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Week 31 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

Week 31 TV Ratings (first four nights, Mon-Thurs finals):

Households: #1. Fox 7.8/12.5 rating/share; #2. CBS 6.3/10.3; #3. ABC 5.8/9.5; #4. NBC 3.8/6.2; #5. The CW 1.1/1.8
Total Viewers: #1. Fox 13.42 million; #2. CBS 9.92 million; #3. ABC 8.91 million; #4. NBC 5.77 million; #5. The CW 1.67 million.
Adults 18-49: #1. Fox 4.5/12.7 rating/share; #2. CBS 2.5/7.0; #3. ABC 2.5/7.0; #4. NBC 2.1/5.9; #5. The CW 0.8/2.2

Week 31 (April 19-25) Analysis: For week 31, thus far through the first four nights it is a three-network race once again but Fox has a comfortable lead in all categories...but can they hang on? So far through the first four night, Fox is first across the board, with CBS second in HH/viewers. 2nd in 18-49 is a tie between CBS and ABC for the second straight week. ABC is third in HH/viewers. NBC is in fourth across the board again. Last week, week 30, CBS took home first place in HH/viewers, but couldn't squeak by Fox in 18-49 again. ABC squeaked past Fox for second in HH/viewers. ABC was third in 18-49, but only .1 off from 2nd. Fox was third in HH/viewers and NBC was a clear fourth in all categories.

On Monday it was ABC with a big win again with Dancing with the Stars season ten continuing to pull in big ratings. ABC aired a 90-minute edition of Dancing with the Stars this time and it did 21.07 million and a 4.8 18-49 rating, up from previous week in viewers when it was 2-hours. Dancing is once again the top show of the week in viewers beating Idol! Since this was only a 90-minute edition, ABC launched the new sitcom Romantically Challenged at 9:30pm to decent numbers doing 10.67 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating. The key for the sitcom is to keep this audience steady the next few weeks so it can return and possibly move to the Wednesday comedy block next fall! Watch the show, it is funny and stars Alyssa Milano--can't get any better than that! At 10pm, ABC had an all-new Castle doing a solid 10.39 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, though down 2 million from previous week with a weaker lead-in. Still the 10.39 million is better than what it was doing in the fall. CBS started off the night with a new episode of How I Met Your Mother doing 7.71 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating, up a good amount from the previous week. A new Rules of Engagement was next doing 7.49 million and 3.0 18-49, both up a bit from the previous week again. Then at 9pm a repeat of Two and a Half Men sparked up to 11.42 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating. That's some great numbers for a repeat. Then a repeat of The Big Bang Theory built on the lead-in and did 11.66 million and a 4.1 18-49 rating, great numbers for a repeat as it built from the lead-in and didn't face Dancing on ABC. CBS closed the night with a new CSI: Miami at 11.66 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. Tomorrow CBS is all repeats for the night except for Rules. Fox started the night with a brand new House doing 10.81 million and a 4.1 18-49 rating, which is both below normal but on par from previous week. At 9pm a new 24 did 8.94 million and a 2.8 18-49, both up from previous week again. NBC was of course in fourth with a repeat of Chuck barely registering at 2.85 million and a 0.9 18-49. An all-new Trauma followed an needed some trauma at only 4.68 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, on par really from the previous week. At 10pm a Law & Order repeat did only 4.31 million and 1.2 18-49 rating, on par from previous week's repeat. Over at The CW, they started with an repeat of One Tree Hill at 8pm and did 1.03 million and a 0.5 18-49 rating. Then at 9pm a repeat of Gossip Girl did 820,000 viewers and a 0.4 18-49 rating.

On Tuesday, Fox took the night by a wide margin as CBS was in repeats. Fox aired an all-new American Idol doing 19.67 million and a 6.9 18-49 rating in the 8pm hour, down some from previous week when it was 90-minutes. Then Glee aired from 9:03-10:04pm (why does Idol always run late?) and did 12.98 million and a 5.3 18-49 rating, down some from the spring premiere the previous week. CBS had all repeats again. They started with a NCIS repeat doing 9.99 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, both down from previous week's repeat. When was the last time this show was under 10 million--new or repeat? The spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles followed with a repeat doing 10.27 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, building for the first time from the lead-in, but they were repeats. I still think these shows should switch time slots next fall...the stronger show should always air a 9. And finally The Good Wife closed the night with a repeat doing 7.67 million and only a 1.3 18-49 rating, off a bit from previous week's repeat. ABC started off the night with Dancing with the Stars: The Results doing 13.56 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, on par really in viewers from previous week as Kate Gosselin was sent home. Then an all-new episode of the final season of LOST was next with 9.53 million and a 3.7 rating, up a tad in viewers from week-to-week but down some in 18-49. V finished the night with 5.81 million and a 2.2 rating, up some in viewers and the same 18-49 rating from previous week. This show benefits a ton in DVR/online/iTunes. NBC started with a two-hour The Biggest Loser and did 8.58 million and a 3.4 18-49 rating, up some from the previous week. A new Parenthood was next doing 7.27 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, both up from previous week and best showing since episode two. The CW aired repeats of 90210 and Life UneXpected as 90210 did only 790,000 viewers and a 0.3 18-49 rating, while Life UneXpected repeat did 760,000 viewers and a 0.3 18-49 rating...this show should come back instead of Melrose Place.

On Wednesday Fox prevailed again with Idol. Fox aired a special American Idol Results that included the charity special Idol Gives Back and did 18.82 million and a 5.9 18-49 rating, down sharply from previous week in both categories. The special aired from 8-10:24pm ET. This show can never end on time. CBS started with a new The New Adventures of Old Christine doing only 5.2 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, down in both categories from previous week, I know it was up against Idol, but that was lower than usual. Accidentally on Purpose followed with its season finale (or series finale?) doing 5.23 million and 1.5 18-49 rating, down week-to-week, and losing to the competing ABC comedy which was a REPEAT. Next CBS aired a repeat of Criminal Minds and did 8.09 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating. CSI: NY closed the night with a repeat at 10pm with 6.82 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, seems low. ABC had a night of repeats of Comedy Wednesday and they doubled up on them! In the 8pm hour two repeats of The Middle did 4.36 and 4.71 million and a 1.4 and 1.6 18-49 rating, the latter beating a CBS comedy which was new. In the 9pm hour, two repeats of Modern Family followed with good numbers for a repeat doing 5.55 and 4.92 million and a 2.2 and 2.0 18-49 rating. Next in the 10pm hour we got two repeats of Cougar Town doing 3.14 and 3.09 million and a 1.3 and 1.2 18-49 rating, not much lower than what new episodes of Ugly Betty were doing. ABC launches the new mystery drama Happy Town this week. NBC started with a new Mercy doing 5.06 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating, that is lower than a repeat of A Minute to Win It from previous week. Sad right? A repeat of Law & Order: SVU was next and did 5.25 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, both up some from previous week's 9pm repeat. An all-new Law & Order: SVU at 10pm did 8.75 million and a 2.8 rating, against repeats. The CW aired America's Next Top Model at 8pm doing 2.97 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, both up from previous week. Fly Girls followed with 900,000 viewers as viewers flew away again and it also did only a 0.4 18-49 rating...but both were the exact same as previous week. High Society closed the night with 800,000 viewers and 0.4 18-40 rating, but up ever so slightly from previous week in viewers.

Moving on to Thursday, CBS was in control on a below normal night. CBS started with the durable Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains at 8pm doing 11.89 million and a 3.6 rating in 18-49, down a bit from previous week. A new CSI at 9pm did 13.35 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, up a tad in viewers but down a bit in 18-49 from the previous week. The Mentalist finished the night with a new showing doing 14.96 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating, down from its last new episode two weeks ago. ABC began the night with FLASHFORWARD at 8pm doing 5.53 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, both up from previous week...good episode! April 29 is this week, which is mentioned on the show a lot. What will happen? Watch! ABC aired an all-new Private Practice on a special time instead of the usual Grey's Anatomy doing a decent 7.49 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating. At 10pm a repeat of Grey's Anatomy on a special time did 4.35 million viewers a 1.3 18-49 rating, Grey's is all-new at 9pm this week for the rest of the season. Fox aired a new Bones and did 9.01 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, down some from previous week. A new Fringe garnered 5.84 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, both down from previous week. NBC started off with a new Community doing only 3.67 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, next Parks and Recreation was preempted but they aired a special new episode of 30 Rock doing only 4.0 and a 1.9 18-49 rating. Not good folks, yes the NFL draft might have been the reason why. At 9pm a new The Office did only 6.3 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating for season lows. Another new 30 Rock was next doing 5.16 million and a 2.5 18049 rating. At 10pm the falling The Marriage Ref was next doing only 4.27 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating. The CW aired a new Vampire Diaries doing 3.33 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, up some in viewers from previous week. Supernatural followed with 2.82 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, both up from previous week.

Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available as usual, but NBC won Friday in viewers and 18-49 on Friday actually for the second straight week as CBS was in repeats again. Fox won on Saturday thanks to their regular crime reality series.
Tonight ABC airs a new episode of America's Funniest Home Videos, a repeat of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition BUT Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters are all-new again! CBS airs a new The Amazing Race but Cold Case is preempted for a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie from 9-11pm that will be old skewing. NBC has A Minute to Win It at 8 followed by a new Celebrity Apprentice starting at 9pm. Fox has repeats of The Cleveland Show & Family Guy and new episodes of 'Til Death, The Simpsons and American Dad. As for the coming week, ABC launches new mystery drama Happy Town on Wednesday at 10/9 central! And don't forget Romantically Challenged starring Alyssa Milano airs episode two tomorrow at 9:30! You need to watch as a fan of sitcoms!

Week 31 How the Sitcoms Did

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 30-- April 12-18)

  • 'Til Death (Fox) - An all-new episode only mustered 1.76 million, down even from the previous week.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 airings - A repeat episode at 7:30pm did only 2.39 million, down some from previous week's repeat. A new episode at 8pm did 5.83 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating...seems below normal but it was up some from previous week in viewers.
  • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - A repeat did 5.09 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating. That was just off from previous week, when it was all-new...so good repeat numbers.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - A repeat did 6.03 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating. Even as a repeat, it is still best of the Fox block.
  • American Dad (Fox) - An all-new episode did 5.22 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating. That is actually up from previous week when the lead-in was all-new.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A new episode did 7.71 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating. Both up sharply from previous week's lower numbers...and now tomorrow is a repeat.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 7.49 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating for a new episode, up some from previous week.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - A repeat did 11.42 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating. Nice repeat numbers.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - A repeat at 9:30pm did 11.66 million and a 4.1 18-49 rating. Outstanding as it built from the lead-in, but it didn't have to face Dancing on ABC as that did.
  • Romantically Challenged (ABC) - Going up against the highest rated sitcom (and now also scripted series) in 18-49 (new and repeat), the premiere did a solid 10.67 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating. It just needs to stay around this area the next few weeks and ABC will bring it back, and they should place it on Comedy Wednesday next fall. Please watch so this happens! We need another multicam (aka traditional) sitcom hit!

Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None.


Wednesday Sitcoms

  • Old Christine (CBS) - A new episode did 5.2 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, terrible. I know Idol was on, but that was below its average. Could this be the last season?
  • Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) - The finale did only 5.23 million and 1.5 18-49 rating. I think you have seen the last of this show.
  • The Middle (ABC) 2 airings - ABC aired double episodes all night of its comedies, but in repeats. Two repeats of this show did a decent 4.36 and 4.67 million, and a 1.4 and 1.6 18-49 rating. 1.6 beats the new CBS comedy at 8:30.
  • Modern Family (ABC) 2 airings - Two repeats in the 9pm hour did 5.55 and 4.92 million and a better than average for a repeat 2.2 and 2.0 18-49 rating.
  • Cougar Town (ABC) 2 airings - Two repeats in the 10pm hour did 3.14 and 3.09 million and a 1.3 and 1.2 18-49 rating. If ABC can find a good new comedy at 9:30, I can totally see this show moving to 10pm in the fall. I think it would work, too. More comedies the better!

Thursday Sitcoms

  • Community (NBC) - A new episode did only 3.67 million, ouch...1.6 18-49 rating is not too good either. Series lows.
  • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - preempted.
  • The Office (NBC) - A new episode at 9 did 6.3 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating. Not on my impressive list this week for the first time this season (when it is new, of course). Season lows.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) 2 airings - A special new airing at 8:30pm only did 4.0 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating. Not good at all...9:30pm was a bit better doing 5.16 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating.

Friday Sitcoms

  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are a mix of new and repeats of Animation Domination.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement were impressive this week. Everything was OK (such as repeats of Modern Family and The Middle) or just plain old terrible (such as Community & Accidentally on Purpose).

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Digital Digest: DVD Reviews of The Unusuals - The Complete Series; I Love Lucy - The Movie; Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 1

We have a busy week this week for Digital Digest, with more news about your favorite shows on home media, a look at the releases coming out this week, and (for the first time ever) THREE DVD reviews! We'll be looking at The Unusuals - The Complete Series, I Love Lucy - The Movie and Other Great Rarities, and Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 1. So we'll forgo a lengthy introduction this week to get you into this version of Digital Digest!

DIGITAL NEWS

We've been reporting on a lot of current series being released on DVD lately, as it is pretty common to hear a lot about these releases this time of year. This week, we have word, thanks to a pre-order link on Amazon.com, that the CBS sitcom Accidentally on Purpose - The First Season is slated for a DVD release with an unknown date at a $41.99 MSRP. Of course, the future of that series is still up in the air as of right now, so that title could be changed to The Complete Series... we'll have to wait and see on that.

Even more strange, though, is the announcement of upcoming and not-yet-aired seasons of two cable series. The Boondocks - The Complete Third Season ($49.95 MSRP) and My Boys - The Complete Fourth Season ($39.95 MSRP), neither of which has aired yet, are already available for pre-order on Amazon.com, also with an undetermined release date. Of course, since these details are all very sparse right now, we will definitely update you when we actually do know something. Obviously, the studios are already thinking about home media before a season even gets a chance to air these days, which is definitely a positive since it ensures that everything is preserved for the DVDs.

The highly anticipated release of The Lucy Show - The Official Second Season isn't too far away, with a scheduled release date of July 13. The cover art gives us a brief glimpse into the special features on the set, including cast commercials, newly recorded interviews, and (as it says) "much more." Given the special features on The Lucy Show - The Official First Season, I'm willing to bet that much more will mean exactly what it sounds like, with emphasis on "much." But before that comes out, don't forget that Here's Lucy - Season Three (which will similarly be loaded with special features) is headed to stores on June 15 and I Love Lucy - The Movie and Other Great Rarities which comes out on Tuesday!

We already reported a few weeks ago the upcoming releases of Adam-12 - Season Five and The Patty Duke Show - The Complete Third Season from Shout! Factory, but now we have release dates for both of them! Expect Adam-12 on August 10 and The Patty Duke Show on August 24. Not many details have emerged about these releases yet, but of course, we'll have them as soon as we possibly can. My best guess would be that they will contain few (if any) special features, but you never know what they'll throw in.

Andy Griffith is back for another season of the great 80's legal drama Matlock with Matlock - The Fifth Season on July 20! It comes at a $49.99 MSRP. And while we are talking about legal dramas, we already have a follow up on the very recent release of Ally McBeal - The Complete Second Season (see our review from last week), as Ally McBeal - The Complete Third Season is already scheduled for July 13. Of course, if you just can't wait for season 3 (or 4 or 5), you can always pick up Ally McBeal - The Complete Series, which has been available since October!

Mill Creek Entertainment is up to their usual trickery again with placing unannounced titles in stores, and once again, something that hasn't been announced is already showing up at Target! Target recently started stocking in some (though not all) stores a 21 Jump Street two season pack that includes both seasons 3 and 4, which is odd, because 21 Jump Street - The Complete Second Season hasn't even officially had a general retail release (although it, too, can be purchased at Target in a two season pack with 21 Jump Street - The Complete First Season). The best part is that it is only $14.99 for the two season pack at Target! In trying to find answers, though, I found something even more interesting on the homepage of Mill Creek Entertainment. There is a graphic that advertises a contest that Mill Creek Entertainment is currently having, and in the picture, it can be very clearly seen that there is a package depicting 21 Jump Street - The Complete Series! We can only assume it'll be coming, but the question is when. Of course, Anchor Bay Entertainment has previously released all five seasons of 21 Jump Street, but Mill Creek's offerings bring practically the same thing at pennies on the dollar!

Finally, the series Jersey Shore... no, forget it, I'm not even going to talk about it. We'll never sink this low on Digital Digest!


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Next week (April 27) brings us a couple of repeats (DVDs that have already been released as part of larger collections), including I Love Lucy - The Movie and Other Great Rarities and It's Garry Shandling's Show - The Complete First Season. Fans of these series will probably already own the aforementioned sets as part of the larger sets, but they may appeal to some viewers. As we already mentioned, we have a review of I Love Lucy - The Movie and Other Great Rarities today in Digital Digest. Additionally, we have two Lifetime sitcoms coming, including Sherri - The Complete Season One and Rita Rocks - The Complete Season One. Look for reviews on those coming up on our regular review page soon.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

Last season, ABC brought to American viewers the comedy-drama The Unusuals, which stared Amber Tamblyn as a detective who was transferred from New York City's vice-squad to the homicide unit for one reason: to clean up the corruption that exists within. The series made it through 10 episodes, but was not renewed for a second season. It is now available as an amazon.com exclusive, in The Unusuals - The Complete Series.

DVD Review: The Unusuals - The Complete Series
by Pavan

The Unusuals - The Complete Series (Sony, $29.95) is now on DVD with all 10 episodes from its short run. The series premiered in April 2009 on ABC and went into the summer season, but the ratings were not too good and the series was not renewed, unfortunately. The series is a quirky procedural with a nice mix of comedy and drama and deals with the unusual cases department. The series is created by Noah Hawley. In the series, Detective Casey Shraeger (Amber Tamblyn) has just been transferred to the NYPD's Homicide unit from Vice and is instantly thrown into a setting of bullets and bodies. As she begins her new assignment, Casey finds that the squad is full of secrets, which serves her well, since she's keeping a few of her own. She meets her new partner, Jason Walsh (Jeremy Renner), whose last partner, Detective Burt Kowalski, was just murdered. Tasked with tracking down the murderer, Walsh races off to investigate Kowalski's past, with Shraeger trailing behind.

As the duo seeks out the cop killer, the secrets and eccentricities of the rest of the department begin to emerge: Prank-magnet and social climber Detective Eddie Alvarez (Kai Lennox) has no qualms about stealing cases, as long as he can turn them into front-page stories that make him look good; Detective Eric Delahoy (Adam Goldberg) is trying to get himself killed in the line of duty for reasons known only to him and his doctor; his partner, Leo Banks (Harold Perrineau), is convinced he is going to die and refuses to take off his bulletproof vest; and the very religious Detective Henry Cole (Josh Close) is trying to keep his unholy past from both his streetwise partner, Alison Beaumont (Monique Gabriela Curnen), and from his boss, Sgt. Brown (Terry Kinney), who is struggling to rid the Second Precinct of corruption.

As for the episodes, there are only ten of them. Each should be watched in order, but you really don't have to as they are not too connected with each other. The series opens with the "Pilot," as Det. Shraeger is quickly moved to homicide to help investigate the murder of a fellow officer and finds out if he was crooked or not and Casey begins to find out some interesting facts about her new co-workers. In the very next episode "Boorland Day," one of New York's oldest family of criminals, the Boorlands, go on a crime spree that has the detectives running all over the city, but when Walsh and Shraeger learn the surprising reason behind the family's cluster of crimes, they use this information to negotiate its end; meanwhile, Sergeant Brown tells Shraeger that Walsh's former partner, Kowalski, was a dirty cop and asks her to dig into Walsh's past and Cole's efforts to keep his criminal past a secret are threatened by the arrival of Frank Lutz, Cole's former partner in crime. In "42," Banks continues to be haunted by the number 42 while he and Delahoy investigate a string of bus robberies -- one passenger, a clairvoyant, tries to help them catch the robber with her predictions, causing Banks to question whether fate can be stopped. In "The Dentist," while Sergeant Brown is away, Alvarez is in charge, and things aren't going well -- a U.S. Marshall named Foster convinces Alvarez to release Bo Keebler, a man recently collared for trying to rob a Chinese restaurant, into his custody, while Banks decides to stay in his apartment until he turns 43 in order to avoid getting killed. In the finale, "E.I.D.", Beaumont and Cole interview a couple regarding a break-in at their home, although nothing was taken, the couple discovered that an adult film they rented was shot in their apartment, meanwhile Scraeger becomes emotionally invested in trying to help a serial accuser who was the victim of a violent attack 10 years ago after disappearing from a big prep school party.

The episodes are unedited at just over 43 minutes and have all the original music, of course since this series is basically new. This DVD set is ONLY available on Amazon.com as an Amazon Exclusive. Here are all of the episode titles with runtimes included:

Disc 1:
1. "Pilot" (43:15)
2. "Boorland Day" (43:12)
3. "One Man Band" (43:14)
4. "Crime Slut" (43:14)
5. "42" (43:14)

Disc 2:
6. "The Circle Line" (43:13)
7. "The Tape Delay" (43:12)
8. "The Dentist" (43:11)
9. "The Apology Line" (43:11)
10. "E.I.D." (43:11)

Moving on to the packaging, since this is an Amazon.com Exclusive, the packaging is pretty basic. It is a movie style case, with a shot of Shraeger and Walsh on the cover with NYC in the background. Walsh is holding a gun. The show logo and the two main stars' names (Tamblyn and Renner) are on the top. On the bottom the tagline, "Not your usual cases. Not your usual cops" is printed. The back of the case has a quote from People Magazine, another cool shot of Walsh and Shraeger, some episodic photos, and some info on the series and set. Inside the case, we have the two discs on each panel itself. There is no artwork on the disc, it is plain with the show logo and disc number. The inside of the case has no artwork either, but we do have a nice episode leaflet that has episode titles, synopsis, and credits for each episode.

The menus on the set are pretty basic, too, but the artwork is good. The main menu is blue in color with a NYC background. On disc one we have a shot of Shraeger on the main menu and on disc two it is Walsh. There is no music playing in the background, unfortunately. Menu options are: Play All, Episode Selections, Subtitles, and On the Set with The Unusuals. The latter is only on disc one, as it is a special feature. Disc two only has a Previews option, showcasing other Sony products on Blu-ray and stuff like Rescue Me, The Shield, and Damages. The Episode Selections menu has episode number, title, and a screenshot from the episode, while the Subtitles menu has us in English SDH only. There are about 7 chapter stops per episode and they are all at the appropriate places.

The video and audio on the set looks really good, as they should be. The video is available in a nice widescreen, and if your DVD player upconverts to HD, it looks like it is in Blu-ray. The audio is also very good and is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital. This set is from material from 2009, so it is only a year old and of course it is very well presented here in both video and audio. I don't see any closed-captioning mention, but there are subtitles in English SDH.

Since this is an Amazon.com Exclusive, I wasn't expecting ANY bonus features...but we do have one! It is a featurette titled "On Set with The Unusuals." It runs 5:20 and we basically get a taste of the show and characters. Interviewed are Robert DeLaurentis (executive producer), Noah Hawley (executive producer/creator), Amber Tamblyn, Jeremy Renner, Peter Tolan (executive producer), Kai Lennox, Monique Curnen, and Joshua Close. I wish we had some more, like deleted scenes, but I'm just glad we got SOMETHING!

This is a decent set and if you have never watched the show, you should watch it. It is only 10 episodes and you'll be done fairly quickly. If you were a fan of the show, then you certainly need to buy it. It is too bad the show was canceled, because it was the perfect procedural. I don't like many of those shows, but this was different and not your usual procedural. Noah Hawley has another ABC pilot in the works (titled Generation Y) and I hope it makes it on air. He has good taste and I hope America tunes in if that series makes it on air. As for this set, it is good. You can only buy it on Amazon (see the link below). It has all of the episodes presented well and a nice featurette. So, get ready to watch some unusual cases and unusual cops in action! It is fun!

(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
The Unusuals on TV.com


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

After the first season of I Love Lucy on CBS, Desilu decided to create a theatrical movie based upon the series. Of course, at that time, reruns were less common, so they decided to take the easy route of taking three episodes of the series together and add footage to link them together. The movie ended up not being released (to avoid competition with the film The Long, Long Trailer) and was never seen until nearly a half century later. It was eventually released on DVD as part of I Love Lucy - The Complete Series, but now it is available as a stand-alone disc with bonus features in I Love Lucy - The Movie and Other Great Rarities.

DVD Review: I Love Lucy - The Movie and Other Great Rarities
by skees53

I Love Lucy - The Movie and Other Great Rarities
(CBS DVD, $19.99) presents the entire full-length feature film based upon the classic that was shelved for over 50 years, along with some nice special features. In 1953, Desilu edited together a film that linked three episodes: "The Benefit," "Breaking the Lease," and "The Ballet." The film starts with moviegoers going into a theater where Desi Arnaz (as himself) "premieres" the film for the audience, and even has the audience members showing their excitement for the film--in a sense, breaking the fourth wall. Once Desi is able to introduce the film, it starts playing on the big screen and goes in to the episodes that we are all familiar with from the first season. If you've seen the episodes, the movie honestly isn't all that much, as it just presents them in a connect storyline (which really isn't all that connected anyway). The movie runs at 1 hour, 26 minutes.

