blurred line between truth and fiction. Did heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne bite the head off of a live bat? Was Jayne Mansfield decapitated in her fatal automobile accident? Was a comic book based on the rock band KISS printed with the blood of the band members? Is J.Lo's butt really insured for $1 billion dollars? TV Land will explore these infamous mysteries and more on TV Land Myths & Legends Season 2 as they set the record straight about some of the most confused and confounding moments in entertainment history.
TV Land's Movie Land Friday block for October will feature classic comedies such as Police Academy, Lethal Weapon and Easy Money!
View the full TV Land October 2008 schedule and highlights.

We told you yesterday ION's September 2008 highlights and we said a drama not yet announced will air Mondays and Tuesdays at 9PM starting Sept. 8, and now ION has announced it! And that drama is ... NCIS!
ION Television, a contemporary general entertainment network, today announced that it will add Emmy-nominated NCIS to its primetime lineup on Monday, September 8th at 9 p.m. ET. ION Media Networks, Inc., ION Television's parent company, has entered into a content agreement with CBS Television Distribution for the broadcast syndication rights to the first four seasons of the naval investigators procedural series. The top-rated, hour-long program will air on Mondays and Tuesdays in the 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET timeslot.
NCIS marks the 3rd show acquired from CBS Television Distribution, with the other two coming in Fall 2009 -- Criminal Minds and Ghost Whisperer.
NCIS, the hit spin-off of CBS's military legal drama, JAG, comes from acclaimed producer Donald P. Bellisario. Revolving around a fictional group of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Major Case Response Team (MCRT) of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps., NCIS is more than your average action drama. With liberal doses of humor, it focuses on the sometimes complex and always amusing dynamics of a squad forced to work together in high-stress situations. From murder and espionage to terrorism and kidnappings, these special agents travel the globe to investigate high-profile crimes involving persons and property associated with the Navy or Marine Corps. The popular show premiered on September 23, 2003, on CBS and enters its sixth season on the network this fall.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

ION Television September 2008 Schedule; Your Memorable TV Moments At This Year's Emmys

ION Television announced their Fall 2008 schedule back at their May upfront presentation, but it seems that schedule was just tentative. Boston Legal and M*A*S*H will join the ION September 2008 line-up on Monday, September 8. Boston Legal will air Mondays at 8PM, for now. The reason I say "for now" is because their Fall 2008 schedule actually starts Monday, September 29 and we don't have details on that yet since that is considered October. I do think Boston Legal will air Mon-Wed at 8pm probably by then, but for now it will start off airing Mondays at 8PM starting Sept. 8. The legal drama is entering its last season on ABC, moving to a new night Mondays at 10pm starting Sept. 22.
As for M*A*S*H, ION Television will launch it also on Sept. 8 airing it weekdays back-to-back at 4:00PM & 4:30PM and on weekends back-to-back at 6:00PM & 6:30PM ET/PT! ER will still air Mon-Wed at 10PM, but it will also air Tuesdays at 8PM and Wednesdays at 8 & 9PM...again, until at least Sept. 29. So, yes ER will air from 8-11pm on Wednesdays. Quantum Leap and The Dead Zone will be off the primetime line-up in this September schedule, but who knows they could return in that Fall October schedule, but I doubt it. Baywatch is off the Saturday line-up and 48 Hours will air on Thursdays at 10PM only now after the Thursday movie, if the movie ends at 10pm. The Drew Carey Show was originally slated to return this Fall, but it now won't. It will air however sometimes after the Thursday movie at 10:30pm, if the movie runs longer than 2 hours.
Now, ION Television will launch another drama on Sept. 8 airing it Mondays and Tuesdays at 9PM, but they have not announced it yet so I cannot tell you yet. As soon as they announce it, I will post it. But it is a drama similar in style to their other recent acquisitions (Boston Legal, Criminal Minds) but more mainstream than Quantum Leap and The Dead Zone.
The other slots will remain the same, with Steve Harvey Show airing weekdays 5-6PM, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper airing weekdays 6-7PM, and Family Feud airing Mon-Thurs from 7-8PM. RHI Entertainment is still Fri-Sun from 7-11PM. The Friday qubo block from 2-5pm will now be spread out to an hour each day from 3-4pm on Wed-Fri.
We will let you know about that new 9PM drama as soon as they announce it and if we get any details on their Fall line-up (that starts Sept. 29). I don't expect many changes then, but probably Boston Legal will air Mon-Wed (or Mon-Thurs) at 8, that new drama Mon-Wed (or Mon-Thurs) at 9, and ER Mon-Wed (or Mon-Thurs) at 10. I think the Thursday movie will be on its way out by then, but not sure. Again, I'll let you all know when it is announced!
For now, view the ION September 2008 Schedule.

The most memorable moments in television history will be revealed during the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 21, and it's up to voters to decide which bits should take top honors.
40 "moments" -- 20 dramatic and 20 comedic -- are in the running. Comedy contenders include M*A*S*H, Mork & Mindy, I Love Lucy, All in the Family, Murphy Brown, The Honeymooners, Newhart, Ellen, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Friends, Seinfeld, Sex and the City and The Cosby Show, while Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, Dallas, Dynasty, Grey's Anatomy, Miami Vice, Moonlighting and The Sopranos are among the drama candidates.
The television academy and Emmy show producers came up with the competition and the contenders in honor of the 60th annual presentation of the Emmy Awards. Fans can watch clips and vote for their favorite moments online until Sept. 15.
The top five vote-getters in each category will be presented during the Emmy show on Sunday, Sept. 21 on ABC, and the two winning moments will be revealed just before the year's outstanding drama and comedy series are named.
So head on to ABC's Most Memorable TV Moments section and vote for your favorites moments!

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Summer Week 12 Sitcom Ratings; Coming Week Preview

The dog days of summer continue. Only repeats and reality series are airing, but there have been some scripted originals for the summer as well. We are just looking at the sitcom ratings, but we will be back in the fall with our normal weekly reports. Here is week 12 for the summer for sitcoms:

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of August 4-10)
  • 'Til Death (Fox) 2 episodes - Just 1.43 and 1.67 million for two repeats...down from previous week as this was its first head to head airing vs. the Olympics.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) - Only 3.18 million for a repeat in its 8pm slot.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - preempted.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 3.74 million for a repeat, down week to week, but it aired at 8:30pm.
  • American Dad! (Fox) - preempted.
  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - 720,000 viewers this week for a repeat...down from previous week, as the Olympics killed everything.
  • Aliens in America (The CW) - 690,000 viewers for a repeat...also down week to week.
  • The Game (The CW) - 870,000 viewers for a repeat, also down from previous week.
  • Girlfriends (The CW) - 970,000 viewers for a repeat, built from lead-in but also down from previous week.

Summer Week 12 (August 11-17)


Monday Sitcoms
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 4.62 million for a repeat...sharply down from previous week's repeat, but the Olympics are on. Honestly, I don't get all the hoopla over the Olympics.
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 4.82 million for a repeat airing, down from previous week, but built from the lead-in.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 8.07 million for a repeat, down from previous week but still a solid rating.
  • Old Christine (CBS) - 5.63 million for a repeat, as it finally went down.
  • Samantha Who? (ABC) - Just 1.77 and 2.15 million for repeats in the 9pm hour, but it built at least as the 8pm hour on ABC was very low rated.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None...watch Wipeout on ABC, very funny show that is not a sitcom. Repeat this week against the Olympics...but watch this instead because it is obviously funnier than the Olympics and we are all about laughs here at SitcomsOnline!
Wednesday Sitcoms
  • None.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • None.
Friday Sitcoms
  • None.
Saturday Sitcoms
  • None.
Tonight you can catch encores of The CW sitcoms from 8-10pm and Fox's animated comedies (and 'Til Death repeats from 7-8pm) are encoring from 8-9 tonight only.

Coming Week Preview (Summer Week 13) for Broadcast (With Some Cable Notes):
So what is new or notable this week that you might want to catch? Tonight CBS will have Big Brother at 8pm out of a new 60 Minutes at 7pm. NBC has of course the Summer Olympics, which will be the main draw of the night. A pretty quiet and boring night unless you are an Olympics fan. Cable is the way to go with Lifetime's Army Wives, USA Network's In Plain Sight and Mad Men on AMC at 10pm with VH1 and A&E airing their reality series. And don't forget Law & Order: Criminal Intent at 9pm on USA Network. Cable is the way to go indeed!
On Monday, ABC will be new with High School Musical: Get in the Picture at 8pm followed by the network television premiere of the movie Bewitched from 9-11pm. NBC has of course the Summer Olympics. Cable again will be the best draw with The Closer and Saving Grace on TNT from 9-11pm. ABC Family also has a new Middleman at 10pm and VH1 with more new reality series such as I Want to Work for Diddy, while MTV has The Hills.
On Tuesday ABC's Wipeout is a repeat but it will lead-in to game show Wanna Bet? which has now moved to Tuesdays, followed by an all-new Primetime: Medical Mysteries at 10pm. NBC has the Summer Olympics all-night again. And the Tuesday edition of Big Brother airs at 9pm on CBS. Cable wise ABC Family's Secret Life of an American Teenager is doing well and will air at 8pm, Sci Fi has Eureka at 9, and at 10pm on Lifetime it is How To Look Good Naked. Best night of the summer but a bit slow tonight with Wipeout a repeat.
On Wednesday NBC's Summer Olympics are the way to go. CBS has Greatest American Dog at 8pm. ABC will be new at 10pm with Primetime: Crime. Cable wise Sci Fi has Ghost Hunters and Scare Tactics starting at 9pm. Maybe this is the worst night for the summer (not counting Friday/Saturday).
On Thursday Fox has an NFL pre-season game between the 49ers and Bears. CBS at 8pm has Big Brother and another episode of the summer scripted series Flashtown at 10pm, which is doing decent. And NBC with the Summer Olympics. On cable, USA Network has Burn Notice at 10pm, VH1 has more reality shows, Comedy Central has The Gong Show. The finale of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew is also at 10pm.
On Friday, NBC will be king with Summer Olympics. CBS has a NFL pre-season game between the Texans and Cowboys. ABC and The CW will of course will have 20/20 & WWE Smackdown. Cable wise, Monk & Psych on USA from 9-11 and Stargate Atlantis on Sci Fi at 10pm.
Saturday will have Cops and AMW on Fox and of course the Summer Olympics on NBC and their cable networks, while CBS has coverage of NFL pre-season.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: Entourage Season 4 (Aug. 26)

