Saturday, January 31, 2009

Blog DVD Reviews: You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown; Dancing with the Stars Season 8 Casting Announcement On Feb. 8?

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the weekly Blog DVD Reviews. Today week we take a look at Warner Home Video's You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown Remastered Deluxe Edition. This classic 1975 CBS special showcases sports, what better day to do this review since tomorrow is the Super Bowl! See my Blog DVD Reviews of You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown Remastered Deluxe Edition:

You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown - Remastered Deluxe Edition (Warner, $19.98) brings us the classic 1975 sports-themed episode (15th primetime special) on DVD digitally remastered...and it is really worth it! Plus in addition to the Good Sport special, we also get You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown, a 1979 CBS special that is also about sports.
The Good Sport special starts off with Snoopy playing tennis but the main focus of the special is a Motocross race. So start your engines! Can Snoopy compete against Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown? It's going to be fast and furious fun right up to the finish line! Whoever wins will win two tickets to the NFL Pro Bowl! In the Greatest special, hard work and team spirit are what Charlie Brown needs for a decathlon victory in the Junior Olympics but this junior Olympian had better keep his eye on the track to win!
Let's now move on to the packaging. Like all the previous sets, we have a thin outer box that holds a very thin case, that is movie style. I never understood the reason for the thin box that holds a thin case...what's the point? Also, both the back and front of each are exactly the same, except the box is shinier. The cover art is lime in color, and has #13 Charlie Brown, #7 Peppermint Patty, and #1 Snoopy on their bikes racing in the Motocross race, with little Woodstock watching. The title of the special is on the top, with a mention that this is a remastered deluxe edition on top of that! The bottom tells us we also get a bonus TV special (You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown). To the back we go, we get a nice synopsis of the Good Sport special, along with a list of the special features below that. It is again lime in color with artwork of Snoopy and Woodstock playing tennis. When we open the case, we get black background all over, very plain, but of course the disc is inside. The disc is in lime and has that blackboard and has artwork of Snoopy and Woodstock on the tennis court.
The menu screen has options of Features, Special Features, and Languages. We get that lime background again, with the theme song playing in the background. We also have the same artwork as the cover art with the trio on their bikes. Anyway back to the menu, for Languages, we can have either English, Japanese, or Portugues. For subtitles we have those three again and also Chinese, French, and Thai...wow! But no Espanol for either? The Features section has the two specials listed, we can also select Play All to play both back-to-back. Finally, Special Features lists the extra (more on that below) and Trailers.
The video and audio is tremendous once again. These specials are all so good. They have never looked better or sounded better ever. I am very impressed yet again; what more can I say?. Warner continues to do a great job on this remastering of all these classic specials. Good Sport special runs 25:07 and has 6 chapter stops, which you an use via your DVD remote. The Greatest special runs 24:24 and has 5 chapter stops.
As for special features, we get a nice featurette! It is titled "Dust Yourself Off and Pick Yourself Up, Charlie Brown" and runs 11:34. We find out lots of behind-the-scenes details and cool facts for the Good Sport special from members of the Schulz family and more. Charles Schulz's son Craig was the inspiration of this special because he loved dirt biking. Interviewed are Craig Schulz, Nat Gertler (Peanuts Historian), Jerry Beck (Animation Historian), and Shari Young Kuchenbecker, Ph.D (Author). We also get Trailers from other Warner animation titles.
I once again highly do recommend this set for any Charlie Brown-Peanuts fan and classic animation in general. Warner continues to do a wonderful job with the remastering and the behind the scenes extras of each special. Let's hope they continue to release more Charlie Brown specials and eventually we get them all remastered in our personal libraries! So on your marks, get set, and go and to get this special on DVD!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Charlie Brown Official Page
Charlie Brown Specials


We have some special Saturday news for you. I have gotten word that ABC will announce the new cast of Dancing with the Stars on Sunday, Feb. 8 in primetime! Not sure how this will work, though, but maybe during commercial breaks they will announce little by little the 12 or 13 celebs? We will find out a bit tomorrow (Sunday, Feb. 1) during the Wipeout Bowl on ABC because there will be promos for this starting tomorrow. So the promos will tell us starting tomorrow how ABC plans to announce the Dancing with the Stars season 8 cast! Usually we get the announcements for each season on Good Morning America, but last February we got the announcement on the finale of the spin-off Dance War. Tune in for the promos tomorrow during the Wipeout Bowl (during halftime of the Super Bowl switch to ABC and switch to ABC immediately after the game for a one-hour special)! Goodnight and big balls!

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Friday, January 30, 2009

BET Acquires Sitcom 'The Game'; Nick at Nite Valentine's Stunt and More February 2009

BET has acquired reruns of current CW sitcom, The Game! The Game is a spin-off of Girlfriends, which also has its reruns on BET (and WE tv), and is in its third season on The CW. The show aired on UPN in its first season. The Game will launch on BET on Monday, Feb. 23 and air weekday afternoons at 1 & 1:30pm ET and weeknights at 11 & 11:30pm ET. So this is how BET's acquired series schedule looks starting Feb. 23 for weekdays: 9am Montel Williams Show, 10am-12pm Judge Hatchett, 12pm-1pm The Steve Harvey Show, 1-2pm The Game, 2-4pm One on One, 4-6pm Smart Guy, 11pm-12am The Game, and 3-4am Hell Date.
On Saturdays the schedule looks like: 9-10am Just Jordan, 10am-12pm The Proud Family, 12pm-2pm Smart Guy, and 2pm-4pm One on One. On Sundays usually from about 1-3pm we see a block on One on One.
So it seems since we last reported about BET, Judge Karen, Girlfriends, Romeo!,, and A Different World all seem to be off the schedule. Girlfriends will likely still air in special blocks/marathons again, but seems to have left the regular schedule. We'll continue to monitor the schedule on BET if anything changes.

Nick at Nite finally officially released their February 2009 information yesterday. Once again, there are no schedule changes to the regular schedule but we do have a special stunt on Valentine's Night. Love is in the air at Nick at Nite, so grab that special someone and settle in for an evening of Valentine's Day themed episodes from your favorite TV families. Back-to-back Valentine's/loved themed episodes of George Lopez, Home Improvement, and Family Matters will air on Saturday, Feb. 14 from 10pm-1am ET/PT.
Other than that, nothing special. However, the week of Feb. 23, for some reason Mon-Thurs that week, George Lopez is airing its two episodes at 9pm and 10pm, Home Improvement at 9:30pm, and Family Matters from 10:30pm-12am. The 12am-6am schedule is the same. I am told it is for that week only. Stay tuned for more details, if anything transpires.
View the full details on Nick at Nite February 2009, including a list of episodes for the Valentine's block.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

TV Land March 2009 Highlights; NATPE Day 3 Updates, Mother Cleared for Fall 2010 Syndication

This March on TV Land, there won't be any regular schedule changes, and the schedule will remain as it is in January and February, as of now. We do have plenty of March 2009 highlights, though! High School Reunion season two continues on airing Wednesdays at 10pm. It will launch Feb. 18 and air into all of March. This year friends will be reunited, enemies will confront each other, and a secret will be revealed that could forever change the legacy of the Chandler High School Class of 1988.
What do Ron Howard, John Ritter, Laurence Fishburne, Patrick Swayze and Shelly Long have in common? They're all Hollywood celebrities visiting the 4077 for two days of drama, laughs and romance in TV Land's M*A*S*H Guest Star Weekend marathon airing Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8. Don't miss 24 episodes featuring your favorite stars - some of whom were just beginning their careers - together with special 2-part episodes starting at 8pm both nights and lasting until 4am.
Take a vacation from the winter doldrums and go on Spring Break with TV Land, Hawaii style! Pack up your grass skirts and floral shirts and head to Hawaii Saturday, March 14 starting bright and early at 6am with Elvis, the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition gang, George and Louise Jefferson, Fred Sanford, The Brady's with Don Ho. Then at 2pm, relive the first 4 weeks of Chandler High School's 20-year reunion set against the beautiful backdrop of, you guessed it, Hawaii! Kick back and relax during this fun-filled, tropical event. Just be sure to leave the Tiki behind. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Jeffersons, Sanford & Son, and Brady Bunch, what more can you ask for? Not to mention Elvis and High School Reunion. Paradise indeed!
On Monday, March 23, the High Commander of comedy, Dick Solomon, and his team of extra-terrestrial jesters have a "PRIME" mission for viewers: tune in for a week-long marathon of laughter of 3rd Rock from the Sun beginning each night at 9pm that week. Viewers won't want to miss this 3rd Rock tour-de-force that begins with the series premiere, continues with every multi-part episode – including season cliffhangers and guest star appearances – then culminates with the series finale on Sunday, March 29. Start training for The Big 3rd Rock-athon now because TV Land is playing through this super-sized series snapshot over seven action-packed nights – only on TV Land PRIME!
The TV Land PRIME movies for the month are Big Shots and Revenge of the Nerds. Awesome!
View the full TV Land March 2009 highlights and information.

We have some third day updates from NATPE, as today is the last day for the conference. It looks like talk show Marie is now a firm go. It got some buys yesterday. Program Partners has cleared the Marie Osmond talk show on NBC Universal-owned WNBC New York and Tribune’s KTLA Los Angeles. WCIU in Chicago is expected to sign on shortly. Program Partners says the show has been cleared for 70% of the country thus far. The show will tape in Las Vegas. What better city for this entertainer?
How I Met Your Mother is now a firm go for reruns on local stations starting in Fall 2010! It is cleared in 75% of the country for a fall 2010 debut. Clearances include the Fox Television Stations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and in 23 of the top 25 markets, including Philadelphia and Dallas (stations from Hearst-Argyle, Tribune, CBS Television, Raycom, Gannett, Cox, Belo, Hubbard and Bahakel). Not bad at all. The series will also be available as a daily strip in fall 2010 on cable on Lifetime. Until then, Lifetime can only air it once a week.
The weekly series Wild About Animals and Awesome Adventures have been cleared to return next season in 29 of the top 30 markets so far, including the Fox O&O station group. Another series, Whaddyado, has been cleared to return for another year in 27 top markets including the CBS Television Stations group for the CW and MyNetwork stations. All three series are doing well this season.
If we have any updates from today that we missed, we will bring that to you tomorrow to wrap NATPE up.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

TBS Orders 80 Episodes of Meet the Browns; NATPE Day 2 Updates; ION Goes HD on Feb. 16

Tyler Perry was at the NATPE yesterday in Las Vegas, and announced that TBS has picked-up 80 additional episodes of the sitcom Meet the Browns. TBS has not officially announced it yet, but will soon. Meet the Browns is currently airing Wednesdays at 9pm and is in the middle of its first 10 episodes, and now TBS will order 80 more episodes. This is very similar when TBS ordered 100 episodes of House of Payne after its initial 10-episode run, but those 10 aired in select markets on broadcast stations and not on TBS. The first two episodes of Meet the Browns marked cable's second-highest premiere for an original sitcom behind only Tyler Perry's other series, House of Payne premiere in June 2007. So far six episodes have aired and it is averaging 3.4 million viewers, 2.2 million households, 910,000 adults 18-34, 1.9 million adults 18-49 and 1.8 million adults 25-54. Very solid for TBS. After this 10-episode run, these new 80 episodes will likely launch in the summer on TBS and the series will likely also go into off-network syndication like House of Payne has. Meet the Browns could launch in off-network syndication as early as fall 2010. Pretty fast since they will have many episodes in the can. How can they tape so many so fast?

In other NATPE news, we have some cable news from the conference. style Network has acquired the exclusive off-network rights to Supernanny from Disney-ABC Domestic Television. style will get all five seasons of the reality series and will begin airing the reruns in Fall 2009. ABC has not yet announced if Supernanny will get a sixth season, but it is very likely.
A new premium cable channel will launch this fall. The new premium cable channel will be called epix. epix will be joint a venture between Paramount Pictures, MGM and Lionsgate. epix will make movies and entertainment accessible on multiple platforms. The network will combine new and classic feature films and original television series from studios including Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate. epix will have exclusive access to Paramount, Paramount Vantage, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies released theatrically on or after January 1, 2008 and MGM, United Artists and Lionsgate titles released theatrically on or after January 1, 2009. It will also have access to more than 15,000 motion picture titles spanning the studios' vast libraries and will feature new original television series and live event programming. Among the films they will air are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Duchess, Iron Man, Cloverfield, Defiance, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, New in Town, The Spiderwick Chronicles and Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail. epix also will have the rights to all 17 re-mastered James Bond movies as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It doesn't look like any classic TV or older TV series will air on this network.
Finally, Connection III Entertainment's weekend half-hour Made in Hollywood and Made in Hollywood: Teen Edition have been picked up by CBS owned-stations for first-run syndication in fall 2009. 21 markets have been bought. Made in Hollywood will enter its fifth season while spinoff Teen Edition will enter its fourth season. Made in Hollywood features set visits with directors, writer, producers and actors as they work on upcoming movies. The Teen Edition covers all that and also shows teens what kinds of jobs are available in the film industry and how to get them. In NY, Made in Hollywood already airs on WCBS, Saturdays at 3am, but the Teen Edition airs on WLNY, an independent station, Wednesdays at 9am.

ION Television will launch in high definition (HD) providing a fully enhanced HD simulcast of the newly rebranded "Positively Entertaining" network, beginning Monday, February 16. ION Television HD will initially roll out to 20 markets within ION's 55 market footprint – including top DMA's like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – with additional roll-outs to occur throughout the year. The first phase of the ION TV HD launch will reach over 46 million households. ION Media Networks' digital TV brands, Qubo and ION Life, will also be launched across digital platforms in high definition later in 2009.
Viewers can look forward to a mix of compelling television series, theatrical and made-for-television movies and specials on ION Television HD. The ION Television network features hit programs from CBS Television, NBC Universal, RHI Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television, Twentieth Television and Warner Bros., among others.
ION Television in HD will be launched from its newly designed, state-of-the-art transmission platform via expanded satellite transponder capacity. That national distribution will then be delivered over-the-air via DTV broadcast, cable, telco-TV and satellite. The network will feature native and up-converted HD programming, and will be carried on all 60 of ION Media Network's television stations around the country.
View the full list of initial roll-out markets for ION HD and the list of markets launching later in 2009.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

MGM/Weigel's This TV Cleared for More Stations; NATPE 2009 Day 1 Update; ION Television Sees Ratings Growth

On the opening day of the National Association of Television Program Executives conference (NATPE), MGM Domestic Television (MGM) and Weigel Broadcasting announced key stations from Tribune Broadcasting Company have been added as new affiliates for "This TV," the new digital service featuring hit movies and TV series from the expansive and treasured MGM library. TV series include Mister Ed and The Patty Duke Show. The clearance level is now over 60% of the country. New stations include the digital feeds of the following: Tribune's KTLA-TV (Los Angeles), WPHL-TV (Philadelphia), WDCW-TV (Washington D.C.), WTIC-TV/WTXX (Hartford) and WGNO/WNOL (New Orleans) as well as Sunbeam's WHDH (Boston). The digital network has also added 15 additional stations from Raycom, including WUAB (Cleveland), WXIX (Cincinnati), WMC (Memphis), WAVE (Louisville), and WNTZ (Knoxville). In addition, Quincy Newspapers, Inc. affiliates: WKOW (Madison), KWWL (Cedar Rapids), WSJV (South Bend), and WAOW (Wausau).
If you're in those markets, check those affiliates' digital subchannels to see if This TV has already launched. They are expected to launch immediately, if they haven't already.

In other NATPE news, Disney-ABC's Legend of the Seeker will return for a second season next season and CBS Television Distribution's Star Trek: The Next Generation will return to syndication this fall airing mostly weekdays in the late nights. Star Trek: The Next Generation will air on top Tribune stations, and has already been bought by WGN America on cable, which they started airing last week. Litton Entertainment announced that Storm Stories will return for a second season in syndication. It mostly airs on the weekends in many markets and allows TV stations to incorporate local weather talent and news into the show. Litton's first-run series Street Court, starring Michael "Judge Mazz" Mazzariello, is a firm go for fall 2009, with 65% of the country cleared, including WPIX in New York and WCIU in Chicago.
View the full list of shows being offered for stations to buy. Now this doesn't mean they will air next fall, but this is what is being offered for 2009-10 in syndication. We will have a better idea what is confirmed and a firm go by the end of NATPE. For example, first-run talk show Marie is not yet a firm go, but Street Court, The Wendy Williams Show, and Dr. Mehmet Oz are firm gos. Judge Jeanine Pirro is entering first-run syndication for its second season coming off its run on The CW Daytime however it is not a firm go yet, while Tyra Banks Show will leave syndication and move to The CW Daytime.
Other series leaving syndication: Twentieth Television's The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet, Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit: America Plays, and Sony Pictures Television's Judge David Young and Judge Karen. They are all canceled and will not return. A few other shows are also almost dead, such as Twentieth's third-year series Cristina's Court. The Doctors has been confirmed it will return next season, and some of the other series expected to come back are Deal Or No Deal, Family Court With Judge Penny, and The Bonnie Hunt Show, though all of those have not done exceptional in the ratings.
We will keep you up to date of more clearances, especially the off-network reruns such as Everybody Hates Chris, The Office, My Name is Earl, Bones, Criminal Minds, Grey's Anatomy, and The E! True Hollywood Story. Check out the offer list above!

ION Television ended 2008 with significant growth in primetime viewership, including marked growth in the adults 25-54 and 18-49 demos. ION TV's primetime household viewership has grown 67%, jumping from a 0.3 to 0.5 household rating, since the introduction of the network's new, robust slate of critically acclaimed off-net series in September. This viewership growth has well positioned ION TV as one of the fastest growing entertainment networks, up 26% among adults 18-49, ranking second, and up 25% among adults 25-54, ranking third, of all major broadcast and cable networks, in a year over year growth comparison.
View the full press release.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

ABC Midseason 2009 Sitcom News - Samantha Who Moves to Thursdays; 15th Annual SAG Awards Winners

ABC has announced its plans for the midseason sitcoms, and you'll see it here first! ABC will move Scrubs to Wednesdays at 8:00pm ET/PT starting March 18, since Dancing with the Stars: The Results is launching Tuesdays at 9pm on March 17. American Idol Results on Fox will be moving to 9pm on Wednesday nights by then. Scrubs will lead-into the new midseason comedy Better Off Ted, starring Jay Harrington. The comedies will replace the Lost enhanced encore. The comedies will lead into new episodes of Lost at 9pm.
Next ABC will create a new Thursday night comedy hour, with new comedy In the Motherhood premiering March 26 at 8:00 pm ET/PT and will be paired with the return of Christina Applegate in Samantha Who? at 8:30 pm ET/PT. Since The Bachelor will continue on Monday nights from 8:00-10:00 pm ET/PT thru March 2, leading directly into True Beauty, Samantha Who? will be on the move. Both of these comedies on Thursdays will lead into episodes of Grey's Anatomy at 9pm.
Ugly Betty fans don't worry, the series will return to Thursday nights at 8:00 pm following the run of In the Motherhood and Samantha Who? It is not clear how many weeks that will be. If I were to guess it will be 6 weeks. Ugly Betty will air 18 or 19 episodes by March 19, so 5 or 6 will remain for that show. ABC has not announced what will air at 9:30pm on Monday nights starting March 30 when Dancing with the Stars will settle into its 90-minute format after three airings of two-hours. If I were to guess, we could see a second episode of In the Motherhood or Samantha Who? on this night as well, probably the latter since it has 11 episodes left to air this season. Stay tuned. Still no date for the animated comedy The Goode Family, but ABC is mulling a May launch for a few episodes. It is still early in the day, if we have any more updates on these sitcoms, we will edit it in, so come on back.
View complete details on In the Motherhood and Better of Ted, so you know what they are about.

The 15th Annual Screen Actor Guild Awards (SAG) winners were announced yesterday. Leading the pack were Mad Men and 30 Rock. 30 Rock took home all 3 of its nominations, sweeping comedy.
Here are the main TV portion winners:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
WILLIAM SHATNER / Denny Crane – Boston Legal (ABC)
MICHAEL C. HALL / Dexter Morgan – Dexter (Showtime)
JON HAMM / Don Draper – Mad Men (AMC)
HUGH LAURIE / Dr. Gregory House – House (FOX)
JAMES SPADER / Alan Shore – Boston Legal (ABC)
WINNER: HUGH LAURIE / Dr. Gregory House – House (FOX)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
SALLY FIELD / Nora Walker – Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
MARISKA HARGITAY / Det. Olivia Benson - Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
HOLLY HUNTER / Grace Hanadarko – Saving Grace (TNT)
ELISABETH MOSS / Peggy Olson - Mad Men (AMC)
KYRA SEDGWICK / Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson – The Closer (TNT)
WINNER: SALLY FIELD / Nora Walker – Brothers & Sisters (ABC)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
ALEC BALDWIN / Jack Donaghy – 30 Rock (NBC)
STEVE CARELL / Michael Scott – The Office (NBC)
DAVID DUCHOVNY / Hank Moody – Californication (Showtime)
JEREMY PIVEN / Ari Gold – Entourage (HBO)
TONY SHALHOUB / Adrian Monk – Monk (USA)
WINNER: ALEC BALDWIN / Jack Donaghy – 30 Rock (NBC)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE / Samantha Newly – Samantha Who? (ABC)
AMERICA FERRERA / Betty Suarez – Ugly Betty (ABC)
TINA FEY / Liz Lemon – 30 Rock (NBC)
MARY-LOUISE PARKER / Nancy Botwin – Weeds (Showtime)
TRACEY ULLMAN / Various Characters – Tracey Ullman's State of the Union (HBO)
WINNER: TINA FEY / Liz Lemon – 30 Rock (NBC)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Boston Legal, ABC
Dexter, Showtime
House, Fox
Mad Men, AMC
The Closer, TNT
WINNER: Mad Men, AMC

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
30 Rock, NBC
Desperate Housewives, ABC
Entourage, HBO
The Office, NBC
Weeds, Showtime
WINNER: 30 Rock, NBC

View the complete TV portion winners and to discuss the winners!

It is still early, so if we have any more news...come on back. NATPE 2009 starts tomorrow (runs Jan. 27-29), so we will have updates from NATPE.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Week 18 (First Four Nights) Numbers; How the Sitcoms Did

Week 18 numbers (first four nights final averages, Mon-Thurs):

Households: Fox: 8.4/12.7; CBS: 7.2/11.2; ABC: 6.5/10.0; NBC: 4.4/6.8; The CW: 1.4/2.2; MNT: 0.8/1.2.
Total Viewers: Fox: 14.78 million; CBS: 11.53 million; ABC: 10.26 million; NBC: 7.0 million; The CW: 2.22 million; MNT: 1.24 million.
Adults 18-49: Fox: 5.5/13.4; ABC: 3.8/9.4; CBS: 3.1/7.7; NBC: 2.5/6.3; The CW: 1.0/2.4; MNT: 0.4/1.0.