There is obviously much more to this, though. There are many very nice "rarities" on this DVD, beginning with the episode of the series, "Lucy Goes to Scotland" (26:27). But there is something unique about this episode this time. It is actually presented in full color! It is the only episode of the series that has been fully colorized, and it looks unbelievably great in color, especially since the episode uses very vivid imagery and costumes that almost necessitate color. Black and white purists, of course, will never like any colorization, but this one looks really good.

We also get to see Lucy and Desi's first joint TV appearance, from The Ed Wynn Show in 1949. It only runs about 3 minutes, so there isn't really a whole lot to see here. Next, there is a clip from the 1954 Emmy Awards--the Sixth Annual--where the series wins an Emmy and Desi Arnaz pays tribute to William Frawley, who was upset about being snubbed for Best Supporting Actor (an award that Art Carney ends up taking home). Finally, we have an On-Set Commercial from the series premiere from Philip Morris (2:17), which is basically an extended cigarette advertisement from the Ricardo living room. You'd never see anything like that on TV today!

The DVD comes packaged in a regular DVD case with a color photo of Lucy and Desi on the front, standing in front of a movie marquee. Inside, we find the disc (which has no artwork, like almost everything else from CBS DVD). The menus on the DVD are very basic, with every option being presented on the main menu (along with an option to turn on Spanish subtitles). Additionally, there are production notes on the sub-menu for just about every one of the features.

The video quality on most of the features is excellent, especially on the movie and the episode "Lucy Goes to Scotland." It is amazing how well this series has been preserved over the years, but especially the movie footage, which hasn't been seen in decades. The Emmy footage and the first joint TV appearance both come from kinescopes, so they are a little rough, but viewable. The audio is fine on all of the features, presented in mono, and close-captioning as well as Spanish subtitles are available.

All in all, this is a great DVD, but I'm not sure who it is really great for. If you are a devoted fan, you'd want to get The Complete Series, which includes this exact same DVD (everything on it is the same except the label art) and every episode of the series. If you aren't such a big fan of the series, then the season sets would suffice, as this really only provides a few minutes of footage that can't be found elsewhere. I guess the best person that this DVD would be for is those who own the season sets and just want to add this disc without repurchasing the whole series. That isn't to say that this is a bad DVD, and it is great that CBS DVD put it out, but it would have been better had they released it at the same time as The Complete Series set. No matter how much you love Lucy, this DVD may not be necessary.

(4/5 stars)

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BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

Legal dramas are a major genre of television, and many of the top-rated and most watched series all throughout history have been legal dramas. But before all of the rest came along, there was one guy who had the first truly successful TV legal drama, who managed to win every single case no matter what: Perry Mason. Here is our review for CBS DVD's latest installment of the series, Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 1.

DVD Review: Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 1
by skees53


Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 1
(CBS DVD, $19.99) brings justice the wrongfully accused once again in fifteen episodes of the classic courtroom drama. The series was the pioneer for all legal television dramas and set the tone for decades of courtroom dramas. But Perry Mason was a little different from the courtroom dramas today, most of which portray the prosecutor as the "good guy" who is given a blatantly obvious case of guilt for the defendant and is trying to push a jury for the harshest possible outcome. Perry Mason was a defense attorney who took these "blatantly obvious" cases and successfully managed to defend his client's innocence, and he won every single time (although there was one infamous episode where he actually lost).

The fifth season begins with "The Case of the Jealous Journalist," where a drowning death of a prominent newspaper editor leads to a string of consequences as heirs fight to take control of the paper... and you know one of those consequences will be another death. Jealousy and blackmail turns a lovely wedding into a murder in "The Case of the Missing Melody." A violent storm at sea forces a ship to have to toss the freight in "The Case of the Malicious Mariner," but as it turns out, the captain gets killed too in the process. In "The Case of the Crying Comedian," a man discovers a former love of his has escaped from a sanitarium, and also that her husband is dead... but he knows she couldn't be to blame, so what can be done? The paranormal must be used to solve a murder in "The Case of the Meddling Medium."
In "The Case of the Posthumous Painter," an artist fakes his own death in order to see the values on his paintings rise, but forgets to tell his wife of his plan leading to real trouble for her when she finds out and he ends up murdered. A health club owner is killed with a dumbbell in "The Case of the Left-Handed Liar," and one of his own employees is accused. In "The Case of the Renegade Refuge," a journalist is murdered while trying to hunt down a Nazi war criminal in the United States. A millionaire bribes his daughter-in-law when he thinks she is responsible for his son's shortcomings, but when the son ends up dead, she is charged with murder in "The Case of the Unwelcome Bride."

Each episode is unedited, it appears, and there aren't even any of the usual CBS DVD disclaimers, which is a very positive sign. Runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "The Case of the Jealous Journalist" (51:49)
2. "The Case of the Impatient Partner" (52:00)
3. "The Case of the Missing Melody" (50:51)
4. "The Case of the Malicious Mariner" (50:46)

Disc 2:
5. "The Case of the Crying Comedian" (50:49)
6. "The Case of the Meddling Medium" (50:47)
7. "The Case of the Pathetic Patient" (50:47)
8. "The Case of the Traveling Treasure" (50:51)

Disc 3:
9. "The Case of the Posthumous Painter" (50:55)
10. "The Case of the Injured Innocent" (50:50)
11. "The Case of the Left-Handed Liar" (50:53)
12. "The Case of the Brazen Bequest" (50:53)

Disc 4:
13. "The Case of the Renegade Refugee" (50:47)
14. "The Case of the Unwelcome Bride" (50:49)
15. "The Case of the Roving River" (50:46)

Once again, the packaging is just a standard Viva pack (as is common with all CBS DVD products now), with a photo of Perry Mason on the front and some black-and-white still photos on the back. Inside the case, we find episode descriptions and original airdates for each episode on the set. There is no disc artwork at all aside from the series logo on a gray background. There are four discs, with four episodes on the first three discs and three episodes on the fourth disc.

As has been the case with previous releases, the video and audio quality is spectacular. Who could have imagined a series this old looking almost flawless on DVD? There is still some occasional grain and debris, but these episodes mostly look great. The audio is fine too, presented in mono. Each episode is closed-captioned.

There are no special features once again, and it appears that CBS DVD has no intention of including any on this series (aside from the 50th anniversary release a few years back). It is a shame, really.

This is a great set of episodes, but this is the ninth release of the series and CBS DVD only halfway finished with it, mostly because of the half season release model. If they had released it as full seasons, the series would be done now. Still, this poor business practice that CBS DVD engages in doesn't devalue this set at all. It is a great set with great episodes, but I would still like to have the rest of the season in this set. With strong sales on this series (strange, but true, this is actually a top-seller on DVD, presumably due to those in the legal profession who see Mason as an idol), I'm sure we'll see the remaining episodes soon, and perhaps it'll all be remedied with a giant 80 disc complete series set or something along those lines.

(4/5 stars)

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LOOKING AHEAD

We'll be back next week with more news and a review of Marcus Welby, M.D. - Season One and a review of MPI's upcoming Honeymooners DVDs. We will be doing a lot of reviews in Digital Digest for the next few weeks, as there are a lot of DVDs to review in our backlog, but in a few weeks, we will return with some feature articles! If there is anything that you would like to see us cover, tell us on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us. We don't know what you want out of this feature unless you tell us, and we want to make it a very enjoyable blog feature! Until next time, keep it digital!

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Friday, April 23, 2010

TV One May 2010 Highlights Include Tracy Morgan Show Sitcom; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 26, 2010)

This May on TV One we have some more good sitcom marathons and stunts, including a marathon of a short-lived sitcom! The marathon fun is basically every weekend in May! On Saturday, May 8 beginning at 2pm and running all night, TV One begins celebrating Mother's Day Weekend with a "Mother of all Marathons" (MOM) sitcom event. An all-day sitcom marathon featuring episodes of TV One sitcom favorites Living Single, That's My Mama, The Hughleys, The Jeffersons, Half & Half, and A Different World all focusing on Mother's Day or mom related storylines. On Sunday, May 9 beginning at 12pm Noon, TV One continues the Mother's Day Weekend celebration as they present the All of Us: "Mama Neesee Marathon" featuring a dozen episodes of the TV One sitcom favorite focusing on Neesee (LisaRaye McCoy) and her mother of the year attitude in dealing with her son Bobby.
On Saturday, May 15 beginning at 2pm and running all night, with the NBA Playoffs in full swing, TV One salutes the game of B-Ball (that's basketball, for those who don't know) with a "We Got Game" marathon featuring TV One sitcom episodes focusing on hoops and featuring guest star appearances from current and former NBA and WNBA superstars including Derek Fisher, Grant Hill, Cedric Ceballos, Cheryl Miller, Alonzo Mourning, and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar. Sitcoms in this TV One sports marathon include All of Us, A Different World, Living Single, Martin, Half & Half, Between Brothers, Amen, and Eve.
On Sunday, May 16 beginning at 12pm through 7pm (select encores 3-6am), TV One celebrates the birthday of Grammy Award-Winning superstar Janet Jackson with an all-day Good Times: "Penny For Your Thoughts" marathon featuring episodes of the classic sitcom favorite that focus on Janet's character Penny entering the lives of the Evans family and their neighbor Willona.
On Sunday, May 23, TV One again goes South... South Central that is, as they present a marathon and a movie premiere. First beginning at 3pm through 7pm (select encores 12am-2am), TV One airs a marathon of the comedy/drama series South Central starring Tina Lifford and Larenz Tate. Then at 8pm, TV One premieres the feature film South Central. In the film, A man, coming out of prison after 10 years wants to live a normal life and stop with criminal behavior, but finds his son has begun to follow his criminal path. The film is scheduled to have an immediate encore airing at 10pm.
On Saturday, May 29 beginning at 5pm through all night, it's a TV One "Couples Therapy Marathon" as TV One presents a sitcom marathon focusing on favorite TV One sitcom couples that gives viewers a chance to vote online at TVOneOnline.com on their favorite couple. Sitcom couples featured in the marathon include Overton & Synclaire (Living Single), Dwayne & Whitley (A Different World), J.T. & Shelley (Eve), and Martin & Gina (Martin). The viewers choice favorite sitcom couple will have two episodes showcased in the 9pm hour of the marathon creating a fun interactive evening for all. Also of note, on Sunday, May 30 beginning at 12pm Noon through 10pm (select encores 10pm-2am), join the Sutton family for an all-day marathon of season three episodes of the popular African American drama series Lincoln Heights.
And finally, the biggest news...on Memorial Day (Monday, May 31) beginning at 12pm Noon through 12am, actor/comedian Tracy Morgan comes to TV One for a sitcom marathon! No not 30 Rock, before that show he had a short-lived sitcom titled The Tracy Morgan Show and it makes its bow in a 12-hour Memorial Day marathon including two "lost" episodes premiering at 8pm & 8:30pm that have never before aired on television. The two unseen episodes will have encore airings at 11pm & 11:30pm. Morgan stars in this sharp-edged family multi-camera comedy as father, husband and small business owner Tracy Mitchell, who with his beautiful, no-nonsense wife Alicia (Tamala Jones, Castle), share their modest apartment with their two kids, 13 year-old Derrick (Marc John Jefferies) and 7 year-old Jimmy (Bobb'e J. Thompson).
Stay tuned, maybe The Tracy Morgan Show will join the regular schedule in the summer? Stay with us...


It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars (but we won't cover movie stars like Tom Hanks or John Travolta, since they won't be talking about their past sitcoms likely), so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
For the week of April 26-30, 2010, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

Monday, April 26, 2010

  • Alyssa Milano (Romantically Challenged/Who's the Boss?) - Alyssa stops by The Wendy Williams Show to talk about her new sitcom. Check local listings for time and channel, but it also airs nationally on BET at midnight. But wait that's not all! She will be on Extra (check local listings for time and channel) and also she will be in the audience on Dancing with the Stars at 8pm on ABC!
  • Megan Mullally (Will & Grace/In the Motherhood) - Megan stops by ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:05am.
  • Joel McHale (Community)- Joel will stop by NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm.
  • Brian Posehn (Just Shoot Me!/Sarah Silverman Program) - Brian heads to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC at 12:35am.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

  • Carol Burnett (Carol Burnett Show/Mama's Family) - Carol stops to chat on The Bonnie Hunt Show. Check your local listings for time and channel.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family) - The lovely Julie Bowen stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC at 12:05am.
  • Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family) - Rico stops by The Rachel Ray Show. Check your local listings!
  • Todd Bridges (Diff'rent Strokes) - Todd stops to talk on Oprah about his childhood. Check your listings for time and channel!
  • Anthony Anderson (All About the Andersons/Hang Time) - Though more known for film/TV dramas now, Anthony stops to chat on The Bonnie Hunt Show. Check your local listings.
  • Adhir Kalyan (Rules of Engagement) - Adhir stops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS at 12:35am to promote the CBS sitcom.
  • Holly Robinson-Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper) - Holly stops by The Joy Behar Show on HLN at 9pm.
  • Lisa Kudrow (Friends) - Lisa will be on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS at 12:35am.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

  • Holly Robinson-Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper) - Holly will be on The Wendy Williams Show so check your local listings or watch on BET at midnight.
  • Kelsey Grammar (Cheers/Frasier/Back to You/Hank) - Kelsey stops to cook and chat on The Martha Stewart Show. Check your local listings.
  • Sarah Silverman (Sarah Silverman Program) - Sarah heads to The Rachel Ray Show. Check your listings for time and station.
  • Wanda Sykes (Old Christine) - This is a repeat, but catch Wanda on TBS's Lopez Tonight at 11pm.
  • Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) - This is also a repeat, but catch him again on TBS's Lopez Tonight at 11pm.

Friday, April 30, 2010

  • Alyssa Milano (Romantically Challenged/Who's the Boss?) - Alyssa will be on TV Guide Channel's Hollywood 411 airing at 7pm.
Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

TV Land May 2010 Schedule; Just My Show's New Podcast Features Growing Pains and Just the Ten of Us Star

We finally bring you the TV Land May 2010 schedule! We kept delaying it because of various changes. But now we can bring it to you! The regular schedule will have some changes, but not much. Starting April 26, The Cosby Show returns to primetime, airing weeknights in the 8pm hour, replacing Home Improvement, which will move to the 2am hour. That's not all the bad news for Home Improvement, its Saturday evening block from 7-9pm will also be replaced. They will add a block of The Andy Griffith Show from 6-8pm on Saturdays, while Everybody Loves Raymond moves to 8pm-12am instead of 9pm-1am. Also, starting Sunday, May 9, Everybody Loves Raymond gets a Sunday block as well, airing Sundays 10pm-12am. Everything else will remain the same as it is now.
Not sure if this makes any sense, since Tim Allen is hosting the TV Land Awards on Sunday and the very next day Home Improvement moves to late nights?
As for highlights, notoriously uncensored gossip diva Joan Rivers stars in TV Land's PRIME original series, How'd You Get So Rich?. Joan Rivers takes viewers on a journey to meet mega-rich millionaires who worked hard and struck gold once again. As she tours the most lavish and extravagant homes, she introduces viewers to folks who made a lot of money in out of the ordinary, fascinating ways and asks all the questions no one else would - in the way only Joan can. The second season starts Wednesday, May 5 at 10pm and will run though Wednesday, June 9.
Stunts for May 2010 include a Roseanne "Rags to Riches" marathon on Sunday, May 2 from 10pm-2am and an Everybody Loves Raymond Mother's Day marathon on Saturday, May 8 from 8pm-12am. Don't miss this four-hour Everybody Loves Raymond marathon saluting the mother of all mothers, Marie Barone. During these eight Marie-centric episodes, watch her love, cuddle, smother, advise, cajole, and irritate the whole family in her own benevolent and meddling way! And finally on Memorial Day, (Monday, May 31) spend the day with two classic marathons and a classic film! Airing from 9am-4pm spend the day in the sun with Bewitched! Then head on to the junkyard for Sanford & Son from 4pm-7pm. Capping the day will be the movie Sister Act starting at 7pm.
And speaking of movies, TV Land will premiere Sister Act, Ghostbusters, and Mystic Pizza on their Friday night movie block, while encoring films such as The Fugitive.
View the complete TV Land May 2010 schedule and highlights. And stay with us very soon for TV Land June! Will The Brady Bunch be renewed, as its contract is up after the end of May? You'll find out soon!

Our pal Eric of Just My Show has put up another podcast! This time it features Coach Lubbock! Of course that is Bill Kirchenbauer! Long time stand-up comedian Bill Kirchenbauer is known to us sitcom fans as Coach Lubbock on Growing Pains and the star of the spin-off series Just the Ten of Us. He has also appeared on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show 14 times.
Just My Show interviews Just the Ten of Us star! Sounds catchy! So head on over to Just My Show to listen to this great interview!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TV Land Orders Second Original Sitcom: Retired at 35; New Seasons for Curb and Parenthood; Top 10 Romantically Challenged TV Couples

We mentioned a few times that TV Land has a sitcom pilot with George Segal in the works and now they have picked it up to series! TV Land announced that it has greenlit 10 episodes of the original sitcom Retired At 35 starring esteemed comedy and drama actor George Segal. The sitcom is a TV Land PRIME original production and is the network's second ever original scripted comedy series along with Hot in Cleveland, which premieres on Wednesday, June 16, 2010.
The cast also includes Jessica Walter, Johnathan McClain, Josh McDermitt, Ryan Michelle Bathe and Casey Wilson, Christine Ebersole, Matt Champagne, George Wyner and
Jere Burns also appear.
In the pilot episode of Retired at 35, David (McClain), a successful young businessman decides to leave the rat race of New York City behind and move into his parents' (Segal and Walter) Florida retirement home to reconnect with them, re-evaluate his life and live the dream of retirement that so many are working toward. While in Florida, David reunites with his best friend Brandon, (McDermitt) and realizes that his former crush Jessica (Bathe) is still as beautiful and elusive as ever. Living close by is David's sister, Amy (Wilson) who has finally found a boyfriend Paul (Champagne). Other characters include Alan's friend, Richard (Wyner) and David's boss, Donald (Burns).
We'll have more info on the series and an actual premiere date in the coming months, but you can expect the series to premiere sometime in early 2011.

It's back! HBO has renewed the hit comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm, starring Larry David, for a ten-episode eighth season. Production of the new episodes will begin this summer in Los Angeles and New York, with the debut slated for 2011.
Curb Your Enthusiasm stars Seinfeld co-creator David as an over-the-top version of himself in an unsparing but tongue-in-cheek depiction of his life. The series also stars Cheryl Hines as David's wife Cheryl, Jeff Garlin as David's manager Jeff and Susie Essman as Jeff's wife Susie.
Concluding its seventh season last November, with 70 episodes to date, Curb Your Enthusiasm is HBO's longest-running scripted comedy or drama series!

Moving on to a rookie series, NBC has renewed its new mid-season drama Parenthood, which airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET, for the 2010-11 season. This is not a surprise, even with the ratings at so-so numbers , it is airing on a competitive night and timeslot.
Parenthood is a one-hour drama inspired by the box-office comedy hit of the same name. The re-imagined and updated production introduces audiences to the large and colorful yet imperfect Braverman family, and features an all-star cast that includes Lauren Graham, Peter Krause, Monica Potter, Craig T. Nelson, Bonnie Bedelia, Erika Christensen, Dax Shepard, Joy Bryant, Sam Jaeger, Sarah Ramos, Mae Whitman, Miles Heizer, Savannah Rae and Max Burkholder. Guest stars include Jason Ritter.

Finally, since the sitcom Romantically Challenged launched on Monday, our friends at TV Tango has come up with "The Top 10 Romantically Challenged TV Couples" to get us even more excited about this new sitcom!
In the new sitcom, Romantically Challenged, four single friends have serious relationship issues, but they still try to help each other find love. Two of them, Rebecca and Perry, have been BFFs since they were kids, and they'd make a decent couple if they weren't kept apart by circumstances. In honor of this new series, TV Tango presented the Top 10 Romantically Challenged TV Couples. Will Perry and Rebecca ultimately make this list? Maybe, but there have been so many good ones from the past. What about Lou Grant & Sue Ann Nivens? Screech & Lisa Tuttle? See who made the cut at TV Tango!
And don't forget to watch this new sitcom Mondays at 9:30pm on ABC! In the next episode airing next Monday, titled "The Charade," Perry (Kyle Bornheimer) goes to the dentist and craziness happens because of his buddy Shawn (Josh Lawson), while Rebecca (Alyssa Milano) sets-up her sister Lisa (Kelly Stables) with a "nice" guy. What will happen? Tune in!

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Blossom Reunion on 'Til Death on May 9; MyNetwork TV Upfront: Fall 2010 Schedule

There is going to be a Blossom reunion on Fox's 'Til Death on Sunday, May 9, 2010! Blossom originally aired on NBC from 1991-95 and starred Mayim Bialik as Blossom Russo, Joey Lawrence as Joey Russo, Jenna Von Oy as Six LeMeure, Michael Stoyanov as Anthony Russo, and Ted Wass as Nick Russo. In the 'Til Death episode, Joy (Joely Fisher) goes overboard planning for Ally's (Kate Micucci) baby shower and becomes obsessed with baby gifts. Meanwhile, Mr. White (guest star Martin Mull) has difficulty giving Ally and Doug (Timm Sharp) their shower gift, and Dr. Bialik (Mayim Bialik as herself) invites her Blossom castmates to participate in a therapy session for Doug in the all-new "Baby Steps" episode of 'Til Death airing Sunday, May 9 at 7:00 PM ET/PT on Fox.
Blossom reunion features Mayim Bialik as Herself, Michael Stoyanov as Himself, Jenna Von Oy as Herself and Gary Shapiro as Fake Joey. Unfortunately Joey Lawrence and Ted Wass do not appear.


MyNetwork TV has announced its Fall 2010 schedule. On Mondays, MyNetwork TV will present the return of back-to-back episodes of repeats of Law & Order: Criminal Intent from 8-10pm ET. Tuesday night's game show block returns with all-new episodes of Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? in the 8pm hour and the half-hour premiere of Don't Forget the Lyrics! hosted by multi-platinum recording artist, Mark McGrath, in the 9pm hour, replacing Deal or No Deal. Burn Notice, cable television's highest-rated drama series (USA Network), will make its broadcast debut with back-to-back episodes each Wednesday night from 8-10pm ET, replacing The Unit. Procedural series Without a Trace and Monk will join the MyNetwork TV line-up airing Thursdays and Fridays respectively. Without a Trace will replace MyThursday Movies and Monk replaces WWE Smackdown!, which will move to cable on Syfy this Fall.
View the MyNetwork TV Fall 2010 schedule and discuss the schedule.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Charlie's Angels Reunion on GMA, Preview of 8th TV Land Awards; ABC Family Pulls 7th Heaven

ABC will present a reunion of Charlie's Angels tomorrow (Tuesday, April 20) on Good Morning America! The classic action-detective drama series aired on ABC from 1976-1981. Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd will reunite. GMA airs on ABC from 7-9am. GMA will be promoting their appearance at the 8th TV Land Awards, which taped on Saturday and will air on Sunday, April 25 on TV Land.
Celebrities from television, film and music all came out for the unforgettable taping of the eighth annual TV Land Awards premiering on Sunday, April 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Appearances included Billy Crystal, Jay Leno, Betty White, Paula Abdul, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, Bob Newhart, Ryan O'Neal and more. Honorees included the cast of Everybody Loves Raymond (Impact Award), Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner (Legend Award), the cast of Bosom Buddies including Tom Hanks (Anniversary Award), cast members from Glee (Future Classic Award), Charlie's Angels (Pop Culture Award), The Love Boat (Fan Favorite Award) and legendary punk rock band Blondie (Icon Award.) The show was taped on Saturday, April 17 and was hosted by Tim Allen on the historic Stage 15 on the Sony Lot in Culver City.
Memorable moments from the show included singer, dancer, choreographer and TV personality Paula Abdul presenting the cast of Glee with the Future Classic Award. Giving a nod to Future Classic Award winner Glee, the show concluded with a performance by TV Land's very own "Glee Club Choir." Fronted by soloists David Hasselhoff and Marilu Henner and accompanied by TV Land's Choir which included Todd Bridges, Joyce Dewitt, Jamie Farr, Marla Gibbs, Howard Hesseman, Shirley Jones, Richard Karn, Richard Moll, Marion Ross, Jimmie Walker, Marcia Wallace and Fred Willard, the group performed their own rendition of the song that started the Glee pop culture phenomenon, Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."
Trophy presenters Ari Meyers and Allison Smith were reunited on stage for the first time since their stint as the daughters of best friends Kate and Allie on the hit sitcom.
View more highlights from the 8th TV Land Awards, airing Sunday on TV Land!

After just one week, ABC Family is removing 7th Heaven from the line-up. The family drama returned to ABC Family last Monday (April 12), but effective TODAY (April 19), the midday Gilmore Girls returns after a week. Gilmore Girls will remain also in the 4pm and 5pm hours this week, but the 4pm hour will be replaced by back-to-back episodes of Grounded for Life starting next Monday (April 26). Grounded for Life will remain in the 9am half-hour as well. No word yet on if and when 7th Heaven will return, but you can still watch it on The Hallmark Channel and WGN America at least. This is good news for Boy Meets World, as that sitcom will remain in the 7am hour, as that series also returned to the network last week. View our previous story on the changes that happened last week.