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the mini-DVD review. This week we take a look at HBO's Entourage - The Complete Fourth Season. Entourage of course is the popular HBO series that is about a guy named Vince (played by Adrian Grenier) that is about to make it big in showbiz and moves to Hollywood in hopes that he will make it to the top. See skees53's mini-DVD review of Entourage: The Complete Fourth Season:

Entourage: The Complete Fourth Season (HBO, $39.98) continues the ongoing story of Vince Chase "chasing" his dreams to make it big in Hollywood, thanks to (but most often in spite of) his faithful group of friends, his entourage, Eric, Drama, and Turtle.
We start the season with "Welcome to the Jungle," where we go behind-the-scenes (not from our perspective, but the perspective of the characters of the show) of the Vince’s movie for this season, Medellin. In "Sorry, Harvey," Ari gets into some trouble and lands in jail for what he does with a top-secret script... oops! The series addresses the modern issue of things that shouldn’t be on YouTube ending up on there in "The Dream Team" and "The WeHo Ho." Finally, he guys learn a lesson in reality in the film business in "The Cannes Kids." There are many well-known guest stars this season, including Gary Busey, Snoop Dogg, Sydney Pollack, Kanye West, and more.
The audio and video on the set is superb, with the video being presented in the 16:9 aspect ratio and audio in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. But there are also Spanish and French audio tracks, as well as English, Spanish, and French subtitles. The episodes are spanned over three discs, but the outside packaging is slightly different this time. While it looks similar, the big change is that the sturdier hard cardboard packaging has been replaced with a less expensive standard box. It isn't a big deal, though.
The set is loaded with special features, beginning with commentaries. The commentaries are by Doug Ellin, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, and Adrian Grenier. These can be found on "Welcome to the Jungle," "The Day Fu*kers," and "The Cannes Kids." "The Making of Medellin" goes behind-the-scenes into the making of the very movie that Vince is starring in this season. "Medellin Trailer," of course, is a trailer for the fictitious movie. "U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Panel" is a nice and long conversation with the cast members at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. This lasts a whole fifty minutes, and is very insightful and entertaining. Finally, although the packaging doesn't mention it, there are recaps and previews for every episode on the set, which are basically like short promos. I like to watch them before I watch any episode.
As always, we have a pretty good DVD set here, and fans are sure to be happy with what is here. We have another great season of episodes with great special features. I'm usually not a fan of these premium cable series, although this is one of the few that I find enjoyable and far better than many other series on television today. It is surprising that this series isn't also being released on Blu-Ray Disc as well, although I'm sure that will come at some point in the future.
-- Reviewed by skees53
(4.5/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Entourage TV.com Page

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Canada Cable Networks Fall 2008 Schedules; WCIU in Chicago Remembers Bernie Mac

Today we put our full focus on cable stations up north... Canada, that is. We will take a look at some of the fall 2008 schedules for Canada including TV Land Canada, DejaView, CTS, TVtropolis, and SUN TV.
First up, we'll start with TV Land Canada. They will be adding Bizarre, Phil Silvers Show, and Ready or Not. Bizarre is a half-hour sketch comedy show produced by the CTV Television Network that contains slapstick sketches, monologues, TV parodies, and performances by guest stand-up comics. It will air weekdays 8-9am, 4-5pm, 11pm-12am, and 4-5am, and on weekends from 1-2pm, 8-9pm and 3-4am. Phil Silvers Show of course is the great sitcom that is known to all, it will air Fridays 11am-12pm, 9-10pm, and 3-4am. Finally, Ready or Not is the Canadian series that follow the ups and downs of life with best friends Amanda Zimm and Busy Ramone as they deal with adolescence, boys, family, school and friends. It will air weekends only from 9-10am, 6-7pm, and 2-3am.
Leaving the TV Land Canada line-up for now are King of Kensington, Smith & Smith, Smith & Smith Comedy Club, Adventures in Rainbow Country, Swiss Family Robinson, and New Lassie.
Among the highlights are the weekday "New Shows on the TV Land Block" from 10am-12pm, 8-10pm, and 2-4am with themed blocks (sitcom Monday, fantasy/love Tuesday, Canadian comedy Wednesday, crime cops Thursday, and classic comedy Friday). Marathons include an I Pity the Fool Labor Day morning marathon from 6am-9am starring Mr. T, followed by a 9-5 Lassie marathon featuring season one episodes of TV's hardest working dog. Spend a Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday, Oct. 13 with a 24-hour marathon of Dallas starting at 6am, as they say be thankful you're not part of the Ewing family. Finally, tune in to TV Land Canada on Christmas Day starting at 6am for 24-hours of classic Christmas episodes of Lassie, Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi, Petticoat Junction, It's Garry Shandling's Show, The Andy Griffith Show, Hart to Hart, and 21 Jump Street.
View the full TV Land Canada Fall 2008 Schedule.

Next up we have DejaView and Teletoon Retro's Fall 2008 schedules. DejaView is removing The Ropers and Three's a Crowd from their line-up this fall, so if you're in Canada watch them this month on their weekend line-up and hopefully you saved/recorded all the episodes of each. Three's Company will of course remain on DejaView airing in its regular slots weekdays and weekends. Also leaving DejaView is Miami Vice, Green Acres, Hogan's Heroes. Who's the Boss joins the weekday line-up now as well instead of just weekends., while Maude returns to the line-up. Joing DejaView for the first time are Charles in Charge and Kate & Allie, both will air on weekends only, though.
Teletoon is adding a lot of new series. Joining are The Smurfs, Wait Til Your Father Gets Home, The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Banana Splits Adventure Show, Spider-Man, Reboot and Fraggle Rock.

Then we have the TVtropolis Fall 2008 Schedule.
TVtropolis of course was known as PRIME previously. Their line-up features a mix of sitcoms, game shows, reality series, and more. Sitcoms include Seinfeld, Married with Children, The Nanny, King of Queens, That '70s Show, Roseanne, Frasier, Friends, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Then we have SUN TV and CTS TV. SUN TV will have series such as My Secret Identity, The A-Team, Incredible Hulk, George Lopez, Becker, Scrubs and more.
CTS's fall line-up will start September 1 and will consist of sitcoms such as The Hogan Family, Facts of Life, Family Matters, Family Ties, Full House, Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley, with Saved by the Bell coming by January.
Check out the full SUN TV and CTS's Fall 2008 schedules.
Also, check out other cable network line-ups for Canada.

Tomorrow (Saturday, August 16, 2008), WCIU (The U in Chicago) celebrates the life and work of Chicago's King of Comedy, Bernie Mac, with an evening long on-air tribute from 5 to 9PM CT.
From 5:00 to 6:00PM, WCIU (The U) presents A Tribute to Bernie Mac. The special will feature exclusive Bernie Mac interviews from Bernie's appearances on Chicago Public School's Sports Edition, behind the scenes video, and tributes from local comedians and on-air personalities. The production is hosted by The U's George Blaise and co-produced by Weigel Broadcasting's Program Director Sean Long and Production Manager Randy King.
At 6:00 the tribute continues with his sitcom, The Bernie Mac Show. Mac's Emmy and Peabody award-winning comedy frequently featured guest stars. One of those stars, who also passed away this week, was the late Isaac Hayes. In honor of both men's memories, The U will feature an episode with Hayes and Mac.
At 7:00, a special episode of Stooge-A-Palooza, will air with co-host Bernie Mac. Throughout the evening, The U will air short interviews with local and national personalities. This interviews will show them reflecting on their personal relationships with Bernie. Some of these interviews include Dee Dee Davis (actress, The Bernie Mac Show), Camille Winbush (actress, The Bernie Mac Show), WGCI's Tony Sculfield and Power 92's Lisa E.
The Bernie Mac Show airs weeknights at 7 and 7:30PM on WCIU (The U) and will move to 8PM on September 22, 2008 when it become the lead out for Tyler Perry's House of Payne.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

TV Land September 2008 Schedule...Again; BET Schedule Updates

OK so we gave you TV Land September details two other times already. The latest one was exactly a week ago and the first one was last month, with a few updates in between those. Now a third major update is done! Could three be the charm?
TV Land has not touched its weekday line-up starting Sept. 2. It will remain the same as it was previously, with Scrubs joining weeknights at 9 & 9:30pm. However, TV Land has touched the Saturday and Sunday line-up a bit starting Sept. 6. For Saturdays, the biggest changes are Andy Griffith in the 9am hour, Scrubs airing 9-10pm and 12-1am, The Cosby Show 10-11pm, with M*A*S*H 1-2am and various marathons from 2-6am. As for Sundays, they will have a two-hour block of M*A*S*H, Andy Griffith Show, I Love Lucy, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Little House on the Prairie from 8pm-6am. So the regular overnight (1-6am) will now only be weeknights.
In that schedule we announced last month, we stated that there would be changes to the morning line-up starting Sept. 15 with Cheers removed, that will not be the case now. The Sept. 2 schedule will last through Sept. 19. Then on Saturday, Sept. 20, there will be a minor change as The Munsters and The Addams Family are expiring, as we knew already. Then on Monday, Sept. 22 more changes are happening to weekdays. The weekday morning block will be altered a bit. M*A*S*H comes into the weekday 7am hour replacing Night Court/Mad About You. Night Court will shift to 8am, replacing Designing Women followed by Cheers at 8:30am, which is still on (for now)! Now TV Land's October schedule starts the following week on Sept. 29, so Cheers will not be on that as the contract is expiring and the show is moving to The Hallmark Channel on Sundays as we stated yesterday. Back to Sept. 22, an extra Sanford & Son will replace All in the Family at 9am, so Designing Women, Mad About You and All in the Family are gone. They join the previously booted Just Shoot Me! and Murphy Brown, which will leave the line-up in late August.
I really urge you to view the entire line-up for the TV Land September 2008 schedule, so you do not get confused. So is this the Fall schedule? Not quite, as two more series will join the daily line-up in October...3rd Rock from the Sun (as we exclusively announced) and daily plays of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. So we will have the TV Land Fall 2008 line-up (October) in the coming days!
Come back tomorrow for our Canada cable networks fall 2008 line-ups--DejaView, TV Land Canada, CTS, and more!

