Friday, June 05, 2009

TV One July 2009; ABC Moves Goode Family and Suburbia to Fridays

This July 2009 on TV One, it is going to be pretty slow. We gave you the TV One June 2009 highlights already, and at the end we mentioned a Martin Independence Day marathon is scheduled for July 3 starting at 8pm last until 8pm the following day. But now we have the rest of July. There are no schedule changes, so the schedule that started in June with the additions of That's My Mama! and Like Family, will continue (see the June schedule link above for more).
The only highlight worth mentioning for TV One July is on Friday, July 24 beginning at 10pm when TV One presents the "Living Single: Queen For A Day Mega-Thon" featuring episodes of the long-running sitcom focusing on Queen Latifah's character Khadijah James in a 24-hour mega-thon event.
The other highlights are for movies and original series, but that doesn't concern us really. Stay tuned if anything changes, if not see for the August highlights in a month!

ABC has moved animated comedy The Goode Family and sitcom Surviving Suburbia from Wednesdays to Fridays effective next week. This coming Wednesday (June 10) will see two episodes of the summer megahit Wipeout at 8pm and 9pm, before the season premiere of I Survived a Japanese Game Show launches on June 17 at 9pm out of new episodes of Wipeout at 8pm. Japanese Game Show was previously not launching its new season until July 8, so this is 3 weeks ahead of schedule due to the ratings bombs of Goode and Suburbia. I think I was the first one to mention the possibility of Japanese Game Show launching June 17, a few days ago on our message boards. And I was right!
Starting next Friday (June 12), we will now see the remaining new episodes of Surviving Suburbia at 8pm, followed by The Goode Family at 8:30pm, and back-to-back repeats of Samantha Who? are still slated to air on June 12 and 19 from 9-10pm, before According to Jim repeats take over on June 26.
Suburbia is not going to air Fridays at 9:30pm as previously announced starting July 3, at least not on July 3 because ABC announced another According to Jim repeat will air then. After that week, I would guess no, and Jim would continue to air for an hour instead. Nevertheless, Fridays is now a full night of comedies! We like that! Tune in!
In other ABC updates, ABC will launch the third season of the hidden camera comedy Just for Laughs airing a half-hour a week on Sundays at 7pm starting Sunday, June 21. An abbreviated half-hour repeat of AFV will follow each week. It is unclear how many episodes are airing, but the two past seasons had 13 episodes each.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

ION Switches Reba and Feud; ABC Summer Sitcom Changes; Remembering Michael Ross

We gave you details on ION Television's June 2009 line-up already with the addition of Ghost Whisperer to the Monday night line-up starting June 1, but now they have made a switcharoo on weekdays that will start June 8. Reba will now move to weeknights in the 6pm hour, as Family Feud now switches to the 7pm hour. The switch was made due to Reba's poor ratings and also because Lifetime airs the series at the same time. Now ION will air the sitcom in the 6pm hour, an hour before Lifetime starts their 7-9pm weeknight block of Reba. Family Feud will air on most nights in the 7pm hour on weeknights, especially Mondays and Tuesday, but the other nights on weeknights you can see a movie start earlier.
View the full updated ION Television June 2009 line-up. We will have more on ION next week with their July line-up. We mentioned before ER would return to weekdays starting June 29, but now we hear that is not happening. What will happen? Come on back next week and see!

We have lots of ABC sitcom news for the summer for you today. First off, we have some breaking news. Just premiered animated comedy The Goode Family will air an additional episode at 9:30pm this coming Wednesday (June 3) instead of a new episode of Surviving Suburbia. The Goode Family will also air in its regular 9:00pm Wednesday time slot on this date as well. Why? Ratings. Suburbia did terrible and was pulled right away, but The Goode Family didn't do that hot either losing a lot from the big lead-in from Wipeout, but ABC is giving it more of a chance. If this change does better, expect ABC to double-pump The Goode Family until further notice to perhaps complete more of its 13 episode-run. Originally only 6 were slated to air.
We previously reported that the three remaining episodes of In the Motherhood would air Fridays at 9:30pm starting June 5. Now that isn't happening. ABC will double-pump repeats of Samantha Who? for three weeks in the Friday 9pm hour on June 5, 12 and 19 now instead. Then Samantha Who? will move to Thursdays at 8pm starting June 25, with new episodes (it has 7 episodes left to air). In the Motherhood will air its three remaining episodes at 8:30pm on Thursdays on June 25, July 2 & 9. It is unclear what will air in the 8:30pm slot thereafter, but it will likely be more Samantha Who? ABC has not announced what will air Thursdays 9-11pm yet starting June 25, as I doubt we get both Grey's and Private Practice repeats...maybe just Grey's and something like new crime drama Castle repeats? Then on Fridays at 9 starting June 26, we get According to Jim repeats on a new night and time (Remember the series finale is this Tuesday in the 8pm hour). The following week, July 3, Surviving Suburbia moves to Fridays at 9:30pm with new episodes following repeats of According to Jim at 9. I bet we won't see Suburbia until July 3 now, as I don't expect it to return to Wednesdays following the June 3 Goode Family test.
Elsewhere, 7 new episodes of Better off Ted and repeats of Scrubs will air in the 9pm hour on Tuesdays starting Tuesday, June 23 following episodes of the upcoming competition series The Superstars. This is a good way for the brilliantly done Better off Ted to be sampled before it returns with more new episodes in January 2010.
I applaud ABC in airing all of these comedies this summer! View these changes in a list form, if you get confused. And if we have more updates, we will bring it to you first...so keep checking!


