Tuesday, January 12, 2010

TCA Winter 2010 Press Tour: ABC; Rita Rocks Canceled By Lifetime; TV Land Picks-Up Series, Announces Cast For Sitcom Pilot

The final day for the broadcast networks at the TCA winter press tour is today and ABC gets to close things out. First up at 9am PT was a panel on LOST! On hand were stars Emilie de Ravin, Michael Emerson, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Evangeline Lilly, and Terry O'Quinn, along with executive producers Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse. Among the items answered: Damon and Carlton announce that Cynthia Watros (Libby) and Harold Perrineau (Michael) are confirmed for this final season. Season 6 will be like Season 1. Don't know what that means, you'll have to watch and see. Holloway says the season 6 premiere felt like a finale. Good stuff! The final season begins Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 8/7 central with a three-hour event (clip show recap and two-hour premiere)! If you need to refresh yourself, ABC will air last season's season finale on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 9/8 central!

After that, there was the Executive Session with Stephen McPherson (President of ABC Entertainment Group) at 10am PT. Among the items given were details on a The Bachelor/The Bachelorette spin-off titled The Bachelor Pad. It will launch after the season of The Bachelorette ends this summer and will reunite 20 former contestants from both series all living in a house at the same time. An all-star edition!
Comedy wise, ABC has given early pick-ups for the Comedy Wednesday comedies The Middle, Modern Family and Cougar Town for 2010-2011 season! All three are safe and will return next season and have been extended beyond 22 episodes for this season (likely 24 for all three this season)! As for Hank, he mentions the writing wasn't that good but he loves Kelsey. So Hank is officially canceled. ABC will air the last two episodes of the season of [scrubs][med school] on a special night of Wednesday on Wednesday, Jan. 27 and Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 8pm. Until then the series will air Tuesdays at 9pm (repeats at 8pm on Jan. 12 and 19) thru Jan. 26 at 8pm. Better off Ted still will have two episodes unaired after its Jan. 26 airing. Decision will be made after that whether or not both series will return next season, but ABC was disappointed by the numbers for both. McPherson loves Ugly Betty and wants to find the right slot for it. And hoping people know now about the move to Wednesdays. Alyssa Milano's sitcom Romantically Challenged could be a contender for Wednesdays at 8pm, but no premiere date yet.
As for other midseason stuff, V and FLASHFORWARD return in March, as we all know. FLASHFORWARD is not returning in January because ABC would have had a lot of repeats scheduled and the show doesn't repeat well. V returns Tuesday, March 30 at 10, while FLASHFORWARD returns Thursday, March 18 at 8 with a two-hour return. V was always planned to air in chapters, but chapter one should have been longer but production issues was the reason for only four episodes for the first chapter. He mentions Happy Town is serialized and it has a beginning, middle and end for this run. Still waiting on when to schedule it. ABC could order more Conveyor Belt of Love specials or as a series. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution will air Fridays at 9pm starting March 26. The series is produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions and Fresh One Productions. In the series, Oliver heads to Huntington, West Virginia -- which has been called the unhealthiest city in America -- to start his new cooking initiative. He hopes to help get Huntington off that list and start a chain reaction of positive change across the country. Shark Tank will finish its season on Friday, Feb. 5 at 9, then ABC will take a three week break on Fridays (and Saturdays) with movies opposite the Winter Olympics. It is unclear what will air Fridays, March 5, 12, and 19 at 9pm still.
On all this late night fiasco, he said there are too many jokes to make on it. He also said, "We don't have any plans to change our late-night right now. I love Kimmel."
As for Dancing with the Stars, it will be back twice a year still and will have 11 contestants this season as last season had a bit too many he thought. The season ten premiere will be Monday, March 22 from 8-10pm and will air Mondays 8-10pm. The Results Show premieres Tuesday, March 30 at a new time of 8-9pm.
Read more about ABC's TCA Announcements via press releases, which includes a new book on Castle! Speaking of Castle, a special two-part Castle episode airing Sunday, March 21 and Monday, March 22 at 10pm with guest star Dana Delaney (Desperate Housewives)! No dates yet for Romantically Challenged, Happy Town or the return of Wife Swap. When it is announced, we will let you know, so stay with us!

After the executive session there will be panels for the upcoming midseason legal drama The Deep End at 11am PT. On hand for the panel are stars Matt Long, Billy Zane, Clancy Brown, Leah Pipes, Tina Majorino, Ben Lawson and Mehcad Brooks, along with executive producers David Hemingson & Jan Nash. The series premieres Thursday, Jan. 21 at 8/7 central on ABC!
Next up at 11:45am PT is a panel for upcoming midseason mystery drama Happy Town. In this session we have stars Geoff Stults, Sam Neill, Lauren German, Steven Weber, and Amy Acker along with executive producers Josh Applebaum, Andre Nemec, & Scott Rosenberg (from October Road & Life on Mars).
Lunch is next at 12:30pm PT, then at 2pm PT there will be a panel for ABC Comedy Wednesday Show Runner Panel. Questions will be answered by show runners Eileen Heisler & DeAnn Heline (The Middle), Steven Levitan (Modern Family and Bill Lawrence (Cougar Town/Scrubs).
At 3:30pm PT ABC Family takes over at the press tour and will have a panel on their original sitcom 10 Things I Hate About You. The rest of the tour will be ABC Daytime and SOAPnet driven with a panel for All My Children's 40th Anniversary and SOAPnet soap Being Erica.
Be sure to check out the great TVTango.com as they were there doing the best job covering the TCA press tour! Hats out to them!


Turning to regular news, Lifetime has canceled original sitcom Rita Rocks after just two seasons. The series starred Nicole Sullivan as Rita, a working mom who starts a garage band. The series also starred Tisha Campbell-Martin, Richard Ruccolo, Natalie Dreyfuss, Kelly Gould and Raviv Ullman. As of now, Lifetime still has original sitcom Sherri, which recently just completed its first season of 13 episodes. No decision has been made on a second season yet. Both shows didn't do so hot in the ratings this fall.

Meanwhile, TV Land has picked up an original series starring real-life Hollywood couple Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin. It will be a six-episode docu-soap entitled Harry Loves Lisa featuring pop culture sensation Lisa Rinna and her heartthrob husband, Harry Hamlin. The series will be executive produced by Jason Carbone and centers on the relationship between Rinna and Hamlin as they navigate together through the highs and lows as a devoted family living a hectic Hollywood lifestyle. Harry Loves Lisa brings to life the romantic notion that opposites attract as Lisa's playful spontaneity differs from Harry's more reserved demeanor. Audiences will watch as the two balance their differences in the midst of insane professional lives as working actors and entrepreneurs who are parenting two pre-teen daughters. One of Hollywood's most enduring‪ couples, the Hamlins' contradictory personalities make for amazing chemistry both on-screen and off. The TV Land PRIME original series is scheduled to air in Fall 2010 on TV Land.
In other TV Land news, we gave you details on the George Segal sitcom pilot, now they have announced casting for their other sitcom pilot. TV Land has tapped sitcom veterans Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time), Jane Leeves (Frasier), Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me!) and TV legend Betty White (The Golden Girls) to star in its comedy pilot Hot in Cleveland. Written by Frasier alum Suzanne Martin, Hot in Cleveland revolves around three eccentric forty-something best friends from L.A. (Bertinelli, Leeves, Malick) who wind up stuck in Cleveland and decide to stay there when they realize the locals consider them glamorous. Betty White plays a grumpy and opinionated lady who has lived in the cottage of the trio's Cleveland house for 50 years.
Hot in Cleveland has NOT yet been picked-up as a series, nor has Retired at 35 starring George Sagal. As soon as both or one of these are picked-up as a series, we will let you know. But both sound good to me! Stay with us, and thanks for visiting on this very busy Tuesday!