Analysis: Week 18 was a big week...we saw a new president for the U.S., we saw Idol go down big, and saw Lost return. Fox leads through the first four days in all categories, but the lead is no where near as big as the previous week. Through the first four day, Fox has the lead in all categories obviously, with CBS second in HH/viewers, but third in 18-49, with ABC third in HH/viewers vut 2nd in 18-49, and NBC was way back in fourth everywhere.
Last week, CBS won week 17 in HH, viewers, and 18-49, thanks to AFC Championship Game last Sunday, overtaking Fox's lead trough the first six days. Fox was second in all categories while ABC a distant third and NBC fourth.
Monday CBS and Fox's new Monday line-up battled. Fox moved House to a new night and it did about the same as it did on Tuesdays this year, a solid 15.03 million (and a night best of 5.5 rating in 18-49), Fox then followed with 24 doing a solid 12.1 million, down a bit from its two-night premiere the previous week. House will for sure help this show this year. CBS started with new episodes of their comedies then ended with a new CSI: Miami. The Big Bang Theory did 11.03 million, down form its series high the previous week...but still very good. A new How I Met Your Mother followed with 10.69 million, down a million or so from the previous week's season high. #1 sitcom Two and a Half Men followed with 16.09 million, down a million from previous week, while a new Worst Week did just 9.6 million...a shame. At 10pm a new episode of CSI: Miami did 14.58 million, down over a million from previous week. ABC was next with a two-hour episode of The Bachelor with a solid 9.95 million, up once again as it has gone up in all three telecasts, followed by the new True Beauty at 5.84 million, down from previous week, but still doing very solid in 18-49, which is the strength of this show. NBC was next with a two-hour Superstars of Dance at only 6.51 million, down from previous week again. Reality dud Momma's Boys was next at just 4.85 million, but actually up a bit from previous week. Poor NBC. The CW was next with a new Gossip Girl doing only 2.22 million, down from a week ago and a new One Tree Hill did 2.6 million, also down from a week ago. Looks like ABC Family's The Secret Life and Kyle XY is hurting this night for The CW.
Tuesday that show called American Idol dominated but the series was down about 8 million from previous week. Fox started with Idol, doing 22.27 million, down from previous week's 30.42 million, but that was two hours. Fringe followed with 11.96 million, which sounds good but drops from the lead-in and the second half at 9:30pm make this show lead-in dependent. ABC was next, but the regular Tuesday line-up of Homeland Security USA, two Scrubs episodes and Primetime: What Would You Do was preempted for live exclusive coverage of Barack Obama's first ball, The Neighborhood Ball, doing a very solid 12.57 million from 8-10pm, peaking from 8:30-9:30, and affected Idol quite a bit. ABC closed the night with the ABC News Special about Obama doing a solid 9.48 million. CBS was in repeats as a repeat of NCIS started the night off with a below normal for a repeat of 11.73 million. New drama The Mentalist was preempted, but aired a repeat at 10pm doing a decent 10.58 million. Normal 10pm show Without a Trace was preempted totally, as at 9pm a CBS News Special about Obama only did 6.76 million, as ABC News killed it. NBC was next with a two-hour The Biggest Loser at 10.27 million, up nearly 2 million from previous week...and built heavily in the 9pm hour when there was no Idol. NBC followed at 10pm with an NBC News special on Obama doing just 6.21 million, as normal 10pm series Law & Order: SVU was preempted, once again ABC News did much better. The CW aired a new 90210 and did 2.3 million, up slightly week-to-week and a new episode of Privileged only did 1.61 million, but up a half a million or so week-to-week.
Wednesday saw you know who dominate. Fox started with American Idol at 8pm doing 25.9 million, down about 5 million from the previous week's 30.32 million premiere, but that was two-hours. At 9:03pm, Fox launched Lie to Me at only 12.37 million and lost to Lost head-to-head.Once again Idol was up on Wednesday from Tuesday, which is odd. CBS started with sitcoms, a new episode of Old Christine did 7.29 million, up slightly week-to-week and a new Gary Unmarried did 6.97 million, on par really from previous week. Criminal Minds and CSI: NY followed with new episodes at 13.82 and 11.58 million, a bit below normal for both. ABC dedicated the entire night to Lost, with a clip show special at 8pm doing a solid 8.51 million followed by the two-hour season premiere of Lost doing 11.35 million and a first place 5.0 18-49 rating. While that is below normal for a premiere, this is what Lost was doing last season. NBC opened the night with the dud Knight Rider doing only 4.93 million, down from previous week again, a repeat of Law & Order: SVU did only 5.2 million, actually up from previous week. Law & Order followed at 10pm doing only 8.27 million, but on par from previous week. The CW aired 13: Fear is Real at 8pm at just 1.36 million, down a bit from previous week. Now the show is pulled from Wednesdays and will air Fridays at 9pm. A repeat of 90210 followed with only 760,000 viewers, up slightly from previous week.
Thursday saw CBS win the in HH/viewers, but ABC retook the lead in 18-49. CBS started with a repeat of CSI doing 8.52 million, followed by an all-new CSI at 17.57 million, down nearly 7 million from the big send-off to Petersen the previous week. Let's see if this series will decline more now. A new episode of Eleventh Hour followed with 12.31 million, down nearly a million week-to-week, but it finished third in the hour in 18-49, not good. ABC was next with Ugly Betty doing 7.5 million...should be better. A new Grey's Anatomy was next and did 14.43 million, up over a million from previous week and won the hour in 18-49 with a solid 5.7 rating beating CSI's 4.9. What a thrilling conclusion of this serial killer arc! A new Private Practice followed and did a solid 9.49 million at 10pm, up a million from previous week and took the hour in 18-49. Fox launched Bones on the night with two episodes, as the first episode did very well doing 9.98 million but a new one at 9pm tumbled to 7.55 million...one of those series that is not a priority I guess. NBC was fourth, as a new My Name is Earl did 6.59 million, up some from previous week when it aired at 8:30, a new Kath & Kim followed with a terrible 4.93 million. A new showing of The Office did 8.76 million, up some from previous week, followed by a new 30 Rock at 6.41 million, down some from previous week ... Palin effect has sure worn off. Though this show was renewed for next season...but NBC could reverse it of course. ER was next and all-new with 7.65 million, up from previous week's series low. Smallville was new on The CW and did 3.85 million, down a bit week-to-week, followed by a new Supernatural at 3.06 million, up a bit week-to-week.
Now, as usual final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with new episodes of Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint, and NUMB3RS as usual. NBC saw steady numbers for Howdie Do It at 8pm but saw drops for the third week.
Saturday numbers are not available yet, but Fox will probably win this slow night.
Tonight will be a slower than usual night. The battle of new TV movies on NBC and CBS could be the difference from 9-11pm, as ABC's regular Sunday line-up is all-new only from 8-10pm with AFV, and a two-hour Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, as last week's Desperate Housewiveswill encore at 10pm, and Brothers & Sisters is preempted. Fox will have a mix of new and repeats.
As for the week, Fox will win the week in HH, viewers and 18-49. CBS will finish second, ABC should be third (but 2nd in 18-49), and NBC in fourth. What to look for this week...we will have more repeats than usual, such as CBS Monday and ABC Thursday (but Private Practice will be new).

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of Jan. 12-18)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - Two repeats in the 8pm hour only did 3.75 and 4.87 million.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - preempted.
  • Family Guy (Fox) 2 episodes - Two repeats in the 9pm hour did an OK 4.82 and 4.98 million. Wonder when this show will be new again? Hasn't been new since early November!
  • American Dad (Fox) - preempted.

Monday Sitcoms

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 11.03 million for a new episode! Down some from a series high the previous week, but still very good. A repeat will air tomorrow...wonder if that will hurt the show when it is new the following week?
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 10.69 million for a new episode, for down from previous week's season high, but still very solid...especially with that 4.5 18-49 rating.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 16.09 million for our sitcom leader. Just another day on the job....what more to say?
  • Worst Week (CBS) - 9.6 million only for a new episode. Amy Yasbeck guest starred for this episode, too.

Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Scrubs (ABC) - preempted...returns this week with special guest stars...The Sesame Street Muppets!
Wednesday Sitcoms

  • Old Christine (CBS) - 7.29 million against Idol ... up a bit week-to-week.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - 6.97 million for a new episode, on par from previous week really.
  • Under One Roof (MNT) - Only 680,000 viewers..ouch. But better than previous week actually. Sad...

Thursday Sitcoms

  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - 6.59 million for a new showing, up from previous week when it was new at a special time of 8:30pm.
  • Kath & Kim (NBC) - After a week off...we still get the same bad numbers. 4.93 million only.
  • The Office (NBC) - 8.76 million for a new episode...up a bit from previous week. Over 90% of viewers were in the 18-49 demo. That is amazing. 4.6 18-49 rating out of its overall 4.9 rating. Only .3 were not in this demo. So this show is not a broad show though.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - A new episode only did 6.41 million, down from previous week. What happened?

Friday Sitcoms

  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - 1.64 prelim million for a new episode.
  • The Game (The CW) - 1.61 prelim million for a new episode, down a bit from previous week's prelim numbers. This show would be better say on Wednesdays at 9pm instead.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are a mix of new and repeat of Fox's animated comedies from 8-10pm.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and The Office were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Gary Unmarried, 30 Rock) or just plain old terrible (such as Kath & Kim, Under One Roof).

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blog DVD Review: Matlock - The Second Season

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the blog DVD review! Today we take a look at CBS DVD's Matlock: The Second Season. Matlock of course is the very popular courtroom drama starring Andy Griffith that is often mentioned on The Simpsons as Grandpa Simpson's favorite show. See skees53's blog DVD review of Matlock: The Second Season:

Matlock: The Second Season (CBS DVD, $49.99) brings to order 23 new cases in which Ben Matlock has to defend those accused of murder when the evidence points right at them. Approximately 20 years after Andy Griffith had made a name for himself with the popular TV sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, he made a comeback in the "prime years" of his life as attorney Ben Matlock, on this series. The series began in 1986 on NBC and ran until the mid-90s when it ended on ABC, and has been a fixture in every home (including retirement homes) ever since. Matlock may seem very homely and down-to-earth with his "southern charm," but don't let his demeanor fool you. He is actually a very aggressive attorney that will take the tough tasks (for only $100,000) and prove that his client is not guilty. He is much like a more aggressive version of Perry Mason.
The second season begins with the two-hour episode "The Billionaire," where Matlock proves his international fame by going to London to help defend an American businessman accused of murder. In "The Husband," Matlock has to defend a woman accused of killing her husband, but he quickly finds out that the man had several wives. Robert Downey, Sr. and Dick Butkus guest star in "The Annihilator." It is an episode of NBC stars when Betty White (Golden Girls), Jason Bateman (Hogan Family), Rhea Pearlman (Cheers), ALF, and others make cameo appearances on the episode "The Network." Santa Claus (or at least a guy dressed like him) is accused of murder in "The Gift," so can Matlock save the day? Sheldon Leonard makes a cameo in the episode "The Gambler."
It is a tale of sordid sex stories when an aerobics instructor is killed in "The Body." Matlock has to represent a classmate from Harvard that is accused of murder in "The Reunion." A man is accused of killing his employer--an umpire--in the episode "The Umpire." Richard Kline (Three's Company) guest stars. Matlock is forced to become a peacemaker to protect his client from incriminating himself in the two-part episode "The Investigation." An advice columnist is murdered (with an award that she won) in "The Lovelorn." Matlock's nephew is accused of murder in "The Genius." The season ends with "The Heiress," where a fast-talking New York attorney comes in to help Matlock when a girl is accused of murdering her wealthy aunt.
The packaging for the set is pretty straightforward and simple, like many other CBS DVD products. Basically, we just have the standard DVD case with six discs inside. Each disc contains four episodes, except for the first disc, which contains three episodes (the first of which is a two hour season premiere). What is surprising (and I'm not complaining about this) is the fact that CBS DVD actually put all of the episodes from this season in one set, rather than their typical practice of splitting dramas into two volumes. As this is a CBS DVD product, there is no disc artwork. The menus on the set are similarly unimpressive, with nothing more than a listing of each episode contained on each disc and a Play All option.
The episodes on this set all do appear to be unedited, but there is one minor issue that will certainly annoy many fans. When these episodes originally aired, each episode had an opening teaser that previewed the upcoming episode. These opening teasers actually air in syndication, as well. However, the DVD set does not contain these teasers. I didn't find it to be a big deal personally, since they only contain a series of short clips that are within the episode anyway, but it is important to know that they are not included. Each episode on this set runs around 47 minutes. The video and audio quality of each of the episodes on the set is not going to wow anybody, but it is definitely more than adequate. Each episode on the set is closed-captioned, which will definitely come in handy for the older fans of the series.
The set does contain one minor (but very important) special feature. For the episode "The Hucksters," there were some alternate endings aside from the one that aired originally. On this set, you can watch all three of these alternate endings. In fact, you can even set the episode to play all the way through with whichever special ending you may wish to choose. It would have been nice for the set to have had some interviews or promotional footage, but I feel like the inclusion of the alternate endings as a special feature was a very good idea, especially since that is one of those special features that couldn't simply be "made up" on a later set.
Matlock is such a fascinating series, and this DVD set demonstrates why the series has never been off the air in the United States since it premiered over 20 years ago. Not many TV series can honestly say that. The series has managed to become engrained in pop culture in many ways, and has quite a following, particularly among the elderly (anybody remember when Mayor Quimby told the senior citizens at the retirement home on The Simpsons that he would be building the Matlock Expressway?). Personally, I think that the series really hit its stride once Don Knotts began to make appearances as Les Calhoun, which occurred in the third season of the series, but there certainly are some great episodes in this season. It isn't just for the old folks, for sure. So if you are in the mood for an aggressive attorney with a bit of folksy southern charm, Matlock is the man for you!

-- Reviewed by skees53
(4/5 stars)

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Friday, January 23, 2009

ABC Family March 2009 Highlights; CBS and CW Schedule Changes

This March on ABC Family, there will be no schedule changes to the weekday line-up, but primetime will be changing. First on Monday, March 16, Kyle XY will have its third season finale at 9pm. A marathon of the previous nine episodes will air from 11am-8pm, with the 10th and final third season episode airing at 9pm. On Sunday, March 22, ABC Family presents a marathon of The Secret Life of the American Teenager from 2pm-11pm, because the next day, (Monday, March 23) the series will have its first season finale at 8pm. ABC Family will encore the previous two episodes that night as well from 6-8pm, leading into the finale. Leading out of the finale will be the ABC Family premiere of two original sitcoms at 9pm and 9:30pm! As we previously mentioned, ABC Family had two original sitcoms in the works: Roommates and Sophie. Roommates is a multi-camera sitcom about a group of friends trying to figure out love and life in their post-collegiate years. The ensemble cast includes, Tyler Francavilla, Dorian Brown, Tommy Dewey, David Weidoff and Tamera Mowry. 13 episodes will air.
Sophie is a single-camera sitcom and is a heartwarming and comedic tale of a lovely young woman having the worst year of her life. The cast includes Natalie Brown, Sebastian Spence, Jeff Geddis, Amy Lalonde, Mimi Kuzyk, Sara Botsford, Chantelle Chung and Catherine Brub. 13 episodes also will air. We willhave much more on these two sitcoms shortly, with hopefully pilot reviews as well.
ABC Family has two other sitcoms in development, but have not been ordered to series yet.
Replacing The Secret Life on Mondays starting March 30 at 8pm will be the second half of the second season of GREEK! 10 more episodes will air leading into the two original sitcoms. GREEK will also have a marathon of the first ten episodes of the season leading into the second half premiere, from 11am-8pm.
In other ABC Family March 2009 news, new original movie Au Pair 3 Adventure in Paradise will premiere on Sunday, March 15, 2009 from 8pm-10pm following the first two movies from 4-8pm. Among the acquired movies, they will have premieres of Notting Hill and Eight Below while replaying movies such as Dr. Dolittle, Home Alone 2, Jumanji, and Grease.

CBS will air a one-time special edition of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric in primetime on Wednesday, January 28 at 8:00pm ET/PT instead of a repeat of Old Christine. The repeat of Old Christine will slide down to 8:30pm instead, preempting a repeat of Gary Unmarried.
Meanwhile, The CW has moved 13: Fear is Real to Fridays at 9pm effective tonight! 13 was previously airing encores on Fridays, now they will be all-new. I wonder if it lasts, if it will make it to Friday the 13th on Feb. 13? The season finale is scheduled for Feb. 20. Replacing 13 in its original Wednesdays at 8pm slot will be encores of Privileged. I don't see how that will do any better?

Finally, we leave you today with some sad news. Veatrice Rice, the quiet but foul-mouthed on-air security guard on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live, has died. Though she is not a sitcom star, she was great in comedy. I was heavily shocked last night when I saw the tribute they aired. I had no idea she was sick, but found out today she was battling cancer. I did notice she started wearing a wig this past fall, but didn't think much of it. Veatrice will be heavily missed. She was part of a trio of on-air security personalities (herself, Guillermo and Uncle Frank). She was great with Guillermo and Uncle Frank and her bits with them, especially the SNN: The Worst "___" Team on Television will be heavily missed. She also had great solo bits on the show such as her "make your own" instructions, her bits with the Land o Lakes Butter lady, her interview with John McCain, and her impression as Sarah Palin. And who can forget her "sex tape" with Ryan Phillipe? She will be deeply missed every night. Try to give someone a blank stare-down look today in honor of her. We leave you today with the on-air tribute they did last night. As Veatrice would say, shut up you a**hole! Dumba**! Miss V was 59 and leaves behind her husband John.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Former RTN in Buffalo Turns to This TV; ABC and ABC Studios Announce Reorganization

Former RTN affiliate WNGS, is now an affiliate of MGM/Weigel's This TV. If you all recall, a few RTN stations that were owned by Equity (like Buffalo and Little Rock), had to remove RTN programming starting Jan. 5 because of an expired deal (and that Equity is now bankrupt). RTN is still looking to replace the missing affiliates in those cities with other affiliates. However, the former RTN in Buffalo is now with This TV. The This TV programming started on Tuesday. They air MGM-owned movies and TV series, but primarily movies. The TV series include Mister Ed and The Patty Duke Show. While this is semi-good news for Buffalo, let's hope Buffalo can find another spot for RTN in the near future!
Speaking of RTN, I don't have much to report, but some areas are back on their local schedule rather than the national feed.
Please continue to give us feedback on if your station is back on your local feed or if the national schedule is continuing for your RTN station. We hope to have more RTN news soon.. So please stay with us!

Responding to the changing realities of the entertainment landscape, and addressing an opportunity to streamline the creative process, ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios will be operated as a coordinated business unit entitled ABC Entertainment Group, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney-Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television Group.
This newly formed unit will be managed by President Stephen McPherson, who had previously served as president, ABC Entertainment. Now McPherson will serve as president of ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios. Mark Pedowitz, former president of ABC Studios, has moved into a new role as senior advisor to the Office of the Co-Chairman, where he will work alongside Ms. Sweeney on a myriad of evolving business, labor relations and emerging media issues.
The newly formed ABC Entertainment Group will combine ABC Studios and ABC Entertainment, with all operations of the two separate units reporting to Mr. McPherson. The new division's primary mandate will be to develop and produce compelling programming for broadcast on ABC. However, when appropriate, the studio will look for outside opportunities. The successful partnership between ABC Studios and ABC Entertainment prior to this announcement has delivered some of the most successful, talked-about and evolutionary series on television today, including Desperate Housewives, Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty and Brothers & Sisters. Mr. McPherson will spend the next few months integrating the units, with input from Mr. Pedowitz.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Bundy's Valentine's Marathon on Spike; Sleuth Adds MacGyver in February; Network Notes

Celebrate Valentine's Day with the Bundys in a Married with Children marathon on Valentine's Day (Saturday, February 14, 2009) from 1pm-8pm on Spike TV! It's "Love, Bundy Style!" Join the Bundys for some tough love. The weird love of Al and Peggy is perfect for Valentine's Day. And you'll also see Bud and Kelly go on dates and find love.
Elsewhere on Spike, earlier in the month, catch a CSI marathon on Super Bowl Sunday. Forget football! Catch up on all your favorite CSI 2-part episodes. It's an all day Super CSI Sunday Marathon on Sunday, February 1 from 12pm-4am.

Universal's digital cable station Sleuth will add the Richard Dean Anderson '80s series MacGyver to its line-up in February. MacGyver will launch on Monday, Feb. 2 and will air weekdays at 7am and 4am, replacing one of the daily JAG airings. Richard Dean Anderson will certainly "fix" the Sleuth schedule, if you know what I mean.
Earlier this month Sleuth went under a big makeover and airs mostly series that are reran on sister station USA Network such as JAG, Monk, The Dead Zone, NCIS, and Walker Texas Ranger while adding Canadian series such as Cold Squad and DaVinci's Inquest. The Guardian also airs on Sleuth weekly.
A few weeks after its launch, MacGyver will get a 24-hour marathon on Sunday, February 22 from 6am to 6am.

Fox has pulled Hole in the Wall from the schedule after just one episode from its return. The series returned this past Sunday to only 3.39 and 3.32 million in the 7pm hour. Hole will be replaced by Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? for the next week weeks (Jan. 25 and Feb. 1). As of now, Fox says Hole will return on Feb. 8 once the NFL season is over, though I doubt that. 5th Grader airs Fridays at 8pm but only until Jan. 30, so maybe the show will move to Sundays at 7? Stay tuned...
Meanwhile, ABC has made it official. The Bachelor is will expand to air in the 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT slot every week until the show has its finale on Monday, March 2. Second year sitcom Samantha Who? is no longer scheduled to air in the 9:30 PM ET/PT half-hour until further notice, as the series has been preempted the last two weeks. The Bachelor has built each week since its premiere on Jan. 5 and has done very well in the ratings. No word if Samantha will be placed elsewhere on ABC. An option is with Scrubs on Tuesdays or will ABC wait and hold it until Dancing returns? We'll let you know.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lifetime March 2009 - Golden Girls Expires

As we see our new President get inaugurated, we have some sitcom news for you! Best of luck to Obama!
For the first time since 1997, The Golden Girls will be off the Lifetime schedule starting Monday, March 2, 2009. The sitcom will be moving to Hallmark Channel and WE tv this March as we mentioned previously. We don't have timeslots and premiere dates for those yet, but as soon as we do, we'll let you know!
As for Lifetime March 2009, The Golden Girls will have its last airing on Friday, Feb. 27 in its regular timeslots (weekdays 8-10am and 1am-2:30am). The show will not get a send-off marathon, at least as of now. It will leave the line-up softly with its regular airings. But if Lifetime does plan a marathon, we'll let you know. So stay tuned! Replacing Golden Girls from 8-10am will be more episodes of Still Standing and Reba, with back-to-back episodes of each. In the 1am hour, we will get an extra cycle of Desperate Housewives. The show will still air 12pm and 1pm as well, but this cycle will start from the beginning and be different from those afternoon airings! And finally in the 2am half-hour, we get an extra Reba on Tues-Thurs and Rita Rocks encores on Monday and Friday nights.
View the full Lifetime March 2009 weekday line-up and discuss these changes.