TV producer/writer/director Michael "Mickey" Ross, best known for his work on hit sitcoms All in the Family, The Jeffersons and Three's Company, died Tuesday (May 26) in Los Angeles from complications of a stroke and heart attack. Ross, along with business partners Don Nicholl & Bernie West, made his mark in the 1970's with the breakout CBS TV sitcom, All in the Family, for which he won a writing Emmy in 1973. They were nominated two other times, another one for All in the Family and one for Three's Company. The trio were known as "NRW" until the death of Don Nicholl in 1980. So now only Bernie West remains from this historical team.
Mickey also was part of the creation for ABC's Three's Company spin-offs The Ropers and Three's a Crowd. He also wrote for Maude, another All in the Family spin-off. In 1976 NRW also created and produced the short-lived sitcom The Dumplings for NBC starring James Coco. Mickey also directed many episodes of Three's Company. NRW also wrote the pilot episode for Chico and the Man.
Before all of his hit series were born, he was a part of many shows in the '50s and '60s such as The Garry Moore Show, The Perry Como Show, Sid Ceasar's Hour and The Martha Raye Show. The latter is how he developed a relationship with Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin, later forming All in the Family. And decades later in 1998, Mickey appeared on screen for an interview on the E! True Hollywood Story for Three's Company.
Aside from his TV work, Ross and his wife founded the Michael and Irene Ross Program in Jewish Studies at The City College of New York -- Ross's (and Bernie West's) alma mater. Memorial service will be held this Sunday (May 31) at 11 a.m. Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills on 5950 Forest Lawn Dr. in Los Angeles, CA.
Mickey will certainly be missed and my good friend and author of the Three's Company book Chris Mann tells me he loved farce comedy and that's how he viewed Three's Company with John Ritter as the ultimate farceur. Mickey rejoins Don Nicholl now up in the heavens recreating TV comedy. Rest in Peace, Mickey and you'll be deeply missed. Mickey Ross was 89.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Tribune Stations Land Entourage, Curb for Fall 2010 Local Syndication; ABC Picks-Up Modern Family, More Updates

HBO and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution have licensed the broadcast television syndication rights to the critically acclaimed and award-winning comedy series Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm to Tribune Broadcasting's stations in a three-year agreement for a fall 2010 airing.
Under terms of the three-year pact, Tribune has licensed all seven seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm and all six seasons so far of Entourage for broadcast on all of Tribune's owned-and-operated stations in 17 markets, including New York (WPIX-TV), Los Angeles (KTLA-TV) and Chicago (WGN-TV), among others. Both series will be presented in strip form on the Tribune Broadcasting stations, with episodes airing Monday-Friday, along with one weekend telecast, beginning in fall 2010.
As mentioned earlier this week, Spike TV has bought the cable rerun rights for Entourage starting in January 2010, so it will have a nine-month head start on cable. Curb Your Enthusiasm is also being shopped around for cable repeats.

ABC has made its first pickup for the fall season, a sitcom. Modern Family, the single camera mocumentary about about three suburban couples -- a traditional one, a gay one and a multi-ethnic one. ABC has ordered 13 episodes from 20th Television and the show stars Ed O'Neill (Married with Children), Sofia Vergara (Knights of Prosperity), Julie Bowen (Lost) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (The Class). The show has tested very well in focus groups and screenings. ABC also has unofficially picked-up drama Flash Forward, as teasers have aired during Lost the last two weeks to generate some buzz.
In other ABC updates, Surviving Suburbia will be preempted for a second week in a row for a two-hour Dancing with the Stars this coming Monday (May 11). That was scheduled to be its last Monday airing anyway, as the show will move to Wednesdays at 9:30pm starting May 27.
Meanwhile, the final episodes of According to Jim will run into the summer thanks to all the preemptions by President Obama. On Tuesday, May 26 and Tuesday, June 2, According to Jim will air its final four episodes (8-9pm both weeks), including the finale on June 2 at 8:30pm with a parade of guest stars. But before that there are two new episodes airing this Tuesday (May 12).