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Nick at Nite, Lifetime Schedule Updates; Flintstones Musical Episodes Marathon on Boomerang

Nick at Nite has made some schedule changes. First off, they removed Home Improvement weekdays at 6am this past Tuesday with more The Nanny, while Roseanne replaced Everybody Hates Chris' 2-3am hour, so Roseanne now airs 2am-6am every night. The rest of the changes are basically to Fridays and Saturdays, and they start this weekend. George Lopez now airs in the 9pm hour on Fridays, which is technically still Nickelodeon, replacing Everybody Hates Chris. George will also still air in the 10pm hour on Fridays. Then we have a block of The Nanny from 11pm-2am, as George's 1am hour is no more on Fridays. On Saturdays, Malcolm in the Middle and Everybody Hates Chris will air in new timeslots, with Malcolm in the 11pm hour and Chris in the 12am hour. George Lopez will be the lead-in and lead-out airing in the 10pm hour still and gaining the 1am hour. So The Nanny doesn't air at all on Saturdays now. Sundays is petty much the same as now, but The Nanny is 11pm-2am. And this Sunday (Oct. 25) there is a marathon of The Nanny all-night long from 8pm-2am and some encores from 2am-6am. As we mentioned, there is a Halloween stunt on Monday, Oct. 26 from 8-11pm, but now we have some time shifting. Glenn Martin and Malcolm in the Middle Halloween episodes are still in the 8pm hour, but now George Lopez's Halloween episodes are airing in the 9pm hour followed by an Everybody Hates Chris Halloween episode at 10pm and an encore of the Glenn Martin Halloween episode at 10:30pm. These three-hours will encore on Halloween night (Saturday, Oct. 31) from 10pm-1am.
So that should catch everyone up. View the updated Nick at Nite schedule and highlights. We'll have November info soon, stay tuned.

Moving on to Lifetime, it seems original sitcoms Sherri and Rita Rocks are underperforming with new episodes in the Tuesday at 10pm hour. So, Lifetime will move Rita Rocks to Mondays with a block of episodes airing 9pm-11pm, as new episodes will air from 10pm-11pm. Sherri will air Tuesdays with a block of episodes airing 9pm-11pm, and new episodes at 10pm. Lifetime is trying to get better ratings and a block of the same show usually does the trick.
Lifetime is also changing their daytime line-up starting Monday (Oct. 26). Reba's two-hour block goes from 10am-12pm to 8am-10am. Less than Perfect is now totally gone and off the schedule. Frasier moves up an hour from 9am-10am to 10am-11am and Will & Grace gets the 11am hour, as that was only airing at 8:30am in the mornings. In the afternoon, we now get three Wife Swap episodes, as 1-3pm remain but also 12pm is added replacing Medium. We also now get three episodes of Desperate Housewives from 3pm-6pm, shifting the three episodes of Grey's Anatomy to 6pm-9pm, as Medium is replaced at 8pm. Medium can now be seen weeknights at 12:30am & 1:30am. All is not lost for Medium, as it will get a Halloween marathon next Friday (Oct. 30) from 11am-8pm.
View the full updated Lifetime schedule.

Finally, In addition to making television history as the world's first prime-time animated series (ABC), The Flintstones also offered viewers many samplings of fun, culturally relevant music that delighted viewers throughout the show's six-year run. On Sunday, Oct. 25, these classic animated musical moments will return for a command performance as Boomerang presents a day-long marathon of the best of The Flintstones musical episodes: Bedrock 'N' Roll. From 8am-11pm (ET), America's favorite Stone-Age families--Fred, Wilma and Pebbles Flintstone plus Barney, Betty and Bamm-Bamm Rubble--will "rock out" to prehistoric beats while they welcome a number of celebrity guests, including Ann-Margaret (Ann Margrock) and James Darren (Jimmy Darrock).
Once again showing the depth and breadth of its incredible classic cartoon library, Boomerang presents a rollicking good time with a commercial-free marathon of 15 jamming episodes guaranteed to get your toes tapping. The seven-and-a-half hour rock block will be followed by an encore presentation so that music aficionados coast-to-coast can join in the fun.
View the highlights of some of the episodes airing.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

TV Land and Spike TV Fall 2009 Updates; Lifetime Original Sitcoms Update; A Personal Message

Today we have a couple of updates to fall schedules we already gave you. Viacom strikes again. Yesterday we mentioned Married...with Children is returning to TV Land effective immediately. So yes this will indeed affect TV Land's September line-up that we originally gave you. Married...with Children will remain on the TV Land schedule this September as well! Starting Sept. 14 it will air weeknights 8-9pm and will join the weeknight 9pm-12am block on Tuesday nights. So this means Andy Griffith Show will not air weeknights 7-9pm anymore, as originally planned. Beverly Hillbillies will still fill the 7pm hour, as that change starts next week. Originally the 9pm-12am block from Mon-Thurs had Andy on Monday, Roseanne on Tuesday, M*A*S*H on Wednesday, and Cosby Show on Thursday. Now it will be Andy on Monday, Married...with Children on Tuesday, Cosby Show on Wednesday, and Roseanne on Thursday.
Also, Married...with Children will air on Saturdays as well in marathon blocks during the day instead of Andy Griffith, but that will remain on Sundays. Late Sunday nights from 4-6am will now be Brady Bunch airings. And since the Cosby Show primetime block goes from Thursdays to Wednesdays, the 25th anniversary marathon moves to Wednesday, Sept. 23.
View the fully updated TV Land September 2009 line-up.

And that's not all for changes! Spike TV's Fall 2009 line-up starts on Monday, Sept. 28, as we told you. There is one change now. Instead of Married...with Children from 9-11am on weekday mornings, we now get a morning movie. Why? You guessed it...sister network TV Land is now airing the show on weekdays and Saturdays as we mentioned above. But on Sundays, Spike TV will still air the show in the mornings and sometimes in the 1am hour on that night. Everything else for Spike TV Fall 2009 is the same as we previously relayed to you, so Unsolved Mysteries is still Mon-Wed nights at 2am.

Moving on to Lifetime, we first announced the premiere date for Lifetime's new original sitcom Sherri as October 5 on our Lifetime Fall 2009 schedule...now we have full details on that and the return of Rita Rocks.
The all-new, multi-camera comedy series Sherri, premieres Monday, October 5, at 7PM ET/PT on Lifetime Television. Sherri will bow as part of a one-hour comedy block paired with the returning Rita Rocks, starring Nicole Sullivan, at 7:30PM ET/PT. Both series will feature stripped original episodes for a full week in the 7PM hour. Sherri will then move into its regular timeslot Tuesdays at 10PM ET/PT, followed by Rita Rocks Tuesdays at 10:30PM ET/PT--both starting Oct. 13.
Sherri centers around a newly single mom, paralegal and part-time comedienne/actress who tries to get back into the dating scene and move on with her life after divorcing her cheating husband. Sherri finds solace and support among her girlfriends at the office while juggling her hectic life.
Sherri marks the first comedy series ever to be wholly owned by Lifetime. The Network has picked up 12 episodes of the program, to be produced in New York by Lifetime Television. Also starring in the series are Elizabeth Regen, Kate Reinders, Kali Rocha and Tammy Townsend. Classic TV stars Malcolm-Jamal Warner and James Avery will guest-star in multiple episodes.

Finally, I have a few personal news for you. Tonight's episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is the one I went to! Watch Night 5 tonight at 8pm ET/PT on ABC. Hint: I'm sitting close to where the contestant's spouse/family member sits, but in the third row instead of the first row. And finally, since 1997 I've been raising money for a Walkathon. This year I'm raising money online as well. So I'm asking you readers out there to help me out for my online portion and donate for a great cause that benefits so many causes, including the American Cancer Society. Any amount is good and you'll feel good for donating! So please donate today (I sound like Sally Struthers, don't I?)! You'll find all the info on that link...it is amazing. Please help us out!

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Friday, April 03, 2009

ABC Mid-Season Pilot Review: Surviving Suburbia - Premieres April 6; Lifetime TV Acquires Cybill

Surviving Suburbia

Surviving Suburbia - Mondays 9:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres Monday, April 6, 2009 at 9:30PM ET/PT

In the family-centered tradition of Roseanne and Home Improvement, Surviving Suburbia opens the curtain to follow Bob Saget (How I Met Your Mother, Full House) and Cynthia Stevenson (Men in Trees, Dead Like Me) as Steve and Anne Patterson, a seemingly normal couple who have been married for 20 years, have two children and a cookie cutter house in the idyllic suburbs. But Steve maintains a rather cynical point of view on family, friends, neighbors, society -- pretty much everyone and everything -- as he tries to survive suburban life.
Surviving Suburbia takes a contemporary look at family life and the reasons one might have to question the system -- How does exchanging keys with a neighbor for emergencies result in house sitting? Why do kids' classroom projects inevitably become the parents' responsibility? When did we start needing mediators to handle disagreements between adults? - all of which goes to prove that it's never just another sunny day in the suburbs.
Also starring in the half-hour comedy series are Jared Kusnitz and G Hannelius as the Patterson kids, Henry and Courtney, plus Jere Burns (Good Morning Miami, Something So Right) as Dr. Jim. Dan Cortese (What I Like About You) and Lorna Scott (Criminal Minds, The OC) are recurring guest stars as Onno and Monica, respectively.