And don't forget to watch the premiere of ABC's new sitcom starring Alyssa Milano, Romantically Challenged, tonight at 9:30PM ET/PT! Please watch it live and help the show out. It's a traditional sitcom and we love those! You'll enjoy it, too!

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Week 30 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did



Week 30 TV Ratings (first four nights, Mon-Thurs finals):

Households: #1. Fox 7.6/12.5 rating/share; #2. CBS 6.7/11.3; #3. ABC 6.2/10.4; #4. NBC 3.6/6.1; #5. The CW 1.2/2.1
Total Viewers: #1. Fox 12.76 million; #2. CBS 10.59 million; #3. ABC 9.57 million; #4. NBC 5.59 million; #5. The CW 1.94 million.
Adults 18-49: #1. Fox 4.4/12.7 rating/share; #2. CBS 2.7/8.0; #3. ABC 2.7/7.9; #4. NBC 2.1/6.0; #5. The CW 0.9/2.7

Week 30 (April 12-April 18) Analysis: For week 30, thus far through the first four nights it is a three-network race once again with Fox having the edge. So far through the first four night, Fox is first across the board, with CBS second in HH/viewers. 2nd in 18-49 is a tie between CBS and ABC. ABC is third in HH/viewers, though. NBC is in fourth across the board. Last week, week 29, CBS took home first place in HH/viewers, but couldn't squeak by Fox in 18-49. Fox second in HH/viewers. ABC was third in every category and NBC was a clear fourth in all categories.

On Monday it was ABC with a big win again with Dancing with the Stars season ten continuing to pull in big ratings. ABC aired a two-hour Dancing with the Stars doing 20.56 million and an excellent 4.9 18-49 rating, but both down a bit from previous week. At 10pm, the surging Castle had 12.68 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating, up from previous week as Tom Bergeron was among the guest stars. CBS started off the night with a new episode of How I Met Your Mother doing a below normal 6.8 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, not much above a repeat of Big Bang in the same slot the previous week. A new Rules of Engagement was next doing 7.36 million and 2.8 18-49, both up a bit from the previous week. Then at 9pm a new episode of Two and a Half Men sparked up to 13.71 million and a 4.7 18-49 rating. Great, but down from normal. Then an all-new The Big Bang Theory did 13.39 million and a 5.1 18-49 rating, both below normal but solid retention in viewers and solid gains from the lead-in in 18-49. CBS closed the night with a new CSI: Miami at below normal and second place 10.78 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating. Fox started the night with a brand new House doing 10.8 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating, which is both below normal. At 9pm a new 24 did 8.33 million and a 2.5 18-49, both up from previous week when it was two-hours. NBC was of course in fourth with a repeat of Chuck barely registering at 2.75 million and a 0.9 18-49. An all-new Trauma followed an needed some trauma at only 4.43 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, both down from the previous week. At 10pm a Law & Order repeat did only 4.07 million and 1.2 rating, both down from previous week's repeat. Over at The CW, they started with an all-new Life UneXpected at 8pm and did 1.8 million and a 0.9 18-49 rating, up some from the previous week. Then at 9pm an all-new Gossip Girl did 1.86 million and a 1.0 18-49 rating, also up a bit from previous week.

On Tuesday, Fox took the night by a wide margin. Fox aired an all-new American Idol doing 20.64 million and a 7.3 18-49 rating for 90 minutes, down a tad from previous week when it was two-hours. From 9:28-10:30pm Glee returned at a special time to series highs (thanks to Idol) at 13.66 million and a 5.6 18-49 rating. The show particularly did well in W18-34 and A18-34. Like High School Musical, I don't understand the Glee craze. CBS had all repeats. They started with a NCIS repeat doing 11.1 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating. The spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles followed with a repeat doing 10.43 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating. I think these shows should switch time slots next fall. And finally The Good Wife closed the night with a repeat doing 7.8 million and only a 1.4 18-49 rating. ABC started off the night with Dancing with the Stars: The Results doing 13.6 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, both up from previous week as Aiden Turner was sent home. Then an all-new episode of the final season of LOST was next with 9.48 million and a 3.9 rating, down just a tad in viewers from week-to-week. V finished the night with 5.61 million and a 2.2 rating, down ever so slightly from previous week with the added competition from Fox. NBC started with a two-hour The Biggest Loser and did 8.37 million and a 3.3 rating, up from the previous week and highest in a while it seems. A new Parenthood was next doing 6.27 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, both down just slightly from previous week. The CW aired new episodes of 90210 and Melrose Place but they continue to struggle to find viewers. The already renewed 90210 did 1.45 million and a 0.7 18-49, while Melrose Place did only 1.09 million and 0.5 18-49 rating, both terrible, but up some from previous week.

On Wednesday Fox prevailed again with Idol. Fox started with a new Human Target and did 7.24 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, down from the previous week. I don't think it deserves to come back. American Idol Results were next at 9pm and did 21.02 million and a 6.8 18-49 rating, up some from previous week in both categories CBS started with a new The New Adventures of Old Christine doing 6.17 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating, both categories were up slightly from previous week but still not good. Accidentally on Purpose followed with a new episode doing 5.9 million and 1.9 18-49 rating, on par week-to-week, but not good. Next CBS aired a new Criminal Minds and did 12.44 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating, down from previous week. CSI: NY closed the night with a new episode at 10pm with 10.85 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, both up some from previous week, but still low. ABC had a night new episodes of Comedy Wednesday including the series finale of Ugly Betty. Modern Family repeat opened the night with 5.1 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. A new The Middle followed with 6.7 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating. The always hilarious Modern Family was all-new at 9 with a solid 8.88 million and a 3.7 18-49 rating. Next Cougar Town was also new and did 5.8 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, yes it could be better, but I think the second half of Idol is the reason why it is lower since January. Ugly Betty closed the night with the series finale doing 5.41 million and a 1.7 rating, both season highs, but no where near the ratings caliber it once had. Anyway, it was a great finale and was open-ended, so maybe ABC will air a two-hour movie at some point? NBC started with A Minute to Win It repeat doing 5.74 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, that is on par with a repeat from previous week. Sad that this cheap filler does better than scripted shows for the network. A repeat of Law & Order: SVU was next and had only 4.09 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating, both down from previous week's 9pm repeat. A repeat of Law & Order: SVU at 10pm did 5.6 million and a 1.8 rating. The CW aired America's Next Top Model at 8pm doing 2.85 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating, both down from previous week. Fly Girls followed with 900,000 viewers as viewers flew away and it also did only a 0.4 18-49 rating. High Society closed the night with 770,000 viewers, but up a tad from previous week.

Moving on to Thursday, ABC was mostly in repeats so CBS and Fox was in control. CBS started with the durable Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains at 8pm doing 12.31 million and a 3.8 rating in 18-49, on par really from previous week. A new CSI at 9pm did 13.19 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating, both down quite a bit from the previous week. The Mentalist finished the night with a repeat doing 11.45 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating. Not bad for a repeat. ABC began the night with FLASHFORWARD at 8pm doing 4.98 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, both down from previous week. It is too bad, this show is good. A repeat of Grey's Anatomy followed with only 4.65 million viewers and a 1.4 18-49 rating, on par from previous week's repeat. At 10pm a repeat of Private Practice could only muster 3.67 million viewers a 1.1 18-49 rating, up a tick in viewers from previous week. Fox aired a new Bones and did 9.92 million and a 2.9 rating, on par from previous week. A new Fringe garnered 6.62 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, both up from previous week. NBC preempted Community and Parks and Recreation but they did air two repeats of The Office in the 8pm hour doing only 3.83 and 3.81 million. 18-49 rating was a 1.4 and 1.7, a bit better. 30 Rock and the crazy The Marriage Ref were preempted, as NBC aired the special SNL: In the 2000s from 9-11pm doing 6.75 million and a good 2.9 18-49 rating. The CW aired a new Vampire Diaries doing 3.15 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, down in viewers from previous week. Supernatural followed with 2.45 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating, also down in viewers from previous week.

Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available as usual, but NBC won Friday in viewers and 18-49 on Friday actually as CBS was in repeats. Fox won on Saturday thanks to a primetime overrun of MLB action between the Mets/Cards that lasted nearly 7 hours and 20 innings!
Tonight ABC airs repeats of America's Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition BUT Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters are all-new! CBS preempts its usual line-up which includes The Amazing Race and Cold Case for The Academy of Country Music Awards from 8-11. NBC has A Minute to Win It at 8 followed by a new Celebrity Apprentice starting at 9pm. Fox has repeats of The Cleveland Show & Family Guy and new episodes of 'Til Death, The Simpsons and American Dad. As for the coming week, ABC launches new sitcom Romantically Challenged starring Alyssa Milano tomorrow at 9:30!!! PLEASE WATCH!

Week 30 How the Sitcoms Did

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 29-- April 5-11)

  • 'Til Death (Fox) - An all-new episode only mustered 1.93 million, but that was actually up from the previous week.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 airings - A repeat episode at 7:30pm did only 2.48 million, but much better than 'Til Death. A new episode at 8pm did 5.64 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating...seems below normal.
  • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - A new episode did 5.5 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating. Good retention.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - A new episode did 6.96 million and a 3.4 18-49 rating. Best of the block of course.
  • American Dad (Fox) - The series returned to 5.13 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating. Could be better, but it is way better than Sons of Tucson.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A new episode did a below normal 6.8 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating. Hmm...
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 7.36 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating for a new episode, up from previous week.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - A new airing did 13.71 million and a 4.7 18-49 rating. Great, but below what it usually does.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - A new episode at 9:30pm did 13.39 million and a 5.1 18-49 rating. Solid! But now in repeats for a few weeks again...

Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None.


Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Old Christine (CBS) - A new episode did 6.17 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating, could be better.
  • Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) - A new episode did 5.9 million and 1.9 18-49 rating. It might be in danger now.
  • The Middle (ABC) - A new episode did 6.7 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating. Solid out of a repeat!
  • Modern Family (ABC) - A repeat at 8pm did 5.1 million and 1.6 18-49 rating, nearly beating a new Old Christine on CBS. The normal 9pm airing was NEW and did 8.88 million and 3.7 18-49 at 9pm. Grrrreat!
  • Cougar Town (ABC) - A new episode did 5.8 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • Community (NBC) - preempted.
  • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - preempted.
  • The Office (NBC) - Two repeats in the 8pm hour only did 3.83 and 3.81 million.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - preempted.

Friday Sitcoms

  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are a mix of new and repeats of Animation Domination.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and Rules of Engagement were impressive this week. Everything was OK (such as How I Met Your Mother and The Middle) or just plain old terrible (such as repeats of The Office & 'Til Death).

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Digital Digest: Ally McBeal - The Complete Second Season; DVD Packaging Changes on Older Releases

It's time for Digital Digest, your weekly roundup of news, reviews, and more about TV on DVD! Luckily, we don't have any bad news to report this week, a refreshing change from last week! We have news about newly announced series on DVD, a major update (with excellent news) about Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series, an update about Big John, Little John on DVD (a slight bit of good news to counteract last week's announcement of a delay), and a preview of next week's home media releases. Plus, we have a review of Ally McBeal - The Complete Second Season and we're going to take a look at packaging on some of our favorite DVDs, specifically how some DVDs released several years ago are now being repressed with new (and often lower quality) packaging. So enough with the introductions... let's get going!

DIGITAL NEWS

We are finally getting some details in on Shout! Factory's upcoming release of Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (June 29), and one thing is for sure: it is going to be one of the most amazing DVD releases ever. Some of the features announced include:
  • Never-before-seen footage of the cast, as shot by the cast, including Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow, and Jerry Mathers.
  • Six radio episodes of Stu's Show from Shokus Internet Radio featuring the cast of the series.
  • Featurette focusing on Ken Osmond and Frank Bank.
  • Original promos from the series.
  • Original pilot from the series.
  • Savings bond promo film from the United States Treasury featuring Leave it to Beaver.
  • Physical recreation of the Leave it to Beaver board game, manufactured by Hasbro in the 1950s.
Wow! That is simply an amazing list of special features, particularly that physical recreation of the board game! Aside from the radio interviews from Stu's Show, all of these special features will only be available on the Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series set (they will not be on the individual season sets). The pilot episode of the series was previously released as part of Universal's Leave it to Beaver - The Complete First Season, but this new release appears to be much more worthwhile. It comes at a $199.98 MSRP, which sounds expensive, but in actuality is less than $34 a season, and of course lower prices can be found. You can buy this excellent set now on Amazon.com!

We still have more news from Shout! Factory, though! Special features have been announced for the May 4 release of The Facts of Life - The Complete Fourth Season. It isn't a long list, but both are very nice, and include the movie The Facts of Life Goes to Paris and an interactive trivia game. It comes at a $39.97 MSRP. Also, some details have emerged about the June 29 release of Mad About You - The Complete Fourth Season, specifically in regard to special features. It will contain episode introductions on "select episodes" from Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt. Hopefully we'll have more details and be able to follow up on that in the future.

Last week, we reported that Virgil Film's release of the series Big John, Little John had been delayed on DVD, and that a new date had not been announced yet. That has not changed. But, we have found out, thanks to a member of our message boards, that the entire series has been released on a legitimate DVD release (not a bootleg) in Australia, and that it has been released in a region-free format! Your best bet is to just wait for Virgil Film's release (it should come eventually), but if you just can't wait to see the series, you can order it now, directly on Amazon.com.

There have been several--at least a dozen--reports of various current network and cable series coming to DVD soon in the past week. After all, DVDs are typically announced about 3 to 4 months in advance, and most of the studios want their product on the shelves just in time for the new season to kick off. We won't even discuss all of them, because there are just way too many of them and most are beyond the general scope of our website. But as far as the sitcoms are concerned, Amazon.com has made available for pre-order DVDs of ABC's The Middle - The Complete First Season and NBC's action-comedy series, Chuck - The Complete Third Season (also for Blu-ray). There are absolutely no details about these releases yet, but you can pre-order them. Other current series that have popped up for pre-order on Amazon.com in the past week include C.S.I. - The Complete Tenth Season, C.S.I.: Miami - The Complete Eighth Season, Criminal Minds - The Fifth Season, The Good Wife - The First Season, NCIS: Los Angeles - The First Season, and Numb3rs - The Sixth Season. Wow! That is a long list of series from CBS! I'm sure that nursing homes nationwide are overflowing with joy with this news... we're only kidding, we love CBS.

Finally, we end our news with some excellent news about MPI's long-anticipated release of The Mothers-in-Law - The Complete Series. MPI has been talking about this series for well over a year now, but they have finally set a street date (July 27). The set is going to contain all 56 episodes of the series and a ton of special features, including interviews, the original pilot, unaired pilots of related series, and more at an incredibly low $39.98 MSRP! We encourage you to check out this report from TVShowsOnDVD.com which gives the rather lengthy list of special features. The set doesn't appear to be available for pre-order just yet, but we'll let you know when it is!

UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW
There is only one lonely sitcom scheduled for release for next week (April 20), and that is Shout! Factory's long-awaited The Bill Cosby Show - Season Two. It is one of their direct-to-consumer titles, although as is the case with the rest of these titles, it can be purchased on Amazon.com. We haven't received a review copy of it yet, and we aren't sure when/if we will receive one. Also, Warner Home Video is bringing out Falcon Crest - The Complete First Season and CBS DVD has Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 1. We will cover both of these titles sometime soon, but you can pre-order all of them now.

BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

In 1997, a new legal drama hit the air that was nothing like anything that preceded it. This one contained a lot of humor, sexual innuendo, hallucinations (anybody remember the dancing baby?), and many other unique elements in a series about a woman trying to balance her romantic life and her life at work. Ally McBeal - The Complete Second Season is the second of five seasons of this unique series.

DVD Review: Ally McBeal - The Complete Second Season
by Pavan

Ally McBeal - The Complete Second Season
(Fox, $39.98) is back on DVD in an individual set featuring all 23 episodes from the series' excellent (and most popular) second season. The series premiered in 1997 on Fox and lasted five seasons, becoming one of the most talked about shows in the late '90s. The series was created by David E. Kelley The cast was brilliant led by Calista Flockhart in the title role as a young lawyer working in the Boston law firm Cage, Fish and Associates with other young lawyers. Also starring on this show are all recognizable names: Gil Bellows as Billy, Courtney Thorne-Smith as Georgia, Greg Germann as Richard Fish, Lisa Nicole Carson as Renée, Jane Krakowski as Elaine, with Peter MacNichol as John Cage and Vonda Shepard as Herself. Portia de Rossi as Nelle and Lucy Liu as Ling Woo join the cast this season.

The second season begins with the episode "The Real World," where Fish and Cage hire a new associate, Nelle "sub-zero" Porter (Portia de Rossi) and Cage tells Ally about his attraction to Nelle. In the very next episode, "They Eat Horses, Don't They?," Lucy Liu joins the cast as Nelle's friend and client, Ling Woo, who sues a radio DJ for making sexually explicit comments on air and to the disgust of Ally, drops the case as a legal tactic. In "It's My Party," Ally defends George Madison (special guest star John Ritter), editor of a feminist magazine fired for his religious views on women and Ally finds herself attracted to George, but Elaine implies that she and George are an item. Later, Ally is told to stop wearing miniskirts in court and when she refuses, she is held in contempt and taken into custody. This is one of the best episodes in the entire series! In the very next episode, "The Story of Love," Ally is arrested after a fight with a young woman angry with her best friend for stealing her boyfriend, meanwhile George (John Ritter) begins to show an interest in Ally, and Elaine begs her not to date him. Cage brings in his pet tree frog, Stefan, whom he is training for a competition. And the frog popularity begins after this!
In "Pyramids On the Nile," Fish agrees to hire Ling, to the annoyance of the firm except Nelle, while Ally and Billy defend a couple fired because they were dating and then Billy admits, after the trial, he still has feelings for Ally and they share a kiss. In "Sex, Lies, and Politics," Cage and Ling help a bookstore owner sue a senator after he falsely accuses her of selling pornography, causing her to lose business, while Ally obsesses over the kiss with Billy, and struggles with the urge to tell Georgia. In "Civil Wars," Georgia finds out about the kiss, and rumors spread through the office, while Ally and Cage oppose Fish and Georgia in court over a date rape case, but as tension increases between Georgia and Ally, the two get into a fight in the bathroom with Ling and Nelle, with Elaine filming. In the season finale, "I Know Him By Heart," Ally becomes increasingly depressed about her love life, until Fish gives her a pep talk, while Ally and Renee decide to go on as many dates as possible until they find the right man. Notable guest appearances for this season include, the aforementioned John Ritter (who was nominated for an Emmy), Wayne Newton, Rob Schneider, Jennifer Holliday, Lara Flynn Boyle, Bruce Willis, Anna Nicole Smith, Barry White, Rosie O'Donnell, Jesse L. Martin, Larry Green, and the Emmy winning performance by Tracy Ullman.

The episodes are unedited and has all the original music! This season was released in the complete series set back in October 2009, so the content is exactly the same as that set. But if you have not gotten that complete set, there is nothing to worry about on this set. Runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "The Real World" (45:16)
2. "They Eat Horses Don't They?" (44:56)
3. "Fool's Night Out" (45:25)
4. "It's My Party" (43:21)

Disc 2:
5. "Story of Love" (44:30)
6. "World's Without Love" (42:56)
7. "Happy Trails" (45:25)
8. "Just Looking" (45:18)

Disc 3:
9. "You Never Can Tell" (44:03)
10. "Making Spirits Bright" (45:27)
11. "In Dreams" (45:26)
12. "Love Unlimited" (45:14)

Disc 4:
13. "Angels Over Blimps" (45:21)
14. "Pyramids On The Nile" (44:23)
15. "Side Show" (44:42)
16. "Sex, Lies & Politics" (45:25)

Disc 5:
17. "Civil Wars" (45:26)
18. "Those Lips, That Hand" (45:25)
19. "Let's Dance" (44:51)
20. "Only The Lonely" (44:45)

Disc 6:
21. "The Green Monster" (45:02)
22. "Love's Illusions" (45:01)
23. "I Know Him By Heart" (45:19)

Now I didn't get the complete series set, but the case (and the rest of the packaging) for season two is the same as it was on that set. The cover art has a full body shot of Ally in black with the show logo in the middle in orange and white coloring. The color scheme for the set is orange and white. Also on the cover art we have four small black and white headshots of Cage, Nelle, Billy and Ling Woo. The back of the case has info on the set and series, with a close-up of Ally in black and a strip about five episodic photos. Inside the case are the discs of course. Disc one is on the left panel, while discs two and three are on a plastic holder that you can flip like a book. The same goes true for discs four and five. And disc six is on the right panel. Artwork inside the case is in orange and we have a disc-by-disc breakdown of episode titles on the panels. When we remove discs one and six, there is some cool artwork, that I won't spoil. Each disc has the same artwork, of a frog, the show logo, and it matches the set's color scheme.

The menus on the set are very nicely done, with different artwork on each disc. The main screen has a different shot of Ally on each disc. The submenus have other castmembers. The main menu has the theme song playing in the background. It is so catchy! The main menu have an option for Play All and the episode titles are listed right on the main menu. When selecting an episode, it takes you to another menu that have the options Play Episode, Language Selection, and Scene Selection. Language tracks are available in English, French and Spanish. Subtitles are available in English and Spanish. In Scene Selection, each episode has about 15 different positions you can start at. Chapter stops have the same selections. It is a bit much for an hour-long series.

The video and audio on the set is looks really good. The video is available in a nice widescreen, and if your DVD player upconverts to HD, it looks so nice. The audio is also very good and is presented in Dolby Surround. This season is from 1998-99, so while it is over a decade in age, it is very well presented here in both video and audio. All of the episodes on the set are closed-captioned for those who need them.

One bad thing about this set is that there are no special features available. They should have gave us a seventh disc with some extras. The complete series set had a bonus disc and in that it did have some features for season two. It would be nice if they included the season two material from that on this set. But that would mean more manufacturing for them. So the only way to see bonus features for this season is to buy the complete series set. That is too bad, especially if someone can't afford that or just wanted this season (like me). I basically was a fan for the first two seasons, but I never really watched the show after that much.

This is a good set, but it is exactly the same content that was available for this season in the complete series set. It is good and amazing that all of the original music is intact, though! Kudos to 20th Century Fox for doing that since this show had A LOT of music! Each episode is also unedited in content, so another thing to be grateful for. The packaging and menus are also great. Everything on this set is great, except for the lack of bonus features. It's not like nothing was available. Fox could have given us the same season 2 features on the bonus disc on the complete set, but they didn't. I was hoping they would, because I have not seen those bonus material. Anyway, the episodes are great and this is my favorite season of the show. It has a nice mix of comedy and drama. Ally's short skirts, Cage's frog, wild hallucinations, special guest John Ritter, this season has it all! A must buy if you don't have the complete series set!

(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
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BLOG FEATURE STORY

DVD Packaging Changes on Older Releases
by skees53

About a month or so ago, Target had a really nice deal on the season sets of the series Saturday Night Live that I couldn't resist. I had always liked the series, but never bothered to pick up the DVDs because the MSRP was more than I wanted to pay. I picked up all of the first four seasons without really looking at the packaging, but when I got home, I noticed that the first season had been placed in a newer (and cheaper) standard digipack inside of a slipcase. I hadn't yet opened the set, but was wondering what exactly was going on with this different packaging. As I later found out, the older releases of the series were no longer being printed with the special limited packaging, and I had to go on a hunt all over town to find a USED (yes, USED) copy of the first season in the original packaging--which ended up costing me about $10 more than my new copy from Target in the new packaging.

At the time, I didn't realize that the studios were repackaging TV series on DVD, but in the past few months, it has become a very common practice. In most cases, the original packaging is being shoved aside in favor of the newer Viva packs--you know, the standard plastic DVD cases that can hold multiple discs. Nobody is publicly saying why this practice is occurring, but there are many potential reasons, including cheaper cost of production (perhaps the main reason), lower package weight, smaller package size (beneficial for storage warehouses and store shelves), or perhaps to just make older releases more consistent with newer releases (which are more often than not being released in Viva packs).

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and ABC Studios seem to be spearheading most of these "evolving packages." As I have discovered, 20th Century Fox began the practice with repackaging older releases of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Arrested Development, and How I Met Your Mother, all of which were previously released in slimcases, in the regular Viva packs. Now, some other older releases series are starting to show up on store shelves in the new packaging, including American Dad!, Family Guy, King of the Hill, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Remington Steele, and even MGM's releases of The Addams Family and Green Acres. All of the 20th Century Fox titles have the same UPC as the original release, same disc content, same disc artwork (sometimes with a few minor changes), but different packaging. Unfortunately, on some of the sets, the different packaging means losing some very nice things included on the original releases, such as detailed episode descriptions. Even more frustrating is Fox's DVDs of The Simpsons, which, even though they have not changed the packaging itself on these sets, they are no longer including the very nice and detailed episode booklets on older releases, instead opting for an empty pocket where the booklet should be.

