Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ABC Fall Pilot Review: The Middle - Premieres September 30; TV Land Goes Brady Crazy This Week

The Middle

The Middle - Wednesdays 8:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 8:30PM ET/PT

Emmy-winner Patricia Heaton stars in this warm and witty single-camera comedy about raising a family and lowering your expectations.

Frankie Heck is a superhero. Well, no, not an actual superhero - not unless you count getting her kids out the door for school every morning as a superfeat. Middle-aged, middle class and living in the middle of the country, this harried wife and working mother of three uses her wry wit and sense of humor to try to get her family through each day intact. Frankie has a job selling cars at the town's only surviving car dealer; her husband, Mike, is a manager at the local quarry.

In between juggling shifts and picking up fast food dinners eaten in front of the TV, Frankie and Mike raise their kids with love and solid Midwestern practicality. Axl is the oldest, a teenage jock who eats the family out of house and home and walks around in his underwear. Then there's Sue, their extraordinarily ordinary pre-teen daughter who fails at everything she tries with great gusto. Brick, the youngest son, is an odd kid whose best friend is his backpack. Together, they're putting THE MIDDLE on the map.

Cast Details:

* Patricia Heaton as Frankie Heck
* Neil Flynn as Mike Heck
* Charlie McDermott as Axl Heck
* Eden Shur as Sue Heck
* Atticus Shafer as Brick Heck
* Chris Kattan as Bob

Patricia Heaton (Frankie Heck) is perhaps best known for her role as Debra Barone on the award-winning series Everybody Loves Raymond. She won two Emmy Awards for the role and was nominated seven times. In addition to her Emmy wins, Heaton is also the recipient of the Best Comedy Actress Award from the Viewers for Quality Television, a SAG Award and three SAG nominations in the Best Actress category for her work on Raymond. Heaton most recently starred opposite Kelsey Grammer in the Fox comedy series Back to You. She also starred in the Hallmark Hall of Fame film, Front of the Class. Other television credits include a recurring role on ABC's popular series thirtysomething and prominent roles in the series Room for Two, Someone Like Me and Women of the House, as well as the television films A Town Without Christmas and Miracle in the Woods. Heaton produced and starred in the TNT/FourBoys Films production, The Engagement Ring, She also starred in the TNT/Neil Simon production of The Goodbye Girl and ABC's The Path to 9/11. Her feature film credits include Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Beethoven, New Age and Space Jam.

Neil Flynn (Mike Heck) just finished his eighth season as Sacred Heart Hospital's menacing janitor in the ABC comedy series Scrubs. Flynn can be seen interrogating Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, directed by Steven Spielberg, and is also well known for playing Lindsay Lohan's dad in the hit comedy Mean Girls. His other feature appearances include Hoot, Home Alone 3, The Fugitive, Chain Reaction, Rookie of the Year, Baby's Day Out and Major League. Equally adept at comedy and drama, Flynn has performed a variety of roles on television series, ranging from Seinfeld, The Drew Carey Show and That 70's Show to C.S.I., Boston Public and NYPD Blue. Other T.V. appearances include Arli$$, Ellen, Family Law and Smallville.

Charlie McDermott (Axl Heck) is a quickly rising star who will make his presence felt on both the large and small screen in 2009. On the big screen he has two new films in production: He'll join Chevy Chase, John Cusack, Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson in United Artist's Hot Tub Time Machine, an absurdist comedy slated to open in February 2010; he will also star alongside Laura Linney and writer/director Leland Orser in Morning, opening later this year. McDermott began his career with M. Night Shyamalan's The Village, alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt and Sigourney Weaver. Additional film credits include The Sex Drive, opposite Seth Green and James Marsden. Television credits include The Office, as the disinterested student who ignores Michael Scott (Steve Carell), ABC's Private Practice, Parks and Recreation, and Medium.

Eden Sher (Sue Heck) is best known for her work on the ABC comedy Sons & Daughters. She has also starred in Starz Party Down, ABC Family's The Middleman, Disney's Sonny With A Chance and Showtime's Weeds.

Atticus Shaffer (Brick Heck) was discovered by his manager in 2006 and soon landed a guest starring role in the series The Class. That role led him to the role of Brick in the original ABC pilot, The Middle. Several episodics followed, such as My Name is Earl, Days of Our Lives, Carpoolers, Out of Jimmy's Head and Human Giant. Perhaps best known for the bus stop scene he shared with Will Smith in Hancock, Atticus' other roles in feature films include The Unborn, An American Carol, Leaving Barstow and Opposite Day.

Chris Kattan (Bob) is best known for his many characters on Saturday Night Live, which he joined in March 1996, completing his seventh and final season in 2003. With numerous upcoming projects, he was recently seen in the Independent Film Channel's three-part miniseries, Bollywood Hero, in which he played himself in an otherwise fictional comedy. Other big-screen credits include Universal's Undercover Brother, Disney's Corky Romano" the script of which was based on a character Kattan developed, and A Night at the Roxbury, written by Kattan and Will Ferrell and produced by Lorne Michaels and Amy Heckerling. Kattan was also seen opposite Brendan Fraser and Bridget Fonda in Monkey Bone, and in The House on Haunted Hill, opposite Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Ali Larter and Taye Diggs and produced by Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis.


Pilot Plot:

#1 "Pilot" (Airs September 30)
Frankie is struggling in her career as a car salesperson because she has failed to actually sell a car. Sue has auditioned for show choir and, to everyone's shock, makes the team, but fails to mention that she's part of the stage crew. To top things off, Brick wants Frankie to come to his class presentation dressed as a superhero. Just when Frankie thinks she's got a car sold and her kids under control, she does show up to Brick's class dressed as a superhero -- but he's given her the wrong day -- and the car she thought she had sold is stolen right in front of her. Work and home have taken over Frankie's life... to the point that she barely recognizes herself and has even taken to coloring her hair with a magic marker. Her youth has faded and the day-to-day grind has worn her down, but it's family and the struggles they face together that keep Frankie and the rest of the Hecks one big happy mess.
Guest starring are Brian Doyle-Murray as Mr. Ehlert, Amy Farrington as Gail, Patricia Belcher as Mrs. Rettig, Jeanete Miller as Aunt Edie, Francis Bay as Aunt Ginny, Peter Breitmayer as Pete, Andy Kreiss as choir director, Ping Wu as Mr. Yamamoto, Mike Randleman as flight attendant and Robert Clendenin as P.A.
"Pilot" was written by DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler, and directed by Julie Ann Robinson.


Analysis:

ABC has had this pilot in development for a few years, so they have really believed in it and got to a point where they made it the best they could. Previously when it was in development, Ricki Lake was the star...now we have Patricia Heaton as the star and she shines in this role! This sitcom is about an average family living in "the middle" of the country in Indiana. If you liked Malcolm in the Middle, you are sure to like this. While that series was focused mainly on Malcolm, this series is all about Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton). But that is not to say this isn't an ensemble, because the family is a key part of the show.

The pilot is excellent. Mike and Frankie Heck have three children Axl, Sue and Brick. They are all so unique and funny in their own ways. I think everyone in the entire country will love the youngest child, Brick. He is unbelievably funny! Even his name is pretty funny! Seriously, Frankie, Axl, and Brick...strange names, but funny! Frankie is a car salesman and of course a mom, where she has to juggle so many tasks. Brick has even called his mom a superhero for his class. What happens with that is actually very hysterical. Frankie also can't sell any cars and when you think she is about to, something very out of the blue happens that you'll never see coming. And at the dealership, Frankie's co-worker Bob (Chris Kattan) is there, but he hasn't really gotten any substance yet. He has now been made a series regular, where on this pilot he was just a guest star. We have two very fun men here in Neil Flynn as Mike Heck and Chris Kattan as Bob the car salesman. Just a wonderful cast and a hilarious family!

You've see some hilarious scenes in promos, such as Brick unknowingly tapping her teacher's breast when trying to get her attention, and the hilarious scenes just keep on coming on this show! Another scene that is hysterical is when Frankie is telling Brick to lick his frozen pancake because it will last longer! Everything in this pilot clicks very well and ABC now I think has 3 very good comedies on Wednesday nights, with only Hank (The Middle's lead-in) being the exception so far.


Conclusion:

This could quietly become one of the top comedies on the air right now. Modern Family is probably the best family comedy, but this should not be overlooked either. If you like sitcoms like Roseanne and Malcolm in the Middle, you'll love this one because it is a mix of both. I am from the Northeast, so I don't know if families are really like that in "the middle" of the country, but Heaton has said in interviews that she was born in Ohio (close to Indiana) and her family was so much like this. I'm sure people in the middle of the country will even like this show more since they can relate to this. In these tough times, we sure need a show like this! I never really liked Everybody Loves Raymond, but Patricia Heaton shines in this role...she plays it real and is funny. Neil Flynn was always hilarious on Scrubs and just seeing the janitor from Scrubs as a father is hysterical itself! I think the real show stealer in this is Atticus Shaffer as the young Brick. He pulls his pants down in public to go to the bathroom, he touches his teacher's breasts (not on purpose), and repeats stuff under his breath. He is like Dewey from Malcolm, but so much funnier!

The ratings should be pretty good for this show. This hour is pretty weak and the show is millions better than CBS's competing Gary Unmarried. Tune in tonight at 8:30pm for this new hilarious comedy on ABC Comedy Wednesday! You'll be saying "this is a winner" and like Brick, you'll say it under your breath, too!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4.5/5
Funniness: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/30/09

Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, September 23 on our message board.

Related Links:


  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • The Middle Photo Gallery

    Preview:






  • TV Land has made a slight change for the remainder of the week starting tonight. The Brady Bunch will air Wed-Fri this week ONLY in the 7pm hour instead of the usual back-to-back The Beverly Hillbillies. That is interesting as it seems last week's Brady Bunch anniversary must have did decent for them in the ratings. However, it just seems so strange they have Brady Bunch followed by Married...with Children! Talk about two totally different shows! I'm not sure what TV Land is doing, but their scheduling has been pretty weird the last year or two.
    TV Land has also quietly returned Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in the weekdays at 9am hour, replacing Good Times, which now shifts to 10-11am, followed by Sanford & Son from 11am-12pm. Previously three episodes each of these two sitcoms were airing from 9am-10:30am and 10:30am-12pm.
    Stay with us for more TV Land news. We hear more changes could happen next week, so keep checking back. We also have the TV Land November 2009 schedule to give you all, but we might wait a few days for that...just in case we have wholesale changes happening next week.

    Labels: , , , , , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    ABC Fall Pilot Review: Hank - Premieres September 30; ION Not Airing Season 2 of Durham County...Yet

    Hank

    Hank - Wednesdays 8:00PM ET/PT on ABC
    Premieres Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 8:00PM ET/PT

    Sometimes scaling back is the best way to get ahead. A legendary entrepreneur in the sports retail world, Hank Pryor (Kelsey Grammer) and his wife, Tilly, have been living the high life in New York City. That is until Hank is forced out of his CEO job and has to downsize and move his family back home to the small town of River Bend, Virginia.

    A self-made man, Hank is used to being the boss. But now that he's lost almost everything, is he up for the even bigger challenge of being a husband and father? While Tilly regrets having to leave the glitz of New York City to move back to her hometown, Hank is gung-ho to relaunch his career in the place where it all began for him. Unfortunately this also means having to spend way too much time with his brother-in-law, Grady, who delights in Hank's recent misfortunes. Hank struggles to find common ground with his kids -- offbeat son Henry, who would rather play with action figures than toss a baseball with his dad, and daughter Maddie, a hip, New York City teen in whose eyes Hank can do no right. But every great businessman knows that the key to success is to turn setbacks into opportunities. It may take a while for this corporate giant to figure out how to mingle with the little people -- like his family -- but Hank's up for the challenge, a man who feels he is destined to return to greatness. And he is. It's just not the greatness he imagined.

    This hilarious family comedy mixes genuine, heart-warming moments with Grammer's trademark blustery humor.

    Cast Details:

    * Kelsey Grammer as Hank Pryor
    * Melinda McGraw as Tilly Pryor
    * David Koechner as Grady Funk
    * Jordan Hinson as Maddie Pryor
    * Nathan Gamble as Henry Pryor

    Kelsey Grammer (Hank Pryor) has excelled at the highest level in theatre, television and film as an actor, producer, executive producer and director. Grammer was cast in two TV miniseries, first as Stephen Smith in Kennedy (NBC, 1983), and next as Lieutenant Stewart in George Washington (CBS, 1984). Then, an initial guest-starring role as Dr. Frasier Crane on Cheers developed into the cornerstone of actor's career. He continued playing the celebrated character in two different television series (Cheers and then Frasier) over the span of 20 years, tying the record for longest-running television character. This fall Grammer of course stars in the show but also serves as executive producer of the series. Portraying Crane, Grammer won four Emmys, two Golden Globes and a SAG Award, and received an unparalleled 16 Emmy nominations, eight Golden Globe nominations and 16 SAG nominations. Fifteen years ago, Grammer created Grammnet, a TV production company which has produced such hit television shows as the Emmy-winning Medium for NBC/CBS and The Game and Girlfriends for UPN/CW. Grammer has directed single episodes of Everybody Hates Chris, My Ex Life and Out of Practice. He has also directed several episodes of Frasier, one of which earned him a DGA nomination.
    Also accomplished as a voice-over artist, Grammer plays the character Sideshow Bob on The Simpsons, for which he won an Emmy in 2006. He has also lent his voice to the feature films Toy Story 2, Anastasia and Teacher's Pet, to the television series Father of the Pride and Gary the Rat and to the Emmy-nominated Animal Farm for TNT. Other acting credits include Vivendi Universal's An American Carol, Disney's Swing Vote, Fox's blockbuster hit X-Men: The Last Stand, Fox TV's Back to You -- in which he also served as executive producer -- A Christmas Carol for NBC, Benedict Arnold for A&E, Mr. St. Nick for ABC's Hallmark Hall of Fame, and many more films. In his latest film project, a remake of Fame, he stars as the orchestra maestro at the prestigious New York City High School of Performing Arts.

    Melinda McGraw (Tilly Pryor) has made regular and recurring appearances on Mad Men, Journeyman, The West Wing, Desperate Housewives, Inconceivable, Center of the Universe, The District, My Adventures in Television, Skin, Living in Captivity, Pursuit of Happiness, The X-Files, The Commish and The Human Factor. She has also appeared in Law & Order: SVU, Saving Grace, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Mad About You, Larry Sanders and Seinfeld. In addition to television, she appeared in the films Meeting Spencer, Skateland, Weather Girl, The Dark Knight, Wrongfully Accused, Nutty Professor: The Klumps and Albino Alligator.

    David Koechner (Grady Funk) spent one season on the cast of Saturday Night Live before moving to Los Angeles, where he landed guest appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Reno 911 and played a recurring character on Still Standing. And in film comedies like Out Cold, My Boss' Daughter and A Guy Thing. Concurrently, Koechner, along with Dave "Gruber" Allen, developed and performed The Naked Trucker & T-Bones Show on stage at Club Largo in Los Angeles, which later became a Comedy Central series. Koechner's first major film break came when he was cast as Champ Kind in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Since then he has been seen in a variety of films, inlcuding The Dukes of Hazzard with Johnny Knoxville, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Snakes on a Plane, the animated feature Barnyard, the family film Yours, Mine and Ours, the critically acclaimed Thank You for Smoking, opposite Aaron Eckhart and Maria Bello, Semi-Pro and Get Smart. He recently starred in the Fox Atomic comedy The Comebacks. Koechner can be spotted in cameo roles in The 40 Year Old Virgin, Balls of Fury, and Sex Drive. He continues to play the recurring character Todd Packer on NBC's The Office as well.

    Jordan Hinson (Maddie Pryor) began acting in plays at the age of five. When she was 11, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career. She began modeling and appeared in several television commercials. Shortly thereafter, Hinson was cast in her first starring role as Kaitlin Kingsford, an aspiring figure skater in the Disney Channel Original Movie, Go Figure. She went on to play Zoe Carter for three seasons on Syfy's highest rated series, Eureka. She also co-starred with Angie Harmon in the movie Glass House 2: The Good Mother. Between seasons of Eureka, she continued to work, guest starring in such shows as Dirt and CSI: Miami.

    Nathan Gamble (Henry Pryor) has already established an impressive career in television and film at age 10. His introduction into the entertainment business came when he played the role of Mike, Brad Pitt's son, in the Golden Globe-winning picture Babel. Babel director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu discovered Nathan after a nationwide search encompassing more than 20,000 young boys, all eager to play the part. Nathan's career soon took off, as he appeared in the feature Marley & Me, starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, the blockbuster hit The Dark Knight, directed by Christopher Nolan, in Stephen King's The Mist, opposite Thomas Jane and Marcia Gay Harden and directed by Frank Darabont, and in the 3-D feature The Hole for Bold Films.
    His television credits include the CW series Runaway, as Donnie Wahlberg's son, and the pilot Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas, directed by Tommy Schlamme for ABC. Nathan has also had guest appearances on Ghost Whisperer, CSI, Without a Trace and House, MD.


    Pilot Plot:

    #1 "Pilot" (Airs September 30)
    A legendary entrepreneur in the sports retail world, Hank Pryor, and his wife, Tilly, have been living the high life in New York City. That is until Hank is forced out of his CEO job and has to downsize and move his family back home to the small town of River Bend, Virginia.
    "Pilot" was written by Tucker Cawley, and directed by Andrew Weyman.


    Analysis:

    I saw both the original pilot and the new pilot. They are pretty much the same but with new actors playing the children. There are a few scene changes, such as the opening scene is almost completely different and for the better. I think this new pilot is a bit better than the original pilot. I don't like that they replaced Macey Cruthird with Jordan Hinson, though Hinson sort of does look like Cruthird. Why the change then? Actually before Hinson was cast as the daughter, they had Sasha Pieterse replacing Cruthird. Not sure what happened there, but they didn't shoot any scenes with Pieterse. The son was also recast from the original pilot. Originally it was Ryan Wynott, now it is Nathan Gamble.

    Anyway, as for the pilot itself. It is nothing special so far. There are a few laughs, but it has potential. Kelsey Grammer is clearly the star and is in nearly every scene. It's nice to see him in a family comedy for once and playing a dad, but he still has a bit of Frasier in him. The show is about him as a big time CEO who lost his job in New York and he decides to move his family back to his hometown in Virgina. The chemistry between Kelsey and Melinda McGraw, who plays his wife on the show, is not there yet...but I see potential. They had a great scene in bed that was actually funny. She calls Hank, "Awesome Hank." Not sure why since the entire family seems to think he isn't awesome. They all basically ditched his family meeting (see preview video below). Hank is out of touch completely with his family. He has no idea what his kids like and do...so it will be interesting for him to learn now. By the end of the first episode he learns a bit about his son, but also gets played a bit by both the daughter and son. That was one of the better scenes. Brother-in-law Grady Funk is also a bright spot, but I wish he was in it more. David Koechner is a hilarious actor!

    Usually pilot episodes, especially for family comedies, are usually one of the weaker episodes because they are setting things up for the show. So I hope the show does get better because we need a multicamera family comedy. I don't think this is in the same league as recent ABC multicamera family comedies such as 8 Simple Rules, George Lopez, My Wife & Kids, Hope & Faith or According to Jim. But Kelsey is certainly a big name and will draw an initial audience. Let's hope the show gets better!


    Conclusion:

    Originally this show was titled Awesome Hank. I think they should have kept that because Hank seems so dry and broad. Well maybe they decided not to name it that because Awesome Hank is a weird nickname for Hank because they really don't think he is awesome, but maybe they do deep down. I like the nickname for his daughter Maddie better, Moody Maddie! I think you should give the show a chance, meaning not just this episode because it isn't that good. Give it a few episodes to find its footing. Kelsey Grammer deserves that because he is such a great sitcom actor and he even is producing this show. So maybe it will get better. I haven't seen any subsequent episodes, but the second episode is about a yard sale in which Hank tries to run that as he did as a corporation. It's going to be interesting to see if Hank can find himself as a father. The competition isn't that strong in the Wednesday at 8pm hour, so Hank certainly has a shot and ABC Comedy Wednesday is off to a great start already with Modern Family and Cougar Town. Try this....but stick with it for more than just the pilot, because this is just a set-up that isn't very funny yet but has potential. America is an economic crisis, so maybe the nation will watch as it is a reality.


    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

    Watchability: 3.5/5
    Funniness: 3/5
    Overall: 3.5/5

    -- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/29/09

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, September 30 on our message board.

    Related Links:

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

    Preview:



    Part of ABC Comedy Wednesday:


    Stay tuned tomorrow for our pilot review of The Middle, which follows Hank on ABC Comedy Wednesday at 8:30pm ET/PT.



  • ION Television has been airing original series Durham County, a one-hour crime-drama series that follows the troubled world of Homicide Detective Mike Sweeney, on Mondays at 10pm since Sept. 7. The show has six episodes for its first season, and ION will air all six...but season two was supposed to start immediately following season one starting Oct. 19. Now that will not happen. Effective Monday, October 19 Criminal Minds will take over the Monday at 10pm slot on ION. Durham County will still air repeats Mondays at 11pm, though. So will ION air the season two episodes at a later date? I'm not sure, but I think they will. 6 more were ordered for season two. The ratings have not been too good, though. The series is a Canadian production and season two has already aired in Canada. Stay with us for continued updates!

    Labels: , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Monday, September 28, 2009

    BET Jazz Renames to Centric; The CW and TBS Cancelations

    We all know about the name change Viacom is doing for The N turning into TeenNick starting today, but did you know Viacom's BET Jazz is turning into Centric today? BET is rebranding its nearly 32 million subscriber "BET J" network under the Centric title, which will target African-American viewers with music and lifestyle programming. The network for the short-term will rely on acquired reality and music programming fare from its sister networks, including such shows as MTV's Run's House and VH1's The Salt-N-Pepa Show and I Want To Work for Diddy. Centric will also feature new shows originally slated to premiere this fall on BET J, including Leading Men, Lyrical Café and Urban Living. The network will also air classic episodes from the long-running Soul Train syndicated music/dance series, including singer Michael Jackson's first appearance on the show as a member of The Jackson Five. The network will pay homage to the "King of Pop," who died this past June, with a Jackson-themed primetime programming block tonight at 9pm (and encoring Friday at 11am). Also, the network will air the original Fame series to launch the network today from 9am-9pm with an encore on Sunday from 6am-6pm. Episode titles from the 1982 series airing in the block are "The Strike," "A Musical Bridge," "Passing Grade," "Tomorrow's Farewell," "The Crazies," "Teachers," "Class Act," "Feelings," "Star Quality," "Solo Song," "Ending on a High Note," and "Not in Kansas Anymore." I believe this is in honor of the new Fame movie that opened this past weekend. As of now, Centric is not airing this series as a regular.
    While the network is officially on the air today, BET and MTV are not planning any major marketing campaigns for Centric until 2010. For the immediate future, Centric will run cross-promotional spots through such MTV Networks properties as VH1, MTV and BET. Hopefully we see some sitcoms on Centric, but it doesn't seem like we will see any...I guess sitcom will be just for BET itself.

    The CW has canceled new Wednesday drama The Beautiful Life: TBL after just two airings. TBL was the fall's first cancelation, after draw just over 1 million viewers for its second episode not holding much of anything of the America's Next Top Model lead-in. Starting this Wednesday at 9pm, repeats of Melrose Place, which is not doing much better, will take over the slot. Melrose Place airs original episodes Tuesdays at 9pm.
    And finally TBS has canceled multi-camera sitcom The Bill Engvall Show after three seasons. The series moved to Saturdays for its third season and didn't generate much numbers. TBS opted to go with a fourth season of single camera sitcom My Boys instead I guess.

    Labels: , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Sunday, September 27, 2009

    Week 1 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

    Week 1 numbers (first four nights of the season, Mon-Thu):
    (Unfortunately we didn't get the network averages through Thursday in time for this, but it is clearly in the rankings like this thru Thursday night. See program finals thru Thursday in analysis.)

    Households: #1 ABC; #2 CBS; #3 Fox; #4 NBC; #5 The CW; #6 MNT.
    Total Viewers: #1 ABC; #2 CBS; #3 Fox; #4 NBC; #5 The CW; #6 MNT.
    Adults 18-49: #1 ABC; #2 CBS; #3 Fox; #4 NBC; #5 The CW; #6 MNT.