Cast Details:

* Bob Saget as Steve Patterson
* Cynthia Stevenson as Anne Patterson
* Jere Burns as Dr. Jim
* G. Hannelius as Courtney Patterson
* Jared Kusnitz as Henry Patterson
* Dan Cortese as Onno
* Lorna Scott as Monica

Bob Saget (Steve Patterson) is known worldwide for his many television roles and for setting a precedent by simultaneously starring in two Top 10 primetime series, the long-running sitcom Full House and as host of ABC's America's Funniest Home Videos for eight years. He's also familiar to a more 'adult' audience through his edgy standup comedy, theater and film work. In August 2008 Saget was honored with The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget, one of the highest rated shows for all of 2008 on Comedy Central. In the past two years, Saget has made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning play, The Drowsy Chaperone, hosted the quiz show 1 vs. 100, starred in his own HBO special, That Ain't Right, and kicked off a national theater tour. In the past few years he has also played a murderer on Law & Order: SVU, poked fun at his own image on Entourage, guest-starred on Huff, and had a hit music video from MTV, "Rollin' With Saget," in which he starred with friends Jamie Kennedy and Stu Stone.

Cynthia Stevenson (Anne Patterson) was born in Piedmont, CA but grew up in Bellevue, WA and Vancouver, BC. After attending American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, followed by Drama Studio London at Berkley, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Her work in improv and in theatre landed her an agent and an immediate job doing 26 episodes of a sketch comedy TV show entitled Off The Wall. After doing guest parts on the sitcoms The Famous Teddy Z, Newhart and Cheers, Stevenson was cast as the lead in the sitcom talk show My Talk Show. That proved to be her big break, as director Robert Altman noticed and cast her in his Oscar nominated film The Player. Series regular roles on such shows as Bob and Hope & Gloria followed. Additionally Stevenson played the lead on the cable series Oh Baby, then she moved to Vancouver and starred in Dead Like Me. Her feature roster also includes such films as Agent Cody Banks, Agent Cody Banks 2, Neverwas, Case 39 and the Disney Air Bud comedies. She was a series regular on ABC's series MEN IN TREES, had a recurring role on According to Jim and starred in the TV Christmas movie, Will You Merry Me. She can also be seen in the recent and upcoming films Dead Like Me: The Movie, Reunion, I Love You Beth Cooper and Jennifer's Body.

Jared Kusnitz (Henry Patterson) teams him once again with Jere Burns, with whom Kusnitz starred in the indie film Otis, also starring Illeana Douglas and Daniel Stern and written by Emmy Award winning writer Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers). In February 2009, Kusnitz was nominated for a Zombie Dead Letter Award in the category of Best Actor for his performance as Jimmy Dunn in the film Dance of the Dead, which also garnered eight nods in other categories, including Best Movie. Kusnitz's skill and comedic timing inspired writer Joe Ballarini to rewrite the script with the unlikely hero, Dunn, as the lead.

G Hannelius (Courtney Patterson) was born in Boston, MA but moved with her parents to southern Maine when she was still very young. At the age of seven she landed the title role in Madeline's Rescue at The Children's Theatre of Maine. When the family relocated to Los Angeles in 2008, Hannelius promptly booked commercials for Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn, Little Caesar's Pizza, Dairy Queen and a regional spot as the spokeskid for The Aquarium of the Pacific, which caught the attention of a more than a few casting directors. A notice seeking "the representative for the little girl in the Aquarium commercial" led to an opportunity to read for the lead role in ABC's new sitcom, Surviving Suburbia, with co-stars Bob Saget and Cynthia Stevenson. Hannelius recently worked a guest lead role in an episode of the Disney Channel comedy, Sonny with a Chance, and fulfilled her cherished dream to work with Miley Cyrus when she booked a role as a zealous fan on the hit Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. She is also part of the promotional campaign for Leo Little's Big Show, co-hosting spots on the Disney Channel.

Jere Burns (Dr. Jim) was born and raised in Cambridge, MA. He graduated from UMass, Amherst and attended the MFA program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His New York theatre credits include The New York Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Culture Project and, most recently, Hairspray at The Neil Simon. On television Burns is a veteran of eight series, including Dear John, Something So Right, Help Me Help You, and Good Morning Miami. He has also appeared in numerous made for television movies and independent and feature films.

Dan Cortese (Onno) has both acting and hosting credits in television. He burst onto the small screen hosting MTV Sports, then hosted My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad. His acting credits include such sitcoms as Joey, Veronica's Closet, What I Like About You, Seinfeld and Rock Me Baby.


Pilot Plot:

#1 (PROD #106) "Hero" (Airs Monday, April 6, 2009)
Steve reluctantly agrees to house sit for Onno (recurring guest star Dan Cortese) and ends up starting a fire that he later claims to have stopped. Steve gets caught up in being praised as a hero by his daughter and his neighbors, until his conscience gets the better of him.
Special Guest Star: Dan Cortese as Onno. Guest Cast: Paul Nobrega as Guy and Michael Christian Alexander as paramedic.
"Hero" was written by Don Beck and directed by Emile Levisetti.


Analysis:

I received for review the first episode airing, which is titled "Hero." This is actually the sixth episode produced. Originally this sitcom was supposed to be for The CW's Sunday night block, which was produced by Media Rights Capital. But due to low ratings, The CW canceled that block in the fall, thus giving this series no home as it was set to launch in January. But fortunately for Surviving Suburbia, ABC picked up the show in February and announced it would air it after Dancing with the Stars starting in April! 13 episodes have already been taped, but likely only 6 will air for now on ABC as they won't have room for all 13 this season. So there you have it, the history of the show in a nutshell.
Now to the actual analysis...Bob Saget returns to ABC! The first episode they are airing has some very funny moments and I could certainly see this being a promising series with many laughs. This is for sure a throwback to traditional family sitcoms such as Home Improvement. Bob Saget plays Steve Patterson, a husband and father. He is certainly not squeaky clean and perfect like he was on Full House. On this show, he gets into a lot of messes. This show is certainly his vehicle, as on Full House it was more of an ensemble and later turned into "the Olsen twins show with John Stamos." Bob does get to play a father once again to a little girl. This time the little girl is not as annoying as Michelle on Full House (sorry I know there are MANY fans of that show, but it clearly was very sappy to me). The daughter (Courtney) on this show is very adorable (yes, so was Michelle) and pretty smart. She is funny, too. Bob's character, Steve, connects with her very well.
In the first episode airing, Courtney announces for her project she is writing that Zach Efron is her "hero." Later Steve's neighbor Onno comes by as he is going on a trip, so he asks Steve to take care of his house and gives him the key to the house. Steve and his friend Dr. Jim go to the house and accidentally set the curtain on fire! Steve puts out the fire and is credited as a hero, yet no one knows he was the one that started the fire! Anyway, then daughter Courtney changes her hero project to her dad. Steve now feels bad because he didn't deserve it. What will happen? You'll have to tune in.
So what works and doesn't? Obviously the connection between Steve and daughter Courtney is very much there. Right now there is not much connection between Steve and his son Henry, but I see potential as we go on. Henry seems to be 17 or so, while the daughter has to be 10 or less. The chemistry between Steve and Anne is somewhat there, but I need to see more episodes. It gets better between them as the episode goes on, though. Dr. Jim is going to be a classic character. He is the classic sitcom "buddy." He could be on the same page as Larry from Three's Company and more recently Andy on According to Jim. He is just a fun character that gives many laughs. Dan Cortese's character Onno, didn't have much to do in this episode and I didn't see Lorna Scott's character Monica in this episode. And finally, Bob Saget shines in this. He is very funny and better like this than Danny Tanner. The only gripe I have about him here is that it seems Bob is not standing straight at any time. He looks like Big Bird as he is 6'4". Maybe he has a neck or a back problem?