ABC Studios has been reissuing many of their older titles that were previously released under the Buena Vista Home Entertainment brand, replacing all references to BVHE with ABC Studios. But that isn't all. They have been repackaging many series in their library in the same standard plastic DVD cases as 20th Century Fox, only there is one exception with the ABC Studios products: they are including cardboard slipcovers for most of the products. Packaging has been updated for series including Alias, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Scrubs, and more. You can also determine which of these sets are the newer ones, as they have the disc count as a banner on the top of the front of the packaging. Just like 20th Century Fox, these sets carry the same UPC as the original releases. ABC Studios has, in the past, had some of the most unique and creative packaging for a lot of their sets, and these newer packages take away what made a lot of these older sets special. You can even see a comparison of the old vs. new packaging for Scrubs - The Complete Fourth Season below. It was originally packaged in a digipack, but has since been replaced with a standard plastic DVD case. Note that the disc artwork (not shown) is the same in both versions.

Old Packaging:


Outside of old packaging for Scrubs - The Complete Fourth Season.



Inside of old packaging for Scrubs - The Complete Fourth Season.

New Packaging:


Outside of new packaging for Scrubs - The Complete Fourth Season.


Inside of new packaging for Scrubs - The Complete Fourth Season.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and ABC Studios aren't the only studios making these changes. HBO Home Entertainment has been re-releasing several older releases of series, including Da Ali G Show and Entourage, in newer (and cheaper) packaging. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is doing the same thing with All in the Family and Soap, releasing them in the cheaper black spindle cases that everybody seems to hate about Sony. One positive note about Sony, though, is that they are at least changing the UPC so that consumers are aware of what they are getting. And Lionsgate, while not making any packaging changes quite yet (that I'm aware of, anyway) has been excluding episode descriptions/booklets and cardboard slipcases on newer copies of older releases. Warner Home Video hasn't changed a whole lot, but some sets (such as The Flintstones) that were originally released with transparent plastic slipcases are being replaced with standard cardboard slipcases. So far, aside from the Saturday Night Live season sets (which were only supposed to be produced in limited numbers for the special packaging anyway), Universal and CBS DVD products haven't been affected... yet.

So is this all a good thing or bad thing? It depends upon what you are looking for. First and foremost, I find the practice of keeping the same UPC on the repackaged products very shameful, because if somebody orders a DVD online, they have no clue which version they will be getting. This issue has even resulted in Amazon.com being forced to put a disclaimer on some products about the packaging. Aside from that issue, though, let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of new packaging for older sets:
Pros:
  • Thinner and more compact, thus allowing more shelf space.
  • Often less cumbersome than old packaging (particularly folding digipacks).
  • Similar style packaging for all releases of a given series rather than having older style packaging for older seasons and more standardized packaging for newer releases.
  • Plastic cases often show much less wear and tear.
Cons:
  • Plastic cases usually simply look cheaper.
  • Retailer selection of DVDs often includes both older and newer packaging, sometimes meaning only newer packaging available for older sets and only older packaging available for newer sets, thus creating a hodgepodge of packaging between seasons for collectors.
  • Creative packaging designs are usually lost in the transition.
  • Episode descriptions, and in some cases even general lists, are being lost in the newer designs.
All in all, there seem to be about an equal number of pros and cons to the new packaging styles. It really all depends upon what your preferences are. Whenever possible, I've attempted to opt for the original packaging on just about every DVD set that I own, and I have been completely successful in this endeavor so far. Recently, it even meant going to four different Target locations to find the original packaging for the first three seasons of How I Met Your Mother. With a little work (and sometimes scouring used book and DVD stores), you can usually find the version that you are looking for, but using the same UPC certainly does create some confusion.

LOOKING AHEAD

We will, of course, return next Saturday with more news and reviews for you. We're still working on what will be on slate for next week, but we will have reviews coming up of The Unusuals - The Complete Series, Perry Mason - Season 5, Volume 1, Marcus Welby, M.D. - Season One, and who knows what else... sometimes we just review random and unexpected things that we stumble upon (and oddly enough those reviews tend to be the most interesting). We are going to have more feature stories in the next few weeks, and among some that we are working on include stories on out-of-print DVDs, an in-depth look at Blu-ray, a look at some rare (as well as some not-so-rare) finds on public domain DVD, and we will even start talking about the online sources for watching TV shows--the legal ones, anyway. We'll also plan to talk about more special deals on home media as we find them (I didn't mention this anywhere else in the blog today as we aren't fully covering deals yet, but I'll just say that you can find some excellent deals on some rather popular Lionsgate releases at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores). That's it for this week, but remember, we do want to hear your feedback about Digital Digest. Tell us on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us. Until next time, keep it digital!

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Friday, April 16, 2010

ABC Midseason Pilot Review: Romantically Challenged - Premieres April 19; Fox Changes Summer 2010; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 19, 2010)

Romantically Challenged

Romantically Challenged - Mondays 9:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres Monday, April 19, 2010 at 9:30PM ET/PT



From the writer of such irreverent and bold television shows as Family Guy and Politically Incorrect comes a comedy about four romantically challenged friends in their early thirties navigating their way through today's tricky world of dating.

Smart and beautiful Rebecca (Alyssa Milano) is recently divorced after 15 years of marriage. Having never really dated before she was married - and not having been on a date since Clinton was in office -- she finds it scary to start over now. Although a gifted mom and lawyer, she is clueless about dating and hopes to get some help from her equally romantically challenged friends.

Perry (Kyle Bornheimer) is Rebecca's best friend since childhood. He is a rugged man's man and a tremendously successful financial planner -- but also one of Pittsburgh's most sensitive hopeless romantics. When it comes to matters of the heart, Perry is a romance-aholic who falls in love with women 20 minutes after meeting them. After 40 minutes, he's already naming their future children.

A struggling novelist, the witty and affable Shawn (Josh Lawson) has been Perry's best friend and rent-free roommate for six years. Shawn is the emotionally unavailable cynic to Perry's hopeless romantic. He has never had a relationship more serious than a three-night stand - and even those send him running for the door.

Rounding out the group is Rebecca's petite, baby sister, Lisa (Kelly Stables). Behind her deceptively sweet appearance is a sassy pit bull ready to protect her older sister. Although a nurturing kindergarten teacher, she has a wild side too, and sees a "threesome" as "second base."

Will these four romantically challenged friends ever find lasting love? Or even someone who lasts until next Thursday?


Cast Details:

* Alyssa Milano as Rebecca Thomas
* Kyle Bornheimer as Perry Gill
* Josh Lawson as Shawn Goldwater
* Kelly Stables as Lisa Thomas

Alyssa Milano (Rebecca) has spent almost her entire life in the public eye. At age 10 she landed her breakthrough role on the ABC sitcom Who's the Boss? as Tony Danza's daughter, Sam Micelli for eight seasons. She also starred for eight seasons on the hit WB series Charmed, as well as on the Fox cornerstone series Melrose Place. She was most recently seen in a recurring role on the cult favorite, My Name is Earl. And she also recently made a guest appearance on ABC's Castle. Milano's film credits include Hugo Pool, co-starring Sean Penn and Robert Downey Jr., and the Imagine/Universal film Fear, with Reese Witherspoon. She produced and starred as the title character in the Lifetime Original movie Wisegal. Past television movies include playing Amy Fisher on Casualties of Love: The "Long Island Lolita" Story. She will next be seen in the romantic comedy My Girlfriend's Boyfriend.

Kyle Bornheimer (Perry Gill) recently starred as the hapless Sam Briggs in the critically-acclaimed but short-lived CBS comedy series, Worst Week. His performance earned him a spot on Entertainment Weekly's 2009 Dream Emmy Ballot list in the Best Lead Actor (Comedy) category. Bornheimer's additional television credits include guest starring roles on ABC's Better Off Ted, How I Met Your Mother, Party Down, The Office, The Unit, Jericho, Will & Grace, Monk, Weeds and Breaking Bad. On the big screen he starred in Dreamworks' She's Out of My League. Additional film credits include roles in Blades of Glory and the independent feature For Christ's Sake.

Josh Lawson (Shawn Goldwater) is probably best known for his returning guest appearances on his home country of Australia's improvised hit TV comedy, Thank God You're Here. He was also the co-host of Wipeout Australia, which was based on ABC's reality game show of the same name, and was a series regular in Chandon Pictures. In addition to several television series roles in Australia, Lawson's film work includes BoyTown and the upcoming Australian release Kin. From the U.S., he will star in the independent film, Crave, as a troubled photographer whose dangerous visions begin to destroy his relationship with a beautiful young woman. He will also star in the upcoming comedy Freeloaders as one of the slackers who is living for free in a rock star's mansion.

Kelly Stables (Lisa Thomas) is making her mark as one of the most dynamic and busy actresses in television. In addition to starring in Romantically Challenged, Stables continues her recurring role in her second season on CBS' Two and a Half Men, as Melissa, Alan Harper's (John Cryer) girlfriend and receptionist. She also has a recurring role as Janette on ABC Family's hit show Greek. Past television credits include guest starring roles on Life, 'Til Death, How I Met Your Mother, The Bold & The Beautiful, Cavemen and General Hospital. She also starred in Showtime's Pride & Prejudice, Lifetime Network's Together Again for the First Time, ABC Family's Santa Baby 2 and Sci-Fi Channel's Furnace. Stables is active in voice-overs, starring in Disney's animated series W.I.T.C.H. and Too Many Robots. In addition to her current television projects, she produces and stars in the internet horror series Soul Fire Rising. No stranger to the big screen, Stables terrified audiences as the iconic Evil Samara in The Ring 2, starred alongside Jason Flemyng and Mel B. in the British thriller, Telling Lies, and fought dragons as the star of Dragon Hunter.


Pilot Plot:

UPDATE (4/17/2010): ABC has announced it will NOT air "Rebecca's One Night Stand" first, so instead the actual first episode taped will air first "Don't Be Yourself." Due to last minute change, ABC did not put this episode up for review. Ricky Blitt sent this message: HAPPY ANNOUNCEMENT: Premiere episode ABC is airing Monday is now the 1st one we shot - the pilot & the one that sets everything up! -Ricky Blitt

I have seen two episodes that will air on ABC! So this review will be based on these two episodes. Here are the plot details for both episodes:

#1 "Rebecca's One Night Stand" (#104, Airs TBD)
Lisa finally convinces Rebecca to have her first one night stand. But the always polite Rebecca violates Lisa's number-one rule by calling her date, Leo, the morning after. Now Leo is into Rebecca, so Lisa gives her sister her own unusual brand of dating advice so Rebecca can break up with him. Meanwhile, an overworked Perry decides to take a stay-cation. But doing so gets on the nerves of his unemployed roommate, Shawn, to the point that Shawn decides to get a job - any job.

Guest starring are Israel Broussard as Justin, Paul Greene as Leo, Edward Flores as Bob, Emayatzy Corinealdi as Tiffany, Elaine Loh as waitress, Brian Michael Jones as restaurant patron and Donald Li as owner.
"Rebecca's One Night Stand" was written by Ted Cohen & Andrew Reich and directed by James Burrows.

#2 "The Charade" (#103, Airs April 26)
Although Rebecca said she wouldn't meddle in sister Lisa's love life, she can't resist finding out why Lisa would break up with "nice guy" Neil. When Lisa finds out what Rebecca did, she finds a way to get back at her. Meanwhile, as Shawn is on his way to pick up Perry from his dental surgery, he gets distracted by a pretty girl, proving once again that the ladies come first in his life, so a fed-up Perry kicks Shawn out of the apartment and refuses to forgive his BFF.

Guest starring are Daniel G. O'Brien as Neil, Nadine Heimann as Sarah and Nasty Nes as taxi driver.
"The Charade" was written by Ricky Blitt and directed by James Burrows.


Analysis:

The first episode I saw is titled "Rebecca's One Night Stand" but it was actually the fourth episode that was taped. ABC orginally was going to air this one first because it best introduces Alyssa Milano's character Rebecca. It made sense, as the show doesn't have a pilot per say (but ABC later decided to air the first one that was taped to better set up the series). This episode starts off a bit slow I think, but it really picks up half-way through and you'll be loving it after you watched the entire episode. As I mentioned in the plot section, this episode is basically about Lisa convincing Rebecca to have her first one night stand and also Perry decides to take a stay-cation from work, but by doing so gets on the nerves of his unemployed roommate, Shawn. The show may be similar to Friends, but it has its own voice and style. One similarity is that the gang all meet at a coffee shop, though.

There are many laughs in this episode. Josh Lawson, who plays Shawn, steals this episode with the most laughs. He has many funny lines, such as saying Perry looks like one of the Wiggles. Perry and Shawn seem like a great hilarious combo (and it gets even better in episode two). The sister combo of Rebecca and Lisa are also funny. Rebecca is taking her younger sister's advice of having a one night stand with a guy named Leo ("the mansicle"). Rebecca is a lawyer and recently divorced and has a 15-year-old son. She hasn't dated since the Clinton era, so she has been out of the game for quite some time. She tries to win a guy over with "pouty lips and a double hair toss," but that doesn't seem to work so she takes Lisa's advice. Will it work? Let's just say the guy has a bit of a fetish...of mushrooms. Kindergarten teacher Lisa has some hilarious lines as well in this episode, such as comparing Perry and Shawn's relationship as a non-consensual prison romance! And going to back to the Perry and Shawn storyline, Perry is driving Shawn crazy by taking him to places like the Pittsburgh Museum of Fine Arts to look at 18th century buttons (yes, buttons!) and scavenger hunts and also a Revolutionary War battlefield that has musketballs! What will Shawn do? Let's say he goes to a Chinese "company."

The second episode that is airing is titled "The Charade" but it was actually the third episode that was taped. This is a very fun episode. As I mentioned in the plot, Rebecca meddles in her sister Lisa's love life because she can't resist finding out why Lisa would break up with "nice guy" Neil, while as Shawn is on his way to pick up Perry from his dental surgery, he gets distracted by a pretty girl and forgets about picking Perry up. There is lots of physical comedy in this episode, particularly from Perry, played by the comic genius of Kyle Bornheimer. Kyle was excellent at this on CBS's Worst Week last season, one of the better comedies from last season. The scene with Perry in pain after getting his wisdom teeth removed is classic. Boy did he need his pudding. Shawn also shines in this episode, as he did in the first episode. The on going credit card number joke in this episode is funny each time.

The two sisters plotline was also good. Lisa finds out that her date is married, so Rebecca suggests to her that she date the new waiter, Neil, at the coffee shop. So, she does...but after one date she says he is a bit too "nice." Rebecca doesn't buy the excuse, so she meddles and finds out that he is more strange than nice. Lisa finds out about Rebecca's visit to Neil. So what happens? Let's just say Lisa gets her back good. Ah, the sitcom lesson. Fun and practical!


Conclusion:

While this is billed as an Alyssa Milano comedy, it is more of an ensemble. But that is good because this cast is ALL very talented! This is a great ensemble comedy that has a good mix of hilarious dialogue and physical comedy. So far Rebecca was "romantically challenged" in "Rebecca's One Night Stand" and Lisa in the second episode, "The Charade." Maybe Shawn and Perry will get one of those soon, but so far their "buddy" plots have been spot on and hilarious in these two episodes that were made available for review. Well, Shawn did meet that woman in episode two that made him forget about picking Perry up from the dentist!

The series has 6 episodes taped, but as of now only 4 episodes are scheduled to air. Let's hope it hits big and the two episode that don't air are held over for a second season! The series will certainly be sampled as it will air after Dancing with the Stars. Also, the competing CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory will be in repeats on April 19, 26 and May 3 (though on May 3 a new episode airs at 9pm of that show leading into a repeat). I urge fans of that show to check out this sitcom while Bang is in repeats. We need more traditional sitcoms like this on the air! It is good and has potential to be even better if given the chance. Usually sitcoms of this nature need some more time to develop to find its footing (like Seinfeld, Cheers, Facts of Life). The mind of Ricky Blitt is genius and the legendary James Burrows is directing. Of all the traditional sitcoms to premiere this season, this is by far the best one (loads better than Accidentally on Purpose, Brothers and Hank). It's not Modern Family, but this is not to be compared to that since this is not a family comedy (nor it is single camera).

Alyssa Milano is still funny and still stunning! I am so glad she is back on TV (see below for some talk show appearances she is doing)! Josh Lawson is a surprise player on this show and should breakout big time. Kyle Bornheimer continues his great comedic timing, especially in the second episode. And the lovely Kelly Stables is perky with big laughs. What more can I say but watch the premiere LIVE on TV this Monday at 9:30pm on ABC. It will help the show if you watch it live (not DVR), especially if you're home at that time. So get out your musketballs and make pouty lips and do a double hair toss right in time for the premiere because you'll enjoy this show! Knowing Perry's credit card number is not needed to watch!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by Pavan on 4/16/10

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

Related Links:

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

    Preview:




    Fox has updated its summer schedule with Hell's Kitchen now making its seventh season premiere on Tuesday, June 1 at 8:00 PM ET/PT and culinary competition series Masterchef premiering Tuesday, July 27 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. The new summer season of So You Think You Can Dance will air performance shows on Wednesdays and results shows on Thursdays now following the season premiere on Thursday, May 27 form 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT. In addition, acclaimed new series, Glee, will air encores throughout the summer on Thursdays at 8:00 PM ET/PT.
    Everything else from the original announcement of summer 2010 will remain. View our previous story.


    It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars (but we won't cover movie stars like Tom Hanks or John Travolta, since they won't be talking about their past sitcoms likely), so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
    For the week of April 19-23, 2010, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

    Monday, April 19, 2010
    • Alyssa Milano (Romantically Challenged/Who's the Boss?) - Alyssa is making the rounds promoting her new sitcom (which launches on this night at 9:30pm on ABC). First she will be on ABC's Good Morning America in Times Square sometime between 7-9am and then she heads on to W. 66th Street to do ABC's The View at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Tim Allen (Home Improvement) - Tim stops by ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:05am, as he promotes hosting the TV Land Awards.
    • Craig Robinson (The Office)- Craig will stop by NBC's Today Show sometime between 7-9am.
    • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Doogie Howser) - Neil has to see the ladies of The View. Airs 11am ET/10am CT/PT on ABC.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    • Jenna Elfman (Accidentally on Purpose/Courting Alex/Dharma & Greg) - Jenna stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:05am ET on ABC.
    • Lisa Kudrow (Friends) - Lisa will be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show so check your local listings for time and channel.
    • Craig Robinson (The Office) - Craig will be on CNN's Larry King Live at 9pm.
    • Ken Jeong (Community) - Ken will be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC at 11:35pm.

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    • Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory/8 Simple Rules) - The sexy Kaley Cuoco stops by The Late Show with David Letterman on CBS at 11:35pm.
    • Craig Robinson (The Office) - Craig will be on Colbert Report on Comedy Central at 11:30pm.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    • David Spade (Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - David will be on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm ET to promote his CBS sitcom.
    • Alyssa Milano (Romantically Challenged/Who's the Boss?) - Alyssa stops by to talk about her new sitcom on The Joy Behar Show on HLN at 9pm.
    • Anthony Anderson (All About the Andersons/Hang Time/Bernie Mac) - Anthony chats on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live at 12:05am.
    • Busy Phillips (Cougar Town) - The sexy Busy stops by to talk on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS at 12:35am.
    • Lisa Kudrow (Friends) - Lisa stops by Tavis Smiley Show, check local PBS listings for time and channel.
    • Chevy Chase (Community) - Chevy stops by NBC's Today show between 7-9am then he will head on to chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT/PT.
    • Wandy Sykes (Old Christine) - The funny lady stops by another funny lady's show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Check your listings.
    • Malcolm Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show/Sherri) -Malcolm stops by BET's Mo'nique Show at 11pm.
    • Ken Jeong (Community) - Ken chats it up on Lopez Tonight on TBS at 11pm.

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    • Kelsey Grammar (Cheers/Frasier/Hank) - Kelsey stops by CBS's Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm.
    • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show) - Drew will appear on his buddy's show, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS at 12:35am.
    • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - This is a repeat from a few weeks ago, but catch Tina on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC at 12:35am.
    Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!
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    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    ION Television May 2010; BET Upfront 2010: The Game Returns; Sí TV Acquires Prison Break and In Living Color

    ION Television will make some schedule changes in May 2010! It is nothing major or nothing really new, but it is a change nevertheless. First up, weekends will have a switcharoo. Saturday nights at 11pm will now be Ghost Whisperer starting May 1, while Sunday nights at 11pm will now be My Name is Earl. In April they both were the other way around with Ghost on Sundays and Earl on Saturdays. Now that is just a minor change, but the real change is in primetime on weeknights. Criminal Minds will replace Ghost Whisperer Mon-Thurs in the 7pm and 8pm hours starting May 3. However, Ghost Whisperer will remain on Wednesday nights in an extended block now from 7pm-12am. Criminal Minds airs Mon-Tues 7pm-12am and Thurs 7-9pm & 11pm (NCIS remains Thursdays 9-11pm). What about Fridays? Criminal Minds will replace a movie and air from 7-9pm and Ghost Whisperer replaces Criminal Minds from 9pm-12am. ION sure has a lot of Criminal Minds now.
    The Emeril Lagasse Show, which launches this Sunday, will remain airing Sundays at 8pm in May with an encore from previous week leading in at 7pm. Movies will air in the daytime on weekends and also in primetime on Sunday nights. Movies include Die Hard: With a Vengeance, The Godfather Part II, The Godfather Part III, Rudy, Lethal Weapon 3 and Lethal Weapon 4.
    And finally it's going to be a marathon-filled Memorial Day weekend on ION Television with marathons and movies! The fun begins on Friday, May 28 with a marathon of Ghost Whisperer from 4pm-12am. On Saturday, May 29, spend the day with two classic films from 4pm-11pm: The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Part III. Then it is back to series TV with a marathon of Shark from 4pm-11pm on Sunday, May 30. Shark has been replaced from the Sunday night weekly schedule recently. And finally on Memorial Day (Monday, May 31) itself, ION will air a marathon of its number one show--Criminal Minds--from 4pm-12am!
    View the full schedule and details for ION Television May 2010.

    During its annual Upfront presentation to the advertising community, BET Networks revealed its new consumer research, new programming strategy including scripted programs and original movies, and the reinvigorated direction for the company at New York City's Nokia Theatre. Touting the Network's unique understanding of black consumers through its "African Americans Revealed" study, BET reinforced its position as the world's #1 provider of black content with unprecedented reach to all types of African American consumers across all demographics and genres.
    The big news from the BET upfront was that the sitcom The Game will go back into production and move to BET! By popular demand, BET answers the prayers of Sabres fans everywhere. New episodes of The Game will be produced by and air exclusively on BET. After enjoying record ratings in syndication, The Game, created by Mara Brock Akil and executive produced by Kelsey Grammer and Salim Akil, will follow the lives of the fictitious San Diego Sabres–and the women who love them. The Game is scheduled to return for its fourth season in Fall 2010 on BET. The previous three seasons aired on The CW from 2006-2009. The CW canceled the series after 64 episodes. It is still unclear how many episodes BET has picked-up for the fourth season.
    Other notable items from BET's upfront was Steve Harvey's morning radio show headed to Centric. Award-winning comedian and author, Steve Harvey, and his co-hosts light up weekday mornings with The Steve Harvey Morning Show. The show features the latest in news, entertainment, and celebrity interviews and the offers dating advice through the popular Strawberry Letter segments and is coming to TV via Centric. The series will start on Centric in Fall 2010.
    View the full BET upfront press release.

    Sí TV has announced the breakout arrival of the acclaimed series Prison Break to the network. The Golden Globe-nominated series will premiere on Sí TV on Monday, April 19, its first airing anywhere since its first-run on Fox. Prison Break will air Monday-Friday nights on Sí TV at 10PM ET/PT (encores at 1am ET/PT).
    The 81-episode series ran on the Fox Network from 2005-2009 and continues to have a huge on-line following as evidenced by its 1.5+ million fans on Facebook. In support of the series launch on Sí TV, the network has built a robust, interactive site featuring video extras, games, photos and much more at www.sitv.com/prison-break.
    Also joining the Sí TV line-up on Monday (April 19) will be reruns of sketch comedy In Living Color! The series will air weeknights at 9:30PM ET/PT (encores at 12:30am ET/PT) leading into Prison Break. Sí TV also will still air reruns of New York Undercover weeknights at 11pm ET/PT. Other series they have aired includes the short-lived ABC sitcom Freddie starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. They recently stopped airing the series, but hopefully it returns.
    Sí TV is available nationwide on Dish Network, and in more than 200 cities and communities across the United States, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco / Bay Area, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Denver, San Antonio and Las Vegas. For more information about Sí TV, please visit http://www.sitv.com/. The network launched in 2004 and was the first media company to reach the millions of 18–34-year-old Latinos who prefer their content in English and seek it across all platforms—including linear television, the Internet, video-on-demand and wireless devices.

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    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    E!, style Acquire Sex and the City; Big Bang Theory Gets Two and a Half Men Slot On May 3, Wife Swap Not Airing Again

    I'm back after a few days away, but Todd did a great job filling in!

    Comcast-owned networks E! Entertainment and style have acquired the rights to all 94 episodes of Sex and the City starting in January 2011. Sex and the City of course aired on HBO for six seasons from 1998-2004 and has been airing on TBS in repeats since 2003. Currently on TBS it airs weeknights in the 1am hour, but they will be losing the rights to the show when E! and style's deal starts. The series is not needed on TBS anymore, especially since Conan O'Brien will start his talk show in the fall, giving Sex and the City the boot since one hour (or two since there will likely be an encore of the talk show) of late night will be removed because of his new talk show.
    The Comcast deal let's it air on E! and style as well as limited digital, VOD and mobile rights starting in Jan. 2011. In a previously done deal, E! already has the rights to the first Sex and The City movie, which will debut on E! in July 2012.