    Analysis: We're back with another all-new TV season! The 2009-10 season has begun and most of the shows debuted this past week, with still some shows debuting in the next few weeks. Through the first four days, ABC has the lead in all categories as they did the past few seasons, with CBS second, Fox is in third this year, while NBC is back in fourth. ABC and CBS are just a tad down or on par really from last year's premiere week, with Fox way up thanks to a big House premiere but NBC is way down from last year's premiere week. Among 18-49, it is very close thru Thursday night. ABC has a prelim 4.0/10 rating/share in the demo, followed closely by CBS with a 3.9/10, Fox also has a 3.9/10, with NBC way behind with a 2.5/6 (last year they were at a 3.4/8.8 this time).
    Monday was the first night of the 2009-10 season and it was a three way battle between Fox, ABC, and CBS. Two-hour season premiere of Dancing with the Stars won the total viewer race with 17.79 million for ABC, but down from last year. The competition was much stiffer this year, but still did a solid 4.1 18-49 rating. The season premiere of Castle followed with a solid 9.26 million, on par with its numbers in the spring and an improvement over Boston Legal last fall. Fox had the two-hour season premiere of House and it did a surprising 17.16 million and a mammoth 6.7 A18-49 rating. Next up was CBS with its comedies and CSI: Miami. How I Met Your Mother started it off with 9.09 million, below last year's premiere and Accidentally on Purpose followed with its series premiere doing 8.91 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, which could be better. Two and a Half Men followed with 13.63 million which seems below normal for the series, but The Big Bang Theory moved to its new time and did a nice 12.96 million, the only timeslot to go up for CBS from last year's premiere week. The show also did a solid 4.7 18-49 rating, for second for the night. The season premiere of CSI: Miami did 14.2 million, down a lot from last year's premiere. NBC followed with the two-hour season premiere of Heroes. The series goes down every year and this year the premiere was only at 6.1 million, down over 4 million from last fall's premiere. The Jay Leno Show followed with only 5.81 million. The CW on Mondays has been a struggle so far, with One Tree Hill doing only 2.29 million and Gossip Girl at an even worse 1.97 million. Last year both were over 3 million.
    Tuesday, CBS and ABC battled. CBS had the always reliable NCIS opened the night off with 20.6 million, up over 2 million from last year's premiere and this was another series high. The premiere of NCIS: Los Angeles was next and did 18.73 million, though a concern was the drop in the second half. And finally CBS premiered The Good Wife and did 13.71 million, also solid but needs to be watched because of a drop at the halfway point. Good Tuesday for CBS. ABC was next with the ladies turn to dance on Dancing with the Stars doing 15.37 million from 8-10pm, the series premiere of the forgotten followed and did a decent 9.54 million. NBC was next with The Biggest Loser 2-hour show doing 7.55 million, down from its season premiere the previous week, followed by the The Jay Leno Show at just 6.91 million. Fox gave way to two episodes of Hell's Kitchen doing 6.78 and 6.98 million, but the show did a second place in 18-49 at a 3.3 average. The CW aired 90210 with just 2.0 million, followed by dud Melrose Place at an even worse 1.44 million.
    Wednesday again it was a battle between CBS and ABC. CBS had the season premiere of Old Christine doing 7.17 million, which was up some from last year's season premieres, followed by the season premiere of Gary Unmarried at just 6.86 million, on par with its premiere last year. Veteran drama Criminal Minds did 15.84 million and a solid 4.4 A18-49 rating, with CSI: NY doing 15.06 million. ABC had a special night and time of Dancing with the Stars, this time the Results. Bye bye to Ashley Hamilton and Macy Gray, as 15.36 million tuned in for the hour results show at 8pm, on par with last year's special on this night. The series premiere of Modern Family and Cougar Town both did very well at 12.6 and 11.28 million, but the 4.2 and 4.4 A18-49 ratings for both were more telling. At 10pm Eastwick premiered to a solid 8.5 million and a nice 3.0 18-49 rating. NBC opened the night with the series premiere of Mercy doing 8.38 million, not bad, but the 2.3 18-49 rating could be better. Law & Order: SVU on its new night and time had a hard time and only did 8.36 million. At 10pm NBC aired The Jay Leno Show of course at just 6.38 million. Fox was fourth, with So You Think You Can Dance at only 5.5 million, but then Glee followed to a decent 6.64 million and a 3.1 A18-49 rating. The CW had its usual showing of Top Model at a only 2.82 million, even this is below 3 million now...a new episode of The Beautiful Life: TBL followed with just 1.05 million....ouch, CW has now pulled it!
    Thursday it was ABC on top. ABC opened the night with the series premiere of FLASHFORWARD doing a 12.47 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating, both first place finishes in the hour. The two-hour Grey's Anatomy season premiere followed with 17.03 million and a great 6.7 A18-49 rating. CBS opened with Survivor: Gabon at 11.66 million and a 3.7 A18-49 rating. The season premiere of CSI followed with 16.01 million, while the Thursday premiere of The Mentalist wasn't as strong as it was on Tuesday doing 15.07 million. Fox started off well with Bones at a solid 9.11 million, but Fringe followed and only did 5.73 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating. NBC was in the familiar fourth place with SNL Thursday Update doing only 4.54 million, followed by sitcom dud Parks & Recreation at only 4.09 million. At 9pm The Office only mustered 7.46 million but a solid 3.9 18-49 rating, but way down than last year. Community closed the comedy block with only 5.39 million, not good for the second episode. The Jay Leno Show closed the night with only 5.13 million. The CW's only consistent player so far is Vampire Diaries doing 3.8 million, followed by Supernatural at a could-be-better 2.66 million.
    Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with their dramas but only mustered a prelim 2.0 18-49 rating average. ABC was second despite repeats, with 20/20 the best of the night in 18-49. Fox had a dismal Friday with its premieres inclding Brothers and NBC was a disappointment.
    Saturday numbers had ABC win with Saturday Night Football in all categories and Fox was solid in young adults with its crime reality.
    Tonight are the season premieres for ABC Sunday (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters). I saw the premiere of Desperate Housewives already, and it is great...look for the bride reveal right away! NBC should have something to tout about finally this week with the NFL game, as their highest rated show so far has been Mercy at 8.38 million...very sad. CBS has the two-hour season premiere of Amazing Race following 60 Minutes and Cold Case moves to 10pm. Fox launches its animation block with season premieres from 8-10pm, including the premiere of The Cleveland Show.
    As for the week, ABC will win in HH, viewers and 18-49 most likely. CBS could come close in HH and viewers, but ABC likely has sealed 18-49. Will it be a clean sweep for ABC? They've got a good shot.

    Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of September 14-20)

    • The Simpsons (Fox) 3 episodes - three repeat episodes starting at 7:30 to 9pm did 3.72, 5.08, and 5.52 million ...season premiere is tonight
    • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - series premiere tonight.
    • Family Guy (Fox) - A repeat did 5.34 million...season premiere is tonight.
    • American Dad (Fox) - A repeat did 4.53 million...yes, season premiere is tonight.

    Monday Sitcoms

    • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - The season premiere did 9.09 million, lower than the timeslot premiere of Big Bang Theory last year and lower than last season's season premiere, which was at 8:30pm, of 9.79 million. Still decent.
    • Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) - 8.91 million for the series premiere is lower than last year's 9.79 million of How I Met Your Mother, and only a 3.3 18-49 rating compared to Mother's 4.0 from last year. This show needs to sustain these numbers at least to be a hit.
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 13.63 million...down from last season's season premiere. Lots of competition.
    • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 12.96 million for the season premiere on its new time, and built from the lead-in's 18-49 rating from a 4.5 to a 4.7...nicely done. The only timeslot to go up for CBS on this night from last year.


    Tuesday Sitcoms

    • None.

    Wednesday Sitcoms

    • Old Christine (CBS) - Season premiere did OK, doing 7.17 million. 18-49 rating of a 2.2 needs to be better.
    • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - Season premiere only mustered 6.86 million, but built from the lead-in a bit in 18-49 to a 2.3 rating.
    • Modern Family (ABC) - The series premiere did a massive 12.6 million and a nice 4.2 18-49 rating. Best comedy premiere in at least 2 seasons.
    • Cougar Town (ABC) - The series premiere of this sitcom did a solid 11.28 million and an even better 4.4 18-49 rating.

    Thursday Sitcoms

    • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - This show did terrible doing only 4.09 million and just a 1.8 A18-49 rating...sorry Amy Poehler.
    • The Office (NBC) - Building on the lead-in, the series did 7.46 million, but its strength is 18-49 and it did a 3.9 rating.
    • Community (NBC) - Second week had a big dip to only 5.39 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating is concerning, especially following a 3.9.

    Friday Sitcoms

    • Brothers (Fox) 2 episodes - The series premiere did terrible with a prelim of 2.82 million for two episodes and only a prelim 1.0 A18-49 rating.
    • Modern Family (ABC) - A special repeat of the pilot did actually solid for a repeat with a prelim 4.28 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating...beat new stuff on Fox and NBC. More sampling!
    • Cougar Town (ABC) - A special repeat of the pilot also did decent with a prelim 4.18 million and a prelim 1.5 A18-49 rating. More sampling!

    Saturday Sitcoms

    • None.

    Airing tonight (Sunday) are season premieres of Fox's animated comedies from 8-10PM.

    Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, Modern Family, Cougar Town, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, Accidentally on Purpose, were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Community, Old Christine) or just plain old terrible (such as Parks & Recreation, Brothers).

    Stay tuned this week for the premieres of Hank and The Middle joining Modern Family and Cougar Town on ABC Comedy Wednesday!

    Labels:

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Saturday, September 26, 2009

    Blog DVD Review: Life on Mars - The Complete Series (9/29)

    Welcome to our weekly Blog DVD Review! This week we take a look at ABC Studios' Life on Mars: The Complete Series. Life on Mars is about a New York City police detective Sam Tyler (played by Jason O'Mara), who after being struck by a car in 2008, regains consciousness in 1973. See my Blog DVD Review of Life on Mars: The Complete Series:

    Life on Mars: The Complete Series (ABC Studios, $39.99) brings all 17 episodes of this sci-fi crime drama starring an all-star cast on DVD for the first time! We head back in time to 1973, after Det. Sam Tyler is struck by a car in 2008. The series captivated fans and critics throughout the country, with an irresistible soundtrack and of the most celebrated casts on television including Jason O'Mara, Michael Imperioli, Gretchen Mol, and the legendary Harvey Keitel! Life on Mars is a smart, suspenseful drama with a finish that will just blow you away! So the series ends the way it wanted to!
    The series was unfortunately canceled. The series started on Thursdays at 10pm in October and November of lats year before a hiatus took place and the series returned in late January on a new night of Wednesdays, and the ratings suffered big time. The series stars Jason O'Mara as Det. Sam Tyler, Michael Imperioli as Det. Ray Carling, Gretchen Mol as Policewoman Annie Norris, Jonathan Murphy as Det. Chris Skelton, and Harvey Keitel as Lt. Gene Hunt. Among the recurring stars are Lisa Bonet as Maya, Tanya Fischer as Windy, Jennifer Ferrin as Rose Tyler, Dean Winters as Vic Tyler, Caleb Wallace as Young Sam, and Maggie Siff as Maria Hunt Belanger. Among the guests this year are Peter Gerety, Edi Gathegi, Odette Yustman, Lenny Venito, Brad William Henke, Wallace Shawn, Kevin Kilner, Paige Turco, Gina Gershon, Mark Linn-Baker, and Whoopi Goldberg.

    This series was an excellent show. I think the hiatus hurt the show and also when it returned in late January, it was aired out of order. The cliffhanger from episode 7 in November didn't have a resolution until the ninth one aired, as I think they were trying to start the series on its new night with an episode that was self-explanatory. However, on this DVD they do switch the episodes, so "Take a Look at the Lawmen" was the 8th one aired, is 9th on this DVD, while "The Dark Side Of The Mook" was the 9th one aired, is 8th on this DVD. That is much better! But since they did that, they should have reordered episodes 10-13 as well, as they aired out of order, too. The final four episodes were aired correctly and also are placed right on the DVD. Production order would have been the best thing for the DVD. Anyway, some memorable episodes include the series opener "Out Here in the Fields," when after an accident, NYPD detective Sam Tyler inexplicably finds himself back in 1973, where he must help solve a murder that is eerily similar to a case he was investigating in 2008. In "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadows?" Sam busts a guy for accosting his mother, only to find out he's a loan shark and she's into him for a thousand dollars, but when his mother doesn't want to prosecute, she, unknowingly, leads Sam down a road that puts him on the outs with Annie. In "Things to Do in New York When You Think You're Dead," Sam partners up with Fletcher, his future police mentor, in 1973 to find a Puerto Rican man accused of throwing a black girl off the roof of a building--a case that has the black community up in arms and demanding retribution. In the first half finale, "The Man Who Sold the World," while investigating a child's kidnapping, Sam discovers some disturbing information about his father, as well as the real reason he disappeared for good on the day of Sam's fourth birthday party. In the conclusion, "The Dark Side of the Mook," a mysterious phone call from a tipster leads Det. Sam Tyler to a headless body and a severed head is delivered to the precinct at the same time, thus leading to the discovery of a series of gruesome decapitations that might involve Det. Carling's brother, Eddie. In "Coffee, Tea, or Annie," when a Pan Atlantic air hostess turns up dead, Annie volunteers for a dangerous undercover mission posing as the murdered woman to help solve the second in a possible series of brutal homicides. In "All the Young Dudes," when Sam poses as a streetwise tough to infiltrate a vicious New York City gang suspected of truck hijackings, he's pushed to the limit not to blow his cover, and he reveals a much darker side. In the excellent series finale, "Life is a Rock," Sam wakes up after dreaming about his 2008 apartment with 1973 characters and is told he is most likely closer to going back and later on a mysterious caller offers Sam a chance to return to 2008...all he needs to do is complete three tasks, but a confusing set of circumstances inside and out of the 1-2-5 makes him think twice about whether he even wants to go back. When love, death, promise, hope, fear and mystery converge, will Sam decide to stay in 1973 or return to the future?

    Packaging has a thin outer box that you can remove from the top or bottom to get to the case inside. Both the thin outer box and case have the same artwork for both the front and back. The cover has a nice orange background with the New York skyline along with shots of Keitel, Imperioli, Mol, and O'Mara. The show logo is on top in black lettering with the four main star names on top of that. A Modern Day Cop In A 1973 World is printed on the bottom. The back has that orange background with information on the set and one episodic photo and we also have a photo of an 8 Track that lists the bonus features. Technical specifications are listed below the episodic photo.
    Opening the case, on the left side we see discs one & two. On the right side we see discs three and four. The discs are overlapping each other. There is also an insert for Blu-ray inside. Disc artwork is very nice, with each disc fitting that orange background. Disc one has episodes 1-4 with artwork of a 1970's style car and in the background we can see Radio City Hall. Disc two has episodes 5-9 and has artwork of that black phone that Sam gets the mysterious phone calls from. Disc three has episodes 10-13 and has artwork of two guns and the Brooklyn Bridge (it seems) in the background. And finally disc four has episodes 14-17 and has artwork of the NYPD police badge with the New York City skyline in the background. When you remove the discs, the panels have nice artwork, along with a disc-by-disc breakdown of episode titles and bonus features. It is nicely done!

    The menu screen starts with a police car then we get to the main menu with '70s style graphics and music playing in the background. It is groovy! The options on the main menu are Play All, Episode Selection, Set Up, and Bonus Features. But before the main menu screen comes on disc one, we get some auto sneak peeks of other DVDs: ABC on DVD, Lost, The Proposal, Cheri and Blu-ray DVD. Set Up section has the option of subtitles in English, French or Spanish and how you can register your DVD. The Episodes option gives us the episode number, title and a screenshot. Bonus Features option has all the extras listed. All of the sub-menus have different background music from the show...very '70s style! This show had great music, didn't it?

    The episodes run usually 41-43 minutes...unedited of course with all the great music intact. The lowest one is 40:10 and the highest is 43:12. There are about 8 chapter stops per episode. The video is digitally mastered and is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This is 2008-2009, so it had better be good. There is nothing to complain at all here...it is perfect! The '70s never looked better on DVD!

    Moving on the bonus features. We have a lot of audio commentaries! Disc one has audio commentary for the first episode "Out Here in the Fields" with creator/executive producers Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec. They give lots of details and cool facts...I'm sure many of the October Road fans noticed some references to that show, since they created that show also. On disc two we have audio commentary for the great episode ""Things To Do In New York When You Think You're Dead," with Jason O'Mara (Sam Tyler), co-executive producer Michael Katleman and executive producer Scott Rosenberg. Once again this is very fun and O'Mara is interesting to listen to. This was a great episode, too. We also have audio commentary for the fall finale "The Man Who Sold the World" with the same team from the pilot...creator/executive producers Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec. A lot of insight once again is given. And find out details on the cliffhanger at the end! The final audio commentary is on disc four and it is for the series finale, "Life is a Rock," with Jason O'Mara (Sam Tyler), co-executive producer Michael Katleman and executive producers Josh Applebaum & Scott Rosenberg. We learn a lot! Find out details on the last scene that was brilliant! Series finale endings usually go either way, you either love it or hate it.
    All of the other extras are on disc four! We have an interview featurette titled "To Mars and Back" (15:34). This is a very good detailed extra that gives us the inside scoop on the cast, characters and the series....journey back to the '70s! Interviewed are Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg, Josh Applebaum, Jason O'Mara, Jane Raab (producer), Jonathan Murphy (Chris), Gretchen Mol (Annie), Michael Imperioli (Ray), Michael Katleman, Matthew Lamb (Location Manager), Joseph Zolfo (Unit Production Manager), Stephen Hendrickson (Production Designer), James Nuciforo (Police Consultant), Jim Lillis (Property Master), Wallace Lane (Costume Designer), and Harvey Keitel (Gene Hunt). Then we have another featurette titled "Sunrise to Sunset with Jason O'Mara" (9:33). We spend an entire day with Jason O'Mara on the set bright and early to the end of the day, which is around 9pm. That is a long day, and O'Mara says sometimes it goes even longer! Then we have a nice '70s style featurette titled "Flashback: Lee Majors Goes to Mars" (7:53). Jason O'Mara shows '70s icon Lee Majors around the set. This is a very good special feature. Lee Majors is a fan of the show it seems. Six Million Dollar Man, indeed! Then we have some "Spaced Out: Bloopers from the Set" (2:43)...yes, bloopers! See all the goofs and play on the set, but this is way too short. Finally, we have 10 Deleted Scenes that run 1:30, 0:50, 2:30, 3:35, 0:41, 0:23, 1:00, 1:36, 2:07, and 1:29. O'Mara said in one of the commentaries they deleted a lot scenes with Windy for time, and we see them on here! Gotta love Windy!

    I highly recommend this series and set...it is an ABC Studios DVD (the show was co-produced by 20th Century Fox as well), so it is good and filled with special features. We have great episodes, great packaging, great menus, and groovy bonus features! If you forgot to watch the show when it moved to Wednesdays, now is your chance to see what you missed. If you have never watched the show, get this DVD! It has an actual ending, so you won't be disappointed. The cast is great! And the '70s clothing, sets, and setting is perfectly done. Get out your 8 Track and listen to David Bowie's Life on Mars song and you'll be ready for the Life on Mars DVD! Don't space out, Spaceman! Is there life on Maaaars?
    View the Trailer.

    -- Reviewed by Pavan
    (4.5/5 stars)

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

    Related links:
    SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
    Life on Mars TV.com Page

    Labels: ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Friday, September 25, 2009

    Fox Fall Pilot Review - The Cleveland Show - Premieres September 27; ION Adds More Ghost Whisperer

    The Cleveland Show Cast

    The Cleveland Show - Sundays 8:30PM ET/PT on Fox
    Premieres Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 8:30PM ET/PT

    Rather than attempt to explain the premise of The Cleveland Show myself, I thought I would let the words of the show's main voice actor, Mike Henry (voice of Cleveland), explain it.

    "Cleveland has kind of had enough in Quahog - he kind of realizes that he wants his own friends, his own sidekicks, his own stories. So he sets out to California to make it in a way that we'll have to keep a secret until the show starts, and then he ends up somewhere else, which we'll also keep a secret until the show starts. But he basically goes home – he goes to his hometown in Virginia and rekindles an old high school flame."

    The above explains this show far better than I could. I'll go ahead and warn you, though, that if you're one of the people who detests both of Seth MacFarlane's comedies (Family Guy, American Dad), you can stop reading *now* as, though the show generally has a cohesive pilot (that, as a bonus, usually makes sense) it is still very clearly a Seth MacFarlane show.


    Cast Details:

    A word of caution here: Because of the animated nature of this show, none of the cast will be physically present in any episodes, and many characters may rotate in-and-out based upon the needs of the episode. Also, as is common in animation, one voice actor may provide the voice for multiple characters.

    * Mike Henry as Cleveland, Rollo
    * Sanaa Lathan as Donna
    * Reagan Gomez-Preston as Roberta
    * Kevin Michael Richardson as Cleveland Jr., Lester the Redneck
    * Seth MacFarlane as Tim the Bear, English Father

    Mike Henry (Cleveland, Rollo) performed stand-up and improv and acted in commercials for several years before meeting Seth MacFarlane in 1995. Henry was a writer and producer on Family Guy for the series' first six seasons. He voices many of the characters he created, including "Cleveland," "Cleveland Jr.," "Herbert," "The Performance Artist," "Consuela" and "The Greased-Up Deaf Guy." His additional acting credits include Scrubs, Gilmore Girls, Yes, Dear, American Dad! and Robot Chicken. Henry and his brother are the creators of the internet-based series Kicked in the Nuts.

    Sanaa Lathan (Donna) was recently seen in Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys alongside Perry, Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard. In 2004, Lathan earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the revival of the Broadway classic, A Raisin in the Sun. She later reprised her critically acclaimed role as "Beneatha Younger" in the television adaptation of the play alongside Sean Combs. Lathan's most recent credits include her NAACP Image Award-nominated roles in Something New and Nip/Tuck. She previously starred in Out of Time, Alien vs. Predator, Brown Sugar, Love and Basketball and The Best Man.

    Reagan Gomez-Preston (Roberta) and her mother, at age 14, made a trip to Los Angeles with Dateline documenting their journey for an episode about young actors. Within a few of weeks of landing in Los Angeles, she had booked the remake of Freaky Friday with Shelley Long. Shortly after, Gomez-Preston landed a starring role on the Robert Townsend series The Parent Hood, and with his guidance and support, she co-wrote one of the series' most-watched episodes on teen rape. Her other TV acting credits include Love, Inc., Carmen: A Hip Hopera, ER, That '70s Show, JAG and One on One. Her feature film credits lead roles in Never Die Alone opposite DMX, Love Don't Cost a Thing and Beauty Shop with Queen Latifah. Gomez's additional film credits include the independent films Doing Hard Time and Trois 3: The Escort.

    Kevin Michael Richardson (Cleveland Jr., Lester the Redneck) is no stranger to animation. He has voiced hundreds of characters for films, commercials and video games, including Family Guy and American Dad! Richardson was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his work as The Joker on the animated series The Batman. He has also voiced characters on The Boondocks, The PJs and The Penguins of Madagascar. His feature film roles include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Matrix III and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Richardson starred in the television series The Knights of Prosperity and recently appeared in the drama series The Cleaner.

    Recurring Cast Members include Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad!) as Tim the Bear, English Father, Jason Sudeikis (Saturday Night Live), and Arianna Huffington (author & columnist).


    Pilot Plot:

    Episode #1: "Pilot" (Airs September 27, 2009)

    After Peter (Peter Griffin, from Family Guy) destroys his house one too many times, Cleveland has had enough and decides to move to California with his son Cleveland Jr. Along the way, Cleveland decides to stop in his old hometown of Stoolbend, VA where he meets an old high school love interest and hits it off.


    Analysis:

    Here's the thing about this: As a self-contained episode, this program was OK. The episode feels something that would be consistent in tone and quality from the early years of Family Guy, before the show got consumed with cutaway gags and time-filling jokes that run on for too long. It really does harken back to a time before Family Guy lost its way.

    On paper, I should really like this show. But there's this nagging feeling I keep having when watching. Perhaps it's because they took the 2nd least interesting character from Family Guy (really, is there any character less interesting than Meg?) and gave HIM his own show. This, at least in the first cut of the pilot, is even referenced in a line by Stewie before Cleveland & son drive off into the sunset, with Stewie remarking in shock that it's *Cleveland* getting his own show?

    Also, a note: The first quarter of the episode – the expositional cold open - at least in the version I viewed, *is* set-up as seemingly your usual Family Guy adventure. It has the same musical transition, your usual Family Guy characters (Quagmire, Joe, Peter, Stewie, Brian, et al.), and doesn't become The Cleveland Show until the main theme hits a few minutes in. You'll know when the transition occurs as the show suddenly shifts from full-frame to widescreen in a nice effect.

    Pilots often aren't the strongest episodes of a series, and do tend to get better. This episode left me neutral, so there IS room to grow from here.


    Conclusion:

    I was a huge fan of the show that Cleveland Show is replacing. I absolutely adored King of the Hill, and it's the second show cancelled largely due to Fox's own ineptitude (the list would have been three had they not backpedaled on Family Guy itself). When Fox wants a show to die, it schedules it in the 7-8 PM hour on Sunday nights. They did this to Futurama and they did it to King of the Hill. King of the Hill was one of the best animated comedies I've ever seen, and I can say there WILL be a contingent of viewers who, missing King of the Hill and wary of Seth MacFarlane's growing stranglehold of Fox, will be unusually cool to The Cleveland Show due to its origin and timeslot alone.