Stay tuned all next week for our predictions of the fall schedules for NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, and The CW. First up will be NBC, which we will cover likely on Sunday and the rest will follow in that order every other day. And the following week of course is upfront week and we will get the actual schedules and you can compare to see what we got right and wrong! Big and fun time of year!

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

ABC Announces First Batch of Summer 2009 Schedule; ION Ratings Go Up, Schedule Changes

A few days back we gave you a peek at some of ABC's summer schedule. All of that was right basically but now we have more details! So let's take a look night-by-night! As we knew, the new cycle of The Bachelorette launches May 18 from 9-11pm, but its timeslot launch is Monday, May 25 from 8-10pm. We are not sure how long the cycle will run, since there will be for sure a Men Tell All and After the Final Rose specials, so maybe the finale won't be July 13 and could last longer? We'll let you know. So what will air at 10pm on Mondays? I guessed a second season of Here Come the Newlyweds, and I was right! ABC will air that series for eight straight weeks from May 27-July 13 at 10pm on Mondays. Following the run of that, ABC will launch a new series starting July 20 at 10pm. The reality series Dating in the Dark will air for six weeks making it last through all of August. The show is a unique alternative series that asks the age-old question, "Is Love Blind?" Each week, three single men and three single women, all looking for love, will move into a house together, but be totally sequestered from the opposite sex. While they will have no chance of seeing each other in the light, they will have the opportunity to date in a completely dark room.
Tuesdays will not change until after the NBA Finals are over. Prior to the NBA finals will be filler programming, including two burn-offs of Opportunity Knocks. Then after the NBA Finals (which airs Thursdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays from June 4-18) ends, ABC will launch The Superstars on Tuesdays at 8pm starting Tuesday, June 23. The Superstars, a fresh take on an old favorite, is based on ABC's classic "Wide World of Sports" series, The Superstars, which pitted athletes from all different sports against each other to determine the best athlete in the world. Eight celebrities are paired with eight professional male and female athletes to compete against each other in varying sporting events. Each week a team will be eliminated until one team is ultimately crowned the winner. The six-episode series will be shot entirely on location at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. The finale is set for Tuesday, July 28. As for rest of Tuesday, it is unknown still what will air from 9-11pm starting June 23. And it is unknown what will air following the run of The Superstars starting August 4. As I said, this is only the first batch details.
Moving on to Wednesdays, as we mentioned, Wipeout will have its season premiere on a new night starting Wednesday, May 27 at 8pm. And ABC has 16 episodes this season, well one aired already, as ABC aired the Wipeout Bowl (the 6th one produced) on Super Bowl Sunday. We get new obstacles and a new twist to the big balls! Cannot wait for this as this will last throughout the summer on Wednesdays at 8! Following Wipeout, for six weeks, as we mentioned we get the animated comedy The Goode Family! The Goode Family is a new animated series from he King of the Hill crew Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky. With standards always changing, no matter how hard you try to be good, it's virtually impossible these days... especially for the Goode family. Gerald and Helen Goode are a couple who live by the motto WWAGD ("What Would Al Gore Do?"). We first thought the series would be aired back-to-back at 9pm & 9:30pm, but now that is not the case. It will air in the 9pm half-hour only. So we get 6 of the 13 episodes produced. Following The Goode Family will be the new night of the Bob Saget sitcom Surviving Suburbia. That sitcom launched to decent ratings on Monday at 9:30 and will air five more times in that slot (through May 11) before moving to Wednesdays at 9:30pm starting May 27 for six more episodes for an original summer run. So ABC will air at least 12 of the 13 episodes produced. I really think this sitcom has potential and ABC could use it next fall to launch new traditional comedies. Both comedies will run through Wednesday, July 1. Starting Wednesday, July 8, we get a second season of the game show I Survived a Japanese Game Show! It is an unscripted reality/game show -- actually a show within a show - that takes an eye-opening, behind-the-scenes look at 12 Americans who are whisked away to Japan to compete in the ultimate Japanese game show. This season we get 10 episodes, so it will last into September. It is unknown what ABC will do at 10pm, but The Unusuals has five episodes remaining in its first season episode order if they want to air originals of that. The series launched last night to good ratings. The series will air for four more straight weeks through May 6, before the Lost two-episode season finale on May 13. So five episodes will for sure air out of its ten episode order. If ABC chooses to air the remaining five in the summer, it would air from May 27 through June 24, for five straight weeks. That would give ABC an entire night of originals on Wednesdays from 8-11pm. If that is the case with The Unusuals, they have not announced what would air Wednesdays at 10pm starting July 1. Or they could hold those episodes for next fall, if the series returns.
There has been nothing announced for Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. We have specials and stuff, though. Thursday, May 28 will be The Scripps National Spelling Bee from 8-10pm, as we told you. And Sunday, May 24 is the first part of the miniseries Diamonds from 9-11pm, also as we told you. It concludes on Tuesday, May from 9-11pm. ABC has another miniseries in the works called Impact.
Finally, Saturdays at 10pm is a rotating wheel to burn-off remaining episodes of canceled series. Pushing Daisies returns to the schedule from Saturday, May 30 through Saturday, June 13 at 10:00pm for its final three episodes. Then Eli Stone returns on Saturday, June 20 through Saturday, July 11 at 10:00pm for its final four episodes. Then finally Dirty Sexy Money returns on Saturday, July 18 through August 8 at 10:00pm for its final four episodes (which includes the unaired Thanksgiving episode!). It'll be weird seeing the Thanksgiving episode first since they aired three other episodes after that.
Well there you have it, the first batch of ABC summer. Of course more timeslots needs to be announced and we will let you know as soon as we hear what they are! Will Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? return in August for its 10th anniversary? We shall see!

