Friday, February 15, 2008

ION March 2008 Highlights; CW Announces Post-Strike Returns; CBS Renews 11 Shows for 2008-09 Season

We told you before that Baywatch is coming to ION Television in March 2008, but we didn't have the full month's highlights yet. Now we do. There will be no other changes, so Baywatch will start March 3 at 10pm, airing Mon-Thurs. If anyone is wondering, they will be going in production order, but will be starting with Season 3...which is the first season with Nicole Eggert and Pamela Anderson. They will skip the two-part season premiere it seems, as they will start with the episode "Rookie of the Year." No other changes will be made to the line-up, as of now, so we can expect back-to-back Wayans Bros, Alice, Mama's Family and Drew Carey Show from 6-10pm Mon-Thurs leading into Baywatch at 10pm. RHI will continue to air Fri-Sun from 7-11pm with movies and mini-series such as Merlin, Arabian Nights, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
We will keep you up to date if anything changes, but for now click HERE for the March highlights where you can also discuss the programming.

The CW is now the third network (joining CBS and NBC) to officially announce plans of what series will return this season with new episodes following the end of the writers' strike. Everybody Hates Chris and Aliens in America already completed production before the strike started and still has episodes left over. So, they will launch first. Chris has 12 new episodes left (for a total of 22 this season), while Aliens has 8 left (for a total of 18 this season). Both will return Sunday, March 2. CW will return their highest rated sitcom The Game on March 23 with an expected 9 new episodes. Production will be underway soon. It is not good news however for long-running sitcom Girlfriends. The CW has announced it will not return, which the show will now end after 8 long seasons. CW could plan a series finale or a special for its final airing. One Tree Hill still has about 5 pre-strike episodes left still, but 6 new ones will be produced and will start on April 14, which is a Monday, so it seems the show will move to Mondays at 9. The current batch of new episodes, aka: the pre-strike episodes, will air Tuesdays at 9 still. Smallville will return Thursday, April 17 with 5 new episodes. I believe a few episodes before the strike also remain to air...the show will air a total of 20 episodes this season. Rookie drama Gossip Girl will return with 5 new episodes starting Monday, April 21. The show had been in repeats since early January because it ran out of episodes. Another rookie drama, Reaper will return to air on Tuesday, April 22 with 5 new episodes. The show has aired 9 so far and a few pre-strike episodes still remain and will air in its upcoming Thursday at 9 slot before moving to Tuesdays at 9 with post-strike episodes. Finally, Supernatural will return with 4 new episodes starting Thursday, April 24. This coming Thursday (Feb. 21) Supernatural will be all-new for its last pre-strike episode before goina on hiatus until April 24.
We will bring you ABC and Fox's plans as soon as they are "officially" announced.

Meanwhile, CBS has renewed 11 series for next season in a move that will return 10 hours of the network's primetime schedule and eight of the top twenty scripted series on television. Cold Case, Criminal Minds, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Ghost Whisperer, NCIS, Numb3rs, Two and a Half Men, Without a Trace and the Freshman Comedy The Big Bang Theory join previously announced Survivor and The Amazing Race as series returning next season (2008-09).
The jury is still out on shows like How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Old Christine, Shark, The Unit, Moonlight, and Jericho for next season, but we could expect a few of these to indeed return.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

The Status of All the New Network Shows

So do you want to know if your favorite new shows will last the season or get canceled? You'll get a sense after reading this post! As we have announced, the following new scripted shows have gotten a full season order, which means at least 22 episodes: Back to You (24 episodes actually), The Big Bang Theory, Gossip Girl, Private Practice, and Pushing Daisies. So, all those are safe at least through the end of the season, unless something crazy happens.
Then a ton of other new series have added additional scripts, which means the network is trying and will see how the show continues to do before picking up additional episodes or a full season. Samantha Who? got an additional six scripts order, which means it is very close for a full season pick-up. The next highest is four scripts, which are Cane and Moonlight. Tons of other series have three scripts such as Aliens in America, Bionic Woman, Carpoolers, Chuck, Dirty Sexy Money, Life, Journeyman, and Reaper. It could go either way with these. K-Ville has an additional two scripts ordered, but that was weeks ago, and nothing has been said since, which means, the clock is ticking for that show.
So far no word at all on series such as Big Shots, Cavemen, Life is Wild and Women's Murder Club. That is not good, but Women's Murder Club is doing well and has just started basically, so expect additional scripts or even a full season pick-up very soon. Viva Laughlin was canceled.
Among the new reality shows, it looks like Kid Nation will finish its cycle, but that looks to be it. Kitchen Nightmares was ordered for another season. The outlook is not good for CW Now and The Next Great American Band. Online Nation and Nashville were canceled.