    But, there's a lot of potential here, and it'll be interesting to see in which direction things go. The Cleveland Show is a nice detour from the madness that is your average episode of Family Guy, but I've yet to see evidence of how they're going to sustain this show beyond a few episodes. Yes, there are new characters to play off of. But you can't really get away with simply making the show a clone of Family Guy (nor American Dad!), and I'm not sure if Cleveland is an interesting or dynamic enough character to be the focal point of a weekly television series. Of course, they've turned simple background characters into stars of popular spin-offs before - that's the genesis of half of 1970s television right there! Still, I'm neutral at best about the ability of this show to be interesting, good, or funny long term. Consider me "cautiously optimistic."


    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

    -- Reviewed by Seth on 09/25/09

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Sunday, September 27 on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • Fox.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • The Cleveland Show Photo Gallery


  • Preview:





    ION Television will be adding another hour of Ghost Whisperer starting Monday, Oct. 5. Ghost Whisperer currently airs Mon-Thurs at 8pm and also Wednesdays at 9pm. The series has done so-so in the ratings and is not doing as well as Criminal Minds or NCIS. But still they will add another airing on Mon-Thurs. The new airing will be Mon-Thurs at 7pm, so it will now air back-to-back on Mon-Thurs from 7-9pm, and yes Wednesdays it will be a triple shot from 7-10pm. Ghost Whisperer at 7pm will be replacing Reba, which will move to 4-5pm, as we mentioned. So Reba won't get to air for two hours after all.
    Anyway, as for Ghost Whisperer, if this doesn't help its ratings, I can see ION removing the 8pm hour and airing something else.
    View our full ION Television October 2009 schedule.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Thursday, September 24, 2009

    Fox Fall Pilot Review - Brothers - Premieres September 25; WGN America Punk'd Us, No Punk'd

    Brothers

    Brothers - Fridays 8:00PM ET/PT on Fox
    Premieres Friday, September 25, 2009 at 8:00-9:00PM ET/PT

    BROTHERS is a comedy about a former NFL hot shot who learns that even though you can always go home again, doing so might be more difficult than you think.

    MIKE TRAINOR (Michael Strahan) seemingly has it all - he's a good-looking, wealthy and recently retired NFL player living the high life in New York City, but he's about to get sidelined. When Mike gets a phone call from his mom, ADELE (CCH Pounder), who orders him home to Houston, he quickly realizes that the more his life has changed, the more his family has stayed the same.

    His brother CHILL (Daryl Chill Mitchell), whose life changed drastically after a car accident left him in a wheelchair, is struggling to keep Trainor's, his sports-themed restaurant, afloat. Even though the publicity from his famous brother might help business, Chill doesn't want help from Mike. The rivalry between the brothers is exactly the same as they were when they were kids. If they can stop their bickering, put aside their differences and learn to be teammates, Mike and Chill might just turn out to be each other's biggest asset.

    Wedged between Mike and Chill are their parents. Their father, whom everyone refers to as COACH (Carl Weathers), is the local high school football coach and the conservative, opinionated alpha male of his clan. Coach thinks he runs the show, but it's actually Adele who calls the shots. Saucy, stern and a schemer, she is the mastermind behind this family.

    And when she learns that Mike's business manager took off with all his money, she orchestrates a plan to keep Mike in Houston, save Chill's restaurant and bring the family back together under one roof again.

    Adele's plan helps Mike realize that his family -- however dysfunctional they may be -- is the only one he's got. And although he may not have a penny to his name, as long as he's surrounded by people who love him, he'll always be a rich man.

    BROTHERS is created by Don Reo and produced by Tantamount Studios and Impact Zone Productions, Inc. in association with Sony Pictures Television. Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum, Mitch Hurwitz and Don Reo serve as executive producers. Ted Wass directed the pilot written by Don Reo.

    Cast Details:

    * Michael Strahan as Mike Trainor
    * Daryl Chill Mitchell as Chill Trainor
    * CCH Pounder as Adele Trainor
    * Carl Weathers as 'Coach' Trainor

    Michael Strahan (Mike Trainor) - Super Bowl Champion and Fox NFL Sunday co-host Michael Strahan retired from football in 2007 after completing 15 seasons with the New York Giants and leading the team to their dramatic Super Bowl victory over the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. Strahan had an outstanding final season and lead one of the top defenses in the league. In 2005, he was among the league's leaders in total sacks, and earned his seventh trip to the Pro Bowl. In 2001, Strahan completed what is widely considered to be one of the greatest seasons ever for a defensive player. As the charismatic leader of the New York Giants, Strahan was named the 2001 NFL Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated and the Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press. He was also one of only four players to lead the NFL in sacks for two seasons.

    Strahan's additional television credits include Pros vs. Joes, which pits amateur contestants against professional athletes in a series of athletic challenges; the family-oriented cable series "Backyard Stadiums," where he and his co-host visited various neighborhoods to build batting cages, putting greens and outdoor recreational centers. He also hosted "Sack and Renovate," giving viewers an inside look at the renovation of his 100-year-old home and revealing his own passion for antiques.

    Daryl Chill Mitchell (Chill Trainor) was born in Bronx, NY, and grew up on Long Island with his five brothers and three sisters. Mitchell first garnered public attention as a member of the rap group Groove B Chill. The Hudlin Brothers, who directed one of Groove B Chill's videos, cast the group in the 1990 feature film House Party, where Mitchell had the opportunity to work alongside Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell. He enjoyed the experience so much that he decided to turn his focus from music to acting.

    Mitchell followed House Party with appearances in the feature films Boomerang, House Party 2, Sgt. Bilko and Home Fries. His more recent films include The Outside Man opposite Denzel Washington, 10 Things I Hate About You, Galaxy Quest, Lucky Numbers, Black Knight and The Country Bears. His television credits include The John Larroquette Show, Veronica's Closet, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Law & Order, The Cosby Show, Here and Now, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and I'm With Stupid. In November 2001, Mitchell was temporarily sidelined by a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. However, it never halted his momentum, and once he was in control of his wheelchair, Mitchell went back to work as a series regular on the series Ed. Mitchell's character, Eli, was known for using the phrase "Roll...or fold," and Mitchell adopted that saying to express his take on life.

    CCH Pounder (Adele Trainer) - Award-winning actress CCH Pounder has earned a long list of credits and accolades throughout a career that spans nearly three decades. Most recently, Pounder appeared in the feature film Orphan and the sci-fi television series Warehouse 13. Other recent credits include the cable series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and the independent feature Rain, which garnered praise at the Los Angeles Pan-African Film Festival.

    For seven years, Pounder portrayed "Det. Claudette Wyms" on the critically acclaimed series The Shield, a role that earned her an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, 10 NAACP Image Award nominations for Best Actress in a Drama Series, the Minorities in Business Prism Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Drama, two Golden Satellite Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama Series, the Genii Excellence in TV Award from the Southern California Chapter of American Women in Radio and Television and the LOOP Award from Lupus LA. Pounder's other honors include Emmy nominations for Best Supporting Actress for her role as "Dr. Angela Hicks" on ER and for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her work on The X-Files. In addition, Pounder earned a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album for Grow Old Along With Me: The Best Is Yet to Come, and she won an AUDI, the Audio Publishers Association's top honor, for the album Women in the Material World.

    Carl Weathers ('Coach' Trainor) was born in New Orleans and attended San Diego State University, where he established himself as a football star. After graduating in 1970, Weathers played professional football as a free agent for the Oakland Raiders, as well as the Canadian Football League's B.C. Lions. He retired from the sport in 1974 in order to turn his attention to acting.

    Weathers' big break came when he was cast to play the iconic role of "Apollo Creed" in the film Rocky and reprised the role in Rocky II, Rocky III and Rocky IV. His additional film credits include Predator opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, Happy Gilmore opposite Adam Sandler, Action Jackson, The Comebacks, Force 10 from Navarone, Death Hunt and The Sasquatch Gang. Weathers' television film appearances include The Defiant Ones (which he also co-produced), Shadow Warriors, OP Center and The Hostage Heart. His TV series credits include Arrested Development, The Shield, In the Heat of the Night, Street Justice, Fortune Dane (which he also executive-produced), McCloud, Starsky and Hutch, S.W.A.T., Tour of Duty, Good Times, Barnaby Jones, Kung Fu, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Streets of San Francisco.

    Pilot Plot:

    I received the first two episodes for review.

    #1 Pilot (Airs September 25)
    Mike Trainor seemingly has it all he's a good-looking, wealthy and recently retired NFL player living the high life in New York City. With one phone call from his mom, Adele, Mike's life changes in an instant. He comes home to Houston to find that his brother Chill, whose life changed drastically after a car accident left him in a wheelchair, is struggling to keep his restaurant afloat and that his father's memory is not as sharp as it used to be. When Adele reveals everyone's secrets, the family decides it's time for a fresh start.
    Directed by Ted Wass
    Written by Don Reo

    #2 House Rules/Anniversary (Airs September 25)
    Mike's date spends the night at his parents' place propelling his mom, Adele, to set specific house rules for her very grown sons. As all the family members try to find their way living together again as adults, Mike and Chill are taken aback at their new assigned daily chores and strict limitations on overnight guests. Meanwhile, Coach forgets his and Adele's anniversary and lands in the doghouse, forcing him to come up with a creative way to make it up to her.
    Guest Cast: Jazsmin Lewis as Monica; Shvona Lavette as Janine

    Analysis:

    This is Fox's only new live-action comedy and the only African-American sitcom currently on broadcast tv. It's a multi-camera comedy that is filmed in front of a studio audience. It will air on Friday nights at 8:00pm ET/PT.

    In the "Pilot" episode, we are introudced to the Trainor family. Chill goes to pick up his brother at the airport. Mike talks to 'Coach' in the basement. Mike and Chill play some basketball in wheelchairs. Adele asks Mike to make a special appearance at Chill's restaurant. There are some serious talks between various family members. There's a nice mix of humor and heartwarming moments in the pilot.

    The second episode, "House Rules/Anniversary," isn't quite as funny as the pilot. It opens with a scene at The Gutter bowling alley. Mike meets Monica who gives him some bowling shoes. Adele and Chill are shocked when they see Monica at the fridge dressed only in a football jersey. This casues Adele to set some house rules. Mike is embarrassed to tell Janice that he is living with his mama. Carl plays some foosball with Carl and Mike in the game room. Coach forgets that it's his wedding anniversary and Adele is not very happy about it. He creatively makes it up to her.

    Houston is the location of the show, although you really wouldn't know it by watching the first couple of episodes. They probably could use some more exterior shots or references to the city. The house looks quite nice and the sets are spacious. It just seemed unusual that they have such a small kitchen table in an otherwise large kitchen. Carl has a nice game roon with green carpeting that has yard markers like a football field. The Trainor's set looks your typical bar/resturant with a large photo of Strahan in his football uniform.

    Conclusion:

    This show looks pretty funny from the first couple of episodes, especially the pilot. Michael Strahan has some natural instincts and on-screen charisma. He is basically playing himself on the series. Comedic timing isn't always easy, but he appears to have it down already. Daryl Chill Mitchell brings over 20 years of comedy experience and has some funny scenes. CCH Pounder is not known for comedy, but she really steals the show with some hilarious lines. She reminds me a bit of Jo Marie Payton from Family Matters. Her character is very strong and brings an authoritative presence to the show. Carl Weathers is known for more serious and action-oriented roles, but he has shown he can do comedy from his appearances on Arrested Development. The cast certainly seems like they have some good chemistry and act like they are a real family.

    The show is airing on Friday nights at 8pm ET/PT. I don't think there will be as much pressure on it airing on that night in that time slot. Fox NFL Sunday has given this show a lot of promotion. I'm sure we will be seeing the gang from that show making guest appearances at some point in the season. Kim Kardashian and Mike Tyson will also be guest starring. There are quite a few jokes about Michael Strahan's teeth, Chill's wheelchair and handicap, white people, Coach's memory problems and references to the Rocky franchise in the first few episodes. They are funny in these episodes, but will they get old in later episodes? I guess they won't soon run out of material and can get creative to work these types of jokes in each episode. I think they will need to develop some better storylines in future episodes instead of just randomly tossing in the jokes. If you need some good laughs and occasional warmth, the show is definitely worth checking out on Friday nights.

    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

    -- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 09/24/09

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Friday, September 25 on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • FOX.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Brothers Photo Gallery


  • Preview:




    Now back to some news! Last month we gave you WGN America's fall schedule, they made a minor change to this. Punk'd was set to launch this week at 5am, but was replaced by Funniest Pets & People...but that delay was only supposed to be a week for Punk'd. Now WGN America has "punk'd" America (ha!) by not going to air it at all! Effective Monday, Sept. 28 America's Funniest Home Videos will air in the 4am ET hour (Mon-Wed) and Reno 911 will air Tues-Fri (and Sundays as planned) at 5am. Toni On! New York will air at 5am on Mondays. Punk'd was also scheduled to air Thursdays at 9pm ET following WWE Superstars, but now we get America's Funniest Home Videos instead. The same goes true for Sundays at 11am ET, with AFV instead of Punk'd. We are not sure what happened with Punk'd, maybe Ashton planned this?
    View the full WGN America Fall 2009 schedule by Sept. 28.
    And stay tuned in the coming weeks for more WGN America news, including classic TV marathons for the major holidays this holiday season starting with Halloween!

    Labels: , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    ABC Fall Pilot Review: Cougar Town - Premieres September 23; Glee Picked-Up For Full Season

    Cougar Town

    Cougar Town - Wednesdays 9:30PM ET/PT on ABC
    Premieres Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 9:30PM ET/PT

    Courteney Cox stars as Jules, a recently divorced single mother exploring the honest truths about dating and aging in our beauty and youth obsessed culture. While most women in their twenties go through life experiencing the challenges and often humorous pitfalls of meeting men, Jules took on the responsibilities of marriage and raising a son. Now in her forties, she embarks on a journey to self-discovery whilst surrounded by fellow divorcees and singletons eager to live or re-live a time gone by.

    Along for the journey are her friends and family: Laurie (Busy Philipps), the younger, feisty co-worker who encourages her to get out there and have some fun; Ellie (Christa Miller), the sarcastic, unapologetic confidante content with her life and marriage to her average, but loveable husband, Andy (Ian Gomez); ex-husband Bobby (Brian Van Holt), a classic under-achiever who'll test her patience as they attempt to raise their teenage son, Travis (Dan Byrd); and newly divorced neighbor Grayson (Josh Hopkins), who proves to be a catalyst of sorts for Jules.

    Cast Details:

    * Courteney Cox as Jules
    * Busy Philipps as Laurie
    * Dan Byrd as Travis
    * Christa Miller as Ellie
    * Josh Hopkins as Grayson
    * Ian Gomez as Andy
    * Brian Van Holt as Andy

    Courteney Cox (Jules) gained overnight fame as neurotic yet loveable Monica Gellar on the Emmy Award-winning comedy Friends. She teams this season with Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence on the new ABC comedy Cougar Town. They will serve as executive producers through their companies, Coquette and Doozer, respectively. She most recently created, starred, and produced in FX's comedy Dirt. Cox made her acting debut in 1984 on the daytime soap As the World Turns, and later that year was cast by Brian de Palma for Bruce Springsteen's video, Dancing in the Dark. She landed her first well known work as an actress in 1987 when she was cast as the bright, perky girlfriend of Michael J. Fox on Family Ties. Following the series, she appeared in several feature films, including the box-office success Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, opposite Jim Carrey. In 1996 Cox starred in Wes Craven's horror/comedy Scream, which grossed over $100 million at the box office. She went on to reprise her role two additional times for the Scream trilogy. Additional film credits include 3000 Miles to Graceland, Mr. Destiny, Cocoon: The Return, Zoom, November, The Longest Yard and Barnyard. Cox was most recently seen in Disney's family comedy Bedtime Stories, opposite Adam Sandler.

    Busy Philipps (Laurie) had a memorable performance as tough but sympathetic rebel teen Kim Kelly in the critically praised series Freaks and Geeks, from Judd Apatow and Paul Feig, Philipps crafted one of the most compelling young characters in contemporary television. After roles on Dawson's Creek and Undeclared, in 2004 she took a lead in the Shawn and Marlon Wayans comedy, White Chicks. In 2006 she starred in the UPN sitcom Love, Inc., from Friends showrunner Adam Chase. Next, she joined the cast of ER for one season as the devout Christian med-student, Hope Bobeck. Most recently, Philipps has been seen in standout roles in the films Made of Honor and He's Just Not That Into You. While eight months pregnant with her first child in summer of 2008, she filmed a five episode arc on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

    Dan Byrd (Travis) had a memorable arc as Sylar's protégé apprentice, Luke, on NBC's drama Heroes. Last year he starred on the short lived but critically acclaimed CW series Aliens in America. Other television credits include the CBS drama Clubhouse, the lead role in the TNT miniseries Salem's Lot, with Rob Lowe, Sci-Fi Channel's miniseries Firestarter 2: Rekindled, with Dennis Hopper, and the Lifetime Original Movie Just Ask My Children, starring Virginia Madsen. He also made guest appearances on Joan of Arcadia, The Guardian, Boomtown, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Judging Amy and State of Grace. On the film side, he recently began production on Screen Gems' comedic retelling of The Scarlett Letter, Easy A, opposite Emma Stone and Amanda Bynes. Byrd has wrapped production on the independent coming-of-age drama Norman, opposite Emily VanCamp and Adam Goldberg, in the title role. He got his big break starring alongside Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray in the Warner Bros. teen romantic comedy, A Cinderella Story. Additional feature film credits include Universal Pictures' Lonely Hearts, opposite John Travolta, FOX Searchlight's The Hills Have Eyes and 28 Days, opposite Sandra Bullock.

    Christa Miller (Ellie) has her first role on television in Kate & Allie, which starred her real-life aunt, Susan Saint James. n 2001 Miller's husband, writer-producer Bill Lawrence, conceived the comedy-drama Scrubs. Miller was given a guest role as Jordan Sullivan, the bitter ex-wife to Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley). Originally the character was intended to appear in only one episode, but in Season Two the role became recurring and she has appeared every year since. Miller also had a leading role in the 2008 TV miniseries The Andromeda Strain. She appeared in episodes of Northern Exposure, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Party of Five and Seinfeld. She had a major role on The Drew Carey Show from 1995-2002 as Kate O'Brien, and was the voice of Cleopatra in the short-lived animated show Clone High. Her film credits include Deceived and Love and Happiness. She also starred with Kellie Martin in the acclaimed made-for-television movie, A Friend to Die For.

    Josh Hopkins (Grayson) was most recently seen as Dr. Noah Barnes on the ABC drama Private Practice. He also recently appeared on CSI: Miami and in the film Pretty Ugly People. Prior to that, he appeared in the CBS drama Swingtown. Hopkins made his debut as a season regular on Fox's critically acclaimed series Ally McBeal, portraying Raymond Milberry, a rival lawyer and potential love interest to Calista Flockhart. Additional television credits include Ghost Whisperer, ABC's Brothers & Sisters, with Calista Flockhart once again, the CBS drama Surrender, Dorothy, with Diane Keaton, the CBS mini-series Robert Ludlum's Covert One: The Hades Factor, the TNT original movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, opposite Noah Wyle and Anthony Michael Hall, Fox's New York Undercover, The WB's Jack & Jill and Kate Brasher. In addition Hopkins starred opposite Rebecca Romijn in The WB romantic comedy, Pepper Dennis.

    Ian Gomez (Andy) is a familiar face to film and television audiences. He was most recently seen in the multi-camera Lifetime comedy, Rita Rocks, and in the ABC single-camera sitcom Jake in Progress. He starred as the popular character Javier on the series Felicity, as the shameless self-promoter Larry Almada on The Drew Carey Show, and as Danny Sanchez on The Norm Show. Gomez has also starred in such feature films as My Life in Ruins, I Hate Valentine's Day, Connie and Carla, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Chasing Papi and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. He developed his improvisational skills which he showcased when he guest starred on the hit improv series, Whose Line Is It Anyway? Other television credits include guest starring roles on George Lopez, Curb Your Enthusiasm, NYPD Blue, Murphy Brown and the television movie Get a Clue.

    Brian Van Holt (Bobby) starred in the critically-acclaimed HBO series John from Cincinnati, created by David Milch, portraying the lead role of Butchie. Van Holt's many feature film credits include Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down, as Task Force Ranger Jeff Struecker, who led the convoy to a fallen soldier in Mogadishu, Somalia; he starred with Nicholas Cage in Windtalkers as a U.S. Marine officer assigned to protect a Navajo code-talker in World War II; he was the enigmatic soldier Dunbar, opposite John Travolta and Sam Jackson, in Basic, directed by John McTiernan; he then segued to Swat, with Colin Farrell and Sam Jackson and many more.


    Pilot Plot:

    #1 "It Takes a Village Idiot" (Airs September 23)
    A recently divorced single mother in her 40s explores the honest truths about dating and aging in a society dominated by youth and beauty, along with her friends, her ex-husband and the cantankerous divorced man living next door.
    Recurring is Carolyn Hennesy as Barbara Coman.
    "Pilot" was directed and written by Bill Lawrence.


    Analysis:

    The hilarious mind of Bill Lawrence (Scrubs) is bringing you this show, so of course there will be laughs. Courtney Cox returns to broadcast television in a very funny and sexy comedy vehicle. I never liked Friends and thought it was vastly overrated. But I'm sure many Friends fans will want to watch Cox return. Who knows there could be some Friends stars popping-up for guest appearances. Anyway, as for the show itself...it is funny, quirky, sexy, and maybe even risque. I first saw the pilot this summer and there were rumors it was very risque. Other than maybe a scene or two, it seemed tame compared to some other shows, particularly on premium cable. If you watched the 2007 movie Cougar Club, then this show is nothing in terms of risque. That was a very wild movie! Cox plays Jules, a divorced mother of a teenage boy (Dan Byrd). She works as a real estate agent with Laurie (Busy Phillips). Laurie is a bit younger than Jules, so Jules I think tries to keep up with her and be "hip." Jules does have a best friend her own age in Ellie (Christa Miller), but with Laurie in the picture...Jules is showing off her bad side by hitting on younger men. Ellie is married to Andy (Ian Gomez). One of Jules' neighbors is the new bachelor Grayson (Josh Hopkins) who just got divorced and now has a different women each night...and they are all young, much to to the dismay of Jules. Jules' ex-husband Bobby (Brian Van Holt) stops in from time to time to take his son.

    The pilot centers around Jules being lonely. She seems attracted to Grayson, but she just doesn't like him with these younger women. Jules and Laurie go to a night club where Jules meets a much younger man...and the funny stuff happens. With her son Travis hanging out with his father, Jules has the house to herself. One of the risque scenes I was talking about earlier happens by the pool...but it doesn't go too far because back comes her son and ex-husband! After that, Travis is just embarrassed and gets even more embarrassed when some kid is stealing real estate signs with a sexy picture of her mother...to well pleasure themselves. Wild stuff...but funny!

    Ellie and Andy don't have much to do in the pilot, but I think their characters will be important to Jules, as she needs someone her own age. The recurring character of Barbara (Carolyn Hennesy) is hilarious! She plays one Jules' co-workers and she seems like a cougar herself, as she was also at the nightclub where Jules and Laurie went to. This show is much more than Jules sleeping around with younger guys, it has substance and it could be a sense of reality with women in their 40s who are divorced. Even if you're not a women in your 40s, you'll like this show!


    Conclusion:

    What a fun show! This has to air at 9:30pm, since it is a bit risque for network TV. That isn't to say it is vulgar or anything, but a few scenes in the pilot might be a bit weird to have in an earlier timeslot. It is going to follow a family comedy in Modern Family, but that show will have more adult viewers than kids, so I think this show was placed correctly. I haven't seen any subsequent episodes yet, so I am not sure if there will be any more risque scenes like that...but from the plotlines, we are still in for some good fun and laughs! If you like Scrubs, then you'll want to watch this since Bill Lawrence created this. And if you're a fan of Friends and Courtney Cox, then for sure you'll want to watch! I have always liked Cox. She was great on Scrubs last season and in many other roles like one of her earlier roles in Family Ties.

    There isn't much more to say, but you need to watch the show. We need sitcoms to make a big comeback and ABC so far is 2 for 2 in the reviews (Hank and The Middle reviews to come next week). If you missed our Modern Family review yesterday, please read it! Tune in to ABC Comedy Wednesday starting tonight! You're going to be in for a fun, sexy, and of course funny ride in Cougar Town, Florida! Meowwwww!!!


    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

    Watchability: 4.5/5
    Funniness: 4.5/5
    Overall: 4.5/5

    -- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/23/09

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, September 23 on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Cougar Town Photo Gallery

    Preview:





  • Fox has ordered a full season of the critically acclaimed one-hour comedy Glee after just two episodes this fall. The show hasn't even aired during the actual season yet and Fox has picked-up a full season. Glee, the genre-defying new musical comedy series, follows an optimistic teacher who against all odds and a malicious cheerleading coach attempts to save McKinley High's Glee Club from obscurity while helping a group of aspiring underdogs realize their true star potential. The critically acclaimed series stars Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Jessalyn Gilsig, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley and Mark Salling. Guest stars this season include Victor Garber, Josh Groban, Kristin Chenoweth and Eve.