First quarter 2009 has been a record breaking time for ION Television, with double digit growth in primetime viewership among households as well as in the key adults 25-54 demo. ION has delivered more adults 25-54 than at any other time in its history and ION's top five most watched episodes ever in households (HH) all aired during the first three months of this year. ION's extraordinary growth is a continued reflection of the success of its strategy to build viewership through its acquisitions of critically acclaimed off-network series in primetime.
Primetime delivery for households was up 26%, while adults 25-54 rose 44%, year over year. Also during this time period, viewership for adults 25-54 exhibited double digit growth across every hour in primetime: The 8:00 PM hour was up 20%, the 9:00 PM hour grew 49% and the 10:00 PM hour rose 62%.
ION's primetime off-network series continue to deliver. NCIS and Boston Legal have both grown significantly since their launch in fourth quarter 2008. In fact, NCIS delivered ION's top five most watched episodes ever (HH), reinforcing ION's mission in attracting more viewers than ever. NCIS averaged over one million total viewers in first quarter 2009, up 27% among households and up 31% among adults 25-54. Boston Legal's first quarter 2009 performance has grown 18% among households and 17% among adults 25-54.
ION's ratings gains provide the network with considerable momentum as it prepares its programming schedule for the 2009-10 season and beyond. That schedule will feature 12 originally produced movies a year, the new first-run series Durham County, The Border and The Guard; and the newly acquired off-network hits Ghost Whisperer and Criminal Minds.
Speaking of ION Television, they have just announced some changes to April. They are not major changes, though. All of the RHI movies have been pulled for the rest of April. So this Saturday (April 11) from 6-11pm we will get a M*A*S*H marathon instead. Other replacements include a Boston Legal block on Friday, April 17 from 8-11pm, big screen movies and more M*A*S*H. We already told you for May, the RHI movies would be leaving, so now it is earlier than planned. The Lonesome Dove four part mini-series is still slated to air the weekend of May 2-3, then after that there is no more RHI movies scheduled. More mainstream big screen movies will air. Check out the revised April schedule so you know what is on a particular day.

Stay tuned tomorrow for ABC Family upfront update!

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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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    Thursday, March 05, 2009

    According to Jim Returns March 24 With Final 12 Episodes; Fox Schedules Glee, Osbourne Special