    We have some notable network notes for you. CBS is trying The Big Bang Theory in Two and a Half Men's 9pm half-hour on Monday, May 3 - the first Monday of May sweeps! This is really a forced thing, because Two and Half Men had its episode order cut by two (the Charlie Sheen rehab situation) and doesn't have enough new episodes left in May. As a result, CBS has announced it will air an all-new episode of The Big Bang Theory at 9pm on May 3, followed by a repeat in its regular 9:30pm half-hour. Two and a Half Men will return with its final three episodes of the season starting May 10 at 9pm, with the season finale airing on May 24.
    View more CBS schedule updates for May.
    Moving on to other network notes, as I predicted, once again ABC will preempt Wife Swap this Friday (April 16) for previous week's rerun of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution at 8pm leading into an all-new episode. I suspect this will happen again next week (April 23), as Food Revolution will have its season finale next week. If that is the case, Wife Swap will return April 30 with back-to-back episodes, as previously scheduled. Then it should air weekly at 8pm, leading into Primetime: What Would You Do? at 9pm starting May 7.

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    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    The Love Boat Reunion at TV Land Awards; TV Land Daytime Block Changes Starting Starting April 19; Conan O'Brien Joins TBS

    Come aboard... TV Land's expecting you at The 8th Annual TV Land Awards.
    TV Land announced recently that it will honor the popular series The Love Boat with the Fan Favorite Award at The 8th Annual TV Land Awards, hosted by Tim Allen. The show is scheduled to tape on Saturday, April 17 on the historic Stage 15 on the Sony Lot in Culver City and will air on TV Land on Sunday, April 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, as we previously mentioned.
    This year's Fan Favorite, The Love Boat, was executive produced by Aaron Spelling and was set on a cruise ship where the boat's crew encouraged its weekly guest stars to find romance on the high seas, usually on its voyage between Los Angeles and Puerto Vallarta. Cast members included Gavin MacLeod ("Captain Stubing"), Fred Grandy ("Gopher"), Bernie Kopell ("Adam 'Doc' Bricker"), Ted Lange (bartender, "Issac Washington"), Ted McGinley ("Ashley Covington Evans"), Lauren Tewes (cruise director, "Julie McCoy"), Jill Whelan ("Vicki Stubing") and the popular "cuchi cuchi," guest star Charo. Throughout its ten hilarious seasons, The Love Boat was nominated for five Emmy® Awards and eight Golden Globe® Awards including Best TV Series - Musical/Comedy and two nominations for Best Performance by an Actor to Gavin MacLeod. Previous Fan Favorite Award honorees include Home Improvement and Lindsey Wagner of The Bionic Woman who accepted the Fan Favorite Award for her "bionic speed."

    Honorees previously announced for The 8th Annual TV Land Awards include the entire cast of Everybody Loves Raymond who will receive the Impact Award, Glee which will receive this year's Future Classic Award and Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles) and Carl Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show and Ocean's Eleven) will each receive the Legend Award. Stars of the 1970s TV phenomenon Charlie's Angels will be on hand to receive the Pop Culture Award and to pay tribute to their cast member Farrah Fawcett, who passed away in June 2009. Also scheduled to appear are Academy® Award-winner Tom Hanks and Emmy® Award-nominee Peter Scolari who will reunite to accept the Anniversary Award for the 30th anniversary of the comedy, Bosom Buddies, along with fellow cast members Donna Dixon, Thelma Hopkins and Holland Taylor, marking the first time that the cast has been together publically since the show went off the air.


    TV Land is changing its daytime marathon block schedule starting Monday.

    Effective Monday, April 19, 2010
    Weekdays
    9:00am-1:00pm (unless noted)
    Mondays: Good Times (replaces Leave it to Beaver)
    Tuesdays: 3rd Rock from the Sun (replaces Beverly Hillbillies)
    Wednesdays: Sanford and Son remains
    Thursdays: The Brady Bunch (replaces Hogan's Heroes)
    Fridays: 9-11am Gunsmoke, 11am-5pm Bonanza remain

    What's back: Good, Times, The Brady Bunch and 3rd Rock from the Sun
    What's gone: Beverly Hillbillies, Leave it to Beaver and Hogan's Heroes
    Stay with us for further updates, incluing how TV Land May 2010 will be affected.

    Comedy icon Conan O'Brien is joining TBS to host a late-night talk show that is expected to debut in November. The Emmy-winning comedian's new program will be followed by Lopez Tonight, which will shift to a midnight time slot.
    O'Brien began talks in earnest with TBS just last week, after George Lopez personally called him to ask that he consider joining the network's late-night line-up. "I can't think of anything better than doing my show with Conan as my lead-in," Lopez said. "It's the beginning of a new era in late-night comedy."
    Said O'Brien: "In three months I've gone from network television to Twitter to performing live in theaters, and now I'm headed to basic cable. My plan is working perfectly."

    O'Brien and Lopez will give TBS a dynamic lineup in late-night television. TBS - which has built a programming slate that appeals to a young, diverse audience – expects O'Brien to be a long-term addition to the network's late-night landscape. O'Brien will host his hour-long, yet-to-be-titled show Mondays through Thursdays at 11 p.m. (ET/PT).
    With the addition of O'Brien's show, TBS will establish two hours of late-night talk. Lopez Tonight, while just a few months old, has already become a destination show for a diverse audience. The Lopez Tonight audience is young as well, with a median age of just 34.

    O'Brien is well-known from his many years in comedy. He grew up in a large, Irish Catholic family in a suburb of Boston. His love of comedy began at an early age and carried on when he entered Harvard University, where he earned a degree in history. During his years at Harvard, he also wrote for the legendary Harvard Lampoon publication, eventually serving as its president.
    After leaving Harvard, O'Brien went to Los Angeles, where he found several writing jobs for television, including HBO's Not Necessarily the News. After returning to the East Coast, O'Brien joined the writing team at Saturday Night Live, earning his first Emmy in 1989. He was writing for the hit show The Simpsons when Lorne Michaels approached him about a new late-night series for NBC. In 1993, Late Night with Conan O'Brien launched. The show ran for 16 years, ending when O'Brien briefly took over The Tonight Show.
    O'Brien is currently touring the United States and Canada with his live show, Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.

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    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Remembering Dixie Carter; Hallmark Channel Changes Starting April 14; Me-TV and Me-Too (Chicago) Updates

    We have some sad news to bring you today. Television, film and stage actress Dixie Carter has died. She died on Saturday, April 10 in Houston, TX of complications of endometrial cancer, her publicist Steve Rohr said. She is probably best known for her role as interior decorator Julia Sugarbaker on the 1986-1993 CBS sitcom Designing Women. The series also starred Delta Burke, Annie Potts, Jean Smart, Meschach Taylor, Julia Duffy, Jan Hooks and Judith Ivey.
    Carter was born in McLemoresville, TN on May 25, 1939. She made her professional stage debut in a Memphis production of Carousel in 1960. In 1963, she moved to New York City and got a part in a production of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. After taking a break from acting, she had a role on One Life to Live in 1974. From 1974-1976, she appeared on the daytime soap opera The Edge of Night as Assistant District Attorney Olivia Brandeis Henderson. Her first sitcom role was in On Our Own from 1977-1978 on CBS. The series also starred Lynnie Greene, Bess Armstrong and Gretchen Wyler. Later she appeared on the short-lived ABC sitcom Out of the Blue which lasted for 8 episodes. In 1982-1983, she appeared as Carlotta Beck on the CBS sitcom Filthy Rich. One of her co-stars was Delta Burke. The series was created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason who went on to create Designing Women and cast her in that. Her next major role was as Maggie McKinney, the girlfriend and later the wife of Philip Drummond, on Diff'rent Strokes for 28 episodes from 1984-1985. When the show moved to ABC for the final season in 1985-1986, she was replaced by Mary Ann Mobley. In 1986, the long-running Designing Women began and produced 163 episodes over 7 seasons. Her real-life husband, Hal Holbrook, had a recurring role as her boyfriend, Reese Watson, on the show. They were married on May 27, 1984.
    She had several other television roles after the series ended. In 1999-2000, she appeared as Peaches in 9 episodes of Ladies Man with Alfred Molina, Sharon Lawrence and Betty White. From 1999-2002, she played Randy King on the legal drama Family Law. Her last major TV role was as Gloria Hodge, the surly mother-in-law to Marcia Cross's Bree and mother of Kyle MacLachlan's Orson on Desperate Housewives. She was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her seven-episode stint in 2007. Some of her other television credits included Cassie & Co., Bret Maverick, Best of the West, Quincy, M.E., The Greatest American Hero, Lou Grant, Crazy Like a Fox, Christy, Diagnosis: Murder, Fired Up and Hope & Faith.
    In addition to her television series roles, she also appeared in some television movies and theatrical films. She met her husband Hal Holbrook while making the TV movie The Killing of Randy Webster. Some of her other credits included Going Beserk, Gambler V: Playing for Keeps, The Big Day and Comfort and Joy. Her final project was the 2009 independent film That Evening Sun, which was filmed on location with Holbrook in East Tennessee in the summer of 2008. In 2006, she published a memoir titled Trying to Get to Heaven, in which she talked about her life with Holbrook and working on Designing Women. She also appeared in commercials for The Real Yellow Pages and Coffeemate.
    Besides Holbrook, Carter is survived by daughters Mary Dixie and Ginna, a sister, Melba Helen Heath and several nephews and nieces. We will miss her unmistakable Southern accent, style and grace. She was a classy lady. Ms. Carter was 70. Please share your memories and condolences here. You can also visit her official website for more information on her life and career. We will let you know if any marathons or on-air tributes are planned. Unfortunately, Designing Women isn't airing nationally at the moment.

    As we reported last month, The Hallmark Channel added some Martha Stewart programming at the end of March. Now the weekday schedule is getting another makeover starting Wednesday. A number of shows will be shuffled to different times. Little House on the Prairie and Touched By An Angel will be returning to the lineup.

    Effective Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Weekdays
    9:00am From Martha's Kitchen (replaces The Golden Girls)
    9:30am From Martha's Kitchen (replaces The Golden Girls)
    10:00am From Martha's Garden (replaces The Golden Girls)
    10:30am From Martha's Home (replaces The Golden Girls)
    11:00am Touched By An Angel (replaces From Martha's Kitchen 2x)
    12:00pm Little House on the Prairie (replaces From Martha's Kitchen/From Martha's Garden)
    1:00pm Little House on the Prairie (replaces From Martha's Garden/From Martha's Home)
    2:00pm Little House on the Prairie (replaces From Martha's Home/From Martha's Kitchen)
    3:00pm 7th Heaven (replaces From Martha's Kitchen 2x)
    4:00pm 7th Heaven (replaces From Martha's Garden 2x)
    5:00pm 7th Heaven (replaces From Martha's Home 2x)
    6:00pm The Golden Girls (replaces 7th Heaven)
    6:30pm The Golden Girls (replaces 7th Heaven cont.)
    7:00pm The Golden Girls (replaces 7th Heaven)
    7:30pm The Golden Girls (replaces 7th Heaven cont.)
    8:00pm Touched By An Angel (replaces 7th Heaven)
    9:00pm-4:00am is the same as it is now.

    Discuss the Hallmark Channel April schedule here.

    Me-TV Chicago and Me-Too Chicago are giving their schedules a spring makeover starting April 12. Joining or returning to Me-TV's classic weekday lineup are My Three Sons, Petticoat Junction, One Day at a Time, Maude, The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Leave it to Beaver, The Munsters, Barney Miller, Hogan's Heroes, Gilligan's Island, Frasier, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family, The Bernie Mac Show, Burns and Allen, The Jack Benny Show, McHale's Navy, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.. Joining or returning to the weekend schedule starting April 17 are Who's the Boss?, Square Pegs, Diff'rent Strokes, The Three Stooges, Get Smart, My Favorite Martian, The Bullwinkle Show, The Underdog Show, The Brady Bunch, Family Affair, Eight Is Enough and The Odd Couple. Leaving the schedule completely will be The Monkees, Reba, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, Married with Children, That '70s Show, Laverne & Shirley, The Patty Duke Show, Amen, The Jeffersons, Good Times and That's My Mama.

    Me-Too (WMEU) is all drama (except for Saved by the Bell and The Courtship of Eddie's Father)! The schedule is the same except for one minor change on Saturdays. Classic favorites airing on the weekday schedule include Cagney and Lacey, Perry Mason, In the Heat of the Night, Hawaii Five-O, The Streets of San Francisco, Bonanza, Police Woman, Charlie's Angels, The Rockford Files, Dragnet, The Adventures of Superman, The Rifleman, The Wild Wild West, Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Twilight Zone, Naked City and Route 66. Some notables airing on the weekend schedule include Knight Rider, The A-Team, T.J. Hooker, Friday the 13th: The Series, Batman, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Little House on the Prairie, Hart to Hart and many more.

    View and discuss the complete April Me-TV and Me-Too schedule.

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    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    Week 29 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

    Week 29 TV Ratings (first four nights, Mon-Thurs finals):
    We finally have the first four nights in time for the first time in weeks. Pavan is away for a few days, so I'm getting a chance at doing them for my first opportunity. This should be fun!

    Households: #1. CBS 8.5/13.9; #2. Fox 7.4/11.9; #3. ABC 5.9/9.6; #4. NBC 3.6/6.0; #5. The CW 1.3/2.1
    Total Viewers: #1. CBS 13.6 million; #2. Fox 12.61 million; #3. ABC 9.12 million; #4. NBC 5.69 million; #5. The CW 1.99 million.
    Adults 18-49: #1. Fox 4.1/11.8; #2. CBS 3.6/10.4; #3. ABC 2.6/7.3; #4. NBC 2.0/5.8; #5. The CW 0.9/2.7
    Adults 25-54: #1. Fox 5.0/12.9; #2. CBS 4.6/12.0; #3. ABC 3.2/8.2; #4. NBC 2.4/6.2; #5. The CW 0.8/2.1

    Week 29 (April 5-April 11) Analysis: For week 29, thus far through the first four nights it is a three-network race. So far through the first four days of the week I can project, CBS is first in HH/viewers and second in 18-49, Fox is first in 18-49 and second in HH/viewers, and ABC in third across the board. NBC is in fourth across the board. Last week, week 28, CBS took home first place in HH/viewers, and squeaked by ABC for third in 18-49. ABC took second in HH and tied Fox for second in viewers with 8.47 million. Fox placed third in HH and won in 18-49. NBC was a clear fourth in all categories.

    On Monday it was ABC with a big win again with Dancing with the Stars season ten continuing to shine. The changes they have made this season have led to a lot of buzz and a big increase in ratings. ABC aired a two-hour Dancing with the Stars doing 21.21 million and an excellent 5.1 18-49 rating, down a bit from last week's best ever rated non-premiere/finale. It was still ABC's strongest-ever performance against the NCAA title game. At 10pm, the surging Castle had 11.7 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, down over 2 million from last week's series high but that was to be expected airing against the NCAA Basketball Championship Game. Tom Bergeron is among the guests tomorrow. CBS started off the night with a repeat of The Big Bang Theory doing 6.61 million and a 2.2 18-49 followed by a new Rules of Engagement doing 7.04 million and 2.6 18-49, down a bit from the previous week. The thrilling NCAA Championship Game between Butler and Duke started at 9:15pm and had 23.94 million and an impressive 8.2 18-49. Ratings for the title game were up over 31% from last year. It was the highest rated game since 2005. 48.1 million watched at least some of the game. For the entire tournament, CBS averaged a 6.0 rating, up 5% from last year. March Madness indeed! Fox ran 2 hours of 24 and did 7.42 million and a 2.3 18-49, down over a million from last week. NBC was of course in fourth with a new Chuck doing 5.79 million and a 2.1 18-49. It hit a 3 week high in total viewers. Will they save the critically acclaimed show? Trauma followed an did 5.02 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, up slightly in viewers from the previous week. At 10pm a Law & Order repeat did only 4.69 million and 1.3 rating, down quite a bit due to the basketball game. Over at The CW, they started with Life UneXpected at 8pm and did 1.73 million, down a tad from the previous week. Then at 9pm Gossip Girl did 1.74 million, up a bit from last week. This is a show that doesn't get many viewers but seems popular on DVD and iTunes.

    On Tuesday, Fox took the night. Fox aired an all-new American Idol doing 20.84 million for two-hours, down a million from last week. Its 18-49 rating continued to slide down to a 7.3 this week. CBS had all new episodes. They started with NCIS doing 16.45 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating. Not bad against some stiff competition. The spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles followed with 13.78 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating. And finally The Good Wife closed the night with 12.06 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating - a series low. They have many viewers who are 50+. ABC started off the night with Dancing with the Stars: The Results doing 12.43 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating as Buzz Aldrin was sent home, down nearly 2 million in viewers. Then an all-new episode of the final season of LOST was next with 9.55 million and a 3.9 rating, both down from the previous week. V finished the night with 5.79 million and a 2.4 rating, down quite a bit in viewers and finishing second in 18-49 for the timeslot. This is a show that needed to air at 8pm with no repeats. Any momentum they had built in November was lost with such a long break between new episodes. NBC started with a two-hour The Biggest Loser and did 7.69 million and a 3.0 rating, up a bit from the previous week. A new Parenthood was next doing 6.28 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, up slightly from last week. This is a show that I could see NBC bringing back if it continues to hold steady. The CW aired new episodes of 90210 and Melrose Place but they continue to struggle to find viewers. The already renewed 90210 does well with women 18-34 and did 1.33 million and a 0.7 18-49, while Melrose Place did only 0.86 million and 0.4 18-49 rating.

    On Wednesday Fox prevailed again. Fox started with a new Human Target and did 7.72 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, down a bit from the previous week. Renewal chances are up in the air. American Idol Results were next at 9pm and did 20.17 million and a 6.7 18-49 rating, down a bit in both categories The 6.7 matched the lowest in 2002. What will happen when Simon Cowell leaves the show? CBS started with The New Adventures of Old Christine doing 5.97 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, tying a series low in 18-49. Accidentally on Purpose followed with 6.03 million and 1.9 18-49 rating, a series low and down from the last original episode of Gary Unmarried. Wednesday nights seem to be where reasonably successful sitcoms on Mondays like Out of Practice and Courting Alex go to die. Next CBS aired a new backdoor pilot episode of Criminal Minds and did 12.7 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating, up a bit from the previous last original episode. CSI: NY closed the night at 10pm with 10.64 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, a series low in 18-49. ABC had a night of comedy repeats and the second to last new episode of Ugly Betty. Modern Family opened the night with 4.81 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating. The Middle followed with 5.08 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating. The always hilarious Modern Family was up next with 5.06 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating. Next Cougar Town collected 3.6 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating. Ugly Betty closed the night with 3.99 million and a 1.4 rating, both down a bit from previous week. ABC should have never moved the show from Thursdays where it was pretty dependable, but 4 seasons is a pretty decent run these days. Betty and company say goodbye in the series finale on April 14. NBC started with A Minute to Win It doing 5.96 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, on par with its Sunday episode. A repeat of Law & Order: SVU was next and had only 4.86 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating. An all-new episode of Law & Order: SVU did 8.36 million and a 2.5 rating, down from previous week. The CW aired America's Next Top Model at 8pm doing a solid 3.17 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, nearly identical to the previous week. Fly Girls followed with 1.02 million and a 0.4 18-49 rating, down some from last week. High Society closed the night with 690,000 viewers, even lower than the previous week.

    Moving on to Thursday ABC and NBC were mostly repeats and CBS and Fox had new episodes across the board. CBS started with the durable Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains at 8pm doing 12.38 million and a 3.8 rating in 18-49, up over a million in viewers and a higher 18-49. CSI returned to its regular timeslot of 9pm and did 14.97 million and a 3.4 18-49 rating, up over a million and a half in viewers and up from the series low of a 2.8 rating from the previous week. The Mentalist finished the night with 16.32 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating. It was an interesting test of timeslot switches. Maybe they could try it on a night not affected by a holiday. ABC began the night with FLASHFORWARD at 8pm doing 5.42 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, up a bit in total viewers and from the series low in 18-49. A repeat of Grey's Anatomy followed with only 4.79 million viewers and a 1.4 18-49 rating. At 10pm a repeat of Private Practice could only muster 3.56 million viewers a 1.1 18-49 rating. I'm surprised that these two shows don't repeat better, since they are mostly standalone episodes. Fox aired a new Bones and did 9.99 million and a 2.8 rating, up over 1.3 million viewers and way up from the season low i8-49 from last week. A new Fringe garnered 6.33 million and a 2.3 rating, both up thanks to a better Bones lead-in. NBC offered comedy repeats and a new episode of The Marriage Ref. Community started it off only doing 3.28 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating. Parks and Recreation followed with a repeat doing 3.14 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating. The Office at 9pm managed 4.16 million viewers and a 1.9 rating. A repeat of 30 Rock was next at 3.7 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating. An all-new episode of the crazy The Marriage Ref did 4.79 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, both series lows once again. The CW aired a new Vampire Diaries doing 3.48 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, both up from last week. Supernatural followed with 2.78 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating, both up slightly from last week. These shows were both up in their targeted 18-34 demo.

    Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available as usual, but CBS won in viewers and 18-49 on Friday. Fox both on Saturday thanks to NASCAR. Ghost Whisperer and Medium both rebounded a bit, while the new Miami Medical dropped in total viewers and a preliminary 1.4 18-49 from last week's premiere. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution topped a Kitchen Nightmares recap special at 9pm in total viewers and a slight edge in the 18-49 rating. Saturday was either a movie or repeat on ABC, CBS and NBC. Fox aired NASCAR racing.
    Tonight ABC airs all-new episodes of America's Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with Jeff Gordon and a two-hour movie of the heartwarming Brothers & Sisters. CBS has a new The Amazing Race, the surprise hit Undercover Boss and Cold Case. NBC offers a repeat of A Minute to Win It followed by a new Celebrity Apprentice starting at 9pm. Fox has repeats of The Simpsons and The Cleveland Show and new episodes of Family Guy and American Dad.

    Week 29 How the Sitcoms Did

    Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 28-- March 29-April 4)

    • 'Til Death (Fox) - Two all-new episodes were barely on the map again in the 7pm hour doing only 1.53 and 1.84 million...down from previous week. These are just burn-off episodes as the series has been canned finally.
    • The Simpsons (Fox) - A repeat episode did 3.39 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating.
    • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - A repeat episode did 3.67 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating.
    • Family Guy (Fox) - A repeat did 4.64 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating.
    • American Dad (Fox) - on hiatus - returns this week with new episode.
    • Sons of Tucson (Fox) - New episode did 3.13 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, both down from last week.

    Monday Sitcoms

    • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - preempted
    • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 7.04 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating for a new episode, down from previous week.
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - preempted
    • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - A repeat aired at 8:00pm and did 6.61 million and a 2.2 18-49, well below what it repeats at 9:30pm.

    Tuesday Sitcoms

    • None.


    Wednesday Sitcoms
    • Old Christine (CBS) - A new episode did 5.97 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, tying a series low.
    • Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) - A new episode did 6.03 million and 1.9 18-49 rating, both series lows as they had a new episode on Wednesdays for the first time.
    • The Middle (ABC) - A repeat did 5.08 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating.
    • Modern Family (ABC) - A repeat did 4.81 million and 1.5 18-49 rating at 8pm and 5.06 million and 1.9 18-49 at 9pm.
    • Cougar Town (ABC) - A repeat did 3.63 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating.

    Thursday Sitcoms

    • Community (NBC) - A repeat did only 3.28 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating.
    • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - 3.14 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating for a repeat, not too good.
    • The Office (NBC) - A repeat did 4.16 million viewers and a 1.9 rating.
    • 30 Rock (NBC) - A repeat did 3.7 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating.

    Friday Sitcoms

    • None.

    Saturday Sitcoms

    • None.

    Airing tonight (Sunday) are repeats of The Simpsons and The Cleveland Show and new episodes of Family Guy and American Dad at 9pm and 9:30pm.

    Summing it up. Nothing was impressive this week. Everything was OK (such as a new episode of Rules of Engagement and repeats of The Middle, Modern Family, The Office) or just plain old terrible (such as new episodes of Accidentally on Purpose & The New Adventures of Old Christine).

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    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    Digital Digest: Simon & Simon - Season Four DVD Review; Tenspeed and Brown Shoe DVD Review

    We're back for your weekly roundup of everything digital when it comes to sitcoms this week in Digital Digest, and we have a busy week this week. We've got some good news about a few programs on DVD, but unfortunately, we have a disproportionate amount of bad news about others. Plus, we have two features this week that you aren't going to want to miss, including a review of Simon & Simon - Season Four and the incredibly rare 1980s detective drama Tenspeed and Brown Shoe. So, let's get going with this week's edition!

    DIGITAL NEWS

    At the end of our news last week, we briefly mentioned that Warner Home Video would be hosting a chat on Monday to discuss their TV properties. Unfortunately, as we suspected, the chat was a major letdown with most questions being answered with five simple words: "No plans at this time." But there were a few pieces of good news, such as:
    • A DVD release of Growing Pains, a series that appeared to be abandoned, is in the works for a second season release sometime in 2011.
    • Several short-lived series (though none specifically were mentioned) are under consideration for Warner's manufacture-on-demand format.
    • There are plans to release the Dallas movies once they have finished releasing the season sets. Additionally, they plan to release the remaining seasons of Dallas by next year.
    • The outlook for releases of Friends on Blu-ray is "very good."
    It was also mentioned in the chat that Alice has been under consideration for release, but there are supposedly some issues with the masters of the series that need to be resolved. Many series were said to be "under consideration," including further releases of Perfect Strangers, Night Court, Mama's Family, and Knots Landing. Right now, it seems that there is little interest from Warner in releasing several series, including Step by Step, Murphy Brown, The Drew Carey Show, and Wait Till Your Father Gets Home. You can read the entire chat transcript here.

