Thursday, April 30, 2009

TV Land Changes May Schedule; Adult Swim Acquires British The Office

Today we were supposed to give you TV Land June 2009, continuing our June week, but now TV Land has edited their May schedule. We will have to delay the June schedule until tomorrow or next week. So stay tuned for that. TV Land has changed their May schedule a bit starting May 4. Among the changes are more Gunsmoke & Bonanza on weekdays now extended from 2pm-6pm from Tues-Fri. This means the Monday block is now from 12pm-6pm. Evening sitcoms now start 6pm with Hogan's Heroes moving to the 6pm half-hour, followed by Green Acres at 6:30pm. The Beverly Hillbillies remains in the 7pm hour.
TV Land Goes West is added also on Saturdays from 1pm-7pm, just like how it airs on Sundays, with two Gunsmoke episodes followed by four episodes of Bonanza. This means the TV Land movie encores are now just Saturdays at 6am. The Brady Bunch on Saturday mornings is now 9am-11am, with Leave it to Beaver from 11am-1pm leading into the westerns block. Beaver also airs 7-8pm on Saturdays, followed by blocks of Andy Griffith from 8pm-11pm, M*A*S*H from 11pm-1am, and Three's Company from 1am-3am. Sundays has an extended Hillbillies from 10am-1pm leading into the westerns. Andy follows from 7-10pm, then M*A*S*H from 10pm-1am, Hillbillies from 1am-3am, and now only an hour of Brady Bunch (in the 3am hour).
It is not many changes, but this make schedule more of a regular schedule, especially on weekends with shows getting set time slots now. What does this mean for June? We will have to wait and see, but we know one thing, Roseanne is joining the TV Land PRIME line-up. But for now, view the full updated TV Land May 2009 schedule.

The Office, the BBC series that spawned the NBC comedy of the same name, is returning to American television on Adult Swim. The Turner-owned network, which shares channel space with Cartoon Network, has acquired both seasons of the British comedy, as well as The Office Christmas Special and will start airing them this summer.
Created, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, The Office is about the day-to-day lives of employees in the Slough, Bershire branch of the fictitious Wernham Hogg Paper Company. The series' main character, David Brent, as portrayed by Gervais, is familiar to office workers everywhere. As regional manager of the company, Brent fancies himself as a great team leader using humor to win the loyalty of his staff. In reality, he is belittling, smug, sexist, insensitive, patronizing and unthinkingly offensive.
Adult Swim also airs the BBC hit The Mighty Boosh, since March 29. They recently secured the rights to Look Around You.
The U.S. version of the series airs in repeats on sister station TBS.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

AmericanLife TV June 2009 Sees Daily Strip Schedule; Me-Too Brings Classic TV Marathons in May

AmericanLife TV is the network that airs many many classic TV shows, but usually just once a week. Now starting in June 2009, they will have a regular weekday schedule instead of weekly series! Now that is good and bad. Why bad? A lot of series will have to be removed. And of course it is good because the shows that are airing will air everyday! All this starts Monday, June 1, 2009. From 10am-5pm weekdays will see AmericanLife Lifestyle/original/Boomer programming, such as Embassy Chefs and Dr. Bob Show. So Remington Steele is not airing at 10am anymore, which seemed out of place there since the other classic series didn't start until the evening. After the Lifestyle/original/Boomer shows, AmericanLife TV brings you classic TV! Starting at 5pm on weekdays, we get a two-hour comedy block with Bob Newhart, with The Bob Newhart Show at 5pm & 6pm and Newhart from 5:30pm & 6:30pm. Then from 7pm-10pm Mon-Thurs, we get the greatest dramas with LA Law, Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere, with encores from 10pm-1am. Weeknights at 1am will be the classic series Mission Impossible, and The Color Honeymooners closes the classic series block at 2am. 3am-10am is Paid Programming. On Fridays, we get the ALN Classic Movie from 7-9pm, followed by a double shot of Mission Impossible from 9pm-11pm, and another ALN Classic Movie from 11pm-1am. Everything else on Friday is the same as Mon-Thurs.
On weekends, Paid Programming is until 3pm still, followed by Lifestyle/original/Boomer programming such as This Food That Wine. Then at 5pm, on Saturdays we get two episodes of Mission Impossible until 7pm, and on Sundays we get the ALN Classic Movie. Then at 7pm, it is the opposite of 5pm, on Saturdays we get the ALN Classic Movie until 9pm, and on Sundays it is two episodes of Mission Impossible. The pattern continues from 9-11pm, with Mission Impossible on Saturday and the ALN Classic Movie on Sunday. From 11pm-1am on Saturday nights we get Primetime Hunting and on Sundays we get two more Mission Impossible episodes. Both nights from 1-3am will see the ALN Classic Movie and closing the weekend on both days is The Color Honeymooners at 3am.
So there you have it, the new AmericanLife TV schedule! It is simpler but lots of shows have to be removed. Unfortunately these shows are off the line-up for now: Batman, Burke's Law, Combat!, It's a Great Life, Land of the Giants, Lone Wolf, Lost in Space, Lou Grant, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Trapper John MD, Rat Patrol, Time Tunnel, Green Hornet, Twelve O'Clock High, Remington Steele, The Big Valley, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and WKRP in Cincinnati. Let's hope some of those return and get to air daily as well. But for now, enjoy them in May because in June they will be gone for now.

Chicago just gets better and better! Me-Too in Chicago is calling all Classic Television Lovers! Do you like TV? Do you like TV marathons? Then you'll love Me-Too in May! Over there at Me-Too they have enough classic TV shows for not just one marathon, they have enough for many, many marathons! So, beginning May 1, Me-Too will air a different 12-hour marathon each weekday, Monday through Friday, 10AM-10PM CT, all month long! One day you may be hanging with Lucy and Ethel, another 'Happy Day' you could cruise with the Fonz. How about exploring new galaxies with the original Star Trek crew or going to the moon with the Kramdens? And even laughing out loud with Norman Lear shows!
Kicking it off on Friday (May 1) is The Dick Van Dyke Show. The rest of the month in order are The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lucille Ball (I Love Lucy, We Love Lucy, Lucy Show), The Honeymooners, Star Trek, Cheers, The Twilight Zone, Perry Mason, Norman Lear Day (All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude, Sanford & Son, Good Times), Hooterville & Hillbillies (Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, Beverly Hillbillies), Leave it to Beaver, Three Stooges, Bewitched, Happy Days, Hogan's Heroes, Brady Bunch, Alfred Hitchcock, The Outer Limits, Dragnet, Benny, Burns & Allen (Jack Benny Show and Burns & Allen Show), and Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show.
Me-Too Marathons, every weekday beginning May 1! It's Marathon-O-Riffic, Monday through Friday, 10AM-10PM CT!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

TV One June 2009 Adds Two Sitcoms; Network Notes Includes Obama Address; Hogan Family Interview

The weather is getting warmer out there in most of the country, so we are going to look ahead all this week to the month of June! Yes, May is still on the horizon but we here at SitcomsOnline like to plan ahead, which I'm sure you all like! We start out our "June schedule week" with plans for TV One June 2009! And they will add two new sitcoms to its regular line-up! On Monday, June 8 at 7:30pm, a new comedy joins the TV One prime-time line-up. The Holly Robinson-Peete short-lived family sitcom Like Family takes over the weeknights at 7:30pm timeslot to add some fresh laughs in the comedy zone. Like Family (2003-04) is a sitcom about two families -- one black, one white -- who share the same house and work together to overcome their differences to create a home.
Also joining the line-up on Monday, June 8 will be the classic '70s sitcom That's My Mama! We told you previously the show will have a special Mother's Day marathon on May 10, but now it is ALSO joining the weekday line-up as well a few weeks later! Mama and her family will air weekdays at 5:00pm kicking off the early evening sitcom line-up.
Due to these two new additions, there are quite a few changes to the weekday line-up. In the weekdays at 6am hour we now get Divorce Court, replacing Amen. At 7am Living It Up with Patti LaBelle replaces an episode of All About the Andersons, but that slides to 7:30am replacing Comics Unleashed. In the 8am hour, we now get two episodes of Amen, replacing an episode each of Comics Unleashed and Sharp Talk with Al Sharpton. The 9am and 10am hours remain the same with original encores. Weekdays in the 11am hour will now be Half & Half replacing original encores. The daytime marathons continue from 12pm-3pm, while Divorce Court's afternoon airings are moved in the 3pm hour replacing Bill Bellamy's Who's Got Jokes. The Tom Joyner Show will air in the 4pm hour replacing Divorce Court. Then the sitcom line-up starts at 5pm as we mentioned with That's My Mama replacing Good Times at 5pm, followed still by Sanford & Son at 5:30pm, and Good Times at 6pm. Not to worry, the 5pm Good Times is now at 6:30pm replacing Half & Half. All of Us replace Eve at 7pm, and the aforementioned Like Family launches at 7:30pm replacing another Half & Half. Then we still have Martin and Living Single in the 8pm hour, followed by another Living Single a 9pm, but now 9:30pm will be Half & Half instead of All of Us. Back-to-back episodes of The Jeffersons remain in the 10pm hour, while Martin and Sanford & Son still share the 11pm hour. The late night schedule also gets a bit of a change, at 12 midnight we now have Eve instead of another Jeffersons, while at 12:30am we have Living Single instead of Good Times. 1-3am will still feature a movie. Then the really late schedule also gets changed, in the 3am hour will be The Jeffersons and Martin instead of back-to-back Living Single. At 4am Half & Half remains, but the 4:30am Half & Half is replaced with Martin! And finally the 5am hour will still have Get the Hookup. So that's the entire schedule! We still have highlights to give though.
On Saturday, June 20 beginning at 12 Noon (following the Saturday morning sitcom block from 6am-12pm) through 8pm (with an encore from 12am-6am), Our Music Month is in full effect as TV One presents the "Half & Half: Must Be the Music" marathon consisting of episodes of the sitcom with guest appearances from some of the music industry greats including DMX, Tyrese Gibson, Musiq Soulchild, Faith Evans, MC Lyte, Ginuwine, Eric Benet, and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.
On Sunday, June 21 beginning at 3pm through 8pm (encores from 2am-6am), TV One airs a Fathers Day tribute in the form of an "All of Us: Fathers Day" marathon consisting of episodes of the family sitcom dealing with father/son episodes and situations of characters Robert and his son Bobby.
Finally, yes this is in July, but technically it part of June for TV One. On Friday, July 3 beginning at 8pm, the zany antics of Martin Payne will keep viewers in stitches as TV One presents the "Martin: Independence Day" mega-thon, a 24-hour laugh-a-thon consisting of some of the funniest and most talked about episodes of the sitcom Martin featuring comedian Martin Lawrence in some of his classic best moments and alter-ego character.
It is certainly going to be fun in the sun this June on TV One!

We have a lot of network notes for you. We announced them all on our message board yesterday, but we want to put it all in one space in case you missed it. President Obama is having a news conference live on Wednesday at 8pm ET for an hour. This means yet again the networks have to scramble and juggle programming. ABC and CBS had to change the most, especially CBS. We'll start with ABC, though. In the eastern and central time zones, Scrubs and Better Off Ted have to be preempted because of the Obama news conference. Everything else will air as normal, including the 100th episode of Lost at 9/8 central. In the mountain time zone, the news conference is at 6pm MT, so that won't affect primetime programming. Scrubs and Ted will follow at 7pm MT but will be repeats though since they are not airing in the east/central zones. Same goes for Pacific. Repeats of Scrubs and Ted will air at 8pm PT. Because of this change, ABC will move the planned new episodes of Scrubs and Ted to a special night of Tuesday, May 5 in the 8pm ET/PT hour replacing two episodes of According to Jim. Poor Jim has had so many preemptions already and won't get to air its finale in the season now. Four episodes got preempted so ABC will have to air those sometime in the summer. Jim is still airing tonight and as of now on May 12. I would just pull it on May 12 and bring it back in the summer for its final 6 episodes. We'll let you know what happens to Jim. View the changes in a list form.
Moving on to CBS, they will have more changes than anyone. They also will air the Presidential News Conference on Wednesday at 8pm ET. In the eastern and central time zones, special airing of Rules of Engagement and Old Christine at a special time, will have to be preempted because of the Obama news conference. Everything else will air as normal on this night. In the mountain time zone, the news conference is at 6pm MT, so that won't affect primetime programming. Old Christine and Gary Unmarried will follow at 7pm MT but will be repeats though since they are not airing in the east/central zones. Same goes for Pacific. Repeats of Old Christine and Gary will air at 8pm PT. In other changes, CBS has pulled Harper's Island out of the Thursdays at 10pm slot effective immediately. A repeat of Criminal Minds will air this Thursday (April 30), followed by a repeat of CSI on May 7. And on May 14, the final Thursday of the regular season, will see the season finale of CSI NY on a special night! Programming for the 10pm hour for the summer season, effective May 21, is to be announced right now. As for Harper's Island, it will be still on the air...it will be moved to Saturdays at 9pm replacing crime repeats. The series will air from May 2 through July 11, except on May 16 a special Mentalist repeat will air. And because of the Obama news conference on April 29, the sitcoms get affected. The Rules of Engagement special night and time is now on May 13 at 8pm, followed by a new Old Christine at a special time of 8:30pm. Because of that the season finales of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried, which were slated for May 13, will now be May 20 against American Idol. And the two-part Criminal Minds season finale on May 20 moves from 8-10pm to 9-11pm, since the CSI NY finale at 10pm has been moved to Thursday, May 14. Besides the Harper's Island changes, all of these changes are because of the news conference! View the changes in a list form.
NBC is not really affected by this. NBC will air the Presidential News Conference at 8PM ET this Wednesday (April 29). A Law & Order repeat was scheduled in that slot. In the Mountain and Pacific time zones they will get Dateline at 7pm MT and 8pm PT instead of the Law & Order repeat. Why not just air the repeat there? No big loss for NBC.
Fox announced it is NOT airing the news conference! They will have a little scroll on the bottom saying you can watch it on Fox News Channel or Fox Business Channel. They will air an all-new episode of Lie to Me as scheduled. This is the first time Obama's conferences have been not aired by one of the big four. But they are making some changes to Sundays. Effective this Sunday (May 2), new animated comedy Sit Down, Shut Up is being banished to 7pm replacing the American Dad! encore, which moves to 7:30pm. So this means King of the Hill moves from 7:30 back to its old 8:30pm slot for new episodes! This is not good news at all for Sit Down, Shut Up, which only after two airings has not done well in the ratings. 3 more episodes are left, as Fox is only airing 5 of the 13 for some reason. View these changes in a list form.

It went through three names, two leading ladies, and two networks, yet The Hogan Family managed to last six seasons and is well remembered as one of the great family sitcoms of the '80s. Our good friend Eric is back with another retro interview on his wonderful interview website, JustMyShow.com! Listen to on and off camera insight as Eric hangs out with Mark Hogan himself, Jeremy Licht! For six seasons, Jeremy Licht played the role of Mark Hogan on The Hogan Family. His other credits include the ABC TV movie The Comeback Kid starring John Ritter and appearances on TV hits such as St. Elsewhere and Hotel. These days, he spends his time working as a financial advisor with his company JL Capital Management. It is a very fun interview and Eric also has a bonus clip of him asking Jeremy on when on earth the Hogan Family is coming to DVD?! Life is such a sweet insanity, indeed! Head on over to Just My Show to listen to this new great interview!

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Remembering Bea Arthur, Kim Weiskopf; Hallmark Channel, WE tv, TV Land, Me-Too All To Air Tributes for Bea

Today we will cover everything Bea Arthur (with a tribute to Kim Weiskopf as well). As you all I'm sure know by now, Bea Arthur has died. Beatrice Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star in the hit shows Maude and The Golden Girls and who won a Tony Award for the musical Mame, died Saturday (April 25). Arthur died peacefully at her Los Angeles home with her family at her side. She had cancer but that is the only detail we know. Arthur first appeared in the landmark comedy series All in the Family as Edith Bunker's outspoken, liberal cousin, Maude Finley. She proved a perfect foil for blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor), and their blistering exchanges were so entertaining that producer Norman Lear fashioned Arthur's own series, known of course as Maude. Maude scored with television viewers immediately on its CBS debut in September 1972, and Arthur won an Emmy Award for the role in 1977. The show ended in 1978, as Bea thought it was time for the show to end after six seasons. Then came The Golden Girls from 1985-1992, and it was another groundbreaking comedy, finding surprising success in a television market increasingly skewed toward a younger, product-buying audience. She played Dorothy Zbornak, one of four older friends living in Miami. The show moved to CBS in 1992-93 and was titled The Golden Palace, but Bea didn't sign on for it. Bea did guest star in a two-part episode. In 2003, Lifetime reunited the cast for the special The Golden Girls: Their Greatest Memories. And in 2008, the cast reunited again on the 2008 TV Land Awards accepting the Pop Culture Award.
Even before television, Bea had a major career in plays on Broadway. Arthur's biggest Broadway triumph came in 1966 as Vera Charles, Angela Lansbury's acerbic friend in the musical "Mame," directed by Tony-winning director Gene Saks, who was also her husband of 28 years. They divorced in 1978. During 2001 and 2002 she toured the country in a one-woman show of songs and stories, ... And Then There's Bea.
In between Maude and The Golden Girls, Bea had a failed sitcom. In 1983, she starred in the ABC sitcom Amanda's, an Americanized version of John Cleese's hilarious Fawlty Towers. She was cast as owner of a small seaside hotel with a staff of eccentrics. It lasted a mere 10 episodes, with three episodes unaired.
She was also in films. Among the movies she graced were That Kind of Woman (1959), Lovers and Other Strangers (1970), Mel Brooks' The History of the World: Part I (1981), For Better or Worse (1995). Her TV movies include the ABC TV movie My First Love in 1988 and the NBC TV movie P.O.P. in 1984.
Among her guest appearances on television are the The Golden Girls spin-off Empty Nest, Ellen, Beggars & Choosers, Dave's World, a.k.a. Pablo, Laugh-In, and she appeared on a rare special recap episode of Soap as an "angel." In recent years, Arthur made guest appearances on shows including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Futurama and Malcolm in the Middle. The latter was very popular.
Bea will certainly be missed by millions and millions fans around the world. TV Land has created a 30-second on-air and online promo remembering her. TV Land will air both of her appearances on All in the Family on Tuesday and Wednesday at 9am, the episodes "Cousin Maude's Visit" on Tuesday and the back-door "Maude" pilot that aired as an All in the Family episode on Wednesday. Too bad TV Land isn't airing regular Maude episodes as a tribute. Me-Too in Chicago will air Maude, though! All this week in the 9-10pm CT hour, Me-Too Chicago airs "Remembering Maude: A Tribute to Bea Arthur." View the episode schedule. Lucky fans in Chi-town.
Hallmark and WE tv air The Golden Girls regularly multiple times a day. Hallmark will pay tribute to Bea with a Memorial Day marathon and WE tv pays tribute to Bea tonight and Thursday, see below for more details on both. Watch a video celebration of her life and career. Bea lived a long life and was 86.

Hallmark Channel has announced it will pay tribute to legendary star Bea Arthur with an all-day Golden Girls "Memorial Day Marathon" on Monday, May 25 from 6:30am-2:30am, featuring episodes focusing on Arthur's character Dorothy Zbornak, a gruff, wise-cracking divorcée who shared her Miami home with her mother and two loopy friends. Golden Girls plays daily on Hallmark Channel: Monday-Friday, 8-10 a.m., 7-9 p.m., 12-2 a.m., Saturdays 6-9 a.m., and Sundays 8:30-10 a.m. View their press release. UPDATE: We get marathons SOONER now on Hallmark! At the Studio City, CA home of Hallmark Channel, fans of the classic comedy Golden Girls flooded the network's Viewer Services department today with parenthetical appreciation for the channel's announcement of a Memorial Day Tribute to Bea Arthur. The qualifier to the announcement included these sentiments: more, sooner, please. And now Hallmark has listened! Hallmark Channel responded by hand-selecting the "Best of the Dorothy Zbornak Episodes" which begin running Tuesday, April 28 (7-9pm) and continue, Wednesday, April 29 (7-9pm), and Thursday, April 30 (7-9pm) in the normal Golden Girls timeslots, but also on Sunday, May 3 (8:30am-3am) a full day event is planned! This is all in addition to the previously announced Memorial Day marathon on, Monday, May 25 (6:30am-2:30am.). We don't have episode info yet for the Memorial Day stunt, but Hallmark has released the 5 day stunt episodes for this week! Thank you for being a friend, Hallmark!
WE tv airs the show weeknights from 5-7pm ET, with primetime marathons from 6pm-12am on Monday nights, so that includes tonight. They also air the show sometimes on Thursday late nights. WE tv announced today two special nights of programming to honor Bea Arthur. "WE Remember Bea" will feature a marathon of favorite The Golden Girls episodes both Monday, April 27 from 5pm-12am ET and Thursday, April 30 from 9:30pm-1am ET. The acclaimed actress, known for her quick wit and willingness to embrace controversial issues was the centerpiece of the comedic series, which won more than 38 awards during its run. "WE Remember Bea" will be comprised of episodes which center on Bea Arthur's colorful character Dorothy Zbornak and key related storylines from the series. See the episode info for tonight's marathon.
WE tv already had a scheduled Golden Girls Memorial Day marathon from 10am-6am, so we have two networks airing a marathon on The Golden Girls on May 25.

We also have lost Kim Weiskopf, a TV comedy writer whose credits included Three's Company and Married...with Children, died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday (April 22) at his home in Encino. He launched his career in the early 1970s, with longtime writing partner Michael S. Baser, he wrote for series such as One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Melba, Carter Country, We Got It Made, and Good Times, the latter show leading to their first staff-writing position.
The writing duo went on to write and produce three seasons of ABC's Three's Company before being hired to create the TV series 9 to 5 for ABC, which was based on the movie. They then developed an updated, syndicated version of the '70s series What's Happening!! called What's Happening Now!!, though he had never worked with the original series.
Weiskopf's also wrote and produced for Rachel Gunn, R.N., Full House and Married...with Children, without Baser. Kim appeared in interviews for the E! True Hollywood Story episodes of both Three's Company and Married...with Children. He had an uncredited appearance on Married...with Children on an episode playing Lucky the Dog in a 1996 episode.
He is going to be missed, especially by fans of Three's Company and Married...with Children. Kim was 62.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Week 31 Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

As we mentioned on our Twitter page yesterday, we are sad to report Bea Arthur (Maude, Golden Girls) has passed away at the age of 86 from cancer. Stay tuned tomorrow for our tribute to her. Rest in Peace, Bea.

Week 31 numbers (first four nights final averages, Mon-Thurs):

Households: Fox 7.5/12.0; CBS 6.4/10.4; ABC 6.1/9.9; NBC 4.5/7.3; The CW 1.6/2.6; MNT 0.9/1.4.
Total Viewers: Fox 12.52 million; CBS 10.07 million; ABC 9.35 million; NBC 6.93 million; The CW 2.48 million; MNT 1.33 million.
Adults 18-49: Fox 4.2/11.3; CBS 2.7/7.4; ABC 2.7/7.3; NBC 2.6/6.9; The CW 1.1/3.1; MNT 0.4/1.1.