So, here is my take. Among the series with additional scripts, Samantha Who, Dirty Sexy Money, Moonlight, Chuck, Bionic Woman, Reaper, Aliens in America will probably get full season pick-ups or at the very least additional episodes. So shows like Carpoolers, Cane, K-Ville, Life and Journeyman are in danger...so don't get too attached. Among the shows with no status yet, expect Women's Murder Club to get the season pick-up VERY soon, with Big Shots, Cavemen and Life is Wild in danger.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

ION Adds Perfect Strangers Halloween Stunt; Seinfeld Viewers Choice; Network Notes

Yesterday many Perfect Strangers fans did the "dance of joy" when finding out that the series is finally coming to DVD in February, now we have some more news on the show. ION Television, which is airing the show Mon-Thurs at 8:30 p.m., has added a two-night Halloween stunt! The stunt will air Monday, October 29 and Tuesday, October 30 with back-to-back episodes each night starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. Join Larry and Balki as they battle The Grim Reaper, the touch of death, a ghost, and some Halloween late night horror movies! For the episode details, click HERE.
We will have ION Television's November schedule highlights shortly. As of now, they have only announced through November 11 and there are no changes. Could we see some changes week of November 12? Will we see a Thanksgiving stunt? We shall find out soon! Come on back!

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) -- with help from the 197 affiliates in 99% of the country carrying the highly-rated Seinfeld sitcom in syndication -- will ask fans to vote for their favorite "Seinfeld Viewers Choice" episodes and have their selections subsequently air in national syndication during the November sweep.
Beginning Monday, October 15, through Monday, November 5, 2007, "Seinfeld Viewers Choice" clips from 35 of the most popular episodes will be showcased as streaming content on Yahoo! TV (or go to Yahoo! and search for "Seinfeld Top 10") where viewers will be asked to select their 10 favorite episodes. Votes will be tabulated on Monday, November 5, and the resulting 10 favorite episodes will air as part of two "Viewers Choice" theme weeks beginning November 12 and November 19.
Also, a random prize drawing from all of the online entrants will include a grand prize consisting of a $4,500 shopping spree from Overstock.com and a Seinfeld fan package that includes the soon-to-be-released Seinfeld: The Complete Ninth Season DVDs (on shelves 11/6/07), a Seinfeld hat, T-Shirt and mug. Throughout the entry period, voters will be eligible to enter daily for a chance to win the grand prize, or one of ten first prizes.
In its current season in syndication, Seinfeld consistently ranks as the #1 off-network comedy across all key men and adult demographics and still stands as one of the highest rated of any off-net sitcom on television with airings on both broadcast stations and TBS. Seinfeld has been renewed for a third cycle by its stations and second cycle in cable, keeping the show on the air through 2011.

Some network notes time. Fox serves up another order of Kitchen Nightmares and picks up the show for a second season. The show is airing Wednesdays at 9 on Fox.
The CW has canceled Online Nation. The show has been doing anemic ratings in its Sundays at 7:30 p.m. slot. Replacing the series will be encores of The CW's new sitcom Aliens in America. I wonder if that will do any better? The CW is keeping the equally bad CW Now for now at least. That series airs at 7 p.m. on Sundays.

Tonight in sitcom land it is NBC's Comedy Done Right block starting with an all-new My Name is Earl, followed by an all-new 30 Rock and another new one-hour The Office. The smart laughs start at 8/7 central on NBC.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

AmericanLife Adds Batman, Trapper John, Lou Grant, Green Hornet and More; Nick at Nite Starts With Fresh

