Wednesday, February 18, 2009

7th Annual TV Land Awards Date Confirmed; Hallmark Acquires Movies; TMZ Renewed Through 2011

We were the first ones to announce the date for the 7th Annual TV Land Awards, but now TV Land has made it official and also announced a new venue for the awards. TV Land announced today that the seventh annual TV Land Awards will be taped at a new venue, The Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal Studios on Sunday, April 19. Last year's TV Land Awards was taped at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA. The telecast premieres in TV Land PRIME on Sunday, April 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Throughout the ninety-minute telecast, TV Land will honor legendary artists from both television and movies, feature exhilarating music as well as never-before-seen reunions of some of the most iconic celebrity casts from TV and movies, and of course, the fan favorite -- the perennial TV Land Awards parody that always highlights the year's pop culture moments.
We will have MUCH more on the TV Land Awards in the coming weeks, such as the honorees, the reunions, the parody, and of course the host!

Hallmark Channel saddles up for more "Rough 'n' Ready" weeks and more mystery movie marathons with the acquisition of the Emmy Award-nominated CBS mini-series Comanche Moon and two additional CBS Stone Cold movies starring Tom Selleck, all from Sony Pictures Television, for air on The Hallmark Channel.
In addition, the acquisition deal brings a roster of 18 classic musicals to Hallmark Movie Channel, the spinoff network. Titles in the deal for Hallmark Movie Channel the 24-hour sibling network to Hallmark Channel which airs "the very best" of family friendly theatrical feature films include Bye, Bye Birdie, starring Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret and Maureen Stapleton; Funny Lady, starring Barbra Streisand, James Caan, Omar Sharif, Roddy McDowall and Ben Vereen; Oliver!, starring Oliver Reed and Jack Wild; Pal Joey, starring Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak; and, Pennies From Heaven, starring Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong. The musicals will become part of a franchised block on Hallmark Movie Channel.
As for The Hallmark Channel, it is known for its success in programming a uniquely appealing mix of original movies like the four original holiday premieres which each delivered over a 3.0 HH rating the very best of family-friendly theatrical feature films; and, a line-up of classic and beloved off-network series including 7th Heaven, Little House on the Prairie, M*A*S*H, and The Golden Girls which begins March 1.

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD) has renewed its entertainment news half-hour, TMZ through 2011 in nearly 100% of the country, reports B&C.
In November, Warner Bros. announced that the Fox station group had picked up TMZ for two more years. The Fox stations served as the show's launch pad in Sept. 2007. Over the past four months, the following station groups also have reupped: Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Broadcasting, Barrington Broadcasting, ComCorp, ACME Television, Grant Communications, Gray Television, Raycom, Hoak Media, LIN TV, Lambert Broadcasting, Newport Television, Max Media, Media General, Meredith, New Age Media, New Vision Television, Newport Television, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Northwest Broadcasting, Pappas Telecasting and Smith Media, among others.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Comcast onDemand's TubeTime Adds More Series, Removes Some; Comcast onDemand's TheWB Adds More; Scrubs Returns Tonight

Comcast onDemand's channel TubeTime, owned by Sony Pictures Television, has added four more series to its onDemand slate this past week. Gidget, The Larry Sanders Show, The Three Stooges, and Sanford & Son have been added with the first four episodes of each series. Now gone from the service are Silver Spoons and One Day at a Time. It is unfortunate because they didn't get to finish the run on either. They even had episodes beyond season one for those two, and both haven't had any DVD releases after season one. Still on the service will be The Facts of Life, Who's the Boss?, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and Party of Five. It's nice Facts of Life and Who's the Boss? are still on it since they are on seasons 5 and 4 respectively, and they haven't been released on DVD after seasons 3 and 1 respectively. I don't understand a few of these additions to the slate like Sanford & Son, which is already complete on DVD and is on television on TV Land & TV One. It would have been better if they kept Silver Spoons or One Day at a Time. What would have been better was if they added Sanford Arms or Sanford instead of the heavily seen Sanford & Son. What I'd like to see return or come to TubeTime: Diff'rent Strokes, Silver Spoons, One Day at a Time, What's Happening Now!!, Benson, Maude, 227, Archie Bunker's Place, Sanford, Sanford Arms, Grady, Hello Larry, Checking In and more. All of those are from Sony Pictures, so they could come. We'll keep you up to date as always.

Sticking with more Comcast onDemand news...a few weeks ago we told you that Comcast has added TheWB onDemand channel to its onDemand service. They launched with Warner Bros. owned series Martin, All of Us, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and Jack & Bobby. More episodes of those shows are added each week, and this week they added three more series to the onDemand channel! Three dramas from this decade have been added: One Tree Hill, The O.C., and Veronica Mars. The first 5 or 6 episodes of those were added, while the existing series are now up to the first 8 episodes. So far they seem to be skewing with the newer series, with Mr. Cooper and Martin as their oldest series. Hopefully they add more sitcoms, and more from the past. Some shows hat would be perfect for this service would be Alice, Perfect Strangers, Hogan Family, Head of the Class, Welcome Back Kotter Gilligan's Island, and Chico and the Man. Just my thoughts. All of those are not seen anywhere nationally. Hopefully some of those will come soon. We'll let you know if we get further updates.