Conclusion:

Well this is certainly a traditional comedy. Comedies of this type are what we need right now. This is ABC's first stab at launching a traditional comedy since believe it or not Crumbs back in January 2006. In the fall of that season (fall 2005) they launched Freddie and Hot Properties, while airing returning series such as According to Jim, Rodney, George Lopez, and Less than Perfect. After that season only Jim and George remained, and then after that just Jim. So the timing seems to be very right for Surviving Suburbia to launch and succeed, as viewers like these types of comedies. CBS's Monday comedies have seen ratings climb this season, as they are the only traditional comedies airing on network TV right now. You won't see this show win any awards like Samantha Who or 30 Rock, but I'm sure this show will outright do much better than single camera sitcoms in the ratings.

The premiere episode is decent. It is not perfect at all, but Bob is good in it. Many fans and TV fans will be tuning in for sure to see Bob return to TV comedy. The promos for the show have been hilarious and most of the stuff in the promos are not for this first episode that is airing. So that is promising that the show will deliver laughs in future episodes. The first one they are airing is not the greatest episode probably of this show, but I see lots of potential and viewers should stick around to see them all. ABC says they have added a new into to this episode with the family watching and talking about Dancing with the Stars. That was not in the version I saw, but can't wait to see that. Hopefully they don't edit anything out, because the version I saw starts with Steve talking to his daughter. Tune in Monday at 9:30pm on ABC because we need the traditional sitcom to come back!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 04/03/09

Discuss the show after you watch it on Monday, April 6 on our message board.

Related Links:

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




  • Finally, we end today with some news! As promised, I will reveal what sitcom Lifetime TV has acquired! They have acquired the Cybill Shepherd '90s sitcom Cybill! The show will launch on Monday, May 4, airing weekdays at 8am & 8:30am and 2am ET/PT. The morning airings will replace Still Standing, which will still remain in the 6pm hour, and the late night airing will replace encores of original sitcom Rita Rocks. Cybill aired for four seasons from 1995-1998 on CBS.
    Cybill was last seen on cable on Oxygen earlier this decade for a few years. Cybill Shepherd is starring on the Lifetime sitcom pilot Alligator Point, a comedy about an eccentric group of Floridians who find refuge in the southern hospitality of Mae's Oyster Bar. So with the pick-up of Cybill, maybe that sitcom will be ordered to series? Kelsey Grammer is producing the pilot. We will let you know if it gets picked-up.
    Other schedule changes for Lifetime in May 2009 is original series Cook Yourself Thin replacing the third Wife Swap airing. That will air weekdays at 5:00pm & 5:30pm starting Monday, May 4. 20 episodes have been ordered. Based on the hit British series and popular cookbook, Cook Yourself Thin encourages women to lose weight by changing their eating habits. So after that series concludes, Cybill will also air in the early evenings, airing at 5:00pm & 5:30pm starting Tuesday, May 26. It will also air in its other timeslots as well.
    Rita Rocks will return with new episodes sometime this summer, while new episodes of Army Wives begins Sunday, June 7 at 10pm for its third season (18 episodes).

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    Monday, March 16, 2009

    ABC Mid-Season Pilot Review: Better Off Ted - Premieres March 18; Lifetime Schedule Change

    Better Off Ted

    Better Off Ted - Wednesdays 8:30PM ET/PT on ABC
    Premieres Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 8:30PM ET/PT

    Better Off Ted is a satirical office comedy about successful good guy, Ted, who runs research and development at the morally questionable Veridian Dynamics. No achievement is too far-fetched and no invention too unorthodox for Veridian. Need cow-less meat grown in a test tube? Done. Need pumpkins that also double as weapons of mass destruction? No problem. Ted's a single dad to a seven-year-old girl, and he loves his job, but he's starting to take a closer look at the company's extremely dubious practices. Do you manufacture the best teeth whitener ever if it could also kill off all of the planet's fish? Probably not, but...
    Ted's also fighting an attraction to co-worker Linda, who enjoys small acts of rebellion against Veridian (she's secretly stealing and hoarding all the company's creamer packets). But he holds back about his true feelings. He's already had his self imposed "one office affair" with überboss Veronica. Incredibly beautiful (if seemingly devoid of conscience and also emotion-free), Veronica lets nothing get in her way when it comes to serving Veridian's needs... even if it means doing something like cryogenically freezing an employee for testing purposes. And after all, the employee, research scientist Phil, survived (after he thawed out). So what if he screams like an eagle at the slightest provocation? He and his best friend, fellow research scientist Lem, are both geniuses and when they're not bickering, they're responsible for many of Veridian's miracles of weird science.

    Cast Details:

    * Jay Harrington as Ted Crisp
    * Portia de Rossi as Veronica Palmer
    * Andrea Anders as Linda Zwordling
    * Jonathan Slavin as Phil Mymen
    * Malcolm Barrett as Lem Hewitt
    * Isabella Acres as Rose Crisp

    Jay Harrington (Ted) has a recurring role on Private Practice as Dr. Wyatt Lockhart and has appeared on The Inside and Coupling. Other television credits include Teri Hatcher's doctor-turned boyfiend Dr. Ron on Desperate Housewives, Ghost Whisperer, Las Vegas, The Division, The Shield, Without a Trace and the Lifetime movie Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy. His feature film credits include Partners, Whatever It Takes and Anywhere But Here. Jay is also an avid sports fan. He plays in the NBA Entertainment League and dons skates for a local hockey team.

    Portia de Rossi (Veronica) has had a widely varied career, captivating audiences in both television and film. She recently starred as a fifth-season series regular on the FX popular original drama Nip/Tuck as Olivia Lord, a holistic medicine practitioner who has problematic relationships with both her girlfriend, Julia, and her out-of-control daughter. She also starred as Lindsay Bluth Funke in the critically acclaimed Fox comedy Arrested Development. The show won a Primetime Emmy Award in 2004 for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2006 and a SAG Award in 2005. De Rossi is perhaps best known for her portrayal of enigmatic lawyer Nelle Porter on Fox's hugely successful Ally McBeal. On the big screen, she starred in Wes Craven's Cursed, opposite Christina Ricci, Chris Ver Wiel's Who is Cletis Tout?, opposite Richard Dreyfuss and Tim Allen, Paul Goldman's The Night We Called It a Day, opposite Dennis Hopper and Melanie Griffith, Wes Craven's Scream 2, Rupert Wainwright's Stigmata, Bruce Wagner's Women in Film, Noah Stern's The Invisibles and Michael Goorjians Ambition to Meaning, with Wayne Dyer.

    Andrea Anders (Linda) is best known to television audiences for her roles as Nicole Allen on the sitcom The Class and as Alex Garrett in the comedy Joey. Additional television credits include Law & Order, Tru Calling, Oz and Numb3rs. Her feature film credits include the road comedy Sex Drive and The Stepford Wives.

    Jonathan Slavin (Phil) has been acting steadily in recent years. After a string of "insert occupation here" guy TV roles (Flower Delivery Guy, Fish and Chips Guy, Computer Tech Guy, etc.), Slavin landed a memorable turn as "Ice Cream Guy" on Caroline in the City, and has worked in television ever since. He has appeared as a series regular on Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Union Square, and had recurring roles on My Name is Earl, Summerland, Inconceivable and Wings. Recent guest starring roles include Life, Grey's Anatomy, CSI, Ugly Betty, Friends and Bones. He has also appeared in the feature films Hard Pill, A Cinderella Story, Grand Theft Parsons, Race to Witch Mountain and My Mother's Hairdo.

    Malcolm Barrett (Lem) has appeared on a number of series as either a regular or guest star, including The Bonnie Hunt Show, Kelsey Grammar Presents: The Sketch Show, Monk, Psych, Ghost Whisperer, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and The Sopranos. Feature film credits include My Best Friend's Girl, Hurt Locker, American Violet, The Rhythm of the Saints, King of the Jungle and Swimfan.

    Isabella Acres (Rose) was born in Atlanta, where she discovered her love for acting in children's theater. Since relocating to Los Angeles she has appeared on such TV series as Monk, Hannah Montana and Jimmy Kimmel Live. She has also appeared in the recurring role of Jane's daughter on The Mentalist. Isabella has extensive voiceover credits, including the feature films Horton Hears a Who, Four Christmases, The Women and Fred Claus, and has voiced characters in the animated series Phineas and Ferb and Special Agent Oso.


    Pilot Plot:

    I received two episodes for review. So, I will base my thoughts on the show on these two.