Now let's move on to BET. We don't have their Fall line-up yet, but before the fall starts they will be doing some notable things. First, just to remind you that this Sunday (Sunday, August 17) from 3pm-7pm ET they will have a farewell marathon for the short-lived sitcom Sanford (1980, starring Redd Foxx). All the Sony Pictures sitcoms they have are all expiring at the end of August and they will not be renewing them, unfortunately. So you will not see Diff'rent Strokes, Thea, Sanford, and Malcolm & Eddie in September. Yes, The Steve Harvey Show is from Sony but that is not part of that package and thus Harvey is not expiring.
Diff'rent Strokes (weekdays 9-11am) will have a missing episode finally aired on BET. The episode "Bulimia" has never aired on BET because the tape they had was damaged...but now BET has gotten a new one and will air it on Thursday, Aug. 21 at 9:30am, so get those VCRs/DVRs ready! Speaking of Diff'rent Strokes, it will have a five-episode block in primetime on Saturday, August 23 from 8pm-10:30pm, followed by a five-episode block of A Different World from 10:30pm-1am. The episodes will be multiple-part storylines. View the episode info for this stunt.
That's not all for Diff'rent Strokes! On its last day of airing, BET will give it a proper send-off with an all-day marathon on Friday, August 29 from 9am-6pm. We don't have episode info yet for that stunt, but should by next week, so keep checking our Diff'rent Strokes message board.
Fans of A Different World will be pleased that all week of August 25, the show will air at 11pm and 11:30pm, as BET has a movie stunt all week at midnight.
As for early September, replacing Diff'rent Strokes starting Sept. 1 from 9-11am will be the sitcom Girlfriends, and Hell Date will air weekdays 3-4pm full time and not share it with any other original.
As for the fall, all we know is new syndicated series Judge Karen is coming to BET on Sept. 22 along with court favorite Judge Hatchett. Judge Karen will actually launch in syndication on Sept. 8, check local listings or JudgeKarenTV.com. Hopefully another sitcom or two come as well, we will let you know.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hallmark Channel Fall 2008 Schedule With Cheers; Comcast Launches MGM's Impact Action onDemand

We continue the fall 2008 schedules for cable and today we take a look at The Hallmark Channel's Fall 2008 schedule. Now, their fall schedule schedule will start in October and they really have no changes at all! I believe their weekday line-up of dramas (Little House, Murder She Wrote, etc) and comedic drama M*A*S*H are doing well that they don't want to change anything yet. Now we already announced that Cheers is coming this fall previously, and now we have when it will air. Since we just said weekdays will have no changes at all, that will leave Cheers to just weekends, and they will air four episodes a week on Sundays from 10am-12pm starting Saturday, October 5. Hopefully it can do well there and then they can transition it to weekdays possibly?
Also joining the Hallmark schedule is the first-run syndicated series NASCAR Angels (it will also remain on your locals weekly as well) airing Sunday mornings at 8am, replacing one of the M*A*S*H airings, so M*A*S*H Sunday airings will now be 8:30am-10am.
Original movies for the month are Ladies of the House on Oct. 18 and Generation Gap on Oct. 25 both from 9-11pm.
We're sorry that there are not many changes or that Cheers is not on any other day, but we just report what we get and see! Anyway, view the Hallmark Channel Fall 2008 Schedule.
Stay tuned for Canada cable schedules, ION Television, WE tv, Nick at Nite, BET, and NYC local channels fall line-ups in the coming days.

Comcast Corporation and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) today announced a partnership to launch Impact, the first video-on-demand (VOD) channel dedicated exclusively to action programming. The new channel, available first to Comcast customers this week, features a host of exciting and popular action films and television shows, many available in high-definition (HD), that will captivate adventure seekers and fans of action, one of the fastest growing movie categories at the box office.
Within the first year, Impact will premiere many of the most successful films in action history, including movies from the James Bond series, Rocky, Terminator, Magnificent Seven and RoboCop. Impact will also kick-off its programming with some of its most popular action stars from the MGM library such as Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone and Charles Bronson. As an ongoing part of this VOD channel, there will be special programming themes created around the popular action genres including thrillers, crime, espionage, westerns, war films and martial arts.
It looks like this onDemand service will primarily be movies, though. We will try to get a list of MGM action TV series coming to Impact soon.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

SOAPnet September Fall 2008 Schedule; Bernie Mac Tribute on Larry King Live TONIGHT; Slight Nick at Nite Change; Sony's Cross-Country Seinfeld Tour

This September on SOAPnet, two shows will be expiring while we get two marathons. First, the shows expiring are Dallas and Melrose Place. Dallas was airing weeknights at 4:00am, and it will be replaced by I Wanna Be A Soap Star effective September 1. Melrose Place was airing weekdays at 11am and 12 noon, and it will be leaving effective Sept. 15 being replaced by more Beverly Hills 90210. Melrose Place joined the SOAPnet line-up in September 2004, so its four-year term was up and SOAPnet did not renew.
As for other schedule changes...there isn't much. An extra One Tree Hill will be added on Saturday mornings at 7am, so it will air back-to-back from 7-9am on Saturdays now. And on Sundays two more back-to-back episodes will air from 10am-12pm replacing a Movie.
As for September stunts, on Labor Day, SOAPnet will have a 24-hour marathon of Beverly Hills 90210 titled "The BFF's of BH." The marathon starts Sunday, Aug. 31 at 11:59pm and runs until 11:59pm on Monday, Sept. 1! SOAPnet will air the ABC fall preview special a few times as well. The special focuses on ABC's Wednesday night dramas (Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Dirty Sexy Money) and is titled ABC Wednesday Night Starter Kit. We will have more details on that special in our yearly Fall Previews Special post in the coming weeks. Airings on SOAPnet are Saturday, Sept. 13 at 4:30pm and Friday, September 26 at 5:00am.
Finally, SOAPnet will air all 10 first season episodes of the ABC drama Dirty Sexy Money on Saturday, September 27 from 9am-7pm. The marathon is just in time for the second season premiere on ABC on Wednesday, October 1 at 10pm ET/PT. This is a must see series as The Darlings family is today's version of The Carringtons or the Ewings...so if you have not seen an episode yet, this is your chance to catch up since it is only 10 episodes and get ready to watch season two on ABC!
View the full SOAPnet September 2008 fall line-up.

The "Original Kings of Comedy" remember the late Bernie Mac tonight on Larry King Live at 9pm ET on CNN. D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer and Steve Harvey come together to pay tribute to the comedian only on Larry King Live. It will encore at 12 midnight ET, if you miss it.

Late yesterday afternoon Nick at Nite announced the Mon-Thurs 8:30pm slot would go back to Nickelodeon effective immediately. As a result, Family Matters will not air in that slot anymore, and the Nickelodeon sitcom Drake & Josh will air instead. Sorry we couldn't give you notice yesterday, but we did post it on our message boards. Family Matters is doing very well on Nick at Nite and will continue in its other time slots.

Today Sony Pictures Television (SPT) will set out on a 26-city, 10,000 mile "Seinfeld Campus Tour" in a 60-foot long Seinfeld branded, bio-diesel fueled bus experience designed to integrate the show directly into the digital, on-the-move, multi-tasking lifestyle of college students and members of the 70 million plus millennial demographic.
In addition to numerous tailored promotional events during the "The Seinfeld Campus Tour," participants coast-to-coast will have access the fully-equipped tour bus, wherein they can enjoy Seinfeld-inspired snacks and engage in a wide-variety of Seinfeld-themed experiences.
In its current season in syndication, Seinfeld consistently ranks as the #1 off-network comedy across all key men and adult demographics, and still stands as one of the highest rated of any off-net sitcom on television with airings on both broadcast stations and TBS. It airs in 197 markets, covering 99% of the country. Seinfeld has been renewed for a third cycle by its stations and second cycle in cable, keeping the show on the air through 2011.
View more information on this Seinfeld Campus tour!