AmericanLife TV Network, the cable network devoted to the Baby Boomer generation, debuts lots of new shows including three new action and adventure programs this October on its primetime program schedule. Mission: Impossible premieres on Monday, October 1, and Batman and Green Hornet follow on Friday, October 5.
Mission: Impossible (Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET /PT) premiered in 1966 and aired for seven years. The series stars Greg Morris, Peter Lupus, Peter Graves, Martin Landau, Barbara Bain and Bob Johnson, who was the voice on the tape that intoned, "Your mission, should you decide to accept it..." Mission: Impossible chronicles the adventures of a secret government agency tasked with conducting covert missions, including freeing hostages, releasing war weapons and solving international mysteries. The series won numerous awards, including three Golden Globe Awards, three Emmy Awards and a Grammy Award for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Show.
Batman (Fridays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT), based on the comic book series, follows Batman and his sidekick Robin as they fight Gotham City’s villains. Starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin, the series also attracted A-list Hollywood talent to play the roles of the villains: Frank Gorshin and John Astin as The Riddler, Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, Cesar Romero as The Joker, Victor Buono as King Tut, Vincent Price as Egghead and Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt as Catwoman. Batman premiered in 1966 on ABC and aired four years.
Green Hornet (Fridays at 9:30 p.m. ET /PT) stars Van Williams as Britt Reid, a newspaper publisher who becomes the masked hero to fight criminals. He is assisted by his secretary, Lenore "Casey" Case (Wende Wagner), and Asian valet and martial arts expert Kato (Bruce Lee). Only airing for one season in 1966, this series marked Lee's debut on American television.
AmericanLife will be adding lots of other ner series this month as well. The other new shows are: Lou Grant, Trapper John M.D., Rat Patrol, 12 O'Clock High, Big Valley, and Burke's Law.
With all these new shows coming from the Fox and Paramount libraries, the Warner Bros. library will be leaving. The shows leaving are: 77 Sunset Strip, China Beach, Gallant Men, I Spy, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The F.B.I., Our Gang, Adventures of Superman, My Favorite Martian, F Troop, Chico and the Man, Welcome Back Kotter and Lawman. The Warner Bros. deal has lasted quite a while on the network, so you all should have taped your shows while you had the chance.
For the full list of changes and to discuss these changes, I urge you to click HERE!

Other highlights for October include a Halloween-themed special (Nancy Kerrigan's Halloween on Ice) and classic television series featuring guest star appearances by several television and film celebrities.

Thursday, October 4
The Time Tunnel: Carroll O'Connor guests in "Last Patrol" (9:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Sunday, October 7
St. Elsewhere: Judith Light guest stars in "Dog Day Hospital" (8:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Thursday, October 11
Lost in Space: Warren Oates guest stars in "Welcome Stranger" (8:00 p.m. ET/PT).
The Time Tunnel: Oscar-winning actress Ellen Burstyn guests in "Crack of Doom" (9:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Friday, October 12
Mission: Impossible: Lloyd Bridges guest stars in "Fakeout" (8:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Sunday, October 14
Mission: Impossible: William Smithers guests in "The Ransom" (8:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Wednesday, October 17
Combat!: James Coburn guests alongside ex-heavyweight boxing champ Rocky Marciano, making his television acting debut, in "Masquerade" (7:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Saturday, October 20
The Big Valley: Mary Astor guest stars in "Who Killed Cable Roberts?" (6:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Monday, October 22
The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Vic Tayback guests in "Second Story Story" (9:00 p.m. ET /PT).

Wednesday, October 24
Trapper John, M.D.: Emmy and Golden Globe winning actress Shelley Long guest stars in "The Shattered Image" (10:00 p.m. ET/PT).

Thursday, October 25
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Richard Carlson guest stars in "The Village of Guilt" (10:00 p.m. ET /PT).

Friday, October 26
Combat!: Actor and director Ron Howard guests in "What Are the Bugles Blown For? Part I" (7:00 p.m. ET /PT) (Part two airs Monday, October 29 at 7 p.m. ET /PT).

Nick at Nite will be kicking off each night this week with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, replacing one of the Home Improvement airings. No other changes will be made. Maybe Fresh is coming into boost the ratings a bit? We'll see, but as of now it is just for this week...but that could change.

Don't forget tonight to tune in to the series premiere of Aliens in America on The CW, along with the rest of the season premieres of The CW Monday comedies. And if that is not all, it is week two of the CBS Monday comedies! The fun starts 8/7 central on both CBS and The CW. Watch and TiVo!
8:30pm will be a busy slot as Perfect Strangers launches on ION tonight! Get out of the city!

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Friday, September 28, 2007

The CW Fall Pilot Review: Aliens in America - Premieres October 1; TV Land Keeps The Brady Bunch

Aliens in America

Aliens in America - Mondays at 8:30PM ET/PT on The CW
Premieres October 1 at 8:30PM ET/PT

Aliens in America is the story of Justin Tolchuk, a 16-year-old that is all alone in the world, that has a mother that gives him the perfect present to get out of his loner rut--an exchange student. The only problem is that his mother doesn't realize that the Nordic exchange student that they are getting is a Pakistani kid named Raja, who is going to be a true "alien in America." The series explores how this relationship will (and sometimes won't) work out for the Tolchuk family, with mother Franny fearing Muslims, father Gary just being happy because they get paid for having an exchange student living in the house, sister Claire who is just kind of there, and Justin and Raja, who may have a friendship to gain from this experience.

Cast Details:

Adhir Kalyan as Raja Musharaff, Dan Byrd as Justin Tolchuk, Amy Pietz as Franny Tolchuk, Lindsey Shaw as Claire Tolchuk, Scott Patterson as Gary Tolchuk

Essentially, the show has been cast with a bunch of unknowns--but then again, how many truly great sitcoms have had stars that were well-known BEFORE the series started? The series stars Dan Byrd as Justin and Adhir Kalyan as Raja, both of whom are relatively unknown. Amy Pietz, who had a role on Caroline in the City (does anybody even remember this series?) in the 90s plays mother Franny, while Scott Patterson, formerly of Gilmore Girls, plays father Gary. Lindsey Shaw plays the role of Claire; Shaw previously had a role on the Nickelodeon series Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.


Pilot Plot:

I have received the first two episodes. The first episode introduces us to the series and what it is all about--which is basically the family getting Raja as their Nordic exchange student (Nordic because he came from Pakistan through a Nordic country before he got into the United States). The family is basically in shock about who their exchange student is, particularly since they live in a small Wisconsin town where people that are different are automatically assumed to be terrorists, but when Gary sees the dollars that he gets for having Raja in the house and Franny sees how Justin is making his first true friend, these stereotypes fly out the window.

In the second episode, "No Man is an Island," Raja tells the entire class that if he was stuck on a desert island with only one thing, it would be his best friend Justin--which of course leads the whole class to think that they are a homosexual couple. But things backfire when Justin turns to Claire for advice on how to make Raja stop embarassing him... but you'll have to watch the show to see how that turns out.


Analysis:

The show isn't laugh out loud funny, but it isn't intended to be that type of sitcom anyway. Actually, it reminds me a LOT of The Wonder Years in the style that it is done, with the show having Justin narrating just about everything that happens within the episode as if he was telling the story about what is happening. It is obvious that the producers here are trying to create a well-written series here that has funny moments along the way. But if the series wants to last, they need to create some good scripts, and I'm not sure how far they'll be able to go with that in a series with a premise like this. Many of the "fish out of water" sitcoms of the past (think of Perfect Strangers, ALF, and others) used quite a few funny moments, and even though they did have decent scripts, they may not have always (though sometimes could have) been scripts that could stand alone without many funny moments and a laugh track (something that this series does NOT have).

The show uses a lot of stereotypes about Muslims (as well as other groups) too, which makes it a bit politically incorrect, and honestly most people would not say actually say (and hopefully not believe, but certainly some will) a lot of the stuff that is said in the show. But of course, it is just a sitcom and you can't take it all that seriously. Besides, despite all of the stereotypes, it shows how incorrect a lot of the stereotypes are, and that is what many sitcoms about stereotypes often do. Plus, the point of the show is just to enjoy it and not make anything of the stereotypes, which makes me wonder why I just wasted away this paragraph talking about it.


Conclusion:

Really, this isn't a bad show, and it seems like the perfect fit for a younger audience, which is exactly what The CW is after. In fact, if it weren't for the political incorrectness that the show exhibits a LITTLE bit (which isn't too much), this show could almost fit in on a network such as Nickelodeon, as it reminds me of some of the early '90s sitcoms that the network aired (and the style that they appear to be trying to return to). I'd give this show about two weeks to last on any other network, not because it is a bad show (it is actually decent), but because it will be hard for the right audience to find it. But given that this will air on The CW and right after Everybody Hates Chris, I'd give this show a fighting chance.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funniness: 2.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by Skees53 on 09/28/07

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

Related Links:

  • The CW Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Aliens in America Photo Gallery


    The other day we mentioned we will let you know if The Brady Bunch will be staying past the two weeks it was slated for. And the answer is...YES. It will continue to air Tues-Fri at 11am the week of Oct. 16 and beyond. It starts airing of course starting Oct. 2 Also, the week of Oct. 15 will see an additional Brady airing, at 4:30am every night!
    There are some other minor changes starting Oct. 15, including an Andy Griffith Tuesday block from 8-10pm, replacing Cosby Show and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will move from Tuesdays at 11 to Saturdays at 11! Good morning TV Land, indeed!
    Full list of changes for that week can be found here.

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