    #1 Pilot (Airs March 18)
    Ted finds out just how far Veronica's willing to go for Veridian's greater good when she charges him with convincing brilliant research scientist Phil to be cryogenically frozen for a test experiment. Phil is excited, even if best friend and research partner, Lem, is a little jealous...and Ted is more than a little worried about the long-term effects if the experiment actually goes ahead.
    Guest starring are Maz Jobrani (The Knights of Prosperity) as Dr. Bhamba and Jim Lau as the screaming office worker. "Pilot" was written by Victor Fresco and directed by Mike Fresco.

    #2 "Through Rose Colored HAZMAT Suits" (Airs April 1)
    When the nanny calls in sick, Ted reluctantly takes daughter Rose to work, where Veronica forms a surprising (if frightening) bond with the little girl. Rose's visit to Veridian also stirs up trouble when a casual remark she makes sends Phil and Lem into a tailspin about just who has the upper hand in their work relationship. Meanwhile, Ted finds out where he stands with Linda when her ex-boyfriend comes back to town.
    Guest starring are Julian Bailey as Hal, Martha Boles as Lisa, Mason Lauderdale as the little boy, Sean Christopher Davis as Jerry and Richard Fancy as Mr. Campbell. "Through Rose Colored HAZMAT Suits" was written by Justin Adler and directed by Michael Fresco.


    Analysis:

    After watching two episodes, I am pleased. The show is very smartly written and has some laugh-out-loud moments. Both Jay Harrington and Portia de Rossi as Ted and Veronica are strong leads and likable, yet de Rossi's character is a bit weird and wacky, but at the same time hilarious. Some of the stuff she says is priceless! The supporting cast includes scientists Phil and Lem, who are an excellent comedic duo. They are very funny. Also, we have co-worker Linda, who has instant chemistry with Ted...but will they get together? Or will Veronica beat Linda to it? And finally we have Rose, who is Ted's little daughter. She is smart and blends in well with Veronica, as you'll see on episode three (the second one I saw).

    As for the plot of the show, it is all centered around the workplace. Both episodes I saw starts off with a one-minute presentation for Veridian Dynamics. Very cool and hilarious to start like that. Veridian Dynamics is certainly a future company. We can see that as they develop quite outrageous stuff, but it is funny. Some of the hilarious and wacky stuff they want to do are...to freeze Phil, just to see if it is possible; itchy chairs to have better production at work; and exploding pumpkins with Dr. Bhamba! If you like The Office, you'll certainly like this show. I hate that show, yet I liked this show, though. Why? There is no weird camera zooming to make this look documentary style or cheap. Plus this actually has music and background sound, unlike that show. The similarities for that show with this show so far is that this really is a good cast and ensemble. Everyone plays well off each other and Veridian Dynamics is a very fun place to work, even though they have weird ideas! It just makes it funny!

    Will this series work for ABC? It will be following new episodes of Scrubs, so the young audience ABC is hoping for will certainly be there. It will air in a rather weak timeslot with the only competition really from Fox's Lie to Me and CBS's Gary Unmarried, the latter is also a comedy and ABC should have no problem beating it in 18-49. Hopefully this show surprises and at least becomes a cult hit like The Office that skews very young.


    Conclusion:

    This show is very funny. It is not as crazy as say Worst Week, but is much better written and relies more on dialog. Though this show has its fair share of physical comedy as well. Having both funny dialog and physical comedy, along with a great ensemble make a recipe for a great comedy. This show has so much potential. The promos have been showcasing scenes from later episodes, so I cannot wait to see a worker jumping out of a window, and the human resources lady saying "that's gonna be some paperwork," Ted staring at Linda's butt, and Veronica making fun of the balding guy. So there are going to more fun stuff coming soon, and I cannot wait! I hope to see more of Dr. Bhamba, too. He was only in the pilot episode but will make more appearances this season. He is played by Maz Jabrini, who was on The Knights of Prosperity, which is the funniest sitcom to air in the last few years. Too bad it didn't last...but I hope and think this will. There are stuff I didn't like, such as sitcom cliches (smart daughter, sitcom romance), but who cares. We need bread and butter sitcoms to get an audience, even though this is not a traditional sitcom.

    Freezing Phil, training children of Veridian Dynamics "life skills," and so much more makes this show top-notch and a must watch. Watch the premiere, and if you like it...please tune in every week as we need a new sitcom hit. And if you like the premiere but are on the fence, don't give up because episode two is even better! Portia de Rossi deserves an Emmy nomination for her work here!


    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

    -- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 03/16/09

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, March 18 on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Better Off Ted Photo Gallery



  • Finally, if you didn't see this posted on our message board over the weekend, Lifetime made a schedule change effective today. They are replacing the afternoon movie with an extra Desperate Housewives and Wife Swap, so both of those shows will now air three in a row...12-3pm and 3-6pm. Also, in primetime, Will & Grace will be airing in the 8pm hour, while the primetime Wife Swap moves from Mondays to Fridays, 9-11pm. A movie will still air in primetime the other nights. Late nights, we now have a Reba hour at 1am replacing the late Desperate Housewives airing, followed by a Rita Rocks half-hour at 2am, five days a week. Rita Rocks won't be airing in primetime until it returns with new episodes now. No other changes are being made.

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    Monday, March 02, 2009

    TV One April 2009 Includes That's My Mama Marathon; Lifetime Renews Rita Rocks for 2nd Seasons

    This April on TV One, comedy is once again king! On Easter Sunday (Sunday, April 12, 2009) beginning at 12 Noon, the classic '70s sitcom That's My Mama comes to the TV One airwaves with an all-day marathon from 12pm-7pm with the first two episodes encoring from 5-6am. The classic sitcom which starred Theresa Merritt in the title role as Eloise "Mama" Curtis took place in Washington D.C. and centered around Clifton Curtis, Mama's son and young barber, he had inherited the family barbershop from his late father, Oscar Curtis. Mama wanted the best for her son and that meant a woman in his life, so she often tried finding him a mate even though he enjoyed bachelor life. The series also stars Clifton Davis and Jester Hairston (who both went on to star in another TV One favorite Amen), Ted Lange (who went on to star in The Love Boat), Lynn Moody (Roots), and Theodore Wilson (Sweet Daddy from TV One favorite Good Times).
    On Sunday, April 19 at 5pm, the gang is back together again as TV One encores their original special Living Single: The Reunion Show which reunites the cast of the popular sitcom Living Single including Kim Fields, Kim Coles, Erika Alexander, John Henton, and T.C. Carson as they take a stroll down memory lane with bloopers, set stories, and little known backstage gossip and antics that will have viewers wanting more. So if you missed it or need to record it, April 19 at 5pm is your chance!
    Finally, on Friday, April 24 beginning at 10pm, TV One presents the "Viewers Choice Good Times Mega-thon," a 24-hour event that airs the funniest and most talked about episodes from the long running classic sitcom and lets viewers decide (by voting on the TV One website) on their favorite episodes which will air at the end of the mega-thon from 8pm to 10pm on Saturday April 25.
    There are no changes really to the schedule, but some minor stuff. The short-lived comedy Good News has been removed from weekdays at 8:30am and Sunday mornings and replaced by Comics Unleashed. That change happened early last month though. TV One has scheduled original series Black Men Revealed at 11am on weekdays, so the daily marathons are now 12-3pm instead of 11am-3pm. More TV One originals air at 3pm. The Divorce Court encores weekdays from 5-6am have been replaced by the original series Get the Hookup. Court will still air weekdays 4-5pm, though. That's about it...no other real changes.
    We don't see That's My Mama airing on the regular schedule, so for now it is just a one-time marathon...but wouldn't it be nice if it appears in May in time for Mother's Day? Mama would be proud...but spend this Easter with Mama! Mama Curtis, that is!

    Rita Rocks, Lifetime Television's first original primetime comedy in 10 years, has been picked up for a second season. The 20-episode order was announced today. The family comedy starring Nicole Sullivan premiered on October 20, 2008, and, in a unique programming strategy, stripped original episodes for a full week before moving into its regular timeslot (Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET/PT before moving to Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT). Developed as a companion to Lifetime's most popular comedy, Reba, Rita Rocks met with early success and frequently built on or retained the Reba audience. Since its debut, the first season has cumed more than 36.4 million viewers total.
    The first season had its season finale last Monday. Reruns from the beginning start tonight at 8:00PM every Monday, so get hooked again or watch for the first time! No start date has been given for the second season premiere, but as soon as we know...we'll let you know because we 'rock'.