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Monday, August 11, 2008

TNT Fall 2008 Schedule; Remembering Isaac Hayes and Bernie Brillstein

I'm back after a quick vacation and I will continue with more fall schedules this week! Upcoming fall schedules will include ION Television, SOAPnet, Canada cable networks, and New York City locals. Today we will cover TNT's Fall 2008 schedule.
The Closer, the #1 series basic in cable history concludes its riveting season on TNT on Sept. 15. The transfixing, critically acclaimed, original drama stars Golden Globe® winner Kyra Sedgwick as a complicated, unique, and confident LAPD interrogator, lacking a few social graces, whose unusual interrogation tactics solve high profile murder cases. The summer finale will air Monday, Sept. 15 at 9pm. There will also be a Labor Day marathon on Sept. 1 for The Closer from 9am-8pm leading into a new episode. That day will also feature a new series launch. Raising the Bar stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Jane Kaczmarek in a smart, highly charged drama that takes a revealing look inside the legal system through the eyes of young, passionate and idealistic attorneys. Attempting to maintain a balance between their personal and professional lives, while confronted by challenging, emotional and even morally questionable cases these eager attorneys pour their hearts into each case, stopping at nothing to see justice served. Representing both sides of the law, Raising the Bar, examines the harsh truth that the system is not always fair and a client's fate is often at the hands of those who work within the system, regardless of his guilt or innocence. Raising the Bar will air Mondays at 10pm until Sept. 15 then will move to Mondays at 9pm starting Sept. 22. The season finale will be on Monday, Oct. 27 and will be two-hours.
So what about the actual regular schedule? The new fall schedule for TNT will start Monday, September 29. There will not be many changes, though. Cold Case was supposed to join the lineup airing weekdays at 12 noon ET, but they will not do that now. So, Cold Case will remain in late night marathon blocks. Instead now TNT will add an extra episode of Las Vegas to its daytime line-up. As for Cold Case, it will air late nights as I said, with Without a Trace late night blocks. TNT will also do a few X-Files and Judging Amy late night blocks in October as well. The NBA season gets underway on Tuesday, Oct. 28, but TNT will of course air Thursday night doubleheaders starting Oct. 30. TNT will also showcase a few pre-season games.
Check out the full TNT Fall 2008 line-up and you may also discuss it.

We have lost two more celebrities this weekend. First we reported Bernie Mac now Isaac Hayes and Bernie Brillstein. Isaac Hayes, the baldheaded, baritone-voiced soul crooner who laid the groundwork for disco and whose "Theme From Shaft" won both Academy and Grammy awards, died Sunday afternoon in Memphis after he collapsed near a treadmill. Hayes was pronounced dead at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis an hour after he was found by a family member. The cause of death was not immediately known. Hayes was about to begin work on a new album for Stax, the soul record label he helped build to legendary status. And he had recently finished work on a movie called Soul Men in which he played himself, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac, who died on Saturday. While he was primarily a player in the music industry, Isaac had many TV roles. His career hit another high in 1997 when he became the voice of Chef, the sensible school cook and devoted ladies man on the animated TV show South Park. Isaac also did voice-over work for Nick at Nite's sitcom lineup in 2001 and 2002. Isaac guest starred on series such as The A-Team, The Rockford Files, Hunter, Miami Vice, Tales from the Crypt, Sliders, Stargate: SG-1, Fastlane, Education of Max Bickford, and sitcoms such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Hugleys, Veronica's Closet, Girlfriends, Bernie Mac, and That '70s Show.
He was in several movies, including It Could Happen to You with Nicolas Cage, Ninth Street with Martin Sheen, Reindeer Games starring Ben Affleck and the blaxploitation parody I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka. His voice will certainly be missed. Mr. Hayes was 65.

Now we remember Bernie Brillstein. Bernie Brillstein, pioneering manager and producer whose keen eye for talent led him to steer the careers of such stars as John Belushi and Jim Henson, died Thursday (Aug. 7). Brillstein had been suffering from complications stemming from double-bypass heart surgery in February.
In the 1980s, the Brillstein Co. was among the first contempo talent rep shingles to branch out into TV production in a significant way with shows packaged around clients, a list that included ALF, It's Garry Shandling's Show, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd and The Slap Maxwell Story.
In late 1991, when Brillstein partnered with Brad Grey, who had joined Brillstein Co. in the mid-1980s as a manager, the company further expanded the scope of its film and TV operations. Brillstein-Grey Television fielded such noteworthy skeins as The Sopranos, Just Shoot Me, NewsRadio, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher and The Larry Sanders Show. Brillstein-Grey Entertainment features included Adam Sandler's Happy Gilmore, Jim Carrey's The Cable Guy and The Replacement Killers.
Early in his career he produced popular movies such as The Blues Brothers, Ghost Busters, and Dragnet. He also produced the critically acclaimed series Buffalo Bill early in his career. Read more on Bernie Brillsteein. He will be deeply missed. He was 77.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Summer Week 11 Sitcom Ratings; Coming Week Preview

The dog days of summer continue. Only repeats and reality series are airing, but there have been some scripted originals for the summer as well. We are just looking at the sitcom ratings, but we will be back in the fall with our normal weekly reports. Here is week 11 for the summer for sitcoms:

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of July 28-August 3)
  • 'Til Death (Fox) 2 episodes - Just 2.01 and 2.19 million for two repeats...not good, but on par really from previous week.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - 3.69 million for a repeat in its normal 8pm slot, a bit down from the previous week but the 8:30pm encore jumped big time to 4.96 million, on par with previous week's 5.0 million.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - preempted.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 5.06 million for an encore telecast, on par with previous week's 5.12 million.
  • American Dad! (Fox) - 4.58 million for a repeat, up week to week, the only Fox animated comedy that went up this week.
  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - 870,000 viewers this week for a repeat...down from previous week's 960,000 viewers.
  • Aliens in America (The CW) - 860,000 viewers for a repeat...also down week to week.
  • The Game (The CW) - 1.17 million for a repeat, up sharply from previous week.
  • Girlfriends (The CW) - 1.19 million for a repeat, built from lead-in and also up big from previous week's 770,000 viewers.

Summer Week 11 (August 4-10)


Monday Sitcoms
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 6.3 million for a repeat...up a million from previous week's rating! Good job!
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 6.36 million for a repeat airing, up over a million from previous week and also built from the lead-in! Double dose of good!
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 9.98 million for a repeat, up a 1/2 million or so from previous week.
  • Old Christine (CBS) - 7.6 million for a repeat....three airings so far...each airing has gone up (7.4, 7.5 and now 7.6 million).


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None...watch Wipeout on ABC, very funny show that is not a sitcom. Repeats until the Olympics are over...but they are even better the second time around!
Wednesday Sitcoms
  • None.


Thursday Sitcoms

  • None.
Friday Sitcoms
  • Samantha Who? (ABC) - Special Friday repeat for one time only. No numbers were available at press time. Regular repeats return this Monday at 9 starting from the pilot episode!
Saturday Sitcoms
  • None.
Tonight you can catch encores of The CW sitcoms from 8-10pm and Fox's animated comedies (and 'Til Death repeats from 7-8pm) are encoring.

Coming Week Preview (Summer Week 12) for Broadcast (With Some Cable Notes):
So what is new or notable this week that you might want to catch? Tonight CBS will have Big Brother at 8pm out of a new 60 Minutes at 7pm. NBC has of course the Summer Olympics, which will be the main draw of the night. A pretty quiet and boring night unless you are an Olympics fan. Cable is the way to go with Lifetime's Army Wives, USA Network's In Plain Sight and Mad Men on AMC at 10pm with VH1 and A&E airing their reality series. And don't forget Law & Order: Criminal Intent at 9pm on USA Network. Cable is the way to go indeed!
On Monday, ABC will be new with High School Musical: Get in the Picture at 8pm and the season finale ofThe Mole at 10pm. NBC has of course the Summer Olympics. Cable again will be the best draw with The Closer and Saving Grace on TNT from 9-11pm. ABC Family also has a new Middleman at 10pm and VH1 with more new reality series such as I Want to Work for Diddy.
On Tuesday ABC's Wipeout is a repeat but it will lead-in to game show Wanna Bet? (among the celebs are Larry Joe Campbell from According to Jim) which has now moved to Tuesdays, followed by an all-new Primetime: Medical Mysteries at 10pm. NBC has the Summer Olympics all night again. And the Tuesday edition of Big Brother airs at 9pm on CBS. Cable wise ABC Family's Secret Life of an American Teenager is doing well and will air at 8pm and at 10pm on Lifetime it is How To Look Good Naked. Best night of the summer but a bit slow tonight.
On Wednesday NBC's Summer Olympics are the way to go. CBS has the recently moved Greatest American Dog at 8pm. ABC will be new at 10pm with Primetime: Crime. Maybe this is the worst night for the summer (not counting Friday/Saturday).
On Thursday Fox has an NFL pre-season game between the Panthers and Eagles. CBS at 8pm has Big Brother and another episode of the summer scripted series Flashtown at 10pm, which is doing decent.. And NBC will the Summer Olympics. On cable, USA Network has Burn Notice at 10pm, while Comedy Central has The Gong Show.
On Friday, NBC will be king with Summer Olympics. Fox has another NFL pre-season game, this time between the Raiders and Titans. CBS has the summer drama Swingtown at 10pm which is on its last legs. ABC and The CW will of course will have 20/20 & WWE Smackdown.
Saturday will have Cops and AMW on Fox and of course the Summer Olympics on NBC and their cable networks.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Remembering Bernie Mac; Mini-DVD Review: Route 66 - The Complete First Season

Bernie Mac

Bernie Mac, the actor and comedian who teamed up in the casino heist caper Ocean's Eleven and gained a prestigious Peabody Award for his sitcom The Bernie Mac Show, died Saturday at age 50.

"Actor/comedian Bernie Mac passed away this morning from complications due to pneumonia in a Chicago area hospital," his publicist, Danica Smith, said in a statement from Los Angeles.

