Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, April 16, 2010

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

Romantically Challenged

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



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

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

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

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

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

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


Cast Details:

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

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

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

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

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


Pilot Plot:

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

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

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

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

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

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


Analysis:

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

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

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

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


Conclusion:

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

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

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

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by Pavan on 4/16/10

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

Related Links:

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

    Preview:




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


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

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

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

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

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    • Kelsey Grammar (Cheers/Frasier/Hank) - Kelsey stops by CBS's Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm.
    • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show) - Drew will appear on his buddy's show, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS at 12:35am.
    • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - This is a repeat from a few weeks ago, but catch Tina on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC at 12:35am.
    Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!
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    Tuesday, April 06, 2010

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

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

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

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

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    Friday, March 26, 2010

    ABC Officially Announces Romantically Challenged Premiere Date; TV Guide Network Acquires Weeds; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 29, 2010)

    ABC has FINALLY at long last announced the premiere date of the highly anticipated multi-camera sitcom Romantically Challenged starring Alyssa Milano! Rumor premiere dates have been floating around for quite some time (such as April 5), but now ABC has finally announced a date! The series will premiere on Monday, April 19, 2010 at 9:32pm following Dancing with the Stars! So it should be good sampling for Alyssa Milano and company!
    The sitcom has a 6 episode order and the series finished the tapings for this season last Thursday (March 18). The episodes will air April 19, 26, May 3, and 17. But that's only 4 episodes. On May 10 there is a two-hour Dancing with the Stars scheduled, so Romantically Challenged is not on that date but perhaps one of the episodes might air on a special night (like Wednesday with ABC Comedy Wednesday?). Or just saved for next season, if it gets picked-up. We'll let you know as soon as we now, but we are so happy this show has a premiere date! And for you fans of The Big Bang Theory, that series will be in REPEATS on April 19 and 26, so you can watch Romantically Challenged without missing that series!
    Romantically Challenged is an ensemble comedy about four friends trying to find love and happiness. Alyssa Milano stars as Rebecca, a very recently divorced mom of two who hasn't gone on a date since President Clinton was in office. Rebecca's best friend since childhood, Perry, is a romance-aholic who falls in love with women 20 minutes after meeting them. Perry lives with his BFF Shawn, a struggling writer who has depended on Perry for financial stability since the turn of the century. Rounding out the group is Rebecca's younger sister Lisa, a sweet kindergarten teacher who tries to hurt every man before he can hurt her. The series stars Alyssa Milano as Rebecca, Kyle Bornheimer as Perry, Josh Lawson as Shawn and Kelly Stables as Lisa.
    Stay with us for more info on this series, but make sure you watch the show on April19 and the other dates! It is going to be GREAT!!

    The acclaimed comedy series Weeds will be available for the first time ever on basic cable exclusively on TV Guide Network beginning in September 2010. Produced by Lionsgate Television in association with Tilted Productions, Weeds is executive produced and created by Emmy Award winner Jenji Kohan and stars Mary-Louise Parker who earned a Golden Globe award for her series role as a suburban mom who deals pot to make ends meet after the death of her husband. TV Guide Network has acquired rights to air all episodes in the first five seasons of the series, as well as the show's future episodes, including its sixth season which is currently in production.
    Weeds, which was acquired through Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury subsidiary, is the third major award-winning scripted series TV Guide Network has acquired over the past nine months. As TV Guide Network repositions itself as an entertainment programming destination, it will be debuting new, high-profile premium series beginning this summer. In June, the network will premiere Curb Your Enthusiasm, the groundbreaking improvisational comedy series created by and starring legendary producer Larry David. In Fall 2010, the network will launch a revamped primetime schedule including strips of Weeds, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Ugly Betty.
    Currently the TV Guide Network schedule consists of sitcom Just Shoot Me! weeknights at 6, Punk'd at various times, Ugly Betty Saturdays at 7, American Idol Rewind on weekends, VH-1 repeats of My Fair Brady, movies and more.

    It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars (but we won't cover movie stars like Tom Hanks or John Travolta, since they won't be talking about their past sitcoms likely), so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
    For the week of March 29-April 2, 2010, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

    Monday, March 29, 2010
    • Kevin Nealon (Weeds) - Kevin stops by to chat on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:05am ET.
    • Joel McHale (Community) - Joel stops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:35am ET on CBS.
    • Kelsey Grammer (Cheers/Frasier/Hank) - Kelsey gives an interview for LIVE! with Regis & Kelly so check your local listings for time and channel.
    • Raven Symone (Cosby Show/Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/That's So Raven) - Raven stops by The Wendy Williams Show in this repeat from last month. Check local listings or watch it on BET at 12am.

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010

    • Clark Duke (Hearts Afire) - This former child sitcom star stops by Lopez Tonight at 11pm ET on TBS but he is now on Greek and theatrical movies, but who knows he might mention his start on sitcoms like last week on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!
    • Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) - The little guy stops by The Bonnie Hunt Show. Check local listings for time and channel.
    • Thomas Haden Church (Wings) - Former sitcom star stops by NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm.
    • Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time/Hot in Cleveland) - She stops to talk to Joy on The Joy Behar Show on HLN at 9pm.

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010

    • Tyler Perry (House of Payne/Meet the Browns) - Tyler stops by THREE talk shows! First he stops by LIVE! with Regis & Kelly (check local listings for time/channel), then he is off to do the 10am hour of NBC's Today show, then finally stay up for the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC at 12:35am ET.
    • Wanda Sykes (Old Christine) - Wanda will be on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS at 12:35am ET.
    • John Corbett (United States of Tara) - John chats with Ellen on The Ellen DeGeneres Show so check your local listings for time and channel.
    • Thomas Haden Church (Wings) - Thomas stops by The Bonnie Hunt Show, so check local listings for time and channel.

    Thursday, April 1, 2010

    • Holly Robinson-Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/Like Family) - Holly and her daughter stop by the Today Show on NBC sometime between 7-9am ET.

    Friday, April 2, 2010

    • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - He will be on Tavis Smiley on PBS but probably not talking about his former sitcom dad role. Check your local listings for time.
    • Kelsey Grammer (Frasier/Cheers/Hank) - Kelsey stops by NBC's Today during the 10am hour.
    • John Corbett (United States of Tara) - John stops by CBS's Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:35am on CBS.
    • Tyler Perry (House of Payne/Meet the Browns) - The director stop by the Oprah Show. Check local listings.
    Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this new feature! We do listen!

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    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    TCA Winter 2010 Press Tour: Cable Day 1; ABC Reportedly Launching Romantically Challenged Mondays Starting in April

    The broadcast networks just finished their portion of the winter press tour, now it is time for cable. Today is the first of three days for everything cable. Up today are Discovery Networks, BET, lunch with TV Guide Network, Travel Channel, HBO, and evening reception with Discovery Networks.
    Discovery Networks consisted of Discovery Channel, TLC, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, and Science Channel. Nothing of note for sitcom/TV fans here, but among the announcements were Discovery Channel's upcoming new series Life. While its award-winning and record-shattering predecessor, Planet Earth, provided the ultimate portrait of our planet, the 11-part series Life, narrated by Oprah Winfrey, is the definitive exploration of the adaptability and diversity of life on earth. Life tells astounding stories of the world's most spectacular, bizarre and fascinating behaviors, many of which were captured for the first time ever. The series premieres in late March on Discovery Channel.
    Then BET is up. They were promoting its upcoming reality series The Family Crews, premiering Feb. 21. The Family Crews is a half-hour episodic reality series about Terry Crews and his amazing family. In reality, Terry's a former professional football player turned successful Hollywood actor. But, he's not your typical athlete or movie star. He's a family man who has been married to his wonderful wife, Rebecca, for 20 years this year. Together, they have five children, ranging from ages 3 to 22 years old. In the series, Terry will begin the process of transitioning from Everybody Hates Chris to becoming a bonafide action star.

    Then at lunch TV Guide Channel has a festive buffet luncheon, including special Red Carpet-themed desserts and non-alcoholic cocktails. They are promoting their off-network premiere of Curb Your Enthusiasm. The series premieres on TV Guide Network March 10 and 11, 2010. Cheryl Hines (Cheryl David) discusses her role on one of the most ground-breaking shows on television, which has never before been seen on basic cable television. TV Guide Network's Red Carpet hosts Carrie Ann Inaba (Dancing with the Stars) and Chris Harrison (The Bachelor) join the luncheon festivities to kick-off Award Season 2010, as The Golden Globes airs this Sunday.
    After lunch, the Travel Channel is up next announcing new series, America's Worst Driver, which takes viewers to America's most notorious driving cities where locals, nominated by their friends and family, will compete in various challenges, including obstacle courses and a destination challenge where their city streets become the drivers' worst nightmare.
    HBO follows with many announcements. Among them are movie Temple Grandin starring Claire Danes premiering in February, Treme a new series coming in April starring Wendell Pierce, the special A Family Is A Family Is A Family: A Rosie O'Donnell Celebration launching Jan. 31, ten-part miniseries The Pacific from producers Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman premiering in March, Al Pacino stars in the film You Don't Know Jack premiering in spring, and The Ricky Gervais Show premieres Feb. 19, an animated version of the record-breaking podcasting series, the 13-episode half-hour comedy series is voiced by Ricky Gervais himself.

    The day ends with a reception with Discovery Networks, as 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of Discovery Communications. The company is hosting a cocktail party that will capture the spirit and evolution of Discovery's networks throughout the past 25 years, while highlighting elements of current programming through interactive experiences.
    Stay with us tomorrow for day two of the cable portion of the winter press tour.


    ABC has reportedly put upcoming midseason multi-camera sitcom Romantically Challenged starring Alyssa Milano, Kyle Bornheimer, and Kelly Stables on Mondays at 9:30pm starting April 5. This is not official yet, but advanced press listings show Dancing with the Stars being reduced to 90-minutes (8-9:30pm ET/PT) starting April 5 through and including May 17. That is 7 weeks and Romantically Challenged has a 7 episode order and is the only new sitcom left for ABC, so it makes sense. I think that is what will happen it seems. TheFutonCritic is among the outlets reporting this as well, but until ABC actually schedules it, it isn't official. So stay with us whenever ABC announces.
    Is this a good slot for Romantically Challenged? When do you think it should air? Please head on over to Twitter to follow us and then tweet us (@SitcomsOnline) what your thoughts of this move is. Should it air on ABC Comedy Wednesday instead? Or is Mondays following Dancing the better slot despite going head-to-head vs. The Big Bang Theory on CBS (Note: Big Bang will not be on at 9:30 the night Romantically Challenged supposedly launches)? I think it should air on Wednesdays instead, but at 9:30pm or 10pm instead (Ugly Betty should be done with its episode order by the end of March) of 8pm where currently repeats are airing. Tweet us!

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