    ABC has announced it will return According to Jim on Tuesday, March 24 and air it in the 8-9pm hour with two back-to-back episodes. The series aired 6 episodes during the holidays and didn't do too well, but that was during a low-rated month. Now the series has 12 episodes left and these will be the final 12 for this long-running sitcom. They will air them in six weeks through Tuesday, May 5, which will be the series finale (they will be preempted on April 7 for Charlie Brown Easter). According to Jim will replace Homeland Security, USA, which will have its final Tuesday broadcast next week. The show still has 5 episodes left in this season's order, and will likely air elsewhere.
    With the return of According to Jim, ABC will have comedy hours three nights a week in the 8-9pm hour from Tuesdays through Thursdays. Scrubs returns with new episodes and Better Off Ted launches Wednesdays starting March 18 in the 8pm hour, then Jim returns Tuesdays starting March 24, and Thursdays will see the launch of In the Motherhood and the return of Samantha Who? starting March 26.
    According to Jim and Scrubs are both ending their runs after eight seasons a piece this season and ABC is trying to create a comedy block for next year, so the end of these two will provide a start. Both series will have their series finale on back-to-back nights (May 5 and May 6). Dancing with the Stars will probably give the comedies a good push for promotion, as the new Bob Saget sitcom Surviving Suburbia will premiere a few weeks later on Monday, April 6 at 9:30pm, giving ABC another comedy. ABC hasn't had this many sitcoms since like 2002 and 2003, when their promotion were called "ABC Happy Hour" and "Comedy Rules." For the sake of sitcoms, let's hope this works and I could certainly see a four-comedy night return to ABC next fall...with hopefully all traditional multi-camera sitcoms. Surviving Suburbia is a good start!
    As for you Jim fans, here are the episode titles the first two weeks: March 24 - "The Ego Boost" and "The Yoga Bear." March 31 - "Kyle's Crush" and "The Meaningful Gift." Then jumping a month later on May 5, the series finale "Heaven Opposed to Hell" will have many guest stars! Kimberly Williams-Paisley returns and Dan Aykroyd, Erik Estrada, Lee Majors, and Mitch Rouse are among the guests who also return.

    In a broadcast first, Glee, the new one-hour musical comedy series from Ryan Murphy, will get a special preview following American Idol's performance finale on Tuesday, May 19 from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT on Fox. The show will then premiere in the fall (date to be announced). So the series will get a special preview before returning about four months later. Will this work? It won't have an Idol lead-in in the fall, that's for sure. We shall see.
    Glee is an uplifting series with biting humor that features a soundtrack of hit music from past to present, so it should blend well with American Idol.
    But before Glee, Fox will hop aboard the "Crazy Train" when Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly Osbourne turn another television convention upside down and inside out with their new series Osbournes: Reloaded premiering after American Idol on Tuesday, March 31 from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT.
    The variety series features audience interaction, rowdy comedy and hilarious stunts that will shock and amuse. Outrageous sensibility and brash humor are at the core of the series filmed on location and in front of a studio audience that never knows what to expect from the First Family of Rock. Following the premiere, Osbournes: Reloaded will return to the Fox schedule as a series of one-hour specials to air later in the season, as six episodes were ordered in all. So this means Fringe won't return until April 7. The creepy drama series has 7 episodes left from its 21 episode order and hasn't aired since Feb. 10. So with the Glee premiere and the preemption on March 31 for the Osbournes, the Fringe finale will likely air out of sweeps with no American Idol lead-in on May 26. And if Osbournes does very well, Fringe could be preempted more likely. So Fringe has to watch its back, as the show really hasn't done that well in the ratings.

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    Wednesday, February 04, 2009

    ABC Picks-Up Bob Saget Sitcom Surviving Suburbia; Me-TV Milwaukee Adds Brady Bunch, Gomer

    ABC has announced it has picked-up Surviving Suburbia from Media Rights Capital! The series was slated to air on The CW Sunday nights in March, but The CW terminated the MRC-driven night late fall due to low ratings, so this show never got a chance to premiere. The premiere of this new half-hour multi-camera comedy series starring Bob Saget (Full House) and Cynthia Stevenson (MEN IN TREES) will be on Monday, April 6 at 9:30pm ET/PT following Dancing with the Stars only on ABC.
    In the family-centered tradition of Roseanne and Home Improvement, Surviving Suburbia opens the curtain to follow Saget and Stevenson 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 Kuznitz and G Hannelius as the Patterson kids. Jere Burns and Dan Cortese are recurring guest stars.
    Surviving Suburbia is produced by Media Rights Capital. Thirteen episodes have been shot. At least about 7 will air this season on ABC, unless it is pushed into the summer, too. If it does well and is picked-up for a second year, ABC could use those remaining episodes next year.

    Me-TV in Milwaukee has finally made some changes to its schedule. It's not much, but they will make some minor changes to their weekday line-up starting Monday, Feb. 9. They have acquired the rights to The Brady Bunch and will air it weekdays at 6:30pm, replacing Bewitched. Bewitched will still remain in its timeslots on weekends. Me-TV Milwaukee will also air Gomer Pyle, USMC weekday mornings at 5:30am, sliding The Beverly Hillbillies to 6am, which replaces Green Acres. Green Acres will still remain in its timeslots on weekends, like Bewitched. Now this is what I like...adding two shows without removing anything totally! Nice job Me-TV Milwaukee! Lucky people in Milwaukee!

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