Mac's film career started with a small role as a club doorman in the Damon Wayans comedy Mo' Money in 1992. His other film credits include Get on the Bus, Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, Ocean's Eleven and its two sequels, Guess Who, Bad Santa, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and Transformers. His professional career began in Chicago as a stand-up comedian in 1977, at the age of 19. He was a featured comedian in the 2000 documentary, The Original Kings of Comedy, with Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer.

Starting in 2001, Mac was the star of The Bernie Mac Show on the Fox nexwork, which earned two Emmy Award nominations before the show was cancelled in 2006. In addition, the show won the prestigious Peabody award in 2002, the Humanitas Prize, and three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series. The sitcom was somewhat based on is life and stand-up comedy acts and ran for 5 seasons and 104 episodes. His character was ranked #47 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time." His other sitcom credits include an appearance on The Wayans Bros. and multiple episodes of Moesha as Uncle Bernie.

Bernie Mac is survived by his wife Rhonda McCullough, daughter Je'Niece and granddaughter Jasmine. Bernie and the laughter he brought to millions of people around the world will be greatly missed. Share your memories and condolences here.

As we reported on Monday, The Bernie Mac Show is joining FX's line-up. The four-year deal starts Monday, September 8, 2008 with a launch marathon from 12:30pm-8pm ET. Bernie Mac will then join the weekday line-up on Tuesday, September 9 airing weekdays at 8:00am & 8:30am ET and 4:00pm & 4:30pm ET (although sometimes it will be 4:30pm ET & 5:00pm ET depending on the FX movies).

Releated Links:
Internet Movie Database entry for Bernie Mac
Wikipedia entry for Bernie Mac
The Bernie Mac Show Message Board
The Bernie Mac Show Photo Gallery


It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the mini-DVD review! Today we take a look at Roxbury Entertainment's Route 66 - The Complete First Season. Route 66 ran from 1960-1964 and starred Martin Milner, George Maharis (1960-1963) and Glenn Corbett (1963-1964). See skees53's mini-DVD review of Route 66 -The Complete First Season:

Route 66 - The Complete First Season

Route 66 - The Complete First Season (Roxbury Entertainment, $49.98) -- takes you on a road trip through America to encounter problems all throughout America and to solve them—within 50 minutes. Traveling America by road was all the rage in the 60s. and Route 66, which once spanned from Illinois all the way out to California, was the ultimate path to travel the country. In this series, two young men, played by Martin Milner and George Maharis, travel the country in a Corvette to see what they find along the way.

The series begins with "Black November," where the guys come across a town in Mississippi that seems to have some deep secret—but what is it? The boys are hired to work on a shrimp boat in "The Lance of Straw." In "Ten Drops of Water," the guys encounter a family ranch that is dying due to drought, but does the family want their assistance? A woman is released from prison in "Sheba," but her parole officer happens to be the same guy that put her in prison to begin with. A blind woman wants Buz and Tod to buy her a pistol for self-protection in "An Absence of Tears." The guys get framed after they try to bust somebody for hunting deer in "A Skill for Hunting." The series focused on guest stars, and among those in this season are Suzanne Pleshette, Leslie Nielsen, Lee Marvin, Harvey Korman, Walter Matthau, Robert Duvall, Ed Asner, and more.

This season was originally released as two separate volumes, and this set is essentially just both volumes placed in one larger box. So, the first fifteen episodes of the season are placed in the four disc Volume 1 set and the last fifteen episodes of the season are placed in the four disc Volume 2 set. It would have been nice to see a more integrated set, but that isn't what we have here.

The set claims to be remastered from the original source films, but you'll find that isn't quite accurate for a few episodes in the Volume 1 set. Some of the episodes are taken from 80s prints, and this is made obvious from the fact that a few such episodes are missing their original Screen Gems and CBS logos and have them replaced with logos from the 1980s including Colex and Columbia. It may not sound like a huge deal, but you'll notice that these episodes have poorer video and audio quality than the rest, though for the most part, are still viewable. The episodes that truly were remastered are pretty clear and don't have much grain, but the picture appears to be jumpy at places. It does appear, however, that on the Volume 2 episodes, everything is left intact and unedited. Almost every episode runs around 51 minutes, but on Volume 1, it appears that a syndicated episode may have sneaked in, as the episode "A Fury Slinging Flame" runs at 46 minutes. Again, this is an episode that not taken from the original source prints.

The set isn't loaded with special features, but Disc 4 of each volume contains original commercials from the episodes, which are VERY nice to see. Many of these are either from Chevrolet (after all, they did provide the Corvette) or Bayer. You'll even find one commercial featuring the cast of the series My Three Sons. Volume 1 contains some historical information about Corvettes from the 50s and 60s. Fans of the car may enjoy this, but an average fan of the show probably won't care too much about this information. Finally, the set contains filmographies of each and every guest star from the season, which helps anybody that ever asks themselves "where have I seen that person before?"

This was my first experience of watching this series, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed watching these episodes. I always thought that this would be a decent series, but I'm even more impressed than I thought. Roxbury Entertainment has put together a nice DVD set here, although it does contain the few minor flaws mentioned. But fans and those that have never seen the series are sure to appreciate this DVD set in any event!

Reviewed by skees53
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
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Route 66 TV.com Page

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 1

Welcome to a special Friday edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we look at Warner Home Video's Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 1. Tiny Toon Adventures was created and produced as a collaborative effort between Steven Spielberg's company Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. It premiered in as a syndicated cartoon in 1990. See Seth's mini-DVD review of Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 1:

Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 1

Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 1 (Warner Home Video, $44.98) is finally on DVD. I love this show. I really do. I watched this show when I was young and absolutely loved it. Loved it in reruns as I got older. It’s a great show that’s enjoyable no matter what your age. It’s time to finally join Babs and Buster Bunny (no relation), Plucky Duck, Hamton Pig, and all of the other residents of Acme Acres on DVD. Contained on this set are the first *35* episodes of the first season. I know many of you may have cringed when you saw “Volume 1”, but for a cartoon who had 65 episodes it’s first season splitting it was a must. There are some absolutely great cartoons in here, and some fairly good ones. Sometimes one cartoon in an episode may be weaker than the others, but this is to be expected.

This DVD set contains the first 35 episodes, which means the episodes included start at the series premiere, “A Looney Beginning” and run through “A Ditch in Time”. A full episode list is (at least as of the time of this writing) available on Wikipedia for your reference. Because of the number of episodes in the release, Warner was faced with a tough choice – either deal with a large number of discs, use double-sided discs entirely, or place quite a few episodes per disc. The end result is 4 discs, the first three of which are single-sided, the final disc being double-sided. The first three discs and the first side of the fourth all contain 8 episodes each, while the reverse side of the final disc contains the last three episodes and the disc’s special feature. I’m not sure if this was the ideal or optimal layout, but it works well enough. Packaging is a clear-plastic case with two swinging plastic panels in the center containing the discs. The discs themselves feature a variation on the orange colors used on the cover art, with a central cast member on each of the first three discs.

I really wanted to just launch into an overly positive stream of consciousness, as I got to do with Freakazoid’s DVD set, but that’s not entirely possible here. Placing 8 episodes per disc *has* led to some compression issues, which are particularly evident against solid colors. The colors themselves appear duller and less vivid than they should be, though it could just be a result of the age of the episodes. The audio, however, IS spectacular – 5.1 is available! This is great considering the orchestral bits used as background music, scene transitions, everything. It’s great. Chapter stops are placed at the end of each individual cartoon. Runtime for the pilot is just over 23 minutes; average for the rest is around 21:45 – for a cartoon series from the early 90s this IS normal.

There IS a great special feature in the set: Looney Tunes to Tiny Toons, a Wacky Evolution: Features an outright plethora – yes, a plethora – of interviews, clips, etc. that detail the origin of the series and how the show launched off the shoulders of the classic Looney Tunes franchise. Runs a bit over 23 minutes, and is a great extra feature. It’s great to see well-done sets like these for shows I enjoy.

Of course, *my* favorite episode of the series isn’t on the DVD set as it’s the 51st episode of the season – Tiny Toons Music Television. It features re-done videos for several songs using the Tiny Toons cast, including TWO songs by They Might Be Giants, a take on Respect by Aretha Franklin, and more. It’s great stuff, and I can’t wait for the next volume for this very reason. Ultimately, though, future sales depend on the success of the initial release. It’s a great cartoon, and recommended not just for cartoon fans but fans of comedy as well. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
(4.5/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Tiny Toons Adventures TV.com Page

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Spike TV Fall 2008 Schedule; TV Land Edits September Sked; Network Notes

We gave you a little taste of Spike TV Fall over a month ago, but now we have full details! This Labor Day, catch a Labor Day CSI Marathon on Monday, Sept. 1 from 9a-10p, including a whole new season of CSI episodes, for the first time on Spike. Then, spin-off CSI: NY will air 5 days a week! Because one hour a week wasn't enough, CSI: New York moves to a Monday-Friday strip, a prime-time block, and a late night strip, all beginning the week of Sept. 22. Spike TV is kicking it off with a week- long, all-day marathon the week of Sept. 22 (Monday-Friday that week from 9a-9p, Tuesday from 9p-12am, and Mon-Fri at 12m) including 2 new seasons of CSI: New York episodes for the first time on Spike. Starting week of Sept. 29, CSI: NY will be regularly scheduled Mon-Fri at 8pm, Tuesdays from 9p-12am, and Mon-Wed at 12am.
Married with...Children comes to Spike TV, beginning Saturday, September 27! Spend some time with Al, Peg, Kelly and Bud all-week long during Spike TV's "Monday thru Bundy" marathon! Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, September 28 from 9am-11am and 1a-2am! The marathon kicks into full gear on Monday, September 29 through Friday, October 3 from 9am-3pm each day! Also on Thursday, October 2 you can catch it in the late night from 12a-2a and the same goes for on Friday, October 3 from 12a-1a. Married...with Children will settle into its regular time periods of Mon-Fri 11am-1pm & Thursdays 1a-2a starting October 6 and Saturday and Sunday mornings 9am-11am beginning right after the marathon ends on Saturday, Oct. 4.
Then in October another new show is coming! Unsolved Mysteries explores unsolved cases in which you, the viewer, can help solve a case. The show includes cases from a variety of categories: Murder, Missing Persons, Wanted Fugitives, UFOs, Ghosts, Fraud, Legends, Science/Medicine, among others. The new Unsolved Mysteries programs will consist of re-creations of the events, along with interviews with the subjects, participants and authorities, documentary footage and news footage. Entirely new graphics, special effects, music and title sequences were created for the Spike broadcasts, along with new narration and host stand-ups by Dennis Farina. The show will air Monday-Friday from 5pm-7pm starting Monday, October 13 and Sundays from 1pm-6pm!
Check out the full Spike TV Fall 2008 schedule.