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    Monday, December 01, 2008

    Lifetime December 2008 and January 2009 Changes; Cincinnati Station Changes Name to WKRP

    We didn't get a chance to mention it, but effective last week (Nov. 24), Lifetime removed The Nanny from the line-up. The contract for the show expires later this month, and TV Land and Nick at Nite gain access to it starting this spring, but not sure yet when and where it will air. We'll let you know. The Nanny was airing weeknights at 2am, and Lifetime replaced it with an extra episode of The Golden Girls. Also, The Golden Girls is now airing in the 8am hour replacing Still Standing's morning airings...it will still air weekdays 7-8pm. So The Golden Girls as of now is airing 8-9am, 9-10am, and 1-am-2:30am...7 airings a day. It will be cut to 6 in January, more on that below.
    As we mentioned previously, effective today (Dec. 1), Lifetime will add the original series Mom's Cooking in the weekday 11am hour (20 episodes have been ordered) and will add another Wife Swap episode at 10am leading into the series...so Will & Grace and Frasier are off of the daytime line-up until further notice (thru end of January at least), but remain in late night. No other changes are being made in December, so the rest of the line-up is the same as it is now.
    Starting in January we get a few more changes. Lifetime will start airing How I Met Your Mother on Monday evenings from 7-8pm starting Monday, January 5, 2009. This is its pre-syndication start before Lifetime can air it daily starting in fall 2010, as we mentioned before. Reba will be the lead-in (6-7pm) and lead-out (8pm) to the How I Met Your Mother airings, while original sitcom Rita Rocks moves from Tuesdays at 8:30pm to Mondays at 8:30pm. Lifetime will move the primetime airing of Wife Swap from Tuesdays at 10pm to Mondays at 9pm leading into their new original series DietTribe, airing Mondays at 10pm starting January 5 thru Feb. 2. Rita Rocks and DietTribe will repeat later on Mondays starting at 1am. So Mondays is a big night for Lifetime in January.
    Also, starting Jan. 5, Will & Grace will expand to three episodes airing 11pm to 12:30am, while the Frasier hour slides to 12:30am-1:30am, and the The Golden Girls airs 1:30-2:30am, so it loses an airing. The Golden Girls is moving to Hallmark Channel and WE tv in the spring, so we are down to the last months of the series on Lifetime. Frasier will get an additional slot in January, airing Sundays 12-1am after Grey's Anatomy. There will be no other changes, as of now.

    WKRP is actually on the air! No, I don't mean the TV series is on TV, but a local station in Cincinnati has changed its call letters to WKRP! Low-power Channel 38 known as WBQC-TV since 1995, has changed its call letters to WKRP-TV to promote its new digital TV signal.
    This is the first time a station here has been known as WKRP since the CBS premiere 30 years ago of WKRP in Cincinnati, a TV sitcom about a wacky rock radio station fictionally set in Cincinnati. Elliott Block, general manager and chief engineer for WKRP-TV says, "When I call someone out-of-town and say we're a TV station in Cincinnati, the response usually is, 'WKRP in Cincinnati?' This gives us recognition." He also has tried to acquire the TV series to air on WKRP-TV, but says "We've checked, but WKRP in Cincinnati is not available for broadcast. It's only available for cable." He is correct, it airs Sunday evenings on WGN America and Monday nights on AmericanLife TV.
    So what does WKRP-TV air? Right now just stuff like Matlock, One on One, Punk'd, Cops, and first-run syndicated stuff like Cold Squad and Jury Duty. Nothing out of the ordinary, but still the name change is cool. So baby, if you've ever wondered if there was a real WKRP, now you know there is! Check out WKRP-TV's website. "I'm at WKRP in Cincinnati..."

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    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Lifetime's Rita Rocks Ordered for Full Season; 35th Annual People's Choice Awards Nominees

    Rita Rocks, Lifetime Television's first original sitcom in 10 years, has been picked up for a full season. Lifetime ordered seven additional episodes, bringing the first season order total to 20 episodes. The family comedy starring Nicole Sullivan premiered on October 20 and, in a unique programming strategy, stripped original episodes for a full week before moving into its regular timeslot (Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET/PT).
    In addition to Sullivan, the traditional sitcom Rita Rocks stars Richard Ruccolo as Rita's husband Jay and Tisha Campbell-Martin as her friend and band mate. Natalie Dreyfuss, Kelly Gould also star as Rita's daughters. Raviv Ullman plays her teenage daughter's ever-present boyfriend.
    In Rita Rocks, Sullivan stars as Rita Clements, an overworked wife and mother trying to find time to find herself. Once the lead singer of a Bangles cover band, Rita traded in a life in rock clubs for carpools and the PTA. With the hope of getting a little bit of the old Rita back, she forms a garage band with postal carrier Patty (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and unemployed neighbor Owen (guest-star Ian Gomez).

    The nominees were for The 35th Annual People's Choice Awards are now in. We will only mention the TV categories. Winners will be revealed during the live broadcast of The 35th Annual People's Choice Awards which will be hosted by Queen Latifah from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT) on CBS. The first awards show of 2009, The 35th Annual People's Choice Awards honors fan favorites in television, movies and music.
    PEOPLE Magazine, in celebration of its own 35th birthday, will team up with People's Choice to present the first ever People's Choice Award for Favorite Star Under 35, in recognition of this dual milestone. Beginning today www.pcaVOTE.com and www.people.com will exclusively feature this unique poll, giving fans the opportunity to choose their favorite star, under the age of 35, by narrowing down from a group of Hollywood's biggest celebrities, chosen by PEOPLE's editors. The TV nominees are:

    FAVORITE TV DRAMA
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS)
    Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
    House (Fox)

    FAVORITE TV COMEDY
    Samantha Who? (ABC)
    Two and a Half Men (CBS)
    Ugly Betty (ABC)

    FAVORITE ANIMATED COMEDY
    Family Guy (Fox)
    The Simpsons (Fox)
    South Park (Comedy Central)

    FAVORITE SCI-FI / FANTASY SHOW
    Heroes (NBC)
    Supernatural (The CW)
    Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox)

    FAVORITE COMPETITION / REALITY SHOW
    American Idol (Fox)
    Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
    Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)

    FAVORITE GAME SHOW
    Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Fox)
    Deal Or No Deal (NBC)
    JEOPARDY! (Syndicated, CBS Television Distribution)

    FAVORITE MALE TV STAR
    Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy, ABC)
    Hugh Laurie (House, Fox)
    Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men, CBS)

    FAVORITE FEMALE TV STAR
    Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?, ABC)
    Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters, ABC)
    Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU, NBC)

    FAVORITE TALK SHOW HOST
    Ellen DeGeneres (Syndicated, Warner Bros.)
    David Letterman (CBS)
    Regis Philbin & Kelly Ripa (Syndicated, ABC Studios)

    FAVORITE SCENE-STEALING GUEST STAR (NEW CATEGORY)
    Luke Perry on Law & Order: SVU, NBC
    Britney Spears on How I Met Your Mother, CBS
    Robin Williams on Law & Order: SVU, NBC

    FAVORITE TV DRAMA DIVA (NEW CATEGORY)
    Holly Hunter as Grace Hanadarko on Saving Grace, TNT
    Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin on Weeds, Showtime
    Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson on The Closer, TNT

    FAVORITE NEW TV DRAMA (All new shows, vote on PCAVote.com)
    90210, The CW
    Crusoe, NBC
    Easy Money, The CW
    Eleventh Hour, CBS
    Fringe, Fox
    Knight Rider, NBC
    Life on Mars, ABC
    The Mentalist, CBS
    My Own Worst Enemy, NBC
    Privileged, The CW

    FAVORITE NEW TV COMEDY (All new shows, vote on PCAVote.com)
    Gary Unmarried, CBS
    Kath & Kim, NBC
    Valentine, The CW
    Worst Week, CBS

    View the full press release, including nominees for the movies and music categories.