Analysis: Week 31 sees Fox with the lead for the first four nights. But as usual, they won't hang on in HH/viewers when it is all said and done. Through the first four days, Fox has the lead in all categories, with CBS in second in all categories, ABC is third with NBC of course in fourth.
Last week, CBS won in week 30 in HH/viewers, but Fox once again took 18-49 over CBS. Fox was second for the week in HH/viewers, with ABC third in all categories leaving NBC in fourth in all categories, though NBC did tie ABC in 18-49.
Monday it was ABC with the victory as Dancing with the Stars continues to dominate. ABC aired a 90-minute version of Dancing with the Stars at an impressive 20.53 million, up over a million from the previous week as the group dance did good. Team dances this week! After that, ABC aired episode three of Bob Saget's new sitcom Surviving Suburbia at 9.87 million, up some from the previous week. Sex themed episode tomorrow! A new episode of crime-romance drama Castle followed doing 8.21 million...up some from previous week. CBS was in repeats primarily, repeat of The Big Bang Theory did 7.59 million, followed by a repeat of How I Met Your Mother did only 6.6 million. A repeat of Two and a Half Men followed with 11.48 million, yet still the number one sitcom for the week. Rules of Engagement followed with a new episode (the only one for CBS this night) and closed the sitcom block with a decent 10.59 million, down a million from previous week when the lead-in was new. CBS closed the night with a special repeat of The Mentalist at 9.42 million, CSI: Miami repeats do better than that. Fox started with a new episode of Bones on a special night doing 8.57 million, which is nothing like the usual timeslot holder House, which will return tomorrow, then Fox had an all-new 24 doing 10.34 million, down some from previous week. NBC was next with its sluggish Monday. A new Chuck did 6.11 million, down a tad from previous week. The free-falling Heroes was next at just 6.45 million, down from previous week. Medium followed with 7.34 million for a new episode, also down from previous week. The CW was next with a new Gossip Girl doing 2.37 million and a new One Tree Hill did 2.45 million...both should be over 3 million easily. Repeats of George Lopez on Nick at Nite do more than this!
Tuesday it was Fox on top. Fox started with a 61 minute American Idol doing 23.96 million, down some from previous week. Fox then aired a new Fringe at 9.9 million, down some from previous week. CBS started with special repeats of sitcoms The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men doing an OK 5.86 and 6.6 million. Wonder why CBS did this? Are they thinking of comedies on Tuesdays next season? A repeat of NCIS at a special time of 9pm did 12.65 million, followed by a repeat of The Mentalist doing 12.46 million at a special time of 10pm. Without a Trace was preempted. ABC was next and started with According to Jim doing a brutal 3.37 and 3.35 million for two all-new episodes...down oer a million from previous week, as maybe the CBS comedies hurt it. Dancing with the Stars: The Results was next at 9pm doing 14.73 million, down some from previous week. ABC followed with a special airing of The Unusuals doing 5.81 million, Cupid returns this week. NBC was next with a two-hour The Biggest Loser doing 9.26 million, up some from previous week. NBC finished the night with a repeat of Law & Order: SVU at 10pm doing just 7.04 million, but better than previous by some. The CW aired a new episode of Reaper and did 2.15 million, up a tad from previous week and a new 90210 followed with 1.88 million, down from previous week. That show is no 90210 from Fox.
Wednesday saw Fox dominate big. Fox was led by the results show of American Idol at 9pm doing 23.95 million, down a bit from previous week. New Fox drama Lie to Me was next doing just 7.97 million, as the previous week Bones did a much better 11.01 million. CBS started with repeat episodes of sitcoms Old Christine and Gary Unmarried, doing 5.07 and 5.41 million...both down from previous week. A repeat of Criminal Minds followed and did 9.84 million, down from previous week. CSI: NY was preempted for an all-new Criminal Minds at a special time doing 13.72 million, which is a major improvement in this timeslot. Is CBS thinking of moving this show to this slot next fall? ABC was next with a new Scrubs and a new episode of the new Better Off Ted doing 4.6 and 4.19 million...both down from previous week. That was the funniest half-hour I've seen this season, thanks to Better Off Ted! Shame on you for not watching! Season finale this week. A Lost Special followed at 9pm doing 6.75 million, look for the milestone episode number 100 this week! We get tons of answers. A new episode of The Unusuals at 10pm did 4.74 million, a series low. Hopefully it bounces back this week with Lost all-new. NBC opened the night with a repeat of Law & Order doing 5.7 million, up from previous week, a repeat of Law & Order: SVU followed and did 5.57 million, up from previous week. Law & Order followed at 10pm with another repeat and did 6.09 million, up some week-to-week. The CW was on the map with America's Next Top Model doing a nice 4.01 million, up some from previous week then The CW followed with an encore of what else--90210-- doing 1.14 million viewers, completely losing the lead-in...yet it was up from previous week.
Thursday saw CBS and ABC battle. CBS started with a new Survivor: Tocantis at once again a below normal 11.3 million, down from previous week. CSI was next with 14.64 million, down a million from previous week but only a 3.7 18-49 rating. And episode three of Harper's Island closed the night at 7.02 million, down from previous week even. ABC started with a repeat of Grey's Anatomy doing 4.97 million, which is a bit better than new episodes of In the Motherhood and Samantha Who? from previous week. An all-new Grey's Anatomy was next and did 13.51 million and a night best 5.0 18-49 rating. I told you it was great...I've see the next one too, and it is also AMAZING. A new Private Practice followed and did a first place 9.08 million at 10pm. Should be even higher this week with the season finale. Fox started with Bones at 8.42 million, off a bit from previous week again. An all-new Hell's Kitchen followed at 9pm did 6.8 million, down over a million from previous week. NBC started a new episode of My Name is Earl at 5.54 million at 8pm, up some from previous week. Then the new Parks and Recreation followed with a series low 5.26 million, ouch. These types of shows just don't generate big numbers I guess. The Office followed with a new episode doing 7.28 million, down over a million from previous week and 30 Rock followed with 6.3 million, down a million from previous week. NBC closed the night with a new episode of Southland doing 8.11 million and only a 2.4 18-49 rating, both series lows and on par with ER in viewers but not in 18-49. Smallville was new on The CW and did 3.1 million, which seems a bit below average followed by a new Supernatural at 2.7 million.
Now, as usual final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with repeat of Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint, NUMBERS. ABC did good with a special two-hour 20/20 from 9-11pm. Prison Break did terrible for Fox, and NBC did nothing with a two-hour Dateline.
Saturday numbers were quiet, with CBS winning in viewers and Fox in 18-49. Saturdays get lower than ever from March-May when the weather gets better.
Tonight will be ABC and CBS battling. ABC will easily win in 18-49, but it will be close for HH/viewers. CBS has a new 60 Minutes followed by the Amazing Race 14, Cold Case & The Unit. ABC will have new episodes of AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters. Tonight's DH is said to be classic, tune in. NBC has a two-hour Dateline at 7pm and a two-hour Celebrity Apprentice, which is nothing it used to be. Fox has an all-new lineup of its animated comedies from 7:30-10, which includes dud Sit Down, Shut Up.
As for the week, CBS should win the week in HH/viewers, with Fox in 18-49. Fox will be second in HH/viewers, while ABC will take third in all categories. NBC will be fourth everywhere. As for the coming week...CBS has part one of NCIS back-door spin-off pilot called "Legend" this week. On Wednesday, a Presidential Address is slated for the 8pm hour, but we are not sure what that means yet. I hope Better Off Ted doesn't get affected. On that night at 9pm, Lost celebrates episode 100 with four spots for Flash Forward airing inside of it! The show launches THIS FALL! It's official! Ugly Betty returns this Thursday at 8 and Private Practice has its season finale at 10pm on that night on ABC!




Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of April 13-19, Week 30)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) - A new episode did an OK 6.58 million. Not doing that good this season.
  • Sit Down, Shut Up (Fox) - The series premiere only mustered 5.19 million...not good and a worse 2.3 18-40 rating, dropping from the 3.1 its lead-in put up.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - Fox has moved the show to 7:30pm for all new episodes now, and the 250th episode only put up 3.39 million.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 7.34 million for a new episode...decent, but this show hasn't done that good this year as well.
  • American Dad! (Fox) 2 episodes - 2.5 million for a repeat at 7pm was higher than previous week, and its regular 9:30pm slot was new and did 5.72 million.

Week 31 (April 20-26):
Monday Sitcoms


  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 7.59 million for a repeat...decent.
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 6.6 million for a repeat is OK.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 11.48 million for a REPEAT.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 10.59 million for a new episode, down over a million from previous week. I just wanted to see some building from a repeat, but didn't happen.
  • Surviving Suburbia (ABC) - 9.87 million for a new episode...up some from previous week.

Tuesday Sitcoms

  • According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes - 3.37 and 3.35 million for two new episodes...not good at all.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - A special repeat on a special night did 5.86 million. Nice to have Kaley back on Tuesdays at 8. Only for that week though.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - A special repeat on a special night and time did even 6.6 million.
Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Old Christine (CBS) - 5.07 million for a repeat...down from previous week.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - 5.41 million for a repeat, built from the lead-in at least but down from previous week.
  • Scrubs (ABC) - New showing did 4.6 million, down from previous week. Looks to be preempted this week by Obama.
  • Better Off Ted (ABC) - 4.19 million for a new episode, down from previous week. Season finale is scheduled for this week, but looks like Obama will preempt it.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - New episode and did just 5.54 million, but up some from previous week.
  • Parks and Recreation (NBC) - 5.26 million...series low.
  • The Office (NBC) - 7.28 million, down over a million from previous week.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - 6.3 million...also down a million week-to-week.

Friday Sitcoms

  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - A new episode did a prelim 1.79 million...up from previous week's repeat prelim numbers.
  • The Game (The CW) - A new episode did a prelim 1.89 million. Up from previous week's prelim repeat numbers.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are new episodes of Fox animated comedies from 7:30-10pm!

Summing it up. The Big Bang Theory Monday, Two and a Half Men Monday, Rules of Engagement & The Office were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (Surviving Suburbia, 30 Rock) or just plain old terrible (such as Parks & Recreation, According to Jim).

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Blog DVD Review: The Real Ghostbusters - Volume 1

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the weekly Blog DVD Reviews. Today week we take a look at Time Life's The Real Ghostbusters - Volume 1. The show was of course an animated follow-up of the blockbuster film! The animated series launched on ABC on Saturday mornings in Fall 1986 for 13 episodes then was also given a 65 episode deal for first-run syndication. See my Blog DVD Review of The Real Ghostbusters - Volume 1:

The Real Ghostbusters - Volume 1 (Time Life, $39.98) brings us the first 13 ABC episodes and the first 17 first-run syndication episodes! Plus in addition to the episodes, we get many special features!
The series continues the adventures of paranormal investigators Dr. Peter Venkman (voiced by Lorenzo Music), Dr. Egon Spengler (Maurice La Marche), Winston Zeddemore (Arsenio Hall), Dr. Ray Stantz (Frank Welker), their secretary Janine Melnitz (Laura Summer) and their mascot ghost Slimer (Frank Welker). The series aired from 1986-1991. The series aired on ABC Saturday mornings. We also had 65 first-run syndicated episodes in 1987. In total, the series had 134 episodes plus 13 Slimer episodes in 1988. Here on this first volume we get the first season from ABC (13 episodes) and the first 17 (of 65) from first-run syndication...so this is the first 30 episodes.
Let's now move on to the packaging. Now Time Life has already released the complete series, but that was never sent to us for review (and not many people have it). This first volume was just released individually. Time Life has plans to release the remaining for volumes individually as well. Anyway, if you have the complete series set, the packaging for this first volume one is the same as that. In case you don't have it, this first volume is a steelbook case. It is heavier than most cases and hard. The cover art has the gang walking the streets with their uniforms and proton packs with Slimer above them. The sky is purple it seems. The show logo is on top, with the mention of Volume 1 on the bottom. The back of the case has that ghost catcher thing from the proton pack, with the "no ghost" symbol about to be put in there. There is no info on the set here because remember this was part of the complete series set and this volume is being released separately. We do have an episode booklet. The front of that has the same artwork as the cover art, but no city background. This booklet is very detailed and handy. The front and back are in black, but the inside pages are all in green-slime color. The first page has a very nice series history from the DVD producer, Andy Mangels. He produced great special features, which we will detail later. Then we have episode details, all broken down disc-by-disc, with the episode number, title, production number, whether it was on ABC or syndication, synopsis, trivia, extras for the episode, and even a screenshot from the episode. Wow! Great job here on this. The last page inside has a full page of credits for this DVD. And the back page has what would normally be on the back of the case, info on the set and series, and a list of bonus features. As far as the discs itself go, the first four overlap with each other. This is the only negative here. Discs one and two are on the left panel. Discs three and four are in the middle on its own little holder. When we turn the page like you would in a book, you get to the right panel that holds disc five. The disc art is the same as the cover art, but has one face on each disc. Disc one has Peter and episodes 1-6. Disc two has Egon and episodes 7-13, which concludes the first ABC season. Disc three has Ray and episodes 14-20, which starts the syndication season. Disc four has Winston and episodes 21-27. And disc five has Slimer and episodes 28-30 along with the special features.
The menu screen is very cool. We start off with the ghost catcher (the thing you pull out of the proton pack when you catch a ghost) and out of that, the menu screen comes out! Cool! We have green slime on top with the show logo and disc number, video clips are playing in the middle with no sound, the main cast is surrounding the video, and the instrumental theme song is playing in the background! Who you gonna call? We have options for Play, Episodes, and Special Features. Play of course plays them all at once for that disc. When we select Episodes, Slimer pops up, then he slimes us and we are taken to the episode list where the episodes are listed. When we select an episode, we are taken to an episodes option screen, where we can view various items related to the episode such as an introduction from someone behind the scenes, visual commentary for the episode, musical track for effects, or of course play the episode. Only four episodes out of these 30 do not have any of this, so those four go right to the episode rather than this screen. Special Features menu lists all the extras on that disc, minus the intros and musical effects, which can only be viewed on an episode screen.
The video is decent, but nothing that great. In fact some episodes look terrible, such as "Slimer, Come Home." There are some that look very good, though. I guess Sony didn't remaster these for Time Life. They are watchable though. The audio is very good though. It was nice and loud and not low at all. The ABC episodes all ran about 23:40-23:55-ish. They were unedited and all. The syndication episodes of course run shorter, but nothing is edited here either. They run about 22:20-22:30. All of these episodes have those cool bumpers with the "no ghost logo," saying we'll be back in a moment or now back to the show. Each episode has 4 chapter stops.
As for special features, we have a WHOLE lot here. Disc five has the main extras, but each disc has something. We have 31 special on-camera episode introductions! Some even have two for an episode. Giving us these video intros we have Len Janson, Marsha Goodman, Everett Peck, Brad Rader, J. Michael Straczynski, Kevin Altieri, Michael C. Gross, Maurice LaMarche, Marc Scott Zicree, Laura Summer, Richard Mueller, David Gerrold, Kathryn Drennan, Dan Riba, Dennys McCoy and Pamela Hickey. We have 5 on-camera Visual Commentary tracks featuring producers, writers, etc., hosted by the DVD producer Andy Mangels. The episodes for these are "Ghosts R Us," "Slimer, Come Home," "Take Two," "Adventures in Slime & Space," and "Venkman's Ghost Repellers." Five episodes have also isolated Music & Effects tracks. We have no character audio, just the sound effects. It is interesting that there is music throughout the episode! We get these tracks for the episodes "Mrs. Roger's Neighborhood," "Janine's Genie," "Knock, Knock," "Venkman's Ghost Repellers," and "Boo-Dunit." The rest of the special features are on disc five. We have a very nice featurette called "Ain't Afraid of No Ghosts: Creating...The Real Ghostbusters" that runs 25:05. This is a historical look at the origins of this show and how it was made. Everything is talked about here on how it started and everything. Interviewed are Joe Medjuck (executive producer), Michael C. Gross (executive producer), Len Jansen (writer), James Eatock (Cereal: Geek Magazine), Kevin Altieri (director/storyboard supervisor), Dan Riba (storyboard artist), J. Michael Straczynski (writer), Marsha Goodman (voice director/casting), Maurice LaMarche (Egon), Laura Summer (Janine #1), and Kath Soucie (Janine #2). Then we have an Image Gallery with lots of promotional artwork and we also have a Design Gallery for the episode "Night Game," giving us the blueprints of the episode. Then if you have a DVR-ROM on your computer you can look at scripts and storyboards in PDF format
I highly do recommend this set for any Ghostbuster franchise fan and classic animation fans in general. This is really a good show. I remember liking this a lot in the 80s and early 90s. The show is in the same style as Dennis the Menace and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Maybe because there were also by Japanese animators? But I loved all three shows! The video is not great, but everything else here is superb and deserves high praise. So get ready to call the Ghostbusters by buying this set. Get your proton packs (I actually had one growing up!) out and catch this DVD into that so you can watch the first 30 episodes! Hurry before the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man stops you! I Ain't Afraid of No Ghost!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4.5/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
The Real Ghostbusters TV.com Page

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Friday, April 24, 2009

ABC Family Pulls Sophie, Speeds Up Roommates; ABC Announces More Summer 2009 Series

After just five weeks on the air, ABC Family has pulled original single camera sitcom Sophie off the air completely. The show has failed to garner any ratings whatsoever on Mondays at 9:30pm. ABC Family still has 8 episodes left in the can, but no word yet if and when they will air at a later date. Sophie's lead-in is also an original sitcom. Roommates, a multi-camera sitcom, will still be on the air but it will be sped up. What do I mean? Well, now they will air four episodes a night so they can quickly finish the run. Roommates also hasn't gone well in the ratings, but is not worse than Sophie at least. This Monday (April 27) and the following Monday (May 4), Roommates will air from 9-11pm ET/PT, replacing a repeat of AFV in the 10pm hour for two weeks. 5 episodes have aired so far, and with this two four-episode block, all 13 will air. Then starting May 11, ABC Family will air movies in the Monday 9-11pm block through June 15 since June 22 ABC Family plans on launching new original drama Make It or Break It. Movies slated for May are Mean Girls, My Fake Fiance, and Legally Blonde.
We got the sense ABC Family was not happy with the performances publicly when they removed the Tuesday encores of both shows as we mentioned last week. These two were the first original sitcoms for ABC Family and they have two more coming this summer (10 Things I Hate About You on July 7 and Ruby & the Rockits on July 21). They are scheduled a bit better though. Those two will air in the 8pm hour on Tuesdays, which is better since they will have the sitcom block as its lead-in, such as My Wife & Kids (6-7pm) and That '70s Show (7-8pm) which both do very well. I think ABC Family should have had Roommates and Sophie in the 8pm hour and moved Greek to 9pm. That would have been better and made more sense. Sophie will for sure not be back for another season and Roommates is also likely not to return, unless it does a spike in the ratings in the next two weeks.
Roommates launched with 1.5 million viewers, but that was following the season finale of Secret Life of the American Teenager which did a strong 4.49 million. The premiere of Sophie only mustered 892,000 viewers. From there both shows saw even more declines. With Roommates dropping to 440,000 viewers by episode two and only 335,000 viewers for Sophie. They then hovered around those ratings for episodes 3-5, which is terrible numbers.

ABC has now announced more summer series news. Now we get more info on ABC News produced series for the summer along with some specials. We have completely new details on shows we haven't heard about yet. First, ABC will finally air the ABC News produced special Earth 2100 on Tuesday, June 2 from 9-11PM ET/PT. This special was previously set to air in early January. The special is hosted by Bob Woodruff, it takes viewers on a journey through what the next century could have in store and shows viewers what can be done to avoid disaster. Then on Sunday, June 21 and Sunday, June 28 from 9-11PM ET/PT on both nights we have the miniseries event Impact. We seem to have survived a catastrophic meteor storm...but something has changed and the moon is looming larger in the sky. What once was the most familiar object in the night now threatens to destroy all life on earth. A small band of international astronauts, scientists, and soldiers band together as our last best hope. David James Elliott, Natasha Henstridge, Steven Culp, and James Cromwell star in this highly anticipated miniseries.
Next up will be special Primetime series. Primetime: Family Secrets returns and will air Tuesdays at 10PM starting June 23 through and including July 21. Then starting July 28, Primetime: The Outsiders returns to air airing Tuesdays at 10PM through and including Sept. 8. Airing Wednesdays at 10PM starting June 24 will be Primetime: Crime and it will air through and including Sept. 9. ABC will also bring back the popular Primetime: What Would You Do? sometime in August, but no day and time has been set yet. Other ABC News specials are one-time specials on Wednesday, July 15 at 10PM for a special called Oil with Charles Gibson, preempting Primetime: Crime on this night. We also have an ABC News produced special called J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life airing the next night (Thursday, July 16) at 8PM.
So now we have most of the missing pieces for the ABC summer line-up. Still we need more schedules, but with the entertainment update we gave and now the ABC News update, we are almost set. ABC also announced it will air the CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock on Monday, August 30 from 8-11PM ET/PT. View more on all of this, including synopsis of all the Primetime series. And for a recap of all things ABC summer so far, please view that also.
CBS is just about the only network yet to announce any summer details, as ABC, NBC, Fox has already in different parts.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

ABC Announces 12 Early Pick-Ups for 2009-2010, Returns Millionaire in Summer; GSN's Classic TV Airings

ABC has announced 12 early pick-ups for the 2009-2010 season for returning series. This doesn't mean all other shows not mentioned won't return, this is just the early pick-ups. The 12 early pick-ups for 2009-2010 season are America's Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Brothers & Sisters, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Private Practice, Supernanny, Ugly Betty and Wife Swap. No surprises here. 20/20 is also of course a lock to return, with shows like Castle and Samantha Who? also likely to return. We won't know the rest of the returnees until upfront on May 19.
Meanwhile, Regis is back in ABC primetime! Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the smash hit Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? comes back to ABC this summer for a special two-week event. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? premieres Sunday, August 9, 2009 at 8:00PM ET/PT and will air for 11 nights from Sunday-Thursday at 8:00PM, with the finale on Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 8:00PM.
Can you believe it has been 10 years? The show launched on Aug. 16, 1999 at 8:30pm as a half-hour series and aired all seven days for two weeks. We will see an hour of course in this run and Sun-Thurs instead of all seven days. A few weeks ago I said ABC would do a two-week run like this in August, and I turned up being right. Now if this is a success, I can see ABC doing a similar two-week run in December. ABC usually airs repeats then and when hey air new episodes, they are usually lower anyway. So Millionaire would be a great option for December, especially following holiday specials. One week they can even have ABC stars playing for charity for the holidays. I would also schedule Millionaire once or twice a week in January and February, as ABC usually needs help then. But before we think that far ahead, right now this is just a two-week anniversary event in August.

Speaking of Millionaire, GSN is airing the classic TV edition from 2001 starting this weekend! If you've never seen this or need to record and save this, now is your chance! GSN will air all four nights of this edition on Sunday, April 26; Saturday, May 2; Sunday, May 3; and Saturday, May 9 all from 5-6PM ET. The classic TV stars appearing and playing for a million dollars for charity are Adam West (Batman), Kim Fields (The Facts of Life), Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch), Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley), Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie), Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family), Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time), Marion Ross (Happy Days), Sherman Hemsley (The Jeffersons, Amen), and Ted Lange (The Love Boat).
Elsewhere on GSN, we have some other noteworthy specials. On Saturday, May 9 from 9-10PM we have a special Mother's Day themed episode from 2002 of Weakest Link with Classic TV Moms! Pat Crowley (Please Don't Eat the Daisies), Karen Grassle (Little House on the Prairie), June Lockhart (Lassie), Jo Marie Payton (Family Matters), Janet Hubert (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Carol Potter (Beverly Hills 90210), Beverly Garland (Lois & Clark), and Alley Mills (The Wonder Years).
On Mother's Day (Sunday, May 10) itself, GSN has a marathon of the Donny Osmond revival of Pyramid from 9am-4pm, and we have one episode from a Classic TV week in this marathon at 9:30am featuring Marion Ross and Erin Moran of Happy Days.

Sticking to our game show theme today, Chris Mann of Retroality.TV has posted a story on his take on Bob Barker's new book, Priceless Memories. See the real scoop on Bob and see video interviews with former Barker's Beauties models Holly Hallstrom and Dian Parkinson. It is quite an interesting read, and Chris has a book coming out on the drama behind the camera of the popular game show as well. We'll let you know more on that when available.
But for now, read his take on Barker's new book.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lifetime Networks 2009 Upfront; Network Notes; Remembering Wendy Blair

Lifetime Networks unveiled its 2009-10 program slate that encompasses the most powerful line-up of original series and movies in Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network's history, headlined by the sixth season of cable's hottest unscripted competition series, Project Runway.
Project Runway, featuring host Heidi Klum, mentor Tim Gunn and judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, is set to make its long-awaited return to television on Thursday, August 20, at 10:00 PM (ET/PT) with 14 hour-long episodes. The series, the highest-rated unscripted competition show on all of cable, will seamlessly lead into Models of the Runway at 11:00PM (ET/PT), beginning August 20, an all-new, half-hour companion series will center around the drama, anxiety, tears and joys of Project Runway's models as they compete for money and a major magazine cover shoot. In other unscripted news, new shows Cook Yourself Thin debuts on May 4 at 5:00 PM (ET/PT), and DietTribe is scheduled to return for its second season later this year.
As we mentioned, Lifetime's hit drama series Army Wives returns for its third season at 10:00 PM (ET/PT) on Sunday, June 7. Joining Army Wives this summer will be Drop Dead Diva, the spirited new comedic drama, starring newcomer Brooke Elliott (Hairspray, Wicked) and Margaret Cho (17 Again). It will air at 9:00 PM (ET/PT) starting Sunday, July 12. Lifetime has many original dramas in development. However, they have not been picked-up as series just yet. In development are: Mona Lisa Smile, based on the feature film of the same name; Mystic Pizza: Another Slice, a two-hour, back-door pilot based on the hit film; Marry Me, a limited-run anthology series that starts with a couple who meets in the pilot and concludes with a wedding in Episode 13; Queens of the Rodeo, a comedic drama with the exciting and dangerous rodeo circuit as the backdrop; The Fallen (working title), based on T. Jefferson Parker's novel of the same name; and Murder in Suburbia, formatted from the popular British series.
Rita Rocks, its first original comedy in a decade, stars Nicole Sullivan as an overworked wife and mother trying to find time for herself, will return for its second season in the Fall. Lifetime has three other original comedies in the works, but have not been picked-up as a series yet. In production for pilots are Sherri, loosely based on Sherri Shepherd's (The View) personal family experiences; The Valerie Bertinelli Project (working title) is about a newly divorced mother (Bertinelli) who must maintain a balance between her family and running her ex-husband's struggling hardware business; Alligator Point, is from Kelsey Grammar and stars Cybill Shepherd following the life and times of an eccentric group of Floridians whose lives change when a "Yankee" becomes part of their disjointed family. We will let you know if any of these three gets picked-up as a series joining Rita Rocks.
As for daily strip schedule, this fall Lifetime will begin airing two high-profile, off-net properties nightly, the popular dramas Grey's Anatomy and Medium. Currently, they both air once a week. They join a strong schedule that already features such top acquired product as Wife Swap, Desperate Housewives, Reba, Will & Grace and Frasier. Cybill joins the daytime line-up on May 4. Finally, in September 2010, Lifetime will also begin stripping the hit off-net comedy How I Met Your Mother, which currently fills one hour of the network's schedule per week on Mondays.
View more on Lifetime and LMN's upfront, which includes all the original movies they have in the works for 2009 and 2010.

We have a lot of network notes for you today. First off, ABC will air a repeat of Grey's Anatomy this Thursday (April 23) at 8pm leading into the return of all-new episodes at 9pm. The repeat will be the last original episode that aired, so fans can remember what happened, if they need refreshing. This means In the Motherhood and Samantha Who? will not return to the slot now since yesterday we announced Ugly Betty was coming back a week earlier than planned (April 30). So updating my story from yesterday, Motherhood will now have three episodes still remaining to air, as it will have 4 of its 7 aired (though they had only planned to air 6 anyway). Samantha Who? looks like will only air 13 of its 20, with seven still left in the can, but ABC could certainly use those next season, which is more than likely to happen despite the ratings falter on Thursdays.
In other ABC notes, ABC has announced the celebs and athletes for the new summer series The Superstars! The eight athletes are Jennifer Capriati (tennis), Brandi Chastain (soccer), Robert Horry (basketball), Jeff Kent (baseball), Kristi Leskinen (X Games), Lisa Leslie (basketball), Bode Miller (skiing) and Terrell Owens (football). The eight celebrities are David Charvet (actor), Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Dancing with the Stars), Dan Cortese (host/actor), Paige Hemmis (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition), Julio Iglesias, Jr. (singer), Joanna Krupa (model), Ali Landry (model/actress) and Estella Warren (actress). The series is based on ABC's classic Wide World of Sports, which pitted athletes from all different sports against each other to determine the best athlete in the world. The Superstars pairs the celebrities with the athletes to compete in varying sporting events. Participants found out who their selected partners were only when they met for the first time at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. The six-episode series premieres Tuesday, June 23 at 8:00PM on ABC. The team pairings for The Superstars will be Terrell Owens & Joanna Krupa; Jeff Kent & Ali Landry; Robert Horry & Estella Warren: Bode Miller & Paige Hemmis; Kristi Leskinen & Maksim Chmerkovskiy; Lisa Leslie & Dan Cortese; Jennifer Capriati & David Charvet; and Brandi Chastain & Julio Iglesias, Jr. Every week a team will be eliminated until one team is ultimately crowned the winner. Competitors' athletic prowess and strategy will be put to the test to excel in events including swimming, biking, running and kayaking, in addition to other head-to-head athletic challenges everyone must try to conquer. Find out more on the celebs and athletes.

Moving on to NBC, they have pulled drama Kings from Saturdays even after just one airing. Repeats of Law & Order: SVU will air instead at 8pm (it was at 9pm), with Southland encores moving to 9pm (from 10pm), and now Law & Order repeats will close out the night at 10pm. Then after May sweeps ends, Law & Order: Criminal Intent repeats will air for a few weeks at 8pm before Kings returns. 7 episodes of Kings remain and NBC promises to return the series on Saturday, June 13 at 8pm to finish them off. That date was originally the plan to end the series, now that will be the return date. The series will last through July 25, bearing any more changes of course.
Finally Fox has changed its summer schedule a bit again. New series Mental will now air Tuesdays at 9PM starting May 26 following summer repeats of House. Mental was previously scheduled to launch on Friday, May 29 at 9PM. It will still air Fridays, but now they will be encores of the Tuesday episodes. However, the Tuesday airings will only last through June 23. The Friday encores will become the new night for new episodes for Mental starting July 3 through August 14. Fox has also announced that it will return reality show The Moment of Truth on Wednesday, July 29 airing Wednesdays at 9PM, following So You Think You Can Dance. Dance ends its season in early August (Aug. 5 & 6), though, so Truth will then have repeats of Bones as its lead-in starting Aug. 19. August 12 will see two episodes of Moment of Truth from 8-10pm. View the complete Fox summer schedule.

Finally, we leave you today with some sad news. Wendy Blair died of cancer on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 in North Hollywood. Blair enjoyed a long career in the entertainment industry, having served as the first female junior executive at CBS Television City in the mid-1950s. Known for being analytical and extremely organized, she worked as an associate producer and producer on a number of popular television series. Among the series she worked on as an associate producer are Three's Company, and both of its spin-off series The Ropers and Three's a Crowd, as well as several variety shows and specials for companies including Dick Clark Productions and Sid and Marty Krofft Enterprises, such as Dr. Shrinker.
Her other producer credits include pilots and series such as What a Country! in 1986, I Married Dora in 1987, Mutts in 1988, and Where's Rodney? in 1990. She later segued from working in production to serving as the manager of business operations for The Smothers Brothers and was active in this role until the beginning of 2009. Now, Joanne McCracken has taken over. Blair was a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America and was a founding member of the Association of Associate Producers (which later merged with the PGA). Blair was devoted to her family and family traditions. She will be deeply missed, especially by Three's Company fans and The Smothers Brothers followers. She was only 70.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

ABC Returns Ugly Betty 1 Week Earlier; YouTube Adds Full Episodes of Shows

Ugly Betty is now scheduled to return to the ABC schedule starting Thursday, April 30, 2009 and will continue through and including Thursday, May 14, 2009 in its 8:00-9:00PM ET/PT slot. Ugly Betty was previously scheduled to return on May 7, but now it will be a week earlier than planned, as ABC will preempt In the Motherhood and Samantha Who? In the Motherhood was planning on airing 6 of its 7 episode order, but now it will be 5 of the 7, so 2 episodes will remain leftover. It is unlikely the show will return for another season, but ABC could air those two episodes at a later date. As for Samantha Who?, the second season has a 20 episode order, but only 14 will have aired, so 6 will remain. ABC will likely hold them over for next season, which it is likely to return. Not sure what this means for the second season DVD that is slated to come out Aug. 25...will they have all 20 on there or just the 14 aired?
The two-hour season finale of Ugly Betty is still scheduled to air in the 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT slot on Thursday, May 21, 2009. So Ugly Betty will air all 24 of its hours this season, as previously it didn't match-up with just 23 hours.

YouTube has just recently added a "Shows" section where you can watch full episodes of TV shows! There are many genres of television shows you can watch, with of course Classic TV, Comedy, and Drama. YouTube has partnered with the likes of Sony's Crackle, CBS, MGM, Lionsgate and Starz and many others have made thousands of television episodes and hundreds of movies available for you to watch, comment on, favorite and share. This addition is one of many efforts underway to ensure that YouTube is offering you all the different kinds of video you want to see of full-length films and TV shows.
Get ready here is a list of just some of the stuff you'll see: The Addams Family, ALF, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, American Gladiators, Barney Miller, Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched, Burns and Allen, Dana Carvey Show, Dick Van Dyke Show, Dragnet, Fantasy Island, He-Man, I Dream of Jeannie, Jack Benny, Lucy Show, MacGyver, Make Room for Daddy, Married with Children, My Mother the Car, NewsRadio, Party of Five, Star Trek, T.J. Hooker, Three Stooges, Trouble with Father, and What's Happening!!
Current stuff will also be available such as episodes of Harper's Island and clips of Jimmy Kimmel Live. So head on over to YouTube to start watching!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Rodney Episodes on CMT; 2009 TV Land Awards Show Details; ABC Note

This coming weekend on CMT (Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26) is Rodney Carrington Weekend on CMT. Included in that weekend will be episodes of his sitcom Rodney, which aired on ABC for two seasons from 2004-2006 and lasted 44 episodes. There were six unaired episodes though, but unfortunately we still do not get to see any of them here. Instead, CMT will air six season one episodes. The episodes will premiere on CMT on Friday from 9pm-12am. Various encores of these episodes will air on Saturday from 5:30-7:30pm and Sunday from 8pm-11pm. The episodes airing are: "Teacher" with guest star Christine Lakin (Step by Step), "Halloween," "Dream Lover" with guest star Sofia Vergara, "It's Up It's Good," "Charity Ball," and "Rodney's Affair."
To kick off the weekend, Rodney Carrington will also host the CMT Top 20 Countdown on Friday, April 24 at 11:00am ET/PT. CMT will also air Rodney's one hour Comedy Central special Rodney Carrington Live at the Majestic at 12 midnight (ET/PT). On Sunday April 26, CMT will air the feature film Beer for My Horses starring both Rodney and Toby Keith at 6:00pm and 11:00lm (ET/PT).
Also, a DVD package consisting of all 22 episodes from the first season of Rodney, will be sold exclusively in Wal-Mart as of May 19. Hopefully that package will soon also be available as a regular DVD!

It was an unforgettable and star-studded evening as celebrities from television, film and music came out tonight for the taping of the 2009 TV Land Awards which will premiere on Sunday, April 26 at 8pm ET/PT on TV Land during a special presentation of TV Land PRIME. Appearances included Will Ferrell (presenter for Pop Culture Award), Matthew McConaughey (presenter for Hero Award), Martin Sheen (presenter for Impact Award), Teri Hatcher (presenter for Future Classic Award), Amy Poehler (presenter for Legacy of Laughter Award), Jimmy Kimmel (presenter for Legend Award), Cyndi Lauper, Angela Bassett (presenter for Entertainer Award), Reba McEntire (presenter for Anniversary Award), Jamie Lee Curtis (presenter for Fan Favorite Award), Dr. Phil McGraw (presenter for Innovator Award) and more. This year's honorees included Don Rickles (Legend Award), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Lucille Ball Legacy of Laughter Award), M*A*S*H (Impact Award), Married With Children (Innovator Award), ER, (Icon Award), Home Improvement (Fan Favorite Award), Magnum P.I. (Hero Award), Sid and Marty Krofft (Pop Culture Award), Knots Landing (30th Anniversary Award), Two and a Half Men (Future Classic Award), and Earth, Wind & Fire (Entertainer Award).
An entertaining videotaped parody/show open by host Neil Patrick Harris which took him through his own version of The Twilight Zone, traveling through TV hits spanning from The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Love Boat, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Happy Days - featuring an appearance by Marion Ross, Baywatch and finally Survivor where he comes face to the show's host Jeff Probst.
There was also a heartwarming taped tribute to Don Rickles by close friend and fellow icon Bob Newhart. Neil Patrick Harris performed the song "I'll Take TV," written by acclaimed Academy Award-nominated composer Marc Shaiman (Hairspray, Sleepless In Seattle).
Read more about the 2009 TV Land Awards, and tune in on Sunday (April 26) at 8PM!

As we mentioned on Friday on our message board and yesterday here on our ratings report, ABC will air two all-new episodes of the comedic cop show The Unusuals this week. ABC will air The Unusuals on a special night of Tuesday (April 21) at 10pm following Dancing with the Stars: The Results. That means new romantic comedy-drama Cupid will be preempted this week, but is slated to return the following Tuesday (April 28). The Unusuals will also air on its regular night of Wednesday this week at 10pm, following a Lost Special. The show has a 10 episode order, and thus far has aired two episodes--so after this week four will air in all. So it is slated to air through June 17, unless ABC decides to double up each week, if it does much better than Cupid. But for now, tune in this week! It is a well done show!

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Week 30 Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

Week 30 numbers (first four nights final averages, Mon-Thurs):

Households: Fox 8.2/12.9; CBS 7.2/11.7; ABC 5.5/8.9; NBC 4.5/7.3; The CW 1.2/1.9; MNT 0.8/1.2.
Total Viewers: Fox 13.8 million; CBS 11.61 million; ABC 8.5 million; NBC 7.07 million; The CW 1.79 million; MNT 1.17 million.
Adults 18-49: Fox 4.8/12.9; CBS 3.1/8.4; NBC 2.6/7.2; ABC 2.4/6.5; The CW 0.8/2.2; MNT 0.3/0.9.

Analysis: Week 30 sees Fox with its biggest lead in a few weeks for the first four nights. Through the first four days, Fox has the lead in all categories, with CBS in second in all categories, ABC is third in HH/viewers, with NBC in fourth. NBC has a slim lead for third though in 18-49 for now.
Last week, CBS won in week 29 in HH/viewers, but Fox once again took 18-49 over CBS. Fox was second for the week in HH/viewers, with ABC third in all categories leaving NBC in fourth in all categories.
Monday it was ABC with the victory as Dancing with the Stars continues to dominate. ABC aired the a 90-minute version of Dancing with the Stars at an impressive 19.46 million, down some from the previous week. After that, ABC aired episode two of Bob Saget's new sitcom Surviving Suburbia at 9.71 million, down from the premiere. It needs to do a bit better. A new episode of crime-romance drama Castle followed doing 7.28 million...down a lot from previous week. CBS was all-new and started with comedies, The Big Bang Theory did 10.06 million, the first time it has gone over 10 million in weeks, followed by a new How I Met Your Mother doing 9.6 million, decent. Two and a Half Men followed with 15.03 million, just another day at the job. Rules of Engagement followed and closed the sitcom block with a decent 11.6 million. CBS closed the night with CSI: Miami at 13.39 million, which is a bit below normal. Fox started with a new episode of House and did 12.19 million, down over a million from previous week, then Fox had an all-new 24 doing 10.86 million, down just some from previous week. NBC was next with its sluggish Monday. A new Chuck did 6.21 million, but up a tad from previous week. The free-falling Heroes was next at just 6.83 million, but up some from its series low the previous week. Medium followed with 7.65 million for a new episode, up from previous week and quietly does decent on some nights. The CW was next with repeats (again) of Gossip Girl doing 900,00 viewers and One Tree Hill did 910,000 viewers.
Tuesday it was Fox on top. Fox started with a 64 minute American Idol doing 24.38 million, up two million from previous week. Yet again it goes overtime without notice. Fans DVRing/TiVoing are not happy. Then from 9:04pm to 10:03pm Fox aired a new Fringe at 10.15 million, up some from previous week. Viewers DVRing this also might be upset if they missed the final minutes thanks to the unscheduled Idol overrun. CBS started with a repeat of NCIS doing 13.56 million, followed by a repeat of The Mentalist doing 12.18 million. Without a Trace closed the night out with a new episode doing 13.23 million, up from previous week. As I said, when SVU is a repeat, this show goes up. This show is not a priority for fans of both shows. ABC was next and started with the return of According to Jim doing 4.52 and 4.13 million for two all-new episodes...could be better, but against Idol. Dancing with the Stars: The Results was next at 9pm doing 15.24 million, up from previous week as it only faced Idol for the first 4 minutes this time, which was still not planned. ABC followed with a new Cupid doing 6.1 million...up some from previous week, but ABC will not air it this week as they are airing two episodes of the comedic cop show The Unusuals on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. NBC was next with a two-hour The Biggest Loser doing 9.11 million, up a million from previous week. NBC finished the night with a repeat of Law & Order: SVU at 10pm doing just 6.49 million, as it usually repeats better than this. The CW aired a new episode of Reaper and did 2.05 million, down a tad from previous week and a new 90210 followed with 2.13 million, up some from previous week and finally built on the lead-in since its return.
Wednesday saw Fox dominate big. Fox was lead by the results show of American Idol at 9pm doing 24.11 million, up a lot from previous week. New Fox drama Lie to Me was preempted by a special all-new Bones doing 11.01 million, which is a big improvement. CBS started with repeat episodes of sitcoms Old Christine and Gary Unmarried, doing 5.57 and 5.76 million...not too bad for repeats. A repeat of Criminal Minds followed and did 10.58 million. CSI: NY followed with a new episode though doing 12.14 million, down some from previous week...but it did it on its own since the lead-in was a repeat. ABC was next with a new Scrubs and a new episode of the new Better Off Ted doing 5.06 and 4.62 million...both up from previous week. A good sign. Hopefully more people realize how funny Ted is. A new episode of Lost followed at 9pm doing 9.23 million, up from previous week. A new episode of The Unusuals at 10pm did 6.01 million, not bad and down some from previous week. Again this week it will air TWICE. Tuesday 10 and of course Wednesday at 10. NBC opened the night with a repeat of Law & Order doing 5.17 million, down some from previous week, a repeat of Law & Order: SVU followed and did 5.22 million, which is actually up from previous week when NBC aired the finale of Life. Law & Order followed at 10pm with another repeat and did 5.97 million, up week-to-week. The CW was on the map with America's Next Top Model doing a nice 3.78 million, up some from previous week then The CW followed with an encore of what else--90210-- doing 870,000 viewers.
Thursday saw CBS with the win. CBS started with a new Survivor: Tocantis at once again a below normal 11.64 million, but up from previous week. CSI was next with 15.72 million, down nearly a million from previous week but only a 3.8 18-49 rating again, the same as previous two weeks. And episode two of Harper's Island closed the night at 7.82 million, which was down nearly three million from the premiere...not good news at all for CBS. Fox started with Bones at 8.85 million, off a bit from previous week. An all-new Hell's Kitchen followed at 9pm did 8.11 million, up again from previous week. NBC started a new episode of My Name is Earl at 5.35 million at 8pm, what has happened? Then the new Parks and Recreation followed with 6.02 million, down some from the premiere. If it stays at 6 million or better, it'll be safe...anything lower is sayonara. The Office followed with a new episode doing 8.37 million, up some from previous week and 30 Rock followed with 7.32 million, up from previous week. NBC closed the night with a new episode of Southland doing 9.61 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating, both down just a bit from the premiere...but can it do that this week when ABC is back all-new? ABC started with a new In the Motherhood doing 4.62 million, up some from previous week. An all-new Samantha Who? was next and did 4.84 million, on par really from previous week. A repeat of Grey's Anatomy was next and did 5.06 million, on par really from previous week. It returns this Thursday for new episodes the rest of the season. I've see the first two episodes back, and they are AMAZING. Good mix of drama and comedy even. Tune in. A repeat of Private Practice followed and did 4.23 million at 10pm, on par really from previous week. Smallville was a repeat on The CW and did 1.79 million followed by a repeat of Supernatural at 1.85 million, both down a bit week-to-week.
Now, as usual final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with repeat of Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint, NUMBERS. ABC did below normal with 20/20. The Prison Break return for Fox was very low rated, and NBC did much better with a two-hour Dateline.
Saturday numbers were quiet, with CBS winning in viewers and Fox in 18-49, as NBC did terrible with a new Kings and repeats, including an encore of Southland.
Tonight ABC Sunday returns! Though ABC will have to battle with CBS for the viewer title, but ABC will easily win in 18-49. CBS has a new 60 Minutes followed by the Amazing Race 14, & Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie. ABC will have a new AFV, a repeat of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and the returns of new episodes of Desperate Housewives. and Brothers & Sisters. Once again, as I said last week, I've seen the Brothers & Sisters return and it is very well done! Cristian de la Fuente guest stars. NBC has the two-hour Miss USA Pageant at 7pm and a two-hour Celebrity Apprentice, which is nothing it used to be. Fox has an all-new lineup of its animated comedies from 7:30-10, which includes the premiere of Sit Down Shut Up.
As for the week, CBS should win the week in HH/viewers, with Fox in 18-49. Fox will be second in HH/viewers, while ABC will take third in all categories. NBC will be fourth everywhere. As for the coming week...ABC has two episodes of The Unusuals this week (Tuesday and Wednesday at 10). While as we mentioned before, special repeats for CBS on special nights will happen Mon-Wed this week. No House tomorrow on Fox, as a special Bones is airing, while no Lost this Wednesday but a special will air. And Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice return for ABC!



Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of April 6-12, Week 29)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) - A repeat did 4.75 million.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) 2 episodes - A repeat at 7:30 only did 3.01 million, though up some from the previous week. A repeat at 8:30 did 4.21 million. New episodes will now air at 7:30pm starting tonight.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 5.32 million for a repeat, lower than the previous week's repeat.
  • American Dad! (Fox) 2 episodes - 1.96 million for a repeat at 7pm was lower than previous week, as its regular 9:30pm slot was also a repeat and did 4.5 million.

Week 30 (April 13-19):
Monday Sitcoms

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 10.06 million for a new episode. Very good.
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 9.6 million for a new episode..good.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 15.03 million for a new episode is #1 for all sitcoms.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 11.6 million for a new episode, again could be better still but decent.
  • Surviving Suburbia (ABC) - 9.71 million for a new episode...down a million and a half from the premiere. Hopefully it goes back up tomorrow.

Tuesday Sitcoms

  • According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes - 4.52 and 4.13 million for two new episodes...the first one did acceptable at least.
Wednesday Sitcoms

  • Old Christine (CBS) - 5.57 million for a repeat.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - 5.76 million for a repeat, built from the lead-in at least.
  • Scrubs (ABC) - New showing did 5.06 million, up from previous week, as part two of the Bahama story aired.
  • Better Off Ted (ABC) - 4.62 million for a new episode, up from previous week. Hopefully this is a sign of growth.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - Returned with a new episode and did just 5.35 million.
  • In the Motherhood (ABC) - Just 4.62 million, but up some from previous week.
  • Parks and Recreation (NBC) - 6.02 million, down from the premiere, but still built from the lead-in.
  • Samantha Who? (ABC) - 4.84 million, on par from previous week. This show could see a huge jump this week as Grey's is back with new episodes.
  • The Office (NBC) - 8.37 million, up from previous week.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - 7.32 million...also up week-to-week.

Friday Sitcoms

  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - A repeat episode did a prelim 1.47 million...down a bit from previous week's prelim numbers.
  • The Game (The CW) - A repeat episode did a prelim 1.31 million. Down from previous week's prelim numbers by a bit.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are new episodes of Fox animated comedies from 7:30-10pm!

Summing it up. The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Rules of Engagement & The Office were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (Surviving Suburbia, Parks and Recreation) or just plain old terrible (such as In the Motherhood, According to Jim 8:30).

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blog DVD Review: Snoopy's Reunion - Remastered Deluxe Edition

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 Snoopy's Reunion Remastered Deluxe Edition. This is a 1991 CBS special as Snoopy reunites with his beagle family! See my Blog DVD Review of Snoopy's Reunion Remastered Deluxe Edition:

Snoopy's Reunion - Remastered Deluxe Edition (Warner, $19.98) brings us the 1991 CBS special on DVD digitally remastered...and it is really worth it! Plus in addition to the Snoopy's Reunion special, we also get It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown, a 1984 CBS special that is also about Snoopy primarily.
The Snoopy's Reunion special starts off with flashbacks on how Charlie Brown got Snoopy from Daisy Hill Puppy Farm. Now it has been one year since Snoopy saw his beagle family. He gets to see his siblings Spike, Andy, Olaf, Marbles, Belle, Molly and Rover as well return to see Daisy Hill Puppy Farm. In the Flashbeagle special, it's break-dancing time for the gang! Totally '80s! Some find the dancing difficult like Linus, but it of course comes very easy to Snoopy, the fleet-footed flashbeagle!
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? It doesn't need protection. Also, both the back and front of each are exactly the same, except the box is shinier. The cover art is red-orange in color, and has a shot of Snoopy with his siblings playing in a band. 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 (It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown). To the back we go, we get a nice synopsis of the Snoopy's Reunion special, along with a list of the special features below that. The back is also in red-orange in color with artwork of Snoopy and Charlie Brown greeting Spike. When we open the case, we get black background all over, very plain, but of course the disc is inside. The disc is in red-orange color and has artwork of Snoopy playing an instrument.
The menu screen has options of Features, Special Features, and Languages. We get that red-orange background again, with the theme song playing in the background. We also have the same artwork as the cover art with the garage band. Anyway back to the menu, for Languages, we can have either English or Japanese. For subtitles we have those two again and also French, Korean 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 continue to say about these digitally remastered sets?. Warner continues to do a great job on this remastering of all these classic specials. Snoopy's Reunion special runs 23:13 and has 4 chapter stops, which you an use via your DVD remote. The Flashbeagle special runs 24:18 and has 5 chapter stops.
As for special features, we get a nice featurette! It is titled "Together Again: A Peanuts Voice-Cast Reunion" and runs 9:49. Some of the actors who have voiced these beloved characters over the years were reunited at ComicCon 2008. This is very neat to see how they look and more importantly, sound now. Interviewed and seen are Lee Mendelson, Peter Robbins, Sally Dryer, Chris DeFaria, Jason Mendelson, Gabrielle DeFaria Ritter, Hilary Momberger, and Robin Kohn Glazer. We also get Trailers from other Warner animation titles (Follow That Bird, Charlie Brown Valentine and Easter), which some also are auto-played before the main menu starts.
I once again highly do recommend this set for any Charlie Brown-Peanuts fan and classic animation in general. Snoopy shines here! There are many fans of Snoopy out there, and this special is truly all about him. There is no Charlie Brown in the title, which is very rare for a Peanuts special. 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 Peanuts specials and eventually we get them all remastered in our personal libraries! So reunite yourself with this DVD on your couch and then you can also break-dance as well!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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

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

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Fox Mid-Season Pilot Review: Sit Down, Shut Up - Premieres April 19; ABC Family Change; GSN Awards

Sit Down Shut Up

Sit Down, Shut Up - Sundays 8:30PM ET/PT on Fox
Premieres Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 8:30PM ET/PT

There is a new kid on the block on Fox's Sunday night animation lineup, and this time it comes from Emmy Award-winning writer Michael Hurwitz of the series Arrest Development. Sit Down, Shut Up is an animated comedy about the staff of Knob Creek High School, a high school in a small Florida town, and much like in the drama series Boston Public, we find that the teachers can have as many (if not more) problems than their students. There is the acting principal Sue Sezno, and as the name suggests, she always says no. Of course, the upbeat vice principal Stuart Prozakian is always there to counter-balance her at all times. And there is an entire ensemble cast of teachers with their own respective problems.


Cast Details:

* Will Arnett as Ennis Hofftard
* Jason Bateman as Larry Littlejunk
* Kristen Chenoweth as Miracle Grohe
* Will Forte as Stuart Proszackian
* Tom Kenny as Happy
* Nick Kroll as Andrew LeGustambos
* Cheri Oteri as Helen Klench
* Kenan Thompson as Sue Sezno
* Henry Winkler as Willard Deutschebog


Will Arnett (Ennis) is best known to sitcom fans in his role as Gob Bluth on the series Arrested Development, but has also had many film roles including roles in Ice Age: The Meltdown, RV, and Monster-in-Law. He has also recently completed filming two upcoming films, G-Force and When in Rome.

Jason Bateman (Larry) is known to sitcom fans from the series Arrested Development and the 80s sitcoms Silver Spoons and The Hogan Family. He has also played roles in the films The Ex, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Starsky & Hutch. He has recently signed a deal to develop, direct, and write original content for 20th Century Fox Television.

Kristen Chenoweth (Miracle) was recently nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in the series Pushing Daises and also has credits from the series Ugly Betty and The West Wing. She will soon be in the upcoming David E. Kelly legal drama Legally Mad.

Will Forte (Stuart) has spent several years on the series Saturday Night Live, and is considered to be a rising comedy star by many critics. He has also been in the films Baby Mama and Beerfest.

Tom Kenny (Happy) is no stranger to fans of animated series, as he is the voice of the very popular character SpongeBob SquarePants. He has also played roles in the Nickelodeon series CatDog and Rocko's Modern Life, and countless other animated series. In addition, he has made appearances at comedy clubs across the country and on the late night talk shows.

Nick Kroll (Andrew) is an up-and-coming actor that has starred in Cavemen, Best Week Ever, Worst Week, The Life and Times of Tim, and Reno 911. He is also a writer that co-authored the book "Bar Mitzvah Disco" and was a contributing writer on Chappelle's Show. He has also done some standup comedy at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival as well as the Bonnaroo Festival.

Cheri Oteri (Helen) is known for her years on Saturday Night Live, and has also appeared in many films including Scary Movie, Inspector Gadget, Liar Liar, and Shrek the Third, among many others. She has had several guest appearances on series such as Just Shoot Me, Strangers with Candy, and Boston Legal.

Kenan Thompson (Sue) is another Saturday Night Live actor (currently in his fifth season) that is also known to a generation of youth that grew up on Nickelodeon in the 90s from the series Kenan and Kel as well as All That. He also starred with Kel Mitchell on the feature film Good Burger. Other major film credits for Thompson include Snakes on a Plane, Fat Albert, D2: The Mighty Ducks, and Rocky & Bullwinkle.

Henry Winkler (Williard) is the true "veteran" of the cast, known to fans all around the world as "The Fonz" from the hit sitcom Happy Days. He has also served as a producer for series including MacGyver, Hollywood Squares, Sightings, So Weird, among others. In 2003, he began writing a series of children's novels entitled "Hank Zipzer: The World's Most Amazing Underachiever," which are inspired by his struggle with learning challenges. He has also appeared on Arrested Development.


Pilot Plot:

For the review, we had the first and second episode of the series. The series is scheduled to air 5 of its 13 produced episodes for now, all in five consecutive weeks.

#1 "Pilot" (Airs April 19) - Knob Haven High School is facing some serious budget problems, and Sue Sezno knows the way to repair the budget problems: by soliciting donations from alumni. But the alumni will only be willing to do that if they can win the upcoming football game.

#2 "Miracle's Are Real" (Airs April 26) - Miracle Grohe decides to spread some spring cheer by giving her fellow colleagues some flowers (which actually turn out to be hemlock), placing the school into another financial crisis. The school carnival is the way to make this money, but this causes a bit of trouble between Sue Sezno and Helen Klench.


Analysis:

Catchphrases, stereotypes, and clichés. That is all that I saw in the two episodes that I received to review. The series lacks substance, and without that substance, it can't go very far. Over and over again, we are reminded in both of these episodes that Sue Sezno always says no, that Stuart Proszakian used to be a prison clown, that Ennis Hofftard is a womanizing jock, that Miracle Grohe has a baby that she carries with her at all times, that Willard Deutschbog is having a miserable life... I think that pretty much drives home my point. But where does the series go from that point? I can't see any real direction for the series in these two episodes.

It doesn't help either that the ensemble cast on the series is big--way too big in fact. There are basically nine different characters that make up the core cast of the series, and the writers have attempted to place every single one of these characters in a plotline in each episode. It would have been better to have had each episode focus on one major plot with just a few of the characters, but instead, with the series as it is, all we really have time for is several mini-plots that just reinforce the catchphrases, stereotypes, and clichés.

Both of the first two episodes basically focus on the same thing: budgetary problems at the school and how to fix those financial issues. One has to wonder if this is pretty much the direction that many or most episodes will go in. So far, it doesn't appear that there is much variety in the plots of the episodes, which doesn't matter anyway because the series doesn't have time to develop much of a plot with all of the characters and the catchphrases, stereotypes, and clichés. There were a few "chuckle" moments in the episodes, but there really wasn't anything that caused me to burst out into laughter. It is a shame, really, because I can see that with the characters and background of the series, that this could have the potential to be that kind of series.

However, one thing that I did think was a little nice and creative was the use of live action backgrounds for some of the scenes in the series. It reminded me a lot of the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and it is surprising that this style hasn't been used that much in other animated sitcoms.


Conclusion:

I honestly believe that this will be another one of the many Fox series that doesn't make it, although I could be wrong about that. Unlike the other animated series on Fox, this series is just too full of catchphrases and stereotypes to a point where it becomes outright obnoxious. The series really sounded good when I read about it, but there is some disconnect between the concept and what we actually have here. Not only is the series inconsistent with the other animated series on the Fox Sunday night lineup, but matters are only made worse by the fact that the series isn't that funny.

Still, I feel like the series could have the potential to be a good series under the right circumstances, but there is no way this show could go on for years--or even more than a handful of episodes for that matter--by repeating catchphrases, clichés, and stereotypes all the time. The series could work well if it had well-written storylines that were funny or even outright absurd (such as the ones on Family Guy), but the series just isn't meant to make it in the form that it is seen on the premiere episodes. I've been wrong about these things before, but I have a feeling that the series will be off the air before many episodes are even aired.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3/5
Funniness: 2/5
Overall: 3/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 04/17/09

Discuss the show after you watch it on Sunday, April 19 on our message board.

Related Links:

  • Fox.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Sit Down, Shut Up Photo Gallery



  • Now back to the news. ABC Family's original sitcoms Roommates and Sophie are not doing that well in the ratings. They air Mondays back-to-back starting at 9:00PM ET/PT. Now ABC Family is removing the encore airings that air late Tuesday nights at 12:00am & 12:30am, and replacing them with Whose Line Is It Anyway? starting this Tuesday (April 21). So if you watch these shows and like them, watch them live on Monday nights because now there will be no encore airings.

    GSN announced that it will make television history with The Game Show Awards - the very first awards show exclusively aimed at celebrating excellence in the genre of games. The two and a half-hour, star-studded extravaganza will premiere on June 6, 2009 starting at 8PM ET/7PM CT only on GSN, and will honor classic and contemporary game shows, with special tributes to pioneers Bob Barker (The Price is Right), legendary game show producer Mark Goodson, and host Monty Hall (Let's Make a Deal). In keeping with the participatory nature of game shows and GSN's programming, fans will be able to vote for their favorite nominees online at GSN.com in several categories, including best/favorite host, model, announcer, contestant, catch phrase, sound effect and others.
    View the full details an categories for the first annual Game Show Awards.

    Stay tuned next week as we give you some classic TV sitcom appearances on game shows on GSN, in case you never saw them...and a sitcom is coming to CMT for a special weekend.

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    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    TV Land Makes Early Evening Changes; TV Land Announces Presenters and More for TV Land Awards

    TV Land has announced some last minute schedule changes. The first one begins tonight, with Thursdays 10pm-12am now M*A*S*H instead of The Jeffersons. Now next week that won't happen since the already scheduled Married...with Children stunt is airing, but M*A*S*H will air tonight and April 30. The rest of the changes are to the weekday late afternoon/early evening line-up starting Tuesday, April 21, 2009. At 4pm ET/PT we get a second episode of Bonanza replacing two episodes of Green Acres. Bonanza will remain at 3pm as well. Then from 5-8pm we had three episodes each of Beverly Hillbillies and Hogan's Heroes, but now we have will some changes. In the 5pm hour we get two episodes of Hogan's Heroes replacing back-to-back Beverly Hillbillies. In the 6pm hour we now get Green Acres replacing one Hillbillies and one Hogan's Heroes. Then finally in the 7pm hour we get two episodes of Beverly Hillbillies replacing back-to-back Hogan's Heroes.
    So nothing is replaced in the weekday schedule, but some time shifting, while Bonanza gets an extra episode and Hogan's and Hillbillies get an episode reduced.
    See our TV Land April 2009 schedule and highlights, if you haven't seen it.

    Sticking with TV Land, they announced that legendary producers Sid and Marty Krofft will receive the Pop Culture Award at the 2009 TV Land Awards, and Will Ferrell, star of the upcoming film Land of the Lost, Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives), Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live, Parks and Recreation), comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel Live!), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) and TV talk show host and psychologist Dr. Phil will be among the presenters at the evening's celebration.
    Additionally, music stars Cyndi Lauper and David Cassidy will perform in the tribute to Sid and Marty Krofft. The two-hour show, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will tape this Sunday (April 19) at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City and will air on TV Land during a special presentation of TV Land PRIME on Sunday, April 26th at 8PM ET/PT.
    Medical drama ER has been added as an honoree at the 2009 TV Land Awards. ER, one of television's longest running dramas, will be presented with the Icon Award for the way that it changed television with its fast-paced steadi-cam shots as well as for its amazing and gritty storylines. The Icon Award is presented to a television program with immeasurable fame and longevity. The show transcends generations and is recognized by peers and fans around the world. Cast members Alex Kingston, Anthony Edwards, Linda Cardellini, Ellen Crawford, Laura Innes, Kellie Martin, Mekhi Phifer, Parminder Nagra, Shane West and Yvette Freeman will all be in attendance to accept the award.

    Other stars scheduled to appear so far: Don Rickles, Julia Louis-Dreyfus; cast of Home Improvement Tim Allen, Zachary Ty Bryan, Debbe Dunning, Richard Karn, Patricia Richardson, Taran Noah Smith; cast of Knots Landing Lisa Hartman Black, Kevin Dobson, William DeVane, Constance McCashin, David Jacobs, Michele Lee, Don Murray, Donna Mills, Michelle Phillips, Ted Shackleford, Joan Van Ark; cast of Magnum P.I. Larry Manetti, Roger E. Mosley, Tom Selleck; cast of Married with Children Christina Applegate, David Faustino, Ted McGinley, Ed O'Neill, Katey Sagal; cast & crew of M*A*S*H Alan Alda, Allan Arbus, William Christopher, Larry Gelbart, Mike Farrell, Jeff Maxwell, Burt Metcalfe, Gene Reynolds, David Ogden Stiers, Loretta Swit, Kellye Nakahara Wallet; and cast & crew of Two and a Half Men Mark Burg, Jon Cryer, Conchata Ferrell, Angus T Jones, Chuck Lorre, Charlie Sheen, Holland Taylor.
    TV Land previously announced additional honorees for this year's show including Don Rickles (Legend Award), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Legacy of Laughter Award), Married With Children (Innovator Award), M*A*S*H (Impact Award), Home Improvement (Fan Favorite Award), Magnum P.I. (Hero Award), Two and a Half Men (Future Classic Award) and Knots Landing (30th Anniversary Award).

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    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    The Nanny Joins Nick at Nite in May 2009; TBS Orders Original Animated Comedy

    We have mentioned many times that The Nanny is coming to Nick at Nite in spring 2009. Yesterday we gave you an actual date. That was for the all-night marathon launch on Sunday, May 10 from 9pm-6am ET/PT...now we have the regular airing schedule, along with the rest of Nick at Nite May 2009! Effective Monday, May 11, 2009 The Nanny will join the Nick at Nite line-up airing Sun-Thurs at 11:00pm & 11:30pm ET/PT. That will force Nick at Nite to move Family Matters, which is one of their big guns, to 12:00am & 12:30am ET/PT on Sun-Thurs nights. You might say why are they doing this? Now Nick at Nite will sandwich The Nanny in between big time ratings hits George Lopez (10-11pm) and Family Matters (12-1am). Now if The Nanny does falter, they can always switch it to midnight and move Urkel and company back to 11pm. Family Matters is replacing Home Improvement at 12 midnight. That hour of Home Improvement will move to Mon-Thurs 3-4am ET/PT, replacing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Fresh Prince will now only air Mon-Thurs from 2-3am, instead of the 2-5am block. The Nanny will also air 4-5am on Mon-Thurs nights, followed by Family Matters from 5-6am on Mon-Thurs nights, replacing Roseanne. Family Matters will also remain at 6am as well on weekdays. Now if you noticed the late night airings are Mon-Thurs (1am-6am) rather than Sun-Thurs like primetime (9pm-1am). On Sunday nights at 1am, we get back-to-back Home Improvement episodes replacing The Cosby Show, which is now gone from Nick at Nite. The Nanny airs 2-3am and Family Matters from 3-4am on Sunday nights, with Roseanne closing it out with a two-hour block from 4-6am.
    So now that Sun-Thurs is all done, we have Friday & Saturday left. Again it is broken up into two different pieces (10pm-1am and 1am-6am). On both nights we get a change at 12 midnight with The Nanny airing back-to-back episodes, replacing Family Matters. Family Matters moves to 2-3am on Friday nights and 1-2am on Saturday nights, both replacing Home Improvement. Home Improvement moves to 4-5am on Friday nights replacing Roseanne and 2-3am on Saturday nights replacing Family Matters. The Nanny airs 3-4am on Saturday nights replacing Family Matters. Family Matters late night airing on Saturday nights are now 4-5am, replacing an hour of Roseanne, which will only be 5-6am on Saturday nights now. 5-6am on Friday nights will be The Nanny, replacing Family Matters encore.
    In other May news, we get a George Lopez marathon on Tuesday, May 5 from 9pm-3am ET/PT called "Cinco de Lopez II." Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Lopez style!
    This is the first major schedule change in a while. It is hard to follow, but here is a recap: The Nanny joins, Cosby Show is gone, Fresh Prince & Roseanne are heavily reduced, and Family Matters and Home Improvement get some time shifting, while George Lopez's slots remain unchanged.
    Still confused? Don't worry, view the full Nick at Nite May 2009 schedule.

    Adding a devilish touch to its line-up, TBS has greenlit the half-hour animated series Neighbors from Hell, which comes to the network from Fox TV Animation (same people who do Family Guy), DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. and Jeffrey Katzenberg (Shrek). Pam Brady (South Park), who wrote the pilot episode, and Mireille Soria (Madagascar) will serve as executive producers. TBS has ordered 10 episodes of the series, marking the network's first foray into original primetime animation. The series should work well with reruns of Family Guy on TBS.
    Neighbors from Hell centers on the Hellmans, a typical, all-American suburban family, with Balthazor; his wife, Tina; their two children, Mandy and Josh; and their dog, Pazuzu. The only thing that distinguishes them from the rest of the folks in the neighborhood is that the Hellmans happen to be from Hell. They have been sent to Earth to pose as normal suburbanites with a mission to keep humans from finding their way to Hell. Their task is made all the more complicated by Balthazor's growing affection for humans and their odd but endearing qualities.
    TBS has not given a set launch period for this show as of yet.

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    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Nick at Nite Late Night Changes; Spike TV's May 2009 Highlights

    Nick at Nite is making some late night changes starting this week. First, weekdays at 6am another Family Matters is replacing Full House, which is leaving the line-up. This started yesterday. The rest of the changes are to late nights on Friday nights and Sunday nights. Effective Friday, April 17 (which is technically early Saturdays) The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air replaces Roseanne in the 3am hour with two episodes. Roseanne will still air 4-5am, though. Then Sunday nights starting Sunday, April 19 (which is technically early Mondays), Family Matters will replace Fresh Prince in the 3am hour, while Roseanne is added with a two-hour block from 4-6am replacing an hour each of Fresh Prince and Family Matters.
    View these changes in a list form, if you're confused. There are no other changes, so if a show is airing in a time we haven't mentioned, it is still airing in that slot.
    This is not all the news we have for Nick at Nite. We have a date for The Nanny launch! The Nanny launches on Sunday, May 10 at 9PM with an all-night Mother's Day marathon! The Nanny will then join the regular schedule the following night (Monday, May 11). When will it air regularly? I won't reveal that (along with the rest of the new Nick at Nite May 2009 schedule) until tomorrow! So come on back tomorrow! What will be dropped or reduced for the addition of The Nanny? You'll see tomorrow.

    Also this Mother's Day, Spike TV is actually celebrating the day. Celebrate Mother's Day Spike-style with Spike TV's greatest mom of all time - Peg Bundy in a Married... with Children marathon on Sunday, May 10 from 1pm-5pm. The marathon is being called "MILF Day." Then on Memorial Day (Monday, May 25) catch a CSI NY marathon from 9am-7pm. Among the movie premieres in May include Any Given Sunday, The Color of Money, Gangs of New York, and two original movies - Kill Switch & Street Warrior. Spike will also have original episodes of its original series.
    As a preview to June, you'll see a CSI NY week-long marathon from 9am-7pm the week of June 22-26. The following week it will be CSI vs. CSI NY from 9am-3pm and a Star Wars movies marathon from 3pm-9pm the week of June 29-July 3.

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    Monday, April 13, 2009

    Hallmark Brings Back Little House, Matlock; JustMyShow.com Interviews Charles in Charge's Michael Pearlman

    Late Friday we got word of The Hallmark Channel making a very last minute change that would take in effect TODAY! We told you a bit about it this weekend on Twitter and our message board. That gives you even more incentive to follow us on Twitter in case breaking news happens. Well anyway, the schedule takes in effect today (Monday, April 13), as Hallmark is looking to stabilize their line-up. After a short two week hiatus, Little House on the Prairie is called on once again to help out. It will return and air weekdays at 10am and 11am, replacing an hour of I Love Lucy and an episode of Touched by an Angel. Touched will still air weekdays at noon, while Lucy is now back down to just weeknights at 2:30am. Also returning to the schedule is a show that has been gone from the regular line-up for a while now...Matlock! Ben and company will air weekdays at 3pm and 4pm, replacing M*A*S*H. Not to worry M*A*S*H fans, the block will now be moved to 5-7pm, but we do lose an hour. The Golden Girls will gain an hour in early evening and move from 6-7pm to 7-9pm, replacing 7th Heaven. 7th Heaven will remain in the afternoons at 1pm and 2pm. There you have it, the new changes. Will this work for them? We shall soon find out. It looks like a better schedule for ratings, though.
    We will keep you up to date, and no sign of Walker, Texas Ranger returning... and Waltons fans, that show expired at the end of March so that doesn't have a chance of returning.

    Our friend Eric at JustMyShow.com has a new podcast up featuring an interview with Michael Pearlman. Before Jamie, Sarah and Adam Powell on Charles in Charge, there was Lila, Douglas and Jason Pembroke. Don't be confused. Michael Pearlman is here to give you the inside word on Charles in Charge's first family--the Pembrokes. I liked the Pembrokes. They were fun and not as known as the Powells. I may have preferred the more popular Powell seasons, but the Pembrokes were also good and started this show off!
    As an actor, Michael Pearlman is best know for the role of Jason Pembroke in the first season of Charles in Charge. He has since left Hollywood for Wyoming where he writes the outdoor adventure blog Generation Recreation.
    Eric even gives us at SitcomsOnline a quick mention in the first question to Michael! So now this makes this interview a must listen! Thanks Eric! So head on over to JustMyShow.com to listen to the interview Eric does with Michael Pearlman! And after you listen to that, get more of Michael Pearlman over there by listening to bonus clips, which includes Michael talking about how he got the role and how it was to meet the second family. Good stuff!

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    Sunday, April 12, 2009

    Week 29 Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

    Week 29 numbers (first four nights final averages, Mon-Thurs):

    Households: CBS 8.2/13.3; Fox 7.9/12.4; ABC 5.6/9.0; NBC 4.5/7.2; The CW 1.4/2.1; MNT 0.7/1.1.
    Total Viewers: Fox 13.32 million; CBS 13.31 million; ABC 8.63 million; NBC 6.99 million; The CW 1.98 million; MNT 1.05 million.
    Adults 18-49: Fox 4.7/12.7; CBS 3.6/9.8; NBC 2.5/6.8; ABC 2.4/6.5; The CW 0.9/2.4; MNT 0.3/0.9.

    Analysis: Week 29 sees CBS and Fox again neck and neck. Through the first four days, Fox and CBS share a slim lead each in viewers and HH, but Fox has a big lead in 18-49 with CBS in second, ABC is third in HH/viewers, with NBC in fourth. NBC has a slim lead for third though in 18-49.
    Last week, CBS won in week 28 in HH/viewers, but Fox once again took 18-49 but just barely over CBS. Fox was second for the week in HH/viewers, with ABC third and NBC in fourth even with the ER finale. NBC was third though in 18-49, nipping by ABC.
    Monday it was ABC with the victory as Dancing with the Stars continues to dominate. ABC aired the first 90-minute version of Dancing with the Stars at an impressive 19.88 million, down some from the previous week, but that was two-hours. After that, ABC aired the series premiere of Bob Saget's new sitcom Surviving Suburbia at a decent 11.25 million. Hopefully it can sustain or build tomorrow. A new episode of crime-romance drama Castle followed doing 9.03 million...on par really from previous week despite not having the Dancing lead-in. This show's plots get better each week. CBS started with repeats of its 8pm comedies, The Big Bang Theory did a below normal for a repeat at 6.94 million, followed by a repeat of How I Met Your Mother doing 6.1 million, not too good. The rest of CBS Monday was preempted for the NCAA Basketball Championship game between UNC and Michigan State at 17.65 million, which lasted until 11:47pm. Two and a Half Men, Rules of Engagement and CSI: Miami return tomorrow. Fox started with a new episode of House and did 13.29 million, up from previous week, then Fox had an all-new 24 doing 10.96 million, down from previous week, as it probably was affected by NCAA. NBC was next with its sluggish Monday. A new Chuck did 6.1 million, but up from previous week. The downfall of Heroes continues as this show did just 6.11 million, a series low, and a series low of 2.6 18-49 rating. What to do NBC? Medium followed with 7.17 million for a new episode, down a bit from previous week. The CW was next with repeats (already?) of Gossip Girl doing 1.08 million and One Tree Hill did 1.09 million.
    Tuesday it was Fox on top, but CBS was very close behind. Fox started with a 69 minute American Idol doing 22.81 million, down near two million from previous week, then at 9:09pm to 10:07pm Fox returned Fringe at just 9.88 million, as it went down each 15 minutes except from 10-10:07pm, as viewers tuning in for 10pm programming probably came in. CBS started with a new NCIS doing 17.81 million, up some from previous week. A new episode of The Mentalist was next and did 16.92 million, on par really from previous week. Without a Trace was next at 12.15 million, down some from previous week. ABC was next and started with the holiday special Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown & Charlie Brown All-Stars doing 4.36 million, as this is not as high rated as the classics like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Dancing with the Stars: The Results was next at 9pm doing 14.56 million, up from previous week as it only faced Idol for the first 9 minutes, which was not planned but Fox was slick. ABC followed with a new Cupid doing 5.71 million...down over a million from previous week, it should do better. It's a simple plot...Cupid tries to hook up a new couple each week, so this isn't serialized folks, you can join in anytime! NBC was next with a two-hour The Biggest Loser doing 8.1 million, down from previous week again. NBC finished the night with a new Law & Order: SVU at 10pm doing 9.26 million...down some week-to-week. The CW aired a new episode of Reaper and did 2.11 million, down from previous week and a new 90210 followed with only 1.96 million, down from previous week's return.
    Wednesday saw Fox dominate. Fox was lead by the results show of American Idol at 9pm doing 22.98 million, but that was nearly down two million from previous week. New Fox drama Lie to Me started the night off at 8pm doing 8.56 million, down from previous week. CBS started with new episodes of sitcoms Old Christine and Gary Unmarried, doing 7.17 and 7.24 million...not too bad. A new Criminal Minds followed and did 13.61 million. CSI: NY followed with a new episode as well doing 12.5 million, seems lower that normal. ABC was next with a new Scrubs and a new episode of the new Better Off Ted doing 4.56 and 4.04 million...both down from previous week. A new episode of Lost followed at 9pm doing a below normal 8.56 million, down from previous week, as it seems everything was down from normal on this night (except some of CBS). And the series premiere of The Unusuals at 10pm did 6.83 million, it improved on the numbers in the slot, but needs to do this or better every week. It's a good show, too! NBC opened the night with a repeat of Law & Order doing 5.44 million, the finale of Life followed and did an improved 4.6 million, down nearly from previous week. Law & Order followed at 10pm with another repeat and did a way below normal 4.64 million, down nearly two million week-to-week, as looks like Unusuals affected it a bit. The CW was on the map with America's Next Top Model doing a nice 3.69 million, down some from previous week then The CW followed with a special episode doing 1.86 million...was that a clip show?
    Thursday saw CBS with the win. CBS started with a new Survivor: Tocantis at once again a below normal 11.24 million, down a tad from previous week. CSI was next with 16.62 million, up two million from previous week but only a 3.8 18-49 rating, the same as previous week. And the premiere of new mystery Harper's Island closed the night at 10.21 million, which was lower than Eleventh Hour's finale the previous week...not a good sign. Fox started with Bones at 9.01 million, off a bit from previous week. An all-new Hell's Kitchen followed at 9pm did 7.54 million, up from previous week. NBC started with a special all-new episode of The Office at a special time doing a decent 7.32 million at 8pm, as My Name is Earl was preempted. Then the series premiere of Parks and Recreation followed with 6.88 million, which is OK, but will it continue that? The Office followed with a second new episode on its normal time doing a better 8.02 million and 30 Rock followed with 6.81 million, needs to do better. NBC closed the night wit the series premiere of Southland doing 9.86 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating, not bad and on par with this season of ER. Will it continue? ABC started with a new In the Motherhood doing 4.51 million, down from previous week. An all-new Samantha Who? was next and did 4.83 million, up some from previous week. A repeat of Grey's Anatomy was next and did 5.12 million, up some from previous week. One more week before the return on April 23 for the final batch of episodes of the season. A repeat of Private Practice followed and did 4.22 million at 10pm, up from previous week. Smallville was a repeat on The CW and did 1.97 million followed by a repeat of Supernatural at 2.05 million.
    Now, as usual final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint, NUMBERS. ABC finished second for the night helped by 20/20. The Sarah Connor Chronicles finale and a new Dollhouse did terrible for Fox, and NBC was not much better with the season finale of Friday Night Lights. A typical Friday.
    Saturday numbers were quiet, with ABC winning the night with the classic film The Ten Commandments.
    Tonight Easter will affect programming a bit. CBS should win. CBS has a new 60 Minutes followed by the Amazing Race 14, Cold Case & The Unit. ABC will have a new AFV, a new two-hour Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and a repeat of Desperate Housewives. The regular line-up including Brothers & Sisters, returns next week until the ends of the season. I've seen the Brothers & Sisters return already...good stuff! NBC has a two-hour Dateline at 7pm and a two-hour Celebrity Apprentice, which is nothing it used to be. Fox has a repeat lineup of its animated comedies.
    As for the week, CBS should win the week in HH/viewers, with Fox in 18-49. Fox will be second in HH/viewers, while ABC will take third in HH/viewers, but it will be close race for third in 18-49 but ABC should edge NBC. As for the coming week...ABC returns According to Jim on Tuesday with back-to-back episodes starting at 8:00pm, as Constance Marie (Angie from George Lopez) guest stars! Look for a stunning black dress! And on Friday Fox returns Prison Break with its final episodes.



    Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of March 30-April 5, Week 28)

    • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - 6.5 million for an all-new episode...down a bit from previous week. A special repeat at 9:30 did an OK 5.54 million.
    • King of the Hill (Fox) - A repeat at 7:30 only did 2.89 million, down a tad from the previous week.
    • Family Guy (Fox) 2 episodes - We got two repeats...the first at a special time of 8:30pm did 5.87 million, and the second in its regular time at 9pm did a better 6.18 million.
    • American Dad! (Fox) - 2.58 million for a repeat at 7pm was a bit better than previous week, as its regular 9:30pm slot was preempted.

    Week 29:
    Monday Sitcoms

    • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 6.94 million for a repeat...below normal.
    • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - Only 6.1 million for a repeat is below normal, but in defense, it aired in the late night in the mountain time zone.
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - preempted.
    • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - preempted.
    • Surviving Suburbia (ABC) - 11.25 million for the premiere. Sounds good, but could have been better. If it does similar number or more, then it is doing its job.

    Tuesday Sitcoms

    • None.
    Wednesday Sitcoms

    • Old Christine (CBS) - 7.17 million for a new episode is not too bad.
    • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - 7.24 million for a new episode, and built from the lead-in.
    • Scrubs (ABC) - New showing did 4.56 million, down from previous week, as JD and the gang went to the Bahamas. Part two this week.
    • Better Off Ted (ABC) - 4.04 million for a new episode, series low. Too bad it was a good episode with a funny look at racism.

    Thursday Sitcoms

    • My Name is Earl (NBC) - preempted
    • In the Motherhood (ABC) - Just 4.51 million, lowest yet. That bully at the school was great. Gary Coleman like character, but mean.
    • Parks and Recreation (NBC) - 6.88 million for the premiere is not bad, but remember Kath & Kim started this way too and this show had Office as its lead-in and lead-out.
    • Samantha Who? (ABC) - 4.83 million, up some from previous week.
    • The Office (NBC) 2 episodes - 7.32 million for a special all-new 8pm airing could have been better, but the 9pm airing did a decent 8.02 million. I think this show has reached its peak, as the ratings have seen a downward trend.
    • 30 Rock (NBC) - 6.81 million...not good, but not bad.

    Friday Sitcoms

    • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - A new episode did a prelim 1.47 million...down from previous week's prelim numbers.
    • The Game (The CW) - A new episode did a prelim 1.38 million. Down from previous week's prelim numbers by quite a bit.

    Saturday Sitcoms

    • None.

    Airing tonight (Sunday) are repeats of Fox animated comedies from 7-10pm!

    Summing it up. Surviving Suburbia & The Office 9pm were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (The Office 8pm, Parks and Recreation, Gary Unmarried) or just plain old terrible (such as In the Motherhood, Better Off Ted).

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    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    Blog DVD Review: The Paper Chase - Season One

    It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the weekly Blog DVD Review! Today we take a look at Shout! Factory's The Paper Chase - Season One. The Paper Chase is a 1978-79 television series (later revived feom 1983-86) based on a 1970 novel by John Jay Osborn, Jr., as well as a 1973 film based on the novel. It follows the lives of law student James T. Hart and his classmates at Harvard Law School. See skees53's Blog DVD Review of The Paper Chase - Season One:

    The Paper Chase - Season One (Shout!, $49.98) takes viewers through the "first years" of James T. Hart (James Stephens), a first year law school student at Harvard Law School, and his dealings with his tough as nails professor, Charles Kingsfield (John Houseman). James is a young man that grew up in a small Midwestern town and now faces a totally different world that he was never prepared for at Harvard Law School, but is determined to make it in spite of the challenges, the biggest challenge being Professor Kingsfield. As Professor Kingsfield's opening narrative for each episode says, "the study of law is something new and unfamiliar to most of you, unlike any other schooling you have ever known before. You teach yourselves the law, but I train your minds. You come in here with a skull full of mush and, if you survive, you'll leave thinking like a lawyer." The series was based upon the popular film and book of the same title, and ran for one season on CBS in 1978-1979, and was later revived as one of the first series on Showtime in 1983 to 1986.
    Marilu Henner (Taxi) guest stars in the pilot episode, where we first meet our cast of characters, and things don't start out so well for Hart as he arrives late for Kingsfield's class. One of Hart's classmates may be in serious trouble, and decides to count on Hart to defend him from expulsion in "Great Expectations." Hart finds the perfect girlfriend but learns a secret that he'd rather not know when her father is killed (by mobsters) in "Nancy." Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City) guest stars in "Da Da," where one of Hart's classmates is having a hard enough time dealing with married life, let alone the fact that his wife (Cattrall) is pregnant! The women's liberation movement hits Harvard Law when the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is on campus and asked why he has never hired a female law clerk in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."
    One of the classmates finds out why it is never acceptable to cheat in "An Act of Desperation." In "The Man in the Chair," the study group has a new member that is in a wheelchair and they do a lot for him--in fact, too much--which backfires. Hart tutors a black woman that was admitted to the college by affirmative action when he is short on cash in "A Matter of Honor." Hart gets to be Kingsfield's apprentice in "The Apprentice." We go into another class at the law school in "Once More with Feeling," and this professor (Robert Reed, The Brady Bunch) has some serious ethical problems. Hart is out to do better than Kingsfield did on an earlier case in "The Clay Footed Idol." Hart and Kingsfield go directly against each other in a legal case in "The Tables Down at Ernie's."
    The set has the three standard double slimcases inside the slipcase. Inside each slimcase, we find two discs (for a total of six discs), which really have no artwork except for the series name on different law-related backgrounds. The back of each slimcase lists all of the episodes contained on the discs, and there is also an episode booklet that contains episode descriptions, original airdates, and even quotes from some of the episodes. The menus on the set are very basic, with the theme song playing in the background (performed by Seals and Croft of "Summer Breeze" fame, by the way), and options of Play All and Episodes. That is really about all there is to the menus. Once you select an episode, it plays immediately, with chapters placed at all of the appropriate places.
    The video and audio quality of the episodes has a tendency to be a little rough at times, but it isn't terrible. The picture quality is rather clear, but there are some issues with grain and scratches, and there are some unusual color issues at the beginning of some of the episodes. The audio is somewhat dull, but adequate, presented in mono. Closed-captioning is nowhere to be found on the set. There is some variance in runtimes (running anywhere from about 46 minutes to 48 minutes), and since I've never seen the series before this DVD set, it is hard to say whether or not this is normal. However, my best guess is that this fluctuation is nothing to be concerned with, and that the episodes are probably fine.
    Unlike virtually every other recent Shout! Factory release, we are left with no special features on this set. It is unfortunate, but it isn't a big deal. The series really didn't produce any prominent actors, as most of them did not really go on to bigger things after the series ended. Really, in a way, the lack of special features almost is almost fitting for a series like this--it allows the episodes to speak for themselves.
    This is the first time that I've ever seen the series, and I have to admit that I found the series, much like Professor Kingsfield's demeanor, a bit difficult to approach at first. This is definitely one of those series that requires an attention span to watch the episodes. You can't just have it on in the background while you are doing something else; you have to fully focus on the series (again, just like you would if you were studying for Kingsfield's class). But there is no question that this series is a quality series with solid writing and scripts. This is not a series that I'd recommend for any classic TV fan in general, because many people out there will have a hard time understanding the series, but for fans of more "sophisticated" programming (or law school students) are certain to enjoy this series. Of course, fans of the film will also enjoy this series, as there are many similarities to the film. You will now be dismissed... but only when I permit you to do so!

    Reviewed by skees53
    (4/5 stars)

    To purchase this DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
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    Related links:
    SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
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    Friday, April 10, 2009

    CBS Season Finale Dates, Time Shifts; ABC Family Upfront, Sister Sister Reunion on Roommates April 13

    CBS has announced its season finale dates for its regular season programming. But before that, they have scheduled a couple of special encores and special airings.
    On Monday, April 20 at 10:00PM we get a special encore of The Mentalist at a special night & time. Then on Tuesday, April 21, at 8:00PM we get a special encore of The Big Bang Theory on a special night followed by a special encore of Two and a Half Men at 8:30PM on a special night & time. This means NCIS and The Mentalist will move to special times of 9PM and 10PM on this date only, but they will be encores as well, preempting a scheduled repeat of Without a Trace. Then the next night, on Wednesday, April 22 at 9:00PM will now be a repeat of Criminal Minds instead of a new one, but the scheduled new episode will now be at a special time of 10:00PM on the same night, preempting CSI: NY, which was scheduled to be all-new, too. Why are they trying all this? Not sure, could it be tests to see how they do in other timeslots?
    That's not all! On Monday, May 18 at 8:00PM we get a special all-new episode of Rules of Engagement at a special time. The show will also air in its
    its normal 9:30pm time on this date as well, which is the season finale. Earlier this week I was wondering where its 13th episode would be placed, now we got that answer with that special 8PM slot on May 18. And we also got our answer of what will air on Wednesday, May 20 at 8:00PM since Old Christine/Gary Unmarried would be finished by May 13. A special all-new Criminal Minds will air at a special time, which is part one of the season finale, leading into part two at its regular 9:00PM time.
    OK, now lets move on to the CBS season finale dates. Cold Case has a two-part finale airing on two weeks, Sunday, May 3 and Sunday, May 10 at 9PM. Sunday, May 10 also as the season finales of The Amazing Race at 8PM and The Unit at 10PM. The next night, Monday, May 11, The Big Bang Theory wraps up its 24-episode season with a season finale at 8PM. On Wednesday, May 13, as we previously stated, Old Christine & Gary Unmarried have their season finales at 8:00PM & 8:30PM. The next night, Thursday, May 14, will be the season finale of CSI at 9PM. The next night, Friday, May 15, will have the season conclusions of all the Friday shows: Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint, and NUMB3RS. On Sunday, May 17, CBS hands the night over to the finale of Survivor: Tocantins from 8-10PM, followed by the Reunion Show. On Monday, May 18, we have the season finales of How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Rules of Engagement, and CSI: Miami from 8:30-11PM. On Tuesday, May 19
    , the Tuesday crime dramas all have their finales: NCIS, The Mentalist, and Without a Trace from 8-11PM. On the final day of the season, Wednesday, May 20, we have a two-hour season finale of Criminal Minds from 8-10PM, followed by the season finale of CSI: NY at 10PM. There you have it, all the CBS finale dates in the regular season!

    Earlier this week ABC Family announced their 2009 summer schedule and fall/winter premieres at its Upfront presentation in New York. The network's slate includes three new original series, returning hits, original movies and blockbuster theatrical acquisitions. The network finished 2008 as its best year on record, and the first quarter of 2009 just wrapped as the best quarter in its history.
    Make It or Break It is a one-hour scripted drama, created and written by Holly Sorensen. Sorenson and Paul Stupin serve as executive producers. The pilot was directed by Steve Miner. Set in the world of competitive gymnastics, Make It or Break It follows a group of teen Olympic hopefuls as they train and prepare for their day in the spotlight. The cast includes Peri Gilpin and Candace Cameron Bure both make a return to series television in starring roles. Make It or Break It premieres Monday, June 22 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. ABC Family has ordered 10 episodes.
    Then we have two new original comedies. 10 Things I Hate About You is a half-hour, single-cam comedy with director Gil Junger (who also directed the feature film of the same name) and executive producer and writer Carter Covington. Inspired by the hit movie, the Stratford sisters, Kat (Lindsey Shaw) and Bianca (Meaghan Jette Martin), are two very different people, which is evident as they start at their new high school with very contradictory goals. Kat is a strong-willed, in-your-face feminist looking to save the world and get out of high school as fast as she can. Bianca is a social butterfly carefully maneuvering the minefield of high school popularity. Can each sister find happiness after getting off to a very rocky start at new school Padua High? The original series will also star Larry Miller, who reprises his film role as the girls' over-protective father, and Ethan Peck (grandson of Gregory Peck) has been cast in the role of 'Patrick' (portrayed by Heath Ledger in the 1999 film). 10 Things I Hate About You premieres on Tuesday, July 7 at 8:00PM ET/PT. ABC Family has also ordered 10 episodes for this series.
    Ruby & the Rockits is an ABC Studios half-hour multi-cam comedy executive-produced by Shaun Cassidy and Marsh McCall. Ruby & the Rockits follows Patrick Gallagher, a former teen idol who has chosen to lead a quiet life with his wife and two sons. But when his former Rockits band mate and brother, David, shows up unexpectedly with his new-found teenage daughter in tow, the Gallagher family's life becomes anything but normal. David, who refuses to give up his past glory days, comes to Patrick for help in raising Ruby while he continues to perform. Patrick must now put the past with David behind them in order to help raise Ruby and keep order within the rest of the Gallagher clan. The pilot was directed by Ted Wass. Alexa Vega, Katie Amanda Keane, Austin Butler, Kurt Doss , and former teen idol David Cassidy star. Ruby & the Rockits premieres on Tuesday, July 21 at 8:30PM ET/PT with a 10 episode order.
    ABC Family thus far hasn't had much success with original sitcoms Roommates and Sophie, so we don't know if we will see more of those yet. Speaking of Roommates, Tim Reid guest stars this Monday, which marks a mini Sister, Sister reunion! Reid once again will play the father of Tamera Mowry, who plays Hope on the sitcom. Hope relies on more fabrications when her father shows up in "The Break-In," an all-new episode of Roommates, premiering on ABC Family on Monday, April 13 at 9:00PM ET/PT with guest star Tim Reid (Sister, Sister). Hope's father (Reid) comes to town for a surprise visit and quickly realizes that his daughter's life is in shambles and decides it is time for her to move home. In an effort to prove that her life isn't as big a mess as he thinks, she ropes Mark into pretending to be her boyfriend. She may not have a great job, but she is in "love." Can Mark use his acting skills to help Hope pull off yet another one of her lies or will Hope be on her way home with her father when all is said and done?
    Additionally, three of the network's one-hour original series will mark their returns: The one number hit series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which finished the first quarter of 2009 as cable's No. 1 original series in Viewers 12-34 and Females 12-34, will launch its second season on Monday, June 22, at 8:00PM ET/PT. 12 of the 24 episodes for the season will air in 12 straight weeks, with the midseason finale on Sept. 7. The critically acclaimed and NAACP Image Award-winning Lincoln Heights will premiere its fourth season on Tuesday, August 4 at 9:00PM ET/PT for 10 more episodes. And the third season of Greek will premiere on Monday, September 14 at 8:00PM ET/PT. Currently Greek is finishing up its second season order, which concludes on June 1, before 10 more episodes come in September for season three.
    As far as movies go, Warner Bros. Pictures' Academy Award-winning (Best Animated Feature Film) Happy Feet will make its basic cable premiere on ABC Family in June 2009 (after making its broadcast debut on Friday, May 8 on ABC). The film features the voices of Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving and Anthony LaPaglia.
    The network will also present the original movie premiere of Labor Pains, starring Lindsay Lohan, on Sunday, July 19 at 8:00PM ET/PT. Chris Parnell, Cheryl Hines, Luke Kirby, Kevin Covais and Janeane Garofalo also star. Legally Blondes, will be premiering on Sunday, August 2 at 8:00PM. Actress Jenny McCarthy will star in the network's new original holiday movie, Santa Baby 2, with Paul Sorvino and Dean McDermott. The movie will premiere in December during ABC Family's 12th annual "25 Days of Christmas" programming event which will feature over 200 hours of holiday-themed entertainment for the whole family from December 1- 25. In addition to Santa Baby 2, the network will feature classic holiday favorites such as Rudolph's Shiny New Year, Frosty's Winter Wonderland and Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. ABC Family will also present the basic cable premieres of DisneyPIXAR's Academy Award-winning (Best Animated Feature Film) RATATOUILLE and Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. And again this year, Christmas comes early with "Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas," which adds 16 additional days of holiday programming.
    There were no sitcom or off-network series acquisitions details, so looks like nothing major is coming...or it is not ready to be announced yet.

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    Thursday, April 09, 2009

    ABC Announces First Batch of Summer 2009 Schedule; ION Ratings Go Up, Schedule Changes

    A few days back we gave you a peek at some of ABC's summer schedule. All of that was right basically but now we have more details! So let's take a look night-by-night! As we knew, the new cycle of The Bachelorette launches May 18 from 9-11pm, but its timeslot launch is Monday, May 25 from 8-10pm. We are not sure how long the cycle will run, since there will be for sure a Men Tell All and After the Final Rose specials, so maybe the finale won't be July 13 and could last longer? We'll let you know. So what will air at 10pm on Mondays? I guessed a second season of Here Come the Newlyweds, and I was right! ABC will air that series for eight straight weeks from May 27-July 13 at 10pm on Mondays. Following the run of that, ABC will launch a new series starting July 20 at 10pm. The reality series Dating in the Dark will air for six weeks making it last through all of August. The show is a unique alternative series that asks the age-old question, "Is Love Blind?" Each week, three single men and three single women, all looking for love, will move into a house together, but be totally sequestered from the opposite sex. While they will have no chance of seeing each other in the light, they will have the opportunity to date in a completely dark room.
    Tuesdays will not change until after the NBA Finals are over. Prior to the NBA finals will be filler programming, including two burn-offs of Opportunity Knocks. Then after the NBA Finals (which airs Thursdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays from June 4-18) ends, ABC will launch The Superstars on Tuesdays at 8pm starting Tuesday, June 23. The Superstars, a fresh take on an old favorite, is based on ABC's classic "Wide World of Sports" series, The Superstars, which pitted athletes from all different sports against each other to determine the best athlete in the world. Eight celebrities are paired with eight professional male and female athletes to compete against each other in varying sporting events. Each week a team will be eliminated until one team is ultimately crowned the winner. The six-episode series will be shot entirely on location at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. The finale is set for Tuesday, July 28. As for rest of Tuesday, it is unknown still what will air from 9-11pm starting June 23. And it is unknown what will air following the run of The Superstars starting August 4. As I said, this is only the first batch details.
    Moving on to Wednesdays, as we mentioned, Wipeout will have its season premiere on a new night starting Wednesday, May 27 at 8pm. And ABC has 16 episodes this season, well one aired already, as ABC aired the Wipeout Bowl (the 6th one produced) on Super Bowl Sunday. We get new obstacles and a new twist to the big balls! Cannot wait for this as this will last throughout the summer on Wednesdays at 8! Following Wipeout, for six weeks, as we mentioned we get the animated comedy The Goode Family! The Goode Family is a new animated series from he King of the Hill crew Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky. With standards always changing, no matter how hard you try to be good, it's virtually impossible these days... especially for the Goode family. Gerald and Helen Goode are a couple who live by the motto WWAGD ("What Would Al Gore Do?"). We first thought the series would be aired back-to-back at 9pm & 9:30pm, but now that is not the case. It will air in the 9pm half-hour only. So we get 6 of the 13 episodes produced. Following The Goode Family will be the new night of the Bob Saget sitcom Surviving Suburbia. That sitcom launched to decent ratings on Monday at 9:30 and will air five more times in that slot (through May 11) before moving to Wednesdays at 9:30pm starting May 27 for six more episodes for an original summer run. So ABC will air at least 12 of the 13 episodes produced. I really think this sitcom has potential and ABC could use it next fall to launch new traditional comedies. Both comedies will run through Wednesday, July 1. Starting Wednesday, July 8, we get a second season of the game show I Survived a Japanese Game Show! It is an unscripted reality/game show -- actually a show within a show - that takes an eye-opening, behind-the-scenes look at 12 Americans who are whisked away to Japan to compete in the ultimate Japanese game show. This season we get 10 episodes, so it will last into September. It is unknown what ABC will do at 10pm, but The Unusuals has five episodes remaining in its first season episode order if they want to air originals of that. The series launched last night to good ratings. The series will air for four more straight weeks through May 6, before the Lost two-episode season finale on May 13. So five episodes will for sure air out of its ten episode order. If ABC chooses to air the remaining five in the summer, it would air from May 27 through June 24, for five straight weeks. That would give ABC an entire night of originals on Wednesdays from 8-11pm. If that is the case with The Unusuals, they have not announced what would air Wednesdays at 10pm starting July 1. Or they could hold those episodes for next fall, if the series returns.
    There has been nothing announced for Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. We have specials and stuff, though. Thursday, May 28 will be The Scripps National Spelling Bee from 8-10pm, as we told you. And Sunday, May 24 is the first part of the miniseries Diamonds from 9-11pm, also as we told you. It concludes on Tuesday, May from 9-11pm. ABC has another miniseries in the works called Impact.
    Finally, Saturdays at 10pm is a rotating wheel to burn-off remaining episodes of canceled series. Pushing Daisies returns to the schedule from Saturday, May 30 through Saturday, June 13 at 10:00pm for its final three episodes. Then Eli Stone returns on Saturday, June 20 through Saturday, July 11 at 10:00pm for its final four episodes. Then finally Dirty Sexy Money returns on Saturday, July 18 through August 8 at 10:00pm for its final four episodes (which includes the unaired Thanksgiving episode!). It'll be weird seeing the Thanksgiving episode first since they aired three other episodes after that.
    Well there you have it, the first batch of ABC summer. Of course more timeslots needs to be announced and we will let you know as soon as we hear what they are! Will Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? return in August for its 10th anniversary? We shall see!

    First quarter 2009 has been a record breaking time for ION Television, with double digit growth in primetime viewership among households as well as in the key adults 25-54 demo. ION has delivered more adults 25-54 than at any other time in its history and ION's top five most watched episodes ever in households (HH) all aired during the first three months of this year. ION's extraordinary growth is a continued reflection of the success of its strategy to build viewership through its acquisitions of critically acclaimed off-network series in primetime.
    Primetime delivery for households was up 26%, while adults 25-54 rose 44%, year over year. Also during this time period, viewership for adults 25-54 exhibited double digit growth across every hour in primetime: The 8:00 PM hour was up 20%, the 9:00 PM hour grew 49% and the 10:00 PM hour rose 62%.
    ION's primetime off-network series continue to deliver. NCIS and Boston Legal have both grown significantly since their launch in fourth quarter 2008. In fact, NCIS delivered ION's top five most watched episodes ever (HH), reinforcing ION's mission in attracting more viewers than ever. NCIS averaged over one million total viewers in first quarter 2009, up 27% among households and up 31% among adults 25-54. Boston Legal's first quarter 2009 performance has grown 18% among households and 17% among adults 25-54.
    ION's ratings gains provide the network with considerable momentum as it prepares its programming schedule for the 2009-10 season and beyond. That schedule will feature 12 originally produced movies a year, the new first-run series Durham County, The Border and The Guard; and the newly acquired off-network hits Ghost Whisperer and Criminal Minds.
    Speaking of ION Television, they have just announced some changes to April. They are not major changes, though. All of the RHI movies have been pulled for the rest of April. So this Saturday (April 11) from 6-11pm we will get a M*A*S*H marathon instead. Other replacements include a Boston Legal block on Friday, April 17 from 8-11pm, big screen movies and more M*A*S*H. We already told you for May, the RHI movies would be leaving, so now it is earlier than planned. The Lonesome Dove four part mini-series is still slated to air the weekend of May 2-3, then after that there is no more RHI movies scheduled. More mainstream big screen movies will air. Check out the revised April schedule so you know what is on a particular day.

    Stay tuned tomorrow for ABC Family upfront update!

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    Wednesday, April 08, 2009

    NBC Mid-Season Preview: Parks and Recreation - Premieres April 9; NBC Pulls Kings; TV Land Renews High School Reunion

    Parks and Recreation

    Parks and Recreation - Thursdays 8:30PM ET/PT on NBC
    Premieres Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 8:30PM ET/PT

    From Emmy Award-winning executive producers Greg Daniels (NBC's The Office, King of the Hill) and Michael Schur (NBC's The Office, Saturday Night Live) comes a new mockumentary that looks at the exciting world of local government. The new half-hour comedy will examine the mundane but necessary ways that people interact with their government, and ask why it's frequently so complicated -- as everyone knows from standing in line at the DMV, applying for home construction permits, or trying to get the city to fix a pothole.
    The documentary cameras follow Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler, NBC's Saturday Night Live, Baby Mama) a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana. In an attempt to beautify her town -- and advance her career -- Leslie takes on what should be a fairly simple project: help local nurse Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones, NBC's The Office, Unhitched) turn an abandoned construction pit into a community park. Opposing them are defensive bureaucrats, selfish neighbors, real estate developers, and single-issue fanatics -- whose weapons are lawsuits, the jumble of city codes, and the very democratic process that Leslie loves so much.
    Leslie is alternately helped and undermined by her colleague, Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari, Human Giant, Scrubs), who cheerfully exploits his government position for personal gain. She is also thwarted by her boss Ron Swanson, who is philosophically opposed to government in any form.
    Helping Leslie and Ann navigate the Pawnee bureaucracy is charismatic city planner Mark Brendanawicz, whose outlook has been soured by 15 years of public service.
    If they can pull it off, Leslie hopes that she also will have inspired her uninterested college intern April (Aubrey Plaza, Mayne Street) and April's whole generation - all the while moving one step closer to her ultimate goal: becoming the first female president of the United States.
    Parks and Recreation is a production of Deedle-Dee Productions and Universal Media Studios. Along with Daniels and Schur, Howard Klein also serves as executive producer for the series.

    Cast Details:

    * Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope
    * Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford
    * Rashida Jones as Ann Perkins
    * Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson
    * Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate
    * Paul Schneider as Mark Brendanawicz

    Emmy Award nominee Amy Poehler stars as mid-level bureaucrat Leslie Knope on the new NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. The new series is a half-hour mockumentary that looks at the exciting world of local government.
    The year 2008 was a very busy year for Poehler. Between her seventh season of NBC's Saturday Night Live (and her fourth as the co-anchor of Weekend Update), a trio of films and a new animated project for Nickelodeon, she was very active. Poehler received her first Emmy nomination in 2008 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on Saturday Night Live. Due to a change in eligibility, this is an unprecedented nomination, making her the first performer in SNL history to land a spot in this category.
    Poehler could be seen starring opposite Tina Fey in Universal Pictures' hit comedy film Baby Mama and also lent her voice to the animated film Horton Hears a Who! with Jim Carrey and Steve Carell. Poehler had a starring role in the ice-skating comedy Blades of Glory, alongside Will Ferrell, Will Arnett and Jon Heder, and she also provided the voice to the boxoffice smash hit Shrek the Third as Snow White. Her other feature credits include the hit comedy Mean Girls, Mr. Woodcock, Southland Tales, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny, The Ex, Wet Hot American Summer and Envy.
    Poehler has made memorable appearances on television ranging from NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien (as recurring character Stacey, Andy Richter's little sister), Arrested Development, Wonder Showzen and Undeclared. She also was a voice on O'Grady and The Simpsons.

    Aziz Ansari (Tom Haverford) is poised for 2009 to be his breakout year with a new television series, a trio of films, and a headlining comedy tour. Before the new series premieres, Ansari will appear in a handful of features. He recently began production on Judd Apatow's upcoming comedy Funny People, opposite Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill, and also has roles in I Love You, Man with Paul Rudd, and opposite Rogen and Anna Faris in Observe and Report.
    Ansari is best known for his role on MTV's hit sketch comedy series, Human Giant. The series is based around comedy sketches performed by Ansari, along with Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer. Many of their sketches have become Internet sensations and have popularized the trio with young people all across the U.S. Last year, Ansari also had a memorable guest-starring role on Flight of the Conchords, in which he portrayed a racist fruit vendor. He can also be seen in a multi-episode arc on Scrubs.

    Rashida Jones (Ann Perkins) can be seen in the feature film I Love You, Man for writer-director John Hamburg, starring opposite Paul Rudd and Jason Segal. She recently completed her starring roles in the independent features Life in Flight (with Patrick Wilson and Amy Smart), and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (with Max Minghella) -- both set for release later this year. Her past film credits include Little Black Book, opposite Holly Hunter, Kathy Bates and Brittany Murphy.
    Jones caught attention of audiences and the industry alike when she portrayed the ambitious saleswoman, Karen Filippelli, in NBC's Emmy Award-winning comedy NBC's The Office, opposite Steve Carell. She also starred as Kate on Unhitched a half-hour comedy from the Farrelly brothers. Her previous television credits include David E. Kelley's Boston Public as Louisa Fenn and Jorge Zamacoma's Wanted as Detective Carla Merced. She also appeared in Judd Apatow's Freaks and Geeks, If These Walls Could Talk II, The Chappelle Show and the British television series NY-LON. Jones was also a weekly correspondent on the talk show Vibe TV.

    Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson) received his B.F.A. in theater from the University of Illinois and has performed at Chicago’s famed Goodman and Steppenwolf theaters. He was a series regular on American Body Shop and has appeared on 24, Deadwood, Will & Grace, Monk, The West Wing, CSI: NY and NYPD Blue. He recurred on George Lopez as Randy.
    His feature credits include Wristcutters, Patriotville, The Go Getter, Sin City, and Miss Congeniality 2. Nick can next be seen in the feature films Men Who Stare at Goats with George Clooney and Ewan McGregor and All Good Things with Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst.

    Aubrey Plaza (April Ludgate) is originally from Wilmington, Del., and is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She is an actor, writer and comedian. She has been performing improv and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater since 2004. She also recently began performing stand-up and has appeared at the Laugh Factory and The Improv.
    Plaza stars in the upcoming comedy features Funny People, directed by Judd Apatow, and Derrick Comedy's Mystery Team which debuted at Sundance. She can also be seen in the hit online series The Jeanne Tate Show, and ESPN's Mayne Street. Plaza will next star in the Universal feature Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, directed by Edgar Wright.

    Paul Schneider (Mark Brendanawicz) will next be seen in Bright Star directed by Jane Campion as well as Sam Mendes Away We Go opposite John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph. Schneider was lauded for his performance in Lars and the Real Girl opposite Ryan Gosling as well as The Assassination of Jesse James with Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck. His directorial debut Pretty Bird starred Billy Crudup and Paul Giamatti and screened in competition in Sundance in 2008. He has also received critical acclaim for his work in Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown, All the Real Girls and The Family Stone.


    Pilot Plot:

    #1 - SERIES PREMIERE--MAKE MY PIT A PARK - From Emmy Award-winning executive producers of The Office comes a new mockumentary that looks at the exciting world of local government. The documentary cameras follow Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana. In an attempt to beautify her town Leslie takes on what should be a fairly simple project: help local nurse Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) turn an abandoned construction pit into a community park. Leslie is alternately helped and undermined by her colleague, Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), who cheerfully exploits his government position for personal gain. She is also thwarted by her boss Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) who is philosophically opposed to government in any form. Helping Leslie and Ann navigate the Pawnee bureaucracy is charismatic city planner Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider), whose outlook has been soured by 15 years of public service. If they can pull it off, Leslie hopes that she also will have inspired her uninterested college intern April (Aubrey Plaza) and April’s whole generation – all the while moving one step closer to her ultimate goal: becoming the first female president of the United States.

    #2 - REPORTER - LESLIE HAS TROUBLE WITH A REPORTER - When Leslie (Amy Poehler) invites a reporter to do a story on her park project, she and her committee have trouble staying on message. Leslie calls in Mark (Paul Schneider) to help save the story, but he only makes the situation worse. Meanwhile, Tom (Aziz Ansari) kisses up to his boss (Nick Offerman). Rashida Jones and Aubrey Plaza also star.

    Analysis:

    Unfortunately, we were unable to obtain any screener copies in time for review. The show looks pretty funny from the promos and 5-minute preview they've posted online. I've always liked Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones, so I will be tuning in to watch the premiere. I'm not too familiar with the rest of the cast. NBC is set to air 6 episodes.

    Here are some external reviews:

    The Hollywood Reporter
    Entertainment Weekly
    Variety
    Newsday
    San Francisco Chronicle
    Zap2it

    More on Google News

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, April 9 on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • NBC.com Official Site
  • Knope Knows - A Parks and Recreation fansite
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Parks and Recreation Photo Gallery


    Sorry we couldn't give you our take on the pilot. If we somehow get the pilot before airing, we will edit it in and let you know. Thanks for the preview, Todd! Anyway, back to the news...NBC has pulled Kings from the Sunday line-up. NBC will dethrone to Kings to Saturdays at 8PM effective Saturday, April 18. Kings will not air this week. NBC will replace Kings' Sundays at 8PM airings with an expanded Dateline from 7-9PM. Kings is just the latest NBC bomb. NBC says they will air all the episodes, so that should last it into June. Kings lasted only 4 weeks on Sundays.

    TV Land announced that it has picked up its successful reality series High School Reunion for a third season. Over 1 million people have been watching the current season, which airs its final episode tonight (April 8) at 10pm ET/PT. Now viewers can tune in as Las Vegas' Chaparral High School's Class of 1989 will experience a reunion like no other. Set on the garden isle of Kauai, the classmates of Chaparral -- some of whom haven't seen each other in over twenty years -- will have the unique opportunity to finally settle a score, find new love or rekindle an old flame and reconnect during this luxurious getaway. High School Reunion is produced for TV Land by Mike Fleiss through his NEXT Entertainment production company in association with Warner Horizon Television. High School Reunion is set to debut its third season on TV Land, with eight episodes, in the third quarter of 2009, on TV Land during TV Land PRIME, the network's primetime destination block.
    Season two of High School Reunion has been averaging 883,000 total viewers with a median age of 45. Among A25-54, it has been posting a 0.5 rating and 554,000viewers 25-54 and among A40-54 a 0.6 rating and 343,000 viewers among 40-54.
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    Tuesday, April 07, 2009

    CBS Schedules Wednesday Rules of Engagement Airing; The CW's Two Summer Series

    Yesterday we gave you updates on ABC, NBC, and Fox, so we just have to give some updates for you on CBS and The CW, right? CBS has announced that it will air the sitcom Rules of Engagement on a special night and time on Wednesday, April 29 at 8:00pm ET/PT. That will bump the regularly scheduled episode of Old Christine to 8:30pm, preempting Gary Unmarried all together for the night. May sweeps starts on April 23, so these episodes will be all-new. In fact, Rules of Engagement will be all-new also on its regular night and time that week (Monday, April 27 at 9:30pm).
    So why is CBS doing this? It could be a test to see if Rules of Engagement can anchor an hour on its own and to see if it works with Old Christine. Or it could be because they are just lining episodes up so all episodes of the sitcoms, all fit in. Old Christine has a 22 episode order, while Gary Unmarried has 20...so both will now be in sync to have their season finales on May 13, but we are not sure how many Rules of Engagement episodes they have ordered. 12 are scheduled from what we can see, so possibly only 12, with the season finale on May 18. OR if they have 13 episodes, they could schedule the season finale on the last night of the season on Wednesday, May 20 at 8pm (since the Wednesday comedies will finish the week before)? We shall see.

    The CW announced today that it will launch two original series for the summer: the reality relationship series Hitched or Ditched and the docu-series set in Washington, D.C., Blonde Charity Mafia. Hitched or Ditched premieres Tuesday, May 26 from 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET, following the season finale of Reaper from 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET. Encore presentations will air Wednesdays from9:00-10:00 p.m. ET, beginning May 27. The six-episode run will continue until the season finale on Tuesday, June 30. The series is a one-hour reality show focusing on couples who are in long-term relationships but have not yet taken that big leap into marriage. The show is produced by RDF USA in association with Next Entertainment. The executive producers are Mike Fleiss, Chris Coelen, Greg Goldman, Mike Duffy and Jason Ehrlich. Mike Fleiss is having series left and right. The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, High School Reunion, and the upcoming The Cougar for TV Land and More to Love for Fox. So Fleiss this summer will have The Bachelorette on ABC Mondays from end of May to mid-July, Hitched or Ditched on The CW Tuesdays from end of May to end of June, More to Love on Fox Tuesdays starting at the end of July, and The Cougar on TV Land Wednesdays from mid-April to early June. Wow that is a lot of shows and The Bachelor's latest season just ended in early March and High School Reunion's latest season is about to end this week!
    The half-hour episodes of Blonde Charity Mafia will premiere with two back-to-back episodes on Tuesday, July 7 from 9:00-9:30 and 9:30-10:00 p.m. ET. Beginning July 14, an encore of the previous week's episode will air at 9:00 p.m., followed by an original episode at 9:30 p.m. The six episodes will conclude with a season finale on Tuesday, August 4. The series is a docu-series about the lives of Washington, D.C.'s most influential 20-something Alpha Girls. The series is from Capital Hills Productions, Inc. with executive producers Patty Ivins and Julie Pizzi.

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    Monday, April 06, 2009

    ABC To Air Animated Comedy The Goode Family in Summer with Wipeout; Fox and NBC Updates

    Today we have all network news, including some scoops! As we first announced on our message board on Friday (and then later on Twitter), we have gotten the early portion of the ABC summer 2009 schedule! We already knew about The Bachelorette airing on Mondays (it launches in-season on May 18 after the Dancing performance finale), and will air 8-10pm on Mondays starting the following week (May 25). It is unknown right now what will air at 10pm on Mondays, but ABC does have Here Come the Newlyweds on the roster for a possible pairing. The next night will be Tuesday, May 26 as ABC brings back the family game show Opportunity Knocks for at least two weeks airing May 26 and June 2 at 8pm. Then the NBA Finals come, so not sure what ABC will do yet. ABC has six episodes on the shelf, so at least two will see the light of day. ABC will air the miniseries Diamonds on two nights--Sunday, May 24 and Tuesday, May 26 from 9-11pm. Diamonds is a Canadian production starring Judy Davis. Diamonds weaves together five storylines to form the plot, focusing on the daughter of a U.S. Senator who is murdered at a diamond mine in Sierra Leone (in Africa). It is a Hollywood event limited series from start to finish, especially with its stellar ensemble including Judy Davis who won an Emmy for the last role she played which aired on ABC (Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows). James Purefoy (Rome) also stars. ABC has another Canadian miniseries in the works for later in the summer called Impact. Impact is a four-hour disaster epic and stars David James Elliott, Natasha Henstridge, Steven Culp and James Cromwell.
    Then on Wednesday, May 27, ABC will launch the second season of last summer's big hit Wipeout! It's back with all the big balls and more for 16 episodes this summer! Wipeout will lead into new animated comedy The Goode Family airing back-to-back in the 9pm hour. The series has 13 episodes to air. The 10pm hour will likely be new episodes of The Unusuals, as that series (which launches this Wednesday) will have only 5 episodes airing of its 10 in the regular season, so the final 5 could air in the summer following Wipeout and Goode Family. As previously announced, Thursday, May 28 will be The Scripps National Spelling Bee from 8-10pm. Saturday, May 30 will see the return of Pushing Daisies! The series has three episodes left and will likely be stripped for the next two weeks as well in the Saturdays at 10pm timeslot concluding the series. ABC could also air the final three episodes of Dirty Sexy Money and the final four of Eli Stone as well in the slot thereafter. We'll let you know for sure when we do. Sunday, May 31 could see game 7 of the NBA Western Conference Finals in primetime, if it is necessary. The 2009 NBA Finals will air from June 4-18 on Thursdays, Sundays and Tuesdays for up to seven games, if necessary. A second year of the half-hour series Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night will lead into all of the games once again. We don't have any other June details or late summer news, so stay tuned for that. Lots of stuff still to come, such as the second season of I Survived a Japanese Game Show and new stuff such as Wide World of Sports Superstars, with possibly the 10th anniversary return of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire this August!
    In other ABC updates, they will air a clip show of Lost on Wednesday, May 13 at 8pm leading into the two-episode season finale from 9-11pm, while ABC will air a performance recap show of Dancing with the Stars on Tuesday, May 19 at 8pm leading into the two-hour grand finale from 9-11pm.

    Fox has given Bones two special nights. Because of the all preemption by American Idol and President Obama, Bones will have to air on two special nights to catch up on its episode order. The first special night will be Wednesday, April 15 at 8pm, preempting Lie to Me, which has also had its share of preemptions. The second special night will be Monday, April 20 at 8pm, replacing a scheduled House repeat. So, yes that will be three new episodes of Bones in a matter of 5 days, as it will still air and be all-new on its regular night and time of Thursday, April 16.
    We gave you the Fox summer 2009 schedule before, but they have added a new series and moved the premiere of one by a week. New medical drama Mental now premiering Friday, May 29 at 9:00 pm ET/PT. Mental follows Dr. Jack Gallagher (Chris Vance), a dynamic, young psychiatrist who serves as Director of Mental Health Services at a Los Angeles hospital. It was previously scheduled to launch on May 22, but now a House repeat will air instead. In other summer updates, More to Love, the inspirational new dating competition out to prove that love comes in all shapes and sizes, is set to premiere Tuesday, July 28 at 9:00 pm ET/PT on Fox. Executive-produced by Mike Fleiss, the unscripted series follows a single average guy with a big waist and an even bigger heart as he romances several confident and secure plus-size women. The series will follow episodes of Hell's Kitchen.

    Meanwhile NBC has pulled Law & Order: Criminal Intent Wednesday repeats after one airing effective this week. The repeats had replaced the recently pulled Chopping Block. Instead now NBC will air repeats of the original Law & Order. After the Life season (or series?) finale this Wednesday, repeats of Law & Order: SVU take over starting the following week (April 15). So, the night will be turned into an all Law & Order series night, with repeats of the original at 8 and repeats of SVU at 9, leading into new episode of the original at 10pm. This could be a test for the fall to see how Law & Order and Law & Order SVU do from 8-10pm, back-to-back, even though they will be repeats right now.

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    Sunday, April 05, 2009

    Week 28 Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

    Week 28 numbers (first four nights final averages, Mon-Thurs):

    Households: Fox 8.3/12.9; CBS 7.7/12.3; ABC 5.8/9.3; NBC 5.7/9.1; The CW 1.8/2.8; MNT 0.9/1.3.
    Total Viewers: Fox 14.13 million; CBS 12.44 million; ABC 9.02 million; NBC 8.9 million; The CW 2.67 million; MNT 1.34 million.
    Adults 18-49: Fox 5.0/13.3; CBS 3.4/8.9; NBC 3.2/8.5; ABC 2.6/6.9; The CW 1.2/3.3; MNT 0.5/1.2.

    Analysis: Week 28 sees CBS and Fox battle it out so far this week, as ABC's big Thursday guns were not on. Through the first four days, Fox is on top in all categories, with CBS in second everywhere, ABC is third in HH/viewers, with NBC just behind them in fourth. NBC is third though in 18-49 thanks to the ER series finale.
    Last week, CBS won in week 27 in HH/viewers, but Fox once again took 18-49 but by a closer margin, over NCAA-fueled second place CBS. ABC was second for the week in HH, with Fox a close third, but it was the other way around in viewers. ABC was third in 18-49, while NBC was back in a distant fourth of course in everything.
    Monday it was all ABC as Dancing with the Stars continues to dominate. ABC aired a two-hour episode of Dancing with the Stars at an impressive 20.48 million, up some from the previous week. After that, ABC aired a new episode of crime-romance drama Castle doing 9.09 million...on par really from previous week. That was a good plot and another good one for tomorrow involving a frozen body. CBS did decent starting with all-new episodes of its comedies, The Big Bang Theory did a solid 9.74 million, followed by How I Met Your Mother doing 9.2 million, up nearly two million from previous week when it aired at 8pm and on its own. #1 sitcom Two and a Half Men did 14.56 million, clearly the best of the sitcoms. A new Rules of Engagement followed and did 11.02 million, up nearly two million week-to-week when its lead-in was a repeat. At 10pm a new CSI: Miami did 13.46 million, which was down a tad from previous week. Fox started with a new episode of House and did 12.51 million, then Fox had an all-new 24 doing 11.26 million, up a million from previous week when its lead-in was a repeat. NBC was next with its sluggish Monday. A new Chuck did 5.72 million, down from previous week. The downfall of Heroes continues as this show did just 6.42 million, down just a bit from previous week in HH/viewers, but it was up a bit in 18-49 at least. Medium followed with 7.27 million for a new episode, up from previous week. The CW was next with a new episode of Gossip Girl doing 2.45 million, up some from previous week as ABC Family's Secret Life is no longer against it. A new episode of One Tree Hill did 2.36 million, down a tad from previous week.
    Tuesday it was Fox on top. Fox started with an 86 minute American Idol doing just 24.41 million, then at 9:26pm to 10:02pm Fox aired the special Osbournes: Reloaded at just 8.4 million. Fringe returns this week and needs to do better or it cold be in trouble. CBS started with a new NCIS doing 17.23 million, down a bit from previous week when it aired at a special 9pm time. A new episode of The Mentalist was next and did a great 16.96 million, but that was down from previous week when it aired in a special 10pm slot. Without a Trace was next at 12.53 million. ABC was next and started with encores of the first two episodes of Better Off Ted doing only 3.18 million. Dancing with the Stars: The Results was next at 9pm doing 13.51 million, down from previous week as it faced Idol. No more Idol now until the finale vs. Dancing's Results. ABC followed by airing the series premiere of Cupid doing 7.22 million...needs to do better than that, but with a better Dancing lead-in in the coming weeks, it should do better. It's a simple lot...Cupid tries to hook up a new couple each week, so this isn't serialized folks! NBC was next with a two-hour The Biggest Loser doing 8.78 million, down over a million from previous week when it aired from 9-11pm and no Idol. NBC finished the night with a new Law & Order: SVU at 10pm doing 9.37 million...which is nothing what it used to do. The CW aired a new episode of Reaper and did 2.37 million, down some from previous week's season high, and the return of 90210 on a new time did 2.04 million, that is not good news! It needs to do better than that.
    Wednesday saw you Fox dominate. Fox was lead by the results show of American Idol at 9pm doing 24.34 million. New Fox drama Lie to Me started the night off at 8pm doing 9.18 million, not bad but seems lower than usual. CBS started with the April Fool's special I Get That A Lot at a surprising 10.35 million, much more than the usual Old Christine and Gary Unmarried, so those shows need to pick it up. A repeat of Criminal Minds followed and did 10.03 million. CSI: NY followed with repeat as well doing 10.06 million. Both seemed to be at below repeat levels. ABC was next with a new Scrubs and a new episode of the new Better Off Ted doing 4.97 and 4.67 million...both seemed to be affected by the April Fool's special as that skewed the audience these do. A new episode of Lost followed at 9pm doing 9.57 million, up from previous week And the series finale of Life on Mars at 10pm did 5.64 million, it improved from previous week once again. That was a good sign going up each week the last few weeks. NBC opened the night with a repeat of Law & Order: Criminal Intent doing 5.03 million, a new showing of Life followed and did an improved 5.7 million, up from previous week. Law & Order followed at 10pm with a repeat and did 6.34 million. The CW was on the map with America's Next Top Model doing a nice 3.97 million, up over a million from previous week as there was no Idol meddling...The CW followed with an encore of...what else...90210 at 1.09 million, up from previous week. That was an encore from the previous night.
    Thursday saw NBC with the win as the series finale of ER took home the night. When was the last time NBC finished first besides the Super Bowl? NBC started with a retrospective special of ER doing a solid 10.63 million at 8pm. My Name is Earl was preempted. Then the ER two-hour send-off aired and did 16.38 million, which is up six million from previous week. Great numbers. Though this doesn't compare at all with other big series finales at all, which has to be disappointing. The Office and 30 Rock were preempted. CBS was next with the return of Survivor: Tocantis at a below normal 11.27 million. CSI celebrated its 200th episode with series lows of 14.63 million and only a 3.8 18-49 rating. And the finale (series maybe?) of Eleventh Hour closed the night at 10.37 million. Fox started with Bones at 9.25 million, which off a bit from usual but expected. An all-new Hell's Kitchen followed at 9pm did 6.95 million, off from previous week obviously. ABC started with a new In the Motherhood doing 5.01 million, down a lot from the premiere. Not a good sign. An all-new Samantha Who? was next and did 4.7 million, down two million from previous week. A repeat of Grey's Anatomy was next and did 4.9 million! Too bad we have to wait until April 23 for the final batch of episodes of the season. A repeat of Private Practice followed and did 3.74 million at 10pm. Smallville was all-new on The CW and did a solid 3.85 million, up a bit from previous week, followed by a new Supernatural at 3.27 million, up some from previous week.
    Now, as usual final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint, NUMBERS, though two of those were repeats. ABC finished second for the night helped by 20/20. Sarah Connor Chronicles and the new Dollhouse did terrible for Fox, and NBC was not much better with Friday Night Lights. Why is that on the air?
    Saturday numbers were above normal again as CBS won with some NCAA Final Four, as we now have the final two of North Carolina and Michigan State battling for the title on Monday!
    Tonight CBS also should win. CBS has a new 60 Minutes followed by the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. ABC will have all repeats of AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters, so they will be out of the battle. NBC has Dateline at 7pm, followed by big-time dud Kings, and a two-hour Celebrity Apprentice, which could do a season high tonight with limited competition. Fox has a mainly repeat lineup of its animated comedies again...except The Simpsons is new at 8pm.
    As for the week, CBS should win the week in HH/viewers. Fox in 18-49 likely but CBS could take it thanks to NCAA. Fox will be second in HH/viewers, while ABC or NBC could take third in HH/viewers, but I think NBC will take third in 18-49 for the week much thanks to the ER finale, leaving ABC in fourth thanks to no Thursday and Sunday new showings. As for the coming week...ABC premieres new comedy Surviving Suburbia tomorrow at 9:30pm, hope you saw our review on Friday. And on Wednesday ABC premieres new cop show The Unusuals, which is very good. Fox returns Fringe tomorrow at 8pm. Thursday NBC premieres new comedy Parks and Recreation at 8:30pm, which we hope to have a review up by Wednesday. Tomorrow also is the championship game of the NCAA Tournament!



    Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of March 23-29, Week 27)

    • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - 6.62 million for an all-new episode...up from previous week. A repeat did better at 8:30 doing 6.63 million.
    • King of the Hill (Fox) - A repeat at 7:30 only did 2.96 million, but better than the previous week.
    • Family Guy (Fox) - A new episode did 8.12 million, up week-to-week.
    • American Dad! (Fox) 2 episodes - 6.02 million...up some from previous week. Earlier in the night a repeat at 7 did just 2.4 million, but it was better than previous week.

    Week 28:
    Monday Sitcoms

    • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 9.74 million for a new episode, this show is clearly a self-starter.
    • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 9.2 million for a new showing is two million better when CBS tried to self-start this show the previous week...and didn't work.
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 14.56 million for new episode is of course #1 for sitcoms.
    • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 11.02 million for a new episode...up from previous week when its lead-in was a repeat.

    Tuesday Sitcoms

    • Better Off Ted (ABC) 2 encores - First two episodes encored at 8pm doing just 3.18 million.
    Wednesday Sitcoms

    • Old Christine (CBS) - preempted.
    • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - preempted.
    • Scrubs (ABC) - New showing did 4.97 million, down some from previous week.
    • Better Off Ted (ABC) - 4.67 million for a new episode...up a bit week-to-week!

    Thursday Sitcoms

    • My Name is Earl (NBC) - preempted
    • In the Motherhood (ABC) - Second episode did just 5.01 million, it was way down from the premiere and needs to do better.
    • Samantha Who? (ABC) - 4.7 million, down two million from previous week.
    • The Office (NBC) - preempted.
    • 30 Rock (NBC) - preempted.

    Friday Sitcoms

    • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - A new episode did a prelim 1.79 million...down a bit from previous week's prelim numbers.
    • The Game (The CW) - A new episode did a prelim 1.86 million. Down some from previous week's prelim numbers.

    Saturday Sitcoms

    • None.

    Airing tonight (Sunday) are a mix of new and repeats of Fox animated comedies from 7-10pm!

    Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, were impressive for the week. Nothing else was OK as we had a lot of just plain old terrible (such as Samantha Who?, Better Off Ted).

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    Saturday, April 04, 2009

    Blog DVD Review: Dynasty - The Fourth Season, Volume One (4/7)

    Welcome to another edition of Blog DVD Reviews. This week we take a look at CBS DVD's Dynasty - The Fourth Season, Volume One. Dynasty is of course the primetime soap that was a bit hit for many years and it was so addictive! The tale of the Carrington family is so rich and interesting. See my blog DVD review of Dynasty - The Fourth Season, Volume One:

    Dynasty - The Fourth Season, Volume One (CBS DVD, $35.98) brings us the first 14 episodes of the fourth season of the mega-hit ABC '80s series Dynasty on a 3-disc set! John Forsythe, Linda Evans and Joan Collins continue to heat up the show as the season begins where season three left off...I won't give it away, but the keyword is fire! This is the season where it reached its highest state thus far...it was #3 in the ratings for the season. Seasons 3-6 all were in the time of the height of the popularity, with season five hitting number one. The series lasted 9 seasons on ABC, from 1981-89. We get the first half of the fourth season (1983-84) on this volume one set of the fourth season. Again, I don't understand why they are splitting the seasons in half. The show only had 27 episodes for season four...it's not like it was over 30 or 35. Anyway, Michael Nader joins the cast this season as Farnsworth 'Dex' Dexter, Alexis' new suitor. Among the other storylines wee see this season is a wedding vows renewal for Blake and Krystle!
    Each episode on this set is between 46-47 minutes on average, with most of the episodes just below 47 minutes. Nearly every CBS DVD has a disclaimer on the back of the box saying, "Some episodes maybe be edited from their original network versions." So there is a chance something could be edited, but I didn't see anything, as the runtimes were fairly consistent, lowest was 46:35 and highest was 47:05. There are 6 chapter stops each for every episode, counting the opening and closing credits stops. The video is on par with the previous season and it looks good. Just some debris here and there on the opening credits, like flashing black dots, but it is still good quality. The audio is decent, a nice sounding mono...that is crisp and clear. No problems here at all.
    Packaging once again is a snap case holding three discs inside, sort of similar to the two third season volumes. Again the discs don't overlap each other, which is great. Discs one and two are in the white plastic little holder, while disc three is on the right panel of the case. That little holder is cheap, but I guess it works. The cover art of the case has a nice shot of Krystle, Blake and Alexis, with the Dynasty logo below them. We have a nice purple style color scheme for this volume. The back of the case has synopsis of the show, the set, and technical information. A nice shot of the cast and some screen shots are also present. Back inside, there is a disc-by-disc breakdown on the left and right panel for every episode on this set. We get episode title, original airdate, and a long synopsis of each episode. Don't be reading it before watching the episode now! Artwork on the discs is just plain again. It is plain silver for each one. Dynasty logo and whatever disc number it is on the disc, and episode titles are listed. Discs one and two hold five episodes each, while the third disc holds four episodes.
    CBS DVD is terrible in menus, as you all know. Each menu has different artwork but it is so plain. The episodes are listed right on the main menu once again. Set Up option is also available below the list of episodes. In Set Up, we can have English or Espanol languages and subtitles. Main menu artwork has three shots of the same image. Disc 1's main menu has three shots of the main three stars (Blake, Alexis, and Krystle), disc two has three shots of Krystle, and disc three has three shots of Alexis. No theme music or any music in the background once again. Before the main menu on disc one, there is an option for previews...we get previews such as 90210 and Melrose Place. But you can skip to the main menu.
    We get no special features at all, just like the season three volumes. The second season had a little family tree thing, which was something at least. We get nothing here. The first season was done by 20th Century Fox, and they did a decent job with some featurettes and commentaries, but CBS DVD is doing nothing...which is typical. How about promos like they do with The Love Boat,(which is also Aaron Spelling)?
    Despite the splitting of the season again and no extras, I still highly do recommend any fan of the show to pick-up this set, because the episodes are so good and addictive. This is the mother of all primetime soaps and I just love it! If you have the first three seasons, then you have to get this to continue your collection of course. If you haven't gotten those yet, what are you waiting for? It won't make sense buying this set for your first buy of this series, as the episodes are heavily serialized and you'll be so lost. One thing CBS DVD does well is that they work pretty fast with most of their releases, so you better hurry before the second half of season four comes out soon. Why do we have to wait to complete a season, is beyond me. It is even worse that this show is very serialized so it makes people not want to wait to just finish a season. I've made it obvious already I don't like the splitting up the seasons into volumes, but CBS DVD seems to do that with a lot of their hour shows like The Love Boat, Perry Mason and so on. It is too bad, because it should only really be done if it is like over 35 episodes. I think they are just trying to get more money, come on $35.98 for 14 episodes and NO extras? Still, I urge fans to buy it so we keep getting more sets. CBS DVD is at least consistent. They are very predictable as the sets are nearly identical to each other. But like I said last time, complain to CBS DVD for the lack of extras and splitting the seasons in half. I'd buy all 27 season four episodes for say, $59.99. By splitting them, they are just tricking us in paying like $70 MSRP for a season. Then with two volumes for one season, we are wasting shelf space on our shelves. Sorry to keep complaining about it, but there isn't really anything new to say here. New episodes are about the only new thing here and I'm going to give away storylines to you all. But new episodes is what counts the most, right? Anyway, juice up some scandals and betrayal of this show right on your couch, by ordering this DVD! You don't need to live in a mansion!
    -- Reviewed by Pavan
    (4/5 stars)

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

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

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    Friday, April 03, 2009

    ABC Mid-Season Pilot Review: Surviving Suburbia - Premieres April 6; Lifetime TV Acquires Cybill

    Surviving Suburbia

    Surviving Suburbia - Mondays 9:30PM ET/PT on ABC
    Premieres Monday, April 6, 2009 at 9:30PM ET/PT

    In the family-centered tradition of Roseanne and Home Improvement, Surviving Suburbia opens the curtain to follow Bob Saget (How I Met Your Mother, Full House) and Cynthia Stevenson (Men in Trees, Dead Like Me) as Steve and Anne Patterson, a seemingly normal couple who have been married for 20 years, have two children and a cookie cutter house in the idyllic suburbs. But Steve maintains a rather cynical point of view on family, friends, neighbors, society -- pretty much everyone and everything -- as he tries to survive suburban life.
    Surviving Suburbia takes a contemporary look at family life and the reasons one might have to question the system -- How does exchanging keys with a neighbor for emergencies result in house sitting? Why do kids' classroom projects inevitably become the parents' responsibility? When did we start needing mediators to handle disagreements between adults? - all of which goes to prove that it's never just another sunny day in the suburbs.
    Also starring in the half-hour comedy series are Jared Kusnitz and G Hannelius as the Patterson kids, Henry and Courtney, plus Jere Burns (Good Morning Miami, Something So Right) as Dr. Jim. Dan Cortese (What I Like About You) and Lorna Scott (Criminal Minds, The OC) are recurring guest stars as Onno and Monica, respectively.


    Cast Details:

    * Bob Saget as Steve Patterson
    * Cynthia Stevenson as Anne Patterson
    * Jere Burns as Dr. Jim
    * G. Hannelius as Courtney Patterson
    * Jared Kusnitz as Henry Patterson
    * Dan Cortese as Onno
    * Lorna Scott as Monica

    Bob Saget (Steve Patterson) is known worldwide for his many television roles and for setting a precedent by simultaneously starring in two Top 10 primetime series, the long-running sitcom Full House and as host of ABC's America's Funniest Home Videos for eight years. He's also familiar to a more 'adult' audience through his edgy standup comedy, theater and film work. In August 2008 Saget was honored with The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget, one of the highest rated shows for all of 2008 on Comedy Central. In the past two years, Saget has made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning play, The Drowsy Chaperone, hosted the quiz show 1 vs. 100, starred in his own HBO special, That Ain't Right, and kicked off a national theater tour. In the past few years he has also played a murderer on Law & Order: SVU, poked fun at his own image on Entourage, guest-starred on Huff, and had a hit music video from MTV, "Rollin' With Saget," in which he starred with friends Jamie Kennedy and Stu Stone.

    Cynthia Stevenson (Anne Patterson) was born in Piedmont, CA but grew up in Bellevue, WA and Vancouver, BC. After attending American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, followed by Drama Studio London at Berkley, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Her work in improv and in theatre landed her an agent and an immediate job doing 26 episodes of a sketch comedy TV show entitled Off The Wall. After doing guest parts on the sitcoms The Famous Teddy Z, Newhart and Cheers, Stevenson was cast as the lead in the sitcom talk show My Talk Show. That proved to be her big break, as director Robert Altman noticed and cast her in his Oscar nominated film The Player. Series regular roles on such shows as Bob and Hope & Gloria followed. Additionally Stevenson played the lead on the cable series Oh Baby, then she moved to Vancouver and starred in Dead Like Me. Her feature roster also includes such films as Agent Cody Banks, Agent Cody Banks 2, Neverwas, Case 39 and the Disney Air Bud comedies. She was a series regular on ABC's series MEN IN TREES, had a recurring role on According to Jim and starred in the TV Christmas movie, Will You Merry Me. She can also be seen in the recent and upcoming films Dead Like Me: The Movie, Reunion, I Love You Beth Cooper and Jennifer's Body.

    Jared Kusnitz (Henry Patterson) teams him once again with Jere Burns, with whom Kusnitz starred in the indie film Otis, also starring Illeana Douglas and Daniel Stern and written by Emmy Award winning writer Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers). In February 2009, Kusnitz was nominated for a Zombie Dead Letter Award in the category of Best Actor for his performance as Jimmy Dunn in the film Dance of the Dead, which also garnered eight nods in other categories, including Best Movie. Kusnitz's skill and comedic timing inspired writer Joe Ballarini to rewrite the script with the unlikely hero, Dunn, as the lead.

    G Hannelius (Courtney Patterson) was born in Boston, MA but moved with her parents to southern Maine when she was still very young. At the age of seven she landed the title role in Madeline's Rescue at The Children's Theatre of Maine. When the family relocated to Los Angeles in 2008, Hannelius promptly booked commercials for Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn, Little Caesar's Pizza, Dairy Queen and a regional spot as the spokeskid for The Aquarium of the Pacific, which caught the attention of a more than a few casting directors. A notice seeking "the representative for the little girl in the Aquarium commercial" led to an opportunity to read for the lead role in ABC's new sitcom, Surviving Suburbia, with co-stars Bob Saget and Cynthia Stevenson. Hannelius recently worked a guest lead role in an episode of the Disney Channel comedy, Sonny with a Chance, and fulfilled her cherished dream to work with Miley Cyrus when she booked a role as a zealous fan on the hit Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. She is also part of the promotional campaign for Leo Little's Big Show, co-hosting spots on the Disney Channel.

    Jere Burns (Dr. Jim) was born and raised in Cambridge, MA. He graduated from UMass, Amherst and attended the MFA program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His New York theatre credits include The New York Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Culture Project and, most recently, Hairspray at The Neil Simon. On television Burns is a veteran of eight series, including Dear John, Something So Right, Help Me Help You, and Good Morning Miami. He has also appeared in numerous made for television movies and independent and feature films.

    Dan Cortese (Onno) has both acting and hosting credits in television. He burst onto the small screen hosting MTV Sports, then hosted My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad. His acting credits include such sitcoms as Joey, Veronica's Closet, What I Like About You, Seinfeld and Rock Me Baby.


    Pilot Plot:

    #1 (PROD #106) "Hero" (Airs Monday, April 6, 2009)
    Steve reluctantly agrees to house sit for Onno (recurring guest star Dan Cortese) and ends up starting a fire that he later claims to have stopped. Steve gets caught up in being praised as a hero by his daughter and his neighbors, until his conscience gets the better of him.
    Special Guest Star: Dan Cortese as Onno. Guest Cast: Paul Nobrega as Guy and Michael Christian Alexander as paramedic.
    "Hero" was written by Don Beck and directed by Emile Levisetti.


    Analysis:

    I received for review the first episode airing, which is titled "Hero." This is actually the sixth episode produced. Originally this sitcom was supposed to be for The CW's Sunday night block, which was produced by Media Rights Capital. But due to low ratings, The CW canceled that block in the fall, thus giving this series no home as it was set to launch in January. But fortunately for Surviving Suburbia, ABC picked up the show in February and announced it would air it after Dancing with the Stars starting in April! 13 episodes have already been taped, but likely only 6 will air for now on ABC as they won't have room for all 13 this season. So there you have it, the history of the show in a nutshell.
    Now to the actual analysis...Bob Saget returns to ABC! The first episode they are airing has some very funny moments and I could certainly see this being a promising series with many laughs. This is for sure a throwback to traditional family sitcoms such as Home Improvement. Bob Saget plays Steve Patterson, a husband and father. He is certainly not squeaky clean and perfect like he was on Full House. On this show, he gets into a lot of messes. This show is certainly his vehicle, as on Full House it was more of an ensemble and later turned into "the Olsen twins show with John Stamos." Bob does get to play a father once again to a little girl. This time the little girl is not as annoying as Michelle on Full House (sorry I know there are MANY fans of that show, but it clearly was very sappy to me). The daughter (Courtney) on this show is very adorable (yes, so was Michelle) and pretty smart. She is funny, too. Bob's character, Steve, connects with her very well.
    In the first episode airing, Courtney announces for her project she is writing that Zach Efron is her "hero." Later Steve's neighbor Onno comes by as he is going on a trip, so he asks Steve to take care of his house and gives him the key to the house. Steve and his friend Dr. Jim go to the house and accidentally set the curtain on fire! Steve puts out the fire and is credited as a hero, yet no one knows he was the one that started the fire! Anyway, then daughter Courtney changes her hero project to her dad. Steve now feels bad because he didn't deserve it. What will happen? You'll have to tune in.
    So what works and doesn't? Obviously the connection between Steve and daughter Courtney is very much there. Right now there is not much connection between Steve and his son Henry, but I see potential as we go on. Henry seems to be 17 or so, while the daughter has to be 10 or less. The chemistry between Steve and Anne is somewhat there, but I need to see more episodes. It gets better between them as the episode goes on, though. Dr. Jim is going to be a classic character. He is the classic sitcom "buddy." He could be on the same page as Larry from Three's Company and more recently Andy on According to Jim. He is just a fun character that gives many laughs. Dan Cortese's character Onno, didn't have much to do in this episode and I didn't see Lorna Scott's character Monica in this episode. And finally, Bob Saget shines in this. He is very funny and better like this than Danny Tanner. The only gripe I have about him here is that it seems Bob is not standing straight at any time. He looks like Big Bird as he is 6'4". Maybe he has a neck or a back problem?


    Conclusion:

    Well this is certainly a traditional comedy. Comedies of this type are what we need right now. This is ABC's first stab at launching a traditional comedy since believe it or not Crumbs back in January 2006. In the fall of that season (fall 2005) they launched Freddie and Hot Properties, while airing returning series such as According to Jim, Rodney, George Lopez, and Less than Perfect. After that season only Jim and George remained, and then after that just Jim. So the timing seems to be very right for Surviving Suburbia to launch and succeed, as viewers like these types of comedies. CBS's Monday comedies have seen ratings climb this season, as they are the only traditional comedies airing on network TV right now. You won't see this show win any awards like Samantha Who or 30 Rock, but I'm sure this show will outright do much better than single camera sitcoms in the ratings.

    The premiere episode is decent. It is not perfect at all, but Bob is good in it. Many fans and TV fans will be tuning in for sure to see Bob return to TV comedy. The promos for the show have been hilarious and most of the stuff in the promos are not for this first episode that is airing. So that is promising that the show will deliver laughs in future episodes. The first one they are airing is not the greatest episode probably of this show, but I see lots of potential and viewers should stick around to see them all. ABC says they have added a new into to this episode with the family watching and talking about Dancing with the Stars. That was not in the version I saw, but can't wait to see that. Hopefully they don't edit anything out, because the version I saw starts with Steve talking to his daughter. Tune in Monday at 9:30pm on ABC because we need the traditional sitcom to come back!


    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

    -- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 04/03/09

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Monday, April 6 on our message board.

    Related Links:

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




  • Finally, we end today with some news! As promised, I will reveal what sitcom Lifetime TV has acquired! They have acquired the Cybill Shepherd '90s sitcom Cybill! The show will launch on Monday, May 4, airing weekdays at 8am & 8:30am and 2am ET/PT. The morning airings will replace Still Standing, which will still remain in the 6pm hour, and the late night airing will replace encores of original sitcom Rita Rocks. Cybill aired for four seasons from 1995-1998 on CBS.
    Cybill was last seen on cable on Oxygen earlier this decade for a few years. Cybill Shepherd is starring on the Lifetime sitcom pilot Alligator Point, a comedy about an eccentric group of Floridians who find refuge in the southern hospitality of Mae's Oyster Bar. So with the pick-up of Cybill, maybe that sitcom will be ordered to series? Kelsey Grammer is producing the pilot. We will let you know if it gets picked-up.
    Other schedule changes for Lifetime in May 2009 is original series Cook Yourself Thin replacing the third Wife Swap airing. That will air weekdays at 5:00pm & 5:30pm starting Monday, May 4. 20 episodes have been ordered. Based on the hit British series and popular cookbook, Cook Yourself Thin encourages women to lose weight by changing their eating habits. So after that series concludes, Cybill will also air in the early evenings, airing at 5:00pm & 5:30pm starting Tuesday, May 26. It will also air in its other timeslots as well.
    Rita Rocks will return with new episodes sometime this summer, while new episodes of Army Wives begins Sunday, June 7 at 10pm for its third season (18 episodes).

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    Thursday, April 02, 2009

    ION Television May 2009 Adds Reba; Nick at Nite Ratings Climb; Charles in Charge on NBC.com

    As I hinted yesterday, ION Television has acquired a sitcom! They will start this sitcom on Monday, April 27! That date will mark the start of the ION Television May 2009 lineup! And the sitcom is...Reba! The WB/The CW 2001-2007 Reba McEntire sitcom joins the ION Television line-up on Monday, April 27 airing weeknights at 7:00pm & 7:30pm. It will also air Monday nights and Friday nights at 8:00pm & 8:30pm. And whenever a movie airs during weekdays in primetime (such as the weekly Thursday slot) and starts at 8:30pm or 9pm, Reba will air leading into it. The sitcom is distributed by 20th Century Fox. Reba also airs on cable on Lifetime TV as well, but ION Television is considered a broadcast station. Reba hasn't aired on broadcast stations since it aired on The CW Daytime. It will be weird because from Tues-Fri, Lifetime also airs Reba in the 7pm hour. That is very strange ION decided to air it at the same time! Did they not realize? Sound off on this on our Twitter page!
    The addition of Reba, will cause some shifting. The Drew Carey Show has been removed, as Quantum Leap, M*A*S*H, and Family Feud move back an hour each from 4pm-7pm to make room for Reba at 7:00pm & 7:30pm. ER has also been removed, as Reba will take over Mondays in the 8pm hour as well. Also, after the weekend of May 2-3, starting May 9, RHI Entertainment movies and miniseries will no longer air! We're not sure yet if this is the last of the RHI programming, since the deal expires soon, but the last scheduled programming is May 2-3 with the four-part, eight-hour miniseries Lonesome Dove. Big screen movies will replace RHI the following weekend, May 9-10.
    Among the big screen movie premieres this month are American President, Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 3, The Hunt for Red October, Presumed Innocent, The Mask, Angel Eyes, and The Fugitive! The big screen movie encores this month are Octopussy and Rocky IV.
    View the complete schedule and highlights for ION Television May 2009!
    Stay tuned tomorrow as we announce what sitcom is joining Lifetime in May. And I promise you, it isn't something airing elsewhere! We will also have our review of upcoming new sitcom for ABC starring Bob Saget called Surviving Suburbia tomorrow on the blog. Big Friday!

    Nick at Nite scored its most-watched quarter ever in first quarter 2009 (Nielsen Media Research 12/29/08-3/29/09) with Adults 18-49 and Men 18-49. Driven by hit family programming like George Lopez, Nick at Nite produced double-digit gains among A18-49 and W18-49 this quarter, and has delivered 16 consecutive months of year-over-year growth in delivery. Nick at Nite closes the first quarter of 2009 as the number-one cable network with W18-49 in total day, and the number-two network with A18-49.
    The first quarter for 2009 marked Nick at Nite's most-watched quarter ever with A18-49 and M18-49, averaging a 0.6 rating (690,000 viewers) among A18-49 (up 20%) and a 0.4 rating (254,000 viewers) among M18-49. Nick at Nite ranks as the number-one basic cable network for W18-49 in total day for the first quarter of 2009, averaging a 0.8 rating (436,000 viewers) among W18-49, up 14% over last year. The network is number two in total day with A18-49 in the quarter as well. The network delivered 1.5 million total viewers on average, up 5% in viewers over the same time last year. In primetime, Nick at Nite averaged a 0.7 overall rating and 1.7 million total viewers for the quarter. George Lopez is the network's highest-rated program and has experienced growth of 40% in rating since its launch in September 2007. George Lopez averaged a 0.7 A18-49 rating and 791,000 viewers among A18-49 in the first quarter of 2009. "Whappppah!" "I got this," indeed George!

    For fans of Charles in Charge (and Scott Baio), the first season of the popular sitcom (with an amazing theme song) from 1984-85 is now available for enjoyment on NBC.com at any time! You can see the first season in its entirety featuring all 23 episodes. Charles in Charge has been added in the vintage section called "Video Rewind" joining other vintage series such as The A-Team, Simon & Simon, Alfred Hitchcok Hour, and Emergency! Charles in Charge is the first vintage sitcom to be added in the Video Rewind, though! Hopefully we get more Universal-owned sitcoms added to Video Rewind soon such as Amen, Out of this World, Still the Beaver, Harry and the Hendersons, and Bachelor Father. Those would be great because they are not on DVD, while Charles in Charge is. Even though they are on DVD, Gimme a Break and Kate & Allie would be good to have on here, too.

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    Wednesday, April 01, 2009

    TV One May 2009 Says That's My Mama; Rickles To Be Honored at TV Land; Ape-Reel Fool's on Boomerang; Sitcom Hint

    Originally there was supposed to be an Easter marathon on TV One for the classic but short lived '70s sitcom That's My Mama, but then they decided to pull it. I had thought they pulled it because they wanted a better night for it like Mother's Day, and I was right...we will indeed get the marathon on Mother's Day now!
    Beginning at 1pm on Mother's Day (Sunday, May 10), the classic sitcom That's My Mama comes to the TV One airwaves with an all-day marathon. The classic sitcom which starred Theresa Merritt in the title role as Eloise "Mama" Curtis took place in Washington D.C. and centered around Clifton Curtis, Mama's son and young barber, he had inherited the family barbershop from his late father, Oscar Curtis. Mama wanted the best for her son and that meant a woman in his life, so she often tried finding him a mate even though he enjoyed bachelor life. The series also stars Clifton Davis and Jester Hairston (who both went on to star in another TV One favorite Amen), Ted Lange (who went on to star in The Love Boat), Lynn Moody (Roots), and Theodore Wilson (Sweet Daddy from TV One's Good Times). The marathon ends at 7pm...but after an original special at 7pm, we get more sitcom mom fun! Concluding the Mothers Day festivities, TV One airs a "Mothers Day Comedy Marathon" beginning at 8pm consisting of Mothers Day themed episodes of TV One sitcom favorites Living Single, Half & Half, and The Hughleys. It's good to see The Hughleys get some play, as the series has been off the regular schedule. The marathon runs until 1am, but encores until 6am. That's My Mama is not scheduled to join the regular line-up in May...hopefully it will at a later date. The Mama marathon is an hour shorter than the originally planned Easter marathon, though.
    On Saturday, May 16 beginning at 12pm, TV One says Happy Birthday to a superstar as they offer their annual birthday tribute to Grammy Award winning entertainer Janet Jackson by airing an all-day marathon of "Good Times: The Janet Years," featuring episodes when a young Janet played the Evans neighbor, Penny who after being abused by a violent mother was eventually adopted by Willona. The marathon runs until 8pm, with select episodes encoring from 12am-6am.
    TV One goes retro for Memorial Day weekend beginning on Saturday, May 23 with series, movies, and marathons that will take viewers on a trip back in time for a weekend full of laughs, romance, danger, and action. Movies will kick off on Saturday. Then on Sunday, May 24 beginning at 1pm to 7pm, TV One presents an action-packed marathon of the '80s crime drama series A Man Called Hawk starring Avery Brooks in the title role of the tough talking and street fighting Hawk. Keeping the retro theme going on Sunday, May 24 beginning at 8pm, TV One pays homage to actor/comedian John Witherspoon (who is the roastee at a TV One Celebrity Roast premiering the next night) with the airing of episodes of sitcoms Martin and Living Single as well as the Robert Townsend Tinseltown parody Hollywood Shuffle. On Memorial Day itself (Monday, May 25), beginning at 10am, closing out retro-weekend on TV One is a marathon of '70s sitcom Sanford & Son starring the late Redd Foxx as cantankerous junk dealer Fred Sanford and Demond Wilson as his son Lamont who run a junk business in a Los Angeles Watts neighborhood. The marathon runs until 9pm and select episodes encore from 1am-6am.
    As for regular schedule changes, beginning on Monday, May 4 and continuing until further notice, the TV One weeknight overnight sitcom block has changed and will now air the following line-up: 3:00am Half & Half (replacing Living Single), 3:30am Martin (replacing Living Single), 4:00am Half & Half and 4:30am Martin (replacing Half & Half).

    It's April Fool's Day, so what better way to celebrate this day then to give you news about Don Rickles! Multi-talented Don Rickles, the world's most beloved "outrageous comic," actor and author will be bestowed the Legend Award at The 2009 TV Land Awards. The Legend Award is presented to an entertainer or a television show that has stood the test of time and ranks among the most memorable and celebrated in television and movie history. The 2009 TV Land Awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris will tape on Sunday, April 19 at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City to air on TV Land during a special presentation of TV Land PRIME on Sunday, April 26 at 8pm ET/PT. Previous recipients of the Legend Award include The Carol Burnett Show, Cheers, Garry Marshall, The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
    TV Land previously announced additional honorees for this year's show including Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Legacy of Laughter Award), Married with Children (Innovator Award), M*A*S*H (Impact Award), Home Improvement (Fan Favorite Award), Magnum P.I. (Hero Award), Two and a Half Men (Future Classic Award) and Knots Landing (30th Anniversary Award).
    View more on the awards and Don Rickles.

    Spend a primate-packed day with Boomerang as the commercial-free network celebrates "Ape-Reel Fool's Day" today! The big star of the day is everyone's favorite fun-loving (and well-dressed) gorilla, Magilla. Debuting in 1964, The Magilla Gorilla Show chronicles Magilla's antics in Mr. Peeble's Pet Shop. This classic cartoon will air in three-hour blocks on Wednesday, April 1, at 9 a.m. (ET) and 5 p.m. (ET), and again overnight at 2 a.m. (ET). So, yes this story didn't publish until 1pm ET, but you have time to catch these encores!
    But not all the animated apes are as amiable as Magilla, as Mojo Jojo of The Powerpuff Girls will prove. This most evil of apish villains will wreak havoc at 7 a.m. (ET), 2 p.m. (ET) and 10 p.m. (ET). Other classic cartoons--The Flinstones, Scooby Doo, Pink Panther, Dexter's Laboratory and Top Cat also will join in the fun with monkey-themed episodes and simian guest stars. On The Flintstones, a mix-up at the Bedrock pharmacy has Fred taking strange pills that don't help his allergy but turn him into an ape. Tune in today at 3pm ET and other encores like 9pm!

    And no foolin' we have some sitcom acquisition news for the next two days. Stay tuned tomorrow to find out what sitcom ION Television has acquired and on Friday to find out what sitcom Lifetime has acquired. Both networks will start airing these sitcoms this May! What can they be? You'll have to join us the next two days!

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