    Moving on to other news, we have some more unfortunate news to report regarding future releases of The Donna Reed Show. According to Joe Amodei, president of Virgil Films, no further releases are planned by Virgil Films, as they were not able to come to an agreement over releasing further seasons of the series. The first three seasons have been released with a few hiccups along the way, although fans have generally been satisfied with the sets. You can find out some more interesting information about the series, including an e-mail from Mr. Amodei here. It is very interesting that Mr. Amodei specifically mentions that season 4 and 5 will not be released (suggesting that there never was a plan to release the remaining seasons, which the rights are believed to be held by another company), and also that several fans mention in the thread that the fourth season has mysteriously been withheld from syndication. Hopefully something is worked out that will allow Virgil Films (or some other company) to release the remaining seasons. In the meantime, though, you can check out next week's release of The Donna Reed Show - Family Favorites, containing four episodes selected from the first three seasons.

    They say that when it rains it pour, and on that note, we have one other minor piece of bad news. Big John, Little John, the rare 1970s NBC Saturday morning sitcom starring Herb Edelman and Robbie Rist, was scheduled to be released in just a little over a week, but that will not be happening now. Still, Virgil Films has indicated that the series will indeed be released at some point in time, it is just a question of when.

    We don't want to leave you with all bad news, though. So we thought that we'd tip you off to some really good DVD deals that can be found at the national closeout retailer Big Lots. One of our posters on our message boards has mentioned finding some new titles from Universal appearing at Big Lots at the low price of just $8.00, including season sets of Coach and Magnum, P.I. Check out our thread from our message boards for some finds at Big Lots in the past. Keep in mind that almost all of the titles mentioned several months ago are not going to be found anymore (they've already sold out), and your mileage will definitely vary as each store tends to stock just random titles. Some will not have any TV titles at all, and others may have a ton of TV titles. By the way, in the upcoming weeks, we hope to tell you about more special DVD/Blu-ray deals that we find both online and in-stores, so be on the lookout for that! Never, ever, ever pay full retail price for any set!


    UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

    Next week (April 13) brings us The Donna Reed Show - Family Favorites, which contains four episodes from the first three seasons of the series. It is a decent DVD, although serious fans would be more probably prefer the previously released season sets of the series. We also get a chance to head back to Southfork Ranch and see J.R. Ewing go nuts (literally) in Dallas - The Complete Thirteenth Season. Universal brings another season of Jack Webb's series about paramedics in Emergency! - Season Six. Finally, everything is far from quiet on the western front, with two releases of classic westerns from Timeless Media, including Alias Smith & Jones - Seasons 2 & 3 and The Oregon Trail - The Complete Series. If you REALLY enjoy westerns, though, Mill Creek Entertainment has The Definitive TV Western Collection, a collection of an eye-popping SIX HUNDRED episodes of various westerns that are in public domain, with 48 discs of countless different series in a special wooden package. The content is far too extensive to list here, so you should check out this detailed synopsis from Mill Creek Entertainment's website. Even though we don't normally cover public domain releases, this is definitely worth mentioning for western fans. You can order all of these now or pick them up in stores on Tuesday, although Dallas and Emergency! are probably the only two that you will be able to find in stores. You can read our review of The Donna Reed Show - Family Favorites here. The Dallas review will be up shortly.


    BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

    Rick and A.J. Simon (Gerald McRaney and Jameson Parker) are more than brothers... they're best of friends. In the 80s detective drama, Simon & Simon, they're also private eyes. This week, we are going to take a look at the recent release of Simon & Simon - Season Four, from Shout! Factory.

    DVD Review: Simon & Simon - Season Four
    by skees53

    Simon & Simon - Season Four (Shout! Factory, $49.98) is the latest installment in the detective drama about the Simon brothers, Rick and A.J., who run a private detective agency in San Diego and seem to get in deep trouble with each and every case they take on. The series premiered in 1981 on CBS and lasted an impressive nine seasons, becoming one of the most prominent action dramas of the 80s. The series also features Mary Carver as Rick and A.J.'s mother and Tim Reid (WKRP in Cincinnati and Sister, Sister) as Lieutenant Marcel Proust "Downtown" Brown, their friend in the police department.

    The fourth season begins with the double-length episode "C'est Simon," where the fiance of A.J. and Rick's mother is kidnapped and the duo ends up in Paris. Rick and A.J. investigate the death of a food critic in "A Little Wine With Murder?" Rick's boat is repossessed and the man who repossesses it turns up dead in "Manna From Heaven," can A.J. get him out of this mess? Daphne Reid (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, also Tim Reid's wife) and Alex Rocco guest star. The duo tries to solve a 20 year old murder case in "Who Killed the Sixties?" Comic books could be the key to solving a murder in "Almost Completely Out of Circulation." Frank Bonner (WKRP in Cincinnati) guest stars in "Deep Cover," where he plays a news reporter who hires a hit man to kill him, and wants A.J. and Rick to stop the hit man. Look for Daphne Reid in this episode as well. John Astin (The Addams Family), Bernard Fox (Bewitched), and Ned Wertimer (The Jeffersons) all guest star in "Revolution #9-1/2."

    Rick and A.J. try to play Santa for a little girl wanting to find her father in "Yes, Virginia, There is a Liberace." Some homeless men are mysteriously disappearing in "Almost Foolproof." Rick and A.J. accidentally bust a smuggling operation and become famous--and realize they need to go their separate ways (at least temporarily)--in the two-part episode "Simon Without Simon." Rick and A.J. have to find a girl who has a drug problem in "Slither." Rick and A.J. investigate a dognapping that results in their own dog being dognapped as well in "Marlow, Come Home." Rick and A.J. help clear Lieutenant Brown's cousin of murder in "Out-of-Town Brown."

    The episodes are mostly unedited, but there are two episodes on the set that are the syndicated versions. It is explained that the original masters could not be found, although I have no clue why they couldn't find them. They do, at least, mention this on the menus (although it would have been better to put that on the packaging). The two episodes that are edited are "A Little Wine With Murder?" and "Our Fair City." These do not seem to be too heavily edited, however, and most of the missing material comes from the opening teasers, which are omitted on these episodes. That isn't a huge deal, since it just shows clips from the episode. It is entirely possible, too, that nothing is missing from the episodes and they are merely time-compressed, as was the case with My Favorite Martian - The Complete Second Season. The rest of the episodes are unedited. The original Universal logo can be found at the end of each episode. Runtimes are as follows:

    Disc 1:
    1. "C'est Simon" (1:35:50)
    2. "A Little Wine With Murder?" (45:04)
    3. "The Dark Side of the Street" (48:05)

    Disc 2:
    4. "Manna From Heaven" (48:03)
    5. "What Goes Around Comes Around" (48:02)
    6. "Who Killed the Sixties?" (47:57)
    7. "Break a Leg, Darling" (48:03)

    Disc 3:
    8. "Almost Completely Out of Circulation" (48:05)
    9. "Our Fair City" (45:02)
    10. "Deep Cover" (48:03)
    11. "Revolution #9-1/2" (48:01)

    Disc 4:
    12. "Yes, Virginia, There is a Liberace" (48:02)
    13. "Almost Foolproof" (48:04)
    14. "Enter the Jaguar" (48:03)

    Disc 5:
    15. "Simon Without Simon, Part 1" (48:01)
    16. "Simon Without Simon, Part 2" (48:02)
    17. "Slither" (47:57)
    18. "The Mickey Mouse Mob" (48:02)

    Disc 6:
    19. "Mummy Talks" (48:00)
    20. "Marlowe, Come Home" (48:04)
    21. "Out-of-Town Brown" (48:02)

    The packaging is similar to the packaging used for seasons two and three, with three dual slimcases. The cover art has the duo sitting in front of the ocean with a green color scheme, and the back has a basic description of the series and a photo of Rick and A.J. with their dog. The slimcases have a photo of Rick and A.J. on each one, with a description and original airdate for each episode on the back of each slimcase.

    The menus on the set are very nicely done, with videos showing action clips from episodes on the disc when you first insert the disc. Then, you get a menu that plays the theme song (with more videos in the background) and options of Play All and Episodes. Selecting Episodes takes you to another menu that has the theme song from the first season playing in the background, and all of the episodes on the disc listed with a snapshot from each episode. Chapters are placed appropriately throughout each episode.

    The video and audio on the set is by no means perfect, but it does look really good. The biggest issue is a bit of grain and debris, but you almost come to expect it from a series as old as this one. The audio is a bit muffled, but it is nothing too significant. It is worth noting that there is a significant decline in video and audio quality on the two syndicated episodes. Each episode is presented in mono. All of the episodes on the set are closed-captioned for those who need them.

    Unfortunately, there are no special features available on the set, and according to Brian Ward at Shout! Factory, it is unlikely that either Gerald McRaney or Jameson Parker will ever participate on this sets. It is too bad, really. It would be nice to at least have some original promos or something along those lines on future sets.

    This series has been a pleasant surprise for me on DVD. I had always ignored the series on TV, and decided to take a chance with the series after finding the first season (which was released by Universal, not Shout! Factory) in the discount DVDs at Big Lots, and was hooked after just one episode. I immediately purchased seasons 2 and 3 and have been anxiously awaiting the release of season 4. We never bothered to review this series in the past because none of our reviewers were particularly interested, but now, I regret that I passed up the opportunity to review this excellent series. All in all, Shout! Factory has put out a decent set, although the two edited episodes are a little frustrating. Still, it is no reason to pass up this set, and fans of 80s detective dramas will definitely want to own this set on DVD. If you are unsure, you might even be able to still pick up a copy of the first season at Big Lots to get a taste of the series, and when you are hooked (trust me, you will be), you can come back here and order this set through our link in this review!

    (4/5 stars)

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    Simon & Simon on TV.com

    BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

    The Simon brothers weren't the only odd couple of detective dramas in the 80s. Just one year before Simon & Simon premiered on CBS, ABC had a short-lived series from Stephen J. Cannell about an even odder couple of private eyes, accountant Lionel Whitney (Jeff Goldblum) and ex-con/parolee E.L. Turner (Ben Vereen). It is already available on DVD. Check out our review of Mill Creek Entertainment's DVD release of Tenspeed and Brown Shoe.

    DVD Review: Tenspeed and Brown Shoe
    by skees53

    Tenspeed and Brown Shoe (Mill Creek Entertainment, $14.98) was one of the first (and perhaps one of the more unique) entries in the 80s era of detective dramas. There were many series about detectives in the 80s, including Simon & Simon, Moonlighting, Miami Vice, and Hunter. All of these series had one thing in common: they were all series about detective duos, and there was something unique about the duo that made them stand out above the others in their own way. In Tenspeed and Brown Shoe, Lionel Whitney (Jeff Goldblum) is an accountant who is very straight-laced and smart when it comes to crunching numbers. His partner, E.L. Turner (Ben Vereen) is an ex-convict who has to work in order to stay out of prison while on parole who is much more street-savvy than his partner. Together, they form their own detective agency in this light-hearted detective drama from Stephen J. Cannell Productions.

    Mill Creek Entertainment's release of Tenspeed and Brown Shoe contains twelve of the thirteen episodes of the 1980 series on a three disc set. The original two hour pilot, unfortunately, is not included, as the rights to the pilot are held by CBS Television Distribution, but every other episode of the series is included on this set.

    In the first episode on this set, "Robin Tucker's Roseland Roof and Ballroom Murders," a mysterious man is willing to pay a ton of money to find a woman. Can Lionel and E.L. help? John Pleshette (Knots Landing) guest stars. "The Sixteen Byte Data Chip and the Brown-eyed Fox" is a computer caper with a twist when a woman is looking for her missing brother. Lionel and E.L. inadvertently get involved with the mob in "The Millionaire's Life." Lionel and E.L. help a girl break up with her boyfriend in "Savage Says: The Most Dangerous Bird is the Jailbird," but unluckily for them, he is a mobster. E.L.'s parole officer is trying to find a way to get him back in prison in "Loose Larry's List of Losers." The duo investigates the murder of a mental patient in "The Treasure of Sierra Madre Street." Lionel tries to impress his parents with a luxurious office that isn't his own in "Diamonds Aren't Forever," and as it turns out, the office belongs to diamond thieves!

    The runtimes of each episode are variable, and I don't know if anything is missing, but my assumption would be that the episodes are unedited. As an added bonus, the original commercial bumpers are even left intact on every episode. It is very nice to see these intact.

    Disc 1:
    1. "Robin Tucker's Roseland Roof and Ballroom Murders" (49:21)
    2. "Savage Says: There's No Free Lunch" (48:23)
    3. "Savage Says: What Are Friends For?" (49:53)
    4. "The Sixteen Byte Data Chip and the Brown-eyed Fox" (48:25)

    Disc 2:
    5. "The Millionaire's Life" (48:46)
    6. "The Most Dangerous Bird is the Jailbird" (47:18)
    7. "It's Easier to Pass an Elephant Through the Eye of a Needle Than a Bad Check in Bel Air" (47:29)
    8. "Loose Larry's List of Losers" (49:22)

    Disc 3:
    9. "This One's Gonna Kill You" (50:11)
    10. "Untitled" (49:45)
    11. "The Treasure of Sierra Madre Street" (49:23)
    12. "Diamonds Aren't Forever" (48:25)

    The set is packaged in the same kind of packaging from Mill Creek Entertainment that we've complained about before: the double-thick keepcase with paper sleeves. I don't know why they continue to use this, it is about the worst kind of packaging imaginable. The cover art has a picture of E.L. and Lionel, and on the back, there are a few snapshots from the episodes and a basic description of the series. There are four episodes on each disc, and each disc has a picture of the duo.

    The discs have very nice menus, with the theme song playing and videos from the episode playing on top of the screen, and options of Play All and Episode Select. Choosing Episode Select takes you to a menu that lists all of the episodes. Once you select an episode, it plays right away. Chapters are placed throughout each episode, although they could have included more per episode than they actually did.

    The video and audio on the set is a little bit rough, but that is somewhat to be expected from a rare series such as this one. There is grain and debris all over the place, but in a way, it gives the series a nice "vintage" look, and is most certainly an improvement over any other sources from which anybody may have this series. Some episodes do look better than others, however. The audio is presented in mono, and the episodes are not closed-captioned or subtitled.

    The set is completely devoid of special features. It would have been nice to have had a little bit more background on the series, or better yet, it would have been great if a deal could have been worked out with CBS Television Distribution to include the original pilot.

    This was a fun show to watch, and Mill Creek Entertainment deserves major kudos for even putting this out on DVD. I had never even heard of this show prior to hearing this release being announced, and I am sure that many other classic TV fans have never heard of it either. It is a little quirky and easy to see why the show didn't make it beyond a half season, but seeing it on DVD is an interesting look at a rare show and the plots themselves were honestly pretty decent. It is just too bad that the pilot (which explains the back story of how the duo came together) couldn't be included. This is a nice and inexpensive series that is worth adding to the collection of all fans of detective dramas.

    (4/5 stars)

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    LOOKING AHEAD

    We'll be back next week with more news (hopefully more good news than bad news, this has been a rough week) and a review of Ally McBeal - The Complete Second Season. We also have a very special Digital Digest feature coming up next week that true DVD collectors are going to want to see regarding a current disturbing practice going on by DVD manufacturers. We're still a work in progress, so we want to hear what you think about Digital Digest. Let us know on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us. Until next week, keep it digital!

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    Friday, April 09, 2010

    Nick at Nite Ends Chris Marathon Early; ABC 2010 Season Finale Dates; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 12, 2010)

    Nick at Nite has been airing a week-long Everybody Hates Chris marathon from 10pm-6am all week since Monday (April 5), but they have pulled the event for tonight (Friday, April 9). Maybe the ratings weren't as good as their normal schedule? Anyway, airing tonight now will be the normal Friday line-up, but 2-5am will be an expanded block of Family Matters and not Everybody Hates Chris from 2-4am as usual on Friday nights. However, Everybody Hates Chris will still air tonight in the 9pm hour.
    There are some additional one-time changes for the rest of the weekend, too. On Saturday (April 10), Everybody Hates Chris will air in the 9pm hour instead of Nickelodeon programming. The Nanny will be expanded to 10pm-1am, replacing an hour of George Lopez from 10-11pm. The 3am hour of Everybody Hates Chris will be replaced Family Matters, which will air 3-5am on the night. Chris will remain the 2am hour, though. And then on Sunday (April 11), George Lopez is expanded to 9-11pm, replacing the 9pm hour of Everybody Hates Chris. Airing from 11pm-2am will be The Nanny, as it is expanded and replacing an hour of Malcolm in the Middle from 1-2am on this night. Finally, 2-5am will be another expanded Family Matters, as Everybody Hates Chris is preempted in the 2am hour.
    Strange schedule changes, but as of now they are for this weekend only. View these changes in a list form.

    ABC has announced most of their season finale dates for the 2009-2010 season. The first finale is the series finale of Ugly Betty next Wednesday (April 14) at 10pm. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution will have its season finale on Friday, April 23 at 9pm. Then the rest of the finales will be during May sweep. First up is Private Practice on Thursday, May 13 at 10pm. The ABC Sunday night line-up of America's Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters will have their finales on Sunday, May 16 from 7-11pm! The very next night (Monday, May 17) the season finale of surging hit Castle will air at 10pm. On Tuesday, May 18 we see the season finale of V at 10pm following part one of the LOST series finale at 9pm. On Wednesday, May 19, ABC Comedy Wednesday will have their season finales from 8:30-10p featuring The Middle, Modern Family, and Cougar Town. On the last Thursday of the season, on Thursday, May 20, ABC presents a two-hour season finale of Grey's Anatomy from 9-11pm! Then on Sunday, May 23, ABC devotes the entire night to LOST, as it concludes its run. From 7-9pm will be a recap/clip show followed by the two-hour series finale from 9-11pm. Dancing with the Stars wraps up season ten on Monday, May 24 at 8pm and the two-hour grand finale on Tuesday, May 25 from 9-11pm! And finally ABC ends FLASHFORWARD with a thrilling season finale on Thursday, May 27 at 8pm.
    Season finale dates for Romantically Challenged, Happy Town, and Wife Swap were not announced yet. And 20/20 is new all-year.

    It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars (but we won't cover movie stars like Tom Hanks or John Travolta, since they won't be talking about their past sitcoms likely), so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
    For the week of April 12-16, 2010, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

    Monday, April 12, 2010
    • Jenna Elfman (Accidentally on Purpose/Dharma & Greg/Courting Alex) - Jenna stops by The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC at 11:35pm.
    • Kathy Kinney (The Drew Carey Show) - Kathy stops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:35am on CBS.
    • Megan Mullally (Will & Grace/In the Motherhood) - Megan will stop by LIVE! with Regis & Kelly. Check your local listings.
    • Carol Burnett (Carol Burnett Show/Mama's Family) - She stops to chat and cook on The Rachel Ray Show. Check your local listings.
    • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - The former TV dad stops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm ET.

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    • Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - The hilarious actors stops by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:35am ET on NBC.
    • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly will be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC at 12:35am ET. And her appearance from March on Late Show with David Letterman will repeat on CBS at 11:35pm ET.
    • Holly Robinson-Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper) - She will be a guest on The Tavis Smiley Show on PBS. Check your listings for time/channel!
    • Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family) - The funny kid appears on ABC's The View! 11am ET/10am PT/CT on ABC.
    • Michael J. Fox (Family Ties/Spin City) - The legendary actor stops by LIVE! with Regis & Kelly. Check local listings for time and channel.
    • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - He stops by ABC's The View at 11am ET/10am PT/CT.
    • Valerie Harper (Rhoda/The Hogan Family) - Valerie heads to The Wendy Williams Show. Check your listings or watch at 12am on BET.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) - Tracy stops by The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC at 11:35pm.
    • Alyssa Milano (Romantically Challenged/Who's the Boss?) - Alyssa will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC at 12:05am to promote her new ABC sitcom premiering April 19 at 9:30pm.
    • Michael J. Fox (Family Ties/Spin City) - Michael will appear on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and then in late night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:35am on NBC.
    • Amy Yasbeck (Wings) - Amy stops by The Doctors show to chat about Aortic Dissection, which caused the death of her husband the late great John Ritter. Check your listings on when to watch!

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    • David Duchovony (Californication) - David will be on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:05am ET and also earlier in the day he will appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
    • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - A repeat of Tina's appearance on Late Show with David Letterman from last month will air at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • John Goodman (Roseanne) - John stops by to talk to the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am PT.
    • Aziz Ansari (Parks & Recreation/[scrubs]) - Aziz stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, check local listings for time and channel.
    • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) - Tracy chats it up on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central at 11pm.

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) - Tracy is making the rounds promoting his movie, this time on LIVE! with Regis & Kelly (check listings) and also on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:35am on NBC.
    • David Duchovny (Californication) - David this will appear on The Bonnie Hunt Show so check your listings!
    • Michael J. Fox (Family Ties/Spin City) - Michael will chat on The Rachel Ray Show, check your local listings for time and channel.
    • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - This is a repeat from early March but if you missed it, catch him on Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Craig Robinson (The Office) - This is a repeat from a few weeks ago when Craig appeared on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:05am.
    Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!

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    Thursday, April 08, 2010

    ABC Summer 2010 Schedule Announced; Gospel Music Aquires Joan of Arcadia

    ABC has announced its summer 2010 line-up! ABC will kick-off summer with the returns of The Bachelorette on Monday, May 24 from 9:00-11:00 p.m. (then will move to 8-10 p.m. starting May 31 as previously announced),and a new season of True Beauty on Monday, May 31 at 10:00 p.m. (as previously announced). A special two-hour blind date themed episode of Wipeout will air on Tuesday, June 1 8:00-10:00 p.m., before the season premiere a few weeks later, after the NBA Finals are over, on Tuesday, June 22 from 8:00-10:00 p.m. (as previously announced). Dating in the Dark returns with a second season on Monday, August 9 at 10:00 p.m. after the run of True Beauty is finished. And Shaq VS is back for an all-new season starting Tuesday, August 10 at 9:00 p.m. Shaq will compete with more stars of sports plus other types of competition like a spelling bee! Shaq-tastic!
    Moving on to all-new series, we even get three new scripted series! The Gates premieres on Sunday, June 20 at 9:00 p.m. in the Desperate Housewives timeslot and new family drama Scoundrels premieres on Sunday, June 20 at 10:00 p.m. in the Brothers and Sisters timeslot. That is great scheduling by ABC to keep Sunday nights fresh in summer with similar-themed shows! The final scripted series is Rookie Blue and it will premiere on Thursday, June 24 at 9:00 p.m. in the Grey's Anatomy timeslot.
    We also have all-new alternative series premiering this summer as well! The first is new game show Downfall on Tuesday, June 29 at 9:00 p.m. after an all-new Wipeout. Then The Bachelor/The Bachelorette all-star series Bachelor Pad premieres on Monday, August 9 from 8:00-10:00 p.m. after the run of The Bachelorette finishes on Aug. 2.
    ABC News will produce quite a few series in the summer. First up is ABC News' Boston Med on Thursday, June 24 at 10:00 p.m., this series is similar to Hopkins a few summers ago. Primetime: Mind Games launches with its series premiere on Tuesday, July 20 at 10:00 p.m., while ABC News' Head Cases launches on Thursday, August 19 at 10:00 p.m. when the run of Boston Med is over. And finally Primetime: Crime returns for an all-new season on Tuesday, August 24 at 10:00 p.m. following the conclusion of Primetime: Mind Games. As we previously reported, Primetime: What Would You Do? is slated to air Fridays at 9pm starting May 7.
    Additional series and specials will be announced at a later date. So stay with us as a few timeslots are still TBD, such as Sundays at 8, Thursdays at 8, and Tuesdays at 10 (from June 22-July 13). Perhaps Secret Millionaire will take one (or two) of those slots.
    Anyway for now, read info on all these series so you know what they are about! And view the schedule for the entire summer, which includes repeats of ABC Comedy Wednesday (the only night of repeats Sun-Thurs this summer on ABC). Stay with us for further updates!

    What if God was one of us? The Gospel Music Channel (GMC) has acquired the rights to air the short-lived drama Joan of Arcadia! The series starts with a launch marathon on Sunday, April 11 2010 from 10am-7pm with the first 9 episodes of the series. After the marathon is over the series will air weeknights in primetime airing back-to-back at 9pm and 10pm ET. It will be replacing second airings of Doc and Promised Land, but those series will still remain in its other slots in the afternoon (Doc at 5pm and Promised Land at 3pm). There are no other schedule changes so you can still enjoy sitcoms Cosby, Amen and Sister Sister along with family dramas Dr. Quinn, Sue Thomas F.B.Eye and more!
    Joan of Arcadia stars Amber Tamblyn, Joe Mantegna, Mary Steenburgen and Jason Ritter. Visit the GMC show page for more info. The series has also aired in reruns on Syfy on and off. In fact Syfy is airing it next on Monday, May 3 from 8am-4pm in their daily daytime rotation marathon.
    GMC is available on DirecTV channel 338 and also on cable, but check your local listings. GMC is giving you a chance to win a Joan of Arcadia DVD set as well! Just head on over to Twitter and "retweet" this message! Good luck!