Just a reminder that Scrubs returns for an all-new season, its eighth season, tonight at 9pm with two back-to-back episodes...on ABC! I saw both episodes last month, and they were pretty funny, especially the first one...check out my comments. I was never big on this show but did watch a handful of episodes in the past.
Also premiering tonight leading into Scrubs at 8pm ET will be Homeland Security USA, a look at how the Homeland Security Division does its job. It is pretty interesting. I also saw that premiere a few weeks back and I think many will like it also...check out my comments.
Finally, I have to mention this because I'm from the town, but Primetime: What Would You Do? returns tonight at 10pm on ABC and will feature my town of Linden, NJ! I am so actually excited. What Would You Do? explores how people react when they witness blatant racial discrimination. In this scenario, Latino men and women attempt to place an order in broken English at All Aboard Bagel and Deli in downtown Linden, NJ. But their requests are met by extreme prejudice from the cashier. Hidden cameras capture how customers respond to the scenario. Find out what happens tonight at 10pm.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

SOAPnet September Fall 2008 Schedule; Bernie Mac Tribute on Larry King Live TONIGHT; Slight Nick at Nite Change; Sony's Cross-Country Seinfeld Tour

This September on SOAPnet, two shows will be expiring while we get two marathons. First, the shows expiring are Dallas and Melrose Place. Dallas was airing weeknights at 4:00am, and it will be replaced by I Wanna Be A Soap Star effective September 1. Melrose Place was airing weekdays at 11am and 12 noon, and it will be leaving effective Sept. 15 being replaced by more Beverly Hills 90210. Melrose Place joined the SOAPnet line-up in September 2004, so its four-year term was up and SOAPnet did not renew.
As for other schedule changes...there isn't much. An extra One Tree Hill will be added on Saturday mornings at 7am, so it will air back-to-back from 7-9am on Saturdays now. And on Sundays two more back-to-back episodes will air from 10am-12pm replacing a Movie.
As for September stunts, on Labor Day, SOAPnet will have a 24-hour marathon of Beverly Hills 90210 titled "The BFF's of BH." The marathon starts Sunday, Aug. 31 at 11:59pm and runs until 11:59pm on Monday, Sept. 1! SOAPnet will air the ABC fall preview special a few times as well. The special focuses on ABC's Wednesday night dramas (Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Dirty Sexy Money) and is titled ABC Wednesday Night Starter Kit. We will have more details on that special in our yearly Fall Previews Special post in the coming weeks. Airings on SOAPnet are Saturday, Sept. 13 at 4:30pm and Friday, September 26 at 5:00am.
Finally, SOAPnet will air all 10 first season episodes of the ABC drama Dirty Sexy Money on Saturday, September 27 from 9am-7pm. The marathon is just in time for the second season premiere on ABC on Wednesday, October 1 at 10pm ET/PT. This is a must see series as The Darlings family is today's version of The Carringtons or the Ewings...so if you have not seen an episode yet, this is your chance to catch up since it is only 10 episodes and get ready to watch season two on ABC!
View the full SOAPnet September 2008 fall line-up.

The "Original Kings of Comedy" remember the late Bernie Mac tonight on Larry King Live at 9pm ET on CNN. D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer and Steve Harvey come together to pay tribute to the comedian only on Larry King Live. It will encore at 12 midnight ET, if you miss it.

Late yesterday afternoon Nick at Nite announced the Mon-Thurs 8:30pm slot would go back to Nickelodeon effective immediately. As a result, Family Matters will not air in that slot anymore, and the Nickelodeon sitcom Drake & Josh will air instead. Sorry we couldn't give you notice yesterday, but we did post it on our message boards. Family Matters is doing very well on Nick at Nite and will continue in its other time slots.

Today Sony Pictures Television (SPT) will set out on a 26-city, 10,000 mile "Seinfeld Campus Tour" in a 60-foot long Seinfeld branded, bio-diesel fueled bus experience designed to integrate the show directly into the digital, on-the-move, multi-tasking lifestyle of college students and members of the 70 million plus millennial demographic.
In addition to numerous tailored promotional events during the "The Seinfeld Campus Tour," participants coast-to-coast will have access the fully-equipped tour bus, wherein they can enjoy Seinfeld-inspired snacks and engage in a wide-variety of Seinfeld-themed experiences.
In its current season in syndication, Seinfeld consistently ranks as the #1 off-network comedy across all key men and adult demographics, and still stands as one of the highest rated of any off-net sitcom on television with airings on both broadcast stations and TBS. It airs in 197 markets, covering 99% of the country. Seinfeld has been renewed for a third cycle by its stations and second cycle in cable, keeping the show on the air through 2011.
View more information on this Seinfeld Campus tour!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

TidalTV.com Adds Classic Sony TV Series Episodes; ION Confirms RHI Series on Fridays

TidalTV, Inc. (www.tidaltv.com), a new online service which offers free access to programming from television and the web, announced today the addition of Sony Pictures Television's popular television series to the TidalTV channel lineup.
Over 500 full-length episodes from the series that defined American television, including Married... with Children, Party of Five, Bewitched, The Facts of Life and more, are now playing on TidalTV. See George Clooney on The Facts of Life, Alyssa Milano on Who's the Boss?, Christina Applegate on Married... with Children all over again!
TidalTV also features "The Minisode Network," which offers the Sony shows you love -- only shorter! These pint-sized programming portions are the perfect snack during your lunch hour at the office or while relaxing at home.
Coming up in July, viewers can catch TidalTV's famous guest stars programming block with appearances from Mr. T, Ben Stiller, Jason Bateman, Milla Jovovich and more on shows including Who's the Boss?, Diff'rent Strokes and Silver Spoons. In addition, TidalTV will air its "Battle of the Blondes" programming special featuring action-packed episodes of Charlie's Angels, V.I.P. and T.J. Hooker.
Currently you can see full episodes of Battledome, Dilbert, Jack Chan Adventures, One Day at a Time, Party of Five, T.J. Hooker, The Facts of Life, plus the Minisode Network featuring more Sony classics!
That's www.tidaltv.com, please check it out and visit it everyday for your favorite classic Sony TV shows!