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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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    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Nick at Nite October 2008 Has Urkel Week and Halloween Week; Lifetime Acquires How I Met Your Mother for Fall 2010

    This October on Nick at Nite will have various stunts such as an Urkel week hosted by Jaleel White and the 1st Annual Worldwide Fido Awards. At last an award show for real dogs! Forget the pedigree, purebreds and professional judges! The dogs on this show are chosen by you the viewer! The one-hour special event hosted by actor/comedian Fred Willard will showcase the six Fido finalists and best of WorldwideFido.com's user-generated videos, where one lucky dog will ultimately be crowned the 2008 Worldwide Fido winner. It will air Sunday, October 5 from 8-9PM.
    On Columbus Day (Monday, October 13), Nick at Nite will bring out the stars on George Lopez with a marathon from 9pm-4am. Got a favorite guest star? Check out the special line-up of hand picked celebrities all of whom have graced the George Lopez stage to see if your favorites made the cut! Eva Longoria, Mario Lopez, Jerry Springer, Adam West, Barbara Eden, Jim Belushi, Sandra Bullock, Lou Diamond Phillips, Paris Hilton, Hilary Duff, Richard Lewis, Kimberly Williams, Laila Ali, Andy Garcia, who made the cut? Find out on October 13!
    Get up close and personal with Steve Urkel himself (Jaleel White) as he reminisces with Nick and Nite on what it was like to play one of America's favorite nerds and his favorite episodes. Jaleel White hosts an hour a night from Oct. 20-26 featuring classic Steve Urkel-themed episodes of Family Matters. Classic episodes include his very first episode, Jaleel as Myrtle Urkel, the Urkel dance episode, Urkelbot, Urkel & Grandmama, and classic Stefan episodes.
    Finally, it's a spooktacular week for Nick at Nite the week of October 27-31. Tune in all-week long to catch Halloween themed episodes of your Nick at Nite favorites (Fresh Prince, George Lopez, and Home Improvement) in the 9pm hour and also in regular timeslots for more Halloween fun. It will be capped off with a Halloween marathon on Halloween night from 10pm-1am featuring George Lopez, Home Improvement and Family Matters. Be ready for the scary Stevil!
    View the full Nick at Nite October 2008 schedule and highlights.

    Continuing the aggressive expansion of its comedy programming, Lifetime Television has acquired the exclusive basic cable rights to the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother from Twentieth Television, beginning in the fall of 2010.
    How I Met Your Mother joins Lifetime comedy mainstays such as Reba, Still Standing, Will & Grace and Frasier. So far in 2008, Reba ranks #1 in cable comedies among W18+ and W25-54 in the Monday-Friday, 8-9PM (ET/PT) time period.
    Both Lifetime and Twentieth Television declined comment on the financial terms of the deal, but sources said the sitcom fetched around $725,000 per episode in a highly competitive bidding situation that included at least six interested cable nets, including TBS, ABC Family and FX. The deal will be a four-year deal and could add on a year each time it gets renewed on CBS. The deal can reach as high as eight years. Lifetime's deal is the second biggest license fee ever by a cable network for a sitcom in the first cycle, beaten only by the near $800,000 an episode that FX did for Warner Bros. Domestic's Two and a Half Men. Lifetime can also reportedly air two episodes a week by early next year before it can be stripped for daily play in fall 2010.
    Last week, Twentieth TV scored deals with the Fox-owned TV stations in N.Y. (WNYW), L.A. (KTTV) and Chicago (WFLD) for reruns of How I Met Your Mother for local station play starting in fall 2010. Stations in five other major markets, including CBS-owned outlets in Philadelphia (WPSG) and Dallas (KXTA) bought the series. WLVI Boston, KQCA Sacramento, and Seattle's KCPQ/KMYQ round out the additional five.
    Starring Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor, Jason Segal and Alyson Hannigan, How I Met Your Mother debuted on CBS in 2005 and currently airs Mondays at 8:30PM (ET/PT) on CBS in its fourth season.
    In other Lifetime news, just a reminder that original sitcom Rita Rocks launches with five new episodes airing in a one week strip, beginning Monday, October 20, through Friday, October 24, at 8:30PM (ET/PT), following Reba repeats. Then starting Tuesday, October 28, Rita Rocks will air regularly Tuesdays at 8:30PM (ET/PT). Also, starting Monday, October 5, The Nanny will return to weekdays at 8-9am replacing a Desperate Housewives airing. The Nanny had been airing only weeknights at 2am and will still retain that slot. Both The Golden Girls and The Nanny will be expiring from Lifetime in early 2009, so Lifetime will have some slots to fill. We'll let you know what happens.

    Tonight it is the season premieres of Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy on ABC. I have watched both premieres already and both are very good, especially the two-hour Grey's Anatomy premiere. On Ugly Betty, a month has passed and Betty has made her choice. When she returns, she finds out what happened to Mode and Daniel. Meanwhile, Betty's dad is now working at a local hamburger place...where Betty's high school bully Kimberly (Lindsay Lohan) is the manager. Very fun scenes with Betty and Kimberly. And Hilda's romance with Coach Diaz continues, despite his marriage. Without giving anything away, the premiere is funny and it's a fresh start with lots of changes. The move to New York in production has paid off!
    As for Grey's Anatomy, the premiere is fantastic. It also has change. It seems many ABC shows this fall has changes, and it is for the good. A freak fall ice storm has hit Seattle and Seattle Grace Hospital has moved out of the top 5 in the rankings of best teaching skills. Chief Webber has to make changes and decisions to get the hospital back to its credibility. Making quite the entrance in this episode is the very talented Kevin McKidd, who plays General Hunt, a doctor in the military. He has excellent scenes with Cristina...and steamy ones. There are a few dream sequences, some shocking and some touching...not giving it away though. Also, I won't give it away, but the keyword for the episode is "icicle." It's a premiere you will want to watch for sure.
    I have seen many of the premieres for ABC, so check my thoughts on them if you want to read it. More is on the way, so keep checking back.

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    Monday, August 25, 2008

    Lifetime Adds Originals in October; Dancing with the Stars Season 7 Stars Includes Sitcom Stars McGinley and Leachman

    We gave you Lifetime's fall line-up which starts Sept. 2, but now we have details on October. There are no regular schedule changes, but two original series are launching. First, the original Lifetime sitcom Rita Rocks, which we previously said was launching in December. Now it will launch October 20! Rita Rocks launches with a five-episode stunt the week of October 20 airing Monday, October 20 through Friday, October 24 at 8:30PM ET/PT following Reba. Then new episodes will air in their regularly scheduled timeslot on Tuesdays at 8:30PM ET/PT beginning Tuesday, October 28. 13 episodes have been ordered, so it will air for 8 more weeks starting Oct. 28. In Rita Rocks, Nicole Sullivan stars as Rita, an overworked wife and mother in the middle of a full blown identity crisis. Trying to maintain romance with her husband Jay (Richard Ruccolo), juggling the demands of her nine-year-old daughter Shannon (Kelly Gould), disciplining her defiant, teenage daughter Hallie (Lauren Collins) and her ever-present boyfriend Kip (Raviv Ullman), and being passed over for a promotion at work; Rita is at her wit's end. In search of "youthful" Rita, she dusts off her old guitar and forms a garage band with her nosey postal carrier Patty (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and unemployed neighbor Owen (guest-star Ian Gomez), in the hopes of putting that spark back in her life.
    The first five-episodes will re-air Monday, October 27 through Friday, October 31 at 9:30AM ET/PT following The Golden Girls. The same week, the five-episode, half-hour special programming event, Lisa Williams (wt), will premiere on Monday, October 27, 2008, and will air for five consecutive weekdays on Lifetime at 11AM ET/PT following specially placed Wife Swap at 10AM ET/PT. English clairvoyant Lisa Williams returns to Lifetime in a new five-episode special programming event, Lisa Williams (wt) an updated version of her Lifetime series Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead. The reformatted show marks Lisa's first television appearances since she began a tour of sold-out appearances throughout the country, as well as book-signings for her well-received autobiography. Lisa Williams (wt) will further explore Lisa's unique abilities as a clairvoyant-medium. Each taped episode will feature Lisa doing live one-on-one readings in a studio and in impromptu meetings with people she is drawn to out on the street. Will & Grace follows at 11:30AM.
    In other original programming news, Twenty half-hour episodes have been ordered of Mom's Cooking, a unique cooking show that takes daughters inside their mom's kitchen to learn how to cook their favorite recipe from childhood, and will premiere in December 2008, Monday through Friday on Lifetime. Finally, another five-episode, half-hour special programming event, Untitled Fat Friends Project, will premiere in January 2009 will air for five consecutive weekdays on Lifetime. The series follows friends Anna Lloyd (30, Pasadena, CA), Lydia Moody (25, Los Angeles, CA), Megan Stewart (29, Anaheim, CA), Shawna McClellan (27, Anaheim, CA) and Morgan Lancaster (30, Monrovia, CA), as they attempt to loose weight together. We'll have details soon on both.
    Finally, we forgot to mention last time Wife Swap will also air Tuesdays at 9PM when it launches next week. Still no details if new current episodes of Desperate Housewives will be repurposed on Lifetime in another slot other than its upcoming weekdays at 8am and 12pm slot. When the deal was announced a few years ago, it was said Lifetime would have repurposing rights as well.