    Labels: , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    ABC Fall Pilot Review: Modern Family - Premieres September 23; Nick at Nite Moves Chris to 9PM

    Modern Family

    Modern Family - Wednesdays 9:00PM ET/PT on ABC
    Premieres Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 9:00PM ET/PT

    Today's American families come in all shapes and sizes. The cookie cutter mold of man + wife + 2.5 kids is a thing of the past, as it becomes quickly apparent in the bird's eye view of ABC's new half-hour comedy, Modern Family, which takes an honest and often hilarious look at the composition and complexity of family life in 2009.

    Take for example Phil and Claire, two parents who want to have that open, healthy, honest relationship with their three kids. It's not always easy, especially when you have a teenage daughter who's growing up a little fast, a too-smart-for-her-own-good middle daughter and a rambunctious boy. On top of that, Phil wants to be the "cool dad," while Claire is just trying her best to run a tight ship, determined not to let her kids have the rebellious childhood she had.

    Then there's Jay, a true guys' guy who is having a bit of mid-life crisis. Jay has found a much younger wife, Gloria, who has become the center of his world. She's a passionate and sassy divorcee who comes with an 11-year-old son, Manny. Already taking notice of girls and a hopeless romantic, Manny is as passionate as his mom and spends his time daydreaming and writing poetry. His new step-father isn't altogether comfortable with the sensitive stuff and would like to toughen Manny up. But that's only one of Jay's challenges. The biggest is that people often mistake him for Gloria's father, not her husband.

    And lastly there's Mitchell and his partner of five years, Cameron. They've just taken that amazing 'next step' by adopting a child together from Vietnam. Cameron has a wonderfully big personality and maybe a flare for the dramatic, whereas Mitchell is the more serious of the two. But they balance each other out and are already doting fathers.

    Life, it seems, is neither tidy, politically correct or in any way predictable. For these three families, it turns out, are not three but one... one big, blended family, with Jay the patriarch and Claire & Mitchell his grown kids. Yet it's just such surprises that make things so interesting in this window into the sometimes warm, sometimes twisted embrace of the modern family.


    Cast Details:

    * Ed O'Neill as Jay
    * Sofia Vergara as Gloria
    * Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell
    * Eric Stonestreet as Cameron
    * Ty Burrell as Phil
    * Julie Bowen as Claire
    * Sarah Hyland as Haley
    * Rico Rodriguez as Manny
    * Nolan Gould as Luke
    * Ariel Winter as Alex

    Ed O'Neill (Jay) is best known for his role as the main character, Al Bundy, on the long running sitcom, Married... with Children. Signed by the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, he was cut in training camp and worked as a social studies teacher before becoming an actor. He has appeared in a number of movies, including The Bone Collector, Little Giants, Dutch and the Wayne's World series. Besides his role on Married...with Children, O'Neill's television credits include the reincarnation of Sgt. Joe Friday on Dick Wolf's ABC remake of Dragnet, the recurring role of Baker (D-PA), a potential Vice Presidential candidate on the NBC drama The West Wing, the role of Detective Michael Mooney on David Milch's CBS series, Big Apple, and most recently that of a retired cop on HBO's John from Cincinnati. His other TV credits include a guest shot on ABC's 8 Simple Rules, which reunited him with Katey Sagal of Married...with Children.

    Sofía Vergara (Gloria) was already one of the hottest Hispanic TV stars and one of the most beloved personalities of the Latino world when she decided to pursue her career in the U.S., becoming one of the few Hispanic stars to find crossover success. Most recently Vergara has appeared in Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns and Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail films for Lionsgate, and recurring roles on ABC's Dirty Sexy Money and MEN IN TREES. Before that she played the sexy Colombian actress who stirred things up on Entourage, starred in Amas de Casa Desesperadas, the Latin-tailored version of Desperate Housewives, and in the comedy feature Chasing Papi. She was also a regular on ABC sitcoms Hot Properties and The Knights of Prosperity, while guest starring on ABC's My Wife & Kids and Rodney.

    Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell) received rave reviews and was honored by The Hollywood Reporter in 2006 as one of Ten to Watch for his role on the CBS ensemble sitcom, The Class. Additional television credits include Do Not Disturb and Ugly Betty. Ferguson's film credits include Untraceable, directed by Gregory Hoblit and starring Diane Lane, and Griffin & Phoenix, with Amanda Peet and Dermot Mulroney. He will next appear opposite Matthew Broderick in Wonderful World, a 2009 Tribeca Film Festival selection that marks the feature directorial debut of Joshua Goldin.

    Eric Stonestreet (Cameron) has an impressive resume of memorable characters on shows including Dharma & Greg, Malcolm in the Middle, Party of Five, Spin City, ER, The West Wing, American Dad, Providence, Close to Home, Crossing Jordan and Bones. His most notable character is from his recurring turn as Ronnie Litre, the questionable documents tech on the original CSI. Stonestreet was a series regular in the Fox pilot 13 Graves and has most recently guest starred in The Mentalist, N.C.I.S., Nip/Tuck and Pushing Daisies.

    Ty Burrell (Phil) is quickly establishing himself as one of the most versatile actors of our time, taking on challenging roles and carving out a diverse career in movies, television and on stage. In film Burrell recently completed shooting Fair Game, opposite Sean Penn for Doug Liman. He is scheduled to start shooting Morning Glory, opposite Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton. He played Dr. Samson in Universal's The Incredible Hulk, with Edward Norton and Liv Tyler, and was in National Treasure 2, opposite Nicolas Cage. Burrell starred opposite Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr. in Steven Shainberg's film Fur, about the life of Diane Arbus. On television Burrell starred in the Fox sitcom, Back to You, opposite Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton. He also recently starred in the half-hour CBS sitcom Out of Practice, with Stockard Channing and Henry Winkler, and has been recurring on the FX series Damages.

    Julie Bowen (Claire) spent two seasons on ABC's critically-acclaimed Boston Legal as attorney Denise Bauer. She plays the recurring role of Matthew Fox's wife on the hit ABC series Lost and, for three seasons, played Carol Vessey, the dream girl of former classmate-turned-lawyer Ed Stevens on the charming NBC series, Ed. Bowen was recently seen in a guest star arc on the darkly-comedic Showtime series Weeds as Lisa Ferris, a cheese shop owner who seduces a younger man, and she will soon be seen in Crazy on the Outside, a feature starring and directed by Tim Allen. Also on the big screen she starred as Adam Sandler's love interest in the comedy Happy Gilmore and appeared with Michael Keaton in Multiplicity. She also starred in An American Werewolf in Paris, performed with Lynn Redgrave in the independent romantic comedy Venus & Mars, and starred opposite Tim Allen in Joe Somebody. In the advertising world, Bowen has been both the face of Neutrogena and the voice of Pampers.

    Sarah Hyland (Haley, oldest daughter of Phil & Claire) is a Native New Yorker, born to actors Edward James Hyland and Melissa Canaday. Trained in all areas of dance from the age of three and vocally trained since she was seven, Hyland is a true triple threat. She has been working in film, TV series, soaps and commercials since she was four years old. Hyland's first film was Howard Stern's Private Parts. At the age of eight she landed the role of Molly in ABC's Annie, and Young Audrey in The Audrey Hepburn Story. After filming Annie, she landed the role of Jess Pistone on Falcone. She's guest starred on episodes of Lipstick Jungle, Touched by an Angel, Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU.

    Rico Rodriguez (Manny, Gloria's son) booked his first role in the video How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Next came the role of Chanchito in the film Epic Movie, a super fun role as the kid janitor in the soon to be released Opposite Day, and another great part -- including flying cake -- in the upcoming The No-Sit List. His Television credits include co-starring as Young Guillermo in Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Cory in the House, ER, 'Til Death, iCarly, Nip/Tuck, Surviving Suburbia and NCIS. He has also has been seen in commercials for Roundtable Pizza, Time Warner Cable, Dodge, Walmart, BlueCross, Chrysler and AT&T.

    Nolan Gould (Luke, Phil & Claire's son) began his career at the tender age of three doing commercials and totally fell in love with acting. He has worked consistently since the day he first stepped on that commercial set. His most recent films include leads in the features Space Buddies and Montana. Current television credits include Eleventh Hour and the movie of the week, Sweet Nothing in My Ear.

    Ariel Winter (Alex, Phil & Claire's younger daughter) had a recurring role on the final six episodes of ER as Lucy, a young girl whose mother is brought into the ER in need of a heart transplant. This year she will also appear in the thriller Duress, opposite Martin Donovan. Best known as Trixie in Warner Bros.' Speed Racer, Ariel's other recent credits include the film Opposite Day and Nic & Tristan Go Mega Dega. Ariel's past credits include guest-starring roles on the hit TV shows Criminal Minds, Crossing Jordan, Nip/Tuck and Bones. Feature credits include a lead role in the hit thriller One Missed Call, in which she plays the killer of the film. In addition, Ariel is the voice of Gretchen on Walt Disney's hit show Phineas and Ferb, voiced a supporting character in the hit animated film Horton Hears a Who and played Thumper's sister in Bambi II. She started her motion picture career at age seven in director Shane Black's hit cult film, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, starring Val Kilmer, Robert Downey Jr. and Michelle Monaghan.


    Pilot Plot:

    #1 "Pilot" (Airs September 23)
    Today's families come in all shapes and sizes, and that is very evident in Jay Pritchett's very full and very blended family. Jay and his new gorgeous and much younger wife, Gloria, are happily married and getting accustomed to their new life together. But when her pre-teen son develops a crush on a 16-year-old girl, it becomes apparent that Jay and Gloria may have some generational and cultural gaps to bridge. Jay's grown daughter, Claire, has a family of her own -- three kids and a husband, Phil, who is practically a giant kid himself. Things get a little tense when their teenage daughter, Haley, brings a boy home and Phil tries to adopt the cool, hip dad approach. Then son Luke misuses of his BB gun, which results in Phil and Claire turning it right back on to him. Jay's other grown son, Mitchell, is in a committed relationship and has just adopted a baby girl from Vietnam with his life partner, Cameron. They're going through the joys and anxieties of bringing a baby home for the first time, but Mitchell still has the daunting task of introducing their new addition to the whole family.
    Guest starring are Reid Ewing as Dylan, Hayley Erin as Brenda Feldman, Lillian Adams as passenger #1, Duane Shepard Sr. as passenger #2, Heather Lee as passenger #3, Jenica Bergere as soccer mom, Matt Corboy as Josh, aka soccer dad, and Marcus Brown as security guard.
    "It Takes a Village Idiot" was written by Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, and directed by Jason Winer.


    Analysis:

    I first saw the pilot back in May and it was hilarious! I just watched the final cut a few days back and it is STILL hilarious! This is clearly the best new sitcom of the new season. It is a single camera sitcom with lots of smart lines and is laugh out loud! It is in mockumentary form like The Office. This show is basically about three families who are part of a big family...which is the reveal at the end of the episode, as the ABC promos gave away already. Even though if you know that, you'll still laugh and enjoy the episode. The first family is Jay and Gloria with Gloria's son Manny. Jay is an older man who married a much younger woman, who has a kid. The next family is the traditional family, husband and wife Phil & Claire and their three children. And finally the last family is Mitchell & Cameron, who are gay. These three families are all related. Jay is the father of Claire and Mitchell.

    The pilot is very funny and so good. Basically each family have their own separate storylines in this episode until then end, which is the "reveal." Jay & Gloria are dealing with Manny's crush on an older girl. Phil & Claire are dealing with their kids, who each have a dilemma. And Mitchell & Cameron just adopted a baby, and they think Mitchell's family won't like it. There are hilarious scenes throughout this episode. I can't pick one scene in particular, since there are so many. Ty Burrell as Phil is a breakout star on this pilot. He is very good in the episode and has very funny lines and also even some physical comedy. He dances to High School Musical and also acts cool with teenage slang. And at the end of the episode I couldn't stop laughing when Gloria says, "Hi Phil" and what Phil does is brilliantly funny! You'll see! Even the children are funny. Phil & Claire's older daughter (who I think is 15) has a boy over for the first time and of course the parents, especially Claire, try to snoop in. This show is so real!

    I liked everything about the pilot. I have no complaints whatsoever. I think the show will get even better now that the series is set-up and we know that these three families are all related. The Lion King song during the reveal of the adopted baby was classic and came out of nowhere, which is always a positive in comedy to be surprised rather than to expect something. No cliches here at all!


    Conclusion:

    Every critic out there is saying that this is the best comedy or best new show even of the fall. I agree and I'm not saying that just because they are. I saw the show back in May during ABC upfront before all the critics were raving about it and I mentioned back then that this was brilliant. The pilot will certainly be sampled as it will follow a special Dancing with the Stars: The Results on a special night and time. The question is will it continue after that? It better because the quality will be there and there will be great guest stars coming aboard such as Elizabeth Banks, Ed Norton, Shelley Long, and Krista Allen. If you like the pilot, which I'm sure everyone who watches will, stick around every week please! There are no family comedies currently on broadcast and we need a big hit in comedy that is a family comedy. This is not your average family comedy, so you'll see some new and unexpected stories. The pilot is so funny and real that it will make you look at your own family and wonder if you would do the same thing! Everything about this show is 5-star, which is very rare to find. Laugh with America on the new ABC Comedy Wednesday with Modern Family, the best new sitcom of the season! It's funny, seriously!


    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

    Watchability: 5/5
    Funniness: 5/5
    Overall: 5/5

    -- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/22/09

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, September 23 on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Modern Family Photo Gallery

    Preview:





    Stay tuned tomorrow for our pilot review of Cougar Town, which follows Modern Family on ABC Comedy Wednesday at 9:30pm ET/PT.


  • Yesterday Nick at Nite made a very last minute schedule change. They switched George Lopez and Everybody Hates Chris' timeslots. George Lopez is now back to its old 10pm hour every night, while Everybody Hates Chris is now in the 9pm hour from Sun-Thurs. So this means Chris on Fridays and Saturdays won't be seen until 2-3am, since Nick at Nite doesn't start until 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Chris will continue to air 2-3am every night, while George Lopez airs 1-2am Mon-Fri nights. Malcolm in the Middle will air 1-2am on weekends leading into Chris. Malcolm will also lead into Chris now in the Sun-Thurs 9pm hour. I think Malcolm and Chris will be a good combo and a good fit, while George is back to its powerhouse time of 10pm.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Monday, September 21, 2009

    Hallmark Channel Welcomes Back I Love Lucy; 61st Primetime Emmy Awards Winners

    A few weeks back we mentioned that I Love Lucy would get a marathon on The Hallmark Channel on Sunday, Oct. 4 from 11am-3am...now we have more news for Lucy! It looks like they were planning that marathon for a comeback rather than Lucy's anniversary! Effective Monday, Oct. 5 (the very next day), I Love Lucy returns to the regular Hallmark Channel schedule and it isn't a late night/early morning slot! I Love Lucy will air weekdays from 5pm-8pm, yes that's six straight episodes, replacing M*A*S*H, which is now off the line-up. This is the second bit of bad news for M*A*S*H, as on Thursday we told you ION Television was removing it also. Not sure what is going on with M*A*S*H yet, but TV Land will still carry it.
    As for I Love Lucy, you people need to watch if you want it to STAY on the schedule, especially 5pm-8pm. They are giving it yet another chance...but Hallmark seems to have a short leash, so watch it this time or you'll have some splaining to do! Luuuuuuuucy!

    OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
    Weeds (Showtime)
    The Office (NBC)
    How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
    30 Rock (NBC)
    Entourage (HBO)
    Family Guy (Fox)
    Flight of the Conchords (HBO)
    WINNER: 30 Rock.

    OUTSTANDING LEAD COMEDY ACTOR
    Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)
    Tony Shalhoub, Monk (USA Network)
    Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men (CBS)
    Steve Carell, The Office (NBC)
    Jermaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords (HBO)
    Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
    WINNER: Alec Baldwin.

    OUTSTANDING LEAD COMEDY ACTRESS
    Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program (Comedy Central)
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Old Christine (CBS)
    Christina Applegate, Samantha Who? (ABC)
    Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds (Showtime)
    Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)
    Toni Collette, United States of Tara (Showtime)
    WINNER: Toni Collette.

    OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR
    Kevin Dillion, Entourage (HBO)
    Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men (CBS)
    Rainn Wilson, The Office (NBC)
    Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
    Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock (NBC)
    Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock (NBC)
    WINNER: Jon Cryer.

    OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTRESS
    Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty (ABC)
    Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies (ABC)
    Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock (NBC)
    Amy Poehler, SNL (NBC)
    Kristin Wiig, SNL (NBC)
    Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds (Showtime)
    WINNER: Kristin Chenoweth.

    OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
    Lost (ABC)
    House (Fox)
    Damages (FX)
    Big Love (HBO)
    Mad Men (AMC)
    Dexter (Showtime)
    Breaking Bad (AMC)
    WINNER: Mad Men.

    OUTSTANDING LEAD DRAMA ACTOR
    Hugh Laurie, House (Fox)
    Simon Baker, The Mentalist (CBS)
    Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)
    Gabriel Bryne, In Treatment (HBO)
    Michael C. Hall, Dexter (Showtime)
    Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC)
    WINNER: Bryan Cranston.

    OUTSTANDING LEAD DRAMA ACTRESS
    Glenn Close, Damages (FX)
    Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
    Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer (TNT)
    Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
    Holly Hunter, Saving Grace (TNT)
    Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men (AMC)
    WINNER: Glenn Close.

    OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTOR
    Christian Clemenson, Boston Legal (ABC)
    William Shatner, Boston Legal (ABC)
    William Hurt, Damages (FX)
    John Slattery, Mad Men (AMC)
    Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad (AMC)
    Michael Emerson, Lost (ABC)
    WINNER: Michael Emerson.

    OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTRESS
    Cherry Jones, 24 (Fox)
    Ross Byrne, Damages (FX)
    Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
    Hope Davis, In Treatment (HBO)
    Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
    Diane Wiest, In Treatment (HBO)
    WINNER: Cherry Jones

    View the full list of winners at Emmys.tv

    Stay tuned for pilot reviews of Modern Family, Cougar Town, Brothers, and The Cleveland Show from Tues-Fri this week...we have a sitcom pilot review each day for you! See what we think of all the sitcom pilots this season!

    Labels: , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Sunday, September 20, 2009

    Summer Week 17 Sitcom Ratings (Last Week of Summer!)

    Summer is winding down with just 1 day left until the start of the 2009-2010 season on Sept. 21. We will be back with our normal weekly report next week with the first four nights numbers and analysis...but today we still have our regular how the sitcoms did, Here are our summer sitcom ratings for this last week of summer:

    Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of Sept 7-13)
    • The Simpsons (Fox) - preempted.
    • King of the Hill (Fox) 2 episodes - The final two episodes on Fox did 6.26 and 6.04 million after NFL. Not bad, could be better. 18-49 rating was decent of a 3.0 and 2.9.
    • Family Guy (Fox) - Repeat only did 4.98 million and a below normal 2.4 18-49 rating.
    • American Dad! (Fox) - Repeat only did 4.02 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating.

    Summer Week 17 (September 14-20)

    Monday Sitcoms
    • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) 2 episodes - 4.09 million for a repeat airing in its normal 8pm slot, but it was delayed to 8:41pm in the east/central due to Tennis US Open. A repeat at 8:30pm airing at a delayed 9:11pm did 4.78 million...both were down from previous week. Season premiere tomorrow!
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - Only 6.62 million for a repeat on at a delayed time of 9:41pm in the east/central. Season premiere is tomorrow for this show as well!
    • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 6.64 million for a repeat at a delayed time of 10:12pm in the east/central. 2.2 18-49 rating is below normal, but the weird time in the east/central is the reason for that. Season premiere is tomorrow. Can it do a series high of a 5.0 or more in 18-49? We shall see.
    Tuesday Sitcoms
    • None.
    Wednesday Sitcoms
    • Old Christine (CBS) - Only 4.2 million for a repeat. The season premiere is this Wednesday but it will have a tough time vs. a special Dancing with the Stars: The Results Show on a special night and time.
    • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - 4.01 million for a repeat of this sitcom. I am not sure why this show was brought back.
    Thursday Sitcoms
    • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - The season premiere did only 4.89 million, that is down 29% from its series premiere in April. It was also down 30% in 18-49 from its series premiere. This show is going to have a tough time.
    • The Office (NBC) - A solid season premiere doing 8.21 million and a 4.1 18-49 rating, but that also was down from last year's season premiere of 9.39 million and a much better 4.9 18-49 rating. I think the show has peaked.
    • Community (NBC) - The series premiere got off to a promising start with 7.91 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating, holding a good portion of its lead-in. If it can maintain these numbers for the next few weeks, NBC will take it...but the competition gets much much harder this week. This premiere however was down from 30 Rock's season premiere of 8.73 million last year, but that was Sarah Palin affected.

    Friday Sitcoms

    • None.
    Saturday Sitcoms
    • The Office (NBC) - Encore of Thursday's season premiere only did a prelim 1.9 million, not good.
    • Community (NBC) - Encore of Thursday's premiere only did 1.64 million...also not good.
    Tonight you can catch the 61st Annual Emmy Awards on CBS at 8pm. Elsewhere ABC has the network television premiere of King Kong from 7-11pm. Fox has animated repeats, while NBC will have NFL Football. The CW has repeat airings of The Beautiful Life: TBL and Melrose Place.
    See you next week for the new season!

    Labels:

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Saturday, September 19, 2009

    Blog DVD Review: Castle - The Complete First Season (9/22)

    Welcome to our weekly Blog DVD Review! This week we take a look at ABC Studios' Castle: The Complete First Season. Castle is about a mystery writer working with the NYPD to solve cases as he tries to come up with ideas for his new book. This show has the same style of shows like The Rockford Files and Moonlighting. See my Blog DVD Review of Castle: The Complete First Season:

    Castle: The Complete First Season (ABC Studios, $39.99) brings the first season of the witty crime series starring Nathan Fillion on DVD with all 10 episodes! Get on the beat with this great new show! It is loaded with provocative banter and a talented cast. Richard Castle is a world-famous crime novelist whose stories come to life in the pilot episode when a copycat killer follows his literary blueprint. He then enlists to help the NYPD stay a step ahead of the murderer. Castle realizes working with the police can also supply him with a new slew of ideas for his next book. The relationship gets a little more complicated -- and a whole lot more fun -- when he is paired with the attractive Detective Beckett, who doesn't appreciate Castle's unorthodox style. If you like Moonlighting and The Rockford Files, this show is in the same vein as those as the characters are the most important part of the show.
    The series will return to its Mondays at 10PM timeslot on ABC this coming season following Dancing with the Stars. The series stars Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett, Jon Huertas as Detective Javier Esposito, Seamus Dever as Detective Kevin Ryan, Tamala Jones as Medical Examiner Dr. Lanie Parish, Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Captain Roy Montgomery, Molly Quinn as Alexis Castle, and Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers. Among the recurring stars are Stephen J. Cannell and James Patterson as themselves, and Bailey Chase as Will Sorrenson. Among the guests this year are Dan Castellaneta, Jayne Brook, Bill Smitrovich, K Callan, Darby Stanchfield and Judy Reyes.

    This first season got better and better as the season went a long. I don't like crime shows of today, but this one is a throwback to the ones of the past and focuses on characters than more about the case. I like that! The series airs Mondays at 10pm and had a Dancing with the Stars direct lead-in a few times in season one, but now in season two...it will get that lead-in each time! The more people find this show, the better...because it has something for everyone. The humor, the crime, the relationships, the action, and great characters! The second season premieres on Monday (Sept. 21) and I have seen the season premiere already and it is awesome. We are about two months later in the story when Castle has to "tell" Beckett something, which I won't give away if you haven't watched the first season finale yet. It is a great premiere you won't want to miss, for sure! Beckett looks even more stunning this coming season with longer hair! She has a very stunning scene near the end of the second season premiere. Anyway, as for season one, some memorable episodes include the premiere, "Flowers for Your Grave," where popular and famous mystery novelist Richard Castle, who is bored with his own success, learns that a real-world killer has begun staging murders based on scenes from his novels. In "Nanny McDead," the body of a young woman is found spinning inside the dryer in the laundry room of an upscale apartment building. In "A Chill Goes Through Her Veins," the body of a frozen woman found tangled in steel bars at a construction site leads Beckett and Castle to a years-old mystery and a long abandoned case...as the two uncover startling revelations about the victim's past, the investigation forces Beckett to face some difficult memories of her own family tragedy. In "Always Buy Retail," when an immigrant is found tortured and murdered in a ritualistic killing, Beckett navigates the uncharted territory of the mysterious Vodun religion with Castle along for the ride, meanwhile, Castle is confronted with the possible return of his first wife, Alexis' mother, whose dizzying personality threatens to upend the tranquility of the entire family. In "Little Girl Lost," when a two-year-old girl is discovered missing from her home, Beckett is called in to assist with the investigation only to discover that the FBI agent in charge is, in fact, her ex-boyfriend. Finally, in the outstanding season finale "A Death in the Family," Castle and Beckett investigate the murder of a missing plastic surgeon who is found dead in the front seat of his car after a week of being parked curbside. As they delve into the twisted world of surgery obsessed patients and secret operations, Castle experiences a fatherly rite of passage as Alexis attends her first prom. And by looking into Beckett's past, he digs into information that could end his relationship with her forever.