More fall schedules will return Monday as I am headed for a short vacation. Todd will take over the next few days with mini-DVD reviews from our review team. See you all Monday and come back this weekend as well to see those reviews and our Sunday ratings wrap-up! Off to the Catskills I go!

TV Land has made a chance to its line-up starting Aug. 25. The 9-11PM marathons will be removed starting Aug. 25, thus the evening line-up from 4pm-1am will be altered a bit. And the late night line-up that started this week, will remain intact this week and hereafter in September. This new 4pm-1am line-up will also carry over into September. Hogan's Heroes, Beverly Hillbillies, and Andy Griffith all move an hour earlier from 5-9pm to 4-8pm, as The Cosby Show moves into 8-9pm earlier than planned...as it was slated for mid-September. The Jeffersons follows from 9-10pm that week, but that will change to Scrubs starting a week later when Scrubs joins. From 10pm-12am it is a block of M*A*S*H and more Cosby Show in the midnight hour. Everything else will remain the same as the changes that happened Aug. 4. To view the full list of changes starting Aug. 25, click HERE. Also, you might want to see how TV Land September 2008 schedule looks now with these new changes. It seems Just Shoot Me and Murphy Brown will be totally gone in September with these new changes that happened Aug. 4 and Aug. 25. At least Three's Company and Brady Bunch will air every morning in the 4am hour!

Fox has announced a slight change to its fall line-up on Thursdays. Hole in the Wall, the body-bending, mind-twisting, global game show phenomenon from American Idol producers FremantleMedia North America, will now air Thursdays at 8PM ET/PT starting Thursday, Sept. 11 on Fox. The show was previously not scheduled in a slot, but was likely coming mid-season. The game show The Moment of Truth which was previously scheduled in the Thursday 8:00 PM time slot, will now premiere mid-season for its second season.
ABC's wildly popular new hilarious competition series, Wipeout, has been picked up for a second season. Twenty-four thrill-seekers will compete in the world's largest extreme obstacle course designed to provide the most spills, face plants and wipeouts ever seen on television. A hit summer series for ABC, Wipeout dominates Tuesday's 8:00 PM hour in Total Viewers and across each of the key Adult demographics (AD18-34/AD18-49/AD25-54). In its six telecasts to date, Wipeout has consistently ranked as the No. 2 show of the week in both Total Viewers and Adults 18-49. Four new episodes remain in the first season and they will air starting Tuesday, Aug. 26 once the Olympics are over. The first season concludes on Sept. 16. There is no word yet how many episodes were ordered for season two and when we can expect them to air...possibly in mid-season or next summer, if I were to guess! Big Balls and Jill Wagner!
In other ABC news, game show Wanna Bet? is scheduled to move from its Mondays at 9PM slot to Tuesdays at 9PM on Tuesdays, August 12, 19, 26 and September 2, 2008 at 9:00 PM ET/PT following Wipeout (which returns with new episodes on Aug. 26). Thus, Samantha Who? encores will now air move to Mondays at 9:00 & 9:30 PM ET/PT for the rest of the summer. Though, on August 18, the movie Bewitched will air from 9-11PM ET/PT.
Finally, America United: In Support Of Our Troops is scheduled to air on Sunday, September 7, 2008 from 9:00-11:00 PM ET/PT on ABC. A star-studded "Bob Hope USO" style variety show featuring heart-warming profiles of families overcoming obstacles, top-tier performances, sexy celebrity cameos, hilarious comedy and touching acts of wish-fulfillment all with the positive, non-controversial message of "thanks" for our troops and their families.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

TBS Fall 2008 Line-Up; RTN's New Slogan

A little over a month ago we told you Married...with Children is coming to TBS this September airing weekdays from 6-7am and sometimes between 4-6am as well. TBS only has rights to air the show between 2-7am, so they cannot give it a better slot, unfortunately. However, we also stated Spike TV has gotten the rights from 7am-2am starting September as well. We gave you two updates on that, one for the original story and the other with the schedules times. We will have more on Spike TV's part tomorrow in our Spike TV Fall schedule. But sticking with TBS, they are not really making any changes this fall. For Labor Day weekend they will have two marathons...on Sunday, August 31 from 8am-1pm they will showcase the hit sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for a marathon leading into their Sunday MLB Baseball Game of the Week. Then on Labor Day itself, (Monday, Sept. 1), TBS will showcase the number one sitcom of all-time for basic cable Tyler Perry's House of Payne with a marathon from 10am-8pm, leading into the Family Guy Monday block. They will air the premiere episode of TNT's original drama Raising the Bar on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 11pm following two episodes of The Office. We will have more on TNT's fall line-up in the coming days. Then Tuesdays at 11pm, Frank TV is back with a second season as the late night comedy is back starting Sept. 9! Teen drama Dawson's Creek had been airing on some early morning slots on some days, and its last airing will be late Monday, Sept. 8 at 4:30am ET, as it is no longer scheduled in any other slot through the end of October, so I am not 100% sure, but it seems it might have expired.
Effective Monday, Sept. 15 Married...with Children joins the TBS morning line-up airing weekdays at 6:00am & 6:30am ET. The MLB Playoffs start on TBS on Wednesday, Oct. 1 airing in the afternoon and primetime, so the morning/early afternoon lineup will be a bit altered each day...so when the playoffs are on, you'll have to check your listings to see when the TBS sitcoms are airing. But starting Monday, Sept. 29, TBS will swap Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond's slot. So, Seinfeld will move from 5-6pm to 7-8pm, while Raymond goes from 6:30-8pm to 5-6:30pm, which means Friends is now 6:30pm starting Sept. 29. Also, the primetime blocks are altered a tad as well. Starting Monday, Oct. 20 everything will be back to normal as the MLB Playoffs are over and Fox will do the MLB World Series.
Check out the full TBS Fall 2008 line-up in a list form, and you can also discuss what you think.

Today RTN (Retro Television Network) announced its new slogan "Classic Television Hits All Day, Live Talk all Night." According to RTN spokesman Neal Ardman, RTN will begin to phase out paid programming over the next few months. The goal, said Ardman, is to provide the viewer with compelling programming 24 hours a day. RTN will begin inserting live news, general entertainment, and sports talk shows in the late night and overnight hours beginning in September. Not to worry, Classic TV will still air in the mornings, afternoons, evening and primetime!
Robin Leach has been tapped to produce and host one such, as yet unnamed, show to be produced LIVE in Las Vegas. Another show, Unreliable Sources, a news/talk show with viewer calls, already airs in over 30 markets and is produced at the RTN studios.
RTN is currently sold in 72 markets and last week went on the air in Washington, D.C. on WJLA-DT. RTN is the only network that is customized for each market.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

USA Network Fall 2008 Schedule; Lionsgate To Release Many ABC Studios DVDs

Continuing our look at the fall 2008 cable schedules, we now take a look at USA Network's September 2008 fall schedule. They have been airing Navy NCIS and House once a week, but now they both will be available for daily play on the network. House will launch first with a marathon on Saturday, Sept. 6 from 9am-11pm and Sunday, Sept. 7 from 3pm-4am. House will air weeknights at 8pm, except on Tuesdays it will air9 and 10pm. Then NCIS will get a three day launch marathon the next three days, Sept. 8-10 from 6am-7pm ET/PT. USA Network will have a lot of marathons the first few weeks of September, as other ones are the countdown to the 100th episode of Monk continues, from Sept. 1-5, as the 100th episode airs on Sept. 5. A marathon of Burn Notice will air on Thursday, Sept. 11 from 6am-6pm, followed by a stack of House from 6pm-10pm leading into a new episode of Burn Notice. A Psych marathon will air on Friday, Sept. 12 from 6am-4pm leading into another House stack from 4-9pm which will lead into the season finales of Monk and Psych. The next day on Saturday, Sept. 13 a NCIS marathon will air from 4-11pm and a House stack again on Sunday, Sept. 14 from 7p-12a.
Then starting Monday, Sept. 15 the regular schedule finally begins. Changes include the 8am airing of JAG being replaced by Monk, as Walker Texas Ranger moves to 9am. Monk's afternoon airing is now 2pm, followed by back to back Law & Order: Criminal Intent at 3 and 4pm. Navy NCIS will air weeknights at 5 and 6pm, followed by Law & Order: SVU at 7pm. SVU will also air Tuesdays at 8pm, while House will air weeknights at 8pm except Tuesdays at 9pm, as we mentioned.
View the full USA Network September 2008 fall line-up and also discuss it.