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    Wednesday, April 07, 2010

    TV Land Summer 2010 Details: Premiere Date for Hot in Cleveland and Launch of The Nanny; I Love Lucy May Marathon on Hallmark

    TV Land kicks off the summer in a sizzling way with exciting new PRIME originals including the long-anticipated sitcom Hot in Cleveland, an unforgettable tribute to director/producer Mike Nichols, the addition of the hilarious sitcom The Nanny to the schedule and unforgettable movies. It all kicks off on Wednesday, May 5 at 10pm with the second season premiere of How'd You Get So Rich? starring the hilarious Joan Rivers. Then, on Wednesday, June 16 at 10pm, from the writer of Frasier - Suzanne Martin - and produced by Sean Hayes (Will & Grace), TV Land debuts the first scripted sitcom for the network, Hot in Cleveland starring Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves and Betty White.
    On Sunday, June 27, TV Land will air an exclusive celebrity-filled soiree honoring the career of legendary filmmaker Mike Nichols – who has worked with the likes of Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks - with the TV Land Presents The AFI Life Achievement Award: Mike Nichols. On Wednesday, August 25 at 10pm, television's only modeling competition for women 35 and older returns with a new season and notable new celebrity host - Brooke Burke - and a new supermodel judge Roshumba Willliams.
    Enhancing TV Land's summer original programming schedule further, TV Land welcomes the popular series The Nanny to the network starting Sunday, August 8, plus Friday night blockbuster movies get even better with movies such as Top Gun, Ghostbusters, The Firm and Sister Act. We'll have details on The Nanny in the coming months, such as if it will be leaving sister network Nick at Nite when it moves to TV Land. And we still have TV Land May 2010 highlights to give you as promised, so keep staying with us for that.
    For now view the complete details on TV Land's Summer 2010 programs.

    I Love Lucy didn't work on The Hallmark Channel as a regular series on the actual schedule, but it seems the classic sitcom has worked in marathons as Hallmark has scheduled another marathon! They will air the marathon on Sunday, May 2, 2010 from 9am-4am...yes that is 17 straight hours of Lucy! The last time Hallmark aired a marathon was back in February on President's Day. This marathon kicks off with the episode "Fred and Ethel Fight" at 9am.
    View the full episode info for this marathon and get ready to spend this Sunday with Lucy all-day!
    There are no regular schedule changes in May, so expect more Martha Stewart programming from 11am-6pm every weekday and weekend mornings.

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    Tuesday, April 06, 2010

    ABC Changes Premiere Date for Romantically Challenged; Fox Cancels Sons of Tucson, Finale Date for 'Til Death; NBC Renews Unscripted Series

    It's all network news today and we have tons of scheduling updates that we must let you know! There are sitcom updates as well! ABC has changed the premiere date for upcoming Alyssa Milano sitcom Romantically Challenged from Monday, April 12 to Monday, April 19 but the timeslot of 9:32pm will remain. Not a big change, but a change nevertheless. It will now premiere a week later, giving Dancing with the Stars another two-hour episode on April 12 (8-10pm), leading into an all-new Castle which has guest star Tom Bergeron of Dancing with the Stars. So it makes sense to have Stars lead-in to that, but that is NOT the reason for the premiere delay for Romantically Challenged. So what is? The premiere date has been pushed back a week to April 19, to avoid premiering against a new episode of the CBS hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory on April 12, which also airs in the half-hour. That show will be in repeats on April 19 and 26, so Romantically Challenged will have a better premiere platform and a better shot of success now. It makes sense and now there will be a week more of promo time, as originally the show only had two weeks of promo time. Spread the word of the change and make sure you watch the new sitcom LIVE!
    We have updated our original story so no confusion arises, please check that out for the complete details. I've seen the premiere and it is good (look for our review on Friday, April 16)!
    In other ABC schedule updates, they will air an encore of last week's Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution at 8pm this Friday (April 9) leading into an all-new episode in the regular 9pm timeslot. Why? Just in case anyone missed last Friday's episode, which aired on Good Friday, ABC is giving you a shot to catch-up. Plus it is a better lead-in for the series. Wife Swap will not air on this date now, but as of now it will still air every other Friday at 8pm. Perhaps they will pull that though for the rest of the season and air it in summer? We'll let you know if they do decide to bump it for more than just one week.

    Fox has pulled new sitcom Sons of Tucson from the schedule effective immediately after only 4 episodes. This is no surprise as the series was doing terrible in the ratings and the episodes have been bad, too. The series has been canceled, and the remaining 9 episodes will air Sundays at 7:30pm in the summer starting June 6, if that even lasts. As I predicted, American Dad! has returned and will air new episodes starting this Sunday at 9:30pm. And Fox has announced that the series finale of 'Til Death will air on Sunday, June 20 at 7pm. 'Til Death will now just air one episode on Sundays rather than two, as the 7:30pm half-hour will be repeats of The Simpsons starting this Sunday. This is no surprise, as we already mentioned 'Til Death has been canceled after four strangely airing seasons.

    NBC has picked up three freshman alternative series as The Marriage Ref, Minute to Win It and Who Do You Think You Are? are renewed for the 2010-11 season. All three shows are not hits, but have done OK for NBC. 13 episodes for The Marriage Ref have been ordered, 8 for Who Do You Think You Are? and 10 for Minute to Win It, with the latter possibly airing some of those in the summer.
    As for this season, NBC has picked up two additional episodes of Minute to Win It, giving it ten for this season. New episodes will air on Sunday, May 9 and Sunday, May 23 at 8PM ET/PT. As a result, Dateline will be cut to an hour on those dates at 7PM. Also, NBC has ordered three more episodes for this season for The Marriage Ref, so it will likely last through the rest of the season now. In addition, NBC has cut the episode order of Monday drama Trauma from 20 to 18 episodes and will now have its season finale on April 26 and is being replaced in the Monday 9PM ET/PT hour by repeats of Law & Order on May 3 and 10, leading into all-new episodes. Trauma is a very long shot to return next season.

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    Monday, April 05, 2010

    Tom Hanks in Bosom Buddies Reunion at 8th TV Land Awards; CSI: NY Pulled from Spike; Remembering John Forsythe

    TV Land announced that Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks and Emmy® Award-nominee Peter Scolari are among the newest honorees at The 8th Annual TV Land Awards. The network will salute the ground-breaking sitcom Bosom Buddies with the "Anniversary Award" at this year's show, which will be hosted by Tim Allen. Taping on Saturday, April 17 on the historic Stage 15 on the Sony Lot in Culver City, the 90-minute award show will air on TV Land on Sunday, April 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
    Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari will reunite to accept the Anniversary Award for the 30th anniversary of the comedy, Bosom Buddies, along with fellow cast members Donna Dixon, Telma Hopkins and Holland Taylor, marking the first time that the cast has been together publicly since the show went off the air. Wendie Jo Sperber passed away in 2005 at the age of 47 after battling breast cancer. The series helped to launch the acting careers of the two up-and-coming actors in 1980. The series ended in 1982 after just two seasons.
    The ABC sitcom centered around two bachelors, Kip and Henry, who move into a hotel for women after their apartment is condemned. The pair of advertising designers must live as Buffy and Hildegarde in wigs and heels in order to keep a roof over their heads. Previous honorees for this award have included Knot's Landing, Batman and Roots.

    Starting today (Monday, April 5, 2010), Spike TV has pulled CSI: NY from the schedule and will replace it with Unsolved Mysteries every weekday morning from 9am-12pm. Everything else will remain the same as we announced a few weeks ago, including the Spike TV premiere of The Unit tonight at 6pm. Unsolved Mysteries will remain in its other timeslots as well, including most nights at 3am and weekend mornings.
    No word yet why CSI: NY was pulled, but I don't think it has ever generated the ratings of parent series CSI on Spike TV. You CSI: NY fans can still catch the reruns on TNT in late nights (usually 1am), as they have the evening rights to the show.

    Finally, we pay tribute to the late John Forsythe, who passed away on late Thursday (April 1, 2010). John Forsythe, the handsome, smooth-voiced actor who made his fortune as the scheming oil tycoon in ABC's primetime soap Dynasty and the voice of Charlie on ABC's Charlie's Angels has died after a yearlong battle with cancer. Forsythe died late Thursday at his home in Santa Ynez, CA from complications of pneumonia.
    Despite his distinguished work in theater and films, Forsythe's greatest fame came from his role as Blake Carrington in the 1981-89 primetime ABC soap opera Dynasty. Forsythe lent dignity to the tale of murder, deceit, adultery and high finance, which often brought Carrington into conflict with his flashy, vengeful former wife, Alexis Colby, played to the hilt by Joan Collins. Dynasty returned in 1991 with a two-hour reunion movie on ABC. In 2006, CBS produced a retrospective special. Forsythe appeared with Dynasty co-stars Linda Evans, Joan Collins, Pamela Sue Martin, Al Corley, Gordon Thomson and Catherine Oxenberg in Dynasty Reunion: Catfights & Caviar.
    Forsythe was an important part of another hit series without being seen. From 1976 to 1981 he played the voice of Charlie, the boss who delivered assignments to his beautiful detectives via telephone in Charlie's Angels. Forsythe reprised his role as Charlie for the film version of Charlie's Angels in 2000 and its sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle in 2003, but then retired from acting.
    Earlier in his TV career, he had a sitcom titled Bachelor Father. In the sitcom he played a Hollywood lawyer who cared for his teenage niece, which lasted from 1957 to 1962, appearing successively on CBS, NBC and ABC. He also starred on the comedy To Rome with Love for CBS from 1969-71 and The John Forsythe Show for NBC from 1965-66.
    In 1992, three years after Dynasty, Forsythe returned to series television starring in Norman Lear's sitcom, The Powers That Be for NBC, co-starring Holland Taylor, Peter MacNicol, Valerie Mahaffey and David Hyde-Pierce. The show was canceled after only one season.
    Among his other TV work he played Blake Carrington for a few episodes in the Dynasty spin-off series The Colbys, and also guest starred on series such as The Love Boat, Medical Story, Police Story, and Studio One.
    John will certainly be missed for all of this TV work and film work. He was a legend. Mr. Forsythe was 92.

    Bio TV will honor John Forsythe by airing the Dynasty Reunion: Catfights & Caviar on Wednesday, April 7 at 8am & 3pm ET followed by Biography Remembers: John Forsythe at 9am, 3pm & 4am ET.
    No word on any other tributes, but it would be nice to have a cable network air Dynasty and Charlie's Angels as a tribute to John. Retro Television (RTV) airs his sitcom Bachelor Father on most of their affiliates weekday mornings, check your local RTV listings. Speaking of RTV, they recently added Archie's Funhouse, US of Archie and The Archie's to the schedule. We'll let you know if any other tributes to John Forsythe are planned.

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    Sunday, April 04, 2010

    Week 28 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

    Week 28 TV Ratings (first four nights, Mon-Thurs finals):
    (We don't have the final network averages through Thursday AGAIN (sorry), but we do have final program averages through Thursday in the analysis below. We might just have to remove this if we never get these in time again.)

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

    Week 28 (March 29-April 4) Analysis: For week 28, thus far through the first four nights it is a three-network race. So far through the first four days of the week I can project, Fox is first in HH/viewers and 18-49, ABC in second across the board and CBS is third for now. NBC is in fourth across the board. Last week, week 27, CBS took home first place in HH/viewers, and squeaked by Fox in 18-49, as CBS was fueled by the NCAA tournament. Fox and ABC tied for second in HH, but Fox had the slight edge in total viewers. ABC was third in 18-49, while NBC was a clear fourth in all categories.

    On Monday it was ABC with a big win again with Dancing with the Stars season ten continuing to pour on big numbers. ABC aired a two-hour Dancing with the Stars doing a best ever for a non-premiere/finale at 22.97 million and an impressive 5.6 18-49 rating, down over a million from the season premiere, but still dominating. At 10pm, ABC aired the conclusion of a GREAT two-part Castle event to series highs once again, this time of 13.86 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating for first place in its timeslot and up well over a million from previous week. Dana Delany was great again and would be great on her own show. CBS took a back seats with majority of repeats of its comedies and CSI: Miami also in repeat mode. How I Met Your Mother started it off with a repeat at 5.64 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, while a new Rules of Engagement did 7.35 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating, down from previous week but its lead-in was new that week. Two and a Half Men followed with a repeat doing 10.98 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating, still great but below recent repeat levels and The Big Bang Theory followed with a repeat of its own doing 9.8 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating, also below average for a repeat but still great. A repeat episode of CSI: Miami at 10pm took a bit of a hit with 8.01 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating for second place. Fox started off with a repeat again of House doing 5.48 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. A new episode of 24 was next doing 8.48 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, down a lick from previous week. The series will end after this season. NBC was of course in fourth with a new Chuck doing 5.68 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, up a tad week-to-week, then Trauma followed and did 4.72 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, also up a tad from previous week. Whose idea was it to order more episodes after canceling it? At 10pm a new Law & Order did only 6.01 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, on par really from previous week even with Miami in a repeat. The CW started with Life UneXpected at 8pm and it did 1.97 million, up some from previous week. Then at 9pm Gossip Girl was all-new and did 1.69 million, down from previous week. The latter has to be one of the most overrated shows on TV.

    On Tuesday, Fox ruled. Fox aired an all-new American Idol doing 21.84 million for two-hours, down nearly three million from previous week. Its 18-49 rating went up down from a 8.1 to 7.7 this week. CBS started with a repeat of NCIS doing 10.9 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, down a lot from previous week's repeat in viewers. 3rd place in viewers is strange for this show. Then spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles was next with a repeat of its own doing 10.2 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, down a million from previous week's repeat. And finally CBS aired a repeat of The Good Wife doing 7.98 million and only a 1.4 18-49 rating, up some in viewers from previous week. ABC started off with the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars: The Results doing 14.28 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating, both up a sharply from this timeslot the previous week with a LOST encore. Then an all-new episode of the final season of LOST was next with 10.13 million and a 4.1 18-49 rating, both up from the previous week. ABC aired the return of V doing a solid 7.03 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating for first place in timeslot...not bad but needs to continue this. NBC started with a two-hour The Biggest Loser and did 7.43 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, down some from previous week in an up and down season. A new Parenthood was next doing 6.23 million and 2.5 18-49 rating, down from previous week but not at series lows like two weeks ago. The CW aired new episodes of 90210 and Melrose Place but they were brushed off by everyone as usually, as they did only 1.48 million and 1.06 million. The latter was up from its series low the previous week. Both should be canned, but 90210 was renewed for some reason for next fall.

    On Wednesday Fox prevailed again. Fox started with a new Human Target and did 8.23 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating, up from previous week but still disappointing. American Idol Results were next at 9pm and did 20.49 million, down a million from previous week. 18-49 rating was up a bit too from a 7.2 to 6.7, lowest since 2002. CBS started with a repeat of Old Christine at only 4.88 million only a 1.3 18-49 rating and a repeat of Accidentally on Purpose which is now on this night at only 4.24 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating. Next CBS aired a repeat of Criminal Minds at 7.95 million, down some from previous week, and a repeat of CSI: NY at 10pm did 7.24 million, down some from previous week. ABC comedies were next with the holiday special It's the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown doing 4.9 million and 1.4 18-49 rating, not as good as a repeat of Modern Family the previous week. A new airing of The Middle was next building up to 6.23 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, but down from previous week thanks to a weaker lead-in. Modern Family was a all-new in its normal 9pm slot and did 9.51 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating, excellent and up from previous week. Next Cougar Town was new too and did 6.01 million and a decent 2.6 18-49 rating once again. Ugly Betty was next and did 4.01 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, down from previous week. Just two more episodes left as the the series finale airs on April 14. NBC started with a repeat of A Minute to Win It doing 6.13 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, both much better than the all-new Mercy the previous week, ouch. A repeat of Law & Order: SVU was next and did 5.5 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, down some week-to-week, but that was leading into an all-new episode at 10pm that did a solid 10.08 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, both down from previous week but still number one in its timeslot, but when CSI: NY returns with new episodes what will happen? The CW aired aired America's Next Top Model at 8pm doing a solid 3.18 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, on par really from previous week. The reality series Fly Girls had nothing to be proud of doing only 1.12 million, down a bit from the premiere the previous week, and at 9:30pm week four of High Society could only do 74,000 viewers, even worse than previous week. CW should just air two-hour Top Model every Wednesday.

    Moving on to Thursday it was CBS with the win on a VERY slow night for all the networks. CBS started with Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains at 8pm doing 11.26 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating, down some from normal. The Mentalist aired at 9pm for an all-new episode and test doing 14.11 million but only a 2.7 18-49 rating for a season low. At 10pm CSI was new on a special time doing 13.35 million and a series low of 2.8 18-49 rating. Did the switch work? Not sure since everything was down on this night due to a holiday. ABC started with FLASHFORWARD at 8pm and did 5.04 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, series lows. Get used to those two words on this night. Grey's Anatomy was all-new and did 9.87 million and a 3.5 1-49 rating, down from previous week and series lows. A new Private Practice was next doing 7.82 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, down a bit from previous week but a low in 18-49 for it on a Thursday. Fox returned Bones and did a disappointing 8.68 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, for a season low in 18-49. A new Fringe was next and did only 5.84 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating. NBC preempted Community at 8, Parks & Recreation at 8:30, and 30 Rock at 9:30 for two-hour repeats of The Office from 8-10pm doing 3.96 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating for the first hour and 4.04 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating for the second hour. At 10pm NBC aired a new episode of the crazy The Marriage Ref and did series lows of 5.4 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating. The CW aired a new Vampire Diaries doing 2.8 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating for series lows and Supernatural was new and did 2.4 million and only a 1.1 18-49 rating. Slow night!

    Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available as usual, but CBS won a below normal Friday thanks to Good Friday. The premiere of Miami Medical at 10pm won its hour, but with only a prelim 1.6 18-49 rating. ABC won the 9pm hour with Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution doing a prelim 1.5 18-49 rating, down a lot from previous week though. Look for a bounce back this week for Friday.
    Saturday numbers saw CBS win thanks to NCAA Basketball Final Four coverage.
    Tonight on Easter Sunday, ABC airs a repeat of AFV, an all-new two-hour Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with Jessica Alba but Desperate Housewives is preempted and Brothers & Sisters is a repeat at 10. CBS has a new The Amazing Race and the fake Undercover Boss at 9pm. NBC has a repeat of game show A Minute to Win It followed by a new Celebrity Apprentice starting at 8pm. Fox has repeats of their animated comedies but new episodes of live action sitcoms 'Til Death and Sons of Tucson, but both of those are burn-offs. Will CBS win this week in viewers? It will be close between CBS, ABC and Fox. In 18-49, Fox should hang on, but CBS and ABC will be a close second as they will battle. As for this coming week, CBS has the NCAA Championship game tomorrow, other than that it is a normal week.

    Week 28 How the Sitcoms Did

    Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 27-- March 22-28)

    • 'Til Death (Fox) - Two all-new episodes were barely on the map again in the 7pm hour doing only 2.19 and 2.72 million...down from previous week. These are just burn-off episodes as the series has been canned finally.
    • The Simpsons (Fox) - A new episode only managed 5.69 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating...below normal again but on par really from previous week.
    • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - A new episode did 5.64 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, also below its average but up from previous week and built from the lead-in in 18-49.
    • Family Guy (Fox) - A new showing did 7.32 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating. Up from previous week.
    • American Dad (Fox) - on hiatus.
    • Sons of Tucson (Fox) - New episode did 4.03 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, slightly up from previous week as the lead-in went up, but worse retention as a result.

    Monday Sitcoms

    • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A repeat did 5.64 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, decent levels for a repeat.
    • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 7.35 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating for a new episode, down from previous week when the lead-in was new. However this was a better showing than the other time it was new and the lead-in was a repeat.
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 10.98 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating for a repeat is great but below normal for a repeat for this show (especially in viewers).
    • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 9.8 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating for a repeat is great of course, but below normal repeat levels for this show this season. Usually the series builds in 18-49 over the lead-in, even in repeats.

    Tuesday Sitcoms

    • None.

    Wednesday Sitcoms
    • Old Christine (CBS) - A repeat did only 4.88 million and an even worse 1.3 18-49 rating.
    • Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) - A repeat on its new night did only 4.24 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating.
    • The Middle (ABC) - A new episode did 6.23 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating out of a holiday special at 8pm rather than the usual Modern repeat.
    • Modern Family (ABC) - The regular 9pm airing was new and did a solid 9.51 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating. Both up from previous week! iPad!
    • Cougar Town (ABC) - A new episode did 6.01 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, affected by Idol again, but still not terrible.

    Thursday Sitcoms

    • Community (NBC) - preempted.
    • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - preempted.
    • The Office (NBC) (2-hours) - Two one-hour repeats aired from 8-10pm with the 8pm hour doing 3.96 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, while the second hour at 9pm did 4.04 million and a decent 1.8 18-49 rating for a repeat.
    • 30 Rock (NBC) - preempted.

    Friday Sitcoms

    • None.

    Saturday Sitcoms

    • None.

    Airing tonight (Sunday) are new episodes of 'Til Death at 7 on Fox followed by repeats of the Fox animated comedies starting at 8 and new episode of sitcom Sons of Tucson.

    Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Rules of Engagement were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as The Middle, Cougar Town ) or just plain old terrible (such as repeat of Old Christine, Sons of Tucson from week 27).

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    Saturday, April 03, 2010

    Digital Digest: Battlestar Galactica -- The Complete Series DVD Review; Comparing ALF -- Season One DVDs in Region 1 and Region 2

    We're back once again for our second edition of Sitcoms Online Digital Digest! For those who didn't check us out last week, this is our new weekly blog feature where we talk about all things related to sitcoms (as well as some non-sitcoms) in the digital world, including DVD, Blu-ray, and even the internet (although we don't have any of those features planned just yet). The news is a little light this week, but we can only have news if it is being announced! We're also going to have a blog review this week of Battlestar Galactica – The Complete Series, as well as our very first look at a Region 2 DVD, ALF -- Die Komplette Erste Staffel, Warner Home Video's German release of the first season of ALF. It'll be a little different from our normal reviews since we're mostly comparing the set to the American version, but you'll want to read it for sure. We will be tweaking a few things on here as the weeks go on (this feature is still a work in development), so there will likely be a few changes in the upcoming weeks. We are still interested in your feedback about our new feature, and would love to hear from you on our message board or Tweet/Facebook!


    DIGITAL NEWS

    Starting off our news this week is a long list of DVDs that we all knew would be coming (as they do every year) from ABC Studios. Several hits from the current ABC lineup will be hitting stores later this summer, including Desperate Housewives - The Complete Sixth Season (September 21, $45.99 MSRP), Ugly Betty - The Complete Fourth and Final Season (August 17, $39.99 MSRP), Brothers and Sisters – The Complete Fourth Season (August 31, $45.99 MSRP), and one of ABC's newest sitcoms, Cougar Town – The Complete First Season (August 17, $39.99 MSRP). There is no word yet on any Blu-ray releases on any of these series, but I have a feeling that many of these will see Blu-ray releases at some point in time, if not on the same day as the DVD release. We will have more details on all of these in the coming weeks, as we find out all of the details.

    It seems that no week would be complete without news from Shout! Factory. While there haven't been any official press releases or details about the releases we've found out about this week, we have learned through Shout! Factory's message boards that The Patty Duke Show – The Complete Third Season (the final one, by the way) will be released in August, and some special features are indeed planned for the set. It is always great to see a series wrapped up! Also, Brian Ward of Shout! Factory mentioned that the third season of California Dreams is currently in the works, but due to slow sales of the first two seasons, it will only be available from Shout! Factory's direct-to-consumer program. But we aren't quite done with Shout! Factory just yet! After announcing Dragnet 1968 – Season 2 just a few weeks ago, there is now word (once again, from Brian Ward) that Adam-12 – Season Five will be coming sometime in August. As always, it seems that Shout! Factory is hard at work to bring us, well, everything on DVD! As was the case with the ABC Studios announcements, we'll have more details on these as we get them.

    Hopefully we will have more news than we had this week to share with you next week. But we can't have any news unless the studios plan to release things! There may be some announcements from Warner Home Video next week, as they are planning an online chat about their television series on DVD, so hopefully we will get some interesting news from that! If we have anything, we'll let you know next week.


    UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

    There aren't any sitcoms being released next week (April 6), but there are a few great TV series that we love (and you probably do too) that are coming up next week. Ally McBeal - The Complete Second Season is a great set that includes all 23 episodes of the second season of the legal drama. They did a great job with the first season, and although we haven't seen this set yet, we can imagine it is just as great. Ally McBeal - The Complete Series, of course, has already been released. Also coming up on Tuesday, from Shout! Factory, is Simon & Simon – Season Four! I will be reviewing this soon in Digital Digest, but I can say right now that I am really enjoying the episodes on this set. The set does mention on the menus that it contains one edited episode, but overall, it is a great set. Universal is releasing a repackaged version of Syfy's (or Sci Fi Channel as it was known when the series originally aired) Battlestar Galactica – The Complete Series on both DVD and Blu-ray, as well as a Blu-ray version of Battlestar Galactica – Season Two. We have a review of Battlestar Galactica – The Complete Series in today's Digital Digest. Finally, The Lucille Ball Specials – Lucy Calls the President is being released, and it is an excellent special that every Lucille Ball fan must own. MPI did a great job with this release, and you can read our review of it from last week's Digital Digest.