On this special day, the other news has been very slow. So if we have anything later in the day, we will bring it to you. Come on back!

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Monday, January 19, 2009

SitcomsOnline Turns 10; ION Television February 2009 Highlights; Morning Show Reunited TV Stars, Including Small Wonder Reunion


As we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today, there are a few TV marathons of note. Sanford & Son on TV Land, The Proud Family on BET, CSI: NY on Spike TV, and the King movie on TV One.
Today is also a VERY special day here at SitcomsOnline! We celebrate 10 years online! This blog has been around for 3 1/2 years or so, but SitcomsOnline was born 10 years ago today. SitcomsOnline launched on January 19, 1999. However, Happy Days Online started it all on May 12, 1997. Then came sites for Diff'rent Strokes, Gimme a Break!, Mork & Mindy, The Courtship of Eddie's Father in 1998 then mini sites for Hello, Larry and Please Don't Eat the Daisies before SitcomsOnline launched in January 1999. After SO launched, full sites for Webster, Hogan Family, Silver Spoons, Family Ties, and The Facts of Life were created, along with many mini sites. My Jack's Bistro website just celebrated its 10th anniversary in December as well. Can't believe it has been 10 years.
SitcomsOnline.com was created by Todd Fuller in 1999 to develop an online shrine to every sitcom ever to have been seen. SitcomsOnline.com has been featured in many media and news publications, such as TVGuide Magazine and Entertainment Weekly, and was featured in a syndicated TV-news story on Sitcoms in early 2004.
SitcomsOnline.com features sitcom news, news blog, links, theme songs in audio & video, message boards, show pages, sitcoms on DVD purchasing and the very popular DVD Review System. SitcomsOnline.com showcases all-time Classic hits such as Happy Days, Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life and I Love Lucy, and modern hits such as Friends, 30 Rock and The Big Bang Theory.
Share your memories of the website. We hope you like it here and continue to come for many years to come! Ya'll came back now ya here?

Moving on to other news, ION Television has announced its February 2009 line-up. There are no real changes to the line-up, just minor stuff. Only changes are that Wednesday movies have been added in early evening starting at 6:30pm and another one in primetime, so Boston Legal will only be Tuesday nights now. Thursday movie encores remain in early evening leading into the regular Thursday primetime movie. So two nights of primetime movies now (Wednesday and Thursday). Friday late afternoon movie encores are removed, and the regular schedule is inserted back, but with M*A*S*H on Fridays 6-7pm. The ION movie premieres are Sphere, Heat, Soldier, Analyze This, National Lampoon's European Vacation, Pale Rider, and Murder in the First. RHI movies on weekends include The Temptations, Fatal Error, Final Days of Planet Earth and Valentine's themed movies A Stranger's Heart, Love's Unending Legacy, Love is a Four Letter Word, Love's Abiding Joy, and Love's Unfolding Dream.
View the full ION Television February 2009 highlights.

Talk show The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet last week had a week-long feature called, "Whatever Happened To?" I know we didn't alert you before it aired, but you can still watch it online! Isn't it great, everything is available on demand these days? On Monday, whatever happened to Jimmie "J.J." Walker of Good Times? M&J catch up with the man who made "Dy-no-mite!" a household word! Catch the video! On Tuesday, whatever happened to Winnie from The Wonder Years? Brainy beauty Danica McKellar reveals her hugely popular second career, and proves how sexy being smart can be! See what Danica looks like now! On Wednesday, it was my personal favorite of the week! Whatever happened to that cute little girl from the weirdest show on television? Tiffany Brissette tells M&J what's she's been doing since playing Vicki on the '80s sitcom Small Wonder! If that's not all, Mike & Juliet reunite other stars from the show as a surprise...Dick Christie, Marla Pennington and Edie McClurg for a mini reunion! You must catch this! Finally, on Thursday, M&J catch up with Patty Duke from The Patty Duke Show! Find out how the Oscar winner finally found peace after a tumultuous life on and off the set. View the video.
Check out the videos! It's too bad they are so short interviews. The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet airs weekday mornings in syndication, check local listings for time and channel in your area. The show will run through the end of the summer before signing off.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Week 17 (First Four Nights) Numbers; How the Sitcoms Did

Week 17 numbers (first four nights final averages, Mon-Thurs):

Households: Fox: 10.8/17.2; CBS: 9.2/14.2; ABC: 4.5/7.0; NBC: 4.5/7.0; The CW: 1.5/2.3; MNT: 0.8/1.2.
Total Viewers: Fox: 19.95 million; CBS: 14.81 million; NBC: 7.12 million; ABC: 6.92 million; The CW: 2.33 million; MNT: 1.2 million.
Adults 18-49: Fox: 7.6/18.5; CBS: 3.8/9.5; ABC: 2.6/6.6; NBC: 2.5/6.2; The CW: 1.0/2.5; MNT: 0.4/0.9.

Analysis: Can you believe we are halfway done with the TV season? It just felt like yesterday we were in week 1. Anyway, Week 17 has seen that show return to big ratings and dominate. You know...American Idol, though it was down a bit, it was still by far the best of the week at over 30 million in its four hours this week giving Fox a commanding lead so far. Through the first four day, Fox has the lead in all categories obviously, with CBS second, and ABC and NBC battling for third.
Last week, Fox won week 16 in HH, viewers, and 18-49, thanks to the BCS games and a huge NFL Playoff game on Saturday night. CBS was second in all categories while NBC and ABC battled for third, with ABC having an edge in 18-49 and NBC in HH/viewers.
Monday CBS was all new and won the night. CBS started with new episodes of their comedies then ended with a new CSI: Miami. The Big Bang Theory did 11.81 million, yet another series high. It is like osmosis now, it just happens. Things will get tougher a bit tomorrow, but I expect this show to remain consistent. A new How I Met Your Mother followed with 11.76 million, a season high. #1 sitcom Two and a Half Men followed with 17.1 million, while a new Worst Week did just 10.36 million...look for this to leave on Feb. 9 At 10pm a new episode of CSI: Miami did 15.83 million. Fox was next actually with the second night of the four-hour premiere of 24, with the final two hours on this night doing a solid 12.31 million, while that is down from its 2007 premiere...it is still decent. Let's see if it can do that every week though. ABC was next with a two-hour episode of The Bachelor with a solid 9.06 million, up from its season premiere, followed by the new True Beauty at 6.46 million, down a bit from its premiere but it still built in its second half-hour...a good sign. NBC was next with a two-hour Superstars of Dance at only 7.19 million, down a lot from previous week as CBS and Fox returned with new programming. Reality dud Momma's Boys was next at just 4.64 million, down from previous week. Poor NBC. The CW was next with a new Gossip Girl doing 2.85 million, down a tad from a week ago and a new One Tree Hill did 3.06 million, up from a week ago.
Tuesday that show called American Idol returned and dominated the night, but CBS was not that affected as all the nets were up from usual when Idol premieres. Fox aired the two-hour premiere of Idol, doing 30.42 million, great but off from last season's premiere by a few million. CBS's NCIS started the night off with 18.62 million for a new episode, only down about a half million from previous week. New drama The Mentalist followed with 18.07 million, down about 1.5 million though from previous week...still not too shabby. A new episode of Without a Trace at 10pm did 12.42 million, down previous week. NBC was next with a two-hour The Biggest Loser at 8.86 million, down over 3 million from previous week...but still respectable against Idol. NBC followed at 10pm with Law & Order: SVU at 9.77 million...down from previous week and it should be better. ABC was next, as Homeland Security USA did 6.04 million, down over 1.5 million from its premiere but better than what ABC did last year in this slot by miles against Idol. Two episodes of Scrubs followed with 4.61 million and 4.33 million, down over 2 million from previous week, but Idol affected it. It should go up this week with no direct Idol competition. It still skewed very young, with again near 80% of its audience in 18-49 for the hour. Scrubs lead into the addicting hidden-camera series Primetime: What Would You Do at 10pm doing a solid 7.3 million, and skewing very young as well, and it was up from previous week. The CW aired new 90210 and did 2.18 million, way below normal as Idol will dent this show now, and a new episode of Privileged only did 1.12 million, ouch.
Wednesday saw you know who dominate. Fox aired another two-hour episode doing slightly better than the previous night in all categories except viewers. It did 30.32 million, but was up from Tuesday in HH and 18-49. CBS started with sitcoms, a new episode of Old Christine did 7.17 million and a new Gary Unmarried did 6.96 million, not great but not too bad vs. Idol. Criminal Minds and CSI: NY followed with new episodes at 13.78 and 12.67 million, a bit below normal. NBC opened the night with the dud Knight Rider doing only 5.38 million, down from previous week, a repeat of Law & Order: SVU did only 4.46 million, down over 3 million from previous week. Law & Order followed at 10pm doing only 8.26 million, down two million from previous week. ABC dedicated the entire night to Lost, with last season's three-hour season finale encore doing 4.5 million, yet tied NBC in 18-49 with a 1.7 rating. Lost returns this week! It should do big! The CW aired 13: Fear is Real at 8pm at just 1.44 million, down a million against Idol ... ouch. A repeat of 90210 followed with only 670,000 viewers, down from previous week.
Thursday saw CBS win the night thanks to the last episode of William Petersen on CSI. CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox all started the night off with President Bush's Farewell address for the first 15 minutes. CBS delayed their shows by 15 minutes (in the east and central) as a repeat of the last new CSI from December did a solid 15.57 million (with a bug jump in the 9-9:15 slot), then that special episode of CSI followed with 24.25 million, great bit still didn't beat the season premiere. A new episode of Eleventh Hour followed with 13.16 million, a bit concerning losing half that audience from the lead-in. ABC was next but Ugly Betty had to be preempted thanks to Bush. So two Scrubs repeats aired, the first one from 8:16-8:30 did 4.89 million, followed by another one at 8:30 doing 4.79 million. A new Grey's Anatomy was next and did 13.1 million, down from previous week a bit, but even with that CSI competition it went up from previous week in 18-49. The thrilling conclusion of this serial killer arc concludes this Thursday. I've seen it already...it is great. We also find out what this Denny thing is, as it seems Denny will be gone after this episode. Anyway, a new Private Practice followed and did a solid 8.49 million at 10pm, down a bit from previous week. NBC was fourth, as a repeat of My Name is Earl from 8:18-8:30 did 6.15 million, a new episode followed at 8:30 at a special time doing only 5.99 million, as Kath & Kim was preempted. A new showing of The Office did 8.49 million, followed by a new 30 Rock at 6.63 million, up from previous week but doing worse than it was in the fall. Has the Palin effect finished? ER was next and all-new with 6.95 million, a series low. Smallville was new on The CW and did 4.3 million followed by a new Supernatural at 2.98 million. And they want to end Smallville? It is their saving grace.
Now, as usual final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with new episodes of Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint, and NUMB3RS as usual. NBC saw steady numbers for Howdie Do It at 8pm while 20/20 on ABC did decent at 10pm.
Saturday was very slow, as Fox won with its usual line-up. ABC's airing of The Pacifier did pretty solid also from 8-10pm.
Tonight CBS will rule with the AFC Championship Game and a special night and time of The Mentalist. Fox and NBC will take a back seat by airing repeats, but ABC's outstanding regular Sunday line-up is all-new with AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters. The Housewives' 100th episode is tonight...and it promises to be great!
As for the week, Fox will easily win the week in HH, viewers and 18-49. Why wouldn't they with Idol? CBS could make a late run for the AFC Championship Game, though but it won't be as huge as last season's NFC Championship Game in primetime, which was on Fox. CBS will finish second, ABC should be third, and NBC in fourth. What to look for this week...Barack Obama is sworn in on Tuesday as our next President, watch ABC's exclusive live coverage in primetime at 8pm, and Lost returns on ABC! And it is awesome! Fox also premieres new series Lie to Me on Wednesday.

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of Jan. 5-11)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - Two repeats in the 7pm hour only did 3.07 and 4.58 million.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - preempted.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - preempted.
  • American Dad (Fox) - preempted.

Monday Sitcoms

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 11.81 million for a a new episode! A series high! What more can I say? Excellent.
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 11.76 million for a new episode, for a season high. Skews very young for a CBS show too, building on the lead-in in 18-49.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 17.1 million for our sitcom leader. Just another day on the job.
  • Worst Week (CBS) - 10.36 million only for a new episode. Need to hold more than that if it wants to return next year.

Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Scrubs (ABC) 2 episodes - 4.61 million and 4.33 million for two new episodes. Down over 2 million each, but affected by Idol. Still did better than According to Jim or anything ABC had on Tuesday vs. Idol last year. It won't face Idol this week.
Wednesday Sitcoms

  • Old Christine (CBS) - 7.17 million against Idol is not bad at all. This show skews older, so it helps.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - 6.96 million for a new episode is OK, but more of a concern than the lead-in.
  • Under One Roof (MNT) - Only 530,000 viewers for its second episode back. Down even from previous week. Again...why is this airing against House of Payne on TBS? That show does like 4 million every week on cable.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • My Name is Earl (NBC) 2 episodes - Bush messed this night up, but an abbreviated repeat from 8:18-30 did a decent 6.15 million...but a new episode dropped to 5.99 million.
  • Scrubs (ABC) 2 episodes - ABC aired two encores of this show as Bush messed the plans up. 4.89 million for an abbreviated repeat from 8:16-30 and a repeat at 8:30 did 4.79 million. More than Tuesday at least.
  • The Office (NBC) - 8.49 million for a new episode...not bad, but even better near 90% of viewers were in the 18-49 demo.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - A new episode only did 6.63 million but it was up from previous week when its lead-in was a repeat.

Friday Sitcoms

  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - 1.55 prelim million for a new episode...up a bit previous week's prelim numbers.
  • The Game (The CW) - 1.7 prelim million for a new episode, but up a bit from previous week's prelim numbers. This show would be better say on Wednesdays instead.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are repeat of Fox's animated comedies from 8-10pm.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and The Office were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Old Christine, 30 Rock) or just plain old terrible (such as Worst Week, Under One Roof).

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blog DVD Review: MonsterQuest - The Complete Season Two (1/20)

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the weekly Blog DVD Reviews. This week we take a look at A&E Home Video's MonsterQuest. MonsterQuest is an original History (formerly The History Channel) documentary series that premiered on October 31, 2007. The program deals with the search for various cryptozoological creatures reportedly seen around the world. Cryptozoology is the study of, and search for, animals which fall outside of contemporary zoological catalogs. See my mini-DVD review of MonsterQuest - The Complete Season Two:

MonsterQuest - The Complete Season Two

MonsterQuest - The Complete Season Two (A&E Home Video, $44.95)

From the beginning of time, mankind has been riveted by accounts of mysterious creatures, from mega-hogs to vampires and giant spiders. Now, sightings continue throughout the world as more people come forward with photos and other evidence. In North Carolina, a creature thought to be dead for decades may be stalking livestock. In Texas, a dead body that doesn't look like any known species is found. And in the Pacific Ocean may lurk a giant capable of attacking whole ships. Season Two of this spellbinding series from History takes a fresh look at the beasts of legend and seeks new proof of their existence.

Surprising historical research and scientific analysis set the stage for groundbreaking fieldwork: high-tech expeditions to the home turf of famous monsters. Deploying state-of-the-art equipment, each episode scientifically examines the best evidence available, including photographs, videos, hair and bone samples, and the actual eyewitness accounts themselves. Credible individuals have seen things they can't explain. It's time to sort out fact from imagination once and for all!

One part history, one part science, and one part monsters, MonsterQuest: The Complete Season Two reveals the truth about these sightings and the creatures behind them.

This 5-DVD set contains all 20 original episodes from the second season (2008). The packaging has changed a bit from the season one release. This time there is an outer cardboard box that holds two slimcases. A drawing of a giant octopus is on the cover. In the top right corner, there is the History logo. On the back of the box and slimcases, there is a short synopsis of the series, a listing of the episodes and special features and the DVD specs. The discs are held in embedded holders that you flip like a book. Slimcase #1 holds discs 1-3. Slimcase #2 holds discs 4-5. There is a partial drawing of an octopus and the episode titles and special features listed on the discs.

When you first insert a disc, they show about 15 seconds of the opening credits with the instrumental theme and no narration. This leads to the main menu where they have the giant octopus and the show logo. The episode titles are listed vertically in white at the bottom. The highlighted episode you choose is in yellow and turns gray upon your selection. This takes you to another sub-menu where there is a drawing of the creature that is featured in the episode and a listing of the scene selections. You can choose a scene individually or use the "Play All" button to view the entire episode.

As you would expect for a series that just aired in recent months, the video and audio quality is outstanding. The episodes are presented in widescreen and their original broadcast order. Most of the on location shooting and interviews look excellent. Some of the submitted video varies depending on the source. I really like the narration by Stan Bernard and the music they use. It gives it a certain level of creepiness and drama. The audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes. The total running time is approximately 15 hours, 40 minutes. Running times range from 44:46-44:57.

Unfortunately, there are no episode summaries or original airdates listed anywhere on the packaging. It would have been nice if they included a sheet or booklet. Here are the 20 episodes you are getting. Episode summaries are courtesy of the official site. Running times are noted in the parentheses.

Mega Hog (44:51) - Do wild hogs in the United States grow to monstrous sizes? Many think so. In Georgia an 1100 pound hog was shot and killed and in Texas beast almost as large have been reported. But are these creatures raised and fattened up in a pen, or are they wild hogs, naturally more aggressive, that have somehow reached gigantic proportions? A MonsterQuest examination meets victims of vicious wild boar attacks, looks at the existing evidence and teams up with a hog hunters, researchers and trackers to find a giant.

Vampire Beast (44:53) - A mystery predator is on the prowl in North Carolina... And it has a taste for blood. In the winter of 1954 a small rural town Lived in fear as an unknown creature preyed on goats and dogs. Now, more the fifty years later, the beast is back. In the fall of 2007, residents of Bolivia, North Carolina started losing pets and farm animals to an unknown creature. Is it a known predator... or something more sinister?

Ghosts (44:54) - Are ghosts real? Can technology find them and science prove their existence? MonsterQuest investigates what may be one of the most haunted houses in America, the Lizzy Borden house, scene of the famous 19th century double murder. In an all-night investigation, paranormal experts record bizarre goings on in this house with eight cameras rolling, including the highest resolution infrared camera ever used in a paranormal investigation. Can they prove once and for all the existence of ghosts in this place?

Ohio Grassman (44:53) - Just miles from the industrial cities of Ohio, there is a bogeyman that has terrified local children for over a century. According to stories and sightings, the Grassman is similar to a Bigfoot, but builds strange nests and has been known to attack. Can science help explain this creature? Is a primate skull, a strange print and a new video the first direct proof behind the legendary Grassman? MonsterQuest sifts through the existing evidence and takes to the skies in a search for what is stalking Ohio.

Giant Killer Snakes (44:53) - MonsterQuest heads deep into the Venezuela wilderness to investigate reports of huge man-eating snakes fifty feet or more in length. Led by the world's top anaconda expert, the investigation will deploy for the first time ever an industrial acoustic sonar camera to search for these monsters. The investigation will also search the Everglades of Florida where pet pythons have escaped or been released into the wild. They are multiplying and growing to huge sizes, preying on all kinds of animals, even swallowing a full grown alligator in one case. Could a human become their next meal?

Super Rats (44:53) - Rats are the stuff of nightmares and recent archaeological evidence suggests that they once grew to massive sizes. Could these huge rodents make a comeback? Waves of huge rat sightings are sweeping our cities, and animal experts say these mutants are getting bigger – and more dangerous. Rat experts journey into the sewers and meet the witnesses who tell of cat sized rats that have appetites for anything... including human flesh.

Black Beast of Exmoor (44:53) - On the moors of England over 200 livestock were torn apart between 1979 and 1983. Armed Marines patrolled the hills looking for the predator but no creature was found. With attacks continuing to this day eyewitnesses suggest that a strange "black beast" is still at large. New video evidence could hold the key to the mystery. An expedition team talks to the witnesses, analyzes the evidence and seeks answers to find out what is really prowling the English countryside...

Chupacabra (44:53) - In 1995, a beast dubbed "El Chupacabra," spanish for "The Goatsucker," was first sighted and accused of killing and draining the blood of hundreds of farm animals in Puerto Rico. Eyewitnesses describe it as a two-legged reptile-like beast with sharp claws and sharper fangs. But another rash of sightings, and killings, in Texas last year produced eyewitness descriptions of a creature that looked very different. MonsterQuest will go on the hunt for the Texas chupacabra. And for first time on television, DNA tests will be performed on evidence from both the Puerto Rico and Texas sightings in effort to scientifically prove just what these mystery beasts could be.

Legend of the Hairy Beast (44:53) - Native American history is full of "Hairy Man" stories and cave art that date back over a thousand years. Did Native Americans know the truth behind the Bigfoot legend? An expedition along the Klamath River into reservation land will use state of the art technology to search for something locals don't doubt is real. With unprecedented access to Native American stories and recent sightings, MonsterQuest examines this creature that is both feared and revered.

Vampires in America (44:53) - Most people agree that vampires are fictional creatures, but throughout history and even today, there have been cases of people who thirst for blood. These "real vampires" believe that in order to survive, they must feed on the life-force of others. In this episode, we investigate these living vampires to find out if there is a physical reason behind their cravings. Can science separate the fact from the fiction surrounding these "creatures of the night"?

Boneless Horror (44:54) - Throughout history there have been sightings of a massive Octopus big enough to attack and sink boats. Could such a creature really exist? MonsterQuest divers probe the depths of the North Pacific where the world's largest known species of octopus lives. The investigation will use special infrared cameras to probe octopus lairs and hunt in the darkness of night when this predator of the sea may be more active.