    The new cast for the seventh installment of Dancing with the Stars was announced this morning by Tom Bergeron on Good Morning America on ABC. It will be a season of surprises in what promises to be the biggest and most demanding season ever as thirteen celebrities take the ballroom floor on the hit series Dancing with the Stars, which returns with a three-night premiere event (Monday, Sept. 22 8-10pm, Tuesday, Sept. 23 9-11pm, and Wednesday, Sept. 24 8-9pm). The thirteen stars include the legendary film/TV star Cloris Leachman (the oldest star ever on the show) and sitcom veteran Ted McGinley. Other TV related stars are the youngest star ever on the show Cody Linley, TV soap legend Susan Lucci, and reality TV beauty Kim Kardashian. Full list of stars is below.
    For the first time ever, all thirteen teams must prepare two routines for the first week of competition, one of which they'll perform on Monday night. The judges will score the performances on Monday while the viewers cast their votes for their favorites. Only twelve will have the chance to showcase their second dance on Tuesday. In dramatic style on Tuesday's show, one couple will be eliminated as the remaining contestants perform their second dance of the season. The judges will score the dances on Tuesday and the viewers will once again cast their votes before a second duo is dismissed Wednesday on a special night.
    Dancing with the Stars then will regularly air Mondays 8-9:30pm and the Results Show Tuesdays 9-10pm after the premiere week. The thirteen stars for this season are:

    * Lance Bass (singer, N Sync) with first time professional Lacey Schwimmer
    * Toni Braxton (singer, "Un-Break My Heart") with professional Alec Mazo
    * Brooke Burke (model/actress, Wild On!) with professional Derek Hough
    * Rocco DiSpirito (chef, The Restaurant) with professional Karina Smirnoff
    * Maurice Greene (athlete, sprinter) with two-time champion professional Cheryl Burke
    * Kim Kardashian (model/actress, Keeping Up with the Kardashians) with reigning professional champion Mark Ballas
    * Cloris Leachman (legendary actress, Phyllis on Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Facts of Life) with first time professional Corky Ballas (father of Mark Ballas)
    * Cody Linley (teen actor, Hannah Montana) with two-time professional champion Julianne Hough
    * Susan Lucci (soap actress, All My Children) with professional Tony Dovolani
    * Misty May-Treanor (athlete, beach volleyball) with professional Maksim Chmerkovskiy
    * Ted McGinley (sitcom actor, Married with Children, Happy Days, Hope & Faith) with first time professional Inna Brayer
    * Jeffrey Ross (stand-up comic) with professional Edyta Sliwinska
    * Warren Sapp (athlete, NFL star with Buccaneers/Raiders) with professional Kym Johnson

    Maurice Greene will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday night on ABC late night.
    Professionals Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Alec Mazo return after taking the sixth season off. As there are three new professionals (Lacey Schwimmer, Inna Brayer, and Mark Ballas' dad Corky Ballas), some ones from last season will not be on this season, Jonathan Roberts, Anna Trebunskaya, Louis van Amstel and Fabian Sanchez. Some of the professionals from previous seasons remain missing still, Ashly DelGrosso, Nick Kosovich, Jesse DeSoto, Elena Grinenko, Brian Fortuna, Andrea Hale, and Charlotte Jørgensen.
    View the full press release for details on the seventh season stars of Dancing with the Stars!

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    Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    Lifetime Picks-Up Original Sitcom; Three Original Bill Cosby Sweaters Up for Auction; Remembering Bill Dial

    Marking a significant expansion of original programming, Lifetime Television has ordered 13 episodes of the half-hour comedy, Rita Rocks, from Media Rights Capital (MRC). Premiering this fall, the series stars all comedy veterans Nicole Sullivan (The King of Queens, MADtv), Richard Ruccolo (Joey, Two Guys and a Girl) and Tisha Campbell-Martin (My Wife and Kids, Martin).
    In the series, Sullivan stars as Rita Clements, unfulfilled by her harried life as a married working mom, regains her identity by recreating her glory days as a musician in a garage band. The series will premiere this fall as part of a one-hour comedy block with the top-rated Reba repeats. Rita Rocks is Lifetime's first original sitcom in a decade.
    Rita Rocks joins an array of original programming airing on Lifetime this fall, broadening its leadership in all genres, including Original Movies, Original Series and Reality Series. Lifetime Original Movies are the #1 rated among women. Beginning in September, the star-studded slate of original movies includes: Sex & Lies in Sin City starring Mena Suvari and Matthew Modine; Coco Chanel"starring Shirley MacLaine, Barbara Bobulova and Malcolm McDowell; Living Proof executive produced by Neil Meron, Craig Zadan and Renee Zellweger, and starring Harry Connick, Jr.; Killing Mr. Kissel starring John Stamos and Flirting with 40 starring Heather Locklear.
    Lifetime's most-watched series in its history (which is airing originals currently), Army Wives, will return with more original episodes in November, including a special two-hour season finale. And premiering this November, the hit reality competition series Project Runway with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn moves to Lifetime.

    You have a chance to own three popular sweaters Bill Cosby wore on The Cosby Show as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable! Mr. Cosby is auctioning them on eBay for a good cause. These three sweaters were worn on The Cosby Show by Bill Cosby between seasons 3-8. It will come with a dated and hand signed letter from Mr. Cosby himself authenticating this. It will also come with a separate letter from the sweater designer, Koos Van Den Akker, indicating that he made this sweater for Bill Cosby for The Cosby Show.
    Bill Cosby's sweaters have never before been made available to the public. The sweaters were custom made by Koos Van Den Akker, and only his designer label appears with no size marking indicated. They are approximately size large. The one-of-a-kind sweaters were specifically designed for Bill Cosby and are collages primarily composed of woolens and cottons.
    All proceeds from the sale of these legendary Heathcliff Huxtable sweaters will benefit the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation. The non-profit educational organization was established in 1997 by the Cosby family to continue the legacy and life's work of Ennis Cosby, who was about to begin his doctoral studies in education at the time of his death.
    Jimmy Kimmel is promoting the sweaters by wearing each of the three sweaters on three nights, last night, tonight and tomorrow night on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, late nights on ABC. He wore sweater #2 from the auction last night. Check Jimmy modeling them out, as he wears them for the entire show! To bid on these items, head on over to eBay:
    Sweater #1
    Sweater #2
    Sweater #3
    This is your chance to own a piece of Cosby Show history and help out a good cause at the same time! The Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation is dedicated to fulfilling the goals and dreams of Ennis Cosby. The Foundation equips teachers, parents and students with the practical information and educational tools needed to understand and address the needs of all learners before they experience the corrosive effects of frustration and failure. The Foundation was established in 1997 by Bill and Camille Cosby as a 501(c)(3) public charity.

    Finally we leave you today with news that Bill Dial has passed away. He died of a heart attack on Monday, June 2 in South Carolina, where he moved to after retiring from the business in 2001. Bill was most known as a writer, producer, and actor on the hit sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. He wrote five episodes for this series during its first season (1978-79), the most famous of which was his first, entitled "Turkeys Away." He guest starred on the series even for a few episodes playing the station's beer-drinking engineer, Bucky Dornster.
    After WKRP, he wrote and/or produced series such as Harper Valley P.T.A., Legmen, Simon & Simon, E.A.R.T.H. Force, Evening Shade, and some TV movies. In 1991, Dial returned to his claim to fame as an executive producer and writer on The New WKRP in Cincinnati, a follow-up series to the 1970s sitcom. The New WKRP aired in first-run syndication for two seasons. His later credits included writing and producing Time Trax, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Team Knight Rider, Sliders, Legend, and Spike TV's 18 Wheels of Justice. He will be missed, especially by WKRP fans. WKRP in Cincinnati can be seen nationally on cable Sunday evenings on WGN America and Monday nights on AmericanLife TV. Mr. Dial was 66.

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