    Packaging has a thin outer box that you can remove from the top or bottom to get to the case inside. Both the thin outer box and case have the same artwork for both the front and back. The cover has a nice full body photos of Castle and Beckett in the New York City night sky, with one of Castle's books below that as we see a dead body I guess below the book. The show logo is in the middle in white lettering. The back has that dark blue night background with information on the set and has some episodic screen shots from episodes and we also have a cast photo. There is also a section detailing the bonus features box with technical specifications also.
    Opening the case, on the left side we see disc one. On the right side we see discs two and three, overlapping each other. There is also an insert for Blu-ray inside. Disc artwork is very nice. Disc one has episodes 1-4 with artwork of a pen with some blood. Disc two has episodes 5-8 and has artwork of two of Castle's books including "At Dusk We Die." And disc three has episodes 9-10 plus bonus features and has artwork of two more of Castle's books including "A Calm Before the Storm." When you remove the discs, the panels have a nice cast photo, along with a disc-by-disc breakdown of episode titles and bonus features.

    The menu screen starts with the opening credits from the series with the theme music, then we get to the main menu where we see moving video images with the closing theme playing in the background. The options on the main menu are Play All, Episode Selection, Set Up, Bonus Features, and Sneak Peeks (disc three). But before the main menu screen comes on disc one, we get some auto sneak peeks of other DVDs: ABC on DVD, The Proposal, and Cheri. Sneak Peeks option is only found on disc three on the main menu and has previews of many titles like Ugly Betty, Life on Mars, Lost DVDs, and an ABC promo for Desperate Housewives. Set Up section has the option of subtitles in English, French or Spanish and how you can register your DVD. The Episodes option gives us the episode number, title and a screenshot. Bonus Features option has all the extras listed. All of the sub-menus have different background music from the show.

    The episodes run usually 41-43 minutes...unedited of course with all the great music intact. There are about 9 chapter stops per episode. The video is digitally mastered and is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This is from mid-season 2009, so it had better be good. There is nothing to complain at all here...it is perfect!

    Moving on the bonus features. Discs one and two have audio commentaries, while the rest of the extras are on disc three. Disc one has audio commentary for the first episode "Flowers for Your Grave" with creator/executive producer Andrew Marlowe, executive producer Rob Bowman, Nathan Fillion (Castle), Stana Katic (Beckett), and Jon Huertas (Esposito). They give lots of details and are very fun to listen to. Fillion is very witty in real life, too. On disc two we have audio commentary for the great episode "A Chill Goes Through Her Veins," with creator/executive producer Andrew Marlowe, executive producer Rob Bowman, Nathan Fillion (Castle), Stana Katic (Beckett), Jon Huertas (Esposito), and also this time Molly Quinn (Alexis). Once again this is very fun and Molly Quinn is on it this time. She is a teenager but doesn't seem like it at all. She is very smart!
    All of the other extras are on disc three! We have two more audio commentary tracks. They are for the same episode, the season finale "A Death in the Family." The first track is with creator/executive producer Andrew Marlowe, executive producer Rob Bowman, Nathan Fillion (Castle), Stana Katic (Beckett), Jon Huertas (Esposito), and Molly Quinn (Alexis) once again. This team is so good to listen to! And we also have a track with Seamus Dever (Ryan) and Jon Huertas (Esposito). So Huertas does commentary TWICE for this episode! We have an interview featurette titled "Whodunit: The Genesis of Castle" (6:14). This is a very good detailed extra that gives us the inside scoop on the cast, characters and the season. Interviewed are Andrew Marlowe, Stephen J. Cannell (writer/producer, novelist), Rob Bowman, Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Molly Quinn, Susan Sullivan, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Then we have another featurette titled "Castle's Godfather" (7:15). This has the trio of Stephen J. Cannell, Rob Bowman and Andrew Marlowe. We find out how Cannell got involved with the show and how he has known Rob Bowman since he was a child! This is a very interesting featurette. The final featurette is a GREAT one! It is very unique and very funny. It is titled "Write-Along with Nathan Fillion" (9:06). Nathan spends an entire day with Stephen J. Cannell and learns how to be a mystery writer. It is a tough job! This is very comical and even has Cannell doing his famous throwing the paper in the air. One of the best extras ever and a must watch! Finally, we have some "Misdemeanours: Bloopers & Outtakes" (2:36)...yes, bloopers! See all the goofs and play on the set!

    I recommend this series and set...it is an ABC Studios DVD, so it is good and filled with special features. I think this series will break out this season and will get a full season to show America how witty and great this show is. This DVD is awesome! We get of course all ten great episodes from the first season, good packaging, and great extras that has one of my favorite extras ever with Fillion and Cannell. We need more extras like that on DVDs! I don't understand why the DVD is coming out on Sept. 22, when the second season launches a day before on Sept. 21, but ABC did re-air all ten episodes this summer (some multiple times). So I hope you saw them all. Everyone needs to be watching this show. Make a date with Castle and Beckett every Monday at 10pm on ABC! This is the best crime drama on TV right now because it has substance to the characters. It has a bit of everything and fans of older series like The Rockford Files and Moonlighting will enjoy this series. It's a whole new chapter in crime solving, indeed! See the tension between Castle and Beckett! As Castle would say, "Tell Me You Saw That!"
    View the Season One Trailer.

    -- Reviewed by Pavan
    (4.5/5 stars)

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

    Related links:
    SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
    Official ABC Website
    Castle TV.com Page

    Labels: ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    CBS Fall Pilot Review - Accidentally on Purpose - Premieres September 21; Our Emmy Picks for 61st Annual Event

    Community

    Accidentally on Purpose - Mondays 8:30PM ET/PT on CBS
    Premieres Monday, September 21, 2009 at 8:30PM ET/PT

    ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, based on the bestselling memoir by Mary F. Pols, is a comedy about a single woman, Billie, who finds herself "accidentally" pregnant after a one-night stand with a much younger guy, and decides to keep the baby...and the guy. A newspaper film critic, Billie is barely surviving a humiliating breakup with her charming boss, James, who's still trying to resume their relationship. Pregnant, after a brief fling with her "boy toy" Zack, Billie and Zack make an arrangement to live together platonically. Billie's party girl best friend Olivia, and Abby, her conventional, younger married sister, eagerly look forward to the new addition and offer their own brands of advice and encouragement. But when Zack and his freeloading friends, including Davis, start to turn her place into a frat house, Billie isn't sure if she's living with a boyfriend, a roommate, or if she just has another child to raise.

    Cast Details:

    * Jenna Elfman as Billie
    * Jon Foster as Zazk
    * Ashley Jensen as Olivia
    * Lennon Parham as Abby
    * Grant Show as James
    * Nicolas Wright as Davis

    Jenna Elfman (Billie) is best known for her role as Dharma in the hit series Dharma & Greg for which she garnered a Golden Globe Award, three Emmy Award nominations and two TV Guide Awards. Elfman's other television credits include Courting Alex, and guest appearances in the series Two and a Half Men, both on CBS, and guest-starring roles on My Name is Earl and Brothers & Sisters. Elfman also has an impressive feature film resume, starring opposite Ben Stiller and Edward Norton in Keeping the Faith and Ron Howard's Edtv opposite Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Recently, she starred opposite Elisha Cuthbert and Tim Allen in The Six Wives of Henry LeFay, and in the independent comedy Love Hurts opposite Richard E. Grant and Carrie-Anne Moss. Elfman also starred in the half-animated feature film Looney Tunes: Back in Action.

    Jon Foster's (Zack) 11 feature film credits include the leading role as Eddie in The Door in the Floor starring opposite Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger, Tenderness opposite Russell Crowe and The Informers opposite Billy Bob Thornton, among others. Foster's television credits include series regular roles in Windfall and Life As We Know It, and guest-starring roles in Judging Amy, on CBS and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He also starred in the television movie Murder in Greenwich.

    Ashley Jensen (Olivia) appeared on the first three seasons of Ugly Betty playing Christina, the seamstress for the fictional "Mode" magazine and Betty's one true ally in the office. Jensen also recently starred in the BBC America series Eleventh Hour, where she co-starred opposite Patrick Stewart. Jensen's other television credits include Rebus, Clocking Off, City Central, Sweet Medicine, Two Thousand Acres of Sky, Outside the Rules and films such as A Cock and Bull Story and Topsy-Turvy. For two seasons Jensen starred opposite Ricky Gervais on the Golden Globe winning-series Extras, which originally aired on BBC 2 in the United Kingdom. Jensen reprised her role in the special Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale, for which she was nominated for an Emmy (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie).

    Lennon Parham (Abby) began her comedy career at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in N.Y. She graduated with a B.S. in Theatre from the University of Evansville in Indiana and taught French for two years with Teach for America at TL Weston High School in Greenville, Miss., before moving to N.Y. After graduating from the Second City New York program, she began attending classes at U.C.B. Eventually, she became involved in the comedy Improv shows Asssscat 3000 and Reuben Williams as well as becoming a member of the UCBT Touring Company. She has been teaching at the U.C.B. training center for two years, including a special class for improvising in character. Last year, she gained critical acclaim for her one-woman show based on a collection of comedic characters titled She Tried to be Normal.

    Best known for his role as Jake Hanson on Melrose Place, Grant Show (James) recently starred in Swingtown on CBS. Show also had regular roles in Point Pleasant and the daytime drama Ryan's Hope, as well as recurring roles on Private Practice, Six Feet Under Dirt Strong Medicine and Beautiful People. Show has also starred in numerous television movies including The Natalee Holloway Story and Sex and the Single Mom. Among Show's theater credits are productions of On the Waterfront, The Glass Menagerie and the Off-Broadway hit Wit, with Judith Light.

    Nicolas Wright (Davis) began his career on the stage as one of the founding members of the multi-award-winning theater company Gravy Bath Productions. In 2003, his portrayal of the title role in The Portrait of Dorian Gray at the Saidye Bronfman Centre earned him a nomination for Best Actor by the Montreal Critic's Circle. He continues his work on stage with the Montreal Based Improv/Sketch troupe Uncalled For, whose last show won several awards including 'Best of the Fest' at the Toronto Sketch Fest and the 'Just For Laughs Award' at the Montreal Fringe. Over the last few years, Wright has appeared in numerous feature films including The Greatest Game Ever Played and the thriller Whiteout. He has played leading roles in several award-winning Canadian productions including the animated series Delta State, Hatley High, which received the Best Director/Best Screenplay, Aspen Comedy Festival, Best Actor Nomination, ACTRA Awards (2006) and End of the Line (Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival).

    Pilot Plot:

    #1 "Pilot" (Airs September 21)
    Billie, a newspaper film critic, just went through an ugly breakup with her boss, who still wishes to mend their relationship. After a fling with a much younger guy, Billie ends up pregnant and decides that she really wants to keep the baby -- and the guy she hooked up with.
    Directed by Pamela Fryman
    Written by Claudia Lonow
    Guest Stars: Larry Wilmore as Dr. Roland, Pooch Hall as Ryan, Andrew Caldwell as Shane, Melinda Y. Cohen as Another Woman, Nadege Auguste as Beautiful Woman, Olympia Lettry as Cosmetic Counter Girl

    Analysis:

    Jenna Elfman returns for her second starring role on a CBS sitcom. Her short-lived Courting Alex aired from January-March 2006 for 8 episodes (12 produced). Despite some respectable ratings when it began on Monday nights, the show suffered when it was briefly moved to Wednesdays before it was pulled from the schedule with 4 episodes unaired. It was not picked up for a second season. CBS then inked her to a new development deal to create another comedy vehicle. She has spent the last four years making pilots trying to find the right show.

    The pilot was pretty decent. It begins with Billie talking to Olivia at an office party. Then we see a flashback to a month earlier when she's at the Eiffel Tower with her boss and boyfriend, James. We later meet her sister Abby at a bar and Billie goes to talk to three younger guys. Billie decides to go home with Zack to his apartment and they have a one night stand. 5 weeks later, she takes a pregnancy test and discovers that she is pregnant. Zack takes her in his van to see the doctor. Billie later invites him to move in with her.

    I think this show has the potential to be a slight upgrade over her previous show, Courting Alex. I've always been an Elfman fan. She's a gifted comedic actress who had some success on Dharma & Greg for 5 seasons. She recently announced that she is pregnant in real life with her second child. I guess she will start showing by the 3rd or 4th episode.

    The rest of the supporting cast is pretty good but maybe lacks some sitcom experience. Jon Foster's only major sitcom experience was on the short-lived CBS sitcom Danny in 2001. He's pretty funny and likeable in the pilot, but we'll see how his chemistry with Elfman develops in future episodes. Ashley Jensen was excellent in Ugly Betty for 3 seasons. I would expect her role to expand a bit more from the pilot. I love her Scottish accent. Lennon Parham plays Billie's sister, Abby. We will probably be seeing her husband in future episodes. Zack's freeloading friends, led by Davis, have a few funny one-liners. Since the pilot mostly focused on Billie and Zack, I would expect their roles to expand.

    San Francisco is the setting for the show. There are a couple of exterior shots of trolley cars. Billie plays a movie critic, so there are a number of movie references. She also has some movie posters, including one for An American Werewolf in London, in her apartment. The sets look a little cramped and cluttered, but I guess that was the look they were going for. The newspaper office set looks similar to the Winfred-Louder Department Store set used by The Drew Carey Show I remember they also used this stage for Courting Alex.
    There were several songs in the pilot and the music score is composed by John Swihart. This is a multi-camera comedy that is filmed in front of a studio audience.

    Conclusion:

    This must be the year of the cougar with Accidentally on Purpose and Cougar Town. Will the second time be the charm for Jenna Elfman on CBS? They have been trying to find the right comedy vehicle for her for the last several years. Courting Alex had some decent ratings but was canceled after only 8 episodes aired. I think the pilot for Accidentally on Purpose is a slight upgrade over that. The pilot follows the basic premise of the movie Knocked Up but lacks the amount of funny scenes and lines. I just wonder which direction the show will take. Upcoming episode descriptions seem to indicate that Billie and Zack will be dating other people. What will they do once she has the baby at the end of the season and possibly marries Zack? This shows seems like it is set up to air for one season and then be done.

    This show has a comfortable time slot between the established How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men. It will be important to find an audience early because Rules of Engagement is waiting in the wings. If you are a fan of the adorable and witty Jenna Elfman or any of the other actors, the show is definitely worth checking out. It's hard to judge a show just by the pilot, which sets up the whole premise of the show and gives the necessary background details on the characters. It probably would be best to give this show a try for at least 3-4 episodes to see how it develops.

    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

    -- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 09/18/09

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Monday, September 21 on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • CBS.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Accidentally on Purpose Photo Gallery


  • Preview:



    It's time for our annual Emmy picks!

    OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
    Weeds (Showtime)
    The Office (NBC)
    How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
    30 Rock (NBC)
    Entourage (HBO)
    Family Guy (Fox)
    Flight of the Conchords (HBO)
    OUR PICK: 30 Rock. It's the favorite, but I wish something else would win.

    OUTSTANDING LEAD COMEDY ACTOR
    Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)
    Tony Shalhoub, Monk (USA Network)
    Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men (CBS)
    Steve Carell, The Office (NBC)
    Jermaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords (HBO)
    Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
    OUR PICK: Jim Parsons. He is very deserving and his character of Sheldon is funny with a straight face! Sheldon never smiles or laughs!

    OUTSTANDING LEAD COMEDY ACTRESS
    Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program (Comedy Central)
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Old Christine (CBS)
    Christina Applegate, Samantha Who? (ABC)
    Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds (Showtime)
    Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)
    Toni Collette, United States of Tara (Showtime)
    OUR PICK: Tina Fey will win likely, but I would give it to Christina Applegate who was outstanding.

    OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR
    Kevin Dillion, Entourage (HBO)
    Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men (CBS)
    Rainn Wilson, The Office (NBC)
    Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
    Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock (NBC)
    Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock (NBC)
    OUR PICK: Neil Patrick Harris. He is hosting...so I bet he wins. If not maybe another 30 Rock winner.

    OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTRESS
    Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty (ABC)
    Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies (ABC)
    Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock (NBC)
    Amy Poehler, SNL (NBC)
    Kristin Wiig, SNL (NBC)
    Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds (Showtime)
    OUR PICK: Vanessa Williams. She is hilarious as the evil character she plays.

    OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
    Lost (ABC)
    House (Fox)
    Damages (FX)
    Big Love (HBO)
    Mad Men (AMC)
    Dexter (Showtime)
    Breaking Bad (AMC)
    OUR PICK: Lost. An outstanding year for the fifth season! But I think Mad Men will take it.

    OUTSTANDING LEAD DRAMA ACTOR
    Hugh Laurie, House (Fox)
    Simon Baker, The Mentalist (CBS)
    Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)
    Gabriel Bryne, In Treatment (HBO)
    Michael C. Hall, Dexter (Showtime)
    Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC)
    OUR PICK: Bryan Cranston. Could he repeat?

    OUTSTANDING LEAD DRAMA ACTRESS
    Glenn Close, Damages (FX)
    Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
    Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer (TNT)
    Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
    Holly Hunter, Saving Grace (TNT)
    Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men (AMC)
    OUR PICK: Sally Field. Nora Walker is funny, real and America's mom!

    OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTOR
    Christian Clemenson, Boston Legal (ABC)
    William Shatner, Boston Legal (ABC)
    William Hurt, Damages (FX)
    John Slattery, Mad Men (AMC)
    Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad (AMC)
    Michael Emerson, Lost (ABC)
    OUR PICK: William Shatner. One last hurrah, maybe? If not Emerson, please!

    OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTRESS
    Cherry Jones, 24 (Fox)
    Ross Byrne, Damages (FX)
    Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
    Hope Davis, In Treatment (HBO)
    Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
    Diane Wiest, In Treatment (HBO)
    OUR PICK: Chandra Wilson. Please give it to her!!


    View the full list of nominations. The 61st Annual Emmy Awards air this Sunday (September 20 at 8pm on CBS).

    Labels: , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    ION Television October 2009, More Programming Hours; Remembering Henry Gibson

    This October 2009 on ION Television will see a few schedule changes. First, ION Television will add the 11pm hour every weekday. Currently, ION only has the 11pm hour on Mondays with Durham County's instant encore, but starting Tuesday, Sept. 29, Tues-Fri at 11pm will be Criminal Minds. It will replace Paid Programming. So we gain an hour on weekdays! Starting Monday, Oct. 5, M*A*S*H will leave the line-up, as we get another hour of Reba from 4-5pm. Reba will continue to air 7-8pm as well.
    Moving on to weekends starting in October, ION will be adding 3 more hours to both days! Yes, that means the start time goes from 6pm to 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays! Movies will rule on weekends but there are times when there will be a filler in the 3pm half-hour or 3pm hour even. Right now the filler is TBD, but I'd expect maybe Reba or something to fill in.
    ION will have many movie premieres this October, as movies airs Fri-Sun. The premieres are The Rainmaker, The Medallion, The Departed, The Perfect Storm, Wild Wild West, The Return, On Deadly Ground, and Breach. Among the encore airings are Heat, A Bronx Tale, Inside Man, Above the Law, The Specialist, Hard to Kill, The Break-Up, Patriot Games, and more. If you say you missed Heat, then you are crazy since ION is airing it so many times. No excuse for missing that 1995 movie!
    View the full ION Television October 2009 schedule.

    Henry Gibson, a wry comic character actor whose career included Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Nashville and Boston Legal, died Monday at his home in Malibu after a brief battle with cancer.
    Gibson's breakthrough came in 1968 when he was cast as a member of the original ensemble of NBC's top-rated Laugh-In, on which he performed for three seasons. Each week, a giant flower in his hand, he recited a signature poem, introducing them with the catch phrase that became his signature: "A Poem, by Henry Gibson."
    After Laugh-In, he played the evil Dr. Verringer in The Long Goodbye (1973), the first of four films in which he appeared for director Robert Altman. Their second collaboration came in Nashville (1975), in which Gibson earned a Golden Globe nomination and a National Society of Film Critics supporting-actor award for his performance as unctuous country singer Haven Hamilton. He also wrote his character's songs.
    In television, Gibson's recent work included a five-season stint as cantankerous Judge Clarence Brown on ABC's Boston Legal and providing the voice for sardonic, eye-patched newspaperman Bob Jenkins on Fox's animated series King of the Hill.
    His previous TV work include appearances on The Joey Bishop Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, My Favorite Martian, The Dick Van Dyke Show, F-Troop, Bewitched, Love American Style, Fantasy Island, The Dukes of Hazzard, Smurfs, Magnum P.I., Simon & Simon, The Love Boat, The Fall Guy, Knight Rider, Newhart, Evening Shade, MacGyver, Sisters, Coach, The John Larroquette Show, Maggie Winters, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Early Edition, Charmed, Becker, Malcolm in the Middle, and the short-lived Cracking Up.
    Gibson was a true character actor and will be missed. He was 73.

    Labels: , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    NBC Fall Pilot Review: Community - Premieres September 17; TeenNick Premiere Week

    Community

    Community - Thursdays 9:30PM ET/PT on NBC (Moves to 8:00PM on Oct. 8)
    Premieres Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 9:30PM ET/PT

    From Dan Harmon (The Sarah Silverman Program) and Emmy Award-winning directors Joe and Anthony Russo (Arrested Development) comes Community, a smart comedy series about a band of misfits who attend Greendale Community College. At the center of the group is Jeff Winger (Joel McHale, E! TV's The Soup), a fast-talkin' lawyer whose degree has been revoked. With some help from his fellow classmates, Winger forms a study group who eventually learn more about themselves than their course work.
    Also among the series stars who comprise the group are comedy legend Chevy Chase as Pierce, a man whose life experience has brought him infinite wisdom; Gillian Jacobs as Britta, the 28-year old drop out with something to prove; Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley, a sassy middle-aged divorcée; Danny Pudi as Abed, a pop culture junkie; Alison Brie as Annie, a high-strung perfectionist; Donald Glover as Troy, a former high school football star trying to find his way and Ken Jeong as Spanish professor, Señor Chang.


    Cast Details:

    * Joel McHale as Jeff Winger
    * Gillian Jacobs as Britta
    * Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley
    * Danny Pudi as Abed
    * Alison Brie as Annie
    * Donald Glover as Troy
    * Ken Jeong as Señor Chang
    * Chevy Chase as Pierce

    Joel McHale (Jeff Winger) is poised to make 2009 a breakout year. In addition to his starring role in Community, he recently wrapped production on the Steven Soderbergh directed, Warner Independent dark, comedic thriller The Informant opposite Matt Damon. McHale is best known as the star of The Soup, a weekly entertainment show that satirizes pop culture and current events. He also serves as a writer and producer on the show. McHale's quick wit and sharp comedic timing have made The Soup a pop culture phenomenon and led to the success of The Soup Presents specials. McHale recently began touring the country to sold-out audiences with his stand-up act. McHale's guest starring roles include Will & Grace, CSI: Miami and, most recently, Pushing Daisies. He also jumped onto the big screen with roles in Spider-Man 2 and Lords of Dogtown.

    Gillian Jacobs (Britta) was most recently seen in Richard Kelly's film The Box, starring Cameron Diaz and Frank Langella. Jacobs can also be seen in the upcoming films Coach directed by Will Frears, Watching TV With the Red Chinese, NoNames and Helena From the Wedding.
    On the small screen, she has appeared in Fringe, Law and Order: Criminal Intent and Royal Pains. Jacobs will also be seen in the upcoming drama series The Good Wife and had a recurring role in The Book of Daniel.

    Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley) dreamed of a career on stage and screen as a young girl. She began her entertainment career as a vocalist while still in her teens, when after an impromptu audition for Michael Bivins (New Edition; Bell Biv DeVoe) she was signed to Motown Records as a part of the East Coast Family, a group of new talents that included Boyz II Men. In just a short time, Brown has emerged as one of the most sought-after character actresses in Hollywood, highlighted by memorable appearances on numerous hit TV shows, including: House, Entourage, The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Two and a Half Men, Malcolm in the Middle, 7th Heaven, Fat Actress, 'Til Death, That's So Raven, Rules of Engagement, Privileged and That '70s Show among others. In addition, she has had recurring roles on Boston Legal, Girlfriends, Sleeper Cell, Half & Half and Drake & Josh. She also was a series regular on the short lived sitcom The Big House.

    Danny Pudi (Abed) is an actor and comedian originally from Chicago. On the small screen, Pudi's credits include NBC's ER and TBS's The Bill Engvall Show, as well as recurring roles on Greek and Gilmore Girls. He can also be seen in the upcoming films Road Trip 2: Beerpong and the independent film Thunder Geniuses directed by Michael Clancy.

    Alison Brie (Annie) can currently be seen as Trudy Campbell on the award-winning drama series Mad Men, which returns in August 2009. She will also appear in a film titled Montana Amazon with Olympia Dukakis and Haley Joel Osment, slated for release later this year. Brie guest-starred on Comedy Central and Disney's Hannah Montana and landed leading roles in some independent films before her current role in Community.

