Tuesday, January 27, 2009

MGM/Weigel's This TV Cleared for More Stations; NATPE 2009 Day 1 Update; ION Television Sees Ratings Growth

On the opening day of the National Association of Television Program Executives conference (NATPE), MGM Domestic Television (MGM) and Weigel Broadcasting announced key stations from Tribune Broadcasting Company have been added as new affiliates for "This TV," the new digital service featuring hit movies and TV series from the expansive and treasured MGM library. TV series include Mister Ed and The Patty Duke Show. The clearance level is now over 60% of the country. New stations include the digital feeds of the following: Tribune's KTLA-TV (Los Angeles), WPHL-TV (Philadelphia), WDCW-TV (Washington D.C.), WTIC-TV/WTXX (Hartford) and WGNO/WNOL (New Orleans) as well as Sunbeam's WHDH (Boston). The digital network has also added 15 additional stations from Raycom, including WUAB (Cleveland), WXIX (Cincinnati), WMC (Memphis), WAVE (Louisville), and WNTZ (Knoxville). In addition, Quincy Newspapers, Inc. affiliates: WKOW (Madison), KWWL (Cedar Rapids), WSJV (South Bend), and WAOW (Wausau).
If you're in those markets, check those affiliates' digital subchannels to see if This TV has already launched. They are expected to launch immediately, if they haven't already.

In other NATPE news, Disney-ABC's Legend of the Seeker will return for a second season next season and CBS Television Distribution's Star Trek: The Next Generation will return to syndication this fall airing mostly weekdays in the late nights. Star Trek: The Next Generation will air on top Tribune stations, and has already been bought by WGN America on cable, which they started airing last week. Litton Entertainment announced that Storm Stories will return for a second season in syndication. It mostly airs on the weekends in many markets and allows TV stations to incorporate local weather talent and news into the show. Litton's first-run series Street Court, starring Michael "Judge Mazz" Mazzariello, is a firm go for fall 2009, with 65% of the country cleared, including WPIX in New York and WCIU in Chicago.
View the full list of shows being offered for stations to buy. Now this doesn't mean they will air next fall, but this is what is being offered for 2009-10 in syndication. We will have a better idea what is confirmed and a firm go by the end of NATPE. For example, first-run talk show Marie is not yet a firm go, but Street Court, The Wendy Williams Show, and Dr. Mehmet Oz are firm gos. Judge Jeanine Pirro is entering first-run syndication for its second season coming off its run on The CW Daytime however it is not a firm go yet, while Tyra Banks Show will leave syndication and move to The CW Daytime.
Other series leaving syndication: Twentieth Television's The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet, Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit: America Plays, and Sony Pictures Television's Judge David Young and Judge Karen. They are all canceled and will not return. A few other shows are also almost dead, such as Twentieth's third-year series Cristina's Court. The Doctors has been confirmed it will return next season, and some of the other series expected to come back are Deal Or No Deal, Family Court With Judge Penny, and The Bonnie Hunt Show, though all of those have not done exceptional in the ratings.
We will keep you up to date of more clearances, especially the off-network reruns such as Everybody Hates Chris, The Office, My Name is Earl, Bones, Criminal Minds, Grey's Anatomy, and The E! True Hollywood Story. Check out the offer list above!

ION Television ended 2008 with significant growth in primetime viewership, including marked growth in the adults 25-54 and 18-49 demos. ION TV's primetime household viewership has grown 67%, jumping from a 0.3 to 0.5 household rating, since the introduction of the network's new, robust slate of critically acclaimed off-net series in September. This viewership growth has well positioned ION TV as one of the fastest growing entertainment networks, up 26% among adults 18-49, ranking second, and up 25% among adults 25-54, ranking third, of all major broadcast and cable networks, in a year over year growth comparison.
View the full press release.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Early Show Celebrates 5 Decades; This TV Comes to Houston in December; Beaver's Tony Dow An Artist?