Bigfoot in New York (43:52) - In 1976, in upstate New York, several police officers witnessed an animal that they can't explain. They describe it as a "large creature, 7 to 8 feet tall, walking like a gorilla hunched over, making a sound like a woman screaming." Over thirty years later sightings are continuing and these police officers have agreed to be put to the test. Meanwhile, MonsterQuest teams up with local researchers and renowned wildlife experts on the trail of the Monster of Whitehall

Lake Monsters of the North (44:54) - Something mysterious is lurking around the bottom of Lake Crescent, New Foundland, and they call this creature "Cressie." Native American legends date back centuries and refer to a "Pond Devil" and a "Swimming Demon". And there are modern sightings too, but are witnesses describing a strange, outsized eel or something entirely alien to science? Divers, biologists and forensic sketch artists team up to search for this elusive lake leviathan.

China's Wildman (44:55) - A Wild-Man may roam the mountainous and forested regions of China's remote Hubei province. Witnesses typically report that the creature is covered in reddish-brown hair, five to seven feet tall, and walks on two legs. To the Chinese authorities, who recently collected over one hundred unidentified hairs, it is not a matter of if this creature will be found, but when. An expedition to the Far East will meet the Wild-Man experts and join an international team in a search for answers.

Giant Bear Attack (44:57) - In pre-historic times, giant bears weighed up to a ton and stalked early man. History says that these animals died out 10,000 years ago, but could hybridization or the next step in bear evolution produce more giant bears? MonsterQuest investigates witnesses of horrific bear attacks, looks at strange bear remains and mounts two expeditions: the first to the heart of bear territory, Alaska, and the second closer to home in New Jersey where big bears are getting more assertive and aggressive. Will science solve the mystery of this new breed of bears?

Monster Spiders (44:46) - In 2006 an American soldier in Iraq was photographed with what appeared to be a three foot long arachnid. Meanwhile in the forests of Peru there are reports of spiders big enough to eat an entire chicken. A MonsterQuest expedition into the wilderness of South America goes on the hunt for a monster-sized predatory spider and examines man's fear of these creatures.

Jaws in Illinois (44:54) - Are dangerous ocean predators prowling American rivers? Few people realize that the bull shark can tolerate fresh water, swimming hundreds of miles upstream from the ocean. History suggests it has at times penetrated up the Mississippi River as far as Illinois. The episode will examine the behavior of the bull shark and dive in the St. Lawrence Seaway to uncover another giant, the Greenland Shark. It can grow longer than the Great White and has been known to head inland and eat land animals like caribou.

Real Dragons (44:53) - The huge Megalania lizard once stalked early man, but history says that the lizard is long extinct. But could massive and deadly reptiles be making a comeback? A MonsterQuest team travels to the Blue Mountains of Australia in search of those who say the Megalaina still exists. Meanwhile, another expedition looks at Megalania's closest living cousin: the Komodo Dragon. These giant reptiles can reach sizes of over ten feet long and have a venomous bite. We examine recent reports of attacks and even killings by the world's largest known lizards.

Sasquatch Attack II (44:52) - Something has been attacking a remote cabin in Northern and it may have left behind a blood trail. DNA analysis suggested that the creature is a non-human primate. Now a follow up test will confirm or deny this, and the results could change history. Meanwhile, a new expedition, outfitted with the most advanced surveillance and detection equipment, will set up camp at the cabin and wait for the creature's imminent return.

Approximately 30 minutes of special features are spread out over 5 discs. These are short 3-4 featurettes that trace the history of various legends. There are 1 or 2 per disc. I was hoping that these would be a bit more in-depth. They provide a good general overview, but there probably won't be any new information for cryptozoology fans.

Disc 1
Cryptozoology (2:52) - Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman explains what cryptozoology is and its history. He talks a little bit about the big 4 of the cryptozoology field.

Cryptozoolgy Museum (2:53) - Loren Coleman gives a short video tour of The International Cryptozoology Museum. It was founded in 2003 in Portland, Maine. He shows models of a coelacanth and a 8-foot tall Bigfoot, Bigfoot scat, a Patterson Bigfoot cast and a pterodactyl prop.

Disc 2
Hybrids (3:23) - Anthropologist David Gilmore traces the history of hybrid legends. He talks a little bit about Werewolves, the Jersey Devil and Chupacabras.

Disc 3
Bigfoot (3:36) - Loren Coleman and David Gilmore talk about the history of the Bigfoot legend. Some drawings, photos and video footage are shown. They talk a little bit about the Patterson film and Yeti/Abominable Snowman.

Mermaids (3:54) - Folklorist Adrienne Mayor, Biologist Richard Ellis and Loren Coleman talk about the history of the mermaid legend. They show some drawings and talk about the folklore. A hoax model/prop is shown.

Disc 4
Lake Monsters (2:54) - David Gilmore talks about the history of the Loch Ness legend. The first sighting was in 1871, but it wasn't reported until the 1930's when the Loch Ness craze began.

Sea Monsters (3:16) - David Gilmore and Richard Ellis talk about the history of the giant squid legend. Some drawings are video footage are shown.

Dragons (2:56) - Adrienne Mayor and Richard Ellis talk about the history of the dragon legend. Some drawings are shown and they talk about the folklore and some of the recent findings in China.

Thunderbirds (3:17) - Adrienne Mayor and David Gilmore talk about the history of the giant bird legend. They talk a little bit about pterodactyls and some of the sightings in recent years.

Final Comments: It was another great season of MonsterQuest. There were 6 more episodes this season compared with the first season. The Bigfoot stories are obviously the most popular, because they did 5 more that related to Bigfoot/Sasquatch this season. There was also an episode on the recent Hogzilla. Overall, there was a good mix of episodes this season. The only two that really didn't fit with the rest of the series were the ones on Ghosts and Vampires. Hopefully they will stick to cryptid creatures in future episodes. The special features are on this set are decent, but I would have liked to see them much more in-depth. They must have done some extensive interviews with the people involved, so I don't know why they didn't include more footage.

I was happy to read that MonsterQuest will be returning for a third season with 20 more episodes starting on Wednesday, February 4th, 2009, at 9PM EST/8PM CST on History. They will reportedly have episodes on the Loch Ness Monster, Ogopogo, Yeti and Alligators-in-the-Sewers. You can read more about Season Three and other cryptozoology news here.

-- Reviewed by Todd
(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
MonsterQuest Official Site
MonsterQuest TV.com Page
Cryptomundo.com - for Bigfoot, Loch Ness, and More

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Friday, January 16, 2009

TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour: ABC; TV Land Acquires AFI Life Achievement Awards

This is the final day of the TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour and ABC will get to close it off. In the morning after breakfast we had Disney Channel and Disney XD shows go up to the panel (Aaron Stone, Sonny with a Chance, and JONAS). The ABC executive session followed shortly after with ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson. We learned a lot of new things! Premiere dates for the midseason comedies however were still not announced but the cast of and crew of each had their own panels. If I were to guess, dates for the comedies will be final as soon as Fox announces it is moving American Idol Results to Wednesdays at 9 sometime in March. That would lead ABC to possibly air the comedies in the hour to avoid Idol. I'd guess Scrubs and The Goode Family would fit, though he said Goode might not launch until May now. They could strip Scrubs on two nights even rather than double-pumping on one night, pairing it on Tuesdays with Better Off Ted maybe or Samantha Who? Just my guesses. McPherson all but confirmed that In the Motherhood would air after Dancing with the Stars this spring. That series also has lined up the lucious Stacy Keibler to guest star! McPherson is frustrated by Samantha Who's ratings, as it hasn't retained as much of its Dancing with the Stars lead-in as he would like, but it is still a hilarious show. Personally, I think it is a better fit with Scrubs, something younger for it. Speaking of Scrubs, he says he has been very pleased with the ratings but it seems this will be its last season since Zach Braff is leaving and he can't imagine the show continuing without him. He also stressed he would like to go back to the comedies of the past such as Roseanne and Home Improvement style, so look for comedy in that vein next season. No word on when the final According to Jim episodes will air, as twelve are left. He still is saying never say never ending for this show. A joke I think. And finally as for the hoopla of ABC picking-up King of the Hill, McPherson says it isn't happening!
Other than that, we learned mainly about storyline questions for the hot ABC dramas, so I won't give that away since it could be spoilery for some. Let's just say, if you don't like the Denny-Izzie ghost storyline, keep watching...you have no idea what is happening. He did say he was very happy with Private Practice and the crossover episodes between that and Grey's Anatomy should be big. Still no idea when they are officially airing, but I have a hunch they start on Feb. 12 (or maybe March sweeps?). There are still no airdates for the final Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone episodes. There is a rumor saying June, though. McPherson says he loved all three and it is too bad Nielsen didn't either. He was also happy that Marc Cherry decided to extend Desperate Housewives beyond season seven. He was also happy with the Boston Legal finale and it ended their own way, while Dancing with the Stars was a blast, especially Cloris Leachman. The upcoming edition he says has a good core group. Can't wait until it is announced! And as Nina Tasler of CBS said, McPherson is pleased with what NBC did at 10pm. Less of a bidding war now.
After the executive session we had a panel for the upcoming single-camera sitcom Better Off Ted. Then it was time for lunch and a viewing session of Lost with a question & answer with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse! Probably the most anticipated session of all of TCA. The third episode of the season was screened for the press prior to the q&a, as the press has already saw the first two episodes (like me...it is great stuff!). After that, panels for many other upcoming spring series were up: The Unusals, Castle, In the Motherhood, The Goode Family, and Cupid. Launch dates for the new dramas The Unusuals, Castle, and Cupid were already announced from ABC early last month. To recap, The Unusuals will launch Wednesday, April 8 at 10pm following Lost. Castle will launch with Dancing with the Stars' new season on Monday, March 9 at 10pm, while Cupid will air Tuesdays at 10pm following Dance's results show.

The AFI Life Achievement Awards are moving from USA Network to TV Land starting this year. TV Land has signed a four-year deal to showcase the awards annually. The 37th Annual AFI Life Achievement Awards will be taped on Thursday, June 11, 2009 in Los Angeles and will honor Michael Douglas. The event will be telecast on TV Land PRIME about 6 weeks or so later on Sunday, July 19, 2009 in primetime.
USA Network has had the awards since 2002. Previously the awards were on broadcast television on CBS, NBC, and ABC. The AFI Life Achievement Award is the highest honor for a career in film.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour: NBC; Remembering Ricardo Montalban and Steven Gilborn

Today it is NBC's turn at the TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour. You know network TCA tours usually start in the morning (8 or 9am PT) and run through the evening with dinner/party, but as usual, the lately strange NBC has to mess with that. They are skipping the morning (no breakfast or lunch!) and starting at 2pm PT. Cost cutting NBC, indeed. Cheap...they will have a cocktail reception though tonight. Up first is the executive session. Among the items announced are: ER has been ordered for 3 more episodes, giving it a total of 23 episodes for its last season. The two-hour series finale will now be on Thursday, April 2 from 9-11pm instead of March 12. Earlier on that night, a one-hour retrospective will air from 8-9pm ET leading into the two-hour send-off. The following week, April 9, new police drama Southland takes over the ER slot now for 6 episodes. The series comes from ER showrunner John Wells. Previously NBC had slotted Kings to air after ER ends, but now Kings is going to be moved to Sundays at 8PM leading into Celebrity Apprentice starting March 15. On March 1, NBC will air a new special called SNL Short Films (wt) from 7-9pm leading into the Celebrity Apprentice premiere. The untitled Amy Poehler comedy will also launch April 9, airing at 8:30pm replacing Kath & Kim, which has been cut to only 17 episodes and likely will be done for good. New cooking reality series Chopping Block is the series that will air Wednesdays at 8pm starting March 11 (through April 29), following the conclusion of Knight Rider on Feb. 25. Celebrated chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White (UK's Hell's Kitchen) serves up in this new original cooking competition series, in which the British Michelin star chef offers 16 neophyte hopeful chefs/restaurateurs working in pairs a chance to compete in America's greatest restaurant challenge for their chance to open their own Manhattan restaurant. Howdie Do It will air Fridays at 8pm through March 27 now instead of Feb. 20. And a Kung Fu Panda special called Secrets of the Furious Five will air on Thursday, Feb. 26 in the 8pm half-hour.
NBC also announced that 30 Rock, The Office and The Biggest Loser are all safe for next season (2009-10).
Panels followed with the cast and crew of The Untitled Amy Poehler Comedy, MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, The Last Templar, Southland, and Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.
The Amy Poehler comedy stars Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones and comes from Greg Daniels and Michael Schur. The Last Templar is an NBC miniseries airing Jan. 25-26 starring Mira Sorvino, Scott Foley and Victor Garber and comes from Robert Halmi, Sr. And as mentioned above, Southland is the series from ER's John Wells that will air Thursdays at 10pm after ER ends April 2. Among the stars are Tom Everett Scott, Regina King, Ben McKenzie, and Kevin Alejandro. It will be a police show set in Los Angeles.

Today we will also remember two stars who have passed on...Ricardo Montalban and Steven Gilborn. Ricardo Montalban, the suave leading man who was one of the first Mexican-born actors to make it big in Hollywood and who was best known for his role as Mr. Roarke on ABC's Fantasy Island, has died. Montalban died Wednesday (Jan. 14) morning at his Los Angeles home of complications related to old age. Beginning in the mid-1950s, he made the first of many TV appearances. In addition to his role as Chief Satangkai in the 1978 ABC miniseries How the West Was Won, he appeared in the Dynasty spinoff The Colbys on ABC in the late 1980s. More recently, he did a voice on the Disney Channel's animated series Kim Possible. He has also appeared on an episode or two of Family Guy, The Brothers Garcia, The Golden Palace, Chicago Hope, Dream On, Murder She Wrote, Police Story, Hawaii Five-0, Here's Lucy, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and many more! He was also a fixture on the game show Win, Lose or Draw in the late '80s. But it was Fantasy Island that created his lasting image in front of the Hollywood cameras. Elegantly attired in a white suit and black tie, Montalban created such an iconic -- albeit somewhat kitschy -- figure that he often reprised the character insubsequent films and television shows.
While making Fantasy Island" Montalban also gave one of his best movie performances -- as Khan Noonian Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), a follow-up to a beloved 1967 Star Trek television episode, "Space Seed," that also featured Montalban. Among his other movie credits include Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, and Cannonball Run II.
So, Montalban will be deply missed and we will always remember him saying "Welcome to Fantasy Island." Mr. Montalban was 88.
We have also lost Steven Gilborn. Gilborn is a great character actor that has appeared on many sitcoms and TV series. He is best known for playing the father of Ellen DeGeneres' character on Ellen. He died of cancer in North Chatham, N.Y., on Jan. 2. Gilborn also played the math teacher on The Wonder Years and appeared on MANY sitcoms and TV shows including Rodney, According to Jim, Out of Practice, Complete Savages, 8 Simple Rules, Damages, The Bernie Mac Show, Still Standing, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Malcolm in the Middle, Two Guys and a Girl, NYPD Blue, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Get Real, Action, Maggie Winters, The West Wing, The Practice, Living Single, Boy Meets World, NewsRadio, Mad About You, ER, Empty Nest, Coach, Lois & Clark, Hearts Afire, Dream On, Blossom, Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Vegas, L.A. Law, The Torkelsons, The Golden Girls, Matlock, Knots Landing, Perfect Strangers, Who's the Boss?, Kate & Allie, Columbo and Law & Order. Since 1983 he has been on about everything as you can see. His film credits include Nurse Betty, Doctor Doolittle, The Brady Bunch Movie, The Night Shift and the TV movie The Dreamer of Oz. He has been on so many TV series and movies, that nearly everyone saw him in something at one point. He will be deeply missed. Mr. Gilborn was 72.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour: CBS; More Bush Speech Updates; DejaView in Canada Adds More Sitcoms

Today it is CBS's turn at the TCA Winter 2009 press tour. At the executive session, CBS chief Nina Tassler said an additional episode of The Mentalist could be ordered, and they are not going to move the show to Sundays at 10pm, despite it airing there this coming week after the AFC Championship Game. In other news, CBS has officially canceled last summer's Swingtown, which is not a surprise. CBS is moving forward with the NCIS spin-off and plans to do a backdoor pilot within NCIS this spring. CBS is also planning on a variety show or special starring musician John Mayer for this year. Fox is also developing a variety show hosted by the Osbourne family later this year.
After the executive session, panels for upcoming murder mystery drama Harper's Island and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson followed. CBS focused mainly on Showtime and other ventures after that. After the Showtime Executive Session, which we won't cover, Showtime's United States of Tara, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, The L Word, Tracy Ullman's State of the Union, The Tudors, and Nurse Jackie had panels. Wow, a lot...more than CBS itself.
There was also a presentation on TV.com, which is owned by CBS Interactive. CBS Interactive went you on a guided tour of the leading online destination for video and community, including a look at new and future developments for the site. Speaking of TV.com, be sure to check out their great videos! My personal favorite is their interview with CBS's Kaley Cuoco, who is quite frankly wearing something very stunning! They also have Full Episodes of TV series, so check it out!
Stay tuned tomorrow for NBC's portion of the TCA tour and ABC on Friday!

Yesterday we gave you updates on CBS and Fox's plan for Thursday, as President Bush will have his farewell address at 8pm ET for 15 minutes, messing up all the network's plans. ABC will have to preempt Ugly Betty as a result, just like Fox is doing with Bones. After the President's address, ABC will air a repeat of Scrubs at 8:15/7:15c, joined in progress, followed by another repeat of Scrubs at 8:30/7:30c. Both repeats will likely be repeats of last night's episodes. So, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice will still be all-new and air on time everywhere. I think ABC decided on this so they can have a 15 minute head start on CSI in the east and central, as CBS is delaying programming to those zones by 15 minutes. As for mountain and pacific time, ABC will air two repeats of Scrubs in their entirety. View the ABC schedule for Thursday in all time zones, if you're confused in what I'm saying. In other ABC schedule news, they will preempt Samantha Who? once again this coming Monday (Jan. 19). This is the second week in a row that will happen, as this past Monday (Jan. 12), the sitcom didn't air either. Why? Because The Bachelor is doing very well in its two-hours and is very compatible with new series True Beauty at 10pm. Honestly, I don't think Samantha Who? will return to 9:30pm on Mondays anytime son. I think either it will return when Dancing with the Stars returns in March OR it will be paired with Scrubs on Tuesdays starting next month. We'll keep you up to date. ABC is up at the TCA tour on Friday, and we should find out then maybe, along with ABC's other mid-season sitcom plans (In The Motherhood, The Goode Family, Better Off Ted).
As for NBC's Thursday plans, they will air a repeat of My Name is Earl after Bush's address at 8:15/7:15c, joined in progress. Then at 8:30pm, they will move the new My Name is Earl episode that was scheduled at 8pm ET/PT to 8:30pm, preempting Kath & Kim totally. As for mountain and pacific zones, you all will get the full repeat of Earl then the new one following it.

The Canada cable station DejaView, which features lots of classic TV, has changed their schedule a bit. Their last change was in the fall. They have added North of Sixty (Canadian series), One Day at a Time, Silver Spoons, Mad About You, but have also removed My Secret Identity, Maude, Charles in Charge, Facts of Life, Kate & Allie. The Canadian series North of Sixty airs weekdays at 7am, 10am, and 11pm, all replacing My Secret Identity. It also airs weekends at 6am and 11pm, replacing My Secret Identity. One Day at a Time airs now weekdays at 4pm, 9pm, and 3am, all replacing Good Times, which slides down a half-hour replacing Maude, so Maude is gone totally. The other new series have joined the weekend schedule with Silver Spoons airing back-to-back episodes at 10am and 4am, 10am hour replacing Charles in Charge and 4am hour replacing Facts of Life/Kate & Allie. Mad About You airs on weekends back-to-back at 1pm and 2am.
DejaView's key shows continues to be Three's Company, Cosby Show, All in the Family, Who's the Boss? and Roseanne.
View the full new DejaView winter 2009 schedule.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour: Fox - Prison Break Canceled; Bush Farewell Speech in Primetime on Thursday; Remembering Cheryl Holdridge

Fox is up today at the TCA winter 2009 press tour. They started with a Simpsons 20th anniversary themed breakfast! Big pink donuts! Cool! The Executive Session followed and we found out some stuff. The biggest news is that Fox's Prison Break is being canceled after this season. The series will come to an end and will likely have stories wrapped-up with a true finale. However, the series will be moved to the graveyard...airing Fridays at 8:00PM starting Friday, April 17, replacing the likely also canceled Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Six episodes are in the can to air for Prison, but Fox could shoot two more to wrap things up for good. Looks like no mention of a spin-off, too. Fox also has scheduled its Mitch Hurwitz animated comedy Sit Down, Shut Up on Sunday, April 19 at 8:30PM, replacing King of the Hill. It seems we have seen the last of King of the Hill, as Fox is labeling its last airing on Sunday, April 12 a "series finale," which is odd because many episodes still remain in the can despite Fox canceling the series a few months back. Could the series be moved to ABC after all? We shall see. Fox also has game show The Moment of Truth ready to go, but hasn't scheduled it. Perhaps it could air in the summer. And it seems it is true that sitcom 'Til Death has been renewed for NEXT season (2009-10) for another 22 episodes. Sony gave Fox a cheap deal they couldn't resist. Fox only has aired four episodes from this season's 24 episode order. Fox did air three leftovers from last season as well, so seven episodes in all have aired this year before Fox pulled the series in early October due to low ratings. My guess is the 20 that remain for this season will be burned off in the summer, as it seems Fox wouldn't waste their in-season schedule for this series again. This is clearly a financial deal, as the series would have enough episodes for syndication. In other news, medical procedual House will celebrate its 100th episode on Feb. 2. That was fast.
Panels for Lie to Me and 24 followed. The upcoming Sunday animated comedy Sit Down, Shut Up followed with a lunch presentation. After the lunch, panels for American Idol, Osbournes: Reloaded Variety Series, Dollhouse, FX's Rescue Me, House, and the upcoming musical drama Glee followed.
It is still early...we will have constant updates here, if anything major is announced. So keep checking back multiple times a day this whole week!

And in a scheduling note, President Bush is scheduled to have a 15 minute farewell speech in primetime on Thursday (Jan. 15) at 8PM ET. So because of this Fox will move the season premiere of Bones back a week to January 22 to 8PM and airing a second episode at 9PM. It is unclear still what will air following Bush's short speech this Thursday. However, Kitchen Nightmares will still air and be all-new this Thursday, but will be preempted next Thursday for Bones' two-hour stunt.
CBS will be on 15-minute delay for East/Central stations. So, a repeat of CSI will start at 8:15/7:15c, a new CSI won't start until 9:15/8:15c and Eleventh Hour won't start until 10:15/9:15c. In Mountain and Pacific time zones, the shows will air in their normal timeslots. As of this writing, the other networks have not announced what they will do yet. Keep checking back though.