About two weeks ago we gave you ION Television's August 2008 highlights & line-up and we mentioned Flash Gordon and The 10th Kingdom coming to Fridays. Now ION has confirmed that. Two of RHI Entertainment's most popular productions will be seen on the ION Television Network's RHI Movie Weekend beginning Friday, August 1 (7/6c). Flash Gordon, a 22-hour adventure series, and The 10th Kingdom, a 10-hour fantasy saga, will be featured weekly in a two-hour Friday evening programming block. The special broadcasts begin August 1 with Episodes 1 and 2 of Flash Gordon. Starting August 8, ION Television will pair one hour of Flash Gordon with one hour of The 10th Kingdom each week from 7-9pm ET/PT.
Flash Gordon scored with viewers when it originally aired on Sci Fi Channel in the summer of 2007, delivering the network's best series premiere telecast for 2007. Flash Gordon is produced by Reunion Pictures. The producers are Matthew O’Connor and Tom Rowe.
John Larroquette, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Ann Margret, Rutger Hauer, Camryn Manheim, Ed O'Neil, and Dianne Wiest are among the Emmy, Oscar and Golden Globe-winning talent headlining an all-star cast in The 10th Kingdom, a 10-hour miniseries that premiered on NBC in February 2000. The upcoming broadcast on ION Television marks the first time the series has ever been seen in one-hour segments in the U.S.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

BET Adds Diff'rent Strokes, Malcolm and Eddie, Sanford, Thea; Remembering David Groh

Happy President's Day! We salute this holiday with some great sitcom news! I'm not sure if many of you know, but BET does air some sitcoms currently. They air Jamie Foxx Show, Wayans Bros., and In Living Color on weekdays and The Parkers and Girlfriends in blocks and marathons. Now more sitcoms are coming! BET will add the classic '80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes to their line-up starting TOMORROW (Tuesday, Feb. 19). The show will air weekday mornings at 9:00am and 9:30am. Catch Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson from the beginning as BET will bring you the show in order starting with the first episode. This is not confirmed yet, but starting the week of Feb. 25 the show could also air at 3:00pm and 3:30pm, but we will let you know if that is the case. It won't air in that slot this week, we know that...so catch it in the mornings! Now the world don't move!

Also joining BET's weekday line-up tomorrow is the '90s sitcom Malcolm & Eddie. Don't miss the hilarious adventures of Malcolm McGee and his roommate Eddie Sherman...starring Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Eddie Griffin. The show will air right after Diff'rent Strokes in the mornings at 10:00am and 10:30am. It will also air at 4:00pm and 4:30pm, with an encore of the morning airings at 11:00pm and 11:30pm. As with Diff'rent Strokes, you can catch this show in order starting from the very first episode.

So what will happen to BET's other sitcoms because of this? You can catch The Jamie Foxx Show weeknight at midnight-1am and The Wayans Bros. from 3-4am weeknights. While In Living Color will air on weekends in a weekend block with two other new additions (see below). Girlfriends and The Parkers can still be seen in marathons and special blocks. Upcoming marathons for them include: The Parkers will get a President's Day marathon today from 10am-7pm, as BET promises to keep you laughing 9 hours straight with The Parkers BET marathon. Tune in for laughs from funny lady, Mo'Nique. Girlfriends will get a 12-hour marathon this Saturday (February 23) from 9am-9pm.

I mentioned earlier that the sketch comedy In Living Color will move to weekends only now. This change will happen the weekend of March 1. I believe one episode will air with an encore each weekend. Kicking off the weekend block is the BET return of the short-lived 1980 sitcom, Sanford. BET aired reruns of this short-lived sitcom in the past and now it makes its return! Redd Foxx brought back the irascible Watts junkman, Fred Sanford three years after leaving Sanford and Son. With Lamont away in Alaska, Fred was still trading barbs with Aunt Esther, along with a new cast of characters, including his roly-poly business partner Cal and a wealthy widow named Evelyn. 26 episodes were created. You can catch Sanford on BET late nights on Saturdays at 2:30am starting March 1 with an encore on Sunday mornings at 11:30am. Following Sanford, it is another short-lived sitcom and another show from BET's past, Thea! The short-lived 1993 ABC sitcom makes its return on BET with its 22 episodes. The show is about a widow that keeps her four kids in line with discipline and lots of love while holding down two jobs. It was the first series for Brandy Norwood and stars Thea Vidale. Thea will air Saturday nights at 3:00am and Sunday afternoons at 12 noon.
Following Sanford and Thea on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons is the aforementioned In Living Color at 3:30am on Saturday nights and 12:30pm Sunday afternoons.

BET is certainly getting better and we will keep an eye on them. All of its newest acquisitions (Diff'rent Strokes, Malcolm & Eddie, Sanford, Thea) are from Sony Pictures Television, which is a sign maybe they have some sort of deal with them. Let's hope more sitcoms join. If we have any updates, we will bring them to you, but for now discuss this great news HERE!