All this week CBS's Early Show has been looking at the past 5 decades in every way, including of course television. We didn't get word until about Wednesday, so it was too late to promote it...but we will recap it here today. On Monday, Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith took a walk down memory lane and had a chat with the former child stars of the 1950's, who made TV's golden age shimmer. Tony Dow (Wally Cleaver) of Leave it to Beaver, Jon Provost (Timmy) of Lassie, Paul Petersen (Jeff Stone) of The Donna Reed Show, Keith Thibodeaux (Little Ricky Ricardo) of I Love Lucy all joined The Early Show to reminisce of the good old days of TV. View the 50s segment.
On Tuesday, Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith sat down with four leading ladies of the 1960's, Barbara Eden (Jeannie) of I Dream of Jeannie, Dawn Wells (Mary Ann) of Gilligan's Island, Barbara Feldon (Agent 99) of Get Smart and Kathy Garver (Cissy) of Family Affair to chat about how their characters changed their lives. You can view this 60s segment.
On Wednesday, The Early Show celebrated the 1970's. There were no actual reunions or stars on, though, but they talked about the 70s and dressed in 70s clothing. Gloria Gaynor did perform her hits, though. View the 70s segment.
On Thursday it was time to celebrate the 1980's. Actress Joan Collins, who played Alexis Carrington, John Forsythe's vindictive ex-wife on Dynasty, helped to set the bar when it came to malicious scheming, cat-fighting and starting fashion trends. Today, Collins continues to challenge herself with writing books and columns, as well as roles on television and the big screen. The legendary 75-year-old actress sat down with Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith to chat about her iconic status during the '80s and dish on her secret to looking youthful. You can view that here.
Finally, today it was the '90s turn. Talk show host Maury Povich talked with Harry Smith and Julie Chen about Maury and other 90s talk shows. Tabloid talk shows in the '90s were loud and controversial and oftentimes over the top, but as crazy and uncensored as it may have been, it helped to define the decade. View this video.

We of course mentioned a few weeks ago that new digital station This TV has launched in a few markets on Halloween, now This TV will launch in Houston on December 1 as one of KPRC's (Channel 2) digital stations. This TV will replace the NBC WeatherPlus signal that currently airs on KPRC's digital signal 2.2 and at channel 320 on Comcast cable.
This TV is from MGM and Weigel Broadcasting and airs TV series such as Patty Duke Show, Mister Ed and The Outer Limits. The network mainly airs MGM movies, such as The Misfits, They Call Me Mister Tibbs, Diggstown, The Terminator, The Three Amigos and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.

The actor most notably recognized as 'Wally' on the classic television sitcom, Leave it to Beaver is set to showcase his artistic talents in Paris, France. Tony Dow will display an abstract sculpture in Paris' historical Louvre museum this December. The showcase will run from December 11 to December 14.
Since the end of his run on Leave it to Beaver Dow has worked on several television shows as a director and producer, as well as acting here and there.
Dow, 63, now lives in Los Angeles and has expressed excitement about his upcoming debut stating, "Having something shown at the Louvre is about as good as you can get... I'm a little humbled by the whole thing but grateful nonetheless." Dow also stated, "Of course, I'm really proud of Leave It to Beaver and my directing career in television...but this is interesting because I don't think they know anything about that at the Louvre."

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Monday, November 03, 2008

This TV Launches with Mr. Ed and Patty Duke; TV Land Changes; Samantha Who and Kath & Kim Renewed

Back in late July we told you new digital station "This TV" was launching in October, and as promised, they have launched! They launched on Halloween with a a marathon of scary movies like Amityville II & Amityville 3-D. This TV is owned by MGM and Weigel Broadcasting...Weigel also owns the popular Me-TV and Me-Too.
As of now, clearances are only in Chicago, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Columbus, Albany, Richmond, and Dayton, OH. They are primarily airing MGM movies like 12 Angry Men, Something Wild, & Great Balls of Fire, but a few MGM TV series have been mixed in as well such as the original Outer Limits, The Patty Duke Show and Mister Ed. They all air between 4-7am ET on weekdays, 4-10am on Saturdays, and 6-9am on Sundays. This TV also airs children's programming such as Miss Mallard Mystery, Paddington Bear, Flight Squad, Robinson Sucroe, Animal Crackers, Spider Riders and Ripley's Believe It or Not! ...these air weekdays 7-10am and Sundays 8am-11am. Another block airs on Saturday mornings from 10am-1pm with children's series such as Country Mouse and the City Mouse Adventures, Busy World of Richard Scarry, and Wimzie's House.
If you get this in your area right now, call yourself lucky to see Patty Duke & Mister Ed!