Cheryl Holdridge, the beautiful blond actress who first gained fame as a Mouseketeer on TV's The Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s, has died. Holdridge died Tuesday (January 6) at her home in Santa Monica after a two-year battle with lung cancer. After The Mickey Mouse Club, the actress played Julie Foster, Wally's girlfriend, on Leave it to Beaver and guest starred on series such as The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Donna Reed Show, Dr. Kildare, The Rifleman, Bachelor Father, My Three Sons, Bewitched, Dennis the Menace, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Wagon Train, and reprised her role as Julie Foster on the '80s revival of Leave it to Beaver called Still the Beaver.
Cheryl hasn't acted much since the '60s, but will be remembered for her work on these '50s and '60s TV series from classic TV fans. She will be missed. She was only 64.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

TV Land Changes Late Afternoons; TCA Winter 2009 Tour: Cable; 66th Annual Golden Globe Winners

TV Land will be making last minute schedule changes beginning today. We relayed you these changes on our message board, but would like to make it more widespread here. TV Land will alter its late afternoon schedule beginning today at 4pm. Weekdays in the 4pm hour will now be Green Acres, as the series returns to weekdays. The Beverly Hillbillies returns to early evenings, airing in the 5pm hour, causing Hogan's Heroes to move into the 6pm hour, shifting the Andy Griffith two-hour block to 7-9pm rather than 6-8pm. The 8pm Andy hour replaces Cosby Show, but Cosby Show is still heavily featured in PRIME. Rural sitcoms now air weekdays 4pm-9pm and 60s shows in general from 1-9pm with Hillbillies (1-2pm) and westerns still on from 1-4pm. TV Land will also change their late night schedule a bit. Sanford & Son and The Jeffersons will each take an hour from 2-4am, replacing Three's Company. Three's Company will remain on Saturday nights from 2-4am. So now on weekdays, we get Paid Programming in early mornings from 6-9am, '70s sitcoms from 9am-12pm, lunch hour at home at noon with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, '60s TV from 1-9pm with westerns and sitcoms, TV Land PRIME from 9pm-2am, and '70s sitcoms from 2-4am.
We still have more changes, though! Monday nights now starting tonight will be Andy Griffith Show from 7pm-1am, while Tuesdays from 11pm-2am will be M*A*S*H/M*A*S*H specials. The Cosby Show will air in the 9pm hour, but on Tuesdays it will also air in the 10pm hour, which means Scrubs is totally off primetime now because of these Monday and Tuesday night changes. It wasn't airing Wed-Fri anyway. The final batch of changes are for Sundays, with the Beverly Hillbillies block being extended to 2pm, so 10am-2pm now rather than 10am-12pm. The Brady Bunch will air late Sundays now from 2am-4am instead of Beaver, which will remain 5-7pm earlier in the day.
Head on over to our TV Land January 2009 thread to see these changes, the rest of January info we announced, and to discuss this!

The Television Critics Association's (TCA) winter 2009 press tour began last week. We haven't covered it yet because the cable portion (Jan. 8-10) has been very stale and nothing really noteworthy has come out of it. Coming up tomorrow the broadcast networks begin their portion, with Fox on Tuesday, CBS on Wednesday, NBC on Thursday, and ABC on Friday. Here is a recap of cable:
Cable portion started midday on Thursday, Jan. 8, after PBS's 1 1/2 day tour. WE tv kicked off the cable portion with a lunch session. WE tv was followed by fellow Rainbow Networks AMC, IFC, and Sundance. Among the highlights were Breaking Bad launching its second season on AMC later this year. The National Geographic Channel closed out the day.
On day two (Friday), select MTV Networks are on hand: Nickelodeon, Spike TV, Comedy Central, LOGO and MTV. Among the highlights were Nickelodeon's upcoming CGI series Penguins of Madagascar, launching in March. A&E was next as it promoted The Beast, the new drama starring Patrick Swayze. He was not on hand, as you all know, as he was hospitalized for pneumonia. He is batling Pancreatic Cancer. His series launches this Thursday. Comcast's E! and style. followed, as E! announced Keeping Up with the Kardashians returns in March. HBO followed with many new series and movies announcements, along with returning series announcements such as for In Treatment. Discovery Networks closed out the day as Discovery Channel, TLC, and Animal Planet relayed their upcoming programming.
Finally on Saturday, we had BET, BBC America, Starz, Travel Channel, and Current. This was a total bore with nothing really noteworthy, and many cable networks were not here including TV Land, Nick at Nite, Lifetime, Hallmark, ABC Family, and more. No wonder it wasn't exciting!
Stay tuned this week for updates from the broadcast portion...which will be much better.

The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards were last night. For the television portion, cable ruled big time in drama as HBO won nearly everything. AMC won one award. 30 Rock was the only show that won for broadcast and swept comedy. Here are the television winners:

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
30 Rock (NBC)
Californication (Showtime)
Entourage (HBO)
The Office (NBC)
Weeds (Showtime)
WINNER: 30 Rock (NBC)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who? (ABC)
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty (ABC)
Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)
Debra Messing, The Starter Wife (USA Network)
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds (Showtime)
WINNER: Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)
Steve Carell, The Office (NBC)
David Duchovny, Californication (Showtime)
Kevin Connolly, Entourage (HBO)
Tony Shalhoub, Monk (USA Network)
WINNER: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Dexter (Showtime)
House (Fox)
In Treatment, (HBO)
Mad Men (AMC)
True Blood (HBO)
WINNER: Mad Men (AMC)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
January Jones, Mad Men (AMC)
Anna Paquin, True Blood (HBO)
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer (TNT)
WINNER: Anna Paquin, True Blood (HBO)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Michael C. Hall, Dexter (Showtime)
Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC)
Hugh Laurie, House (Fox)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, The Tudors (Showtime)
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment (HBO)
WINNER: Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment (HBO)

View the FULL list of television nominees and winners...and to discuss this.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Week 16 (First Four Nights) Numbers; How the Sitcoms Did

Week 16 numbers (first three nights final averages, Mon-Wed):
NOTE: We don't have final network averages for Thursday, so we cannot give you first four nights, but we do have first three. Final program ratings for Thursday are available in our analysis/how the sitcoms did, though.

Households: CBS: 7.4/11.6; Fox: 6.3/9.7; NBC: 5.7/9.0; ABC: 5.2/8.1; The CW: 1.5/2.3; MNT: 0.8/1.2.
Total Viewers: CBS: 11.76 million; Fox: 10.18 million; NBC: 9.2 million; ABC: 7.94 million; The CW: 2.26 million; MNT: 1.28 million.
Adults 18-49: Fox: 3.4/8.9; NBC: 3.0/7.8; CBS: 3.0/7.6; ABC: 2.7/6.9; The CW: 1.1/2.7; MNT: 0.4/1.1.

Analysis: We're back after the last two weeks off with our weekly report! Week 16 so far has seen regular programming return for the most part, but football--both pro and college, has dominated. We don't have final network averages through Thursday, but final ratings through Wednesday is above. Through the first four days I can project, Fox has the lead in all categories thanks to a huge BCS Championship Game on Thursday night, with CBS second, ABC third, and NBC fourth through the first four days.
Last week, NBC won a slow week 15 in HH, viewers, and 18-49, thanks to a huge NFL Playoff game on Saturday night that did over 27 million. CBS and Fox was battling for second, with CBS second in HH, while Fox was second in viewers/18-49. ABC was fourth in HH/viewers, but third in 18-49, leaving CBS in fourth.
Monday CBS was in repeats, as Fox aired a BCS football game and won the night. Fox aired the Fiesta Bowl between Texas and Ohio State and did a nice 17.06 million, as Fox averaged 16.31 million in primetime. CBS was in repeats and started with repeats of their comedies then ended with a repeat of CSI: Miami. The Big Bang Theory did 8.5million, not bad for a repeat. A repeat of How I Met Your Mother followed with 7.23 million, but a drop from the lead-in. #1 sitcom Two and a Half Men followed with a below normal 11.56 million for a repeat showing, while a Worst Week repeat did just 7.04 million. At 10pm a repeat of CSI: Miami did 10.4 million, seems a bit below repeat levels. ABC was next (but was second for the night in 18-49), with the season premiere of The Bachelor with a solid 8.74 million followed by the series premiere of True Beauty at 7.61 million, but it built from the lead-in in 18-49. Good start. NBC was next with the second night of the two-night, two-hour premiere of Superstars of Dance at 9.67 million, down a bit from previous night...but better than the normal Chuck and Heroes. Reality dud Momma's Boys was next at just 5.32 million, but still better than what NBC was doing here in the fall. The CW was next with the return of Gossip Girl doing 2.96 million and a new One Tree Hill did 2.66 million. Gossip Girl lost head-to-head with ABC Family's Secret Life of the American Teenager, as that did 4.44 million...ouch for The CW.
Tuesday CBS was all-new and won the night despite skewing old. CBS's NCIS started the night off with 19.1 million for a new episode. New drama The Mentalist followed with 19.62 million yet another series high. A new episode of Without a Trace did 13.13 million, down a lot from its previous new episode three weeks ago. NBC was next with the season premiere The Biggest Loser at 11.92 million, up from the last cycle's finale a bit and that was three weeks ago...how can this show come with a new season after just three weeks? NBC followed at 10pm with Law & Order: SVU at 10.82 million...solid, but should be better. ABC was 3rd on this night, the premiere of Homeland Security USA did 7.77 million, but skewed a bit older than thought. The ABC premiere of Scrubs followed with nice showings of 6.74 million and 6.61 million, up from its numbers from NBC last year. What was more impressive was it skewed very young, with 80% of its audience in 18-49 for the hour. Scrubs lead into the season premiere of the addicting hidden-camera series Primetime: What Would You Do at 10pm doing a solid 7.02 million, and skewing very young as well, in fact it tied CBS for the hour in 18-49 despite CBS doubling it in viewers. Fox was next with a repeat of House at 5.51 million and a repeat of Fringe with 3.64 million. The CW aired new 90210 and did 2.8 million, really should be doing better than this, and a new episode of Privileged only did 1.67 million, as this series is in danger of coming back next year.
Wednesday saw CBS and ABC battle. CBS started with sitcoms, but repeats of Old Christine did a decent 7.89 million and a repeat of Gary Unmarried did 7.13 million, though it didn't build from the lead-in like it usually does. Criminal Minds and CSI: NY were preempted, so CBS lost big ratings, but did OK with the 35th Annual People's Choice Awards at 9.41 million. ABC was next but it started off slow with two Scrubs repeats from the previous night doing 4.53 and 4.29 million, yet, still on par really with Pushing Daisies' latest airings. A Special Edition of 20/20 - Vanished: Missing in Milwaukee was next and did a solid 7.95 million, that really was an interesting special. ABC saw big ratings for Barbara Walters Special: Patrick Swayze - The Truth doing 12.55 million, but skewed older than thought. NBC opened the night with the dud Knight Rider doing only 5.74 million, yet it seems like it went up, a repeat of Law & Order: SVU did a solid 7.47 million much better than the usual Life episode. Law & Order followed at 10pm doing 10.26 million, better than usual...notice this show is one of those shows that is not a priority for viewers, because it only goes up when CSI: NY is not on. Without a Trace is another example of a show that is not a priority anymore. Fox was next with two Bones repeats at an OK 6.64 and 6.52 million. Fox can live with repeats on Tuesday and Wednesday this week thanks to two college football games and the huge NFL playoff game on Saturday night. The CW premiered new series 13: Fear is Real at just 2.4 million, wonder how it will do against Idol next week? A repeat of 90210 followed with 1.05 million.
Thursday saw Fox dominate with the BCS National Championship Game. The game did 26.78 million as Florida beat Oklahoma State. ABC was next with all-new episodes! An all-new Ugly Betty did 7.54 million, down from usual but not too bad airing against the BCS game, a new Grey's Anatomy was next and did 13.87 million, also slightly off from usual, followed by the Thursday premiere of Private Practice doing a solid 8.98 million at 10pm. CBS opened with a repeat of CSI: NY and did 8.57 million, not too bad, a repeat of CSI did a solid 11.0 million, and a repeat of Eleventh Hour followed with 7.65 million, a bit concerning as retention was not as good usual. NBC was fourth and they were primarily all-new. A new My Name is Earl did just 5.61 million, followed by a new Kath & Kim at just 4.13 million, a repeat of The Office did 4.67 million, followed by a new 30 Rock at 5.37 million. ER was next and all-new with 7.34 million, not too good. Smallville repeat on The CW did 2.24 million followed by a Supernatural repeat at 1.89 million.
Now, as usual final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with new episodes of Ghost Whisperer at 8, season premiere of Flashpoint, and a new NUMB3RS at 10pm. NBC saw OK numbers for the premiere of Howdie Do It at 8pm while 20/20 on ABC did good at 10pm.
Saturday was big because of the NFL. Fox won the night easily as the game between the Cardinals/Panthers scored big, as the Cardinals upset the Panthers to head to the NFC Championship Game next Sunday at 3pm.
Tonight the big four will all have something to tout about likely. CBS will have an overrun of the NFL playoff game spilling into primetime to boost their 8-11pm shows. NBC has the Golden Globes, which I don't think people will care too much to watch. Fox has the return of 24, but Fox doesn't have the luxury of an NFL lead-in. And ABC's outstanding regular Sunday line-up is all-new with AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters. The countdown is on for the Housewives' 100th episode next Sunday!
As for the week, Fox will easily win the week in HH, viewers and 18-49. Why wouldn't they? They had huge football games and didn't need any scripted (besides tonight) or even unscripted new programming. CBS will finish second, ABC should be third but NBC is in contention also, it depends on the Globes tonight. What to look for this week...oh god American Idol returns. Don't watch this year please, I beg you!

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of Dec. 29-Jan. 4)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) - preempted.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - preempted.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - preempted.
  • American Dad (Fox) - preempted.

Monday Sitcoms

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 8.5 million for a repeat. So good!
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 7.23 million for a repeat...not bad, but doesn't repeat as well as its lead-in does.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 11.56 million for a repeat...yet still the #1 sitcom airing of the week.
  • Worst Week (CBS) - 7.04 million only for a repeat. The show will likely be gone for good after Feb. 9...sad, though.

Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Scrubs (ABC) 2 episodes - 6.74 million and 6.61 million for the first two episodes on ABC, while that doesn't sound like much...it is an improvement from what it did on NBC the last few years. Also, the show did very well in 18-49, doing a 3.1 and a 3.2 rating.
Wednesday Sitcoms

  • Old Christine (CBS) - 7.89 million for a repeat...not bad.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - 7.13 million for a repeat...strange it didn't build from the lead-in like it normally was doing.
  • Scrubs (ABC) - Two special encores from previous night did an OK 4.53 and 4.29 million.
  • Under One Roof (MNT) - Only 740,000 viewers for its return. Why is this airing against House of Payne on TBS? That show does like 4 million every week on cable.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - A new episode only mustered 5.61 million...but still highest NBC sitcom of the night.
  • Kath & Kim (NBC) - 4.13 million for a new episode...ouch. Get rid of it!
  • The Office (NBC) - 4.67 million for a repeat...the only repeat of the bunch.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - A new episode only did 5.37 million as the show got hurt with no Office as a new episode. Back to the old days of bad ratings again!

Friday Sitcoms

  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - 1.41 prelim million for a new episode...should be better.
  • The Game (The CW) - 1.39 prelim million for a new episode. This show would be better say on Wednesdays instead.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are repeat of Fox's animated comedies from 7-8 only.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and Scrubs were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as repeats of Old Christine, Gary Unmarried) or just plain old terrible (such as Kath & Kim, Under One Roof).

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blog DVD Review: Alvin and the Chipmunks - The Chipettes (1/13)

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the weekly Blog DVD Reviews. This week we take a look at Paramount Home Entertainment's Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Chipettes. This set features 6 episodes from the Alvin and the Chipmunks original series from 1983-87 and all the episodes have the Chipettes, the female version of the Chipmunks! See my Blog DVD Reviews of Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Chipettes:

Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Chipettes (Paramount, $16.99) brings the six best episodes from the original 1983-87 series featuring the Chipmunks' female counterpart, The Chipettes! This is the second set that we get the actual original series on DVD, so fans will be very happy once again. Rejoin Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor as they join their friends and love interests Alvin, Simon & Theodore!
We have had many Chipmunk sets, some even re-released. Basically, we have had Chipmunks Go To The Movies sets (which featured episodes like "Daytona Jones and the Pearl of Wisdom," "Robomunk," "Star Wreck," "Batmunk," and "Funny...We Shrunk the Adults"). We have also had holiday themed sets such as Valentine's, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials releases. Paramount has also released the Chipmunk Adventure feature film from 1987. And my personal favorite was the Alvinnn! Edition, which was the first set to have episodes from the original 1983-87 series. 14 of them!
This set has six more episodes from the original 1983-87 series. The original 1983-87 series had two 11-minute episodes or so in a half-hour. So as with the Alvinnn edition, we don't get the actual "full episodes," but one 11-12 minute episode from a full episode...and we get 6 of those mini-episodes. The episodes run around 12 minutes (lowest is 11:30, highest is 12:05) counting the opening theme, and all of the episodes have the catchy opening theme! On the Alvinnn edition we didn't get the episode title card screen after the opening credits, on this set...we do and on all six, too! Unfortunately, there are no closing credits for the six episodes. Weird. Each episode has 3 chapter stops on this set. Episodes on this set are: "May the Best Chipmunk Win," "Operation Theodore," "Sisters," "The Greatest Show-Offs on Earth," "My Fair Chipette," and "Tell it to the Judge." These are six very good ones and you get to see some good songs sung by the Chipettes! Isn't it fun watching the Chipettes working at the hospital in "Operation Theodore?"
Packaging is simple and in the same line as the previous sets--a nice simple case with the discs inside, but this time there is NO insert for Chipmunks.com, odd. Cover art featuretes the Chipettes obviously, with them around lockers with pictures of Alvin, Simon, & Theodore stuck to a locker door. Back of the case we have info on the set and the Chipettes, with another shot of the Chipettes at their lockers, and a poster stuck on to one locker saying Alvin for President. There is also a locker on the left side, which is Brittany's locker, listing the episodes on this set, a poster for Brittany for President, and two screenshots. Disc art has the same artwork as the cover art. All the artwork seems to be from the post-1987 version, and not the original series artwork for some reason. This is been the case for all the sets it seems. Oh well.
The menu screen has the same artwork has the packaging's back side, which I mentioned above. Options are Play All, Episode Selection and Previews. This is an improvement because usually the episodes are listed on the main menu. An auto-trailer for Alvin sets come before the main menu starts and also the same trailer can be found in the Previews option on the main menu. At least we don't get any other trailers. The Episode Selection menu is neat. The episode titles are listed on the locker doors. Simple yet effective.
The video and audio are OK at best, some episodes look good (not great though), some don't. They are certainly not remastered or anything, like I have mentioned before. They are watchable, though. So it is worth the buy, especially since this series is not on television anymore. The copies are a bit better than VHS that you may have recorded from the original run or 90s syndication.
I highly do recommend any fan to pick up this set. We are now getting episodes of the classic series from 1983-87, as this is the second set to feature them. Those are the best and most memorable episodes. I just wish they start giving us season sets. It isn't that hard, is it? They obviously have the rights to the original episodes. Though I hope when and if they make season sets, they remaster and clean up the episodes a bit for the fans. I really want a complete first season or at least break them up into half seasons and release them. I want to see "The C Team" episode on DVD! Mr. T in animation! Anyway, if you haven't gotten any of these Chipmunk sets yet, this is a good start, along with the Alvinnn Edition we mentioned before. Why? Because both sets are classic Alvin! Alvinnnnnnnnnnnnnn!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Friday, January 09, 2009

2009 Sitcoms on DVD Preview

Welcome to our 4th Annual Sitcoms on DVD Preview and Predictions Issue! First, we will look at some of the releases that have been officially announced or rumored to be coming to DVD in 2009. Then we will offer some of our own predictions of some new and returning sitcoms that we feel have some chance to be released later this year.

Making their debut on DVD in 2009 will be Blossom, California Dreams, Hope & Faith, Malcolm & Eddie, Mr. Belvedere, My Two Dads, My Wife and Kids and Rhoda. Hopefully we will have news on many more in the upcoming months.

Returning favorites that have been announced include Barney Miller, Becker, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched Caroline in the City, Cheers, Dave's World, The Donna Reed Show, Family Ties, Girlfriends, House of Payne, Just Shoot Me, The Love Boat, Married with Children, My Three Sons, The Nanny, Night Court, The Partridge Family, Reba, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Spin City and 'Til Death.

The links below go to Amazon.com where you can pre-order these titles at up to 30% off their list price. We are an affiliate of Amazon.com and receive a commission for each sale. Please consider ordering through our links. Thanks for your support!


January 2009:

Tyler Perry's House of Payne - Volume Three

01/13 - Tyler Perry's House of Payne - Volume Three

Tyler Perry's award-winning television show - Tyler Perry's House of Payne - returns to DVD with 20 more hilarious episodes about a multi-generational family forced to all coexist under one roof. Currently the #1 cable sitcom on television, the show premiered on TBS in June 2007 as the highest-rated ad-supported cable sitcom telecast of all time, received an unprecedented 100 episode pick-up by the network and won the Image Award for Best Comedy Series, Best Actor (LaVan Davis) and Best Supporting Actor (Lance Gross). The 3-disc DVD set contains a host of bonus features including a character profile, bloopers and the featurette "Everyone Loves a Player." Tyler Perry's House of Payne: Volume Three will be available day and date with the DVD releases of Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys and Tyler Perry's The Marriage Counselor: The Play.

Reba - Season 5

01/13 - Reba - Season Five

Reba is back, and the Hart household is crazier than ever! Country music superstar and Grammy® winner Reba McEntire returns as the feisty-yet-frazzled head of the uproariously unpredictable Hart family when Reba - Season Five debuts on DVD January 13th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Returning with her hilarious "down-home" antics, McEntire stars as a single suburban mom trying to juggle her career, family and relationships with pizzazz - but this time around, everyone has issues! While Cheyenne and Van struggle to save their rocky marriage, Brock is in danger of losing his home, and Barbara Jean is simply driving the rest of the family insane! And still, with a little tough love and a whole lot of determination, Reba manages to keep her extended brood together, proving that she really is a survivor in the hilariously heartfelt Season Five of Reba.

'Til Death - The Complete Second Season

01/13 - 'Til Death - The Complete Second Season

The brash comedy series, 'Til Death: The Complete Second Season comes to DVD January 13 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The FOX series stars three-time Emmy winner Brad Garrett (Ratatouille, TV's Everybody Loves Raymond), Golden Globe® nominee Joely Fisher (TV's Desperate Housewives, Ellen), Kat Foster (TV's The Book of Daniel), and Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie trilogy). Also, J.B. Smoove (TV's Curb Your Enthusiasm, Saturday Night Live) joins the cast this season as Kenny, a helpless divorcee. The two-disc DVD set contains all 18 episodes produced for the second season and exclusive bonus materials including a blooper reel and a Pre-Show Antics with Brad Garrett featurette packed with behind-the-scenes laughs. 'Til Death: The Complete Second Season will be available for $29.95 SRP.