We leave you today with some sad news. David Groh best known for his role on the 1970's TV sitcom Rhoda as Rhoda's husband, died of kidney cancer last Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Groh became an instant celebrity in 1974 when he starred as the easygoing Joe Gerard opposite Valerie Harper's neurotic Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show spin-off. But by the third season of Rhoda the couple divorced and he was off the show. He has also guest starred on other series (mainly dramas) such as Police Story, Fantasy Island, Trapper John MD, Buck Rogers, Hotel, Simon & Simon, Kate & Allie, Hunter, LA Law, Spenser: Fore Hire, Room for Two, Sisters, Jake and the Fatman, Melrose Place, Baywatch, Law & Order, VIP, Walker Texas Ranger, and was a regular on Black Scorpion. On daytime TV he played D.L. Brock on General Hospital in the 80s. Groh appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon's Chapter Two and in Twilight of the Golds in 1993. He also had film roles in Two-Minute Warning (1976) and A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich (1978), among others. One of his last roles was a guest appearance on the sitcom Girlfriends.
David will certainly be missed by fans of Rhoda and other programs he appeared in. Mr. Groh was only 68.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Day 65: WGA's Strike; Sony's Minisodes Now on YouTube; Remembering Bill Idelson

It is day 65 of the strike and now the Golden Globe Awards are canceled. NBC pulled the plug on its traditional Golden Globe Awards telecast scheduled for this Sunday, instead an hour-long live newscast will air at 9PM ET in which the winners in 25 film and TV categories will be announced.
The Writers Guild of America and legendary United Artists Films have reached a mutually beneficial independent agreement. While the details are not being disclosed in this announcement, the comprehensive agreement addresses the issues important to writers, including New Media.
In other strike news, Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno will appear on each other's shows this Thursday! The two have formed a friendship during the strike. Jimmy will come on The Tonight Show taping then Jay will return the favor and appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live later that night. Leno's show tapes earlier in the day while Kimmel tapes at 7pm PT. The Tonight Show airs at 11:35pm on NBC then you can switch over to Jimmy Kimmel Live at 12:06am on ABC to see Jay.

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) announced the debut of the first of several YouTube Brand Channels at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show. The first of the ad-supported Channels will be The Minisode Network (TMN), launched yesterday.
With its launch on YouTube, The Minisode Network, which delivers approximately five-minute versions of popular television shows, will grow from 18 to 21 series with the addition of Married...With Children, NewsRadio and a new animation block. Additionally, TMN has begun acquiring programs from other companies, including a recent deal with World Events Productions, distributors of Voltron and Saber Rider.
Other Sony Pictures Television channels available in the future at YouTube are expected to include original content from a variety of genres.
Check out The Minisode Network on YouTube by clicking HERE! You'll also see sitcoms such as Bewitched, 227, What's Happening!!, Diff'rent Strokes, Facts of Life, Silver Spoons and The Jeffersons.

Bill Idelson, an actor, television writer and producer who as a teenager played the son on the classic radio show Vic and Sade and later played the recurring role of Rose Marie's mother-dominated boyfriend on TV's The Dick Van Dyke Show, has died. He had been hospitalized since June after breaking his hip, died of complications from the injury Monday at a Los Angeles hospital.
Idelson appeared in episodes of dozens of television series, including Dragnet, Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, My Favorite Martian, The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Will & Grace, My Three Sons, Leave it to Beaver, and most recently on The War at Home.
He has written for a lot of TV shows too, such as The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Twilight Zone, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., The Andy Griffith Show, Get Smart, The Odd Couple, The Bob Newhart Show, M*A*S*H, Happy Days, Punky Brewster, Bewitched, The Flintstones and many more.
He was also a television producer. Among his credits are The Bob Newhart Show, Anna and the King, The McLean Stevenson Show, Love, American Style and others.
He will certainly be missed as he made his mark certainly in the television world. Mr. Idelson was 88.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Writers Strike Is On; Barney Miller Returns on DVD; ABC Schedule Update

It is now Monday and there has been no settlement for the Hollywood Writers. Which means the Writers Guild of America is on strike. Writers' demands for a bigger slice of DVD profits and revenue from the distribution of films and TV shows over the Internet has been a key issue. Let's hope we get a settlement very soon and this doesn't last long so we don't miss out on our favorite TV shows. The last strike was in 1988, but it wasn't in the middle of a TV season like this will be. This strike will affect sitcoms, dramas, late night talk shows, daytime soap operas and even movies. Reality shows, news-magazines and games shows will be the only genres really not affected. While we won't see sitcoms, dramas, movies and the soaps go off-air starting today (primetime shows probably have episodes lasting until January maybe, and the soaps probably another week or two), the late night talk shows will for sure have to stop immediately, as they air daily and are taped the same day. Look for reruns probably tonight for Letterman, Leno, Kimmel, etc. (although Kimmel might go on with him doing everything). The same thing for SNL and MADTV on Saturday nights.
We will keep you all up to date if there is any settlement or more bad news. Enjoy your favorite shows in the mean time.

Barney Miller - The Second Season DVD is due out on January 22, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. It has been nearly four years now since the first season set came out, so looks like Sony is giving it a second chance after low sales. If you're a fan of Hal Linden and gang, then you better buy this set or we will have to wait many more years for a third season. All 22 episodes will be available on a 3-disc set lasting approx. 550 minutes. So get your hash brownies ready for that date in January...wait forget the hash brownies (that is a season three episode), but be ready on Jan. 22! This information should be official very soon, so don't take it as official news until then.

ABC is pulling Big Shots for November 15. That night ABC will try a two-night event for Friday's new #1 show, Women's Murder Club. Murder Club will air following Grey's Anatomy on Nov. 15. The episode will have special guest star Jason Sehorn, in a football-themed episode. The next night, in its regular night & time, the show will have another new episode, Friday at 9. The earliest Big Shots could return is November 29, because on Nov. 22 ABC will launch the second season of October Road on a special night. I don't think Big Shots will be pulled or canned because of the Writers' Strike. So I think you will see Big Shots return for sure after its airing this Thursday at 10:07. The show has been steady the past few weeks averaging a little under 7.5 million...not good, but still doing good enough for now.
In other schedule news, ABC will air The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special at 10pm on Tuesday, Nov. 20, following Dancing with the Stars: The Results. This means the Boston Legal episode for that night will move to December 4.

Tonight we have nine sitcoms on the air! Yes, 9! CBS and The CW will have four each, both two-hour blocks start at 8/7 central. You'll see sitcoms such as Everybody Hates Chris, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and Two and a Half Men. ABC will have Samantha Who at a special time of 9:45/8:45 central. That episode looks to be the best yet for the show...The Virgin.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Remembering Joey Bishop; CBS Orders Full Season for Big Bang; Sony's Minisode Network and TubeTime Adds New Sitcoms

Yesterday we got word that the great Joey Bishop has passed away. Joey Bishop is of courser the stone-faced comedian who found success in nightclubs, television and movies but became most famous as a member of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack. He was the group's last surviving member. Peter Lawford died in 1984, Sammy Davis Jr. in 1990, Dean Martin in 1995, and Sinatra in 1998. Bishop died Wednesday night of multiple causes at his home in Newport Beach.
On television he had his own sitcom in the '60s titled The Joey Bishop Show that ran from 1961-1965 on NBC then ABC. He had a talk show by the same name, which was more popular, that aired on ABC and the announcer was Regis Philbin! Regis had this to day about Mr. Bishop: "It was the thrill of my life to be chosen by Joey as the announcer for his talk show on ABC back in the '60s. It was my introduction to the highly competitive late night show world. It was also an introduction to a show business I had never known: the Rat Pack era, the amazing talents of those performers who I probably never would have befriended without Joey. We walked every day before the show up Vine Street to Hollywood Boulevard and back to our studio for nearly three years. I learned a lot about the business of making people laugh. He was a master comedian and a great teacher and I will never forget those days or him."
Bishop has guest starred on TV series such as Chico and the Man, Get Smart, Trapper John M.D., and Murder, She Wrote. He has also filled-in many times for Johnny Carson as guest host on The Tonight Show.
He was a legend and will truly be missed by many. Mr. Bishop was 89.

CBS has given full season orders to its freshman comedy The Big Bang Theory and the drama The Unit. The Big Bang Theory becomes the first new comedy to receive a full season pickup. The new sitcom, a key newcomer to CBS's Monday comedy block, is averaging 8.97 million viewers, 4.3/10 in adults 25-54 and 3.6/09 in adults 18-49 in its Monday (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) time period. The Big Bang Theory has built on its How I Met Your Mother lead-in by +8% in households, +10% in adults 25-54, +9% in adults 18-49 and +10% in viewers. Veteran drama The Unit had only a 13 episode order coming into the season, but CBS has decided to give it the full 22 episode order after delivering its best ratings since February this past Tuesday.
ABC has given a full season pick-up to the Grey's Anatomy spin-off, Private Practice. Practice is the season's top new show in 18-49 and second in total viewers (to Samantha Who?, which only has aired one episode thus far).

Finally, Sony has announced a few things today. First, The Monkees is now on Comcast OnDemand's Tubetime service, joining other Sony classics such as Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, What's Happening!!, and Who's the Boss?
In other Sony news, this time we move over to the online area. As you all know, MySpace.com has a Minisode Network featuring classic Sony shows in a different way. The minisodes are not excerpts or clip jobs; they are edited in a way that compresses the story lines and enables the viewers to follow the plots from beginning to end in 4-6 minutes, rather than 30-60 minutes.
Starting on Monday, the mini-episodes will become available on a channel on Crackle, a Sony Web site, that will be sponsored by Pepsi-Cola. A 15-second ad for Pepsi-Cola will appear before each minisode. The channel is part of a campaign for a retro-look design for Pepsi packages, to go on sale next month, that will celebrate the venerable logos, slogans and commercial jingles for the brand. Bewitched will join the Minisode Network lineup as of Monday, along with shortened episodes of I Dream of Jeannie and The Jeffersons. Sony Pictures Television will also expand the network to two Web sites, AOL and Joost, where the minisodes will be sponsored by Honda. The bite-size shows also will begin running — without commercials, for now — on V Cast, the mobile video service from Verizon Wireless.
So will it still be on MySpace? Not sure, but my guess is, yes. So these three shows will join shows like Diff'rent Strokes, Silver Spoons, What's Happening!!, The Facts of Life, Who's the Boss?, Charlie's Angels and even Ricki Lake.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

AOL Video Adds Archie Bunker's Place, What's Happening Now!!, etc.; Nick at Nite Schedule; Fox Cuts Mid-Season Sitcom In Half

AOL's Funnybone channel, a channel dedicated to classic Sony comedies, has now added Archie Bunker's Place, What's Happening Now!!, Over the Top, Maude, & Square Pegs all in the last month or less. You can also watch newly added episodes of Just Shoot Me, Benson, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, What's Happening!!, and Married...with Children.
The Archie Bunker's Place episodes are the most unique since they are third season episodes, and of course that season not on DVD yet. Among the episodes you will see is the first pilot for Gloria that has been in the syndication package for Archie Bunker's Place. Other episodes include an episode with Reggie Jackson and an episode with Don Rickles. The What's Happening Now!! and Maude episodes are from the first season, which are on DVD already. Over the Top and Square Pegs are not on DVD yet, so they will be fun to see!

A new Nick at Nite schedule starts tonight. Yes, another one. Full House is back to start off each night, while an overnight marathon featuring shows like Fresh Prince, Roseanne, Cosby Show, and Full House from 3-6am will be on everynight. Click HERE for details.

Fox has cut the episode order for its midseason sitcom The Return of Jezebel James from 13 to 7 episodes, including the pilot. Fox says because it has a tight midseason schedule. Among the shows Fox has coming are returning hits 24 and American Idol along with newbies Unhitched, Canterbury's Law and New Amsterdam.
The sitcom stars Parker Posey as a New York book editor who realizes she wants a baby -- and asks her estranged sister (played by Lauren Ambrose) to carry it.
In other Fox news, Fox is expected to pick-up Back to You this week for a full season order. No doubt they will air it a few times at least after Idol to boost the show. Fox also might pick up a few extra scripts of struggling drama K-Ville. Why?

Tune in tonight to the premiere of the sitcom Samantha Who? at 9:30pm et/pt only on ABC! See our review from Saturday if you haven't already! Be good, Sam!

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

RTN Added in Green Bay, Adds Hip Hop Harry to Weekends; Seinfeld Last Season DVD and Complete Series DVD; Price and Wheel News

Retro Television Network (RTN) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to launch an RTN affiliate in Green Bay, adding more than 430,000 households to the network's viewing area. The new affiliate will launch Oct. 1 on WBAY-TV/DT, a digital stream of Young Broadcasting's ABC affiliate WBAY-TV.
"Our new agreement with RTN will allow WBAY-TV to provide the Green Bay market with a new viewing option that will be a complementary blend of the station's local programming and news with RTN's Prime Time all the Time classic hit show format," said Deb McDermott, President of Young Broadcasting.
Meanwhile, RTN announced today that it has acquired the over-the-air broadcast rights for weekend mornings for the Emmy-nominated children's show Hip Hop Harry. Under the terms of the agreement, the network will air the program on Saturday mornings in all RTN markets, beginning in mid-September. Hip Hop Harry is produced by C to the B Productions and is a musically-based, live action program designed to entertain, educate and inform pre-school aged children.

As we first announced this morning on our message board, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release the final season of Seinfeld on DVD on November 6 along with a huge complete series set featuring all nine seasons.
Seinfeld: Season 9 is a four-disc boxed set including all 24 episodes from the ninth and final season of the long-running series, including the finale that drew viewership numbers of over 75 million and hours of exclusive, never-before-seen bonus footage. The holiday must-have of the year, Seinfeld: The Complete Series, offers the ultimate and most comprehensive Seinfeld experience ever. The 32-disc, two-volume set offers 180 unforgettable episodes of the multiple Emmy® Award-winning show along with "The Official Coffee Table Book," a 226-page, bound anthology filled with photos, quotes, trivia from every episode, and personal reflections from Jerry. The collectible book also includes a bonus disc featuring "The Roundtable," an exciting hour-long round table discussion among the four cast and creator Larry David reminiscing about the award-winning show's run on air. A total of 104 hours of bonus features are included with Seinfeld: The Complete Series. also on Nov. 6. Sounds good! Read more about it and discuss here.

We end today with some classic game show news. CBS's Emmy-Award winning The Price is Right, with new host Drew Carey, will have its 36th season premiere on Monday, October 15 (11:00 AM-12:00 Noon, ET; 10:00-11:00 AM, PT), on the CBS Television Network. Carey was recently named host of television's long-running game show, succeeding former host Bob Barker, who retired in June after 35 years on the show.
The new season will start out with some exciting wins, as several contestants make some lucky spins on the big Wheel. Others have the chance to win some of the most expensive cars ever given away on the show, as well as trips to exotic locations and more amazing prizes. In addition, the familiar set has been refreshed to give it an updated look while keeping the recognizable Price is Right theme and appearance.
Meanwhile, Wheel of Fortune, which has ranked as television's #1 syndicated series every year since its premiere, marks its historic 25th season with all new shows beginning on Monday, September 10, 2007.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sony Classic TV Minisodes Launches Today, Full Details; Interviews with Marion Ross and Dan Lauria

MySpace today announced the exclusive debut of The Minisode Network, a selection of episodes from hit TV shows from the Sony Pictures Television library that have been pared down for the Internet audience. Each minisode is three to five minutes in length, and retains the full story arc of the original episode. Starting today, MySpace Video users can watch minisodes from each series at http://www.myspace.com/minisodenetwork.
The Minisode Network will launch with three episodes each from 15 classic series: The Partridge Family, Starsky & Hutch, TJ Hooker, Charlie's Angels, Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, Silver Spoons, Who's the Boss?, What's Happening!!, Dilbert, Sheena, Fantasy Island, Police Woman, VIP and Ricki Lake. New minisodes will be added weekly with more than 500 episodes available by the end of the year.
Among the classic episodes include the famous "Angels in Chains" episode of Charlie's Angels, "Shoplifting" episode of The Facts of Life and "The Spanking" episode of Diff'rent Strokes!
To discuss this news and to read the full press release, click HERE.

Eric's JustMyShow.com Podcast is back for episode 14 and it features interviews with a classic TV mom and a classic TV dad...and the best part is both are sitcom stars! The guests are Marion Ross from Happy Days and Dan Lauria from The Wonder Years.
Marion Ross is one of TV's most beloved moms for her 11 years as "Mrs. C" on Happy Days. A five-time Emmy nominee, Ross also starred in the critically acclaimed series Brooklyn Bridge and had a recurring role on The Drew Carrey Show. She was most recently seen on an episode of the current ABC drama Brothers & Sisters.
Dan Lauria is best known to audiences as Jack Arnold, Fred Savage's TV dad on The Wonder Years. A former Marine, Lauria gives his time to various veteran causes. When he's not appearing on TV & film, he's focusing on his first love, the theater.
Head on over to JustMyShow's 14th episode listen to these two great interviews! There are bonus clips as well that you will for sure want to listen to. Good job once again to our buddy Eric!

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Friday, June 15, 2007

TV One July Highlights; Nick at Nite, The N Changes; Honda Sponsors Sony Minisodes

There are not many highlights related to actual TV series for TV One in July, but we do have some. Here are some:
On Sunday, July 8 at 8pm, TV One premieres the legendary mini-series Roots: The Next Generations, the 14-hour, 7-part sequel to the original Roots miniseries that made television history. The story picks up in 1882 just after the original left off where Tom Harvey, the great grandson of Kunta Kinte has established a marginal existence as a blacksmith in Henning, Tennessee. The series continues the story of author Alex Haley’s family line from the Post American Civil War era to Alex’s search for his genealogical roots which led him to Africa. The mini-series stars Georg Stanford Brown, Lynne Moody, Debbi Morgan, Henry Fonda, Stan Shaw, Irene Cara, Marlon Brando, Paul Winfield, Ruby Dee, and James Earl Jones as Alex Haley. The first six parts air at 8pm all week through Friday, with encore showings at 10pm and in the weekday noon movie slots. They will also re-air on Saturday, July 14 from 12 noon to midnight. The final part will air Sunday night, July 15 also at 8pm and 10pm – and will be repeated on Monday, July 16 at 9pm.
Beginning Sunday, July 29 from 2am-6am, In the House replaces Amen in TV One’s Sunday weekly overnight comedy mini-marathons.

Nick at Nite has made a minor change for Saturday, June 23. From 10pm-2am, they have scheduled a mini-marathon for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. What else is new, though?
The week of June 18, The N will air overnight marathons of the teen drama Summerland from 12-3am, but Monday it will be 12-6am.

Next week Sony will officially announce the full details for the Sony minisodes we mentioned a few weeks back. Today, Sony said Honda will be the sole sponsor for the short episodes. It is scheduled to begin next week. Visitors to the MySpace Web site will be able to watch episodes of 15 (initially...more will come soon) vintage Sony series like Charlie's Angels, Police Woman, The Partridge Family, Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, Silver Spoons, What's Happening!!, Fantasy Island and Who's the Boss?, edited from their original lengths of approx. 30 or 60 minutes each to an Internet-friendly 4 to 6 minutes.
Honda and its longtime agency, RPA, have agreed to run only eight seconds of commercials with each episode, appearing before the shortened show starts. First, there will be an on-screen billboard lasting three seconds, declaring, "The Minisode Network, brought to you by Honda." The billboard will be followed by a five-second commercial for the Honda Fit, the mini-car that American Honda introduced last year, and its website.
The minisodes will appear exclusively on MySpace through the end of August. Initially, there will be three episodes of each series, with new episodes to be added each week. Sony Pictures Television announced the idea in April, describing it as a way to re-purpose for the new media programming that was originally produced for the traditional media.
The minisodes are not intended as pastiches or excerpts; they are edited carefully so the plots can be followed from beginning to end. (It helps that many of the series are formulaic sitcoms or police dramas.)
After the exclusivity with MySpace ends the goal is for the minisodes to come to other websites while remaining on MySpace. Sony Pictures Television is looking at sites like AOL.com, Yahoo! and YouTube, as well as posting them on a micro-site, a special site of their own.

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Monday, April 30, 2007

Classic TV "Minisodes" Coming Online Soon; Paul Lynde Halloween Special to DVD in the Fall

The Sony Corporation and its production studio, Sony Pictures Television, which controls the rights to those and many other class television shows, have come up with condensed episodes from three and a half to five minutes of classic Sony TV shows such as Charlie's Angels, T.J. Hooker, Starsky & Hutch and even talk show Ricki Lake! Sony even has a name for these shrunken slices of television nostalgia: minisodes.
Sony Television is planning in June to introduce an Internet-based service called the Minisode Network, initially offering the mini-shows for an exclusive run on MySpace (The company may consider establishing a separate Internet channel called the Minisode Network later.). These are not clips of the shows, but actual episodes with beginnings, middles and ends, all told in under six minutes.
Hopefully we have some sitcoms in there that are currently not airing such as Diff'rent Strokes, Silver Spoons, Facts of Life, Benson, etc. Read more at the New York Times. Bill Carter wrote the story.

S'more Entertainment will soon be releasing a lot of DVDs. One of them will be The Paul Lynde Halloween Special from such shows like Bewitched. On October 2, they'll be releasing the amazingly bizarre, iconic and special as a single DVD at $14.99. Not only is the resplendent Lynde in fine form in this October 1976 TV special, he's joined by Margaret Hamilton (who dons the entire costume from The Wizard of Oz for the only time since the original 1939 release, including the green make-up). She is joined by Witchie Poo (Billie Hayes) from H.R. Pufnstuf playing her 'sister', Tim Conway, Donny and Marie Osmond, Billy Barty, Roz "Pinkie Tuscadero" Kelly", Betty White, Florence Henderson and as musical guests...KISS, in their first TV appearance!
KISS performs 3 songs and the footage of them on stage 'talking' with Lynde is priceless.
S'more also has a deal with DiC to release such animated shows as The Littles and The Get-Along Gang. And they will be releasing more series in the future, which I'm sure many of us will be glad to have. We'll let you know as soon as they make it official!
Thanks Arny and S'more!

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Monday, April 23, 2007

More on This Week's 'Cosby' Marathon; Sony Continues to Release New Sitcom DVDs

Due to popular demand, people wanted to know what night each of the Cosby Show kids will be hosting in the Huxta-palooza marathon we announced last week. Lisa Bonet (Denise Huxtable) starts the event with "Denise Monday," which runs from 9 p.m. to midnight and encores immediately. Then it is "Rudy Tuesday" (mocking the restaurant Ruby Tuesday?) with Keisha Knight Pulliam (Rudy Huxtable) doing the honors from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and encores immediately. "Vanessa Vednesday" lets Tempestt Bledsoe (Vanessa Huxtable) take center stage from 9 p.m. to midnight with an encore immediately following until 3 a.m. "Theo Thursday," is a showcase for Malcolm-Jamal Warner (Theo Huxtable) from 9 p.m. to midnight with an encore immediately following. "Sondra Friday" lets Sabrina Le Beauf (Sondra) share her memories from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
And as we mentioned last week, the fun doesn't end there. The marathon will share never-before-seen interviews with the actors. Saturday and Sunday the gang all come together for the weekend.
"Saturday Night Dance Party" gathers the five episodes with the best dancing; they screen from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. And "Guest-Star Sunday" on April 29, the actors recall their five favorite episodes with guest stars. Those installments will screen from 9 to 11:30 p.m. It should be a fun week with nice treats!

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has been pretty good in 2007 with new sitcom DVDs. We have gotten first season sets of Maude, One Day at a Time, Mary Hartman, and both What's Happening Now!! and Silver Spoons are coming in June. They are pretty slow to release second seasons or subsequent seasons still, though. But more new DVDs are on the way in July with the '80s classic Benson (July 24)! Bewitched returns with its fifth season DVD on July 10 and the police drama The Rookies comes to DVD for the first time on July 17.
They have been pretty quick with shows like Seinfeld, The Facts of Life Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and have finished series such as Sanford & Son, Good Times, Soap, and What's Happening!! but there are some series which they are so slow on such as All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Partridge Family, The Nanny, and Diff'rent Strokes. And then there are the series that they seemed to have abandoned after just one set, such as 227, Who's the Boss?, Barney Miller, and Archie Bunker's Place. Let's hope the new sets of 2007 do not go that route.

It has been a good 2007 for new Sony sets, and let's hope we get some more as well in addition to the first sets. I personally am hoping for: Dennis the Menace, Father Knows Best, My Two Dads, Square Pegs and Designing Women. Most of my favorites came in 2007 or are coming (What's Happening Now!!, Silver Spoons, Benson, One Day at a Time), so I'm pumped! And as for series spin-offs, cross-over series, follow-up series, and shows like that, I'd like to see these come to DVD: Checking In (Jeffersons spin-off), Fernwood2Night (Mary Hartman spin-off), Fish (Barney Miller spin-off), Gloria (Archie Bunker's Place spin-off), Grady (Sanford & Son spin-off), Hello Larry (Diff'rent Strokes cross-over series), One in a Million (What's Happening!!'s Shirley Hemphill starred), Sanford (new show starring Redd Foxx from Sanford & Son), Sanford Arms (Sanford & Son spin-off). Some of those are long shots.
And of course it wouldn't hurt to get more sets of the shows they have already released...like Diff'rent Strokes Season 3!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

ION Television May Highlights; Pick Your Favorite 'Queens' Episode for Week of May 7

ION Television has released its May schedule and highlights and there are no changes, as of now. They just made changes in April, so I wasn't expecting any changes. I think we will see changes in June or July next, when the weekend primetime RHI programming starts. Could that mean they will expand to more hours by then? Personally I'm hoping for at least 3-11PM on weekdays. They could do a nice family sitcom block from 3-5PM, followed by a family drama at 5 and then sitcoms and Diagnosis Murder from 6-11PM. Just my take. Anyway, as for May, there are no changes but the weekend movies include the classic '80s movie Short Circuit and a few golden classics such as Jet Pilot from 1957 and Cheyenne Autumn from 1964. ION has also edited the movies a bit for April adding the original Ocean's Eleven from 1960 for this Sunday (April 15).
To see the ION May highlights, click HERE.

The King of Queens returned last night for its 200th episode and its final 7 episodes before leaving the air on May 14. In anticipation for the finale, Sony Pictures is asking to pick your top 5 episodes of all-time to air during the week of May 7 in national syndication.
For the first time ever, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) -- with the help of the 208 affiliates in 98% of the country carrying the highly-rated sitcom in syndication -- will ask fans to vote for their favorite "The King of Queens Viewers Choice" episodes and have their selections subsequently air in national syndication.
Beginning Monday, April 16, through Friday, April 27, "The King of Queens Viewers Choice" episodes will be posted on Yahoo! TV. For reference, twelve of the most popular episodes from the past eight seasons, along with brief descriptions and clips, will be displayed to make the process of voting more entertaining. In addition, The King of Queens stations' websites will be directly connected with the SPT's www.thekingofqueens.com site, giving voters yet another method to cast their ballot. On Monday, April 30, at the conclusion of the internet polling from all internet sources, the votes from each venue will be tabulated, and the "top five" list will be created.
In addition, viewers will also have a chance to "see where it all began" when stations across the country broadcast the pilot episode on May 14, the same day as the nine-year network series finale broadcasts on CBS.
So your top 5 will air each day the week of May 7. Also, you can win prizes for participating. To find out the complete details including the list of episodes to choose from, the prizes, and more, click HERE.

If we have more news we will come back, as it is still early. Stay tuned tomorrow for our pilot review of Notes from the Underbelly, premiering Thursday at 10 on ABC, with airings Wednesdays at 8:30 following the premiere.

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