    Donald Glover (Troy) is a talented actor, comedian and writer. He studied improvisation and comedy writing with the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre in New York and had the pleasure of improvising with the likes of Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz. Glover also performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien multiple times. He was hired as a staff writer on the show 30 Rock while he was still a resident assistant at NYU. During his time at 30 Rock, the show has won two Emmys for best comedy, as well as a Writers Guild Award for best comedy.

    Ken Jeong (Señor Chang) is known as the "scene stealer" and is quickly establishing himself as the go-to character actor for today's hit comedies. In the summer of 2009, Jeong appeared as the Asian-mobster "Mr. Chow" in the sleeper-hit comedy The Hangover, also starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. Since his feature-film debut as the doctor in Knocked Up in 2007, Jeong has gone on to a number of memorable roles in a series of successful comedies. Directed, written and produced by Judd Apatow. In 2008 Jeong starred in his first major role as the villain, King Argotron, in Role Models, opposite Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. The same year, Jeong had supporting roles in two other major comedies, Pineapple Express and Step Brothers. On the TV side, he has appeared on The Office, Entourage, and MADtv.

    Chevy Chase (Pierce) is one of the most honored and beloved actors of his generation, Chase first came to national prominence as a writer and performer with the original cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live, for which he won two Emmy Awards. Soon after he had endeared himself to television audiences, Hollywood beckoned and Chase made his feature film debut in the comedy-thriller Foul Play with Goldie Hawn. His many memorable films include: Caddy Shack, Seems Like Old Times, National Lampoon's Vacation, Fletch, National Lampoon's European Vacation, Spies Like Us, The Three Amigos, Funny Farm, Caddyshack I, Fletch Lives, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Cops and Robbersons, Man of the House, Vegas Vacation, Snow Day, Ellie Parker, and last year's Funny Money. In 2007, Chase received critical acclaim for his guest-starring role on NBC's award-winning series Law and Order. He followed that return to the small screen with a two-episode guest-appearance on the ABC drama series Brothers and Sisters. Most recently, Chase guest starred on the NBC series Chuck.

    Pilot Plot:

    #1 "Pilot" (Airs September 17)
    A band of misfits attend Greendale Community College. At the center of the group is Jeff Winger, a fast-talking lawyer whose degree has been revoked. With some help from his fellow classmates, Winger forms a study group who eventually learn more about themselves than their course work. The study group consists of Pierce a man whose life experience has brought him infinite wisdom; Britta a 28-year old drop out with something to prove; Shirley a sassy middle-aged divorcée; Abed a pop culture junkie; Annie a high-strung perfectionist; Troy a former high school football star and Spanish professor, Señor Chang.
    Directed By Joe Russo and Anthony Russo.

    Analysis:

    "The funny thing about being smart is that you can get through most of life without having to do any work."

    To be perfectly frank, when re-typing the above line I wasn't sure if I was quoting a line of my favorite of the fall pilots, or writing the first sentence of my autobiography. Writing this review you have a reviewer who perhaps above all else ultimately wants people on his agenda. And the lead character in the new show Community is extremely similar. Joel McHale plays Jeff, a lawyer who was suspended by the state bar after it was discovered that his Bachelor's degree was in fact from Colombia (the nation) and not Columbia (the school). He turns to the local community college in part because one of the psychology professors (portrayed by John Oliver) is one of his frequent clients and he hopes to take advantage of their friendship. Not to spoil a little twist in the final episode, but the professor isn't a doormat.

    Jeff is already enrolled when the pilot begins, and it's through his actions one day that we meet his co-stars. McHale's character met a girl (Britta, played by Gillian Jacobs) in Spanish class that he likes (aww). To learn more about her, he consults with Abed (Danny Pudi) who recites a whole list of things he learned about her just through the hunt for a pencil. This leads to Jeff creating a study group for the class, where the rest of the main and recurring characters really begin to come into their own. You have Chevy Chase as Pierce, a senior who was married seven times. Chevy also provides one of my favorite bits of physical humor in the show when trying to figure out what to do with a disgusting cafeteria hot dog. (No, no, nothing obscene. He stuck it in with the hot dog buns in their drawer after some debate). Other cast members include Donald Glover as Troy, Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley and Alison Brie as Anne.

    I'm really going to like this show, and might even have a message delivered home to me, for a reason I strongly hint at in the beginning of this review. Jeff's character, through coincidence, has a personally not entirely unlike mine. We've both spent a very, very long time being able to BS our way through virtually any situation -- but as the grand culmination of that BS we both have recently found ourselves in situations where, like it or not we each might have to actually do a little work. Though there's no way to know what direction the character will proceed from here, the fact is that the rendition of Jeff in the pilot is probably the character on TV I'm empathized with the most in a very long time.

    And through both my own twisted narcissism and a desire to see quality stories told on television, the end result of the 25 minutes of the pilot is a comedy that I truly enjoy. It doesn't have the wacky hijinks of 30 Rock or the random fantasy sequences of Scrubs or, well, Dwight from The Office. What you see here is one of the most genuine comedies I've seen on TV in a long time. Will you, the reader, like this though? If you've never seen a single-camera comedy you've liked? Your opinion probably isn't going to change. But quality pieces of entertainment like The Office, 30 Rock, and yes now Community are all wonderful shows in their own, wildly different, rights when you give them a chance.

    Conclusion:

    I'm supposed to score this show on "Funniness" and "Watchability." It is definitely 5 stars in watchability. But it took a lot of gnashing of the teeth to score it on the funniness. It's funny, but there are different types of humor. For someone like me, the show is hysterical yet poignant. For someone else, they might have a different reaction. I know at least one person who refused to even discuss the show after hearing Chevy Chase was in it. While they have a right to their opinion, I think that's a silly opinion. Even if you don't like one component there is a LOT of FUNNY stuff here to watch even if you're not a fan of one of the actors. There's something to laugh at for (nearly) everyone.

    This is a five star show, airing amongst a couple of other five star shows (The Office, 30 Rock). NBC has possibly their strongest lineup of comedies on Thursday in over a decade, and I personally think it's a wonderful replacement for My Name is Earl. Given that they finally wrote a sitcom about me, I obviously can't recommend this one enough. In all sincerity though, and with all self-indulgence removed: this sitcom is hilarious, two huge reasons being McHale and Chase. Joel and Chevy deliver the laughs, and you're in for a great show.

    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

    Watchability: 5/5
    Funniness: 4.5/5
    Overall: 5/5

    -- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 09/16/09

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, September 17 on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • NBC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Community Photo Gallery



  • The N will change its name to TeenNick on Monday, September 28, as you all know. So from now on our labels (the links on the bottom of every story) for the network will be TeenNick. So bookmark that if you follow all The N's schedules in one shot. This will be our last label for The N. Anyway, TeenNick will not have any changes for premiere week. So the same schedule, that we mentioned, that started this week and that will be for week of Sept. 21, will continue when The N changes its name to TeenNick on Sept. 28. You'll still have Full House in primetime from 8-10pm for example.
    However, there will be a huge Degrassi: The Next Generation marathon starting Oct. 1 at 2am (technically Oct. 2) running all day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 2-4). The only stoppage on those three days is for That '70s Show from 12-2am.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Married with Children Returns To Spike TV; TV Land Celebrates Brady and Cosby Anniversaries

    Married... with Children is returning to Spike TV starting October 5! It will air weekdays at 1pm & 1:30pm replacing an airing of CSI: NY. This means CSI: NY will only now air weekdays at 2pm. The original CSI airs weekdays from 3-8pm. Married...with Children will continue to air on sister network TV Land as well this time. So you get Married on Spike in the afternoon on weekdays and Married on TV Land in primetime and weekends. Al Bundy likes!
    In other changes, Unsolved Mysteries will also air on Sunday mornings from 9-11am starting Oct. 11. This is in addition to its return to the daily line-up airing Mon-Wed at 2am starting Sept. 28, as we previously mentioned
    View the full and update Spike TV Fall 2009 line-up.

    We mentioned that TV Land will do anniversary stunts for The Brady Bunch and The Cosby Show, and now TV Land has given the full details.
    TV Land breaks out the bubbly this September to celebrate the milestone anniversaries of two of television's most beloved and celebrated sitcoms, The Brady Bunch and The Cosby Show. The network will pay homage to Mike, Carol and the whole Brady clan for the 40th anniversary of the launch of the series and will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Huxtables joining the TV fray with marathons of the most memorable episodes from both series, including the premiere episodes. Additionally, TVLand.com will honor the two series' with content such as extensive photo galleries, video clips of classic moments from each show, games and trivia.
    The network will honor the 40th anniversary of the day when this lovely lady met this fellow and they became The Brady Bunch almost 40 years to the day beginning Monday, September 21, 2009 through Friday from 7PM-9PM ET/PT and Saturday, September 26 & Sunday, September 27 from 10AM-6PM ET/PT. Tune in to some of the funniest episodes including the September 26, 1969 pilot featuring Mike and Carols wedding when Tiger destroys the cake and other classics like Cindy's missing Kitty Karry-All doll, Greg and Marcia competing for class president, Jan in a brunette wig, a family trip to the Grand Canyon and many more! TVLand.com gets in on the anniversary action with exclusive web content on The Brady Bunch microsite which includes photo galleries, games such as the "Marcia Brady Football Toss" and Brady trivia, as well as video clips of favorite Brady moments and beloved musical performances. Additionally, in partnership with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation's Archive of American Television, interviews with the cast and Brady creator Sherwood Schwartz will be featured. Fans will also be able to follow Barry "Greg" Williams, Susan "Cindy" Olsen, Geri Reischl ("Fake Jan" of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour), Wendy Winans (BradyWorld.com) and author and Brady expert Lisa Sutton on Twitter as they "tweet" throughout the anniversary marathon week. Sutton will also contribute to blog entries during the week to discuss subjects such as "Where are they now?" and "Brady Collectibles."
    The festivities honoring the Huxtables Silver 25th anniversary will air with a marathon of extra-special episodes of The Cosby Show highlighting memorable moments on Wednesday, September 23 from 9PM to Midnight ET/PT. From the pilot episode which originally premiered September 20, 1984 when Denise goes on a date with an older merchant marine -- much to Cliff's dismay -- to Theo's disastrous designer shirt knock-off home-sewn by his sister, to the unforgettable staircase family lip-synch performance of Ray Charles' classic, "Night Time Is The Right Time," for Grandma and Grandpa Huxtable's Anniversary, viewers are sure to have a smile on their face – especially after Rudy steals the show. The Cosby Show is also featured at TVLand.com with a Cliff Huxtable sweater gallery, favorite video clips from the show and Cosby trivia about the cast and the loveable characters they played.
    Congrats to our friend Wendy of BradyWorld.com on being featured on the Brady Bunch anniversary! As for The Cosby Show, WGN America will be doing a much better tribute this coming Sunday, as we mentioned.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    TBS and ABC Family Renew Original Sitcoms; Remembering Larry Gelbart

    The beer will continue flowing at Crowley's Tavern as TBS orders up a fourth season of its critically acclaimed original sitcom from Sony Pictures Television, My Boys. The series stars Jordana Spiro as PJ Franklin, a 20-something sports columnist in Chicago. TBS has lined up nine episodes for the new season, which is slated to launch in 2010.
    Co-starring in My Boys as PJ's mostly male group of close friends are Kyle Howard as boyfriend Bobby, Reid Scott as best friend Brendon, Michael Bunin as Kenny and Jamie Kaler as Mike. Kellee Stewart co-stars as Stephanie, a former schoolmate and the only female influence in PJ's life.
    The single camera sitcom premiered to critical praise on TBS in November 2006. When the series returned in summer 2007, it scored 22% growth among adults 18-34. Earlier this year, the show's third season garnered 11% growth among adults 18-34. The comedy is particularly strong among DVR users, delivering 72% growth among adults 18-34 and 52% growth among viewers when comparing Live to Live + 7 viewing for the third season.

    Meanwhile, ABC Family has ordered another season of ten episodes of original comedy 10 Things I Hate About You. The ensemble single camera sitcom based on the 1999 feature of the same name has performed well for ABC Family since its July 7 debut. The comedy is created and executive produced by Carter Covington and stars Lindsey Shaw, Meaghan Martin, Larry Miller and Ethan Peck. The series just finished its first season episode order (10 episodes) last Tuesday.
    However, the news was not as good for another original ABC Family series that premiered this summer, Ruby and the Rockits. ABC Family will not renew the multicamera sitcom that revolved around a pair of aging pop stars and their families, which starred Patrick Cassidy, David Cassidy and Alexa Vega and was executive produced by Shaun Cassidy. The series still has two episodes left to air in its only season episode order, with the series finale airing next Tuesday at 8:30PM.

    Larry Gelbart, the award-winning writer whose sly, sardonic wit helped create such hits as Broadway's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the film Tootsie, and of course television's M*A*S*H, died Friday. Gelbart died at his Beverly Hills home after a long battle with cancer. He is likely best remembered for the long-running TV show about Army doctors during the Korean War. Gelbart won an Emmy for M*A*S*H and was nominated for writing but quit during the show's fourth season, saying he was "totally worn out."
    Gelbart's Broadway show, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, written with Burt Shevelove, was a runaway hit. It was based loosely on the Roman plays of Plautus with songs by Stephen Sondheim.
    His films Oh, God! with George Burns as a philosophical deity, and Tootsie, with Dustin Hoffman as a cross-dressing actor, both brought him Academy Award nominations, and the HBO movie Barbarians at the Gate, about Wall Street chicanery, brought another Emmy.
    Gelbart's other television work was creating the short-lived CBS sitcom Roll Out! in 1973. It starred Stu Gilliam and Hilly Hicks, and featuring Ed Begley, Jr. and Garrett Morris, the series was set in France during World War II and was loosely based on the 1952 film Red Ball Express. Instead of Army medics, Roll Out! highlighted the pratfalls of the supply drivers of the 5050th Quartermaster Trucking Company of the U.S. Third Army's Red Ball Express, whose staff was mainly African American.
    Gelbart was also known for writing the first television pilot for Three's Company in 1976, which today is known as "The Larry Gelbart Pilot." The pilot never aired originally, but has been on DVD and aired on cable on TV Land. In 1980, Larry had another show that didn't last too long. The series was for NBC titled United States and starred Beau Bridges. It was a show about Richard and Libby Chapin and their two children Dylan and Nicky. The show differed from other sitcoms in that there might not be closure to problems after a frank discussion and the subjects discussed were not common to other sitcoms.
    In 1983, Larry came back to M*A*S*H in the spin-off AfterMASH. It only lasted two seasons and had the Korean War ended with Colonel Potter, Sergeant Klinger, and Father Mulcahy finding themselves together once again, this time at a veteran's hospital.
    In recent years Larry has been interviewed for TV Land Confidential, Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, Inside TV Land: The Dick Van Dyke Show, M*A*S*H: 30th Anniversary Reunion, and most recently Biography: Three's Company. He was also at the TV Land Awards earlier this year.
    Larry will certainly be missed and his great writing will live on forever in M*A*S*H and his other work. He was 81.

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Sunday, September 13, 2009

    Summer Week 16 Sitcom Ratings; Blog DVD Review: Private Practice - The Complete Second Season (9/15)

    Summer is winding down with just 8 days left until the start of the 2009-2010 season on Sept. 21. We will be back with our normal weekly report two weeks from today with the first four nights numbers and analysis...but today we still have our regular how the sitcoms did for the remainder of the summer! Here are our summer sitcom ratings for this past week:

    Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of August 30-Sept. 6)

    • Til Death (Fox) - A repeat at 7pm did only 1.17 million...but it was Labor Day weekend.
    • The Simpsons (Fox) - preempted for a movie.
    • King of the Hill (Fox) - preempted for a movie...one-hour series finale airs tonight.
    • Family Guy (Fox) - preempted for a movie.
    • American Dad! (Fox) - preempted for a movie.

    Summer Week 16 (September 7-13)

    Monday Sitcoms
    • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) 2 episodes - 4.46 million for a repeat airing in its normal 8pm slot. A repeat at 8:30pm did 4.95 million...both were down from recent weeks, Labor Day I guess.
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 9.02 million for a repeat on Labor Day, yet up from previous week I believe.
    • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 8.09 million for a repeat. 2.8 18-49 rating is excellent for repeats, and the best of the CBS sitcom block for this night.
    Tuesday Sitcoms

    • None.
    Wednesday Sitcoms

    • Old Christine (CBS) - preempted for Obama Address to Congress.
    • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - preempted for Obama Address to Congress.
    Thursday Sitcoms

    • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - preempted for NFL Opening Night game.
    • The Office (NBC) 2 episodes - preempted for NFL Opening Night game.
    • 30 Rock (NBC) - preempted for NFL Opening Night game.

    Friday Sitcoms

    • None.
    Saturday Sitcoms

    • None.
    Tonight you can catch the series finale of Fox's King of the Hill immediately following the NFL game followed by repeat of animated comedies from 9-10pm. Elsewhere ABC has a new Shark Tank at 9pm and the season finale of drama Defying Gravity at 10pm. CBS has 60 Minutes & Big Brother followed by the two-hour finale of There Goes the Neighborhood at 9pm, while NBC will have NFL Football. The CW has third airings of Vampire Diaries and Melrose Place pilots.



    It is time for a special Sunday edition of the "Blog DVD Review." This week we take a look at ABC Studios' Private Practice: The Complete Second Season. Private Practice is the hit spin-off series of Grey's Anatomy that has Addison (Kate Walsh) in Los Angeles to work at her best friend's 'private practice' instead of the big hospital surgeries. See my Blog DVD review of Private Practice: The Complete Second Season:

    Private Practice: The Complete Second Season (ABC Studios, $39.99) brings the second season of the Grey's Anatomy spin-off starring Kate Walsh on DVD with all 22 episodes! This season we experience all the challenges, changes, and second chanced found in this sizzling hit. This year Oceanside Wellness will have a competitor, as neo-netal surgeon Dr. Addison Montgomery will face the challenge of bringing the practice back on its feet after a rough patch.
    The series will return to its Thursdays at 10PM timeslot on ABC this coming season following Grey's Anatomy. The series stars Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Forbes Montgomery (Obstetrics & Gynecology, Genetic Counseling), Tim Daly as Dr. Pete Wilder (Complementary Medicine), Audra McDonald as Dr. Naomi Bennett (Endocrinology & Fertility), Paul Adelstein as Dr. Cooper Freedman (Pediatrics), KaDee Strickland as Dr. Charolotte King (Chief of Staff at the nearby hospital), Chris Lowell as Dell Parker (Receptionist/Nurse), with Taye Diggs as Dr. Sam Bennett (Internal Medicine), and Amy Brenneman as Dr. Violet Turner (Psychiatry). Among the recurring stars are David Sutcliffe, Brian Benben, Grant Show, Jayne Brook, Josh Hopkins, and Jay Harrington. Among the special guests this year are Amy Acker, Ernie Hudson, Bill Dee Williams, Liz Torres, Patty McCormack, Amanda Detmer, Idina Menzel and the cast of Grey's Anatomy in a cross-over.

    This second season was I believe a lot better than the first season when it was shortened by the strike and was trying to find itself. The series moved to Thursdays at 10pm in January after airing Wednesdays at 9pm prior to that. The third season premieres on October and I have seen the season premiere already and it leaves off where the second season leaves off. It is a great premiere you won't want to miss, for sure! Anyway, as for season two, some memorable episodes include the season premiere, "A Family Thing," where friendships are tested and secrets are revealed when Addison discovers that Naomi is concealing the practice's financial problems. In "Nothing to Talk About," Charlotte tries to woo Addison to St. Ambrose Hospital with promises of surgeries, as Addison and Kevin's relationship heats up. In "Tempting Faith," Addison receives a surprise visit from her brother and fellow surgeon, Archer (Grant Show), and his presence not only causes trouble for her, but for Naomi and Sam as well. In "Know When to Fold," Charlotte's rival practice, Pacific Wellcare, opens its doors and the competition with Oceanside Wellness begins, as Sam and Pete steal one of their clients, a favorite patient of Addison's goes to a Pacific Wellcare doctor for a second opinion. In "Homeward Bound," as Addison and Kevin struggle in their relationship, she finds herself attracted to Wyatt, the cocky doctor from rival Pacific Wellcare, while Violet seeks a way to carry on relationships with both Pete and Sheldon (Brian Benben), and Cooper grows closer to Charlotte when she experiences a family emergency. In "Acceptance," when Archer suffers a seizure, Addison and Naomi search for a cause and a cure and later call Derek for help. In "Ex-Life," Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Naomi try to discover why Sam has a sudden asthma attack while Addison helps Derek (Patrick Dempsey) save the life of his pregnant patient, in a cross-over episode with Grey's Anatomy. In "Finishing," Addison is attracted to a colleague at St. Ambrose Hospital who turns out to be more than she bargained for, while Pete and Sheldon team up to persuade Violet to take a paternity test, but she firmly resists their effort. In the outstanding season finale "Yours, Mine, and Ours," as Violet chooses between Pete and Sheldon, Addison faces her feelings for Noah as Morgan goes into labor, while Dell has concerns for his daughter when a drugged-out Heather returns to town and Naomi must decide if it's in her best interest to stay with Oceanside Wellness or start anew at Pacific Wellcare. And in the cliff-hanger, a grief-stricken patient poses a danger to Violet.

    The episodes run usually close to 43 minutes (unless it is an extended episode, which I will discuss a bit later)...unedited of course with all the great music intact. There are about 7 chapter stops per episode. The video is digitally mastered and is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This is from the 2008-09 season, so it had better be good. Now as I discussed in the Grey's Anatomy Season 5 DVD Review, only the crossover episodes that aired as its own episode are here. So on the Grey's DVD, if it was under a Grey's episode, it is on that DVD only and not on the Private Practice DVD. So we don't get the Grey's Anatomy episodes "Beat Your Heart Out" (in which we see Derek at the end of the episode receiving the phone call from Addison), "Before and After" (the first actual cross-over with the gang going to Seattle) and "An Honest Mistake" (as Addison hangs around in Seattle to help on a case). It would have been nice if we had those episodes as extras at least! "Before and After" at least should be here as that episode is really needed, as the Private episode "Ex-Life" needs that episode to make sense. Buy the Grey's Season 5 DVD, I guess.

    Packaging has an outer box that you can remove from the right then you'll see the digipak case inside, as last time. The outer box's cover has a nice big photo of Addison's face (with long hair) in the middle, with the seven remaining stars below that. The show logo is on the top in white wording and blue background. The back of the box has that blue background with information on the set and has some episodic screen shots from episodes that feature all eight of our stars. There is also a section detailing the bonus features box with technical specifications also. On the case itself, we have a nice cast photo at the beach on the front with the show logo and a nice blue background. The back of the case has the same style, with a episodic photos of Charlotte & Violet and one of Cooper. Opening the case, on the left side we see a pocket that holds inserts and on the pocket itself we have a disc-by-disc breakdown with episode titles and bonus features. There are two inserts in the left side pocket. We don't get an episode booklet this time, which is strange...but seems to be the case for all ABC DVDs this fall. Then there is an insert for other ABC Studios products and an insert for Blu-ray. On the right side of the case, we see an episodic photo of Sam and Naomi. Then we open the case again, in the middle we see discs one & two (overlapping, ugh) and the right side we see an episodic photo of Addison and Pete with Dell & Violet in the background. Opening the case on final time, we have a panel for discs three & four and on the far right we have a panel for discs five & six. Each disc matches the set's color scheme, that blue background and has nice character artwork. Disc one has episodes 1-4 with artwork of Addison & Pete. Disc two has episodes 5-8 and has artwork of Sam & Naomi. Disc three has episodes 9-12 and has artwork of Cooper & Violet. Disc four has episodes 13-16 and has artwork of Dell & Charlotte. Disc five has episodes 17-20 and has artwork of the entire cast. And finally disc six has episodes 21-22 and the bonus features with artwork of palm trees. When you remove the discs, the panels have nice artwork of different characters.

    The menu screen has clips in the background with background music from the series playing in the background audio wise. The options on the main menu are Play All, Episode Selection, Set Up, Bonus Features (disc six), and Sneak Peeks (disc six). But before the main menu screen comes on disc one, we get some auto sneak peeks of other DVDs: ABC on DVD, Grey's Anatomy Season 5, Desperate Housewives, The Proposal, and Blu-ray DVD. Sneak Peeks option is only found on disc six on the main menu and has previews of many titles like Ugly Betty, Life on Mars, Castle DVDs, and an ABC promo for Grey's Anatomy. Set Up section has the option of subtitles in English, French or Spanish and how you can register your DVD. The Episodes option gives us the episode number, title and a screenshot. Bonus Features option is only on disc six and it has all the extras listed. All of the sub-menus have different background music.