My Three Sons - The First Season - Volume Two

01/20 - My Three Sons - The First Season - Volume Two

Welcome back to Bryant Park, as the Douglas clan returns for more fun and laughter in My Three Sons: The First Season - Volume Two. Fred MacMurray stars as widower Steve Douglas, a pipe-smoking suburbanite who brings up three growing boys with a little help from their grandpa (William Frawley) and family dog Tramp. Smart, funny and extremely well-written, this hilarious 18-episode collection not only features the rarely-seen first season adventures of Mike (Tim Considine), Robbie (Don Grady), and Chip (Stanley Livingston), but a heaping helping of the fatherly advice that made Steve Douglas one of TV Guide's "Top Ten Greatest Dads" of all time!

Blossom - Seasons 1 & 2

01/27 - Blossom - Seasons 1 & 2

America's beloved quirky duckling was Blossom Russo, a smart and perky young girl with an endless array of funky fashion sense; and who in the world could forget her floppy flowered hats! Blossom, her best friend named Six, dim-witted brother Joey and her family were introduced with Blossom, the enormously popular sitcom starring Mayim Bialik (Beaches, Curb Your Enthusiasm), Jenna von Oÿ (The Parkers), Ted Wass (Soap), Michael Stoyanov, Barnard Hughes, and Joey Lawrence in the role that made him an international teen heartthrob.

Marking 18 years after Blossom's initial premiere on network television, Shout! Factory will release the long-awaited Blossom: Seasons One and Two on January 27, 2009. The 6-DVD collector's set contains all 37 memorable episodes from the first two seasons and exclusive bonus content with all-new interviews and commentaries by Mayim Bialik, Jenna von Oÿ, Joey Lawrence, Ted Wass and the creative team, The original Blossom TV pilot, A Very Special Show, A Very Special Style, and much more! Available for the first time, Blossom: Seasons One and Two, two seasons of this Emmy®-nominated series in one very special deluxe box set, is priced to own at $49.99.

Read our review of Blossom - Seasons 1 & 2

Cheers - The Eleventh Season

01/27 - Cheers - The Eleventh Season

It's the cozy little bar where everybody knows your name... raise a glass to Cheers - the Emmy award-winning smash-hit television series that kept the laughs uncorked for 11 seasons. In Cheers - The Final (Eleventh) Season, it's finally last call, as the milestone comedy ends its historic run with Sam (Ted Danson) rebuilding the bar after Rebecca (Kirstie Alley) sets it on fire. Meanwhile, Norm (George Wendt) gets audited, Cliff (John Ratzenberger) gets promoted, and Lillith (Bebe Neuwirth) leaves Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) in order to live in a biosphere. And as Woody (Woody Harrelson) runs for city council and Carla (Rhea Perlman) sees her daughter get married, Sam invites Diane Chambers back to Boston, then pretends he's married to Rebecca! The uproarious sitcom goes out with a bang, with a 28-episode set. A toast to Cheers... and many happy returns!

The Love Boat - Season Two - Volume One

01/27 - The Love Boat - Season Two - Volume One

Set sail again for love and adventure with Volume One of the Second Season of The Love Boat. Join Captain Stubing (Gavin MacLeod), Doc (Bernie Kopell), Gopher (Fred Grandy), Isaac the Bartender (Ted Lange), Julie your Cruise Director (Lauren Tewes) and a cast of wacky and memorable guest stars that will keep you rolling with laughter for hours. Take your seat at the Captain's table and escape reality with this 4-disc set, complete with the first 13 romantic and campy episodes that are sure to keep you in stitches as you hit the high seas for a tidal wave of laughter.



February 2009:

Becker - The Second Season

02/03 - Becker - The Second Season

Just what the doctor ordered - television's angriest physician is back on DVD! Fans love Ted Danson (TV's Cheers) as Becker, the Bronx doctor whose ranting and raving drives his friends and co-workers nuts! This season, when John Becker goes to the rescue of his blind friend Jake (Alex Désert) he gets shot, but meets an attractive doctor while recuperating. And as diner owner Reggie (Terry Farrell) goes back to college, office manager Margaret (Hattie Winston) is flabbergasted when wacky employer Linda (Shawnee Smith) takes in the diner's most annoying customer. This 3-disc set contains all 24 Season Two episodes of the smart and funny series Becker, on DVD for the very first time. But don't let Dr. Becker get started. He'll end up telling you where it hurts!

Bewitched - The Complete Seventh Season

02/03 - Bewitched - The Complete Seventh Season

Everyone's favorite witch returns when Sony Pictures Home Entertainment debuts Bewitched: The Complete Seventh Season on DVD February 3. The Emmy-nominated seventh season stars Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick Sargent and Agnes Moorehead. Guest stars this season include Golden Globe®-nominee Cesar Romero (TV's Batman, If a Man Answers), Golden Globe®-winner Vic Trayback (TV's Alice), Emmy Award®-winner Imogene Coca (National Lampoon's Vacation, TV's Your Show of Shows), Emmy Award®-nominee Alice Ghostley (TV's Designing Women), Bernard Fox and Emmy Award®-nominee Paul Lynde (TV's The Hollywood Squares). The DVD includes all 28 episodes in a four-disc boxed set and will be available for $39.95 SRP.

Dave's World - The Second Season

02/03 - Dave's World - The Second Season

Write on! Harry Anderson is back for a hilarious second season of Dave's World, the comedy series based on the writings of Pulitizer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry. From fricasseed pet rabbits and bachelor auctions to randy mothers-in-law and tree house voyeurs, Miami newspaper columnist Dave Barry (Anderson) is never lacking for material, thanks to the zany antics of his wife (DeLane Matthews), children (Zane Carney and Andrew Ducote) and wacky best friends (Shadoe Stevens and Meschach Taylor). Featuring 25 episodes jam-packed with laughter, great guest stars, charm and wit, Dave's World: The Second Season is an uproarious 3-disc DVD collection no Dave Barry fan can afford to miss!

Night Court - The Complete Second Season

02/03 - Night Court - The Complete Second Season

Your court date has been set for February 3, 2009, the day Warner Home Video (WHV) releases the second season of the hilarious 80's classic comedy Night Court on DVD. The magic trick performing, Mel Torme-loving Judge Harry T. Stone (Harry Anderson) is ready to preside over another season full of crazy cases and off-the-wall defendants along with the help of his equally wacky staff. Titled Night Court: The Complete Second Season, this three-disc collector's set will include all 22 episodes from the series' sophomore season. This release will retail for $29.98 SRP.

Judge Stone and his motley crew of courtroom characters, including the unscrupulous and sexually charged district attorney Dan Fielding (John Larroquette), bailiff "Bull" Shannon (Richard Moll) and fellow bailiff Selma (Selma Diamond), return for a rollicking second season of dispensing justice to the assorted nuts of night court. Joining them in the courtroom this year are "Noo Yawk" savvy defender Billie Young (Ellen Foley) and Vietnam vet Mac Robinson (Charles Robinson), the court clerk. Cases on the docket for Season Two include an invisible man, a mogul madman, a lovelorn nun, hookers, pickpockets, flashers, wackos, weirdos, gonzos and great guest stars including Michael Richards, Stella Stevens, Jack Gilford, John Astin, Lou Ferrigno and as substitute defender Christine Sullivan, played by Markie Post, who will become a full-time cast member in the show's third season.

The Partridge Family - The Complete Fourth Season

02/03 - The Partridge Family - The Complete Fourth Season

The grooviest rock n' roll family ever takes their final bow when Sony Pictures Home Entertainment debuts The Partridge Family: The Complete Fourth Season on DVD February 3. Top guest stars this season include Gordon Jump (TV's WKRP in Cincinnati), Cheryl Ladd (TV's Charlie's Angels), Emmy® Award winner Pat Harrington, Jr. (TV's One Day at a Time), and Jackie Coogan (TV's The Adams Family). The three-disc set contains all 22 episodes from the fourth season and will be available for $29.95 SRP.

Life with Derek - Let the Games Begin!

02/10 - Life with Derek - Let the Games Begin!

Includes Four Hilarious, Fun-Filled Episodes of the Hit Series as seen on the Disney Channel Plus the DVD Exclusive "House of Games" Interactive Challenge and a "Life With Derek" Locker Poster! Derek (Michael Seater) and Casey (Ashley Leggat) are two 15-year-olds who are used to being in charge. That is, until their parents get married and the two end up living under the same roof along with their younger siblings Lizzie (Jordan Todosey), Edwin (Daniel Magder) and Marti (Ariel Waller). Who will win as Derek and Casey battle for control of their house, their school and their world? Let the games begin!

Wizards of Waverly Place - Supernaturally Stylin'

02/10 - Wizards of Waverly Place - Supernaturally Stylin'

iscover why Wizards of Waverly Place is charming fans everywhere! Enjoy hilarious episodes from the smash-hit Disney Channel Original Series and join stars Selena Gomez and the cast for an exclusive look at their personal styles plus visit the show s fabulous costume closets! Wizards-in-training Alex Russo (Gomez) and her brothers Justin and Max are having an awesome time experimenting with their supernatural powers but they still have a lot to learn! You ll be spellbound as they stir up outrageously funny situations such as using the Freeze Frame spell so Alex can make her mark in the fashion industry; figuring out the quirky side effects of Wizard Wear; and saving Justin when he falls into puppy love and turns into a werewolf! As these cool kids juggle their ordinary lives with their extraordinary powers, it s a sure thing there will be more magic and mayhem brewing with the Wizards of Waverly Place!

The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Third Season

02/17 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Third Season

Jed (Buddy Ebsen), a poor Ozarks mountaineer, is out hunting when he accidentally discovers an oil gusher on his property. Suddenly stinking rich, he packs up his family and moves to Beverly Hills. Now, living high on the hog in a mansion with a genuine "cement pond," Granny (Irene Ryan) is determined to get beautiful Elly May (Donna Douglas) married off to a suitable beau while Jed does his best to steer his nethew Jethro (Max Baer, Jr.) with his sixth grade "ed-a-ma-ca-tion," toward solid career opportunites. The official third season makes its DVD debut in this 5-disc set that's loaded with all 34 laugh-out-loud episodes of the legendary series!

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Fifth Season

02/17 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Fifth Season

Melissa Joan Hart is back as Sabrina Spellman, television's most popular teen witch! This season, Sabrina's enrolled in college in Boston, where she discovers just how hard it is juggling school, romance, and three new roommates: straight-talking Roxie (Soleil Moon Frye, TV's Punky Brewster), resident advisor Morgan (Elisa Donovan), and science geek Miles (Trevor Lissauer). Still working at the coffeehouse with her secret crush Josh (David Lashcer), Sabrina is surprised when Aunt Hilda (Caroline Rhea), decides to buy the popular establishment. And since Aunt Zelda (Beth Broderick) now teaches at Sabrina's college, talking cat Salem (voiced by Nick Bakay) is able to conjure up even more outrageous schemes! Included on 3 discs are all 22 digitally remastered episodes of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Fifth Season.

Futurama - Into the Wild Green Yonder

02/24 - Futurama - Into the Wild Green Yonder (Blu-ray

Off we go, into the wild green yonder! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents the fourth and final feature-length epic of the animated sci-fi comedy Futurama when Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder arrives on DVD and Blu-ray February 24. Joining the saga this time as guest stars are illusionist Penn Jillette, hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg, talk radio superstar Phil Hendrie, and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. In addition, fans of the series will be thrilled and relieved to finally discover the truth about "Number 9 Man," a deeply mysterious character from the earliest days of the series.

Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder is jam-packed with bonus features, including audio commentary from Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, writers and animators, a making-of mockumentary, deleted scenes, How to Draw Futurama, "Bender's Movie Theater Etiquette," "Zapp Brannigan's Guide to Making Love at a Woman" and much more. The Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $29.98 U.S. / $37.98 Canada and on Blu-ray for $39.98 U.S. / $49.98 Canada.

Girlfriends - The Sixth Season

02/24 - Girlfriends - The Sixth Season

Life, love and comedy collide again for the sexiest and most sophisticated girlfriends in L.A. in Girlfriends: The Sixth Season on DVD. Experience all 21 fabulous episodes in a special 3-disc set. Executive Produced by Kelsey Grammer (Cheers, Frasier) and created by Mara Brock Akil, the hilarious sixth season sees the girlfriends on the verge of losing a dream, losing their patience, and, for one, possibly losing her child. And only with laughter, strength, and friendship will they find their way to keep what's theirs and help each other smile through it all.

Just Shoot Me - The Complete Third Season

02/24 - Just Shoot Me - The Complete Third Season

Just Shoot Me: The Complete Third Season makes its fashionable return to DVD February 24 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The Emmy® Award and Golden Globe® nominated NBC series, with its always on-target, sometimes off-beat humor, features a top-notch ensemble cast lead by Golden Globe®-nominee David Spade (TV's Rules of Engagement), Golden Globe®-nominee Laura San Giacomo (Pretty Woman), Academy Award®-nominee George Segal (1966, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), Emmy® Award-nominee Wendi Malick (TV's Dream On) and Enrico Colantoni (TV's Veronica Mars). The three-disc set which contains all 25 episodes of the third season will be available for $39.95 SRP.

My Wife and Kids - Season 1

02/24 - My Wife and Kids - Season 1

The 2001-2005 ABC sitcom makes its debut on DVD. Michael Kyle (Damon Wayans) longs for a traditional life, but his day trader wife Janet (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and three brooding children make his dream just that - a dream. Watch how it all began with the complete first season. With Wayans at the helm, this is no ordinary family comedy. My Wife and Kids was a mid-season replacement in 2001. The 13 episodes will run 264 minutes. Special features are still being finalized.



March 2008:

My Two Dads - Season One

03/03 - My Two Dads - Season One

The 1987-1990 NBC sitcom makes its debut on DVD. The series starred Paul Reiser, Greg Evigan, Staci Keanan, Florence Stanley, Dick Butkus and Vonni (Giovanni) Ribisi. All 22 episodes from the first season will be included on this 4-disc set, which runs 495 minutes. Special features are are still being finalized.

Caroline in the City - The Second Season

03/10 - Caroline in the City - The Second Season

Art continues to imitate life as Caroline in the City returns for its second uproarious season. It's been three months since Caroline (Lea Thompson) called off her wedding, but America's favorite cartoonist hasn't changed a bit as she continues to look for love in all the wrong places while meddling in the lives of her very best friends. Co-starring Malcolm Gets as her sharp-tongued assistant Richard, Eric Lutes as hunky ex-boyfriend Del and Amy Pietz as her wisecracking pal Annie, Caroline in the City: The Second Season is a tasty 25-episode collection flavored with wit, laughter and a dashof romance.

Family Ties - The Fifth Season

03/10 - Family Ties - The Fifth Season

In Family Ties: The Fifth Season, Steven (Michael Gross) and Elyse Keaton (Meredith Baxter Birney) still emobdy the spirit of the 1960s, while supporting their kids - Alex (Emmy winner Michael J. Fox), Mallory (Justine Bateman), Jennifer (Tina Yothers) and young son Andrew (Brian Bonsall) - in the more conservative 1980s. This season, the Keaton parents have learned to accept their older children, but find it hard to accept the fact that they are practically grown up, with lives of their own: Alex is a junior in college and has a bank job; Jennifer fronts an all-girl rock band; and Mallory has left the mall behind for college, where she studies - what else? - fashion! But whatever era they support, the Keatons will always support each other - on Family Ties!

Get Smart - Season 2 (HBO Home Video)

03/10 - Get Smart - Season 2 (HBO Home Video)

Maxwell Smart is back...And Loving it! And so is Agent 99, The Chief, Fang and the rest of the fearless Get Smart gang. Here is the legendary, Emmy Award-winning spy-spoof series inspired by the comic genius of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, digitally restored, remastered and brought to you by HBO Home Entertainment.

The madcap misadventures only get funnier in Season 2 as Max and 99 pursue their elusive KAOS adversaries around the world from Greenland to the scorching sands of the Sahara desert- and come face-to-face with their dastardly foes…in a Bedoin tent…at the stylish "Pussycat Club"…and deep beneath the eaves in a secret KOAS submarine. This classically funny 4-DVD set collects all 30 episodes from the hit second season of Get Smart , including the hilarious spy parody "Bronzefinger," and the three-part comic masterpiece, "A Man Called Smart."

South Park - The Complete Twelfth Season

03/10 - South Park - The Complete Twelfth Season (Blu-ray)

All fourteen uncensored episodes from South Park's twelfth season are now available in this exclusive three-disc set. In this collection, South Park follows the new President-elect from his acceptance speech to his first official day of duty as Commander in Chief. The boys keep busy helping a pop-princess who's down on her luck, negotiating a truce for striking Canadians, and preventing giant rodents from destroying the world. For them, it's all part of growing up in South Park.

Barney Miller - The Complete Third Season

03/17 - Barney Miller - The Complete Third Season

Barney Miller: The Complete Third Season makes its DVD debut March 17 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The Emmy Award® winning classic ABC comedy series stars Hal Linden (TV's Search for Tomorrow, The Other Woman) as everyone's favorite cop, along with a top-notch ensemble featuring Abe Vigoda (The Godfather), Emmy Award® nominee Max Gail (TV's Sons & Daughters), Emmy Award® nominee Ron Glass (TV's Firefly), Jack Soo (Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Green Berets), James Gregory (The Manchurian Candidate), Ron Carey (History of the World: Part I) and Emmy Award® nominee Steve Landesberg (TV's Head Case). Watch all 22 memorable episodes on your own schedule, in a three disc set available for $29.95 SRP.

Mr. Belvedere - Seasons 1 and 2

03/17 - Mr. Belvedere - Seasons 1 and 2

The 1985-1990 ABC sitcom finally arrives on DVD. The series starred Christopher Hewett, Bob Uecker, Ilene Graff, Rob Stone, Tracy Wells and Brice Beckham. The 5-disc set will contain all 29 episodes from the first two seasons and run 660 minutes. No word yet if there will be any special features. Streaks on the china, never mattered before, who cares.

Married with Children - The Complete Tenth Season

03/17 - Married with Children - The Complete Tenth Season

Married...With Children, the show that puts the "fun" in dysfunctional, is back on DVD with The Complete Tenth Season March 17 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The three-disc set features all 26 episodes of the top-rated iconic comedy series' next-to-last season, starring the always irreverent and politically incorrect Bundys -- Ed O'Neill (TV's John from Cincinnati), Katey Sagal (TV's 8 Simple Rules), Christina Applegate (TV's Samantha Who?), and David Faustino (National Lampoon's Pucked). The DVD will be available for $39.95 SRP.

The Nanny - The Complete Third Season

03/17 - The Nanny - The Complete Third Season

The Nanny: The Complete Third Season makes its DVD debut March 17 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Emmy Award® nominee Fran Drescher (TV's Living with Fran, The Beautician and the Beast) stars as Nanny Fran in the popular CBS comedy series about the nasal-voiced flashy girl from Flushing Queens who moves in with a proper British millionaire widower and his three kids. Charles Shaughnessy, Daniel Davis, Lauren Lane, Nicholle Tom, Benjamin Salisbury, Madeline Zima, and Renee Taylor also star. The three disc set contains all 27 episodes including the animated "Oy to the World" holiday episode, and will be available for $39.95 SRP.

Room 222 - Season One

03/24 - Room 222 - Season One

Room 222 was a popular school drama/comedy that aired on ABC from 1969-1974. The series starred Lloyd Haynes, Denise Nicholas, Michael Constantine, Karen Valentine, Howard Rice, Judy Strangis, Heshimu and Pendrant Netherly. Shout! Factory is releasing all 26 episodes from the first season on 4 discs. The running time is approximately 660 minutes.

California Dreams - Seasons 1 and 2

03/31 - California Dreams - Seasons 1 and 2

The 1992-1996 NBC series makes its debut on DVD. Shout! Factory is releasing the first two seasons on a 5-disc set. Special features will include a reunion featurette, chapter access to the music videos in the episodes and possibly more.

Hope & Faith - Season 1

03/31 - Hope & Faith - Season 1

Kelly Ripa and Faith Ford star as sisters Hope and Faith in this hilarious ABC Family comedy. Re-live all the laughs with all 25 episodes of the first season, available for the first time on DVD. Hope (Ford), a down-to-earth wife and mother of three lives life quietly in an Ohio suburb, until her celebrity sister, Faith (Ripa), comes barging into town. Faith single-handedly stirs up drama with the family; just as her ex-soap opera character did on TV. You can take the diva off daytime, but can’t take the drama out of the diva. This family comedy will keep you laughing all episode long.



April 2008:

Malcolm & Eddie - Season One

04/14 - Malcolm & Eddie - Season One

Malcolm & Eddie aired on the UPN from 1996-2000. The series starred Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Eddie Griffin. Shout! Factory is releasing all 22 episodes (510) minutes on a 5-disc set. The special features are still being finalized.

Rhoda - Season One

04/21 - Rhoda - Season One

Rhoda was a spin-off from The Mary Tyler Moore Show that aired on CBS from 1974-1978. The series starred Valerie Harper, Julie Kavner, David Groh, Nancy Walker, Harold J. Gould and several other semi-regulars. Shout! Factory is releasing all 25 episodes (720 minutes) on a 5-disc 35th Anniversary Edition release.

Spin City - The Complete Second Season

04/28 - Spin City - The Complete Second Season

Shout! Factory is releasing all 24 episodes (540 minutes) from the second season. Jennifer Esposito joined the cast as a recurring character. The special features are still being finalized.




Other Sitcoms Expected on DVD in 2009:

The Dana Carvey Show - Shout! Factory is said to working on a release for the short-lived 1996 ABC comedy/variety series which had Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert and Robert Smigel as regulars.
The Donna Reed Show - Arts Alliance America is preparing to release the second season in time for Mother's Day 2009 (before May 10th).
Grace Under Fire - First Look originally had Season 1 scheduled for a October 7, 2008 release, but they have pushed it back to sometime in 2009.




Special thanks to the fine folks at TVShowsOnDVD.com for the artwork and information in compiling this preview.




2009 Predictions:

These are my predictions and opinions only for 2009. Some of them probably have zero chance, but I still have them on my wish list. None of these titles have been officially announced.