Lionsgate, the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, and Disney-ABC Domestic Television have entered into an agreement where Lionsgate obtains the home entertainment distribution rights (DVD rights) to select primetime series and library titles from ABC Studios.
The first programs to be released under the new agreement – popular current ABC sitcom According to Jim: Season One, starring Jim Belushi and Courtney Thorne-Smith and one-hour current The CW series Reaper: Season One – will be available on DVD on October 21 and November 4, respectively. The agreement also encompasses other popular sitcoms and dramas including Hope & Faith (Kelly Ripa, Faith Ford), 8 Simple Rules...for Dating My Teenage Daughter (John Ritter, Katey Sagal, David Spade), Boy Meets World (Ben Savage, Rider Strong), October Road (Tom Berenger, Bryan Greenberg), Kevin Hill (Taye Diggs), My Wife & Kids (Damon Wayans), Six Degrees (Jay Hernandez, Bridget Moynahan, Erika Christensen), and more.
So what does this all mean? Well, first of all let me explain what ABC Studios is. ABC Studios is the studio that produces Touchstone Television/Buena Vista television shows, so it is not necessarily all ABC network shows. Reaper is produced by ABC Studios but airs on The CW. Kevin Hill was a drama on UPN but was produced by ABC Studios. Lionsgate has reached a deal for select ABC Studios series for DVD rights. No, that does not mean ABC Studios/Buena Vista Home Entertainment will not release any more DVDs, as they will still continue to release well over 40 ABC Studios series each year such as Desperate Housewives, Lost, Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, Samantha Who, Scrubs and many others. Lionsgate primarily will release the series that are not in production anymore, but of course a few are going to be released that are in production (like the aforementioned According to Jim & Reaper).
I don't have a full list of shows yet that Lionsgate acquired for DVD rights from ABC Studios other than those listed above like 8 Simple Rules, October Road and Boy Meets World. Speaking of those three, I am told Lionsgate will continue where Buena Vista Home Entertainment left off, so 8 Simple Rules & October Road will start with Season 2 and Boy Meets World with Season 4. I am hoping Lionsgate also acquired classic ABC Studios series not on DVD such as Empty Nest, Nurses, Blossom, and short lived stuff like The Golden Palace, Thunder Alley and The Sinbad Show. Notice most of those were not on ABC but they were produced by ABC Studios (Touchstone Television). Once I have a full list of what Lionsgate has acquired, I will let you all know, unless TVShowsonDVD.com posts it first. So stay tuned to us and/or TVShowsonDVD.com for details. Just to reiterate...if a show aired on ABC in the past like Family Matters or Step by Step, which were both produced by Warner Bros., that will not be available for Lionsgate because they were NOT produced by ABC Studios...only those series produced by ABC Studios/Touchstone Television could be available.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

FX Fall 2008 Schedule; Save Mister Rogers' Neighborhood; Fox Renews Dance for 5th Season

Just a few weeks ago we gave you details on FX's summer changes...and now we have their fall schedule! As we have mentioned many times already, Bernie Mac is joining FX's line-up. The four-year deal starts Monday, September 8, 2008 with a launch marathon from 12:30pm-8pm ET. Bernie Mac will then join the weekday line-up on Tuesday, September 9 airing weekdays at 8:00am & 8:30am ET and 4:00pm & 4:30pm ET (although sometimes it will be 4:30pm ET & 5:00pm ET depending on the FX movies). The morning airings will replace The Practice, which will now just air weekends at 7:00am & 8:00am. We urge you to view the full FX September 2008 schedule so no confusion arises.
Other September higlights include a Labor Day (Sept. 1) marathon of That '70s Show from 7:00am-5:30pm ET. The Shield will have its season premiere the following night at 10pm on Tuesday, September 2. FX will launch their new series Sons of Anarchy starring Katey Sagal on Wednesday, September 3 at 10pm with a special 75-minute premiere until 11:15pm ET. FX will launch a new season of its comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Thursday, September 18 at 10pm.

In June 2008, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) announced that it intends to soon change the way Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, the beloved children’s television program, is distributed to member stations.
PBS will cease transmitting the program as part of their daily syndicated lineup beginning in September. Instead, PBS will provide member stations with a single Neighborhood episode on weekends. This unfortunate decision essentially silences the special nurturing voice of Mister Rogers in the daily lives of today's children.
Local public television stations, who make the final decisions about which programs to offer and when to air them, can still opt to broadcast Mister Rogers' Neighborhood each weekday, but they are much less likely to do so without the program being included in PBS's syndicated feed.
A campaign is underway for you to save Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on your local PBS station. It is sad if they just air it once a week on weekends. Many generations have learned from him since the 1960s and it has been tradition having it on daily on PBS. So save Mister Rogers by heading on to SaveMisterRogers.com!

Fox has ordered a fifth season of summer show, So You Think You Can Dance for next summer. Created by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe, the original dance competition follows amateur dancers as they compete in everything from Hip-Hop, Krumping and Popping to Salsa, Quickstep and Jive to be named America's favorite dancer.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Summer Week 10 Sitcom Ratings; Coming Week Preview

The dog days of summer continue. Only repeats and reality series are airing, but there have been some scripted originals for the summer as well. We are just looking at the sitcom ratings, but we will be back in the fall with our normal weekly reports. Here is week 10 for the summer for sitcoms:

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of July 21-27)
  • 'Til Death (Fox) 2 episodes - Just 2.05 and 2.2 million for two repeats...but both airs beat both airings the previous week.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - 3.96 million for a repeat in its normal 8pm slot, was up from the previous week but the special 8:30pm encore (maybe for the rest of the summer?) jumped big time to 5.0 million, the best numbers in the slot since the end of the regular season.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - preempted.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 5.12 million for an encore telecast, as a better lead-in gave it better numbers.
  • American Dad! (Fox) - 4.41 million for a repeat, up week to week.
  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - 960,000 viewers this week for a repeat...they should start airing two episodes each week in time for the new season.
  • Aliens in America (The CW) - 960,000 viewers for a repeat..., full retention, but I bet a second Chris would have built on. No point really in airing this show now since it was canceled.
  • The Game (The CW) - 850,000 viewers for a repeat, up slightly from previous week. And as I said with Chris, they should start airing back to back episodes for the rest of the summer in anticipation of the new season.
  • Girlfriends (The CW) - 770,000 viewers for a repeat, down from previous week's repeat. It is time they remove the encores since it is now canceled. Or CW should move the encores to another night like Wednesday where for some reason they are encoring two reality shows and are getting crushed in the ratings.

Summer Week 10 (July 28-August 3)


Monday Sitcoms
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 5.37 million for a repeat...down ab it week to week.
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 5.25 million for a repeat airing, down week to week and did not build this time on the lead-in.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 9.35 million for a repeat, as with the previous two shows, also down from previous week.
  • Old Christine (CBS) - 7.5 million for a repeat...BUT up a bit from previous week, so the only show to build from the block from previous week.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None...watch Wipeout on ABC, very funny show that is not a sitcom. Big Balls and Jill Wagner, what more can you ask for?
Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Under One Roof (MyNetworkTV) - Repeat did 870,000 viewers, down from previous week. New episodes will return in October in its new slot of 9pm.


Thursday Sitcoms

  • None.
Friday Sitcoms
  • None
Saturday Sitcoms
  • The Office (NBC) 2 episodes - Two repeats on a special night did terrible averaging a prelim 1.64 million...what do you expect on a Saturday?
Tonight you can catch encores of The CW sitcoms from 8-10pm and Fox's animated comedies (and 'Til Death repeats from 7-8pm) are encoring.

Coming Week Preview (Summer Week 11) for Broadcast (With Some Cable Notes):
So what is new or notable this week that you might want to catch? Tonight CBS will have Big Brother at 8pm out of a new 60 Minutes at 7pm. NBC has Dateline at 7pm followed by an NFL Pre-Season game at 8pm...who watches pre-season? ABC will air final the Sunday edition of High School Musical: Get in the Picture at 8pm before airing only Mondays at 8pm from now on. A pretty quiet and boring night that will get quieter and more boring next week. Cable is the way to go with Lifetime's Army Wives, USA Network's In Plain Sight and Mad Men on AMC at 10pm with VH1 and A&E airing their reality series. And don't forget Law & Order: Criminal Intent at 9pm on USA Network and Factory on Spike TV. Cable is the way to go indeed!
On Monday, ABC will be new with High School Musical: Get in the Picture at 8pm, followed by week three of game show Wanna Bet? and a new The Mole at 10pm. NBC has a two-hour American Gladiators at 8pmthis week followed by Nashville Star at 10pm. Fox will air the 2008 Teen Choice Awards from 8-10pm. Cable again will be the best draw with The Closer and Saving Grace on TNT from 9-11pm. ABC Family also has a new Middleman at 10pm and VH1 with more new reality series such as I Want to Work for Diddy.
On Tuesday ABC has the hilarious hit (and my pick of the summer) Wipeout followed by the two-hour season finale of I Survived a Japanese Game Show. NBC has Celebrity Family Feud at 8pm leading into the summer hit America's Got Talent whch will be two-hours from 9-11pm. And the Tuesday edition of Big Brother airs at 9pm on CBS. Cable wise ABC Family's Secret Life of an American Teenager is doing well and will air at 8pm and at 10pm on Lifetime it is How To Look Good Naked. Best night of the summer!
On Wednesday Fox will air a new two-hour episode of So You Think You Can Dance. NBC will have a Baby Borrowers special at 9pm. CBS has the recently moved Greatest American Dog at 8pm. ABC will be new at 10pm with the special Primetime: China Inside Out. Maybe this is the worst night for the summer (not counting Friday/Saturday).
On Thursday ABC will air the finale of ABCNews' Hopkins series at 10pm. Fox will also be new all-night with Don't Forget the Lyrics! followed by So You Think You Can Dance-Thursday. CBS at 8pm has Big Brother and another episode of the summer scripted series Flashtown at 10pm, which is doing decent...however on this night, some local stations could preempt for a NFL pre-season game. And NBC will air the 90-minute finale of Last Comic Standing at 8pm followed by the first results show (and pre-Olympics finale) of America's Got Talent from 9:30-11pm...please note that some markets (like NY, will preempt programming for an NFL pre-season game). On cable, TBS will air new episodes of sitcoms The Bill Engvall Show at 9:30pm after a repeat and new My Boys at 10pm and USA Network has Burn Notice at 10pm, while Comedy Central has The Gong Show.
On Friday, NBC will be king with the start of the Summer Olympics. CBS has the summer drama Swingtown at 10pm which is on its last legs. The CW of course will have WWE Smackdown.
Saturday will have Cops and AMW on Fox and of course the Summer Olympics on NBC and their cable networks.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: South Park Season 11 (Aug. 12)