    Moving on the bonus features. We get two extended episodes with never before scenes! The extended episodes are "Crime and Punishment" (53:17) and "Nothing to Fear" (60:04). Wow, those are song long episodes! We also have an ABC Starter Kit (4:41) that recaps what has happened so far. A nice little fresher! This is listed in the episodes section on disc one.
    All of the other extras are on disc six! We have an interview featurette titled "Patient Confidentiality: Examining Season 2" (12:50). This is a very good detailed extra that gives us the inside scoop on season two. Interviewed are Shonda Rhimes & Betsy Beers, Amy Brenneman, Paul Adelstein, and Tim Daly. We have one more featurette titled "Life Through the Lens: The Pictures of Chris Lowell" (8:08). This shows us Chris' talent of photography and we also see some cool shots from his collection. He travels a lot as well. Interviewed are Chris Lowell, Tim Daly, KaDee Strickland, Paul Adelstein, Kate Walsh, and Taye Diggs.
    Then we have "Deleted Scenes" that are better organized and handled on this set. They are listed with episode titles so you know where they are from! We also have optional audio commentary on these deleted scenes from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers! So you'll know why they were removed from the actual airing. If my counting skills are correct, we have about 23 deleted scenes! They are from episodes "A Family Thing," "Equal & Opposite," "Nothing to Talk About," "Past Tense," "Let It Go," "Know When to Fold," World's Apart," "Contamination", "Homeward Bound," "Second Chances," "Wait and See," "Finishing," "What Women Want," and "What You Do for Love." Finally, we have some "Bloopers" (4:16)...yes, bloopers! See all the goofs and play on the set!

    I recommend this series and set...it is an ABC Studios DVD, so it is good and filled with special features. I think this series broke out after the crossover episodes and now it will have a full season behind Grey's Anatomy on Thursday nights. This season is miles better than the shortened first season and the characters have personalities and great stories and you won't want to miss this. As I mentioned, I saw the third season premiere in advance already and it is a very well written episode and leaves off where we last left off. It focuses on the hospital, but it is intense. You'll want to tune in for sure on Oct. 1, but you need to refresh yourself, catch up with these 22 season two episodes first! You won't need to have an illness or injury to watch this season on DVD, so no excuses to click on the link below to order today!

    -- Reviewed by Pavan
    (4.5/5 stars)

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

    Related links:
    SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
    Official Website
    Private Practice TV.com Page

    Labels: , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Saturday, September 12, 2009

    Scrubs in Syndication 5 Nights a Week - Scrub in & Win Giveaway

    We normally bring you a Blog DVD Review on Saturday. Today Pavan is away for a very good reason. He's taking part in the Walk 2009 benefiting the JFK Medical Center Foundation in Edison, NJ to raise money for BAPS Charities. He's been doing this since 1997 and has helped raise a lot of money for earthquake, hurricane, tsunami and 9/11 victims over the years. Please consider sponsoring him and making a donation for this great cause!

    Scrubs - 5 Days a Week!

    You can now catch Scrubs 5 times a week. Scrubs is an Emmy & Peabody Award winner. Series star Zach Braff has received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series and three Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of J.D. Tune into Scrubs every weeknight. Visit http://www.watchscrubs.com for your local tune in time!

    We have some great prizes for giveaway to visitors of Sitcoms Online:

    One (1) Grand Prize winner receives:
    Just what the Doctor ordered!
    Enter to win a $50 Visa Cash Card… ‘cause cash can cure anything!

    Four (4) runner-up winners receive a prize pack
    Scrubs Hat, T-shirt, Pen & Clip Board

    Scrubs Prize Pack

    Scrub in and enter our contest and win!

    Labels:

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Friday, September 11, 2009

    TV Land and Hallmark Make Changes Starting Sept. 14; Chris Does Well for Nick at Nite; John Ritter Anniversary

    TV Land and Hallmark Channel have both made some last minute schedule changes to its schedule starting this Monday (Sept. 14). TV Land's change is very minor, as it will add a third Sanford & Son in the morning at 10:30am replacing a Good Times airing. Good Times will remain 9am-10:30am, as Sanford & Son is now 10:30am-12pm. The previous changes that were set to happen on Sept. 14 for TV Land that we announced, will still happen.
    Meanwhile, it wouldn't be a week without a Hallmark Channel schedule change. It seems like every week we have a schedule change now. This schedule change is a bit more drastic than the usual changes. The changes start this Monday (Sept. 14) with Paid Programming replacing The Golden Girls in the 8am hour. Not to worry is that The Golden Girls will retain that hour by airing at 12pm replacing the start of a movie. Golden Girls will now air between 9am-1pm every weekday morning. Murder, She Wrote returns to the line-up airing at 1pm (replacing the continuation of the afternoon movie) and 2pm (replacing a Little House airing). Little House has been cut to 3-5pm. The final change is in the late night, with another hour of The Golden Girls replacing an hour of Cheers. So, Golden Girls late night is now 11pm-2am, while Cheers is cut to 2-3am. Looks like Hallmark Channel thanks you for being a friend!

    Nick at Nite's latest prime-time addition to its family-programming lineup, Everybody Hates Chris (Monday, Sept. 7, 10 p.m. ET/PT), scored 1.8 million total viewers in its Labor Day premiere. The series also drew double-digit gains with adults 18-49 (+25%) and women 18-49 (+20%) and ranked as the most-watched live action premiere for the net with adults 18-49 since the debut of Home Improvement (September 2007).
    The premiere scored 1.8 million total viewers (+8 %) and double-digit gains over last year's like time period with adults 18-49 (+25%) and women 18-49 (+20%), averaging a 0.5 A18-49 rating and 592,000 viewers A18-49 and a 0.6 W18-49 rating and 372,000 viewers W18-49.
    Chris has of course George Lopez as its lead-in, which is the #1 program on the network averaging well over 2 million viewers an airing.

    And finally, today is September 11...we of course remember the lives of all the victims of the 9/11 attack in 2001, but we also remember the tragic passing of John Ritter on this date in 2003. I cannot believe it has been 6 years to this day that we lost such a great actor and more importantly a wonderful human being. The best way you can remember John today is by of course watching his great work on TV or DVD, or by saying something nice and funny to someone, but also by donating to the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health. I've made my annual donation today, and I think we should all do the same. We miss you John!

    Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    Jamie Foxx Show Returns to BET; Premiere Ratings for ION's Durham County and Criminal Minds

    The Jamie Foxx Show last aired on BET in March 2008...and now it will return! Effective Monday, September 28, 2009, Jamie Foxx Show returns to BET's daytime line-up. The sitcom will air 9-11am and 3-4pm starting Sept. 28. We are not sure yet if the morning airings will be every week or just that week, as we only have the schedule through this month. Also, finally joining the weekday schedule is Everybody Hates Chris. Currently it is only airing on weekends, but that will change starting Sept. 28 when Chris will air weekdays 12-1pm and 5-6pm. This means The Game will move to 11am-12pm and 4-5pm. Chris will still air on weekends as well (Saturdays 2-3pm and Sundays approx. 12-1pm).
    The additions of Jamie Foxx and Everybody Hates Chris has removed Sister Sister, One on One and Smart Guy from the weekday line-up. However, Smart Guy will still air Saturdays 11am-12pm following a block of Proud Family from 9-11am. The Game airs Saturdays 12-2pm leading into Chris.
    As of now it seems Sister Sister and One on One are off the line-up totally. Sister Sister launched on BET this summer in July, while One on One has been airing since last October. Stay with us for more on if these shows will return, as we haven't seen the October schedule yet. Maybe they are just benched like Steve Harvey Show?

    ION Television launched their new series Durham County on Monday at 10pm and it did an OK 0.5/1 HH rating/share following the ION premiere of new acquisition Criminal Minds, which did a better 0.8/1 HH rating/share (we don't have total viewer numbers). However, Durham County's pilot did re-air at 11pm immediately following the premiere airing, and the pilot is encoring all this week at 11pm...so will that help next Monday? We'll have to see. Ratings for Tuesday and last night are not available yet for primetime, so we'll have to wait and see if Criminal Minds and Ghost Whisperer is helping ION every weekday. Tonight NCIS returns to the schedule after having like six weeks off.
    And stay tuned for ION October 2009 schedule...there will be a few days with time expansions. We'll announce that soon!

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Wednesday, September 09, 2009

    The N Changes Its Schedule; WGN America Teams with Michael Winslow Every Wednesday Night

    It looks like The N changed their mind for their schedule during the last few weeks before the name change to TeenNick. Full House will remain in the 8pm-10pm slot after all for the weeks of Sept. 14 and 21. In fact, there are a lot of changes to the schedule starting Sept. 14. Full House will no longer air in the 6am hour after this week, as Caitlin's Way takes over in the 6am hour, followed by an hour each of Radio Free Roscoe, True Jackson VP, The Assistants, and drama The Best Years. Then we have two hours each of Degrassi and One on One leading into an hour of True Jackson VP at 3pm. Then two-hour blocks will air for the rest of the day, starting at 4pm with What I Like About You, followed by Zoey 101, Full House, One on One, That '70s Show, What I Like About You, and more Full House. Weekends will be filled with a lot of Degrassi, and shows like True Jackson VP and Zoey 101.
    We still don't know yet what the TeenNick schedule will be starting Sept. 28. Will it be the same as when it was known as The N? We shall see. Stay with us! For now view the full schedule for the weeks of Sept. 14 and 21 on The N.

    As we mentioned on the WGN America Fall 2009 story, they will have an '80s night on Wednesdays starting TONIGHT. Tonight WGN America will debut "Way Back Wednesday with Winslow," a totally tubular 80's movie night. Each Wednesday, from 8-10pm ET, WGN America will air a 1980's themed movie and will kick off "Way Back Wednesday with Winslow" with Police Academy at 8pm ET.
    "Way Back Wednesday with Winslow" will be hosted each week by Michael Winslow who appeared in Police Academy 1-7 (as Sgt. Larvell "Motor Mouth" Jones), Gremlins and Spaceballs, and is known as the "Man of 10,000 sound effects." Winslow and his sound effects will be featured each week in the movie night's open, close, bumps and bridges.
    "Way Back Wednesday with Winslow" will feature rad 80's classics including: Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, National Lampoon's European Vacation, Risky Business, Sixteen Candles, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Poltergeist, Lethal Weapon, Uncle Buck, Mr. Mom, Arthur, The Great Outdoors and Spies Like Us.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Tuesday, September 08, 2009

    ABC Family October 2009 Has 8 Simple Rules Returning; Big Three To Air Obama Address on Wednesday

    After a year off from the schedule, family comedy 8 Simple Rules is returning to the ABC Family line-up in October 2009! However, it will only air on weekend mornings starting Saturday, October 3. The series will air Saturdays 10-11am and Sundays 11am-12pm, both replacing Grounded for Life, which is now off the schedule totally. There will be times when one or even both of the airings will be preempted due to a movie, especially on Sundays. There are no other schedule changes on ABC Family October 2009, so the same schedule as September otherwise.
    ABC Family last aired 8 Simple Rules for a month in the weekdays 3-4pm slot in September 2008 through early October 2008. Previously it was airing weekdays 6-7pm for well over a year. It's good to see the John Ritter/Katey Sagal comedy back on air, even if it is only weekends.
    Elsewhere on ABC Family October 2009, the annual 13 Nights of Halloween begins Monday, October 19. Among the items we will see are hit movies such as The Goonies, The Addams Family, The Mask, Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Haunted Mansion, Scooby-Doo, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Batman, Batman Returns and Batman Forever. We will also see Halloween episodes of America's Funniest Home Videos on Mondays at 10pm.
    Other ABC Family theatrical premiere for October are Coyote Ugly, Meet Joe Black, and Underdog.

    President Obama will be having his sixth primetime address tomorrow at 8pm ET/5pm PT. It will be a joint session to Congress on Health Care and the Republican response will follow. This will once again effect the big three networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC in primetime. Fox will pass on the address for the third straight time.
    ABC will air the Presidential Address to Congress live at 8pm ET/7pm CT, so for the east and central, an all-new Wipeout will shift to 9/8 central, preempting Crash Course. Primetime: Crime will remain at 10/9 central. For mountain time, the Presidential Address to Congress airs live at 6pm MT, so the all-new Wipeout remains in its normal time of 7pm MT, but they will air a repeat of Wipeout at 8pm MT since Crash Course is preempted in the east. For pacific time, it is essentially the same as mountain. The Presidential Address to Congress airs live at 5pm PT, so the all-new Wipeout remains in its normal time of 8pm PT, but like the mountain time zone they will air a repeat of Wipeout at 9pm PT since Crash Course is preempted in the east.
    For CBS they will air the Presidential Address to Congress live at 8pm ET/7pm CT, so for the east and central, they will just simply preempt scheduled repeats of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried in the 8/7 central hour. For mountain time, the Presidential Address to Congress airs live at 6pm MT, so nothing will be changed as repeats of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried will air in the 7pm MT hour as planned. For pacific time, it is essentially the same as mountain. The Presidential Address to Congress airs live at 5pm PT, so nothing will be changed as repeats of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried will air in the 8pm PT hour as planned. Repeats of Criminal Minds and CSI: NY will air at its normal times in all time zones.
    Finally, for NBC they will air the Presidential Address to Congress live at 8pm ET/7pm CT, so for the east and central, they will just simply preempt the scheduled repeat of America's Got Talent in the 8/7 central hour. The all-new episode will remain at 9/8 central. For mountain time, the Presidential Address to Congress airs live at 6pm MT, so nothing will be changed as the repeat of America's Got Talent will air in the 7pm MT hour as planned. For pacific time, it is essentially the same as mountain. The Presidential Address to Congress airs live at 5pm PT, so nothing will be changed as the repeat of America's Got Talent will air in the 8pm PT hour as planned. The all-new America's Got Talent airs still in its normal time in all time zones as well as a repeat of Law & Order: SVU.
    Fox will air its primetime schedule as planned, which will have the season premiere of the new fall edition of So You Think You Can Dance and the regular series premiere of Glee. The CW will launch America's Next Top Model with a two-hour premiere.

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Monday, September 07, 2009

    Happy Labor Day; TV Rebels: Desi Arnaz - More Than Just a Bongo Player

    Happy Labor Day everyone! Most of you are probably outdoors spending this last "unofficial" last day of summer with your family & friends, but for those of you who are in needs of some TV marathons...you've come to the right place as usual!
    We have mentioned many of these already, but it's a good reminder if you have forgotten! The Golden Girls will get the most play this holiday! Hallmark Channel will air a marathon from 8am-12am, while WE tv will air a marathon also from 1pm-7pm. BET is airing a marathon of The Game all-day today, while TBS goes to The Office this Labor Day from 4pm-8pm.
    Other notable marathons are for dramas...Criminal Minds on A&E, NCIS on USA Network, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family. Both TNT and SOAPnet have short stunts of Law & Order and One Tree Hill from 11am-5pm, while The N has what else...Degrassi all-day. And on network TV, ABC has a three episode block of Castle from 8-11pm, as the season premiere is two weeks from tonight. TV Land has a movie marathon from 9am-6:30pm.
    Reality wise we have Supernanny on style, 16 and Pregnant on MTV, Cops on G4, Catch 21 on GSN, and Dirty Jobs on Discovery. Hope you all find something!

    It's time for the return of TV Rebels. We originally had special permission to publish the first 6 essays on TV shows and actors that will be featured in the upcoming book TV Rebels: 100 People and Programs That Shaped the Medium by authors Lou Orfanella and Oscar De Los Santos...and then last year we got rights to 6 additional essays (for a total of 12!), so including today's three essays are left. Upcoming TV Rebel columns will be about Rod Serling and TV Dinners. The book is in the works and will be released in 2010...so stay tuned for that and look for a review of the book right here before it comes out!

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

    Desi Arnaz: More Than Just a Bongo Player
    by Lou Orfanella

    In 1950 when CBS was interested in bringing Lucille Ball's My Favorite Husband radio program to television Ball demanded that her real life husband Desi Arnaz play her husband. The network turned her down feeling that the viewing public would not accept Arnaz with his heavy accent as her husband. She held out, the network acquiesced and Mr. and Mrs. Desi Arnaz forever became Lucy and Ricky Ricardo in popular culture history.

    Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had been married since 1940. By 1950 she was doing her radio show and periodic big screen projects in a mostly unnoticed film career. Arnaz was travelling the country with his band and their marriage was strained. By insisting they do what would become I Love Lucy together Ball hoped to solidify their domestic life. "Richard Denning, Lucy's radio hubby, comments: 'She said it would help her marriage. Also the show. And, of course, she was right'" (Andrews 22).

    Ball was determined that Arnaz not be seen as playing second fiddle to her. The title, I Love Lucy, in fact was an effort to include Desi in the title and indeed since he is the "I" give him top billing. "The general impression seems to be that he was a lucky Cuban who was handsome, charming, played the bongo, and happened to be married to the funniest lady in the whole world. Well, this was all true, but there was a lot more to Desi than that. He may have only been that when he started, but he had an amazing ability for learning things and he was an astute businessman" (Davis 55).

    It was Arnaz' business acumen that changed the traditional method of producing situation comedies. Traditionally shows were broadcast live and "preserved" on low quality kinescopes, which were essentially copies made by aiming a movie camera at a television monitor and which were used to broadcast programs outside of the eastern time zone where sponsors were less likely to view them and challenge the quality. When production was set to begin on I Love Lucy for its premier season, Lucy and Desi lived on the west coast and had no intention of moving to New York where the show could be done live for what was then the largest audience, and the sponsors as well. Desi's solution was to film the show like a motion picture resulting in high quality prints. It would be an expensive proposition requiring three or four cameras, special sound and lighting techniques, and potentially multiple sets which would increase the costs. The network only agreed after the Arnazs agreed to a pay cut to help defray the production costs. "The burden of planning this new method fell heavily on Desi's shoulders. No one had attempted a situation comedy on film, shot before a live studio audience: he was plowing virginal fields" (Andrews 32).

    Arnaz was not only successful in changing the way sitcoms were filmed and preserved for the lucrative rerun syndication market, but was shrewd enough to acquire an ownership percentage in the series which he and Lucy parlayed into Desilu Production, at one time, the most successful in the business.

    Works Cited
    Andrews, Bart. "Lucy&Ricky&Fred&Ethel: The Story of I Love Lucy." New York: Dutton, 1976.
    Davis, Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll Jr. "Laughing with Lucy." Cincinnati Emmis, 2005.

    Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Sunday, September 06, 2009

    Blog DVD Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Complete Season 8

    We are preempting the weekly Summer ratings for today because final numbers for Wednesday and Thursday were not available to us yet, so we bring you a special edition of the blog DVD reviews on this special Labor Day weekend!
    Today we take a look at Lionsgate's Season 8 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Ninja Turtles is of course the hit animated series that caused kids and teens to go crazy for in the late '80s and early '90s. See my Blog DVD Review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Complete Season 8:

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Complete Season 8 (Lionsgate, $14.98) brings all 8 episodes from the series' eighth season on DVD. Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo, Raphael, Splinter, April are all back to battle Shredder, Krang and other villains! It's a heart-pounding, pizza-munching, right-outta-the-sewer ninja action on this eighth season that even has a new theme song!

    Starting with season four we started getting season releases. Season 4 set had 39 episodes and season 5 had 18 episodes. Season six had a total of 16 episodes on its set. And season seven had 27 episodes in four collectible "slices." Prior to that we were getting volume releases. Here is a recap: Volume 6 had the last 11 episodes from season three, plus the first episode of season four. The third season had a total of 47 episodes, so they decided to split up that season into volumes, so volumes 3, 4, 5, and 6 covered season three. For season 2 there were just 13 episodes, so Lionsgate released that for volume two...so yes, technically the first two volumes were season sets. Season one had only 5 episodes, so that was on Volume 1, with four bonus episodes from season ten actually. So do you have all of these? Hope you do dudes!

    The packaging has an outer box that holds a keepcase inside. It is very simple since it is a one-disc set that has just eight episodes. The cover art has the Turtles in battle mode with Leonardo featured and Michaelangelo, Donatello and Raphael in the background. The color scheme is blue. The show logo is on the top, with "The Complete Season 8" logo on the bottom right and the "produced by Fred Wolf Films" on the bottom. The back of the box has info on the series and set, with a yellow box listing all eight episode titles. Radical! We also have three small episodic photos, along with a nice shot of Leonardo. The cover and back of the case is exactly the same as the outer box. When we open the case, we have the disc on the right panel. There is no artwork or anything on the panels itself, it is just a plain black background. The disc art has Leonardo (same as the cover art), with a blue background. Bodacious!

    The menu screen is similar to season six. First, we get autotrailers before the main menu appears with trailers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men Wolverine, Super Capers movie, and more. Then after that is done, we come to the main menu screen. The theme song is playing in the background, and it does loop, and the photo is similar to the box art with each turtle. The theme song is actually the more popular older theme song rather than the new theme song that starts this season. The menu options are: Play All Episodes, Episode Selection, Trailers. Episode Selection takes us to a submenu with episode #, title, and a screenshot from the episode. Gnarly!

    The video is on par with the other volumes, with dust and debris here and there and on par with previous recent seasons. The audio is also on par with the previous releases, not bad...and listenable. It's not remastered, but this is the best we have and it beats our taped VHS versions. The episodes are around 23:30. We get 5 chapter stops per episode again. Sensei Master Splinter likes!

    Seasons four and five had extras, but then season six had absolutely nothing! Then for the 25th anniversary set, we had a lot of extras for season seven. We get nada here. This is the point in time when the Turtles episodes start getting a bit weird, so I guess we should not expect any more extras from here on out. Look out for the "Red Sky" in each episode!

    I still urge fans to buy this set even though there are no special features. There are only eight episodes, so you could finish this set in a day and if you have all seven seasons, then you need this to continue your collection. Only Seasons 9 and 10 remain to be released. Seasons eight through ten have 8 episodes each, so expect one-disc sets from here on out, just like this season eight set. Four of the eight episodes of season ten was released on the Volume 1 DVD, the very first DVD...but I'm sure they will release all eight of those will be released when that set comes out.
    Anyway, the tone of the show became darker, the art style changed significantly...but it's still our Turtles and you need to get this set dudes! Cowabunga!

    -- 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
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV.com Page
    Official Website

    Labels:

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Saturday, September 05, 2009

    Blog DVD Review: Heroes - Season 3 (9/1)

    It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the weekly Blog DVD Reviews. This week we take a look at Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Heroes - Season 3. Villains will rise. Heroes will fall. Destiny will be redefined. See my Blog DVD review of Heroes - Season 3:

    Heroes - Season 3

    Heroes: Season 3 (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, $59.98)

    Experience all the explosive action and shocking twists as Heroes - Season 3 comes to DVD! Rediscover the phenomenon in this six-disc set that includes all 25 suspenseful episodes from the third season's volumes, Villains and Fugitives. Plus, go behind the secenes with the show's writers, stars and artists as you explore hours of exclusive and revealing bonus features.

    Season 3 began with a two-hour event on September 22, 2008. The first 13 episodes were part of the Villains volume, while episodes 14-25 were the Fugitives volume. Cristine Rose, who portrays Angela Petrelli, became a main character this season after being a recurring character in the first two seasons. New characters included Flint Gordon, Jr. (played by Blake Shields), Puppet Master (Eric Doyle), The Speedster/Daphne Millbrook (Brea Grant) and Usutu (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine). Ali Larter played the new character Tracy Strauss, Niki's triplet sister with the power to freeze objects with a touch.

    The packaging is very stylish and similar to the previous seasons. The holofoil outer slip cover has a photo of 11 of the characters with Sylar, Hiro and Claire being in the foreground. An embossed Heroes title logo is at the top. On the back of the slip cover, there is a short synopsis of the set and a listing of the special features. The main digipak packaging slides out from the left of the outer slip cover. The Heroes logo is on the cover. Episode summaries and the special features are listed for discs four-six on the back cover. Opening the digipak, there are listings for discs one-three. There are photos of the cast and drawings underneath the tray which holds the discs. The plastic clips that held discs 1, 3 and 5 were broken on my set so the discs slide around. The discs have a red background and the Heroes logo on them.

    The anamorphic widescreen menus are attractive and easy to navigate. The main menu opens with the familiar Earth spinning Heroes logo. That leads to about a minutes worth of video clips in circles with some great instrumental music by Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman playing in the background. There are options for Play All, Chapter Index, Bonus Materials and Set Up. The Chapter Index menu features still images from the episodes where you can play the episode by itself, with commentary or view the deleted scenes. The Bonus Materials have a still image of a cast member and another music cue. The Set Up menus feature different photos of the cast. You can choose the audio commentaries from here. Subtitles are available in English SDH, Espanol and Francais. Closed captioninig is not available. Chapter stops are available but no scene selection menus are offered. When you first insert disc 1, there is a series of previews (5:56) for some other Universal tv shows and movies which you can play or skip.

    Moving on to the video and audio, the quality is excellent. The episodes are presented in their original 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colors are vibrant and clean. The picture is very sharp and detailed. Some of the night time scenes can look a little grainy, but that can be expected. Overall, the lighting is excellent and the outdoor scenes are beautifully shot. All of the episodes appear to be unedited, with running times of 41-43 minutes in length. They have the "Previously On" Heroes openings as originally broadcast. The overall running time of the set is approximately 17 hours, 53 minutes. The audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track and sounds great. I didn't notice any major problems on the episodes I've watched so far. The dialogue is at a good volume and easy to understand. I love the music score by Wendy Melvoin & Lisa Coleman and other sound effects that are used in the episodes. Subtitles are available in English, French and spanish. The bonus features are not rated and not all are subtitled.