TV Land has made a schedule change starting late this afternoon (November 3). Hogan's Heroes goes from weekdays 5-6pm to weekdays from 4-5pm, replacing Beverly Hillbillies, which will remain 1-2pm. Now airing 5-6pm on weekdays is more Leave it to Beaver! Also, it seems 3rd Rock from the Sun is doing well for TV Land, in addition to its TV Land PRIME marathon this week (Nov. 3-7, 9pm-12am), it will get weekend plays from 12-7pm this Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 8-9). TV Land has also added a marathon of Three's Company this Saturday night (November 8) in the overnight from 2am-6am. Tune in!
View the full TV Land November 2008 highlights that we gave previously.

ABC has picked-up a full season of sophomore sitcom Samantha Who? It is no surprise, as the sitcom is a solid player for the network. It also is critically acclaimed with Christina Applegate winning a Golden Globe and Jean Smart winning an Emmy for the show. ABC will air 20 episodes this season, with three already have aired (fourth one airs tonight at 9:30pm ET/PT). Usually non-freshman shows already have 22 episode orders, but due to the strike last season, most second year shows got only 13 episode orders. The sitcom joins fellow ABC sophomore series Private Practice in getting picked up for a full season. They will not air the normal 22 for Sam, because they have a lot coming this mid-season comedy wise like The Goode Family, Single with Parents, Better off Ted...and returning series According to Jim and Scrubs. Speaking of those latter two, both could launch in December now. Previously as we stated, According to Jim was set to launch Dec. 2, Tuesdays 9-10pm, but I now hear that will be Scrubs. It is not official yet, but as soon as it is, I'll let you all know. Jim would air Tuesdays 8-9pm I think leading into Scrubs starting the following week, Dec. 9. Both shows have 18 episode orders.

Meanwhile, NBC has a fast trigger...in a good way though. They have picked-up nine more episodes of freshman sitcom Kath & Kim, despite low ratings. The last two airings have only been 4.99 and 5.44 million in its Thursday slot, but I guess NBC believes in the show and liked the little jump to 5.44 million after the series low? I cannot believe they picked-it up for a full 22 episodes already, but good news for fans of Molly Shannon and Selma Blair. The show has been blasted by critics.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hallmark Channel Fall 2008 Schedule With Cheers; Comcast Launches MGM's Impact Action onDemand

We continue the fall 2008 schedules for cable and today we take a look at The Hallmark Channel's Fall 2008 schedule. Now, their fall schedule schedule will start in October and they really have no changes at all! I believe their weekday line-up of dramas (Little House, Murder She Wrote, etc) and comedic drama M*A*S*H are doing well that they don't want to change anything yet. Now we already announced that Cheers is coming this fall previously, and now we have when it will air. Since we just said weekdays will have no changes at all, that will leave Cheers to just weekends, and they will air four episodes a week on Sundays from 10am-12pm starting Saturday, October 5. Hopefully it can do well there and then they can transition it to weekdays possibly?
Also joining the Hallmark schedule is the first-run syndicated series NASCAR Angels (it will also remain on your locals weekly as well) airing Sunday mornings at 8am, replacing one of the M*A*S*H airings, so M*A*S*H Sunday airings will now be 8:30am-10am.
Original movies for the month are Ladies of the House on Oct. 18 and Generation Gap on Oct. 25 both from 9-11pm.
We're sorry that there are not many changes or that Cheers is not on any other day, but we just report what we get and see! Anyway, view the Hallmark Channel Fall 2008 Schedule.
Stay tuned for Canada cable schedules, ION Television, WE tv, Nick at Nite, BET, and NYC local channels fall line-ups in the coming days.

Comcast Corporation and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) today announced a partnership to launch Impact, the first video-on-demand (VOD) channel dedicated exclusively to action programming. The new channel, available first to Comcast customers this week, features a host of exciting and popular action films and television shows, many available in high-definition (HD), that will captivate adventure seekers and fans of action, one of the fastest growing movie categories at the box office.
Within the first year, Impact will premiere many of the most successful films in action history, including movies from the James Bond series, Rocky, Terminator, Magnificent Seven and RoboCop. Impact will also kick-off its programming with some of its most popular action stars from the MGM library such as Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone and Charles Bronson. As an ongoing part of this VOD channel, there will be special programming themes created around the popular action genres including thrillers, crime, espionage, westerns, war films and martial arts.
It looks like this onDemand service will primarily be movies, though. We will try to get a list of MGM action TV series coming to Impact soon.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

RTN's New Line-Up and Answers To Fan Questions; New Digital TV Channel Coming Nationwide With MGM Classics

As many of you with Retro Television Network (RTN) affiliates already know, RTN changed their line-up last week (July 21). They primarily had CBS-Paramount shows on their line-up such as Perry Mason, Happy Days, The Beverly Hillbillies, Family Ties, Gomer Pyle, Get Smart, etc. But they also had other studio shows mixed in such as NBC Universal and Stephen J. Cannell. They also seem to have a few Sony shows on some affiliates still, such as The Monkees and The Partridge Family. Now the CBS-Paramount deal has expired, so those shows are gone, and RTN currently has Universal and Cannell shows only. Some of these shows were already airing on many RTN affiliates, but now more are added such as Leave it to Beaver, Adam-12, Dragnet, Kate & Allie, McHale's Navy, and That's Incredible! With of course the classics like The A-Team, Knight Rider, Magnum P.I., Rockford Files, Ironside and many others remaining.
After this new schedule started, all the affiliates are almost the same (more uniform than before) as RTN is trying to air a nationwide line-up, as this might help them. This NBC Universal and Stephen J. Cannell line-up can let them do that, as some of the CBS-Paramount shows were also in syndication on another station in other markets (such as Matlock), that's why some shows weren't available in some markets. That is not to say the CBS-Paramount shows will ever return, but if this works, you can see them return. Also, RTN is not ruling out by signing more studio deals, such as Sony and Warner Bros. They are all for the viewers and classic TV.
Also, many of your local RTN affiliates have some rare programs listed on your local RTN TV listings such as Bachelor Father and Operation Petticoat listed but they haven't actually aired yet and more Leave it to Beaver is airing instead. Why? Because some of these shows have been stuck inside Universal's vault for many years and they are just now getting them out. Honestly, can you think of the last time Bachelor Father was aired? Also, if you recall there was a fire at Universal a few months ago, so that is a cause for this delay, too. RTN has told me they will indeed air these shows not airing yet. They will most likely start by this weekend (if not sooner), so keep checking! If not by this weekend, for sure at the latest by sometime next week. They will air! So get those DVRs/VCR's ready for rare Universal stuff like Operation Petticoat, Wagon Train, Run For Your Life, The Bold Ones, and Bachelor Father. Kudos to RTN for trying and bringing out the classics from the vault that have been barely seen in the last few decades.
Many of you also asked how come there hasn't been more announcements for some new RTN affiliates? Well, they were recently bought by another company (as we mentioned), and they are just settling in. You will see more announcements of new stations in the near future! If you don't have an RTN affiliate yet, don't worry, you could be next! RTN is very happy to note that Washington, D.C.'s RTN has gone live today! A big step! Nothing for New York yet, but those of you in the NY market, e-mail WCBS, WABC, WNBC or WNYW (Fox) and suggest to add RTN to their digital broadcasts.
So how can YOU help RTN? RTN says if you really like RTN, e-mail/call your local affiliates and tell them you love RTN and watch it everyday. This is the best way to help RTN as this shows the affiliates that viewers are happy and tuning in. The comments about RTN are then sent to RTN themselves, so they get each comment you make to your local affiliate. So go to your local station's website or call them (if you don't know your RTN's website, email me and I'll tell you!)!
Head on over to our RTN thread where you can see/post RTN schedules, see press releases, post your comments and more! It is 22 pages so far and growing!

From the people who brought you Me-TV and Me-Too in Chicago will bring you "This TV" coming nationwide to a digital channel near you in October! Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) is rolling out "This TV," a new ad-supported around-the-clock linear digital channel designed for broadcast stations' digital spectrum. The new network, a partnership with Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting (Me-TV, Me-Too, WCIU owners), will launch this fall. It gets immediate carriage with Weigel stations in Chicago, Milwaukee and South Bend, Ind. The idea is for MGM is to leverage its library of more than 4,100 films and 10,000 hours of television programming, but also to give stations the chance to localize the look.
This TV will offer stations programming all day every day, but stations signing on have the right to a certain number of pre-emptions so that they can localize the channel with sports, news and weather if they want.
The lineup will be film-heavy, with possible MGM titles including 12 Angry Men and Class, starring Rob Lowe. It also will have some MGM classic television shows mixed in there ranging from The Addams Family to Thirtysomething. We're working on a full list of shows they will air, so come on back...but beware the channel will mainly be a film network.
The line-up will also feature children's programming from Cookie Jar Entertainment, with shows such as Johnny Test, The Doodlebops and Caillou.
The goal for the network is at least a 40% clearance across the country within the first year.
We will have more on This TV for sure soon! So stay tuned!

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