Returning and New Shows:

According to Jim - I think we'll see season 2. This is the final season (season 8) airing on ABC currently.
All in the Family - It's time for Sony to finish up the remaining seasons already.
Benson - I'm hoping we see Season 2 this year.
Bewitched - Only the 8th season is left to be released.
The Big Bang Theory - Season 2 of this popular CBS sitcom should be released in the fall. Pavan watches it just for Kaley Cuoco.
The Bill Engvall Show - Maybe a Season 2-3 combined release?
Blossom - I think we'll see Season 3 if the Seasons 1-2 set sells well.
Boy Meets World - Now that Lionsgate has acquired the rights, hopefully we'll see the remaining seasons.
Charles in Charge - Hopefully we'll see the remaining seasons soon.
Coach - I think we'll see another season.
Dennis the Menace - I picked it last year. I think it would be ideal for MPI.
Diff'rent Strokes - The wait for season 3 has been agonizing.
A Different World - The Cosby Show is finished, so now it is time for the spin-off series.
8 Simple Rules - I think we'll see Season 2 at some point this year.
Everybody Hates Chris - Another season in the fall.
The Facts of Life - I don't understand what the holdup for Season 4 has been.
Family Ties - I think we'll see Season 6 in the fall.
Frank's Place - It has been mentioned as a possibility for a DVD release, although it would have music changed.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - Where are Seasons 5-6?
Gary Unmarried - If it gets picked up for a second season, a first season DVD release seems likely.
George Lopez - Very popular show on Nick at Nite. Would be nice to see Season 3 on DVD. Whatcha!
Gimme A Break - Hopefully we see another season or two from VEI in Canada.
Happy Days - I think we'll see Season 5 in the fall.
House of Payne - A big hit on TBS.
How I Met Your Mother - Season 4 should be released in the fall.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - A popular sitcom on F/X.
The Jeffersons - It would be nice if Sony released these a bit faster.
Laverne & Shirley - I'd like to see this and Happy Days released at a quicker rate.
Leave it to Beaver - It would be a perfect fit for Shout! Factory if they could get the rights to it to release the remaining seasons.
Love, American Style - I think Season 2 will be released in 2009.
The Lucy Show - I thought we would see the start of it in 2008...so far nothing.
Married with Children - Just the 11th season left to be released.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show - The fans are desperate for the remaining seasons. Hopefully somebody makes it happen.
Mister Peepers - There are quite a few episodes left to be released.
Mork & Mindy - Just one more season to complete the series.
My Boys - A Season 2-3 release would be nice since the seasons are so short.
My Name Is Earl - We should see another season in the fall. I hope NBC finds room for it on their schedule.
The New Adventures of Old Christine - A solid hit for CBS.
The Office - Another season in the fall.
One Day at a Time - It was recently removed from Comcast's TubeTime channel. I'm not sure if that is a good or bad sign.
Perfect Strangers - Hopefully we will see season three this year.
Rules of Engagement - If does well on CBS and gets picked up for a full season, I could see Season 3 being released.
Samantha Who? - Season 2 should be released in the fall.
Scrubs - This is likely the last season on ABC, so the series should be complete on DVD eventually.
Silver Spoons - It was recently removed from Comcast's TubeTime service. The 80's sitcoms have been very slow to release.
The Simpsons - Many seasons to go, but they've been released at a good rate.
Spin City - Hopefully we will get the third season later in the year.
That Girl - Shout! Factory has done a nice job with the releases so far.
30 Rock - A very funny and underrated show should be on DVD again before the fall season.
Two and a Half Men - TV's #1 rated sitcom keeps chugging along.
What's Happening Now!! - Not as popular as What's Happening, but would be nice to have it complete on DVD.
Wings - Only Season 8 is left to be released.
Worst Week - I think Season 1 will be released if it gets picked up for a second season.
The Wonder Years - The first season had only six episodes. It could be given a trial run. Music licensing rights are a major issue, but hopefully a company like Shout! Factory could work on this set. Has been the #1 most requested unreleased show at TVShowsonDVD.com for quite awhile by a wide margin.



What do you predict we'll see on DVD in 2009? What shows do you still have hope to see released? Post your comments on our message board.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

35th Annual People's Choice Awards Winners; ION Announces Original Series; WWE Coming to WGN America on Thursdays in April

The 35th Annual People's Choice Awards aired last night on CBS. Here are the television portion winners:

FAVORITE TV DRAMA
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS)
Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
House (Fox)
WINNER: House (Fox)

FAVORITE TV COMEDY
Samantha Who? (ABC)
Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Ugly Betty (ABC)
WINNER: Two and a Half Men (CBS)

FAVORITE ANIMATED COMEDY
Family Guy (Fox)
The Simpsons (Fox)
South Park (Comedy Central)
WINNER: The Simpsons (Fox)

FAVORITE SCI-FI / FANTASY SHOW
Heroes (NBC)
Supernatural (The CW)
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox)
WINNER: Heroes (NBC)

FAVORITE COMPETITION / REALITY SHOW
American Idol (Fox)
Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)
WINNER: Dancing with the Stars (ABC)

FAVORITE GAME SHOW
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Fox)
Deal Or No Deal (NBC/Syndicated)
JEOPARDY! (Syndicated, CBS Television Distribution)
WINNER: Deal Or No Deal (NBC/Syndicated)

FAVORITE MALE TV STAR
Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy, ABC)
Hugh Laurie (House, Fox)
Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men, CBS)
WINNER: Hugh Laurie (House, Fox)

FAVORITE FEMALE TV STAR
Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?, ABC)
Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters, ABC)
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU, NBC)
WINNER: Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?, ABC)

FAVORITE TALK SHOW HOST
Ellen DeGeneres (Syndicated, Warner Bros.)
David Letterman (CBS)
Regis Philbin & Kelly Ripa (Syndicated, ABC Studios)
WINNER: Ellen DeGeneres (Syndicated, Warner Bros.)

FAVORITE SCENE-STEALING GUEST STAR (NEW CATEGORY)
Luke Perry on Law & Order: SVU, NBC
Britney Spears on How I Met Your Mother, CBS
Robin Williams on Law & Order: SVU, NBC
WINNER: Robin Williams on Law & Order: SVU, NBC

FAVORITE TV DRAMA DIVA (NEW CATEGORY)
Holly Hunter as Grace Hanadarko on Saving Grace, TNT
Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin on Weeds, Showtime
Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson on The Closer, TNT
WINNER: Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson on The Closer, TNT

FAVORITE NEW TV DRAMA
90210, The CW
Fringe, Fox
The Mentalist, CBS
WINNER: The Mentalist, CBS

FAVORITE NEW TV COMEDY
Gary Unmarried, CBS
Kath & Kim, NBC
Worst Week, CBS
WINNER: Gary Unmarried, CBS

View the full list of winners and also view video highlights from the event last night.


Meanwhile, ION Television will launch an original series this year. ION Television has acquired the exclusive U.S. rights to the critically acclaimed and award-winning original TV series, Durham County. The network has secured all U.S. television, digital media rights, internet streaming and video-on-demand rights for the program. ION Television will debut the procedural crime one-hour series to its audience in 2009.
Durham County stars Hugh Dillon, star of the CBS police action series Flashpoint. In Durham County, Dillon plays Detective Mike Sweeney, a homicide detective who moves his family to suburban Durham County to start over after his partner is killed and his wife Audrey (Hélène Joy) is diagnosed with breast cancer. However, he soon discovers that his neighbor and childhood nemesis Ray Prager (Justin Louis) may be a serial killer, setting off an intense showdown between the two complex men and their families.
With eerie crime storylines, Durham County, along with the CBS hit show Criminal Minds (which joins ION in Fall 2009), will offer Positively Thrilling primetime appointment viewing on ION Television. Durham County comes from ITV Global Entertainment.

WGN America will adde WWE wrestling to its Thursday primetime line-up starting in April. WGN America and World Wrestling Entertainment enter the ring with a new television partnership. WWE Superstars, a first run, original program will air exclusively on WGN America, Tribune Broadcasting's national Superstation.
The action-packed WWE Superstars, part of a new multi-year agreement with WGN America, will be produced by WWE and will feature 'Superstars and Divas' from the entire WWE roster.
The hour-long weekly program, scheduled to debut in April 2009, will provide WGN America viewers the chance to see Superstars and Divas from all three WWE franchises in one program. WWE Superstars is scheduled to air on Thursday nights at 8 and 11pm ET with an additional run on the weekend (Saturday afternoons).
WWE Superstars will replace the Thursday night Movie Underground on WGN America in the 8pm hour and the 11pm encore will replace two episodes of Scrubs on the night. Saturday afternoon time encore has not yet been announced. We will have more details on the schedule, as we get it.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

RTN Using National Feed; CBS Pulls Password on Sundays, Rules Back on Mondays in March

The other day we gave you an update on what is happening at RTN (Retro Television Network). On Sunday morning, many RTN affiliates had an on-screen message saying the contract with Equity has expired. Then shortly after RTN resumed programming or was replaced totally. On Equity-owned stations, like in Buffalo, RTN has been replaced totally with other programming. RTN was once owned by Equity, but was sold to Luken Communications in June. Equity's contract to distribute RTN had been extended a week past its Dec. 24 expiration date but Dec. 24 also was the deadline on Equity's option to buy back RTN from current owner Luken Communications. Equity is no longer allowed to air the RTN programs on its stations, including WNGS in Buffalo. However, an Equity spokesperson said it eventually might be able to bring the RTN programs back to the Equity stations.
For non-Equity stations, RTN is now using its national feed to program RTN. RTN stations had their own local feed, but due to this Equity fiasco, RTN made a sooner-than-expected flash cut to a new master control and uplink center in Chattanooga, Tenn. By 9 a.m. Sunday, it was able to restore service to most of their stations (not Equity-owned stations, of course) with national feeds.
So what is the schedule like for this national feed? I suggest you take a look at the national feed schedule we posted, so you know what is going to air. Now there are reports that RTN is way off time right now airing shows up to 20 minutes late, so be aware of that. This national feed might be good for some stations because they will get programs that weren't on their local feed. Until this is resolved, RTN will have this national feed to all of its stations. It could be up until today or last the rest of the month or longer, so no idea right now. But it will be nice to see Munsters Today and Harry and the Hendersons on Sunday morning for those stations who didn't get those! If this conflict is still going on Sunday, that is.
There were only four major Equity-owned RTN stations that RTN lost: Little Rock; Buffalo, N.Y.; Panama City, Fla.; and Spokane, Wash. They account for less than 1 percent of the nation's TV households, a small fraction of the network's total reach, which now hovers around 40 percent. In any event, the lost affiliates will be replaced quickly by new affiliates.
RTN won't be allowed to air original programming that Equity had produced such as the late night series Unreliable Sources and Closing Remarks, so total classic TV fans are happy about that, I'm sure.
Equity also refused to transfer RTN's website to RTN. So fans looking for RTNville.com, the website is now MyRetroTV.com. On some stations, RTN is calling themselves MyRetroTV, as well. Will this fiasco force them to change their name, too? We shall see. I'm trying to get in touch with RTN (Mark and Neal if you're reading, please contact me!), and we hope to reach them soon. Due to all of this, their contact info has changed. We hope to try and sit down with them to get you all the information you need. Maybe another Seven Questions interview? We'll try!

CBS has altered its Sunday schedule for the next three weeks. They have pulled Million Dollar Password. The show was originally scheduled for its final two new episodes on Jan. 11 and 25. The show has been doing decent in total viewers but lagging in the adult 18-49 demo. This Sunday (January 11) a special 60 Minutes will air at 8pm following an NFL playoff game from 4-8pm. On Sunday, January 18, CBS will air an all-new episode of The Mentalist on a special night & time at 10pm ET (7pm PT) following the NFL AFC Championship Game from 6-10pm ET. The Mentalist will air immediately following the game on ALL time zones. So 9pm CT, 8pm MT and 7pm PT. In Mountain and Pacific zones, a repeat of The Unit will follow 9pm MT and 8pm PT. Pacific time will have local programming after the repeat of The Unit. Finally, on Sunday, January 25, Million Dollar Password will be replaced with an all-new Cold Case at a special time of 8pm, leading into the Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie from 9-11pm.
So what does this mean for Million Dollar Password? The following week is the Super Bowl, so it is not likely a new episode will air against that. It can't air on Feb. 8 because of the Grammy Awards and then starting Feb. 15 The Amazing Race returns to the slot. So looks like it will not return to Sundays anytime soon. What about Thursdays at 8? They have repeats scheduled thru January 22, but nothing has been booked for January 29 and Feb. 5, so the two final episodes can air then maybe? Survivor returns Feb. 12. I do expect these two episodes to air but not sure exactly when yet. We'll let you know.
Meanwhile, CBS has announced it will return sitcom Rules of Engagement on Monday, March 2 following Two and a Half Men at 9:30pm ET/PT. Worst Week will finish its 16 episodes on Feb. 9 and we won't know probably if that show will return next season until upfront in May. It doesn't look too promising, though. CBS will air repeats on Feb. 16 and 23 of other CBS comedies likely until Rules launches.
View our full CBS schedule updates.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Comcast onDemand's TubeTime Adds More Series, Removes Some; Comcast onDemand's TheWB Adds More; Scrubs Returns Tonight

Comcast onDemand's channel TubeTime, owned by Sony Pictures Television, has added four more series to its onDemand slate this past week. Gidget, The Larry Sanders Show, The Three Stooges, and Sanford & Son have been added with the first four episodes of each series. Now gone from the service are Silver Spoons and One Day at a Time. It is unfortunate because they didn't get to finish the run on either. They even had episodes beyond season one for those two, and both haven't had any DVD releases after season one. Still on the service will be The Facts of Life, Who's the Boss?, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and Party of Five. It's nice Facts of Life and Who's the Boss? are still on it since they are on seasons 5 and 4 respectively, and they haven't been released on DVD after seasons 3 and 1 respectively. I don't understand a few of these additions to the slate like Sanford & Son, which is already complete on DVD and is on television on TV Land & TV One. It would have been better if they kept Silver Spoons or One Day at a Time. What would have been better was if they added Sanford Arms or Sanford instead of the heavily seen Sanford & Son. What I'd like to see return or come to TubeTime: Diff'rent Strokes, Silver Spoons, One Day at a Time, What's Happening Now!!, Benson, Maude, 227, Archie Bunker's Place, Sanford, Sanford Arms, Grady, Hello Larry, Checking In and more. All of those are from Sony Pictures, so they could come. We'll keep you up to date as always.

Sticking with more Comcast onDemand news...a few weeks ago we told you that Comcast has added TheWB onDemand channel to its onDemand service. They launched with Warner Bros. owned series Martin, All of Us, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and Jack & Bobby. More episodes of those shows are added each week, and this week they added three more series to the onDemand channel! Three dramas from this decade have been added: One Tree Hill, The O.C., and Veronica Mars. The first 5 or 6 episodes of those were added, while the existing series are now up to the first 8 episodes. So far they seem to be skewing with the newer series, with Mr. Cooper and Martin as their oldest series. Hopefully they add more sitcoms, and more from the past. Some shows hat would be perfect for this service would be Alice, Perfect Strangers, Hogan Family, Head of the Class, Welcome Back Kotter Gilligan's Island, and Chico and the Man. Just my thoughts. All of those are not seen anywhere nationally. Hopefully some of those will come soon. We'll let you know if we get further updates.

Just a reminder that Scrubs returns for an all-new season, its eighth season, tonight at 9pm with two back-to-back episodes...on ABC! I saw both episodes last month, and they were pretty funny, especially the first one...check out my comments. I was never big on this show but did watch a handful of episodes in the past.
Also premiering tonight leading into Scrubs at 8pm ET will be Homeland Security USA, a look at how the Homeland Security Division does its job. It is pretty interesting. I also saw that premiere a few weeks back and I think many will like it also...check out my comments.
Finally, I have to mention this because I'm from the town, but Primetime: What Would You Do? returns tonight at 10pm on ABC and will feature my town of Linden, NJ! I am so actually excited. What Would You Do? explores how people react when they witness blatant racial discrimination. In this scenario, Latino men and women attempt to place an order in broken English at All Aboard Bagel and Deli in downtown Linden, NJ. But their requests are met by extreme prejudice from the cashier. Hidden cameras capture how customers respond to the scenario. Find out what happens tonight at 10pm.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

SitcomsOnline.com Exclusive: Interview with Linda Kay (PerfectStrangers.TV); RTN Update

We have a very exciting interview for you today. We have an interview with Linda Kay of PerfectStrangers.TV! Linda has been a good friend and has been a fan of the TV sitcom Perfect Strangers since its original run on ABC from 1986-1993. As always with our interviews, it is in Seven Questions form!

We had the pleasure to interview Linda Kay. Linda not only runs the website on Perfect Strangers, she also runs the website on Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, in which later this year the website will mark 10 years online. The franchise will also celebrate its 20th anniversary next month. Excellent! Linda updates her websites weekly with constant updates to make older entertainment new once again. Her updates make older entertainment new again, like how websites are constantly updated for newer television series. During the original run of Perfect Strangers, Linda ran a fan club on the show called P.S. I Love You, with many newsletters being published. The newsletters were well-liked and were endorsed by the cast and crew of Perfect Strangers. P.S. I Love You even featured interviews, such as with F.J. O'Neil (who played Mr. Wainwright). We're not ridiculous!

We thank Linda for taking the time to answer some of the most interesting questions we have for her...and her responses were so amazing. So it is time for another installment of SitcomsOnline's Seven Questions Series! We seriously STILL need a jingle. How about a Myposian jingle? Any takers out there?

"Seven Questions with Linda Kay"

SitcomsOnline: Hi Linda, it is so great finally interviewing you! Your Perfect Strangers website is one of the best TV shows sites ever, if not the best. It is truly wonderful and amazing how much information you have! You truly are the "go-to" person for anything Perfect Strangers! I have to ask, how did you get into the show? I know you didn't watch it originally in the first season, but what actually drew you to the show? Did you catch it on TV accidentally or did someone tell you to watch this hilarious comedy?
Linda Kay: Thank you, Cousin Pavan! I'm really honored to be asked about the Perfect Strangers website, which you yourself have championed even before it was launched! Thank you very much for your kind words about the site. You're right, I wasn't a big fan of the show from the very beginning. I used to catch an episode every now and again. I don't think I ever saw it on Tuesday night during its first six-week run. I must not have been home on Tuesday because I don't recall watching Growing Pains or Who's the Boss? in 1986, either. When Perfect Strangers moved to Wednesday, I would put it on sometimes. To be honest, my first impressions weren't particularly favorable. I thought it was a poor knock off of Laverne & Shirley. Plus, I was another victim of the cynical side of television then. I thought the "feel-good" endings were unrealistic. I kept expecting everything to go wrong, like the twists at the end of Taxi. But something made me keep putting it on and giving it another chance. I recall very specifically the first time the episode "Snow Way to Treat a Lady" aired. I don't remember the part with the skis, so I must have tuned in partway through. When I saw it was a "snowbound in a remote cabin" plot I actually said out loud to the television, "There is nothing original you can do with this." Then the avalanche hit and they opened the door to reveal Larry pressed up against it by the snow. And I laughed and said, "Touché." That's when I really started giving the show the respect it deserved and watching more carefully. I even started videotaping episodes to watch later. When I saw a repeat of the episode "Beautiful Dreamer" in the summer of 1987, it melted my heart and I was converted forever.

SitcomsOnline: I know you told Retroality.TV about how you started your fan club newsletter "P.S. I Love You" in 1989. So I'll ask something different about it. How did you guys compile all that information? How big was this fan club? Was it a team effort? And for you readers out there, Linda sent me many copies of the newsletters...and they are very well done. I spent hours reading them!
Linda Kay: Oh, go on with you! I compiled the information from a variety of sources. I used to visit the International News Stands in L.A. and go through tons of magazines every week. I would also watch and record all the entertainment news shows I could, as well as local news. But the fans who subscribed to the newsletter were really invaluable to me. They would send in articles, not only from all over the United States but from all over the world! In that way it was definitely a team effort. I had a few real standout members: Cousin Paula became a really good friend and she was brilliant at researching things, even from Pennsylvania (remember, this was before the Internet was commonplace!), Cousins Cindy and Carol, Cousin Lynn, Cousin Cheryl...there are far too many to name! Putting together the newsletter...the actual cutting and pasting and folding and mailing part of it...was all done by me. But without the great information network provided by the fans, it wouldn't have been nearly as interesting to read. It's much the same now on our Forums...so many fans contribute news and stories that I wouldn't have known about otherwise. In this way fan clubs and websites really are collaborative efforts.
The original fan club membership never numbered more than fifty, surprisingly. Back then there really weren't any places to advertise television fan clubs that were affordable, and people didn't really even think to look for fan clubs for comedy shows (unlike science fiction programs). And while the production company supported our efforts, they wouldn't allow us access to the addresses of fans writing in to the show or mail out information about our club. We weren't even really allowed to promote the club at filmings (although I was often able to recruit members from people sitting near me who loved the show). But the enthusiasm and love for the show that existed amongst the members more than made up for the small numbers.

SitcomsOnline: You attended many tapings of the show. Can you share some memorable moments from these tapings and where was the show taped? Did you ever go to a taping from one of your personal favorite episodes? Imagine going to the taping of the Bibbibabka episode!
Linda Kay: The show was filmed at the old MGM Studios in Culver City (when it was known as the Lorimar Studio lot). I feel so thankful that I lived in the Los Angeles area during those years and was able to attend the filmings of the show beginning with the third season. Every show was amazing...it was like watching these great actors in a different play every week! And it was very, very professional. The earlier filmings ran like clockwork. No other show filmed as quickly! Everyone, the cast and crew, knew exactly what they were doing. It was incredible to watch and so educational. As for memorable moments, I think the night Bronson and Mark accidentally cracked their heads together during the filming of "Assertive Training" would have to be one. Although I was seated way to the far right of the stage and didn't see it happen at all. I had no idea how serious it was. I just knew that something happened to stop the filming and the audience seemed concerned. Now normally Robert G. Lee would do the warm up comedy, and he was always very good about giving me episode titles and filling me in on what was happening. But he wasn't there that night, and the warm up comedian was giving me a hard time about my taking notes during the show. I didn't even know how badly hurt they'd been until I saw Bronson talking about it on a talk show. The fact that they finished the show and even came out to answer questions afterward made it seem everything was okay, so those of us to the sides really didn't even understand what had happened.
I was not lucky enough to see the Bibbibabka episode filmed, but I did get to see the filming of the other classic episode from the third season, "Pipe Dreams." That was really memorable. All the scenes with the plumbing exploding had been filmed in advance, so they showed the audience a rough cut of the scenes on the studio monitors. Bronson and Mark climbed up into the bleachers and sat down on the steps to watch along with the audience! The laughter went on for so long...the reaction was priceless. They never used "Applause" signs on the audience at the filmings...the audiences reacted with genuine laughter and applause. That's the magic of great writing, acting and directing all coming together at once.