    Over 20 hours of bonus features are included. Audio commentaries by the cast and crew are available on all 25 episodes. 36 deleted scenes from 15 episodes are included and run approximately 36 minutes. It would have been interesting to have commentary on these to learn why these scenes were cut. A nice mixture of featurettes are spread out over the discs. Here is the breakdown by disc:

    Disc One
    --------
    Deleted Scenes
    The Second Coming (:36) - Sylar Telekinetically Moves Mr. Muggles
    The Buttefly Effect (:14) - Suresh Lifts Heavy Object
    One of Use, One of Them (3 Scenes) - Micah at Funeral (:28), Original Movie Theatre Scene (1:13), Claire Gets Primatech Box (:21)
    I Am Become Death (5 Scenes) - Nathan Comes to Angela's Office (1:41), Daphne and Matt Argue (1:51), Sylar Can't Save Son (1:57), Maya and Suresh Go Out (1:28), Linderman Appears (1:35)

    The Super Powers of Heroes (8:02) - Stunt Coordinator Tim Gilbert gives insight to designing the hard hitting stunts of Heroes. He talks about how various sequences were done like the airplane scene, Suresh's bug-like power, the black hole vortex and Claire falling out of the iwndow. He also talks a little about the cast and working on the show in general. Stunt Utility Lance Gilbert is also briefly interviewed.

    Audio Commentaries
    The Second Coming - Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring, Executive Producer/Episode Director Allan Arkush and Series Star Adrian Pasdar
    The Buttefly Effect - Executive Producer/Director Greg Beeman and Series Stars James Kyson Lee & Brea Grant
    One of Us, One of Them - Series Stars Cristine Rose & Milo Ventimaglia
    I Am Become Death - Series Stars Greg Grunberg & Jamie Hector

    Disc Two
    --------
    Deleted Scenes
    Angela and Monsters (3 Scenes) - Nathan Tells Tracy About Dr. Zimmerman (1:30), Linderman Makes Knox An Offer He Can't Refuse (:44), Angela Awakens (:12)
    Dying of the Light (3 Scenes) - Suresh About to Operate on Tracy and Nathan (1:35), Claire and Mom Talk (1:04), Ando and Hiro Wake Up in Usutu's Camp (:59)
    Villains (5 Scenes) - Matt Wants Knox to Quit Gang (:59), Knox Asks to Sit Out of Robbery (1:32), Knox Is Seen Talking to Matt (1:28), Knox Kills Gang Leader (1:52), Matt Stops Knox in Car (:51)

    Completing the Scene (7:54) - An overall look at the visual style of Heroes Season Three is discussed, including the tricks used on set and in post-production. This featurette includes interviews with Lead Visual Effects Supervisor Eric Grenaudier, Supervising Producer Mark Spatny, Visual Effects Supervisor Jason Sperling, 3D Artist Mike Enriquez, Executive Producer/Director Allan Arkush, Compositing Supervisor Supervisor Chris Martin, Compositor Ryan Wieber, 3D Animator Daniel Kumiega, 3D Animator Michael Cook and Compositor Meliza Ferman. They talk about how every episode is compltely different, how they conceptualize visuals at meetings, how they did the scene of Claire shooting the bullet, the cold snap episode with ice, the invisible effects, the new abilities of the Heroes and the Tokyo earthquake destruction scene.

    Audio Commentaries
    Angels and Monsters - Episode Director Anthony Hemingway and Co-Executive Producers Adam Armus & Kay Foster
    Dying of the Light - Series Star Sendhil Ramamurthy and Co-Writers Christopher Zatta and Chuck Kim
    Eris Quod Sum - Director of Photography Charlie Lieberman, Editor Scott Boyd and Series Star Jason Kyson Lee
    Villains - Executive Prdoucer/Episode Director Allan Arkush and Series Star Jack Coleman

    Disc Three
    ----------
    Deleted Scenes
    It's Coming - Tracy Tells Nathan About Her Connection to Pineheart (:36)
    The Eclipse: Part I - Nathan Must Find the Haitian to Stop His Father (1:17)
    Our Father (4 Scenes) - Arthur Reads Suresh's Mind (:57), Nathan Disturbed (:45), Arthur takes Molly's Ability (:33), Angela and HRD Find Claire (:25)

    The Prop Box (5:37) - Introduction to the "Gold Room" where all of the props used for Heroes are stored. Relics from the first season to the present are shown and the methods of a prop master are revealed. Assistant Set Prop Master James Clark talks about his job and gives a tour of the Gold Room. I think it's very interesting how they hold on to everything in case they need to re-use it in a later episode. Maps by Property Assistant Reba Rosenthal, paintings by Tim Sale and various swords are among the many props shown.

    Tim Sale Gallery of Screen Art (1:16) - Various paintings are shown with a music cue playing in the background.

    Pineheart Commercial (:41) - Pinehearst is a biotechnology company with connections to evolved humans.

    Audio Commentaries
    It's Coming - Series Star Blake Shields and Director of Photography Charlie Lieberman
    The Eclipse: Part I - Executive Producers Episode Director Greg Beeman and Series Star Sendhil Ramamurthy
    The Eclipse: Part II - Series Stars Cristine Rose & Greg Grunberg
    Our Father - Series Stars Masi Oka & Brea Grant

    Disc Four
    ---------
    Deleted Scenes
    Trust and Blood (2 Scenes) - Suresh and Matt Buy Weapons (:19), Ando and Hiro Are Going to India (:59)

    Alternate Stories
    Heroes: Going Postal (10:12 - 3 Chapters) - The trilogy of online-only videos introduces Echo DeMille, a seemingly ordinary mailman with an extraordinary ability.
    Nowhere Man (18:11 - 4 Chapters) - This webseries focuses on the life of Eric Doyle.

    Audio Commentaries
    Dual - Series Star Zachary Quinto and Special Effects Supervisor Gary D'Amico
    A Clear and Present Danger - Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring and Series Stars Milo Ventimiglia & Greg Yaitanes
    Trust and Blood - Executive Producer/Episode Director Allan Arkush and Writer Mark Verheiden
    Building 26 - Art Director Sandy Getzler and Production Designer Ruth Ammon

    Disc Five
    ---------
    Deleted Scene
    Exposed - HRG Comes Up With Plan (:23)

    Genetics of a Scene (20:31) - An ongoing service in which the episode's director and cast give an in-depth look at the production process.
    Exploring Claire's Mind (5:34) - This segment reveals the graphic scene of the Heroes Season Three opener. Optic Nerve demonstrates the props designed for the scene "Stylar steals Claire's powers." Executive Producer/Director Allan Arkush, Special Makeup Effects Artist Glenn Hetrick, Special Makeup Effects Artist Rich Mayberry and Special Makeup Effects Artist Mark Vinielle. Some pretty graphic footage of the open brain gag scene, the body cast on Glenn and Claire's open heart scene are shown.
    Speedster Steals the Formula (6:12) - Allan Arkush highlights directing the Speedsters' speed effects and the time stopping qualities of Hiro. The segment features on-set footage of Daphne and Hiro and how their powers collide. Executive Producer/Director Allan Arkush and Compositing Editor Chris Martin are interviewed. They talk about how a new character was brought in to play off Hiro and Ando, how Brea Grant was cast, developing her power and how they did the frozen in time effects.
    Throwing Thoughts (3:54) - A quick, fun look at the shooting style used to create a specific scene from Episode 322. Director Jeannot Szwarc reveals the camera tricks used to create the visual look when Matt thinks for the villain Danko. Greg Grunberg, Director Jeannot Szwarc and Cinematographed Nate Goodman are interviewed.
    Lights, Camera, Beeman (4:54) - This fast pace segment features George Beeman working on set. Fun on-set footage is used to demonstrate the sometimes-frantic shooting schedule of Heroes. It focuses on episode 325 - "An Invisible Thread" and shows scenes 7, 10 and 13.

    The Writers' Forum - Creator Forum (13:25) - Creator Tim Kring and selected writers/producers discuss the story-lines of Season 3, outling inspirations for character developments, story polts and the changes that took place along the way. Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring, Writer/Co-Executive Producer Adam Armus and Writer/Supervising Producer Aron Eli Coleite participate in this sit-down discussion. They talk about the big ideas of the season, the good vs. evil and how the characters decide which side, Peter vs. Sylar, Sylar and his father, introducing Arthur Petrelli, actor Robert Forster and Arthur's ability, the Villains and Fugitives volumes and wrapping up the season.

    Audio Commentaries
    Cold Wars - Series Stars Jack Coleman & Sendhil Ramamurthy
    Exposed - Series Stars Milo Ventimiglia & Greg Grunberg
    Shades of Gray - Series Star David H. LAwrence XVII and Script Coordinator Oliver Grigsby
    Cold Snap - Writer Bryan Fuller and Series Star Masi Oka

    Deleted Scenes
    Into Asylum (3 Scenes) - Micah Questions HRG's Motives (1:50), Peter Flies Into Church (:40), Nathan and Claire Battle Frat Boys (:45)
    Turn and Face the Strange (2 Scenes) - Hiro and Ando Fix the Car (:47), Suresh Asks Landlord About His Father (1:00)
    I Am Sylar - Hiro and Ando Discuss Building 26 (:56)

    Audio Commentaries
    Into Asylum - Director of Photography Nate Goodman and Co-Producer Joe Pokaski
    Turn and Face the Strange - Writers Mark Verheiden & Rob Fresco
    1961 - Editor Jon Koslowsky and Director Adam Kane
    I Am Sylar - Director of Photography Nate Goodman and Co-Executive Producers Kay Foster & Adam Armus
    An Invisible Thread - Director of Photography Charlie Liberman and Editor Donn Aron

    Final Comments: After a disappointing strike-shortened season, Heroes came back with a much stronger effort in season three. Having a full season to continue develop the characters and storylines was a big plus. The second volume of the season, Fugitives, was a bit better as there were fewer characters and plotlines to follow. While the show may have not captured the magic of the first season, there is still a lot I like about the show. Visually the show has always looked great. The visual and special effects are great. There is a lot of action and stunts. I'm a big fan of the music by Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman. The main cast members, recurring characters and guest stars are strong.

    Overall, this is another excellent set that die-hard and new fans of the show will be sure to enjoy. If you enjoy listening to commentaries, you will love this set. There is a nice mix of cast and crew who participate on them. It's a little disappointing that the beauties Hayden Panettiere and Ali Larter weren't involved on any of them. The deleted scenes and alternate stories/online webisodes are fun to see for the first time. I haven't kept up with what's available on nbc.com . The featurettes are at a good length and give some interesting insight on how the episodes are made. I'm hoping that season four will continue in the direction of the last part of season three. Tune in for the two-hour fourth season premiere on Monday, September 21 on NBC!

    -- Reviewed by Todd
    (4.5/5 stars)

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

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0024FAD9C/ref=nosim/happydaysonline5-20

    Also available on Blu-ray

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

    Labels: ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Friday, September 04, 2009

    TV One October (Fall) 2009 Schedule; Yet More Hallmark Changes

    As we predicted on the TV One September 2009 schedule, the fall schedule changes will happen on TV One in October 2009! Beginning on Monday October 5, 2009, as the seasons change, the TV One fall schedule settles into place! Divorce Court starts the weekday schedule off from 6-7am. Then we have original programming from 7am-12pm with programs like Sharp Talk, TV One on One, and Comics Unleashed. At 12pm the series programming starts with short-lived comedies in the 12pm hour with the '90s comedy Where I Live followed by '70s comedy That's My Mama at 12:30pm. Amen now moves to 1pm being paired with the short-lived comedy Life Family. At 2pm we get back-to-back episodes of Half & Half. NY Undercover returns to the line-up airing weekdays at 3pm, while Divorce Court's afternoon airings move to the 4pm hour. In the 5pm hour will now be TV One original TV One Access. Returning to the regular schedule are The Jeffersons airing back-to-back in the 6pm hour. TV One staples Martin and Good Times now are airing in the 7pm hour. In primetime, we get blocks and movies. Mondays from 8-11pm will be Martin, Tuesdays will be Good Times, Wednesdays will be a movie followed by an hour of The Jeffersons at 10, Thursdays it is Sanford & Son and Fridays are more movies. At 11pm, Martin and Sanford & Son remain, as will Living Single and Eve in the 12am hour. At 1am it is a movie and 3am-5am will be abbreviated encores of the primetime marathon. And finally at 5am we get more original programming encores.
    Saturday morning sitcoms will change a bit. All About the Andersons, Parent'hood and South Central will leave, as Life Family, The Hughleys, and The Jeffersons are now in. Airing from 6am-12pm are back-to-back episodes of Like Family, The Hughleys, All of Us, Good Times, The Jeffersons and Sanford & Son.
    Moving on to stunts and marathons, on Saturday, October 24 beginning at 12 Noon, the hunks just keep coming as TV One presents the "Hottest Hunks" Sitcom Marathon showcasing episodes of favorite TV One sitcoms including All of Us, Half & Half, Eve, and Living Single that feature guest appearances by some of the hottest hunks in Hollywood including Boris Kodjoe, Will Smith, DMX, Tyrese Gibson, Tyson Beckford, Shemar Moore, Ginuwine, Eric Benet, and Blair Underwood.
    On Saturday, October 31 beginning at 12 Noon, the ghouls and goblins are upon us as Halloween comes to TV One in the form of the TV One "Hallo-Scream" Marathon. TV One showcases Halloween-themed episodes of TV One sitcoms The Jeffersons, Martin, Living Single, Sanford & Son, and The Hughleys.

    Effective Tuesday, Little House on the Prairie returns to the Hallmark Channel line-up airing weekdays from 2-5pm, replacing 7th Heaven, which is now gone again. Can they make up their mind already? That's not all the changes. Weekends starting Oct. 3 will see the acquistion of Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures airing Saturdays 6-9am and Sundays 8am-10am replacing Golden Girls. Golden Girls morning airings on weekends will move to Saturdays 9am-11am and Sundays 10am-11am. It will still air weekends 1-3am as well. And effective Monday, October 26, the Mon-Thurs 9-11pm airings of Touched by an Angel will be replaced by a movie. Touched will remain at 8pm weekdays, though. That's still over 7 weeks away, so don't worry yet Touched fans! Finally, there will be an I Love Lucy marathon on Sunday, Oct. 4 from 11am-3am. Lucy is not on the regular schedule right now, but October is a special month for Lucy since it launced in 1951 in that month. So I guess you can say Hallmark is celebrating the 58th birthday for Lucy.
    As Hallmark keeps changing the schedule, stay with us for updates!

    Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Thursday, September 03, 2009

    Me-TV and Me-Too Chicago Fall 2009 Schedules; Fresh Prince on The N for Last Time

    Chicago viewers get more luckier! This fall for Me-TV Chicago and Me-Too Chicago, it's all about comedy on Me-TV and drama on Me-Too! Now you can catch all of your favorite memorable comedies in one place on Me-TV. Joining Me-TV's classic lineup are Frasier, Scrubs, and Bernie Mac, along side returning favorites, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Munsters, The Honeymooners, Cosby Show, Leave it to Beaver, Bewitched, Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island, and All in The Family. Me-TV has even more laughs in store for you on the rest of the schedule. On Saturdays, catch a new 7-hour Me-TV marathon featuring a different theme every week from 1pm-7pm CT. And on Sundays in primetime it is classic African American comedies in Diff'rent Strokes, Amen, Sanford & Son, The Jeffersons, Good Times, and That's My Mama starting at 9pm.
    View the FULL Me-TV Fall 2009 schedule that begins Monday, Sept. 14.
    This Fall, Me-Too (WMEU) is all drama! Classic favorites like Perry Mason, The Rockford Files, and Starsky & Hutch are moving to Me-Too, joining new arrival, Star Trek: The Next Generation. Returning to the Fall schedule are a long list of favorites, including Bonanza, The A-Team, The Adventures of Superman, and much more. If you enjoyed the summer Me-Too marathons, please tune in to sister station Me-TV's new Saturday marathons. Me-Too would like to thank all of the viewers that made their summer marathons a success! As for the new weekend schedule, you'll see Batman, Friday the 13th, T.J. Hooker and more.
    View the FULL Me-Too Fall 2009 schedule that begins Monday, Sept. 14.

    Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is replacing Full House on The N from 10pm-12am tonight (Thursday) and tomorrow night (Friday) only. This will likely be the last airings of Fresh Prince on the network, as by Sept. 14 it will be on ABC Family and Disney XD weekday evenings. Fresh Prince has already left Nick at Nite since last week.
    Full House is still airing 8pm-10pm these nights that Fresh airs 10pm-12am and also 8pm-12am from Sept. 7-11. For that week, Full House was originally slated for 8pm-10pm only with Degrassi 10p-12am, so it has been extended a bit. The series airs regularly 6-7am starting Sept. 7.
    In other The N news, Nick at Nite's original series Glenn Martin, DDS will air again on The N all next week (Sept. 7-11) at 2am. Stay with us for the schedule when The N turns into TeenNick on Sept. 28!

    Labels: , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Wednesday, September 02, 2009

    AmericanLife Network October 2009 Adds Sue Thomas; Charles Gibson to Retire from ABC News in January, Diane Sawyer To Take Over

    The AmericanLife Network will add one new show to its line-up in October 2009. We gave you their September line-up, now October will be similar but with one new show added. AmericanLife has acquired reruns of Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye to its October 2009 line-up. The series will air weeknights at 6:00pm starting October 1, replacing the second hour of The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart. Both of those will still remain in the 5pm hour, though. This is the second cable network that has acquired the series. A few weeks back, we told you that Gospel Music Channel has acquired the series to air weekdays at 4pm starting Sept. 14.
    Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye loosely based on the true experiences of the real Sue Thomas, a deaf woman worked for the FBI doing undercover surveillance with reading lips. It aired for four season on PAX TV (now known as ION Television). Deanne Bray starred as Sue Thomas. Sue Thomas is the second old PAX series to air on AmericanLife, as they air Chicken Soup for the Soul on weekends at 6:00pm.

    Charles Gibson, anchor of ABC's World News, has announced he will step down as anchor in January for retirement. Diane Sawyer will take over for Gibson in January. Gibson has been anchor since June 2006. The following is an email he sent to the World News staff:
    I have always been taught you should never bury the lead -- so I write to tell you that I have told David Westin I want to step down as anchor of World News, and retire from full time employment at ABC News.
    It has not been an easy decision to make. This has been my professional home for almost 35 years. And I love this news department, and all who work in it, to the depths of my soul.
    I have received much comment, and quite a few emails and letters referring to the signoff Eddie Pinder convinced me to use -- wishing that everyone has had a good day. But the proudest part for me has been saying "...for all of us at ABC News...", since those words signify in my mind that I have been in a position to speak for an entire news department that I consider second to none.
    It had been my intention to step down from my job at Good Morning America in 2007 but with Peter's illness, Bob's injuries, and Elizabeth's pregnancy, the job at World News came open in May of 2006, and David asked me to step in as anchor. It was an honor to do so. The program is now operating at a very accelerated, but steady, cruising speed, and I think it is an opportune time for a transition -- both for the broadcast and for me. Life is dynamic; it is not static.
    I have told David I would like to continue in some capacity contributing occasionally to ABC News. He has been receptive to the idea -- and we will be discussing what that role might be.
    Most importantly, my heart is full of gratitude for those with whom I have had the privilege to work as a correspondent, as a host at Good Morning America, at Special Events, and now as anchor at World News.
    I'll be anchoring World News through December and will have a chance to thank many of you personally. In the meantime let's get back to the news...
    See also David Westin's email to the ABC News staff.

    Labels: , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

    Tuesday, September 01, 2009

    Network TV Fall Preview Specials for 2009; Scooby-Doo Turns 40!

    Pretty soon it will be that time of year again...the start of the new TV season. So let's get ready for that with annual network preview specials to inform us on what is new and returning! See our Fall 2008 preview from last year.

    First up we will look at ABC. ABC's Fall 2009 preview special has been titled ABC Fall Preview Open House. It will premiere this weekend on local ABC affiliates (NY: WABC Sun Sept. 6 at 2:30pm). It can be aired between September 5-20, 2009 (affiliate exclusive clearance window is September 5-6, then it will air on ABC cable networks after Sept. 6). The fall preview special is about ABC's new Wednesday night comedies and the most talked about new drama this season, Flash Forward. The special will also include material about the two new 10pm dramas: Eastwick and The Forgotten as well as the returning hit drama, Castle. This fall preview special will introduce viewers to character descriptions, storylines and recaps of last season and provide a sneak peek at the new season ahead! ABC: Start here! The special will be available on abc.com soon as well, if you miss it on your local ABC station or an ABC-owned cable network.
    The CBS Fall 2009 preview special, simply titled CBS Fall Preview will be a primetime special previewing CBS's new fall lineup, to be hosted by the stars of the hit comedy series How I Met Your Mother, will be broadcast tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 2 from 8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The special will feature sneak peeks of the five new additions to CBS's primetime schedule this fall: the drama series NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife, Three Rivers, and Medium and the comedy series Accidentally on Purpose. Hosts Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan and Cobie Smulders exchange humorous banter throughout the special, which was taped on their series' sets, in the midst of introducing various video previews. They also utilize comical means to drive home the point that How I Met Your Mother is moving to 8:00 PM on Mondays.
    The NBC Fall 2009 preview special (titled The NBC Primetime Preview) has aired on their cable owned networks & local NBC affiliates (in NY on WNBC Sun Sept. 6 at 12:30pm) and is also available online on nbc.com, but as of now it will air on NBC itself. Joel McHale, star of the all-new NBC Thursday comedy Community, hosts a special preview of NBC's new upcoming season. The lively 30-minute cavalcade will feature exclusive, behind-the-scenes views to be delivered across a wide gamut of NBC Universal media platforms beginning August 8 through September 27. The program will run an estimated 306 times over broadcast and cable platforms. The annual Fall program will be offered to NBC's 232 television stations (check local listings) as well as other channel entities such as USA, Syfy, Bravo, UniHD, Chiller, mun2, MSNBC, CNBC, Oxygen, Sleuth, NBC2Go, on-demand and broadband (search "NBC Fall Preview" on TVGuide.com). NBC stations can also run it on their websites while NBC.com is also running it as well. In addition, the program will be screened on selected American Airlines flights (estimated to be shown on approximately 11,000 flights). Watch now online.
    The Fox Fall 2009 preview special has already started airing on local Fox affiliates (in NY WNYW Sat Sept. 5 at 3pm). It will only run on local Fox affiliates this year and not on Fox in primetime. Actress Jane Lynch hosts a comprehensive look at the upcoming shows on Fox's fall schedule, including returning favorites like House and American Idol, new shows like Brothers, and the highly acclaimed comedy series Glee.
    The CW aired its Fall 2009 TV preview special called The CW Fall 2009 Preview Special this past Sunday (Aug. 30) at 6:30pm, but your local CW affiliates (in NY WPIX Sun Sept. 6 at 1pm) are still airing encores this week...so be on the look out (search "CW Fall Preview" on TVGuide.com)! From the set of The CW's new drama, Melrose Place, returning stars Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro gives viewers a sneak peek into the world of vixens, vampires, models and more. New series featured include Melrose Place, The Vampire Diaries, The Beautiful Life and the midseason drama, Life UneXpected.
    In addition, The TV Guide Network will run the Fox and CW primetime fall preview specials starting Sept. 14 at 7:30pm with Fox on Monday and The CW on Tuesday.

    Looking quite remarkable for his age in dog-years (approx. 280!), Scooby-Doo will celebrate his 40th Birthday with a two-day Labor Day Weekend marathon on Boomerang. Saturday and Sunday will each feature seven hours of classic Scooby-Doo episodes from two of the earliest animated series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? (1969) and The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972).
    When Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? premiered on broadcast television (CBS) Saturday morning, Sept. 13, 1969, television audiences took their first journey on what would become literally hundreds of mystery-solving comedy capers featuring a teenage gang of amateur detectives and their cowardly, yet beloved great Dane. Today, having recruited generations of fans young and old across the globe, Scooby-Doo will celebrate his milestone 40th birthday over Labor Day Weekend on the commercial-free Boomerang network with two seven-hour marathons, 2-9 p.m. (ET), Saturday, Sept. 5 and Sunday, Sept. 6, as we mentioned on the Boomerang Fall 2009 schedule.
    To commemorate the special event, Scooby and the gang--Freddy, Daphne, Velma and Shaggy--on Saturday will solve 17 classic supernatural mysteries, including their very first from the original premiere episode, "What a Night for a Knight." Then on Sunday, Boomerang will devote another seven-hour marathon, 2-9 p.m., to showcase The New Scooby-Doo Movies, the second series in the Scooby-Doo canon and the only series to feature hour-long episodes. The hallmark of this series is its animated celebrity guests, and during the special presentation, Scooby and the gang meet the casts of other great Hanna-Barbera cartoons such as Josie and the Pussycats and the Harlem Globetrotters.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook