Wednesday, September 30, 2009

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

The Middle

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

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

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

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

Cast Details:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Pilot Plot:

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


Analysis:

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

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

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


Conclusion:

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

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

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/30/09

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

Related Links:


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

    Preview:






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

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    Friday, August 21, 2009

    Fresh Prince Comes to Disney XD Fall 2009; Hallmark and TV Land Schedule Changes Starting Aug. 24

    As we mentioned a few times, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is coming to Disney XD this September! We normally don't cover Disney XD, but since Fresh Prince is coming, we will this time. Similar to when Viacom had rights to Fresh Prince and Nick at Nite shared it with The N, now ABC Family will share it with sister network Disney XD. Both Nick at Nite and The N will lose rights to the show and will drop it at the end of this month...as Disney now gets full evening rights instead of just weekends.
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will launch on Disney XD with a three-night marathon event starting Friday, September 18, 2009 and running through Sunday, September 20, 2009! On all three nights, the marathon will air from 7pm-6am, with only season one episodes. As a result, most of them will air three times each. Season one had 25 episodes and they will go in order in this marathon event. Then starting Monday, September 21, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will join the regular weeknight schedule and air weeknights at 7pm, 9:30pm & 10pm with encores at 12am & 2:30am. It will also air on weekends, both Saturday and Sundays in the 5pm hour and Sundays in the 7pm hour as well. Sister network ABC Family will air it weeknights in the 6pm hour and sometimes late nights on Saturday nights beginning at 11pm.
    View the full Disney XD September 2009 schedule.

    Hallmark Channel is making more changes. Beginning Monday (August 24) midday movies will replace Touched By An Angel at noon & 1pm, while a triple shot of episodes of 7th Heaven replace Little House on the Prairie from 2pm-5pm. Touched by an Angel will of course remain in primetime from 8-11pm, while 7th Heaven returns to the schedule but Little House on the Prairie leaves the schedule.
    Meanwhile, TV Land will also make a schedule change starting Monday (Aug. 24). It's a very minor one, but still nevertheless a schedule change. Weekdays at 9am will now be another hour of Good Times, replacing Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. That show will still be on sister network CMT, so not to worry. Good Times will air now for two full hours from 9-11am, when there are no encores of How'd You Get So Rich. This change is through at least week of Sept. 21. Not sure yet if this will run into October schedule (which starts Sept. 28). Stay with us for more on TV Land in October.

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    Thursday, June 18, 2009

    TV Land Adds Married with Children Weekend Marathon and First 2 Weeks of July Change; Emmy Awards Changes Date Again

    Previously on "TV Land Schedule Changes," Bree wanted Orson to stop stealing, oops wrong show...we told you the changes from June 15-28, now we have June 27 through July 12! This is like a soap opera, isn't it? The weekend of June 27-28 will now have a change now. It will have a Married...with Children marathon primarily. Al Bundy and family will air from 9:30am-8pm on Saturday, June 27 and from 8am-2am on Sunday, June 28. That's a whole lotta Bundy! Encores of movies Grease and Grease 2 will also air on Saturday, June 27, with Roseanne blocks as well. Then the regular schedule starting Monday, June 29 is pretty similar to the changes that started on June 15, but just a few things. For weekdays, the 12pm hour is now back to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, replacing Leave it to Beaver/Beverly Hillbillies. But Beverly Hillbillies will air in the 1pm hour, so that means TV Land Goes West (2 episodes of Gunsmoke & Bonanza each and one Little House) goes from approx. 1:30pm-7pm to now more on the clock from 2pm-7pm. This means Beaver is now weekends only again if they have a marathon. Mondays from 8pm-11pm will now be yet more Roseanne replacing Married...with Children, so Married is now off the regular schedule, but not to worry as it returns to Spike TV weekdays on July 6. So it looks like (for now I guess) Married (which is doing decent for them) will have its last TV Land airing during that weekend marathon (June 27-28). I expect we will see more soon as they keep bringing it back and changing the schedule, so stay tuned. Everything else on weekdays is the same as it is now, so yes, Andy Griffith is not on weekdays through July 12.
    On weekends we get marathon blocks ("Andy & Friends" as I'd like to call it). But first, from 6-8am on both days we now see more Roseanne, so that replaces Star Trek, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and whatever else pops up weekend mornings usually. But remember, as of now this is through July 12 only. The weekend of July 4-5 will see Leave it to Beaver and Andy Griffith. On Saturday, July 4, we see Beaver from 11am-3pm and Andy Griffith from 3pm-8pm. On Sunday, July 5 we see Beaver from 12pm-3pm and more Andy from 3pm-8pm. As previously announced, Roseanne July 4th Feuds & Fireworks Marathon airs from 8pm-6am on both nights. The weekend of July 11-12 will see more marathons. A special SpongeBob SquarePants block will air on Saturday, July 11 from 10am-12pm, as SpongeBob is getting ready for his 10th birthday on Nickelodeon with "The Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash." We will have more on that during our Nick at Nite July schedule & highlights very soon, as SpongeBob will have about a 50-hour non-stop marathon on Nick/Nick at Nite from July 17-19. Back to TV Land, it's more marathons as the weekend of July 11-12 it is Hogan's Heroes and Andy Griffith. Hogan's Heroes on both days will air from 12pm-5pm while Andy will air both days from 5pm-10pm. Regular weekend schedule will air elsewhere. So is TV Land trying to phase Andy out by airing it only on weekends? Sound off on our message board and also you can view these changes in a list form. Remember TV Land keeps releasing schedules two weeks at a time, so as of now this is through July 12 only. Stay tuned for more!

    The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards has been re-scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 20 from approx. 8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on CBS. That was the original date and now CBS has gone back to that after moving it to Sunday, Sept. 13. But September 13 is the same day for the MTV Video Music Awards. So CBS had to move it back to the original Sept. 20. date. CBS moved it to Sept. 13 originally because of an NFL game from 4-7:30pm ET. To present The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards as close as possible to its scheduled 8:00 PM start, 60 Minutes is planning a flexible broadcast following CBS Sports late afternoon NFL game. So we will finally see a shortened 60 Minutes or possibly preempted totally in the East if the game goes over 7:30pm ET.
    Remember nominations will be announced Thursday, July 16 at 5:40 AM PT from the Television Academy's Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood. You can watch it live on CBS's Early Show.

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    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    ABC Fall 2009 Premiere Dates; Futurama Returns in Mid-2010; TV Land Changes Night and Time for Originals

    ABC has announced most of the premiere dates for the 2009-2010 season. Additional premieres will be announced at a later date. Most of the series will launch or return for premiere week (Sept. 21-27), but there are some before and after. Saturday Night Football returns on Saturday nights at 8pm ET starting Saturday, Sept. 5. 20/20 will launch its new season (it never has repeats though) on Friday, Sept. 11 at 10pm. Then we move on to premiere week. Dancing with the Stars kicks-off premiere week and the new season for ABC on Monday, Sept. 21 from 8-10pm followed by the season premiere of Castle at 10pm. Dancing with the Stars will also air on Tuesday, Sept. 22 from 8-10pm leading into the series premiere of The Forgotten. Airing at 8pm on Tuesdays will be Shark Tank starting Aug. 25 (with special airings after Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on Sundays at 9 on Aug, 9, 16 & 23), but Shark Tank is preempted on Sept. 22, but will return Sept. 29 at 8. On Wednesday, Sept. 23, a special Dancing with the Stars: The Results on a special night & time of 8pm will lead-into the comedy premieres of Modern Family & Cougar Town. No word yet what will air at 10pm on this night, as ABC has not announced when new drama Eastwick will launch. Dancing with the Stars: The Results will move to its regular Tuesdays at 9pm slot the following week (Tues., Sept. 29). On Thursday, Sept. 24, ABC launches the premiere of Flash Forward at 8pm followed by the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy. ABC has not announced yet when Private Practice will launch. On Sunday, Sept. 27, ABC will have a two-hour season premiere of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition from 7-9pm, followed by the season premiere of Desperate Housewives at 9pm. No date for Brothers & Sisters has been announced yet.
    Premiering out of premiere week will be new comedies Hank and The Middle on Wednesday, Sept. 30 in the 8pm hour. Also, AFV will launch its new season on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 7pm, as Home Edition moves back to the regular 8pm hour. Premiering in week three will be the two-hour season premiere of Ugly Betty from 8-10pm on Friday, Oct. 9, before moving to its regular 9pm slot the following week. And Supernanny launches its new season in week four at 8pm on Oct. 16. That's good to launch the Friday series a bit later as Friday ratings tend to be very low until its gets cooler.
    So, to recap so far no premiere dates for Brothers & Sisters, Private Practice and new drama Eastwick. Why? I think ABC might be mulling a special preview for Eastwick. If I were to guess, Eastwick would get a special premiere on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 10 following Desperate Housewives, with Brothers & Sisters launching its new season the following Sunday at 10 (Oct. 4). Eastwick would have its Wednesday premiere on Sept. 30 at 10. During premiere week they might have a special at 10pm on both Wednesday, Sept. 23 and Thursday, Sept. 24 to fill those vacant spots, so maybe Private Practice will not launch until week two (Thursday, Oct. 1). Just my guesses. We also don't know yet what is airing on Fridays the first two weeks from 8-10pm? Maybe special encores of something during the week?
    View the premiere dates in list form. We'll inform you as soon as we know about the missing premiere dates.

    20th Century Fox Television, the animation powerhouse that brought Family Guy back from the dead five years ago, has done it again: Matt Groening and David X. Cohen's brilliantly subversive animated sci-fi comedy Futurama will return to production on 26 new half-hour episodes more than six years after the series aired its last original episode. The move comes on the heels of the series' blockbuster performance on DVD and on Comedy Central.
    The new episodes will be available in mid 2010 to be shown on Comedy Central. However, Twentieth Century Fox Television retains the option to license the original runs of the new episodes to a broadcast network as well.
    Futurama was a staple of Fox's Sunday night animation block from 1999 to 2003 before ceasing production on original episodes. In June 2006, Comedy Central acquired the rights to the existing 72 episodes of the series, which the channel began airing in January 2008, and four recently-produced extended length Futurama adventures: "Bender's Big Score," "The Beast with a Billion Backs," "Bender's Game" and "Into the Wild Green Yonder," which enjoyed enormous success both on Comedy Central and in DVD release. This new deal marks the show's return to episodic series production on original episodes. Futurama becomes only the second series in the history of the medium to go back into production based on the strength of its DVD sales and repeat airings on cable.

    TV Land announced today that it is making changes to its summer schedule as upcoming original series How'd You Get So Rich? starring Joan Rivers and the comedic hidden camera series Make My Day will now premiere on Thursday, August 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT respectively.
    It was previously announced that they would premiere on Wednesday, August 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. The series' will premiere in TV Land PRIME, the network's new primetime programming block designed to appeal to the attitudes, life stage and interests of people in their 40s.
    Premiering on Thursday, August 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, How'd You Get So Rich? stars the notoriously uncensored gossip diva Joan Rivers as she explores the lifestyles of the fabulously rich and lucky in this 30-minute, six-episode series. Following How'd You Get So Rich? is the premiere of the six-episode show Make My Day at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT. This comedic hidden-camera series provides a window into one day in the life of an unsuspecting participant. Tune in as cameras capture the action as they experience weird coincidences, extraordinary situations and surprise celebrity appearances for one whole day.
    It seems Thursdays at 9PM is the new hour for TV Land originals, as TV Land also launches the second season of She's Got the Look tomorrow (June 11) on the night and time.

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    Thursday, April 23, 2009

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

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

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

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

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    Monday, December 15, 2008

    TV Land Removes Four Sitcoms; TBS Schedules New Sitcom Meet the Browns for January and My Boys for March

    We gave you details on TV Land's changes coming in January starting Dec. 29 and told you Paid Programming would be expanded and moved to 6-9am, so Designing Women, Mad About You, Murphy Brown and Just Shoot Me would move back to 4-6am instead of 3-5am. Now TV Land will remove these four sitcoms all together. Starting Monday, Dec. 29, we now get another hour of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in the 4am hour followed by more M*A*S*H in the 5am hour. Yes, Designing Women, Mad About You, Murphy Brown and Just Shoot Me will be off the regular line-up totally now, so watch them these next few weeks all you can. Just Shoot Me will still air in the weekend "TV Land.Comedy Month," on Jan. 17 from 2-6am. For regular airings, these four do not have return dates. If they shall returns, we will certainly let you know.
    View the rest of TV Land's January 2009 schedule and highlights.

    After bringing his unique style to TBS with the enormously popular sitcom Tyler Perry's House of Payne, Tyler Perry is preparing to add to his successful track record with a spin-off based on characters of his popular play and hit movie, Meet the Browns. The series stars David Mann as the fun-loving but sometimes crass Downtown Leroy Brown, who also appeared in several episodes of House of Payne on TBS. This series opens with Leroy Brown trying to fulfill his father's dying wish by opening a retirement home. Helping him out are his daughter, Cora (Tamela Mann); his nephew Will (Lamman Rucker), a doctor; Will's wife, Sasha (Denise Boutte), a nurse; Carmen Martinez (Jeanette Sousa), a beautiful young social worker; and Jesus Hernandez (Antonio Jaramillo), a maintenance engineer studying to be a lawyer. Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns comes to TBS from Debmar-Mercury. As he does for his other series, Perry is once again serving as executive producer and director, as well as occasionally writing.
    Meet the Browns launches Wednesday, January 7 airing back-to-back episodes for five weeks, as 10 episodes have been ordered, through and including February 4. House of Payne will lead-into the series from 8-10pm and lead-out as well from 11pm-12am, giving it an ample lead-in.
    TBS has also scheduled all 10 episodes of Meet the Browns the weekend of Feb. 21-22, as part of a Tyler Perry marathon, in case you miss any. The first two will encore on Saturday, Feb. 21 from 9-10pm, following two episodes of House of Payne from 8-9pm. Then TBS will air the movie Diary of a Mad Black Woman at 10pm followed by a House of Payne marathon from 12:30am-8:30am on Sunday. Then the remaining eight episodes of Meet the Browns will follow from 8:30am-12:30pm, followed by another airing of Diary of a Mad Black Woman, and finally more House of Payne from 3-8pm...so it is all Tyler Payne for 24-hours!
    Meanwhile, My Boys will return in March for a third season! This critically acclaimed comedy stars Jordana Spiro as PJ Franklin, a 20-something sports writer looking for love while also trying to maintain her close connection with her friends, most of whom are guys. Co-starring with Spiro is the show's top-notch ensemble cast, including Jim Gaffigan, Kyle Howard, Reid Scott, Michael Bunin, Jamie Kaler and Kellee Stewart. My Boys premiered on TBS in November 2006, ranking as ad-supported cable's #1 original sitcom of the year. This year, the show averaged 1.5 million viewers, up 14% when compared to last summer. My Boys comes to TBS from creator Betsy Thomas.
    Speaking of third seasons, just a reminder, TBS's popular late-night comedy 10 Items or Less, a loosely scripted look at life behind the scenes at a family-run grocery store, returns for a third season on Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 11pm. It is co-created by acclaimed comedy improv actor John Lehr. It delves into the offbeat lives of the employees at Greens & Grains. In addition to Lehr, the series stars Kirsten Gronfield, Chris Payne Gilbert, Greg Davis Jr., Christopher Liam Moore, Roberta Valderrama and Robert Clendenin, as well as new cast member Kim Coles. 10 Items or Less is written and executive-produced by Lehr and director Nancy Hower.

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    Friday, December 05, 2008

    Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna Show on TV Land Soon?; Remembering Paul Benedict (Mr. Bentley on The Jeffersons)

    Celebrity couple Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin are possibly ready to expose their lives to the cameras in an unscripted project for TV Land.
    The network has ordered a pilot presentation of a project that would follow the lives of the husband-and-wife duo along with their two daughters. The project is executive produced by Jason Carbone. Both Hamlin and Rinna appeared on separate seasons of Dancing with the Stars as well.
    Should TV Land go forward with the project, said to have generated interest from a few cable networks, it will go straight to a half-hour series pickup targeted for a 2009 debut.
    While that series might not be picked-up yet, there is some hard news for the actual schedule. The weather outside may be frightful but TV Land is keeping viewers warm throughout the winter season with a hearty helping of touching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition episodes, exciting theatrical releases in Friday PRIME Movies, the second season premiere of the hit reality series High School Reunion and the spring premiere of the much-anticipated elimination dating series The Cougar during its TV Land PRIME programming block. Additionally, TV Land will air a hilarious New Year's Day marathon and ring in 2009 with Jan-centric episodes of The Brady Bunch.
    We have mentioned all that, but just a reminder of some of the stuff to come!

    Paul Benedict, the actor who played the wacky English neighbor Harry Bentley on the sitcom The Jeffersons, has died. But his death is pretty mysterious. Benedict was found dead Monday (December 1) on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts...his brother, Charles said authorities were still investigating the cause of death.
    Benedict began his acting career in the 1960s in the Theatre Company of Boston, alongside such future stars as Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino.
    Benedict went on to appear in a number of movies, including a role as the oddball director in The Goodbye Girl with Richard Dreyfuss.
    But he was known primarily for his role as the crazy neighbor to George Jefferson on The Jeffersons from 1975-1985. The accented speech that he used even offstage led many to assume that Benedict was British, but in fact he was born Sept. 17, 1938, in Silver City, N.M. His other TV credits include guest roles on All in the Family (the backdoor pilot episode for The Jeffersons), Maude, Harry O, Kojak, Murder She Wrote, A Different World, Tales from the Crypt, Morton & Hayes, Seinfeld, Guiding Light, The Drew Carey Show, and a recurring role on Sesame Street as "The Mad Painter" in the early 1970s.
    His other movie roles include After the Sunset, The Man with Two Brains, The Addams Family Movie, Cocktail, and Arthur 2. On Broadway he played opposite Al Pacino in the 2-man Broadway play Hughie (by Eugene O'Neill) in mid '90s and in 2000 he played Mayor Shinn in The Music Man.
    We will certainly miss him. He was wonderful and hilarious on The Jeffersons, and let's hope TV Land does a tribute marathon for him. If they do, we will certainly let you know. If not, as a tribute to him, let someone walk on your back! Leave your memories of Paul Benedict on our message board. Mr. Benedict was 70.

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    Monday, November 24, 2008

    2008 Network TV Holiday Specials; TV Land Schedule Changes Includes Paid Programming?; NBC Kills Crusoe to Saturdays

    Can you believe the holiday season is nearing? Thanksgiving is this week, which means Christmas is right around the corner! And then it will be 2009 a week after that. Time flies! Anyway as I mentioned, I have put together our annual network television (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CW, MyNetwork TV) holiday specials list that we all like to watch every year like Frosty the Snowman and A Charlie Brown Christmas, new classics like Shrek the Halls and we even get some new specials this year like A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa. Sure the network holiday line-ups are not as detailed as some cable networks like ABC Family, but the main holiday specials are still on network television! These are just actual holiday related specials and movies, not movies or specials airing during the holiday season on broadcast network television:

    ABC
    Tuesday, Nov. 25, 8-9pm: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving/This is America Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers
    Thursday, Nov. 27, 8-9pm: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving/This is America Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers ENCORE
    Friday, Nov. 28, 8-10pm: ABC Friday Movie of the Week: The Polar Express
    Monday, Dec. 1, 8-9pm: Shrek the Halls and Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated)
    Tuesday, Dec. 2, 8-9pm: Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
    Friday, Dec. 5, 8-10pm: ABC Friday Movie of the Week: Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (live-action)
    Monday, Dec. 8, 8-9pm: A Charlie Brown Christmas
    Tuesday, Dec. 9, 8-9pm: America's Funniest Home Videos Christmas Special
    Saturday, Dec. 13, 8-9pm: America's Funniest Home Videos Christmas Special ENCORE
    Saturday, Dec. 13, 9-11pm: ABC Saturday Movie of the Week: Surviving Christmas
    Sunday, Dec. 14, 8-10pm: ABC Sunday Movie of the Week: The Santa Clause 2
    Monday, Dec. 15, 8-9pm: I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown
    Tuesday, Dec. 16, 8-9pm: A Charlie Brown Christmas ENCORE
    Saturday, Dec. 20, 8-9pm: I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown ENCORE
    Saturday, Dec. 20, 9-11pm: ABC Saturday Movie of the Week: Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat
    Monday, Dec. 22, 8-8:30pm: Shrek the Halls ENCORE
    Tuesday, Dec. 23, 8-9pm: Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated, expanded edition)
    Tuesday, Dec. 30, 8-9:30pm: Happy New Year, Charlie Brown and Rudolph's Shiny New Year
    For other non-holiday related movies and specials airing during the holiday season on ABC, view our schedule.

    CBS:
    Wednesday, Dec. 3, 8-9pm: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
    Friday, Dec. 12, 8-9pm: Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns
    Friday, Dec. 12, 9-10pm: The Flight Before Christmas (NEW!)
    Saturday, Dec. 20, 8-10pm: CBS Saturday Movie: Elf
    Tuesday, Dec. 23, 8-9pm: 10th Annual Home for the Holidays with Faith Hill
    For other non-holiday related movies and specials airing during the holiday season on CBS, view our schedule.

    NBC:
    Wednesday, Dec. 3, 8-9pm: Christmas in Rockefeller Center
    Friday, Dec. 5, 8-9pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: TV & Film Countdown
    Wednesday, Dec. 10, 8-9pm: Little Spirit: A New York Christmas
    Friday, Dec. 12, 8-9pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: Songs of the Season Countdown
    Saturday, Dec. 13, 8-11pm: NBC Movie of the Week: It's a Wonderful Life
    Wednesday, Dec. 17, 8-9pm: A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (NEW!)
    Friday, Dec. 19, 8-10pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: TV & Film Countdown and Greatest Holiday Moments: Songs of the Season Countdown
    Monday, Dec. 22, 8-9pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: Hilarious Home Video Countdown
    Tuesday, Dec. 24, 8-11pm: NBC Movie of the Week: It's a Wonderful Life
    Wednesday, Dec. 25, 10-11pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: Hilarious Home Video Countdown
    For other non-holiday related movies and specials airing during the holiday season on NBC, view our schedule.

    Fox:
    None
    For other non-holiday related movies and specials airing during the holiday season on Fox, view our schedule.

    The CW:
    Friday, Dec. 5, 8-9pm: Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
    Friday, Dec. 5, 9-10pm: The Story of Santa Claus
    For other non-holiday related movies and specials airing during the holiday season on The CW, view our schedule.

    MyNetwork TV:
    Saturday, Dec. 6, 8-10pm: MySaturday Night Movie: Miracle on 34th Street
    Monday, Dec. 8, 8-10pm: MyMonday Night Movie: Blizzard
    Tuesday, Dec. 9, 8-10pm: Olive the Other Reindeer and Santa's Funniest Moments
    Wednesday, Dec. 10, 8-10pm: MyWednesday Night Movie: Home Alone
    Tuesday, Dec. 16, 8-10pm: Soul of Christmas
    Wednesday, Dec. 17, 8-10pm: Christmas is Here Again and Santa's Funniest Moments
    Thursday, Dec. 18, 8-9pm: Wrestlemania Holiday Special
    Monday, Dec. 22, 8-10pm: The Spirit of Christmas
    Tuesday, Dec. 23, 8-10pm: MyTuesday Night Movie: Babes in Toyland
    For other non-holiday related movies and specials airing during the holiday season on MyNetwork TV, view our schedule.


    TV Land has edited their line-up a bit effective immediately. I announced the changes on Saturday on our message board, but in case you didn't see that...they are adding Paid Programming from 5am-7am on weekday mornings. It started today. No reason was given and it will last at least until the end of December. So, this means Star Trek is off the regular schedule, but it will air sometimes on Thursdays at 7am. M*A*S*H will air every other weekday in the 7am hour, followed now by a full-hour of Night Court at 8am. Back-to-back sitcom episodes will last until 1pm with Sanford & Son, The Jeffersons, Good Times and I Love Lucy from 9am-1pm. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will be indeed staying at 1pm on weekday afternoons. The other changes are in primetime. After The Cosby Show block from 8-10pm, we now will get Scrubs from 10-11pm as 3rd Rock from the Sun moves to 11pm-1am, with a four episode block now. M*A*S*H will assume the 1am hour now while Three's Company moves up an hour to 2-3am. The 4-6am block of Designing Women, Mad About You, Murphy Brown and Just Shoot Me will all move up an hour to 3-5am, as mentioned Paid Programming will assume the 5-7am hours now.
    Weekends will not see many changes, but I advise you to view our one-time-only schedule dates for November and December. You can see the full list of changes starting Nov. 24 in the November highlights, too.
    The Beverly Hillbillies only airs on weekends now, primarily on Sundays from 12-4am...view our highlights for details. And yes, there is NO paid programming on Saturdays and Sundays. Paid Programming is just weekdays. If you notice on the December highlights, the last three days of December, the paid programming will be 6-9am instead of 5-7am. Not sure if that will continue into January or not, but we'll let you know soon.
    In the November schedule highlights, you'll notice the Thanksgiving marathon has been edited a bit, with CSI now included in the marathon this Saturday and Sunday night in primetime. CSI was originally supposed to air this week in the 11pm-1am hours, as it did last week, but TV Land has decided to air them in holiday weekend marathon block instead. After that, CSI will not be scheduled on TV Land in the near future, unless another schedule change happens.

    Effective Saturday, December 6, struggling Friday drama Crusoe will move to Saturdays at 8:00pm ET/PT. It aired its last Friday airing this past Friday at 9pm and it continued to bomb for NBC. Six episodes still remain, so NBC will have to deal with more bad ratings until then, unless they pull it. It'll of course do worse on Saturdays, but NBC was airing low-rated Knight Rider repeats in the Saturday slot anyway, so expectations are lower.
    Because of the change, Fridays will see newsmagazine Dateline added, but not in Crusoe's slot. Dateline will air Fridays at 10pm against ABC's 20/20, while current 10pm slot holder Lipstick Jungle moves to Fridays at 9pm. Don't understand that move. Dateline would be better at 9pm, as Lipstick Jungle is also doing terrible and is on its last four episodes, so that series will air its last episode on Jan. 9. NBC has not announced what will happen to Fridays after that. In fact, NBC will likely see many changes in January and the rest of midseason, and we'll let you know as soon as we do. The schedule NBC announced last April for this winter is of course going to change, so I don't understand why NBC announced it last April in the first place.

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    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    TV Land December 2008 Includes 9th Annual Merrython and Lucy Farewell; Rita Rocks Solid in First Two Airings

    I know it isn't even Halloween yet, and we are discussing TV Land December 2008 today! This December, TV Land will celebrate the holidays with three blocks of Christmas episodes labeled the 9th Annual Merrython and a holiday week of holiday episodes of feel good show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. But before that, take another spin down the catwalk with the lovely ladies from She's Got the Look -- TV Land's modeling competition series like no other. Relive the excitement as 10 finalists are chosen to compete against each other for a lucrative Wilhelmina modeling contract and a spread in Self magazine. The marathon airs Saturday, December 6 from 3pm-9pm ET/PT!
    Then it is time to celebrate the holidays with classics and modern classic holiday episodes! This year's Merrython will be the best yet with many hours of holiday fun for all on December 7 (thirteen hours), December 21 (twelve hours) and December 25 (twenty hours)! TV Land is delivering the goods to the viewers with Christmas episodes from classics like Andy Griffith, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Sanford & Son, Beverly Hillbillies, Brady Bunch, Three's Company and Little House on the Prairie and modern Christmas favorites from The Cosby Show, Just Shoot Me, Night Court, Murphy Brown, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Scrubs. Grab the eggnog, tune in with loved ones, and warm up your Christmas spirit with TV Land!
    That's not all for the holidays! Get ready for an Extreme Home Makeover holiday! Extreme Makeover: Home Edition kicks off prime each night at 9pm beginning Monday, December 8, so don't miss this exciting week-long marathon showcasing five of the most popular families from the series. Concluding the stunt on Saturday night is a two-hour special that revisits each of these fortunate families during the holidays. Watch the Extreme Home Makeover crew give these special folks the opportunity to "pay it forward" and share their good fortune with other deserving families. There'll be a lot of joy and warmth this holiday season as we bring you all the best that Ty and his gang of hardworking homebuilders have to offer.
    TV Land also celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Superman film starring the late Christopher Reeve by airing it at 12 noon on Sunday, December 14. TV Land Friday night movie premieres in the MovieLand block for December are Analyze This, Get Shorty, and Doc Hollywood! Encores include Sister Act II.
    Finally, as we all know that I Love Lucy is headed for The Hallmark Channel this January, TV Land has to say goodbye. TV Land says "Bon Voyage" to 2008 and I Love Lucy as they countdown to the New Year with everybody's favorite classic sitcom, I Love Lucy, as the show leaves the network. Spend the day living vicariously through The Ricardos' and The Mertzes' antics, escapades and adventures as we countdown the all-time Top 25 I Love Lucy episodes--voted by you the fans. All throughout the month of December, TV Land gives fans the opportunity to vote which episodes they want to see during Lucy's New Year's Eve Countdown. Customized countdown flags and packaged I Love Lucy vignettes with color commentary will air throughout the stunt as it gains momentum and reaches its zenith with the I Love Lucy episode ranked #1 by the viewers. It was a year to remember and it'll be a TV Land send-off viewers will never forget. Goodbye Lucy! Obviously there will be a lot of changes to the January line-up since Lucy is leaving, but we don't know what yet...so we should know by next month and let you all know.
    But for now View our complete TV Land December 2008 highlights for episode info for each stunt and more!

    Lifetime TV's original sitcom Rita Rocks got off to a decent start on Monday when the show premiered to 1 million viewers. When comparing to Lifetime's last comedy series, Lovespring International, which launched in June 2006, Rita Rocks was up 38 percent among women 18-49 posting a 0.8 W18-49 rating. The show was also up 11 percent above the network's prior four-week time period average.
    On Tuesday for episode two, the original sitcom did a 1.1 HH rating, up 37% from the premiere and 1.2 million viewers, up 200,000 viewers from the premiere. Rita Rocks also increased by 15 percent in key women 18-49 (0.83 rating) versus the prior four-week time period average. Wednesday numbers will be in later. Will it rise more?
    Rita Rocks continues to air every night this week at 8:30 p.m. before assuming its regular weekly time slot on Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. starting next week. Rita certainly rocks, and not bad after airing out of Reba repeats.

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    Friday, October 17, 2008

    Blog DVD Review: Knight Rider - The Complete Collection (Oct. 21); TV Land and ABC Schedule Notes

    We have a special Friday edition of our Blog DVD Reviews for you today. Today we take a look at Universal Home Video's Knight Rider: The Complete Collection. Knight Rider of course is the hit 1980s action series starring David Hasselhoff. This is not to be confused with the current revival series. Universal already had released each season on DVD separately, but now we can own the series in one cool box set!
    See my Blog DVD Review of Knight Rider: The Complete Collection:

    Knight Rider: The Complete Collection (Universal, $139.98) brings all four seasons and 85 action-packed episodes of Knight Rider together for the first time in one amazing DVD collection! David Hasselhoff is back as charismatic crimefighter Michael Knight, the driver of the world's most dynamic, high-tech talking car, K.I.T.T. As this brave duo take on criminals, crooks and those eager to exploit K.I.T.T.'s impressive technology for their own evil purposes, you'll be blown away by their explosive adventures that set the standard for all TV action series to come. With 24 discs tricked out with an impressive array of bonus features, it's one complete DVD trip you can't afford to miss!
    OK, so all four seasons were already released separately. See our season reviews: Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3 / Season 4
    The only difference on this set is the packaging. The packaging is pretty big, but VERY cool. It is like a portfolio type, but much heavier. The cover is all in black with the Knight Rider: The Complete Collection words in grey. Underneath that we see a red bar with a button. The red bar is supposed to be the flashing lights we see on K.I.T.T. Once we press that button the theme song plays for a little bit and he lights flash back and forth in that red bar. It is very cool! Good job by Universal and excellent planning. Batteries are of course used for this. There are instructions on the set if your batteries die on how to replace them. On the back of this nice packaging we have the same black color scheme (fitting) with a shot of Michael, K.I.T.T., and the box art/discs. There is also info on the set and DVD bonus features. Just make sure you don't pull out the back part because it is just an insert really glued on. When we open the box, we open how we do a portfolio...very easy. There is a pocket that holds six slim cases each on a side. So we have 12 slim cases! If you recall from our season one review, the packaging was a digipak case, so we get something different this time for season one. Each slim case holds two discs each. Each slim case has the same artwork that was used for each season box art, with episode info on the back of each slim case. Now on each of the season sets the discs were all double-sided, now this time they are all single-sided. So, I think many people will just buy this set because of that. The artwork for each disc is the same...all black background, with the show logo, season number, and disc number. Simple but effective. Beats the double-sided pain for sure!
    Everything else is the same as what we saw on the season sets. The menus, video/audio quality, and special features. There is no new things content wise. See our season reviews again for details on these.
    I think a die hard fan would want this set for sure. The packaging alone would do it. It is so cool to press a button and the theme plays and the flashing red lights. I have pressed it so many times already. One of the coolest sets ever. Maybe the best packaging ever. It is just hard to find a spot on your shelf for it because it is so big. It certainly isn't "compact" like the cheap Sony complete series sets which are a waste of money and time. If you haven't bought any season sets, then this would be the way to go. Same content, but the discs problem is fixed as they are all single-sided now. So buy this set before Garth chases you down and makes you watch the new Knight Rider, which doesn't compare at all with this classic series! Long live Michael Knight!
    -- Reviewed by Pavan
    (4/5 stars)

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

    Related links:
    SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
    Knight Rider TV.com Page


    We still have news for ya! TV Land has made some changes for this weekend and some changes starting Monday. Some of the changes for this weekend are for only this weekend. Such as Leave it to Beaver Saturday morning from 8-10am and 3rd Rock from the Sun on Sunday from 4-8pm. Everything else is for every week. We will start with weekdays first. From 4-5pm weekdays, The Beverly Hillbillies will air replacing Hogan's Heroes, which moves back to 5-6pm. Two-hours of Andy Griffith moves from 5-7pm to 6-8pm, as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will be pulled from 7pm (it will still air 11pm). 12-1am and 1-2am hours will be switched, M*A*S*H will now air 12-1am and Cosby Show from 1-2am, with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's second airing now 2am instead of 7pm.
    On weekends Saturdays will see an hour of Andy from 8-9am (sometimes 12-1pm) and Lucy from 9am to 1 or 2pm usually. The movies follow, with now 3rd Rock from the Sun airing 6-8pm instead of Cosby Show which will now air 8-10pm. So, two-hour editions of Home Edition have been pulled. Andy Griffith will air from 10pm-12am instead of Scrubs and Myths & Legends. Sundays will see Gunsmoke have another airing at 7am, while Bonanza gets two airings from 8-10am. TV Land Goes West gets extended from 12-4am usually to now 1-7pm (or 2-8pm sometimes). See the full list of changes.
    It's official family game show Opportunity Knocks - from Ashton Kutcher - has been pulled from ABC, but it could return in December on a new night and time to finish out its remaining six episodes. Dancing with the Stars: Performance Recap Show will air this Tuesday ONLY (Tuesday, October 21, 2008) at 8:00PM ET/PT. It will be a condensed airing of Monday's performance.
    Previously scheduled It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will air on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 in the time period and ABCNews Vote 2008: Election Night will air on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.
    Programming for Tuesday, November 11 and Tuesday, November 18 in the time period has not been announced yet (As of now, Tuesday, November 25 is A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving). We will keep you up to date.

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    Friday, October 03, 2008

    NBC Fall Pilot Review: Kath & Kim - Premieres October 9; NBC Schedule Changes; Home Makeover Also Airing on CMT

    Kath & Kim

    Kath & Kim - Thursdays 8:30PM ET/PT on NBC
    Premieres Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 8:30PM ET/PT

    NBC's Kath & Kim is an American version of a series of the same name that is already a proven hit in the land down under, Australia. Molly Shannon and Selma Blair star as a mother-daughter duo that find themselves living together after finding that happiness cannot be found in their respective marriages. But that could quite possibly be where the similarities end, because this duo is driving each other nuts. Can they take it anymore? Well, obviously the answer is that they're going to have to, thus we have the premise of a series.

    The series is developed by Ben Silverman, who also serves as the executive producer of the ever-popular series The Office (which airs on the same night as Kath & Kim). Michelle Nader serves as the executive producer and writer of the series. The stars and producers of the Australian version, Jane Turner and Gina Riley, serve as the consultants for the NBC version.


    Cast Details:

    * Selma Blair as Kim Day
    * Molly Shannon as Kim Day
    * John Michael Higgins as Phil Knight
    * Mikey Day as Craig Barker

    The series keeps the core cast small, focusing primarily on stars Molly Shannon (as mother Kath) and Selma Blair (as daughter Kim). Mikey Day portrays Craig, Kim's husband that she has separated from, who has a job in the exciting field of electronics, which happens to mean that he works at Best Buy. John Michael Higgins plays Phil, Kath's boyfriend that just doesn't quite get along with Kim, but may somehow have to learn to do so.

    Molly Shannon is, of course, known from her years of work on the series Saturday Night Live. Selma Blair, while not necessarily known as a TV actress, has found success in films such as Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde, Hellboy, and others. Mikey Day is relatively new to the small screen, although he has had minor roles here and there. John Michael Higgins is known for his recurring roles on series such as Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, and Arrested Development, as well as a few big screen roles.


    Pilot Plot:

    We received two episodes for review--the first episode and the second episode airing October 9 and 16.

    In the premiere episode, "Love," romance is in the air for divorcee Kath, when she discovers a sandwich shop owner named Phil. But daughter Kim, who has decided to part from her husband that she married mere weeks ago, is determined to not see this trainwreck of a man (as she sees him) steal her mother's heart. So what other choice does she have than to do than to move back home?

    The second episode of the series, "Old," finds Kath planning the perfect wedding with Phil, the perfect wedding that she missed out on before... but will Kim allow that to happen? Of course not! So what better way to talk her mother out of marriage than to convince her that she is too old? The wedding bells get silenced even further when Kath starts believing it, after she sees Phil with a younger woman. Justina Machado guest stars.


    Analysis:

    This is a decent and well-written series, with many funny moments, but there is one major issue. To me, the series feels like much more of a niche series that would cater to a very specific audience. It doesn't feel like a series that should be airing on a national broadcast network such as NBC, but rather on a cable network. The show appears to want to break a lot of barriers, which would make it appropriate for a premium cable network, where it could truly let loose.

    Still, going back to the writing and casting, it must be said that a great job was done in respect to these. The cast is very impressive, particularly in regards to the "unknown" actors that appear on the series. Shannon and Blair play a very convincing mother-daughter duo (even if they are only a few years apart age-wise) and I really thought that the Higgins portrayal of the character Phil was great. Hopefully he'll play a large role throughout the series.


    Conclusion:

    When the dust settles, this is a decent series that has some hope, but not if it remains on the NBC Thursday night lineup. While it is a sitcom that is done in a style similar to the other NBC Thursday night programs, the substance isn't quite the same, and it feels like it would work better on another night or even another network (which probably won't happen). The series doesn't need to be "retooled" or anything, but it does need to find a better place to air if it wants to survive (airing after the slumping My Name is Earl isn't it).


    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

    -- Reviewed by skees53 on 10/03/08

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

    Related Links:

  • NBC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Kath & Kim Photo Gallery




  • It looks like NBC is pulling America's Toughest Jobs from Friday at 8 after tonight and next week. 8 episodes would have aired after its October 10 airing. The series was ordered for 10 episodes and the final two episodes will air on Saturdays at 8pm (Oct. 18 and 25). Ouch...but at least it will air, but it will be painful to see if it can even get 3 million on that slot. The series doesn't even get 4 million on Fridays. Deal or No Deal will move from 9pm to 8pm starting Friday, October 24. On Friday, October 17, NBC will launch the two-hour series premiere of new drama Crusoe. Crusoe will then air Fridays at 9pm following Deal or No Deal starting Friday, October 24.
    In other NBC news, NBC is adding new reality series Mommas Boys, the mother of all reality dating shows -- from multimedia talent-producer, Ryan Seacrest. It will debut on Wednesday, October 29 from 9-10 p.m. ET/PT, replacing the previously scheduled Deal or No Deal, which will still remain on Fridays. The series centers on three possessive, yet loving mothers who must help their complacent sons choose the perfect woman -- and ultimately poses the question: "Who is really the most important woman in every man's life?"

    TV Land is not the only cable network getting into the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition game, now sister station CMT will also air the show. CMT will start airing the home building ABC show tomorrow with a marathon of three two-hour episodes from 2-8pm. Then CMT will air the show weeknights in the 5pm hour and 8pm hour starting Monday (October 6). On TV Land it will air weekdays at 7PM and 11PM ET, among other times (see our TV Land October thread).
    Remember new episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition still airs on Sundays at 8/7 Central on ABC.

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    Wednesday, September 03, 2008

    TV Land Announces New Primetime Block; Me-TV and Me-Too Fall Schedules for Chicago

    TV Land has announced the launch of TV Land PRIME, a new primetime programming block designed to appeal to the attitudes, life stage and interests of people in their 40s and 50s, catering specifically to people in their mid-40s. Debuting Monday, October 6, this primetime destination will feature original programming such as TV Land hit franchises High School Reunion, She's Got The Look, Myths & Legends and the upcoming series The Cougar, acquired television series such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Scrubs, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Friends and That '70s Show and theatrical releases including Analyze This, Titanic, Ray, A River Runs Through It, Love Actually, Jerry Maguire and Independence Day.
    Equipped with a new logo, color scheme and on-air graphics program, TV Land PRIME will air Monday through Saturday, 9pm to 12 midnight beginning October 6 on TV Land. TV Land PRIME's programming is defined as entertaining, engaging, escapist and most importantly -- targeted for this Adult demographic -- a dynamic group with unmatched purchasing power. Moving forward, all of TV Land's original programming, contemporary television series acquisitions and movies will premiere solely in this daypart.
    Initially, the line-up will have Scrubs (Mon-Fri 9-10pm & Sat 11pm-12am), 3rd Rock from the Sun (Mon-Tues, Thurs 10-11pm), Season 2 of original series Myths & Legends (Wed 10pm & encores Sat 10-11pm), encores of High School Reunion (Wed 10:30-11:30pm), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Mon-Tues & Thurs 11pm-12am, Wed 11:30p-12:30a, & Sat 8-10pm) and MovieLand movies (Fridays 10pm-12am)...all starting Monday, October 6. Sunday nights will remain classic TV in primetime.
    Among the other off-network series coming are Friends (Sept. 2012) and That '70s Show (Sept. 2010). Friends could however come as early as Sept. 2011, as that is when its Nick at Nite deal starts and TV Land might just air it then if Nick at Nite decides not to or wants to share it then. That '70s Show will be shared with sister station The N, which currently airs the series everynight from 12-2am. Other sharings might include the sharing of Nick at Nite's Home Improvement and Roseanne as early as 2009...both could move to TV Land PRIME or air on both Nick and TV Land. Nick at Nite had acquired The Nanny for Spring 2009, but as with Friends, TV Land might just air it instead. However, as of now, TV Land has listed The Nanny for an April 2010 launch.
    The original series for sure airing are Myths & Legends Season 2 (October), High School Reunion Season 2 (Early 2009), She's Got The Look Season 2 (Spring/Summer 2009), and new series The Cougar (2009). Each series will air for eight episodes, except Myths & Legends will have seven. No word on renewals yet for other TV Land originals like Family Foreman. TV Land also has seven pilots in development "for consideration." They have not been bought as a series yet, and not all of them will make it to series, but TV Land PRIME has the following in development to choose from:
    * First Love/Second Chance -- This pilot gives long-lost sweethearts an opportunity to rekindle their romance -- years later. Whether it is unrequited love or a relationship that ended badly, the couples decide if there's still a romantic link after all these years and answer the question, "What could have been?"
    * What's in the Box? -- TV Land PRIME's first game show pilot features individual contestants squaring off in the ultimate, fast-paced 20-question competition. Through a series of pointed yes or no answers to questions like, "Does it move?" or "Is it man-made?," the players must figure out what's in the box without giving their opponent the upper-hand -- all for a cash jackpot and a chance to win a fabulous grand prize.
    * Make My Day -- This show provides a window into one day in the life of an unsuspecting participant. Hidden cameras capture the action as contestants are put through a series of weird coincidences, extraordinary situations and surprise appearances.
    * I've Got Your Number -- This reality pilot based on a British format proves the theory that there is a 76% chance that you already have the number of the person you're going to marry in your cell phone.
    * How Rich Are You? -- We've all driven by an enormous home and asked the question, "Who lives there?" This show unveils the truth about the people who occupy these homes, what else they own and reveals how they went from average Americans to mega-moguls.
    * Now or Never -- Empty nesters are given the chance of a lifetime to open a new chapter in their lives by pursuing careers they always dreamed of, but never dared to pursue. In each installment, couples try out their dream jobs, a new place to live and a whole new social scene before making the gut- wrenching decision of which path to follow.
    * Boomerangers -- TV Land PRIME explores the exploding occurrence of "boomerang kids," young adults who return home from college to live with their parents. Cameras capture the parents and kids who are, once again, together under the same roof. Cast contingent.
    TV Land is trying to move away from the older-skewing series whose average median age on TV Land is over 60 such as The Andy Griffith Show. Currently TV Land's average median age is 55, and TV Land is trying to make it 45 or so and these newer series and original series will certainly help do that in primetime. Not to worry, you'll still see the classics in other dayparts like mornings, afternoons and late nights.
    We'll certainly have more on this as it develops, but TV Land PRIME launches Oct. 6 airing 9pm-12am, six nights a week on TV Land. View the complete press release.

    Me-TV Chicago and its spin-off station Me-Too have announced their Fall 2008 schedules! The schedule started yesterday but some series will be launched gradually in coming weeks. New to Me-TV Chicago on weekdays are dramas Hart to Hat, Dragnet, Police Woman and sitcoms Married...with Children, That '70s Show, Steve Harvey Show, and Happy Days. Batman will also air on Me-TV airing weeknights at 7pm in addition to its Saturday morning airings on Me-Too. While the early evening line-up on Me-TV from 5-7pm may seem a bit new, weekends will be all classics. Saturdays will see classic action series in Spanish in mornings, followed by police shows, then Star Trek at 6pm, followed by all-time sitcom classics from 7pm-1am with the likes of Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van Dyke, The Honeymooners, I Love Lucy and All in the Family. Sundays on Me-TV will have more classics...in the mornings are more action-adventure series in Spanish, followed by an all-era sitcom block from 11am-7pm with shows such as One Day at a Time, Brady Bunch, Bewitched, Gilligan's Island, Family Ties and Who's the Boss. Following that is a primetime block starting at 9pm of classic '70s sitcoms like Good Times, The Jeffersons, Barney Miller and Sanford & Son. Later in the night are Love American Style McHale's Navy and Patty Duke.
    As for sister station Me-Too, it is all about blocks...they will kick-off weekdays with a two-hour 80s sitcom block of Saved by the Bell, The Facts of Life, Diff'rent Strokes, and Webster from 9-11am. 11am-2pm will see classic '60s sitcoms such as Mister Ed, McHale's Navy and Gomer Pyle. Then it is time to saddle up for an afternoon of westerns from 2-5pm with the likes of Gunsmoke and Wild, Wild, West. Then its the all-time classics from 5-9pm with I Love Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, Bob Newhart, Mary Tyler Moore and the classic Me-Too Movie. Then its mystery and suspense from 9-11:30 with Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchock Hour and more. Late night comedy follows starting at 11:30 with Cheers & Carson's Comedy Classics. On Saturdays, start your Saturday mornings with classic superheroes! Batman, Adventures of Superman and Green Hornet from 9a-12p! From 12-6pm it is family-friendly stuff with Family Affair, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, My Three Sons and the family feature movie. Saturday nights get a makeover with a new block called "Saturday Night Black & White," with the likes of I Love Lucy, Perry Mason and Route 66. On Sundays, it is mystery Sunday staring at 10am through 7pm with Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew, It Takes a Thief, Mrs. Columbo, and the mystery movies.
    View the full Me-TV Chicago and Me-Too Fall 2008 schedules.

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    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    TV Land October 2008 Sees Many Changes; Show Coming on ION This September Is...NCIS

    Late last week we mentioned that TV Land will change their line-up a bit in October, and now we know the full details! We mentioned a lot already 3rd Rock from the Sun will join the TV Land line-up and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is now eligible for daily play on TV Land rather than just once a week, and now we know when they will air!
    First, 3rd Rock from the Sun will replace Cheers weekdays at 8:30am starting Wednesday, October 1. 3rd Rock will then get more slots the week after, starting October 6 airing weekdays (except Wednesdays/Fridays) at 10:00pm & 10:30pm after Scrubs. The show will also air Saturday nights at 1:00am & 1:30am. TV Land will officially welcome the band of alien explorers posing as a typical "family" of four to observe human nature and relationships on the planet earth the weekend of Oct. 11-12 with a 6-hour marathon on Saturday night, October 11 from 11:59pm-6am and a 4-hour marathon on Sunday, October 12 from 12p-4pm, starting with the pilot episode on Sunday.
    Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will get a seven-day primetime marathon as it now will air daily on TV Land! It's a makeover takeover on TV Land. From Monday, September 29 to Sunday, October 5 from 9pm through 1am each night, don't miss a week-long primetime marathon of the popular series. From the "After The Storm" specials (Hurricane Katrina) to the 2-hour episodes and all the laughter and tears in between, TV Land brings you all the best that Ty and his gang of hardworking homebuilders have to offer. Don't forget the Kleenex. The series will then air weekdays at 7pm & 11pm, Mondays at 11am, and on weekends the special two-hour episodes will air Saturdays 8-10am & 8-10pm and Sundays 8-10am & 6-8pm.
    Other schedule changes starting Oct. 6 are Andy Griffith Show shifting from 6-8pm to 5-7p, as it makes room for Home Edition at 7pm. So the 5-6pm Hillbillies hour is gone. As we mentioned 3rd Rock replaces M*A*S*H at 10pm, Home Edition also replaces M*A*S*H at 11pm, while M*A*S*H moves to 1-2am replacing Sanford & Son. The weeknight late night block will get a huge makeover. 2-3am hour will now be an episode each of Hogan's Heroes and Beverly Hillbillies replacing The Jeffersons. The I Love Lucy/Leave it to Beaver hour now moves from 5am to 3am replacing two episodes of Beverly Hillbillies. Then from 4-6am, the shows that were dropped return after a short break. That's Designing Women, Mad About You, Murphy Brown and Just Shoot Me from 4-6am weeknights. So, Three's Company and The Brady Bunch will be off the line-up after two months of airing. During weekends, the changes as we mentioned were two-hour Home Edition episodes 8-10am on both days, replacing Green Acres on Saturdays, which is now also off the line-up. Andy Griffith Show will shift from 9-10am Saturdays to 10-11am. Saturdays from 6-8pm will be a block of Cosby Show, followed by a two-hour Home Edition from 8-10pm, encores of Myths & Legends at 10, Scrubs Saturdays shifts to the 11pm hour, followed by Cosby Show at midnight and 3rd Rock in the 1am hour. On Sundays, the Home Edition 8-10am, Scrubs Sundays from 5-6pm, and another Home Edition from 6-8pm. No other changes on Sundays. See the full schedule link below if you get confused.
    To the highlights, Myths & Legends will return for a second season starting Wednesday, October 8 with two all-new episodes! Then the next 6 Wednesdays one half-hour episode will air each Wednesday at 10pm. TV Land Myths & Legends promises to go behind the scenes to investigate the mysteries that have grown up around some of Hollywood's most memorable stars, TV shows, films and music. In a town called the Dream Factory, where reality collides with wild imagination, there's a blurred line between truth and fiction. Did heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne bite the head off of a live bat? Was Jayne Mansfield decapitated in her fatal automobile accident? Was a comic book based on the rock band KISS printed with the blood of the band members? Is J.Lo's butt really insured for $1 billion dollars? TV Land will explore these infamous mysteries and more on TV Land Myths & Legends Season 2 as they set the record straight about some of the most confused and confounding moments in entertainment history.
    TV Land's Movie Land Friday block for October will feature classic comedies such as Police Academy, Lethal Weapon and Easy Money!
    View the full TV Land October 2008 schedule and highlights.

    We told you yesterday ION's September 2008 highlights and we said a drama not yet announced will air Mondays and Tuesdays at 9PM starting Sept. 8, and now ION has announced it! And that drama is ... NCIS!
    ION Television, a contemporary general entertainment network, today announced that it will add Emmy-nominated NCIS to its primetime lineup on Monday, September 8th at 9 p.m. ET. ION Media Networks, Inc., ION Television's parent company, has entered into a content agreement with CBS Television Distribution for the broadcast syndication rights to the first four seasons of the naval investigators procedural series. The top-rated, hour-long program will air on Mondays and Tuesdays in the 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET timeslot.
    NCIS marks the 3rd show acquired from CBS Television Distribution, with the other two coming in Fall 2009 -- Criminal Minds and Ghost Whisperer.
    NCIS, the hit spin-off of CBS's military legal drama, JAG, comes from acclaimed producer Donald P. Bellisario. Revolving around a fictional group of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Major Case Response Team (MCRT) of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps., NCIS is more than your average action drama. With liberal doses of humor, it focuses on the sometimes complex and always amusing dynamics of a squad forced to work together in high-stress situations. From murder and espionage to terrorism and kidnappings, these special agents travel the globe to investigate high-profile crimes involving persons and property associated with the Navy or Marine Corps. The popular show premiered on September 23, 2003, on CBS and enters its sixth season on the network this fall.

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    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Slight TV Land Changes, TV Land Summer Announcement

    We gave you some minor news before that started May 5, with Andy Griffith airing 7-9pm weekdays and M*A*S*H from 11pm-1am weekdays. That will continue in June as well, but June will also see another slight change. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will move to Wednesdays at 9 starting June 4, leading into episodes of She's Got The Look! She's Got The Look encores will replace Home Makeover's old slot of Saturdays at 11PM. The previous changes announced starting June 2 will still remain in effect. Also, TV Land has removed the originals marathon on Memorial Day (May 26). Instead we get an I Love Lucy marathon from 8am-8pm! For all that and more, please visit the updated TV Land June schedule.

    TV Land has also made a summer announcement, but we knew all of it already basically. Things heat up this summer on TV Land as the network dedicated to serving the entertainment needs of people in their 40s and 50s adds new original programs, classic television favorites, iconic movies and specially themed programming all summer long. TV Land kicks its original production into high gear with the premiere of two new originals, its annual awards special and the return of a TV Land original favorite. She's Got the Look, with host Kim Alexis, showcases women 35 plus as they vie for a modeling contract with Wilhelmina Models Inc. and a photo spread in SELF Magazine premieres on June 4.
    The sixth annual TV Land Awards celebrates the best of all things -- TV, music and motion pictures -- premieres June 15.
    Family Foreman gives viewers an inside look on how former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman and his extensive family live their everyday lives, joins TV Land on July 16.
    Fan favorite Myths and Legends returns for a second season on August 27 and answers persuasive questions about pop culture icons from the world of television, arts and music.
    Additionally TV Land will expand its roster of classic TV offerings -- both on-air and online -- with the addition of proven television favorites Mad About You, Murphy Brown and Hogan's Heroes all join in in June, with various stunts throughout the summer.
    Read the full TV Land Summer Press Release.

    We shall be back with more news...come on back, yall here?

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    Thursday, February 28, 2008

    ABC Family Changes Their Minds; No Reunion on Today Friday; ABC Picks Up Reality Series For 2008-09; NBC Pulls Quarterlife

    A few weeks ago we announced a few changes for ABC Family starting in March. One of them was Sabrina, the Teenage Witch leaving the 2-3pm weekday slot in favor of Step by Step...but looks like ABC Family has decided not to do that, as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch will remain in that slot. All the other changes we mentioned will still be on, though. Sorry Step by Step fans! The show will still air weekdays at 9am, though!

    NBC's "Together Again" reunions on Today has come to an end today with the Knots Landing reunion. Remember we mentioned we would announce what reunion will take place on Friday, as they didn't announce it yet? Well looks like they couldn't book anyone, so there will no reunion on Friday unfortunately. We mentioned they had listed a Taxi reunion in the advanced listings, but it seems they couldn't book them. Hopefully we get more "Together Again" installments in the future...and when they do, you'll know here first!

    ABC Entertainment announces early pick-ups of alternative series for next season (2008-09), including America's Funniest Home Videos, Dancing with the Stars, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Supernanny and Wife Swap.
    No surprises here, as all are doing very well in the ratings. I'm surprised no early pick-up was announced for Dance War and The Bachelor, but I think those will return anyway. I think Oprah's Big Give will also do huge this week and that will return next season.
    These alternative series pickups join the scripted series pickups already announced a few weeks back.

    Finally, after just one airing, NBC has pulled new drama Quarterlife from the schedule. The show premiered on Tuesday at 10pm on a special night and time and did just a 2.2 HH rating and 3.13 million viewers. That is pathetic even when a repeat airs. The show was slated to air Sundays at 9, but that is not happening. NBC will schedule a repeat of Deal or No Deal this Sunday at 9 to go up against ABC's premiere of Oprah's Big Give. Then repeats of Law & Order will air for the rest of the month on Sundays at 9.

    We shall be back with more, if anything breaking happens. Don't forget to come back this weekend for our pilot review of Unhitched and tomorrow for our monthly classic TV essay!

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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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