SitcomsOnline: PerfectStrangers.TV is certainly an amazing website. It really needs to be nominated for one of the best websites list that Entertainment Weekly does each year. The site is updated every Tuesday, but one may wonder, how is that possible for a show that ended over 15 years ago? Your personal library for the show must be amazing! Probably multiple versions of each episode and the cast on just about everything they have done?
Linda Kay: Wwowww! Coming from the Sitcom Guru, that's wonderful praise! One of the main reasons I started the site is because I had such a large amount of information about the show and I wanted to share it with a larger audience than I was able to do back when it was on the air. I did amass a very large collection, and now with online technology I can not only share news and stories but photos, video and so much more than I was ever able to do before. I have to give thanks to Cousin Paula's family for giving me the chance to purchase her collection as well. Next to myself, I believe Paula had one of the largest collections anywhere. She had also purchased many more scripts than I had, so that's been an incredible resource for the episode outlines. She took over production on the newsletter when I had moved on to other projects in 1993, producing two more issues than there would have been otherwise. I had forgotten that at the time I sent her all of my scrapbooks of articles and clippings. When I started the website, I was frantically trying to find these books and had given them up for lost. But fortunately they were included with the items Paula's family sent to me. There's also current news to cover. The actors are, for the most part, still very active in the business. And then Warner Bros. Home Video finally released the first and second seasons of the show on DVD this year, which seems to have sparked a resurgence of interest in the series. So with all this material I should be able to continue to provide fresh weekly updates for some time to come!

SitcomsOnline: What parts of the website do you like the best and what do you wish you can add to the website in the future? You can go decades probably updating your "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" section. I love that! Wouldn't it be cool for you to interview the cast now for a feature on your website? I'm sure they remember you!
Linda Kay: I would love to interview anyone from the cast and crew of the show! Hopefully that will happen at some point. Right now I'm focusing on getting the basic information up, especially the episode outlines. I think that's my favorite thing to work on right now. I have learned so much more about the series than I ever did before just by putting those together and examining each episode so closely. The information on the site is way more detailed than anything I ever published in the newsletters. I want to expand and complete all the Actors Profiles as well. There's certainly a lot more I can (and will) do down the line!

SitcomsOnline: Do the comedies of today compare to sitcoms like Perfect Strangers? If so, what is missing today in your mind? What are some of your other favorite sitcoms--past and present?
Linda Kay: To be honest, there really aren't any sitcoms I watch today. This isn't to say there aren't any good sitcoms on the air, I just don't tend to catch them. The few episodes of Scrubs I have seen have been funny, and I watched an episode of My Name is Earl, the other day which really made me laugh. I used to watch some of the shows on CBS on Monday when Everybody Loves Raymond was still on. So I really can't speak against any shows of today. But I will say that I don't think there are any shows which focus on physical comedy any more. Kevin James did a bit on his show, The King of Queens, which I also enjoyed. But more than that, I don't think many shows on television today (sitcoms or otherwise) are particularly "nice." But then, back when Perfect Strangers first aired, it was unusually "nice" even then. "Nice" just hasn't been popular for some time. But I think we need "nice" shows, if for no other reason than to just relax and laugh for twenty-three minutes without having to think too much. This is why classic shows are still so classic...I Love Lucy is something you can just put on and laugh at without being cynical. There's nothing wrong with cynical and biting comedy (in fact I love Family Guy, whose consulting producer, Tom Devanney, worked on Perfect Strangers) but variety is the spice of life. There's room for classic-style sitcoms as well.
As for past sitcoms, I do have many favorites, including I Love Lucy, The Odd Couple, Laverne & Shirley, The Monkees, Bosom Buddies, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gilligan's Island, Get Smart, Three's Company, Taxi, Soap, and Frasier. And I love British comedy, such as The Goodies, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Black Adder and Red Dwarf. I also think Ernie Kovaks was a comedy genius, as was Steve Allen. The Steve Allen Show when he had Don Knotts and Tom Poston and Pat Harrington, Jr. and Louis Nye and Gabe Dell...now that was comedy!

SitcomsOnline: Finally, it is so sad Perfect Strangers hasn't gotten the rerun play as say similar era shows like Family Matters (its spin-off!). Do you think a reunion show would be good to have? Retrospective ones are usually the way to go these days, with the cast gathering talking about the show, like we saw with Happy Days and One Day at a Time. But wouldn't it be cool to have Balki in 2009? I mean if The Facts of Life and Growing Pains got to do actual continuation movies, why can't Perfect Strangers? Bronson Pinchot (Balki) and Mark Linn-Baker (Larry) are still acting and Belita Moreno (Lydia) and Sam Anderson (Mr. Gorpley) have been working steadily in supporting roles on George Lopez and Lost. But it would be nice to see Melanie Wilson (Jennifer) and Rebeca Arthur (Mary Anne) again!
Linda Kay: I've always been confused as to why Perfect Strangers never did well in syndication after its first daytime run on ABC weekdays back when the show was still on in prime time. But it never has. And sadly these days with television audiences out of sight means out of mind. I'll be honest and say that overall I'm pretty skeptical about reunion shows. Sometimes they can come across as trying to relive past glories to a sad effect. But I would love to see the cast together again in some capacity, whether it was a made-for-TV reunion movie (in the hands of the Perfect Strangers alumni it could be done well) or just a special which brings everyone back together to reminisce about the show. I would never say I didn't want to see something like that...don't be ridiculous! Bronson recorded a few ringtones as Balki while he was appearing on The Surreal Life, so who knows? Maybe it isn't out of the question!

SitcomsOnline: Thank you for your time and I am so glad we are friends! You are great and so is your website! Fans remember to go to PerfectStrangers.TV to find any information related to Perfect Strangers and talk with other fans there as well. Linda has it all! Even rare videos. Where else can you watch a clip of Bronson Pinchot on Circus of the Stars? Stay tuned right here for continued updates on the show and PerfectStrangers.TV!
Linda Kay: Thank you, Cousin Pavan, for giving me a chance to answer your questions. I'm certainly glad we're friends, too. Everyone should realize that you were a great motivator in getting this site up and running when I was on the precipice trying to decide whether or not to take the plunge. But now that I'm here, the water's great!

Our thanks once again to Linda Kay, we wish her continued success! Our apologies to Matt Damon, we ran out of time. For more information on Linda Kay, continue to stay with us for info and don't forget to view her Perfect Strangers website PerfectStrangers.TV. So, stay tuned right here on the blog for continued news on Linda and the show!


We have gotten e-mails and inquires on why some RTN affiliates have been replaced with a message or other programming since yesterday. It's NOT every RTN station. There are many out there still programming RTN programming. Here is a statement from RTN:
Equity Media Holdings Corporation (EMHC) announced that its agreement to service Retro Programming Services, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the RTN Network has expired. Equity Media sold Retro Programming Services, Inc. to Luken Communications, LLC, in a stock transaction on June 24, 2008, and pursuant to the sale EMHC agreed to provide services to the network from its Little Rock headquarters including transmission, trafficking, programming and accounting for a period of six months.
EMHC attempted to coordinate a seamless transition but despite repeated attempts to communicate with Luken Communications representatives, it received no response.
Aaron Rothberg, Corporate Director of Technical Operations for EMHC, noted "I have worked with the RTN affiliates for over 3 years and it is my hope that the Luken RTN operation will be able to provide the same high quality service that we have but I am concerned since I am not aware of any coordination with the RTN affiliates."
Equity Media further announced that its stations which had carried the RTN Network programming will no longer do so, but will be replaced with a variety of quality and entertaining programming.
All the other stations owned by Equity Media, which includes Univision, FOX, Telefutura, ABC and MyNetworkTV affiliates, as well as existing third party broadcast station clients, will be unaffected by the expiration of the RTN relationship.
So what does this all mean? We will try and answer that as soon as we have more information. Stay tuned... But for now, do let us know on our message board if your RTN station is on or not.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

New Book on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour Coming in September; Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America Airing This January on PBS

We have some special stories for today. So our weekly ratings report will return next week in its regular day, as we are still in repeat mode this past week. But the new stuff returns tonight and this coming week on TV, with CBS and ABC both all-new with their line-ups tonight and the premiere of a new NBC reality show. ABC is calling this week "Bring in the New Week!" And now heeeeeere's Todd with some special stories...

ECW PRESS SIGNS 'BRADY BUNCH' STAR SUSAN OLSEN FOR NEW COFFEE TABLE BOOK

Brady Bunch star Susan Olsen and ECW Press announced their joint collaboration for the coffee table book: Love to Love You Bradys: the bizarre story of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour which is scheduled to be released in September, 2009. Susan's co-author is Los Angeles writer Ted Nichelson and pop-culture maven Lisa Sutton will serve as art director and designer.
This colorful, glitter-filled retrospective will take a look back at the most disastrous offering in television history and explain how and why the rarely seen Variety Hour was conceived, produced, and ended up ranked in TV Guide's top five “Worst Shows of All-Time.” Behind the scenes, this production was chock full of very serious human conflict: drug addiction, sexuality, weight issues, religion, and heated power struggles - all ultimately shattering the Bradys' perfect image and forever scarring the legacy of TV's favorite family.
Originally airing as a 60-minute special, The Brady Bunch Variety Hour was produced by Sid and Marty Krofft and premiered on ABC on November 28, 1976. It featured the actors from The Brady Bunch sitcom singing and dancing their way through the disco era on stage above an enormous swimming pool populated by the enchanting Krofftette Water Follies. Largely derivative of the hit series The Donny and Marie Show, from the same production team, the success of this special led to a semi-regular series of which eight additional 60 minute episodes were produced and aired as monthly specials from January to May 1977. None of the installments were ever repeated on network television. Now a confirmed cult classic, the Variety Hour has been successfully parodied on such recent hit television series as The Simpsons, That 70's Show, The Family Guy, Tiny Toons, and The Gilmore Girls.
The book features hundreds of never-before-published photos and interviews with cast, crew, and production staff, including the Brady Bunch, Sherwood Schwartz, Sid and Marty Krofft, Bruce Vilanch, Paul Shaffer, and Rip Taylor.

CONTACT:
Ted Nichelson
http://www.bradyhour.com/email.html



Did you hear the one about PBS airing a comedy series? It's no joke, but it is funny. In January 2009, PBS will present the series Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, a six-hour comedy epic showcasing the most hilarious men, women, and moments in American entertainment and why they made us laugh. Hosted by America's favorite funnyman, Billy Crystal, the documentary explores the currents of American comedy throughout a century of social and political change, illuminating how comedy has tackled and poked fun at our political system, race relations, gender issues, and the prevailing American standards and taboos in everyday life.
Co-produced by Thirteen/WNET and Ghost Light Films, the series premieres nationally on January 14, 21, 28 at 8 p.m. and will repeat at 10 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).
Melding performance, biography and history, Make 'Em Laugh features interviews with over 90 comedians, writers, producers, and historians including Judd Apatow, Roseanne Barr, Anne Beatts, the Smothers Brothers, Carol Burnett, Sid Caesar, George Carlin, Larry David, Will Ferrell, Leonard Maltin, Cheech Marin, Steve Martin, Chris Rock, Mort Sahl, Dick Van Dyke, and many, many more.
Each one-hour episode focuses on a distinct genre of American comedy – from the most ingenious physical schtick, to those fast-talking wiseguys, to the most incisive satire and parody – re-acquainting viewers with some of their favorite classics. Billy Crystal will introduce each episode and Amy Sedaris will narrate throughout.

Here is one episode that is devoted to sitcoms:
January 14, 9 p.m. (ET) Honey, I'm Home!: Breadwinners and Homemakers
The domestic comedy may be the most American of comic concepts. The moment that Burns and Allen admitted to their radio audience that they were a married couple, a tradition of laughter on the home front began. Groundbreaking television sitcoms like The Goldbergs, I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Dick Van Dyke Show, All in the Family, The Cosby Show, Roseanne, Seinfeld, and The Simpsons reflect the ongoing changes at home and in the workplace. Sitcoms continue to be a consistently humorous barometer of American gender roles and attitudes toward racism and politics.

Additionally, there is a seventh episode of the series that will air exclusively online on January 7. This episode will cover the growing phenomenon of Internet comedy. For more information on this episode, visit http://www.pbs.org/wnet/makeemlaugh/episodes/the-online-episode/episode-7-teh-internets/21/ .
For a listing of all episodes, visit http://www.pbs.org/wnet/makeemlaugh/about/ .
If you could use a laugh right now, check out the website for Make 'Em Laugh, http://www.pbs.org/wnet/makeemlaugh/, which is full of funny content including a promo video for the series featuring Jim Lehrer of PBS's Newshour.

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Blog DVD Review: 1st and Ten - Complete Collection

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the blog DVD review! Since we are in the college football bowl season and that the NFL Playoffs starts today, it makes sense today to take a look at Tango Entertainment's 1st & Ten: Complete Collection...even though this DVD came out 3 years ago in January 2006. 1st & 10 was a HBO football-themed show from the late 80s that is most probably known as a series with O.J. Simpson. See skees53's blog DVD review of 1st & Ten: Complete Collection:

1st & Ten: Complete Collection (Tango, $26.98) contains all 80 episodes of one of the first premium cable TV series in history. Although the series underwent a great number of changes over the year, the series begins with wealthy housewife Diane Barrow (Delta Burke, of Designing Women fame) coming home to her mansion one day and finding her loving and adoring husband in bed. Except, her loving and adoring husband isn't in bed alone, and is in fact in bed with another person. And did we mention that this other person happens to be a guy? Diane, determined to get revenge on her husband in any way possible, decides to divorce her husband, and to take everything she can get from him, including his professional football team! Now, Diane (who knows nothing about football) is suddenly the owner of a football team and has to call all of the shots.
The series began in 1984 on HBO, which was just getting started at that time, and was one of the first series to truly take advantage of the fact that you can get away with literally anything on cable TV, including very controversial plot lines and even some nudity. It aired until 1991, and underwent many changes through the years, particularly cast changes. In fact, nearly the entire cast has been swapped out by the time the series was over, creating a totally different series where Shannon Tweed played the owner of the team. The series is also well-known for the fact that O.J. Simpson had a role on the series throughout most of the series run, playing (what else?) a former NFL star.
There are a lot of episodes on the set, and I did not watch all of them (mostly because some of them wouldn't even play, and you'll find out why later in this review), but many of the episodes have all of the themes that one would come to expect from a controversial series, such as extramarital affairs ("The Pilot"), near-death experiences ("You Are Who You Eat"), alcoholism ("Rona's Fling"), and other such themes. Sex is a big thing on the series, as is nudity, so don't be surprised to see some nudity (invariably in the form of bare breasts) in some of the episodes. The series isn't exactly full of guest stars, but you will find many "legendary" (in other words, ones that today's generation won't know) NFL players in the episodes. Classic TV fans will notice guest stars such as LaWanda Page (Sanford & Son), Roxie Roker (The Jeffersons), Norman Fell (Three's Company), Morey Amsterdam (Dick Van Dyke Show), and David Leisure (Empty Nest).
The video and audio quality of the episodes leaves quite a bit to be desired. I'm not sure what type of masters they used to create this set, but on some of the episodes, I watch them and think that they possibly used VHS tapes in EP/SLP mode as their masters. In other words, the episodes are all watchable, but the quality is (generally speaking) rather poor. You'll even notice obvious video defects as you are watching the episodes.
Unfortunately, this series didn't exactly receive one of the best DVD releases possible, as a majority of the episodes contained within it are edited episodes. And let me just say upfront, these are HORRIBLY edited episodes. To start off, these edited episodes have approximately five minutes of content cut out from them, but that is only the beginning of the problems. The real problem is that somebody decided to add this really bad (and VERY fake sounding) laugh track to these edited episodes. Obviously, to make the episodes suitable for broadcast television, these syndicated versions have all of the nudity and foul language removed from the episodes. Furthermore, the edited episodes have the original opening and closing credits replaced with a new version that had been created for syndication.
These DVDs aren't for fans that hate compressed episodes either. That is because they really do cram the episodes on the discs in this set. In fact, there are 80 episodes, but only six discs! How do they accomplish this? Basically, they use double-sided discs and put an entire season on one disc (seasons two and three share a disc, since those seasons only had 10 episodes combined). This means that some discs contain up to 16 episodes, with 8 episodes on each side! I certainly like a compact DVD set, but that is overdoing it. Add to all of this that the cheap packaging allows the discs to get scratched very easily (the hubs fail to completely secure the discs like they should), and there is a tendency for scratched double sided discs to go bad quickly... you have the fact that inevitably, some episodes won't even play at all. And there are quite a few that I couldn't get to play. Very frustrating! As for the packaging itself, they simply have three black cases that hold two discs each, and as previously mentioned, the packaging does not secure the discs very well, at all.
The set contains no special features at all, and I'm not really sure what could have been included. The series is really not something that any of the stars would ever put on their resume (for example, even though Delta Burke was the star of the series in the first few seasons, I highly doubt anybody would ever call her 1st & Ten's Delta Burke), and a lot of the actors probably look back at the series as a low-budget series from the dark ages of premium cable. Still, maybe some interviews with the creator of the series would have been nice, just to get some perspective into the series.
So the bottom line is that this DVD set is indeed a DVD collector's nightmare, but it is probably the only way anybody will ever be able to enjoy this show. Hopefully someone else will release this series in a better way. It is a pretty decent show, particularly in the earlier seasons, and I don't understand why it doesn't get more credit than it actually does. It isn't really a show about football, and is instead more of a series about a woman that is trying to make business decisions in a business where she is completely clueless. The set shouldn't set you back too much at an MSRP under $30 (that is very cheap for a complete series), but in reality, that MSRP is higher than what you'll actually pay for this set. If you look around at Amazon.com or even Wal-Mart (of all places), you will find this set for just a little bit more than you'd pay for a candy bar (literally). I purchased this set myself for under $2, a price which I was more than willing to pay even though I knew nothing at all about the series. Despite the many problems that plague the set, I also see it as a series that is worth splurging a few bucks on to get a few hours of entertainment from.

-- Reviewed by skees53
(2/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
1st & Ten TV.com Page

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Friday, January 02, 2009

TV One February 2009 Highlights; Few TV Land Overnight Changes for Jan. and Feb.

We're in January still, but we have highlights for February 2009 for TV One! There will be a few notable items sitcom wise for TV One in February. On Saturday February 14, beginning 12pm through 9pm, TV One celebrates Valentines Day with a Martin marathon that chronicles the romance and marriage of Martin & Gina. Viewers will experience the highs and the lows of their loving relationship concluding with their romantic Caribbean wedding. Select episodes will encore from 2am-6am later that night.
On Sunday, February 22, beginning at 7pm and running to 11pm, TV One brings back the much loved and critically praised dramedy South Central in a four-hour mini-marathon that will remind viewers of the special nature of this before its time groundbreaking series. The first eight episodes will air. The series was set to launch on TV One a few months back but was delayed but now it is airing! South Central was a short-lived series about the struggles of a family residing in South Central Los Angeles. Joan Mosely, an independent-minded single mother, must find a way to make ends meet while still keeping a close eye on her teenage children, Andre and Tasha. In addition, she has taken in Deion, a five-year-old foster child with special needs. A critically acclaimed but extremely short-lived series, South Central is now perhaps best remembered as one of the earliest acting roles for Jennifer Lopez, who had a recurring role as Joan's co-worker at the co-op. The marathon will have an encore play beginning at 2am through 6am.
There is no word yet if South Central will have a regular slot on the schedule, but maybe it will in March? We will let you know. But for now enjoy the marathon! There will be no other changes or marathons in February, so new additions like The Jeffersons and Sanford & Son remain in their current slots that will start Jan. 5. If you're reading this on Jan. 2, then you can catch the Sanford & Son 24-hour launch tonight at 9pm on TV One.

TV Land will be making a few overnight changes in January and February, mostly on Fridays. Fridays in January only we will have the TV Land PRIME Movie be until 12:30am each Friday in January, so following the movie will be 3rd Rock from the Sun from 12:30-1:30am, while M*A*S*H will be shifted a bit to 1:30am-2:30am. Also, for these four Fridays, The Brady Bunch will air 5-6am (early Saturdays), so these two episodes will encore later in its 10am-12pm block on Saturdays.
Then in February, on most Wed-Fri nights we now have Scrubs and Just Shoot Me! in the 5am hour for February instead of M*A*S*H (and no more Brady Bunch on Fridays). Scrubs/Just Shoot Me! will start out by just Friday the first week, then expands to Thursdays the following week, and by the time High School Reunion launches the third week, we will have Wednesdays added. M*A*S*H will still encore Monday and Tuesday nights in the 5am hour starting the third week of February.
These are very minor changes, but still are changes to be made a note of.

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year; Classic TV Stamps Coming Soon; RTN Launches Today in a PA Market

Happy New Year! We welcome in 2009 today as we get ready for yet another year of TV/sitcom news for you here on the SitcomsOnline.com News Blog. Another year, and another year to say thanks for visiting everyday! We are entering our fourth year (season four!) of non-stop news. So far almost 3 1/2 years of news every single day (since August 2005). We have you to thank because you continue to visit! Here's to another year! Enjoy the TV marathons today we relayed to you yesterday!

Classic TV is coming to a US postage stamp near you! Folks who grew up as television came of age will delight in a 20-stamp set included in the Postal Service's plans for 2009 recalling early memories of the medium. Most of the commemorative stamps are priced at 42 cents, the current first-class rate. However, a rate increase is scheduled in May and the size will depend on the consumer price index. The Early TV Memories stamp set is scheduled for release Aug. 11 in Los Angeles.
Among programs to be commemorated in the 20-stamp series: the Groucho Marx-hosted game show You Bet Your Life, where saying the secret word got the player $100. Also on the list are The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Dinah Shore Show, Dragnet, The Ed Sullivan Show, The George Burns & Gracie Allen Show, Hopalong Cassidy, The Honeymooners, Howdy Doody, I Love Lucy, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, Lassie, The Lone Ranger, Perry Mason, The Phil Silvers Show, Red Skelton, Texaco Star Theater, The Tonight Show and The Twilight Zone.

Early last year we told you about RTN coming to a Pennsylvania affiliate in early 2009, now we have gotten word that that affiliate launches TODAY! WJAC in the Johnstown area of PA, will air classic favorites such as Leave it to Beaver, McHale's Navy, Magnum P.I., Dragnet and others. The Retro Television Network will be broadcast over WJAC-TV's 6.2 digital channel. Comcast subscribers can view this programming in the area on Channel 106 and Atlantic Broadband subscribers can view RTN in the area on channel 110. RTN will replace NBC's Weather Plus Channel which was discontinued by the network.

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