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the mini-DVD review! Today we take a look at Comedy Central/Paramount's South Park: The Complete 11th Season . South Park of course is the popular cable animated series that is full of laughs for all ages. See skees53's mini-DVD review of South Park: The Complete 11th Season:

South Park- The Complete Eleventh Season (Comedy Central DVD, $49.99) brings all fourteen episodes from the 2007 season of the Comedy Central hit to a three-disc DVD set. Like most animated series, the kids don't really grow up, but somehow, in each and every season, they do grow even more hilarious than in the past. The 2007 season contains perhaps some of the best South Park episodes produced to date, with many hilarious moments that will have you asking "did they REALLY just do that on TV?" And, to sweeten the pot, all fourteen episodes are presented uncensored, although many South Park fans won't notice that much of a difference--it is a rude and crude show to begin with.
Every single one of the episodes from this season can be viewed as memorable in one way or another, beginning with "With Apologies to Jessie Jackson," where Stan's dad uses the "N-word" on live TV, and somehow becomes the victim. Cartman pulls a prank on Butters that ultimately only serves to make a fool of Cartman (and ends up putting Butters into a special camp that is designed to "pray the gay away") in "Cartman Sucks." Kyle and Stan are out to determine the meaning behind Easter bunnies and eggs in "Fantastic Easter Special." Mrs. Garrison realizes that in her new life as a woman, she just so happens to be a lesbian (to clarify, Mrs. Garrison was originally a gay man, then got a sex-change operation to become a woman that liked men, now is a women that has decided she is a lesbian, and anybody watching season twelve knows that there is an even further twist to this bizarre story) in "D-Yikes." Cartman realizes that he can say anything he wants by pretending to have Tourette's Syndrome "Le Petit Tourette." Butters takes a scary trip into Imaginationland, where only he can save the world, in the three-part episode "Imaginationland." The boys want to become rock stars, or at least Guitar Hero champions, in "Guitar Queer-O."
The set is once again like all of the previous sets, in the standard digipak with the episode information on the two side panels. The episodes all look and sound great, as one would expect. And, it is worth noting that this DVD set, while from Paramount, is a Comedy Central DVD product, NOT a CBS DVD product, so there aren't any obnoxious disclaimers about things being edited or music being changed. In fact, as far as I could tell, any applicable music was intact (removing the Melissa Etheridge song "Come to My Window," for example, would have killed a great scene in the "D-Yikes" episode, so it was good to see all music intact).
Each episode has the mini-commentaries from Matt Stone and Trey Parker, which have always been slightly disappointing, as I'd like more than just mini-commentaries. There are a few Comedy Central Quickies on Disc 1, from 'Lil Bush, The Daily Show, Reno 911!, and The Colbert Report. Basically, these are just funny clips from these shows. I wish that these South Park DVD sets could be more impressive on the special features end, as many other animated series are on DVD.
This is a great set to own with some hilarious episodes, and any fan of South Park must own this one, even the casual fan. I can't think of any other season of the series that has had better episodes (including the current season), and some of the situations in this season are just outright hilarious, so much so that even those that don't watch the series on a regular basis will find them to be hilarious. It took me a long time to warm up to this series (I used to find it a little too out there and over the top for my sense of humor), but eventually it just got to me that this is a hilarious series that anybody that loves comedy and can accept rude and crude entertainment will love it.
-- Reviewed by skees53
(4.5/5 stars)

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Friday, August 01, 2008

TV One September 2008 Schedule and Highlights; TV Rebels: Bill Cosby

Our look at the fall 2008 season on cable continues with TV One's September 2008 line-up. This September TV One will be adding the hit '90s sitcom Living Single to its African-American line-up. Living Single premieres on TV One in a week-long marathon event that airs each weeknight from 7pm-12am ET/PT (encores 3-6am ET/PT). Each character will be showcased on various nights -- Khadijah on Monday, Synclaire on Tuesday, Regine on Wednesday, Max on Thursday, and The Boys (Overton and Kyle) on Friday. Living Single was a situation comedy that centered on the lives of a group of six African American friends living in (or near) a Brooklyn brownstone. The series focused on the personal and professional lives of each character, as well as their relationships with one another.
After the marathon, Living Single settles into its regular time-slot weeknights at 8:30pm & 9pm starting Monday, September 29, with an encore from 3-4am ET/PT.
Other changes include the fall 10am-4pm block. Beginning on Monday September 8 and continuing until further notice, the TV One daytime marathons which air weekdays from 10am to 4pm will have a steady schedule consisting of the following: Eve (Mondays), Movies (Tuesdays), Wanda At Large/Divorce Court/Between Brothers rotate (Wednesdays), TV One on One/Roc rotate (Thursdays) and All of Us (Fridays).
On Monday, September 29, the TV One fall schedule settles into place with changes taking place after 5pm. View the full TV One September 2008 line-up for complete details.
Moving on to other highlights, on Saturday September 20 beginning at 1pm, it's girl power time as TV One presents the "Eve-Sisters Doin' It For Themselves-Marathon" that showcases episodes of the sitcom Eve that feature the women taking charge while resolving their own problems and issues that will keep viewers laughing as well as fired up with emotion as Shelly (Eve) and her crew prove that new millennium women have it all together.
Future Outlook: TV One has also acquired the sitcom Half & Half for later in the fall...we will have details on that at a later date!
So, don't forget to view and discuss the TV One September Line-Up!


It's time for another edition of TV Rebels. We originally had special permission to publish the first 6 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 authors Lou Orfanella and Oscar De Los Santos...and as we mentioned in April, we have now gotten rights to 6 additional essays (for a total of 12!), so we will be bringing you one each month until at least November! Upcoming TV Rebel columns coming soon are about Rod Serling and Desi Arnaz. The book is in the works and will be released in 2009.

So without further adieu, we bring you the eighth essay of TV Rebels:

Bill Cosby: Double Rebel
by Lou Orfanella

In 1965 standup comic Bill Cosby earned critical praise and the first of three consecutive Emmy Awards as outstanding lead actor in a dramatic series as he began his three year run as globetrotting government agent Alexander Scott on the NBC drama I Spy. More significant and media changing than his triple Emmy feat was that this was the first instance of a major dramatic starring role by a black actor on a network television series. The groundbreaking weekly adventure costarred white actor Robert Culp as Scott's partner Kelly Robinson. "Coinciding with the crest of the civil rights movements, the series' light touch was 'balm for the jangled American psyche of the time,' said the New York Times. It was a historic moment in casting when a black man was placed along side a white man as his equal and it created international interest in the show" ("Biography").
After I Spy ended in 1968, Cosby headlined the sitcom The Bill Cosby Show on NBC ffrom 1969-1971 as well as the variety shows The New Bill Cosby Show (CBS) and Cos (ABC) in 1972 and 1976 respectively. He entered the Saturday morning children's shows arena from 1972-1977 with the message filled animated offering Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. It was in 1984 however, that Cosby would achieve his greatest success and become a double TV rebel.
In 1984 with the situation comedy genre mostly left for dead by network executives, Cosby returned to weekly series duty as the unflappable dad Cliff Huxtable on NBC's The Cosby Show, a light hearted family sitcom that skyrocketed to the top of the ratings and rejuvenated the genre during its eight year run. In the process it became the anchor of what was to become NBC's Thursday night lineup of "Must See TV." The Cosby Show was the most watched show on the air for five of its seasons and is credited with reviving the viability and profitability of the situation comedy genre.
In many ways The Cosby Show allowed its star to extend the social changes he had been a part of with I Spy. Two decades after Alexander Scott showed that blacks and whites could be equal partners, The Cosby Show depicted the black family on equal footing with middle and upper class white families, rather than as low income ghetto dwellers such as in previous shows as Good Times and Sanford and Son. "The Cosby Show discontinued familiar sitcom formulas filled with disrespectful children and generational conflict and presented instead a two-parent family in which both partners worked as professionals. In the Huxtable household, viewers were exposed to the existence and culture of historically black colleges and universities" ("Cosby"). Black art and music as well as black history were all apparent in the Huxtable universe expanding the traditional and often stereotypical view of black families television had presented.
During the 1990s the man known widely as simply "Cos" would star in three additional series. First came the revival of the comedic quiz show You Bet Your Life with Cosby filling the legendary shoes of Groucho Marx. The Cosby Mysteries followed, and the Cosby (CBS, 1996-2000) sitcom closed the decade. He also hosted Kids Say the Darndest Things for CBS. While none of those efforts made an indelible mark on television history, Cosby's legacy had long been secured with I Spy and The Cosby Show, two series that helped change the face of television.

Works Cited
Biography of Bill Cosby. The Kennedy Center. 7 August 2007 http://www.kennedy-center.org.
Cosby, Bill. The Museum of Broadcast Communications. 7 August 2007 http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/C/humlC/cosbybill/cosbybill.htm.

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