    BLOG FEATURE REVIEW:

    This week, we are going to take a look at Battlestar Galactica – The Complete Series, which is being released this coming Tuesday (April 6) on both DVD and Blu-ray.

    DVD Review: Battlestar Galactica - The Complete Series

    by Seth Thrasher

    Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series (Universal, $199.98) is the second edition of a complete series set for one of the greatest TV shows this decade, and it's available to own on DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday! The version of the release received for review is the DVD version of the set, and all subsequent comments about the set should be taken with this in mind. The set contains the complete full four seasons of the show, including the original miniseries as well as the "Razor" TV movie that aired prior to the fourth season. Not included is the recently released DVD movie "The Plan," which fills in some details the first season and a half omitted initially; nor does it feature the pilot DVD to the spin-off series Caprica.
    Battlestar Galactica (the modern edition) is a "re-imagining" (a reboot, if you will) of a cheesy but fun late 1970s TV series. The new series is really a sign of the times in which it aired, with varying points in the series being incredibly dramatic, whether as a military drama, a political drama, or a space drama. The series, in terms of what it offers fans, really does present something for everyone.

    To understand what you're getting into with this series, it's time for a little Battlestar Galactica 101:
    With regards to the setting of the series and how we arrive to the events in the series' beginning -- imagine a *slightly* alternate universe. Now imagine a galaxy far, far, away. Humanity lives on twelve different planets in close proximity to one another. They've got spaceships, but much of their other technology appears very retro for one VERY important reason: The Cylons. Cylons were robots created by this version of humanity to do their bidding and make their lives easier, and any other ret-conned reasons introduced in the spin-off series Caprica. Over time, the robots' grew sentient, and got tired of being treated as humanity's butlers. So, they rebelled. Being machines and all, they quickly made Swiss cheese of most advanced technology. Humans eventually won the war, after forty years...mostly because the Cylons quit and went off to another world. Humans and their old robots had more or less a truce...until one day the Cylons came back.

    For the sixteen of you reading this review who aren't familiar with the show, I'll stop with the back-story now as I want you to be surprised when you pick up either this set or at least the first season's episodes. When I was introduced to this show in 2008, just prior to the beginning of the show's fourth season, I was completely in the dark and I think my enjoyment of the show is better for it. I want you to have the same experience. It's not nearly as fun if I ruin the surprise. A basic and obvious summary would only be to say that the Cylons inevitably cause mass carnage and humanity is sent on the run for a new home. What follows over the next four seasons is a great ride for one and all.

    There are two distinct elements to the packaging to discuss. Unlike the first printing run of this complete series set, this version uses a standard large outer box, in which is housed all four season box sets. The big box is silver and in the course of a three panel wraparound features the majority of the principal cast in grayscale. The show's logo is featured at the top of each side in raised lettering, as well as on the top of the box, again with raised lettering. The inner boxes contained within are similar to what you'd find on store shelves, with one minor difference. Fans will recall that seasons two and four were split in two and aired and later sold as seasons "2.0/2.5" and "4.0/4.5." For this set, both half-seasons have been unified into a single season box. The box generally resembles the 2.0 and 4.0 boxes, with the only changes being minor substitutions of text and a couple of the smaller episode stills on the back. The slim cases in which the discs are housed, as well as the discs themselves, are identical to their previous individual-release counterparts, down to the "Season 2.5" and "Season 4.5" branding.

    Menus are generally identical to their season set counterparts, and vary from season to season. The menus for the initial sets were released in the earlier days of TV on DVD and as such don't feature as advanced designs as later seasons.

    Video quality is among the best standard-definition DVD releases I've had the privilege to review. The only instances of any sort of debris, grain, or flaws in the video is when the show is *deliberately* going for a slightly grittier look. No sane person would hold *intentional* debris against a producer, and as I consider myself relatively sane, I intend to bear no grudge. Audio is spectacular as well - you can't ask for more on a DVD than a quality 5.1 experience and the show delivers that in spades. Runtimes are all over the place, with the shortest episodes being the same lengths as their original broadcast counterparts. Several episodes are "extended" from original broadcast with material that was cut for time originally that the producers feel is important to the show. It is SO nice to get to watch a set where the changes from original broadcast are *addition* and not subtraction.

    Speaking of material removed from episodes, there is an absolute plethora of deleted scenes available as a bonus feature, along with just about anything else you can imagine. A breakdown of features by season brings us the following features each season:

    Season One
    *Feature Commentary by Director Michael Rymer and Executive Producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore.
    *Sketches and Art
    *Deleted Scenes
    *Battlestar Galactica: The Series Lowdown
    *8 Behind-the-Scenes featurettes

    Season Two:
    *Extended version of mid-season cliffhanger "Pegasus"
    *Deleted Scenes
    *Podcasts
    *Producers Video Blogs

    Season Three:
    *Extended version of episode "Unfinished Business"
    *Deleted Scenes
    *Podcasts
    *Episode Commentary
    *Producer's Video Blogs*
    *Webisodes

    Season Four:
    *Extended versions of "A Disquiet Follows My Soul," "Islanded in a Stream of Stars," and "Daybreak"
    *Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
    *Sneak Peek at Battlestar Galactica: The Plan
    *Episode Commentaries
    *Ronald D. Moore's Podcast Commentaries
    *David Eick's Video Blogs
    *Deleted Scenes

    An amazing amount of content, and I'd have to spent a week on the blog dissecting it all. What you really want to know is: "Should I buy this set?" I have two questions in response:

    1. Do you already own all of the season sets?
    2. Do you have an interest in quality dramas OR (notice: NOT and) anything to do with space?

    If you can answer NO to 1, or YES to EITHER part of 2, then I think it's well worth your money to buy this set. It's a tremendous show. The first two-and-change seasons are among the best television I've ever watched, and the remaining less-than-two seasons, while a bit weaker, are still GREAT television. If you already own ALL of the season sets, or you already own the FIRST printing run of the complete series set, there's ZERO reason to buy this. It's solely for people like me who hadn't cashed in on the full run of DVDs yet for whatever reason.

    Those of you who aren't yet fans of this great show, and don't want to plop down anywhere from $100 to $200 for a complete series set, at least do me this favor: Go to your video renter of choice and depending on their rental policies either rent season one, or more specifically get a hold of the first two discs of season one. Set aside two three hour blocks, and watch the miniseries and first few episodes. If you're not hooked after that, there's nothing I can do for you. But hopefully, in watching these episodes you come to the same conclusion I, and an army of other BSG fans, have all reach in that this was one of the best TV series of our time.

    (5/5 stars)

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

    To purchase this on Blu-ray, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
    Amazon.com

    Related links:
    SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
    Battlestar Galactica on TV.com


    BLOG FEATURE STORY:

    ALF - Region 1 vs. Region 2 (Including a Look at German Season One Release)
    by skees53

    Back in 2004, in the infancy of our DVD reviews, we had a review of Lionsgate's release of ALF – Season One. It is funny to look back at our old reviews now and how much we've evolved since then, but one thing hasn't changed, and that is the practice of some shows appearing on DVDs in their edited or syndicated versions. At the time, we foolishly assumed that anything on DVD would be unedited, but boy, were we wrong.

    ALF – Season One was heavily butchered on DVD, with tons of cuts made both for the sake of time for airing on TV as well as cuts made to avoid copyright issues with music contained within the episodes. But last week, we talked about international DVDs Warner Home Video's release of ALF – Die Komplette Erste Staffel in Region 2 (specifically in Germany). Despite the $45 price tag on it (that included shipping), I went ahead and purchased it from Germany's version of Amazon, Amazon.de to check it out after I heard that it contained much better episodes than the Region 1 version.

    Before you go any further, you should check out my blog feature from last week where I talked about purchasing international DVDs and playing them on DVD players purchased in the United States. You may need to modify your DVD player (this is at your own risk, I would suggest doing it with an older one as well, because the modifications can and will void any warranties that you have on the DVD player) or purchase a DVD player that is region-free out of the box. Upon purchasing this set, I was successfully able to modify an eight-year-old Oritron brand (that is basically about as close to the bottom of the barrel that you can get without buying an Apex brand DVD player) DVD player that I had sitting in storage for years to play the DVD set.

    So let's talk about what was different when I first received the set. The packaging was definitely different from the Region 1 version. Of course, that is to be expected since a different studio released it on DVD. The cover art had a picture of ALF on it with a planet logo that had "Die Komplette 1 Staffel" (which is German for "The Complete First Season") on it, and the back had a lot of writing in German. But it did mention on the back that it had audio tracks AND subtitles in "Deutsch" (German), "Französisch" (French), "Englisch" (English), and "Spanisch" (Spanish). Just like the Region 1 release, it contained a standard DVD case inside of a cardboard sleeve, and the DVD case inside was exactly the same. Inside the DVD case, there were four discs, with Disc 1 having a picture of ALF, Disc 2 having a picture of Brian, Disc 3 having a picture of Lynn, and Disc 4 having a picture of Willie. There was also a very nice episode booklet that resembled a typical Warner episode booklet like the ones that we have in the United States, except it was all in German. Even the episode titles were translated into German.

    I could only hope that the DVD would work in my DVD player when I put it in. I was actually a little concerned that it might not, and maybe there was a detail that I missed in playing Region 2 DVDs. Fortunately, it really was as simple as I thought it would be, and the only thing necessary was to modify the DVD player. When the menus popped up on the screen, I was surprised to discover that, despite the packaging all being in German, the main menu was actually in English. Unlike the Region 1 DVDs where ALF greeted you and interacted with you on the menus, the main menu on here just had the theme song playing with a still photo of ALF (the same one as seen on the cover art) and options of Play, Episodes, and Languages.



    The Play option went to a menu that had no words at all, but instead just numbers for each episode. I suppose that this is designed to make the set more accessible to a wider variety of languages. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-7, Disc 2 contains episodes 8-14, Disc 3 contains episodes 15-20, and Disc 4 contains episodes 21-25. There was one difference from the American version, though. The episodes on this set are presented in their original airdate order. The Region 1 set episodes were presented in the production order. For fans of the series, the airdate order makes much more sense to the continuity of the series.



    What is most important, though, is the content of the episodes themselves. As was indicated last week, the episodes are almost all unedited. There was one minor edit on the episode "For Your Eyes Only" to remove a Chipmunks song, and it is actually a pretty abrupt and noticeable cut, but it doesn't remove any continuity to the episode. What is unusual, however, is that the Region 1 version actually has the song removed as well, but is edited differently to include a few seconds of dialog that are NOT found in the Region 2 version. An interesting editing practice that I found on the Region 1 DVDs is that some of the episodes were modified to create fake opening teasers for episodes that did not originally have them. As for the unedited episodes on the Region 2 DVD set, these "fake opening teasers" appear after the opening credits as they were intended to appear. At some point in the future, we will revisit this set (as well as other seasons of ALF) to talk about some specific edits. The runtimes for each episode are as follows:

    Disc 1:
    1. "Pilot" (24:12)
    2. "Strangers in the Night" (24:43)
    3. "Looking for Lucky" (23:43)
    4. "Pennsylvania 6-5000" (24:41)
    5. "Keepin' the Faith" (24:42)
    6. "For Your Eyes Only" (23:30)
    7. "Help Me Rhonda" (24:42)

    Disc 2:
    8. "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue?" (24:36)
    9. "Jump" (24:44)
    10. "Baby, You Can Drive My Car" (24:43)
    11. "On the Road Again" (23:42)
    12. "Oh, Tannerbaum" (24:43)
    13. "Mother and Child Reunion" (24:41)
    14. "A Little Bit of Soap" (24:43)

    Disc 3:
    15. "I've Got a New Attitude" (24:42)
    16. "Try to Remember (Parts 1 and 2)" (48:10)
    17. "Border Song" (24:44)
    18. "Wild Thing" (24:43)
    19. "Going Out of My Head Over You" (24:24)
    20. "Looking Through the Windows" (24:44)

    Disc 4:
    21. "It Isn't Easy Bein' Green" (24:42)
    22. "The Gambler" (24:33)
    23. "Weird Science" (24:33)
    24. "La Cucaracha" (24:26)
    25. "Come Fly With Me" (24:34)

    We all get a little annoyed by having to wait on FBI warnings on a disc, but we should be lucky that we only have one in the United States. This set, on the other hand, has over THIRTY (maybe closer to 40 or 50, I lost count) warnings about copyright infringement at the end of the last episode on each disc, for each and every country that the set is sold in (and it is a long list). Luckily, you aren't forced to watch these, but it takes forever. And of course, the one that applies to the United States is, well, not there, since this set is not intended to be sold in the United States.

    The video and audio quality is generally fine, although it isn't perfect and there is a good reason for this. These episodes are presented in PAL format, which is slightly different from the NTSC format that we use in the United States. The DVD player can translate the formats just fine for us, but since PAL uses a different frame rate than NTSC, there is some minor loss of video quality on this set. There aren't really any video defects of note, however. The audio on the set sounds fine. As mentioned already, there are subtitles and audio tracks in English, German, Spanish, and French. It is actually interesting to listen to ALF's voice in the alternate languages, even if you can't understand what he is saying.

    The set has no special features at all. On the Region 1 release, we had some bloopers, the original pilot episode, and some trivia facts. Also, the Region 1 DVDs had the very nicely produced menus. The Region 2 set has none of that, as is a common practice on foreign DVDs.

    If you can afford to buy the set and/or you are a diehard ALF fan and want the unedited episodes, this set is definitely worth owning. You can purchase it on Amazon.de (a link to the product page can be found below), but be careful about ordering on there, specifically make sure that you are able to translate the German on the website (Yahoo! Babelfish is a great resource for that). You don't have to create a new account; your Amazon.com account information works on all of their international websites. Also, make sure that you have equipment that is capable of playing the DVDs. Season Two is also available (there is a link for that as well), and Season Three is supposed to be released sometime in the near future. There are, of course, some minor tradeoffs as mentioned with owning the Region 2 set vs. the Region 1 set, but personally, I like the Region 2 set a lot more than the Region 1 set.

    (4/5 stars)

    To purchase the Region 2 ALF - Season One DVD, click below:
    Amazon.de

    To purchase the Region 2 ALF - Season Two DVD, click below:
    Amazon.de

    Related links:
    SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
    SitcomsOnline.com ALF - Season One DVD Review (Region 1)
    ALF on TV.com


    LOOKING AHEAD

    We'll have some more news and reviews for you next week! We have many reviews coming up in the upcoming weeks, including Ally McBeal – The Complete Second Season, Simon & Simon – Season Four, and even the incredibly rare early 80s detective drama from Stephen J. Cannell Productions, Tenspeed and Brown Shoe! We also have many feature stories in the works, including one about a current practice going on in new pressings of older DVDs that is creating challenges for serious DVD collectors. Remember to tell us what you think about our new feature on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to tell us what you think! Until next week, keep it digital!

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    Friday, April 02, 2010

    TV Rebels: People and Programs that Shaped the Medium, Volume 1 Review; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 5, 2010)

    Today we will be reviewing the book TV Rebels. Sound familiar? We exclusively posted 12 essays from the book over the past year or two and now the book is out! TV Rebels: People and Programs that Shaped the Medium, Volume 1 has been released as the first in a series of chapbooks by The Last Automat Press. Innovators like Norman Lear, Rod Serling, Irwin Allen, and Desi Arnaz, and series such as Star Trek and The Sopranos are honored in this collection of essays as significant contributors to the growth of television.
    To achieve "rebel" status is to have presented something new, innovative, and thought provoking. It was to have set a standard that those who followed were inspired by and in turn looked to emulate. The people and programs in this volume and in subsequent TV Rebels collections have done just that. In so doing they have become part of our collective pop culture consciousness. We quote them, we laugh at them, we cry for them, and here, we remember them.
    Contributing authors to this volume are Oscar De Los Santos, Brett Glatman, Kelly Goodridge, Mark Misercola, Justin Orfanella, Lou Orfanella, Pasquale Palumbo, and William Suesholtz.
    Copies may be ordered for $10 each, plus $1 shipping per order. Orders: The Last Automat Press, P.O. Box 35, Patterson, NY 12563. Mention SitcomsOnline.com and your copies will be signed by at least two of the contributing authors!
    Visit http://www.thelastautomat.com/ for more details.

    TV Rebels: People and Programs that Shaped the Medium, Volume 1 (The Last Automat Press, $10.00)

    TV Rebels: People and Programs that Shaped the Medium was originally conceived as a companion piece to Oscar De Los Santos' 2008 text Reel Rebels: Eleven Directors who Bucked the System and Shot the Flick their Way (Fine Tooth Press). Several of the authors herein also contributed essays to Des Los Santos' book.

    The book has a soft red cover and features cover art by Ivana Masic. It's divided into 18 sections and runs 48 pages. Each essay is 1-4 page(s) in length.

    Sign On: Felix the Cat: The First TV Star - Lou Orfanella discusses the history of the magic bag toting feline.

    Irwin Allen: A Master of Disaster Who Changed the Way We Look at Sci-Fi - Mark Misercola talks about Irwin Allen who brought us shows such as Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Spae, The Time Tunnel and Land of the Giants.

    The Andy Griffith Show: Mayberry's Sheriff Without a Gun - Oscar De Los Santos takes a look at the success of The Andy Griffith Show.

    Desi Arnaz: More Than Just a Bongo Player - Lou Orfanella comments on Desi Arnaz who changed the traditional method of producing sitcoms by shooting on film with multiple cameras.

    Bill Cosby: Double Rebel - Lou Orfanella looks at the career of Bill Cosby from I Spy to The Bill Cosby Show, as well as his other credits.

    ESPN: He-Could-Go-All-The Way! And Other Catch-Phrases - William Suesholtz comments on the development of ESPN's SportsCenter, Chris Berman's nicknames and other ESPN personalities.

    The Flintstones: The Honeymoon That Never Ended - Mark Misercola traces the history of the family from Bedrock.

    Norman Lear: Changing the Face of Comedy - Lou Orfanella takes a look at the career of Norman Lear who brought us groundbreaking and influential hit series such as All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

    The Mary Tyler Moore Sow: She Made it After All - Justin Orfanella discusses the issues that were dealt with on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and how it was revolutionary.

    Monday Night Football: Cultural Phenomenon - William Suesholtz analyzes the impact of Monday Night Football and how it has changed who and why Americans view the game.

    Monty Python's Flying Circus: And Now for Something Completely Different - Kelly Goodridge comments on how the "Pythons" altered the face of television comedy and were inovators with their jokes and sketches.

    Saturday Night Live: Live From New York, it's Saturday Night! - Kelly Goodridge takes a look the history of the long running sketch comedy-variety show and some of the memorable characters.

    Rod Serling: Submitted For Your Approval - Lou Orfanella talks about Rod Serling who brought us The Twlight Zone.

    The Smothers Broithers: You Can't Do That on Television - Lou Orfanella looks at the development of the show and how they battled censors over the content of it.

    The Sopranos: An Offer We Couldn't (and Didn't Refuse) - Pasquale Palumbo analyzes the HBO show and what made it so popular with viewers. The cast and characters are discussed.

    Aaron Spelling: More Than Just Jiggle TV - Brett Glatman discusses the work of Aaron Spelling who brought us shows such as Fantasy Island, The Love Boat and Charlie's Angels.

    Star Trek: Where No Science Fiction TV Show Has Gone Before - Oscar De Los Santos takes a look at the development of the show, the cast, the writing, cancelation and legacy of the series.

    Sign Off: TV Dinners: Culinary Pop Culture - Lou Orfanella provides a short history of the TV Dinner.

    This is a nice collection of essays that cover a variety of topics. They are well written and researched with a works cited section for each of them. Many genres are covered including animated series, sci-fi, sitcoms, sports, sketch comedy/variety series and dramas. I think they made some fine choices for shows and people that made significatnt contributions to the growth of television. This is a quick read at only 48 pages and with no photos. It would be nice to see them cover some other genres like news programs, soap operas, game shows, children's and educational programs, music television, talk shows, reality shows and westerns in future volumes. Most of the shows and people covered here are pretty well known. It would be interesting to read about some tv rebels and innovators that may not be household names.

    Reviewed by Todd Fuller
    (3/5 stars)

    It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars (but we won't cover movie stars like Tom Hanks or John Travolta, since they won't be talking about their past sitcoms likely), so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
    For the week of April 5-0, 2010, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

    Monday, April 5, 2010
    • None.

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    • Steve Carell (The Office) - Steve is promoting his movie on Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm ET on CBS. But before that catch him with Tina Fey on The Oprah Show, check your local listings.
    • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - See Tina with Steve Carell on The Oprah Show, check your local listings for time and channel.
    • Betty White (The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Golden Girls/Hot in Cleveland) - She will be a guest on a "Funny People" edition of Oprah Show. Check your listings for time/channel!
    • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) - Tracy will also be a part of the "Funny People" edition of Oprah! Check listings.
    • Carol Burnett (Carol Burnett Show/Mama's Family) - The legendary comedy queen stops by NBC's Today show sometime between 7-9am and then later LIVE! with Regis & Kelly. Check local listings for time and channel.
    • Mindy Kaling (The Office) - She stops by CBS's Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:35am.

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    • Steve Carell (The Office) - Steve stops by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central at 11pm ET. Earlier in the morning Steve joins Tina Fey on NBC's Today show between 7-9am.
    • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - Tina will be on LIVE! with Regis & Kelly so check your local listings for time and channel. And a bit earlier Tin joins Steve Carell on NBC's Today show sometime between 7-9am.
    • David Duchovny (Californication) - David stops to chat with Leno on The Tonight Show at 11:35pm on NBC.

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    • Martin Lawrence (Martin) - Martin will be on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:05am ET and will also on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your listings!
    • Tin Fey (30 Rock) - Tina will promote her movie, but will probably mention her sitcom on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:35am on NBC.
    • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) - Edie stops by to talk to the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am PT.
    • Steve Carell (The Office) - Steve's press tour for his movie continues, this time on LIVE! with Regis & Kelly, check local listings for time and channel.
    • Carol Burnett (The Carol Burnett Show/Mama's Family) - Carol stops by HLN's The Joy Behar Show at 9pm.

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    • Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - It's a slow Friday, so we'll mention her. Her repeat appearance on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman from March 15 reairs at 11:35pm.
    • Steve Carell and Tina Fey (The Office, 30 Rock) - The duo stop by The Rachel Ray Show to discuss their movie. Check local listings for time and channel.
    Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this new feature! We do listen!

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    Thursday, April 01, 2010

    No Foolin' ABC Family Brings Back Boy Meets World, 7th Heaven; Modern Family Wins Peabody

    Today is April Fools' Day, but we are not going to fool around here! As much as we would like to fool around with you, we take news very seriously around here. Especially TV schedule updates. Today we have a big update for ABC Family! Just the other day we said 8 Simple Rules would be leaving starting April 5, and that is still true, but now more changes are being announced! These changes are starting Monday, April 12, though. Two shows are returning to ABC Family, while two series are leaving. First up, in a surprise addition, ABC Family has re-acquired the '90s sitcom Boy Meets World and will air it weekdays back-to-back in the 7am hour, replacing Sister Sister, which is now gone. ABC Family has not aired Boy Meets World since September 2007 as that is when the contract expired. But now after almost 2 1/2 years, the sitcom is back on ABC Family! As for Sister Sister, it will be off the line-up, but will still remain on The Gospel Music Channel (they have been airing it since Aug. 2009) and it also pops-up from time to time on BET, as they have been airing it on and off since July 2009. ABC Family has been airing Sister Sister since June 2007. We'll let you know if and when it returns.
    Also returning to the ABC Family schedule is 7th Heaven after over 2 years of being off the line-up. 7th Heaven will also return April 12 airing weekday mornings at 11am, replacing the daytime airing of Gilmore Girls. ABC Family lost rights to the series in Jan. 2008 when The Hallmark Channel obtained rights, but it seems ABC Family has re-acquired it. And it doesn't seem Hallmark will be removing it when ABC Family starts it again, so it looks like another shared deal. And if that's not all Heaven for you, the series will continue to air on WGN America weekday mornings at 9am.
    One more change is that since Heaven is replacing Gilmore Girls at 11am, that airing of Gilmore Girls will move to 4pm starting April 12, replacing an hour of What I Like About You, which will be off the line-up again. This means Gilmore Girls will now air back-to-back at 4pm & 5pm starting April 12. As for What I Like About You, it has been airing on ABC Family since Jan. 2008 (with an hiatus or two mixed in). We're not sure when it will return, but you can still watch it on TeenNick (which has been airing it since Jan. 2009).

    ABC's Modern Family has added another award to its mantle--a Peabody Award! This wily, witty comedy puts quirky, contemporary twists in family ties but maintains an old-fashioned heart. The 69th annual awards honoring the best in electronic media for 2009 were announced yesterday by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fox's rookie Glee also took home a Peabody. Dependably tuneful and entertaining, the musical dramedy that revolves around the motley members of a high-school choral club hit especially high notes with episodes such as "Wheels," about the daily struggles of a wheelchair-bound singer.
    Among the other winners were the ABC News special - A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson's interview titled - An Evening with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
    Read the full list of recipients for The 69th Annual Peabody Awards.

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